Friday, July 29, 2011

'True Blood' executive producer Alan Ball plays it by the book except when he doesn't

alanball.jpgThe startling story twists in HBO's "True Blood" -- Witches now? Really? -- actually aren't writers-room whimsy.

Far from it. Creator Alan Ball and his staff have Charlaine Harris' novels as their guide, and most fans of those are fans of the show, so the adaptation challenge must be working.
Now in its fourth season, the Louisiana-set drama is its network's blockbuster and shows no signs of slipping, either creatively or commercially.

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'True Blood' stars keep fights all in the TV family

As a happily married couple, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer can sink their teeth into on-screen breakup

Anna Paquin has been put through her paces as plucky waitress Sookie Stackhouse on HBO’s “True Blood,” but she hasn’t been thrown a challenge from Creator/Executive Producer Alan Ball that she couldn’t handle. “I’m having the best time of my life. Are you kidding me?” Anna laughed at HBO’s “True Blood” panel at the Television Critics Association Summer 2011 Session in Beverly Hills on Thursday, when asked about all the drama Sookie’s gone through. “I dare him to come up with something I say no to.”

In the current season, Anna’s Sookie has been getting closer to Alexander Skarsgard’s Eric, but whether she’ll forgive Stephen Moyer’s Bill Compton, her first true love, whose betrayal was revealed in the Season 3 finale, is a question the actress avoided answering.
“Do you think I’m gonna tell you that with my boss sitting here?” Anna laughed.

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True Blood Season 5 to be based on 'Dead as a Doornail' by Charlaine Harris, it's time to get reading!

OK --Alan Ball says he's working on Season 5 right now and that it's based on Sookie Stackhouse Book #5. So it is time to get reading or re- reading this novel. You can see this year's storyline setting up next year.

I have one word for you : QUINN
How about leg licking
How about Sookie and Sam kissing !

Sookie Stackhouse just can't seem to stay away from the supernatural denizens of Bon Temps, Louisiana. In Dead to the World (2004), she found herself embroiled in vampire politics; this time around, she's involved in the machinations of the Were-people, whose pack leader has just passed away. -Alcide Herveaux asks her to accompany him to the funeral, where Alcide's father declares his candidacy against a slimy, calculating rival. Angry at being drawn into the conflict, Sookie can't distance herself entirely, because a sniper has been taking shots at Were-people, and the community suspects Sookie's brother, Jason, a new shape-shifter. Sookie's love life is every bit as complicated as usual, and her collection of would-be beaux continues to grow. Also, someone wants her dead, which she learns when an assailant sets fire to her beloved house. Harris' southern vampire series remains one of the best of the breed, concocted out of just the right mixture of humor, intrigue, and excitement. Its latest entry does not disappoint.
Here is what I have on the book HERE

Here some bits from an Amazon Review:
Sam's has a new cook - seems to happen almost every volume. Tara has a new boyfriend - also seems to happen regularly. But then the shooting starts:
*Calvin Norris gets shot, seriously injured.
*Sam gets shot, in the leg.
*Sookie gets shot, a shoulder graze.
*Dawson, a Were bodyguard, gets shot, seriously injured.

And then, in terms of who's who vis a vis Sookie:
*Calvin Norris is still interested in Sookie, and in fact they do get in a serious kiss, which surprises Sookie.
*Claudine kisses Sookie a couple times, though, since she's Sookie's fairy godmother, what that might mean is ambiguous. Claudine certainly plays up a hint to others that it might be serious, when such a suggestion is useful.
*Charles Twining, the new bartender at Fangtasia, is intensely interested in Sookie, although respectful.
*Eric is still interested in Sookie, though he's not sure why, and he wants to find out what went on, and he does kiss Sookie again in this book.
*Even good ol' Vampire Bill gets in a few licks, including sharing (innocently, this time) Sookie's hospital bed.
*Alcide Herveax, the Were, attempts to continue his courtship of Sookie, sort of, escorting her to the sort of thing where other people will assume one's intentions are serious. (If you recall, they were once engaged for 10 minutes.)
*And the one we've been waiting for - Sam kisses Sookie, and it might have gone further... yes, admit it, you've been expecting Sookie to finally realize that Sam more than just admires her as a barmaid for several volumes now!!

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me what the sudden intersection with one of Harris's other series, a straightforward mystery series which has heretofore had no hints of fantasy. Lily Bard, who lives in Shakespeare, Arkansas, has been the heroine of such books as "Shakespeare's Christmas" and "Shakespeare's Trollop" and in this book she pops up, having finally married Jack Leeds (isn't that a great name for a PI? Leeds?) as they are investigating Debbie Pelt's disappearance. It's odd seeing Lily referred to as Lily Leeds, after years of seeing her as Lily Bard. Anyway, for those who have only been reading Harris's vampire books, now you are informed that those two characters, who pop up for a couple of chapters here, are actually a whole 'nother series, one I recommend to those who read non-fantasy as well as fantasy.

Other fun bits to watch for - how Greg Aubert's insurance customers stay so lucky; Andy Bellefleur and Sookie finally air some things out; Quinn, who doesn't exactly... kiss... Sookie, and what kind of shifter he turns out to be.

Joe " Alcide" Manganiello Talks to E! ( Video)

Watch here

Spoiler Season 4, Episodes 11 & 12 description from HBO !!

Episode 4.11: ‘Soul of Fire’  – As the Wiccan-vampire standoff reaches a critical juncture, Sookie summons her faerie powers to prevent Marnie from bewitching Bill, Eric and Pam into a suicide march, while Jesus casts a secret spell designed to un-bind Antonia and break the witch’s deadly defenses.  Sam settles a score with Marcus; Alcide confronts Debbie about her allegiances; Andy finds unexpected passion in the forest; Lafayette is consumed by the past.

Episode 4.12: And When I Die’  – Season Finale. – It’s Samhain, Wicca’s greatest holy day, and spirits of the dead surface in Bon Temps, giving Sookie some valuable allies to combat Marnie’s newest incarnation.  Lafayette’s latest medium encounter imperils his relationship with Jesus; Jason finds confession good for the soul, but not the body; Alcide makes a heartfelt appeal to the woman he loves; Terry receives an unexpected visitor at Merlotte’s; Sam and Luna envision a storybook ending, for once; Nan wears out her welcome with Bill and Eric.  As Season Four comes to a shattering conclusion, Debbie confronts Sookie and Tara with deadly consequences, and the denizens of Bon Temps brace for a new crisis with a familiar face.

Spoilers from Alan : True Blood Lightning Round: Alan Ball on Bill-Sookie-Eric Triangle, Season 4 Finale

What will we see in the war between witches and vampires?
It will go places that surprise you. It's not linear.
What can you say of the Bill-Sookie-Eric triangle?
It's complicated.
Will Sookie (Anna Paquin) be able to forgive Bill (Stephen Moyer)?
I believe forgiveness is possible for everybody for everything, but I'm a Buddist, so...
Were you careful with the relationship between Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Sookie because of Team Bill?
I don't worry about Team Bill or Team Eric. I love [the fourth book] because I thought it was a great story, but I'm Team Sookie.
Because Jason (Ryan Kwanten) drank Jessica's (Deborah Ann Woll) blood, will his sex dreams continue?
He's had her blood and he's already a very sexual person, but he's going to be attracted to her.
What is the season building up to?
The fate of vampires as a whole.
What's the big, bad villain for next season?
We are just in the beginning of Season 5, so it's too early to say, but we're basing it on the books.
Do you feel pressure to top each villain?
I don't think that way because that's only a recipe for trouble. I love my job, I enjoy doing it. I'm not going to put pressure on myself to top. I just want to tell the best story and the most fun story.
Why did the show really jump one year in the future this year?
The root of that was how we get Jason to be a cop.