d hostage in a vampire dungeon, while Merlotte's diner owner Sam (Sam Trammell) comes out about being a werewolf. But the real juice is injected via two storylines with new characters.
In one, Sookie's wayward brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten), finds religion and joins the Fellowship of the Sun, an evangelical organization that loves Jesus and hates vampires. It's led by the creepy, Osteen-ish Rev. Steve (Michael McMillian) and his bubbly blonde wife, Sarah (Anna Camp), who breaks a few "thou shalt"s once she lays eyes on Jason.
The other involves the mysterious Maryann (Michelle Forbes), who takes in Sookie's best friend, Tara (Rutina Wesley), and casts quite the spell on her. Hell, Maryann soon has the entire town under her control, thanks to some strange, vibrating trick she does. Forbes is Emmy-worthy for her sly, sexy, bewitching performance.
The Charlaine Harris books the series is based on do nothing for me, but producer Alan Ball has taken their standout elements, stripped them of the corn, and amped things up with a deliciously nasty edge. It's a horror show without real scares, but plenty of the red stuff.
Twelve episodes reside on five discs; my wife and I couldn't tear through them fast enough. Commentaries aside, the last disc houses only two extras, but they're doozies. One is a compilation of Rev. Steve's video sermons, and the other is a half-hour news report on vampires. It's exceedingly well done, particularly with its sly parody of The CW's copycat series "The Vampire Diaries," here dubbed "OMG! ur a vampire :("
Now that's funny. Everything about "True Blood" makes me want to :)