Who knew that regal southern gentlemen vampires and demure human ladies could make for the greatest show to hit HBO in quite some time? Getting geared up for a third season, fans are buzzing about what could possibly happen this time around. So far, the series has managed to make household names (and major crushes) out of random Swedish actors, revived Alan Ball’s relevance, and provided spin-off potential for everything from soda to new versions of the books that the series is based on in the first place.

There are a number of reasons that “True Blood” is one of the best things to hit satellite tv in quite some time. First, it manages to appeal to people looking for very different things in an HBO series. Those who want the fantastic and the slightly gloomy will be really into the vampire back story as well as the crumbling Gothic southern homes being filmed expertly by Alan Ball. Fans of camp and kitsch will love the show’s funnier moments, with a fast-talking and truly sassy gay drug dealer stealing every scene he’s in, and markedly hilarious exchanges between midlevel vampires and higher-up sheriffs. “True Blood” is also one of those shows where those who need to swoon at romance can do so right next to partners who are more interested in gory fights or more racy scenes of romance.

“True Blood” is part thriller, part mystery, and a whole lot of drama, comedy, and romance. Set in the near future, when vampires are able to “come out of the coffin” thanks to synthetic blood being produced by the Japanese, many of them are trying to peacefully acclimate to human life while trying to avoid being victimized by less tolerant humans. At the same time, more militant factions of the vampire community are complaining about drinking synthetic blood, insisting that it’s just not as good. The vampires have their own system of laws and government, including area sheriffs. For the most part, those in charge are a little bit testy, though there are those who are concerned about good publicity.

At the same time, humans are dealing with their own acceptance of vampires, especially in a small Louisiana town where a series of mysterious murders have been taking place. The show focuses on a small-town waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, and her budding relationship with old-fashioned gentleman Bill Compton, who just shy of 200 years old. Around them are a number of sketchy occurrences, humans dealing vampire blood as a drug, and a whole lot of turmoil. In short, it’s the perfect formula for a huge satellite tv hit, with just enough great acting and writing alongside humor and camp.

HBO initially planned on rolling out season three during winter of 2010, but now the date is pushed back to the summertime. A fourth season has also been confirmed, making it one of the fastest-growing franchises on satellite tv right now. Season one debuted with a modest number of viewers, with season two shattering that number and placing right next to the amount of people who tuned in to watch the finale of “The Sopranos.”

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