This is an excerpt from The Vampire Film: From Nosferatu to True Blood by James Ursini and Alain Silver.
TRUE BLOOD brings an unlikely array of characters out of the swamp into a soap opera of Southern seediness and short shorts. At the center of the tale, based loosely on the ten-volume Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, are the new vampires. Their mission is to coexist with humans and the myriad other weird beings that inhabit Bon Temps, Louisiana and its environs. This setting has the proper Gothic atmosphere for both the novels and the series. Both begin with all the “fangers” outed, and some wanting to be welcomed into red-neck hang outs like Merlottes’ where they can sit a spell with the breathers. Eternal alienation is TRUE BLOOD hell, and the source of its deadpan Grand Ol’ Opry-style humor.
TRUE BLOOD is a parody of antebellum intolerance, where the vampire is just the latest entity to be vilified or wanting equality, unusual but not unknown to the horror genre. It follows in the politically correct if somewhat distant footsteps of such movies as George Romero’s anti-racist zombie movie NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. The people of Bon Temps are still embroiled in the same civil-rights-era struggles, which include the standard issues of race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation and now vampire rights.