• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 7, 2008
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. 90
    After watching five episodes, I can say True Blood stands out as one of the strongest new series in an uncertain fall.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    90
    Graphically sexy and scary, and often wildly funny, True Blood, from Six Feet Under’s Alan Ball, turns Charlaine Harris’ rollicking mystery novels into a broadly entertaining, deliciously twisted slice of modern Southern Gothic.
  3. Reviewed by: Misha Davenport
    88
    Bloody, sexy and violent, the show is also both occasionally funny and frightening.
  4. 88
    Part mystery, part fantasy, part comedy, and all wildly imaginative exaggeration, Blood proves that there's still vibrant life--or death--left in the "star-crossed lovers" paradigm.
  5. Although generally witty, always absorbing, and invariably violent, True Blood isn’t really a big surprise until its fifth hour.
  6. 80
    It's easy to like True Blood, because Ball's episodic smarts are primal, not at a remove, and he approaches supernaturalism by emphasizing the natural over the super.
  7. 80
    True Blood is an unlikely but irresistible mixture of pungent political satire, observant pop sociology and lurid drive-in thrills.
  8. 80
    True Blood isn't meant to be an exercise in good taste. Just a romp and a wallow--and a bloody good one.
  9. 80
    True Blood, Academy Award-winner Alan Ball's steamy, sassy, sometimes nasty, but always thoroughly engaging, new HBO drama.
  10. True Blood is a sexy affair that sets up an entirely believable world where humans and vampires co-exist. It's a soap, to be sure, but a soap with an eye for social commentary.
  11. Both Paquin and Moyer do well here. And True Blood is fleshed out with other interesting characters getting to spout well-written lines. But at times the whole thing seems silly.
  12. The core characters, including Sookie's best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley), Sookie's brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and bartender Sam (Sam Trammell), who has a thing for Sookie, all have interesting features and are well-played. The rest of the locals don't come off so well, mostly having few brains and a big shortage of couth.
  13. 60
    When Tara and Sookie speak truth to each other (or seem to), True Blood is almost shrewd.
  14. The show is ugly and fixated on death and violence. There's lots of lurid sex, too, reflected in other title images. There's also creativity and flat-out breathtaking acting to instill a voyeuristic fascination and perhaps inspire a fanatic.
  15. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    60
    Appetizingly pulpy and yet not at all crass, the series presents a new angle on the phenomenon of shows-so-bad-that-they're-good: It sucks hard and thus plays very well.
  16. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    60
    The supporting players aren’t nearly as interesting initially as the intense bond between Sookie and Bill, though they do keep the first few installments busy, including some nicely gratuitous sex, adventures in the Viagra-like effects of vampire blood and a tepid murder mystery.
  17. 60
    You won't be drawn to True Blood if you don't like a heightened, almost cartoonish atmosphere. Paquin, giggly but calmly assertive, is something of an acquired taste as Sookie.
  18. My hope is that True Blood will get all of this tub-thumping out of the way in a few weeks and start its tremendous potential as an ensemble drama with hints of comedy.
  19. 60
    Even though the second episode of the season isn't structured very well, with lots of rambling talk about nothing, even though the show lacks the tightness and the natural momentum of "Six Feet Under" (and the weight and the intensity, for that matter), True Blood is still odd, unpredictable and off-kilter.
  20. Ball's done an entertaining job of turning Harris' stories about life in a small Southern town after vampires "come out of the coffin" into something adults who wouldn't dream of reading her books might be caught dead watching.
  21. Reviewed by: Brian Holcomb
    50
    There's certainly enough story here to develop into a strong series were it centered around interesting characters, but Ball has populated it with one stereotype after another.
  22. 50
    It’s not surprising that Ball gets the mixture wrong a fair amount of the time; what’s surprising is that it’s possible for such a strange gumbo to work at least some of the time.
  23. Vampire fantasy, murder mystery, star-crossed love story, political satire, True Blood is all and none of the above. Not quite funny, not quite scary, not quite thought-provoking, the show's attempt to question the roots of prejudice is continually undermined by its own stereotyping.
  24. It’s creepy, steamy and funny at times, and it’s also a muddle, a comic murder mystery that is a little too enthralled with its own exoticism.
  25. Reviewed by: Michael Judge
    50
    True Blood is supposed to be a sexy, easy-to-swallow mystery, but too often it ends up leaving a bad taste in one's mouth.
  26. True Blood, with its constant profanity, gore and banal cruelty, will have a limited appeal. It might become appointment viewing for genre fans even as the rest of us steer clear of Bon Temps.
  27. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    42
    I'd say that the author is more vivid, subtle, and funny in her portrayal of Southern life; I'll be surprised if her fans aren't disappointed by this adaptation. The best thing about Ball's shows is their opening credits.
  28. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    42
    True Blood makes little effort to rethink genre conventions.
  29. True Blood looks terrific, especially whenever it has to depict a vampire in action, as they can move almost too fast for the naked eye (but not the high-def camera) to see. But unless the thought of vampire/human love makes your pulse quicken--or, even better, makes you wish you didn't have a pulse to quicken--most of it is not really worth seeing.
  30. 38
    HBO's new series from death-obsessed Alan Ball, creator of the legendary "Six Feet Under," whose new show True Blood, won't so much make your blood run cold as it will leave you cold.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 624 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 234
  1. Dec 20, 2013
    7
    It's addicting and entertaining. The writing isn't the best, and the acting isn't that solid, but the first season of True Blood is definitely worth your time. Full Review »
  2. Nov 9, 2012
    9
    The first few episodes are a rocky start, but stick with Alan Ball's True Blood. By episode seven, so many questions will be bubbling in your brain, you'll hardly be able to wait to watch the next one. Full Review »
  3. Jul 3, 2011
    9
    True Blood is another series jumping on the vampire bandwagon and I have to say, the Vamps have never seemed cooler, sexier and crazy! Additionally, what TB offers that other series lack is a solid characterization of the human characters as well. Sookie Stackhouse differs from Bella Swan in that she is not nearly as self-deprecating and it's refreshing. But I have to say, Eric Northman steals the show. The hot blonde vamp is surely the object of many hot dreams. Kudos TB Full Review »