"True Blood" creator Alan Ball
(Six Feet Under
, American Beauty
) where he talked about the appeal of vampires, the show's graphic moments, and how he plans on dealing with the fan community.
"Obviously the act of feeding is a very blatant sexual metaphor," said Ball. "There's penetration. There are bodily fluids exchanged. There's a cathartic, frenzied physical moment. You know how a lot of people are attracted to the bad boy or the femme fatale? The hot sexy, dangerous person you know is really not good for you? Your conscious mind is going, 'Ok, move away, walk away from this.'...The one you should want and know you should want, they don't turn you on as much."
The first two episodes of "True Blood" feature some sexually graphic scenes between Sookie's brother and a fang banger (one who has sex with vampires). What is so appealing about making a show with so much sex and violence? It's fun, admitted Ball:
"I don't know if it's because the fantastic nature of the premise allows me enough of a remove so that it's not so upsetting. Because it's like popcorn TV or an amusement park ride for me. Certainly sexuality is a real window into somebody's psyche I'm not as freaked out by the characters. There's a lot of sex and violence in Charlaine's books, and I wanted to do something different. Six Feet Under was all about repression, and [True Blood] seems to be something about abandon. I find the show really entertaining to produce and to be a part of making because it's escapist. It's totally escapist."
Ball is confident fans of Harris' books will like the show: "I feel a responsibility to be true to the spirit of the books and yet to turn it into a compelling television show. I don't mean this with any disrespect at all - the fans are not writing this show. I'm not going to go on the boards and make sure everybody's happy with what's being done because I have to trust my own instincts. If I start feeling like I have to please the fans that like I have to please a committee of suits at a studio, and then it becomes a show created by a committee, and that's just not the kind of show I'm interested in working on."
Although Ball plans on staying true to the books, he will also be adding new elements to the series to keep it interesting: "I don't think the fans are going to revolt. I know Charlaine herself has seen the first two episodes, and she really likes them ... I can't make myself beholden to the fans because they don't own the material. Charlaine owns it. Now HBO owns the rights to create the show. At some point you have to make the show that you believe is the best show."