New on DVD: True Blood: The Complete Third Season

By Robert B. DeSalvo

Available on both DVD and Blu-ray,the third season of HBO's top show is as violent, adventurous and sexually charged as ever.

Director: Alan Ball

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Studio: HBO

The vampires, shapeshifters and werewolves return to “do bad things with you,” as the opening song goes, in the third season of the hit HBO show about vampires coming out of the coffin.

This time Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) takes off to Mississippi to rescue Bill (Stephen Moyer) from a powerful vampire king, Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) and the werewolves that do his bidding. Meanwhile, Tara (Rutina Wesley) has become the semi-willing love slave of a seductive vampire, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) trains to be a deputy when he’s not chasing a slinky werepanther, Merlotte’s owner Sam (Sam Trammell) reunites with his trashy parents and long-lost little brother who is also a shapeshifter, and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) peddles vampire blood—"V"—for Eric (Alexander Skarsgård).

In between all the fang-banging fun in Mississippi and back home in Bon Temps, La., Sookie discovers that it’s no accident that vampires want to nibble on her—she is part-fairy, and her magical blood is like liquid crack to the undead, including her beau. It all ends with a showdown at the club Fangtasia and with Bill engaged in vamp-vs.-vamp battle with the vampire queen of Louisiana (Evan Rachel Wood).

The seductive Southern decadence of True Blood continues to intoxicate with these 12 bloody-good episodes, available on both DVD and Blu-ray just in time before the fourth season premieres on HBO on June 26. The cable network’s top show is still as violent and funny as it is sexually explicit and adventurous. Anything can and does go down between the True Blood characters, and part of the fun is seeing the creators fearlessly push the level of audaciousness to the brink and pull back just enough to make you thirst for another fix.

Best extras: The Blu-ray has an innovative picture-in-picture enhanced viewing mode with original, interactive content: Character Perspectives, straight from the mouths of Jessica, Andy, Tommy and Alcide; Flashback/Flash Forward, a move through time allowing for “Flashbacks” to relive pivotal moments in the series or “Flash Forwards” to reveal the significance of a certain scene; Vampire Histories/Character Bios, background stories on favorite characters in the show; and Hints/FYIs for more trivia facts, show hints and clues. The BD also includes “True Blood Lines,” an interactive on-screen guide that highlights the connections between the many worlds in the series. If all of that is not enough to sink your fangs into, both the DVD and Blu-ray versions contain Snoop Dogg’s hilarious video, “Oh Sookie.”


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