Now that I'm not commuting for 3 hours each day, I have more free time. I'd like to say I've put that time to good use, but I haven't. In the morning I sleep later, and in the evenings I have more time for my favorite hobby: TV.
The invention of the DVR has changed my life -- no joke -- and I especially like it when I can stockpile a few episodes for what I call, Binge Viewing. I couldn't wait any longer, so I broke the seal this weekend on the first 2 episodes of Alan Ball's new HBO series, True Blood. I was already intrigued by their synthetic vampire blood teaser campaign that was splattered around the city all summer, so I was disappointed when my favorite magazine, EW, gave it a C and said, "Ball has never seen a comic-dramatic premise he can't flatten with leaden metaphors." Ouch.
But I live on the edge, so I watched anyway, and um... LOVED it. Let me count the ways:
1. The theme song is so damn catchy -- I Want to Do Bad Things With You sets the perfect mood.
2. It took me 2 episodes to place Anna Paquin's vaguely familiar half-naked brother as Ryan Kwanten from the short-lived series Summerland (most notably remembered for starring Jesse McCartney before he was flyin on a G5, G5 and Zac Efron before he was a highschool heartthrob). Nice surprise casting!
3. Vampires are fascinating. Just ask Anne Rice.
4. Smart-mouthed sidekick Tara steals the show. I want to hang out with her. I'm also liking Sam the owner of Merlotte's, and I think EW's PopWatch is really on to something with their theory about his true identity.
5. It's ALAN BALL, people. Even his bad stuff is pretty good. He is single-handedly responsible for the massive crush I have on Peter Krause, and his series finale of Six Feet Under was so moving and beautiful and fitting, it still gives me chills to this day.
As far as I'm concerned, it's total escapist television -- just the way I like it. I'm in.