Much later I finally threw caution to the wind of that initial impression and began watching True Blood in earnest. The first season was incomparable. I love the homeyness of a small town, white country kitchens, and the transition between simplicity and complexity as a girl comes of age. And, of course, I loved the vampire mythology as it was directed in this realm.
I did give up on the series when I saw Billith. That whole season was pretty useless to me in general. And I begrudged the writers that they were adding storylines instead of pursuing the simplicity of Bon Temps life with the complexity of vampires and wares mixed in for that extra spice.
The actual books that were the origin for the True Blood series are so much better than the series. So much better. Even though I'm listening to them over Audible rather than reading the books myself, it's oh so much better.
There's a lot more of the things that I like: exploring the lives and many strange layers of life within Bon Temps; the intraversion of Sookie as she copes with situations, work, love, trust, loyalty, and friends; and the complexity of her coming of age with seductive experienced vampires who cause all sorts of mischiefs.
Characters are much more interesting, and we keep exploring them as scenes (and the book series) evolve.
I'm on book 6 right now, having devoured the first five during my one week vacation. I'm really enjoying it and hope that the remaining books are just as fun. I'm not so sure I'll ever return to the TV series, though I'm enjoying immensely following the cast and crew on social media to see all sorts of wrap up posts and updates from behind the scenes.
One of my all-time favorite things to do in the Tampa area (since 1999!) has been drive into Clearwater Beach near sunset.
I immensely enjoy the sun's rays reaching out playfully to almost blind me, as I squint at it through sunglasses and straight palms.
The fluffy clouds are relaxed sentinels, quietly escorting us as we make our way through the Courtney Campbell Causeway (60).
I inhale the salt air and each and every muscle in my body feels like it's exhaling is tension away.
The promise of delectable seaside specialties, like broiled or grilled grouper, are just around the next bend.
We continue cruising through Clearwater Beach and Sand Key with dinner cruises sailing under the Gulf Boulevard bridge.
The sea breeze welcoming, the warm sunset hues caressing open windows in our vehicle. As we leisurely float on through the various barrier islands.