True Blood

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
True Blood TV Poster Image
Sexy, bloody vampire drama for adults only.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 38 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 74 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this tv show.

Positive messages

It's a fantasy but offers metaphors about prejudice and judgment in our society. Loyalty, betrayal, and romance also are themes. 

Positive role models & representations

Few characters are truly "good"; more are clearly "evil." All are complex and conflicted. 

Violence

Pushing, punching, kicking, shoving, and biting. Knives, chains, guns, and other items used as weapons. Fantasy violence is often gruesome and bloody. 

Sex

Sexy dancing, prostitution, and lots of nudity (breasts, buttocks) and simulated sex acts (including orgies). Crude sexual references (such as "fang banging"). Vampire biting is often treated as erotic. 

Language

Everything from "hell" to "s--t", "f--k," and more.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Lots of drinking (beer, hard alcohol) and Tru Blood (synthetic blood for vampires); one cast member is a violent alcoholic. Drug trafficking and use are themes, as is addiction to vampire blood.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this campy pay-cable vampire series from the creator of Six Feet Under is, like that show, very much intended for adults. There's lots of nudity, simulated sex scenes, gruesome fantasy violence, strong language (including "s--t" and "f--k"), drinking, drug use, and other mature content. That said, the show also explores the human ability to embrace and understand those who are different.

User Reviews

Adult Written byzee_rawr January 28, 2010

best for 13+

haha okay so im 13 and i wach this show, and i have not turned phsycotic, i am not demented or messed up because of it. i think the age 13 would be an okay age...
Adult Written bychristian2011 January 4, 2013

Vampire TV series loaded with violence, sex and drugs. 18+

True Blood is definitely not like Twilight or other vampire teen-flicks related to that matter, because it has a reputation of being extremely high in terms of...
Kid, 12 years old November 18, 2010

Ok, I came here to see if I could watch it and I find this remark in the ratings!

I read the sex rating made by commonsense.org about this film, and I must say that I sure can't watch it! Still, why is "One character is openly gay,...
Teen, 13 years old Written byBeSmart July 13, 2010

Perfect for 13+ Best.Show.Ever

NO.This show isnt only for adults teens can watch it to I mean be 13 you should be able to handule nudity,drug,curseing(i mean its not like you havent heard the...

What's the story?

TRUE BLOOD takes place in a world where vampires have "come out of the coffin" and live openly among mortals. Anna Paquin stars as Sookie Stackhouse, a young Louisiana waitress known as the town's eccentric thanks to her telepathic abilities. She becomes even more of an outcast when she finds herself attracted to vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), who's decided to assimilate into the town's human community. As the townsfolk face their prejudices, Sookie's womanizing brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) finds himself mysteriously connecting with aspects of the vampire culture while striking up odd relationships with folks such as the colorful Lafayette Reynolds (Nelson Ellis) and, later, Sheriff Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer). Meanwhile, Sookie's best friend Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) and bar owner Sam Merlotte (Sam Tramell) have their own personal issues. And then there are the pesky non-conforming vampires who fuel the town's anti-bloodsucker sentiments, as well as werewolves, fairies, and other magical beings ...

Is it any good?

True Blood -- which is based on author Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries series and produced by Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball -- is a creative dramedy bolstered by both an unusual premise and strong, well-developed, colorful characters who add a touch of campy humor. That said, the show also uses vampires' mythic and rather violent sexual appetites as a way to explore human eroticism at various levels. So there are plenty of explicit conversations, over-the-top sex scenes, and obvious sadomasochist references.

Obviously, then, this show is meant for adults. And mature viewers will find that True Blood is definitely entertaining. It effectively weaves "everyday" topics such as romance and family dysfunction into a mystical fabric that results in some interesting and sometimes thought-provoking narratives. It also serves as a platform from which stereotypes and bigotry can be examined in an honest, open way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how vampires have been portrayed in the media over the years. Have those portrayals changed over time? If so, how?

  • What things do vampire-centric TV shows and movies tend to have in common? Why do you think so many vampire stories are intertwined with themes of sex and desire?

  • What messages does this show send about relationships and intimacy?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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