Deadline Comic-Con TV correspondent Gary Hodges files:
Some people had been in line for hours just to get in to HBO’s True Blood panel, then sat through panels they weren’t the least bit interested in, just to save their spot. For this last TV panel of Friday, the moderator was an unapologetically enthusiastic fan of the show masquerading as a media type and started things off with a trailer that offered tantalizing glimpses of events in shows to come: waitress-faerie Sookie (Anna Paquin) using glowing light to push back an attacker, another scene of her apparently shot in the stomach, and then lots and lots of fangs, blood, and sex. Because it is True Blood, after all.
Stack then introduced the castmembers Kristin Bauer van Straten (Pam), Alexander Skarsgård (Eric), Kevin Alejandro (Jesus), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette), Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica), Ryan Kwanten (Jason), Rutina Wesley (Tara), Stephen Moyer (Bill) and, of course, Anna Paquin. The were also joined by executive producer Alan Ball, who ultimately doled out the most concrete info about upcoming shows, but most of it very vague. When pressed he did tease that Eric and Sookie will end up in a shower together (an encounter from the books) though he warned it would be different: “weirder and dirtier.” He suggested much of the vampire infighting would be set aside because of a “common enemy” (then joking it was Rep. Michelle Bachmann, the GOP presidential candidate) and that sometime in season 5 viewers would finally see how Eric made Pam. Ball also said the show was researching other supernatural creatures to introduce to the series, but left it at that.
Alejandro was asked if Jesus was secretly a villain, and he gave the stock Comic-Con panel response: “You’re just going to have to watch, bro.” Some variation of this was the answer to most questions related to plot specifics, Ball on a few occasions simply saying it would give away too much to answer a particular question. This left most of the questions to be about shooting nude scenes, possible future romances, and whether a male-female strip club from the novels will ever appear on the show. (Yes, in one form or another). One man stood up and thanked the cast for improving his sex life with his wife. Another woman confessed her love for Skarsgård.
Despite the silliness, some people revealed deep admiration of the show, like a young man who thanked Ellis for playing “one of the most powerful gay characters on television,” or another who asked if the panel had any advice for his military wife who was soon to be deployed. The show certainly has something that moves people – something besides Skarsgård’s abs and kinky vampire sex.
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