True Blood premiered last weekend on HBO.

For those of you non-Vampire fans, True Blood is a show based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels (of which I own every one).

I love the Sookie Stackhouse books. They were one of my first tastes of how an author can marry mystery and romance and paranormal fiction in a fresh way.

So I was understandably nervous to see what Six Feet Under Alan Ball would do with the series. And it didn’t turn out too bad, actually. They seem to be sticking fairly close the the first book, with the notable exception of Tara Thornton’s character.

Anna Paquin’s Sookie is a little more naive and strident than they way I pictured Sookie, and Bill is a little less suave, but Sam is dead on. And seeing for the first time scenes I’d imagined only in my head wasn’t disturbing as I thought it might be, it only added to my understanding of what these characters could be.

So while I thought some of the Southern language was a little over done (“land sakes!”) and the sex scenes involving the vampire and Maudette and then Jason and Maudette were a little gratuitous, and I wish Tara wasn’t so Very Angry All the Time!, I did like the atmosphere of the show, as well as the way they handled Sookie’s telepathic powers.

I can’t wait to see the next one. But man is HBO missing out on some income by not putting up the episode on itunes right away. There’s lots of HBO-less people searching for a way to legally download the program…