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'True Blood' boss previews Sookie's 'intense' new romance

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According to True Blood creator Alan Ball, whether you’re a fan of Bill and Sookie or Sookie and Eric, season 3 of the HBO hit is sure to make you very unhappy. And, oddly, very happy, too. “Take a look at Joe [Manganiello],” he teases of the hunk he cast as the psychic’s new love interest, the werewolf Alcide. “Do you think [they] have reason to be worried?”

Rhetorical questions aside, the writer is confident that, just as his new hire won him over, he’ll win over viewers. “We were looking for a guy who was big, sexy, decent and heroic, with some darkness,” he says. “And [Manganiello] showed us all of that in the audition.”

In fact, the One Tree Hill alum so impressed the boss that he wasn’t asked to take a chemistry test with leading lady Anna Paquin. “We do that when we have four or five options,” Ball explains, “and in this instance, I felt like Joe was the only one who came close to what the character needed to be.”

Though Alcide isn’t introduced as a potential suitor for Sookie — “As in the book, he’s helping her find [her kidnapped boyfriend] Bill,” Ball notes, “and he has a business reason for owing Eric a favor” — one (bad) thing leads to an (incredibly sexy) other. “He’s there with her during a very painful time in her life — and his life, actually. And they’re thrown into some pretty intense situations together.

“And hello, he’s hot!” he adds with a laugh. “And hello, so is she. Two hot people in some intense situations and, for whatever reasons, their significant others are not there… they’re human.”

Well, that last part may be a stretch. But it’s clear what Ball is saying. The question now is, how do you feel about what he’s saying? Should the show have spent a season exploring the Bill/Sookie/Eric triangle before making it a square? Or, given that OK, yeah, Manganiello is pretty appealing, are you looking at this as a “the more, the merrier” scenario? Sound off below — and don’t be afraid to go for the jugular! (Additional reporting by Andy Patrick)

Image Credit: True Blood: John P. Johnson/HBO; Joe Manganiello