How the hit vampire show starring Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer found its stride

No. 2 – Grateful undead

The other vampire saga that everyone talked about this year was decidedly not a chaste teen romance. Instead, HBO’s True Blood reveled in orgies, meat statues, vamp virgins, demon bulls, and religious cults — all of which helped Blood become HBO’s highest-rated series since The Sopranos and nab two Golden Globe nominations. ”This past year it really felt like it became a phenomenon,” says creator Alan Ball (Six Feet Under). ”When I saw the Team Bill and the Team Eric T-shirts on some website — that was really fun.” Ball is referring, of course, to the heated love triangle involving telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin) and vampire frenemies Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård). ”This season has just been great because it’s been an opportunity to show that Eric is more complex than just being Bill’s boss,” says Skarsgård. Moyer says he and Skarsgård are hoping the history between Bill and Eric is explored even further in season 3, which debuts next summer. Explains the actor, ”Me and Alex have this dream that we’re going to cut to Bill and Eric in this disco in the ’80s in, like, Berlin or something. And Bill’s in leather.” Now, that’s even freakier than the meat statue.