HBO's 'True Blood' is erotically appealing

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THE SHOW "True Blood"

WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO

REASON TO WATCH Second-season launch of Alan Ball's erotic bloodsucker.

CATCHING UP Based on Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels, it is set in a Louisiana town, Bon Temps, where vampires - seeking civil rights - live (in a manner of speaking) amid humans. Sookie ( Anna Paquin) is a local human waitress at Merlotte's in love with Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) - one of the nice (in a manner of speaking) vampires.

LAST SEASON ENDED WITH Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Sookie dragging seriously hammered local detective Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) to his car. A body is in the driver's seat. Meanwhile, Sookie's bro, Jason (Ryan Kwanten), is out of jail and has joined up with the Fellowship of the Sun, a "human purity" group that is anti-vampire. Merlotte's cook, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), was kidnapped.

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ON SUNDAY That body in the car? Ewwww. 'Nuf said about that. Meanwhile, Lafayette is locked in a foul-smelling dungeon, forced to turn a giant wheel day after day. His jailer is. . . . No, that would be giving away too much. Meanwhile, Sookie and Bill have a quarrel.

There are reveals about "True Blood's" most interesting characters - the mysterious naked vibrating hog lady (hmmm), Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes) and the 1,000-year-old Viking vampire Eric Northman (Alexander SkarsgÃÂ¥rd).

BOTTOM LINE What is the appeal of this show? Serious question. You, ma'am, reading these words at this minute - please text in the answer, 10 words or less. Forget it. That's impossible. Homoeroticism has been cited (widely), but the recent TV Guide cover credits plain old eroticism: "Hot Sexy Vampires in Love!" Where do I sign up for that? Here's your answer, in 11 words: Silly, gross, soapy, mysterious, intriguing, exotic, erotic "True Blood" is fun. Even more fun this season.

GRADE B+

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