Main article: True Blood (season 3)
The third season of True Blood premiered on June 13, 2010, simultaneously on HBO and HBO Canada, and will contain 12 episodes, bringing the series total to 36. It will loosely follow the plot of the third novel of The Southern Vampire Mysteries, Club Dead.
Critical reception of True Blood has generally been favorable, despite the fact that initial impressions were mixed. The New York Post critic wrote of the opening episodes: "If HBO's new vampire show is any indication, there would still be countless deaths – especially among vampire hunters and the viewers who love them – because everyone would be dying of boredom. And so it is with HBO's new series from death-obsessed Alan Ball, creator of the legendary Six Feet Under, whose new show True Blood, won't so much make your blood run cold as it will leave you cold."
Whereas USA Today concluded: "Sexy, witty and unabashedly peculiar, True Blood is a blood-drenched Southern Gthic romantic parable set in a world where vampires are out and about and campaigning for equal rights. Part mystery, part fantasy, part comedy, and all wildly imaginative exaggeration, [True] Blood proves that there's still vibrant life — or death — left in the 'star-crossed cute lovers' paradigm. You just have to know where to stake your romantic claim."
By the end of the first season, True Blood had a score of 64, indicating generally favorable reviews, on Metacritic, an aggregator of critical responses. The second season received a more favorable score of 74 on Metacritic.
Allegory for gay rights
The struggle for vampire equality in True Blood has been seen as an allegory for the gay rights movement.Charlaine Harris, the author of the book series on which the show is based, stated that her initial characterization for the vampires were as "...a minority that was trying to get equal rights."Several phrases in the series are borrowed and adapted from expressions used against and about homosexuals, such as "God Hates Fangs" (God Hates Fags) and "Coming out of the coffin" (coming out of the closet).
Entertainment Weekly's critic-at-large Ken Tucker wrote that the show is built "around a series of metaphors: Vampire rights stand in for gay rights, and now the clever laughs elicited from this bratty-vampire girl represent an extreme of adolescent rebelliousness." David Bianculli of NPR wrote "[True Blood is] big on allegory, and the tension about accepting vampires into society is an obvious play on civil rights in general, and gay rights in particular." However, the television series creator Alan Ball rebukes critics, stating that such a comparison is "lazy