Created from the meticulously-crafted world of novelist Charlaine Harris, the co-existence of vampires and humans is being accepted worldwide but in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana the jury is still out.
Across the country, vampires have "come out of the coffin" following the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood. In Louisiana, Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress with telepathic abilities, falls under the spell of sexy, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton.
Sookie suffers a lot of injuries and Bill tries to save her "the Vampire way". The next day her brother is released from police custody and the bodies of Sookie's attackers are found. Later, Bill goes to visit Sookie's family but gets a not so friendly welcome.
Foiled in their attempt to "glamour" Sookie, Malcolm, Liam and Diane retreat after Bill lays claim to her. Meanwhile, at Merlotte's, Sam searches for a short-term remedy to his long-term loneliness, whilst Tara seeks respite from her mother's alcohol-fuelled rage.
When another killing in Bon Temps lands Jason in custody, Tara attempts to get him free, but neither she nor Lafayette has the antidote to his current ailment. Meanwhile, whilst trying to help Jason, Sookie persuades Bill to take her to a vampire bar called Fangtasia.
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Spurned by Sookie, Bill wins over Adele's church audience with his vivid recollections from the Civil War, though Andy and Bud remain suspicious. Meanwhile, Sam tries to make the most of his opportunity with Sookie, though she doesn't seem ready to commit.
Numbed by tragedy, Sookie looks for refuge from the cacophony of her friends and neighbours' inner voices. Meanwhile, Tara resists the overtures of her mother, Lettie Mae, who's trying to rid herself of a demon and needs her daughter's help.
Sookie's painful childhood revelation about her Uncle Bartlett spurs Bill into action. Meanwhile, despite her scepticism, Tara agrees to fund an exorcism to purge a demon out of Lettie Mae, and Jason heads to Fangtasia, where he meets a daring young woman named Amy.
Tara is amazed by Lettie Mae's turnaround, and considers similar therapy for herself after lashing out at Sookie and Sam. Meanwhile, Jason's new squeeze, Amy, charms the crowd at Merlotte's, but shows a darker side to Jason when their V-juice well runs dry.
Bill breaks a vampire taboo in protecting Sookie, and must pay a steep price as a result. Meanwhile, Jason and Amy break their own taboo by kidnapping a vampire named Eddie to harvest his blood, and Tara consults with Miss Jeanette about exorcising an inner demon.
Caught in a compromising position, Sam shares a secret with an incredulous Sookie. Meanwhile, thinking she's been purged of her demon, Tara celebrates with Lettie Mae but is swiftly angered when she uncovers Miss Jeanette's true intentions.
Bill fulfils the conditions of the tribunal's sentence, although he and Eric find that Jessica doesn't quite turn out as expected. Meanwhile, in attempting to try and solve the mystery behind her most recent vision, Sookie heads to a pie shop with Sam.
Sookie finds a link to the string of killings in Bon Temps, and ends up in the murderer's sights. Meanwhile, Tara decides to make the most of her second chance with Maryann, and Jason finds a new calling after receiving a jail visit.