Pop-Ed: 'True Blood' fans can remember back to that first season when a campy gem was born. The fangs were shorter -- almost Ricky Gervais-sized -- while plots focused around the social strife and political tensions between vampires and humans, with overtones of heated 1960s race relations. We met a motley crew of characters, lovable, hated and some in-between. Alan Ball's HBO creation was funny and dark in that deep south way where danger seems to lurk behind the kudzu and Spanish Moss. Love interests, requited and not, sprouted. We marveled at the raunchy 'vamp speed sex' (a ramp up to this season's vamp speed texting!) and lurid human copulation set a standard. But gore was almost more inferred in Season One.

Then Season Two rolled over us in a weird wave, topping out with frenzied, bloody cult orgies that climaxed with eating fresh hearts and group sex slathered in blood. Those scenes were not likely to be topped, right?

Don't underestimate Season Three tricks. The 'True Blood' team seems to know third seasons are clutch and must hit hard and fast: shock and awe type of stuff. And so far, that's just what Ball and his team have done. Oh yes, there will be blood.