50 best television shows set across the United States

19 of 52

Louisiana: True Blood

The premise: A small town waitress is blessed with the gift of mind reading, and is fortunate enough to live in a time in which supernatural creatures are starting to “come out of the coffin.” Sookie Stackhouse is the sassy, blond waitress at the center of her town’s monster awakening.

She meets a mysterious vampire and they fall immediately in love and team up to fight the evil doers of the local vicinity. As more and more creatures find their way to her town, she gets busier and busier.

The setting: Sookie and Co. live in the Louisiana town of Bon Temps. It’s a magnet for all sorts of supernatural beings, and they always seem to find their way to Merlot’s, the bar at which she works. Bon Temps is a fictional town, but it’s meant to symbolize the attitudes of small Southern towns about hot-button issues. The revelation that vampires exist and their demand for equal treatment is an allegory for the plight of the LGBTQ+ community. Bon Temps, for the most part,  offers a (metaphorical) middle ground between intolerance and acceptance.  There are still a lot of bigoted folks there, but they’re slowing realizing there are a lot of different kinds of folks in the world.

The most Louisiana thing about it: The name alone calls up images of Southern Louisiana, reminding us of the region’s famous slogan for Mardi Gras: Laissez les bon temps rouler.