Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another sip of HBO's True Blood

Sunday night featured the much anticipated Season 4 premiere of HBO's hit horror drama, True Blood. Many already know my feelings towards this vampire program, particularly how it pales desperately in comparison to a similar, yet SUPERIOR program of the like on the CW ... But all that aside, I wouldn't be fit to speak on True Blood if I didn't actually WATCH it ... (See how that works?)

Last season left off with lead vampire Bill burying rival, and vampire sheriff Eric in cement and battling the vampire queen of Louisiana. Tortured Tara left Bon Temps, Jason became defacto guardian over a clan of panther-blooded hillbillies, Lafayette was embracing his witch potential with his new boyfriend, and Sookie, sick of being a corner in a vampire love-triangle, disappeared into faerie world ... Yes. Literally.

Premiere? - Lackluster. Returned painful endurance of Anna Paquin's "acting", we find Sookie rejecting glowing fruit and engaged in a magical firefight with snaggle toothed elves. She comes back to the real world to discover 1 year gone by, although only a few minutes have passed for her. (cop-out) They attempt to show how "things have changed", but it's just extended aftershock of last season's dangling plot lines ... Bill & Eric still vie for Sookie. Lafayette remains a skittish disbeliever in witchcraft (even though he's had a year to adjust and lives in a world with vampires). Jason, who was "sorta a cop", is now "a cop"...

The "developments" are that Bill is now King of Louisiana. Sam, former mild manner bar owner who turned "dark" last year is running with a pack of anger embracing shape-shifters. And Tara, perpetual victim of her own hot bloodedness, is now calm and collected ... But also a cage-fighting drifter, in a lesbian relationship. The only worthwhile tale is of Hoyt and Jessica, playing house, and after only a year are ALREADY grown weary of the exercise.

My problem with True Blood, as one Peter Griffin would put it, is that "it insists upon itself." 85% of the show, to use a Richard Roeper descriptor - is "slick garbage". It's HBO, so they take every chance to remind you that with needless gore and violence, which they try to pass off as "style". Profanity, just for the sake of it, creates boring empty dialogue. Nudity, under the same pretense, is just as tiresome.

It's one of those shows that you WANT to like, and contains all the elements of something you SHOULD ... But most of the characters lack any real depth or complexity, with the storytelling being simply lazy and unimaginative. Rather than starting off with something fresh, this season will be about "teasing in the blanks" of what happened when we weren't watching ... Yawn. I'm not impressed.

Agree or disagree? True Blood viewers are made up of either "fans" that continue trying to CONVINCE themselves that it's "good", or people that are left unsatisfied week after week, continually scratching their heads as to why the show lacks any real bite.


  1. I think we need some time for development. I sort of agree with your opinion but lets give it a few episodes to make up for as you say a "lackluster" premiere.

  2. lol fair enough!
    i've come this far, so i'm not totally quitting on the show yet!
    It may actually surprise me!! ... but i'm not betting on it :)