Film and TV

Goodbye, True Blood. You Sucked

Page 3 of 4

With season two, though, the television show started its major shift away from the books. Spoiler alert: In the books, the character Lafayette (portrayed by Nelsan Ellis) is killed off in the beginning of book two and as a reader, you never really miss him, however the role of Lafayette is central to many of the plots in subsequent TV seasons, so his campy character is kept and, as you would have probably guessed (if you haven't been following the show), he too, is given some supernatural powers of his own.

The fun and message of season two is the danger of excess. Maenad Maryanne (awesomely portrayed by Michelle Forbes) is brought on board as the major baddie, whose odd form of magic makes everyone want to party and have gratuitous sex. We're quite sure HBO was probably not opposed to that, and even though it was similar in the books, it wasn't nearly as graphic. The other main season two plot, because in True Blood there are always several, had to do with finding the maker of Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård), the Viking vampire who was always present to make Sookie and Bill's love life uncomfortable. This journey took the crew to Dallas where they came in contact with the almost comical Fellowship of the Sun, an anti-vamp hate group under the guise of a Christian church. As season two wraps up, vampire Bill proposes marriage to Sookie and is promptly abducted before Sookie can come back from the bathroom and say yes. Shouldn't a clairvoyant have sensed something was up? This type of cliffhanger has been used in all of the True Blood seasons and set the stage for season three.

Season three introduces us the viewer to the werewolves, which are (sort of) led by potential Sookie love interest, Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello), who is enlisted by Eric the vampire to help her find Bill. This search leads the gang into the clutches of Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi. Edgington is played Denis O'Hare and is possibly the best character ever in the show, maybe any HBO show. For us, True Blood had taken a slight turn for the worse in season two as it had begun to tip the scales toward cheesiness but O'Hare's portrayal of Edgington took the cheesiness over the top and made it fun again for a while as the rest of the plot lines meandered along.

By this time in the show, things were quite settled. Some folks were crazy, some folks like Sookie's brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) are just comic relief and/or eye candy, and some, well, are vampires who can't seem to quite understand why they keep doing nice things for Sookie. The introductions of the werewolves was a great twist, but truthfully, this was done way more effectively in the books, especially as the other shifter types were introduced. At the end of season three, Sookie decides to embrace her faerie heritage and disappears into fae land while Bill starts a duel to the death with a Vampire queen.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon