Film and TV

Goodbye, True Blood. You Sucked

Page 4 of 4

Which brings us to season four. For those who stuck it out this far, much like you dear reader, you may have started to wonder why you stayed with it. We remember seriously thinking about watching something else on Sunday nights, but vampires, werewolves, and waitresses. . . How can you resist? Sex and violence has been winning the ratings on Sundays in America for years, so why not have some of that with a side of the supernatural? Season four was, according to Wikipedia, "loosely based" on Harris' fourth book in the series, Dead to the World. Truthfully, this would have been an excellent time for the production staff on this show to look to the books for an idea of how to make it entertaining again, as Dead to the World was, at that point, the best book in the series with the most satisfying and tense conclusion.

While both the show and the book focused their fourth installment on the inclusion of witches, the TV version fell painfully flat. True Blood went from having the best villain to the most milquetoast one as it introduced Marnie the witch (Fiona Shaw) who could have just as effectively been played by a cardboard cutout, although we are certain that was not Shaw's fault. At this point in True Blood's history, the writing pretty much had become awful, and showrunner Alan Ball had clearly checked out. The performances of Paquin, Moyer, Kwanten, and Skarsgård had leveled out considerably, and only two actors (Kristin Bauer van Straten as Vampire Pam, sidekick to Viking vamp Eric, and Sam Trammell as bar owning shape shifter Sam Merlotte) showed any consistent growth.

Season five picked up where season four left off, at least in terms of proving that True Blood was rapidly becoming a parody of its former self. There was a ridiculous story line involving "the Authority," a supergroup of vampires that control how almost all of the vamp world operates. Actor Christopher Meloni, who was awesome as the psychopath Chris "Killer" Keller in HBO's underrated prison drama OZ, played Roman, the leader of the Authority for several episodes until he was done away with way too easily -- especially considering that he was supposed to be some sort of super-old, and therefore powerful, vampire.

There was some sort of ancient blood that all the vampires wanted to drink, supposedly belonging to Lilith, the original vampire. In addition to the drama surrounding the Authority and who was the true vampire leader which would be decided by who could truly handle ingesting the super powerful blood, there was also werewolf drama relating to Sookie killing a werewolf at the end of season four. Everything sort of turned out okay, as it always does in Bon Temps, even though people/creatures always die, too.

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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