Sunday, September 7, 2014

Goodbye to True Blood

Two weeks ago Jeff and I watched the series finale of True Blood. I still feel ambivalent about it.

We watched True Blood from the beginning. I've always been partial to vampires; they are more sophisticated, charming and more in control than other supernaturals. I was intrigued by the idea of True Blood as a synthetic blood substitute and vampires coming out of the coffin.

In the week before the seventh season premiere, some of the HBO channels showed marathons of the previous six seasons. I caught a few episodes here and there. Watching reinforced my opinion that Season One was the best with the introduction of the characters and the murder mystery.

All of the other seasons seemed to go on too long, or as a friend put it--the shows went off track. In Season Two, I loved the Fellowship of the Sun and  the Godric storylines. But as much as I admire Michelle Forbes, the maenad storyline just went on much too long.

Russell Edginton was the highlight of Season Three, especially his memorable turn on a TV news broadcast. I even liked his werewolf followers I also liked learning more about Eric's background. But I hated Tara's tortured storyline and Sam's family storyline.

Season Four continued the horrible storyline of Jason and the werepanthers. The main plot involved Marnie and the witches' attempt to destroy the vampires. This storyline had the potential to be great. Again it went on too long or went off track. Marnie's possession of Lafayette to kill Jesus was painfully gratuitous.

Season Five was the season of the Vampire Authority--an interesting concept, plus Russell returned, and Steve Newlin is now a vampire. Tara was also turned in Episode One--her journey was intriguing--I've always been a Tara fan. I liked Russell and Steve's romance, and Sam's and Luna's shapeshifting rescue of Emma. The idea of vampires rebelling against mainstreaming was strong, but the Lillith thing was just too much. Terry's story was painful, and I am a Terry fan.

Season Six brought Louisianna's reaction to the extremes of the Authority, with vampire camps. Sarah Newlin returned as one of the camps' main backers. I loved this storyline--it was an organic response to the vampires' actions in Season Five. But...the Bill as God story was confusing. The Warlow story-ugh--the only good thing about it was Rutger Hauer as  a guest star. But that could have been done without the crappy Warlow storyline.

Onto Season Seven. Despite my criticisms of prior seasons, I wanted to see what happens. People in charge of the vampire camps created Hep V, which mutated to create scary, ravenous disease-stricken vamps. Seemingly thousands of them are descending on Bon Temps in the Season Six finale.

Season Seven was the worst. Tara died and her ghostly re-appearances only served to prop her mother Lettie Mae. Now, we're not supposed to care what an abusive mother Lettie Mae was because her husband was bad. Understanding is one thing; whitewashing is another  I hated Violet and her whole Jason is mine storyline. At least she was destroyed.

I hated that Sookie barely grieved her best friend (Tara) and the man she "loved" (Alcide.) While I liked that Jessica and Hoyt got back together, their getting--back--together was too rushed and abrupt.

Now there's Bill's storyline. His seemingly endless flashbacks were snoozeworthy. I hated his manipulation of Sookie to kill him. I was surprised that the show killed him; I didn't expect that.

The final scenes clash in tone. Eric and Pam's infomercial was campy. But as awful as Sarah is, I wasn't crazy about seeing her in chains to be sold off for sips of her blood. The dinner scene at Sookie's was too smaltzy for True Blood. Everyone is paired off--and most of the couples have kids. Sookie herself is pregnant, but the showrunners kept her baby daddy's face hidden, as if they couldn't be bothered to finish her story. Hey, Bill wanted her to have children (that's presumably the reason behind the boring flashbacks) so all is right with the world.

No, it was annoying and a bit insulting to the main character of the show.

I'll miss True Blood but mostly for its good ideas; their execution never seemed to match their quality.

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