Pretending that HBO’s ‘True Blood’ is anything more than
trashy fun at this point would be a misnomer.
The show started out in the first season with a chance to be
great – but it quickly devolved into something that could never be considered “quality”
Still, there were flashes of greatness in the earlier
seasons. The past two or three seasons, though, can only be described as a
The acting is still okay – and Anna Paquin still embodies
Sookie with a sense of charm that is almost infectious – but the storylines are
all over the place.
While the first season of the show stuck relatively closely
to Charlaine Harris’ first book in the series, things shifted pretty quickly
What’s interesting about the series – which returns for its
sixth season Sunday – is that I find myself liking certain characters in the television
series more than their book counterparts. Of course, the reverse is also true,
For example, I absolutely love Ryan Kwanten’s Jason on the
show – and I spent a lot of my time hating him in the books. In Kwanten’s
capable hands, Jason is a lovable goof that tries really hard --
while his book counterpart was a hound dog
with a mean streak.
Rutina Wesley’s Tara is another character I love on the show
but am indifferent to in the books. Of course, show Tara is so different from
book Tara they’re essentially different characters.
On the flip side, I much prefer book Bill to Stephen Moyer’s brooding
show Bill. I guess it’s a trade-off.
Last season wasn’t the best season – by any stretch of the
imagination – but I preferred it to the previous season (season four). I
understand that the show runners were hampered by Paquin’s real life pregnancy
(which resulted in her giving birth to twins prematurely).
That being said, I think the show is making the same mistake
the books did – and no, I’m not talking about over-propping the character of
Eric (who I enjoy on the show much more than I did in the books). I’m talking
about the focus on Sookie’s fairy powers.
Harris started to lose her way in the books when she spent
too much time obsessing about Sookie’s fairy roots – and the show is having
that problem, too.
The magic of Sookie is that she’s a down home girl with down
home dreams. The constant fairy
frenzy detracts from the central likeability of
The other problem with ‘True Blood’, at least in my opinion,
is that the cast is too big (that’s my same complaint for ‘Game of Thrones’).
I don’t think you need the constant secondary storylines
going on – Alcide’s story from the second half of last season would be a prime
example. Keep everyone in the main narrative as much as possible.
Also, I don’t think that separate stories need to be set up
for Sam, Lafayette and (especially) Terry and Arlene every season. Some of
those stories have been terrible – including Terry’s fight with the Balrog.
‘True Blood’ is long past the days where it was considered
high quality television. It can still be entertaining, though. The key is not
to force things.
What do you think? Is there still hope for ‘True Blood’?