I guess you could say that the fourth season was the beginning of the end for True Blood‘s ability to call itself a really good show. Don’t get me wrong, the fourth season wasn’t that great either, but it still had some really good elements to it, with the whole Marnie/Antonia possession plot.
The fifth season was the death rattle.
The sixth season, which ended last night, was the show being prepared for burial. Indeed, True Blood season 6 was the worst, most obnoxious and disjointed season yet. The writers didn’t seem to have a clue as to what they wanted from the characters, and I’m not sure if their goal was to make us hate Sookie or not because that’s exactly what ended up happening among my circle of viewers on Twitter. In fact, the only reason I watched the show anymore was because of the friends I made online becoming a sort of support group, as we learned to cope with the horrid season we were watching.
The character development has always been kind of spotty in this show, but it’s been downright atrocious for Lafayette and Tara, with characters like Andy and Terry Bellefleur getting much attention. We watched Terry and Arlene’s awful Ifrit storyline, and Andy’s V addiction storyline stretch on for far too long. The situation with the Ifrit was so mundane, it was clear the writers and producers threw it in just to finally give some background on Terry given certain unfortunate circumstances. The thing is it was too little too late. Nobody really cared. Terry was our boy, but he wasn’t that much of a factor when there were other OG Bon Temps residents like Tara and Lafayette who we really still know nothing about.
Hell, I think Alcide’s ex-crackhead girlfriend Debbie had a better storyline than Tara has so far. Jessica came into the game later and her character has more layers… For the most part. This season we even got a chance to see Terry–albeit too late for any of us to care–as he’d been in his first days back from his deployment in the Middle East.
What about Lafayette? What about Tara? It’s been two seasons since Jesus died, and we have yet to find someone for Lafayette, who has become the de facto “Mammy” of the show. I don’t mean this disrespectfully to Nelsan Ellis. I really mean Mammy, specifically the character played by the fabulous, talented and scene-stealing Hattie McDaniel from Gone With the Wind. Mammy’s needs are never explored in GWTW and the reality of her life is never touched upon. All that matters is that she takes care of her Masters and Mistresses, and their puerile problems–problems that could often be avoided–while her entire life is put on hold to ease their pains, soothe their hearts and give them peace of mind. I don’t want that for Lafayette or his character. I want more. I loved him and Jesus together and he deserves to have something like that back. He’s got a gift: the ability to communicate with ghosts. Why can’t we explore that talent some more? In a show where Sookie Stackhouse fucks everything that breathes on her–and honestly, it is what it is, she can do that–I’d like to see a few other people get some love too.
Let’s not even start on Tara who has been angry the entire life of the show, except for the second and fourth seasons. I wish the writers would stop kidding themselves. They clearly appreciate and live for the stereotype that Tara brings because there is no clear explanation as to why this woman, after seven or eight years, has not grown despite going from human to supernatural. It’s old and it’s boring and if they want some fresh blood injected into the show (pun intended), look around and develop the other characters and their strengths. Hell, even the fairies had more development this season. You can’t expect a show to do better than the last when characters are left in limbo. Do better, writing team.
Sookie Stackhouse is Not Your Friend!
Others have called it before this season, but this season made it pretty clear that Sookie is only out for self and only cares about herself. Who honestly waits and lollygags while their friends are about to turn into Kentucky Fried Vamper? These people have been sacrificing themselves to save her for years and when it comes right down to the wire, she puts on the attitude and could really give a damn less, something that Bill touched upon this season.
Ultimately, the person that saved the day was Eric who went back to being our favorite thug vampire as the season winded down. He’d had enough of both Bill and Sookie and so did we. I think Eric’s irritation was representative of a lot of fan’s frustration with the direction the show was heading.
Does Sam Really Love Anyone?
What does Sam do after one of the greatest tragedies he’s ever experienced after losing Tommy? He goes and screws some other chick… And then some. But I won’t spoil it for you. This is all while Emma is in the other room and a few days after his own personal tragedy. It’s almost as though the writers value the sex and the newness of a new body over Sam’s dealing with the very real pain of loss and the great big change that came with this one in particular. Will it ever come to a head? Only God knows…
Rob Kazinsky and Rutger Hauer Save the Day
The sad thing about True Blood season 6 is that the noobs to the cast, Kazinsky and Hauer, actually made the show more watchable when they were on. The minute Kazinsky, aka Warlow, left, it was pretty much a wrap. He was the last good thing on the show and he died a most unceremonious death for being the vampire who went toe to toe with Lillith. I expected a much better exit for someone who actually brought some goodness to the show.
On the plus side, I’m a Rob K. fan and I am glad he was on the show. His character was such a waste though. Mindlessly following Sookie Stackhouse around on some BS? I can’t.
Why are they fucking again?
The problem with True Blood–like the majority of HBO’s shows–is there seems to be this weird idea that we all need to see sex every time the story gets slow or needs a little excitement. The problem is that most people are okay with some really good plot, not just the insertion of a random, cheesy sex scene. If I want to see people getting it in, I know where to go on the internet for that. It distracts from the story because often there is no good reason for it. There was plenty of that in season 6, with the customary, over-the-top sex scene in the finale. If the writing is spot-on, then great! Throw that in if it makes sense. But, nine times out of ten it does NOT work and using it as a plot device is weak.
Showrunners say they are going to take it back to Bon Temps for the seventh season, which might help things along and bring back some of the original kitsch and camp that made the show such a fan favorite in the first place. However, bringing “that old thing back” isn’t going to be the only thing saving this show from sinking. Unless the writing gets better, I think it’s time to put a stake in it.