After last year’s horror show ridicu-down with Aunt Petunia and the world’s stupidest ghosts, I was ready to hang up my True Boots on this misguided nonsense and go watch something a little more edifying, but there’s nothing good on right now and True Blood is still kind of a Thing despite everyone on the internet basically chewing it out for being terrible.
The big difference between this True Blood and the 2008 vintage – apart from the subtlety, warmth and emotional engagement in relationships between members of its reasonably-sized cast – is that the story is now unabashedly shithive bananas and big enough that entire subplots can get lost between the couch cushions (eg Panther People, Fairy War), and the show is betting you’re not paying enough attention to remember significant character motivations and how one plotline connects to another. It’s all very well trying to go all Game of Thrones, but TB doesn’t really bother with the whole thematic harmony thing, unless the theme is ‘unclothed torsos’. There was a time when this was one of my favourite shows, was doing something exciting and different, and that those days are not so long ago that I’ve given up hope of their return.
This season wastes no time farting about fairyland, and picks up with everyone literally cleaning up the mess from the end of the last season: Vampire Eric Vampire Hoovers bits of Nan Flanagan from her former office, Sookie mops up the respective brains of Debbie (who was cool) and Tara (who is Tara), and Lafayette brushing off the blood from his brujofriend’s corpse. Is that a metaphorical thing? Like ‘hey guys forget about how shitty last year was, new slate!’ On the other hand, there is literally one second of a gap chronologically between s04e12 and the new season.
Bill and Eric are on the lam from the Vampire Authority because they killed the Vampire Prime Minister or something and TB takes this opportunity to introduce the most irritating character imaginable, Terrible Nora the Terrible English Vampire, who not only speaks the way American erotic fiction writers think English women speak but is also Eric’s sister. SHOCK! ARE YOU SHOCKED YET? Because they already established Eric’s backstory of not having an actual sister, the writers have her share a maker (Godric, if you recall) then expect Vampirecest to be as shocking as the regular kind. Nope, just attractive people doing it. On the other hand, there’s a line written directly for quotation by recappers and tumblr gifs, ‘we fight like siblings. But we fuck like champions.’ And I guess it worked! Good job. On the other, third hand, this occurs right after a sex scene which is successfully interrupted by a phone ringing, so I didn’t really feel like they’d earned any actual prizes. So something something captured by the Authority. Someone on the writing team thinks there are people out there fascinated by Vampire Politics.
WEREWOLVES! Shapeshifter Sam has decided to take the fall for Alcide and say he murdered Marcus, the poorly motivated and boring Duke of Werewolves. There is no good reason for this. Couldn’t Alcide just up and claim the Duchy of Wolverhampton rightfully his by the noble law of I Killed You? Is Luna really that much safer if Sam gets his shit ruined? The werewolves eat Marcus because something something Werewolf Politics. Alcide is also the only one worried about Russell Edgington coming back, and has this look on his face which is like don’t you REMEMBER season three?? Also he keeps saying about how Edgington is ‘out there’ and ‘on his way’, but couldn’t that guy fly at the speed of sound? Is he doing Vampire Errands?
Ryan Kwanten (Jason) is probably the best thing about the show right now and god he’s getting some fudd to work with. First off, there’s Reverend Newlin, who has found his true self as a gay vampire. The show is at pains to broadcast his sexuality, and not in the cool, fully realised way that Lafayette, Russell, Talbot and a couple other characters are/were, as in he’s a gay stereotype with some really lazy visual cues. The scene kind of works with Steve’s character, who is a deluded douche anyway, but it adds up to Steve declaring his love for the most outrageously straight character on the show, and it’s hard to see where they’re going with it beyond ‘ha ha romantically aggressive gays, hijinks ensue.’ It’s not massively offensive because hello, True Blood, just clumsy and lame and a waste of Michael McMillian.
He also goes to Jessica’s house for the tamest underage drinking party in Louisiana where a teen drinks an entire small beer and then they move the furniture for a game of Rock Band because I guess they didn’t have the budget for a party scene and what they did have was paid for by the guys who make the popular video game series Rock Band. Anyway Jason <3s Jessica, Jessica </3s Jason. But at least they’ve identified the best pair in the show and are now teasing the fandom. Speaking of The Best, Hoyt is no longer that and at Merlotte’s has one of his construction buddies call Jason a ‘girlfriend fucker’, which is not exactly an effective insult and is barely semantically coherent. Anyway point is I don’t know what they’re going to do with Hoyt now.
• Tara is a vampire with half a brain, except I smell a cliffhanger copout that TB seems to specialise in these days
• Terry something Iraq fires something that one guy from Scrubs
• Remember when Sookie was a major character?
• Andy Bellefleur is sleeping with Holly and there’s a joke where the punchline is ‘single parent poverty haha.’ Gross, TB.
I know this recap is totally voluntary, but man, it’s like the show is trying so hard to get me to stop watching it to the point where I’m not sure where its target audience is. Is it purely for people who like watching naked actors and isn’t there a better means of filling that need? I can’t see there being a lot of mileage in this season unless Russell comes back and Turns the writing team into someone who knows how TV shows work. Tune in next week maybe unless the next show is so bad it gets the True Death and explodes in a bucket of bad metareferences.