First off, a little bit of housekeeping. The blog has been much-neglected for reasons which I’ll share with y’all some other time. I have a much deserved day off today so I intend on getting some posts up. Yay.
The last season of True Blood finished up the other week. However, I’ve only just got around to watching Season 6. I don’t know, I just felt so meh about the show I kept finding other things to watch instead. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the season. God knows I couldn’t be bothered to do a episode-by-episode review. Spoilers of course.
Loyalty is a great thing. It can also be a terrible burden, keeping you latched to things that no longer work… or entertain you. I found getting through this penultimate season a struggle. From one of the most entertaining shows on TV, True Blood is a shadow of its former self. Perhaps it’s the switcheroo behind the scenes (the rot definitely set in when the great Alan Ball stepped down as showrunner) but there’s a sense of going through the motions this time around.
So the plot, such as it is. Last time we saw Bill, he’d been transformed into an evil goddess. This is all forgotten about, pretty much, as Bill is fairly normal throughout the season, except a bit zealous and- oh yeah!- he can walk in daylight.
Warlow turns out to be a hottie (of course) so he and Sookie can have sex (of course). Sookie is not a massive feature in this season, largely due to Anna Paquin’s real-life pregnancy. However, the character has turned into such a Mary Sue, it’s a small mercy. Remember Season 1 Sookie? She was a socially awkward, yet fiercely independent, virgin, whose supernatural gift made her an outcast in a small-town. Now she’s a featureless character who ends up having sex with her parents’ murderer just cos he’s hot. In fairness, Sookie does try and fight against Warlow, but then when she finds out her parents tried to kill her to save her from his clutches, she just goes right ahead and sleeps with him anyway.
Also, remember Season 1 when the dialogue was witty and laugh-out-loud funny? Yeah, in Season 6, swearing loudly is seen as a substitute for wit (not being a prude, I’m fairly foul-mouthed myself). I can’t think of a single funny line. Boy, do we ever miss Russell Edgington.
Of course Warlow turns out to be evil, because Sookie’s character judgement is appalling. Another character who turns out to be less than peachy keen is Alcide. They’ve spent a couple of season building him up as a nice, sweet alternative-boyfriend for Sookie, that the writers apparently said “Nah! What will really make him appealing is an audience is having him murder some innocent people who want to help supernaturals!” And this is what he does- three well-meaning activists happen onto the werewolf camp, and two don’t come out again. There’s also the matter of Emma, now an orphan. Sam is looking after her, but Alcide soons kidnaps her and gives her to Martha, warning Sam not to set foot in Bon Temps again if he knows what’s good for him.
The shifter/werewolf storylines were always tedious, but they’re especially so this season. Lookit, Sam and Alcide are essentially Sookie’s exes (even if Sam and Sookie never went out). What other programme keeps the protagonist’s ex hanging around after the relationship’s ended? None, because it’s bad writing. If the ex is there, we expect our hero to interact with them at the very least. We want to see the hero, and other characters are essentially only there to drive the plot along and illustrate how our protagonist interacts with others. If these guys were writing Friends we’d follow Joey’s date-of-the-week home to her apartment, see her call her grandmother and bump into her fourth-grade music teacher while buying socks at Target. Nobody cares!
Now onto the vampires, who we do care about. Louisiana governor Truman Burrell has declared war on vamps; TruBlood is short supply; they have to obey a curfew. If they don’t, they’ll find themselves carted off to vampire Auschwitz. There’s the gruesome experiments, the starvation, and the room where victims are unwittingly led to their deaths.
At best, the ‘vamp-camp’ is in poor taste. I’d imagine if you had a more direct connection to the events of the Holocaust than I do, you’d find the whole thing grossly offensive. Apart from using concentration camps in what has always been a hugely silly show, there’s also the rather uncomfortable truth that likening to vampires to victims of hate- and they’ve been drawing parallels with homosexuality since the first time ‘God Hates Fangs’ rolled across the opening credits- is that vampires are a danger to others, while being Jewish or gay hurts nobody. Comparisons are odious, and this is a particularly stupid one.
It’s not as if the writers haven’t come up with anything clever before. Go back to Season 2 and Mary-Ann the Maenad. This was a wonderful, subtle, and smart commentary on the nature of belief and gods, as well as being a lot of fun to watch. Oh well.
However uncomfortable I personally feel about the whole camp thing, there were some good moments in these scenes. Chief among them was any scene that Sarah Newlin appeared in. Steve’s ex has gotten far more fundamentalist as her husband enjoys the afterlife. There was also the moment where Jessica was forced into having sex with another vamp for a watching audience, including Jason. Despite being more sex-crazed than a rabbit on Viagra, the two vampires refuse, and it’s an excellent scene.
It’s Jessica’s season to develop as a character, and she’s the most well-drawn in a season where most of the characters are mere ciphers. Pam spends most of the first half moping over Eric, Tara barely features, Bill is trying to get Warlow’s half-fairy, half-vamp blood to make new improved TruBlood (yawn). If it wasn’t for Jessica and Eric I’d probably have turned off. Jessica bumps into Andy’s fairy daughters (who grow up overnight) and proceeds to kill three of them, overcome with blood lust. Her guilt is well-portrayed, as is Andy’s grief.
Terry asks an old army buddy to kill him, changes his mind and forgets to text him to tell him. I did like Terry as a minor character, however, his funeral drags on for an absolute age, and the only highlight is his wildly inappropriate grandmother.
Eric moves throughout the series causing upset, liberating the camp, and we also get to see him in the nip in the finale. I am sad to report this is right before he bursts into flames. Jason’s staking of Warlow, Lilith’s progeny, cancels out the effects of drinking her blood. Vampires are no longer able to walk in daylight. There’s also a new virus, planted by Burrell and Sarah Newlin, in TruBlood. HepV reduces vampires to zombies.
Oh goody. Zombies. Perhaps they’ll shoehorn the Loch Ness Monster into Season 7, I’m sure we can make her sexy and naked somehow.