My first HBO series I ever watched start to finish was the Sopranos. I was hooked and from then on I knew, and have been, a forever HBO fan. I fell in love with the lore of vampire at a similar age with Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. When I learned that HBO was developing a vampire series with a great never been done premise of synthesized blood where vampires could live among us I could hardly contain my excitement. The show finally came and of course it was wonderful and I knew I was in for a long journey with these characters. One character I didn’t expect liking SO much and becoming my favorite was Jason Stackhouse.
Like many characters in True Blood the actors that played them seemed familiar but not household names. I knew Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman) as Stellan’s real life son. I had seen Jim Parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry) in a few things but nothing to memorable. I knew I had seen Ryan Kwanten’s face until a friend reminded me he had his break in the “young kids growing up in California” show Summerland and that truly terrible horror movie Dead Silence. I found it odd that HBO cast this seemingly average Australian actor in such a critical role as a born and raised Bon Temps man.
The show began and Jason Stackhouse was simply refreshing. The show was dramatic with many funny moments. The show has serious underlying themes while at times being welcomingly goofy. Jason Stackhouse is the refreshing escape from this reality of monsters living among as well as relational problems. The character written for Jason Stackhouse is genius. We see him most of the first season as a popular high school quarterback now working road crew. His body and looks impeccable and seems to sleep with every attractive woman because of it. He does not fall into any clichés however because we as an audience can’t help but love him for it. He comes off as thick but in such a dark world, really, he is just sweet at heart. Stackhouse may not be the sharpest fang in the mouth but anything that comes off as dumb usually is because he has messed up and feels guilty or he expects the best out of people and he is confused. As the show begins you feel that he can do no wrong and he will always be a reliable character for a kind heart in a heartless world. And then he meets a girl and seems to be settling down. Hmmm…this character might have some more depth than first thought. He then becomes addicted to vampire blood (V) and has real internal struggle with upsetting someone and doing what is right.
Jason has had so many story arcs and they all add to him as such a deep, emotional, conflicted, lonely human with mind that seems so pure that he will always hold true to himself. He makes mistakes but that makes him human and believable and most importantly INTERESTING. Stackhouse joining the Fellowship of the Sun in season 2 is a perfect example of him being confused and trying again to do what he thinks is right. He then of course is easily corrupted by sex and its funny and what else did we expect? Jason then decided he wanted to join the police force, just trying to do the right thing for other people even if ill advised. This led him to meeting his hope to be puma changeling girlfriend.
Jason Stackhouse has had his views and beliefs torn apart by a dark and unfair world. He has gone down many paths and gotten others and himself in trouble. Other characters have done certain things that momentarily make us dislike them or distrust them. Jason Stackhouse never denies us of his innocence, he just is blinded himself. Season five of True Blood is approaching quickly and there are many questions fans want answers to. How will Lafeyette deal with Jose being killed? What is going on with Sookie and the whole FAIRY thing? I am most excited to see what will happen with the relationship between Jason Stackhouse and Jessica Hamby. I just want to know what will happen with Jason next. I want him to be happy, and be sweet, and do upside down handstand yoga push ups because it’s just so damn impressive. In a world of changelings confronted with dying family and murder, cops addicted to V, a love triangle that ends badly for everyone, and a lost love, and a dead best friend….Jason Stackhouse is simply a simple man that reminds us there is still good for them all to fight for. Jason Stackhouse is necessary to True Blood to ground it and make us care. He is also there to take his shirt off.
Hogan is a True Blood and HBO fan up in Alberta Canada! He writes for rollginreviews and now HBO Watch. Follow him on Twitter @rollgin! Look for more articles from Hogan in the future.