True Blood: When Good Shows Go Bad

By MJ Snow on Feb 7, 2013 to True Blood

True Blood1

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Season 1 – Season 5 of True Blood. It also contains some controversial opinions about the much-beloved vampire franchise. Leave your comments and hate-mail below in the comments.

How could something so good go so terribly wrong? What used to be a campy, entertaining look into the lives and loves of the residents of Bon Temps has turned into a groan fest of epic proportions. Over the course of the it’s five season run, True Blood has gone from a show we couldn’t wait to watch, to the show we love to hate. There are some fans who insist that the series went south purely due to creator Alan Ball’s insistence on straying farther and farther from the plots of Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire novels. I would argue that there is more to it than that. In the world of book to television adaptation, it’s understood that some changes must be made to the plot lines in order to meet budgetary restrictions or to whittle a story down to fit into a forty five to sixty minute time slot. What we’re looking at with True Blood is not the fact that changes were made, but that there is little rhyme or reason to the changes. Most of them are just plain silly. We add to that the addition, or manipulation, of characters that, to put it bluntly, are just plain awful. Likeable characters become whiny, obnoxious and frustrating to watch. Original characters are silly at best, and practically unwatchable at worst. Too many storylines make the show seem scattered and unfocused. Let’s break it down by season and take a look at how Alan Ball and company did bad things with True Blood.

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler

Season 1 rolled out strong as we were introduced to Sookie’s world. The cast of characters was made up of quirky humans and (mostly) sexy vamps, Sookie’s telepathy was an interesting twist and Bill Compton simply oozed Southern charm. Sex, drugs, murder and more sex completed a fairly well rounded first season. Even fans of the book series seemed to enjoy HBO’s adaptation of Charlaine Harris’s book series, despite the fact that Alan Ball had put his own spin onto the television series. Things were looking good, what could possibly go wrong?

Maenad Mayhem

Maryann true bloodAs Season 2 began, fans of the show had high expectations. Perhaps this one is a slow starter, we thought. Maybe a slow buildup will result in a huge payoff. Sadly, fans received no return on investment for their patience and time. Instead we got a Maenad. For those familiar with Greek Mythology, the Maenad idea might sound intriguing. In reality, what True Blood gave us was meat sculptures and unattractive rednecks indulging in orgies. Maryann (Michelle Forbes) has the honor of heading off our list of ‘The Worst True Blood Characters (TWTBC) of All Time’.
We also met Lorena (Mariana Klaveno), Bill’s vampire maker. Bad writing and Klaveno’s overacting combine to land Lorena in the number two spot on the TWTBC list.

Bring on the Fellowship of the Sun, a Dallas based anti-vampire hate group run by the Reverend Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) and his stepford-esque wife, Sarah (Anna Camp). The Newlins also run the Light of Day Leadership Conference, which trains new members of the congregation in both Bible study, and the eradication of vampires. Jason’s involvement with the Newlins was snooze worthy, but sadly, it was also probably the least offensive storyline of the season.

Supes on Parade

Several new storylines debuted in the third season, most of which were barely watchable. We were, however, blessed with the addition of Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare), King of Mississippi, the first of two bright spots in Season 3. Edgington’s storyline is dismal, but O’Hare delivered his lines so well, we nearly forgot how badly written they were.

During this season Tara found a new love interest, the mysterious vampire Franklin Mott (James Frain). Franklin was quite possibly the most brilliantly entertaining character True Blood has ever seen, so of course we saw him killed off before the season is finished. Alan Ball, you are such a tease!

Bill went missing, Sookie was frantic and nobody really cared, not even those of us watching the show. I can’t help but wonder, if Bill had never been found, the show might possibly be in a better place today.
Lafayette finds love in Season 3, and it just so happens that his new beau, Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) somehow awakens Lala’s ability to communicate with spirits. What are the odds of that?

The much anticipated arrival of werewolves, specifically, Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello), fell flat when the weres turned out to have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Competing for the worst in Season 3, however, were Sam’s dog fighting, shape shifting, trailer trash family and Jason’s involvement with werepanther Crystal and her creepy, inbred family. It’s True Blood, Deliverance-style.

The Worst Witch

If we thought that Season 3 was rough, Season 4 brought the show to an all-time low. Truly, everything in this season was so bad, that it’s difficult to narrow it down to the season’s biggest mistakes.

Sookie learned about her fairy family ties, taking a long vacation to fairyland and coming back with a moderately better handle on her super powers. The fairies were portrayed as obnoxious, bordering on ridiculous. Ball didn’t even have the courtesy to cast the faeries as attractive enough to distract us from their pathetic plot.

Eric Northman had a run in with a local coven of witches, resulting in the complete loss of his memory. Book fans who’d been looking forward to seeing Mr. Northman return to his Viking mindset were disappointed to find his character had become flat and boring. Eric seemed to not only lose his memory, but his manhood as well, spending much of the season hiding in Sookie’s closet. My intention isn’t to compare the books to the HBO series here, but that storyline came from one of the most popular books in the series and HBO really dropped the ball there.

Eric Stunned Memory
Jesus, a Brujo, or Mexican Shaman, senses Lafayette’s spiritual potential and encourages the reluctant medium to become involved with the Bon Temps witches coven. Marnie (Fiona Shaw), the coven’s leader, was perhaps the worst joke that Alan Ball and friends have ever played on the fans of the series. The casting of Fiona Shaw, an accomplished Irish actress with an impressive repertoire, raised our hopes high. Instead of raising the bar, however, Shaw sank to the depths, skyrocketing Marnie to top the Worst True Blood Characters of All time. Possessions abounded as both Lafayette and Marnie became the hosts to vengeful spirits. Ah Lala, how we used to love you! How sad it was to find ourselves cringing with every flutter of your lovely lashes!

Jason’s storyline also hit rock bottom in Season 4. Kidnapped by Crystal’s family he divides his time between being locked in a freezer and tied to a bed, used for breeding with the werepanther females. This, my friends, was the season that I nearly stopped watching True Blood.

Bilith

Bilith HBOAfter having invested so much time in True Blood, I decided to give it one more go. This show, I thought, could not possibly be any worse. Turns out I was wrong.
Sookie and Lafayette begin the season dealing with the aftermath of the deaths of Tara and Debbie Pelt. Regrettably, before we even had a chance to begin to celebrate Tara’s departure from the series, Pam showed up and turned her into a vampire. The collective groan from the watchers of True Blood was heard round the world.
Jason and Andy Bellefleur stumbled upon the fairie’s secret burlesque discotheque. Andy also finds himself involved with the fairie, Maurella (Kristina Anapau), leading up to Andy being forced to help deliver her quintuplet babies, which she then leaves behind in his care. The birthing scene was about as silly as it gets. This scene was so foolish, I actually felt insulted as a viewer. The truly sad part about this is that the fairies could have been a really interesting diversion, if they’d only been able to leave the cheese behind and show them as clever and dangerous, a force to be reckoned with.

Terry Bellefleur and the Smoke Monster. Moving on …

The Vampire Authority story line was another train wreck. Rather than showing the Authority as a force to be reckoned with, instead they come across as a group of bumbling fools. Russell Edgington returns, but unfortunately, even Denis O’Hare can’t save us from the misery of this season. Russell takes over the Authority, persuading the lesser members to drink the blood of Lilith, who was, according to vampire lore, the first vampire. Lilith’s blood causes them to get high and during their trip, Lilith herself appears to them, materializing out of a puddle of blood, B-movie style, naked and covered in blood. Bill comes to believe that Lilith wants him to lead the vamps of the world, so we finish the season with Bill double crossing everyone, drinking the remainder of the Lilith blood and dying the true death. Bill then also rose, reborn, from a puddle of blood. This was our season finale and I, personally, was thankful to see Season 5 come to a close.

Wishing and Hoping

bill and sookie 200x300I’ve barely scratched the surface here; there are simply too many bad moments to list. Looking back over the series, it’s clear to see that the bad writing, weak plot elements have gotten worse as the seasons have progressed. It makes one wonder if the writing team is even showing up for work anymore. Is there a possibility that Season 6 might be able to redeem this dying series?

Call me optimistic, but now that Alan Ball has stepped aside and taken a lesser role, I believe that there could be a glimmer of hope for the citizens of Bon Temps. Tone down the cheese factor, cut back on the minor characters pointless storylines and bring the focus back to the core characters. I’d love nothing more than to see the show come full circle and return to the sexy, campy fun of Season 1. We can only wait and wish and hope, and in the meantime, we can continue to love to hate the True Blood.

MJ Snow is a Canine and avian behavior specialist by day; a role player, blogger and writer by night.  A long time George RR Martin fangirl and Game of Thrones Addict, MJ spends way too much time in Westeros. MJ is the founder ofThe Snow Keep, a short story and fan-ficiton blog and The Brothers Clegane, a Sandor & Gregor Clegane tribute blog, she also co-curates several other Game of Thrones themed blogs. 

MJ on Twitter  Google Plus


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  • justquitnow

    if the writing is bad, there isn’t much millions of dollars, good actors, and VFX can do for you.

  • blixx

    Well, well, well, soooo, I just don’t know where to begin… I have waited and watched the first couple of episodes of TB, can’t say how I feel about them, they killed Tara, Kevin, A lot of vamps old, new, and sick, that no one gives a shit about, killed poor Alcide like a dog, And finally ripped out Mrs. Fortenberry”s heart, much to my delight, I was wondering why they didn’t kill her earlier on. The thing that got me upset the most was seeing Eric, weak, sick, and broken, waiting for the True Death, welcoming it, and Pam finding him in that shithole, and WTF was all that crap about the “French creampuff”? Jeezus peezus the dialogue they gave him made me wince it was awful, com’mon as Pam say’s this is FUCKIN’ ERIC NORTHMAN, HE BOWS TO NO ONE, HE FIGHT’S, HE IS A WARRIOR!!! Lost his taste for oyster’s? Lost what? Thank Goddrik and Jason Stackhouse for not killing Sarah Newlin, this is what just may save him from himself. Of all the characters on this series I could care less about, even Sookie, screw them if they all die I wouldn’t care, but to see Eric die or Pam, well that would be really sad, really sad!!!

  • LucasCorso

    The truth is, it was NEVER good. It generated a lot of hype, and people liked to talk about it around the water cooler and on social media. But it was never good. What happened is that the novelty of it wore off and more and more people now acknowledge how bad it is. So the false impression is that it used to be good.

    • Mog

      Not so. Season 1 was actually good. Go back and watch it again.

  • Chewwie

    I agree as most say, Season 1 of True Blood was entertaining. But they went soap opera with it. Overacting all over the place. Bad directing, bad writing. I recall a bit of a deja vu of the tv show Heroes – strong season 1. At the end of that show, even the janitor had superpowers. Same with True Blood. If the extras arent fangbaning, they’re shapeshifter, fairy, warewolf, magician, demon, witch, unicorn, mothman, gnome, easterbunny etc. The show went from softhorror to soap-sci-fi. But I guess the show is made for 14 year olds. (Just watched 1st episode of season 7, and its still rubbish.) It would have been a much more interesting show if they had kept it more “True Detective”. Less is more. For you vampire-lovers out there, there is a glimmer of hope for you. An new show will launch soon – The Strain. Created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uALG7kjctzM

    • blixx

      OH HOLY JOE & THE DEADMAN DOWN BELOW!!! I LOVE Guillermo del Toro, his vision of the movie “Pans Labyrinth” about the Faun and the girls story and what she must endure in order to return to her true family is a masterpiece! Can’t wait to see FX’s newest series “THE STRAIN” this Sunday July 13th, if it’s in any category close to “American Horror Story” O-M-G ( I hate saying that) but, O-M-G, I am Soooo ready to watch a program where the writers, directors, producers, and actors know how to tell a story, Mr. del Toro is a Master story teller, I just hope his incite of his books translate onto the small screen, I will eagerly await the outcome of his vision!

  • Heather_7

    I stopped watching this travesty after the fourth season–it was so bad. Now that it’s ending/in its last season, I thought about giving some of the old shows a watch by finding them online or on showtime, or maybe watching the last season. However, everything I’m hearing and reading seems to say that this show only went downhill after that. Sad really, what they started with–they could have really done something with it.

    • blixx

      Have you perhaps tried reading the books? Up until season 5 the series pretty much used them as inspiration, as a guideline so to speak. Not until s5 did they screw up the show and deviate so far away from CH’s books it lost so much of the interesting aspects of Sookies story, all the crap about the “authority ” and “Lilith” was absolutely asinine, and Terry B’s “smoke monster” was so dumb I thought I was watching a rerun of “Lost”. When this series started I was so very excited, I had read the books and just fell in love with the characters, when the programs writers started fucking around with the story I told myself ok let them deviate as long as they don’t fuck with the main characters, but damn, wtf Warlow? what the hell was all that crap about, not even scary just stupid! Now, since it’s coming to the end I really hope they can recapture the essence of CH’s original premise! I once wrote that it might be a fitting end of this mess if somebody dropped a small nuclear device on the town of Bon Temps, but alas that will not save this major malfucktion, so until we meet the “SUN” or get drained and made Vampire we can only sit in front of the old boob-tube sipping on a warm bottle of B-pos and wait for our sheriff or our fairygodfather or mother or some other extraordinary paranormal being to save our favorite little weirdo hamlet so drink up ya’ll ……..

  • Chloe Estavil

    I love “Leave your comments and hate-mail below in the comments.” That is perfect. I shouldn’t be surprised with True Blood. The series’ I love tend to disappoint me: Season 9 of How I Met Your Mother, Season 3 of Veronica Mars (not the movie, the movie was awesome), the Buffy extended comics, Scrubs (after it started focusing on the interns), Vampire Diaries Seasons 4-5 (with the exception of Klaroline movements, “I will go down with this ship”,) The Star Wars prequels, Indiana Jones 4 and X-Men: The Last Stand. I hope True Blood redeems itself in the little time it has left.

  • Someone

    1st, 3rd and 5th seasons were clearly the best, 2nd the worst (though “the Fellowship of the Sun” storyline was good – but apart from that everything was horrible), 4th tedious and boring. 6th I’m watching right now so we’ll see. :)

  • blixx

    I have to admit, I am a bit saddened by the show’s demise but, every thing must end eventually. I’m hoping it goes out with as much quirkiness and mystery as it started with, In the 1’st & 2’ed seasons there were a few quirky commercials for True Blood, and the show was pretty quirky and that made it all the more interesting and fun. I know I ‘ve written some not so kind comments, but in my defense I must say I loved the series when it started out but, as it strayed from Mrs. Harris’ books I just couldn’t help be disappointed.,

  • Pezz

    I think it’s gone bad because it hasn’t stuck to its roots. You get to know the characters and go along on the journey with them. of course, you expect them to change a little, character development is inevitable or the people would become boring and same ol same ol after awhile. but they still have the same basic personality….right? that’s what I feel is wrong here. some of the characters have almost changed completely. Sookie goes from being confused and unsure of herself to empowered, to making poor decisions all the time, bill goes from being crazy about sookie, to not? but he is kind of..? but now he’s crazy and mindless? Eric falls in love with Sookie..but then doesn’t care if she dies? Hoyt…sweet hoyt…is so kind and understanding and waiting for the right person to come along…finds Jessica, loves her and accepts her..and after some petty arguments is rude, has bursts of anger, doesn’t under stand and doesn’t care to understand how Jessica feels and isn’t even close to willing to forgive her? he did a total 180. most of all; the vampires are weak. the allure of the show was how mysterious and powerful and deadly the vampires were, now they’re so easy to kill, they die left and right, are so easily subdued and some of them are just plain whiny and soft. the authority always came off as so mysterious and powerful. I figured they must be ancient and powerful.. I expected some vampire lestat old timey vampires..then you see them and they’re a group of mismatched loonies who argue like children despite being hundreds of years old. oh my god the authority was sooo underwhelming for me. it’s a joke. half the season is in a concrete building. far from the woodsy atmosphere we’re use to. it’s losing all the allure and charm that got me hooked in the first place. serious dangerous vamps turned to weak, whiny, vulnerable. it’s a caricature of what it once was. the writing..the way the characters act..almost as if everything’s a joke and a parody in itself. it’s a real let down.

  • justicewillwaitnolonger

    I felt that MJ Snow hit the bullseye. I can’t even put into words how disappointed I have been in the last few seasons of True Blood. It was more like watching one of those pointless and meaningless shows that air on Adult Swim. The character Sookie began with such high hopes only to be changed into the supernatural town tramp and became even more ditzy and gullible.. The character Bill who was already borderline boring became just plain ridiculous. The character of Eric Northman whom I had such high hopes for was changed into a wimp. One of my favorite character’s Lafeyette became an all out disappointment and began to resemble “Florida Evans” from Good Times and less like the gay thug I fell in love with in Season 1. Last of all but certainly not least the character that I was most disappointed to see drastically changed was Jason Stackhouse.. I loved the character of Jason in Season 1. He was incredibly funny, nonchalant and sexy as hell, The Jason of Season 1 would not have regretted sleeping with Jessica. He also would not have crawled on his knees to beg Holt’s forgiveness for doing so. When the new season airs in 2014. I really hope that the characters I fell in love with in season 1 with re-emerge and that the last few season will have been “ONLY A BAD DREAM”.

  • blixx

    hello drone, I say this because like so many other don’t bee’s of the 21’st century you seem to bee of the collective mind that no matter how much of the crap your spoon fed by others of your ilk, you can’t tell what is a good premise for a story from a program that has lost so much in the retelling of an otherwise very good context. I truly loved the Sookie Stackhouse series of books and I sincerely wanted to love the hbo program, but what I saw just hasn’t come across in the shows I & many other fan’s of CH’s books came across in my head. I mean so much of the story is just not what many fans anticipated, I know that the writers want to put their own spin on the story, I have no problem with that. Only thing is, I thought it should be so much better than what it is. As someone who reads as many as 7 or 8 novel’s a month ( not so much now) I have always been a huge fan of mythology and or just about anything from archeology and the paranormal. I am no expert in any way, I just want to watch a good story and I’m very sorry but this show is just not getting any better.

  • Mike

    The tone of this article is really negative and I would like to see the author write and direct a better show than True Blood. True Blood’s a fantastic show! Never will you find another show that can make supernatural phenomenon seem even partially realistic. I agree that the birthing scene in season 6 was silly but it must be taken into account that that was supposed to be funny. How can you forget the show’s uncanny talent for keeping us on the edge of our seat with the end of every episode and making all of the plot lines come together in the end? The set dressing is always great, the acting is excellent and the plot is well written. I watched all of season 2 in one day just because I just wanted to find out what Maryann was. The idea of a mythological creature I had never heard of was very intriguing. I think that movie and television critics have the most useless jobs on the planet :( I can sit at home eating cheetos and whining about a show’s lack of creativity and effort about as well as you do. The only difference is that I don’t walk away with a paycheck.
    Can you tell I really love this show? lol

  • paigeisacutie

    Season 5 and 6 are the best. I loved the whole authority thing, the only good thing about season 2 was the fellowship of the sun storyline and 4 wasn’t that good. Season 3 was great due to Russell.

  • Java

    Cant they change writers but still keep the show? It was a good show and i dont think people should be rude about it. The writers cant fulfill everyones expectations. Its just impossible. So all those idiotic people out there who complain about how ‘aweful’ its gotten, shuttup and mind your own business. Give the poor guy a break,! Rude people these days!

    • blixx

      mei oui, cher but me , I got to beg to differ mon chere’ last time I checked there was a law here in our wonderful US of A and if you weren’t such an ignorant self righteous ass, you would know that the first amendment of, now listen up, shithead, in our , this means you and myself and several billion other souls here in the most wonderful country in the world gives us the freedom to speak our minds on any subject we see fit no matter if it is your opinion or mine. Maybe if you could get your head out of your ass and come up for air you could perhaps read the constitution and find out for yourself that we, this gives ALL citizens the right to speak our minds on any subject we deem to like or dislike. Perhaps you have heard this old saying, opinions are just like assholes, everyone has one! So you feel me, chum?

      • Dan

        your retarted blix every comment you’ve made on here is stupid AF please hang yourself

        • blixx

          Dan, you are an ignorant dumbass, I suggest you should go to your nearest library pick out a Webster’s dictionary and look up the word R-E-T-A-R-D-E-D. That or maybe go back to school & learn how to spell. I can understand that you wish for me to hang myself, AS IF THATS GOING TO HAPPEN, I only have 1 answer to your suggestion I like to call it the salute to ignorant dumbasses like yourself my middle appendage on my left hand is raised in perpetuity to your abject lack of education & ignorance, so take this reply & cram it!!!

  • blixx

    Hi-ho kiddios, the blixx is back, yeah I can blixx, I can blixx, I can blixx, blixx, blixx, yeah, the blixx is baayack! Whew, somebody stop me! thanks Mic, Ok, I have spent the last few hours rereading several comments and reviews from around the different sites about the good, bad, and crappy episodes of the hit ? hbo series TrueBlood, and I have come to the conclusion that wherever the powers that be (writers, directors, producers, etc.) have absolutely no idea how to portray the southern way of life or how to portray the vampires complicated hierarchy. All that crap about the authority in S5 and the bovine scatology about Lillih was so asinine, likened to a train wreck that you pray it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be but no matter how much or how bad it looks even if you cover your eyes with your hands you still can glimpse it through your fingers. Good or bad you can’t stop watching. Also being a person of the south, even though I wasn’t born here I have lived in the south, was raised in the south by transplanted southerners, considers myself a true blue southerner, I mean if I were ever bitten by a real (or get wooshed into a hole in the ground by a gorgeous, 6ft. 5in. tall, dripping charm and sexy badass) vampire, ahem, excuse me a sec… my, my, my, i’ah do deah calare, zuzu , dear little zuzu, bring mother her fan , on the divan darling, yes that’s it, now call for Cally child it’s time for tea, hush now child mother believes she has a case of tha vapors…

  • kathmo

    The finale was look a bloody episode of Scooby Doo.

  • Melizmatic

    Oh, Halleloo:

    Thank Dumbledore that someone else gets it!

    This show is so incredibly, unbelievably horrible now, yet most the ‘die hard’ fans (pun intended) still seem utterly oblivious.

    Every week after watching it, I find myself wanting to punch someone in throat it’s just so bad.

    O_O

    I don’t believe there’s even a fairy’s glimmer of hope to save it, not even with Alan Ball’s long awaited departure.

    This show has long since past the point of no return, probably somewhere around season 3; and its been swimming with the sharks ever since, just waiting to jump over them.

  • blixx

    This show can make me want to beat my head against the the wall over and over, but hey, this only gives me a headache, soooooo I have decided not to give myself a bump on the noggin and come what may watch it play itself out. only I still hold out that the writers decide to give the viewers a chance to see the actors do more with their characters. One being that Bill finally realizes that Lillith is not what he thought she was. And B that Eric can finally get his Viking on. Hoping that he can get mediaeval on those vampire hating assholes!!! Since season 2 I have wanted to see him tare some of those fuckers up, the way he tore up that redneck idiot down in his dungeon while Laffiette watched him devour and rip apart his body… yeah my kinda guy! What I found hilarious was he was so upset that Pam would find blood in his hair and he tell’s Laffiette to defend him the guy silvered him, was priceless! and 3 I love what’s going on with Pam and the doctor she is in top form sassy and dripping in sarcasm, classic Pam.

  • Dezrtwulf

    How could True Blood go from one of the premier new shows on tv period, to one of the biggest jokes on tv? It’s simple. You change writers. This new season’s dialogue is so inane and insipid I’m quite confident my 24 year old son could do better. The show has become a stupid cartoon caricature of it’s former self making viewing it awkward and uncomfortable as
    one doesn’t know whether to wince or laugh. Get the original writer back or at least someone who understands what the show was going for originally.

  • doug

    Here’s whats wrong for the past 2 seasons…the vampires AREN’T SCARY ANYMORE!!!!
    When Lafayette was chained down in the dungeon with those 3 others moving that wheel…now that was scary! TB lost their way, and it’s little more than a silly sitcom now.

  • Booda

    Couldn’t agree more…huge disappointment

  • Sergi

    Totally agree. i used to love this show and couldn’t wait to see a new episode, it was fresh, fun and it didn’t take itself too seriously. Now I just don’t know, it seems like it’s taking itself way too seriously and the plot wants to be too bigand serious and it kills the fun. I always watched this show for a laugh, but now it’s not funny at all.

  • Tamara Winfrey

    The absolute highest point in this show was when Godric committed suicide and Eric begged him not to do it through tears of blood. The best hammy scene was Russell Edgington’s televised “why you suck” speech in season 3. Seasons 4 & 5 had a couple of OK moments, but there is too much going on with tertiary characters I don’t care about. I think you’ve pretty much nailed most of what is wrong with the show. The thing is, what else is on? Even at its worst, True Blood surpasses most other programs, fictional or not. Looking at what’s coming up on CW makes me appreciate True Blood a lot more– even in its current state!

  • Ticked101

    To think that the marriage between Paquin and Moyer had nothing to do with the destruction of True Blood is crazy. The second their relationship came out I already new it would be the most horrible of spoiled actor tragedies.

  • Josephine

    I think it’s fun that they change a lot. It’s boring to have series that are exactly like the books. What I disliked season 5 though was that you didn’t come forward in the situation that was at the end of season 4. Although you get to know a lot about Sookie which is great!

  • Kurt

    I didn’t mind the initial straying from CH’s books however as Sookie was clearly not the main character any longer after season 2 I too found it harder to was as the ‘silliness’ of the series kept increasing . The books were always written from Sookie’s perspective and that clearly went by the wayside. With that said, thank Lilith they kept Lafayette alive- he remains an interesting character with some of the best lines in the show. Hopefully his cousin Tara will return to her fierce role as a dear friend to Sookie instead of a pathetic and miserable shrill. Too strong? lol

  • Jay

    For me, no way is True Blood a good show gone bad; it’s a great show which I still love, I get it, and don’t love to hate it. If I hated it I’d stop wasting my time watching it. In my opinion, True Blood is still an awesome show which brings a distinctly different flavor each season: some seasons are to some people’s tastes, others aren’t, I’ve enjoyed all of them, some more than others.

    True Blood started out simply enough, introducing some, brilliantly cast and scripted, great characters, a central supernatural romance and murder mystery, Since then it’s evolved, and in spite of a sometimes superficial silliness, it’s gone deeper, becoming more complex each season; it started out as a show based on much beloved books but it’s been steadily moving further and further away from those books. I didn’t even know of the books’ existence until I saw the show so I don’t have any expectations of seeing book storylnes being brought into the show, the differences don’t bother or confuse me, because I don’t know about them (or need to in order to understand the show).

    I enjoy how True Blood keeps it fresh, examining different personal, political & philosophical issues including through subtly connected subplots and across seasons and, for the most part, keeps it’s camp horror, sexiness and humour on point too. I’m thankful to Alan Ball for picking up the books and putting his own spin on them to create this seriously compelling show; and for casting some brilliant and hot actors who are now working on season 6.

    Of course the show isn’t perfect but, in my opinion, it’s still pretty damn good, it’s still buzzing and still has millions talking, clamouring for merchandise and wondering about what on earth’s going to happen next.

    • Melizmatic

      >>>I enjoy how True Blood keeps it fresh, examining different personal,
      political & philosophical issues including through subtly connected
      subplots and across seasons”<<

      I think that you must talking about a completely different show by the same name;

      IMO, TB has become nothing more than a night time soap opera, with just slightly better production value.

      The acting is bad, the writing is even worse, and the badly constructed plot arcs more often than not trail off into limbo.

      O_o

      • Jay

        And I think you’re talking about a completely different show but that’s okay, not everybody is going to see the show the same way. Maybe, if you honestly believe it’s so bad, your time would be better spent watching something else that you do enjoy instead.

      • dan

        agree with Jay, your comment is flat out dumb. post your stupid shit somewhere else if u think this show is anything like a soap opera than ur more dumb than blix

        • blixx

          DUDE, you and your bud Jay both sound like a poor mans version of Jay & Silent Dan only your not nearly as cool or as entertaining so quitcherbellyaching and go fuck yourself!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1342092461 Cheryl Durst

    I am not a fan of the books. I read books one through nine and pledged not read any more of them because I feel that Charlaine fluffed her series up with garbage just as the writers have done with the show.

    From Season Three to the present, the show has really digressed in terms of intelligent writing and plots. The series could have been so very, very good if done properly. Someone, in a comment below, mentioned that the whole fairy realm could have been exciting if the fae were depicted as dangerous and clever creatures but instead we have been presented with ridiculous antics and a fairy nightclub. I will say that I am glad to have Lafayette as a mainstay character instead of killing him off as Charlaine Harris did in the books. IMHO the entire Hot Shot plot was about the worst thing I have ever made myself endure in TV watching. Any of the Eric & Sookie love-making seemed to be contrived and just didn’t have a credible “feel” to it. In Sookie’s dream sequence in Dallas, Eric & Sookie were hot but when they actually got to it they were not. The core cast is most talented and I certainly miss William Sanderson who portrayed Bud Dearborn and I will also very much miss the talented Jim Parrack in his portrayal of Hoyt Fortenberry.

    I want to feel the wonderful and exciting anticipation that Season One gave me and I want to feel the eagerness for the week to pass so that I can find out what happens “next”. As it is now I watch only because I am hoping that there will be something, anything, that will be presented to us viewers that will once again give the show some credible “bite” and bring back the feeling of curious angst that all of us experienced the first time we entered Merlotte’s Bar & Grill.

  • nik

    \Youcan’t take this seriously. this is all fiction, just entertainment I too hope that its gets sexier again, but I do want to find out who killed Sookie’s parents and if Sookie will end up with a vampire or a human. The plot has gotten so large that its going to take 1 whole season to finish it all

  • dang irl

    Actually season 1 of true blood was so bad I skipped to the last episode almost immidiatley (my girlfriend made me watch the series in the first place so I decided to skip the middle and get to where she was so that I’ll know what she was talking about). Then, season 2 was awesome because it introduced a unique monster (Marianne), and was really well written – different plot threads that seemed separate at the beginning eventually all merged to create a coherent story, which culminated in a totally crazy showdown involving everyone. It was funny, creative, and somewhat innovative too. After the second season I was hooked. Season 3 was kinda bad, but then season 4 did some good things and most of it’s plotlines were at least enjoyable, if not very interesting.

    Season 5 though? nearly as bad as season 1. The story was so clattered with side plots about characters no ones cares about that by the end of each episode each separate plot barely moved at all. Just about everyone was acting out of character all the time, both fairies and the vampire authority turned out to be about as intriguing and threatening as a bewildered, drugged cow staring about with an embarrassed expression. I’m still gonna watch season 6, but with no small amount of trapdition.

  • untranae truebeliever

    This show is still awesome and always will be as long as the main characters stay alive!!i fell in love witth this show from the beginning and will stick with its awesomeness to the end which should happen anytime soon

  • Sheldon

    Agreed MJ. Also the inconsistency of the mythology specifically around blood taking/blood exchanges/blood induced dreams and the effects of silver on vampires. Without some kind of consistent logic being applied to these mythological elements these scenes and actions are reduced to plot devices – add to that the inconsistent characterisation’s, as you mentioned in your post, and by S5 finale, its an Eton Mess Southern style.

    As a few others here have noted, the biggest travesty is what they did with Sookie’s character: snark minus the charm, no empathy for others’ plights, Beehl, Beehl, Bheel for most of the seasons, including S4 where she was supposed to be falling in love with Eric (well lobotomised Eric), foulmouthed shrew, poor judgement when dealing with those super who could drain her dry…..they’re just a few off the top of my list

    I will watch S6 first few epis, but if it sucks like S5, I’ll just pop into my favourite websites and watch the good bits. I hope that Mark Hudis can reinervate this monster, I really do, but I ain’t holding my breath.

  • Chrysa

    If you don’t like the show just STOP WATCHING IT and making comments about it…and for the case: the last seasons were so much better!!

  • Devyn

    Perfect! I agree with all! Entertaining, witty and sadly true! I like your optimism about season 6. This will be interesting.

  • Eva

    Excellent analysis on how a good idea can go so bad so fast. It’s been a real shame to see the Sookie Stackhouse story from the books rewritten, hacked up and basically devalued as a TV series. I say good riddance to Alan Ball, but the damage has already been done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.pergolini David Pergolini

    Personally, I gave up after Season 1. Looks like I was wise to do so.

  • Millarca

    “What we’re looking at with True Blood is not the fact that changes were
    made, but that there is little rhyme or reason to the changes. Most of
    them are just plain silly. We add to that the addition, or manipulation,
    of characters that, to put it bluntly, are just plain awful. Likeable
    characters become whiny, obnoxious and frustrating to watch. Original
    characters are silly at best, and practically unwatchable at worst. Too
    many storylines make the show seem scattered and unfocused.”

    Yep, we’re watching the same show. Excellent analysis and I agree with your comments about each season. I am in the happy position of not being familiar with the details of Terry’s smoke-monster storyline or any other storyline that did not involve Eric, because by Season 5 I was only watching the scenes in which he appeared. I will watch, or at least follow, Season 6, because I am by nature an optimist, and I hope that with Ball having a lesser role we will see an improvement. From what I know of Season 6, I am not, however, holding my breath.

    One thing I find particularly unfathomable is the way Ball turned the much loved main character from the books into an unlikeable, unintelligent, sometimes absolutely loathsome, self-absorbed, whiny, foul-mouthed, shrew.

  • Kylie

    very well written

  • Tigress

    Now I’m a fan of the books and watching the show go downhill
    has been making me want to absolutely rip my hair out! I’m aware that when
    books are adapted for shows or movies things will change and things will be cut
    or added, however, AB has taken things way out of hand! I just want to call him
    up and say “Hey, Charlaine wrote the books, they are great books, follow
    them and not your own intuition and snap your writers into shape!” I’m not
    saying AB should have followed the books page by page, but maybe if he’d at
    least used them as an outline, things would have made more sense. I mean
    Lilith, Bill as Lilith, sanguinistas, the authority! What, what, what? I was
    upset enough when they killed Claudine and screwed over the whole fairy plot,
    because that was an aspect of the book that I really enjoyed! However, with all
    this stupid stuff that happened last season, I just don’t really know where the
    show is going. I’m not sure what kind of envelope they are trying to push but I
    do know that if they’d followed the map laid out for them the show would have
    been more interesting. I’m just very
    very disappointed in the series as of right now. Okay, I’m finished with my
    rant.

  • Tara

    This is spot on. Well written, well thought out, very good piece. I agree with all points mentioned. Just wondering how you could whittle it down to only these bad things. The list of bad choices made by Alan Ball & team is virtually endless. Well done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/evie.red Evie Red

    I never re-watch season 1, too much of Bill & Sookie’s mushy romance and not enough Eric and Pam. Season 2, season 3 and the first half of season 4 were completely brilliant. I liked season 5 but can understand why some people don’t.

    • PRIMEROSE

      I just love season 5 , i ve never watched the original books series, but for me season five is very entertaining, i like how its fast paced and dark comedy. I dont really care who sookie ends up with, if it were up to me , both bill and eric are better without her. lol

  • LostinSpace33

    I think you said it all with this statement: “Tone down the cheese factor, cut back on the minor characters’ pointless storylines and bring the focus back to the core characters.” I, like you, can only hope that Alan Ball’s departure will help, but I’m worried that with the same writers from the past few seasons, it just won’t be enough. ((sigh!))

  • Nymerias

    I have said all this and more on my blog. I really wish thhe writers would pay attention to what the fans are saying but I truly think they do not care at all. They know what has been and is being said now. They cannot be that stupid so it appears that they must think what they write is good. Think again writers!

  • Mandy B

    At least seasons 2, 3, and 4 had some redeeming qualities. Season 2 – Eric and Godric scene, Season 3 – All Russell/Franklin scenes and the Ratray Reveal, Season 4 – Some really cute Eric/Sookie moments. Season 5 was just completely pointless with NO redeeming qualities. And in my opinion, the “Billith” plotline has destroyed any hope that True Blood could ever be good again. So disappointed as a Truebie and a Bookie!

  • Heather

    True blood sucks now .they refuse to give as Eric &sookie . They keep giving us the real life of Stephen & Anna . Eric & Sookie are move interesting together . Wasting time on all this other stuff witches, smoke monsters & adding so many new characters instead of using the ones they have .Tthen they have took away two episodes 10 not 12 as usual . Next i guess they will be cancelled they moving towards that now . Sad this was a good show now it is terrible. So much going so wrong on this show now .

  • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

    Pretty much spot on here. I fell in love with season 1, and I’ve pretty much progressively hated everything that’s come since more and more (and yet I keep watching…..).

  • krtmd

    A lot of TB fans have been making these complaints for years. As a bookie, I am disappointed in the adaptation of CH’s books. As a trubie, I’m even more disappointed that the show AB called “popcorn for smart people” turned out to be only a choking hazard.

    One minor quibble, it was Terry Bellefleur who’s storyline (if you can call it that) referenced the Smoke Monster.

    • krtmd

      oops – should be “whose” not “who’s” *shameface*

    • http://twitter.com/houndgirrl M.J. Snow

      You’re absolutley right about Terry vs Andy there, thanks for catching that typo!

    • http://hbowatch.com/ Jacob Klein

      Fixed!









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