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Eventually Pam Fires A Rocket Launcher At Them So They'll Shut Up
July 9, 2014 12:50 PM   Subscribe

"When True Blood premiered on HBO almost six years ago, in 2008, the final Twilight book had just been published, breaking records left and right. The gleam's come off since then, off vampires in general and but especially this show, but I believe it still has some things to tell us. Things about philosophy, America, the existence of faith in a secular world. People fucking all kinds of different ways. Sometimes all of these topics at the same time." Jacob Clifton recaps and reviews the Six and a half seasons of True Blood so far, trying to suss out what we can learn from Sookie Stackhouse's many boyfriends.
posted by The Whelk (61 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Sookie, not Snookie!"

Someone on TV said that last week.
posted by discopolo at 12:52 PM on July 9


This is hilarious. Man, I used to be really into this show... gave up somewhere around the weird vampire council plotline which I understand resulted in Bill being possessed by a goddess? Or something?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:03 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. This show sounds dumber than it looks.
posted by stenseng at 1:05 PM on July 9


Entire thing is worth it for "sad skyrim handjob."
posted by The Whelk at 1:05 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


I'm surely not the first person to say this, but True Blood is a soap opera. It's soap opera that, because of what time it airs and on which channel and all the violence/nudity, is just cool enough for the HBO audience to watch.

Everything else flows from that soap opera logic: you think people die and come back because it is a show about the supernatural? Nope that's soap opera logic. You think people get into weird musical-chairs relationships because of their spicy vampire blood? Nope soap opera logic. You think characters have such convoluted histories because some of them live forever? Nope soap opera logic.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:07 PM on July 9 [18 favorites]


In this picture you see Bill remembering a time four thousand years ago when he was a Goddess and had sex with faerie Ben and turned him into a vampire and so what that means is that Ben is a vampire and a fairy and the son of Lilith, the Goddess that Bill currently is.

What that means—besides that we are living in a Golden Age of Television—is, when Sookie marries Ben, who is Jesus and the Devil, her mother-in-law will be her ex-boyfriend Bill, who is also God.


Maybe I shouldn't have stopped watching
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:07 PM on July 9 [10 favorites]


Look, all that's needed is a spin-off staring Eric, Pam and Lafayette.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:08 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


Vampire "Cheers" basically ( somehow obtain adorable Hoyt back via TIME TRAVEL cause Jessica and Hoyt being the coded queer relationship was one of my favorite things and it ended so, so sadly.)
posted by The Whelk at 1:10 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


I know the books finished recently, and there was significant dislike of who Sookie ended up with (no idea what they thought of anything else that might have happened), and I am mostly curious now to see if the show will go the same way.

Looks like I gave up after season 2, based on those recaps.
posted by jeather at 1:12 PM on July 9


My wife still makes me watch it, I love that even the writers seem to hate the show by now, and have resigned to killing off 2-4+ major characters per episode with the barest of narrative justification. The show had entirely too many characters that made for entertaining bit parts or comic relief, but were inexplicably elevated to the focus of major plot arcs taking up 20% or more of several episodes (Terry? Arlene? The entire Iraq/demon-genie thing? Hoyt? Everything that Tara did? Everything that happened in the fairy world?) The show is much better TV in its literal death throes, with many characters meeting thier long overdue demise, than it was since probably season 3.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:14 PM on July 9


Nope soap opera logic.

Not Chuck Testa? :-(
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:19 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Well it used to be a lot more fun, high energy blood drenched soap opera full of naked people saying and doing increasingly absurd things but now we're all like ..mass graves and dourness.

Eventually everyone in the cast will be dead except Sookie and Bill who are now 100% human but she's like carrying Alcide's baby or something and all the metaphors about Vampires being the thing you hate but is now living among you will burst into flames.
posted by The Whelk at 1:24 PM on July 9


And is Jessica the one actress (or actor for that matter) on the show who has a no-nudity clause in her contract? What's up with that?
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:29 PM on July 9


I sense someone has been watching hoping to see Jessica nude. ;)
posted by dabitch at 1:31 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Well I can't be the only one who assumed, when Jessica entered the show, that it was basically HBO's attempt at fulfilling the "virginal T&A" slot that had been opened up by Sookie getting it on with Bill.

I sort of ran out of interest in the show somewhere in S2 but I remember wondering if somebody losing their virginity to a vampire each season was going to be A Thing.

Apparently not? Good on the writers I guess.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:35 PM on July 9


I loved the first 6 episodes or so, then it was just...no.

The time that news anchor got his spine pulled out on live TV was pretty good though.

And all the Eric, Pam and Lafayette. There was never enough of them.
posted by emjaybee at 1:35 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I will forgive the show so much bad plotting and terrible characterization in the last season or two because of three things - Michelle Forbes! - Tara and Franklyn having a Bella/Edward parody romance - "Tiffany?"
posted by The Whelk at 1:39 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Everything else flows from that soap opera logic

The spice must flow.
posted by benzenedream at 1:42 PM on July 9


We got to see Jessica play Guitar Hero, surely that is just as good.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:45 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to reuse my fanfare comment here (because I'm lazy):

Every time I watch I'm still convince that this series would be significantly better if they just cut out every single scene with Sookie in it. I used to watch because I love terrible trashy tv. Now I watch because it's just such a train wreck.

Seriously though, can we get rid of Sookie yet?
posted by Arbac at 1:47 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


I've read the books, but didn't realize there was a show. Books were rather amusing at first, but I can't believe you could make a show that would be worth watching.

(from the comments, it appears to be so)

And the name Sookie is dumb for someone that screws/fights/kills weres and vamps and whatever
posted by BlueHorse at 1:49 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


We got to see Jessica play Guitar Hero, surely that is just as good.

It's true, Bill having a Wii was a pretty good visual gag.
posted by psoas at 1:50 PM on July 9


Every time I watch I'm still convince that this series would be significantly better if they just cut out every single scene with Sookie in it.

I will still defend the show for its entertainment value, but even without Sookie you still had the werepanthers, the Ifrit, the shapeshifter dogfights, and a bunch of gross werewolves who served only to strand Alcide in go-nowhere plots for like three years.
posted by psoas at 1:53 PM on July 9


It's true, Bill having a Wii was a pretty good visual gag.

Bill = casual confirmed.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:54 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


AND GHOST MAMMY. Oh god, I nearly forgot about the Lafayette/demon-baby madness. This show.
posted by psoas at 1:54 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


By the way, did you know werepanthers are a real thing? (Well, real in the sense that True Blood did not make up their mythology whole-cloth like I though they did). There's a little jade werepanther mask in the (amazing) Treasury museum of the Munich Residenz, allegedly brought to Munich from the new world.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:00 PM on July 9


I DEMAND REAL WEREPANTHERS!
posted by Theta States at 2:04 PM on July 9


Holy shit. This show sounds dumber than it looks.

I don't think anyone has seriously claimed this show is anything other than dumb fun, with butts and boobies thrown in for good measure. And it was good dumb fun for longer than it had any right to be.
posted by Hoopo at 2:06 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I've loathed this show for the last several seasons but mrs ozzy won't let me stop watching. I keep hoping she'll just forget it's on and we can drop it. So far no luck.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:10 PM on July 9


And the name Sookie is dumb for someone that screws/fights/kills weres and vamps and whatever

A certain Ms. Summers might disagree with your expectations of a vampire slayer's first name.
posted by dnash at 2:14 PM on July 9 [8 favorites]


> I keep hoping she'll just forget it's on and we can drop it.

My wife and I made it to the end of season four and seem to have reached an unspoken agreement that we've had enough True Blood. The highlight of the series for both of us was this guy contemptuously spitting out the word "PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE."
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:16 PM on July 9


If we're going with the soap opera logic theme for True Blood, then Passions was way before its time.
posted by pandalicious at 2:19 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


If we're going with the soap opera logic theme for True Blood, then Passions was way before its time.
*ahem*
posted by Thorzdad at 2:35 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


A certain Ms. Summers might disagree with your expectations of a vampire slayer's first name

Invoking her in a thread about True Blood is really mixing the sacred with the inane.

My wife inflicts this show on me. Mostly because of Alexander Skarsgård. What was said up thread is true, the only reasons to watch are Lafayette, Pam, and Eric.
posted by Ber at 2:38 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


By the way, did you know werepanthers are a real thing? (Well, real in the sense that True Blood did not make up their mythology whole-cloth like I though they did). There's a little jade werepanther mask in the (amazing) Treasury museum of the Munich Residenz, allegedly brought to Munich from the new world.

No, they totally did. Black panthers are not a distinct species of cat. Black panthers are either leopards or jaguars that are all black. The cat native to America that is called a panther, i.e. a cougar, does not have any cats with all black coats.

I gave up on True Blood on the second season with the fairies in it. I found that whole plot line with incredibly annoying. I was kind of back into again when I heard Tara and Pam hooked up, but then I heard Tara is dead so True Blood can die in a fire.
posted by nooneyouknow at 3:24 PM on July 9


I always thoug the show never got any credit for being really smart about being really dumb and pulpy and lurid and dealing with these big metaphors in sprays of bright red blood and buzzing neon but just as critical mass of watchers and reviews started to hit on it it veered all Werid And Fustrating and lost the plot several times and wasn't is supposed to be five season not seven uuugh.
posted by The Whelk at 3:34 PM on July 9


I love that even the writers seem to hate the show by now, and have resigned to killing off 2-4+ major characters per episode with the barest of narrative justification

Oh good. I stopped watching during the season with the witch when I realized that I was rooting for her to kill off most of the characters. I was pissed when not one of them died.
posted by kanewai at 3:35 PM on July 9


Like it was threading a very small needle of being just lurid and goofy enough and then Eric got turned into a sexy baby and we all checked out ( also Linda annoyed that the later Tara/Pam stuff, while excellent, didn't go freaking anywhere.)
posted by The Whelk at 3:41 PM on July 9


We yell MAGICAL FAIRY VAJAY! at the television at LEAST three times per episode now.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:14 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


It's just so glum this season, at least Fairy Grandfather had a camp soapy sense.

Granted it helps if you watch it in one feverish three day burst rather than waiting a whole week.
posted by The Whelk at 4:23 PM on July 9


This was so good that I'd actually start watching the show if I hadn't already tanked after 1.75 seasons.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:07 PM on July 9


So what does ol' Sookie Stackhouse do? She fucks that baby.

hlep
posted by elizardbits at 7:04 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


no wait this person hates nora, they are filth
posted by elizardbits at 7:08 PM on July 9


I'm confused about the reference to a "secular world".

I'd love to live in one.
posted by maxwelton at 11:41 PM on July 9


So True Blood is a vampire soap opera a la Dark Shadows with more violence and explicit sexytimes?
posted by Pudhoho at 12:49 AM on July 10


Jacob Clifton had like a passionate hatred for Nora from day one
posted by angrycat at 1:54 AM on July 10


he is a bad person who does bad things then
posted by elizardbits at 8:32 AM on July 10


She was super annoying at first tho.

She got better.
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 AM on July 10


elizardbits likes her, thus anyone who does not is evil and must be destroyed.
posted by Pudhoho at 8:53 AM on July 10


Man, since it just popped up on Amazon Prime, I tried to give this show a chance (I know some folks tangentially involved with it), but Sookie's accent is SO BAD and there just wasn't enough interesting other stuff for me to get past that.
posted by klangklangston at 9:30 AM on July 10


I know the books finished recently, and there was significant dislike of who Sookie ended up with

Anybody who didn't see that coming from a millions miles away is an idiot. It's telegraphed/forshadowed in every single book. Bah.

I barely struggled my way to the end of the book series. I bailed on the TV series after season two or three. I will give the TV series credit for leaving out the stupid fucking Quinn character, with his idiotic purple eyes.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:25 PM on July 10


We yell MAGICAL FAIRY VAJAY! at the television at LEAST three times per episode now.

Don't say that in front of Pam, she's over it.
posted by homunculus at 10:51 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Anybody who didn't see that coming from a millions miles away is an idiot. It's telegraphed/forshadowed in every single book. Bah.

I agree -- I read a couple of those books and figured out the endgame relationship, too. But -- based entirely on my memory of the discussion of the last book -- a lot of people said there was no build up to it, emotionally, and it came out of nowhere. It can be obvious endgame but still make no sense.
posted by jeather at 7:56 AM on July 11


wait, what was the book series ending? i really doubt anyone here cares if it is spoiled.

i guess i can just google it but of all the things IT might see me doing at work this feels to be the most deeply humiliating
posted by elizardbits at 9:36 AM on July 11


haha oh god it's so terrible help
posted by elizardbits at 9:37 AM on July 11


It can be obvious endgame but still make no sense.

Yeah, I didn't say it was good - just that it was laid out in the text.
posted by Squeak Attack at 11:24 AM on July 11


I read the books up until the one where they go sliding down the side of the pyramid-shaped Las Vegas hotel after it gets bombed (? or something like that) at which point my suspension of disbelief lost its will to live. Also the whole don't give a damn about who she winds up with problem. Sounds like the show was completely unhooked from the book plots?
posted by Lexica at 10:29 PM on July 12


Maybe they stopped laying it out in the text in later books? Or it was like a mystery where the descriptions of the butler is always "the villainous, moustache-twirling butler" but all the clues are about the cousin and the aunt and the maid while the butler has a great alibi, and the last chapter is just "yup, the butler totally did it, who cares how right? butler is in jail, all is right with the world."

I am not quite curious enough to actually continue reading the books, granted.
posted by jeather at 7:04 AM on July 13


Can we do a spoiler here? I'm never going to read the books or watch the show again, and yet I need to know who the shocking choice of Sookie-partner is.
posted by dabitch at 9:38 AM on July 13


Sookie Book 13 spoilers to follow:




She ends up with Sam. Not Eric, as many fans wanted I guess.

From the text - Sookie wants kids and a normal life. I think she mentions growing old with her partner more than once? I never could really imagine her being long-term with a partner who couldn't give her kids, and a regular home.

Even more striking to me was how the text always stressed that sunshine/being in the sun is important to Sookie. It might tie in to the fairy thing? But anyway, whenever she's having a bad time and then gets a chance to sunbathe, she feels a lot better. So it's pretty clear that a nocturnal lifestyle isn't for her in the long run. Even more striking is that Sam is frequently described, by Sookie, as sunny, golden, warm, glowing whatever blahblah. So if you accepted many of the things Sookie tells us about herself, and her perception of Sam, it was pretty obvious the pairing was the endgame.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:29 AM on July 13


Huh, that actually makes perfect sense. I guess I stopped watching at just the right time.
posted by dabitch at 8:57 AM on July 14


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