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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

True Blood season 3: Trouble(d)

True Blood is highly problematic right now, but there are a few interesting things happening.

All kinds of spoilers if you're not caught up.

I am not interested in the Merlotte family - I am, in fact, completely uninterested in them, and annoyed that Ball et al. felt the need to make them terrible, drunken, trashy sterotypes. They were fine the way they were in the book. I'm also disappointed that Calvin Norris seems to be a skeezy meth dealer, rather than just poor. The inbreeding was already in the book, so I can't blame Ball for that.

I wholehearedly blame Ball for how much I hate what they're doing with Terry and Arlene.

And then there's Bill, who I was already only vaguely interested in. I can no longer muster even that - he's an idiot, and he deserves whatever he gets. Of course, he won't be the one to get the worst of it. That'll be one of the female characters (like Lorena, whom I never want to see again, largely because I never want to see her interact with Bill again). I only want to see Bill's storyline inasmuch as it intersects with Eric's. Yes, Eric, not Sookie. I'm feeling a lot less charitable than I previously have about Anna Paquin as Sookie. I am a little curious to see where the TV version is going with her whole flashy hand power thing -- unless they've *really* changed the character, I know where it comes from, but this manifestation is different enough from the books that I don't know what else they'll do with it. Mostly, though, I really only want to see her storyline insofar as it intersects with Eric's and creates chances for me to look at Alcide.

I'm loving Alcide, but mostly just to look at - I wasn't sold on his acting last time out (the scene in the truck did not work for me), and I've already discussed my misgivings about the whole Nazi-V junkie-working for Russell werewolf storyline. And now Russell turns out to have killed Eric's family? I still love Eric, and I still want to see what they're doing with him, but I am already worried about what they're doing with him. Russell killed his family, and then Godric just happened upon him and his men? Seems like a big coincidence. Or will they tie those together? Seems unlikely, given how the season is going, that they'd do that in a compelling way. Or maybe they'll just expect us not to notice the weirdness, like we're not supposed to notice that it's completely ridiculous for vampires to be able to glamour you into letting them in. Or how we're not supposed to notice that it doesn't make sense for Russell, who is supposed to be ancient, to have a Mississippi accent (even a poorly executed one, and don't even get me started on Pam, who shouldn't have that accent either).

So, I want to see what's up with Eric, but I don't expect it to be satisfying.

Speaking of unsatisfying, Jason is getting on my nerves, rather than amusing me greatly, which is what he should be doing. With his shirt off. And, I am not feeling the Crystal/Jason thing right now.

But I was feeling the Lafayette/Jesus thing. They were adorably awkward, which was funny to see from Lafayette.

But I am super not feeling what's happening to Tara, who has gone from one messed up relationship to another, this one more inherently abusive. She's been bound to a toilet. She's had flowers duct taped to her hands. She's been tied - spread-eagle, of course - to a bed and, after gnawing her way out of the ropes, got tackled by a wolf/naked crazy man. And, perhaps most importanly, she continues to be terrorized by someone who has bitten her against her will, hypnotized her, and kidnapped her (because we didn't get enough of Tara losing her agency last season). Oh...wait - that's not a relationship at all, despite what the plot blurbs and beginning of season special vignettes might have said. It's an abduction, pure and simple. Which, for some reason, is being played for laughs. Because Tara's fear in face of the constant threat of death/violation (take your pick of which kind) is really funny?

So, to sum up, a lot of things are bugging me, some of those things are bugging me A LOT, and only a few things are keeping me interested in a good way. I've enjoyed the show enough to want it to turn around, but it's officially on probation now. Next week marks the halfway point, and the last one I'll see before I leave town: here's hoping it's pivotal in more ways than one.


  1. I completely agree. I wish they had listened to my pleading for the Eric and Pam Show featuring Lafayette and introducing Baby Jessica. (although now I'd like to add with special appearances by Alcide)

    I cannot stress how much I HATE the poor white trash stereotypes on this show. I'm not saying that Louisiana is devoid of such (Britney is proof enough of that, lol) but good grief! We do have intelligent, educated people down here, too.

    And poor Tara. I don't even know where to begin with that mess.

    I've wondered if the real problem with this show isn't the source material. The books really aren't that strong. Charlaine Harris started out with an interesting idea and the first book or two were entertaining but subsequent installments were not nearly as good. The show seems to be following that same pattern.

  2. The books are definitely not that strong (and have gotten progressively worse). But Ball et al. have diverged enough already that I don't think we can blame the problems they're having on the books. I think, actually, that the books and the show might have opposite problems, in terms of plot. The books have been lacking in plot for a while now - book 9 felt like a lead in to book 10, which didn't go anywhere (or not anywhere enough). The show has plots galore, each one crazier than the last, but they're so caught up in being crazy and shocking and graphic that they're not doing a good job of picking what to tell or telling it compellingly. At least that's what I think.


    I think you said it best. "The Eric and Pam Show featuring Lafayette and introducing Baby Jessica with special appearances by Alcide and Jesus" sounds great right about now.