Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Well...So Much for True Blood This Year

I hadn't been a huge fan of True Blood this season, but I had faith it would pull itself together. Every season has a slow build-up before getting good, so it was ok that the first half of the season was kind of boring. I was frustrated that each of the main characters was stranded in a completely separate storyline and that there were more new characters than returning ones, but I believed it would all come together somehow. And now that the finale has aired, it's clear that....it didn't.

Nope, instead of all the separate characters pulling together to stop Russell Edgington like they did Mary Ann last year, each of the storylines remained just as separate as they've been all summer. Even worse, not one of them was properly resolved. Some fizzled to a lame end with the possibility of an encore, like Russell. Others went the cliffhanger route. And still others made it clear this entire season was just a big set-up for next year.

Let's start with Russell, who was supposed to be the unifying Big Bad this year. The moment that really got me re-hooked on the show and convinced me these last few episodes would kick into gear was, of course, when Russell killed the newsman on TV. Great, I thought, now Russell's going to go absolutely insane and have to be dramatically put down. But he didn't. That was the climax of his character arc. And since he was basically captured at the end of the last episode, he was rather easily defeated by Bill and Eric this time. He's obviously coming back, so I can't even say his cement burying counts as an ending, but since he was the only new character that positively added to the show that's ok with me.

Moving on to the main characters, a whole lot happened between Sookie, Bill, and Eric, but not a whole lot of it really worked. Bill went back and forth so many times it was hard to keep straight what he was up to, except that he may have completely lost it. Maybe this is supposed to signal a darker Bill in season 4 who kills anyone who looks at Sookie funny, or one deadset on covering his tracks. Given how many times Sookie's hated then loved Bill this season, it's hard to say if the reveal of his betrayal affects their relationship any more than anything else that's happened. And it's hard to take the Bill/Sophie Ann airborne fight scene too seriously.

Oh, and all the Sookie's a fairy stuff led to her entering fairyland. So.....again a set up for next year.

But even if it didn't all pull together, the Sookie/Bill/Eric stuff was still the most entertaining storyline throughout a season filled with extraneous ones. Were the sideplots worth sitting through? Let's see, we put up with Sam's consistently painful to watch birth family all year so....he could shoot his brother. Maybe. Seriously? Lafayette's romance with Jesus.....will make more sense next year, cause it was entirely set-up. Tara being depressed...caused her to cut her hair. Arlene being afraid of giving birth to Rene's baby....will continue. And worst of all, the complete waste of Jason's character we've witnessed this year seems to exist solely to put him in charge of a depressing village of meth addicts. That's not getting me excited about next season.

So I think it's safe to call season 3 an off year for True Blood. There was a whole lot of plot, but not a lot of drama. Most of what was built-up hasn't paid off yet because the pay off (hopefully) still has yet to come. Hopefully with Jesus and the Wiccan waitress already on the show there won't have to be too many new cast members next year, and we can spend more time with the ones we got. Hopefully the cast will also spend more time together instead of going off on separate adventures with various new supernatural creatures. Personally, I think witches are better than werewolves (not that the werewolves even served much of a point this year), so I believe next year will be better. Or at least I hope so.

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