True Blood: I Got a Right to Sing the Blues
Welcome to the newest Serial Drama feature, which does not yet have a pithy name, because "A place for Mallory to talk about True Blood without hijacking posts for other, less awesome shows" is far from pithy, but whatever: True Blood! A place for a weekly discussion about the goings on in Bon Temps and a place where we can all marvel at primetime soap done right.
I do have to warn you, though, that sometimes vampire and werewolf based entertainment brings out a side of me that I'm not totally comfortable with, namely the side of myself that makes stupid puns and giggles at them much to the consternation of everybody else in the world. I am only telling you this because there is a chance that I might, at some point, say something like "Fangs for the good time, Eric!" or something similarly humiliating. Please know that I am judging myself harshly.
SPOILERS are after the jump, so if you aren't caught up on season three (1) get caught up and (2) avert your eyes!
Before we talk about the latest episode, a few general points about True Blood:
- I have not read any of the books by Charlaine Harris, so I have no idea what is coming or going, or how much the show deviates from the books, so I won't be ranting about the changes. This will probably make True Blood posts very strange for you to read, since it's very rare that you've read anything I've written that wasn't steeped in irritation.
- If you have not seen the trailer for the second half of season three, and don't mind having some things spelled out for your, click here. It is awesome.
- Awesome is a word that comes up a lot when I talk True Blood. After a season two that spent too much time on Maryann and not enough time on, well, everything else (I could have watched a full season just about the Fellowship of the Sun, actually), I think season three is firing on all cylinders. The weakest spot thus far has been Jason's story, and even that is moderately amusing.
- I am LOVING all of the new characters this season. I am a wary person by nature, and don't always like a large influx of new people, but the newbies are great: Alcide, Russell Edgington, Talbot, Franklin...I even like Cooter and that trashy Debbie Pelt!
- Sam's family members do not count as great newbies, because they inspire in me mild consternation (Tommy) and outright terror (Joe Lee), but I still find their story compelling. Poor Sam needs to catch a break.
- This picture delights me.
I wonder if Stephen Moyer is smiling so broadly because this is the one and only time he will ever tower over Alexander Skarsgard.
- Speaking of, as someone with a well-documented fondness for tall men, it goes without saying that I love ASkars and Joe Manganiello, who I have enjoyed since his stint on How I Met Your Mother as Brad, who had an ill-fated bromance with Marshall.
Onto "Now I Got A Right to Sing the Blues"--OH EM GEE, that was one of the bloodiest hours of television I've ever watched, primetime division (General Hospital is the bloodiest hour of television I've ever watched, daytime division. And like thirty episodes are tied for that particular honor). Torture, people drinking the blood of the vampire being tortured, Tara chewing on Franklin's throat and then beating him savagely in the head later...crazy.
*After last week's episode of non-stop hilarity (Exhibit A: the revelation that Franklin slaughtered a church group because they wouldn't let him have a turn at the slot machines), there wasn't a whole lot to laugh about tonight, except that awkward kind of laughter that you sometimes make so that you don't cause a scene with your tears or violent sickness. I did get a kick out of Talbot's horror at the state of their house, following Bill's stupid attempt at fighting older, more powerful vampires.
*Sookie's game of Twenty Questions with Russell was so nicely done. Can we talk about Denis O'Hare for a second? He is doing such a good job of being entertaining with an undercurrent of malice in everything that he does. J'adore! And Anna Paquin was great here, too--a lot of times when she aims for sassy and spunky, she lands in "OMG, punch her in the head" territory. But Sookie was appropriately intimidated by Russell. And who wouldn't be?! He's terrifying!
*I normally can't stand Lorena; I think Mariana Klaveno is beyond gorgeous and a great actress, but Lorena's awfulness is usually turned up to eleven. Bill had it right last week when he referred to her as a tiresome cow. But this time around, she managed to blend her mix of unhinged bitchiness with a weird sort of vulnerability, and I found myself almost sympathetic to her. It was so sad watching her cry!
*Queen Sophie-Anne presents the exact opposite problem for me: I feel like the character, as written and with that wardrobe, could be a lot of fun, but Evan Rachel Wood is just appalling. I don't know what's she's aiming for, but she's missing the mark in an excruciating fashion. I know Russell wants to marry her to consolidate power but I keep asking myself why on earth he'd want to spend an extra second with her. She's an embarrassment.
*It says a lot about this show that having it confirmed that Tommy (and his mother!) were forced to dogfight had me saying, "Oh, good, I'm glad it's not something even worse". There isn't much that IS worse than dogfighting, but I was scared that this show would find it.
*Jason and Crystal continue to bore, as does Jason's vendetta against the new high school quarterback.
*Kevin Allejandro and Nelsan Ellis have fantastic chemistry, but it was a little strange that the Jesus/Lafayette relationship ended about thirty seconds after it officially started. And I'm with Lafayette, personally--I can't shake the feeling that there's something not-so-good lurking beneath Jesus's cleancut exterior.
*How much did I LOVE Tara (and Sookie) kicking ass? If I thought Franklin was well and truly gone, I'd be heartbroken, but since she didn't decapitate him (just, you know, bashed his head in violently) or stake him, he's going to recover, right? And then he'll come back enraged and heartbroken, which I feel could make for some quality hilarity.
*Quality hilarity like his satin pajamas! SATIN PAJAMAS!
*But anyway, Tara was smart enough to get Franklin's blood for strength, she sent Sookie a telepathic message and then she and Sookie beat up Don Swayze. It was great. This is the most likable that Tara's been since the first season! It's sad that it's taken her being held hostage by a complete psychopath to make her tolerable again, but here we are. Also, it's so nice not having to hear her mourn Eggs anymore, mostly because the way Rutina Wesley pronounces "Eggs" makes me wish I were dead.
*Alexander Skarsgard was in rare form. Cunning Eric is my favorite Eric. Overtly Flirtatious Eric is my second favorite Eric.
I can't quite tell if His Royal Creepster knows that there is something up with Eric.
*My mind is spinning with at least ten different lascivious comments to make over Alcide's form. Holy hell.
*It was jarring to go from True Blood to Mad Men. It's going to be equally jarring to go from splendid Sunday night TV to the soaps today...