Sucks So Good (And So Belatedly): Thoughts on True Blood's 5th Season
You think I'd have prepared better for this; after all, it happens every year after one of HBO's awesome yet depressingly abbreviated seasons and I've been thinking about it since June 11th (I am a sick person. I realize this). But here I am, the way that I am every year when True Blood draws to what I am sure will be a blood-drenched, dizzying-ly awesome finale: depressed at spending Sunday nights during a long autumn and winter and fall somewhere besides Bon Temps. WHY are the seasons only twelve episodes long?! HBO is the cruelest of all the networks.
As you have surely noticed, True Blood coverage stopped around these parts this season and it certainly wasn't for a lack of discussion topics because--holy shit--this show continues to be insane and nearly every episode this season was a nonstop rollercoster of INSANE. No, life got completely crazy and my schedule was all thrown off. And no, none of the above is code for "I was legally prohibited by court order from discussing Alexander Skarsgard", I swear!
There is SO MUCH to say about this season and I am sure there will be SO MUCH to say about tonight's season finale--I think I may need to spend the next few hours coming up with just the right phrase to describe the kind of awesome-soaked WTF?! this finale will surely bring us--but I am going to start with a list of stray thoughts and observations from this season, few of which will make sense and none of which are presented in any sort of logical order. When I phrase it like that, how can you not click behind the cut? My advertising skills are seriously stellar.
** For some reason (I mean, this is a show with vampires and werewolves and werepanthers and shapeshifters and demons and mediums and I had no problem with any of these supernatural beings), I was always made uncomfortable by the fairy story. I don't know why. It was just so...hokey. And while I'm generally okay with hoke, something about fairies filled me with shame. Because--ugh. But either I have lost any sort of standards that I may have maintained over the years or the writing staff finally got a handle on how to handle the fairy question because I've sort of been loving Sookie and her relationship with the fairies this season.
**Also, Brianna Brown! It's so nice to see her on a show that is capable of making her, a lovely woman, look...well, lovely. Everybody associated with General Hospital clearly hated her and chose to punish her publicly through awful hair and criminal makeup.
**I pledge to start conversations with new friends by asking "Ke$ha: for or against?". As off-putting as it might seem at first, you have to admit that it does a nice job of weeding out people with awful taste in music.
** The show's attempt to hide Anna Paquin's pregnancy as the season drew to a close was seriously delightful. And how freaking cute is Anna Paquin anyway? SO CUTE.
** I'm very interested in this thing with Warlow.
** Is there anything better than Ryan Kwanten? I love, love, love him. When he's the supportive brother, he's wonderful. When he's the heartbroken and guilt-ridden friend, he's fantastic. And when he says boneheaded, ridiculous things, he's STELLAR.
** Maybe Lafayette and Nelsan Ellis are better than Ryan Kwanten.
Lafayette: I'm in the "Fuck Off While I Smoke a Blunt" business and business 'bout to pick way up.
Lafayette: Dead folk, why you gotta be so cryptic? It ain’t cute.
* And maybe PAM is better than everybody everywhere, ever.
Pam: Just because we drank a bitch together doesn't make us Oprah and Gayle.
Sam: Save Luna!
Pam: Who the fuck is Luna?
Pam: You don't know me that well. My mad face and my happy face are the same.
** Tara being turned into a vampire was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to her. I was a bit wary at first of yet another supernatural character because honestly, but this was a stroke of genius. She has always been rage-filled and prone to violence, so the vampire lifestyle is a perfect fit for her. And Rutina Wesley is so much better when she's acid-tongued and ass-kicking, rather than whiny and lip-trembling.
** Is there a point to Alcide besides the occasional acrobatic sex scene? I am amused by how everyone on the show has congregated to the Authority headquarters and there's Alcide, absent from the entirety of the action, staring into his microwave.
**Robert Patrick has aged terribly.
** I really enjoyed, for all the wrong reasons, the flashback of Alcide and Debbie being inducted into the wolfpack because the actor playing young Alcide could not look any less like Joe Manganiello. I think the casting notice must have just said "Guy with dark hair".
**I didn't think that I spent that much time thinking or caring about Alcide related matters, but the flashback really got to me.
** UGH, is Bill THE WORST! At the best of times, Bill Compton is sanctimonious and pig-headed; when he's found vampire religion and has become convinced that he's the chosen one? There are no words for how much I despise every second he's onscreen. And it's a pity, because I so enjoy Stephen Moyer as a person--as best I can enjoy someone on a personal level without having ever met them, that is--but I just find myself wishing so fervently for Bill to experience the true death because he is TERRIBLE.
**Although I would truly miss calling him "BEEL" which I do, out loud, whenever he appears onscreen. I am as surprised as anyone that I have any friends at all.
**I do hope that if Bill does survive this season that the writers can refrain from giving him yet another avenue for his head to swell with more self importance. First he's the King, then he's a chosen one. Please stop.
**PLUS the fact that he went full-tilt douchenozzle completely ruined a promising and hilarious bromance. DAMN YOU, COMPTON!
** The only thing more terrible than the writing for Salome is her hair.
** I'm not sure what to make of Nora--like, is there a point to her? And is Lucy Griffiths sort of a weak actress, or am I filled with envy that she gets paid to kiss ASkars?
** Speaking of, this season did not have anywhere near enough Eric Northman for my liking. And I realize that I am the kind of crazed individual who would say that if ASkars even had five minutes offscreen, so I am more than a bit biased here, but really--he needed to be around more, didn't he? There simply wasn't enough Viking smoldering this year.
**He's just so pretty.
** Seeing Tina Majorino made me want to do a Veronica Mars rewatch.
** Christopher Meloni is absolutely flawless.
Anybody who has spent as much time as I have watching marathons of the various Law & Order shows knew this already, but he was just so much FUN on this show. I LOVED him as Roman and remain, weeks later, saddened immeasurably by his hasty exit. I was impressed with the choice to off him--such a name actor and so AWESOME--so quickly and appreciated it on a storytelling level, but I feel like there was SO MUCH more to be mined from him.
** And his quick exit made me all the more resentful of the amount of screentime in seasons past spent on Crystal, who wasn't even entertaining by accident.
** But his death gave us more of the glorious--GLORIOUS--Russell Edgington, who I can never, ever get enough of. I have a sinking feeling that tonight's episode will be the end of him, but I can hope that's not the case and that he'll stick around indefinitely, even for just a few scenes a year of him being menacing with his over-the-top Southern accent and wildly exaggerated facial expressions. Denis O'Hare is like a warlock because he so brilliantly straddles the line between camp ridiculosity and true horror. He's so hilarious most of the time but when he slips into his cold German accent, I get goosebumps. Why is he not my best friend? I must rectify this immediately in a way that won't get me a restraining order.
** Russell and Steve Newlin were the pairing I never knew I needed in my life.
** The Dragon story was...bizarre, no? It had such potential and I was really interested in it at first, but it quickly devolved into strangeness and it both lasted too long and was wrapped up too quickly, if that makes any sense. And I don't approve of any show that tries to turn pigs into villains! Pigs are adorable.
** The Terry/Patrick story was TERRIBLE and I found myself physically agitated every time they cut from something interesting to these two in who knows where having upsetting flashbacks. I think a story about Terry's PTSD and what happened overseas could have been tremendous, but I guess in order for it to be the kind of story I wanted, it would have to take place on a show that is not True Blood. I was hoping that there would be one human-centered story this season, but with the Ifrit, that was not the case.
** Sam Trammel doesn't get enough credit for being fantastic. I am all aflutter over most of the rest of the cast and I always ignore him, but damn he's good when he's channeling his costars. He killed it when Tommy shifted into Sam and he was even better, if that's possible, as Luna. Hilarious.
**This legitimately made me cry, both because I cry at everything and because it was legitimately sad.