"True Blood's" New Season Doesn't Suck

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Alexander Skarsgard, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer

Image: Art Streiber/HBO


Well actually “True Blood’s” new season does suck, but only in the best sense of the word.  Season 4 of “True Blood” premieres this Sunday on HBO at 9pm, and with "Game of Thrones" gone, it's just in time. 

I’ve seen the first three new episodes of "True Blood" and it’s a mixed bag of supernatural shenanigans, over the top pathos and tongue-in-cheek humor.

If you remember, the last time we left Sookie (Anna Paquin), she’d found out Bill (Stephen Moyer) orchestrated their original meeting at the request of Queen.  Heartbroken, Sookie kicked him out of her life and went off with the fairies to Fairy World.

Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) was buried alive in cement by Bill and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), Jason (Ryan Kwanten) inherited a backwoods group of shape-shifting panthers, Tara (Rutina Wesley) left town, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) was still having visions, Sam (Sam Trammell) shot his brother for stealing from him, Arlene feared she was carrying a devil baby and Bill and the Queen were about to fight to the true death

***Mild Spoilers***

A Big Jump Forward

This season kicks off with Sookie in the Fairy World, a place that looks like an updated version of one of those pleasure planets from the original “Star Trek.”  But just like those pleasure planets, there’s a hidden dark side.

It doesn’t take long for Sookie to discover some disturbing things about her new brethren and when she finally returns to Bon Temps, things have changed drastically.  That’s because it’s nearly a year later. 

If vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, and fairies were not enough, she discovers Bon Temps is now home to a group of witches.  Not just any witches, mind you, necromancers who can control the dead. 

Y’all know what that means, don’t ya’?

It means the local vampire population is seriously on edge.  Meanwhile the vamps are trying to fix the political damage done by Russell Edgington when he disemboweled that newsanchor live on the air.

“It’s a post-Russell Edgington world everyone, and we win back the human public one smile at a time,” says Nan Flanagan, the vamps’ PR mouthpiece as they film a commercial for Fangtasia.

It's All About the Power

By flashing forward a year, the writers have changed relationships significantly without having to worry about viewers getting whiplash.  And as Buffy would say, it’s all about who has the power. 

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Anna Paquin, Nelsan Ellis

Image:  John P. Johnson/HBO

 

The power in the Eric and Bill relationship has shifted to Bill.  The power in the Sookie and Eric relationship has shifted to Eric—at least temporarily.  Lafayette has discovered a new power via his boyfriend Jesus and Tara’s discovered power within herself, and isn’t afraid to use it.  Poor Jason is the only one who finds himself in a predicament without any power at all.

The first three episodes are heavy on the supernatural shenanigans but there’s plenty of fun to go along with the drama.  Sookie’s still feisty and fun, and that's a testament to Anna Paquin. Bill and Eric are still hotter than Hell, and Tara and Lafayette are like returning, foul-mouthed old friends.

“It’s been awhile since I got attacked by a vampire and guess what?  It still sucks,” says Tara after having an unexpected run-in with Eric.

There’s even a flashback of Bill in 80’s punk rock, London and we see the beginnings of his relationship with Nan Flanagan.

More Vamp/Human Hookups Please

I miss Bill and Sookie being together—come on, be honest, those love scenes between them burned the screen up—but I trust the writers enough give us some good vamp on human lovin' very soon.

My one other complaint is there's too much time spent on Jessica and Hoyt, Andy Bellefleur’s new obsession, and Sam's brother.  But it's early in the season and I'm willing to be patient.

Let the blood sucking begin!

 

Megan Smith is a BlogHer Contributing Editor covering Television and Movies. Her personal entertainment blog is Megan's Minute, quirky commentary around the clock.

 

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