Five Things I Love About True Blood

Let’s face it, as a Charlaine Harris fan, there’s a lot I don’t like about this massive HBO hit.  This season in particular has been both thrilling and disappointing for a lot of book fans.

That said, I want to take a few minutes today to talk about five things I really do like about the series as a whole.  Are they enough to keep me watching past this season?

We’ll see.

1.   The concept—Let’s face it, as great as Sookie Stackhouse is as a character, there’s not enough of her storyline alone to carry a television series.  Alan Ball’s idea to take the supporting characters in the books and give them their own storylines was a fantastic and fun move. (Yes, I know there are way too many characters now. I’m hoping for a bloodbath in the season finale.) Also a brilliant move? Original characters like . . .

2.   Jessica!—I love Jessica.  I really do.  It’s fantastic to see the growing pains of a “baby vamp,” from the initial terror of turning to her growing confidence and acceptance of the life that was forced on her. (Her conversation with Jason in Episode 4.06 “I Wish I was the Moon” was illuminating and beautifully played by Deborah Ann Woll.) Woll has grown into this role and Jessica is now one of my favorite characters in the series.

3.   Eric and Pam—I’ll confess that neither Skarsgard nor Bauer-Van Straten are what I picture when I read Eric and Pam in the books. That said, I think both these actors have nailed the roles and I love their interpretation.  The reason I group them together is that they’ve also nailed a really complicated dynamic with these two characters. In my opinion, Eric and Pam have the most layered relationship on the show. Former lovers. Maker and child. Business partners. Friends. Fiercely loyal, yet challenging.These two characters are complex on their own, but Skarsgard and Bauer-Van Straten take it a step beyond to capture their relationship. Plus, these two simply have fantastic chemistry.

4.   Jason—Oh bless you, Jason Stackhouse.  Some of the dialogue on this show makes me want to gouge my eye out with a spork, but Jason’s lines? Some of them verge into comic gold.

“Sometimes you need to destroy something to save it. That’s in the Bible . . . or the Constitution.”

“It’s like if a tree falls in the woods, it’s still a tree, ain’t it?”

“You’re wearing gold pants.”

“Santa?”

Added to that, as dumb as he can be, sometimes Jason will have a moment of clarity that becomes my favorite moment of the episode. (See the conversation with Jessica I mentioned above. Do you think I might be a fan of the new Jason/Jessica relationship this season?) Ryan Kwanten is an unsung hero for this show, in my opinion. His comic timing is priceless, and he plays Jason with a sincerity and commitment that make his character another favorite.

5.   The MUSIC—Lyle Lovett, Gillian Welch, Reverend Horton Heat, Neko Case, Eilen Jewel, Lucinda Williams, I could go on and on . . . and on and on.  I may not like a lot of Alan Ball’s decisions plot-wise, character-wise . . . relationship-wise, but he has superb taste in music and he knows how to use it. (Though, someone please tell me how Lucinda Williams “Jackson” did not get onto the soundtrack for Season Three? Really?) Anyway, the music for this show is amazingly diverse and one of my favorite parts of the production as a whole.

So, those are my five favorite things . . . except for one more. In fact, it could just be the biggest one.  Whatever you want to say about Ball, he introduced an amazing series of books and an awesome supernatural universe to a lot of fans who would otherwise never have heard of them.  So . . . thanks for that, Mr. Ball.

Now, let’s talk about dialogue . . .

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10 Comments

  1. I agree. There are so many things I like about Trueblood. I think Jessica is the best non-book addition. Eric and Pam aren’t what I pictured either, but I enjoy their scenes together. I just wish Eric and Sookie had chemistry. A lot of people don’t like Jason, but he’s the funniest person on the show.

    This season has been a little disappointing, but I hope with the episodes left we will see where Alan Ball is taking us and it will all be worth it in the end. Fingers crossed.

    • I’m not sure whether I’ll watch next season. I’ll watch the rest of this season and I want to see how they handle Eric returning to normal. That will tell me a lot about the direction of the show.

  2. I’m with you on most of these. The one that you didn’t list for me is that he kept Lafayette alive for Nelsan Ellis to play – I just love him. Although, I’m really, really disappointed in his story arc this season.

    I must admit, though, that I’m getting a little tired of watching for about 10% of the show. The other 90% just isn’t doing it for me.

  3. I agree with you on your reasons for loving True Blood. Jessica’s character couldn’t be better. Jason alone gives me laughs when I could cry. Eric and Pam are perfect Although I didn’t like Pam giving Eric up to King Bill. Book Pam would never have done that. I know that other non book characters had to be added to make the show, but I feel Alan Ball has went to far in changing things in the books. As readers of the books, we watch because we want to see the books played out, not to be changed because he wants them changed. How many movies have we seen that didn’t “do it for us” because they didn’t do the books justice? Movies seldom do books justice but Alan Ball has gone to far changing things because he loves King Bill. That’s not what most of us bookies want to see. I really hope the season can be salvaged, but at this point I have my doubts.

    • Agree with a lot of what you say. And the whole dynamic between Eric and Pam has been thrown off by AE, of course. To me, the real test of this season will be how they treat Eric returning to normal.

      We’ll see how it goes!

  4. I would add Lafayette to the reasons for loving True Blood. I may not always be crazy about his story line, but the character is so funny; his facial expressions alone get me giggling.

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