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?
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.”
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 . . .