'True Blood' Saturdays: 'This one only ate tangerines for a week'
Every week, I read your comments on my latest "True Blood" post, and I get e-mails and Tweets from you guys, and I'm blown away both by your devotion to the show and your desire to discuss it. Even those of you who could not disagree more fervently with me on certain points are at least somewhat respectful, and I thought, like with "Lost," you deserved a place to talk about the episode that was. So, for the next few weeks at least, let's have us some "True Blood" Saturdays, a time to talk about what you thought about the episode that just aired and how it differs from what I thought.
But first, let's talk about some good news. "True Blood" has been renewed for a fourth season! Not that this was in any doubt, really, since the show is HBO's No. 1-rated show and a legitimate sensation, insofar as buzz goes. But it's always nice to have a little security as you head deeper into the season, security that will let you know that regardless of how this season ends and regardless of its quality, there will be at least one more season for the show to string out its storyline. How long will "True Blood" last? Who knows, but there are nearly a dozen books in the series that inspired the show, so there's probably plenty of room to continue.
But let's continue with something very important that one of you brought up with me on Twitter: Snoop Dogg.
@TEE1031 writes to me: "my 1st thought is I never want 2 c or hear that snoop vid again & how exactly r they going 2 converge these 17 mil story lines?"
Snoop vid? I think. Snoop vid? Since I watch these things on screeners (at least for now), I miss out on some of the joy all of you get to experience in the build-up to watching the show with the HBO pre-show things. Thus, I sought out the Snoop vid, and, oh, did I find it. I've included a link to it here (the video has a few lyrics that might not be considered safe for work, but it's otherwise sort of trashy cheese), so you can go and watch it if you somehow missed it. Just looking around the Internet, it seems as though many of you agree with my Twitter friend that the video was unnecessary. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but it often seems like HBO knows it has a hit with "True Blood" but isn't quite sure how to promote it, so they just try a bunch of stuff and see what works. This seems like one of those things that doesn't work as well.
Elsewhere on Twitter, @heather206 asked: "why did they have to go w wolves??? Are they just trying to be the soft core porn version of Twilight?"
Well, Heather, while I've never read the books the series is based on (I've skimmed the first one, and it wasn't bad, but my reading docket is usually pretty full), my understanding is that they did include werewolves at a certain point. Werewolves and vampires apparently go together like peanut butter and jelly at this point in our pop culture, so I'm not surprised to see them show up. And, honestly, I don't think any of this will be all that similar to "Twilight." Both series have vampires, werewolves, and love triangles, sure, but "True Blood" is almost certainly going to push this to weirder, riskier places. And it's highly unlikely Sookie will fall for a werewolf, I would imagine. She's got ... enough on her docket.
Now, in comments on Sunday's post, a number of you were disappointed that my love for the show is not as strong as yours. If this is a deal breaker for some of you, that's fine. I won't be sad. But I'm one of those people who can never completely shut off the critical part of his brain. Indeed, it's what I get paid to do. Although I like "True Blood," I don't think it's perfect, nor would I want it to be. I'll make a deal with you though: If it doesn't bother me while I'm watching the show or immediately after watching (like, within the first 15 minutes after the credits roll), I won't bring it up as a criticism. Part of the fun of "True Blood" is how it makes you feel in the moment, and it's that "in the moment" feeling of anything potentially happening at any given moment can wash away a lot of potentially silly objections. I will say I'm feeling far more positive about this season than I was about Seasons 1 or 2 at this point. So that's a good sign, I hope.
Dealing with some of your more specific comments, though, Alex Taylor points out that I missed a really great part of the episode. He writes: "You forgot to mention Sookie's dead-on impersonation of Bill appearing at her front door exclaiming 'Sookie!' in his ridiculous southern drawl." Absolutely, Alex! Anna Paquin has gotten to show off some considerable comic chops this season, and that moment was one of many that had me smiling. I was remiss in not bringing it up.
Kristin takes issue with my ranking of the seasons, saying, "I disagree, I thought season 1 was very good, it wasn't all over the place like season 2 and concentrated more on the characters. This season looks good." Obviously, I disagree (and have said as much), but I assume Kristin and I just value different characters in the show's huge ensemble. One of the nice things about the series is that the cast is so big that different characters can be highlighted from week to week, or even in individual scenes, which keeps as many fans happy as it can.
True Blue Blood reminds me of Bill setting Lorena on fire, and he's right that these two have an absolutely insane and twisted history. Every time the show has a chance for one of them to do pain to the other, the show takes it, often to gloriously over-the-top effect. And, yeah, Bill tossing a lantern at her was just the latest in a long string of fun moments like this and just might have been the funniest of those moments to boot.
And, finally, Markus reminds me of another good line I missed that can -- fortuitously -- be printed in a family newspaper: "You'll have to excuse me, gentlemen, but it's time to drain the second course. Basil! Get me that Thai boy!" Funny stuff, and I hope this week's episode has a few lines like it.
-- Todd VanDerWerff (follow me on Twitter at @tvoti)
Photo: Bill (Stephen Moyer) is not having the best week on "True Blood."
Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.