Aug 31, 2011

True Blood, Season 3

Not really in the mood, so this one will be short...

After the events in Season 2, Bon Temps is in a state of cautious denial. Nothing terrible really happened, it was all just some mass hysteria thing. But Tara can't forget Eggs' tragic death, and Sookie has a very real issue to deal with - someone has kidnapped Bill. Soon werewolves enter the picture, and it would seem a vampire king has outgrown his state, and is looking with hunger towards Louisiana. With intrigue everywhere, political scheming and personal agendas, Sookie seems to be in the center of it all in more than one way, but can she trust anybody? Even the love of her life?

Sounds unfocused? That's because it is. After the absolutely stunning previous season, the third year of True Blood suddenly drops the quality to a level of self-conscious audience-excluding posturing. Literally EVERY character has their own story-line, so the plot barely progresses from an episode to episode. Nobody acts smart anymore (and I don't mean smart in general, but in the campy context of the show), and by this point it seems everybody has some romantic interest in everybody else, which to me is a very powerful sign of screenwriting exhaustion.

Just in case things weren't complicated enough between Sookie, Eric and Bill, now we have hunky werewolf Alcide Herveaux (fitness model Joe Manganiello) to set the stage for a love square - with all the vampires scheming against each other while trying to use Sookie's powers, Alcide is of course a pillar of normality and stability even being what he is.

And then there is the revelation of what Sookie herself actually is, and where her telepathic powers come from. I cannot bring myself to say it, even if I wanted to spoil. It hurts too much...

The writing in Season 3 is simply poor. Even the "main" plot, as much as such could be discerned, is a disastrously uneven affair that ends in the most fantastic anticlimax imaginable, leaving the viewers with a feeling of "wait, is that it?" frustration. Honestly, it feels like all the writers of the previous two seasons have been fired, and the script has been entrusted to the janitor's aunt.

I can't say I actually hated the season, really. Watching it in the span of two days prevented me from hitting the wall in anger which would have been the case if I had to wait a week between the doses of story impotence. There is stuff to like in it, as this is still True Blood. But there is no real joy as the previous two seasons delivered. The show feels tired, and slightly annoyed with you for expecting too much from it when it's not in the mood to play.

I can only hope the next season is better. I don't want Season 2 quality. Just a sign that the show hasn't abandoned all ambition of a coherent storyline.


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