Category Archives: charlaine harris

True Blood: I Got a Right to Sing the Blues

Sookie’s first line in this episode, “Eric, what the f**k?” says so much. It describes accurately my thoughts on the season so far, and is also the perfect commentary on this opening scene, a very tense situation in the royal court of Mississippi. Russell is a very deadly foe indeed, and not a vampire king to be trifled with, or tricked.

This is an Alan Ball script and it shows. His care and respect of the characters is plain when compared to the cartooniness of previous episodes. Under the pen of Ball, everything rolls much better. No pun intended. And under his pen, it looks like Jason has left cartoonland and entered into his initiation as a shapeshifter, just like in the books. And by the way, speaking of the books – those of you who have read them, stop telling those of us who haven’t what’s going to happen. Puh -leeze. Thank you.

The title of this episode is derived from the Billie Holiday song that plays as Lorena tried to kill Bill, as instructed. It’s a reminder of their jazz age romance/partnership, nicely played. Bill is certainly a sly one when he wants to be. Speaking of sly, Tara is quite the bitch, but then, Franklin does deserve it.

Everyone is sly in this episode. Eric does some startling and amazing face changes, his chameleonic performance is one of the prizes this night. The charisma bubbles from the interrogation of Sookie by Russell and later in the evil ride with Russell and Eric. It’s disturbing to see that Russell (a Southern stereotype unfortunately) is also a racist, and not just against the human race. Great tension, great secrets, juicy stuff.

Other things I liked this time include the secret of Sam’s family taking an exciting and unexpected turn, making all the puns of past episodes make complete sense. I also loved Jessica manipulating and glamoring (and eating) the customers at Merlotte’s. I loved the slice of Lafayette’s love life despite how it ended. More please, Lafayette is criminally underused.

All good stuff, all going to show it’s good for a series when the creator takes the reins, even if for just an episode or two. Another great cliffhanger ensures I will be here next time. Can’t wait.

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True Blood: Trouble

We find out that Franklin works for Russell Edgington, the vampire king of Mississippi, and we see his true dynamic. It’s an interesting paradox, in his world, Franklin is a screw-up, but in our world a monster. I like it a lot. And of course the more we see of him, the more truly screwed up he appears. Franklin is really effed up. Man, Tara is in trouble.

Last week’s cliffhanger is a complete bust. Like Stephen King’s Rocketman analogy from Misery or a Brian Michael Bendis Avengers comic, we really don’t see how Sookie escapes from a bar full of transforming werewolves. We just pick up her and Alcide on the run afterward. Boo hiss.

Some observations from “Trouble”… I am really warming to Russell’s royal consort Talbot, and man, his electricity with Eric is something else. Also on the homoerotic horizon, it’s really nice to see Lafayette finally getting some non-pay romance in his life. Jason’s police subplot has advanced out of cartoonish territory and into sitcom maturity. I still see it as a waste of time better spent on more serious and important storylines. And Jessica has the best line of the episode – “Do not tip your waitress.”

There is a nice tense moment with Sookie, Alcide and packmaster Colonel Flood that I liked quite a bit. Moments like this elevate the show past the cheese/camp level it’s been rolling in since this season started and brings it back to basics again. Some folks love the cheese, but this is just my opinion.

On the opposite end of the cheese spectrum we get an Eric flashback, which are always more intriguing than Bill flashbacks. Not only do we get to see Eric’s family, but we also find out why he hates werewolves so much – and we learn who the real big bad of this season truly is.

And it’s nice to know that Bill still cares about Sookie. Especially after Alan Ball said he believed they were soul mates at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. At least we know where this will be going, eventually. And for the folks who have read all of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels – I haven’t yet, so don’t spoil my fun. Another great cliffhanger – I hope we get to see the other side of this one.

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True Blood: Beautifully Broken

There is so much going on, so many plots, subplots and plot twists happening all at once. “True Blood” is the perfect melding of the modern quick cut drama like “The Sopranos” and old school soap opera camp craziness of “Dark Shadows” with just a touch of “Twin Peaks.” Yeah, it’s that good.

Our main cliffhanger from last week has Bill going custerfluck crazy on those werewolves, eviscerating them. Yeah, vampires are definitely superior to werewolves in this world – and almost in answer to this revelation, we learn that the wolf pack actually serves the Vampire King of Mississippi, who has plans for Bill.

Our other cliffhanger thankfully ends with Tara not taking her own life, but leads to some great acting by Rutina Wesley and Nelsan Ellis as Tara and Lafayette. There are actually more than a few spotlight performances in this episode. Debra Ann Woll’s Jessica also gets some good stage time. Surprisingly, Eric and Sookie, who are in a real life relationship as Alexander Skarsgard and Anna Paquin, manage very little passion or emotion in their scenes together.

The episode’s title bears out in the various plots, showing the broken relationships in this large web of characters, whether it’s Sam trying to find his family, Lafayette and Tara sticking together, or Jason and Sookie finally making amends – it is all broken.

We learn the nature of the werewolves. They are not just any werewolves. The silliness of that line alone had me giggling. And they’re not just Nazi werewolves either. Yeah, I know. I’m still giggling. There were lots of lines like that in this episode, as well as a cameo by Christine, and it made an otherwise uneventful episode better. From the unintentional one-liners from Eric to the intentional ones from Jason to the various ways to devour blood Bill is presented with – “Beautifully Broken” was a lot of fun.

So until next time… make sure you know where all the bodies in your crawlspace are…

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True Blood Primer

Sex and blood, blood and sex. This is the core and attraction of the vampire, and it’s been the driving power of HBO’s “True Blood” which premieres its third season tonight. Like most HBO dramas, the series is propelled by intriguing plot twists, compelling characters and a breed of soap opera that has folks coming back again and again. Whatever it is that HBO has, I wish they would bottle it and sell it to the other networks, because nothing they have even approaches what HBO produces on a consistent basis.

But back to the sex and blood. “True Blood” is loosely based on the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries books by Charlaine Harris, and created and produced for television by Alan Ball, late of “Six Feet Under.” As with other book-to-cable shows, like “Dexter” for instance, it has developed its own style and continuity. This is a good thing, as even readers of the books don’t know what might happen next. It keeps everyone on their toes.

For those of you who came in late, Anna Paquin plays Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress who can hear people’s thoughts and is in love with Bill Compton, played by Stephen Moyer. Bill’s a vampire. Vampires have recently ‘come out of the coffin’ per se to live among the humans now that a new beverage called ‘Tru Blood’ exists that mimics the nutritional qualities of human blood. This makes humans not so much prey any more.

When the vampires come out we learn that they have secret societies and governments that have been around for ages, and also that they are not the only supernatural creatures that exist. We have seen shape-shifters and something called a maenad. We have been promised werewolves in this third season.

The series revolves around not only Sookie and Bill, but all of their friends and family in the town of Bon Temps, just like any intricate soap opera would, and the fun rolls from there. Enjoy!

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True Blood is Back

The much anticipated return of HBO’s series based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, “True Blood” debuted its second season starter tonight, and it did not disappoint. When it began last year the flurry of excitement was brought on not just by those who knew the books, but also by HBO’s brilliant viral promotion “Blood Copy.” This time, the excitement is brought on by the pure quality of the first season.

Cliffhangers are tied up immediately, or at least the one that kept most of us losing our minds – that wasn’t Lafayette in the back of the Sheriff’s car. For the rest I’ll leave you guessing, or at least those of you who haven’t seen it yet. And for those of you who haven’t even seen “True Blood” yet – what are you waiting for? Fans of contemporary vampires this is for you, and also fans of the old school – like “Dark Shadows,” this is right up your alley. The first season is on DVD, get on the ball!

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French Fry Telepathy

True Blood Is Coming

It’s true. The vampires are out of the closet, in more ways than one, and they’re coming to HBO – in “True Blood.”

For more on “True Blood” – check out Bloodcopy.