True Blood "You're No Good" Review: The Girl in the White Dress
Let me ask you something: Is Alexander Skarsgard aware that “glamour-ing” is a fictitious trait belonging to his character Eric? Or is that just how people respond to him whenever he makes eye contact with them? Alexander Skarsgard asks a barista for a coffee, she probably makes this exact face:
Ginger, Willa... sure, they were “acting” dicknotized by Eric during "You're No Good," yeah their eager agreement to his suggestive proposals was in the script, but do you think the actresses would really react any differently to Alexander Skarsgard striding into their dressing rooms and demanding a thorough sexing from stem to stern? I highly doubt it.
“Sookie all over again” is how Pam described Eric Northman’s latest piece of ass/collateral, gorgeous gubernatorial ward Willa Burrell. True Blood, in finding
its Season 6 footing, is looking to the perennially solid ground of Skarsgard's sexual charisma and the proven-successful formula of a young
innocent drawn to a sexy vampire. As Pam pointed out in Ginger’s (surprisingly big)
home, Willa echoes Sookie’s Season 1 persona: her innocence, her fragility,
her eager complicity, her awe of Eric—Willa even had a chastely white gown.
Jason and Sookie’s conversation about the merits and
possible racism of their dead parents was among the most confusing this show
has ever presented. I’m still unsure of whether Mr. and Mrs. Stackhouse were racist against
vampires (or even knew about vampires in their lifetimes), or whether they were
hallucinations or legit ghosts. More importantly, I don’t care even slightly.
Also the “don’t idealize your parents” bit… hell, idealize your parents if you
want. Why not? Project everything you admire onto them and then strive to match
that imagined example, if that’s what gets you through. Maybe you’ll end up
being a better person than even they were, and if so, great! Even better! That's how role models should work! (And that's why we get so angry when role models wear their horribleness on their sleeves.)
Sookie, btw, was looking haggard. And no, I’m not trying to call Anna Paquin out for the fact she hasn’t eaten bread since that time she taught a goose to fly, what I mean is that in appearing so thoroughly emotionally wracked, her continual expression is one of a wary old woman peeking through her front door all like, “We don’t want what you're selling, we don’t take that paper, I said good day!” It’s good acting! But it’s sort of depressing.
And what happened to her empathy for vampires? One minute she personally wants to guide Jessica through
hell and high water back to full-on crazy-mode Billith, the next minute she
won’t even hear Bill out about possibly saving 99.9 percent of her friends. Don’t you
think it was a bit strange that Sookie’s usual fervor to do right by vampires
didn’t kick in even a little? Her knee-jerk refusal to open a vein didn’t feel
accurate to me. Although Bill could have been a little more specific about how
much blood he wanted her to donate: Are we talking a Pixy Stix’ worth, or
are we talking a soda can-sized portion? These things do make a difference.
Bill growled that she was dead to him, and he’s sort of
fully justified in that. After years of sticking her neck out for the stupidest of
reasons, Sookie refusing to help him synthesize her blood seemed to undermine
the last five seasons' worth of her character’s driving motivations. Of course,
perhaps what she really wanted was some gentleness—later, when Fae Ben Flynn helped her clean up her
(I am MELTING from the waist down at the thought of a man with a
dustpan. THAT is how fairy godfathering is done, you go investigate a crime
scene and bring your fairy princess granddaughter back a new boyfriend.)
Ben broke through Sookie’s 1,000-yard stare. If Bill had
taken a moment to ask how she was doing, maybe she would have filled a
Tupperware for him to take on home. But this scene revealed why Willa is
necessary to step in and fulfill an archetype that Sookie has grown out of: The
“girl in the white dress-ness” of Sookie has been so stripped. Willa functions
as the audience proxy who gives a shit, I guess.
The genius who synthesized TruBlood/could possibly synthesize fairy blood was yet another occasion for exiting showrunner Mark Hudis (who wrote this episode) to bring back classic vampire sexual predatory behavior and show that he's had a big old crush on Jessica all these years. LIKE ALL OF US. Jessica dolled herself up like a manga schoolgirl to ask the blood genius/professor some questions after class (not sure what purpose that really served, as all she had to do was wait for the rest of the students to leave the room and brain him—surely she could have done that in the usual college uniform of “PINK” sweatpants and Uggs?). It was gratuitous sexuality from Jessica, who heretofore always seemed to carry a deliriously accessible edge of awkward along with her hotness (remember Rock Band and blue hair streaks?) that furthers my opinion that Hudis has been bringing it back to vampire basics like the showrunning version of Amy Winehouse. (And btw babies, he was booted from the series, so be on the look out for a tone change when you see “Brian Buckner” in the credits very soon…)
But I need to focus on the task at hand: For some reason the
werewolves, including suddenly horrible Alcide, are dead-set on raising Luna in
a 4’ x 8’ shed with a double bunk bed (grandma sleeps on top, or... ?) in the middle
of the forest. Hilariously, after the police casually mentioned that the increased
powers they’ve been given to hunt vampires had stripped ALL citizens of their
basic Constitutional right to a warrant before search and seizure, they then
walked into a room half the size of a Vegas elevator and were like “Nothing to
see here!” I should say not. I don’t see a kitchen, I don’t see a bathroom, I
don’t even see a galvanized steel tub for “standing baths.” What the hell?
The latter-day freedom riders then rolled up like a welcome wagon to the werewolves to extend
their support, but they quickly learned that werewolves did not want any support,
they don’t want anyone acknowledging their existence, they are scared of what
is happening to the vampires and don't want it happening to them. This is one of those basic
social theory philosophy questions society keeps getting wrong, so it's always
good to reinforce the lesson: If you turn your back on an oppressed minority,
you open the door for your own rights to be trampled. If True Blood Season 6 is going to
become a 10-episode illustration of all the ways this is true, then cool. Of
course, it could be (and has been) argued that the analogy crumbled between vampires/misunderstood minority groups when the TruBlood stopped flowing; vampires who necessarily feed on the blood of the innocents cannot be compared
to a group of people peaceably living in an alternative lifestyle or ethnically centered
subculture without actually implicitly supporting fear-mongering. (Alternate
reading: True Blood is a cathartic empowerment fantasy for oppressed groups to
appreciate the damage they could do
to society if they sank to the level of their bigoted oppressors.)
The werewolves sure added a layer of complexity to the
already uneasy analogy by trashing the hell out of the vampire unity group who
was just there to make some Vines. Do NOT approach a werewolf with Google Glass on. They don’t like it. Although after silently bragging about their
... it seems like Alcide SORT of got things under control? Or
he at least refused to let harm come to the mind-numbingly photogenic Jurnee
Smollett. Don’t hurt her! She’s too pretty. Sam used the moment to save Luna, a
young child, while naked. Well done, Sam. Sam’s plotline this season has been mercifully infused with Lafayette, who basically told him to his face, “You’re played out and boring, I’m your new scene partner,” and Sam was like
“Phew thank goodness.” This is nothing but good news for eyeballs and ears everywhere.
Also, the Newlins reunited in a scene that reminded me of a high
school production of Guys and Dolls, and the whole time I kept thinking, if you
hate your wooden ex-wife so much just kill her, Steve. Use your superfast
vampire skills to whip across the room and snap her neck. I’m not sure what
tomfoolery explains why Steve Newlin is such a docile captive; he doesn’t
appear to be suffering a UV bullet or silver injections. In a room where there's a
doctor with a syringe on one side and Steve with his fangs on the
other, the doctor should be the one who's scared, right?
You know who else should be scared? Andy Bellefleur should be scared. Daughter 1, Daughter 2, Daughter 3, or Daughter 4 may
be at risk, now that Bill’s smelled the teddy bear that’s probably oozing with
their fairy smell (a weird thematical call back to Warlo smelling Sookie’s
bandaid in the backseat of her parent’s car). So maybe Andy’s middle-aged man drama will
finally serve a purpose to the storylines we watch with our eyes fully open,
that would be a first.
So all in all: I’m actually really excited about the
overarching conflicts—the “outing” of weres and shifters, the place of supes
in society, and the relentless persecution of vampires. I’m EQUALLY invested in
watching Bill and Eric’s separate attempts to solve them (kidnapping and
blackmail, kidnapping and fairy-blood synthesis). Right now, Sookie has
actually sort of alienated herself on tiresome plotline island, but luckily
she’s sharing it with Rutger Hauer so it’s actually not even that tiresome. ARE
YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? [Smash cut to edgy rock song with thematic tie in. ]
... Is Jason dying this season or what?
... Are you excited or shrugging about Mrs. Newlin’s return? Is she valuable only for her costume potentiality?
... Who put the bug up Sookie’s ass and will it thrive or
... Andy’s daughters: four little vampire Capri Suns waiting to happen?
... Is Eric going to kill the dicknotized Willa or no way Jose?
... Alexander Skarsgard basically glamours people all day everyday in real life, right?
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