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True Blood: More Screen Time for Sookie and Eric, Please

Let’s say I offered you the best soda in the world. Once you sip this soda, it’s all you’ll ever thirst for. But you only get two drops every week. Would you still want it?

Similarly, if True Blood starts a romance between Eric and Sookie, but we only see them together for two minutes each episode, will I grind my teeth in my sleep every night until the following Sunday? Because moments after Sookie agreed to take Eric home last night, I found myself staring at this grizzle:

The grease paint on this old timer's teeth got more screen time than Eric and Sookie. Timbo’s American Apparel undershirt got more screen time than Eric and Sookie. What was going on!?

I could've happily followed Eric and Sookie into that car, up the driveway, and spent an hour with them in real time. But instead I had to watch a very comprehensive episode that gave equal amounts of screen time to several second-string players. And I don't care about any of that nonsense.

I don’t care that someone’s making Milf Hunter videos with vampires, or that King Bill is killing vampires for minor crimes, or that Wiccans have terrible taste in jeans.

(I do care a little bit about Lafayette’s hair, though, because we've now seen his third, radically different hair style in the space of presumably 72 hours, and not once has he gone into a barbershop.)

I appreciated the few moments we saw with Sookie and Eric in the house. Eric asked Sookie to belong to him! He told her she was beautiful! And Pam set things up so that Bill cannot be involved/Eric has to stay with Sookie/Eric is super defensive of Sookie. These are all wonderful developments! Plus Pam pulls off exposition (and asymmetrical gowns) very well:

And yes, I teared up a little when Jessica glamoured Hoyt after telling him the truth. It was a touching moment. Is that trophy for acting? Because those kids deserve it.

But I just couldn’t find it in me to care about Jessica and Hoyt this episode. Here are a few more things I didn’t care about:

... Tommy is pretty immoral.

... Hoyt’s mom likes dolls.

... Tara/Toni is not going to sleep with Sam anytime soon.

... Crystal spread panther scat all over Jason’s abs, fed him Mexican Viagra, and then sat on him a lot—which, no joke, was TRAUMATIZING.

Is it my own bias, or would such a scene have been banned even from HBO if Jason and Crystal's genders had been switch? And if so, is that kind of sexist? Something to ponder.

But let's move on. Sookie reached out to Alcide, and he’s still wearing the same flannel shirt.

Werewolves must be creatures of habit: He’s also back with the Forever 21-loving V-tweaker Debbie, who's now sporting a saaaaad bleach job and was trying to act the hostess by marching out a platter of cocktail wieners. Oh, Debbie. Don’t you miss licking vampire blood off the werewolf club floor?

The evil baby has been united with an evil doll at the Merlotte’s daycare center (a play pen next to a deep fryer), and that could be kind of interesting.

Pam dragged Lafayette right back into the sex dungeon while wearing ANOTHER Lady Gaga outfit, and gave Tara a timeline: Bring her Marnie in 24 hours, or she will eat, eff, and kill Tara and Lafayette.

Marnie bled into a chalice, which made a woman appear wearing a dirty chemise. Marnie won the “Most Human On the Inside” award for this episode by voicing the inner feelings of every 13-year-old girl who’s ever flirted with Wicca. Basically: Hey, powerful unknown forces, I don’t care if you kill me, just please exist because I cannot stand how un-special I will feel if you don’t. Goths are so vulnerable, especially in their fifties.

Alan Ball, who wrote this episode, gave Southern Vampire Mysteries author Charlaine Harris a shout out—

—and then killed off one of the books' larger characters: Sookie’s fairy godmother Claudine, via Eric sucking her to ashes. And it was a satisfying moment, because if Sookie'd had to return to the land of chest brooches and glowfruit, I probably would have called up and canceled my HBO subscription. Also, Claudine was a bit of a monster!

INTERESTING. And yet, I’m still angry at this episode. True Blood's most compelling relationship so far is now developing, and it's getting lost in the cloud of activity surrounding characters we've only recently been introduced to. Anticipation is a huge part of entertainment, but so is emotional fulfillment. And rather than seeing five minutes each of 12 interesting story lines, I'd like to stay with Eric and Sookie for at least 15 solid minutes. That’s what I’ll be hoping for next week, and I hope I don’t have to see too much scat-covered hillbilly sex while I’m waiting for that to happen.


Questions:

… Does Hoyt deserve better than Jessica, or is she so waffle-iron hot that he should just get on this bended knee and thank the Lord he no longer lives with his momma?

… Why did Alcide have country music playing over some loudspeaker like his house was a Cracker Barrel gift shop?

… Can Marnie “have it all” by offering herself as a vessel to powerful dark forces from another plane?

… When are Eric and Sookie going to have ten continuous minutes of camera time?

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The answer to your last question is: NEVER!!!
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I continue to watch True Blood, but I feel that I'm doing so only because there's nothing better on TV right now.
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I loved it when Eric called her Snookie at the beginning of the episode...Priceless. That was an LOL moment for me ( I HATE reality shows and that one makes my eyes bleed). I love this Eric, Alex has done a wonderful job of bringing out that Eric from the book. I may just have to go back and re-read that book. I'm on board>>> napalm hotshot, shoot Tommy in the head and get Alcide new clothes. I do love the evil demon baby tho, thats kinda funny. Jesus looks like he has o'd on steroids, is it just me or does he look like a tick about to explode? Still love Lafayette already sick of Tara, again.....Bill is just annoying now. Boring and annoying. More screen time for Eric, Pam and Sookie.
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Here, Here! I'm assuming they're setting up who the next villain is going to be for this season but I confused as to who they're backing. Is it the fairys? Marnie/ghosty chick? Bill? WHO KNOWS!
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Totally agree more Sookie/Eric and no they are nothing like Twilight. There is absolutely no fun in any of the twilighters. Eric has such a real sense of humor which is what makes him such a charmer, and Alex brings that out so beautifully. Bill makes a terrific sleaze ball, yet he is still a bit boring and goody two shoes for me. There is just no humor in him. They do try to have to many stories going on. I enjoy some of them, but they should not have so much screen time. The Hot Shot story is a train wreck. Kill them all off and no one would miss them.
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I just finished reading the latest Sookie Stackhouse book. I love those books but I find the show not as entertaining so I no longer watch it! I think I could have picked better actors to portray the characters and wrote a litle more true to the books! The show scrambles to makes everyone equally important but each book has an issue Sookie must deal with and it always gets solved by death or torture or something that allows it to lead into the next book..
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Was really looking forward to seeing a screen shot of Eric shrugging and saying "sorry" when he killed the fairy godmother. that had me laughing for a long while!
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Maybe I am the only one, but I personally think Sookie may be the most boring part of this show. In face I love this season because she spends such little time on the screen. If fact I prey before every episode that she gets turned into a vampire and dies so she blows up in a hurl of gruesome pain. That would be the only that she could make up for the sorry plot line that she has been since the second season.

Does it not both anyone that you could drive a truck through the gap in her front teeth? You should make a picture that illustrates that point
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I pretty much agree with everything you said, and I enjoyed the last episode. You have to realize though that this show had enough soapy entertainment last season, we don't need to dwell on it too much anymore. It's not a chick-flick show so we don't need romance for anything more than 15 minutes.
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I enjoyed this episode very much. I enjoyed the Eric and Sookie thing but as someone else said it isn't the be- all and end- all. I also loved the Bill storyline which seems to be central to the show. All love the show all around. It's campy and fun and has something for everyone which is what makes it great.
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I was mildly irritated with the whole show: it was like a 'special' episode featuring the satellite characters like we were playing catch-up with what was going on around town. Maybe it's all building up to some huge event where they all come together at the end for a mass slaughter, but it's really just too much.
And let's get Jason out of there. The s&m's getting a little too ugly!
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I enjoyed the episode, the relationship between Eric and Sookie is quite interesting, but definitely not the "be-all and end-all" the critic is making it out to be. Also, I really cannot stand Eric's haircut right now, it makes him look like a little boy.
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"supporting characters we don't care about"? Will this staff will ever focuse on a TV show and its script, storyline, character developping and things beyong kicking and shooting? Don't you know you can influence on people to watch it or not? I once read that one of them didn't like to read! A critic that doesn't read? It's nonsense and unfair.
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I liked this episode,true Eric and Sookie's relationship is developing quite positively,I wonder what the side effects will be after Eric sucked the fairy god mother's blood.
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@ArjunaJenning: great comment thanks for checking out the post! The parallels with Twilight are impossible to deny. To Charlaine Harris' credit, the Stackhouse novels were published first, but I don't think Stephanie Meyer was aware of them when she wrote Twilight. I firmly believe Alan Ball has elevated the Sookie Stackhouse novels to a higher art form with True Blood, but I am no Twilight snob. Its just for a very specific audience. I am feeling nostalgic for the first season of True Blood, which felt like such a small personal world and gave a wealth of screen time to Sookie and Bill. I sincerely hope Eric and Sookie get that kind of development soon because Alex has earned it.
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At first I used to watch and record the series, so I wont loose anything, than as the series goes by I just watch, now I just record because it started to annoying me but still watch it because there isnt alot of good series right now. I miss september :(
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Like the review! Allways fun to read. After such a long wait until season 4 I cannot believe so many negative opinions (below) about it. Quit watching or stop whining, it's a show about vampires...and loads of other supernatural beings, not real life. S
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I know what I am Snookie....laughed my ass off!
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The authors completely derived from the books and thus they have no guidelines on what should happen. They are given free reigns and as such they wander aimlessly. This could explain the plethora of sidelines stories becoming more important than the main story. I was quite shocked at the first episode of this new season and from what I read, I shouldn't like much the rest of it...
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Alan Ball is simply trying to do what Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse did so well in Lost: create a multitude of characters that can all stand up on their own and generate their own story lines. It strange seeing other shows, like True Blood, try to do this and fail. It definitely makes me realized how much I took the writing of Lost for granted. And Lily Sparks is an anti-feminist-- I like that.
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I agree with most of what it says here; these days, True Blood (for me) just lasts about 25-30 min... at best. However, things like "you just killed my fairy godmother" is what keeps me watching! I never thought a phrase like that would make me laugh so much :P
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Oh yeah and I'm sick of people that get so offended when this show is compared to Twillight, like its on some higher plane of existence. I mean honestly look at the character Jessica, which in my opinion is a Cow-Tow to the show Twillight, she was created to fulfill the young girl transitioning to a vampire and loving a human as a dead person paradigms. Come on both stories have the "I hear peoples thoughts but I can't hear your thoughts," and "lets have all the supers crawl out of the wood works so we can meet this strange special human girl," and "lets mess around with vampire politics because this is taking place in the modern civilized world." Does True Blood really deserve to be revered and Twillight cast down as trash? I don't really like Twilight (although I think the movies did an exceptional job turning those very disjointed novels into smoothly flowing films), but come on wear-panthers? Wear-Panthers? Really?
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I signed up for a vampire show and i get a supernatural freak fest with tons of purposeless characters such as Tara! While the article is a funny read it don't really care for Sookie and Eric either, that is so *twilight"
The show is completely off path, I don't care for Hoyt, Sam and his idiot brother, i dont care for Hoyts Mom, Tara, the Lafayette Boyfriend and especially not the hillbilly panthers! I don't mind them being used within the main plot but writing each of them their own story line is going to get this show cancelled! Spin offs never work and these are spin offs within the show!!! Characters good - Storylines Bad ... Alan Ball has officially left the plot of the book and will now ruin the show like he did with Six Feet Under!
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Honestly, this has been True Blood's problem since nearly the beginning of the show, but got especially bad from season 3 on. The main thing that people are interested in is the vampire storyline and in particular Eric and Sookie. (I mean Sookie IS supposed to be the lead right? Why does at least equal screen time get spent on every other character?) Most people do like the supporting characters....but as SUPPORTING characters. Most people that I know, watch the episodes once and then on subsequent viewings just fast forward to the vampire involved parts. The writers seriously need to have a checklist for these subplots at the top of which needs to be listed, "Will this plot have a significant effect on Sookie in the current episode (if not the current episode then at the very least the near future)?" No? "OK, toss it."
Also it wouldn't hurt things if Alan Ball would just get over his obsession with Bill. This is nothing against Stephen Moyer because I think he does a great job, but the male lead (at least if True Blood wants to even stay somewhere in the same universe as following the "spirit" of the books) should be Eric. I know the show and books are very different, but they are supposed to at least be adhering to spirit of them and Eric next to Sookie is by far and away the largest and most important character in them. It's how the actually story is and what most people actually want to see.
By having Sookie continually go back to Bill and even this season have her seemingly be on the verge of forgiving him after all he has done to her, has made her a seriously weak lead character with next to no self respect or pride and that is a huge no no for a character that the audience is supposed to be pulling for. Buffy for example made a lot of bad decisions and had a lot of people hate her off and on over the years (myself included) but the audience regardless always understood her choices and never actually lost respect for her.

Sorry for the long post, but True Blood is pissing me off that even into season 4 the show has these major flaws that could be fairly easily fixed. The show is so close to being a "great" show, but never quite seems to get there.
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Was this review done by a Twighliter? Or whatever the hell they're called? Aww Sookie and Eric waaaa...let's call em Seric. There's a lot more going on than a little romance between those 2.

If you can't wait till they hit the sheets , well maybe watch the Vampire Diaries!

I agree on the Jason situation, I don't think anyone likes that story line. Plus I guess it's ok to rape a guy..

People seem to be less and less patient about everything these days. (Whining on websites seems to be the #1 hobby).

I'd hate to be the producer or creator of a TV show, something is always wrong, it's crap..then 20 people say it's great..then that angers 20 other people...lol.

Just look at The Killing, the season finale angered a lot of people. It's a bloody TV show for heaven's sake!!!! Take a chill pill:d
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thats exactly what i was thinking the entire episode. especially when marnie's praying to the crazy wiccan gods took up more time than all the sookie and eric scenes combined. they better make up for it in later episodes.
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I don't know if reading the books ruined me or made the show better. What does bother me is that Bill is related to Portia and last night he was banging her like a drum on the 4th of July. Don't know that is a little too country even for Bon Temps. As for the Jason And crystal angle I think they should have kept it closer to the book that was a little more interesting then seeing all these pathetic females getting in line to take a ride on Jason. I love the Sookie Eric storyline and agree that we need more of that he is so adorable when he is lost and confused. I am still excited to see what happens next week and I hope to see the goodies on Eric and Sookie soon.
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Final Thought: The picture of Marnie on the verge of tears because of her unfulfilled dream for her life to have meaning by being possessed by some old dead lady in a dirty chemise, and the caption "Don't tell me the incense was for nothing", was so funny that I was on the verge of tears. Well done Lily, well done, Price Peterson who?
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@Loooooooooooost - I completely agree with you about Lafayette. I mean how long had this coven been meeting and practicing magic, then the first time Lafayette shows up they all of a sudden become necromancers with enough power to temporarily bring a parrot back to life. Also, the spell they were trying to perform on Eric had no effect until Lafayette joined his hands with the circle, then Marnie is summarily possessed by some insanely powerful ancient spirit. I think Lafayette could be a conductor of some sort, a witch whose presence heightens the abilities of the other witches around him, or he just has mad wiccan skills.
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The first time I saw the doll on the season finale I thought it looked weird and spooky, now the weirdness has been turned up a notch by pairing up the evil doll with the evil baby. I love this show, only on True Blood could they create a storyline involving a baby with the soul of a serial killer joining forces with a demonic doll from hell. On a side note, did anybody else think the doll looks just like the one Hoyt's Mom was trying to mail order?
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This season is great! Love Eric, Suki and the new BILL!!!
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I was totally loving Eric's sweet & confused act in this episode. And that smile he gave after offing Claudine was priceless!!! I so agree with you. More screen time for Sookie and Eric is definitely needed. I've wanted Alan to go the route of book 4 when it came to the Sookie and Eric's relationship since I 1st read the book and I got my wish. Now the season starts and they're only seen for like 2 seconds it feels like and all these other folks, who aren't important, are getting more time and they are no where near as hot as those to are together.
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I totally agree. And that's why I always write in the what-to-watch-this-weekend-blog that I'll watch half an episode of TB. Seriously, I just skip the parts I don't care about and right now that about 20 minutes every week. And yes, Eric's smile in that last scene was just awesome :D
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Eric's goofy grin in the last scene was priceless!
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Price Peterson much? anyway honestly I liked the episode and true blood isn't just about Eric and Sookie or even Bill for that matter, what do you want it t be? twilight? its the other characters' story lines that compliment the main protagonists..
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Eric's "woops" smile at the end of the episode was my favorite part in it
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Do you feel better now? I rather enjoyed the episode, and I think the Eric/Sookie storyline would suffer greatly if they give them more screen time. Also, I like the other characters. Not as much as I like Eric (seriously, who couldn't like Eric?), but still - I think they're vital to the story as a whole.
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They are trying to fill one hour show with so many stories that they are loosing sight of what makes the show really great... it is all about Eric/Sookie/Bill and the main characters from the books, I can get around the idea of Tara and Lafayette but Arlene and her evil baby? no thanks... they should focus on developing those characters stories instead of giving us clip notes. Book four is my favorite book, so far they are not doing it any justice :(
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@borgsblueyes: your idea for more episodes is inspired! Maybe a petition is in order. I would watch these other storylines unfold quite happily, but not when they're taking time away from the legendary love triangle thats been established.
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Couldn't agree more. It was the same in the last series, trying to spread so many stories over 12 episodes is just not working. The reason the show was such a hit in the first season was because of the Eric/Sookie/Bill triangle. And that we are all waiting for bad boy Eric to get his fangs into wholesome Sookie (when he does it better last more than 2 mins...). There is great chemistry between Eric and Sookie. I really wish they would give them the screen time they deserve. And why can't they just do more episodes a season if they want to follow so many extra (sh*t) storylines? ps love the reviews, hilarious!
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Agreed. Jason was so much fun till he met that Crystal and her crazy friends. Get rid of them - no one cares about panthers! And now they are bringing Alcide back - enough characters already! We just need more Eric and Sookie.
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Damn, I agree with nearly everything, I can't stand Jason, not to mention Tara that was acting like a Victim, when she in fact attacked Eric, okay he was trying to kill someone, but that was just a minor detail, lol. The best part was an honest reaction of that wiccan crowd, trying to portraying themselves as helpless victim practicing their religion, when they were in fact practicing necromancy. I do agree that I can't stand most of the scenes, the best characters, Eric/Jessica/Pam/Lafayette are kinda getting lost in the middle of some really mediocre stories and bad characters, do they really need a giant casting like Lost?
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Ever since last season's finale, that Baby Doll gave me the willies. Super happy/scared it is back, and I really can't wait to see what twisted story will come for 2 of my favorite characters. But it is getting hard to watch any Jessica scene because I find myself getting too distracted by Deborah Ann Woll's incredibly supernatural hotness. (D.A.W. for Ariel!) I can stare at her for days... Now, for the Witches storyline, I don't think the coven would be anything without Lafayette. Has anyone else noticed nothing witchy-wise happens unless Laf joins in physically? aHhhmmmm? Andy is one of my other favs, and feel his time is running out. Not much else for his character, ya? When they showed the "This Season on True Blood" clips, I saw that Andy has come face to face with an alligator. As much as I love his character, I would be all right with seeing him go out Death by Gator. But after his and Sam's alteration, I think tricky Sam is going to shift and scare Andy straight. Did I just jump ahead? Sorry, thought I was on a roll.
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Plus that creepy dirty doll is the same one from the finale right? It feels like they are setting us up for something involving it
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I was totally thinking the same thing about Eric/Sookie, and I totally agree with everything else you said except for the fact that I absolutely love the Hoyt/Jessica stuff because I love them both and feel like they deserve to be happy. Tara, Tommy, Bill, The Evil baby and the creepy Werepanthers are all really useless and sucking up time that could be much better spent!
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definitelt agree more eric-sookie time

i'm sorry but bill lost his chance always lying to her and using her atleast eric tells the truth.finally eric is in a vulnerable state again and sookie is there for him. i like hoyt and jessica but hoyt shouldn't get that mad that she just feeds on others.
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RB. I'm going to put a capital RB at the beginning of all my True Blood posts so if/when I don't comment on a "new" development it's because I've read the books and don't wish to ruin anything I might know for anyone else (as I've done here). I wish, as everyone else seems to, that there was only one or two main storylines this season. But then, that runs pretty counter to what the show's done its entire run, so I don't think we'll see that too soon. All that said, Hoyt deserved better than Jess, though I still think they're cute. If Marnie's the big villain of the season, she needs to get a lot more awesome. Love the book shout-out. I had to pause it while I laughed for about 5 minutes. I think the evil baby thing is walking a very fine tightrope, but is currently a lot less annoying than it initially seemed it would be. It had better remain that way. Still don't care about Jason/Crystal, though I also take your point on the gender reversal idea of the drugged bondage rape. All in all, more Sookie-Eric, less everyone else. Except Bill. Don't want more of him, but I feel they've been keeping his screen-time about right.
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Oh and also, I jumped in my seat of happiness when Eric was speaking swedish, since I'm swedish I always like it when he does that. Gotta love Alexander Skarsgord ;)
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I really agree with what you're saying here.. seriously I've been waiting since season 1 for something REAL to happen between Sookie and Eric, finally this opportunity with Eric losing his memories (and having to live with Sookie) turns up and we get almost NO screen-time with them, what's up with that? Let's have more Sookie/Eric scenes and less of that man-raping inbred panther or whatever Chrystal is supposed to be.
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I really hate what they are doing with the Hotshot people! They are not a bunch of dirty, raw meat eating hillbillies straight out of Deliverance. And dont even get me started on the whole fae world...
But I did laugh when Erik called Sookie Snookie :)
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