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

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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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