True Blood: Ridiculousness Comes to Bon Temps

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There is a screenwriting rule that an audience will not be able to handle two kinds of incredible leaps from reality in one movie/series. For example, if you are making a picture about teen wizards, you can't have an alien invasion in Hogwarts. If you're writing about superheroes, you can't have a scientist bring back a fleet of Velociraptors to attack Gotham. True Blood has skirted this rule by keeping all of their new creatures within a loose family of "Halloween monsters": ghosts, witches, werewolves, vampires, etc. Still, with each addition of a new supernatural, the suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience is stretched a little further. At this point, if the suspension of disbelief were pants stretched around my brain, I'd be sporting serious camel toe in my frontal lobe. There's just no room for this BS to go:

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Even Ryan Kwanten looked concerned.

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Mediums are still allowed in the logic of the series, but it doesn't work onscreen. Everybody loves seeing Nelsan Ellis play Lafayette, but no one can really accept Nelsan Ellis playing Lafayette playing Mavis, the pidgin-French speaking 1930s-era community theater actress. Nelsan Ellis (as always) did an excellent job and wrung emotion out of his scenes, but Mavis' character was written with all the subtlety of a hobo clown, and the actress who played her was emoting like a Disney Princess. I can guess that Lafayette will be the key to getting Antonia's spirit out of Marnie's body, and that last night was an important set up for that, but good gracious God it was boring.

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The baby snatch storyline dragged, maybe because it was heavily peppered with Andy, and I don't think he watches the show. His tone is so wildly different than everyone else, I think he just clocks in, shouts his lines while clenching his jaw, goes back to his trailer and plays a jug like a flute. You have all these people trying giving subtle range to monsters, and then you have Andy making one of the few human characters into a complete caricature.

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Well, some characters are more subtle than others. Love Fiona Shaw. She is making no attempt to imitate the actress who played Antonia in the dream sequences. She's just created an entirely new Antonia who is INCREDIBLY sarcastic. Like an ancient, surly teen who just got to borrow the keys to the family vampire.

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Another part of the episode that was too many layers of BS was Sookie's dream sequence. I can watch Sookie being torn between two vampires until my house falls down around me, but I get angry-bored when I see her rant about it in a dream. The whole long, blurry sequence seemed meant as a treat for the fans, but dream sequences can only be disappointing. We don't care about individual characters half as much as we care about how they relate to one another, and a dream is an exploration of only one character, not a relationship. Sookie loves both of them. Kinda got that already. We know she's married to one of the actors so thats not at all awkward.

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I couldn't even concentrate on her rant, I was too busy watching her flex her intestines and pancreas. Anna Paquin is a beautiful, hot, tasty woman, but she's about to cross the line from "hot-thin" into "ambulance-thin". Want to put her in some jammies and take her up to a mountain retreat with a big group that sings songs like "Food is My Friend" and eats saltines while holding hands.

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The show, as always, is its strongest when it mixes in relatable, modern life with vampires. Hoyt waking up full of fast food and rage in his KFC wrapper-filled apartment and putting together a box for Jessica was awesome. That actually happens. I love that Jessica reads Twilight, of course she would (Did you see Hoyt pack it up with her hairspray?). I loved Bill arguing with Nan while they were both in silver. Even a Vampire King has workplace drama.

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Speaking of Twilight, we agree as a culture that bikers are werewolves, right? Tiny Packmaster owns a Harley shop and that makes sense to me. More sense than his definition of the word "Man."

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Honestly, last night's episode was practically a Lifetime movie. Baby got snatched! Baby skeleton found! Bikers bro down about loving their women! Wiccans will trap you in an antique store! Makin' love to Taylor Swift!

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These two. Now they're officially jerks, but I am very interested to see where this goes. I'm less interested to see where Tommy goes, I couldn't be more delighted his life is in danger.

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I know it was meant to be a contrast when Tommy was beat up while Sam and Luna made passionate love as a fire blazed dangerously close to their tent, but both scenes were pretty good news for those characters. Well, good news for Sam. Luna needs to think twice about letting Creepy Uncle Sam more into her child's life. Waking up in the woods as a child would be disorienting, not an adventure, and considering Luna's daughter knows about shifters and werewolves, Sam hopping over so she could hold him was just weird. Would you watch your daughter cuddle your boyfriend in a bunny suit?

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Am I supposed to even refer to last night's episode as a cliffhanger? Will Eric kill Bill? No. Will more faceless bodyguards get their guts torn out like so many yards of "Froot By the Foot"? Probably. Will the 150 people who attended the Tolerance "Festival" get out of there safely? More or less. Has True Blood "jumped the shark"?

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No, but last night is as close as they've gotten. After a series of untouchably amazing episodes, this one stood out as weirdly unsatisfying. But even the storylines I don't particularly like are more interesting than half the series on network TV. True Blood has set a ridiculously high standard for this season, so I'll allow one lackluster episode to fall flat.

Questions:

…Will Jessica do Jason a solid and kill Crystal? Will Taylor Swift play while it happens?

…Will Antonia's spirit move on to Lafayette next and if so how will they get her out?

Anna Paquin: too hot to be too thin or too thin to be too hot?

…Did Debbie betray Sookie in the Moon Goddess Emporium when she told ANTONIA that Sookie was behind her, or was that some kind of plan? What happened there?

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