Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Notes From Season 4 of True Blood: The Too Stupid to Live Stackhouses

FYI This post contains spoilers and a heavy dose of snark.

My husband and I have managed to get hooked on V, I mean True Blood. We watched the first three seasons like addicts, unable to tear ourselves away from the screen to go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

However, just as the books began to chafe, the series has as well. In fact, the TV series makes the flaws bigger and adds new mistakes to the mix. All in technicolor. Here's a rant, in list form, based on the series to date. These are all things I try to avoid in my writing. Wish I could say the same for the show's writers.

1.Seriously, Sookie? You aren't the least bit interested in harnessing your fairy powers? No matter how often people are willing to kill to get to you? Or how often it saves your sorry ass? Okay fine, how about some target practice with a gun small enough to wear on your body instead of so big it's always in the other room?

Or wearing perfume laced with collodial silver?

Or, you know, staying home at night? With a security system and one of those 'I've been bitten and I can't stop bleeding' Life Alert thingies.

In the real world? You'd be dead, Sookie. Dead of stupidity.

2.Bill and Eric. You love someone who has no common sense of self-preservation. She doesn't risk her life to save you for love alone, it's because she can think of no other way that doesn't maximize danger and damage. You want that kind of intellect in your corner? Well, then expect to end up tied to a stake with flames licking your boots.

3.Body guards. I love how King Bill has a personal SWAT team, but can't spare some protection for Sookie, the "love of his life." She's the most vulnerable one of the group and a magnet for danger, but she's on her own. All the time. How did these vampires manage to live so long again?

While we're at it, why not give her a little store of your blood for those times she gets her ass kicked without you there to heal her life threatening injuries?

You say you love her...

4. Witches. Marnie was at least interesting, but what amazed me is that the only response Bill had was a rocket launcher. Magic exists in this world and everyone knows it. No one tried to marshal a countercircle of witches? Anyone? Hello, is this brain on? Or is it the first thing to go when you become a vamp?

Also, are there seriously no vamps who were first witches? I find that hard to believe based on the world-building.

Plus, why was I not surprised when Marnie's spirit came back for more, but everyone on the show was just hard core wedgie shocked? Does everyone really have to be too stupid to live to make the plot work? That's sad.

5.Layfeyette. I love you, man. You are just delicious and worthy of your own spin-off show, Pimp Ho Medium. However, after what has happened to you, I find it odd that at no time was your character allowed to learn how to prevent possession. It's only logical that anyone prone to spiritual invasion might want to protect themselves. Doh. What were the writers thinking? Oh, yeah, you had to be dumb to make the plot work.

6.Sam. You are annoying. Everyone knows if you don't kill a guy like Marcus, he'll come back and kill you. It's a story trope that should incur a fine each time it's used. Grow a pair and do what needs to be done. Half your problem is a serious lack of boundaries.

Further, I have no idea why you get so much screen time. You aren't that interesting to watch. You were a potential love interest in the books and that has been defiled by the show. I wouldn't touch you with a ten foot pole, too damaged. Fortunately for you, Sookie is too stupid to know better, so you still have a shot.

I do, however, want to work at your bar. No one actually seems to work and can spend all sorts of time on personal stuff. I would kill at that job.

7.Society. So vamps have been out of the coffin for a few years and the only response is some Christian fundamentalism? A fundamentalism that can't even touch the extremes of what we have in the real world? Yawn.

No fashion trends based on crosses or silver? No move to have everyone carrying a stake and a gun? People still stumbling around in the dark without a care in the world? Like there's no need whatsoever for self-defense?

The wider social effects of vampires are barely touched and it undermines the world building. Rats learn a maze faster than this. Even moths in London adapted faster. Yet humans are still walking around in the dark, unarmed. Really? I don't think so.

Now, I enjoyed the books and I like the show, but the writers need to tighten up if they want to keep True Blood going.


  1. I am a die hard True Blood fan, I even have the shirt. But I have to agree with you when it comes to the show. I have been watching since day one. Season 1 was great. Season 2 was off the wall. I thought that we were back on track with season 3 and season 4 was a big WTH. I don't get Sookie either. She has a lot of great powers literally at her fingertips but refuses to use it. She really could have saved herself a lot of pain if she would just accept her heritage and harness those awesome powers.
    I was disappointed with the way they handled Eric and Sookie's relationship this season. It was what we all have been waiting for but I found it cheesy and the woods scene was weird. I think if they stuck to the book more on certain things the season would have been better.
    I was kinda glad to see Tara may be leaving. I wasn't crazy about her character because she spent most episodes screaming or crying. I missed the tough , hard talking Tara from season 1. Hopefully next season will be better.

  2. Hi Amy! Yeah, I thought the Eric romance was very shallow and superficial. The book handled it much better.

    Also, they are going at it like rabbits and serious badness is going down around them????? No sense of self preservation. So unbelievable.

    I thought Tara was a fantastic actress, but I am not sure that her story ever fit in very well. Her high point was with the Marianne story line. I found her more compelling than Sam's story line though.


  3. I adore Harris's Books and I adore True Blood but they aren't one in the same-actually, they couldn't be more far apart!

    Your post had me howling! Just about everything you brought up has been a thorn in my side!

    1 - What people mistake as naive, forgiveness (because gram would want her to) and compassion are really stupidity; she's basically TSTL! You'd think they could find a happy medium and give her some brains while still maintaining a sense of naivete.

    4 - Exactly! My God, some of them have been around forever and there isn't a witch in the bunch? Unbelievable!

    5 - I adore Lafayette (and Jesus-was sorry to see him go)In the books he dies very early on. This is the one change I'm happy to see :o] Jesus is the one that should have granted him some protection because he didn't know he was susceptible to possession until the murdered mother/baby took him over. Another thing, didn't you find it funny that Jesus could do just about anything on the fly? In the beginning he was just this peaceful Wiccan until he tried V and then he sees this dark side of himself but it never took it that far. Then he visits his grandfather, plays like he's extremely ignorant to black magic yet when it's required he's able to perform it like it's second nature!
    If he's that good, why didn't he pull a Supernatural and tattoo his ass? or whatever the True Blood equivalent is to protect from possession.

    6 - Sam---Big ICK with a generous helping of UGH! He just isn't the right guy to be playing Sam, for one and for two, they make him out as crazier than he is! My least fav character! I'm with you on working at Merlotte's though! Let's go apply!

    7 - This season you saw more characters with silver nitrate and wooden bullets. More video cameras and online sites, even people setting vampires up etc... I think the public is starting to catch on, slowly but surely.

    I like Tara! She's supposed to be a tragic character who succeeds though. In the books she's a designer and owns her own boutique. She's strong and a fighter.
    I think this season we saw a more mature Tara but no less tragic as she becomes, yet again, another victim-first by the vamps while she's with normal Marnie and then by Marnie who experiences real power.
    I really hope they keep Tara on the show, it wouldn't be as good without her. I hope to see her back in Bon Temp w/Sookie and gang.

    Great post and discussion! I loved it!