Friday, 26 July 2013

TV Review: True Blood Season 6 Episode 1 'Who Are You, Really?'

‘True Blood’ used to be my favourite show on television, it was that good. Was.

Picking up from where the season 5 finale left off, Sookie and Eric escape from a now god-powered Bill. The characters are left stunned at what has happened to their friend and seek to find answers to what exactly he has done to himself, starting with the search for the vampire bible.

The very mention of a “Vampire Bible” should be an indication of how downhill this show has gone, it speaks volumes about how lo-brow and vapid the plotting has been for the past 2 seasons. ‘True Blood’ has mutated from cutting-edge supernatural horror into utterly ridiculous b-movie campiness over a matter of years. The writing of the show, which once carried great symbolism within its intelligent words, has now become so boorishly scripted it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the stunning show it once was.

Some people talk about a show having a “jumping on point” for new viewers, an episode that best demonstrates the mood of the show to give possible viewers an example of what to expect in the full series. I bring this up because I feel that I’ve found the “jumping off point” for ‘True Blood’ and it is this episode. It’s time to sever the infected limb and be done with it, this show is dying a horrible, slow death and by watching it we’re just prolonging the awful, excruciating pain.

The vampire drama is not nearly as engaging as it once was.

The acting is just as it as always been for the most part, ranging from fairly great to excellent. Actors like Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgard still bring their characters to life with the same proficiency that they always have but their passion seems to be missing. I couldn’t possibly blame them for this; most of the writing they have been given is just atrocious. Meanwhile Rutina Wesley’s portrayal of Tara Thornton feels more tired and caricatured than ever, if that was possible, Tara should have been gone seasons ago, as a character she has nothing left to offer the story but a meaningless thread to the origins of the show.

This brings me to yet another issue with ‘True Blood’ and that is it’s convoluted mythology. The earlier seasons had the single supernatural element of the vampires and dealt with them extremely well, the slow ramp-up to the inclusion of other supernaturals such as werewolves was handled well but sometime around season 4 every ounce of controlled pacing in this area went right out the window. Suddenly these supers were popping up everywhere, idiotic inclusions such as “werepanthers” and a poor handling of Sookie’s fairy origins ruined the uniqueness of its magical characters. ‘True Blood’ suddenly became the show where “everybody was something” as even the most human of characters present from the beginning of the series were given a fresh coat of supernatural paint in order to somehow reinvigorate them and make them interesting again to the audience.

Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin).

The last few seasons have shown one clear fault in ‘True Blood’ and that is it’s dizzying number of plot threads which are a pain to follow, most of these are inconsequential and annoyingly take screen time away from stories that actually entertain. This is a result of the show’s inability to let a character’s arc end or to simply kill them off, it shows utter weakness and unoriginality on the part of the writers who seem content to ramble on with characters who have lost whatever intrigue they once possessed. The departure of the great Alan Ball says a lot about the current integrity of the show he created, quite frankly what is airing now is leagues away from what the show was once upon a time.

I believe that television shows should always go out on a high note, usually this means ending after about 7 seasons. ‘True Blood’ however has not even reached that milestone; it has corrupted so quickly and so greatly that it’s glory days are long behind it at this point. It may still retain some of the charm it once had but don’t let it’s rosy cheeks fool you, ‘True Blood’ has been dead for years.

No comments:

Post a Comment