Thursday, 2 December 2010

Of True Blood Season 3

Another massively late review, however since my True Blood Season 2 review is apparently the most popular review on my site, how can I not review this third season? Spoilers ahead!

Looking back on my review of True Blood Season 2 review, I probably rated a bit too high. The main issue being that the show lost a lot of steam after the characters came back to Bon Temps. The Big Bad of the season just wasn't as interesting as the other stories that were happening away from the town in the form of the hunt for Godric and The Fellowship of the Sun. The finale was a clear indication of how Season 3 was going to go. Season 2 technically ended about 30 minutes into the last episode, the rest of the episode was devoted to set up for Season 3, where we visited almost every single character and gave them a new story to follow.

This is where we land in Season 3, with about 7 different stories happening and it being more than likely you'll only care about 1 or 2 of them. Going in I found myself only really caring about Eric, Sookie and Bill's story and the one devoted to Hoyt and Jessica. Even my goodwill for Andy and Jason was taken to extreme levels of not caring by having the great comic chemistry of those two ruined by the fact that they spent most of the season in stories unrelated to each other and rarely got to be as hilarious towards the end of Season 2 when they were together.

Sam trying to find his real family started off as interesting and eventually became tedious. Tara is still the most grating character on the show and the most fun I had was watching her be abused by Franklin Mott, and then that story just kind of ended. Terry and Arlene's baby woes sucked up far too much valuable and the only enjoyable part of that was the brief appearance by Michael Raymond-James returning as Season 1's Rene. Then there was Jason and the werepanthers which never really went anywhere at all, beyond the promise of more story next season. Hell even Lafayette lost all his Season 1 edge by being embroiled in an almost superfluous plot about V and the wonders that it does for prophetic dreams

That was the main problem with Season 3 was that it felt like the start of something much bigger. Because none of the stories really ended in any satisfying way what we were left with in the finale didn't really feel that final. It felt more like a pause before the Season continues...just not for another year. Season 3 was just an unfocused mess, and whilst the messiness is part of the fun of True Blood, Season 3 suffered for it. A good season of television is able to take a variety of different strands and create a compelling narrative out of them. Whilst these different strands might not connect at the beginning of the season, by the end it's kind of expected that they intersect in different and interesting ways. True Blood Season 3 didn't really do that at all. Occasionally certain characters would cameo in someone else's story, such as Tara helping Sookie and Alcide get Bill out of Edgar's house or Jason killing Franklin for Tara, but on the most part there was no narrative cohesion. Season 3 suffered because every character seemed to exist within their own bubble and didn't care for anyone else. Whilst everyone existed in the same universe, it just felt odd that no one really knew what was going on in anyone else's lives. Watching True Blood was like watching 7 different television shows crammed into one show.

That's to say that everything sucked, I stand by the fact that Deborah Ann Woll and Jim Parrack have insane amounts of chemistry and the main story of the Season with Eric trying to take down Russell was great all the way through. Of course there were a couple of weak portions, such as whether or not Bill was truly evil got tiring a few episodes into the season. Luckily everything with Eric continued to be create because of the presence that Alexander SkarsgÄrd brings to the show. Then there was the new character of Russell Edgington this season played Denis O'Hare who was absolutely brilliant. He brought the right amount of crazy and sinister, especially in the way he dealt with many characters throughout the season. However even this plotline hit some pot holes. Sookie being a fairy (yes Sookie is indeed a fairy) went almost nowhere this season and is probably being held onto for next season and there was the handling of Russell towards the end of the season. When episode 10 ended, it felt like shit was going to hit the fan, but then it didn't. It felt like such a disappointment that the Big Bad of the season didn't actually make anything bad happen. He just kind of got burnt to a crisp and then buried in cement. Only issue was that Eric was also buried in cement but quickly escaped, leaving us to question whether or not it was actually the end of the villain.

However enough complaining, True Blood is still True Blood. It still offers a campy show about vampires. There's still an over abundance of sex and violence. Hell there were more than enough awesome moments in Season 3 to make up for the messiness. There was Bill and Lorena's oh so violent sex scene, Sookie verus Debbie and of course Russell's excellent appearance on the news (spine rip FTW). Hell there were even werewolves and I actually quite liked Alcide. True Blood Season 3 was messy as hell and the finale wasn't nearly satisfying enough as a finale. However there were enough enjoyable moments and story potential that I'm not ready to give up on the show, but if it continues with being this mess and unsatisfying I might have to consider dropping from my rotation.


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