Of all the shows I watch, True Blood is the one I have to defend the most. I first became interested in it because I was such a big fan of Six Feet Under. Its creator Alan Ball signed a contract with HBO to develop some more shows. After creating one of the most personal shows on television, it’s not a surprise that he created something less ambitious.
True Blood is a show about vampires, werewolves, and all sorts of other supernatural creatures in Louisiana. It’s based off the enjoyable book series by Charlaine Harris. People have criticized the show for being ridiculous and focused too much on sex. Honestly, the charm of the show. HBO has Game of Thrones and Treme to tackle the heavier subjects during the spring. True Blood is a perfect summer show.
The third season starts off with Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) searching for her vampire boyfriend Bill (Stephen Moyer) who was kidnapped in the last season premiere. The psychotic vampire King of Mississippi (Denis O’Hare) wants Bill to help him take over Louisiana from its current queen (Evan Rachel Wood.) This leads to some big problems in the vampire community, especially because the Louisiana Queen has been selling vampire blood on the side with Eric (Alexander Skarsgard).
Some of the strongest humor of the season is having Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) decide that he just has to be a cop. There is also Arlene Folwer (Carrie Preston) is worried about whose the father of her upcoming baby. Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) has to deal with the deadly mistake she made last season
The worst part about True Blood every year is always the subplot that doesn’t gel with the rest of the season. Usually that’s because they still don’t know how to use Tara (Rutina Wesley). She started off as sassy and independent, but now every storyline is revolved around having her break down and betrayed. Having her in another abusive relationship seems like a terrible idea, but the vampire who has her hostage is so insanely evil it works better than usual.
So instead the worst subplot goes to Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) tracking down who is real family is. It turns out they are really annoying and take up way too much screentime without any interesting payoff.
It’s always in the middle of the season when the show really starts working. When it focuses on the main plotline and its first set of characters, they can handle the major dramatic points with style. The seventh episode “Hitting the Ground” could be one of the best of the series because it blended the humor and the characters with excellence. Acclaimed director John Dahl was the man behind the camera for that episode and it had the return of one of the best actors working on TV, Zelijko Ivanek.
From there the season has a solid pace to it, before it falls into the other True Blood problem. It never knows how to end the season. Every year the season will be a ton of fun and the finale completely falls flat. They spent too much of the runtime trying desperately to set up the next season instead of making a very entertaining hour. Season Three is no exception.
Season Two stumbled a bit as it balanced two storylines and incorrectly guessed which one should have lasted the full season. This season returns to a better group of villains and conflicts as well as plenty of silly sex and violence. Is this a show I would recommend to everyone? No, but it’s one that I enjoy every summer and I have hope they start to become a little more self-aware of their mistakes.
The bonus features include six audio commentary tracks with different cast members and Alan Ball. There is a cool Anatomy of the Scene showing the breakdown of the first werewolf fight in the season. There is the set of minisodes that played between Seasons Two and Three. There are the Post Mortems which offer a little bit of behind the scenes of every episode. Then there is the famous/infamous Snoop Dogg music video he made because of how much he loves the show. It’s called “Oh Snookie.”
Season: 3.5 Yaps
Extras: 4 Yaps