I admit in the beginning, True Blood was a pretty catchy show. Based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris (albeit somewhat loosely as the show takes a completely divergent path from the books they are based on), you had darker, more violent, dirty vampires in an age where “vampire” became synonymous with “expressionless little dickheads that sparkle in the sunlight.” You had interesting characters with varying personalities and mixed in a lot of gratuitous sex, and generally had a hit television show.
Around Season 5 is where the show really found itself struggling, where the story lines started making absolutely no sense. I think once you try to add vampires having some sort of “crazy vampire religion” into the mix you’re speaking in a language only fat goths who shop exclusively at Hot Topic understand. People watched Season 6 hoping the wrongs would be righted but instead the story just got more convoluted and nonsensical adding in “deadly vampire hepatitis” “super vampires who fall in love or die in stupid ways” and “vampire concentration camps.” Finally after a season that tried to throw too much at us at once to care even a little bit, it was announced Season 7 would be the final season of True Blood, so here are 7 reasons why this season has already continued the downward spiral of the series that is leading people to believe it will end with a whimper instead of a bang. Be warned, these are spoilers for the final season of True Blood so if you intend to watch it at some point (although I don’t know why you would do that to yourself if you didn’t have to), you may not want to keep reading.
Problem 1: Hepatitis V – Making It Up As We Go Along.
Season 6 introduced a man-made vampire-killing virus called Hepatitis V which weakened and killed vampires in a very short amount of time which was mass produced in all the new True Blood. However, by Season 7 vampires with hepatitis are “all over the place,” lasting way longer than a few days, and are not weak at all, and in fact killing people indiscriminately. If they’re going to die anyway, why are they feeding? Why have they apparently lasted for months and months, and why is it that so many humans now carry a disease that was exclusive to bottled True Blood? None of this makes any sense and they seem to selectively decide what to do and when. There are huge plot gaps here, none of which have been resolved.
Problem 2: Hi, Tara. Bye, Tara. Oh… Were We Supposed to Care?
In order to “shock everyone” the powers that be behind True Blood promised a major character death would happen “within the first ten minutes” of the first episode of the new season and killed off Tara. The problem is they killed Tara at the end of Season 4 already on an emotional cliff-hanger for fans, only to bring her back as a vampire from Season 5 onward. When she dies this time around, she dies off-screen, and the reaction of the characters on the show mirrors that of the people watching, which is “I really don’t care because she already died once before.” Am I the only one that sees this as being a problem when you’re touting “a really shocking death?” if you’re going to kill off characters, make it count. The fact that within 10 minutes of the new season you’ve killed off a character and made the death have all the impact of a fly landing on dog shit doesn’t sit well with viewers.
Problem 3: Gratuitous Sex Scenes Became Pointless Sex Scenes
Sex sells. It’s a great way to keep people locked in on what you’re doing. But it also has to be carefully placed (unless you’re in the porn business). Sex is great when you have a build-up of passion or sexual tension between two characters. Throw it in just for the sake of throwing it in, and people roll their eyes. They can see two people have sex on the Internet and actually see genital to genital connection. The problem is that True Blood has increasingly become like a bad porn between bad acting and sex scenes happening on a whim. By the second episode we had a graphic sex scene between two male characters for no reason that turned out to be a bad dream a heterosexual character was having. Was there a point to this sex scene other than to hope the Gay community would give the producers a cookie? Nope. All you did was make the hetero male half of the audience tune out before the episode even really started and appeased the same women who masturbate to man on man fan-fiction on the Internet. Anyone else thought this scene was pointless.
Problem 4: Why The Hell is Everybody So Emo On This Show?
Everyone has the same mood on this show: miserable. Even the interesting characters became miserable. Even the characters who were supposed to be funny and break up the monotony became miserable. Remember back when the LaFayette was a sassy gay black man? Now he’s just a miserable gay black man. Remember when Jason Stackhouse was a clueless idiot that had funny moments? Now he’s a stressed out idiot. Remember when Pam was an evil bitch? Now she’s an emo bitch who is hitting the “Marsha Marsha Marsha” BS because Sookie gets all the attention. Most funerals I have been to have lighter moods than this show. I’m not saying it should all be comedy but the general flow of the show has become a bad time. And it really hurts the male leads to be all miserable and conflicted all the time. Why can't a man ACT like one on this show? Well we have Alcide. He's kind of manly... Oh. Wait...
Problem 5: Here’s Another Death You Won’t Care About.
Since killing a character worked oh so well the first time this season (it didn’t), let’s kill another one. Alcide, the token werewolf, and the only guy who would rather be angry than emo on this show, is flat out killed in pretty wimpy, anti-climactic death. For a brief moment someone offers to make him a vampire – and admittedly the intrigue goes up when viewers go “how would a vampire werewolf work out?” But with the immediate excuse of “no, don’t save the man I’m supposed to be in love with” from Sookie, this idea flatlines immediately, and viewers just go “oh well screw this then.” So the “bring them back as a vampire” clause can be used to bring back characters who weren’t interesting but when a character is actually interesting on the show dies, it can’t. Good talk. Great logic. Plus it just makes the main character look like a heartless bitch when her boyfriend dies and she’s just going to shack up with another male lead five minutes later. Hey True Blood: Your protagonist is a hoe, and not even a very attractive one which leads me to…
Problem 6: The Chicks Just Stopped Being Hot
I don’t know if this is the same for the ladies in regards to the men but for me I can tell you the chicks are just not attractive on this how anymore. If you’re going to have a sex scene at least make it between people we want to see naked. I feel like Anna Paquin peaked in X-Men 2 the Movie and I’m more likely to get a hard-on buying a loaf of bread than watching one of her sex scenes. Part of that is I’m just bored of looking at her and her gap tooth, and part of that is that the characters are annoying. Jessica, another attractive female is starting to age badly, or maybe it’s just the fact she’s constantly crying in this series and puffy eyes and crying faces usually don’t exactly get the man meat moving down below. Even Pam, who has the best rack on this show is starting to look rough around the edges, which I guess is the downfall of doing a vampire show for seven seasons; we’re humans and we actually age. That said, for a show that seems to put too much focus on relationships and sex, the characters really don’t have appeal anymore.
Problem 7: Game of Thrones is a Tough Act to Follow.
You ever have a friend so hot you feel like you look ugly in comparison? That’s Game of Thrones in relation to True Blood. Game of Thrones had a good 10 episodes of intrigue, suspense, drama, betrayal, and yes even those sex scenes True Blood loves to cut to. Only that everything in Game of Thrones made sense and gelled well – maybe that’s what happens when you stick to the subject matter of the novels instead of “go left field with a bunch of crazy crap.” Game of Thrones is a juggernaut of television and the most popular show on HBO… so how do you follow that for 13 weeks? In all seriousness, nobody is excited for True Blood because they just want Game of Thrones to be back for their next season and the shadow Game of Thrones cast is so vast that the lights going out on True Blood is for the best.
So now the million dollar question: why do I continue to watch this horrible show?
I watch it for the same reasons people watch wrestling and complain about it, or the same reason women stay with “that asshole boyfriend or girlfriend who treats them like crap” or the same reason I drink Nesquik before bed even though I’m 33 years old – force of habit. I’ve been doing it so long I don’t know how to quit and there’s always a part of the viewer that says “I hope this ends up being worth it, but from where I’m standing right now I don’t think it will be. It’s a slow painful death for this series but I’ve come to grips with it seeing a it looks like The Strain is going to be the new king in town when it comes to the vampire genre. Meanwhile I will continue to “strain” through True Blood until the very end if only because I’ve got nothing else to do on Sunday nights.