Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Dear True Blood,
It's not you, it's me. No, that's a lie: it's not me, it's you. It's so freaking you - what are you doing to yourself? Once upon a time, not all that long ago, I positively pined for you, daydreamed about you when you weren't around and a mere five minutes in your presence was enough to make me blush. Now I find myself reluctant to spend much time together and distracted when we do.
Where did it all go wrong?
Things started off so well. As a big fan of the Charlaine Harris novels on which you are based, I was thrilled with the direction in which season one seemed to be going. The world I saw onscreen was the world of the books, more or less, but with enough changes to keep things interesting. Sookie was charmingly ditzy, Bill was pompous but hot and Eric - once he got his hair cut, anyway - was, of course, a smoking piece of arse who got all the best lines.
Then there were pleasant surprises along the way: Jason Stackhouse, kind of a superfluous character in the book, managed to be sexy and stupid and funny all at the same time in the hands of Ryan Kwanten and his involvement with the religious nutjobs in season two was a delight. Lafayette, who dies early on in the first book, stuck around for some good comic relief and Sam, who bores me to tears on the page, turned out to have a certain somethin'-somethin' going on.
At your best it felt like you had something new and interesting and genuine to say about desire - desire for sex, power, immortality, meaning, love - and when you were good you were very very good.
Things started going off the rails somewhere about the second half of season two and I think we all know where the blame lies: the clusterfuck that was the fucking maenad storyline. What the FUCK? God was that bitch ever annoying. Admittedly I was pretty zoned out by the time the series finale rolled around but I woke up long enough to emit at least a half-hearted cheer when Sam finally took care of that shit, albeit approximately 300 episodes too late.
But the pain continued because by now you simply had TOO MANY CHARACTERS and instead of deciding to, say, throw the likes of Tara, Andy, Arlene, Sam's moronic brother Tommy and the entire population of Hotshot off a cliff and call it a day, you felt like you had to continue to GIVE THEM STORYLINES. Welcome to Snoozetown, population me.
Things really started to come undone for me this season, which I had been anticipating because of the subject matter. The Eric amnesia storyline in the books, although inherently silly, is also incredibly hot. One minute Eric's running down the road naked, the next he's nailing Sookie in the shower and - unlike you, dear True Blood - the books didn't feel the need to paint it as this lovely and bewdiful romance, at least not in the early stages. Once again, it's really all about the desire of two hot people to Have Hot Monkey Sex, not sit around mooning at each other about how rare and beautiful their love is. (That much said, it would be rude of me not to say that I do appreciate the Alexander Skarsgaard nudity).
In closing, I don't know if I can keep doing this. Every week I think that things will get better and go back to the way it used to be and every week you find a new way to disappoint you. I don't want it to end like this, I want to believe that we can still find a way to get through this rough patch and be happy again. I'm just not sure that's ever going to happen. Don't call me for awhile - I need to be alone.