Tuesday, March 27, 2012

True Blood Season 3

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

True Blood Season 3 - 3 out of 5

Why does vampire fiction suck so much (pun not intended)?  Is it just how vampires are?  Is there a rule against making vampires tough, bad-ass and not a bunch of prissy, prancing douche bags?

One good thing about the show is that Zeljko Ivanek (one of my favorite character actors)
shows up on occasions.

Vampires started out as men in bad evening gowns hypnotizing women and so far, even with Stephanie Meyer's supposed bastardization of vampires by making them glittery in the sun, not much has changed.  Instead of being wimpy gents in evening gowns who may (or may not) be really good decorators and have an eye for fashion, they are now wimpy gents in low V-neck t-shirts who love posing and staring at unattractive women sleep.  People often tell me, "Ron, it's 3 am, don't call me and tell me about some cool bug you saw on the sidewalk," but not as often, people tell me, "Ron, True Blood isn't like the rest of vampire fiction.  It's awesome!"  I won't go as far as saying True Blood is awesome but I'll say this:  It's slightly better than most vampire fiction...only slightly.

"I'm burning!"

If you don't know what the show is about well here it is in a nutshell (nutshell not shown):  Vampires are real and apart of society.  They drink a fake blood substance called True Blood and they are basically either a hated ethnic group or a group of people that angry teenagers will take home to introduce to mom and dad in order to piss them off.  Case in point is the serie's main character Sookie--a telepath (who discovers what she really is this season) who gets all wet in the pants when she meets this fiction's form of a rock star when she meets Southern gentleman vampire Bill.  Clearly she likes him because he's the forbidden fruit but the show likes to make you believe they're actually in love--although any idiot can see that Sookie's "love" is just lust.

"Shut up!  You don't know what burned is."

Anyway, the show takes place in the Louisiana town of Bon Temps and, because vampires aren't a big enough sell and you need to pad out the franchise with other monsters and myths, the town is seemingly an epicenter of shape-shifters, werewolves, possibly a sea-creature from some sort of lagoon of a dark color but not a single wolf-boy with amazing abs.  In this town is a whole host of characters who get sucked (not another pun, I swear) into the adventures and drama of a world filled with blood suckers.

The look of contempt a man has when he sees how high gas is getting.

This season saw the town of Bon Temps' resident shifter find some of his past (if you watch the show, you know I'm talking about Sam Merlotte), a new vampire monarch rises to power and openly discusses the destruction of the human race and the revelation about what exactly Sookie is--and apparently it's not the fact that having the piss-poor actress Anna Paquin play her being a bad decision.

Is it in a vampire's DNA to pose?

I realize I sound scathing about the show and I am.  To describe True Blood accurately, it is just barely entertaining enough to keep watching.  Episodes offer just enough of an interesting story to keep it going and stop it from being a total wash like ALL other vampire fiction but it refuses to push the envelope and be something great.  The concept of vampires existing in the world and trying to live side-by-side with humans is interesting and the fact they drink synthetic blood they can get out of their grocer's freezer is a fun idea but, like all vampire fiction, they're more worried about showing fang, striking a pose and having sex...and this show has A LOT of sex.  True Blood will get even worse as it decides to get rid of the reality it grounded itself in when it started and start to fly off the handle as they try to squeeze in every flipping mythical beast that has ever been thought of.  Once they stop using the book series for material, I'm sure the writers will incorporate a griffin who digs anal into the story.

Possible first victim of the griffin?

Then, as if everyone on the show is daring you to NOT take the show seriously, the series has some of the worst special effects I've seen on a major cable network like HBO.  You think the premium cable network could afford to put some money into the show but instead, you get scenes where we see the vampires utilize their amazing speed--and by amazing, I mean silly--as the end product looks more like speeding up an edit in Window Movie Maker.  Then, to further make you NOT take the show seriously, they add a ridiculous "fast" sound to the "vampire speed" that sounds like a cartoon bee somehow made his way on the audio track.  But the silly sound effects don't stop there.  I dare you to try and not laugh when you get the cartoon "slurping" sound when a vampire is feeding.  Because I can totally take your show seriously when I have to listen to a vampire seemingly suck the remnants of his Pepsi from the bottom of the glass. 

Uh oh...two vampires posing.  Shit just got real.

The show has a lot of great characters that help drive the series like the shape-shifter Sam Merlotte, Sheriff Andy Bellefleur who is up to his eyeballs in wacky shit in Bon Temps, the vampire with a possible stock in a V-neck t-shirt company Eric Northman (played by Alexander "my font can't do the accent mark in his last name" Skarsgard), the dumb yet somehow loveable Jason Stackhouse (played by Syan Kwanten) and the charismatic drug dealer/prostitute Lafayette Reynolds (who finally gets a love interest this season!) but for every one of these, we have to deal with our two starring ladies being played by, just plain and simple, terrible actors.  Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin) and her  fellow monster-finding drama-enriched friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) are two very interesting characters but are carried by two AWFUL actresses.  On one hand, you have Paquin delivering the worst Southern accent to ever be committed to film and, on the other, you have Wesley playing every emotion to 11.  I don't know if it's just me but both these two can instantly throw me out of every story in every episode with their bad acting.  Honestly, if the producers decided to replace both of them--even mid-season--it would only be an improvement in my eyes.

Seriously, get rid of both of them.

True Blood is a rarity because it's one of the only vampire fictions I will willingly sit down to watch.  However, that doesn't mean it's amazing.  The sad reality is this:  True Blood is just marginally entertaining and just good enough to make me keep watching.

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