The sixth season of TRUE BLOOD was a funny little thing, marking the first season of the show which was not brought to us by the original creator ALAN BALL. Further rumors of showrunner issues mid-shoot only further fueled my skepticism going into it, but as far as I’m concerned it couldn’t possibly get any worse than last season (even though the last season was still helmed by Ball).
The good news is that my last statement held true. It certainly didn’t get worse. But whether or not it got better is up to some serious interpretation. Probably the best descriptor would be ‘bipolar’ as there were moments hinting at greatness, but other plot points heading straight off the rails.
Time for the million-dollar question… has TRUE BLOOD jumped the shark a long time ago, or is it back on the ascendancy? Anybody who watched the second-to-last episode knows that TRUE BLOOD might have very well come up with its own sick twist on the whole ‘jump the shark’ terminology: “rip the dick”. You read that right. It physically hurt me to watch it. So has TRUE BLOOD ‘ripped the dick’? Only time will tell.
At the very least, it was a major turnaround from the near-suicidal course the plot was heading towards last season. Andy’s fairy kids were dealt with appropriately, the fallout from the assault on the Vampire Authority was extremely brief and there was no more mention of Lafayette’s idiotic brujo powers. The Bill + Lillith = Billith combo was still dumb, but not overbearing most of the time. Judging from the finale, we needn’t worry about Lillith any longer. The story also refocused a bit on Sookie and her assorted love interests which became tiresome 3/4 of the way through the season. Thankfully, we had RYAN KWANTEN (Jason) and CHRIS BAUER (Andy) who were both just as good as they always have been at keeping the show entertaining.
Probably the biggest downfall of the season was an extremely low-bar script, presumably victim of ALAN BALL’S departure. I have no problem with copious swearing, but the F-word should never be substitute for good writing, as it was many, many (many) times this season.
The characters were also very erratic, prime example being Alcide. His whole “I’m a nice guy” (Season 4/5) to “I’m a complete wad of douche” (Season 6) to “Just kidding, I’m cool again” (Season 6.5) transformations were unexplained and unnecessary. Allow me to insert a better plotline in 30 seconds: Alcide became a closeted ‘V’ addict after using it to become packmaster at the end of last season. Struggling with the powerful addiction made him act like a total dick, until his father (the still-underutilized) ROBERT PATRICK) gets him to detox. Realizing the error of his ways, he comes back to make amends, kills Warlow and takes Sookie to bed. (the end part there might be a bit much, but just roll with it…) Listen up, Hollywood… we’re all writers for hire here at MWTVG.
By the finale, his character was back to what it should be. And he did actually bed Sookie which makes me some sort of ultra-genius-level savant, as I wrote the entire last paragraph before watching the finale. Yes, I amaze even myself.
Jason’s character, though, was equally screwed with throughout the season. Reflecting back on the past several seasons, he swings between intense love and intense hate for vampires as a whole, but now with Violet in the picture, everything is just unexplainedly “cool”. Not sure I see eye-to-eye with that. As much of a dumb jock as he is, he still generally holds true to his ideals.
And the whole business with Jessica was odd too. Much like the extreme over-usage of the F word, there was an extreme overuse of sex in general whether it be between Sookie and Warlow, Jessica and the random vampire guy, Alcide and his douche-induced threesomes, etc. and it all seemed very out of place. Ran out of ideas for the script? Insert the F word. Ran out of ideas for the plot? Random sex. They could have done better than that.
The finale itself was actually very good. Where the bulk of this season majorly steered away from the mistakes of the previous season, the finale seemed to do a giant 180 even from there. Everybody is back to normal, the vampires can’t be in the sunlight anymore, Sam is the mayor for some reason and now there are packs of Hep-V infected vampires running around slaughtering people. Awesome. Hopefully they retool from there and present a far superior seventh season.
One of the plotholes that I genuinely disliked was the daywalking vampires. It would have been much more interesting if they played with the idea of a whole bunch of overzealous vamps sunbathing while the fairy blood wore off. While they sort of touched on this with Eric, it was very abrupt and we all know he isn’t going anywhere anyway. Speaking of plotholes, didn’t basically every vampire in the prison camp drink the Hep-V tainted Tru Blood? If so, why were they all ultra-healthy when they escaped and only one of them was in a drawer dying from the infection? THE GOOD: The finale. You can basically purge all of season 5 and half of 6 from your memory, go straight to the finale and be good to head into season 7. Eric Northman. Total badass. Even though he was the one that ‘ripped the dick’, many of the scenes near the end when he was freeing the imprisoned vampires were awesome, harkening back to better days of season 3. Unfortunately, there was zero respect given to him in the finale. The right people died, although I could have used a little more culling of the cast. Why can’t an atomic bomb drop on both Tara and her mother? On a side note, Steve’s death knell of “I love you Jason Stackhouse” was simply hilarious. The setup for next season. A whole ton of zombie-like vamps converge on Bellefleur’s Bar? Count me in for that one. Casting decisions of RUTGER HAUER and ROB KAZINSKY although the former was grossly underutilized.
THE BAD: The Script. As described above, it was simply lazy. Character development. The new writers made some sloppy decisions that the characters would have never made. Alcide’s hair. Seriously, does he have the same stylist as JARED PADALECKI from SUPERNATURAL?? Sam and Alcide’s shared storyline. I’m a douche, wait… no I’m not. Are we cool? We cool. Not cool. The prison camp set. Every bit as claustrophobic and uninteresting as the vampire authority set from last season.
Overall, this season deserves an awkward midground rating between “C” and “C-“. Maybe “C~”? Did I just come up with a new term there? Now I’m crossing my fingers that we go viral at MWTVG with a new tilde-based rating system.