Monday, September 27, 2010

LYNNPD's Random Thoughts on True Blood's Season 3

As featured on The Vault -

Each week, I did a review for The Vault of each episode for Season 3. Below is my review of the entire season which appeared on the Vault on September 27, 2010.

Now that two weeks have elapsed since we saw the "jaw dropping" finale of True Blood’s Season 3, I thought I'd write down some "random thoughts" about the whole season. It's been fun to write about each episode weekly and, for the most part, I give this season a big "THUMBS UP!" However, there were some issues too, that should be mentioned and below are observations (the good with the not so good) for the entire Season 3 of True Blood.
Let me start off by saying that Episodes 1 through 9 was perfection, in my opinion. Each week, the new episode was better than the one before it and I anxiously looked forward to the next installment. However, viewing the last three episodes wasn’t as satisfying to me as the first nine. This also happened to some degree in Season 2 and even a tiny bit in my beloved Season 1. It’s almost as if the writers look at each season in quarters or, if you will, three episodes at a time. There is lots of attention and energy paid to the first nine episodes, but the last three always seem more rushed and just there for the purpose of either tying up loose ends or to set up what's going to happen in the next season.I wonder if the writers work out what is going to happen for the entire season as they begin the process each year or if they look at each episode separately. If they aren't looking at the show in a full season chunk, at least at the onset of writing, then I think they need to.I expect there to be loose ends that need tying up during the last three episodes, but there were so many this year that each of these episodes seemed to be rushed in an attempt to quickly resolve them. Also, there were changes to several of the characters at the end of the series that made no sense. A few examples are:
  • Sam: Why did Sam change his personality so quickly and what was the catalyst that made him turn into a monster? I know that it was supposed to be spawned by Tommy's ridicule of him, but that wasn't as apparent as it should have been and didn't seem to me to be significant enough to warrant such a drastic change in Sam’s personality.
  • Lafayette: Originally, when Lafayette's saw the monster face on Jesus he was frightened and asks him to leave his apartment. However, the next day after seeing more visions, he is calling him for help? I don't understand this.
  • Eric: I know Godric's visions were what made Eric change his tune about killing Russell, but it seemed odd that he would all of a sudden give up a 1000 year quest. Also, Godric helped him look for Russell during WWII, so why now does he want him to give up? I know that Godric, sees things differently now, but this seemed to me too glib and a twist that was just thrown in quickly to change the story.
I feel bad criticizing this fabulous season at all, but there are other points I must make before I'm done. The biggest flaw of this season, in my opinion, was that there were too many storylines. I wish that the writers would stick to basics. When they do, True Blood is awe inspiring. Personally, I prefer seeing the vampires and the stories that highlight the political intrigue and the co-existence of humans with vampires. Having unrelated storylines only takes away from the core characters that everyone cares about and wants to see. Because most of Season 3 was focused on the vampires story, this made it successful. I have little interest in the tangential storylines unless they relate to this core theme. In Season 3, I enjoyed seeing the arrival of werewolves but only because they were woven into the vampire culture and story, I like knowing about the AVL because it was about the politics of vampires and humans co-existing. The Fellowship of the Sun is also interesting for the same reason.Last season, since the Maenad storyline had nothing to do with my idea of True Blood's core theme, it fell flat leading me to believe that the addition of new characters unrelated to True Blood’s key theme is a mistake. However, the additional characters were an asset to Season 3. Since many of them were not only excellent actors with wonderful characters to play, but they were also part of the vampire storyline. The King of Mississippi, Franklin Mott, Alcide, Debbie Pelt, Cooter, and Talbot, all were fascinating characters that enhanced the vampire/human story.
It was obvious to me that the main storyline in this season was really about Bill and his struggle with who he is and how he interacts within the vampire culture. During Season 2, Bill seemed to be almost, dare I say, boring, in his non-stop and single minded devotion for Sookie. While I loved that, it also didn’t make for a very interesting Bill. This season we got to see a whole new dimension to Bill, "Badass Bill" and I liked it. Many were upset at the ending of S3 when Bill was rejected by Sookie for deceiving her, but for me, this made him more interesting. I don't for a minute think that Bill is attempting to be deceptive, and I think he truly loves Sookie, but to know that things weren't really as we thought, intrigues me. Bill now has secrets that I want to know about, making his character exciting. I just want to know more and more.
It was also interesting to see Eric change throughout the season. At times he was almost “human” when speaking to Sookie and toying with Lafayette, but he was also capable of horror when killing Talbot and locking Sookie into the basement at Fangtasia. I wonder as much about Eric’s character now as I do about Bill’s? Perhaps it’s something innately part of being a vampire, that, inevitably, still includes some remnants of their past humanity, I’m not sure, but it makes for exciting drama.
Sookie seems the same to me, always changing her mind and attitude and not listening to others when they warn her of danger. She constantly walks into danger when she should know better, and never gives anyone a chance to explain. I’d like so see her get some brains.
I enjoyed the flashbacks, too because they help us to understand the characters better. Bill and Lorena going back to his home and meeting his wife, learning of the death of Eric's family were very welcomed. And, Nan Flannigan and "The Authority" added dimension to the vampire/human relationship storylines. And, who could forget King Russell, Talbot, Coot, Debbie Pelt, and of course, the totally insane Franklin Mott. All of these characters tied into the main theme of the season and therefore worked.
So, when veering away from how the vampires and humans interact, is where the season lost interest to me. For example, while it was interesting to see Sam's past and history, it was his supernatural nature and how it affected his life that made it interesting. However, because it didn't tie in with the "vampire/human interaction" theme, even though it was the best of the tangential story lines, it still didn't work for me.
Think about the story lines that were not popular in past seasons. For me, they were the daemon story line in season 1 and the orgy/meanad story in Season 2. In Season 3 the one that fell short has to be the Hot Shot story line. Each season would have been fine without them and True Blood would have been better served in showing us more with the main characters interacting. For example, have the vamps to go Merlotte’s more, find reasons for the humans to be with the vampires and let the lead characters interact more with the vampires. Lafayette relationship with Jesus, however touching, is still not as interesting to me as the one he has with Eric. Jessica and Hoyt's story is interesting because they are so cute together, but also because it's about the interaction of a human and a vampire. I’d like to see more within Bon Temps, too. Where is the gritty, wet, dirty feel we had in Season 1? The people of Bon Temps and how they adjust to the invasion of the vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters is what I want to see more of. It was good how the werewolves were interwoven into the vampire culture; let’s also see more of this.I must repeat however, that Season 3 was a good one. I enjoyed it immensely and in my opinion, True Blood is still the best on TV. I am anxiously looking forward to Season 4 and rest assured, I will be glued to the TV then too.

Below is my list of the ten best and worst thing about Season 3. What's your opinion?

  1. Best New characters - Denis O'Hare, James Frain, Kevin Alejandro, Marshall Allman, Brit Morgan, Joe Manganiello, Theo Alexander
  2. Badass Bill
  3. Eric showing a more generous and kind side
  4. Bills hair and makeup
  5. Pam being made a regular
  6. Hoyt and Jessica getting back together
  7. Denis O'Hare's performance as the King of Mississippi
  8. James Frain's performance as Franklin Mott
  9. Nan Flannigan and the AVL and the whole vampire politics storyline
  10. Strong episodes 1 through 9
  1. Hot Shot storyline
  2. Faeries
  3. Joe Mickens underwear
  4. Tara's torment
  5. Sam's about face behavior for no apparent reason
  6. The trippy scene with Lafayette and Jesus
  7. Not enough Andy Bellfleur, Arlene, Terry and other folks in Bon Temps
  8. Killing off Talbot for good
  9. WTF ending
  10. last three episodes
Be sure to read and comment the other reviews, lists and opinion posts about Season 3 that we have prepared here for you at The Vault by clicking on the links below:10 WTF Moments of True Blood Season 3What is your favorite True Blood Season 3 Episode?

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