Friday, August 22, 2014

TELEVISION: True Blood ends Sunday -- and I'm glad

True Blood comes to an end on Sunday and I can’t help but feel … relieved.

The show, which started as a dark and dirty guilty pleasure seven seasons ago, is not exactly going out on top of its game.

Let’s face it, when True Blood landed and took the country by storm, it was a wild ride full of sex and blood. There were colorful sets, multifaceted characters and outrageous situations. What we’re dealing with now isn’t even a shadow of the show’s formal greatness.

I had to laugh at Sunday’s preview for the finale: Will it end with true love or the true death?

I would love for it to end with true death – for Bill and Sookie. I cannot take one more second of Bill’s maudlin flashbooks, his moody stare or his martyr complex so he can sacrifice himself so he won’t saddle Sookie with Rosebilly’s baby.
As bad as Bill is, though, Sookie is worse. She mourned Tara for 15 seconds. She spent months with Alcide, watched him die trying to protect her, and then hopped in the sack with veiny Bill in less than a week. Where is her rooting value?

I have no doubt that Bill and Sookie will get their “happily ever after.” It makes me want to gag, but the writing is on the wall.

And, before I hear from aggressive Eric fans, he doesn’t belong with Sookie either. She’s like an albatross around the neck of every man she’s been paired with on the show. Eric does not want to settle down. He doesn’t want to be domestic. He might want to “win” – but the life Sookie wants is not the life that Eric wants. So, no, they don’t belong together either.

Quite frankly, when it comes down to it, I’m not watching Sunday’s finale to find out how Sookie and Bill get their happy ending. All I care about right now is Jason, Jessica, Lafayette and Hoyt.

The writers did a huge disservice to the bulk of the secondary characters this season, but what they did to Tara was downright criminal. The original character met a bloody death – off screen – and then served as her mother’s V-fueled hallucination for a few episodes, finally digging an old gun out of the dirt and leaving. Nice.

Of course, poor Sam’s story wasn’t much better. After giving up his bar to be mayor (what qualifies him for that position again?), his pregnant girlfriend (who he fell in love with in five minutes -- a five minutes where he should have been mourning the death of the girlfriend before her-- last season) was kidnapped by rabid vamps. After saving her, she gave him an ultimatum and left town. Then, in a flashback sequence while reading a letter (completely disrespectful for an original character, by the way) Sam just took off and left town in the penultimate episode.
Another slap in the face to fans.

Lafayette turned a straight vampire gay and then helped Tara’s mom dig in the dirt.

Eric and Pam got some cool scenes – especially Pam’s Russian Roulette round Eric’s assault on Sarah Newlin. However their flashback sequences were just as boring as Bill's -- and Pam's nonreaction to Tara's death felt a little insulting.

The only characters that got any decent story were Jason, Jessica and Hoyt.

Jason has been a favorite of mine since the first season (Tara finding him in the freezer with a steak on his junk and his subsequent trip to the hospital was hilarious). As a fan of the books, Jason was always one of my least favorite characters. On the show, though, Jason was often the only reason to watch. He was an idiot – but he somehow managed to get things done and help despite the fact that he’s an idiot.

I wasn’t so sure about Jessica’s story at the beginning of the season. I saw no chemistry between her and James and watching her guilt over killing Andy’s fairy kids manifest as obsession was painful. Unlike a lot of other people, I never wanted Jason and Jessica to settle down. Jason strikes me as the type of guy that’s going to have kids – and he’ll probably be a good father – and Jessica can’t give him kids.

Jessica also wants a guy who’s going to be loyal to her, and Jason just isn’t capable of it. He’s loyal in his
own way, but he can’t commit to one woman. It’s just not who he is.

I was actually crushed when they sent Hoyt away. His romance with Jessica – especially in the second season – was so heart-warming and sweet I couldn’t help but love them. I honestly thought that Jessica and Hoyt were done for good after what happened – but the way the writers brought Hoyt back (and had him dispatch Violet) was some of their best writing all season. I can only hope Hoyt and Jason find a way to be friends again in the finale.

I have no idea if there is going to be a big death in the finale. True Blood always liked to be controversial – so maybe the writers will really kill Bill. I honestly don’t think so, though. The writers made Sookie and Bill the central love story – and they’re the couple who will be the centerpiece of the finale.

Looking back on True Blood, I can’t help but be thankful for the earlier seasons as I try to forget the horrible writing from the latter seasons. Even with all that disappointment, though, I can’t hate a show that gave me eye candy like Alcide, Jason and Eric – even if the writing ruined the show’s overall legacy at the end.

What do you think? Will you miss True Blood?


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