“Bad Blood,” according to HBO, or “Pack of Wolves,” according to every cable and TV outlet, the premiere episode of the third season of True Blood, could have been worse. My first impression was “Okay, continuing the story…” but after a few viewings and sleeping on it, there are things that really annoyed me (no really? Ha!). Not the least of which, there are TOO many plot lines for a 46-55 minute, 12 episode show.
Too much is going on and taking away from the main story, which I guess is the point, since Alan Ball, despite his protestations, seems to have contempt for the stories and characters Charlaine Harris created. Even if the story HAS to be centered around what Ball considers the main characters, “Bill and Sookie,” (I’ll address this at the end) I just don’t understand why we can’t have one main storyline with smaller ones, fleshing out the minor characters, surrounding it. It appears every story will be given equal weight and there are way too many of them:
1. Bill, of course, is kidnapped by a “pack of wolves” who feed on him and feed each other his blood like a mama bird feeds a baby bird, or well, since it IS True Blood a well known sex act (my mind went to the baby bird scenario, but of course that’s my mind).
I’d like to know how the hell Bill, in his weakened state, overpowered Coote and Gus to get Coote’s gloves on, remove the sliver chain around his neck and snap the neck of the driver? At any rate, the kidnapping will lead us to Russel Edgington, who is this season’s Maryann, and Lorena.
2. Sookie is running around searching for Bill.
3. Jessica has unintentionally killed a man, trying to feed.
4. Eric is now the primary suspect in the selling of V since it is clear Sophie Anne will throw him under the bus. There is also his campaign of vengeance that we’ve been teased.
5. Tara just wants to kill herself because Eggs is dead.
6. Jason, can’t get it up because he killed Eggs and he and Andy are covering it up.
7. Hoyt’s got nowhere to live (he has smartly left his mother’s house), so he’s shacking up with Jason (some fun for Hoyt).
8. Arlene is preggers with Terry’s baby (we think, cause it could be the baby of “the god who comes”)
9. Mama Thornton has the hots for the preacher.
10. Laffy finds himself forced to sell Queen Sophie Ann’s V and deal with suicidal Tara and his mother. Plus a love affair.
11. Sam and his crazy violent family.
12. And Pam is just trying to keep Eric together.
What I liked about the episode was Jason and Andy. Ryan Kwanten is just a brilliant actor, who deserves an Emmy for his portrayal, and the writers give him the best lines . Gruff grumpy Andy is his perfect counterpart “Conscience off, dick on,” is his sage advice to getthing through this Eggs shooting thing.
I love Eric’s and Pam’s dynamic. I just plain like Pam. The writers haven’t corrupted her yet, and fingers crossed they’ll keep to her character (though they made her a hooker in her past, I guess, since she let that slip to Laffy, which is so much less interesting than being a high-born rebel).
Bill’s hair. FINALLY! I guess it takes being away from Sookie, burying himself and crawling out of the dirt for him to look good again.
Now what annoys me:
1. Eric thought he HAD kidnapped Bill when Sookie confronted him in the Dungeon of Doom (DOD). I’m so tired of the writers making him the villain and a liar to Sookie. That was the thing about him in the books. He came right at her and told her what was going on. Even if we’re to feel sorry for him because of the situation Queen Sophie Ann has put him in, it doesn’t take away from the fact that his intention was nefarious to begin with. I know they are trying to slant it that he’s no good for Sookie and upright Bill is, it just burns my butt!
2. Sookie continues to be annoying and grating. There’s a difference between being sassy and being bossy. And even though she was running around like a chicken in a panic trying to find her Beeeelllll, there’s no excuse for her snottiness. I wouldn’t help her find Bill either. You go Kenya.
3. St. Bill. *sigh* Is there ANYTHING he does wrong? Feeds off an old lady but glamours her and gives her a good memory and money. Huh. Where did he get that money? Was it the money he saved getting that engagement ring at cost by glamouring that poor woman from the jewelers and telling her she deserved to get in trouble for having lustful thoughts about him? Even if others will. I will not forget that minisode.
I cannot not express enough how annoying it is that Alan Ball insists on making Bill the pure good guy just trying to get his humanity back, poor sod. Oh he does things beyond the pale but, gee, he’s forced to…..Eric, on the other hand, is just pure, as Stephen Moyer put it, Machiavellian.
4. Tara. Darn, did Laffy really have to break down the door and save her in time? The most annoying of all the characters, even Bill. Not because she’s angry and snarky, that I like, but because she’s just pathetic. And the thought that we’re going to have to watch her story play out, makes my fast-forward finger itch.
5. Queen Sophie Anne. The writers couldn’t come up with something better than she’s forcing Eric to sell V to pay her back taxes? Why in the world is it Eric’s sole responsibility to get her out of debt to the IRS? There are other sheriffs in her domain aren’t there, or is it because he’s the only one she can trust? Why isn’t Sophie-Anne concerned with finding Bill? Have the writers abolished the edict? If not, how does she expect to procure Sookie? None of this makes any sense. Pfft. Another subplot that has my ff finger itchy. Though if it’s going to get us more Pam, I guess I’ll grudgingly give it a pass.
I’d like to make a little comment about Sophie Anne. Alan Ball has taken a lovely fascinating character and made her a psycho brat, which come to think of it, he has done to all the women on the show, save perhaps Pam, though that remains to be seen. There is not one stable sensible woman on that show. The only stable woman was Gran and poor Gran is dead.
6. Sam’s dream about Bill. Shame on you Alan Ball. What a cop-out! That was hardly a sex dream. They didn’t even kiss, though their chemistry was stronger than Bill’s with Sookie. Yeah, Eric is banging Yvetta, but Sam and Bill can’t even kiss, or come on, get in that shower together? And why was Bill dirty in Sam’s dream? How would Sam know he had gone to ground?
Some people on my favorite blogs speculate these erotic dreams are shared dreams. But will we ever be told they are? Probably not. These holes and inaccuracies have been a staple of the last two seasons. There are some who think it’s deliberate and Alan will at some point let us know “Surprise! These events didn’t go down as shown.” Perhaps, but until that day, I have to believe it’s just a bunch of mistakes. When the DATE of an important plot point has been inaccurately mentioned not only one season after it happened but just ONE EPISODE after, I have to call “sloppy!”
And of course, they didn’t and probably won’t explain the hideous short dark hair Eric now sports (except for Alan to say in interviews Alex hates wearing a wig, character be damned!).
And now to Alan Ball’s comment, “So we look at what the books have and figure out a way to give all of other major characters stories that will somehow fold into the main story, the Sookie/Bill story.” Oh really? Sookie and Bill are the main story in ALL the books? I don’t think so. Ball claims to have read all the books. Bill and Sookie are the main story line? I think he read a different book series than I did. Sookie and Bill’s story starts to eclipse in the 3rd book. Now perhaps, he’s only talking up to Season 3, but the way he has been talking about the series from day one, I have to wonder. I guess we can expect even more Alan Ball fan fiction if the series lives on. Makes me shudder to think how he’s going to butcher book 4 which is arguably one of the favorite books in the Southern Vampire Mysteries.
And then there’s this quote, ““It’s a totally organic process. A lot of times there are a lot of people pitching ideas. A lot of times we’ll find if we totally stick to the books here, how is that going to affect later on because we’re breaking the story three of four episodes down the line. It’s like well what if he wasn’t this but he was this instead? There’s not a formula. It’s pretty much gut instinct.”
So, then there’s no-show bible? There’s no character bible? There’s where the sloppiness comes in then. I know Kristin Bauer didn’t know her character was bisexual. So perhaps she was playing a straight character for two seasons. That means there is absolutely no consistency in the series. At least there should be character bios. How do the actors know how to play their scenes otherwise? Which is why sometimes the acting suffers and the scenes don’t make any sense.
And why on this earth is Alexander still listed as cast and not up front and starring with Billy Moyers, Anna Paquin, Sam Trammel, Ryan Kwanten and Rutina Wesley. He’s just a big a character as those five, yet his name is listed last, lumped in with the rest of the cast in alphabetical order. Perhaps it is in the contracts, but it stinks all the same.
Oh well, the damn show is addicting, even just to see how they’re screwing up the characters and the stories. This blog will amuse my friends at any rate!!