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TV Review: ‘True Blood’ – Saying Goodbye Sucks

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Ever since HBO’s vampire hit True Blood began in 2008, fans have watched the residents of Bon Temp go through one supernatural crisis after another.  Alan Ball’s adaptation from Charlene Harris’s True-Blood-Banner_128Sookie Stackhouse series captured our attention from the very first scene.  If a guy getting a hand-job from his girlfriend didn’t set the tone or clue you in that this was going to be a very different series, seeing Bill Maher talking about Vampire Rights might have!

Throughout the last six seasons Alan Ball has created a world that’s provocative,  thrilling, irresistibly seductive, and eerily unnerving, where anything is possible.

Vampires have “come out of the closet” thanks to True Blood, which creatures of the night can live on instead of human blood.  Of course, if anyone believes this would deter the feeding frenzy they’d have to be insane!  From serial killers serving their own brand of justice on ‘fangbangers’ (vampire loving humans that have sex with them), to fanatical groups that hate vampires, the small town of Bon Temp is riddled with supernatural creatures- werewolves, shapeshifters, witches, warlocks, faeries, all living among humans.  Then there’s the radical religious psychopaths and haters hell bent on destroying the species one way or the other.

While the numerous other-worldly factions are a major draw ultimately, in my view, the series is about a love story.  The moment 150 year old TrueBlood18Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) entered Merlotte’s with that dark, sexy, smoldering look, Bon Temp’s girl next door and telepath Sookie Stackhouse’s (Anna Paquin) life was never the same.  So innocent upon meeting in every way (still a virgin at 25 years old), she was willing to open up her heart to the realm of vampires but got a whole lot more!

When I look back at the very first season, this is what drew me into the series. It is endearing seeing Sookie’s initial curiosity of Bill, the first vampire to set foot in town, then a first love blossom and how he so fiercely protects her, something all women crave.  It’s a sweet romance. Some fans will argue that Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Sookie’s coupling was much steamier, oozing sex appeal.  While I’ll agree and enjoyed watching that storyline, there is something about a first love. It’s all encompassing, reaching deep into your soul like nothing that comes after it, forcing you to expose all your flaws, to trust another and ultimately it literally becomes a part of who yousookie2 are.  This is certainly the case where Bill and Sookie are concerned.

It’s safe to say that after her relationship with Bill, Sookie is a completely different person than when we first meet her.  Though still bold, independent and demanding respect no matter who she’s with, because of the things she’s gone through, now there’s an inner strength that has emerged. She’s no longer a victim, but is a strong force to be reckoned with, faerie abilities or not!

Now six seasons later, both characters have gone through their own unique metamorphosis.  However, not only have Bill and Sookie changed, each character has grown for better or worse. Here’s a recap and run down of where each character stands at this point.

William Thomas Compton (aka) Bill (Stephen Moyer)- A 150 year old vampire, turned as a civil war soldier.  In season one, Sookie rescues him from the sleazy, V (vampire blood) addicted Rattray’s, who drag him to the parking lot and then proceed to drain his blood planning to sell it!  Returning the favor, he saves Sookie who is on tTrueBlood19he brink of death after the Rattrays almost kill her.  By the end of season two he proposes; however, he never has the chance to hear the answer because he’s kidnapped by werewolves working for King of Vampires, Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare). Later it is learned that Bill knew Sookie was a faerie before they met and wanted her blood. After killing Edgington, Bill becomes King of Vampires, then joins the underground secret Vampire Authority in New Orleans and drinks a vile of sacred blood from first vampire created, Lilith (Jessica Clark).  In season six, initially he believes he’s a God, and has a vision of vampires being killed in a sun room.  After several other-worldly meetings with Lilith, he learns it’s up to him to save his vampire friends from a fiery demise.  He then hears about the vampire camp where the Governor of Louisiana is holding captured vamps. Faerie blood is the only thing that allows vampires to walk in the sun, so he tries to illicit Sookie’s help. Unfortunately. it means succumbing to the undead herself via Warlow (Rob Kazinsky), a five thousand year old hybrid vampire-faerie! Though she finally agrees, the plan goes awry after they find Warlow almost dead thanks to Eric!  Bill’s next plan? After learning of Sheriff Andy Bellefleur’s (Chris Bauer) four fae datb1ughters, he and Jessica (Deborah Wohl) take them so Bill’s chemist can create mass amounts of a faerie blood elixir. Things go terribly wrong when Jessica accidentally kills three of the four teenage fae in a moment of weakness. There is only one vial of faerie elixir, which Bill drinks. In an act of pure unselfishness, he infiltrates the vamp camp, finds the room his friends are sequestered in, and then allows them to drink his blood, effectively saving their lives! The season ends with Bill’s regrets of how he treated Sookie.

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin)- waitress at Merlotte’s, telepath and Faerie Princess.  She immediately falls for vampire Bill Compton and throughout most of the series is sought by various other vamsookiepires, werewolves, faeries, hybrids for one reason or another.  After her relationship with Bill ends Eric, who is fascinated by Sookie, finally gets the girl. Meanwhile, she struggles with her own demons, wanting to eliminate the one thing that makes her special- her faerie powers.  In season six, vampire-fae hybrid Ben Flynn (aka) Macklyn Warlow comes for his betrothed bride, a deal made by her ancestors thousands of years ago.  She finds his resolve to find her intriguing and agrees to marry him, which means she’ll have to become a vampire herself! The decision isn’t taken lightly nor does it come easily, conflicted because Bill needs her to help him, as well as their friends but at the cost of her human life.  Shockingly Bill dismisses her internal struggle and callously orders she do what’s necessary or they will all die. Unbeknownst to any of them, Eric is grieving his sister’s death and has a plan of his own.  He gets to Warlow first and almost completely drains him!  After Bill saves their friends at the vamp camp, the crisis averted, Sookie wants to delay marriage. Of course, Warlow turns on Sookie, unwilling to release her from the betrothal.  Luckily her brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and her grandfather (Christopher Walken) finally kill Warlow, sending him back under the rock he crawled out from under!  As season six ends, we see Sookie with ex-leader of the werewolf pack, sexy, intense hunk Alcide (Joe Manganiello).

Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten)- Sookie’s older brother, Bon Temp Deputy.  Initially completely against vampires, even went so far as to become a part of the radical religious group ‘Fellowship of the Sun’. He’s TrueBlood31been controlled via glamouring, fed on, held captive, and has had so many women I’ve lost count!  Jason committed the ultimate sin when he fell for baby vampire Jessica (Deborah Woll), who was dating his best friend Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack)! Feeling guilty after exposing this betrayal, he says goodbye to Hoyt forever when his friend requests Jessica erase his memory.  Last season he successfully infiltrated the vampire camp facility to break out Jessica.

Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley)- Layfette’s cousin, Sookie’s best friend, grew up together.  Sookie’s grandmother Adele (Lois Smith) basically raised her since her own mother is an alcoholic. In season one she has a brief affair with Sam Merlotte, though it didn’t go anywhere.  Always snarky, defensive to a fault, and a vampire hater, in a cruel TrueBlood12twist of irony Tara is turned into the thing she hates most thanks to a request from Sookie.  In season five, werewolf Alcide’s jealous girlfriend tries to kill Sookie, but Tara jumps in front of the bullet instead!  Riddled with grief, Sookie calls Pam, who turns Tara to save her life.  Having been used by male vampires, sexually abused, now she’s a lesbian in love with her maker Pam.

Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis)- Tara’s cousin, jack of many trades (legal and illegal).  In the season one finale, he’s kidnapped by Eric due his lack of judgement in selling V (vampire blood), which is a huge betrayal in the eyes of vampires.  Thanks to Sookie, his life is spared.  Later in the series he learns he’s a witch, able to channel the TrueBlood22dead, which comes in handy in season six when he helps Sookie contact her parents to find out what really happened the day they died.  They learn that Sookie’s parents were trying to kill her because of her faerie heritage!  In a terrifying scene, Sookie’s father possesses Lafayette who tries to drown her! Luckily, her grandfather is able to push him out of Lafayette and Sookie orders he leave her forever!

Sam Merlotte (Sam Tramell)- Shapeshifter; used to own Merlotte’s Bar & Grill, among other pieces of property.  Upon introduction he’s in love with Sookie; however, they never seem to get the timing right.  He was adopted, but then is left behind aftsamer his first shapeshift into the family’s dog.  He’s had his fair amount of crazies to deal with, including his biological shape-shifting mother, father and brother, all of which used Sam and his money until their demise.  Sam saves the day numerous times thanks to his supernatural abilities, and I’d say is the most stable of the characters.  In season six, though still grieving after the death of his love werewolf Luna Garza (Janina Gavankar), he falls for an activist named Nichole Wright (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) with the Vampire Unity Society who, after a brief affair, becomes pregnant with Sam’s child. He sells Merlotte’s to Arlene and is now the Mayor of Bon Temp. The entire town is in crisis thanks to Hep V, a deadly virus that kills vampires.  In an effort to minimize the spread, at the end of the season Sam proposes a semi-accepted declaration that vampires and humans enter into a monogamous feeding relationship.

Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard)-  Viking, turned vampire in 930 A.D. by two-thousand-year-old Godric (Allan Hyde).  Is Pam’s (Kristin Bauer Van Straten) maker. Upon introduction, he is the vampire sheriff of area five of Louisiana, which includes Bon Temp and is also the owner of popular vamp bar ‘Fangtasia’. He is immediately drawn to Sookie and did finally get his girl by showing a more gentle, almost boyish side after briefly losing his memory. In season four he watches as his maker Godric meets the sun, though he wants to die with him, his maker orders him not to.  In season six he watches his sister Nora Gainsborough (Lucy Griffiths) die thanks to tTrue Blood4he barbaric scientists at the vamp camp.  Amped up with Warlow’s hybrid fae-vampire blood, his revenge is swift and unforgiving upon his return to vamp camp.  He shows no mercy, killing all those responsible for his torture, as well as Nora’s death and frees the vampires held captive. Last we see of him, he is reading a book, sunning himself in the arctic until Warlow’s faerie blood wears off and he bursts into flames!  Pam decides to look for him, so hopefully she’ll get there in time to save him!  True Blood wouldn’t be the same without our sexy, brooding and dangerous vampire, Eric Northman!

Pam De Beaufort (Kristin Bauer Van Straten)- met Eric over a hundred years ago; was a ‘lady of the evening’ until he turns her into a vampire. Pam and Eric’s TrueBlood10relationship has its ups and downs.  No matter what he does, how he pushes her away or walks all over her, she unwaveringly stays loyal.  She is in a complicated relationship with Tara, who doesn’t like the fact Pam is so strongly bound to Eric no matter what he does. In season six, although in a painful moment he releases her from their maker bond, after Eric takes off and against Tara’s wishes, Pam leaves to look for him anyway.

Arlene Fowler (Carrie Preston)- widowed, initially a waitress at Merlotte’s, friends with the Stackhouse’s, married Renee Lenier (Michael Raymond-James) in season one.  Of course that was until he was outed as a serial killer, doling out his sick justice by strangling ‘fangbangers’ like his sister and framing Jason in the process!  It didn’t take long for her to finally hook up with our gentle, sweet ex-US Marine Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe), who has PTSD after his stint overseas. Though a little off, she finds the love she’s searched for in her five previous marriages!  Unfortunately, nothing lastsTrueBlood20 forever and in season six Terry’s struggle with the things he has done while in the Marines finally gets the better of
him.  Unbeknownst to Arlene, he hires a friend from his Marine days to kill him, but not before he takes out a 2 million dollar insurance policy.  Seeing her husband’s spiraling mental condition, Arlene agrees to an unorthodox method of treatment and has a vampire erase those memories from Terry’s mind.  It all seems to be going great, until out of nowhere, his Marine buddy does what he promises and kills Terry!  Now Arlene owns the bar that Sam used to, called Bellefleur’s Pub and Grill.

Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer)- Sheriff of Bon Temp, Terry’s cousin, dating waitress Holly Clearly (Lauren Bowles) and has a faerie daughter thanks to a one-night-stand with one.  In season one Andy is just a detective, trying to gain the respect of the town’s residents.  Andy finally finds a piece of happiness with Merlotte’s waitress Holly until in a moment of weakness, he has sex with faerie Maurella (Kristina Anapau), who ends up pregnant! Completely blindsided, Maurella shows up at Merlotte’s, drops her litter of faerie daughters on Andy’s lap and leaves! Durandying season six, Andy struggles to find his father gene and things get complicated when the babies grow into teenagers within a two week span of time! Things go from crazy to horrific when Bill, trying to come up with faerie blood elixir, kidnaps the girls with Jessica’s help. In a heartbreaking scene Jessica kills three of the four fae girls after they try to leave!  One survives and agrees to help save Sookie after Warlow tries to kill her.  Andy is currently against Sam’s idea to have vampires monogamously feed off of humans in an effort to minimize the spread of Hep V.

Jessica Hanby (Deborah Wohl)- taken from her family, turned by Bill as punishment for killing a vampire.  She is completely loyal to Bill. Initially falls in love with Hoyt, much to his mother Maxine’s (Dale Raoul) dismay.  Has an affair and falls for Jason Stackhouse, Hoyt’s best friend.  After the betrayal, he requests she glamour away all his TrueBlood30memories of them and leaves town. In season six Jessica is taken to the vamp camp where she meets James (Lucas Grimes) under strained circumstances.  He refuses to have sex with her in the name of science, though later they privately hook up. After Bill’s blood saves the captured vampires from their sunny demise, Jessica and James replenish Bill with theirs.

Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello)- ex-werewolf pack master.  Alcide and his estranged pack are introduced in season three, and they have a hand in abducting Bill Compton.  Alcide didn’t want to take responsibility as pack master, so has been flying solo for quite some time with his girlfriend Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan). Once Sookie enters the picture, Debbie develops pure hatred towards her.  Jealousy gets the best of her and she attempts to kill Sookie multiple times. In season five the pack challenges Alcide, who finally proves exactly who the Alpha is. Before dying in his arms, Sam promises his love werewolf Luna he’ll take care of and proTrueBlood15tect her daughter Emma (Chloe Noelle). In season six, after Alcide takes his rightful place as leader of the pack, they are hellbent on keeping Emma from Sam.  During Sam’s rescue mission, though he easily retrieves Emma, the pack kills three activists from the Vampire Unity Society.  Once they realize Sam has taken Emma, the pack demands that Sam, as well as escapee Nichole be killed.  Alcide sees things differently and instead of killing them, he returns Emma to her grandmother.  The pack feels betrayed, and that he’s untrustworthy so Alcide is ousted as leader of the pack.  He is currently Sookie’s boyfriend.

Now that you’re all caught up, what’s in store for season seven? If you don’t want to know, stop reading this right now!

The season will begin with Sookie and Alcide still romantically involved. Humans and uninfected vampires will be forced to work together to stop the spread of the Hep V virus.  At the end of season six we see Tara’s born-again-christian mother Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) allow her vampire daughter to drink her blood.  Fans speculated she TrueBlood9infects Tara with Hep V.  This will not be the case!

Bill has been down a very dark road, has completely destroyed Sookie’s trust, so much that she doesn’t even like him anymore.  Problem is he wants her back! Let the games begin! Sorry Eric and Sookie fans, looks like there will be an Alcide/Sookie/Bill triangle as he plans to win back his girl!  I think the big question is who will Sookie ultimately end up with upon the series finale?  Personally, I feel that the series began with Bill and Sookie’s love, it should end that way. Can they get back to the way it used to be? It all remains to be seen.

And what about Eric?  Last we saw he burst into flames!  Fear not ladies, our hot-headed (no pun intended), dangerously seductive Eric will be saved by Pam!  Did you have any doubts?  I didn’t!  Not only that, love is on the horizon.

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There are a few new faces on the Bon Temp canvass.  In season six we were introduced to vampire James (Luke Grimes), who refused to have sex with Jessica while at the vamp camp.  This year Daytime Emmy nominated Nathan Parsons joins the cast as a series regular, taking over the role from Grimes.  Parsons gained a loyal following during his three years on the iconic ABC soap opera General Hospital as Ethan Lovett, Luke Spencer’s illegitimate son.  He’s been very busy down south, not only filming for his role in True Blood, but also on The CW’s hit series The Originals as werewolf pack leader, Jackson.  If you’ve seen him on The Originals, then you know he has real star power and a strong on-screen presence. I’m anxious to see him this season as a vampire!

Ever since his sort of falling out with Sookie, Eric’s life has been morbidly chaotic and lonely.  Looks like interesting times are ahead though as Eric will have a new love interest!  Gabriella Wright, a French actress, will catch Eric’s eye as Sylvie.  How will Pam react to his new woman? So far she has nothing but contempt for all the women in his life.  I guess we’ll have to tune in to find out!

Finally, actor Will Yun Lee has been cast as baddie Mr. Gus, a Japanese businessman living in Texas, out for revenge.  In the season six finale, our religious fanatic Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp), who is responsible for coercing her Governor husband to create the vamp camp, brutally killed one of the True Blood Bottling Company’s big wigs.  Having said this, it’s not too surprising that Mr. Gus might have a bone to pick with her!

TrueBlood17As I anxiously await the beginning of the final season, it’s bittersweet knowing the end is near. But what a fun ride it’s been!  There’s no doubt in my mind that fans will get the closure they’re seeking and though True Blood may not be in production again, there will always be a special place in my heart for it.

Don’t miss a moment of the series’ final ten episodes, every Sunday on HBO. Be sure to use hashtags #TrueBlood and #GoodbyesSuck during the season premiere, June 22 at 9 pm.

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About Chrissy Piccolo

Chrissy Piccolo the founder of RHeart Network, the Fan's Voice, the #1 Fan Connection Destination, supporting daytime, prime-time and online scripted digital content. Currently the host of RHeart Radio, the Fan's Voice, as well as Storytellers On The Net, and Sleepy Hollow Addicts on Blogtalk radio. In addition to writing for Blogcritics, she is also an author on Examiner.com. Web Series Today and currently co-hosts with Barbara Barnett and Jerome Wetzel on 'Let's Talk TV' on Blogtalk. She is also working on adapting her her first novel in The Kirsten Kelly Chronicles series into a webseries. Passionate about keeping scripted content alive, she continues to be an advocate for all forms. When she’s not working managing several websites or writing, one of her hobbies is investigating the paranormal with other enthusiasts and searching out possible cases through historic sites in the Northwest. Chrissy believes in being a positive influence in such a vast medium as the Internet.
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