by Chris Saccaro
When watching “True Blood,” I find it important to remind myself that “True Blood” isn’t on the same level as a show like “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones” in terms of thematic continuity and interconnected storylines. But even while reminding myself of this, it’s still tough to get through an episode as of late.
Now, this may just be the effect of a new season of “True Blood” starting up—storylines are just beginning to form, and new characters are finding their place in the world. But so far, “True Blood” is moving as slow as molasses. All of the storylines are being stretched to fill multi-episode arcs when it could easily be handled in half the time.
This is especially true of Tara’s transformation into a vampire. Sookie and Lafayette spend the episode trying to tame Tara as she runs around making a mess of everything. So in that regard, things aren’t much different than previous seasons. Lafayette struggles with his decision to keep Tara alive for his selfish reasons, and Tara says she will never forgive him. I hope in time that Tara’s character learns to embrace her vampire side, and stop being such a victim. Even as a vampire, she manages to be a martyr.
Eric and Bill find themselves in quite an awkward situation, as “The Authority” holds them prisoner while accusing them of being sympathetic to The Sanguinistas (either vampire purists, or baristas who serve blood at overpriced prices). Or maybe they’re being held prisoner for the whole witch debacle from last season (hereby referred to as “wiccangate.”) The writers are purposely keeping us (and by extension, Eric and Bill) in the dark about their true purpose.
All of the other characters are going about their own lives. Jessica continues to hold parties for the humans of Bon Temps. Jason is still suffering the consequences of his sexual deviousness while dealing with the sexual advances of Reverend Steve Newlin. Alcide is remaining an independent in the race to become the new pack leader. And Terry continues to hide his past from Arlene while being a jerk in the process.
As I explained earlier, “True Blood” is pretty much a bunch of random storylines that are slowly being expanded upon via quick five-minute segments. It’s a slightly overwhelming means of storytelling reminiscent of “Game of Thrones,” but with much less of a grip on narrative. In the upcoming episodes, I’m hoping some of the plots start to merge together, because for now, watching “True Blood” is like skimming through a lengthy book. You get a general grasp of what’s happening to the characters, but as you do, you realize there’s not much actually going on.
Chris Saccaro is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.