TV Series That Will Make Your Brain Work

Anna Paquin  - True Blood 4

The topic of what makes a TV Show great comes down to a man’s close to home inclination. It is safe to say that you are a man that preferences comedies? Is it true that you are a man that watches only PBS? There is nothing amiss with this. The primary concern that makes a TV indicate great relies on what you think works.

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True Blood 3.12 – Sometimes, The Wrong Thing To Do Is The Right Thing

Season 3 of “True Blood” has come to a conclusion, and I’ve got to be honest with you: it couldn’t have happened a moment too soon. Between having to blog both this show and “Mad Men” more or less live, I’d reached the point where I’d begun to dread Sunday nights…until I realized that, no, it wasn’t so much that I was dreading Sunday nights as it was that I was dreading having to blog “True Blood.”

But we’ll get back to that.

Since I’ve already watched and written about the show, let’s go ahead and just tackle the events of the season finale first, beginning, of course, at the beginning.

So Eric and The King are just, y’know, kinda hanging out in the parking lot and catching some rays, like good buds sometimes do…except, of course, that good buds don’t tend to be handcuffed together (unless they’ve taken their friendship to a, uh, higher level), and being exposed to the rays in question means imminent death. In the case of The King, it’s kind of a good-riddance-to-bad-rubbish situation, but for Eric’s, it’s definitely a case of suicide by sunshine. So is the spirit of Godric really visiting him, or is it just his rational mind trying to get his attention? Either way, Godic’s pleas for Eric to forgive The King fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, Sookie’s running through the forest to catch something that looks like a cross between E.T.’s ship and a chandelier, but it turns out to be something like running toward the light, since she suddenly wakes up from what was apparently a dream and slaps the shit out of Bill for betraying her again…except that, really, he only pretended to betray her in order to save her again. Yawn. As soon as she realizes that Eric’s outside, sacrificing himself in order to rid the world of The King, she refuses to allow it, instead running outside and allowing The King to goad her into using her fairy powers to separate Eric and The King from each other. Rather than save them both, however, she slams The King against a wall, dragging Eric inside and leaving The King to burn…although, frankly, I don’t know why she didn’t do something to actively finish him off, given that he was continuing to threaten her even as she departed.

Oh, that’s why: Sookie offers up her blood to save the day, and once Eric’s in better shape, he announces that he wants to spare The King. Yeah, good plan: he sure talks and acts like he’s really going to be sparing humanity when he gets released. Sookie sits around, reading Star Magazine and listening to The King rattle on with huge monetary bribes, but she’s not letting him out of his chains. As a backup, he tries to make her feel paranoid about the value of her blood to Bill and the other vampires. She openly mocks him for believing that he can bring his lover back to life with her blood. Instead, she pours his remains down the sink and cranks up the garbage disposal. Ew.

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True Blood 3.11 – “Be brave. We’ll die together.”

I’d like to begin this week’s blog with a plea to the publicists at HBO to provide us with some more photo assets for “True Blood,” because I have to believe that you’re just as sick of looking at this all-purpose promo shot as I am. But what can I do? We haven’t been given new shots in ages, and that’s really the most appropriate picture I’ve got to kick off the proceedings. Basically, what I’m saying is blame HBO, not me. In the meantime, though, have another look at the gift that keeps on giving, week after week after bloody week…

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let me applaud Alan Ball and his crew for offering up an awesome nod to the competing programming – yes, the Emmys – by kicking off tonight’s episode with “True Blood: In Memoriam,” which was a little bit of genius…and, if I’m to be honest, was more effective that the Emmy’s “In Memoriam” segment. (Loved the song, Jewel, but the pacing of the whole thing was off, possibly because they’re not used to scoring it to something other than just some plain old orchestral music.)

On to the episode proper. Bill blows into Fangtasia on a quest to find Sookie, but on his way toward the basement, he’s stopped by Pam, who tries to tell him that he just needs to chill out and put things into their proper perspective. He ignores her and heads for the stairs, but he’s taken down by Pam’s handy-dandy silver spray. As it happens, Sookie looks to have another savior: Eric’s Russian stripper girlfriend, who’s bitter at being blown off by him – possibly because he’s been underestimating her (who knew she was a cardiologist?) – and decides to let Sookie go…and the timing couldn’t be more perfect, since she pops up and saves Bill from Pam’s wrath. Pam’s kinda pissed about the situation, since she’s of the belief that things are going to go to hell if Eric isn’t able to present Sookie as a gift to The King.

Lafayette and Jesus are coming down from their crazy-ass trip. Jesus was clearly moved by the experience, but Lafayette, while admitting that it was pretty unique even for him, isn’t particularly interested in revisiting the situation again…and that was before he had his first flashback. But how about that second flashback, with all of the dolls coming to life and talking to him? Loved it.

So Jason’s girlfriend is a were-panther, eh? You can’t blame him for being a little upset at this revelation, especially since – as he informs her – he’d figured that her big secret was “shoplifting or something.” He bristles at her suggestion that he might not be a real man, but, hell, compared to the guys in her family, he actually is kind of a wuss. With no one to talk to, Jason finds himself wandering over to the the football field, where he finds his young high-school student nemesis from earlier this season alienating his girlfriend and pissing off his teammates from working them so hard, but I can’t tell if it’s because he’s on something or if it’s because he’s just kind of an obsessive jerk. (It’s probably both.)

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True Blood 3.10 – Once Evil, Always Evil

If I’m to be perfectly honest, this week is the first time since Season 3 began that I’ve been legitimately excited about tuning in for “True Blood.” Granted, you have to take my position with a grain of salt, since I wasn’t watching when episodes 3.7 and 3.8 originally aired, so I’m willing to admit that it’s possible I could’ve had that feeling as a result of one of those. Even so, though, I’m willing to bet that just about everyone who watched The King rip out the heart of that poor newscaster at the end last week’s episode was desperately seeking an answer to the question, “What’s going to happen now?”

I know *I* certainly was.

It was therefore mildly disappointing to have the episode begin not with The King but, rather, with Bill finally revealing Sookie’s true identity to her. Fortunately, Sookie’s reaction served as an instant salve for the wound: “I’m a fairy? How fucking lame!” I think you’d have to say that Bill didn’t exactly do the best possible job of playing up Sookie’s ancestry, and things only got worse when he was forced to admit that her people were reportedly wiped out of existence by vampires, owing to fairy blood being magically delicious. He can’t exactly confirm that the stories are true, but he can at least vouch for the awesomeness of Sookie’s blood. This immediately makes her suspicious of why Bill’s interested in her, but he swears up and down, “It’s not your blood I love. I love you – your mind, your heart, your soul – and I will foreswear ever feeding on you again if that’s what it takes to convince you of that.” Aw, isn’t he just the sweetest vampire?

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True Blood 3.9 – Relax. It’s Not Like You Killed Someone.

First things first: bless you, John Paulsen, for stepping in and filling my shoes so capably while I was attending the TCA press tour in Beverly Hills. Although the Hilton did have HBO, trying to find the time to sit down on the Sunday nights that I was out there and watch “True Blood,” let alone blog about it, would’ve been a major pain in the neck…vampire-related joke totally intended, of course. Indeed, I’m particularly glad that you did such a good job, as I’ve spent so much time winding down and ramping back up again that I’m relying on your write-ups to fill me in on the pair of episodes that I missed while I was otherwise occupied.

Things kicked off tonight with Eric zipping into Fangtasia and, with an absolutely-warranted tinge of panic to his voice, informing Pam that he’s just staked the lover of the Vampire King of Mississippi. Nice one, sir. Immediately after blowing off Pam’s suggestion that they hide out at Sookie’s house, good ol’ Ginger strolls into the office. “Ginger, dear, where do you live?” he asks, casually. Good idea, bad timing: a battalion of V-Feds have already established a beachhead, with the dark and despicable (yet somehow still kinda hot) Ms. Flanagan glowering at Eric, thoroughly annoyed that his actions have taken her away from pursing the ratification of the Vampire Rights Amendment. After an apparently extreme search of Fangtasia’s basement which brings up nothing (“I’m a Virgo,” says Eric, “I like to be neat”), Ms. Flanagan sits down sexily and proceeds to take Eric’s formal statement, broadcasting it by webcam to the members of The Authority…which, for some reason, immediately brought to mind Springfield Republican Headquarters on “The Simpsons.”

Eric dives headlong into his back story, adding his comments about and thoughts on The King’s philosophies, including the highly contentious statement, “Fuck The Authority,” then wrapping up with a heartfelt explanation about how he wants The King’s death to be at his own hand. Ms. Flanagan isn’t buying what Eric’s selling, however, putting him and Pam on lockdown. Pam doesn’t understand why Eric’s never told her about the depths of his haunted past, but he basically says, “It’s not your problem,” instead changing subjects and telling her that it’s time for her to become a Maker. Woo-hoo! Promotion!

The King runs in to find the decidedly disgusting remains of Talbot, which he promptly smears himself with. Ew. Just…ew. Then he sees that Eric’s stolen not one but two of his most precious possessions, the other being the artifact which dates back to the King’s destruction of Eric’s family. Oh, yeah, he’s really pissed.

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