On Sunday, June 13, the blood will once again be flowing on HBO as “True Blood,” the series based on “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” novels by Charlaine Harris, rises from its hiatus and returns for Season 3. Since the show made its debut in 2008, the “Twilight” films have become a full-fledged pop culture phenomenon, and The CW piggybacked on their success by adapting L.J. Smith’s “The Vampire Diaries” into a weekly drama for a fang-friendly demo, but neither offers quite the same blend of sex, blood, and beauty with a decidedly dark sense of humor quite like “True Blood” does.
As you may or may not remember, I blogged my way through Season 2 of the series, but while I enjoyed it as often as not, man, was I annoyed by the finale. In fact, I’d forgotten quite how annoyed I was until I went back read my last blog of the season, which closed with these lines:
Obviously, I’ll be back for Season 3, but when I return, I’ll probably still remember how disappointed I was with the way Season 2 ended. It wasn’t bad, but given how great the majority of the preceding episodes had been, it should’ve been a hell of a lot more gripping from start to finish than it actually was.
Ah, yes, it’s all starting to come back to me now…both the memories of the episode and the aforementioned disappointment.
One of the greatest strengths of the first half of Season Two became one of its most profound weaknesses by the end of the 12-episode run: the character of Maryann Forrester, played by Michelle Forbes. There’s no question that Maryann was a great villain when she arrived, but it soon reached a point where it felt like she was only sticking around to keep other storylines moving along. Given that this point occurred well before the season finale, it got to be a bit of a drag. How odd, then, that it should have felt utterly wrong to have killed her in the middle of the season finale, but it’s true: killing her at that point only served to make the remainder of the episode feel thoroughly anticlimactic.
Still, when “True Blood” wrapped up its second season, it did so by unabashedly leaving several storylines fluttering in the breeze, two of which struck me at the time as being more prominent than the others: Sam’s visit to his foster parents, a trip which sends him on a quest to find his real parents, and Sookie and Bill’s date, which kinda sorta results in their engagement but, more importantly, sees Bill captured with a silver chain and kidnapped. When I blogged the season finale, I referred to the latter event as “arguably the least satisfying cliffhanger of the year, since there’s absolutely no reason to think that Season 3 will kick off with the revelation that Bill’s dead,” and although I pride myself on avoiding spoilers, I don’t think it necessarily qualifies as such if I tell you that the season premiere finds Bill still very much undead. As for Sam…well, he’s still on the road, but that’s all I’m willing to say at this point.
We shouldn’t forget, however, about some of the other residents on Bon Temps, LA. You remember, of course, that Jason Stackhouse, in a well intentioned but poorly informed moment, shot Eggs stone dead. Detective Andy, however, covers for him and basically says, “You weren’t here, you didn’t see anything, now move your ass,” but that’s not going to stop Jason’s guilt, nor is it going to serve as a salve for poor Tara’s emotional wounds. Remember, too, that Jessica made the very unfortunate decision to step out on Hoyt in favor of a one night stand…boy, vampires really give that phrase a whole new level of meaning, don’t they?…with a truck driver. Poor bastard. He’s got about as much chance at having a happy ending as Eggs does. And Eric…? I rather expect that he and Sophie-Ann are going to have a serious talk in the very near future.
So what can we expect to see on “True Blood” in its third season, aside from picking up where these stories left off? Well, given that things are reportedly supposed to follow Harris’s Club Dead, it’ll be no surprise to fans of the books to hear that fur will fly in the very near future…werewolf fur, to be precise. I don’t know how much of Sam’s family we’ll end up seeing, but at the very least, actors have been cast to play his father and younger brother; also on the familiar side of things, Alfre Woodard is going to be popping up as Lafayette’s mother. Lastly, there’ll be a bit of royalty this season as well, with Denis O’Hare portraying Russel Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi.
Yes, I was disappointed with Season 2, and, no, I haven’t been nearly as excited about Season 3…but, dammit, the closer it gets, the more interested I find myself in wanting to see how things are going to play out, and this trailer upped my curiosity level considerably.
Are you feeling the same way? Feel free to comment below…and, starting on Sunday night, don’t forget to pop back by after each episode and check out the latest entry in our “True Blood” blog.
(Still not sufficiently jazzed about Season 3? Check out our “True Blood” fan hub!)