True Blood Season 1 mid-season review
I’m halfway through the first season of True Blood, and that seemed like a good place to write about it a bit. Although the show did intrigue me a bit on its own, I’ve been pretty tired of vampires the last decade so I’m blaming this entirely on Renée.
SPOILERS AHOY! If you haven’t seen this show or read any of the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, you should probably skip this post. You also may want to skip it if you don’t want to read a stream-of-consciousness brain dump of my thoughts & opinions on the show. Seriously, I go on for like 700 words.
I’m curious how much this show is like the books. So far it’s felt like a soap opera, not so much a single story as an ongoing look into the lives of the people of Bon Temps. The thought occurs to me that a full length novel might stretch out to fill 12 episodes of TV nicely, so I wonder if it’s sort of a “One book per season” deal.
My usual genre-savvy isn’t much help here, because this show doesn’t follow the usual rules. For example there seems to be a serial killer in the area, but that’s happening in the background. There’s an ongoing social revolution as vampires begin to live openly and the world adjusts, but that’s out of focus to us. Calling this show “character-driven” is like calling the ocean “a bit damp”. It doesn’t even have a plot in the traditional sense, just the tangled threads of people living near each other.
There’s a lot going on in this show, but here’s what sticks out in my mind so far:
Local law enforcement is seriously under-trained. It’s not uncommon for me to feel more competent than the cops on a TV show, but usually that feels like bad or lazy writing. Here it feels very natural, like a small town that’s simply not equipped to deal with a serial killer and is maybe lacking a little professionalism. Well done!
Speaking of serial killers, our latest victim marks a change in M.O. The first two were strangled, the third stabbed. I wonder if that’s because, as many speculated, Sookie was the target or if there’s something else going on.
Fully two-thirds of the episodes I’ve seen have ended with Sookie staring in horror at a fresh corpse. I must admit, it would be kind of awesome if that ratio sticks around.
What the hell was up with the “Rolling around smelling the sheets in the crime scene” bit at the end of episode 4? Seriously, what the fuck?
Also, what’s going on with that dog? Gotta be a Chekhov’s gun thing, (Chekhov’s dog?) but I can’t work it out.
V-juice is apparently terrifyingly addictive, as Jason shows major withdrawal symptoms after his second use. Granted, his first use was something like 600 doses, but still it’s only been a few days since he’d never done it before. It’s interesting to me that it had a very different effect on Jason than on Sookie, as though the blood Sookie drank was used up healing her with only a little leftover side-effects.
On the subject of side-effects, didn’t Bill say that he’d always be able to find Sookie because she drank so much of his blood? It sounds like a lot of black market V is sold by vampires looking for quick & easy money, so can they sense heavy V users? Could be something nefarious there, or maybe it takes too much to be an issue for the recreational user.
What IS the vampire agenda? I really like the parallels with various forms of real world prejudice (god hates fangs!) but the contrasts are also interesting. Unlike teh gheyz, vampires are genuinely dangerous and seem to actually have some hidden agenda. It’d be a neat twist if the show was messing with our heads on that count, and the VRA was exactly what it purported to be, and only the perspective we’ve been given by the show makes it seem suspicious. Seems unlikely, though.
My spellchecker is ok with the phrase “teh gheyz”, but balks at “spellchecker”. Truly, we live in interesting times. And I’m wrapping this up, because I like interacting with people and I’ll already be lucky if anyone reads this far.
So what do you think of this show?