Monday, September 12, 2011

True Blood - Season 4

True Blood is remarkably consistent in its inconsistency. The show has a wide, constantly changing cast of characters. Some are bad, some are pretty good. Each season has twelve episodes. Some are bad, some are pretty good. There's always a new batch of subplots each year. Some are bad, some are pretty good. It always seems to border right on the edge between enjoyably campy and too stupid to be worth my time, but never quite tips over on to the wrong side. If it maintains this level, I could easily stick with it until whenever it ends. I've long made peace with the fact that it will never actually be good show. Its sense of humor and let's-try-everything fantasy horror setting are enough. And at least this year they seemed to make an attempt to kill a couple terrible lingering storylines and trim down the cast just a bit, even if it took too long in some places.

So, let's see what happened this season. Vampires are still vampires, and they apparently fear necromancers because they have the ability to control the living dead, which is the basis for the main conflict. We learn a bit more about shifters and werewolves, and the relationship between the two groups. The werepanthers are still around, and luckily disappear after a little while, though unfortunately I'm not sure they're really gone. We also learn were-creatures are created by genetics, like shifters, and it's not something that can be passed like vampirism. We learn more about human magic, principally through the witch that becomes the season's villain, but also through a couple characters we already knew, and we also see the real nature of Lafayette's abilities (I still liked him more when he was normal). We also get some more of that fairy stuff, which is still weird and kind of disjointed from the rest of the show.

The feeling I got, based on the moments after the season's climax partway through the finale, was that season five will revolve around an internal conflict within the vampire power structure, and probably some stuff with the fairies so that whole thing doesn't feel like a waste of time. Which, okay. The show is actually really interesting when it explores the history and larger society of vampires, which makes it disappointing that that stuff is actually explored so rarely. I'm much more interested in the change in the interactions between Bill and Eric after the former becomes the king of Louisiana than I am in which one is currently banging Sookie, but the show's priorities and mine are different. The supernatural stuff in general is just more fun to watch, and it only seems to get crapped up when people are having sex or falling in love. I ended up liking Andy's storyline about his V addiction quite a bit, but it's one of the only cases where the show has been able to make a story that could happen on a show about real life (with a drug besides vampire blood, obviously) interesting. I dont' want to spend time complaining though. True Blood is what True Blood always has been. Very stupid, occasionally frustrating, usually an entertaining way to spend an hour on Sunday.

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