For the past three months, I have had my facebook news feed littered with HBO’s “waiting sucks” adverts for True Blood’s return. Having been a fan of the show since I started watching it about three years ago, I was looking forward to its return, but I knew that it might mark its end.
I was pessimistic, especially after the previous season’s unnecessary expansion of cast, poorly structured episodes and confusing murders. I hoped the show would return to its original arch, and rediscover its roots and success.
…reward was always near…
True Blood after all, was the product of American Beauty and Six Feet Under’s Alan Ball, and anyone who had held out through his previous patchy and indulgent works would have known that reward was always near.
Thankfully, that has been the case with True Blood.
…the dark ending of Season four…
It was a relief to see the returning episode (entitled: Turn! Turn! Turn!) of Season five handsomely reeled in its unpalatable content and reassured its viewers of the importance behind its original characters who mattered the most. This following immediately on from the dark ending of Season four, which saw Tara’s head explode as she flung in firing range to save Sookie; the episode became an almost real-time experience between the intimate ties of friendship and lives of Sookie, Tara, Jason, Eric and Bill.
For the past few months, the executives behind True Blood surely must have felt some heat, as they heard they would become the act to follow on from Mad Men and Game of Thrones. This, as well as hold its position as the homecoming summer show to watch, would have led to several meetings negotiating what would guarantee its importance and continuation.
… it holds a lot of potential to return to its position as the ‘show to watch’…
On the back of two major rivals in the ‘film budget’ TV world, which continue to shine with every new episode, and its high expectations, one cannot help but wonder if the show has started to age. Especially as the ‘new’ vampire craze faces the coffin, with the ending of Twilight and its spin offs, and cast members attempting to keep their film careers alive (leading Anna Paquin into the muddy director vs studio incident with Margaret and Alexander Skarsgård making a short appearance in 2011’s film event of the year Melancholia).
True Blood might not feel like it belongs in our current entertainment era, and although I personally think it holds a lot of potential to return to its position as the ‘show to watch’, I don’t want to hold my breath either. I have started to suspect that it will not last as long as the book series which it is based on, and is unlikely to drop the tongue-in-cheek act which it developed late in season three.
…the show will go from strength to strength…
For all its worth though, its return feels fresh, ticking off a few expectations and delivering a nice twisted ending, we can assume that the show will go from strength to strength, quiet down its chaos and find some resonance from episode to episode.
And if not, I suppose it might all make sense in retrospective playback, on DVD or stunning HD Blu-ray, rather than the week by week viewings, as I have found the show far more enjoyable back to back rather than on broadcast. All in all though, to quote its poster, “Don’t cry. It’s back.”
Images courtesy of HBO