The Downward Spiral of True Blood

The season premiere of True Blood was last night, which is what prompted me to write this.

I do not understand this show anymore at all. I still watch it because I feel like if I don’t see the entire show through then I wasted my time. That’s just how I am with shows, which is why there are so many shows I don’t watch. Once I commit to watching it, I have to see it through to the end.

Let me start by saying that I’ve read all the of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charliane Harris. While not all of the books were good (the latest one earned a rating of just 2 stars from me), I continue to read because they are still decent books. If I had to rate the show in the same format, I don’t know that a 1 would be quite low enough. I cut the books a lot of slack because even when they aren’t their best, everything still makes sense. What I am about write requires prior knowledge of both the books and the show up until this point. I can’t remember what season this is, but it corresponds to the book number.

The way Harris has designed the world is flawless. The politics of the vampires make sense. The way the pack is organized is well thought out, interesting, and believable. The way the world of fae works makes sense. Sookie’s own gifts have a story that makes sense. Sookie’s brother Jason’s adventure into the world of Hotshot makes perfect sense, regardless of how weird it gets. Even the relationship between Sookie, Eric, and Bill make sense and it all hinges upon the rankings each vampire have within their political network. Long story short, Bill is always below Eric in vampire organization. This is important to the way things pan out. The deaths and firings of various Merlotte cooks is also extremely important to the book’s plot.

Season 1 of True Blood was great. While added side plots were added to some of the minor characters, the show stayed true to the general plot of the first book. Obviously, lots of lots of nudity and sex were added because, well, isn’t this HBO? haha. I didn’t read the books until somewhere into season 2. And that’s when things got weird… The entire plot of season 2 in the show was based on something rather minor in the book. At this point, I can’t even remember how many weird twists were taken. And the whole time I was watching, I wondered how the show was going to dig itself out of the hole it dug for itself. And the answer: dig more holes.

My dislike of the show these days really isn’t about it keeping up with the books. It doesn’t have to do the kind of job Game of Thrones does. I get it, things will change. I’m fine with that. I just don’t understand why basic structures of things have to change as much as they have. Because I recognize much of the basic plot of the show as being roughly the same as the books, I guess I feel like the changes have only muddied the waters, made the story more confusing and I watched the show feeling as if the makers have been patching up hole after hole, and doing a poor job. It’s getting ridiculous. Last season, I felt like Sookie herself wasn’t the same person. She had no personality, which is something that she ALWAYS has in the books and what makes her story so interesting. Without Sookie and her personality, you don’t really have anything to work with.

Last night, I could have screamed watching the werewolves. Their pack is nowhere close to the intricate structure of the pack or the way they do things in the books. In the books, the pack did some weird stuff, but they were an organization with traditions. They certainly weren’t anything like they are in the show. How can the show get Alcide’s personality and demeanor so perfectly only to ruin the personalities and demeanors of the rest of the weres? Alcide doesn’t even make sense or fit the werewolf roles in the show, which is what bothers me. The pack doesn’t have to be like the pack in the books, but Alcide’s personality is one that fits very closely to the book’s idea of packs and I feel like it should. He radiates strength and wolfiness so perfectly, yet he’s drastically different from the other wolves in the show. Shouldn’t all the wolves radiate those same things in some fashion?

I could go on and on about the discrepancies and the disappointment I have with the show, but I won’t. At least Pam is funny in the show.