True Blood The Complete Fourth Season
Creator: Alan Ball

Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård
Review by Brian M. Sammons

Here’s some more hot Sookie and the vampires (hmm, that sounds like an ’80s new wave band) action from HBO for you. Look, as this is the fourth season of this very popular TV show, by now you know if you’re a fan of it or not. If you are, great, here’s some more southern gothic, romantic, supernatural melodrama for you with all the blood, sex, and memorable characters you’ve come to love. If you’re not a fan of True Blood, then this season isn’t going to change that. If you fall into that second camp, move along, there’s nothing to see here.

In essence, this is one of the easiest reviews for me to do, as I’m largely preaching to the converted if you’re still reading this. All I’ve got to do is to tell you fang bangers out there that it’s now out and you’ll go and get it. No, that’s not a disparaging remark, that’s what fans do, be they Trekkies, Twi-hards (now them I do make fun of), and big fat guys who paint their faces and go to football games. Fandom is a cult, no matter how big it is, so embrace it and be proud. And lucky for you, this new Blu-ray and DVD combo set is pure fan bait. If you like True Blood then you will want to get this. Still, it is my job to go over new Blu-ray releases, so grab your silver chains and artificial blood beverage; we’re going way down south for some vampire shenanigans.

This season was all about magic, as in a war between a coven of witches and the southern vampires goes from cold to hot in record time. Specifically the main antagonist here is the ghost of a witch who was put to the stake hundreds of years ago after being repeatedly tortured, raped, and fed upon by vampires in the Catholic Church. So you can kind of see her point when she wants to do away with all vampires. And because this witch has mucho magical mojo, she can actually do just that if given half the chance. However with this show you’re supposed to care about the blood sucking corpses, as they’re all cute, brooding, and emo, so naturally she’s painted as the bad guy with a pretty broad brush.

Just like all the previous seasons of this show, there are always a whole tangle of plot threads unspooling at the same time to make sure there’s never a dull moment and to get the impressively large supporting cast plenty of stuff to do. In addition to the Sabrina vs. Bela (as in Lugosi, not Twilight) action, you get more angry ghosts looking for dead babies, biker werewolves looking to make good, two gay male witches looking to strengthen their love, and Sookie’s wonderfully witless brother looking to take care of a whole mess of inbred, hillbilly werepanthers. Oh and the usual vampire politics, sex, comedy, sex, gory kills, and sex. You know, all the good stuff you’ve come to love about this show.

Season four of True Blood is not the show at its best, but it’s far from bad. It is, as always, a silly, sexy, if only ever slightly scary good time. I do enjoy this show despite my better judgment. It’s cotton candy for the brain with plenty of pretty for the eye. I know some serious horror fans hate this series, but I think such folks need to lighten up and just enjoy this show as the ridiculous, over the top, naughty soap opera it is. That’s how I watch it, and it never fails to give me a giggle.

Merits of the continuing adventures of Sookie and Vampire Bill aside, this new Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy combo set from HBO is top notch in every way. While HBO’s chief competitor in the pay TV thing (Showtime) continually puts out anemic sets for their shows with nary a special feature to be found anywhere on them, HBO has really stepped up their game and continues to impress with each release. There are six audio commentaries to be found here. Why only six, I don’t know, but they are pretty fun and informative and have a ton of the cast and crew on them, including show-runner Alan Ball, stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Sam Trammell and more. In addition to the commentaries, there are a TON of cool extras on here. So many, in fact, that to list them all and would make this review far too long. While I’ll never say that a bad movie (or TV show) should be picked up just because the Blu-ray comes with a bunch of great extras, their lack can turn an otherwise sweet taste sour pretty darn quick. Well rest assured that here things are very sweet indeed, so much so that care should be taken that one does not overdose on them, less they fall into a diabetic coma.

So if you are waiting for the fifth season of True Blood to start up on HBO, do yourself a favor and pick up this fourth season to remind you of all the sexy supernatural shenanigans from last year. While not the best season of the bloodsucking show, it is still a load of fun that looks absolutely great on Blu-ray and comes packed with a great gaggle of great extras. Fangbangers rejoice, this BD/DVD combo set continues to deliver the bloody goods you’ve come to crave.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: http://brian_sammons.webs.com/ and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.

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