True Blood Season 3
Created by Alan Ball
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard
Review by Brian M. Sammons
Confession time: I think this show isn’t really good and at times it’s a big bag of stupid. Without ever reading the books it’s based on, the twists and turns the show tries to pull off I always see coming way in advance. The characters often do nonsensical things, sometimes against type, only for the sake for advancing the plot and that has always been a pet peeve of mine. Worst of all I hate the part it has played in the wussification of vampires into misunderstood, brooding, bad boys. You know … pale necrophiliac sex symbols with fangs as opposed to the evil, undead things I prefer.
Yet with all that said, I do so enjoy watching this show. I know, I’m as surprised as you are, not to mention even a bit ashamed for myself. True Blood is not great TV, hell it’s not even particularly good TV. At best its junk food TV, but just like chocolate and peanut butter, I just can’t seem to get enough of it. It’s silly and bloody and sexy and I do love it so. So keep that in mind when reading this review. True Blood has won me over despite me not really liking it. I guess that does attest to something good about this show, or at just how easily I’m amused. Anyway, let’s move on.
Just in case you’ve been asleep for the last three years, True Blood is set in a world where the vamps have come out of the proverbial closest and have joined, with mixed success, the world of man. Down south Louisiana way a sexy, brooding vampire (yeah, what did I tell you) named Bill falls for a feisty, perky waitress with psychic powers named Sookie. The TV series explores the star crossed lovers’ trials and tribulations, but because this is a world were undead bloodsuckers are real, things are a bit more complicated and exciting than that tired Romeo And Juliet premise. There are werewolves (of course, wherever there’s vampires these days, there’s werewolves), black magic, ancient gods, and even fairies thrown into the mix. Yes, fairies. If you’re familiar with the World Of Darkness line of role playing games like I am then all this may sound familiar to you and you’ll probably wonder, as I did, how come they haven’t sued the hell out of this show by now. Well I don’t know the answer to that, so again, let’s move on.
Season three of the monsterific melodrama begins with vampire Bill popping the question to Sookie, but before she can say yes or no (you know she’s going to say yes, don’t you) Bill is abducted by bad guys. So begins this season’s arc involving a huge pack of werewolves, a vampire king named Russell (played to scene chomping perfection by Denis O’Hare who owns ever scene he’s in), and Sookie discovering the truth behind hey mysterious powers. There’s a lot more going on that just that. True Blood has a boatload of memorable secondary characters, each with their own ongoing story arcs, including a Viking vampire, and werepuppy and his new found family, Sookie’s dumb as a rock but good hearted brother, Bill’s smoking hot vampire offspring and her love life troubles, Sookie’s best friend who gets into a very bad relationship, and on and on it goes. At times you need a flow chart just to follow all these plot threads, but such things do make for rabid fans, and since I don’t want to risk their wrath, far be it from me to spoil any of the surprises.
Look, you already know if you like this show or not and whether or not you’re going to be picking up these discs. So with that in mind I’ll cut to the chase and say that if you’re already a fangbanger (and if you know what that is, then you are) then you should rejoice because this set of Blu-rays fresh out from HBO delivers the goods. Not only does the show look amazing in High-Def, but there’s a bunch of extras packed in for the fans. That is something another cable company named SHOWTIME should take note of for their Blu-ray releases of their flagship show, Dexter, but I digress. Here you’ll find a ton of cool featurettes. You can flash back to relive pivotal moments from the show or flash forward to see how scenes effect the world and the ongoing story. There are bios for all the various characters, living, dead and undead alike. There are a half dozen or so interviews, not with the actors, but with the characters they play in the show. A nice collection of trivia and hints or what may happen in future episodes, scene deconstructions, episode wrap ups, audio commentary tracks with the cast and crew, and even a Snoop Dogg video (no, really) are all found here. All TV series should get such treatment when they are released on disc, but sadly very few do.
So despite myself, I highly recommend True Blood Season 3 on Blu-ray. It’s a fun show that I always enjoy watching and it is presented here in a great looking package with a bunch of goodies for the fans. However if you ever tell any of my guy friend that I’ve said this, I’ll deny it.