Theory: 'True Blood' Is Secretly Weening Us Off Of Vampires
It's only been two episodes (that's approximately 110 minutes of airtime) and already, True Blood is testing my patience more than Andy's four fae babies are testing his sanity. The series has spun so out of control (Eric Northman's somehow sexy dweeb routine notwithstanding) that there has to be some method to the madness. Perhaps, the series is attempting to take the remnants of vampire obsession, now tattered pieces in a Twilightless world, and eviscerate them completely. Why else would any one let it get this far?
In the realm of wildly popular vampire franchises, the only fang-ridden folks still kicking are HBO's Bon Temps gang and the CW's Vampire Diaries family (yes, that includes the new series The Originals). The tween set has moved onto the resurgence of boy bands with One Direction and they've even started dabbling with comic book heroes (see: Arrow, one of the most wildly successful CW shows ever). What are we still doing watching a show about vampires (and faeries, werewolves, shape-shifters, spirits, witches, and every other possible supernatural cocktail of a creature)? Perhaps True Blood is simply trying to push us off of a train that's speeding towards a cliff.
Exhibit A: Sookie is Now, Literally, a Faerie Princess
Sookie's grandfather (who we thought was Warlow due to sloppy shock tactics, but more on that in a minute) helps her figure out a way to stop her scraggly vampire tormentor now that he's past his dripping dreadlocks through a vortex. Wonderful. It gets even better, because the method by which Sookie can stop Warlow is through her own sacrifice and power: she has apparently had the power to create a vampire-kryptonite-super-nova this whole time, but when she uses it, she'll no longer be a faerie. Also wonderful (if you're willing to forgive the Final Fantasy feel of a rule like that). Sookie just changed her mind about staying fae and now she's got to give it up — this is real conflict.
Not so fast. (This is still True Blood, after all.) She gets that autonomy (and not in spurts of uncontrollable emotion or with the help of a faerie collective), but the already absurd situation is tarnished by a few factors: Sookie learns she's kind of a big deal and legitimately a faerie princess due to her grandfather's title as King of the (yes, I have to say it) Faeries. To boot, she meets the most blandly perfect Southern gentleman and he-faerie who's basically reading from a script of "Things Sookie Needs to Hear From a Handsome Man Right Now," Eric still loves her, and the previews for next week tell us that Bill's about to work through his Lilith possession to come to her aid. We've always known Sookie was wearing a metaphorical pointed hat sitting in the ivory tower that is her idyllic southern house, attracting vampires, men, werewolves, and shifters like a child casually holding a net and bringing in slews of 400 pound yellow-fin tunas. Does she have to have a literal crown too?
Exhibit B: Plot Twists Manifest Like Bad Excuses From a Lying Toddler
Did you steal a cookie from the jar, Jimmy? No, mom. It fell. Out of the 18-inch tall jar. With a tight lid. On top of the fridge. The fridge next to the stool that I definitely didn't put there. This is what this season of True Blood feels like, except the True Blood excuse would read: "No, mom. It fell out because someone invented a device that tells the cookies to jump out of the jar when I'm thinking about them."
That Christopher Walken-esque creep driving Jason around isn't Warlow? He's actually Jason's faerie grandfather and he was "testing" him last week? Even though he was snarling and exhibiting general menace behavior? Sure, that's believable and not obnoxious at all.
Oh, vampires are basically screwed because humans invented glamour-proof contact lenses that somehow ward off the powers of hypnosis, which is a mental process and not some sort of mechanism that operates in your eye sockets? Sure. There's more? Humans have moved beyond silver and wooden bullets, liquefied silver, and the natural goodness of the sun to super weapons that shoot silver bullets that emit U.V. rays, which basically makes them legal, handheld torture devices? Okay, that's not testing our capacity for the fantastical. No way.
What's that? Vampire God isn't actually Vampire God, because there's only one God? But the person we thought was Vampire God is working with the real God? They're buddies? Who are the humans working with? Is their God Lockheed Martin, or whoever they commission to make those completely unnecessary devices of torture parading as simple weapons? Is True Blood really making me question God right now? Because nothing makes me question higher powers more than the loss of the weekly ritual that was a once-awesome supernatural soap.
Exhibit C: Everything is Happening, And Yet, I'm Bored
Surprise: Sookie is still in trouble and everyone falls in love with her all the time. And, duh, Arlene is annoyed by this. Guess what? Lafayette is still amazing and is consistently relegated to fourth string support or a terrible story line. Again. Jason is suddenly alright again and back to being just a lovable dumb guy after being generally terrible (let's not forget his borderline disgusting sex habits from Season 1... or the fact that he slept with the love of his best friend's life, Jessica). Sam's fighting forces he has no way of defeating. Alcide's angry again. Bill is conflicted and we're not sure if he aims to hurt or help (just like that time he was playing house with Russell Edgington). Pam is worried Eric doesn't love her. Eric still does whatever the hell he wants without thinking and gets away with it because he's so cunning and handsome.
Nothing has changed, no matter how outlandish the actual circumstances continue to become.
The only thing that's different is the fact that Bill(ith) now has premonitions of violent acts against vampires, all of which are declared legal because vamps have no rights whatsoever in the new Louisiana. It may just be up to this bloody-eyed oracle to save our vampire friends, who he sees burning alive in his latest vision. The problem is that the show itself isn't giving us much of a reason to hope he succeeds.
Images: HBO (2)