As always, this is your fair warning for spoilers. I won’t give away all the candy, but for purists, tread with caution.
It’s a few weeks late, but I wanted to let my bile settle. All I can muster to sum up my feelings for Season 4 of True Blood is a big, underwhelming bleh.
Season 4 was based on Dead to the World, the 4th book in the series by Charlaine Harris. This was my favorite book, by far, out of all of them. So I had high expectations for this season. And before you start carping about how the show and the book are not the same. I know this. I actually love that HBO and Alan Ball are NOT making them exactly like the book. It means fans of the books are just as surprised as first time watchers… but when you have such fucking awesome source material I do expect you not to botch it six ways from Sunday.
My largest gripe this season is the handling of Eric. To me Eric is a powerful, larger-than-life smartass viking warrior. He’s ruthless, shrewd, and highly intelligent. Could be a King in his own right. And the loss of his memory should not be a loss of personality. Season 4 gave Eric a complete lack of “self” that effectively lobotomized his very essence into a fragile, hollow shell of a character. And it was absolute shit. It felt like Sookie was falling in love with a mentally deficient child, and I felt kinda dirty watching it. Everything about their “romance” was gross and fake.
There were so many times during Season 4 where I literally exclaimed, “This. Is. Stupid!”
Which brings me to the witches. Really? That’s how you wanted to play that card? The witches in Dead to the World were werewolves AND witches. They were fucking scary as hell. If they didn’t turn you inside out with magic, they would eat your face off. Marnie was an infuriatingly bad joke. Weak character, trite dialogue, horrible development. Everyone is mean to her so she’s going to kill all vampires! Next thing you know she’s going to be listening to The Cure and cursing her curfew. A horrible shame considering actress Fiona Shaw is rather good. I also found it horribly ignorant of the creative team to continually drag Wicca through the mud. It’s not a buzz word people. THAT was not Wicca but thanks for associating whatever “it” was with a legitimate religion.
To breeze through my other dissatisfactions… I hate the faeries. Gang rape of Jason. WTF? Sweet sappy gross Sookie/Eric sex. No, thank you! Sookie feeding Eric and Bill while they wear matching pajamas. Vomit! Bill and Eric immediately agreeing to commit suicide while Sookie weeps prettily. I’m going to slit my wrists.
Oh, there were positives. Don’t get me wrong. Plenty of blood and melty vampire faces. Some quality weirdness. Pam’s positively inspired wardrobe. Sookie not being completely useless. I like Bill as King. He’s found himself a backbone and it looks good on him. Tara’s storyline did her justice. She made one giant clusterfuck of the whole thing and in the end, she stepped up to the plate. She also made a cute lesbian – just saying. Jesus grew on me and was way more interesting as a Brujo than Marnie ever could be. Lafayette’s “I See Dead People” schtick makes for interesting television. Especially considering how the mortality of Bon Temps is insanely high. Jessica has the best lines and she’s becoming a fast favorite of mine. Tommy’s redemption and Sam’s heartache really struck a chord. And thank the good lord, Alcide grew a set of balls and became the wolf I always wanted him to be.
But in the end… despite some really good parts… there was more “I hate this” than “I love this.” And that makes me sad. By far the worst season. Even more so than that travesty that was Season 2. I want better story telling and less weakly constructed “drama.” And for the love of all that is holy and unholy! No more shitty, sappy stupid romance! Make it good or don’t make it at all!
And for all that I hated this season as a whole, I’ll still come back for Season 5. Because I’m apparently a masochist and that little gem at the season finale promises so very much from Season 5. But I won’t tell you what it was.