Here's Adam Armstrong and me on the series finale of True Blood. My comments after Adam's -Nathaniel
One thing you should know about me: I am a pro-rationalizer. I don’t enjoy disliking things, especially when it comes to movies and TV shows. So many people, so much hard work, so on and so forth. Take for example, this one time, on the way home from seeing the third Paranormal Activity movie. I was so invested in the series I went to every midnight showing. I loved them. And then that movie played its final 20 mins, and it was fucking garbage. It was the American Horror Story: Coven of movies before Coven was even around.* Seriously, was Ryan Murphy a creative consultant for the ending of that movie? But, still, on that ride home, ridden with disappointment and rage, I clung to one aspect of the movie I liked in order to forcibly admire it. “BUT, THAT ROTATING FAN SHOT, RIGHT?!”
However, some train wrecks are beyond extreme and unreasonable rationalization. As you damn well know, I was more than liking this season, especially when evaluated on the True Blood grading curve. But what the actual fuck True Blood? [more...]
You know something’s terribly, irrevocably amiss when my favorite part of the episode was Sookie & Bill’s storyline. It was that terrible. I’m not going to dwell any further on my hatred of Bill, but suffice to say, I love the way he died, and my only grievance is that the stake wasn’t in him longer before he exploded.
Remember that time when Lafayette got no screen time in the series finale except in a pan shot involving nearly all of the characters?
Remember when Jessica and Hoyt got married, because why not throw in an overdone finale trope?
Remember when Sarah Newlin said she had nothing to be grateful for when she was the best addition to the show for the past couple years?
But I guess we’ve gotten down to what True Blood is at its core, a bunch of foreplay only to be foiled by ill-timed erectile dysfunction. After a certain point, they just couldn’t perform and we were infinitely left craving more.
Perhaps it ended the best that it could have given what came before but this finale was so terrible that I don’t even want to write about it. I’m just going to glamour the hell out of myself by rubbing my eyes after I eat a handful of wasabi green peas, and forget that the show even happened after season 4.
*Just so we’re clear, I’ve also compelled myself to love the past season of American Horror Story. I know. After months of mentally debating between my logical and illogical parts of my brain, it now only makes sense that Taissa Farmiga’s vagina could kill people and the plot would naturally culminate with Jessica Lange in Hell bellowing the words “Knotty pine”, and Precious herself fucking a minotaur inbetween them.
Editorial Post Script:
One last swig of that Tru-Blood. Hey, everyone it's Nathaniel. Since I did spend a good amount of time writing up True Blood in its last worthwhile season (4) I wanted closure here on the blog so I thank Adam for doing the dirty work (filthy dirty, as it's True Blood) as I just didn't have the heart. Insufferable Vampire Bill ripped it from me ages ago. I suppose in the writer's room it felt correct to end on Sookie & Bill's romance, which is how the series essentially began. And that wouldn't have been a bad place to go apart from all the filler inbetween. With that inbetween, you're only highlighting that you've run in circles the whole time. The show spun and spun each year stretching 3 episodes of plot into 12 hours, keeping up interest only with its insane horniness and several wickedly clever actors. True Blood was a series that just couldn't evolve, so it kept spinning with less and less subtance in the eye of the storm (Sookie & Bill). It's always best when series win tearful goodbyes instead of mercy killings. But in the end, not unlike Vampire Bill, True Blood had to be put down. Sookie wielded the stake, but it was an enormous failure to then jump ahead to insure us that everyone, including Sookie, lived happily ever after in Bon Temps. When it comes to town's riddled with dangerous supernatural beasties, this is the only logical conclusion.
Still, despite True Blood's difficulties with repetition and growth and absurd degrees of fandering and writing itself into corners... despite absolutely awful things like were-panthers, let's end positive. I have to say "Thank You" like this series finale's title for the following ten things which I'll always treasure or respect.
- Introducing the wide world to its incredibly talented MVP trio of vampire actors: another round of applause please for Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica), Kristin Bauer van Straten (Pam) and Alexander Skarsgård (Eric) who never failed to move us, crack us up, and glamour our asses. They can always get it.
- The opening titles and their sing-along genius. Irresistible and brilliantly mood-setting.
- Overachievement in getting Ryan Kwanten's clothes off in nearly every episode.
- Perpetual horniness but especially that moment when Bill emerged from the earth like a grimy zombie to give it to Sookie (my choice for the show's most memorable sex scene)
- Lafayette, hookers. (Even though they never knew what to do with him beyond fabulous one-liners)
- Arlene. Carrie Preston is such a gem.
- Literally everything about Fangtasia. From its video store origins to its secret passageways, camp-tastic throne, and that terrifyingly familiar dungeon. Great art direction and cinematography on this series throughout.
- The rich female big bads: Michelle Forbes as Maryann (S2), Fiona Shaw as Marnie (S4), and Anna Camp as Sarah Newlin (S2, S6, S7) but especially her "Fellowship of the Sun" origins and for being one of the only characters on the show whose plotlines were always interesting without ever pushing her out of character to get there.
- Our first unmistakably bold clue that Lizzy Caplan had much more range than we could have ever known from Mean Girls (S1)
- The Casting Directors Libby Goldstein and Junie Lowry-Johnson. They always brought it with great character faces and/or hotness. Extra special kudos for finding the perfect Ginger (Tara Buck) and Maxine Hoytenberry (Dale Raoul)
What's your final takeaway from True Blood? Will you remember it fondly?