Thursday, June 17, 2010

What I’m Watching: True Blood (Season Premiere)

True Blood: Season 3, Episode 1 “Bad Blood” (B+)

Wow, it’s great to have this show back. Taking nine months off makes some of the supporting plotlines, like Eggs getting killed, harder to fully recall, so it’s good to have a lengthy “previously on” segment to get back into the swing of things. This is a strong premiere because it launches into a number of arcs for the different characters, some of which are sure to be resolved quickly, like Bill and Sookie being reunited, and others, like the werewolves, which will likely be focal points for the entire season. As a clearly annoyed Sookie tries in vain to find someone to go look for Bill, it’s interesting to learn that someone else got to him before Eric did. That someone was played by Grant Bowler, familiar to me as Connor on “Ugly Betty” and freighter commander Captain Gault on season four of “Lost,” truly indulging in his evil side here as an apparent representative of the werewolves. Bill calling out to Jessica for help and glamoring that kindly old woman are two elements of the show that I absolutely love, and I’m very glad to see him do both again. Sam having sex dreams about Bill just like Sookie has about Eric is more than a bit strange, but I suppose it’s an entertaining subplot. Sam’s own search for his family isn’t quite that engaging yet, but I imagine it will get there soon. Tara’s anger and suicidal urges could easily become too much of a distraction, but what’s most entertaining in this episode is her interaction with others. Yelling at Arlene was a completely new thing that ended up making for a terrific scene, and anything that gets Lafayette riled up enough to yell at people is worth it. Lafayette did retreat to that same kind of terror that Eric instilled in him when Pam got mad at him, and that was just as intriguing to see. Andy ordering Jason to go out and sleep with women was funny, and the idea of Jason and Hoyt as roommates is very entertaining. Their first foray into double-dating didn’t work out so well, and Hoyt saying “nice to meet you” after his girl has left to join the other two and they have both left because Jason talked about seeing bullet holes in their heads was hilarious. The vampires in this episode were stellar, starting with Eric standing naked in front of a determined Sookie after spending six hours getting to know his new dancer. Both the queen and the magister showing up together made quite an impression, and I must say that I’m infinitely more impressed with Evan Rachel Wood as the vampire queen than I was last time she appeared on the show. Her two best lines are worth repeating: “isn’t moral anarchy kind of the point” and “hell hath no fury like a vampire queen broke.” While I don’t really care about Jessica’s first kill, I do love that Sookie is being so proactive and smart in her search for Bill. Her talk about respecting your elders to Bud was especially impressive. Since I haven’t read the books, I don’t really know what to expect regarding these werewolves, but I like where it’s headed based on the ending of this first episode, featuring Bill facing off against a pack of them and saying “I should warn you, I’ve fed.” Can’t wait for the next episode.


Greg Boyd said...

If you like "True Blood" (a show that I haven't seen, by the way), you should absolutely check out the classic "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". One of the best shows ever. Warning: it doesn't really start getting good until the end of season 2, but after that... just fantastic.

Laura said...

I love True Blood and I have to admit I'm a huge huge huge Buffy fan. Spike is my favorite vampire!!! He also has some pretty amazing lines.

But I did really enjoy the season premiere. I agree with Abe, and the long "previously on True Blood" helped remind me what happened last season. But to be honest, I really can't stand Tara. I heard that in the books she was supposed to die in the very beginning of the story, so I'm sort of sad they decided to have her stick around... But Lafayette does make up for how annoying Tara is... who knows maybe they'll kill her off this season... here's hoping!!!