True Blood is back and it’s awesome…in its own way

true-bloodI’ll be the first to admit that I kind of despised True Blood when it first aired. I gave the series three episodes to hook me, but it just kept pissing me off more and more. The story was weak and the characters were pathetically one dimensional. I was a huge fan of Six Feet Under, Alan Ball’s previous show. I’m of the opinion the final episode of SFU is one of the greatest pieces of television ever produced, especially the final ten minutes. It gives a new meaning to “finale.”

This is why I was so disappointed in True Blood at first. Was this just another John From Cincinnati? Where an awesome show creator comes off a creative high and just bombs? With John you had David Milch coming off of the incredible Deadwood to create the most mind numbingly awful shows in recent memory. Could True be Ball’s John? It sure looked like it.

But last summer when there was absolutely nothing else to watch, I loaded up the serie’s first season and decided I needed something to laugh at. And laugh I did. Many things about the show are laughable, from the writing to the acting, to the general production values. Then a realization struck me – I wasn’t laughing at the show anymore, I was laughing with it.

This is a show whose cast and crew don’t take seriously themselves, despite the plot being deadly serious. It’s like intentional B-rated television with a AAA production budget. There’s something oddly heroic, albeit a bit stupid, about that. As long as you don’t take any of the characters or situations seriously, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. Lots of nudity, bucket loads of gore and a good deal guilty pleasure likability.

Not high brow in the least, but damn fun to watch.

So, what about the season premier? Well, think of it less than an explosive premier and more a direct continuation of last season’s final episode. There are no shocking revelations to be had here, just the characters going about their business. Sookie is still stupid, idiotic Sookie and Bill is still hilariously deadpan Bill. Nothing new there, except for that vampire Bill had to change. She’s annoying as hell, but hot nonetheless. Jason is still enthralled by the anti-vampire cult, but who honestly doesn’t see him sleeping with the preacher’s wife?

The only “big” events were Lafayette’s capture (the reveal of his captor is awesome and makes sense) and more information on Sam’s relationship with vibrator woman. Apparently she statutorily raped his ass. Not necessarily a bad thing seeing that she’s a fine piece of tail.

Hmm, it really doesn’t sound like a glowing review does it? But that’s the point. There’s nothing glowing about the show. It is what it is, and it makes no apologies for it. The writing isn’t any snappier than it was and the acting is definitely still an inch or two about ludicrous. But that’s its charm. If you liked the first season, you’ll like this premier. If you hated the show (and I know a lot of people do) then this is just more of the same. No attempts were made to transcend itself. If anything they went the extra mile to stay the same.

UPDATE:

According to Variety the show had the highest rating since Sopranos for HBO so obviously the show grew a larger following due to DVD sales. With 3.7 million viewers, it was 1.7 million more than last season’s finale and has positioned itself as the highest rated show for the network.

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