It used to be that the return of True Blood was an exciting time of year. I wanted to get excited for last night’s season premiere, “Who are you, really?” I sat down in front of the television with a beer and a bucket of popcorn and got ready to welcome the return of people I used to care about and hope to care about again. Turns out that whatever magic the series had in the first two and half seasons still hasn’t returned. Instead the series premiere brought more of the same as we’ve seen in the past few seasons.
True Blood Season 6: Fantastic or Flop?
There was plenty of action, starting right from the beginning of the episode. Season 6, Episode 1 picks up right where season 5 left off. Sooki, Eric, Jason, Pam, Tara and Nora all trying to escape from the Vampire Authority’s stronghold. It turns out that while it seemed like this was going to be much more of a battle, they do it relatively easily. They escape the stronghold despite the fact that Bill, or “Billith” as some have taken to calling him is hot on their heels.
When the group gets outside Bill glares menacingly at the bunch and then … flies away. He literally just zips up into the sky and disappears. Apparently drinking Lillith’s blood gave him some new superpowers. After the immediate danger was gone, it was time for some good old fashioned bickering between the various camps that make up the group. This is where the show began to lose me. I’m tired of everyone being at each other’s throats. Constant arguing isn’t fun to watch when its in person. It’s even less fun when it makes up 90 percent of a television episode.
After the bickering had calmed down, Jessica began getting summoned by Bill. This was obviously done to show just how powerful he had become, because when the group tried to stop her from going to him, she became violently ill. I would have thought that the ability to fly would have proven how powerful Bill now was, but the show felt the need to give us a little more blood and gore, thanks to some vampire vomiting.
At this point the group splits up and we get to go follow another story for a short time. This story is apparently supposed to be the comic relief of the new season, showing us Andy Bellefleur’s struggles as a new dad of four fairy girls. While this particular storyline is incredibly dull and completely unnecessary, it did deliver the line of the evening. When Andy tells Arlene that he doesn’t know how or have time to be a dad she responds with “When you stick Mr. Happy inside of someone’s hooha without a raincoat, babies come out!”
How sad is it that was the best moment of the entire episode? There was a bunch of other stories infolding, including Alcide getting to be leader of his pack and getting to have a threesome as his reward, the governor of Louisiana trying to play both sides (human and vampires) against one another, while also offering a government bailout to True Blood makers and Pam and Tara working out their relationship issues. Jason also meets the man who killed his parents in what was, I’m sure supposed to be a neat reveal. Instead of fell flat, like most of the rest of the episode.
The thing that made True Blood great in its first couple of seasons was that most of the action was presented as an undercurrent. The draw of the show was getting to see these characters try and live out their average, normal lives in the middle of a world where vampires and other monsters were real and out of the closet. For the last few years, the show has been one jump cut to another with the blood and destruction ramping up every week.
When was the last time any of these people worked a shift at Merlottes? When did any of these people even remember they were supposed to be working a shift at Merlottes? When did any of these people do anything besides run around and scream, either at each other or at the random blood soaked bodies flying at them?
Sadly, “Who Are You Really” was not a change of pace. It was more of the same. I certainly hope that the writers of True Blood are smart enough to settle down and let life unfold just a little bit for the characters in the show. But it doesn’t appear that’s the direction we’re headed.