Archive for May, 2011

30 day challenge: Favorite S4 Promo

Oooh. This one is a toughy because there has been an absolute <i>glut</i> of promos this season – Alan Ball has spoiled us so.

I’d say that my favorite have to be the “Screen Test” series. Even though the series doesn’t necessarily reveal any plot points or even give any hints, there’s something about it that just clicks for me and makes me want to see more. I love every single last one of them!

That being said, I do kind of miss the minisodes of last season – the Fangtasia dancer audition from S3 was hysterical and there hasn’t been one this season yet that has yielded the same reaction.

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30 day challenge: Favorite Quote

“Does that help you decide America? Do not turn off the camera! You’ve seen how quickly I can kill. Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Russell Edgington and I have been a vampire for nearly three-thousand years. Now, the American Vampire League wishes to perpetuate the idea that we are just like you. I suppose in a few small ways we are. We’re narcissists. We care only about getting what we want no matter what the cost just like you. Global warming, perpetual war, toxic waste, child labor, torture, genocide, That’s a small price to pay for your SUVs and your flat screen TVs, your blood diamonds, your designer jeans, your absurd garish McMansions! Futile symbols of pertanence to quell your quivering, spineless souls. But no, in the end we are nothing like you. We are immortal. Because we drink the true blood. Blood that is living, organic and human. And that is the truce the AVL wishes to conceal from you because let’s face it eating people is a tough sale these days so they put on their friendly faces to pass their beloved VRA but make no mistake. Mine is the true face of vampire! Why would we seek equal rights? You are not our equals. We will eat you after we eat your children. Now time for the weather. Tiffany?”

– Russell Edington,  Everything is Broken S3E9

 

This one was tough because there are just SO many good quotes out there from just about all of the characters: it all depends on what it is you’re looking for at the moment. Eric has the best sex related qoutes and no one can beat Pam’s one liners, but I decided to go with this one for a two reasons:

– The most obvious: the absurdity of the ending of the speech. I considered just doing that portion of it, but what makes it such a great line is the context of it. Here he’s gone on this rant after ripping out the spine of the hapless news anchor sitting at the desk and then BAM he’s acting like nothing out of the norm has happened and is handing the show back off to the hapless humans whom he’s both belittled and terrorized. It has great impact for the contrast.

-I like it because you know that for all the face that many vampires put on to the front that they want to be out there and amongst the humans that in reality, way more probably feel the way that Russell does. Neither Eric nor Pam hide their disdain for humans, and even the most ardent mainstreams on the show – Bill and Nan – don’t really seem to have a problem with feeding on humans- Nan more so than Bill probably, but even though he had to feed when he was in limo with Russell and Lorena he seemed to be rather enjoying himself when they’d gotten back to the mansion.

So yeah, I like it because it hints at the darker truth: vampires don’t see humans as their equals and some (like Russell) would very much like a return to the good old days. It’s a good quote for highlighting that and that’s why I picked it.

Too much a good thing?

We are a spoiled lot, Trubies are. True Blood has put out more promotional goodies in the ramp up for the new season than any show I can think of – certainly on HBO, and probably on network or basic cable where if a show is lucky they’ll have one or two promo segments.

Between the top of my head and surfing Trueblood News I’ve managed to compile the following list of promotional items put out ahead of the new season:

-5 in production segments (Eric/Sookie, Eric/Bill, Jason/Crystal, Sam/Girlfriend, Arlene/Terry)

– The scene screened at Paley Fest that was subsequently released by HBO (At Fangtasia)

-Invitation to the Set (Aired as part of the Game of Thrones Pre-Show)

-Screen test series (one group, plus another 10 of individual actors)

-The Andy Bellefleur character perspective from the S3 Blu-Ray

-2 3-minute previews on HBO Go (one this week, one next week)

-‘Real’ preview commercials (“Breaking Up Sucks”, the Extra preview, “Witches vs. Vampires”, “The Wait is Almost Over”,

-“Show your colors” posters

-Promotional images for episodes 1-4, plus the 20+ pictures released this week

-The #TBwithdrawl website & Hooked Posters

-The Dig Deeper item-find challenge.

-The Dig Deeper S3 special airing on June 7 (you could argue it doesn’t count because it’s a recap of S3, but I’m sure S4 will get mentioned if only briefly)

With the exception of the in-production segments which first started to air in March 5 (Paley Fest) and the Invitation to the set (April 7) almost every single last bit of these has been in the last MONTH. And now that we’re in the home stretch we’ll start to see the actors doing media – Rutina’s already been on Craig Ferguson, Alex has been in GQ and Interview, Anna and Stephen have been in health-focused magazines, the show has been mentioned in EW, USA Today, possibly TV Guide – the list goes on and on and actually while compiling this list you realize just how overwhelming it really can be.

Which brings me to my question – is all this strictly necessary?

I love me a good preview as much as any, but it’s clear we’ve reached the point of diminishing returns in terms of the previews – each new preview has less new content and more content from previous ads – Alan has likely shown us all that he’s willing to show us. Beyond that, do we really want to see this much? We’ve been handed not-so-subtle hints for almost all the major storylines on S4 thus far – for Eric, for Arlene, for Jess and Hoyt, Lafayette and Jesus, Sam, for Jason. We don’t quite know what’s going on with Tara, we’re not 100% sure what’s going on with Bill or Sookie, we’re not sure why Sophie-Anne hasn’t changed clothes since the finale of season 3, but we still know a ton! Will that take away from the enjoyment of the new season if you know too much?

I feel bad for the spoiler-phobic, HBO is making it all but impossible to remain the dark about what’s going to go on next season. My biggest worry though is True Blood burnout – the ultimate Trubies will continue to lap this all up, but what about the more casual fan? Will they be geared up for the season or so sick of the ads that they don’t watch?

Only time will tell, and that’ll be an interesting sight to see.

My Thoughts – HBO GO 3 min Preview – SPOILERS

Before I go any further I want to say that I hate, hate hate the design of the faery land. It’s the fae via s Mt. Olympus by way of Hercules: The Legendary Journey. Seriously, Aphrodite in her pink lace- bedazzled bikini and Ares in his black studded leather would fit right in here. I get that it’s supposed to be ethereal but instead it comes off as low-budget and cheesy looking. Knowing Ball, the design was by choice which makes it worse. He may well agree with Sookie and think that the fae thing is so lame, but the audience needs to buy into the fae because at some point (whether in S4 or next year in S5) the fae will be a bigger plot point. By making their home ridiculous it makes it harder to buy into it.

As for the promo itself, I like the fact that Sookie isn’t just “oooh, pretty!” and instead has learned something from all her time spent with the vamps and is, instead, rather suspicious of everything that’s going on. I like the fact that she isn’t hopping on the “We aren’t freaks here yay!” bandwagon that Barry is on and that she doesn’t immediately eat the fruit – and really stays away from it when she notices that everyone up there seems to be obsessively eating that “pure happiness.” Sookie even gets a nice dig in at Claudine with her “If it’s your job to protect me, can I say you suck?”

The bit with her Grandfather is intriguing, and all of it put together suggests that there may or may not be something slightly more sinister in Faery land, even if we don’t know what it is. The design issues I mentioned above cheapen the bit of suspense that is just built in and just frustrate me again about the way it was done because there is something good here. We’ll see how it plays out.

Overall, it’s a solid three minutes of show time, I’m not 100% sure that I’d choose to lead off the episode with it given everything else that was left hanging at the end of Season 3, but it’s too soon to call whether something else might have been a better start.

30 day challenge: Favorite Couple

Yep. My favorite couple is our baby vamp and what could easily be her high-school sweetheart. I like how Hoyt grew up and grew a spine and got out from under the wing of his mother, and I like how he genuinely seems to care for her without ulterior motive and that the relationship doesn’t seem to exist strictly to move the plot forward in the way that some of the other couples can. One of the arcs I’m actually looking forward to the most in S4 is how they’ll deal with the fact that he’d rather her mainstream and drink only Tru:Blood and she doesn’t want to.

Alan Ball has done well here: the couple is clearly meant to be a metaphor for interracial couples (because vampires are always a stand in for -something- be it homosexuality, or whatever) but it doesn’t feel preachy. Well played, sir. Well played.

30 Day Meme: Favorite Male Character

If ya’ll thought that anyone else would end up in this position, well…c’mon on now.

Bill is my favorite because I have a thing for more or less good guys who actions are often morally gray at best (for Heroes fans out there, I’m a fan of Noah Bennet for the same reason) – they’ve got good intentions, but aren’t afraid to get down and dirty to see them out. c.f. S2E1 when Bill blithely admits to killing Sookie’s Uncle because said relation dared to hurt her and he can’t have anyone doing that. Good intention: questionable means of obtaining it. Hell, he even manipulated her after the fact with tears and a good “I’m doing it for you” speech. Awesome not 100% good guy moves right there!

I think characters that are strictly “good” and don’t have a non-noble bone in their body are not only not realistic, but they’re dull to watch. Added layers make a character more interesting, and I know that one of the things I’m most excited for in the upcoming season is finding out just how deep in the rabbit hole Bill is when it comes to vampire politics. And if he’s in vamp politics, his hands ain’t clean, and I don’t want it any other way.

30 day meme: Favorite Female Character

Nan Flanagan

At first, I was going to pick Pam. Because Pam is awesome – she’s easily got the best one liners on the show and she can even, occasionally, dish out useful advice to baby vamps with occasionally absentee Makers. But then I thought that as much as I adore Pam (and I do) I thought I’d shed the spot light on someone else.

I know that Nan Flanagan isn’t exactly an obvious choice, but I like her. She’s got a human sense of hypocrisy about her – she totally touts mainstreaming and totally feeds on humans in private. She’s strong, and tough and a “bitch” because her job demands that she be, and quite frankly she’d fit in as well on Capital Hill as she does in the AVL – if she didn’t have fangs and wasn’t trying to convince people that vampires totally don’t normally make a show of ripping out spines. In some ways, she oddly almost comes off as human for those shark-like qualities – or maybe the politicians are more vampire. Either way, she strikes me as one of the few vampires of any real power or authority that could still move easily within human society, and that intrigues me.