Archive for August, 2012

Fangover: Day 5 – Hoyt

Whether anger or denial motivated him, he looks ridiculous with that guyliner.

When we look back on Season 5 it’s interesting to note that there are two storylines about grief, not one. Whereas Lafayette’s is the more literal one – dealing with the death of Jesus, Hoyt’s was about dealing with the loss of his first love and the betrayal of the man who’d been his best friend for life. If we went back and look, you can find four of the five classic stages of grief within his arc:

 

–          Denial – his desperate pleading with Jessica in Fangtasia that she really did love him.

–          Anger – the joining with the Obama’s

–          Depression – Mesh-shirted Hoyt getting fed on by the vampire? It was made very clear in the early season that most fangbangers do in fact have some kind of death wish. This was Hoyt at his very lowest.

–          Acceptance – the realization that he needed to leave Bon Temps, that there was nothing left for him here and not only that that if he stayed it’d kill him, not just emotionally but quite possibly physically.

You could make an argument that asking to have his memory wiped of all things related to Jessica and Jason isn’t quite acceptance or that it’s a cop out because he really have to heal fully on his own, but I think that if we were in his shoes, and we had an easy way to forget that a lot of us would be at least tempted to do what Hoyt did, if not go out and demand it like he did.

Although certain parts of the story were hard to watch, at the end it really did come together beautifully and the ending just made so much sense for his character and was so well acted.

For so long I’ve been asking for Hoyt to be killed off because I’d never really felt his storylines had amounted to much of anything. I’m happy to have been proven wrong and I’m happy that he went out the way that he did. The writers definitely did the character justice and I hope that Jessica’s glamour really does work out and he can find the happiness he never really had in Bon Temps in Alaska.

Best Moment – Refusing to kill Jessica

At the point the Obama’s had kidnapped Jessica, Hoyt had been at an all-time low in his life. He was hurt, he was vulnerable and you can see how the hate group had begun to worm its way into him. Although you knew that Hoyt was fundamentally a decent guy, his anger and his hurt were so strong that it didn’t really seem that farfetched that he’d actually do it. So to actually see him not do it was a huge sigh of relief.

Worst Moment- Hoyt asks to have his memory wiped

Although I mentioned above that a lot of us would be tempted to ask for the same, it still the coward’s way out. He was already putting a ton of distance between himself and Jason and Jessica by going to Alaska, he didn’t have to remain in contact with those back home. By having himself glamoured, he loses the pain and healing and growth that can come out of such an incident.

Fangover: Day 5 – Jessica

I am the OG baby vamp, got that?

It ain’t easy being a baby vamp is it, especially when you’re no longer the newest baby vamp on the block. Jessica has always been one of my favorite characters, and I think she’s one of the few female characters that generally had better development character wise than the rest. She’s Alan Ball’s baby and it showed. Unfortunately, like a lot of the main vampires this season, her development petered out and she ultimately do much of anything. Aside from dealing with a Lilith-crazed Bill and a bit of baby-vamp bonding and cat-fighting with Steve and Tara, she pretty much spent the entire season dealing with the fall out of her relationship with Hoyt, namely the impact it had on her and Jason. Where-as Hoyt’s story was ultimately well developed, hers wasn’t.

The creators said they wrote Hoyt off the show because they felt his story had come to an end. Jessica was on my kill list towards the end of season 5 because I felt hers was nearing that point and the other baby vamps are more interesting. I am glad that she survived the season, and I hope that now that the Jessica/Hoyt plot is done and Jessica/Jason seems all but dead that she’ll get to be a main part of the fight against Billith instead.

Best Moment – The way she glamoured Hoyt.

Credit where it is due: the baby vamp deserves huge props for the way she handled Hoyt’s painful request. She could have stuck strictly to the letter of it. She could have really damaged him his mind. But no, she was incredibly classy and mature about the entire thing, going above and beyond to help Hoyt start on his new life by giving him a new lease on love. It was a wonderful scene and a great job for the baby vamp.

Worst Moment – The cat fight with Tara in Fangtasia

While the verbal sparring with Newlin was clever, this wasn’t. Yeah, Hoyt can be blamed too for purposefully riling Jessica up, but Jessica didn’t have to take the bait. It’s even worse because it’s hypocritical. It’s okay for her to jump Jason but not for Tara to jump Hoyt? Yeah. She’s still incredibly young (not only as a vamp, but as a human, period) but still. That was just kind of an embarrassing scene all around.

Fangover: Day 4 – Russell and Steve

Aww. One of the cutest moments ever on True Blood. Ever. Never mind that the wolf cub is Emma…

I think you could make an easy argument that the return of Russell and Steve were two of the things that Trubies were most excited for going into Season 5. And who could blame us? These were two fantastic characters on their own, they should make two even more fantastic characters paired together, right?

Meh. You’d be kind of right.

Of the pair, I think Steve fared better of the two, his popularity was always driven by his personality as much as his story. On the other hand, Russell was a character whose strength lie in the fact that he was just so much older and stronger than the other vampires and how he was a much bigger threat to them as a result. This season, that menace was largely removed relatively early on kind of neutering him. Although he had good scenes with Steve, it ultimately felt like he was brought back to appease fans and to be a plot point – move things along by offing Roman more than to create any kind of strong story around him. The couple kind of worked, but it didn’t have the same dynamic of Russell and Talbot and given that Steve was school-boy crushing and Russell was on the rebound from Talbot, it probably wouldn’t have lasted anyway.

That said, anyone else get the feeling that the writers went “So what would be a cute gift for Russell to give to Steve?” “I know, a puppy!” “I know! Let’s have them give him Emma!” and thus the plot addicting the Shreveport wolves to V was born.

Best Moment – Steve’s “Gay Vampire American” speech.

Perfectly written, perfectly acted and a fantastic way to reintroduce a character that a lot of people loved. It’ll go down as one of the shows best scenes.

Worst Moment – Russell versus the Fairies

This whole thing just felt off. The Elder Fae was a being who had literally lived long enough and in enough places that she was driven mad by an overload of knowledge and Russell still defeated her that easily? I  don’t know that I buy that. This scene does win some goodwill back because the Elder Fae was so annoying that I can’t really say that I was upset to see her drained.

Fangover: Day 4 – Pam and Tara

Let’s just appreciate how awesome they look in those outfits, shall we?

If we were to point to something that the writers did 95% right, it would be Pam and Tara. They gave Pam more depth than a quip machine or someone who can’t do anything other than mope about Eric liking Sookie and they finally made Tara a strong woman of her own, instead of a perpetual victim – even if it took turning her to do so. Best of all, they timed the whole thing that we always got just enough of them in a given episode. The end result was not that not only were characters redeemed, Tara gained fans from people who have always hated her, and most of all, it was probably the one storyline of the season that got almost universal praise. Brava .

Best Moment – Pam gives Tara a gift.

One of the things that made this storyline work so well is how slowly the writers paced things. Everything was baby steps with the pair. It wasn’t like they were BFFs the night Tara got turned. And the night that Pam publically berated her Childe – but that night offered her the same racist bitch as dinner- showed perfectly how the dynamics of the relationship were beginning to turn, from one of grudging tolerance to something more. It was a great way of showing it in a way that fit the characters beautifully.

Worst Moment – The kiss in the elevator.

This would be the one misstep. While you could argue that the kiss in the elevator was one of desperation, it still all felt a little too fast. Remember, it’s been only what, one-two weeks most? The friendship I can buy. More than the friendship kind of iffy. I have to say though, if all story lines had missteps this minor, True Blood would have some of the best writing on tv and I would be all too happy if this was the level of quibble I could find with all the storylines in a given season.

Fangover: Day 3 – Jason

Jason I get vamps aren’t your favorite species right now, but go study the V-teams tapes. They made this look effortless.

It’s not a good sign when the best moment of the season is when your character is tied to chair, naked, listening to a proud “Gay Vampire American” profess his love to him. I’m not saying that this was an awful season for Jason – it just felt kind of like a forgettable season for his character. There were some devastatingly good moments, some awkward moments and a heck of a lot of times where he was just helping push the plot along. Like several of the other characters, I think the best moments of his were quiet moments in the scene – the looking up the dress of the Teddy Bear, the realization that he shouldn’t have slept with the teacher, turning down the sorority chick. Ultimately though, if I asked you to sketch out what his character did over the course of the season, could you?

Best: Jason realizes he’s lost Hoyt

Prior to pulling Hoyt over, Jason had processed the fact that Jessica had glamoured him, but hadn’t really internalized it, like it hadn’t actually sunk in yet. By the time that scene ended though- man the devastation was just done pitch perfectly. The writers gave the actors a great script and Ryan (and the others) absolutely ran with it. It’s one of those scenes that will be right up there with Godric on the rooftop as one of the emotional scenes that has ever gone down.

Worst: Jason’s hallucinations/attitude in “Save Yourself”

Although he’s been heading towards this hatred of vampires all season long, the end point he got to – where he was seeing his parents and they were egging him on – seems just as forced as Bill’s initial conversion to Sanguinista. And just as Lala’s mask was a cheap indication of lack of emotional control, the hallucinations served the same purpose – a way to egg Jason on to that endpoint they wanted to take him without finding another way of going for it. The writers seem to like taking these kind of shortcuts and it’s one of my least favorite aspects of the show.

Fangover: Day 3 – Andy

Yeah. That happy look didn’t seem to last long. Also: so not a newborn.

Thank you True Blood writers, for giving Andy something he has desperately needed for five seasons now: dignity.

Given the nature of Andy’s abuse issues, it’s not a surprise that he’s been scraping near the bottom of the barrel for the better part of the show’s history. While I’m not convinced that he’s going to stay sober it was really great to see Andy winning the battle for once and actually proving that he can be a half-decent cop. The scenes with Holly were nice and I wouldn’t object to seeing more of that next season though considering the litter of half-fae babies that he just picked up it’s probably not going to happen.

Best: Andy figure’s out Bud’s role in the Obamas and saves the day.

Andy has never been a smart character. He’ll never be a smart character, but this was a nice moment of glory for him when he used those skills that he has picked up and really proved his worth as a cop and that just maybe, he actually deserves that spot as Sheriff.

Worst: Andy waives the ticket for the Judges’ son.

It was tired and cliché. It only existed to move the plot forward by getting Andy and Jason to the faery club. Ultimately I just wish they’d found another way to get them there.

Fangover – Day 2: Lafayette

It’s official. Lafayette is back, bitches.

As with Terry and Patrick, Season 5 has reminded us Lafayette is such an amazing supporting character: the guy can seriously steal a scene with as little as a single line. The return to form has only reminded how much Jesus “softened” him but honestly I think a lot of fans will be glad to see this Lafayette return.

As for his story, it was necessary but severely flawed.  I don’t think the Jesus stuff amounted to much and I think it didn’t deal enough with the guilt that comes from being at least partially responsible for Jesus’ death.  The stronger part of the season was definitely the last quarter after he got his groove back. I rather take a minute of a scene-stealing Lafayette than seven of a neutered one.

Best moment: Lala gets his grove back.

Right after returning from Mexico and Arlene asks him to play the medium. It was that moment when you could see Lafayette had come to terms with what had happened and the old Lafayette snapped into place. It was great scene, wonderfully played, and you couldn’t even argue with his logic. Well played, sir. Well played.

Worst moment: Revenge of the demon mask

We get it. It was a metaphor for the turmoil of emotions he was feeling blah blah blah. Thing is, Nelsan is probably one of the strongest actors on the show. The writers didn’t need such an overt and ham-fisted way of showing it. Let’s hope the mask stays away, shall we?