Archive for June, 2014

S7 E2: “I Found You”

So after the episode aired, my father said to me: “that was a wasted episode.”

I decided to lead with this because my dad is very much a casual fan of the show. Casual fans are really the core of any show’s audience: they may not get as emotionally invested, but because of that you really get a sense of what does and doesn’t work in any given episode. So when a casual fan says that an episode was waste, you have a problem. That problem is further compounded when he  asked what the deal with the diary was (which I’ll get to in a bit). I also was asked what the deal with Jason/Eric was. When a casual fan can’t figure out why a given scene happened, your problem has blossomed into a huge problem.

Do I agree?

Let’s break it down and take a look.

Jason/Eric – Viewed as a standalone scene, I absolutely loved it. Ryan and Alex gave this their all. For the touches of humor, the scene actually managed to be rather (and surprisingly) sexy scene, capped off by excellent use of “vampire love” (which if memory served first played when Bill and Sookie were together). It also worked better as an “I Found You” scene than Pam finding Eric at the end of the episode (which I’ll get to later). That said. This scene shouldn’t exist. It makes no sense in the timeline. If it had happened before the leap six months forward, it’d make sense. If there had been no time skip at all, it’d made sense. But happening over six months later? It just doesn’t work. Not only would the blood have been well out of his system, he’d probably had so much of Violet’s blood that if he was have sex dreams of anyone, it probably should have been Violet. Bottom line: this scene was pure fan service. Fantastic fan service, but fan service. And when you only have 10 episodes to wrap up a series, and when you waste an episode and a half on characters that fans don’t care about, the last thing you really need is fan service.

Lettie Mae/Lafayette/Willa – To quote my dad “Why did they feel they need to keep writing stories about her?” That’s pretty much my opinion. I like how Lafayette stood up to her. I rolled my eyes when Willa rolled over and gave her blood after Lettie Mae deliberately burned herself (and for the record, her burn should have been much severe). The question becomes how long will it take Willa to figure out she’s being used. In general though, who cares? Adina Porter is a wonderful actress, but I much rather Tara be alive than Lettie Mae. Sorry.

Obnoxious humans – Too much time spent on them. Don’t give a fuck about them. Waiting for those gun happy idiots to accidentally shoot each other. Such a waste of time. Also: Kenya, I’m disappointed in you. Writers: Race card shit. Really? Really? Ugh. And since we’re talking about nameless humans: St. Alice humans how would FEMA would have helped you? National guard yes. The people who give you trailers and loans not so much. Writers again: Stop it with the social parallel nonsense. You haven’t done it well for years.

Hep-V vamps – On the one hand, it is nice seeing this from their perspective. On the other hand, when combined with the humans it meant the vast majority of the episode was spent with people we don’t care about. And we should be well past this point already. I think I’d appreciated more had we not spent so much time with the humans.

Sookie and the diary – As @scribeninja said – “Mark this as the beginning of Bill’s rehabilitation” and that’s about it. Sookie remembered the good times. And that’s about it. On a side note: that the flashbacks served as the bulk of Bill’s screen time? So not amused. His other scene was so small, I don’t see much point in even recapping it.

Alcide – I did not hate him. He did said smart shit and his suggestion to get out of dodge was actually good. Color me shocked.

Arlene – Whoops. Almost forgot about her. Shame, because I liked the Arlene we saw in this episode. Too bad we didn’t see this side of her much earlier.

Andy and Sam – They were in this episode. It’s sad that the best detective work was Jason’s “pizza forensics.” Also, clearly Sookie wears the pants in this town since neither man said anything and just did what she said.

Pam – She was in this too. And she found a sick Eric. Can I say I wish Jason had found him instead? It’d been more emotional. Sorry Paric shippers.

So…yeah. I pretty much 100% agree with my parents on this one. Almost nothing of note happened here. The majority of the episode was wasted on people we don’t are about and we had almost zero screen time for Bill or even Eric (outside that fanservice). I thought it moved a bit faster than last week, but it’s faint praise at best.

Verdict: D+ (saved from a total fail by the fan service. A waste of time, but an enjoyable one)

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True Blood S7 E1: Jesus Gonna Be Here (Spoilers)

It’s that time of year again, folks. Where has the time gone? I have to say that I’ve gone into this season a bit underwhelmed. The last finale left me feeling lukewarm and even HBO seemed underwhelmed a bit when it comes to promoting the school – they didn’t even start up on Twitter until about a month before the show. By comparison, in Season 4, the very first promo came out in March. So yeah. Not too excited.

Did the episode change my mind? Eh. It was a solid episode. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. Let’s break it down.

[Oh, and it should go without saying: Spoilers Abound. Don’t read until you’ve seen the episode.]

Eric – let’s get this out of the way. He’s not going to around much this season (they filmed around his Tarzan filming schedule) and he’s not in this episode. Moving on.

Bill/Andy – Where’s Bill? His lack of presence in the premiere of season 6 made sense, and helped to build up tension. I did like what we got with Andy and Bill, I just wish he’d been around more. I do like what we got with Andy, that although he hates Bill’s guts, he recognizes that it’s better to have a vamp he hates on their side than no vamps at all.

Sookie – This is one of those things that I get where they were going, but didn’t like how they were executed. From what I could tell, her scenes were intended to do two things: 1. start driving a wedge in her and Alcide’s relationship. 2. start driving Sookie towards Bill. In regards to point one, I do like that Sookie called Alcide out for his thought. If there was anyone in that town that should have known that Sookie wasn’t to blame, it was Alcide. And even though she did later apologize to him, it’s not going to go away. 2. I have a feeling that the town is going to reject Sookie’s offer, causing her to seek out Bill: even if Bon Temps turns on her, she won’t turn her back on Bon Temps. That said why the fuck are they blaming Sookie? Sookie has been dating Alcide for at least six months now. They would know this. How was any of this her fault? Hell, even if she still with Bill it still wouldn’t have made sense to blame her for that. I get that humans often need scapegoats in time of crisis, but Bill or Sam make way better ones. So while I get what they are doing, it just doesn’t make sense.

Jessica/Adelyn – This existed. Clearly they are setting up for a friendship (or more…) between the girls, but we didn’t need as much time spent on it as we got to get what we got.

Jason/Violet – I’ve never minded Violet and I like how Violet was finally like thank you for finally just manning up and taking me. She said from the get go that he’d get some when he earned it, and earning it this case was actually wanting it, not just doing it out of necessity or for protection. I also like how she so sees Jason as hers that it’s clear that she doesn’t see him as human in the way she sees others as human. I think they could make a good team going forward.

Tara – Her death was a bit low-key. It just kind of happened. Sookie did kinda argue me around that it wasn’t a bad thing to not see her die again, and it was nice to see her possibly have that upper hand on the Hep V vamp. I will say that it was okay that she lost the fight. Tara wasn’t even a year old as a vampire. A sick vampire of any age is still going to be stronger just by the rules of this universe.

Lafayette/James – I thought Lafayette’s reaction was perfect. This is a guy who, in the space of less than a year lost his boyfriend, his cousin, then his cousin again. Some numbness is going to be expected. I do think he’ll grieve again, in his own way, but I thought it felt well. As far as James, I am loving the recast. I’ve liked Nathan Parsons on The Originals and I think he’s even better here. I don’t think his storyline will have a huge impact on the show as a whole, but I think I’ll enjoy his time on the show, which is about all I can ask for, and isn’t something I always get (see: wolves S6)

Pam – No reaction to Tara’s death? Like none at all? Did the writers forget she should have felt it? Is she that callous? Beyond that, the problem I had with her Russian roulette scene in that for her to neglect her child for six+ months I’d like to have seen more vulnerability out of Pam. There’s coldness and there’s dead inside, and it came off more the latter for me than the former. I did like that she didn’t eat the child, though she was clearly starving though.

Willa – Poor Willa. She’s lost the one person who tied to her to Bon Temps. And she was one of the few who clearly miss Tara. Not sure what else she’s going to be doing in this season, and I hope she finds a storyline stat.

Lettie Mae/Rev. Daniels – it was nice seeing him be nice to Willa, but why is she still around? Adina Porter is awesome, but one of the great things about Tara’s death was that it got her away from Lettie Mae. She may be the Arlene of the season: i.e. the human storyline that I give no fucks about.

And speaking of humans, they are the other example of good idea, iffy execution. How did they get to both nesting sites before both Andy and Jason? It’s such a small thing, but a larger group of humans would have solved the problem. You could have had the second group show up where Jason and Violet where because the important part of that scene really was Jason/Violet and the second group show up with Andy and Bill. Plus the leader of the group is annoying as all hell and I was sad that he didn’t get killed.

If I forgot someone, it wasn’t intentional.

So as a whole…like I said, it did it’s purpose, and it wasn’t awful, but I also don’t think it was memorable. I don’t think that when people look at premieres as a whole that people are going to have anything from this episode that really stands out. And a premier needs to get you excited for the season ahead and I don’t think this quite managed that.

So for that reason, I give this episode a C.