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.