True Blood Season 2 Ep #4 Review:

Well, at the conclusion of the last episode I asked for more sex on the next one and I got it. This week’s episode of True Blood turned up the dial on Maryanne’s debauchery, It also turned up the dial on the characters humor and the deliciously over the top intentional camp.  Favorite lines include: Tara’s “I don’ really feel like dancing right now” exactly what you would say if someone started hippy grinding with you at 10 AM and Sookies “Oh, it’s pretty good” in answer to Tara’s “The sex can’t be that good” between she and Bill. As to intentional camp – I love it. I am a huge fan of and proponent of intentional camp. It’s one of the main reasons I loved Buffy so much and love movies that bring in that element – like Robocop (ONE!!!). If you can straddle that line between camp and genuine drama – you have my devoted viewership and high respect. It’s one of the hardest things to pull off and when done well – there just isn’t anything yummier.

 As to camp: I continue to love the Jason/Fellowship of the Sun storyline. The scene with the Sarah Newlan BBQ strip tease in Jason’s fantasy was priceless; and their all consuming sunny fundamentalism is the exact flavor of crazy that it needs to be. The show is telling the story of these people in such a way as to highlight how dangerous they are and yet give us a path to understanding their motivations. And it’s all wrapped up in a shiny package of sexy ridiculousness. I am going to assume that Steve and Sara know who Jason is, his relationship to Sookie and her relationship to the vampires looking for Goderick. I love that they are exploiting his all consuming need to be special – just as his very special sister strives against her gift and towards some sense of normalcy. I believe that Sara’s feelings for Jason will become conflicted which will lead to some interesting choices for all.

I am once again, slightly less sold on the Tara/Maryanne dynamic. I do like the Maryanne storyline. I love what the actress is doing with her. I am just not sure what the show is trying to do with Tara. I get that it’s her birthday and she’s emotional – but frankly, as an overall for this season – she’s crying too much. I am having trouble buying her emotional swings – and I would like to see more of the sassy, salty Tara that had been established last season. And again, I would feel more moved over a deep internal conflict about her need for what Maryanne is providing rather than these explosive swings and what feels like consistent near tears. Even when I like a character, this can become too much. Claire Danes cried every episode of My So Called Life – and eventually, I just didn’t care anymore.

The moments in the show that do not seem to be riding the intentional camp line – too easily slide into wither melo or lackluster drama. I can see what they are trying to do with the Andy Bellefleur character, which is consistent with the book, I just don’t’ see that it’s working. I really did not buy the exchange with the cops. The “That ain’t cool Andy” Just did not land for me – nor does his drunken disorderliness at work and Merlotte’s.

I’m not sure what is going on with Sam. Once again – it feels a little like arbitrary displays of angst. My guess is they needed to do something with Sam this season. They couldn’t keep him on the backburner hanging out for when they need him like they have done with Arlene.  They couldn’t’ keep him in the background pining for Sookie. So the solution was some manufactured conflict with Maryanne and the introduction of Daphne. But so far – he and Sookie seem to be having the same unresolved argument where he gets PMS because he is supposedly going through “some real serious shit”. But what IS that shit – nothing is really happening to him. In fact, far more is happening for her. He just ends up coming off as a bit irrational and whiny. I really like this character and the actor. I hope that his storyline and his character settles and comes back into his former self; one which brought a rugged groundedness to this series and into Sookie’s life.

Really quickly, here is why I love Eric. He is hilarious. The exchange between him and Bill in the bar is one of best moments in the show.

“I hope you enjoy your blood substitute that is costing me $45.”  

Without ever breaking a sweat, he is inarguably the alpha of the show. You get the sense of his ruthlessness and power, but there is no real malice behind it, just logic and due consideration. He would make a terrifying enemy and better friend. I can see no one on the show who can match him, as in take him on in any real way. BUT I love to see Bill try and spar with him and he and Lafayette have one of the best relationships on the show. Both actors completely own these characters. Lafayette is at all times, entertaining, believable, moving, funny and human. It also takes a special talent to pull of his little V high dance party there at the end of his scene.

I liked seeing the window into the Vampiric world with Bills tutelage of Jessica – though teaching that one how to glamour seems like an exceedingly bad idea overall. And I certainly liked her version of room service there at the end. Great casting on Barry the bellman. Next week I hope for more Lafayette, less crying, and just a dash more of Bill and Eric’s verbal jousting.

Let me know what you guys thought. You can comment below here on Thinkhero and or hit us up on twitter at @ThinkHero and @jrothc – that’s me.

– Roth

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