Sunday, June 26, 2011

True Blood is Back! -- Welcome to Season 4

I've been away from my blog for awhile -- about a month or so -- but now I'm back and ready to start reviewing again. There's a lot of current films to get caught up on, so expect some new reviews over the next several days. But what most excites me is blogging about the upcoming seasons of True Blood and Breaking Bad (which returns in July). It's a treat to follow a TV show and watch it develop. And these two are particularly fun because of the quality of the storytelling and range of characters.

True Blood returns tonight with season 4! After season 3, which bugged me endlessly as I watched it last summer but somehow won me over when I re-watched it recently on Blu-ray (evidence that 1080p makes everything better), a lot of storylines are up in the air. Here's a quick run-down of where we left off:

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) accepted the faeries' invitation to leave Earth behind and enter the faerie (douche commercial) world. Who knows how clean her privates will be when she returns to Bon Temps.

Bill (Stephen Moyer), heartbroken over losing Sookie's love the moment it was revealed he was the puppet master behind her season 1 beating by the Rattray's, decides to continue protecting her nonetheless by killing anyone with knowledge of her faerie origins. He tried -- and failed -- killing Eric, but ends the season by engaging Queen Sophie-Anne in a fight.

Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) had his revenge on Russell Edgington and now is left to pick up the pieces of his life at Fangtasia and re-build his relationship with disgruntled progeny, Pam.

Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) fell in love with a werepanther named Crystal and found himself in the middle of a whole shitload of problems in the inbred world of Hotshot. At the end of the season, Crystal leaves him, requiring him to take over leadership of the town after her half-brother/fiancee murdered her father in cold blood. I somehow doubt Jason's remarkable intellect will make this easy.

Sam (Sam Trammell), losing his mind after discovering his family roots and realizing he is the world's biggest push-over, learns that his asshole little brother, Tommy, robbed him blind. He chases Tommy down and shoots him. Whether he killed him or not is unknown.

Tara (Rutina Wesley) has pretty much figured that everyone in Bon Temps is a monster -- Sookie's a faerie, Sam's a shifter, vampires and werewolves are all over, Jason killed her beloved Eggs, and even her human mother is fucking the minister. She decides it's probably for the best to leave it all behind and start over.

Hoyt and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) are back together, and Hoyt has put the down payment on a house for them to share in wedded bliss.

Alcide, the werewolf (Joesph Mangianello) repaid his debt to Eric by helping him bury Russell alive. He has fallen in love with Sookie, but still has to deal with the mess left behind by his former lover, Debbie Pelt, who wants revenge on both he and Sookie for killing her beloved wolf, Cooter.

Lafayette (Nelsen Ellis) learns from his brujo boyfriend that he, too, is a witch and needs to develop his abilities.

Arlene (Carrie Preston) tried to abort her pregnancy by testing the waters of witchcraft with new waitress Holly, but failed. Now she's trapped carrying Rene's wicked spawn while her boyfriend, Terry, can't believe how blessed he is to be building a family with her.

I think that pretty much catches up on all the hanging storylines. One of True Blood's strengths (or weaknesses, depending on your point-of-view) is the number of interesting characters it has to build on. I'm interested to see how season 4 balances all these stories while introducing us to new characters and arcs.

Here's the trailer for season 4 to whet your appetite for tonight's episode. And lastly, if you subscribe to HBO's cool site, HBOGO, you will also be able to watch the second episode of the season immediately after the first one airs tonight. Bonus!

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