Thursday, July 14, 2011

Of True Blood and Flipping Out (spoilers ahead)

I'm zipping through the third season of True Blood through Netflix rather quickly, only one disk left. That's because it's utterly fascinating and goes even faster than the second season. It helps that I'm watching this season alone, as my daughter has lost interest, so I can proceed at my own pace. Two episodes left.

I've read the books, up to and including the newest one, Dead Reckoning. So I consider myself somewhat spoilproof for the series. Except I'm not. Because the books and the series do some deviating. But not in that godawful trainwreck of a way that Vampire Diaries does. I can understand for the most part where the changes are necessary in translating the books to the screen. It's unlikely that they'll ever reach as many seasons as there are books, especially considering that the books aren't done, so they needed to deviate a bit and maybe condense. For example, the character of Franklin Mott, as Aly tells me, is a composite of Mott and another character Mike. There are a whole bunch of characters in the books, it's not feasible to have them all.
Where to start? Franklin Mott is played by James Frain. You may remember him as the sweet but repressed Forney in Where the Heart Is, or as Thomas Cromwell in The Tudors; he was also in Titus with Anthony Hopkins. At first he seems very sweet and protective of Tara, who is struggling with the tragedy of her lover Eggs' death. But he soon reveals himself as all kinds of crazy and Tara finds herself in the mansion of Russell Edgington, vampire King of Mississippi, where she's in for a world of hurt.

The season begins where the second left off - Bill and Sookie are at a restaurant, Bill has proposed and  Sookie's gone to the ladies' room, only to find on her return that Bill is missing. The third seasons starts with her search for Bill, which also leads to revelations regarding her own nature, which she has long wondered at. Of course I knew the answer to that, it's in the book. Sookie is part fae. I'm wondering if the series will ever get around to having her learn that it was her beloved Gran that strayed from her marriage bed in order to have children? Should be interesting.

In finding Bill, we get to meet Russell Edgington, the king of Mississippi, and his cute consort Talbot.  They've been together for many years. But that doesn't stop Russell from trying to wed Sophia Ann, the queen of Lousiana.

Things get complicated when the magister comes to call at Fangtasia, trying to discover who is selling V, or vampire blood, which is quite illegal, especially for vampires. Eric claims it was Bill Compton's doing. He is told to bring him in, and in the meantime, the magister is going to torture Pam and hold her hostage. The thing is that Eric is selling the V - at Sophie Ann's behest! And we also learn that Eric has a thousand year old vendetta against Russell, for the death of his family.

Jason, as usual, is looking for trouble, and he's found it in Crystal Norris. She comes from Hot Shot, a dirt poor rough town, where she's been promised to someone since she was four, and her father Calvin is very abusive (this is not like the books at all, the book Calvin was handsome and a gentleman). What Jason doesn't realize is that this is a whole town of shifters. And I assume, if it follows the books, he's gonna get bit and become a were-panther.

Sam has tracked down his birth family: mother, father, and half-brother Tommy. He'd have been better off if he didn't do that. Trash, trash, trash. Even the brother. The mother and Tommy are also shifters. And con artist. And thieves. And liars.  I could go on, but I think you get it. I guess the lesson is sometimes you're better off not knowing who your family is. Sam does his best, but damn, these people are pretty much beyond redemption.

Jessica - what can I say? I love her, I think she's great, and at one time I actually hated her. But Bill's baby vamp has come a long way since he was forced to turn her, and I'm hoping she and Hoyt can make a life together.

Arlene is pregnant. She says it's with Rene's baby, but I'm not sure how that works, I'd need to see a timeline. I mean, he's been dead since first season, how little time has passed between then and now? She's with Terry Bellefleur, Andy's shellshocked cousin, who is sweet but not entirely stable. He wants to raise the baby anyway, so we'll see, cause I don't think that was in the books.

Also new this season is Alcide Herveaux, werewolf and hottie, who is ordered to help Sookie seek Bill, which is how they end up in Jackson Mississippi together.  Alcide is easy on the eyes indeed! He has an ex-girlfriend, Debbie Van Pelt, who is a major bitch, and who Sookie is forced to put down in self-defense. That should haunt her later in the form of her crazy sister. While Sookie finds herself attracted to the handsome wolf, nothing happens.

On the other hand, Eric....

Eric Northman is damn good looking, played by Alexander Skarsgard, son of Stellan Skarsgard. Since he's gotten his hair cut, he looks a whole lot like his dad, it's uncanny.  I miss the hair.

We learn a lot about Eric this season, about his past, and about him as a person. Er, vampire. He isn't all bluster and teeth, he has a heart deep down inside. But he is very pragmatic. And very determined.

He ends up accused of the magister's death, and he and Pam end up in a lockdown at Fangtasia. He lets Sookie know that Bill has a file on her. Bill smoothed it away with the explanation that it has to do with learning what she is, to see why Eric is so interested in her. But it's more than that, and I know it. Bill was ordered to meet Sookie, by Sophie Ann, and to bed her if necessary. She should find out about that, maybe in the last episode, and make her break with Bill.  It was fascinating to see him in two historical scenarios - one, as a Viking, and the second as an SS officer. He was really hot in both.

How could I neglect to mention that hot and cute V-selling Lafayette? He ends up going to see his mama (played by Alfre Woodard), in the institution which he pays to have her kept, and he meets Jesus, her nurse. They end up hooking up, and they are totally cute together! The shared trip they take after doing V will blow your mind!  Lafayette deserves some happiness. Jesus better not fuck it up!

As  you can see, there's a whole lot going on in Season 3, and it's not quite done yet. It's been a fascinating series. I'll hate to see it end, cause I have to wait a long time to catch season 4, not til it comes out on DVD.

I think I went on too long for today, so I'll save Jeff Lewis and the fifth season of Flipping Out til later. Tomorrow, I have a guest, Gail Carriger. Saturday I'll be at the hotel, but I'll be back Sunday with Sci Fi Sunday, so Monday.

I'll leave you with a picture of my favorite couple.
I think it's sweet that they are engaged in real life. Also that he actually has a British accent, not a Southern one. He's very good at it, just like Hugh Laurie's House.

Any questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, take care!

♥  Julie

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I loved reading your post. I read the Sookie books and watched True blood too and thought they mess up season two. But season three is much better.

    BTW your favorite couple--They're married now.