What’s With All The Hatred For ‘True Blood?’

I’ve been watching HBO‘s “True Blood” since the beginning when it aired when it first aired in 2008. It was lauded for being unique, original, visceral and sexy, and Alan Ball’s success of a show came at the peak of the public’s fascination with all things supernatural, but especially vampires.

Flash forward to a show that is now in its fourth season, and starting out at such a high level perhaps wasn’t the best way to go, as “True Blood” could only go downhill from its spectacular first season. The writers have gotten more in-depth with Charlaine Harris‘ series, adding werewolves, were-panthers, witches, fairies, and what appears to be either demons or ghosts this season. As you can imagine, the craziness factor, one that always made the show stand out, has been upped exponentially with each season.

But, for some reason, “True Blood” is now being criticized for this exact thing that made it popular. Now, I don’t want to be too much of a defender, because some of the critiques are valid. Some of the storylines are far more interesting than others, and Ball and his writing team rarely ever finish a season on a bang (Sookie peacing out to fairyland was more like a sputter last season). But I’ve read criticisms that imply that “True Blood” now has too many plotlines, most notably at The Washington Post and the AV Club, and I completely disagree.

One thing that I’ve always hated on television — what comes to mind is “Lost” first and foremost — is when writers would leave a cliffhanger and then not get back to it for a few episodes. Viewers turn in every week to see what’s happened, and I’ve watched numerous shows simply because I stopped caring what happened. I’ve never stopped caring about the characters on “True Blood.” Yeah, I’d prefer to have less of the Jason/were-panther nonsense, but I’m finding a lot of the storylines this season coalescing into something interesting, including the witches, Arlene’s devil baby, Sam’s brother shapeshifting into humans, Tara’s newfound confidence and, of course, Sookie and Eric’s love affair.

The show, for me, has never held up the HBO standard that shows before it set, but that’s why I loved it. They could pull off all the graphic material they needed, but still make it campy and fun. To me, it’s only gotten campier and more fun. And the way the season is moving along so quickly, I think Ball and co. might just have it up their sleeves to end the show right this time.

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