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A Break from Form... But That's OK! *SPOILER FREE*
on August 25, 2014
First of all, this is not like any season of True Blood you've ever watched before. I've been watching since way back when season one aired and have watched every season at least two or three times. Like many of you, I've always found myself enthralled by the tight plots, dynamic characters, and sharp dialogue. Season 7 was incredibly different than ones from the past... But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I think the reason that season 7 is so different is because it is heavily character driven, whereas the previous seasons have been more plot driven. True Blood season 7 (TB7) really digs deep into our favorite characters' inner psyches and fleshes out how they have grown and changed throughout the years. Due to this more character-oriented storyline, a lot of the action seen in past seasons is lost, replaced with more dialogue, character development, and personal reflection. I know this upset some fans (I myself was a bit perturbed by it at times), but, looking back at the series as a whole, this direction was truly needed to end the show without cheapening the characters.
In a nutshell, the theme of TB7 is mortality; not even the vampires have a sense of immortality anymore, due to the devastating Hepatitis V virus. The characters really have to come to terms with the fact that every moment could be their last. This approach sort of takes away from the allure and appeal of vampires as they are in pop culture, but it injects the mood of the show with a sense of urgency and humanity that is very touching and humbling to the characters.
Unfortunately, for a lot of TV series, much of the judgement placed on the series as a whole is based on that show's finale instead of the sum of its parts. I believe that this is a cycle that automatically sets finales up for failure. Looking at the series as a whole, I believe that TB7 gave us a satisfying ending. Notice, I said "satisfying," not "spectacular" or "terrible." It's impossible to end a show like True Blood and please everybody. It just can't be done. I do think the writers did the best job they could have done and created an ending that was palatable. Would it have been fun to see a little more risk or for the writers to pull a complete 180 on us? Yes, maybe, but based on the direction True Blood has been going, it would have felt inauthentic. When I looked at the ending for what it was, instead of what I wanted, I found myself to be very happy with it.
This was a very hard season to review; I've had so much history with this show and have been so emotionally invested into it that I felt I was going to be very biased with my writing. After reading over this review a few times, I believe I can say that it is a pretty accurate depiction of TB7. If you're a longtime fan as well, I encourage you to watch TB7 and make your own judgements. If you're new to the True Blood franchise, I implore you to begin the series immediately; I don't believe any other show has brought me more joy or thrills... And for that, I say "Thank You," True Blood.