195 of 203 people found the following review helpful
Season Five is Fantastic!,
This review is from: True Blood: Season 5 (DVD)
The Bon Temps gang returns for the fifth season of HBO's "True Blood". I am a colossal fan of the show, having seen every episode since the pilot. Like every show, "True Blood" has had a few ups and downs in terms of writing. Seasons one and two were the show at its best, in my opinion. Season three was a lot of fun, but suffered from cluttered storylines and tonal problems. But, season four -- although it still can't top season one or two -- was a solid return to form (and I can't understand the bashing it regularly receives on here from other fans).
So, how does season five compare? I found this year to be even better than the last; the most compelling reason for this is the fundamental shaking up of all things comfortable and familiar on the show. All of the close relationships have been compromised or changed or they've grown apart: Sookie/Bill/Eric, Sookie/Tara, Pam/Eric, Jason/Hoyt, Tara/Lafayette, etc. This was the year of the Break Up (friendships as well as romances). But, the interesting thing is how this made way for all sorts of new and compelling bonds to form: Bill/Eric, Pam/Tara, Jason/Jessica.
Season five was definitely a game-changer (probably because it was creator Alan Ball's farewell season). There isn't even a clear-cut Big Bad this year. The villain could be seen as The Authority and through our infiltration of the system this year, we get the sense of just how ambiguous the concepts of right and wrong, good and bad really are to the vampires of the True Blood 'verse. The most compelling part about this story is finally getting to see the inner workings of the Authority and how fundamentally it changes both Bill and Eric (especially toward the latter half of the season). The members of the Authority themselves, though, are a mixed bag. Christopher Meloni proves himself to be the awesome actor he is as Roman, but he's sadly underused during the season. Valentina Cervi didn't really do it for me as Salome, neither did Lucy Griffiths as Eric's vampire sister Nora.
The regular actors, however, were all in top form. It was a refreshing change to see Anna Paquin's Sookie almost entirely unattached romantically. It led for some interesting directions for her character to go in, as well as Ryan Kwanten as Jason (who had what was probably his most powerful arc this year). Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard reportedly had a blast filming this season and having Bill and Eric be partners in crime instead of foes and competitors for Sookie's heart. This sense of fun really does show and highlights the fact that these two do have great screen chemistry together.
But, my favorite part of this season was the pairing of Pam and Tara. It was a brilliant turn of writing, in many ways. Tara started off as a great and complex character: troubled but also strong, smart, and resourceful, as well as very funny. But, around the time of season three, she became the "eternal victim" in a way that was really running out of steam. Having her reborn as a baby vamp really breathed new life into the character and Rutina Wesley did a fantastic job of convincingly reinventing Tara while retaining her essence. Her scenes with Kristin Bauer van Straten were easily some of the best moments of the season, as these two actresses have wonderful chemistry. Kristin also had what was her best season yet, getting able to reveal new dimensions as well as the past of our favorite sardonic vampire Pam.
As great as this season was, it wasn't perfect. My sole criticism for True Blood is that they stop with all of the extra story lines. Not every character needs their own arc on the show. Supporting characters, like Terry, Arlene, and Holly, can remain just that. SUPPORTING characters in the story lines of the more primary ones. Some of the fat I believe could've been trimmed included Terry's Ifrit drama, Holly and Andy's romance, and some of Alcide's wolf pack politics. Even Lafayette (one of my favorites) didn't have much interesting to do this year.
Luckily, by the time of the season finale, the writers did a good job of streamlining most of the stories into one cohesive finish. And what a finish it was! Just wondering what season six has in store for us.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2013 12:20:08 AM PDT
I have yet to hear ONE PERSON, not even the people who run the fan websites, have ONE POSITIVE thing to say about the Arlene/Terry/Sheriff Andy storylines. With that in mind, why does the show relentlessly persue this? Ten minutes less of the Belefluers per episode, and ten minutes MORE of Pam, Eric, Sookie, Sam, Bill...WHATEVER...would be a welcome change. As for this season, they got too far away from the books. Actually, they abandoned the books. I did enjoy the fairy bar, and the Claude storyline, which apparently is a setup for season 6, and the introduction of NEALL, Sookie's great great grandfather. (played by Rutger Hauer.) Overall, not an enjoyable season for me. But I'd rather watch poor quality TRUE BLOOD, than just about any other TV show around. Its fun.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 20, 2013 3:41:36 PM PDT
Chris Hilton says:
do you already have the dvds for the 5th season? If so I would be interested in buying them....lemme know...contact me @ email@example.com
Posted on Apr 22, 2013 5:46:38 AM PDT
John J. Martinez says:
Posted on May 20, 2013 5:13:51 PM PDT
Curtis and John -W.S. is reviewing the season, they probably watched it on HBO like I did - last summer. I will be buying this season just to complete my collection but I hated the extra storylines as well. They should focus more on the main characters. All I can think is maybe they tried to have less scenes with Sookie because of Anna's pregnancy - I don't know. I just hope the new season will be better.
- and its Niall not Neall.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2013 4:36:41 AM PDT
Anna wasn't pregnant during the shoot, or at best JUST pregnant towards the last episodes. And if you can read the word, you shouldn't get bent out of shape for a minor misspelling on the name, Jack.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2013 7:21:34 AM PDT
L. Freese says:
Dude I appreciate your review but you should give us all a SPOILER alert here for us folks that have not seen the 5 season series yet.
Posted on Apr 28, 2014 6:13:20 AM PDT
Donna Baxter says:
Yes, I have to agree with this reviewer. Seasons 1 & 2 were fantastic. Writing great suspenseful, yet hopefully predictable in some ways (i.e., Bill and Sookie, Tara and Sookie, Jason and Hoyt, even Jessica). But Wooooo! The supernatural stuff didn't do that for me. It ruined in fact air time which could have been focuses on the main characters more. The writing was all over the place. We are going on Season 5 and I am glad to hear that the writer has returned to more of his traditional roots. Alicide is a good character, keep him, sam, and the other shifters to a minimum. Writing about Sam's birth parents and brother was another waste of airtime. Otherwise, I am hooked, still hoping for the Sookie and Bill reunion.
Posted on Aug 21, 2015 6:51:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 21, 2015 6:52:34 AM PDT
Not my real name guy says:
Very well-written review, W.S. -thanks for taking the time to put this together and thanks for including pros and cons - too many enthusiastic 5/5-star reviewers seem to think that if they like something, they can pretend it's perfect and don't need to mention any of the item's negatives, which might be important to other people.
W.T. Hoffman, I began reading Harris's Southern Vampire series before there was even a rumor about the HBO show and while it was entertaining summer vacation-style light reading, it was never particularly well-written. I've found the HBO series, much as is the case with the Showtime series Dexter, to have much more sensible, compelling writing than the books upon which the show is based (particularly the latter books, which got weaker as the series progressed), so the failure to follow the books strictly is far from a negative for me.
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