I’ve always thought of True Blood as a Showtime series that happened to end up on HBO. It’s a guilty pleasure if you believe in those things, full of sex and violence and both of them combined, and vampires, and werewolves and god knows what all else. It’s got Oscar-winning Little Anna Paquin running around nekkid, and cast that has grown so enormous over the course of seven seasons that there is no way you can remember who they all are. In other words, it’s a lot like Penny Dreadful, which also runs on Sunday nights and has sex and violence and a combination of the two, and vampires and god knows what all else. It’s got Eva Green running around nekkid, although she’s never won an Oscar. And it’s on Showtime, where I expect to find such series.
True Blood took care of business in the first scene of the new season. A pack of vampires with Hep-V (don’t ask) turn up at a town BBQ and eat half the population. There’s lots of blood, and one of the main regular characters is killed. All in the first couple of minutes. The rest of the episode has Nekkid Anna Paquin, and human/vampire sex, and lots of consensual vamp/human blood drinking, and a couple of new characters we’ve never seen before. (Or maybe we have … I can’t keep track, plus there’s one character we’ve seen before but now he’s played by a different actor.)
I suppose it’s all fun in a Walking Dead kind of way. I never thought much of the attempt to make the series into a metaphor about LGBT rights … I mean, it’s there, sometimes it hits you over the head, but really, people didn’t watch True Blood to see a clever representation of homophobic America, they watched it because Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgård and Joe Manganiello and Lizzy Caplan and Sam Trammell and Ryan Kwanten got nekkid and had lots of human/beast sex, interspersed with scenes of vampires drinking blood.
In other words, it was right up my alley. But after a couple of seasons, they had to stretch, and here came the bazillion characters, and faeries and maenads and of course there has to be a part for Fiona Shaw as the head of a Wiccan cult. It got increasingly silly, until it really was like a Showtime series … you know, it ran a few seasons too long.
Yet here I am, ready to watch until the finish. I jumped ship on Dexter, I jumped ship on Weeds, but apparently I’m going to follow Little Anna Paquin all the way. Grade for Season 7 premiere: C+.