"This chemical peel did NOT produce the desired results!"
All right, two episodes into season 6 of True Blood and I'm just going to say the words I never thought I'd say: I do not hate Billith. I started this season braced for the agony of seeing somber, elegant Bill Compton reduced to a bloody naked psycho. Instead, he seems like his old self as he hasn't been since season 4, only with a mysterious destiny and strange new gifts. (Hands free human-juicing! Neat!) Two episodes in, I care about what Lilith wants from him for the first time ever, and I am captivated by the relationship between Bill and Jessica. Jessica continues to dazzle as the unexpected badass one minute who becomes the sweetly vulnerable fanged girl next door the next. She keeps Bill grounded and attached to his humanity in a way that Sookie never did, and the way Bill cares for her is touching.
Jessica Hamby: bringing daddy issues to a new level since 2008.
Although, episode two's vision of Lilith filled me with mixed emotions. As relieved as I am that Lilith finally got herself a nice dress, I don't know why her homegirls can't do the same. Nobody is ever going to take these chicks seriously if they keep slinking around with the bloody full frontal nonsense.
"Look, Ma, no boobs!"
The other pleasant surprise for me was becoming curious about Warlow. I spent all last season out of f--ks to give about Sookie's ancestor trading her to a vampire for magic beans or what have you. After listening to her whine endlessly about how being different SUCKS and watching her throw a magical temper tantrum, I just wasn't that worried about it. I figured that even if he took her, Warlow'd bring her right back before you could say, "You're hot, but not THAT hot."
Little does Sookie know that Warlow is actually the
lead singer of Vampire ZZ Top.
"She's got veeeeeeins... And she knows how to use them."
The introduction of the enigmatic fairy grandfather, however, suddenly kicked this plot up a notch. Leaving aside the fact that the man is one Hell of a snazzy dresser, he makes for an dapper Yoda to Jason's clueless Luke. Their interaction in episode two was priceless as he tried to drive home to our gung-ho Mr. Stackhouse the seriousness of his predicament and to prepare him to defend Sookie from her would-be captor. And the moment where Jason enthuses about being a fairy prince, only to get completely shut down with "the gene skipped you" just about made up for the yawn fest that this plot represented last season.
I would totally watch a buddy cop show starring these two.
The jury is still out, however, where this vampire persecution angle is concerned. @sabrinaslibrary and I were skeptical about humans having the technology to counter every magical ability a vampire might possess. I mean, come on. I don't care how many humans you have with how many fancy toys, centuries old beings with super powers should GENERALLY win the fight.
And any time you invoke a holocaust motif, which appears to be where this is headed, you have to tread lightly. Conjuring the specter of genocide that smacks of real historical atrocities requires a clever and respectful hand, because the attempted murder of an entire race isn't something to be trotted out for kicks. Besides, this wiener of a governor hasn't been developed yet, but I'm inherently skeptical of his ability to get the jump on even one vampire, let alone several. They should so be beating him up for his lunch money about now. I am, however, on board with Eric's magical seduction of the weasel's daughter and I enjoyed the Hell out of undercover Bible salesman Eric, even if he does give me the willies.
Um, Disguised Eric doesn't look like a guy who
wants to wear your skin while he talks to Jesus at all...
The other question mark bordering on an emphatic "NO" is Andy's passel of giggling fairy babies. Sure, it was a hoot to see his fling spurting out offspring while moaning in sexual ecstasy last season, but as I watched his babies become 5 year-olds overnight, I thought, "So what?" This is starting to smack of more random, pointless nonsense a la Terry and the ifrit that takes up time that could be devoted to a more worthwhile plot. Besides a possible reality show about the trials of being the single father of supernatural multiples, I do not see what Andy and his kids have to offer us.
Better start that college fund now, Bellefleur.
They graduate high school tomorrow.
All this is time that I'd rather be spending with Pam and Tara. Pam is unquestionably my favorite character on the show. Her lines were most of what kept me coming back for more last season despite bloody naked chicks and the vampire PTA. Seeing her mentor and then smooch Tara made it all worthwhile in the end. I wait with baited breath to see her emotional development this season as we continue to learn about the vulnerable woman beneath the big-haired badass. And with even greater excitement, I anticipate the hilariously deadpan Pam remarks to come.
"Come on, E, smile. I'll make jokes about my sandy cooch again!"
Where I have to just throw up my hands and wail in frustration is with regard to Alcide's plotline. This show has developed the most unfortunate habit of building up good guys just to knock them down in ways that don't even make sense. First, Bill Compton, he of the strong moral code and eternal yearning to cling to his humanity, suddenly becomes a vampire Dr. Evil who slinks around doing unthinkable deeds on the thinnest of justifications. And now that he's rehabilitated into some semblance of a consistent character, we feast our eyes on the train wreck that they call Alcide Herveaux.
"What do you mean, I'm not a nice guy anymore?
Don't I look like a nice guy?"
Does anybody remember a time when this guy was a gentle, good-hearted man trying to do right by everyone? Back when he was introduced and he and Sookie started shooting each other considering looks, Alcide struck me as the decent man a gal ought to pick once she's gotten over her hankering for bad boys and decides to settle down. He was the steady, loyal, dependable man, the equivalent of sexy broccoli: he's good for you and you know it, but damn it, sometimes you still want ice cream!
"Don't you wish your broccoli was hot like me?
Don't you wish your man-broccoli was a stud like Alcide?"
The fact that his romance with Sookie ended before it began due to vomit is upsetting enough. There was so much build-up and then suddenly all prospect of this show that started as a vampire romance actually having romance in it anymore went to Hell. But when Alcide decided to have rough sex with the next trashy wolf babe he met last season and then kicked off this season by having a three-way with his new alpha bitch and a random stray, my eyes could not roll hard enough.
"Hey, new girl. Pull my finger."
Really? Really??? So not only do we still not get Sookie and Alcide together, but now Alcide gets to be just another horny power-hungry douchebag? Do we not have enough of those around already, or is he just trying to fill the void left by Russell Edgington's demise? And would good guy Alcide EVER have traumatized a little girl by beating the crap out of her protectors and dragging her away into the night without at least trying to talk things through? Whatever happened to the guy trying to do right by everyone? One little three-way and suddenly he's too cool to have human decency?
It's disappointing, to say the least. I don't mind a plot that brings out the dark side of a good man, but it needs to be developed properly and it needs to have a point. What's more, we currently have a dearth of decent people on this show. Everybody's innocence is long lost by this point and most folks here seem to err on the side of naughtiness. An uncomplicated Boy Scout is a boring character, but a man of principles who struggles to do right CAN be interesting if he has layers and occasionally makes the wrong decision. What's been done here with Alcide knocks down the last shred of light in Bon Temps and leaves us all struggling around in a maze of dim bulbs.
However, on balance, this season has been a marked improvement over last season. The driving plot is interesting again, and the main characters have stopped their bitching, sulking, and random nonsensical evil and have started to make sense again. I care about almost everything that's going on, and am no longer watching strictly to stare at Alcide shirtless while laughing at Jason and Pam. Still, I want to see the love come back to this show, the emotional connection, and consistent character development. This season seems like its finally correcting True Blood's wayward course. If they can keep on making progress, I may yet find myself becoming a born-again Truebie by the season's end.