True Blood: Season 4 (2011)

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Overall Rating 79%
Overall Rating
Ranked #571
...out of 10,229 movies
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Connections: True Blood

Set in modern times, vampires roam the earth and are humans mortal enemies. However, a substitute has been found for human blood, a substitute that vampires can consume with the same effect as human blood. This is True Blood. Now humans and vampires can coexist in harmony, and even form relationships. But there will always be rogue elements on both sides ready to exploit the uneasy truce. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: October 16, 2011
Well, it took me a while to get around to sitting through it, but I have finally put the fourth season of True Blood to rest. I will admit, I had some reservations going in to the season: I wanted to see which direction the show would go in and I wanted to see how they tied up some of the loose ends from the previous season, but at the same time, I have read the books and I know how lame the story starts to get around this point. Yes, this show is one of those rare examples of an adaptation being better than the source material, but still, I knew that just about every idea from the novels was stupid and would come across as laughable on the screen. So, knowing that the writers would have to ditch it entirely and come up with completely fresh ideas (not likely), I was skeptical and expected the show to start going downhill this season. Did it? Well...

So, as you may recall, Sookie (Anna Paquin) was transported to the fairy kingdom at the end of the last season. This season kicks off over in that world, that plot point drags on for about eight minutes, and mercifully, it is dropped and quickly forgotten about. Yes, it is a horrible way to kick off the season, and in fact, those few minutes almost caused me to give up on the show that fast. Anyway, Sookie soon learns that the few minutes that she spent over there actually translates to about a year in the real world, and boy, has she been missed.

Let's see... Bill (Stephen Moyer) is the king of Louisiana and now has a staff of personal bodyguards, and being the king and all, he sends Sheriff Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) out to deal with his dirty work: namely, putting an end to a coven of witches run by Marnie (Fiona Shaw). Unfortunately, these are not your typical Hot Topic Wiccans, and Marnie is able to cast an amnesia spell on him, rendering him completely clueless as to who he is and what power he holds. Sookie eventually takes him in and protects him from those who would do him harm in his weakened state, and what do you know: she actually starts to fall in love with him.

Meanwhile, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is being held hostage by the werepanthers of Hot Shot and raped on a daily basis in another plot arch that dies off rather quickly. Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) are having troubles in their relationship, and it's a good thing that Jason soon escapes, because Jessica needs a new man in her life... even if it means that Jason has to betray his best friend. Sam (Sam Trammell) finds a new love in Luna (Janina Gavankar), but of course, his little brother Tommy (Marshall Allman) is constantly stepping in and getting in the way. Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) are still a happy couple, and they will have to put their combined powers to work in order to help out in various ways around town, while Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) is now addicted to V and useless as an officer of the law. Tara (Rutina Wesley) is back in town, having left her girlfriend in California to pay Sookie a visit, while Alcide (Joe Manganiello) is once again living with his werewolf she-bitch Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan). As if all that wasn't enough, Arlene (Carrie Preston) and Terry (Todd Lowe) realize that their newborn son may be possessed by the spirit of a certain serial killer from Arlene's past.

There's a lot going on in this season, and thankfully, most of it is entertaining. The writers did seem to be getting a little lazy this season, what with numerous plot arcs being dropped and forgotten throughout the season, but I can forgive that: it stayed entertaining, and that goes a long way in keeping my interest, details be damned. I will say that I was disappointed in them dropping the "Jason turns into a werepanther" idea as it worked rather well in the books, but I can sort of see why: we have to have some normal humans on the show, and at the rate they're going, there's not very many of them left. On the flip side, I once again have to point out how glad I am that they dropped the god-awful fairy storyline just minutes into the first episode. Folks, words just can not describe how bad it was, and if the next season centers around it as I suspect it may, I will be tapping out on this show.

On the positive side, all of your favorite characters are back and are as entertaining as ever. Nobody will sway your opinion of them here, but everybody gets a decent storyline to work with, so regardless of who you personally love and who you hate, you'll be happy to see that they got plenty of screen time. Fiona Shaw is the big newcomer to the show this season, and I was pleasantly surprised by how great she was as an actress. This woman had a wide range of abilities, and seeing her put the heroes to the test was a pleasure to watch. Also, I got a nice little geek-thrill from the final episode of the season. I won't spoil it, but a handful of characters from the previous seasons make cameo appearances (some as one-off appearances, others to set up the next season), and again, this was a treat for the fans.

My one big complaint is the way that the show seemed to be slightly targeting a female audience this time around. It seemed as though the writers thought "Well, they loved the romance angles between Sookie, Eric, and Bill, so why not give them more of that?" As a result, just about everyone in the show is dealing with romance issues. Let's see: there's the obvious Sookie / Eric / Bill / Alcide, which overlaps with Alcide / Debbie, there's Jason / Crystal / Hoyt / Jessica, Lafayette / Jesus once again, Tara and her girlfriend get some time, Terry / Arlene, Andy / Holly gets a brief nod, and finally, Sam / Tommy / Luna gets some time as well. I have no problems with relationship issues popping up in the show, but it just seemed like there was way too much of it this time around.

Still, I did enjoy the show, but I will admit that my enjoyment has slipped down a few notches. It's still an entertaining show and I'll likely tune in for the next season, but to say that it's as great as the previous seasons would be a stretch. Hardcore fans will still enjoy it, but some of the more casual fans may start tuning out after all is said and done. 7/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 10/16/2011, 07:19 PM
Jason was suppose to be a werepather? They should have gone with that instead of the fairy junk because Sookie is annoying enough already. 8/10
Chad #2: Chad - added 10/17/2011, 09:45 AM
Yeah, in the book, he turned into a half-werepanther. In other words, he didn't turn into a full-blown panther like the Hot Shot hillbillies, but he was kinda like the wolfman... only, a panther version. It led to some neat storyline angles, but alas, they pissed it away here. Disappointing, especially considering the build to it.
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