Greetings, Fangbangers! It’s about that time again! Summer is almost here! You know how I can tell it’s almost summer time?
By looking at a calendar, DUH! Because all the stars on my television screen have suspiciously stopped wearing clothing . . .
SOOKIE: “You know, it’s really rude to walk around looking all perfect, like that. All you are doing is making
me want to jump your bones the boys with normal-looking bodies feel bad!”
But summer time isn’t just about walking around naked.
(Well . . . it’s MOSTLY about walking around naked.) It’s also about watching QUALITY summer programming (while naked . . . of course)! You know, there was a time, not too long ago, when the phrase “Quality Summer Programming” was an oxymoron. But, thanks in a large part to cable channels like HBO, AMC, Showtime, and . . . yes . . .even ABC Family, serious Summer TV isn’t so oxymoronic ANYMORE!
Lafayette is very pleased with the new and improved state of summer television.
Perhaps, there is no better example of that than True Blood. Produced by acclaimed showrunner Alan Ball, and based on the popular Southern Vampire Mysteries series penned by Charlaine Harris, this sublimely-successful television series is about to enter its fourth season. And, if the collection of recently-released promos for the show are any indication, it’s going to be quite an AWESOME season, indeed.
Season of Seric, HERE WE COME!
The purpose of this post is to analyze and breakdown some of the promotional material HBO has released, during the past few weeks, regarding True Blood, in hopes of getting a better idea of what to expect during the show’s upcoming season. (Special thanks to my blogging pal / fellow TB fan / staunch Seric lover, Cherie, over at Spidey Sense, for coming up with the idea for this post. So, if you don’t like it, BLAME HER! Just kidding!)
I hope you guys are hungry! Because we are about to BITE in to some SERIOUSLY juicy True Blood tidbits!
As most fans will tell you, each season of True Blood is, more or less, based on a book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series. Given that pattern, Season 4 should predominately follow the general plot outline of Book 4 in that series, which, appropriately, is entitled Dead to the World. Without giving too much away . . . (SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT) . . . the main plotpoints of that book were as follows:
(1) The arrival of a nefarious witch coven, led by the super spooky Hallow, in Bon Temps, which led to a tentative alliance formed between the vampires and werewolves in the area to defeat that coven.
(2) Eric’s amnesia, as a result of a spell placed on him by the aforementioned coven, and how that amnesia affects his relationship with one Sookie Stackhouse. (Hint: SHOWER SEX IS INVOLVED!)
and . . .
(3) Jason Stackhouse’s kidnapping by those wackadoo werepanthers from Crystal Norris’ trailer trash town of Hotshot.
Since, True Blood is never shy about killing off a good portion of their cast each year, every new season of True Blood will inevitably bring along with it, the addition of some . . . for lack of a better term . . . fresh blood. And Season 4 of True Blood will be no different. Below is a quick look at the newbies scheduled to spend this summer in Bon Temps . . .
Fiona Shaw, as Marnie “Hallow” Stonebrook
Harry Potter fans will undoubtedly remember Fiona Shaw for her portrayal of Harry’s prickly Aunt Petunia. But in TB world she is Marnie, an unassuming, not particularly talented, palm reader, who may or may not, as a result of a bewitching possession, end up being this season’s BIG BAD . . .
Alex Breckinridge, as Daisy
Joining Marnie’s coven will be a young witch named Daisy, who is shown in one of the trailers below (I think) getting all teary eyed in front of Vampire Bill. Daisy will be played by Alexander Breckenridge. Many of you might recognize Alex from her role as Willa in the FX series Dirt. However, as a Dawson’s Creek fan, I will always remember Alex as The Girl Who Kissed Dawson Leery And Then Puked, in a Fabulous Season 3 episode (particularly if you were a Pacey and Joey fan) entitled “The Valentine’s Day Massacre.”
Courtney Ford, as Portia Bellefleur
As Andy Bellefleur’s younger sister, an attorney who briefly dated Bill Compton until [SPOILER ALERT:
The two found out they were distantly related], Portia Bellefleur has always been a consistent, if not necessarily important, character in the Sookie Stackhouse book series. However, judging by some of the hot and heavy scenes her character seems to be enjoying in the promos, with Stephen Moyer’s Vampire Bill, something tells me the character’s role in the television series is going to be a bit larger than originally anticipated.
Portia will be played by Courtney Ford, who Vampire Diaries fans might remember as the Girl Who Shot Damon in the Backside with an Arrow, resulting in THIS fun little image . . .
Janina Gavankar, as Luna
Speaking of Love Interests, Sam Merlotte hasn’t exactly had much luck in that department, during True Blood’s first two seasons. However, that may change when school teacher / fellow shifter Luna (a werebat in the book series) flies into town. Fans of the Showtime series The L Word might remember Gavankar (who will play Luna) as promiscous lesbian, Papi. And we all know how much Sam loves his promiscuous women!
Will there be some Hot Doggy Style Sex in Sam’s future? Only time will tell!
Vedette Lim as Naomi
Press releases gave us very little in the way of intel on this new character, except to say that she’s a tough-as-nails cage fighter, who ends up getting hot and heavy with her female opponent. And we all know how much True Blood adores its hard core violent sex scenes with homosexual undertones! You GO, Naomi!
Speaking of homosexual undertones, guess who just got bumped up to series regular?
Jessica Tuck, as Nan Flanagan
This no-nonsense spokesperson of the American Vampire League was perhaps best known last season for (1) eating out a lady in the backseat of her limo; and (2) sending a SWAT team full of guys dressed like extras from The Matrix to swarm Fangtasia. And now we will get to see a lot more of her, I guess. Could she become a possible love interest for Vampire Pam? It’s certainly possible!
Also returning to Bon Temps this season will be the following relative newcomers: Lauren Bowles, as witchy waitress, Holly Cleary . . .
. . . Kevin Alejandro, as Lafayette’s voodoo loving beau, Jesus . . .
. . . and Allan Hyde, as the Vampire Who Just Doesn’t Seem to Die, No Matter How Many Times He “Meets the Sun,” Godric (then again, maybe this will just be another flashback . . .)
That’s right Godric, KEEP THAT SHIRT OFF, and you will fit in just fine here!
THE PROMOTIONAL ONE-SHOTS
Last year, in order to promote the show’s upcoming season, the producers of True Blood released a series of three-to-five minute long character-centric minisodes. These short videos promised to tease what was in store for each of the series’ main characters, during the season. Of course, in hindsight, while these videos were amusing (some, admittedly, more amusing than others), they actually ended up providing fans with very little, in terms of plot-line teasers.
This year, as a part of its Waiting Sucks campaign, True Blood has once again decided to release a series of character-centric teaser videos. Though significantly shorter in length than last year’s minisodes, these teasers are about ten times more informative than their predecessors. Each of these 30-second shots (which feature a scene from the upcoming season, narrated by the script for that scene) contains suprisingly spoilery information about some of the season’s main plotpoints.
Let’s watch, and analyze, shall we?
(Special thanks to TrueBloodItalia, for providing these fabulous videos for our viewing pleasure.)
Bill and Eric – “New Coven in Town”
In Dead to the World, Eric’s amnesia is revealed within the first few pages of the story. Apparently, True Blood has decided to start the season off a bit earlier in the timeline than that. The above scene, I’m assuming, takes place fairly early on in Season 4, possibly in the first episode.
In it, a clearly not-yet-amnesiac Eric, and Victim of a Ridiculously Bad Haircut Bill discuss the ramifications of a witch coven arriving in Bon Temps. Never before have we seen Eric Northman this concerned about the arrival of another supernatural creature in his Area. And, if the rest of the promotional videos are any indication, he is right to be worried . . .
Eric (and Sookie) – “Where am I? Who am I? (and where are my clothes?)”
Knowing that Eric is meant to have amnesia in this scene, it is interesting to compare it to the one we just watched, above. Alexander Skarsgard’s temperment has completely changed here. Gone is the cocky confidence,dark sense of humor, all-knowing stare, and ferocious, “kill first, ask questions later” mentality that we have come to associate with the Sheriff of Area Five. THIS Eric Northman looks more innocent, less sure of himself, more naive, and, dare I say it, MUCH younger than the one we’ve come to know and love, over the past three seasons of True Blood.
In short, Mommy Likes this New Amnesia Eric . . . very much!
(Minor gripe: In the book series, Sookie is driving home from work when she finds a NAKED Eric, running toward her home, clad in only his socks. If you notice in this season, Eric is wearing . . . pants. WHY, ALAN BALL, WHY?)
Pam, Tara, Lafayette, and Marnie – “Fix My Man”
This scene obviously takes place AFTER Pam has learned that Eric has amnesia. She is clearly calling upon new witch Marnie to help her “FIX” her Maker, and return him to his former self. The problem, of course, is that Marnie (or the thing possessing her) may have actually been the one to CAUSE the amnesia, in the first place. And, therefore, asking HER for help, may not exactly be the wisest move Vampire Pam has ever made.
The end of the scene, in which “Marnie” literally stops Pam in her tracks, and lets out an unearthly cackle, is particularly creepy. Speaking of creepy . . .
Arlene, Terry, and the Demon Baby?
I’ll be perfectly honest. Last season, I had absolutely NO interest in asshat Arlene, or her, “I may have been impregnated by my Dead Serial Killer Husband” storyline. That being said, THIS PROMO genuinely gave me chills. There is nothing I find more frightening then scary supernatural freaky kids. I
suspect that Arlene’s demon baby will join a long line of pre-pubescents that scare the stuffing out of me, including, but not limited to: that chick from The Ring, the kids from The Grudge, all the Children of the Corn, those blonde tots from Village of the Damned, Rosemary’s Baby, the Omen kid, the kid from The Shining, Dakota Fanning’s character in Hide and Seek, and the list just goes on and on . . .
You know who else is frightening me, lately?
Stepford Trash Wife Crystal and Bondage Jason
Oh, sweet, dumb, Jason! I have a secret: I never really liked your girlfriend! To be honest, I just couldn’t figure out what it was exactly you saw in the plain-looking, not particularly charming, Crystal Norris.
I suspect there was a part of you, who, after having countless girlfriends of yours DIE UNTIMELY DEATHS, wanted to date someone you could rescue, and actually keep alive, for a change. Perhaps, Crystal, a werepanther, born and raised in an incestuous, crystal meth-producing, trailer park, seemed like just the girl you could save.
Except, now it looks like she’s tied you to a bed post, is rocking some REALLY unattractive curlers, and is getting all her werepanther friends to torture you and bite you, until you are “REBORN” as “ONE OF THEM.” See, Jason, you should have dated a TV Recapper, instead! We are MUCH safer (and just a little bit less insane)!
Come on over to my place, Jason! It’s not too late!
Speaking of Potentially Very Happy Couples . . .
Hoyt and Jessica – “I Pity the FOOL who messes with Hoyt’s girlfriend!”
Last season, Hoyt and Jessica experienced a happy reunion, after Hoyt finally forgave his girlfriend for trying to eat his mom. But just because the pair are happy together, doesn’t mean everybody in Bon Temps is particularly happy for them! Of course, this is far from the first time, Jessica has suffered the slings and arrows of vampiric racism at the hands of strangers. However, this IS the first time that racism has been extended to include her human boyfriend, Hoyt.
Under the circumstances, I’d say he handled it quite well, don’t you? 🙂 In other Relationship News . . .
Sam and Luna (Surprise! She has a crazy, abusive ex!)
Awww, man! Do we really have to suffer through another Crazy Ex Storyline, again? No wonder Bon Temps is so incestuous! There’s onlyabout five or six NORMAL/ non-psychotic people to date there!
TWO SEXY TRAILERS!
In addition to all the juiciness illustrated above, HBO has also released not one, but TWO, new trailers for the upcoming season. Admittedly, one is less informative, but (decisively more NAKED) than the second. The other, in my opinion, gives us a bit more to work with, in terms of plot details. Ready to investigate? Let’s start sleuthing . . .
Trailer Number One – So Much Shirtlessness, So Little Time
After I got over the giddy glee of realizing just how much HOT NAKED MALE SKIN was featured in this brief, 39-second trailer, I was shocked to realize just how LITTLE information this trailer provided, in terms of actual Season 4 plotpoints. I mean, think about it, all we got in the first ten seconds was a series of Scared “Good Guy” Faces . . .
For starters, here is Running Scared (but Shirtless, YAY!) Jason Stackhouse . . .
I can’t really tell whether this shot comes BEFORE his werepanther kidnapping, or after. On one hand, Jason definitely looks STRONGER and more able-bodied than he appears in later parts of the trailer, leading me to believe he HASN’T been “infected” yet.
On the other hand, if you look closely, Jason definitely has a big bloody bite mark on his stomach, leading me to believe either (1) he has already been bitten once, but has not been captured yet; (2) his transformation is complete, and, now healing from his bites, he has finally managed to escape his captors. Since, I doubt, True Blood would want to spoil Jason’s triumphant ESCAPE from Hotshot so early in the series, I’m going to put my money on the former . . .
Speaking of Scared Good Guys, here’s Sam Merlotte . . .
I’ll be the first to admit that this is a pretty useless screenshot. I’m only including it because of the cheesy Halloween decoration hanging over Sam’s head. Am I to assume that this season DOESN’T take place during the summer (as previous seasons have), but, rather, occcurs during the fall and winter months? Or is Sam just EXTREMELY lazy about taking down his holiday decorations . . .
:11-13 of the trailer contrast the Scared “Good Guy” Faces we saw earlier, with some equally useless, and generic, Angry Vampire Faces. We have a probably pre-amnesiac Eric, a 1920’s costumed Queen Sophie Ann, and a very bizarre looking, Billy Idol-esque Vampire Bill.
80’s flashback, I presume?
At the :15 mark, our patience is rewarded with a nice shot of a Fresh-Out-of the Shower Sookie being ogled by a very turned on (and, most likely pre-amesiac Eric). “Is this another dream?” Sookie wonders dazedly.
No Sookie. Eric’s desire to separate you from that pesky towel of yours, and have his way with you, right on your Grandma’s old couch, is very real . . .
“Yowsa! Those are some huge melons you’ve got there!”
We follow this up with another five seconds of random, uninformative, Fangtasia shots, one of a Very Happy, Dancey, Vampire Jess . . .
. . . another of a fierce Pam . . .
(I suspect both of these are from the same episode, as the one-shot featuring Pam and Jess, above.)
. . . and a third of Shooty Tara . . .
“I am in a very bad mood. (SURPRISE!)”
My FAVORITE scene in the trailer doesn’t arrive until the 20-second mark, in which we see a shirtless, post-amnesiac, Eric looking at Sookie intently, and moving in for a kiss, one she seems more than willing to accept!
SQUEE! *Does Happy Dance*
At 21 seconds, Vampire Bill can be found threatening a woman, who I initially thought was Queen Sophie Ann. However, on second viewing, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is Alex Breckenridge’s witch, Daisy. Hmmm . . . I wonder what “Big Mistake” she is making, according to Vampire Bill. (Perhaps, SHE’S the one that gave him that awful haircut!)
“What do you want from me? I got my Beauty School Degree online!”
Things start to get intense at 22 seconds, when we see Pam toss a purple shirted SOMEONE into the same Vampire Dungeon she used to hold Lafayette captive, during Season 2 . . .
We are also treated to a shot of a clearly, worse for WERE (Get it?), infected, and mustachioed(?) Jason. In the scene, he is wearing a very ugly flannel shirt (boo!), and, presumably, trying to escape captivity in Hotshot . . .
My second favorite trailer clip arrives at the 25-second mark, when Sookie tells her half-naked growling pal, Alcide, to “Stop making that NOISE!”
Making sex noises in public is SO inappropriate . . . even in a slutty town like Bon Temps
That exercise in awesomeness is followed up by a Party Crasher Pre-Amnesiac Eric, making a VERY grand entrance at a coven meeting, one which may or may not be taking place at Lafayette’s house.
“I have ARRIVED! (Anyone have six hours to spare for the best sexual experience of your human existence?)”
Speaking of sex (aren’t I always?) check out Tied to the Bedpost, Bondage Jason, screaming his head off at the 27-second mark . . .
“Why do I feel like I’ve been in this situation before?”
“Ohhhh . . .”
And because no True Blood trailer is complete without some good old-fashioned necking . . .
Way to go, SAM!
Check that off your list!
Uh oh! Cheesy Fake CGI Werepanther ALERT, at the 30-second mark!
I think I’ll name it Fluffy . . . or maybe Oreo.
We end the trailer with three quick-fire images of people beating the crap out of other people. There’s Queen Sophie beating up Vampire Bill, in his own house . . . at least, I think it’s his house . . .
We’ve got Hoyt beating up that racist outside Fangtasia (from the episode clip we watched earlier). And, finally, there’s SOOKIE PUNCHING AMNESIA ERIC?
“Man! Even the vampires end up in abusive relationships, on this show!”
“You’ll heal in five minutes. You’re a vampire,” scolds Sookie boredly, when Eric questions her violent actions in the seconds moments of the trailer. (Isn’t that what ALL the abusers say?)
Trailer Two – Witches versus Vamps (versus Weres?)
Though this second trailer is roughly the same length as the first, I found it to be a bit more telling, in terms of actual plot analysis. Watch here, and see what I mean . . .
Right off the bat, we are treated to a shot of Sookie, nervously examining the rearview mirror in her car.
At first, I assumed that THIS would be the scene where Sookie would find Amnesia Eric. But then that THING attacked Sookie from the window of her car . . .
(Why the heck does she drive with her window open? Doesn’t she know where she LIVES, and what show she’s on?)
So, I figured out that I might be mistaken . . .
Given that the trailer opens with Sookie being, ONCE AGAIN, in danger, it is interesting that this scene is paired with Pam’s seemingly prophetic admonission that Sookie, “need[s] to be somebody’s . . . or [she] won’t BE.”
Woah, Pam! Ease up on that red lipstick, next time. Mmm Kay?
I also liked how Pam’s not-so-subtle suggestion that Sookie choose between her two vampire suitors, and choose FAST, is juxtaposed by images of BOTH suitors making a play for Sookie’s affections, in her home. We’ve got Bill (zzzzzzzzz) . . .
“Miss Sookie, might I interest you in a rousing game of Chess?”
. . . and then Eric (YAY!) . . .
“Miss Sookie, might I interest you in a rousing game of AMAZING SEX?”
During the trailer, when Sookie asked Eric what he wanted from her . . . and he looked deeply into her eyes and said, with all seriousness, “Everything,” I may or may not have melted into a little puddle in my chair . . .
We then get a generic image of Witchy Spell Stuff. And, through this, we meet our new coven . . .
Notable members of this coven include, the soon-to-be-evil, Marnie . . .
. . . Holly . . .
. . . Daisy (who we met talking to Bill in the other trailer), and, interestingly enough, Lafayette and Jesus . . .
“Et tu, Laf-e?”
I cringed a little bit at the hot, but, icky (because of what I know about their lineage) sex scene between Bill and Portia . . . (I really don’t recall those two ever going that far with one another, in the books. But, hey! That’s HBO, for you!)
“Well, I’d say it’s a really good thing vampires can’t procreate. Wouldn’t you? Otherwise, our baby would probably have three heads . . . or be like ARLENE’S”
We get a little humor (and some interesting spoilers), in the next few scenes. During THEM, we learn that (1) the witch coven needs a dead body to complete one of its more complicated spells; and (2) witches have the power control vampires.
“Where the hell are we going to get a dead body?” Lafayette inquires.
Given all that, Eric’s Party Crasher Scene from the first trailer, makes a whole lot more sense, in context, doesn’t it?
Like the above image, a lot of the ones that followed in this trailer, were ones we had already seen in the FIRST trailer. That being said, I was intrigued by THIS image, of Tara going bat-sh*t on some Poor Unfortunate Soul . . .
Oh, Tara, who are you beating up THIS TIME?
Texting 911, as we speak . . .
. . . a second shot of the Billy Idol-like Flashback Vampire Bill . . .
. . . and an intriguing shot of Vampire Eric attacking Marnie. (Could this be what prompted her to cast the spell on him?)
As with the first trailer, this one ends with a unique touch of Sookie’s Dry Meta Humor: “Oh, GREAT! Now, I have to deal with witches?” She whines, as a decidedly naked (Alcide or Eric?) stands protectively behind her . . .
(My dear, naive, Sookie! With an Amnesiac Eric Northman as your new vampire roommate, something tells me witches will be the least of your problems!)
And, there you have it, folks: a handful of new cast members, a slew of promotional one-shots, and two awesome trailers. Not bad for a day’s blogging, right?
Thirsty for more? Be sure to tune into HBO on June 26th at 9 p.m. for the season premiere of True Blood. But, until then . . .