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Headed South: My Thoughts On True Blood

True Blood Season 3 poster

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers & rough language. Reader discretion is advised.

Recently, Tambay posted a brief video clip that summed up HBO’s vampire hit, True Blood. This prompted me to share some thoughts I had jotted down a few weeks ago about the show.

In recent years I’ve found myself indulging in all manners of junk, whether it be reality television and elevated soap opera’s like Nip Tuck and Satisfaction. And most of it is awful, I don’t pretend otherwise. But no show has been more of a junk bonanza for me than the truly awful, True Blood. As a matter-of-fact, I have had a love-hate kind of relationship with the show since its premiere. Last year if you had asked me how I felt about the series, I would have said…hopeful. But this year things have changed and not for the better; in my opinion, whatever potential this show once held is long gone.

When I caught up on this season, I had a lot of confidence in where this series was headed. And there are other things to say about the jumble of interconnecting plots and subplots on the show but that is not the point of this post. The point is to express how I went from excited anticipation to barely being able to sit through an episode to finally giving up on it altogether. You see, I have been following the show’s progress since the pilot episode and felt that after last season it was gaining its legs and had potential to invigorate this worn out genre of vampire storytelling. I was also enthusiastic about the return of True Blood veterans like Rutina Wesley as Tara and the lazy tongued, comical antics of Nelson Ellis as Lafayette. Last year, these characters seemed to be building solid foundations that showed growth; they seemed to be breaking away from the unfortunate one-dimensional caricatures in which they were boxed in during the first season.

However, now that I’ve caught up with the current season, my hopes for something fun yet involving have been dashed into a million tiny pieces and the object of my ire centers mainly around the characters mentioned above; Tara Thornton and Lafayette Reynolds.

When I think of how True Blood handles diversity (okay basically black folks) one phrase comes to mind…Minstrel Show. Yes I said it, because, when you see—a beautiful woman like Rutina Wesley running from a plantation house across an open field, eyes bucked and slave-attired in a long burlap sack of a night gown coupled with Nelson Ellis waving his hand and sashaying around with a gypsy-like do-rag on his head peppering every other word with mutherfucka’, bitch and hookah—this is one of few thoughts that may flash through your mind: “Look at what Massa’ up to now!”

And the inclusion of these tired images haven’t a damn thing to do with satire or anything elevated above satiating the latent biases of their target demographic. Because, lets face it, southern black people who have more going on than slavish mentality, crime, booze, drugs, poverty, hyper-sexuality and family dysfunction are not interesting for the viewing public to see; no, they must be a stone’s throw from totally f***ed to be worth the film roll.

Amid my frustration I was brought back to those days after True Blood first premiered on HBO; many times in discussions with others, I felt like the lone wolf; the person outside of the consensus that this was indeed a great and entertaining show. The reason is that from its first episode,what was presented (involving the two main characters of color) left a lot to be desired. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to Marty/Mary Sue these characters I’m discussing, not at all and hell, I like when stories are told in shades of gray…However, I must be frank...originally I didn’t like Lafayette and felt less than lukewarm about Tara; when I expressed these thoughts to some, I was usually met with replies such as this ‘Well, you ‘know’ in the book they weren’t black. The producers ‘made’ them black for the show.”

And those types of comments were usually given in that dismissive kind of way that feels more like a chastisement for having an opposing opinion, rather than information given in jest. And it’s always at the end of something else like, “at least she is black”

In my mind I would think…oh really? Lemme get this straight…because a character in a book is white (or insert whatever other race other than black) and a writer/director/producer…whomever decides to make that person black for film, anything goes? They can just throw out whatever crap they please to the masses and you and I should sit back and say ‘thank ya kindly for this shit stick you just threw at me’

No. I think not.

Why is it that we (as in black folk) are expected to be grateful and accept whatever is thrust upon us as long as it’s packaged in a darker skin tone? Why is it that, a character that was originally white is changed to black and her personality so devolved, any kinship or empathy an observer could possibly feel for her is all but diminished?

As a viewer who happens to be black, the creators of True Blood were and are not doing me any favors. I would have gladly accepted the show as the characters were originally written, if it would have given me a Tara I could laugh with and root for. But instead, they decided to pat themselves on the back and attempt to fool us with this lame attempt at diversity all the while jacking it up so bad that it’s more than apparent who the real demographic is that they were trying to reach. They are playing the race card again, this time to the tune of so-called black pathology.

But still there’s more, a bigger issue that sits in the middle of the room like a bloated pink elephant with a teabagger logo emblazoned across its forehead. It rests in the dichotomy of the two female leads and how the show represents their conflicts and the resolution to those conflicts. It’s how we see Sookie, the blond, good-nature, smiling, damsel in distress who finds love, honor, respect, admiration and lust in all the creatures of the night she meets and the situations she encounters. Hell she can sneeze and hot men come runnin’ to hand her a piece of tissue…while her best friend, Tara, the cornrowed, always irate, sad and insecure sidekick gets:

  • cracked over the head with a bottle by her alcoholic mother
  • Repeatedly rejected by the town man-whore (who would screw just about anything with T & A)
  • Offered drugs and repeatedly called a bitch by her flaming queen cousin (who I actually like) in place of therapy or a tender shoulder to cry on (1st season)
  • Screwed (literally) by a man who is clearly in love with her best friend and only using her for momentary consolation.
  • Mixed up with the bride of Satan herself and falls into a relationship with her hypnotized live-in black buck (who happens to kill for her too)
  • Is beaten up by her boyfriend (the black buck) and participates in a blood orgy.
  • After a traumatic event goes back to her dead-in job at backwater restaurant full of redneck racists when her boyfriend is coldly shot in the head right outside the doors.
  • Told to ‘get over’ it when she dares to grieve for the loss of her boyfriend (whom by the way was shot in the head outside of her workplace).
  • Swept up by a lunatic to engage in some kind of outlandish sexual encounter after he rescues her from a couple of redneck racists who were gleefully chanting the ‘N’ word in honor of her boyfriend’s demise.
  • In some odd modernization of twisted slave-master fantasy is sexually assaulted, chained up and kidnapped to some plantation in Mississippi, where she’s held captive and forced to do demeaning things in order to stay alive.

…and the list goes on.

Recently, observing some of the many black fans of this show I continue to be befuddled…

Why is it that some of us continue to support one-layered portrayals of black men and women as these troglodytic, bastardized, desperate for attention, finger-snapping, attitude laden, buck-like, neck-rolling, strong as an ox, whip me—beat me—do anything to me and I’ll bounce back kind of human beings? Hell, that ain’t even human behavior if you ask me. It’s not engaging, it’s cringe-worthy and far from sexy. At best and worst it’s ridiculous and subhuman; it’s an f’ing disgrace!

I really thought the creators behind this blood fest were turning a corner. If you look at the fact that this is a comedy-horror vampire show, and most of the plot lines and portrayals peppered throughout follow the same tone, you have to wonder why these things are even included in the story line and furthermore is there growth in all of this pathological behavior? Cause according to readers of the book, these are characterizations plucked out of thin air, “Tara wasn’t that way in the book!”

At risk of sounding redundant, again, I ask…what is the point? Is there redemption down the line? Do the character(s) rise above? Why are they even bothering? Because, lets face it, the creators started this shit! If they wanted to give us torture porn and junk food horror, they should have just stuck with that and we could all have a laugh but when they decided to interject serious shit…child abuse, alcoholism, rape, racism and such…well in doing that they have a certain level of responsibility in what they put forth. No one told them they had to make Tara Thornton and Lafayette, black. Hell they could have been Asian, Mayan…Alien...anything! Surely the Sookie Stackhouse fans weren’t rallying in the street for that character change. So what was their purpose and in doing so, was it really hard to create well-rounded multidimensional people afterward? What really changed besides the coloring?

On a positive note, I will say this: it seems like they were doing a better job at trying to humanize Lafayette in such a way that it was endearing and engaging. But even now that seems to be slipping. As for Tara, instead of showing evolution and a story line that’s embracing her in a way that shows all sides of her as a woman, we have them falling back on the same ole’ tried and true stereotypes. Good old faithfuls is what I like to call ‘em.

There’s a lot to say about the many themes the above touched on. It’s not just an issue with this show or these particular characters but a much larger disconnect in the film and television industry as a whole. With that, there isn’t much I can add to the topic that wouldn’t sound like the disjointed rantings of a lunatic and I’m not sure I want to expend the energy trying. Instead, I’ll end it here by saying that if I had one message to give the creator’s of True Blood, it would be this:

Do better or don’t bother.

For those of you still curious about checking out the show, I would be inclined to nudge you toward the latter.

29 comments to Headed South: My Thoughts On True Blood

  • Tony

    Don’t knock Nip/Tuck, it was a show that could be schlocky but still attempted a means to a message. Even though it was pure fun. Well worth it just for the musicial notes.

    The Tara character is going through some strange arc’s but due to race it’s viewed that way. Her character is similar to that of the main character, Sookie. Two strong women that don’t back down. Troubles with love with men because Daddy was not around.

    Tara just falls on the sword because of the listed items you mentioned. Eggs (black buck in your piece) was pretty much a stereotype. Yet was a devise for Tara to come out of shell more and have a handsome love interest.

    Lafayette is perhaps the best character on the show. The actor sure is gonna have to try hard to shake him. He already was tough to spot or notice in The Soloist.

    The show deals with racism from time to time but through the device of the vampire. The way the conversations or the remarks about them and not wanting them to mix with our own kind. It’s a fun rump that somehow tries to squeeze in some ounce of thought.

    • Well Nip/Tuck is a whole other animal. I stopped watching that show after the 4th season and I could go on all day about the issues I have but we would be here all night. As for True Blood:

      The Tara character is going through some strange arc’s but due to race it’s viewed that way.

      I’m not sure my interpretation of what you are saying here is correct but it’s not only about this season’s arc and yes, it is very much about her race. Because we have to ask ourselves, if her character wasn’t written this way in the book, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that they based this incarnation of Tara according to societal conceptions of black women. Furthermore, season 3 Tara is almost a total regression to what she was in the 1st season (almost bestial really) and even when I tried to give that the benefit of the doubt due to the situation with Eggs, it still does not erase the consistent down-trodden black women theme that seems to surround her character and ALL the black female characters on the show. None of the other female characters (not one) are being portrayed in such way; not in a way that completely diminishes their femininity. Even that dimwitted red head waitress that’s a waste of airtime has less neurosis and pathological tendencies than Tara. For me it doesn’t take too much analyzing to see what’s going on here. Is it no surprise that both she and Lafayette have mentally disturbed/substance abusing mothers and both have missing fathers? Or that they themselves use narcotics and/or drink at the drop of a hat? They are the most belligerent and foul mouth of the main characters and the most slovenly adored. Hell, even the fledgling vampire keeps herself looking nice. I know this may seem harsh but when I watch this show, it’s right there in front of my face. Again, I’m not saying that there should never be black characters like this on TV but in a popular broadly watched body of work like True Blood, one dimensional stereotypes without any development just don’t work to me. ‘Cause it’s a regression. I feel a lot of this imagery is deliberate and it’s not necessarily about blatant racism on HBO or the creators of True Blood’s part, it’s more about amplifying the most debased stereotypes of black folks to draw in the demographic the network is trying to appeal. That main demographic is white males ages 18-33. And that’s just the way I see it.

      • OneBrownSnowPea

        Very on point. The portrayal of Tara rests on the stereotype of black women being the ULTIMATE UN-WOMAN.

  • D. Cain

    Wow, this was intense! I do feel this season has let me down with the dragging. It didn’t meet my anticipation/hype. After reading the post I see clearly what you mean about the Tara & Lafayette, which I loved Tara more in the 1st season as well as LaLa, they had a spicyness to them. Thanks for the post.

  • Ksky

    I could never sit through an episode of the show, I could never get past the lack of growth of the characters

  • Hmmm… Hmmm… :)

    As I already stated in a previous post, I’ve never watched the show. But it does seem to be plenty popular with many of “us,” and some keep encouraging me to check it out.

    I still will, if only to ensure that I’m informed, so that I can talk about it intelligently.

    Right now though, I’m just now getting into “Mad Men” season 2. So, one at a time…

  • OneBrownSnowPea

    I agree with much of your post. I been watching since season 2 and after viewing the majority of season 3 I don’t have much hope for the Tara character.

    They’ve reduced her to a caricature of the ‘angry/hurt/poor/ insecure’ black woman. I think the writers on this show are more concerned with portraying her through lens of america’s deeply ingrained racist imagination then building her into a well-rounded character.

    However, her anger and pain is entirely justified by what she went through with Franklin. But the audience isn’t going to sympathize as much beacause they made her the ‘angry one’ from the very beginning. So they see her anger and pain as just an extension of her personality and not a side effect of her trauma.

    I’m going to use that phrase now ‘Do Better or Don’t Bother.’It doesn’t just matter that you have black people present on your show; it also matters that you give them the same attention/development that you give white characters.

    Also, Tara was white in the books and also a business owner. But just because they change the race of the character why does her whole backstory also have to change? Since there are no southern black female business owners…right?

  • Miles Ellison

    True Blood is trailer trash vampire porn with a generous helping of neo-minstrelsy. Part of the problem is that when it comes to black characters in most mainstream entertainment, most of the audience (blacks as well as whites) only respond to stereotypes. That’s why Tara and Lafayette are portrayed the way they are. The other part of the problem is that the creators of show like this one, and others that have black characters, are too lazy to give non-white characters anything resembling dimension.

  • In all fairness, I haven’t seen this seasons episodes but I did view season one and two. I could understand your point if TRUE BLOOD hoodwinked you in the beginning giving you the impression that it was some kind of highbrow vampire tale but that’s not the case. It’s akin to getting a porno and, after watching it, trying to find some “redemptive” quality or plot line…FAIL. From day one, Tara and Lafayette were “hot mess” characters in a town that was a “hot mess.” TB was ALWAYS salacious, other-world, and morally and ethically “screwed” and so on. Yet, truthfully, that’s the appeal. It’s not “PC” and I think it’s unfair to ask it to be that. I do believe it’s a show you either like or don’t–no gray area.

    • I could understand your point if TRUE BLOOD hoodwinked you in the beginning giving you the impression that it was some kind of highbrow vampire tale but that’s not the case. It’s akin to getting a porno and, after watching it, trying to find some “redemptive” quality or plot line…FAIL.

      I think you might have missed the point of my post. To reiterate what I said above, the creators chose to go down the route they did with Tara and Lafayette’s characterizations, when they didn’t have to. It wasn’t in the source material and its inclusion lends nothing fresh to the show. It’s not about telling a redemptive tale (of course not!) I mean, I know the show is based off of young adult books but it is about taking the time to flesh out your characters beyond throwaway carbon copies of stereotypes that have been used time and again. And HBO is producing it as adult entertainment, not kiddie fare. Are they doing anything fresh with the stereotypes they are using? Hmm, lets see...dark skinned black women in cornrows working minimum wage job, with a nasty attitude, dysfunctional home life and desperate for love.

      Eh, nothing new to me. Sounds like the same ole recycled themes. Here’s another thing I didn’t add to my post: because of everything I mentioned above, during the first season of True blood I briefly stopped watching after episode three but later decided to give it another chance. See, from the moment Tara’s mother cracked a bottle over her head and called her a bitch, the idea of guilty pleasure porn flew out the window. I don’t know about you but the porn I’ve watched (and I’ve seen a lot!) doesn’t include alcoholic mothers cracking their daughters over the head with liquor bottles–you didn’t even find that shit in crap like Hostel. Now, it’s fine if you have no problem watching that within the context of this show and it’s fine if you see no problem with the characterizations, but what I’m saying is that I don’t like nor appreciate this aspect of the show. Period. And this…

      I do believe it’s a show you either like or don’t–no gray area.

      I think you may be mistaking this show with Twilight: The movie. And if you’ll allow me my soap box a minute, I’d like to say that we need more gray opinions, gray is interesting; gray is nuanced, and yeah because this country seems to dilute everything that asks its citizenry to use a bit of critical thinking, every form of entertainment needs to be either/or instead of lord forbid, actually asking us to engage a bit beyond those brief masturbatory moments before and after our instant gratification. So yeah, even when I indulge in junk, I like to to have something savory, something that’s worth the change I’m putting out to buy it. What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with asking for and wanting a bit more than what we are being given?

      • Round 2. First, I never missed your point in the totality of your post. You basically seem to take issue with the TB characters Tara and Lafayette because you view them as “stereotypes.” Then you ask…

        “Are they doing anything fresh with the stereotypes they are using? Hmm, lets see…dark skinned black women in cornrows working minimum wage job, with a nasty attitude, dysfunctional home life and desperate for love.”

        What would have satisfied your interpretation of the character? If she was an actress who looked like Paula Patton and worked as a nurse that would make you “feel better?” Let’s be honest…you’d have a problem with that as well. Personally, I think it’s insulting to think that just because a character may be clothed with–what is perceived as–a stereotype that they cannot be multi-dimensional and full of complexity. Also, if you look around–no matter how uncomfortable it may make you feel–these people do exist in real life. There are real life Tara’s and Lafayette’s in society and they come in different colors and with various backgrounds.

        Secondly, if their characters were singled out to be the only misfits I could understand your argument…but the whole damn town is full of dysfunction. The whole premise of the show seems to take “stereotypes,” perceived or otherwise, and turns them up-side down. To your remark about having more gray opinions…you can have any color you want in the rainbow. I was simply making a personal observation concerning people who either like the show or hate it. I haven’t come across anyone who was “so so” about the series.

        As a black woman, I totally sympathize with your desire to see people of color act in non-traditional roles with unconventional challenges. I get that. However, I’d rather see characters be as authentic as the storyteller intended them to be than to pander to political correctness.

        • Well Karma, it’s Friday and I will have to agree to disagree with you on this one. The Paula Patton comment is way beyond me. I don’t even want to go there, especially since the woman they first picked to play Tara, probably fit closer to a Paula Patton type (in looks) but was about as flat as pancake in delivery. Again, my issue is not with Rutina nor Nelson, I think they do a fine job with the material they’ve been given. I just don’t agree with the content and context. And that’s fine. Like I continue to reiterate, we all don’t have to agree to like it or love it. But debate it we shall. Have a great weekend!

  • mumbler

    I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote i just can’t get past those two characters, they are tough to watch.

  • mumbler

    And what sparked my interest in the show initially in season one was that Anjeuneu Ellis was on the show very briefly, but i have been mostly dissappointed by the show.

  • NothingButAMan

    well, I love Tara. Stereotype or not, there are a significant number of black women who are indeed pained/broken/bitter/angry “hard flowers”. Considering that, I think that her character has received a better treatment than similar characters that we’ve seen elsewhere.

    IMO, Tara is treated worse in the books!!! So I’m not quite following the criticism…

    • Like I told the other commenter, it’s fine if you have no problem with the characterizations but I think it’s a bit overreaching to start stating this as fact

      Stereotype or not, there are a significant number of black women who are indeed pained/broken/bitter/angry “hard flowers”.

      This is a whole other subject and whether you really believe this to be true or not, I feel it’s unfair to black women around the world to say this is who the majority of us are. I reject that and I for damn sure reject that True Blood of all things is making some sort of social commentary on the state of black women. Because to believe what you just said, is to claim just that.

      The creators and writers behind True Blood haven’t a single solitary clue who black women are and no disrespect to the actresses who have and do work on the show but any of the neighborhood kids could have sat down and wrote some stupid characters like Tara and ‘lala’ and peddled it as ‘real’. You know what would have been truly fascinating? If they actually got a clue and invested the time in writing two compelling individuals that just happened to be black without the added theatrics. But no, they could not be bothered to do that. Why, because they give two shits about black viewers. Instead we got Tara slapping her boss, cursing out customers, being lazy on the job. La selling drugs, walking around like a brokeback gypsy with eyeliner and addressing his cousin as a hooker every other minute. Does he do that to Sookie? It’s horror, it’s fantasy but C’MON! We see it time and again and it gets old. All I’m saying is that, we have a choice. To watch or not. I’ve reached my threshold.

      And yeah, we’ve seen worst but is that truly the measuring stick we want to be using?

      • NothingButAMan

        Sweetie, you’re being extra. If Tara was characterized as Sookie, you’d be saying that she was a stereotypical Jezebel/Saaphire fantasy/Magical Negro chick who seemed to hate her own “kind”/herself and lacked common sense. People are going to have something to say about any character, regardless.

        You’re not wrong for wanting to see different images, but it’s irrational to expect them from this specific show given the source material.

        • @NothingButAMan Well darlin’, yes, that’s what makes the world a great place; people will always have something to say. This blog wouldn’t exist if that wasn’t the case. We all have our own opinion and as witnessed here, some people agree on certain topics and others don’t.

          And for your point on the Jezebel/Saaphire and Magical Negro argument, well the last episode I caught was pretty much headed in the magical negro direction with Lafayette and they covered the Jezebel/Sapphire thing with Anjeuneu Ellis’ character during season one. That road has been covered…car wreck in the rearview!

          Where did I use the word expectation? Well, I dunno, maybe you’re right; maybe it’s a given that I expect adult entertainment, that is not actually listed as porn, to actually speak to me on an adult-level. But hey! That could be considered some newfangled thinking and I’m behind the times.

          Anyway, whether you call my opinion irrational is irrelevant. Because I don’t think it is. What I find interesting is that you seemed to skip over my reply to your statement about black women. So, damn True Blood…what about that?

          • NothingButAMan

            “What I find interesting is that you seemed to skip over my reply to your statement about black women.”

            Pardon me for trying to stay on topic, and not chase down all of your tangents.

            My original point is that there are enough “Tara’s” around to justify the presence of that character. You know that, and I know that. Of course I agree that she doesn’t represent all black women, but then again neither does ANY black female character in any story. What I’m hearing from you is that you don’t “like” her characterization, which is different than saying that the TB writers “have no clue” about black women, are perpetuating false imagery/mythology of black women, etc.

            She’s the sole black female character within a narrative that, originally, had no black females AT ALL. It’s unclear to me what your expectations were, but it seems that beyond all your issues and frustration with the show, you can’t seem to stop yourself from watching. That only proves that the TB team have done their job.

            • Since the focus of my post was on two of the principle characters I didn’t feel the need to go on a ‘tangent’ about the rest…yet they are perpetuating these things, because every portrayal of black women on the show is utterly negative and far from SEXY; from the lady cop to Tara. For a sexy vampire show, that’s a hard pill to swallow. But I’ll digress because we are just going in circles. You have your opinion and I have mine.

              Anyway, you’re partially right about it being hard for me to stop watching, because I loved the Eric Northman character! He’s sooooo hot!

              But I guess I can wait until Battleship for my Skarsgard fix.

  • mumbler

    when I get beyond Tara and Lafayette it’s also hard to believe the whole vampire human love thing, especially the human woman and vampire man, the women I’ve known don’t like cold feet in bed but a whole cold body!:)

  • Zeus

    Art doesn’t have to always be PC does it? This is horror mixed with drama and sex. This is not the show to expect PC material. Some work will be VERY edgy and push those buttons.

    • Well, one man/woman’s edgy is another person’s blah. Could we at least agree on that? Anyway, the UK’s monster show, Being Human has sex, violence, drama and comedy; all the things True Blood has only 1,000 times better. That is edgy to me. And oh yeah, they have a main character who is a black woman and surprise, surprise, they did not have to rely on tired stereotypes to make her interesting. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?!

      PC? Yeah, I guess. *throws up hands* OR maybe you just skimmed through my post (it was rather long) OR maybe you really believe what I said was akin to political correctness. Either way, I would rather watch the pimp on Hung.

    • KC, thank you for links! My friend mentioned something about an article she read over at Racialious about True Blood. Never got a chance to check it out but I most certainly will now.

  • NIkki

    Would you still see Sookie that way if she was Black?? Because I see her as a dumb blond chick. I do agree with most of what you said, but I would have to agree with some of the other posters. Most of the characters are messed up. Look what happens if we changed some of the characters to Black.

    Sookie/ Magical Negro, Jezebel there is almost no character development for her at all.
    Jason/ Oversexed Black man lusting for white women
    Sam + Fam/Black man lusting for White women with a trashy/ghetto family.
    Arlene- well we don’t have to go there do we.

    The only characters that you wouldn’t have a problem with being Black are probably the Vampires.

    Like I said I do agree with most of what you said, but are you sure you aren’t viewing some of the other characters as more progressive because they are White? I personally think the show is full of stereotypes of Southern people in general.

    I don’t know why people can’t just create a character and then cast a Black person. Not Cast a Black person and then create the character. Some of the other issues I have on the show besides Tara/Layfayette.

    The Timeline- is about 7 weeks since the show began. Basically Sookie is so deeply in Love with Bill and it’s barely been two months. Baby Vampire Jessica is only about 3 or 4 weeks old, but she can take down a werewwolf? Not to mention all the crazy shit that’s been going on nonstop shouldn’t everyone be in a mental institution by now?

    Werewolves Season 3- I thought they were supposed to be a bigger threat? Everyone from Bill to Eric are always emphasizing how dangerous and strong they are but it seems like anyone can take them down, including Baby Vampires, Humans, Shapeshifters. I mean just about anyone.

    Shock Value- I think the show just does some of the things it does without any real reason besides the shock value.

    Too many subplots- There are far too many subplots and I thought Season one was a bit better because all the characters were basically involved with that one storyline.

  • AccidentalVisitor

    Stopped caring about the show after the first couple of eps in season one. Tried to get into it in season two and it started out strong, but the second half was pathetic. Can’t believe critics didn’t come down harder on the show. So I have not watched a second of season three.

    While I can understand your perspective Noelani, I side with those who felt since Tara was white in the book she might as well remained white on the TV show. And thinking about it further demonstrates that book writers are even less inclusive than Hollywood when it comes to the use of black characters. That’s frightening.

  • Anita

    Tara’s character bothered me too. I was fine with her written as a sassy, strong black female. She was funny and I admired her for her tenacity. It’s fine that she had an alcoholic mother, that’s a reality in a lot people’s lives, black,white, asian, latino. However, the my issue is HOW they wrote her. The way she dealt with her problems and how those problems were written drove me insane. There was no nuance. Everything was given in HUGE doses. She wallowed in self-pity all the time in season two and three. She cried ALL THE TIME. When she attempted to commit suicide, I swear to God, I rolled my eyes so hard I saw passages nasal passages. They tried to humanize her by making her a weak mess.
    And when she was angry, it was just too much. She had constant crazy and as you said, looked savage. Also, she was so defensive and accused people of being racist left and right when they sometimes they weren’t being racist.
    I never read into her character’s characterization as just an insult to black women but as an insult to women who happen to be in bad situations. I see what you are saying about the angry, unfeminine black woman though. It just pissed me off that the writer’s devolved her character into such a weak pathetic thing. It was unnecessary to the storyline. I would have rather her been a minor character that had some grace than a main character who the writers jammed every possible problem (and then some)a person in her setting could have.
    Even though Sookie’s storyline was dramatic, they wrote her dealing with her issues with some tiny semblance of grace(even though I have a huge issue with her dependence on the male characters and her constant crying and screaming). I don’t think the writers know how to write women. The male characters were well-written and interesting but females were stereotypes.
    They need to diversify their writing staff if they are going to try to be serious. The female characters in book, written by a woman, are way more nuanced and realistic than the show’s female characters. I find True Bloods take on women and the lower to middle class southern community to be offensive. White people who are poor are depicted as white trash. Black people who have issues are overdramatic. I just- bleh- I need just need to calm down.

  • Anita

    *crazy eyes *my nasal passages