True Blood: Season 4 in Review

True Blood is one of those dirty secret shows– a secret pleasure that can be indulged in on your computer, so that your parents don’t realize your actually watching a show with… well, sex. Or even worse, vampires.

If you have not watched the finale or any of episode of Season 4, don’t read this. If you have, please share your thoughts below.

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The finale was disappointing, honestly. It may have been okay as a regular episode, but does not stand up to the insane mind-bending finales of seasons past.

When Marnie entered Lafayette’s body, I could have seen a lot of worse stuff going down. The wrap-up? Gran and Antonia team up kick Marnie’s… I mean, teach Marnie that once you’re dead, you should move on to Heaven or “the great unknown” rather than dwell on earth like a sulky little child. Although Marnie began to irritate me, Fiona Shaw did an awesome job as unhinged witch. For that matter, so did Nelsan Ellis. I mean, that guy has talent! He was THREE different characters in one season.

Although I really really hated the fairies, I’m confused about why we haven’t revisited them. It just seems so lost, beyond that single hook-up with Andy that that one fairy had. It just seems like Alan Ball realized that he may have introduced fairies too soon, so he’s hiding them under his skirt until later. For the same reason, the creepy, incestuous were-panther clan did not make a return. When someone came a’knockin’ on Jason’s door after Jessica Riding Hood left, I thought for sure Crystal was coming to drag him back to her love shack. NOPE! It was only the kindly reverend, only now with fangs.

Although I really don’t like Sookie and if she died, I’d still watch the show, I HAVE to talk about her. So, she did show some strength throughout this season and growth in her character. By rejecting both Bill and Eric, she finally made a sensible decision and really showed resolve. As in, she did less crying for help and did some more shooting Debbie Pelt in the face. Sure, it’s a gratuitous death, but no one really liked her anyhow. Speaking of deaths… Alan Ball must have realized he was running too many story lines.

I got bored of Tara after Eggs died, so I don’t even mind that she got her head blown off. I’m surprised, in fact, she hasn’t already died. Despite her being annoying, though, I wish Ball had done MORE with her. At the beginning of this season, she was a butt-kicking kick boxer, and by the end– right back to boring, helpless Tara.

Jesus died. Which is too bad, because I really liked that Lafayette had someone. And also, his brujo powers, though freaky, could be a little cool. I suspect Lafayette has inherited said powers, which will become important next season. No one can seem to just be in a happy relationship. Apparently, not even Terry or Arlene, because Rene came back in ghost form to warn Arlene about Terry’s past. Could he be referring to that Marine guy who just suddenly showed up in the finale? Yes, of course he’s talking about that guy. Also, why would Arlene listen to her serial killer ex?

Tommy is dead too, another character who showed absolutely no growth. I liked him at first, but then, like the others, he became boring. He never really changed, rather just finding new ways to mess with Sam. I am digging that Sam is happy (which naturally can’t last) and that he and Alcide have become bros.

Speaking of Alcide, he finally did the smart thing by trying to get with Sookie, and then Sookie did the selfish thing and said… Hm… no. At the end of the episode, he found a whole in a concrete car lot with severed chains nearby. Hm… Is Russel Edgington returning? If so, yipee! Seriously, that guy was awesome. He’s a gentleman AND ripped some dude’s spine out on live television. He certainly makes the show more exciting.

Eric and Bill are bros too now I guess. And they worked together to kill off Nan who actually wanted to help them fight the authority. Not smart, because she could have helped. Whoever “the authority” is, they sound pretty powerful. I guess if they need someone with a bloodlust for the “authority,” they could appeal to Edgington. They’re likely on pretty good terms after Eric silvered him and trapped him beneath a ton of concrete.

So, the big problem was that… the fourth season did not compare to season 3. It was good at moments, but otherwise, it fell flat. It did not meet expectations. Of course, it’s True Blood, so I’ll come crawling back next season for a fresh serving of gore, sex, and confusing story lines. If I were in charge of season 5, I would do the following:

1.) Hoyt and Jason battle-royale for Jessica’s love. TO THE DEATH!

2.) Pam leaves Eric for good, because Eric is annoying.

3.) Eric returns to his devious ways and tries to hook up with girls other than Sookie.

4.) Lafayette becomes a super witch and basically just chills with his ghost boyfriend.

5.) Russel Edgington kills Sookie, Bill, and maybe Holly too. That way, all the annoying characters will be gone.

6.) Jessica (Deborah Ann Wohl) will appear in more nude scenes. (Just a personal wish.)

7.) Alan Ball conveniently forgets that Charlaine Harris added the fairy element to his books. Scratch those were-panthers too. Get it? SCRATCH them? Because… they have sharp claws and will eat your face.

8.) More gore and violence (let’s be honest about why I like this show.)

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Book Snobs Are Snobby

Sometimes, just because you have a degree in English doesn’t give you the right to be persnickety. (If you were not such an inarticulate plebeian, you’d know what that means.)

“Oh, what books do I like to read? Well, I’m glad you asked, but probably have not HEARD about any of them. I have very obscure literary tastes:  no Pulitzer prize winners or Short-listeners for the PEN/Faulkner awards. CERTAINLY nothing on a bestseller lists, because those books have such drab plots.

Actually, I only read books that haven’t been published yet. No, it’s fine that you want to read “normal” books along with the rest of the plebians.

Oh, The New Yorker gave it a good review? Well, if you want to conform to what the NEW YORKER thinks, fine go ahead, read to your heart’s content. I’ll just try to find authors you’ve never heard of and then laugh at the absurdity of your reading choices.”

Just to be clear, I hate these people. There’s a reason certain books are read widely or win awards. Just because you dislike a book doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold merit. In fact, any book that can make you feel something- that’s good literature. Even books that merely piss you off.

I feel the same way about music. I just don’t listen to bands if in order to buy their new albums I need to know some secret password which I can only find scrawled on the door of an Ohio truck stop bathroom. But I think music and books are good as long as they make you feel something. That even means Ke$ha who only inspires me to dance and party; note, though, that she does inspire me to do SOMETHING.

A story that inspires nothing, not even frustration… that’s quite a bland story.

The truth is, reading has been an elitist activity, done only by intellectuals. I’m not impressed that you like to read War and Peace over the summer instead of some fun book. Because guess what? I spent the summer reading Nick Hornsby and The Hunger Games triology. I know, as a writer I’m supposed to be a literary snob. I am supposed to like highbrow fiction only, constantly study the syntax of MASTERS.

But you write a book that people will enjoy, and just because scholars say that a book is classic, I shan’t read it unless it excites me. Unless I like the story and relate to the characters. Now, some classics are certainly classics for a reason, but understand, other classics are classics because they’re intensely difficult to understand. Scholars and English majors love authors that only they can relate to, because it gives them a sense of superiority.

I’m looking at YOU James Joyce.

Some books, I know, are even referred to as “guilty pleasures” or as “trashy.” But anything you enjoy has some merit, doesn’t it? I openly admit that I obsessively watch shows like Misfits, Skins, Glee, and True Blood. I even watching THE GLEE PROJECT! While I have been told these are “trashy” shows, they allow me to indulge in something separate from my life. And that… seems to matter.

What I’m saying is, I will not criticize what you read, because all writers are not snobs. Read whatever you’d like. And if anyone casts a downward glance at your