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15 October 2008 @ 07:46 pm
True Blood 1.05-1.06  
I have a couple of days off so there may be some spamming of LJ on my part. I apologise in advance!

Poll or no poll, I cannot resist talking about True Blood. I am so hooked!

Last week's episode was wonderful. I loved Bill's speech at the meeting and really felt for him. Bill is winning me over despite all the alarm bells ringing in my head. His origin story was moving! I am so used to vampire flashbacks being embarrassingly bad (ATS, you scarred me!) but this one worked really well. It helps that Bill himself feels like he stepped out of that era into this one. But I found them well-handled. I like the twist that she chose to turn him because he was a good man, and found her really chilling but effective, not too camp. And I ached for him when he saw his family on the verandah but could not go to them.

Meanwhile, Jason was at his most hilarious. I may not like the man, but I did find his tripping sequences very amusing. I was a bit scared that Tara was going to get suckered in my him but thankfully she's smarter than that. I loved it when she tipped the rubbish on him.

I am glad Sam plucked up courage to ask Sookie out but I still don't ship them. I am wary of Sam and I didn't like his outburst of anger at her.

Grandma!!!!! Waah, I really did not see that coming. She felt like a main character, and she seemed to know stuff. I never expected her to die and spent all week between episodes thinking up ways whereby she would not be dead (I thought Bill might turn her--hee!).

I must admit I was initially startled by Sookie's lack of tears or histrionics but wound up finding the episode dealt with her grief very well. I found her cleaning up her grandmother's blood deeply creepy... I don't know how anyone could do that without breaking down. But she was in shock--I liked that it took her until after her pie outburst to grasp that her grandma was gone. 'I don't know what I'm supposed to do' is a pretty common response to losing someone close to you, I think. And in Sookie's case she very much felt like she was on display for the whole town. That compounded with the fact that she feels like a freak in their eyes to begin with explains, very convincingly, her emotional arc in this episode.

I really felt for her at the community-gathering when she mindread that nauseating 'friend' of her grandmother's. I also liked the way she held her own against the woman from work who suggested she move. Yeah, it might seem unfeeling of her to stay, but it's her family home.

I loved her telling Sam to apologise to her another time. Was that barking we heard when she mind-read him? I can understand her feeling pressured by Sam, but I do wonder if she would feel differently if she could mindread Bill as well. I did like them alphaing over her.

I thought it was so strong of Sookie to block out all the voices at the funeral. Part of me really wanted her to get through the funeral with dignity, the other part wanted her to do exactly what she did do--scream at them to stfu.

Obligatory Tara fangirling: OMG, she is the best BFF EVER. I loved her swooping in to rescue Sookie when she had her meltdown, warding off Sam, and summoning LaFayette instead. Nice! 'This is not an appropriate event' was a great line and I felt like she told Sookie exactly what she needed to hear. And I loved her pledge of friendship with saying she'd lose it if something happened to Sookie. I heart her protectiveness. I also like that Sookie tried to explain how Bill had made things easier for her. And oh, wow, how wonderfully that was fulfilled when Sookie's turd of a brother showed up (and HIT her? OMG!). I adore Tara for stepping in. It didn't matter one iota that she was attracted to Jason. Her friend came first and she abhored his behaviour.

Jason really is 'a stupid bitch' as LaFayette puts it. And not just because he hit a police officer. He treated Sookie terribly in this episode, made no attempt to connect with her in grief and then did the most destructive thing possible in inviting an alienated member of the family to the funeral (though I did find that intriguing and Sookie very rude--what is the backstory there?)

I'll admit Jason seemed generally sorry that he'd hit Sookie but his words were the typical excuses of an abuser: 'I didn't mean to hurt you' 'You must know that' (implication: the fault lies with Sookie). He really doesn't get it. He's all impulse and no brain. Yes, you did just throw your family away, Jason.

This idea was mirrored in Tara's story with her mother saying she was sorry for hitting to her, and appealing to Tara's sense of family. I found the scene very powerful and was particularly moved by Tara's hysterical laughter at her mother saying there was a 'devil' inside of her (is there a devil in Jason too?). I'm intrigued by this idea though within this universe--partly because it's already a universe where people have mysterious aspects, partly because it echoes some myths about vampires, partly because it's interesting how people rationalise why they abuse people. I do feel compassion for Tara's mother and was moved by her speech. And i can understand why it might feel to her like there is a devil in her, and why she might find it easier to think of that way. But it doesn't change the fact that she abused Tara and I worry about Tara turning back to her at the end.

I was very happy to see Sam and Tara hook up again but it doesn't bode well that she fled from him so fast. They misunderstand one another and that seems tragic. The three couples at the end were in such stark contrast to each other--Tara and Sam not quite connecting, but straining for 'something real'; Bill and Sookie in the throes of complete romantic obsession; and Jason and his chickie with absolutely no emotional connection between them at all. It was an interesting exploration of the ways people seek renewal after death.

The Sookie-Bill angst was at its height in this ep. Despite myself I find it well done. Bill's constant awareness of Sookie is particularly hot, and the melodrama of her running to him in her long white robe and him flinging the doors open for her was kind of wonderful. (Of course we knew where that was leading...) But this raises a question: are Sookie's actions here motivated purely by love or do I see a deathwish flickering there too? She is, after all, in grief.

There was a lot of revealing Sookie material in this episode and I felt that 'I almost feel normal when I'm around him' is a particularly telling one. That gets to the heart of her attraction to Bill.

Random stuff:
- Very cool to see Bill's gravestone
- Bill + Dog waiting on the lawn was adorable (that dog has GOT to be linked to Sam)
- LaFayette gets the sidekick sweetheart award for 'I will guard it with my life' about the pie. He was also very cute when he talked about food made with love. It has dawned on me (I'm slow!) that there is a LOT of food imagery in this show, and that there is a lot of meaning imbued in who eats what. Not only was their grandma's pie, but last episode there was the little tustle over who ate the last bit of pie--Sam or Sookie, and LaFayette lost it with the idiots who called it an 'AIDS burger', and of course there's also all the exploration of the power of V and other substances. As well as the way vampires feed... more thinky is required but I'd really like to read or write good meta on the role of food in True Blood now.
- Interesting that Tara overhears her neighbours so much. That drew a parallel with Sookie, for me, and I feel like they've got more in common than I realised at first.

More please! When is next ep? *waits impatiently*
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
 
 
 
Ambassador Dummy Dummy Dumb Dums: TBLOOD. sam merlotte.crickets on October 16th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Gosh I love this show. And I agree with a lot of your points here. Although, I'm much more enamored with Sam (I think he's a good guy) and I am far less amused by Jason. But yes. YES. Especially Tara. Gosh, that girl! She is awesome beyond measure.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ameliebop_radar on October 16th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC)
I want to believe Sam is a good guy, I really do! I am just so wary because I get the feeling this show has some twists ahead, and I'm terribly scared here's the murderer. I don't want to become too attached!

Oh, my amusement re. Jason pales in comparison to my abhorrence for him.

But yes, Tara = Awesome. I actually cheered her when she booted all those people out of the house.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ameliebop_radar on October 16th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
It's heaps of fun!! And I guess Jason's presence gives me someone to hate... I do enjoy laughing AT him. But yikes, the hitting was NOT good.
serenographyserenography on October 16th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
I am SO thrilled that you are meta-ing this show. I've become completely wrapped up in it, even though there are still some fundamental things that bother me. I still find Anna P's acting to be extremely lacking in certain scenes. And the funny thing about that is: I don't care, really, and I do think she's extremely well cast. Go figure.

I literally GASPED out loud when they showed poor Gran laying there dead. I kind of hated that they killed her, but it was a huge surprise.

Sam is creeping me out.

I love Tara.

Jason cracks my shit up.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Blair sulkbop_radar on October 16th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
Yes, I am wrapped up too! Jason is the main thing that bugs me, but I have managed to see him as comedic, at least sometimes now.

Poor Gran!! I am genuinely shocked. I miss her! :(
elzedelzed on October 16th, 2008 08:49 am (UTC)
Babes, I just hopped on that wagon over the past few days, thanks to a bout of fluey cold, and I think we're on the same wavelength - Tara (omg love) and Lafayette are my favourite things about the show; I love Bill's old-wordliness (and I am both intrigued and occasionally put off by his relationship with Sookie, although there is definitely hotness there); I want Sam to be a good (if weirdly canine) guy, and fear that he is a serial killer, although I don't see him doing the grandma in. I was utterly shocked at grandma's death - I mean, for god's sake, she was one of the best characters! I already miss her...

I have to add that the whole Louisiana context, complete with occasional Cajun (I love Rene to bits) adds a layer of fabness. And, like you, the gothy ridiculousness of the vamp bar cracked me up. Plus, Eric (aka Brad Colbert in Generation Kill, the delicious Alexander Skarsgard) is all kinds of hot.

Jason - well, I don't hate him because he is a) funny and b) such a pathetic, dick-driven cretin that he musters a sort of contemptuous pity rather than hatred. But I quite liked the backstory with Tara. Btw, I;m right in thinking that what he took at the police station was not actual vampire's blood? Or was it heavily diluted? Because judging by his reaction to the drop he takes at Lafayette's - well, it's a different kettle of fish altogether. And strangely reminiscent of lsd, including in its blotting paper delivery method. And Lafayette did indicate it was his first go. And Lafayette, I love you to pieces, but dude, you should know better than to give dimwit Jason too much of that shit. Especially with his impulse control problems, and his general houndogginess...

Incidentally, I can't quite figure out how come Sookie gets slightly heightened senses and libido (for a few days) out of her massive meal, when Jason gets a full on trip from a drop. And explain to me how vampires turn people? Is it a case of mutual feeding at the dame time? Because Sookie's had Bill's blood at the point of near death, and now he's having hers, and I don't understand quite how it works.

But yes, in summary - I love this show!!!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: True Blood Tarabop_radar on October 16th, 2008 10:08 am (UTC)
Yay!! It's cool to hear you're on board with this show.

I was utterly shocked at grandma's death - I mean, for god's sake, she was one of the best characters! I already miss her...
I know! Such a shock, and I miss her too. I was settling in to find out her secrets and have Sookie cry on her shoulder when things went badly with Bill...

he whole Louisiana context, complete with occasional Cajun (I love Rene to bits) adds a layer of fabness
Oh, is *that* what he is! *clueless* I don't think I've ever heard a Cajun accent before and I have been secretly wondering what it was.

sort of contemptuous pity rather than hatred.
I waiver between the two. :)

Btw, I;m right in thinking that what he took at the police station was not actual vampire's blood?
I'm not really sure. I get the impression that it matters a lot how you take it... so I think it could have been. LaFayette also stressed that blood from different vampires can be different--that the essence of them can be felt in the blood, so maybe that altered things too?

you should know better than to give dimwit Jason too much of that shit. Especially with his impulse control problems, and his general houndogginess...
Oh, I know! I'm glad Tara threw stuff at him. ;) It seems like LaFayette felt bad about it though.

I can't quite figure out how come Sookie gets slightly heightened senses and libido (for a few days) out of her massive meal, when Jason gets a full on trip from a drop.
Again I think it's to do with how they 'took' it. But also I got the impression that because most of the blood Sookie swallowed went to healing her and bringing her back from death's door.

And explain to me how vampires turn people?
I think we may be about to find out for sure, but yeah I think mutual feeding has to be involved.
Stephanie: TB gif Bill on porch 'sensing' Sookieeinaphets on October 16th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
yes, yes, yes. Loved it. I loved Bill rushing out onto the front porch sensing her approach. His biting her was pretty sexy but then it was ruined with the slurpy tongue thing. Ick.

I'm less and less enamored with Sam as the series proceeds. Something is going on with that dude. It seems obvious he must be the murderer but maybe that's too easy. Plus he was all angsty over Sookie and then hooked up with Tara a few moments later with a "if we're going to do this, we're really going to do it" and reference to wanting something 'real'. Does he just love women to death? Literally?

Tara and LaFayette continue to be excellent in every episode.

Can't wait til Sunday!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Flowersbop_radar on October 16th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
"if we're going to do this, we're really going to do it" and reference to wanting something 'real'. Does he just love women to death? Literally?
Ohhh... *shivers* That's creepy! I hope not, but I worry. I did find those lines odd. I was torn--I really hoped he was just a clueless bloke, and lonely, and thought Sookie would never accept him.
Caryle: Who - kissing2carylerg on October 16th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, exactly what you've said. I could have kissed Tara when told Sookie this was not an appropriate event.

I'm excited by all of the mysteries still to be explored. :)

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: True Blood Tarabop_radar on October 16th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, I am simultaneously anxious to find out more but enjoying the fact that there's more to find out...
Call Me OneTrackcallmeonetrack on October 17th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC)
Yay! You're meta-ing about True Blood! I got really sucked in to this show (no pun intended) and find myself commenting on it every week now.

I love Tara and Lafayette best too, and all the secondary characters beyond measure (even down to Hoyt Fortenberry and the war vet--Terry?--who keeps crying) but am left a little cold by Bill (again no pun intended?). He doesn't appeal to me at all, I'm more of a Sam fan (because the best friend thing is my kink) BUT that being said, I don't really like either man's behavior with Sookie.

And I don't like the depiction of Sookie by the writers. Anna Paquin has been very compelling playing her, but as written I find they infantilize/victimize Sookie way, way too much. (I'll refrain from ranting further on this here because I already did my own meta at my blog and I don't want to get carried away.)

A few things you mention above:
I think part of the reason Tara reacted so strongly to Jason was a little selfish, in that he had disappointed her yet again. Yes, he was being a total bastard to Sookie and she felt for her friend, but I thought Rutina Wesley did a fantastic job playing those lines. Her voice was on the verge of hysteria and she was really shook up by it.
I also wasn't sure if she ran out on Sam in the hotel because she recognized the neighbor and Jason's voices?

I'm very wary about Tara's mother too. We'll see what happens with that.

It's interesting that you point out how much abuse there was in this episode. The whole uncle storyline seemed to be pointing to Sookie being sexually abused by him as a child, I thought.

And the pie scene. Sigh. I was moved at first, and then it just stretched on and on. The pacing really felt off to me with that scene. I was oddly more touched by Jason crying as he was having sex. It somehow felt a lot more subtle to me than the endless shots of pie-eating.


K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: True Blood Tarabop_radar on October 18th, 2008 08:53 am (UTC)
even down to Hoyt Fortenberry and the war vet--Terry?--who keeps crying
Oh, yeah the support cast are great--I really like how they each feel like full characters that we just don't get to see a lot of.

He doesn't appeal to me at all, I'm more of a Sam fan (because the best friend thing is my kink) BUT that being said, I don't really like either man's behavior with Sookie.
Neither do I, really. Sam's more my type (not the best friend thing, but the good guy thing), but the facial hair is a turn-off, and his behaviour way more of one. I find both of them possessive and demanding and that's not appealing to me at all--but it works really well with Sookie, who seems to have a tension inside her. On the one hand, she wants to submit to romance and on the other she's fiery and independent and has drawn her own, very personal, lines around herself.

I'll try and catch up on your meta re. Sookie had some point.

I also wasn't sure if she ran out on Sam in the hotel because she recognized the neighbor and Jason's voices?
I really wasn't sure either.

I'm very wary about Tara's mother too. We'll see what happens with that.
Same. I fear that it's one of those things Tara will struggle ever to be free of. :(

The whole uncle storyline seemed to be pointing to Sookie being sexually abused by him as a child, I thought.
Oh, I didn't pick that up. That would explain Sookie's angry, direct outburst at him. Though her actual words didn't read as those of a past victim... she said he was 'no longer part of this family'--to me it sounded like she was indignant on someone else's behalf (her gran's?). But I could be wrong.

I was moved at first, and then it just stretched on and on.
Hee hee hee. I think you had to be really into the meta on vampirism and eating on this show and what you imbibe being meaningful to like that scene... I geeked out on it.

Jason crying? Meh. He needs to get a clue. I have zero sympathy for him.