True Blood. Is anyone still talking about it, and more to the point, do I care?

The answer, of course, is no!  I’ll talk to myself about True Blood all day long if I have to, internet!

Anyway, I visited my parents over the weekend and caught up on True Blood OnDemand because they have bitchin’ cable (whereas my cable is–you guessed it–just a bitch).  So I know I’m WAY late to the party, but I did want to share some thoughts on Season Two and see if anyone else wanted to chat it up!  But mostly, this will be a discussion of the books vs. the show.  Cool?  It better be.

So, I kind of felt like, in my heart, Season Two ended with Godric “meeting the sun” as it were, but I suppose we did have to wrap up all this Maryann nonsense, THANK GOD.  You know, Michelle Forbes has been on three of my all-time favorite shows now, and I like her–I think she’s actually really awesome.  But her storylines suck and I’m always so ready for her to go because I end up bored to tears.  Firefly was the only one of the three to not really fall into that trap since she wasn’t around that much, but I was SO ready for her stint as the Admiral of the fleet to be over on Battlestar Galactica, and Maryann was even more tedious.

Here’s what I will say, though.  I’ve read all of the Sookie books except the latest one (because I think it’s ridiculous to pay for it in hardback and I’ll wait for paperback, thankyouverymuch), and while none of them are literary works of art (although HIGHLY entertaining, no doubt about it), the second one was by far the shittiest.  But at that point, the series was still new and I don’t think that Charlaine (Harris, the author–I like to refer to her on a first name basis though because it sounds so southern to say it.  Try it.  CharLAINE.  It makes me feel like drinking a sweet tea and eating some biscuits, which are two of my fave things in this world.  Tangent over.) had a great grasp yet on exactly what the series would be like or where it would go.  The books got much better, but that one was all over the place.

You always hear people say “the book was so much better”, but this is one of those cases where it’s just untrue, and not just of this particular book (the second), but of the entire series.

Anyway, I thought the first season followed pretty closely with the books, but the second one diverged much further.  In hindsight, I think that what is mostly going on is that the books are told in first-person narrative, which means we always know what Sookie is thinking and doing and not really much about anyone else.  For purposes of a TV show, details had to be filled in and storylines developed for the secondary characters, and for the most part, the changes that have been made there have been to REALLY great effect. 

For one thing, Lafayette was very minor in the first book and was killed off either at the end of the first book or beginning of the second, but he just came ALIVE on the show and it was smart to keep him around.  He adds SO much to the show.  Tara was completely different in the books, but the Tara we have now is much better integrated (and we got rid of the god-awfulness that was “Tara’s Togs”–are you fucking kidding me with that name?).  And where Book Jason is really nothing but an selfish, inconsiderate manwhore, TV Jason is much more likeable and really just more dumb than anything (which works).  And I almost forgot Terry–TV Terry is so bomb (pun intended and FAAABULOUS!).

And then there are characters in the TV show who didn’t even exist in the book, that I’ve either liked (Amy, Eddie), or couldn’t imagine the show without (Jessica).  My one tiny gripe is that I need more Pam (MORE PAM!), but she’s a character who is around more and more as the books go on, and hopefully it’ll pan out that way on the show as well.

The other thing the show has been able to do is to draw in characters and elements who don’t show up until later in the books but who enhance the story earlier on.  Sophie Ann LeClerq made a much earlier appearance on the show, which I think was good (and Evan Rachel Wood was some shockingly great casting), and Sarah and Steve Newlin and the Fellowship of the Sun were developed much more and were way more integral to the story now, which is useful for things that happen (at least in the books) later on.  And we got to see Lorena, which was cool.

One of the best things for me, as a reader of the series and a fan of the show, is that while the show does stay close to the books (so far, about one book translating into a season), it takes enough turns and goes off on its own enough to keep me guessing.  But I feel like the choices made have been good ones. 

Mostly.  I understand why they did what they did with the Maryann story, because in the book that whole thing was just a weird little afterthought when Sookie and Bill got back from Dallas, and they needed something for Sam and Tara to be doing (and the rest of the townspeople too, I suppose–they were definitely “doing it”).  It was tedious and it did drag on a bit too long, but we made it, right?

Also, as a side note, I went out to this little diner last night with Billy, and I got a breakfast sandwich on a croissant (which I LOVE).  I was starving and it was so good, and I was eating it so voraciously that I caught myself thinking that at any moment, there would be a big reveal and it turned out it was made of people.  Or maybe that people were watching nearby, and THEY knew it contained people, and they were just being silently horrified.  Because if there is one thing I’ve learned from TV, it’s that if something is really, REALLY delicious, it must be made of humans.

I’m excited about Season Three though, because I felt like the books took a MAJOR turn in the third novel.  And I loved Alcide, so I’m really curious if we’re going to see him or what’s going to happen.  Bill proposing to Sookie didn’t happen in the books (it was illegal for the vampires to marry humans, even in Vermont), so I’m not sure where they’re going with that, and Lafayette selling SOPHIE’S blood?  Fascinating.  Next season should be even better than this one.  Now who wants to pay for my HBO subscription next summer? :)

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  • design for mankind

    umm can we talk about how cute your header is? you’re the awesomest!

  • offcolortv

    Thanks, EB! I’m already thinking about what to make for the next one, but I haven’t decided yet. Being a crafty photographer finally comes in handy! :)

  • Marthapao

    See I’m still thinking about True Blood! LOL I agree with everything except about ERW as Sophie-Ann, I just didn’t like her.
    Oh and did you hear the rumor about Rudy Reyes playing Alcide?! He is perfect and exactly what I pictured Alcide to look like. If the rumor is true he may actually give Alex Skarsgard some competition in the hotness dept.

  • offcolortv

    Ooooh … you read the books too! Sweet! Just googled Rudy Reyes and yeah, that is pretty close to how I pictured him, although it would have to be the rugged version and not the pretty version, but TB does a pretty great job of making people both rugged AND pretty (hello, Jason Stackhouse!), so I’m not too worried. But I think Eric will reign supreme in hotness just because of how into that character I am. He’s great.

    I was surprised at my like for ERW given how obnoxious I find her non-acting persona, and Charlaine had described her as very small (in keeping with how people get bigger over time, that was nice attention to detail IMO) and as a teenager, which ERW is most definitely not, but I think she got the SPIRIT of Sophie-Anne down (and I know, you may not agree but that’s okay!). The one I thought they biffed on was Hadley. I wanted her to be sexier and more bad ass, rather than sort of puppyish. But there’s always ways to improve that subtley, and I trust the creative direction of this show either way, so as usual, I’m reserving final judgment. :)

  • Marthapao

    Yes, a fellow Eric lover!! hahaha Eric got me over my Edward Cullen obsession so I’m very invested in that character. LOL I agree with you about Hadley I thought she would look like Adrianne Curry from ANTM, (funny I hadn’t really thought about her until now) but instead they made her look like Mary Ann from Gilligans Island. Oh well, as long as they keep bringing in the hot guys. LOL

  • offcolortv

    Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island. That’s SO it.

  • BiteMeTv

    So can I say, I may have just fallen in love with your blog! You’re into True Blood too? As well as being an unashamed TVaddict? We might be a match made in TV lovers heaven….

    Of course I am still talking about True Blood. Every Monday morning my co-worker and I look at each other with very sad faces and say “Mondays just aren’t the same” I feel as though the season could have ended with Godric meeting the sun. I kinda wish it had. By the 3rd orgy, I was so done with seeing the townspeople naked and going at it in the grass…the whole MaryAnn storyline bored and frustrated me. The only thing that kept me interested about that even a little bit was the Sam connection and Tara and Eggs (still mourning his death btw…) When the actual finale came around I felt like I was robbed and cheated at the end. I waited for there to be previews for next week, cause it just didn’t seem like the end.

    I read the first book and I found that show followed it so closely that I stopped reading it because I was way more into the show than the book. I do however want to read the book that Sookie and Eric hook up, I feel like that is going to take a couple seasons to happen on the show and I for one don’t want to wait that long.

    I love Eric and all his sexy badassness….all last season he had my heart. I fell for him in season one, but when they chopped off the locks….oh that was it for me…plus his character is just so hott, I don’t see how Sookie has resisted this long, especially since Bill annoys the hell out of me. If I heard him treat Sookie like a dumb child again or hear her tell him that “she knows he has this darkness inside of him, but she can still see the good” I think I would have to throw up….Lafayette really makes the show for me….I think he adds so much color and flavor to the show, I would have been really pissed if they had killed him off. I loved him in season one, but season two he really shined. (the actor and the character) Terry is the best and I hope he gets more screentime next season. And I agree with everyone on every board that says MORE PAM. She might be my fave Vamp, that chick is hilarious. Sweet, sexy, dumb Jason, how can you not love him?

  • offcolortv

    Yay! I can always use more TV soulmates–it’s my fave, and one of the greatest things about starting my own blog. :)

    I agree on the season ending with Godric, and even if they had to wrap up the Maryann thing first and put him second … but logistically, it would’ve completely fucked the timeline so they really had no choice. Like I said, the second book was easily the worst of the series, so I’m excited to have it out of the way.

    It’s fun for me to read the books, just because they’re SO trashy and such quick reads, perfect to stick in your purse and read at lunch and feel slightly ashamed of as you do it, but not caring because you just want to know what happens next. I’ve really enjoyed comparing and seeing what the show does differently, because it really is good at taking the better elements of the books and improving on them, and cutting a lot of the crap. I enjoy how the Eric stuff unfolds in the book because it is kind of a slow build, and you do get to know Pam over time as well, and she gets funnier and funnier. They’ve REALLY improved Jason on the show–he’s less dumb and more just an asshole in the books. And keeping Lafayette was a REALLY smart move. And they changed Terry, too. So I’d say if anything, the books don’t really add to the show that much, but it gives me even more respect for the creative process behind the show and an appreciation of what a good adaptation it is. And besides, the books are like five or six bucks each at Target, so a totally fun and acceptable payday reward, and I bet it’ll help ease the withdrawl symptoms through the winter months. :)

  • Randi

    So I just finished watching both seasons in like 15 minutes (like 4 days but holy crap that’s fast for 2 full seasons of TV) and I’m in love with this show. So entertaining! I love Eric Northman. He just makes me happy. Hahaha. I just put the first book on hold in the library and I’m going to try to watch the show first and read the book second. Which means I can read the first 2 books now but I have to wait until after season 3 to read the 3rd book and so on. Will I spoil myself too much if I read the books first?

  • offcolortv

    I’ve read all the books except the most recent (waiting for paperback) and I don’t feel too spoiled because the TV show and the books are different enough that it keeps you guessing. Be warned, the TV show is actually way better than the books. But yeah, I’m starting to think that the TV show is going in an entirely different direction, so I’m in as much suspense as anyone else. :)

  • Marthapao

    YAY Randi! And I agree with SB, you won’t spoil the show for yourself if you read the books, plus you will probably love Eric even more after reading them. :D

  • offcolortv

    Ditto that. Book Eric is amazing. So is Book Pam–that’s why I’m such a fan of her on the show.

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