Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard
Remember when True Blood was a show about vampires? It's OK if you don't, because it's been a long time since the series focused on the blood-suckers that made it so great in the first place.
Maenads, brujos, necromancers, ghosts: Creator Alan Ball's constant expansion of the series' mythology has often overwhelmed the show instead of simply adding depth to the world of Bon Temps. And for every new supernatural element that worked (werewolves), there were many that didn't. (Need we remind you of the werepanthers?) And while we can't blame Ball for Sookie's faerie lineage (it's taken straight from the Charlaine Harris novels upon which the show is based), that doesn't mean we can't take issue with the way it was portrayed. True, we're not sure there is a non-cheesy way to reveal that your lead character comes from a magical faerie realm, which is why perhaps it should have been skipped altogether.
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True Blood's first couple of seasons were celebrated as an allegory for civil rights, specifically gay rights, as it used vamps to explore issues of religious tolerance. But soon enough, "God hates fangs" was an afterthought, while wiccans, possessions and blue-faced demons were added to the supernatural jumble.
But there's good news: True Blood's fifth season seems to finally be returning the show to its roots, once again focusing on the issue of vampire integration (or "mainstreaming") that started it all. With that comes what we always loved about the show: vampires, social issues, sex... and maybe a little Alcide, too.
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While a few new characters will be introduced, including Christopher Meloni's Authority Guardian Roman, Season 5 is mostly showing entirely new perspectives on some of our favorite characters, including Pam and Terry. And with the return of great vamp villains Russell Edgington and Rev. Steve Newlin, Season 5 looks to be one of the best (and bloodiest) seasons yet!
With all that needless excess out of the way, maybe viewers will be able to focus on what really matters this season: Jessica's poor wardrobe choices, Eric's dreamy eyes and Jason's terrible new goatee.
What about you? Are you glad True Blood is re-focusing on vampires? Or did you enjoy the supernatural insanity of the previous seasons?
True Blood airs Sundays on HBO at 9/8c.