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Thread: True Blood (HBO)

  1. #1721
    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    I've been a fan of Ball since Six Feet Under and American Beauty.

    Since Ball only wrote 2 episodes (each) in seasons 2, 3, and 4, I think most of the crappy writing we've been talking about isn't his.

    In season 1, he was writer/director in 2 episodes, writer in 4, and director in 1. I think the less he's been involved, the worse this show has been.

    My opinion is based solely on the quality of the show's writing, since I have never read (and never will read) any of the Southern Vampire Mysteries novels (a/k/a The Sookie Stackhouse Novels and, in its most recent reprinting, the True Blood Series).

    I don't know if I'll watch this season. Last season was just inchoherent, bordering on chaotic.
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  2. #1722
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    I still think he's the worst writer on the staff and his ideas and guidance, IMO, have taken this show off the rails. His belief that his ideas for where the show should go - that is, away from the plot of Charlaine Harris, who created this world - are better, is what has sunk the show. It's gone from a show about one woman dealing with her world to a game of "how much crazier and freakier can I make this show and, while I'm at it, how many more kooky/scary characters can I add?" He started out with a terrific set up for a show and then drove it into the ground.

    AB may be good at some genres, but this is not one of them.

    IMO, Alexander Woo and Nancy Oliver are the best writers on staff - they're responsible for what I think are the best two episodes of the show - "Timebomb" and "I Will Rise Up" from season 2.
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  3. #1723
    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical
    His belief that his ideas for where the show should go - that is, away from the plot of Charlaine Harris, who created this world - are better, is what has sunk the show.
    That defines the difference in our opinions, Crit. I'm not laboring under the burden of disappointment with the departure of his vision from the "world" Harris created. Lots, if not the majority, of True Blood viewers never read the books. And don't want to. It's more like a graphic novel to us. A creepshow with a naieve and rather dimwitted but soulful heroine. Except for the last season, it has been pretty entertaining for me.

    I think seasons 1 and 2 were the best of the series, so far. And, realistcally, 5 seasons would be the average shelf life of a show like this one. I will not be disappointed if there is no season 6. The show remains wildly popular, though.
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    I know lots of people who haven't read the books who do agree with me that the show is going downhill. I have friends who were fanatics for the show who have vowed they won't watch season 5 because season 4 was so bad. Too many characters, too scattered and too much "monster of the week." The critic reviews have gotten worse as well.

    It may still be popular, but there are lots of shows that are popular that still suck and there are lots of great shows, that don't get good ratings. I think this show will only go so far on nudity, gore and titillation. Without good writing and a more cohesive vision, it will eventually fall apart and people will get bored.

    I continue to hope the show will get better, but it's continued a downhill slide after season 2. I had such high hopes for season 3 and then season 4 (considering that it was among my favorite of the books and one of the most popular of the series), but I'm beyond cynical at this point. I know AB feels the need to put his stamp on the story, but I just wish he was better at it.
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    Resident "tyrant" JavaJo's Avatar
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy Fields View Post

    I think seasons 1 and 2 were the best of the series, so far. And, realistcally, 5 seasons would be the average shelf life of a show like this one. I will not be disappointed if there is no season 6. The show remains wildly popular, though.
    But that is Crit's point....the first two seasons pretty much followed the books. Season three is when changes started being made.
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  6. #1726
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    A while ago I was listening to an interview with AB on some radio show. Even if he's not writing this show weekly he is still guiding this show weekly. He has been frank on that radio show and I believe else where that he has been moving away from the books. But I think his strong desire to move away from the books has led to this hyper chaotic universe with all these random, unconnected story lines and random characters etc. Charlaine's books are chaotic enough on their own. They didn't need any help in that department.

    I was willing to abandon any thought that the books and show would be alike and the seasons as I watched them continued to get worse and worse. I can't remember which was the last season I saw (I know it wasn't the most recent). But I honestly found myself fast forwarding through any/all ancillary stories because I just didn't care about all these characters. Which left me, I discovered, with about 15 minutes an episode of show I was actually interested in. I'm going to guess I'm not the only one.

    The show has already been sent down this path and even with the remaining writers I don't believe they can repair all the mess that has been made and I don't see much future for this show honestly.

  7. #1727
    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    Quote Originally Posted by causingchaos View Post
    A while ago I was listening to an interview with AB on some radio show. Even if he's not writing this show weekly he is still guiding this show weekly. He has been frank on that radio show and I believe else where that he has been moving away from the books. But I think his strong desire to move away from the books has led to this hyper chaotic universe with all these random, unconnected story lines and random characters etc. Charlaine's books are chaotic enough on their own. They didn't need any help in that department.

    I was willing to abandon any thought that the books and show would be alike and the seasons as I watched them continued to get worse and worse. I can't remember which was the last season I saw (I know it wasn't the most recent). But I honestly found myself fast forwarding through any/all ancillary stories because I just didn't care about all these characters. Which left me, I discovered, with about 15 minutes an episode of show I was actually interested in. I'm going to guess I'm not the only one.

    The show has already been sent down this path and even with the remaining writers I don't believe they can repair all the mess that has been made and I don't see much future for this show honestly.
    While I completely agree with you regarding the declining quality of TB (especially in terms of story coherence), it's ratings belie the bolded part above. And ratings are the bottom line (after the bottom line of production costs). So, I don't see the show as doomed for lack of viewer approval. Too many people tune in to this freakshow for that to be true. I will be interested in following its season 5 ratings, whether I watch season 5 or not.

    True Blood - Season 4 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic
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  8. #1728
    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaJo View Post
    But that is Crit's point....the first two seasons pretty much followed the books. Season three is when changes started being made.
    We dfefinitely agree on this. The quality of the show has declined, IMO. I do, however, find it ironic that most of AB's contributions as a writer were in seasons 1 and 2 - and they were the best of the series. And, never having read the books, my opinion isn't based on the show's departure from Harris's story. I don't have a problem with his turning the series into a comic book. I do, however, think the writing has been progressively deteriorating over the past 3 seasons.

    And it's true that lots of shows with good ratings suck (and ratings ensure their longevity).

    But I'm not paying for most of the ones that do. If not for Game of Thrones, I'd be cancelling HBO until Boardwalk Empire returns.
    Last edited by Poppy Fields; 02-29-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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  9. #1729
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    Just saw the two new trailers for season 5.

    Can someone for the love of all that is holy tell me if Tara is dead? Really dead, not undead or vampire dead, but lets have a wake and go to a funeral, dead?
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  10. #1730
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    Re: True Blood (HBO)

    I have never read the books, so faithfulness of the series to the plots and characters of the books, is not a factor in whether or not I like the show. I have the following thoughts:
    1. I too liked the first two seasons better. I really prefer Sookie with Bill so hooking her up with Erik was a mistake IMO. This is partially because the Anna Paquin has far more chemistry with her husband than with Erik. However, she also has good chemistry with the very sexy werewolf (so I'd like to see where that goes).
    2. Killing off Tara was a BIG mistake.
    3. The side track with the witches was interesting but started getting boring after awhile.
    4. I'd like to see more of Sookie's hapless brother and less of the periphery characters and their stupidity driven angst.
    I am going to continue to watch, but if it gets too ridiculous and the writing loses its luster, I'll stop.

    Referring to previous comments about Alan Ball's writing, I personally found his plots tiring after a few seasons - both Desperate Housewives (which I no longer watch and haven't for a few years) and Six Feet Deep. I found the same to be true for the writer of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. I think they just run out of story lines for the main characters and the plots become stupid and ridiculous as new characters are introduced. True Blood may avoid those problems because "unbelievable" isn't a problem when dealing with fantasy.

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