Monday, June 27, 2011

True Blood Season Premier: She's Not There

Spoilers Ahead.

Last night was the long awaited season four premier of True Blood.  From the moment I woke up, it was all that I could think about.   Perhaps it was all of the expectation of what was to come that left me so completely disappointed in the first episode.

When Sookie is with the fae, she quickly learns that their goal is to gather up all the humans with fairy blood. She escapes with her grandfather, who promptly dies because he ate the magic fruit.  Upon returning to her home, she learns that Jason sold her home because she had disappeared for over a year. I have to say that this new look that Jason has taken on really works for me. Maybe it's the man in a uniform thing, but he could give me a pat down anytime.   The responsibility of taking care of the people of Hot Shot, seems to have had a really good effect on Jason's character.  He seems to have given up chasing tail, and has become authoritative to the point of reeling Andy in.  I must admit that I was quite shocked to see that Alan Ball has made Andy a V addict. I suppose it is a matter of escalating his drug usage, because in the previous seasons, Andy clearly had a problem with alcohol.

When Andy assaults Lafayette looking for drugs, it is Jason who stops the confrontation.  Andy dismisses it as saying he got his "drag queens mixed up".  Given Layette's previous responses to homophobia, it kind of disturbed me that he was silent.  The fact that his silence was followed by Jason saying that he didn't see anything and that nothing happened, very neatly coincides with the treatment of marginalized bodies by the police. Even in the fictional town of Bon Temps, the blue wall must descend. 

Jesus has continued trying to encourage Lafayette to explore his powers.  Question, was I the only one who thought Lafayette needs to grow his hair back? When he Jesus introduces Lafayette to a coven of witches, though Katie is excited, it is Jesus who uses the word partner.  The equivocation or rather the pause really bothered me.  Had Jesus showed up with a woman, would the word girlfriend been so awkward to say? When this is matched with the fact that the witch then went onto to channel Eddie, it reminds us that gay people are troubled and doomed to end tragically in the True Blood universe.

Then we have Arlene, whose new son Mikey decapitates dolls.  Terry of course passes this off as boys being boys.  Personally, I hate this line, because we often see it used to excuse unacceptable male behaviour.  I will however say that the idea of a child less than a year ripping the heads off of dolls to be ridiculous, no matter who his father is. 

 Hoyt decided that Jessica should have a hot meal ready and waiting for him, when he came home from a hard day of work.  Jessica made it clear that actual food is really disgusting to her.  It seems to me if what he wanted was a domestic, he should have married Ms. biscuits.  The idea that a woman should be expected to cater in this way really bothered me, and so I was pleased when she served him raw eggs.  This joy was however short lived, when I learned that Eric had bought Sookies home.  This gives him control over her by taking away her one safe space.  When Sookie asks Eric why he bought her house, he responds with, "because I always knew that you were alive and if I owned this house, well then, I would own you. Sookie, you are mine." This is yet another example of men controlling women, and yet much of the commentary on Twitter applauded this as though it were sexy for a man dominate a woman in this way.

In another act of minimizing women, we learn that Bill is now a king.  The only way for this to happen, was for him to defeat Sophie-Ann in the fight that season three ended on.  Sophie-Ann was much older than Bill and a much stronger character in the books, than Alan Ball allowed to be filmed in the series.  This was a final bit of gender fuckery.  One does not get to be queen, by behaving like a simpering fool, and the fact that Ball did not even bother to film her death, leads me to believe that the idea of a truly powerful woman outside of  precious sook-eh, is really not possible on True Blood

Before the season started, it was leaked that a formerly straight character would have a same sex relationship.  Quite unclimatically, it turned out to be Tara. The problem with this situation as far as I am concerned, is that not once during the previous seasons, did Tara express any interest in women.  Written this way, it makes it seem as though same sex relationships are something that women resort to, when they have been hurt, or damaged in some way. It is further problematic that her lover does not even know her real name and refers to her as Toni, nor does she know where Tara really hails from.  The entire relationship is based on a lie. Even upon learning that Sookie is still alive, Tara lies about the text message to her lover. On one hand, I am thrilled that she didn't rush to Sookie's side to play faithful Black sidekick, and on the other, it is yet another false example of the deceptive LGBT person.

After shooting Tommy at the end of last season, Sam seems to have found a club of shape shifters.  At the end of dinner, they shift into horses and go for a run.  All I could think of is how sad this must have made Tami, from What Tami Said, given her kinky little thing for collies. 

For those of you who could not wait HBO released the second episode online.  I am sorely tempted and were it not for the fact that the damn thin would not play for me, I probably would have watched it already.  What did you think of the season premier, and have you broken down and watched the second episode?

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