Category Archives: HBO

thoughts on true blood season finale: save yourself

Previously on True Blood: Sunset

I was almost a week late watching the fifth season finale of True Blood, which is forever in internet years and required a certain level of stealth to avoid any spoilers. My only slip-up was seeing the headline that went something like ‘True Blood Shocker: Did Bill Die?!’ Of course, I wasn’t too worried that Bill had in fact died, but I spent the next day or so wondering just what occurred to bring up the question, and this morning, I got my answer: Bill died, in some form or fashion, but it doesn’t make him any deader than he was going into the episode (more on that below).

This was Alan Ball’s last season and although he went out with a bang and left a lot of fun stuff to explore in season six, I can’t say the finale left me satisfied. Maybe my opinion will change after I’ve re-watched the season in its entirety, but as it stands, I would give the finale a solid 8.5 as a standalone episode and 7 as a wrap-up for the entire season. Here’s why (in order of overall importance):

Bill only sort of died. This season, Bill went from running from the Authority to attempting to run the Authority. For awhile, it was up in the air whether or not he was really into the Sanguinista Movement (boy did that name came and go with very little mention after Roman’s death) or simply playing the part to get as much info as possible. As it turns out, Bill is a hardcore Lilith believer, so intense in fact that he drank all of “her blood” (still not sold on that one), exploded in a similar fashion to the true death and rose out of the blood just like Lilith herself. For a moment there, I thought Bill was dead and during that brief second or so, I imagined all the possibilities that could come with Bill out of the way for good. This is not to say that I dislike Bill, I just find him completely boring in comparison to stronger characters (although he did become quite appealing when he tricked and killed Salome), like Eric or even season one Bill. I’ll reserve any judgement on how much I like “Bilith” until after we see how much of the psycho goddess actually got inside him or if we’re just stuck with a much more powerful, yet still completely dull Bill.

Warlow was barely mentioned. I’m sure introducing Warlow in this season had a point. I’m positive writers plan to divulge who Warlow is and his intentions with Sookie sometime next season. However, I’m not sure if Warlow will be another letdown or not. They killed off Russell with very little fanfare, which in itself bothered me, but if we learn next summer that Russell was Warlow and Eric saved Sookie’s life by killing him, I’ll be less than pleased. I still see this mysterious Warlow as a Rumpelstikin type of guy and want to believe he’s someone new and exciting that will shift the focus back to Sookie. Again, if it turns out Warlow was Russell, I will strongly consider, but in the end decide against, cancelling my subscription to HBO.

Andy is a daddy, several times over. Maurella may have made birth look magical and painless, but the moment was nothing without Lafayette’s colorful commentary. I was pleased she made it clear she has no intentions to stick around, because I really do like the new and improved Andy, as well as his budding relationship with Holly. I think watching him play single daddy to newborns will provide a little comedy here and there, and perhaps the writers will remember Arlene has two kids that aren’t named Mikey and let them return for babysitting duties. Also, does this somehow mean Andy and Sookie are related now?

Jason and his hallucinations. Maybe it’s just me, but Jason’s hate for vampires seems very reminiscent of his storyline in season two when he also developed a hatred for vampires. This time things are a little different, since he has his dead parents egging him on and he has a vampire in love with him, but it still all plays very familiar. Outside of killing Sookie, there’s not much worse vampires can do to hurt him, so I don’t see how much farther they can go with all of this. However, of all the events that transpired, I somehow think Jason’s plot will have the most relevance next season, assuming they move forward with a vamps vs. the world sort of thing next season.

Pam and Tara kissed. I have waited for this moment since the start of the season, but it wasn’t until just after that I realized I don’t actually want the two to end up together. I did appreciate that it wasn’t a “we’re two lusty vampires who like to drink blood and claw at each other” scene but instead a romantic moment that Tara had more than earned this season. I’ve also enjoyed seeing the softer side of Pam, and fans of the book version of Pam have seen her successfully carry on a relationship without losing any of her edge. However, I don’t think either of these lady vamps would do well in a relationship. Pam is Pam and Tara, whether vampire or not, is perpetually screwed up. I’d mention the fact that they’re mother and daughter, but that’s obviously irrelevant (I can’t express enough how NSFW that link is!) and would only serve to strengthen their romantic bond should the writers decide to go there.

Alcide FINALLY become packmaster. Alcide’s daddy finally served a purpose and gave his son the juiced up V he needed to kill J.D. We don’t know where he got that blood from or how he was so sure it was the superior product, but I’m hoping those are the questions Alcide thinks to ask when he comes down from his high. Similar to much in the TB universe, it’s safe to say yet another storyline is being dropped without any discussion and going in a new direction, and by that I mean Sookie and Alcide are kaput and Alcide and Rikkie are probably a go for hot, animalistic werewolf sex next season.

Luna FINALLY rescued Emma. It never seemed like they were going to kill off the cutest wolf pup in the world, so I was wondering why they kept Luna and Sam on the hunt and why I should even care. It turns out, being held up at the Authority still served multiple purposes: killing off Rosalyn, rescuing Emma, exposing to the world that vampires were behind all the bombings at all the Tru Blood factories and most importantly, exposing shifters to the world. I don’t see how any supe will be able to spin this in their group’s favorite, most of all, the vampires. Hopefully, this small detail will have major ramifications for next season and take the episodes beyond dark rooms in one stupid building.

Minor note(s): This was the first finale in the history of the show that didn’t injure or kill any characters that I care about (RIP J.D., Salome and Rosalyn). Russell deserved a better death than the one he was given or at the very least, he should have done a lot more bad in the time he was free, I would have been fine with either option.

We have another long wait ahead of us to find out how new showrunner Mark Hudis plans to address these plots, along with which characters/stories were brought up only to be dropped by the time the six season comes around. Until next summer, enjoy this look into the season finale from Ball’s perspective:

Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.

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thoughts on true blood: sunset

Previously on True Blood: Gone, Gone, Gone

“You, me, Warlow. Our destinies are intertwined.” – The Elder

Is it safe to say that Lilith is pure evil?
The moment she whispered, “Bill come to me,” I was skeptical. However, when she went on to say, “Only one can lead us, I choose you,” I was convinced. It’s not enough that she “killed” Godric, but now she wants Bill (and later Kibwe and Salome) to drink all of her blood?! Those are bad signs! She is indeed a “godless god”, and it’s pretty clear that she wants to create chaos. As Bill demonstrated when he quickly killed Kibwe, anyone who wants the lead position will have to fight a few others to get there. What I can’t determine is if having one of them drink all the blood is her ultimate goal or if she’s more interested in turning everyone against each other.

What the hell is up with Bill?!
I have lost all hope that this is just an act for Bill. The ‘feelings, mortality and weakness of humans’ is of no consequence to him, which includes the former love of his eternal life, Sookie. Oddly, I found that part understandable. Bill really has spent a great amount of time neglecting who (and what) he is to mainstream with the humans, as well deal with all the BS that comes along with having a romantic relationship with one. Now being a complete dick to Jessica and hitting her? Unacceptable! Pam’s explanation that all vamps go psychotic when they nest with other vamps only cuts him so much slack. Whether it’s his need for the power or his desire to worship Lilith completely, both result in him being a less than loveable character. But is it fun to watch the usual boring Bill embrace his inner asshole? Of course.

Are Eric and Nora running or attempting to find a solution?
It seems the two are finally in agreement that Lilith is everything Godric said. They shared a tender moment and had the type of sex that two people have when they’ve lost their faith in Lilith (assuming Eric really ever truly believed). When they killed the other vampires in the truck and fled it wasn’t really clear if they were on the run or attempting to find a solution. Nora dropped her Vampire Authority chain before they left, which either symbolized her denouncing allegiance with the Authority or was done to temporarily throw Salome and co. off the scent when they eventually come looking for her and Eric. I doubt either is absent for next week’s finale, so this will undoubtedly be addressed. I foresee Bill wiping out any remaining members of the Authority and ultimately having to face Nora and Eric. Then again, I don’t trust Nora, so I could also see her turning on Eric and leaving him to face off against Bill. Either way, I think it will come down to Eric vs. Bill (and NO, I don’t think either of them will die in the finale).

Why is the U.S. Army the only government working with the Vampire Authority?
Tru Blood factories are, or rather were, all over the world. Vampires are all all over the world and they mainstreamed in a number of countries. I would assume ALL humans would be invested in keeping the peace, which would mean all of their government officials would be invested as well. Yet, General Cavanaugh is the only high-level official that worked directly with Roman and the rest of the chancellors…that doesn’t really make sense to me. In related news: I’d love to see what cool weapons they have in place for mass-killing of vampires.

Did the Elder get caught on purpose?
She gave us random mentions of Ke$ha, John Cougar Mellencamp and Boyz II Men, remembered John Stackhouse as a creepy, handsome land owner and knew that dark times were coming. She instructed Sookie to hold on to her light and also knew of Russell Eddington. She was flighty, yet she went out to battle Russell with such conviction that I was sure she’d kill someone. Turns out she only managed to zap Steve and Jason…and get herself killed. Maybe I’m giving her too much credit, but I feel like she wanted it to happen. Similar to Jason getting caught and leading Russell and Steve right to the fairies, I want to believe that it was all some part of an elaborate plan. By noting that her destiny is intertwined with Sookie’s and Warlow’s, perhaps she gave us a clue that this was all meant to be. If not, she gave Russell exactly what he wanted and put the rest of her tribe in mortal danger.

Other observations:

  • The Faerie Elder was played by Erica Gimpel aka Wallace’s mom (and Keith’s girlfriend for a brief amount of time) on Veronica Mars.
  • General Cavanaugh was played by Phil Reeves (who should be familiar to Parks and Recreation fans).
  • While watching this episode, a certain quote kept coming to mind: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
  • Sookie called Warlow a vampire. We all heard that, right?
  • I think I incorrectly assumed that Luna and Sam’s only relevance to the finale would be getting Emma (aka the cutest pup in the world) back.
  • Did we really sit through the Terry/Arlene plot just so they’d be able to provide a solid example for Andy and Holly?! More importantly, of all  the men in all the land, why did Maurella pick Andy to make a little fairy-human baby with?
  • Alicde is back, and it turns out his dad was banished from his packmaster position for being a thief. Was this brief spotlight just a chance for us to see Alcide topless or does this somehow have relevance for the big fight that will (hopefully) happen in the season finale?
  • “I’m a bitch, not a snitch. Love it.” – No. Love YOU Lafayette.
  • Tara has a crush on Pam. Tara and Jessica are going to be friends. They probably won’t go too much farther with these “developments” this season, but that’s fine, I can wait.
  • Rosalyn was Elijah’s maker. Lovely how that played out.
  • I forget how old Russell is, until he says things like, “I met Jesus.”
  • Funniest moment of the episode: Sam and Pam pass each other in the hallway and he asks her to help Luna. Pam’s response? “Who the fuck is Luna?” It was so simple, yet HILARIOUS. (Runner-up: Steve getting stuck in the backseat of the cop car).

Next week’s True Blood: Save Yourself (SEASON FINALE)

Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.

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thoughts on true blood: gone, gone, gone

Previously on True Blood: Everybody Wants to Rule the World

  • Bill foils Eric and Molly’s escape plan because he truly seems to believe in Lilith..or so it seems.
  • Bud, along with Sweetie, are revealed as the leaders of the “Obamas”.
  • Still no indication who Warlow is…
  • Elijah was introduced as the new Area 5 sheriff.
  • Russell gives Emma to Steve Newlin as a “pet”.

“You and me, we live in the wind, just like I did with Eric. We don’t need this place. It’s four walls and plaster. That’s all.” – Pam

Was Salome arrogant enough to think she could keep Russell under her thumb?

Russell gladly gives away his sacred blood to werewolves and long before the Vampire Authority deemed it fashionable, he was more than willing to let humans know just how worthless they are in comparison to vampires. These may have been the things that Salome admired and thought would be beneficial to her cause, but she had to know that he was never going to toe the company line. He wants the ultimate power and the one thing vampires are denied: the sun. Fairy blood has the power to change that, albeit briefly. However, this is still in conflict with Salome’s belief that vampires are creatures of the night. Assuming Russell gets the blood and shares it with the Authority, I doubt it will repair the rift since he’s proven he’ll never go along with the group consensus if it doesn’t mesh with his own agenda. This is good and as long as the leaders are divided, it’ll make things easier for the fairies and other supes that are tasked with defending the humans, assuming it comes to that.

Is Hoyt gone from the True Blood universe for good?

I haven’t really enjoyed Hoyt’s character for awhile. He became increasingly pitiful and it was getting tough to watch. If he has to pull a Tara and leave for Alaska so he can return stronger, then I’m all for it. However, something about Jessica glamouring him and that last scene with Jason makes me feel like there was a definite finality to his character. Although they now hold all of the guilt and negative emotions associated with breaking Hoyt’s heart, having him out of the way means that Jason and Jessica get some resemblance of a fresh start. TB could definitely use a (relatively) happy couple since no one else is pulling that weight.

What is really in that blood?

We already know that drinking the blood gets the vampires very high and lets them see Lilith. This week we saw Eric and Nora take the blood together, which brought forth Godric…and Lilith. Before he met the true(r) death at the hands of Lilith, Godric noted that she was a godless god. Godric symbolizes the “good” version of vampires, which makes me think that Lilith represents all that is evil. If that really is her blood, it also makes me wonder why Roman never had the crazy hallucinations or desire to kill all the humans. Maybe it affects vamps in different ways or maybe, Salome did something to the blood to control everyone. Out of all the loose ends we have going into the last two episodes of this season, this is the one I’m most anxious to see tied up.

How will Pam and Tara factor into everything?

Although it took him awhile, Bill finally decided to send for Jessica. Eric did set Pam free, but is he concerned for her safety? Is she concerned for his? Can “living in the wind” PLEASE send Pam and Tara to find Eric?! Tara showed some gumption by killing Elijah, and she’s definitely found her footing as a baby vamp. Perhaps she can use some of that fortitude to inspire Pam and go join Eric. At the very least, I think seeing Pam would help remind Eric of his pre-Lillith days.

Who is Warlow?!

After Jason, who has become the smarter of the two Stackhouses, realizes that “look under the bed” literally meant to look under the floor underneath the bed, the two find a very ancient scroll. Not sure why they didn’t immediately go to their fairy cousins, but once they FINALLY realized there was nothing human about the symbols/characters on the ancient scroll, they asked Claude for help. It took Maurella – the 500-year old fairy who tries to pass for 300-years old – to figure out that the scroll was a vellum signed with fairy blood, as well as a contract. It seems John Williams Stackhouse gave his first, fae-bearing female heir to M. Warlow, which means that Sookie belongs to Warlow. This make me rethink my “Russell is Warlow” theory because if Russell really is Warlow, he wouldn’t have needed Eric to tell him about the possibilities of fairy blood in the third season. I’ve decided Warlow is a new character, possibly a warlock, genie or some other mystical Rumpelstiltskin-type creature that makes deals for first born children, and this is laying the groundwork for the sixth season. If Warlow is in fact someone we haven’t already met, then it’s also possible he’s the best bet for protecting Sookie against Russell.

Other observations:

  • R.I.P. Mike Spencer – Sookie still got the job done, but wouldn’t it have been smarter to load the gun with wooden bullets?
  • I HATED to see Molly go in such an anti-climatic manner, mostly because I’ve been a Tina Majorino fan since Kevin Kostner slapped her in Waterworld and similar to Chris Meloni’s Roman, I felt the character was severely underutilized.
  • Russell and Steve dancing to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream was almost romantic, if you ignored all the dead bodies laying around them of course.
  • Lafayette was an absolute vision in the pink shirt, rainbow wristband, blue shoes…and gun.
  • Andy and Holly are really cute together, which most certainly means that the pregnant Maurella is carrying his baby, because of course there are no happy endings for any of the couples on this show.
  • I’m all for Luna and Sam’s nudity and their fun little side adventures, but please tell me there’s more to their current story than trying to rescue Emma.

Next week’s True Blood: Sunset

Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.

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thoughts on the newsroom: 5/1

Previously on The Newsroom: Bullies

  • Charlie is contacted by an anonymous source that wishes to show his credibility by leaving an ominous message.
  • The Newsroom staff is celebrating their one year (and one month) anniversary at Will’s apartment.
  • Will explains to Neal and his girlfriend, Kaylee, why he needs medical marijuana and why his tolerance is above average. They tell him to be careful because the marijuana cookies are potent…Will doesn’t listen.
  • Charlie’s anonymous tip turns out to be a one of national security. He alerts the party and everyone heads to the newsroom to get to work.
  • Elliot, Sloan, and Don are stuck on airport runway with  a flight attendant that won’t let them off because of regulations.
  • Maggie finds out that Lisa told Jim that she loves him; Jim says he loved her too to be polite but he tells Maggie those aren’t his genuine feelings.
  • Will, under the influence of marijuana and prescription drugs, leaves the car with Lonny to get to the newsroom by foot due to construction.
  • The consensus around the newsroom is that Osama bin Laden has been killed but they can’t run the story until they have two legitimate confirmation sources.
  • Maggie tells Jim he has to break up with Lisa but Lisa beats him to the punch because she thinks Maggie still has feelings for Jim.
  • Charlie tells Mac and Will that the President should be the one to deliver the news…until they tell Will to check his email. Joe Biden told Will about the news directly. Charlie changes his mind.

 

“Call me ‘Late for Dinner'” Doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Deep Throat” but it’ll have to suffice until now. Clearly this man wants to be more involved with the newsroom–or maybe just Charlie personally–because he says this is just the beginning for them. I’m hoping it has something to do with helping Charlie deal with the higher-ups at the network. He seemed to have validated himself as a credible source–at least for now–Charlie should still thread lightly though. He and his  doesn’t need anymore unwanted attention from Leona.

Contrary to Popular Demand: When the newsroom found out that the bin Laden was confirmed, there was jubilation, disbelief, and a collective (metaphorical) sigh of a burden being lifted. All except Kaylee. Her father was killed during the attacks on September 11th and she thought that she would get the same feeling as everyone else but to no avail. I think the majority of the nation and those affected by terrorism worldwide were just as elated as the members of the newsroom but killing bin Laden doesn’t bring back the losses that some of us lost. Kaylee’s reaction was a stark contrast to what I was use to seeing when hearing about his death but that made me appreciate it that much more.

Relationship Re-Do: After Jim is mercy dumped by Lisa he asks if they can try again. He admits that the first time around he was pressured by Maggie and that wasn’t the correct way he should went about it. I’m not sure if Jim really wants to try again with Lisa or if he just wants to continue being the “white knight” but I expect the end result to be explosive in any case. Poor Maggie/Lisa/Jim…if only this were Utah…

 

On the next episode of The Newsroom: The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn

Will is a (not so) recovering TV and movie addict and TVDM only helps in feeding his vices. TVDM is the best outlet for him to spread his disease–without the use of airborne pathogens...

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thoughts on the newsroom: bullies

Previously on The Newsroom: Amen

  • Will starts going to his therapist again–or at least his former therapist’s son Jack (David Krumholtz)–after four years because he has been having trouble sleeping.
  • The network’s insurance company assigns Will a bodyguard, Lonny (Terry Crews), after he is threatened on an online message board.
  • Sloan accurately misreports (It makes sense) a nuclear disaster in Japan while filling in for Elliot during the 10pm newscast.
  • Will shows Mac the engagement ring he bought her during their relationship.
  • Don asks Sloan if he is losing Margaret to Jim. Sloan is…emotionally challenged(?) so she can’t answer honestly. But she tells him that he isn’t by default.
  • Charlie suspends Sloan for her actions on-air. He later figures out a loophole to get the network out of the negative light…and to get Sloan back to work.
  • Will’s therapist realizes that Will has been having problems because of his feelings for Mac and his recent on-air behavior.

Will’s Got Issues: Well we’ve known that since the onset of the show but now we know it’s certifiable. His feelings for Mac have been evident. His on-air blow-ups have been increasing steadily. And now he has formed some type of relationship with Sloan, so much so that he feels sorry for the advice he gave her about being relentless during interviews–which, subsequently, led to her suspension. Do I think Will is going to continue treatment? No. Do I think he is going to immediately pursue a relationship with Mac? No. Do I pray that he and Sloan engage in coitus? Yes! (Sorry, Mac). A forbidden fruit must be tasted before the season ends and I don’t see it happening with Maggie and Jim unfortunately so that Sloan and Will would be the next best thing.

Sloan Goes Rogue: Maybe Sloan wasn’t the best person for Will to give advice to. She isn’t the most pragmatic person on the staff–actually she’s probably the least–and she definitely overstepped her bounds during her short stint as an anchor. I doubt she gets that chance again though. I’m starting to enjoy Sloan’s character much more as she is beginning to matriculate through different storylines and interact with other staffers.

Cat and Mouse: I believe they are interchangeable at the moment but Mac and Will are doing this dance every week and I’m starting to get tired of it. Not literally. Or figuratively either. I just need someone to make a bold move…or for Sloan to share her bare breasts–and I say that because I adore alliteration…and I kinda mean it, too.

Top Flight Security: Former collegiate football star? Check. Former NFL draftee? Check. Former Army MP? Check. Awesome Old Spice Ads? You decide. I think Will is in good hands.

Quotes

Who else’s body have you guarded?” -Will
We don’t talk about that.” -Lonny
Okay.” -Will
Kanye. It was awesome.” -Lonny

Sarah Bernhardt was a turn of the century stage and film actress from France! Sandra Bernhard is a…I don’t know what the hell!” -Charlie

The wife of a board member died and Will asked me to send flowers. I wrote on the card ‘I’m so sorry for your loss. LOL.” –Maggie
Lol?!” -Jim
I thought it meant lots of love.” -Maggie
How do you still work here?” – Jim

On the episode of The Newsroom: 5/1

Will is a (not so) recovering TV and movie addict and TVDM only helps in feeding his vices. TVDM is the best outlet for him to spread his disease–without the use of airborne pathogens...

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