‘True Blood’ Season 4 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 3 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2011 at 12:14 pm,

true blood season 4 premiere True Blood Season 4 Premiere Review & Discussion

Watch ‘True Blood’ Episode 2 Now On HBO GO

Following last season’s lack-luster finale of conflicting character story-arcs and poor story progression, the True Blood season 4 premiere attempts to beautifully refocus HBO’s hit vampire drama with an entertaining storyline and masterful handling of the series’ ever growing cast.

As Sookie (Anna Paquin) gracefully traveled into the mysterious fairy world in the season 3 finale, fans of the series were left wondering what the outcome would bring to the series’ proverbial femme fatale. With the absence of any overt cliffhanger, the opening scenes of the True Blood season 4 premiere highlights what could have been a wonderful way to end a not-so-wonderful season 3 – and perhaps that’s what should have happened.

Even though the fantastical world of magic-infused fairies deliveries a beautiful facade of enchantment (with enough “power” throwing to satisfy any fan of the preternatural), the overall inclusion of this plotline feels like an anecdotal transition connecting these two seasons. This notion will become even more recognized when viewers realize that the next appearance of anything fairy has been pushed until the very end of episode 3.

That being said, the apparent segregated fairy storyline provides a perfect emotional disconnect from any bad taste that may have been left from True Blood season 3. While television’s often misused “time jump” is regularly pulled out as a symbolic “get out of jail free card” for producers attempting to distance themselves from a poorly received season, its use in the season 4 premiere feels like a pure and honest progression of a logically occurring phenomenon – made even more so by the brief appearance of Sookie’s long-lost grandfather.

Despite the fact that True Blood’s time jump results in several instances of cringe inducing, on-the-nose dialogue serving to pick-up certain characters exactly where they left off in season 3 (Lafayette stating that it’s been “10 months” since he messed with anything magical, for example), the manner in which the story confidently progresses itself leaves little time for those watching to second guess the series’ motives.

true blood season 4 sookie lafayette1 True Blood Season 4 Premiere Review & Discussion

With at least 10 different storylines being included in a single episode, it appears Alan Ball has finally figured out how to perfectly manage True Blood’s ever-growing cast and deliver a competent storyline without impacting the fluidity of the series. While some might say that the series’ lengthy hiatus may present a faux appearance of an evolved handling of the characters, the subsequent episodes serve to highlight this aspect even more than the premiere.

Considering the lack of character balance and time management (in regards to the story) was one of the main problems that many pointed out in regards to season 3, it’s nice to see the series be able work out its flaws – especially when it’s a flaw that could completely derail True Blood from its heights of fanatical praise and almost certainly lead to future sentiments of a “long-overdue cancelation.”  Even though it can be said that the inclusion of vampires, wolves, fairies, witches, and whatever else Bon Temps has now become home to may weigh on the side of including more plots (and subplots) than any one series could handle, everything presented feels complete, focused and, more importantly, entertaining.

true blood season 4 bill True Blood Season 4 Premiere Review & Discussion

In the series’ cavalcade of cast members, each included storyline feels important. While it’s true that many may not be intrinsic to the main arc that follows Sookie, their inclusion never feels contrary to the purpose of wonderful storytelling. For each proverbial step that we take in Sookie’s journey, we also take that same step with the supplement characters that surround her. Considering the simplicity in being able to use single-lines of dialogue to evolve a character that’s not the series’ overall main focus, one must both acknowledge and praise Ball’s ability and interest in fully developing as many of the series’ additional inhabitants – something that is much easier said and done in the Charlaine Harris novels that True Blood is based on.

Even though True Blood season 4 is just beginning, and this past year of television has proved that any series can instantly, and unceremoniously, make an about turn in terms of its ability to deliver quality storytelling (Cough: House), it’s hard not to believe that this is the season for True Blood to not only redeem itself, but to also secure its future as one of television’s continuously great fantastical dramas.

…and from everything I’ve seen (3 episodes), it appears that’s exactly what’s happening.

-

True Blood airs Sundays @9pm on HBO

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: true blood

86 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. - Lafayette and Tara are cousins and now both are gay?

    - Tara and her new girlfriend beat the crap out of each other but are not baring any marks at all for their “lesbian” scene.

    - The Fairy scene was way to rushed to make sense to me. Why are they goblin like? Why do they harvest humans? I thought fairy’s were good? WTF?

    - How did Bill become King?

    - Why is Tommy with the old bag? And how?

    Perhaps we were purposely left with all these questions but it seems to messed up.

    • - it is a little odd they are both gay, but that was a decision made by the creative team.

      - there are good fairs and bad fairs and it will make more sence later on.

      - If you will remeber at the end of the last show Bill fought the queen and he stated that only one was going to make it out alive.

      -I am not sure about tommy but i think it probably has something to do with hoyt not talking to his mother and sam shooting tommy.

      I hope that this helps you out some.

      • sorry for the typo fairies not fair and by show I meant last seasons finale.

    • I am growing very tired of you and the many like you that are confused by the first episode. Here’s a silyl question: Do ya’ll know this is a SHOW? Cuase like most shows, details like “why is Bill king” will most likely,uh, BE EXPLAINED THROUGHOUT THE COARSE of the show. Just like the other seasons, everything will be explained later on. If Ball wanted audiances to know the deal on the first episode, there wouldn’t be a reason to keep watching. Also many are complaining about the fairy story and the witch story, some say its dumb and “not like the trueblood we al love.” Another silly question: YALL KNOW TRUEBLOOD IS LOOSLY BASED OFF THE BOOKS RIGHT? And this season is loosely based on the fourth book which deals with the witches and the fairy drama. I can’t believe so many people are complaining and they’ve only seen the first episode? If you really can’t follow the rather simple plotlines of this season (or the seaons before) you really shouldn’t be watching this show. Its not difficult to follow and its a really good show. Every season has botten better and better and so far this season continues to prove that point. I look forward to seeing how the season unfolds throughout its coarse.

  2. I found the premiere episode to be a big disappointment! The fairies turning into whatever they were supposed to be was ridiculous. Tara is now a kickboxing lesbian? I, along with almost everyone I have spoken to about this upcoming season, am not holding out much hope for a good year. The next episode could be my last.

  3. I can’t watch anymore. The problem is the characters are draining my soul. Everyone one of them is in misery. Sookie: constantly yelling, whining or crying. Bill: constantly depressed and apologizing. Tara: miserably in general Hoyt: whining/complaining Lafayette: bitching about something. Jason: why so serious? Hoyt’s mom and Tommy: complain the every minute they are on. Sam: head down complaining about something. ect..ect ect.. The characters are unwatchable. I do not look forward to seeing any of their faces or here them speak. Each character needs to be recast…. I said it. The only saving grace may be Eric and Jessica.

    Next Episode synopsis: everyone bitches about something and magic happens.

  4. Give me a break on the House insults the stories this year were fine. There was an out cry from the anti Huddy fans, but other than those hardcore no one else seems to have been let down by the season. This season of House IMO was a very strong season.

    As far as True Blood goes I said it before and I’ll say it again this is easily the only show I’ve ever liked and been absolutely ashamed of liking. It is simply bad in nearly every way and yet manages to be enjoyable. Some of the acting is just straight up bad and when it’s at it’s best the acting is only mediocre. The writing has been poor for two seasons as has the directing. It’s incredibly cheesy. It’s way over the top with it’s sex and sometimes even manages to make me uncomfortable something not easily done. Almost everything it does is over the top, cheesy and totally unnecessary and yet I still like it and still wish I didn’t.

  5. Season 3 was lackluster in my opinion. However, I feel that season 4 kicked off the right way. I can’t wait for more! And I’d like to request that fans of the books not post about those story lines here. This is not a spoilers discussion. I am a novel reader so I understand wanting to compare, but I have chosen not to read these books for now and was disappointed to learn some things from the comments. Please don’t ruin things for the rest of us!

  6. I’ve now seen 4 episodes of Season 4 and I am TOTALLY dissapointed with this season. It’s extremely poor. Terrible plots, writing and the direction of charachters.

    My wife and I were diehard fans of the first three seasons, and couldn’t wait for Season 4 – We’re both terribly dissapointed and if the current poor standrard continues, we will move from serious fans to dumping the series altogether.

  7. I am disappointed in this season, I love the series and I always expected more, but this is too much. I feel like this season has too much going on with the characters.

  8. SO disappointed with this season! Too many characters with too many stories going on. Man, I hope they start connecting the dots soon or they will lose me!

  9. REALLY REALLY DISSAPOINTED. It doesnt follow the books at all, i’m really let down by this series and i want to love it but i really cant. Fairies are meant to be beautiful not turn into ugly creatures and Sookie is not meant to go to the fairy world or go away for a year and loose her home. Its turned crap it used to be good why cant they follow the story Lafayette was meant to be dead in the first series and Tara isn’t Sookie’s best friend in the books either! Charlaine Harris is such a good writer and this series gives her a bad name.

    • Haydont

      whille I agree that the show has gotten bad over the years IMO it’s far better than the books. They are pretty poorly written trash for the most part. She is actually worse than Stephanie Meyer which is crazy to think because the Twilight girl is bad enough as it is.

  10. I love season 4 of true blood! I’m glad it doesn’t follow the book! If it did, it would be so predictable!

  11. My main problem with this show was the side stories, like Sam’s family, Arleen, Andy and Hoyt’s mum.
    But now they seem to screw up even the main stories. Like for instance that Eric-Sookie relationship. Since they decided to follow the book in this, I would expect some other dimensions to this relationship, and I would like to see it better written and played on screen. I mean, where is this “lover” word Eric used to say to Sookie, where is this “old fashioned Viking” and all these moments I expected? Instead I saw a drunk Eric and some emotionless lovescenes in a bed with furs and snowflakes falling from above….. What can I say?????
    I also think that both the writing and the directing of this season suck, no matter how many cool songs they play each time one episode finishes.
    But I give them one thing. The threesome Sookie-Eric-Bill now gets foursome: Sookie-Eric-Bill-Alceed. No wondering why there is a porn parody of True Blood out there…
    Finally you know what? Harris’s writing isn’t the best I ‘ve seen, but so far things in shows are better when they follow the books, like for instance with Game of Thrones. Isn’t this series awesome?

  12. I am a fan of both the books and the show. Eventhough the show kinda does it’s own thing I’m excited about it, it’s like watching something entierly different, while at the same time the most of the main scenes and important plots I enjoy n the books are kept in the show. So as for the general progression of the man plot I’m cool. But I have to say season 4 is really just feeling so jumbbled and unfocused and CHEESY! First off I’m disapointed in the faries. The fay in the books were gorgeous but deadly. I’m not saying they have to stick to the books, but seriously! It was gaging, with the little girl farie dream like qualities. The set up of there little magical place in the cemetery looked so cheap and childish. Then you get to the fay world in season 4 which is interesting… But then they all turn into goblin like things in world that looks like it is dying… That wasn’t as bad and I kind of was digging the difference but it still seamed a bit cheesy! Energy balls ? All they need to do now is squat and scream kamehameha! But after all that, buildng you up with farie drama! It tottaly falls off the wagon and are so far none existent in the series. It like none of it ever happened. I was ready for some farie drama! The witch thing is cool I like the aspects of it, but it feels like it is lacking proper buildup. I don’t get laffeyet…. In all previous seasons he has had no crazy ability to see ghost or be a medium before. Now all of a sudden he is bombarded. Then we have sookie and Erik ! I was so excited he lost his memory, it was one of my favorit bits in the book. But again they made it overly cheesy! With the lame s*** coming out of eriks mouth and the corney wood sex scene… I mean really. It doesn’t lookor feel natural for even a supernatural infused show. Then sookies dream…. Corny… Cheesy… And just unessicary. It was so bad I wanted to change the channel. I was embaressed for the people who thought it was a good scene… It was just bad. But we still have 3 eps to go I’m I’m hoping the ending will tie alot togeather ! And that season 5 will fair better.

  13. Sethrity, I COMPLETELY agree with you, 1,000%. I, however, was one of those fans that loved vampires and just happened to stumble across a new series starting on HBO and it wasn’t til season 2 when I finally read the first book in the series. I was extremely excited and hooked on True Blood within the first 2 episodes. I used to drop everything and make sure I was home in enough time to watch the new episode…. fast forward to today… eh. If I catch it I catch, if not… well there’s always OnDemand. I was so disappointed in season 3, and I just figured “hmm maybe fans are so anxious for the new season that it was rushed”. But then I waited that longgg year for season four, and it just feels like so much and so little is happening at the same time. It was nice to get things shaken up a little bit, like every character has something different about them, and I was so #teamsookie&eric for forever, but now… they GET ON MY NERVES! I guess its true what they say, be careful what you wish for. I just feel like their little scenes are truly cheesy. && I’m not really crazy about the witches like how I was with the werewolves finally being added. But thats just me… I hope that theres some major turn or great moment in these last 3 episodes, or I’m sad to say, I won’t be looking for season 5.

  14. They could use some better writers! What happened to that real estate deal Tommy was swindling Maxine out of?

    What about the story line for Andy and Terry for this season, What in the world happened to Tara? It is like the writers do not know what to do with her character, and have her going all over the place.

    I missed bad Eric, glad he is sort of back. Just why did Jesus and Lafayette go to Mexico? This style of writing is starting to remind me of Miami Vice.

  15. I read the books, so I get that they have taken the books and made a season from each book. Each season has a bunch changed from the book its based around. The writers are changing too much, I think, and now they’re changing the show. Their southern accents are even not as strong as they once were. I don’t know. This season has some good parts, but it isnt as good as it once was.

  16. Just watched most of the final episode of Season 4. Wow this show got bad fast.. I turned it off half way through. The last 6 episodes were hard to sit through as the characters introduced in this season are pathetic and the writing is quickly becoming some of the worst I have seen in years.

    This will be the last episode I watch ever. I have better things to do with my time, but did want to express my disappointment at this season and show in general.

  17. True Blood? I think you mean True Dud! Wow.. this season really sucked. (no pun intended). Because of my love and respect for the previous seasons, I rode this one out to the end and was predictably disappointed. Too many story lines was their first mistake. They were managed badly. Old, Uninteresting characters were kept too long (i.e.- Jesus, Tommy), and New uninteresting characters had WAY too many lines and scenes (i.e. Sam’s new girlfriend, don’t remember her name and the writers never gave me a reason to care what her name is. And that kid… don’t get me started. Love Arlene’s kid’s though..) Somehow they managed to make Sookie the least potent of all the characters and she’s the MAIN character right? The Sookie/Eric/Bill thing didn’t work… at all. (Married/ Dating cast mates is the ultimate Jumping of The Shark- Think Dexter, Nip Tuck ..) The writer’s wasted the already great Regular Cast, and gave the entire season to the characters that were destined to die… and quite frankly, who didn’t die soon enough. I mean could they have dragged that Jesus thing on any longer? (I’m a Brujo!) whatever… And just a tip writer’s, in case you give Lafayette a new guy, men who are partner’s don’t usually call each other “Bro, and Dude” Seriously? And with that I say goodbye to True Blood. Even with the promise of Russell returning next season, the fact that they screwed up THIS season so badly when there was so much potential to get it right, makes me not want to waste anymore time on it and remember it fondly. Peace

  18. True Blood? I think you mean True Dud! Wow.. this season really sucked. (no pun intended). Because of my love and respect for the previous seasons, I rode this one out to the end and was predictably disappointed. Too many story lines was their first mistake. They were managed badly. Old, Uninteresting characters were kept too long (i.e.- Jesus, Tommy), and New uninteresting characters had WAY too many lines and scenes (i.e. Sam’s new girlfriend, don’t remember her name and the writers never gave me a reason to care what her name is. And that kid… don’t get me started. Love Arlene’s kid’s though..) Somehow they managed to make Sookie the least potent of all the characters and she’s the MAIN character right? The Sookie/Eric/Bill thing didn’t work… at all. (Married/ Dating cast mates is the ultimate Jumping of The Shark- Think Dexter, Nip Tuck ..) The writer’s wasted the already great Regular Cast, and gave the entire season to the characters that were destined to die… and quite frankly, who didn’t die soon enough. I mean could they have dragged that Jesus thing on any longer? (I’m a Brujo!) whatever… And just a tip writer’s, in case you give Lafayette a new guy, men who are partner’s don’t usually call each other “Bro, and Dude” Seriously? And as if Tara hasn’t been traumatized enough, they shoot her in the HEAD??!!! You son’s a B**ches!! And with that, I say goodbye to True Blood. Even with the promise of Russell returning next season, the fact that they screwed up THIS season so badly when there was so much potential to get it right, makes me not want to waste anymore time on it and remember it fondly. Peace

  19. I think the addition of witches and mediums took away from the show and I think the finale sucked. It went all over the place this year and did not seem to have a point. Hope it gets better.

Be Social, Follow Us!!