‘True Blood’ Season 7 Premiere Review: The Beginning of the End

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true blood season 7 review header 570x294 True Blood Season 7 Premiere Review: The Beginning of the End

[This is a review of True Blood Season 7, Episode 1. There will be SPOILERS.]

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After years on the air, True Blood kicks off its final season with one last adventure for Sookie Stackhouse and her impossibly unlucky town of Bon Temps. Unfortunately, while the show is still as drama-filled as its operatic genre will allow, the ever-maturing landscape of television may have outgrown the series’ “unique” way in which it handles all of its many character stories.

Kicking off the beginning of the end is this week’s premiere, “Jesus Gonna Be Here,” written by season 5 and 6 writer Angela Robinson, which continues the 5-month time jump that was implemented in the final moments of last year’s finale. As the Hepatitis-V virus continues to infect vampires around the country, the residents of Bon Temps must still pair with healthy vampires for protection. Elsewhere, Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) continues her search for Eric (Alexander Skarsgard); Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) attempt to make amends to Andy (Chris Bauer) and his family; and Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) reaches her breaking point after the shocking death of a close friend.

As of right now, True Blood season 7 is fueled by characters and story, but at no point is there a purpose thrown in – at least not yet. Sookie being pushed to the limits by the death of Tara (Rutina Wesley) is understandable, and Jessica wanting to protect Andy’s remaining daughter is honorable, but there’s something soulless about the way in which True Blood structures its over-arching stories and continuously requires audiences to seemingly care more about the characters and story than what’s being present onscreen.

true blood season 7 andy jason 570x294 True Blood Season 7 Premiere Review: The Beginning of the End

A time jump in television is a plot device, often included as a way to separate major changes to the overall story without it coming off overtly awkward or out of place. For all the many uses of it over the years, True Blood seems to be the only television show which takes the opportunity to shift some characters around in order to tell more of the same type of tales. This may have worked in previous seasons, but with shows like Orange is the New Black and Game of Thrones masterfully handling the structure and development of as many characters as True Blood, the artificial drama that this series exists in often overpowers any attempt to earnestly enjoy what’s actually occurring.

Exactly one week ago, television viewers were whisked away to the impressively detailed world of Westeros and watched as an entire world of people progressed their life journeys. Sure, many character names may still be fuzzy for some viewers, but their intents are largely known. The same cannot be said for True Blood, which uses drama and chaos to cover up the general lack of personality and heart that the series has been struggling with for years.

Whatever the key to this season is, we have yet to see it. If anything, the True Blood season 7 premiere feels as if the series is buying time by relying heavily on familiar stories, emotions and complications to justify the story being told, even when it shouldn’t. What’s even more disconcerting is, at no point throughout this premiere is there even a sign of an overall seasonal story aside from Hepatitis-V.

true blood season 7 premiere sookie sam 570x294 True Blood Season 7 Premiere Review: The Beginning of the End

Now, barring any STD-angled final season story, True Blood has yet to actually jump in to its series-ending story, and at this point it’s likely that only those who read the books know what’s coming next. Even so, with so many characters that hold so much potential, it’s disheartening to see this series continue to stumble in many of the same ways that it has in recent years. After so many years on the air, and with one final story left to tell, it appears that viewers will have to carry the excitement until the series manages to rise to the occasion.

Those who watched True Blood from the beginning will have a difficult time finding the series it was in season 1 among this season 7 endeavor, and it’s been quite some time since you were able to appropriately compare what the series once was to what it is now. No matter what happens, True Blood is done at the end of this season. So while this may be the most chaotic television show on the air, fans of the series should, if anything, attempt to make use of whatever emotional attachments they have left and see things through to the very end. Maybe.

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True Blood returns next Sunday with “I Found You” @9pm on HBO.

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  1. It actually really bothers me that Tara a character that has been so important for 6 seasons dies off screen. She doesn’t even get the dignity of her death being shown she is kicking an H-Vamp’s ass one minute and then her mother says she is dead and supposedly covered with her blood.

    • I kind of think Tara outlived her usefulness several seasons ago and her story arc really should have ended with the shotgun blast to her head. Or they should have let the character leave and stay in Baton Rouge like Hoyt left for Alaska and have a chance to build a life somewhere else.

      • Tara was in New Orleans, not Baton Rouge!

    • It also irks me that no one spent anytime mourning her. An entire episode was devoted to Arlene’s husband.

    • ME TOO! and… why didn’t Pam “feel” anything? Isn’t it typical that the makers & prodigies can feel when things happen to each other? I am very suspicious she isn’t dead and the writers are going to throw us some stupid curve ball, like Tara had to go take a dirt nap with her new werewolf lover

  2. @ Bryan

    I agree. I only hope Pam gets word of her demise & bleeds because Tara was killed while she was away.

    • Yeah that was something that made me feel Tara may or may not be dead, shouldn’t Pam have felt something the moment Tara died if she was her Maker. The show has shown time and time again that there is a nigh unbreakable connection between Maker and Protege so Tara death should have triggered something in Pam.

      Also Tara did outlive her usefulness she should have stayed dead sacrificing her self to save her best friend not being brought back as the one thing she truly hated.

      • I agree.

  3. I still want to know what happened to Eric! If he’s alive, I need an explanation of how he survived from the sunlight.

    • Buried himself in the snow seems like the most likely possibility.

  4. Man this show needed to be put out of it’s misery a couple seasons ago…

    • @ MC

      My thoughts EXACTLY!

  5. I can’t wait for this show to end. Watching it is a chore. I’m just too stubborn to quit now. Felt nothing when Tara died. Hope her mother follows soon. I had to mute the TV for her scenes. Sookie’s a whiny cow, too.

    The only bright spot was Karolinda Wydra showing some skin.

  6. Calling it “A Stumble” was saying it lightly…. (followed the show since 1×01) This episode was “Tara”ble …. The writing & the acting were zombified… Felt like a filler from The Walking Dead. I’ll continue to record it though just to see how it ends…. I may just wait and fast foward to the end.

  7. I to felt let down. I kinda sat there going, “what”, “huh”, what just happened. It did however show true to the show. The fast forward was a good choice, Sams baby due anyday, Eric maybe healing somewhere, etc… Been also watching since season 1 episode 1 so I will finish and watch till the end, but I will set DVR and not schedule my Sunday nights around the show. I am honestly now just waiting for Walking Dead in October lol, this will hold me over. On a positive note I’m looking forward to Eric coming back, and Bill and Sookie reuniting in the end…

    • You do know theres no reason to hold out for the walking dead. Its going the same why as this crap.

  8. Boy, was this a terrible premiere or what? Nothing to look forward to really except finding Eric, and even that could be disappointing depending on how they explain him surviving the sun. Summer is a prime spot for HBO so I can’t wait till this is gone so we can see what kind of flashy show takes its place.

    • Yes I am with you on that, not saying hbo don’t have there faults, but its not like them to drag a show out like this. I Have not watched it for two seasons, but from what I read, even the super die hard fans, are abandoning ship.
      But! I have to say, the opening credits are still in my top five.

      • Yes the opening credits are the best part of the show. Probably the best opening sequence of any show. Doesn’t get me as excited anymore though now that TB has fallen off a cliff.

        • I actually hoped the opening credits would of changed after season 1 every season instead of staying the same. But I fast forward it anyways past that. Song still good I never got tired of.

  9. Have to disagree in part: while I think the last two or three seasons were pretty middling and aimless, last night’s premier felt like a return to what made the first season so compelling. I think that one of the hallmarks of a great cast is whether you can put any random set of characters together and the chemistry still works: Bill and Andy, Sookie and Alcide, Lafayette and James, Jessica and Adilyn, Violet and Jason – even Tara’s girlfriend and Reverend Daniels all had wonderful chemistry together which gave me a satisfying viewing experience. I’m hoping that they keep the plotline small scale and focused on the characters rather than trying to make the season finale about having to save the world from the Big Bad (which hasn’t worked so well for them in the past).

  10. Very disappointing.Seems as if the plot was ad-libbed and the acting….Of course it is hard to blame actors who haven’t been given a real script to begin with as being to blame. Sorry, used to love this show and wish I good say something good about the premiere. True Blood died a while ago and should have mercifully ended last season if what they are doing thus far in S7 is any indication of how they intend to proceed.

  11. I’m going into this last season of True Blood with the same mindset I had for the last season of Dexter.
    The last few seasons haven’t been that great (at times terrible) but knowing it ends here has me hoping for a decent final run.

    At least it can’t be as bad as Dexter though.
    Seriously, someone please tell me it won’t be that bad.

    • We’ll see, maybe they can have Sookie become a lumberjack and go meet up with Dexter and they get together.

      • Good one! At this point, I care so little, I’d actually prefer some off-the-wall, crazy sh*t.

  12. This is a show that has really jumped the shark. It was good for the first few seasons but it just fell off the face of the earth after that. I only watch now cause I’ve invested my time watching the show I have to see it to the end.

  13. Imo I thought season 7 opened up decently. Too bad about Tara of-course but made the story good just as Tara & Lettie Mae were reconciling, Tara’s mother & cousin loses her for the 2nd time. If I was gonna off a character this season it would be between Tara & Jessica. I figured Jessica would be killed before Tara since she was never in the books & been on the show long enough.

    I look forward to who lives & who dies before this final season ends. Police deputy Kevin was shown to be killed at Fangtasia.

  14. I wonder if im the only one who buys each of the seasons on dvd.

    • I do, lol love the show! but i was not happy with the first episode of season 7

  15. Well, the book readers have no idea where this is going (just as well really) since they smashed the books on or about Season 3 (even Maryann in Season 2, had, I think, around 3-4 pages in the book, so extrapolate on that!) People might disagree because of Eric’s amnesia in Season 4, but the amnesia and a witch character were the only two things that resembled book 4.

    So from before Godric died, book readers have had no idea what will happen. I’m not a fan of Charlaine Harris since the final book, but you really can’t blame this horrible mess on her.

  16. I think the series has gone down hill since season 1 but I still feel very invested in the characters. I will watch until the final curtain is drawn.

  17. Anna Paquin looking like a prized w**** once again. “Sookie Stackhouse”. Seriously?

  18. I dont think Tara is dead, unless I missed it you dont see her die, just her crazy mother with blood guts on her saying she is dead. I just dont see them killing a major character in the first opening credit scene of teh last season and not even show you her die.

    Does anyone else think that? I dont know if they took her or if she ran off to get away but I’m betting at some point towards the end of the season she will show back up.

  19. Rutina Wesley confirmed her character Tara is dead. There will be flashbacks of her & Sookie when they were young yet to air in coming episodes.

  20. When I heard the familiar cries of a hysterical black woman I began to smile. I knew what was coming. Then, the reveal of mom covered in Tara’s blood confirmed my suspicions. I literally jumped up in excitement. The cold open made the premiere worth it.

  21. I love true blood, have watched it from the first episode, Loved Tara she was my favorite character. and all i have to say about the season season episode 1 is : WHAT THE FU** WAS THAT s***! it was the WORST episode in the history of the show if they kill off Arlene, holly or sams baby mama. ima b pissed.

  22. Like most here, I have been a huge fan of the series since season 1 ep. 1. I was hooked from the start. I’m of the opinion that True Blood was at its best in the first 3 seasons of the show. The writing then was good and intelligent. The characters were deep and the story lines were compelling; a far cry from the true blood of the last 3 seasons.

    2008 first acquainted us to the show and a very grounded story line of a series of murders in Bonn Temps. It introduced us to the supernatural drama of vampire Bill Compton and the love story that blossomed between him and the odd but gifted telepath/waitress- Sookie Stackhouse. What follows is a series of purposeful events that lead to the precipice of the season’s finale, the birth of Jessica and our lesson in vampire progeny. It was a simple plot but it kept audiences intrigued enough to come back and watch the second season.

    The second season in 2009 delved into the vampire lore and took us deeper into the supernatural world with the introduction of the maenad, Maryann. Eric implores the help of Sookie in finding the Sheriff of Area 9, who turns out to be Eric’s maker. We see a glimpse of a transcended vampire whose lived through centuries and his moral dilemma that caused him to question his existence. Godric is one of my favorite characters of the show and season 2 was by far the most memorable for me. If I was but a casual viewer of True Blood’s first season, after season 2, I was a confirmed fan.

    Season 3–who can forget season 3′s perennial bad guy! Russell Edgington was the best antihero the show could have ever had. Edgington was the antithesis of Godric’s calm and transcended demeanor. He was savage, ruthless and an absolute delight to watch. He was the evil villain you loved to hate and his very presence in the show cemented True Blood’s cult status which won over fans (and critics alike) in 2010. The 3rd season could have been arguably the best season it’s produced, likened to a climber reaching the summit. The gore, violence and sex, while often unnecessary, had a truly purposeful place in a show like True Blood. Every episode ended with a shocker and plot twists that had us pulling our hair in excitement and anticipation. It was brilliant.

    Season 4, 5 & 6 can be summed up in the disaster that is– witches, werewolves, fearies, Billith, Hep. V and such; none of which had the thoughtfulness or depth of writing that endeared the show to it’s fans in it’s early years. If anything, the show has grown tired and so has the cast. It feels like the characters are just going through the motions without that same passion or emotion fans felt from them in the start of the show. I applaud Tara (Rutina Westley) for bowing out early in the show’s final season instead of enduring 9 or so more episodes of drudgery, tired dialogue, illogical apocalyptic scenarios and Sookie’s tireless whining! We’re OVER Sookie’s drama and Jason’s incessant sexing. We do not look forward to watching the filler sex scenes of Sookie’s tired, naked body or Alcid’s ample butt. We have seen all that before!

    Like most of you, I am watching the show hoping the vestiges of its yesteryears come back for a cameo before the curtains close. It may be due to some misplaced loyalty to what I fondly remember to be my favorite show. If the actors could only stay true to their characters as Pam. She has remained consistently entertaining through out the years. I hope this last season can be a fond goodbye instead of a good riddance! True Blood owes us fans at least that much.

    • Hear hear!!!! So very well written.

      • QDStormborn, they should employ you for a greater purpose!

  23. So far (3 episodes) The final Season of True Blood is awful. I am loosing interest very rapidly. Poorly, poorly written and no theme.

  24. Agreed. I used to re-watch 1 or 2 more times per episode and I have no desire to do that, now. I really wish they could have made this a better season. No direction, indeed.

    QDStormborn hit all the points I would have liked to make. Well articulated.

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