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Cable Television Rundown: All True Blood Did For Me Was Get Me Excited For A Game of Thrones!

True Blood premiered its third season last night on HBO. And, like I've mostly felt about True Blood's run through it's first two seasons, I felt, pretty, well, fine. Yes, I am glad that it is back, and I derive great pleasure from watching True Blood. Then, when it goes off the air, I pretty much forget about it. It doesn't linger on the brain for too long the way Treme, or Breaking Bad(*), or In Treatment do, but it does do some things well. And, I've consciously decided not to be annoyed by the things that are dumb, but rather just to get bored by them. And instead of rehashing the same old pseudo-complaints that I've hashed out here throughout the years, I'll just make you a list of things I liked and things that made me bored.

(*)Of which I am voraciously avoiding spoilers of last night's season finale. I just started season three this weekend, and I am beyond ecstatic at where this season is going. At the end of the day, I think this series will go down as my favorite of 2010 and "the best" as well.

Stuff I liked:
1) Jessica doing everything and anything.
She's quickly become one of my favorite characters, all teen angst and self-discovery. Her turn to bad (sorta) at the end of last season was one of the more promising plot twist. Plus, her romance with Hoyt is heartwarming in the face kinkiness like Jason Stackhouse visualizing bullet holes in the foreheads of the two ladies he was gettin' it on with. Which leads me to..
2) Jason Stackhouse being funny. In the first season, Jason was supposed to be kinda serious but was inadvertently funny. Then, the writers discovered that Jason is a lot more interesting and entertaining when he is inadvertently funny on purpose. In this episode, he didn't have too much funny, but when he and Andy Bellefleur hang out, it's usually good for a chuckle or two.
3) Vampires moving really fast. Seriously, this was all it took for me to keep giggling through the season premiere. Every time a vampire moved somewhere super fast, I giggled. Especially when Bill moved really fast for, like, five second straight, I giggled even more! I don't know what it is that makes it so silly to me, but vampires moving really fast is just plain funny.
4) Zeljko Ivanic returned. He's one great actor who deserves to be on a show and in a role better than a vampire judge dude who shows up every now and again and/or a weird polygamist who gets shot up with hormones and also has no fingernails, like his role in Big Love.
5) Werewolves are cool. And, it's cool when Bill Compton has to come out of the dirt. Always is cool when that happens.

Stuff that made me bored:
1) Sookie doing stuff that was not mindreading.
It is a little troublesome that I only like Sookie, ostensibly the central character, when she's reading people's minds. But seriously, she is so freakin' boring when she's just walking around talking to people and not reading people's minds. Season two had it right when she met her mindreading friend, but that was quickly abandoned. My fingers are crossed that her mindreading will be a central part of the new season.
2) Tara being sad.
Does Tara do anything other than be sad? She has no type of power, so to make up for that, she should do more stuff than be sad. Sadly, she doesn't. Makes me bored.
3) Pam, suddenly becoming a major character. I guess this annoyed me more than it made me bored, but I promised myself I wouldn't get annoyed, but why is Pam suddenly interacting with everyone all the time? Snoozefest!
4) Sam looking for his family. I assume this plotline will pay off in the future, but right now, suddenly seeing him look for his parents just seems totally off-kilter with the other stuff that is going on, which is mostly just stuff that is an aftermath of how the second season ended. It's a little taste of a Lifetime movie in the middle of weird vampire sex stuff.

Granted, this is all just stuff that makes me bored, and because I am contractually obligated by the season of summer to run my brain at only about 80% of its capacity, having the ability to choose to tune out certain plotlines works out well. So, True Blood, you are the perfect disposable entertainment to come around to me every summer.

More importantly, though, is HBO's new teaser trailer which also debuted last night for their upcoming new series Game of Thrones. I'm midway through the first book in George R. R. Martin's masterful series right now, and it is one helluva book, even if Brigitte consistently makes fun of me for reading something with dragons. When I tell her that it "transcends genre," she laughs at me more. Well, Brigitte, next March, when everybody's watching the HBO series, you'll be changing your tune. So, here are the things I like about A Game of Thrones and the things that make me bored.

Stuff that I like about A Game of Thrones (the novel, from my reading so far):
1) Arya Stark, the spunky, overlooked daughter in the Stark family.
So lovable and so spunky! As a middle child, I totally relate. I hope she kicks some Robert Lannister ass as she gets older. Also her bastard brother Jon Snow is pretty cool (literally, he's a bastard, born out of wedlock. In this series of novels, that's a big deal.)
2) Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf/imp. And holy CRAP, could Peter Dinklage be more perfectly cast in this role in the HBO series?! And not just because Tyrion is a dwarf like Dinklage is, but because Dinklage is perfectly quick-witted for the role. Damn, that's gonna be awesome.
3) Viserys and Danerys Taragaryn, weirdly abusive brother/sister relationship. But Viserys is such a little weasal and Danerys is learning how to control him. The part where she sends for him to meet with her for dinner is wicked awesome.

Stuff I am bored by:
1) Only one thing: Eddard Stark.
He's kinda boring. And, he's gonna be played by Sean Bean, who is also a boring actor. Whenever there's an Eddard chapter, I get kinda bored. But oh well.

Here's the teaser trailer below! SO EXCITED!!!!!

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  1. Blogger chris | 10:57 AM |  

    True Blood seasons premiere was immensely enjoyable and went by in the flash of an eye as usual, but I'm worried about it being overstuffed a la Big Love S4. Hopefully they'll calm things down a bit and find 1-2 things in particular to focus on rather than having every character running around like chickens w/ their heads cut off.

    Also, Sam/Bill almost-sex dream?! Whaaa?!

  2. Blogger qualler | 11:02 AM |  

    Haha yeah that Sam/Bill dream came outta left field, though I think the explanation was that Sam had to drink Bill's blood and it was effin' with his brain as a result (and also, a lil' sumpin sumpin for the ladies.)

    I'm not too worried about TB being overstuffed because they have 12-13 episodes this season to tell their story whereas Big Love only had 9. And in general, I don't worry too much about the plot of True Blood because the plot is a secondary element in my enjoyment of the show. And, historically, I have enjoyed the "new" plots that have been introduced a lot more than the core plots, i.e. Fellowship of the Sun and Maryanne last year were a lot more entertaining than Sookie and Bill's romance. I have a feeling the Werewolf thing is gonna be a lot more interesting this year, too.

  3. Blogger Dave | 11:17 AM |  

    Hey Mark,
    I read the four Game of Thrones books recently. Very good stuff - you'll enjoy them thoroughly.

    Just be aware - there are supposed to be 9 (I think), and there are only 4. 5 was supposed to come out years ago, and I think the series is dead. So don't get too invested.


  4. Blogger qualler | 11:37 AM |  

    Awesome -- I am really enjoying the first book. Last I heard, there are still supposed to be 7 or 8 books, and the author is still working on the 5th (according to his blog he keeps updated). Hopefully he can get moving on finishing that book along with the last two fairly soon considering he's also supposed to write an episode or two for each season of the TV show.

  5. Blogger Dave | 3:26 PM |  

    Yeah, I checked that blog as soon as I finished #4 and couldn't find the next book :)

    Has he actually written something about working on the fifth book recently? It'd be great if he starts releasing them again! Who knows, maybe the TV deal will get things moving. (I'm sure demand will surge.)

    As far as I know, his last update on the matter was 2 years ago, and that update was only to say "I know I said I'd have this done in 2007 for sure, but I'm still working."

    This is that post:

  6. Blogger qualler | 4:07 PM |  

    I think he must have abandoned that blog because now he posts on LiveJournal -- here's his most recent post that mentions book #5 (dated March 4, 2010):


  7. Anonymous LQ | 9:35 PM |  

    He last said that he's written 1200 pages of the new book and he still isn't done yet...it's going to be a long one (that's what she said)!

    Jon Snow is probably my favorite character in the book, though Tyrion is a very close second. He's no bastard in my opinion!

  8. Blogger qualler | 8:56 AM |  

    Haha! Good one, LQ!

    I think this all goes to show that Game of Thrones, which has yet to even film an episode beyond the pilot, has already far surpassed True Blood and its wishy-washy supernatural/fantasy elements. If you're gonna go nerdy, go nerdy all out (and have a really intriguing plot featuring very well drawn characters, suspense, intrigue, and a few freaky dreams for good measure. Dragons are the new Vampires.)

  9. Anonymous LQ | 6:32 PM |  

    Oh yeah, also, the Eddard chapters get a lot more interesting as he dives deeper into the stuff that he's doing. His story will get really interesting, trust me!

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