It’s quite scary to think that True Blood launched way back in 2008. It still feels fresh in my mind certainly – a risqué show delivered by HBO, in stark contrast to the vampires in Twilight but with a good amount of buzz. True Blood soon became one of those shows that everyone was talking about, almost as an adult alternative to the Stephenie Meyer books and movies. It’s easy enough to throw all these vampire and supernatural projects into the same pot but it’s not like they’ve only been popular over the past few years. Vampires especially have been in popular culture for many decades now, and yes they may enjoy a resurgence from time to time, but they’re certainly not something new. True Blood however did manage to feel new despite the focus on something old, and for its first few seasons it was one of the most talked about shows on television.
Along the way something changed however. What once was a show that everyone was eager to see week on week became slightly mundane and boring, often bordering on the ridiculous – and not in an entertaining way. The viewing figures may not reflect a huge downturn but there was something missing in the last few years certainly. It’s a show that perhaps outstayed its welcome by a couple of seasons, but here we are with the final season released on DVD and Blu-ray, allowing everyone involved to wrap up the show with a proper ending – a rarity for many shows these days.
What’s It About? In short, True Blood tells the tale of a small Louisiana town Bon Temps and its inhabitants, predominantly local waitress Sookie Stackhouse and her interactions with the customers, locals and out of town folk – all of which have very strange things going on! From vampires to werewolves to Sookie’s own telepathic abilities, True Blood is truly a mix of all the weirdest characters you could imagine. It’s about love and hate, friendships and rivalries, and lots of gore and sex and all the things you would expect from an HBO production. Based on the books by Charlaine Harris, the show does deviate from the original stories and takes its own path, much like Game of Thrones. Whether you prefer the books or the television show will be down to personal preference.
By season 7 we’re left with the threat of the Hep V vampires, putting our beloved regular characters in danger. The stakes are high and with it being the final season there are certainly casualties along the way. You can expect shocking deaths, twists and turns in relationships, and all the weirdness you have come to love and expect from True Blood. We’ve come a long way from the beginnings of innocence and intrigue – everything is out in full force now and it’s a full battle for survival across the board. Whether you love or hate these characters, by the end you’ll be sad to see most of them go.
Verdict: I’d be lying if I said I was a Truebie right to the end. I sadly found the show to lose its way somewhere in the middle, but no matter how much you may fall out of love with a show, you can’t help but want to know how it ends can you? True Blood is exactly like that. Despite all the stupidity that Sookie, Bill, Eric and the gang have been through over the years, you just can’t look away. And the show stays true to itself and is as crazy in its ending as it was at the beginning. Some would say unashamedly so, and you almost have to admire that. Don’t worry, it never quite hits the stupidity highs of the last season of Gossip Girl for example, but you could certainly claim that True Blood would have been better off ending a few years ago. It depends how dedicated you are to it as to how much you’ll enjoy the final season, but if you’ve come this way you might as well watch.
Extras: The set isn’t exactly stacked, but with a few commentaries, a Farewell to Bon Temps and a Season 6 recap, there’s enough to keep you entertained for a while. Certainly the commentaries feature a good variety of people like Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer as well as those behind the camera, and it’s clear how much they all loved being involved in the show.
Final Words: There’s no doubt that dedicated fans of True Blood deserved the show to be neatly wrapped up and finished after suffering through to the end, and so it’s hard to begrudge them this final season. Is it perfect? No, it’s still as stupid in places as it has been for years now, but somehow it’s still a little emotional and heartfelt and you’re reminded of some of the best times you had with these characters. How True Blood stacks up against similar shows or even other HBO shows will be decided in years to come as it disappears into television history.
How will it be remembered? As an often wacky, sometimes cool, and certainly ridiculous show with questionable writing decisions that the stellar cast had to work with. But really, in the end all we all want to remember is Eric right? Thank you world for Alexander Skarsgård.
True Blood: The Complete Seventh Season is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.