Waiting sucks

Last week was an especially lame week for TV. It seemed like just about every show on every network took a break. And while FOX can blame it all on American Idol, there is just no excuse for the other networks.

At least Big Love was on. And boy was it good. I’m not sure how the writers are going to wrap all of the drama in just a few more episodes, but I’m excited to see them try. It’s nice to know that when the other networks are off, HBO is on.

Thinking about the end of Big Love, and anticipating Game of Thrones (more on that later), makes me even more excited for True Blood in June. And to be quite honest, the shirtless Eric promo that HBO posted this week doesn’t hurt either. Very nice. You’re welcome.

The fourth book in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series has always been my favorite (a consensus among fans). Without spoiling anything, let me just say that everything changes. The storylines that began at the end of last year (Sookie’s troubles with Bill, witches in Bon Temps, werewolf politics, Jason’s relationship with Crystal, werepanthers in Hotshot, and more) will likely all be important plots in season four. 

The anticipation is killing me. Perhaps a True Blood seasons past marathon is in order. With HBO Go, a new service for  cable subscribers, you can watch any episode of any HBO show online. It’s not available for Time Warner yet, but if you have another cable provider, you should look into it. It sounds pretty cool. For my part, I think I’ll queue up the DVDs on Netflix old school style, and try to ease my True Blood withdrawal symptoms.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3 season finale

We’ll miss you until next season, Sook.

Even with a full line-up of fall TV shows about to start, I am mourning the passing of True Blood season three. Unlike past top 10 lists, I have left my comments brief, as I have a few concluding remarks on this season. As I move on to Vampire Diaries (what a great first episode that was last week!), here’s what I’ll remember from the True Blood finale.

  1. Maniacal laughter from Sookie as she disposed of Talbot’s remains
  2. Russell Edgington, extra crispy recipe – Kudos to the makeup team.
  3. Russell Edgington, encased in cement for at least 100 years
  4. Bill vs. Sophie Ann – She’s old, but he has nothing to lose.
  5. Bill vs. Eric – I didn’t see that one coming.
  6. Sookie vs. Bill – Invitation revoked.
  7. Jesus is a man-witch.
  8. Tara’s new haircut is super cute, even if she is still annoying.
  9. Sookie’s close encounters of the Fae kind
  10. Alcide is still gorgeous, dreams of Sookie, and is quite eligible now that Debbie is missing.

Before I move on to other remotely entertaining shows, I have a few thoughts on season three. Even for devoted Truebies such as myself, there were times during last season when my interest in Marianne waned. And, truth be told, the season finale was lacking – it felt more like a prelude to season three than a wrap up of season two.

Despite some less than thrilling sub-plots (ahem, Sam’s dog-fighting biological family), this year’s story arc was awesome, and Russell stole the show as the primary villain. A quick look back at my top 10 lists reveals so many great moments that it’s hard to believe this wasn’t a network show with 22 episodes.

What’s a girl to do over the next few months without True Blood? Well, there should be a new book in Charlaine Harris’s series. And there is no shortage of good TV – I’ll be watching Vampire Diaries, Boardwalk Empire, Eastbound and Down, Big Love, Dexter, Fringe, 30 Rock, The Office, as well as trying a few other shows including Detroit 1-8-7, Blue Bloods, and The Walking Dead. So stay tuned, dear readers, as we deal with this nine-month fangover.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3, episode 11

Let’s hope Eric finds a way out of the trap he set for Russell and makes it back to Sookie and Pam.

Only one episode left to go, and here’s your weekly countdown of the best moments from True Blood.

  1. What a cliffhanger! Eric’s plan to kill Russell includes sacrificing himself to save Sookie. The final scene left us with the two vampires, handcuffed together, smoking in the sun. How will Eric escape? Will Russell finally meet the true death? The anticipation over the next two weeks is going to kill me.
  2. Last night’s was a somewhat Eric-centric episode in that we saw his walls come down, twice. First, his touching goodbye with Pam. “I love you more when you are cold and heartless.”
  3. Then, I found Eric’s hesitation in biting Sookie to be tender, in spite of the circumstances. It is pretty clear that he is in love with her for reasons no one; including myself, my co-blogger Mark, Sookie, Bill and Eric himself, fully understands.
  4. I have lauded Denis O’Hare a couple times for his ability to convey real emotion in the extraordinary True Blood universe. He deserves kudos yet again for his reaction to seeing the sunlight for the first time in millennia. His blood tears of joy made me realize that hidden deep underneath the monster is a man.
  5. Remember when Alice drank the potion labeled “Drink me”? That’s what I thought of when Hoyt and Jessica took their relationship to the next level. He can’t possibly understand the consequences of the blood bond. Will it bring them closer or pull them apart?
  6. Something Wiccan this way comes. Arlene’s attempt at aborting Rene’s baby by drinking a potion and invoking the mother goddess has me so intrigued for next season. Merlotte’s newest waitress will surely play a pivotal role in season four.
  7. Cheers for the In Memoriam segment that came before the episode. It was not only funny, it refreshed my memory on some of the True Blood characters who have come and gone. R.I.P. Tina and Gran.
  8. Anyone who has experienced a relationship rough patch knows what it’s like to want to start over. That’s why the conversation between Sookie and Bill on the way home from Fangtasia was so memorable, haunting and realistic.
  9. Doctor by day, dancer by night. Yvetta is not just sexy, she’s smart and pretty sassy, if you ask me. And not one to be scorned – she even got the best of Pam in last night’s episode.
  10. Pam versus Bill. Round one. Fight! I love it when the vampires fight amongst themselves. You always know someone is going to play dirty, as was the case with Pam’s pocket size silver spray.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3 episode 10

The biggest revelation of the night was that Sookie is a fairy.

Only two episodes left and then we have to wait months for season 4. If it’s anything like the books, it will be the best season yet, and last night we got a glimpse into the new waitress at Merlotte’s whose Wiccan beliefs will likely play a role in next year’s storyline. Before I give too much away, here’s your weekly True Blood top 10.

  1. Sookie’s a fairy! OK, I already knew that, but it was still a landmark moment. Going forward, if the show follows the books, this will shape the course of events to come.
  2. I’ve been waiting a long time for a real-life, non-dreaming kiss between Sookie and Eric. Last night’s quick smooch in Eric’s office delivered, and it’s clear that even though Sookie is in love with Bill, her feelings for Eric aren’t exactly platonic.
  3. Crystal is a werepanther! OK, I knew that too (sorry if that’s annoying to those of you who haven’t read Charlaine Harris). As a side note, props to Alan Ball for using live animals instead of ridiculous computer-generated imagery (CGI). It’s just another reason why this show is in a class of its own, and it will ensure that it stands the test of time. If you aren’t sure what I mean, watch a movie or show with CGI from the ‘90s (say Charmed or Lawnmower Man, for example). Looks pretty silly right? 
  4. Sam has a past, and what a past it is. A stint as a slick con artist? Although Sam’s story lines have seemed somewhat random this season, this one has more potential than his annoying biological family members being involved in a dog fighting ring.
  5. Russell’s prime time debut last week left no doubt as to his mental state. However, we did get to see the depth of his pain over the loss of Talbot in last night’s episode. As brutal as it was, the scene in which he killed the Talbot look-alike was a glimpse into how powerless someone can feel over the sudden loss of a loved one.
  6. Jessica shared blood with Hoyt for the first time, after Tommy (in the form of a pit bull) gave him a good chomp on the arm. This moment was almost easy to miss in this jam-packed episode, but I think it’s significant. I’m not sure how sweet, down-home Hoyt will like the experience or the resulting bond.
  7. Speaking of Jessica, I think I speak for all Truebies when I say that Arlene had it coming, and Jessica’s little spat with her was long overdue. My only question is, will Arlene heed her advice and keep her mouth shut, or will she continue to poke the bear?
  8. Terry has got to be the kindest, gentlest guy in the world to take so well the news that Arlene’s baby was fathered by René. I expected him to go nuts when she blurted out the truth, but instead he gives her a big hug and plenty of reassurance. Apparently, his kind words fell on deaf ears as Arlene is still exploring her options, but it was touching nonetheless.
  9. Jason let the cat out of the bag, in a big way. Now that Tara knows he shot Eggs, and Andy Bellefleur covered up the incident, there’s going to be hell to pay.
  10. The most bizarre moment of the night was probably the trippy V-induced delirium experienced by Lafayette and Jesus. I’m not sure where the writers are going with this storyline, as it is not one from the books, so at this point it just seems like True Blood with a side of weirdo Voodoo.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3, episode 9

Russell is the best True Blood villain yet, and quite the news anchor, if you ask me.

                My summer seems to be flying by, and I can’t believe there are only three True Blood episodes left. In what has been an outstanding season (the best of the three in my opinion) it’s never hard to recall 10 moments from any given episode. As a matter of fact, it is often more difficult for me to rank them, with the exception of last night’s ending.

  1. “Do not turn off the camera!” The most memorable moment of the night was, of course, the ending sequence in which Nan Flanagan incredulously watched Russell de-spine (to coin a phrase) Anchorman Jerry McCafferty. Gross, scary, ironic, humorous – it was a classic True Blood moment.
  2. The second most memorable moment was a toss up, but in the end it goes to Franklin, Tara and Jason. I have to say, I thought Franklin was going to be around for the rest of the season, so I was pretty surprised when Jason showed him the true death via a wooden bullet. And again, I can’t say enough about how much I love those goopy True Blood vampire deaths.
  3. Speaking of surprises, I was shocked at Sam’s reaction to Crystal’s father. Typically mild-mannered (as evidenced by his animal of choice, a collie), I was taken aback as Sam pummeled Calvin.
  4. Kudos to Denis O’Hare (who plays Russell), who gave his finest performance of the night at the beginning of the episode. Sure, it was gross when he grabbed a handful of Talbot, but it was also heart-wrenching. While his TV appearance was the most memorable, this moment showed his acting chops and conveyed his devastation over the loss of his lover.  
  5. You may have noticed, from these True Blood lists as well as other posts, that I love love. Therefore, I appreciated the steamy shower scene with Sookie and Bill. He’s a jerk, but (sigh) she loves him and he’s quite charming at times. The bloody water circling the drain reminded me of Psycho, and that all is not wine and roses in this relationship. It is passionate, but people get hurt.
  6. “Stop being a whiny bitch.” I never thought I’d hear Eric be called a bitch, and I had to laugh at this line. I enjoy Jessica Tuck’s deadpan delivery. Although a minor character, her portrayal of the public face of vampires is essential to the True Blood universe, and she is the perfect opposition to Russell.
  7. “Talk to the hand” took on a new meaning last night when Claudine used the magic fingers of light on Bill. Another beautifully shot scene in this golden, dream-like world brought us one step closer to find out what Sookie is. But can Bill be trusted?
  8. What a touching moment between maker and progeny. Pam’s heartache for Eric’s loss of his family was palpable. These two characters have had a few important, revealing moments this season that allow fans to see the softer side of Fangtasia’s usually tough management.
  9. I thought Bill’s line held a tinge of irony when he asked Sookie, “Would you rather be sitting on the couch watching TV?” If it’s HBO, count me in.
  10. The forward motion of True Blood is due in large part to the awesome cliffhangers in every episode. Case in point, Bill: “I know what you are.” Tell us already! Okay, I already know (I read the books), but I am still on the edge of my seat.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3 episode 8

Goodbye, Talbot. I’ll miss your hissy fits and flamboyant ways.

Heartbreak, sex and violence is what True Blood does best, and last night there was a whole lot of all three, often simultaneously. Here’s the Top 10.

  1. That’s what I call make-up sex. I didn’t think Sookie was going to take Bill back, let alone have a wild, passionate love-making session with him. Even though I am ambivalent about Bill (I mean, come on, Sook, he cheated on you and tried to kill you in the same week), that was one hell of a reunion.
  2. Sookie v. Debbie Round 1 (or would this be Round 3?) was just the kind of catfight I love. Two gorgeous, tough women going at it, no holds barred. This round ended in a draw, but Sookie left Debbie with a gruesome, Joker-esque wound that will no doubt fester until the next round.
  3. All weirdness aside at seeing Eric’s make-out session with Talbot, it was completely badass when he whipped it out (the stake) and drove it home (through Talbot’s heart).
  4. Bill finally stepped up to the plate when it comes to being Jessica’s maker. I loved their super-fast, werewolf-defense training session.
  5. There were a lot of “aw” moments last night, but the sweetest by far was between Jason and Crystal. She may be from Hot Shot; where the residents smell supernatural, manufacture meth and become betrothed as toddlers, but she makes Jason feel like home. And that makes her OK in my book.
  6. Speaking of sentimental moments, Sookie and Bill’s break-up was heart-wrenching. Say what you will about the means by which he came to know Sookie, in the end I do believe he loves her.
  7. Yet another sweet moment came when Bill returned home to Jessica. Their relationship has always been strained by Bill’s inability to be a good maker, and Jessica’s frivolity, but they really connected over their mutual hardship of love lost. The lesson: when you love someone, you want what’s best for them.
  8. “Maybe you can flirt some sense into her.” Thanks for being the voice of reason, Tara. Last season, I was perpetually annoyed with Tara’s constant waffling between tough girl and pushover. This season, the trauma of losing Eggs and getting caught up in the whirlwind of Franklin Mott seems to have shocked Tara back to her old self. And she isn’t sparing Sookie’s feelings – she is being a good friend.
  9. I’m always rooting for Jessica. In true underdog fashion, she barely escaped Russell’s clutches, darted off into the woods, and kicked some werewolf butt in the woods. R.I.P. Don Swayze.
  10. Speaking of Russell, I am just itching to see what happens next week. His reaction, a mix of unadulterated rage and total heartbreak, to feeling Talbot’s death was awesome. Things are about to get really interesting between him and Eric.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3, episode 5

Lindsay Pulsipher plays Crystal Norris, Jason’s sweet and mysterious new love.

It’s time for your weekly fangover top 10 list. Here goes.

  1. Jason and Crystal are the cutest thing since Sookie and Bill circa season 1. The scene in the woods was beautifully shot, romantic and mysterious all at once, and reminiscent of the first time Bill and Sookie exchanged blood (still one of my all-time favorite True Blood moments).
  2. Remember when Sookie blasted Maryann with her magic shock fingers in season 2? I knew that we would be seeing more of Sookie’s other ability this season, but it was surprising and thrilling to see her fend off Coot with a good jolt.
  3. Who doesn’t love a good True Blood flashback? This week, we learned several things about Eric – his father was a Viking king, his family was murdered by Russell (who is apparently older than dirt) and his werewolf minions, and he has always been a ladies’ man (duh).
  4. How do you occupy a gorgeous, somewhat dim, guy for eight hours? I could think of a few ways, but I suppose one sure-fire answer is with a large box of paper clips. Jason’s day job in law enforcement was hilarious.
  5. Franklin Mott becomes more manic by the episode. His blood-soaked, teary-eyed ramblings upon learning of Tara’s attempted escape really showed his obsessive personality.
  6. As I’ve said before, I’m firmly in the Team Eric camp. However, Bill has his charms. His reunion with Sookie was touching, although short lived as the bad guys busted in soon after.
  7. Jason had a lot of funny moments this week, and I had to laugh when he pulled Crystal over, frantically looked for something in the police car to make him seem legit, and settled on the aviator sunglasses. Did his shirtless approach remind anyone else of Reno 911?
  8. Franklin, a somewhat unlikely source of humor, had me rolling with his super-fast texting abilities, and his pronunciation of “hookah.”
  9. Keep the postmortems coming, HBO. These hilarious snippets help to flesh out the True Blood universe. This week’s postmortem was a mockumentary about archeologists uncovering the bones of Eric’s family. 
  10. When the maker is away, the baby vamp will play. The rivalry between fiery redheads Jessica and Arlene is awesome, and adds a new, fun dimension to Merlotte’s. It’s clear that Jessica is taking some liberties with her powers, and I’m wondering if she will meet a tragic end.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3 episode 4

And the award for most insensitive break-up in TV history goes to…Bill Compton in “9 Crimes.”

It’s been about a week since I last posted. Along with cookouts, fireworks and pool parties, the Independence Day holiday weekend brought a break from True Blood. I didn’t have much time to post, or watch TV for that matter.

Last night’s episode was a welcome return to Bon Temps, or Jackson, depending on which storyline you are most involved with right now. For me, I am on the edge of my seat when it comes to Sookie, Bill, Eric and Tara, but less interested in the sub-plot involving Jason wanting to be a police officer.

Before I start the list, let me say that I am not very happy about Sheriff Bud Dearborn retiring. I really hope this is not William Sanderson’s departure from the show. He’s a great actor, honorable Deadwood alumni, and a fun, minor character on the show who balances Andy Bellefleur’s nonsense shenanigans. I don’t want to see him leave.

That being said, everything else about last night’s episode was satisfying. Here’s my top 10.

  1. Eric’s fantasy about Sookie was steamy, but sweet. Initially, Eric’s interest in Sookie seemed to be selfishly motivated – my impression in the first season and early second season was that he wanted to use her telepathic abilities, and it didn’t hurt that she is smoking hot. But since the middle of season 2, when Sookie stayed with Godric as he met the sun, I think Eric has developed a deeper interest in her. His growing affection becomes clearer with each episode, first with the conversation at Fangtasia, then his late night visit on the eve of Sookie’s departure to Mississippi, and now with this dream.
  2. My second favorite moment of the night revealed even more of Eric’s emotional depth. When Pam was being tortured by the Magister, his concern was palpable. “There is nothing more painful than the loss of child,” is obviously true of vampires and their makers.
  3. How about that communion courtesy of the King of Mississippi? The scene couldn’t have been more tense, as the King bit his wrist and bled into those glasses and the werewolves responded by shifting en masse.
  4. Extreme Makeover: Sookie Edition was awesome. What’s not to love about Sookie with black hair, corset, leather pants and temporary tats? And Alcide’s sister was pretty cool too, so let’s hope she makes another appearance on the show.
  5. Breaking up is hard to do, unless you’re Bill Compton, and you have just finished some really bizarre sex with a psycho. Then you just call the love of your life and let her have it. I felt just awful for Sookie, and I have to give props to Anna Paquin for portraying the crushing reality of such a call from one’s first love.
  6. Ah, Debbie Pelt. Readers of Charlaine Harris’s series know all about you. Brit Morgan brought this character to life – in all her desperate, bitchy, trashy glory. Not since the Lorena vs. Sookie stand-off in season 2 have we seen a good old fashioned redneck woman cat-fight of this magnitude. The meeting between Sookie and Debbie at the bar is just the beginning.
  7. Merlotte’s new hostess is Jessica. Nice hiring, Sam.
  8. Franklin has turned out to be much more sadistic than I originally thought. The flowers, duct taped to Tara’s hands, were a nice touch to show just how weird this new vamp really is.
  9. Bam! Even if he was callous in his break-up with Sookie, Bill was amazing when he punched Lorena in the face.
  10. I couldn’t make a True Blood top 10 list without giving an honorable mention to at least one of the resident hotties on the show. This week’s prize goes to Alcide (played by Joe Manganiello), in all his beautiful, shirtless glory.

Did I mention I like lists? Most disturbing TV scenes by EW

Last week’s episode of True Blood was the inspiration for Entertainment Weekly’s list.

Entertainment Weekly published a list of the top 20 most disturbing scenes on TV. I haven’t seen a lot of the shows that made the list, but here’s what I thought of the ones I do know about.

First up is the scene from last week’s episode of True Blood, in which Bill and his maker, Lorena, have some really bizarre and violent sex that involves her head being twisted 180 degrees, as she chokes out “I still love you” whilst coughing up blood and smiling sickly. That was weird, and disturbing, and surprising. Definitely not for the kiddos. I think most True Blood fans would agree that Bill has usually been portrayed in a more gentlemanly fashion than, say, Eric. So this behavior was shocking coming from him, but also shocking behavior in general.

The next scene I recognized was from The X-Files episode “Home.” This scene, in which Mulder and Scully find the mother of a family of imbreds hiding under a bed, is a classic moment in a show with a lot of creepy, memorable scenes. I’m glad this made the list, as “Home” was truly a great hour in TV history, and is almost universally recognized as the best episode of The X-Files.

Also on the list is a scene from Dexter. The last season of this show brought us many jarring scenes, thanks to the expert portrayal of the Trinity Killer by John Lithgow. Entertainment Weekly points out the Thanksgiving scene, where Dexter snapped and nearly killed Trinity in front of his family, as the most disturbing. To be sure, this was memorable, but for me, the most disturbing scene of this season (aside from the shocking ending, which is the obvious choice) was the first time we saw Trinity kill in the bathtub. Who will ever forget those dead eyes, staring into the eyes of his victim, as the water turned crimson from her blood?

 I also took issue with the scene EW picked from Deadwood. If I had to pick a most disturbing scene from this HBO drama, I would not have picked this one. To me, the most disturbing scene came when Al Swearengen (expertly portrayed by Ian McShane) was taken ill with kidney stones. You could literally feel the agony as he tried to pass them, having stroke in the process. I think it’s safe to say there was a universal wince when he squeezed out a few, bloody, foamy drops of urine. I just winced again as I wrote that.

From the Twilight Zone, EW chose one of the most classic episodes, and one that is oft-quoted in jest in the Rogers Household. Have you ever wished your spouse into the cornfield? I have.

EW also picked the scene from Lost where the guy gets sucked into the plane during the pilot. However, to me this really wasn’t very disturbing. Truthfully, while there were many crazy twists and turns in Lost, I didn’t find any of them to be as disturbing as some of the other items on the EW list. It seems like they just wanted to include something from Lost.

A few things I thought should have made the list:

  • A scene from The Sopranos. There were a lot of disturbing moments in this show (which I have only watched two seasons of) that could have been mentioned.
  • Spike’s attempted rape of Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season six, episode 19, “Seeing Red.”
  • Any one of the cruel and unusual punishments doled out by Henry VIII on The Tudors. Probably the most disturbing for me was the execution of Katherine Howard.

Top 10 moments from True Blood season 3, episode 3

Alcide (played by Joe Manganiello) arrives at Lou Pine’s with Sookie (played by Anna Paquin).

The two-week wait for a new episode of True Blood is going to be agonizing. From the last episode, here are ten moments that left me wanting more.

1. The buzz from last night’s episode is all about the twisted sex scene between Lorena and Bill. And I have to agree, it was certainly the most memorable moment of the hour, hands down. I mentioned before that we are seeing a new, vicious side of Bill this season, and my how far we have come in just three episodes.

2. The second most memorable moment was the entrance of the fine Mr. Alcide Herveaux. He stole this Trubie’s heart with ten little words, “My name’s Alcide Herveaux. I’m here to look after you,” and those gorgeous eyes.

3. How awesome was Franklin’s visit to Jessica? First, the hilarious moment when he flashed fang at her door, then his reveal of the dead trucker’s head in the shopping bag. “Has someone gone missing?” Poor Jessica, she was taken quite aback.

4. “I got your rug all wet.” Sookie seemed a bit revolted when Eric bit the neck of that lupine intruder, but in the eyes of this Trubie, Eric can do no wrong. How he manages to be gross and sexy at the same time, I’ll never fully understand.

5. Pam and Yvetta. To quote Paris Hilton (not usually my first pick for quotations, but quite fitting in this case), “That’s hot.”

6. Lou Pine’s Bar was full of biker werewolves (awesome), most notably one played by Don Swayze. Perhaps my favorite of all celebrity brothers (a close second is Clint Howard), The Other Swayze accosted Sookie, got a beat down from Alcide, and set the stage for some more wild nights under the full moon this season.

7. A recap of last night’s episode wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the flashbacks to Bill’s early years as a vampire. The scene in which he reunites with his wife, only to realize his son is dead of smallpox, was heartbreaking. Whenever the vamps on this show weep tears of blood, I always get a little choked up myself.

8. Ugh, poor Sam. His family is just plain awful – from his pathetic mother, to his idiotic, thieving brother to his alcoholic father. I just wanted to scream when his father started mooching shots.

9. Dirty move, Arlene. Pregnant by Rene (serial killer of fang-bangers from season one), she went for the ultimate deception by leading Terry to believe the baby is his.

10. BFFs Tara and Sookie reunited at the funeral for Eggs. Tara gets on my nerves from time to time, but I was happy to see these two make up. 

I noticed as I was writing this, last night’s episode was a very sexy one indeed. What did you think?