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August 20, 2013

’’True Blood’’ + Skarsgard Birthday Suit + Vampbies


It happened. The fateful night when the season six finale of "True Blood" overlapped with the second episode of the last season of "Breaking Bad," leaving all viewers on their toes. Over the past several years, it's come to my attention that the Sunday Night 9pm TV slot is definitively award-winning. Viewers have spent the day relaxing (Sunday Fun Day), doing all the things they don't have the time to do during their busy workday schedules. You wake up at noon, enjoy a late brunch with friends, stroll around town...and then at 8:45, you are in an alert position --- willing, capable and ready to take in all that primetime television is about to offer you. Personally, it was a hard decision to decide which one to watch. I don't watch much other television, if any at all. So when two of your favorite shows run at the same damn time, the world might as well just end. You need to stay offline...withhold from compulsively checking Twitter, your go-to blogs, even your email in fear of stumbling upon some serious unannounced spoiler alerts. With that said, if you have not watched the season six finale of "True Blood," I am warning you. THIS IS A SPOILER ALERT.

I've held my breath all season and mostly because of one reason --- I was kind of over "True Blood." I won't deny it. Vampires are sexy, wolverines are sexy, shapeshifters can be sexy, and cops are sometimes sexy (more so in uniform). But, the past few seasons have not lived up to my expectations. I remember the very first episode of "True Blood." I remember the HBO ad campaigns, hyping up the series...and they had every reason to. The pilot was by far one of the best first episodes I have ever watched of a primetime TV show. Usually it takes a few episodes for any new series to get their footing right, not "True Blood." The initial meeting of Bill and Sookie was dark, romantic, mysterious and full of unparalleled sensuality. And then Eric came into the picture, and every girl (viewer and character) lost her wits, falling prey to his devious antics, his brooding eyes, his shirtless hard body, his piercing blue eyes, his luscious long (remember that?) blonde Swedish locks, his blunt and confident demeanor, his king-like stance, his "I don't give a &$%!" attitude. Let's be honest, the list goes on and on. In so many ways, all hell broke loose because this talented and gorgeous trio stole the eyes, hearts, minds and hands of generations X, Y, Z and ZZ counterculture America. Do you recall the bloody famous Rolling Stones cover? From AMERICAN BEAUTY to "Six Feet Under," Alan Ball lived up to his gothic-like glory, once again. Twilight was cool, for babies. (okay, I admit...R Pat and K Stew do have on-screen, off-screen chemistry). But "True Blood," is true, sexually-demonic delight.

The bare bones of the story was/is the best part --- the "undying" (see what I did there?) push and pull and fight for Sookie's affection. It is the cyclical chase of love, the love triangle, the he said/she said, the ménage à trois, if you will, of love, sex and, lest we forget, romance. The first few seasons killed (zing!) it. The fourth and fifth season left me in the dust. There were so many "special" characters, and too many peripheral characters that glamoured (!) the main issues at stake (double zing) --- namely, who will Sookie end up with, will she become a vampire, will she live or die. I don't even think I finished the fifth season --- or at least don't remember finishing it. I gave up on taking note of who killed who, who is what, who became what. Season six seemed like a devastating waste of time. **Side editorial note: I've never read the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, although they've been in my Amazon checkout bag for a few years. I hear they're good and maybe one day I'll finally get around to it. But, as always and for now, the list just piles on and on.**

I could not have been more wrong. When the season started, everyone was talking about it. I had read some articles saying that the creative team was making an intentional, reverted move back to the basics, focusing on the parts of the story that made it the most in...the parts from the beginning of the series. Bill, Eric, Sookie, Jason, Jess, Pam, Tara, Sam, Alcide would all be the main attractions. I couldn't buy into it. I had racked my brain in previous seasons, and I couldn't waste my short attention span on it any longer. But when friends started asking if I'd been watching (particularly the ones who know me well and know that I LOVE A. Skars and mythical creatures and the borderline obscene content the show never failed to deliver --- I'll give it that)...I knew this season had to be different. **Side editorial note: I've seen A. Skars a few times in person. The first was on Bleecker street in NYC about two years ago. As I was walking home from work, he was seductively sauntering towards me. He must have just left the gym because he was glowing. Straight up stunning. Downright flawless. Our eyes met for a brief second, probably because my jaw had hit the ground and he was bashfully watching as I was picking it up from the street. And as we breezed past each other, my eyes teared up. Possibly, I fully cried for a moment or two. The anatomical form is a wondrous form. The second time was at Coachella in CA this past spring. He was there with almost the entire "True Blood" cast. And I may or may not have slowly lingered around the bar, casually and gracefully sipping my cocktail as I laid my eyes on him for more minutes than is socially acceptable. In both spottings, I texted every single girl I knew in my phone.**

So I gave "True Blood" my undivided attention and my last concerted effort, a mutual agreement and at the push of my best friend that if she started watching "Downton Abbey," I would give season six a try. I couldn't be so cold-blooded and turn a blind eye. Let me tell you, it does not disappoint. In true generationally culture form, I binged on the season, starting with episode one last Monday and catching the finale last night. One full season in one full week. I couldn't get enough. The script is simple, but tight. The jokes are funny. The amorous scenes are erotic. And every single character has been putting in hours at the gym because they all look physically extraordinary, almost naturally superhuman (triple zing). I must admit here that the spark for this blog post was the season finale. And when time wasn't working in my favor until last night, I intentionally stayed off blogs, and if I saw #TrueBlood on Twitter, I did not read anything until today. I wanted every surprise to be a surprise. My golly, was it ever.

The white elephant (cough cough) in the room here is A. Skars blissful and then treacherous scene of nudity in the finale. Full frontal, enough said. Like I mentioned before, "True Blood" did not fail to deliver. As Eric leisurely and nakedly rests and reads (!!) in his geographically native region (in the show and IRL) of Sweden, amidst a vast ice plain, Warlow's light leaves him (what gives him the power to stay alive in broad daylight) as he meets his ultimate death. And once every viewer got over the fact that A. Skars was actually in his birthday suit on TV, and that we can rewind at anytime, and time and time again, because of all of the well-thought-out features of HBOGo...everyone realized that he is dying, burning up and crumbling into vampire dust. Blown away. Sigh.

But every creative producer, executive, intern, on set caterer and the like knew that this show would be almost nothing without him. So in typical "True Blood" form, they left their viewers hanging. As Sookie builds a castle of love with Alcide, Eric dissipates into thin air, Bill fights for Sookie's affection, and everyone else celebrates, a disturbing onslaught of vampire-zombies (?) b-lines it towards the town's merry festivities. What party poopers! Might Eric return in the seventh season as king of the vampire-zombies --- the vampbies/pirezombs/vampzombs? Only time will tell, and I will definitely be watching.