TV review: New season of “True Blood” is utterly ludicrous and remarkably boring

By Columbus Alive
From the June 13, 2013 edition

As “True Blood” enters a sixth season, the series has entered the full nadir of its run. The plots have become ridiculously overwrought, requiring suspension of disbelief that are too big — even for a series about vampires, werewolves, faeries, et al.

“True Blood” hasn’t been compelling since Season 2 and almost unwatchable for the last two outings. The new season — with showrunner/creator Alan Ball turning the reins over to Mark Hudis, who was fired and replaced by veteran writer Brian Buckner mid-production — may actually be worse.

Last season’s cliffhanger — Bill (Stephen Moyer) ingests vampire prophet/god Lilith’s blood and becomes the great and powerful, blood-covered Billith — was the meh culmination to a feeble season. Picking up immediately after said cliffhanger, the main plots lie with Bill and two villains.

There’s Warlow, a mysterious vampire who’s obsessed with Sookie (Anna Paquin) and has ties to Lilith, and Louisiana Gov. Truman Burrell (Arliss Howard) who declares open war on vampers. Neither offers a strong enough mystery or high enough stakes to be appealing.

The most problematic element of “True Blood” the last few seasons (and it’s only amplified here) is a complete lack of logical storytelling and character motivations. hat sounds like a easy complaint for a supernatural series that banks on boob- and blood-based titillation, but “True Blood” ha previously accomplished this with deftness.

The lone saving grace are some good performances (Alexander Skarsgard as Eric, Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica) and occasional moments of humor. Jason Stackhouse’s (Ryan Kwanten) dumb jock charm is always pretty damn funny, but even he feels diminished at times.

Having Ball move aside and some new blood run the show could’ve generated improvement with a fresh perspective, but the opposite occurred. (And HBO didn’t seem optimistic about the change, only ordering 10 episodes this season.) Maybe these are the episodes that got Hudis booted and Buckner can right the ship, but I’m not optimistic either. The first three episodes have the unsatisfying — and inexplicable — combination of being utterly ludicrous and remarkably boring.