TV Recap: True Blood, ‘Jesus Gonna Be Here’ (Season 7 Premiere)

Written by Laura Dengrove

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Out with the old blood, and in with the new infected kind.

True Blood is back and bloodier than ever with an opening battle sequence that may not be for the squeamish. With main characters dying or being kidnapped, the season opens with a promise, a promise to try and be less crappy than the last two seasons have been.

Photo Credit: Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO
Photo Credit: Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO

Before we jump into all that, let’s refresh everyone on True Blood, being this is the last season and some of you might be hopping on board for the first time or the first time in a while. True Blood a series about telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) who gets mixed up with vampires, and falls in love with some, after they “came out” of the coffin a few years ago. As her involvement with the supernatural world deepens, so does her knowledge of it. Over the course of time, Sookie and the citizens of Bon Temps, Louisiana are introduced to werewolves or were-whatever, shape shifters, goblin like fairies, zombie vampires, ghosts, and witches, all of which seem to have a grudge against poor Sookie. Who could blame them she’s extremely annoying.

This season, however, Sookie has to deal with “zombie” like, Hep V-infected vampires, as their need for blood devastates and destroys Bon Temps and all of the people she loves. She must band everyone together, with most of the main characters in tow, to stop the infected vampires before the whole town is destroyed.

While the past two, and possible three seasons, (I loved season four while some did not) have been less than spectacular, Season 7 promises to leave the die-hard fans with something to bite and hold on to. With old minor loveable characters returning, major character deaths that spice up the show, and storylines that seem to actually make sense and go together, it appears the show may have found its way back to the trail leading back to the good old reliable Bon Temps. However, it is a long road, with a few bumps and pot (and plot) holes marking the way.

Photo Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO
Photo Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO

With bad characters that should have never been written in the first place, especially the “new” James (once played by the amazing Luke Grimes, now played by the extremely wooden Nathan Parsons) and Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire), great characters are not getting nearly enough screen time, and certain storylines just won’t seem to die.

Over the years the show has appeared to lose its “glamour” that once captivated audiences of all kind. The once must-watch show, that if you didn’t know when your neighbors came over you were screwed, became the show that if you talked about it, it was a discussion filled with disappointment, confusion, and angry comments such as, “What the hell is a smoke monster…A fairy, what a let down…Another scene with Arlene, why?” These phrases have become common in the True Blood community, which is disappointing since it was once such a thrilling show, but as this season opener has proved, the true Bon Temps may not be too far away.

While the main and supporting characters have taken center stage as of late, this season brought back some of the minor characters, and minor is the key word. Without spoiling too much, these minor character’s roles in the show have become sad ones, but they still never fail to deliver what they were created for — comedic relief. This is something the writers of the show have placed too much on characters rather no one cares about, or characters that just cant deliver them like they used to. But no matter how small these minor characters roles may be in the show, it made Bon Temps a familiar, and loveable place again.

Photo Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO
Photo Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO

The season opener is something to be very happy with — opening with lots of action, a surprising, (although anticlimactic) death of a main character, and general surprises leading the show in a very interesting direction. The opener, also, brings all of the characters together for a storyline again. A very refreshing change of pace, reminiscent of season one and season two — the great seasons. All of the storylines True Blood was picking up the past few seasons was dragging the show down, so to see storyline that involves everyone should be good…or at least it’ll be nice to see the crew back together again one more time.

However, with the good blood, comes the bad.

There are characters that should have never secured a spot in the show…honestly did the show really need another whiny southern girl vampire (Willa), a character who pretends sometimes she is and sometimes she’s not witch (Holly played by Lauren Bowels), and a male vampire that looks startlingly different from his past season look (James)? These characters have no business whatsoever being in the show, and as the first episode goes on, it appears the writers realize that too (we hope). Their storylines just take away from the real plot of the show, and the acting that the actors themselves deliver in these parts is completely distractingly bad. This may be a drama about vampires, but even overreacting in a show like this is still horrendous. Hopefully, we may see a little more blood this season, and these senseless characters being the source of it.

Photo Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO
Photo Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO

Another problem with this episode was an extreme lack of fan favorite Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård). This may be an exciting storyline for Pam (Kristen Bauer Van Straten), but still no Eric at all makes everything seem a little lackluster.

The plotlines that just wont seem to die also take away from this newly improved season. Does Sam’s (Sam Trammell) baby mama Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) have to exist? Her character and her acting is a complete drag on Sam’s loveable character. When you start to prefer Sam’s former loves to the new one, you know she’s no good. Plus does Sookie have to date the boring and controlling Alcide (Joe Manganiello) — she would be better off with Bill (Stephen Moyer) and that’s saying a lot.

With boring storylines like these, lets hope the writers of the show have some common sense, which they seemed to lack in season five and six.

All in all, the season seven opener showed promise and brought back fond memories of the real Bon Temps. A Bon Temps full of blood and mayhem, one that focused on all of the characters working together, one that brought back the real premise for the show, vampires. Hopefully the show continues to bring back that pleasurable bite it once delivered.

Related Articles:

Review: True Blood, Season 6 Premiere (Marla Pachter)

Review: True Blood, Season 6 Finale (Marla Pachter)

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Laura Dengrove is the one of youngest members of the Pop-Break staff and is a critic for television/movies of all types on Pop-Break. Just having closed out her senior year, she will be studying to obtain her bachelors degree at Rutgers University for Journalism/Public Relations. She was the editor for the Arts and Entertainment section of her school newspaper, runs her own blog (Pop Culture Darling), and interns for Design New Jersey. She also has an in-depth knowledge about all things True Blood and an avid Eric and Sookie shipper.

Hello!
My name is Laura Dengrove. I am currently a Junior at Rutgers University, double majoring in Journalism/Media Studies and Cinema Studies. I am a film critic and interviewer by choice, professional Linda Belcher impersonator by birth.

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