As we progress another season further into HBO’s True Blood, the story the series tells diverges even further from the story that fans of Charlaine Harris’ book series. Season five of True Blood was no exception. This game-changing season was creator Alan Ball’s farewell to Bon Temps, which leaves fans a little concerned about how season six, premiering on June 16th, will fare. But season five did redeem itself from a messy fourth season.
The most exciting addition to the series this year was the strong political story arc – which literally became a blood sport. The ironic substructure of True Blood has never been more evident than it is in this season either. This element of the series has often been just a subtle background note, but it’s also what has made True Blood so smart with its wit and satire in the earlier seasons. We’re finally seeing more focus on vampires “coming out of the coffin” and demanding their civil rights, and then having to deal with the vampire fundamentalists on the flip side. It appears that even vampires have a bible of their own, which claims that humans were created solely to serve as dinner for the vampires.
While there was no clear-cut villain this season as in the previous ones, though we did get to see the inner workings of The Authority, which you could easily argue was (as a whole) this year’s villain. Led by Roman (Chrisopher Meloni) and Salome (Valentina Cervi), The Authority ends up being torn apart between the attempt to mainstream, and then there is the sanguinista movement which doesn’t help. An old enemy returns to the scene and initiates a change that could put everything into jeopardy, and our beloved season five vampire duo Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) find themselves smack in the middle. With different views and objectives, their friendship is tested even more so than it ever was over Sookie (Anna Paquin).
On the Sookie Stackhouse front, we finally learn what exactly is up with those special powers of her’s. Early on in season five it’s all explained – thus introducing some of the elements from the books a little before fans may have expected them. We also get a bit of a love triangle break this season from Sookie, Bill, and Eric – who all decide to go their separate ways. Team Bill/Eric was much more amusing to watch when forced to work together than they were fighting over Sookie – which has been most of this series thus far.
Special features include “Inside the Episodes” featurettes, audio commentaries from the cast and crew, and previews and recaps.
Overall, season five was a stronger set of episodes than season four. Seasons one and two remain, without question, where True Blood peaked. My main issue I continue to have with this series though is that we have too many extra storylines. This isn’t Game Of Thrones, not every character needs their own arc. Supporting characters are just that – supporting characters. We don’t need to focus on their love lives when what fans really want is more of the Sookie love…. triangle, square, octagon? Scratch that. More Eric. That’s what fans truly want. And that is one thing you can say about True Blood season 5 – it is the season of Eric… and weird religious politics.
Review By: Emma