True Blood: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
Even though Hollywood has been fond of vampires since filmmaking began, over the past four or five years there has been a serious insurgence of stories that surround the children of the night. As TWILIGHT has become the vampire series for pre-teens to young adults, HBO’s TRUE BLOOD series has become the vampire franchise for us older fans. HBO has taken the vampire genre to a whole new level and has some people in my age bracket (like I would ever reveal that) as obsessed with vampires as any Twihard could ever be.
At the end of season two we left telepath Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) fumbling in a restaurant as her vampire lover, Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), had been kidnapped. Sookie is the only one interested in finding him and goes on an investigation to discover his captors that turn out to be werewolves. Meanwhile, her boss Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) is dealing with an impending family reunion, Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) is trying to get over the death of her former boyfriend, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) wants to become a police officer and falls for yet another girl, and Eric Northman’s (Alexander Skarsgård) obsession with Sookie picks up drastically.
Needless to say, each season of this series packs a lot of punch with all these stories to follow. However, all these plots make some of these episodes drag on a little too long. There are a couple of characters that could benefit from either having their story lines trimmed a bit or cut completely. Although Ms. Wesley does a great job playing Tara, her character’s story has become too intricate and complicated and for such a whiny character that becomes a bit much for audiences to deal with. Yeah, we know she had a tough childhood and is going through some rough times but why does she stick around in Bon Temps, LA if she has such rotten luck? Her character needs to move on. As for Sam and Lafayette Reynolds (played wonderfully by Nelsan Ellis), these guys are interesting characters but they could also use with a little story trimming. However, unlike Tara (who should really just be written off the show in this writer’s opinion) Sam and Layfayette just need to stay on as more supporting characters, same with Bill’s vampire kid Jessica. With all this trimming of supporting stories, that leaves more time for characters like Eric Northman and Pam De Beufort (Kristin Bauer), the two vampires that run Fangtasia. It is a vampire show afterall, so it wouldn’t hurt to see more vampire interactions, especially since Mr. Skarsgård has a ridiculously huge following in the TRUE BLOOD community.
TRUE BLOOD isn’t a show for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of graphic sex and violence but if you can stomach what happens to a vampire when he gets staked (unlike in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER where vamps just turn to dust) you’ll be just fine. You’ll also be privy to quite possibly one of the most interesting and fun genre shows on television. I’m sorry, it’s not television, it’s HBO.
Video (1080p, 1.78:1): Crystal clear presentation. The show mostly takes place at night (obviously) and every color looks crisp and clean.
Audio (DTS-HD 5.1): Great audio levels making the show a joy to watch.
Enhanced Viewing Experiences: Each episode has a Picture-in-Picture option which gives viewers a bunch of extra stuff including: bonus scenes, mini-episodes, character bios, trivia and even some in depth character insights from some of the supporting characters. This is a TRUE BLOOD fans playground.
Audio Commentaries: There are six of these available on various episodes and include one actor and the episode creator/director. These are fun to listen to and will give fans even more insight into this season.
Post Mortems (21:57): These are paired with every episode and are like a little mini production featurette. These actually ran on HBO after each episode and are a nice little treat if you can’t get enough.
Character Perspectives (152:58): This is an alternative to the Enhanced Viewing Experience which gives insight on characters like Jessica, Tommy, Andy and Alcide. It’s a lot of information and it’s nice to have it in one fail swoop if you didn’t want to go back through all the episodes.
Anatomy of a Scene: Episode 2 (11:02): Creator Alan Ball and his cast and crew lead us through one of the werewolf attacks scene by scene from episode two. Interesting on a technical level.
True Blood Lines: Another interactive option that focuses on the supernatural creatures in the series and their relations to one another.
Previews and Recaps: These are the “Previously On” and “Next On” promos that aired during the running of season three on HBO.
Music Video (2:58): “Oh Sookie” from Snoop Dog