True Blood, Season 3

Holy hell, where do I begin? Season 3 of True Blood is True Blood at its most campy, most ridiculous, most sexy, most violent, most disgusting—and at its best, of course.

I love that this show just said hell with it and went straight for the jugular, all of the above, whatever. Season 3 contained werewolves, murderous, vampire kings, head-turning sex, and fairies. Actually, the show contained fairies from the start, it’s just that we found out that Sookie was one towards the end of this 12-episode run. Just one of the many perks of sticking it out through 3 seasons of WTF.

I found fault with a lot of stuff this season, like Jason taking a liking to that weird panther chick, Tara falling for Franklin, Sam becoming a total dick and discovering his total dick family, and Sookie and Bill being really annoying together. But I also found a lot of awesome stuff: Eric and Pam stepped it up, Alcide could not have been on screen enough, Lafayette found a hot Jesus, Hoyt and Jessica grew up a little, and Russell Edgington mesmerized every time he was on screen. It was just… fun to watch, even when you step back to consider just how fucked up these characters are.

Despite the complete absurdity of the show’s increasingly complicated premise, I felt like the material this season really gave the actors a chance to act. Especially Sam Trammell, who went to a very dark place with Sam, and Anna Paquin, who made Sookie less of a pushover. Both of them became more intense and intriguing, and it was nice to see them step out of their character shells. Sam with Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette, who as it turns out, does not smile enough. That guy is gorgeous and intriguing when he’s happy, and it’s nice that the writers let him be that way.

I also think Todd Lowe as Terry Bellefleur does not get enough credit for being a PTSD-stricken short-order cook. He has to deliver some intense lines, too, but he often becomes the butt of every scene. I hope he’s afforded some more scenes next season.

The real triumph, though, was between Eric, Russell, Pam, and Bill. Though these four vamps aren’t the most likable characters, and certainly don’t get to experience as many emotions as their beloved humans, they do have emotions that I’m beginning to understand, I suppose. There is this loyalty and trust issue that was building throughout the season that culminated in all kinds of betrayal and fang-sturbation and flying fights, but it illuminated just how archaic and ridiculous the vampire hierarchy is, both to the viewers and to the characters themselves. Obviously this show isn’t going to last forever, but I’d be curious to see how stone-cold Eric (Alexander Skarsgard, yum) and Pam (Kristin Bauer von Straten) would survive vampire anarchy and adapt to a changing human government. Damn you, True Blood, for making me think about such dumb things.

I may be equally infatuated with zombies/The Walking Dead right now, but True Blood is still dear to my heart. I’ll keep watching, and you should too, if you like bloody good entertainment.