Exclusive

True Blood Premiere Post Mortem: Series Creator Alan Ball Weighs In On The Big Twists!

[Warning: If you have yet to watch Sunday's season premiere of True Blood, run — don’t walk — to the nearest emergency exit. Everyone else, onward and downward….]

True Blood kicked off its fourth season Sunday with literally and figuratively its biggest twist to date: Sookie returned from her brief detour to Fairlyland to discover that, according to Bon Temps’ calendar, a year had passed since she left.

On any other show, such a time jump would hardly be viewed as earth-shattering. But on True Blood — where the first three seasons encompassed only a few weeks — it represented a pretty radical game-shifter.

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“We wanted to get all of our characters into somewhat of a new place,” series creator Alan Ball explains of the bold move. “To give Jason time to have actually become a sheriff’s deputy. To have Bill be the king. To have Arlene’s baby be born. And then as we were talking about Sookie being in Fairlyand, the idea rose that time just happens differently there. And it seemed like a really organic way to kickstart the show so that it would be in a new place when she got back.”

Arguably the most seismic development during Sookie’s year away concerned her beleaguered BFF Tara relocating to New Orleans and falling for a woman. That’s right, Merlotte’s prickliest waitress is now a cage fighter with a steady girlfriend!

As Ball sees it, the shift in Tara’s personal life actually wasn’t all that radical. “Look at Tara’s history with men — if anybody has a reason to try something new, I think she does,” the boss says with a laugh. “It didn’t seem like it was that outlandish given her history and who the character was.”

Felicity Grad Joins True Blood as [Spoiler Alert]!

Tara’s portrayer, Rutina Wesley, “was totally willing to go there” with her character’s transformation, says Ball. “I said, ‘How would you feel about this?’ And she said, ‘Oh, that would be fun.’

“I count my blessings with this cast all of the time because everybody is pretty fearless,” he continues. “Everybody is pretty game to do just about anything. I think it made sense emotionally for Tara, given everything she had been through with Eggs and Franklin Mott. And part of what we wanted to do with her this season is really stop her from being a victim and really have her take control and reinvent herself in a way that was less victim-y, and [giving her a female lover] seemed to fit in with that whole paradigm.”

What did you think of the premiere? Were you a fan of the time jump? Did you buy Tara’s sexual awakening? Hit the comments!

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198 Comments
  1. Noelle says:

    Thoughts about tonight’s ep:
    -I’ve never really cared about Tara’s character so I didn’t think much about this “revelation.”
    -I really did not like the first ten minutes in Fairyland. It looked like a bad 70’s sci-fi movie.
    -I think the show has too many characters and the premiere tried really hard to include them all.
    – Enjoyed the Bill is King twist – he looked quite nice too.
    – Eric Northman is welcome to purchase my home anytime he likes.

    • me says:

      -agreed – goes back to straight when comes home?
      -needed to move story forward
      -not at all, needed to see all to know what to expect
      -Bill needs to be off the show; this is a AB twist from book. boo
      -Agreed!

      • Emma says:

        I agree! I did NOT like AB’s little twist in making Bill king. I did not like the first 10 mins. I find the whole fairyland thing cheesy, what i loved in the books was that you will never see fairyland. I thought the episode was one long intro and was really disappointed. I knew immediately that eric owned sookie’s house, and I don’t mind that plot twist. I really wanted them to have Eric’s memory wiped right at the end of the first ep. I’m sure the season will get better.

      • Shannon says:

        OMG SAME!! Bill can stay on the show but should not be sookies and wth? he cant be king what happened to felipe and victor? they are major characters in the books!! whatever just eric+ sookie= <3

    • Noelle says:

      I just watched the second episode (On Demand through U-Verse) and I think it’s better than the first episode…so I have hope.

    • Linda says:

      I was forming all my opinions regarding the 4th season premiere of one of my most favorite shows…and I didn’t have to write anything but this…Noelle has captured every one of my opinions perfectly…

    • Ella says:

      - I’ve always thought Tara was one of the best things about the show, it was when I saw her very first scene I knew that I would love True Blood. I thought that it worked pretty well.
      – I loved the first ten minutes. I thought it was a great start, and True Blood is a sci-fi show, and Sookie is part fairy, and that’s a bizarre & weird world, so they needed to go there. It was different & original, and in this reality show-driven world, I thought it was brilliant.
      – Agree with you here. I know after the time lapse they needed to show how people’s lives had moved on & show the central themes of the season, but did they really need to bring in Sam’s problems so soon? & I’d have gone with either the vampires need better PR OR the witch storyline, but not both in the same episode. At least it looks like it’s going to be an interesting summer in Bon Temps
      – Bill as King = pure awesome. Totally didn’t see it coming, can’t wait to see what it’s going to mean for him & Sookie. SIDENOTE: I’m pretty sure we’re all going to end up hating Portia Bellefleur by the season’s end. I have this feeling, based on how she ‘dated’ Bill in the second book, and how I hated her character in Dexter (yes, very logical), that it’s going to end badly.
      – I think they may have gone a little too melodramatic with the Eric owning Sookie. I know, he’s protecting her, he’s a viking vampire who gets what he wants, and what he wants is Sookie, but I think maybe it’s too much, too soon? (I could just be saying that because of the look Bill had in his eyes when he saw Sookie for the first time in a year.) Maybe they’re going to contrast this Eric with the sweet and vunerable Eric he’s about to turn into?

      • Brooke says:

        Your RIght! Tara is one of the best things about the show… I loved her straight up’ness and “don’t effe with me” attitude. I especially loved the dialog between Tara and Lala. But thats almost non existent now…. :(. Really don’t like Tar becoming gay all of the sudden. I think she is MUCH better with a sexy man… such as Eggs.

        And… for goodness sake… KILL Crystal and Tommy off… I hate them!

    • lau says:

      you said everything for me!

    • Christine says:

      I like Tara even though I’m frustrated with her storylines; however, I completely agree with you on all counts!

    • Brooke says:

      I love Tara… but I love the old Tara… I’m not liking her new sexuality change. People don’t become gay because of what happened in their past…. being gay is something that is in them all along. Besides, it’s just not in Tara’s character. Don’t like it at all.
      Not a fan of Jessica
      ABSOLUTELY HATE Crystal
      And not to keen on Nan either

      Eric is scrumptious
      Bill is adding a twist
      I love Lafayette but Jesus is really turning him into a wuss.
      I love Sam, but worried about him now that Luna is around.
      And Tommy and Maxine… wth??

      • Jessica says:

        I’d have to disagree with you. Yes I believe homosexuality is something one is born I also no that there are people who do change their sexuality based on things that happened in their past. Also there are homosexuals who in denial of their sexuality date people of the oppisite sex only to later on in life realize their sexuality. Who’s to say that that was not the case with Tara. Also we only saw one scene with Tara and this girlfriend so we don’t even know how permanant she is. None of her previous ones were exclusively that of “He is my boyfriend” so who’s to say this relationship is not just a friends with benifits thing. It could just be a reaction to what’s happened to her (I would probably have the same reaction if i went through what she did with franklin mott). Tara becoming a lesbian or having a same sex relation is not impossible and now that we’re past episode for now I don’t see how it changed her personality I’m just glad she’s the victim she was at the end of season 3.

  2. Chris says:

    Loved it! The show seems re-energized. I cannot wait to see what’s next.

    • Laura says:

      I agree with Chris.
      I thought the Season opener was great !
      And I’ve read the books…
      I’m looking forward to this season and I hope another season will follow.

      People who whine about the show being different from the books need to just GET OVER IT.
      True Blood is NOT claiming to be a literal interpretation of the books.
      Both Alan Ball the creator of the show and Charlaine Harris,the author of the books has said as much
      Alan Ball is doing a great job with the show and I hope he continues for many seasons to come.
      If you don’t like the show change the channel…

    • Sandy says:

      I’ve watched it from the first and loved every minute oy it.can’t wait for Sunday night so i can see it again.

      • Lily Knol says:

        I haven’t read the books and i don’t intend to. I love True Blood and am very happy to have it back. No complaints here. Eric is HOT… just had to say that….

  3. chiggie says:

    Loved it!!!!!!

  4. Cheryl says:

    What.a.joke!

  5. Danielle says:

    WORST EPISODE EVER. Alan Ball needs to be drained. Seriously, Bill as King? Or Sookie gone for a year?? I am not entirely sure I will be watching this season. I’ve never used the term “jump the shark” but I’m pulling it out for this one. Totally unacceptable.

    • IKitty says:

      Yeah I agree. It was even too weird for me and I’m totally okay with weird

    • Somebody says:

      OK BYE!

    • Brandy says:

      I thought the time thing was the only reasonabled thing that happened in fairyland. I mean, it’s scientifically proven that time isn’t a fixed construct, and other dimensions are theoretically possible, but the beginning of fairlyland looked like a bad, super cheesy crytal light commercial, and then when the fairies got all ugly, it was just annoying. Really? THAT Thing is irresistable? Hated the fairy part, but really liked the rest of the episode.

    • Liz says:

      You’ll regret it. Time jumps means the show is going into a new direction. I for one can’t wait.

    • Jeff says:

      Yeah, how dare Alan Ball try to do something original and different from the book! WHAT A JERK.

      • Andy says:

        To be fair, when you take beloved characters, the fans tend to expect you to stay fairly close to the source material. Up until the season, all the changes the True Blood creators made were things I could endorse. But Bill becoming King is a complete game changer. I was kind of annoyed. . . :( Imagine if Ron suddenly became Headmaster at Hogwarts and was telling off Harry? That wouldn’t be acceptable, understandably, and neither are these monumental changes to a lot of fans who have been with True Blood’s characters since the Southern Vampire Series.
        It just feels like such a large jump, but I do hope some people enjoy it and I for one will continue being a fan of the show. I am just grieving over the loss of faithful interpretation.

        • Cameron says:

          Good point. I would have gone nuts of the writers on Game of Thrones had made an major changes like the ones apparently in this show. But, I’ve never read the Southern Vampire series, so that doesn’t bother me. Watch the first two eps, they didn’t blow me away but I can see a lot of cool stuff possibly happening by the end of the season.

        • ash says:

          True Blood has never been a faithful adaptation from the very first season when they introduced Jessica and gave bigger roles to all the supporting characters from the books. This had to be done as each book is too slight to be turned into a 13 episode season.

          On the other hand, the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones (mentioned below) adaptations can afford to be mainly faithful with minor alterations as there is more than enough material to work with.

        • Lisa says:

          I’m glad they’re not closely following the books, which have really begun to stink with the later ones in the series. I don’t want to know exactly what will happen on the TV show. That’s what I most dislike about Game of Thrones. I know who will die, and how, and when. It sucks. As for TV series sticking to source material, shows that have not include Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl. Good for them! At least those shows have surprises and don’t simply parrot what was already in the book versions. I want True Blood to continue to diverge from its books and stay fresh and interesting.

        • Jim says:

          Harry Potter & Game of Thrones were made as a movie/tv portrayal of a very popular book series. True Blood from the beginning never tried to be that. The majority of people watching have never read the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and of those that have, the majority read them as a result of watching the TV series. TB uses the books as a very general guideline, but is way better. Lafayette is still with us, in the books Tara is a wimpy white girl that owns a clothing store, Pam is kind of sweet, Bill becomes a very minor charachter after the 3rd or 4th book, all that fairy stuff doesn’t happen until tmaybe the 7th book, and almost nothing happens in the last few books. So I’m so glad they are not being true to the books

          • Christine says:

            Here! Here! @Comment by Jim – June 27, 2011 11:38 AM PDT

          • wings says:

            I have to disagree on one point….Pam is not sweet at all in the books. She becomes accepting of Sookie only after she realizes how deep her Master cares for her. Even she remains deadly.

        • Christen says:

          I love the books so much and I really love this show. My problem is not with the changes in the story lines really. Like someone pointed out below, the books are from Sookie’s point of view only so it is reasonable that the story would need to be expanded and converted to create bigger roles for the other characters. I don’t like when people get so angry for us book readers wanting, as you say, our beloved characters not changed too much. I personally like the twists the stories have taken but dislike them when they change who the characters are. You care for the characters of the book and since they are the characters on the screen it can be hard to accept at times. That being said, I watched episode 2 and I am feeling a lot better about this season then I did after the season opener.

      • Nicole says:

        I think that the fans look at season one and see it as almost scene by scene from the book. Which was awesome. And season two went off the rails a lot…but sort of made sense. Then season 3 went insane and all over the place. I suppose the fans of the book should get over the first seasons faithfulness and just go along for the ride. I have a lot of hopes for this season because book 4 is my favorite. So I will be really disappointed if the things I loved in book 4 don’t happen.

        • tango says:

          And by “the thing i loved” you mean the shower scene?

          • Bubu says:

            Who cares about shower scene?!
            Book 4 was the beginning of S/E and was a smart move by CH to give them a glimpse of their future and then take it back everything till book 8. I don’t give a s** about the sex in this book and it’s about time people to stop mentioned it..like the books is awsome just for that scene. It was emotional and Sookie needed that Eric, but deep down even when they were together she was happy and confortable when he laughed like the Sheruff usually did. These are the very importahnt elements of the books not some good sex, even if was awsome and nothing like she experienced with both Bill and Quiin, but that’s not my point.

        • Jessica says:

          What did people people expect watching Season Four. They changed so many things in Season’s 1-3 that it would have been impossible for them say “Well guys we’re gonna go by the book on this one.” The thing I’m disappointed about is what they’re doing with the fairies. I liked Sookies relationship with Claudine in the books and LOVED the fabulous Claude. So it makes me sad to think that they won’t be in the show like they were in the books. But maybe because Lafayette didn’t die like he did in the books they didn’t think we could handle two Fabulous gay men on the show. Though, I think Claude and Lafayette have an awesome competitive love hate relationship.

    • Michelle R says:

      There needed to be a time leap or Carrie Preston would still be playing pregnant when she was old enough to be in the new Bon Temp senior housing.

    • JohnDoe says:

      I knew before clicking this article that some drama queen chick would say, WORST. EPISODE. EVER.

      Don’t let the door hit you on the a** on the way out.

  6. Sivat says:

    Loved it! Can’t wait for more!

  7. Jon says:

    I am not a read of the book so I am ok with the changes. I think that this season will show a distinction between book fans and True Blood fans. Tara needed something with her storyline and I loved the twist with Bill becoming King but I would like to know what happened to SophieAnne.

    • Shannon says:

      If you didn’t already watch the second epsiode you’ll find out next week what happened to Sophie Ann and how Bill became the King!!

  8. Michelle says:

    I really hated the Premiere, with a passion, it dragged and was so slow.
    I stop liking Tara in season 2.
    I miss Lafayette from season 1 and hate his storyline with Jesus. I wish he would get killed off already.
    Noelle you are right there are too many characters. Way too many characters who are so irelevant.
    The show isn’t about Sookie anymore, she seems like a guest star.
    What happened to the lethal humor and dark comedy of the Show! Where is the intense Drama the show used to have?
    They need new writers.

  9. hey says:

    wasn’t tara a bartender at merlotte’s, not a waitress?

  10. Yar says:

    Is Bill old/powerful enough to be king?

    • fiona says:

      sophie anne in TB isn’t that much older either. Maybe 400 years, but way younger than Eric. In the book she’s supposed to be like 2000+ so in TB i guess it’s alright if bill is king..

  11. ChrisGa says:

    Overall, not bad. Tara in a relationship with a woman? Yawn…… as she’s by far my least favorite of the core cast, I couldn’t care less.
    And while the menace of fairyland indeed looked like a lost Duran Duran video, the “menacing” aspect of the whole thing seems more interesting than the “happily-ever-after” bit that was initially(and apparently, falsely)presented. Still think the Hot Shot subplot is a snooze(and a complete waste of the luscious Ryan Kwanten)and the return of Crystal(as the late, lamented Talbot might say, she’s always been a weak character) makes me want to poke my own eyes out, but hopefully that mess will be offset by a whole bunch of Alcide and more of my number one girl Pam. And plenty of Eric, of course.

    • Sandy says:

      “The menace of fairyland” = Palmdale. Looked like the same place they filmed the old Star Trek shows. I kept expecting Captain Kirk to pop out from behind some rocks, shirtless and oily-chested, and start shooting fairy gremlins with his phaser. That would have been awesome!

    • Aurora says:

      I thought it looked like a cross between Lord of the Rings go to Hawaii and Planet of the Apes……

  12. KenH says:

    Good points, Michelle.

  13. Daniel says:

    Loved the episode! Looking forward to the next 11.

  14. Auds says:

    Sophie Anne dies in the books… but some of the twists this show takes from book series are really bad! The most obnoxious change was when they had Bill kill the bad vampire at Eric’s bar & be forced to create Jessica… sorry, but it was actually Eric who killed his own bartender…

    Really, the only change that so far has been great has been keeping Lafayette IN the storyline. Tara’s entire storyline is HORRIBLE… she’s not even mentioned until the 2nd book & she is a simple southern girl who has a bad run in with a vampire & ends up marrying her high school sweetheart who is cute & dumb and loves her. Tara’s storyline just needs to GO, she’s never been interesting and never will be. I’m sorry, but NO ONE just “becomes gay.” That’s just as ludicrous as saying you can “catch” being gay from a gay person.

    • for_the_record says:

      Well, as a woman who thought she was ‘straight’ then fell in love with a woman at 32, things are not that simplistic, and of course I find Tara’s storyline realistic as well as interesting (she’s always been one of my fav characters on the show, too). And the show hasn’t presented Tara as ‘now gay’ but has recognized that she’s not rigid in her sexual orientation, something that is true for loads of folks.

      • Desert Cat says:

        Very well put. :)

      • Keeks says:

        Thanks!! Your comment is a breath of fresh air. :) I’m excited to see what is done with Tara regarding her love life and sexual orientation. I’m happy that Ball is trying to broaden queer representation on the show. I wouldn’t jump the gun as far as identifying her this or that way. If anything, I think it’s beautiful that we actually have a love relationship between two women that isn’t just about sucking blood and having power over someone.

    • Brad says:

      You are ignorant. Simple as that. No, you cannot become gay. But you can realize something in your life isn’t working out and could either experiment or come to terms with your identity.

      • Andy says:

        I do not think it is ignorance. I think it is more a lingering fear that yet another show is going to have a character “turn gay” for a season, then go “yucky! not for me!” and be straight-identifying again (taken loosely from a Joss Whedon quote haha). Especially with women, bisexuality and lesbianism are often thrown on to sex up a scene or something. Tara has to become a professional fighter, changer her name to Tony, in order to love another woman?

        • Keeks says:

          That is a valid concern, and it could happen. But I don’t know if that’s what was bothering the commentator. Alan has shown better regard of gay characters than lesbians on the show so far. Most lesbians have been powerful vampires who aren’t really in a position to love other women. So I thought it was cool that Tara was given this experience.

          Anyway, hetero sex scenes on this show are given the most detail. There isn’t much catering when it comes to the non-hetero variety. My favorite scene has been Pam giving cunnilingus. It was humorous but I also found it titillating. Tara’s scene was quite tame, as most of her scenes usually are. The exception being Franklin I think, but that whole situation was terrible.

          So, sex up a scene, yes, but for who . . . I really don’t know. I have to keep in mind this show is still being written by a man, so I don’t know if he could really represent same sex loving between women that women, straight and queer, would actually enjoy. Is this mostly for the male audience?

          Your last question . . . I don’t think that’s what Alan Ball meant. But I understand your complaint and am hoping things don’t turn sour. In Tara’s case, loving another woman is just part of the whole paradigm shift. It’d be nice if there was more representation for such relationships since not all occur after one has had those kinds of experiences.

          But this is True Blood. Most relationships in this series, hetero by the way, have started for stranger reasons. Would Hoyt have met Jessica if she hadn’t been turned into a vampire? Would Bill or Eric have had a hard-on for Sookie if she wasn’t . . well, you should know.

          Sometimes such traumatic experiences like rape, kidnapping and the death of a loved one can lead someone to a different place in life. Where one is able to question the definition of what is a suitable partner. After dealing with both male human and vampire, albeit in limited experiences, maybe sex/gender became inconsequential for Tara in finding someone who would support and nurture her. I see nurture and support which was very lacking in her relationships with both Eggs and Franklin. It makes me think that she could have been with another man, but perhaps she found a woman first.

          I’m just speculating cause I really don’t know what happened in the last thirteen months. Perhaps it allows us viewers to kind of fill in the blanks with our own guesses.

          I kind of think Alan Ball tries to have it both ways. Like the scene where Tara is making out and the random guy shows up expecting entertainment. He was flat out refused and humiliated for solicitation and harassment. But we really don’t know why the story starts out with Tara in a cage fight. A sexy cage fight, lol. I honestly thought Tara was going to be a cop or something. Maybe this isn’t her real job? If it is, I don’t think it’s a bad look.

          Oh, and although I’m not certain of the spelling of her name it could be “Toni” like “Toni Morrison.” I consider that the more feminine spelling.

          • Jewels says:

            I just started watching the series about three months ago. I had to
            watch one after the other, it was so different than I had expected!
            To me it was weird, and funny at the same time. But, I could not stop
            watching episode after episode. When there were no more, I just could
            not wait for the next season to start! lol.

            So, in the mean-time, I found out that the series were based on books.
            I am an avid book reader, and I thought, yaaa…..!

            I went and bought every single one, then found out I missed the last
            one. Dang!

            The series, actually, holds with the books. But, like someone else
            mentioned, its in first person category, so you only know what
            Sookie knows, or is thinking, or reads from others minds.

            I can see why they had to change the series, in some parts, in many
            different ways.

            I love the books and the series, I feel what I don’t get from the
            books I get from the series. The books are hilarious, maybe more so
            than the T.V show!

            In the book, Pam hugs Sookie, and kisses her on the cheek. Later,she
            states their friends. Ha!! I had to laugh, I can just imagine T.V
            Pam doing and saying that to Sookie! But, who knows… we’ll have to wait and see! Smile.

            The last post, by Keeks, when I watched the show last night, and
            saw the difference in Tara, my thoughts are this: She had been
            through very bad experiences, to put it mildly.
            I think that by leaving her hometown, after being, taken over by a
            maenad, loosing the guy she loved, dealing with her alcho mother all
            her life. Then being kidnapped by a vampire, tied up, raped, the fear
            of being turned, ect.
            That would have to affect a person, she was helpless, and otherwise,
            she had always been a strong woman, until that all happened to her.

            So, she left and by working out,(you can tell, she has muscle now),
            learning to fight, then she chose a female companion, all this so
            she would never again, feel like a victim, helpless. She had always
            took care of herself in a strong way. She needed that back.
            I hope I explained this correctly, in an understanding way. This is
            how I understood her change.

            Jewels***

        • Jessica says:

          yes and i believe joss whedon did the same thing to Willow. After 4 or 5 seasons Willow “turned” gay. And Tara became a professional fighter and changed her name to escape her old life and start a new one not to fall in love with another woman. And what about one sex scene with another woman leads you to believe their in love.

    • Michelle R says:

      What makes you think that Tara just became gay, as opposed to always having an attraction that just hadn’t come up in the story line before? Do I think they’re retrofitting this? Sure. But unless there is a line I’ve forgotten where she says she is completely straight, it works. It makes sense that she’d want to explore these feelings, considering.

    • Michael says:

      Don’t talk about the workings of sexuality unless you know something about it. It’s clear from you comment that you don’t. There are many studies of straight women who have entered into relationships with other women after a long history with men, especially ones rife with abuse. This isn’t a reflection of hetero/homo flexibility or suddenly changing ones mind about their sexuality. Tara’s current situation was not an extraordinary leap into the unlikely. It’s makes a whole lot of sense.

  15. Ruth says:

    Overall I like the episode…I was hoping they had killed off Tommy and that Tara was gone for good…2 of the most annoying characters on TV. I hope they don’t wait to long to fill in some of the stuff that happened in the past 13 months…Andy being hooked on V, Bill becoming King (yuck), Hoyts mom and Tommy hooking up???? Wait…maybe I’m better off not knowing that one…lol.I KNEW it was Eric that bought the house…and although I’m no legal eagle…wouldn’t the fact that Sookie was not really dead make the house sale null & void??? I’m just sayin…but hey – any excuse to bring Sookie & Eric together is fine by me!!!

    • Keeks says:

      Although not much has been explained about Hoyt’s mom doting on Tommy, it doesn’t look like they’ve hooked up. By the way he’s dressed, he still comes off like a kid. If anything, I think she probably decided to take a motherly role towards him, perhaps to spite Hoyt who is off with his “vamp whore.” Maybe you were exaggerating a bit, but really, Tommy is not dating the woman.

      • Ruth says:

        Yes – I was jesting a bit about Tommy & Hoyt’s mom…that would be too gross to even think about. I think you’re right about her wanting to fill the mommy control-freak thing she had with Hoyt. Also…and I may be completely wrong about this (wouldn’t be the 1st time) but it seemed like there’s some money involved here. Maybe Tommy won a lawsuit against Sam with a little help from psycho mom?? They both just seemed a little too “holier than thou” with everyone…which usually happens when people have money.

  16. aaron says:

    Parts of this episode were good. But Ball’s veering so far away from the books it’s almost unrecognizable. And at this point more of the changes are for the worse. The worst premiere episode of the series.

  17. Auds says:

    BTW I really hate the whole HotShot crappy plot & hope they speed up what happens in the book: Jason being bit by a werewolf & becoming a shape shifter, and Crystal being murdered. I can’t stand Crystal.

    • Bethany says:

      Me too! I know they have baths there because Crystal never looked filthy. Or heck, go splash in some public water.

    • seriously?! says:

      Some of us haven’t read the books – can you keep the spoilers out of this discussion, please?!

      • Andy says:

        I don’t think they can even be considered spoilers, think about it. Ball barely follows even the loose structure of the novels let alone the details. A lot of the “spoilers” should have happened dozens of episodes ago haha. Don’t worry about it! :D (Just the risk of going on a fan board for a canon that is on several media levels)

  18. Sally says:

    Disappointed! I cannot understand why they can’t stick to the plots in the book series. This was a TRUE mess.

    • PLEASE says:

      BECAUSE THIS IS AN ADAPTATION OF THE BOOKS!!! Man you book people are ridculous. I’ve read the books too but if you were a true fan of True Blood then you would have realized back in Season 2 that the TV is loosely based on the books not a direct copy.

      • Jackie says:

        MAN YOU PEOPLE WHO PREFER THE SHOW TO THE BOOKS ARE RIDICULOUS. Sorry, had to get that out. It’s OKAY that we prefer the books. You can hate us all you want… we are still going to prefer the plots in the books because they make some sort of sense. Alan Ball’s “adaptation” is a clusterhump of a series and is so poorly developed that I’m surprised every week when I watch it. It’s become like having a best friend who’s married a complete jerk… you still love the friend and want to see it, but you know it’s not going to be as good as it was and you’re going to end up wanting to kill someone by the time the night is over.

        Seriously. Get over the fact that some of us are book purists. If Alan Ball doesn’t care that he lured many of his watchers over by connecting the first season so closely with the books, then he deserves whatever happens to his ratings. You can like it all you want to, but I’d like to see its connection with the SVM books removed at some point in the near future. It resembles them in character-names only.

        I guess at this point I could write a romance flick about a lost alien, call it “an adaptation of E.T.” and rake in the profit.

        • filio says:

          I am so glad somebody else thinks that…
          I would go even further…the series sucks, it has nothing to do with the books and it’s a shame that they destroyed such brilliant work just to write such an awful TV serie. :(

  19. Bethany says:

    Why are so many people upset this is not like the books exactly? This is the fourth season, it has ever followed the books entirely and that is how Alan Ball AND Charlaine Harris want it. I love the books and I loved this episode. Yes, Tommy and Tara are annoying and need to go, but I thought it was a strong premiere and I want to see more! I think Bill as king was brilliant. He killed Sophie Ann because she knew Sookie’s secret. He also is a sympathetic face for vampires. Well done.

    • Becca says:

      Um yeah I don’t think Sophie Ann is dead…well fully dead. I think she is going to show back which I hope she does and takes her throne back from Bill somehow.

    • Jackie says:

      Quotes from Charlaine, please?

    • Bubu says:

      I think he killed Sophie Anne bacuse he wanted power and betray is in his dead DNA. He won’t last long as King, because in the post mortem videos of Season 3 they said Queens/Kings’s chldren always claimed the crown, that’s how it alawys worked, and in S2 DVD commentary they said Sophie Anne has a child (like in the books)…now immagine if he come to claim the crown….

  20. s says:

    Yeah shouldn’t really be surprised with so many changes from books. Also I want Sookie/Eric but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen although I did enjoy the ‘Sookie you are mine’ line :P

  21. Sterling says:

    I enjoyed it. Last season was terrible to me. I watched this episode HOPING that it would draw me in, and it did. BUT I will say that I hate Tommy. Seriously, end his character NOW mr. ball.

  22. Maria says:

    The Premiere was awful and boring to say the least. The pacing on the show is so slow now. The characters seem like they have nothing much to do. Arlene is only interesting when she’s being prejudice and ignorant. Lafayette isn’t the hardcore,funny dude who would tell folks off i use to love. Tara is just *Sigh* I’m about tired of her. Sookie just seems to get little to no dialogue, she is the star. Can Eric be more on the show that Jesus! Such good actors talents are being wasted on dull, recycled and repeative dialogue.Get back to High quality intense Drama, Sex, blood, humor and shock. It’s missing greatly. Ausiello please stop acting like every True Blood episode is the best ever. This episode did not start off the season strong not one bit!

  23. Anthony Newhall says:

    Tara’s transformation actually seemed extremely organic. I was PLEASANTLY surprised and I was happy with the episode overall. Loved it, keep it coming.

  24. samantha says:

    You people complain too much lol what do expect? it isn’t going to be just like the books and it isn’t going to please all but it isn’t that bad. True Blood is still good ….

  25. Elsol69 says:

    I don’t expect them to stick to the books — I do expect certain plots from the books to happen though and they are doing that. Tara’s transformation may salvage her character for me so whatever… Otherwise, they can add whatever they want as long as the Eric storyline of book 4 is preserved. I like Bill as king. I like Sam and the shifters — kill Tommy please, soon! Arlene storyline is stupid but is in line with her stupidity in later books. Too many characters bur so far (I have seen episode 2 online) they seem to be doing a better job of making everybody a part of the season long story arch,

  26. samantha says:

    I wish they’d keep the Eric stuff as well

  27. J Harnes says:

    I loved both episode 1 & 2! Can’t wait to see where it’s all going.

    After reading these comment lists I just want to make an observation – If I dislike a show I switch the channel. I find it so strange that folks claiming to hate the show rush on to here to throw in their comments.

    Basic fact – this is a series on a premium channel. If you love the books that’s fantastic! But these are extremely good actors playing some excellent roles. The books are not scripts broken into 13 chapters. I am having a great time watching the series!

    I just wish the massive book series I’ve fallen in love with could be turned into a classy HBO series – The Wheel Of Time! Those who complain about too many characters would never dare attempt such an epic work!

    • Courtney says:

      How the hell did you even see the second episode?

      • Samantha says:

        Xfinity/Comcast has it online for their HBO subscribers.

        • Brian says:

          HBOGO.com if you subscribe to HBO, regardless of the TV/Sat provider, you can log on your computer or smartphone and watch previous episodes and wuth True Blood, the upcoming episode.

        • JRose48 says:

          Not just Xfinity/Comcast, Fios too. Any provider that communicates with HBO GO. I watched the second episode last night on my phone.

    • Laurel says:

      I totally AGREE J.Harnes !

    • Lily Knol says:

      Wheel of Time would be an amazing HBO series; too bad Robert Jordan died so it can’t go on indefinitely.

      Some books are good enough to stand on their own and be faithfully adapted. IMO, the Harris books are barely an outline and the HBO series as re-imagined by Ball is the true masterpiece here.

  28. samantha says:

    I love when Tara fights and is strong hope this saves the character.

  29. Ximena says:

    Overall I though it was ok. The whole Bill being king was kind of funny, especially when Eric was referring to him as dirty politican, lol, awesome!(also most of the Kings/Queens on the show end up getting killed or locked away so I don’t see a bright future for Bill. I would like to see more Eric and Pam, they are my favorite :)

  30. samantha says:

    My only problem with the episode is there wasn’t enough Eric and also they didn’t show much of Sam either

  31. megan says:

    really?!? Bill as king??? total joke! there is no way that he can be king! I hope someone kicks his ass soon so we won’t be subjected to that much longer! Seriously, Bill = JOKE!

  32. s says:

    Yeah AB’s love for Bill is a joke …lmao

  33. Tommy Carcetti says:

    I’ve read all the books, but always thought the TV show told the story better—UNTIL I watched tonight’s episode. It was all over the map and just plain sloppy. That being said, I’ll give it a few more episodes before passing final judgement on the season.

    Bill as king is a bit annoying, but I think it could end up being a nice plot device. Seeing Eric as the “underdog” will be a nice change. Jessica and Hoyt’s story line bores me to tears and Tara is Meh as usual.

    All in all, I was disappointed. Not because it wasn’t the same as the books, but just because it was so scattered.

  34. Robert says:

    The season premiere was pretty good! Unlike other shows out there, I like the fact that each season picks up right where the previous left off. Everyone is making noise about this fairy thing and “fairy bombs”. I liked it sort of. It made sense since they are fairies. And I like the time jump. It gives everyone some what of a fresh start and brings new energy to the show. Time jumps have gotten to where in TV it gives the shows new energy and plenty more room to go. Look at Desperate Housewives which will be entering it’s 8th season in the fall. True Blood is only going to get better! I can’t wait to see next Sunday’s episode start off from where this one ended!

  35. Pix18 says:

    Best Season Premiere Ever!!!! I honestly don’t even know what’s wrong with the people who said it sucked. What are you guys talking about? Everyone’s in a new place, there’s a chance for some drastic and exciting new storylines.

  36. Lindsay says:

    Overall the episode was really good. I loved everything that was Eric and Sookie related, and hated everything that was Bill related. I have read the books, and most of the changes don’t bother me but Bill becoming king bothers me.

    I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.

  37. melissa says:

    Don’t like the time jump. Don’t like Bill being king. Don’t care, at all!, about arlenes baby.
    Tara’s stotyline looks promising. Eric can buy must house and claim me as his own ANYTIME!

    • Gia says:

      All the people who are hating on Bill need to give it a rest. The Bill of the show is NOT the same Bill as in the books. Alan Ball clearly likes the Bill character and plans on keeping him as an integral part of the show. Making Bill the king just proves it. Bill is here to stay. Get used to it.

      • Bubu says:

        Sorry sweetie but i don’t like TB Bill either and it’s not a crime if many of use don’t like him
        You are right, Ball’s Bill is not CH’s, HE IS WORSE fro what he did to Sookie, the Rattray and he almost killed her….i won’t bu surprised if he didn’t help Gran too since he was 100 mt far awaya and he has super hearing since in s! he told Andy he could actually hear a car miles away….wierd…so weird…

  38. Ruby says:

    I’m just going to go ahead and leave some Tara love right here, because all the hate is gross. Love that girl. Glad she’s changing things up.

    • Keeks says:

      Thanks Ruby. I don’t understand the hate myself. Most grievances we have should be blamed on the writing. I never viewed Tara as a particularly weak character to begin with. I think that some viewers don’t enjoy seeing some people react to painful situations. Anyway, as a rape victim I liked that they tried to handle the trauma Tara experienced last season. But again I feel some of the hate on her character is coming from a bad place.

    • Brooke says:

      Agreed! Love Tara… the old Tara but still Tara. Not thrilled about the gay storyline… I just don’t see her as being gay. When she was with Eggs (when she wasn’t possessed) she was extremely happy… not to mention they were a very HOT couple. She’s beautiful and he was FINE as H!

  39. Chrissy says:

    I didn’t find Tara’s storyline to be a huge shock. I thought Bill as king was the huge shock! The premier was what I expected just because they had to catch all the character storylines up. After watching episode 2, though, I am completely sold on the awesomeness that season 4 is going to be. I think both the people that watch only the show and the people that read the books are going to be happy. I, definitely, want to see more Eric!

  40. Wes says:

    I wasn’t going to continue watching after the abomination that was Season 3. I caught the previews of episode 1 and thought it looked interesting. Having just watched the first two episodes, it’s definitely much better than S3 and even felt as good as the first season in some parts. I’ll continue with caution(but still think the books are way better in every way, including dead Lafayette).

  41. kat says:

    I just think there was too much going on. It was like they were trying to explain the time jump and everyone’s changes but there wasn’t enough time, so it had to be done by the dialogue which was not working. Bill being king is just stupid when it’s already been so clear he is younger and weaker than many of the others.

  42. ty says:

    i thought it was good cuz its startin everythng cuz its only da begining nd has to grow from dat nd dis is da best way for that

  43. true dud says:

    This episode only proved that the writing for a premium cable program is as lazy as network writing. 12 months does not change the complete makeup of a character. Apparently we are supposed to believe that Jason is no longer an idiot, Tara/Tony decided to become homosexual and Bill became king, something he could not do in over 100 years. It is the definition of lazy writing. The first 10 minutes was akin to a film school project filled with bad writing and cheesy special effects. Lafayette is and has been by far the most interesting character. Now apparently, he has a power that makes him Gandalf. Alexander Woo has historically directed bad episodes of this series. Any director that approves of what was shown tonight should be fired and work for public access television. I implore the public to see that a time shift is not grounds to change the essence of every character. Who do you know that is that different from who they were 12 months ago. Time shifts in a series only mark the creative insight of a school child. We should demand more from a show, especially one that costs us our hard earned money. HBO used to demand more, so did its viewing audience.

    P.S.

    The finale of the Killing sucked and AMC should drop it immediately. When the president of a network needs to apologize due to fan outcry, the showrunner should be fired and forced to work at Starbucks.

  44. Chris says:

    I am now out. The series is now so different from the books… I have to bail, because I don’t want to endorse whole sale abandoning of a book series, especially when they have “Game of Thrones” in their library of events.. start endorsing major changes to books, and bad things happen.

    The storyline tonight made no sense. We’ve already established, books and show, that Eric is far older then Bill. Several hundred years older. Yet, Bill becomes King?

    We’ve taken the protector Eric lovestory and we’ve corrupted it.

    The entire storyline regarding her grandfather and the faerie war sweeps away one of the best reveals of the book series, and makes it impossible.

    We’ve also wiped away the entire storylines of Las Vegas and the various Kings and Queens…

    Argh. I was OK with spreading it out and filling out the story as long as the main concepts remained in place; but now we’ve just abandoned the books entirely.

    • Gia says:

      The books are not the show people!!!! Give it up. I get so sick of the insistence that the show be an almost word for word translation of the book series. When a book moves from the page to the television or movie screen you have to allow the showrunner/film maker room to breathe and create their own vision.

      • Chris says:

        This sounds like a case.. but it isn’t.

        I want you to think of the endorsement of wholesale changes of well liked books.

        Imagine if Game of Thrones, the book series that is now an HBO show said “You know what, the fans are going to love Ned Stark, so let’s not kill him in Season 1, because he’ll be a fan favorite” and so on.

        The reality is, the show is becoming different for one basic reason: Bill becomes kind of a jerk in the book series, and now that the two actors are married, that’s a tough road to go down.

        But if you’re going to make changes, ou can’t make them where they no longer make sense.. Bill as King of Louisiana? Eric is several hundred years older; they had covered from Season 1 that Bill is “Low man on the totem pole” so how did he pull that off? They’ll explain, but it will require major revisions of past seasons.

        Jason goes from complete screw up to trusted Sherrif’s deputy in 12 months? Not counting that Andy had pointed out in the previous season he’d have to go through Officers training, etc..

        The problem isn’t just changing of the books, it’s that they have warped the rules of the TV show as well.

        • Jane says:

          Ok so I understand why you use compare Game of Thrones (which is an almost direct copy of the books) as an example but the thing is that True Blood has never claimed to follow the books exactly. I mean hello Lafayette dies in the books but the 1st episode of Season 2 there he is alive!! Also, there is no Bubba character which is a fan favorite of the books but no one seems to be complaining about him being missing. True Blood has never claimed to be a direct adaptation of the books!! It has always been loosely based which is why I just don’t understand everyone being all but hurt that it’s not following the books exactly. I’ve read the books too but when I started watching True Blood I understood that they weren’t going to be a direct copy. Once you get that it makes the TV show just what it is…. A TV SHOW!

          • Chris says:

            No. Apparently you don’t get why I make that comparison. These books, both the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries and Song of Fire & Ice are global best sellers. They have huge fanbases. Because the books in the Sookie series are short, many of us expected secondary characters – people who are not crucial to the plot – to undergo changes. The first three seasons, however, have been “decent” at maintaining the basic thrust of the series. Season 4 starts out with some pronouncements that basically can never be reconciled with the book, because those events would change every happening from Book 4-Book 12. King Bill?

            Even with the method put into place in the first three seasons of the TV show, this should strike people as preposterous. Bill is far younger then others, he was commanded by others.. and it was made clear he was never in a position to get there (and, as we covered in the previous season, the death of a king doesn’t mean his killer claims the throne..)

            The reason why I bring up GoT is that in that series, you have an adaptation that -must- be true to the books, or else fans -WILL- bail in droves. If you set up the precedent that “hey, we were true to the book for the first two seasons, strayed a bit in Season 3, and we’re totally bonkers off in Season 3..” then people will start to wonder how well adapted a book series is.

            Because this series began fairly true to the book – in fact, season 1 is VERY close to the book series, it set the tone; so the wild drift starting last season to complete off the rails this season is worrysome for people who like other adaptations.

          • Jackie says:

            I agree with Chris. Whether it “claims” to be a direct copy of the books or not, people who have read the books are going to naturally have certain expectations about the BASIC plot (ie. Bill being King). This is ri-damn-diculous. Imagine they had changed who died at the end of this season of Game of Thrones. Imagine that a certain someone had not died in Harry Potter. It’s very much like Alan Ball thinks he’s some sort of savant who knows better than the CREATOR OF THE CHARACTERS what those same characters would do. Can you imagine telling J.K. Rowling, “Nah, Harry wouldn’t do that. He’s going to become a cage fighter and leave all his friends behind. I write for TV, so this is different!” What. ever.

            Bubba isn’t in the show because of who he is.

  45. dennis says:

    I actually loved the first episode and second just as much… Season 3 was awful in my opinion and this has hooked me right back in…

  46. true dud says:

    Chris- you are exactly right. I am out as well. This is what happens when an average writer becomes successful. Alan Ball is famous because he scripted American Beauty, in hindsight, an average film that was successful due to Kevin Spacey. I am sure that Ball has not read more than 2 books in the series. He obviously feels that he is a better stroyteller than Harris, which is obviously false. I hope the ratings fall since what was shown tonight is worse than a Lifetime movie.

  47. Jess says:

    Um. Isn’t saying that Tara went gay because of her bad luck with men… incredibly insulting to gay people? I’m offended, and I’m not even gay! And Alan Ball is! Just a really really weird thing to say & strange reason for turning a previously straight character gay (can you imagine the outrage if a gay character… say Lafayette… “turned straight” because of their bad luck at dating people of the same sex? I don’t think it works that way). I mean, if she’d been gay all along but in the closet or something… that I would get. I hope he was joking.

    Other than that, I love True Blood, but this episode was incredibly uneven. The acting was really bad in parts. I’m disappointed. Andy was the best part.

    • Keeks says:

      Just b/c Alan Ball is gay doesn’t mean he’s immune to certain gay mythology. Anyway, I wouldn’t presume to know what offends people just based on identity. The way I see it, I don’t think she necessarily had to have bad experiences with men to consider other options. One of the flaws I see with the thirteen month time skip is that we are not privy to how things developed to what they are now. To me, the interactions between Tara and her lover seem natural. So I feel it comes from a good place, and not necessarily one where she is reflecting on her more darker experiences. There are myriad reasons for why people have sex and love members of the same and opposite sex. Not all of them have to due to with sexual orientation.

      I don’t want to jump the gun as to how she identifies b/c she hasn’t actually said anything. I just like that for once we have a seemingly normal relationship between women that doesn’t involve warped power relationships and blood sucking.

      I think that the takeaway message regarding Franklin and Eggs is that in those relationships she often found herself in a dysfunctional and powerless position. So, this paradigm shift, so to speak, could simply involve Tara finding herself and becoming a person more capable of dealing with an environment fraught with supernatural terrors. The relationship could be see as part of what represents this new self, but not the entire package. Whether or not it has any permanence, we won’t know until we see more episodes. If anything, I wouldn’t mind this being permanent because it’s very beautiful. But again, let’s not jump to conclusions. We don’t know if she’s gay. All we know is that she’s in a relationship with a woman. Maybe that’s what lesbianism has come to represent, since most people don’t seem to self-identify according to sexual orientation on the show.

    • sarah says:

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

      Probably what happened is that following being raped and held against her will Tara found herself most comfortable when surrounded by women. She then happened to fall for a woman. They’re loosely related but one didn’t cause the other.

  48. Jeff says:

    Every single person bitching that they moved away from the books and that is why they’re giving up on the show is a complete idiot.

    If you want the books, then maybe you should read the books? What the hell is the point of adapting a book if they don’t change things up and try something different? It would be boring as hell if they just copied the book.

    Even the author of the book said that the book and the TV show are two different stores. Going in its own direction is a GOOD thing.

    • Gia says:

      I completely agree with you Jeff! I’ve read the books as well, but I understand that the books and television show are two completely different things. If I want to experience the exact same storyline as the books, I’ll just read the books again.

      • Corinne says:

        Exactly. I thoroughly enjoy the book series, but would the show be nearly as interesting if it just followed them. I like that they keep adapting it, it gives me a whole new way to enjoy an entertaining concept. And hey, maybe the show will chose some great new options, like Sookie and Alcide, or making Arlene more likable, or(fingers crossed) no Quinn. They only 2 big story lines from the books I need are Eric and the witches, and the hotel disaster. I hope book readers keep an open mind, and non-book readers, to see what they’ve been missing out on.

        • Corinne says:

          Also, would like to chime in on boring story lines, not really interested in San;s storyline, and the only think I care about Tommy’s is how exactly he ended up with Maxine Foytenberry.

    • Michelle says:

      They’ve managed to adapt Game of Thrones to screen BY FOLLOWING THE BOOK. And that show’s pretty damn good…just sayin’.

      • Chris says:

        Why bother. Next season they are going to change Game of Thrones and make Joffrey lovable. Theon will join with the Starks. I mean, the TV series isn’t the book. People should just stop complaining.

      • Alice says:

        Game of Thrones is a multi-perspective novel, it and its sequels are also the size of small Bibles, no lack of source material for a large cast. The Southern Vampire mysteries are told from a single perspective, Sookie. Very little about what goes on when she isn’t around is filled in. In order to make it an ensemble drama, AB had to invent storylines for most of the characters that only appear in a few scenes each book. I actually like his Terry better, and his Hoyt, who pretty much does nothing in the books.

      • Lisa says:

        Unfortunately, it’s also totally predictable. I lost interest after a couple of episodes because I already knew every major event that was going to happen.

  49. Amanda says:

    Everything was fine until they said Bill is king! I’ve read all the books and love the differences in the show but really? The vampire that hates other vampires in KING of the vampires in Louisiana?!?!Give me a break.

  50. jess says:

    LOVED IT. Jason’s storylines is the only one that bores me since last season. Putting him in the ice box was an improvement, I’m intrigued. Hopefully he won’t be so boring this season. Everything else was fantastic, but I was left wanting more explanations. MORE! The best thing: Bill is king.

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