Releasing today from HBO Canada on Blu-ray and DVD is the penultimate season of the bloody and sexy vampire series, True Blood, based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.
I fell out of the series about a quarter of the way through the third season, briefly after the introduction of a character, who in season 6, is one of my favorites… Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll).
I thought it would be an interesting exercise to have a look at the series after having been away from it for so long, and HBO was willing to oblige, by sending along a copy of Season 6 to review.
I wasn’t sure I could get back into the series, but I definitely didn’t hate it. This was an interesting season to come in to, and it also saw me smiling curiously at some of the changes that have been wrought on the characters since I last saw them.
The biggest change is the whole fairy thing. When did that happen? Apparently though, that explains Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) psychic ability… she’s a fairy.
The season itself has some strong themes running through all of it, dealing with the concepts of family and prejudice (but hey, we don’t talk about religion here). It also sees a visit on the idea of internment camps, experimentation, and extermination… bringing the series to the edge of a vampire holocaust.
Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) is a bit of a wild card this season as he has imbibed the blood of the vampire god Lilith (Jessica Clark), so you’re not quite sure where his allegiances truly lay.
Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) is still the brooding vampire, who seems to be a fan favorite, and gets to dance the line between bad-ass and romantic lead.
I was happily surprised to Rutger Hauer join the cast this season, but also saddened that he was extremely under-used.
The cast of characters continues to expand, though Sookie, Bill, Eric and the shifter Sam (Sam Trammell) are still at the series heart, and the series writers continue to incorporate the world Charlaine Harris has created while giving it their own spin.
I love the political storyline weaving through it, as the vampires, and by extension, the other supernatural beings, are a hot button topic for any public official, and it was fun to see Arliss Howard in the role of Governor.
The melodrama is a curious mix, and requires a huge buy-in on the viewer’s part. I don’t recommend jumping in at this point in the series, start at the beginning. But of course, fans who know what they are getting into, will lap it up like vampires draining their victims down to the True Death.
That being said, the blu-ray set looks great, and will be a welcome addition on the shelf of any True Blood fan, it has a number of extras, which always delight me to no end, including recaps, previews, peeks inside the episodes, as well as audio commentaries that illustrate how the show comes together.
HBO always does nice work on their collections, and this one is no different; there’s access to a digital copy, so you can watch it on a tablet, and of course both the picture and the sound on the blu-ray is top-notch. As I’ve said before, they continue to set the standard of what collectors expect and want on their season releases.