The fifth season of True Blood will be starting in the US next week… and here in the UK, I’ve just finished working my way through the shiny new season four boxset!
A number of quality actresses appeared over the course of the twelve episodes… but the stand-out performer for me has to be Fiona Shaw, who absolutely rocked her role as ‘Marnie Stonebrook’, the rather timid and dotty medium who becomes possessed by the spirit of a powerful witch, burnt at the stake back in the old-timey days. From the opening episode, I’d assumed that ‘Queen Mab’ and her Fairies would be the major antagonists this season, so the whole necromancy plot was a total curveball, and I loved seeing Marnie transform from a touchy-feely-type plagued by bewildering blackouts into a badass dominatrix in a black leather jacket. I also appreciated the fact that she wasn’t just being evil for the sake of it… both she and her patron, ‘Antonia Gavilán de Logroño’ (Paola Turbay), had a legitimate beef against vampire-kind, and it was hard not to side with her a little bit in the beginning. Obviously vamps are the main selling point of this show, and we all have a degree of affection for them as fictional characters… but would any of us actually feel safe, living in a world where super-strong, super-fast blood-suckers were roaming the night, looking for a neck to latch on to?
That said, my fave regular character would still have to be ‘Jessica Hamby’, played by Deborah Ann Woll. I remember her being a pain-in-the-arse back when she was first “turned”, acting out like a stroppy sitcom teenager… but she’s really matured over the last couple of years, to the point that I’d say she was probably the most sympathetic character on the show! Apparenly ‘Sookie’ (Anna Paquin) is the central protagonist of the original novels, and I enjoyed her rather soppy romance with the amnesiac ‘Eric’ (Alexander Skarsgård) this season, but I can’t honestly say I care what happens to her in the long-run. Maybe that’s just because we’ve spent so much screen-time with her, and fatigue is starting to set in? Or maybe it’s just that Jessica’s journey is so much more tragic and intriguing than Sookie’s is? Such a sad, sweet, sexy, scary girl…
I had high hopes for ‘Tara’ (Rutina Wesley) at the start of the season, presuming that her kick-ass cage-fighting skills would come into play at some point… but as soon as she got back to Bon Temps, she just turned out to be the same buzz-killing kvetch she’s always been. I think Wesley is an incredibly beautiful woman, with the toned, athletic physique of a true action-heroine… but all she ever seems to do on this show is sit around Sookie’s house, complaining and crying. Tch!
Oh, and Alexandra Breckenridge (of American Horror Story fame) had a short-lived role as an undercover agent who infiltrated Marnie’s coven, before stripping off for her obligatory sex scene!