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True Blood Season 4 Premiere Review: Under New Ownership

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Of all the lovable lunacy that comprises every season of True Blood, perhaps the most astonishing fact is this: all three seasons have only comprised a couple months of actual time in Bon Temps.

But that changed on "She's Not There," as season four picked up twelve and a half months after events on the September finale.

Until the final few moments, this made for an episode that managed to feel both busy and slow. A majority of the hour was spent catching the viewers up on the state of various characters - and I tune in to True Blood for sex, violence and hilarious lines such as Pam telling Jessica she's "eye-fucking a fang-banger," not exposition.

True Blood Premiere Scene

Okay, so Jessica is living with Hoyt and lusting after humans... Andy is hooked on V... Sam has joined some sort of shape-shifter support group... Tara has taken on a new identity (and a new lover, mystery solved!) in New Orleans... Lafayette has new, magical friends... Arlene is scared of her son... Nan Flanagan must rehab the image of vampires... Jason is a cop and is now in an icebox... fairy time moves slower than an episode of The Killing....

That's A LOT to throw at us in one episode. Too much, really. But the jam-packed premiere was saved by these closing developments:

Bill is King of Louisiana?!? That would be an awesome enough surprise on its own, as Bill needs a storyline outside of merely protecting Sookie and it should be fun to watch him boss around Eric for a change.

But he also has some connection to/interest in the witches, clearly, as evidenced by the member of the coven who raced over to the mansion. He also could be getting it on with Portia Bellefleur, Andy's sister, Sookie's lawyer and someone I couldn't blame the vampire for going after. Actress Courtney Ford, call me!

Marnie can revive parrots?!? A great, eerie debut by Fiona Shaw as the head of the creepiest clique in town. Marnie is instantly a fascinating character because she isn't arriving on the scene with unexplained mystical powers and motives (cough... cough...  Mary-Ann... cough... cough...). It looks like we'll actually watch her accumulate various spells and, I can only assume, devious plans to go along with them.

Sookie... is... Eric's?!? Wow. I knew the housing market was bad, but I wasn't aware they were offering such deals as ownership of the beautiful previous resident when you purchase these days. Think Eric got a low, fixed rate, too?

Seriously, though, what a smooth line Eric delivered upon seeing Sookie in the buff. What does it mean that she's now "his?" There's no way the show is hooking these two up already, this early in the season, right? And, if it does, how will the new King react? Fun questions to ponder.

I didn't dislike any of the storylines presented, I just didn't love the way they were all thrown at us so rapidly. But now that we're here and now that True Blood has returned, we can all just sit back and let the fun - and sex, and gore, and suspense - flow.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (206 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Fortyseven

Good premiere. I wasn't even a little annoyed/bored/sick of Tara.

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I loved the premiere! The biggest shocker for me was King Bill?!
You just know that he is going to be causing problems for Eric. Don't see why Eric would want to continue working for him knowing what a douche Bill is/can be. I'm thinking that Eric wanted to hang around to wait for Sookie to come back before he made any decision/move regarding his position or Bill. Episode 2 is available on HBO On Demand now too BYW. When you see it some things start to make sense. Bill is his usual sneaky, conniving sslf but now with a little power to do something about things. However, he is still just a small man who has latched onto some power that he really didn't deserve. He is in a position to mess with Eric & Sookie quite a bit and it should be really interesting. I hope Alan Ball gives him the whatfor at the end of the season. This has the potential to be so much fun.

Leigh-r

Definitely a lot of information to get thrown our way in one episode, but I feel like that's usually how season premieres go. They need to catch everyone up. If you watch Episode 2 on demand or HBOGo it is well worth it and a 5 star episode. For book readers, you will be more satisfied too. Love this show, so glad it's back. Only real gripe was the weird star trek fairy sequence in the opening. Really not into Arlene and her demonic baby and Tommy's weird arrangement with Maxine. Loving Laffa's new hairdo, that's my boy!! Fiona Shaw as Marnie is a great addition. Anyone else remember her on 3 men and a little lady as the horny headmistress who wants to hook up with Tom Selleck? Just a little throwback there.

Saad-khan

just saw the 2nd Episode(pre- aired on HBO online).it was amazing.. I won't tell what happened to Eric & Jason in the end! :-P P.S if anyone is interested & Can't wait till next week, I can Skype send the True Blood Season4 Epi-02.

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Im glad the show is turning away from the books since in the books a lot of interesting characters become irrelevant like Tara and Bill. And it erternly makes things more interisting and unpredictable! Where is Crystal!?

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I am disappointed. Watching this episode I felt like everything is thrown at me at once...too much information, too many loose ends. Where is the suspense? Where is the creepy music? Where is the eerie feeling, the darkness? When the fairies started throwing their bombs, it started looking like a damn sci-fi movie. I hope that it will get better.

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I don't know just yet how I feel about season 4. I do think that they should stick a bit more to th ebooks, as the story line presented there is great on it's own. The fairies play a very significant part of the story later and I don't see how they can make it work now that they have a Queen Mab adaption going on. I was also psyched for this season because of the Sookie-Eric hook up that goes down in the books. I dislike the controlling way in which it seems to be unraveling in the show. I also do not like Bill as King. He is a significant enough character as he was, and plays a consistantly important role in the books, but not that significant. I have also been an Eric fan as opposed to Bill. I think Bill is too weak a vampire, too weak a character actually, to weild so much power. By making these drastic changes this season I cannot see the rest of the book series being followed properly. Umm also, Portia is supposed to be ugly...just an afterthought...I guess we'll see how it turns out but from th elooks of it True Blood may lose me this season... *sigh*

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I don't know why everyone keeps bitching that the show isn't following the book! It's a different medium. You want the book, go read the damn book! People...are idiots.

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Side note: Did anyone else get shivers when the Queen of fairies voice changed to a demonic one?

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@ Aires93 I think that the first images of the fairies were their real images, but when they had to leave earth for that place, thier looks became as destoryed as the place they were force to live. That place sucked the glow,"light", youthfullness out of them even more than the vamps taking it, killing thier looks,etc. This is why I think they wanted to trap Humans to steal thier essence. Also, I think the purpose for the granddad being there was needed to give both Sookie and Jason closure. They both, in addtionto Grandma thought he had abanndon them when they needed him most. Now finally, it was explained just what happened to him and where he was all those years. Jason most definally needed the clousure more than Sookie at this point. They both got the clousre and asurrance that Grandpa always loved them.

True Blood Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

We'll stay for five minutes. 10 if they got dranks.

Lafayette

I have a fairy godmother? Okay, if your job is to look after me, can I just say you suck.

Sookie
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