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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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Fun fact: there is a Swedish soccerteam called AIK, the same initials Eric used to buy Sookies house!

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@Evan, Actually I think that Bill has taken over Sophie-Anne's role as King, because he was in his home in Lousiana, rather than Mississippi. It didn't say he took over from Russell, therefore it still remains a mystery, but I really don't think he has taken over Russell's job. You can be King or Queen of any state

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I can't believe True Blood came up with the lame "dream sequence" that viewers had to experience with Dallas and Roseanne. This is just a cop-out way for writers to be able to change direction with no visible means of support. I was very disappointed.

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I JUST DON'T LIKE BILL AS THE KING CUZ THAT MEANS HE HAS POWER OVER ERIC AND I DONT QUITE LIKE THAT!!

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Well, the fairies sucked... sorry, but since they are going to be important in later books well, I don't know how Alan Ball is going to wirte that story now... And why the hell is Bill king?? honestly I suffered through the second and thirth season (the second season was one big horrible disaster if you read the book imo) bc I really wanted to see book 4 on screen... please don't make me regret that... stick a bit more to the books..

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I was hoping the show would follow at least a bit of the books story line but there's like a 1% of the books. I don't mind the make changes here and there but there's nothing that can be said it's from the books. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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I was hoping the show would follow at least a bit of the books story line but there's like a 1% of the books. I don't mind the make changes here and there but there's nothing that can be said it's from the books.
I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Evan

Solid premiere for True Blood's standards. Tara still sucks but she can stick around if she has lesbian sex scenes every episode.
Sam sucks so much its not even funny. Why couldn't he follow through and actually kill his brother. He pussied out as usual. And whats with his brother and Hoyt's mom?
Erik has the weird ability to take ownership of the people inside the house when he buys their house. What a sweet power.
Bill is now officially awesome. After ramping up his awesome level last season, he's officially gone into being the most interesting character on the show. He took Russel's throne. I did not see that coming. Anyone else think he's banging Andy's sister just to spite Andy for accusing him of Sookie's disappearance?
Sookie is still Sookie. Which makes sense since it's only been a few hours for her but over a year for everyone else. Hopefully she starts throwing around faerie bombs at people in the real world just for fun. Thank god they skipped the time ahead. The fact that these people were falling in love with a lot of people within the span of a few months really brought the enjoyment level of the show down since I found it so stupid. My only complaint is that there were no vampire fights. Where was my exploding blood and gore?

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Formula writing "Dallas 101"

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Just Jump the ship all together.....
Can you imagine what the poor brow beaten co-writing team (under of the supervision of Mr.Ball) must have been put thru trying to RE-COOP this year's season into some kind of comprehensible order?
I bet one of these poor saps was the one to DELICATELY assuage Alan's (out of control )ego by offering up the idea of.... "Hey, I know ,maybe we could make the excess stories all go away and clean everything up by using the ole'
"AND ONE YEAR LATER...." THANG ****
I also bet those same (temporarily relived) co-writers just about pulled out their hair screaming when Alan Ball then preceded to "FILLING IN" that CLEAN SLATE with EVEN MORE STUPID STORIES!!
WOW!!!! I sure wouldn't want MY name on the True Blood screen credits for this show!!!!

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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