Thu
Jul 28 2011 7:30pm

True Blood Ultimatum: Sex and Plot, It’s That Simple

Dead to the World by Charlaine HarrisI came into True Blood as a Sookie Stackhouse fan. I’d read the books and was ready to see them adapted to TV. Season One surprised me. (Mostly due to the sex-plosion. Hello, Jason Stackhouse.) After Season Two, I willingly looked at True Blood and the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire novels as two separate entities, as they’ve taken such divergent paths.

I reminded myself repeatedly through the madcap blast of Season Three that, “it’s okay if it’s not the same as Club Dead,” because I really wanted to love True Blood, the show. And I love Alan Ball. But, really? Let’s admit it: Despite some great scenes and a stellar episode or two (“9 Crimes,” particularly), Season Three was a damn mess.

And it had me scared. Each season has moved farther from the core Sookie storyline. With Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse #4), my favorite Sookie book, the source material for Season Four, I was terrified True Blood would massacre my beloved amnesiac Viking plotline.

True Blood’s Sookie and EricSo, it’s time: I’m issuing an ultimatum to True Blood. I need two things to happen this season, regardless of extraneous storylines, or I’m breaking up with you:

1. I want my Sookie/Eric relationship and I want it front and center. I understand why the show made Bill more sympathetic than the novels, but I have been waiting for Sookie to ditch him for three seasons. Give me vulnerable Viking vampire sex, please.

2. I need a strong overarching plot. Sookie needs something to do (in addition to the aforementioned Viking), and she needs to kick a little ass. Dead to the World was the big changing point for her, where the starts to become a part of the supernatural community. Scatter-shot storylines will result in a Chelsea/True Blood break-up.

Sookie and Eric in True BloodWe’re a few episodes in, and True Blood has given me a straight-up adorable Eric Northman. (The man was playing in a lake pretending he was a sea god. That’s the cuteness.) The show is meeting part one of my ultimatum. (I expect Viking sex scenes forthwith, though.)

On the latter half, it’s too soon to say. King Bill weirds me out and the were-panther plot is darker and far creepier than anything in the books. However, I can see the possibility of True Blood strengthening the witch storyline in conjunction with Eric and Sookie. And that may give me the strong plot I want out of this show. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that Sookie doesn’t get lost in all the Marnie craziness.

Are you and True Blood still seeing each other? What do you think about the season thus far?


 

While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. (Her husband often reminds her that she’s taken.)

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33 comments
Alisha S.
1. Alisha S.
I know it may sound shallow, but all I want is The Shower Scene. Is that too much to ask for? :o) heheh
Alisha S.
2. megandubyuh
I totally agree. The books are ABOUT SOOKIE... and I feel like that is so lost in the show. But I sit on the edge of my seat for every episode waiting, wishing and hoping today is the day for the Viking Sex... Dead to the World has got to be everyone's fave of the series, right?
Chelsea Mueller
3. ChelseaMueller
@Alisha - Not shallow at all. Though, I swear, I re-read Dead to the World last month and was SHOCKED that the shower scene wasn't nearly as dirty as I remembered it.

Though, in fairness, they did a Bill/Sookie shower scene last season, so I'm worried they may go a different direction than a soapy Northman.
Alisha Scott
4. Alisha MNtR
Yep, I think it's safe to say that DttW is most fans' fave. Certainly mine, by far. And it's precisely for the reasons mentioned in this post.

Oh, darn. Yer right, Chelsea. The concept was jacked for Bill and Sookie. Boo...what'll they do to make up for it? It is arguably one of the most memorable scenes from the whole series. Although yeah, the shower scene itself wasn't all that dirty. But damn if it wasn't sexy just by virtue of proffering a sensitive, soapy Eric Northman! lol
Alisha S.
5. Amanda Bonilla
I agree with you 100%!!! Book 4 was my absolute favorite in the series and if TrueBlood doesn't measure up...I'm done with it.
Aliza Mann
6. AlizaMann
I'm still pissed about the missing shower scene. Best part of the book, if you ask me. I'm not breaking up, but I am sorely disappointed. The kiss was ok, but I need a little more than that...
Chelsea Mueller
7. ChelseaMueller
@Alisha MNtR - Yes, I think the fourth book is most people's favorite. I also like the first and seventh books, but Dead to the World is such a turning point for the series -- including much bigger doses of Eric. :)

@AlizaMann - I don't think we're done with the Eric/Sookie action in the show yet. If they don't have sex, I will be done with the show.

I will say, the little shit-eating grins we're getting from Alexander Skarsgard during this bout of amnesia are pretty priceless. It'd be too much of a tease for them to give us that part and then skip the naughty parts.
Alisha S.
8. Teri C
Yes, shower scene! More Eric, Pam needs to kick a bit more arse, she is so mad her complexion is ruined, and I am not that interested in poor Marnie or whatever the coven leader's name is in fact, Pam should take her out with some wit and snark and angst.
Alisha S.
9. viggolover1
I agree with your demands. I became a bookie because of True Blood. I watched part of the first season and found it too sexual...so I stop watching. Didn't know that this series was base on books. Last year (channel surfing) stop at HBO and there it was True Blood. I decided to give it another try. All of sudden this tall beautiful and blond vampire shows up on my tv screen and I was glamour by him. WOW!!! I need it to see the first season and second pronto. How in the world I miss him? Google help me to realized that there were books. So I went to my local Walmart...like Sookie LOL!!! and bought my first book. Well...two days later I was buying the second and so on. It pains me how AB has change the books on his series. All the good qualities of Eric were given to Bill. UGH! and like you I was hoping he at least will respect book 4. The problem too is that CH doesn't care about the changes...she has said it in more than one ocassion. So I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that at least Sookie ends up with Eric. Eric has been good to her not only in the books but in the series too. Bill has lied and control Sookie since day one. Eric wants her to embrace her true self. And how you can't love a man or in this case vampire who wants you to be your own person and who loves you regardless of everything and anything you have said or done to him? Eric and Sookie belong together.
Chelsea Mueller
10. ChelseaMueller
@Teri C. - I think it's a credit to Kristin Bauer van Straten that I may actually like Pam better on TV than I do in the books. (And I adore Pam in the books.) I agree, I'm ready to see her kick some ass, and she has great motivators. The two things she cares about most have been threatened: her maker and her face.

@viggolover1 - I think Charlaine Harris has to be of that mind. When you sell the rights for the TV version, you give them permission to do what they want. She could get all angry, but it wouldn't do anyone any good. The show would still be different, and she'd have burned bridges. I'm sure she was utterly floored when the show -- SPOILER (highlight to read) -- killed Claudine.
Alisha S.
11. cindyg
I know that I want the Sookie-Eric connection and to be honest; I'll be pissed if I don't get it. And another thing, what the hell is with the Alcide and Debbie thing? Please...get real Alan...
Rhonda Conklin
12. rrc74
I knew the show would be different.....especially after season one. But I have been a little upset on some of the changes that have taken place. This is a make or break season for me too I think. They have already killed off her fairy cousin. :( I guess we will see!!
Alisha S.
13. elliebabye
i agree with everything you all are saying.....just want to add....if you add the screen time that eric and sookie have been getting it equals about 7 minutes each episode....give us a break alan....we know you love bill...but this story is about eric and sookie ....when did you stop reading the books....
A.J. Wilson
14. AJWilson
"I expect Viking sex scenes forthwith, though .." I could agree more, Chelsea.

All this other story line garbage is making me care less and less about characters that I've read all about. I used to get excited for each new episode and now, its like, meh, I'll DVR it. I mean, what are we going to get, 7 mintues @elliebabye was saying of Eric - Sookie time?

And the rest, really? Pam's face? Bill won't let her do anything? Where the f*ck is the action? Sam's bro killing his parents? The Marnie whats her name story line with Jesus and Laffaette going off to the desert? This show just seems to be going down teh toilet, and I'm in serious doubt of whether or not I will continue watching it next season if the pace and Eric/Sookie action does not pick up soon!
Alisha S.
15. elliebabye
i think it is time that arlene and terry get the boot....evil baby ..give me a break...can't take much more of jesus...love lafayette but what are they doing to him...sam's storyline is going no where...get rid of tommy...tara is she taking amelia's place ...are they setting us up for her having an affair with pam.... if tara hates it in BT so much then please leave....more eric, sookie and pam time....like alcide....debby could be a great villan if they play their cards right...maybe AB should hire Jason Mamoa for either Quinn or Victor's character...that would be a smart move alan......just seems like the fans could do a better job of writing the episodes than the pros..... AB better start giving Alex better lines and more screen time or AB will lose him...
Alisha S.
17. Laurie London
I am sooo ready for some hot Viking lovin'. I also was a book fan before TrueBlood came out and book 4 (I refer to it as the Cursed Eric book) is my favorite too. Before the series aired but after the first few episodes had been shot, I attended a Charlaine Harris booksigning (in the days when there were less than 100 people, not thousands). Someone asked how much involvement she had with the show. In her adorable accent, she said her involvement was walking to her mailbox and opening the envelope with the check. And she was totally okay with that.
Alisha S.
18. Kindallw
Look, lady, you need to get out of my brain.

Seriously? Verbatim on what I've thought/felt since Season 3. I've tried - oh, how I've tried - to separate the books from the show. I was pretty successful through season 2, even enjoying the addition of Godric (hello, cute Danish man!). But things are just getting a little too wackadoo for my tastes. This season will be the deal breaker/maker for me. And I really hope it's the latter, because I do NOT want to have to go see that stupid Battleship movie to get my Alex fix. Perish the thought...

Kindall
Tanya johnson
19. Angelstanya3
When it comes to Sookie and Eric, Im looking forward to see the relationship grow between the two of them. Its going to be interesting to see how the actual witch war will be shown, cause in the books the Vampires and Were wolves unit together against them.
When it comes to good old Bill, I really cant stand him anymore, he has definitely let the power of his majesty go to his head, and is so trying to use it to get rid of Eric, talking about not fighting fair.
There is so many interesting things yet to come, and it will be interesting to see how the True Blood series choose to play it out, I just hope they try to honor the book series a bit more.
Theres the Witch war, the Fairy war, the Debbie Petlier situation, Alcide and Sookie relationship, and many other things. No offence Tara bores me to death, I really wish they let her leave permantently. Also I wish that Pam and Sookie have a better friendship relationship, cause in the books they have a respectable relationship. I didnt like how they had Pam betray Eric by her telling Bill where he was, the Pam in the books would never have done that, so im very displeased with that. One last thing, whats with Terry and Arlene's baby being possessed or is the doll thats a bit off, not sure if i like that story, I wish they kept with the plot from the book regarding crazy Arlene.
Again wish they would Honor the story plots from the books a bit more, the books were a success for a reason.
Chelsea Mueller
20. ChelseaMueller
@elliebabye - I've actually taken to re-watching this seasons episodes via DVR, so I can skip everything but Eric/Sookie. (OK, I watched Joe M. drop his pants, too.) It's a little crushing how little of the show is Sookie.

@AJWilson - Maybe there should be a Viking vampire sex petition.... ;)

@LaurieLondon - I heard something similar said at a book signing circa DEAD IN THE FAMILY. I think she recognizes it does no one any good if she gets upset about it, because it won't change a thing.

@Kindall - I'll quit testing my mindreading skills on you. ;) (But new Battleship movie is probably better than the tiny bit of ASkars we get back from the Zoolander days.)
Alisha S.
21. aeryn
I've been a big fan of this series but having hard time reconciling the TV version and the book . I sometimes end up having to fast-forward some scenes :( except when it comes to Eric and Sookie. I mean Bill lost me after the first two books but TV King Bill is not only sleazy but very creepy. I find Eric and Sookie's relationship seems more real, raw and whole lot more exciting and sexy! I'm digging this "nice", thoughtful Eric but at the same time, I'm missing his wife-beater shirt!

But I totally agree on your demands. I want more Eric and Sookie. Are they planning to include the famous shower scene or even the scene where he bites her in a particular area?
Alisha S.
22. simpsimon
I agree with you 100% on both points, especially, the " vulnerable Viking vampire sex".
Alisha S.
23. Nicole L
That was the best book of the series DTTW. I hope they are going to include the shower scene. It won't be the same without it.
Alisha S.
24. Earlene
I agree with all of the above. I really have not got into this seasons show much, and don't know if I will watch any more unless they write a little better. Last season I thought was a joke. To have the whole season given to Marianne, Eggs and Tara ( ugh ) The books are alot better. I wish Alan Ball and HBO would follow the books a little better. I have always been an Eric fan. Bill is just ridiculous as King, he hasn't the got the right stuff.
Chelsea Mueller
25. ChelseaMueller
@aeryn - I'd be just fine with him shirtless, though the beater tanks did look nice.

@simpsimon - Great minds...

@Nicole L - Eric is creative. We need to see his creative bedroom skills one way or another. I have a feeling they won't go shower scene, though all the book fans will be dying for it.

@Earlene - King Bill is laughable. There are a lot of vampires in Louisiana that would be older and stronger. It's hard to be believe people would accept it, even with the AVL backing him.
Alisha S.
26. babbs
I agree 100% , I like trueblood but Alan Ball is taking it too far to the extreme as he gets further away from the basic core storyline of the book.I do not mind some improv but he is taking it to the extreme. He needs to find his way back to the path of Sookie being the central character and stop all of the side road trips he is giving us. I want Eric and Sookie together as it should be . By the way what happen to Quinn that was a good storyline in the books as well.
Alisha S.
27. Missouri58
Since all of the episodes for this season have already been filmed nothing we say will make any difference, but I still am going to vent. AB said several times that the Eric fans would be happy this season. Well guess what AB, I'm a huge Eric fan and I am not happy with a little over 5 minutes of Eric each episode. He was not even in next weeks previews. The love scene Sunday was beautiful and made me cry, but it was again so short and naturally Bill had to have his mug involved. There will be a shower scene, but I don't think Eric fans are going to be happy with it. I feel certain Bill will be involved somehow. I for one would be happy to see AB bow out because his bias toward Bill is never going to stop. As for Alcide, if we are talking books he and Sookie flirted a little and were friends although he used her on several occasions, but never got together and I don't want them to in the show. Was originally not wanting Quinn in the show because his calling her babe every 5 minutes drove me crazy. Now however for me the actor playing Alcide is such a bust (his voice grates on my nerves and I don't like his acting) the right actor to play Quinn would be a breath of fresh air. I don't agree with the Mamoa guy because he scares me to look at, I would run away screaming and yelling if I met him in a dark alley. I would love to see Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds in the roll. And by the way, I want to hear Eric call Sookie Lover and speak more Swedish.
Tanya johnson
28. Angelstanya3
I agree with everyone as well. AB has definitly not been loyal to the books. The story line with Tommy & Tara is very annoying. Thank you for the reminder about Quinn i got him mixed with Alcide, but I do like the Alcid e character in TB he is hot hot hot lol Also I hate the change of the story line with Jason and the werepanthers.
Please AB followed the story line using Debbie, Sookie and Eric.... Please AB follow the story line from the books MORE.
Alisha S.
29. Bellapunkingirl
I agree with most everything already said. As each season approaches, I find myself so excited like when a new book is coming out. Then as the season starts, I compare it to the books, and it NEVER lives up! I understand the need to expand on certain characters in the series that were minimal or simply killed off in the books but seriously- Tara! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, leave for good or just die already!!!! Not only is the character pointless the actress plays her awful. I love me some Lafayette- his dialogue on the show is great. But as others stated earlier, I DVR the shows and fast forward through most of his scenes with the boyfriend, Tara, etc... And don't even get me started on Bill!! He is a very close second to Tara- just go away!!! Bill's character in the books is so much more likable because he's hardly ever in them! Let's get back to the books and have some REAL Sookie and Eric lusty love with a dash of Alcide and Quinn thrown in!!! After an incredibly boring first episode this season, I came close to giving up. But the show is a nice taste of "Sookie's world" while we wait for the next book- which is far superior to the show. If anything, it is worth complaining about online, right!?! What else is there to watch over the summer anyway!
Shirley Fremd
30. Shirleyjo
I think the season so far is pretty lame. Especially last night. There is NO chemistry between Sookie and Eric. She obviously loves Bill. Eric has always been a self-centered piece of work, and always will be. Even Charlaine said on her site, Eric is always about Eric. Cardboard cutouts would have been as passionate as S&E were last night. I don't see that the fourth book is a fan favorite. Maybe for those who like Eric. I personally love the first two books. They were romantic and showed where Sookie's heart really lies. The ninth book, Dead and Gone, had some very nice moments as well. Most of what came after Living Dead in Dallas and up to Dead and Gone was not very good - at least in being truthful with Sookie's true love. Everyone knows she never loved Eric, she was tricked. The marriage is a total sham. Eric is a liar, and a self-serving bag of garbage. I can't wait for he and Sookie to break up. Hopefully he will die in the 11th or 12th book. At least Alan Ball has been clear from the start. He knows Bill and Sookie belong together and has stated they are soulmates. They really love each other. Sorry guys, but someone had to say it.
Chelsea Mueller
31. ChelseaMueller
@Shirleyjo - Wow, I think you might be the first person I've met who doesn't consider Dead to the World their favorite (or second favorite -- lots of Bill fans like the first book best) book.

I think the lack of chemistry between Sookie/Eric on the show has more to do with the fact her husband is probably standing 10 feet away than anything purposeful.

I know there are lots of people who are Team Bill. I'm not one of them, though I understand liking TV Bill much more than I could ever understand liking book Bill. In the novels he uses, manipulates and betrays Sookie. I'm not saying Eric doesn't use her -- but he's not deceptive about it. And I think that's part of the appeal of his character. He's isn't human, and as the novels progress he's completely honest about who he is with Sookie. She sees what his motivations are, the things that matter in the vampire world (often one's self first) compared to those trying to pretend they're still human.

I think he does love her, but I don't think that love is the same we'd find in a human relationship. That said, I'm of the mind things took a nose dive in the books after Dead and Gone. (Actually, I think the last stellar book was Dead as a Doornail.)

Anyone else want to weigh in here?
Alisha S.
32. Michelle Hughes
I have to admit at the beginning of the season I was like oh crap they are really going to screw up my favorite book. But as it's went on I'm 100% onboard with what Allen is trying to portray.
Alisha S.
33. ScorpioVamp
I agree with Alisha S. I had been waiting for the shower scene and that seems to not going to happen.
I totally agree with Chelsea, I about had it with the show... they better do something.
The thing is that I know they won't. And here is why: they have WAY too many ppl watching the show that didn't read the books, so to them, everything is fine.
I just keep praying that this is a lesson for all other writers in the vampire/paranormal/mistery/romance genre that once you sell the rights, they will (most likely) dissapoint your fans.
Ask readers of the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings series: about 85% (if not more) are satisfied with the adaptations.
It's sad... and i wouldn't be surprised if that's another reason why Ms. Harris is ending the series...
One positive thought, I love Alexander Skarsgard as Eric... just wish he had the long hair... so Sookie can brade it for their visit to Victor's club.. hah hahah :)
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