Monday, September 13, 2010

In Need of a Transfusion

Both True Blood and Entourage have wrapped up for the summer, but it was, sadly, neither an exciting nor satisfying night.

Out in Hollywood, Ari tried to pull all stops to save his marriage but he fell flat and his wife left him. Meanwhile, E's impending wedded bliss took a hit as his fiancee's father requested he sign a pre-nup, which was, sadly, the funniest part of the show. I have grown to finally like E and even his tiff with Scott Caan has been some of the smirkier funny material this year. But, that was all small game as the ticking bomb that was Vince finally went off, as much as Vince can. First, I will say that it's been a breakthrough year for Adrian Genier, as he's been particularly good this year as he gets crabby, high, frustrated, bombed, lovesick, high and then bitchy again. He's done a good job with the role. And I don't really mind the VH-1 "Behind the Music" Vince gets hooked on drugs arc so much. I just think they missed some grand comic moments with it, too.

I mean, this show did used to be a comedy, but this season was treacherously dark and this finale was downright depressing. I used to be able to count on Entourage to always deliver the goods. After the tension and mad scrambles and worries, the miraculous culmination would always happen and the boys would be okay and in a ridiculously better situation. But with Vince bottoming out, it's also caused splinters in the relationships and this year was like watching fucking "Thirtysomething" with the tedious grind of emotional bullshit. I always hated "Thirtysomething" and I don't watch Entourage to feel bad. The coup de grace of it all came as Drama, as always, went way out of his way for "Baby Bro" and was trying like hell to help him. He scuffled with Eminem (okay, that was a little funny) and tried to protect Vince, but Vince got his face all bloodied and bitched out Johnny. NOT ACCEPTABLE! I don't give a fuck how coked out Vince is. Going after Drama is just never forgivable. So between that and the Gold's forced breakup (not particularly well developed, btw) it was just a pisser of a capper to the evening.

Also falling to the devil of drama was True Blood. I've said before that this show is at its campy best when it acknowledges what it is and works within those parameters. But it's been derailing this season with some overly heavy lines and, frankly, piss-poor character turns. This whole business with Sam is stupid. Jason and the HotShot line is fuckin' weird, and, worse, it's boring. Bon Temps used to be a fun place and this show worked because everyone revolved in everyone else's orbit, but they've pulled all the separate storylines apart this year and never brought them back together and so everyone is off doing whatever in their own universe and it's just not cohesive or fun. Tara's hair looks cute, I will say that. But even Lafayette is getting lost going off with Jesus while Arlene has Daddy issues and Godric reappears in visions to Eric. How fucking dumb. If they didn't want to let Godric go, then they shouldn't have killed him. They've gotten to the point with bulletproof characters that all risk and excitement is gone while the cast and storylines bloat and they keep trying to fill the space with dark drama which ends up coming off like exaggerated ennui.

I know they've laid the groundwork for next year's season of the witch, but I'm having a hard time caring anymore past the potential for naked Skarsgard and Manganiello. I did love the King and his storyline and would've been sad to see him go, and I loved his interplay with Sookie in the finale. (Poor Talbot's remains!) And I loved Eric, coming back all covered with concrete goo and sticking it up Bill's ass. I have been WAITING for Sookie to figure out that Bill allowed her to be nearly killed by the Ratrays! And I love that she was too dumb to go there but Eric just throws it right out! But then things turn to shit with the Crouching Queen, Hidden Vampire high-wire fight between Sophie and Bill. I mean, really! Really? Exacerbated only by Sookie's disappearance into fairy-land. *Sigh.* While Entourage leapt wholeheartedly into drama, it seems like Blood just ran headlong into the abyss with a bizarre mix of absurd and boring.

I know it sounds harsh. But it was a quick and sharp decline these past several episodes, and even though Ball himself penned the finale, it was just...lackluster. And that, for a television show, particularly on HBO, is the True Death.