Friday, June 24, 2011

The Five Ways True Blood Gets Back on Track in Season Four

True Blood returns to HBO on Sunday for its fourth season, and with it comes some heavy baggage from the underwhelming third go-round. When the show's good, it's fantastically entertaining: sexually charged, sure, but allegorical, funny, aesthetically sumptuous, and just plain soapy fun. When it's not good, though, it's a real drag, totally bogged down in tangential nonsense (vampire politics, Maryann) and narrative wheel-spinning. We've seen the first three episodes of the new season, and things are looking up, with the show returning to fun form in five key areas. (This list contains extremely mild, completely general spoilers, but doesn't reveal any plot specifics.)
Plenty of Lafayette
The Sookie-Bill-Eric love triangle might be the show's central romance, but Lafayette — with all his "hooker, please" — is the show's delightful voice of reason. True Blood is its most interesting and entertaining when its fantasy elements are in contact and contrast with the normal world as we know it, and Lafayette's point of view often provides the jolt of a perfectly delivered reality check. And, thankfully, he's never been more present or happy than he is at the beginning of Season 4.

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