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on February 24, 2012
After the kitchen-sink approach of season three, season four of True Blood went back to basics in many ways. Maybe the writers saw the need to have more cohesive stories this year (In fact, a couple of the commentators on the season three DVDs mentioned their desire to have things be more contained writing-wise). That I feel was the major flaw of the still deliciously entertaining third season. But, season four reminded me of the first season in some ways. Things stayed in Bon Temps and everyone was much more involved with each other. I really enjoyed how everyone became intertwined again.

So, the Big Bad for this season is technically two women: a timid medium named Marnie (Fiona Show) who becomes possessed with the vengeful spirit of an Inquisition-era witch Antonia (Paula Turbay). Marnie was an interesting villain; much more vulnerable and humanized than Maryann or Russell Edgington or even Rene. She was so shy and meek that she had to become possessed by a witch to find her inner Bad. For this reason, she can be considered somewhat of a weak villain. But, once Antonia enters the picture, Marnie becomes quite the bad ass. The commanding confidence she exudes from this point on demonstrates Shaw's talent as an actress, since she's basically going from one extreme to the other. Still, I found it hard to enjoy Marnie's evilness as much as I did Maryann or Russell, who were endlessly fun to watch.

Now, on to the big deal of season four: Sookie and Eric finally hook up, after about a season and a half of sexual tension. I had been waiting for this day since season three and, even though Eric had to lose his bite for it to happen, I still relished every moment. Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgard have always had fantastic chemistry. Not as searing as her with Stephen Moyer, but still undeniably believable. I'd have to disagree wholeheartedly with the reviewer who said their sex scenes "lacked heat". The episode where they first make love was some of the hottest sex I've seen on the show. The build-up of tension and release was comparable to the first time Sookie and Bill had sex in season one. There's such a sweet satisfaction in just seeing it finally happen.

I haven't read the books but I heard Bill gradually disappears after he and Sookie break up. The fact that the show still has Bill around made for some great tension. As much as I was annoyed with Bill in season three, he grew back on me this season. All the mixed emotions he experienced in regards to Sookie and Eric - petty jealousy, regret, wanting her to be happy, trying to focus on his duties as king instead - really humanized him. He wasn't dealing with it as a cold-blooded vampire but as a flesh-and-blood man would deal with a breakup and seeing his ex with his former nemesis. Stephen Moyer really took command of this season and his new title as King brought out an interesting new dimension of Bill.

The Jason/Jessica/Hoyt love triangle was completely unexpected but I enjoyed it every minute of it, as well as the consequences it brought. As far as the other storylines, there were pros and cons. Kristin Bauer van Straten was at the top of her game as Pam, more sarcastic and biting than ever, but she didn't have much to do but stand around and complain (and rot). Tara has always been one of my favorites and I appreciated her getting her strength back this year and not crying every single episode. Her joining forces with Marnie/Antonia was a smart twist, due to her history with vampires, but it didn't seem to have a payoff. In the end, Tara obviously regretted it but we didn't learn how much it developed her character. I did really love Sam and Tommy's relationship, though. It was so troubled and turbulent but, in the end, we saw how deeply both men loved each other.

The season finale was epic. So many twists and turns and surprises. In my opinion, it's the best season finale in the show's history. We've been left with so many unanswered questions and so many juicy cliffhangers. I absolutely cannot wait until season five!
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on September 15, 2011
For many reasons, season 4 far exceeded my expectations. I have loved the series from day one, but season 4 took us to a much darker place filled with surprises and shock.
One truly standout character was Marnie (played with finesse by Fiona Shaw). She has been the best villain (for lack of a better word)of the series thus far. It gave our beloved characters some great story lines to explore, and all were acted brilliantly.
I loved the dark fairy world Sookie was taken to in the season premiere. Anna Paquin has really found the character of Sookie and embraced it. She is a wonderful actress who never fails to deliver.
The plot with Lafayette & Jesus was benign and sweet all at the same time and their relationship really came full circle (a rare thing on this series).
Some of the story lines seemed out of place, in particular the Jason/Were-Panther/rape plot, but it ended and was only briefly mentioned thereafter.
I have loved the character of Tara, but this season sort of squandered her character, changing her in ways I never wanted to see. Perhaps in reality, the same may have happened to Tara I suppose (after all she has been through).
As for the Vamps, Eric and Pam were a joy to watch, while I am growing a bit tired of Bill and his new high & mighty endeavor as "King of Louisiana" (he seems so selfish and self-impressed now, not the Bill we knew before).
Sam's story line was watchable (especially the relationship with his brother, Tommy), while I found the Andy Bellfleour plot completely unnecessary and quite frankly boring.
They gave Alcide little to do, but set him up for many more great things to come which is engaging.
As for the plot with Arlene & her "devil" baby, it could have been removed all together. Quite silly at times, but okay nonetheless.
That being said, Jessica (played by Deborah Ann Woll with innocence) is quite possibly one of the best reasons to watch "TB". She is a fascinating character and a brilliant actress.
The season 4 ender leaves us with many less characters, and many more reasons to tune in to season 5. I dread the wait. It was a superb, very gratifying finale.
If you look past the minor flaws of the series, it truly is the most inventive, addictive, mind-frenzy on television today. Don't miss it, and definitely don't miss this season!
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on July 25, 2012
Having just watched the first episode of season 4, I, after lying in the fetal position for a good thirty minutes, decided to communicate my feelings of embarassment and utter sadness at what this show has become in a healthy and cathartic way. Let me just say, I struggled through the latter half of season 2 and the whole of season 3, because while I knew what I was watching was looming closer and closer to soap opera mediocrity with every episode, I still had hope, however slim, that maybe I would finally be reunited with the show I knew and loved if I just kept with it. So, I mustered strength I didn't know I had in me and continued to watch. Now, it DID get exceptionally difficult to keep going after watching a scene with Anna Paquin, in one of the poorest acting jobs I have seen to date, scream like a moron while surrounded by a circle of laughably-artificial fire, especially since I like Anna Paquin, having loved her in season one and the beginning of season 2, and as a film actress, I think she is one of the more competent-but my GOD! I was not expecting that at all, regardless of how rediculous the writing had become at that point. This show has taken a 90 degree plunge following the latter half of season 2, for a number of reasons:
1. The dialogue has become so bad, it's actually becoming hilarious
2. Characters who they make a big fuss setting up a plot for are killed off for no reason, other than it's obvious the writers are realizing they shouldn't have introduced them in the first place and just can't think of anything else to do with them.
3. The personal connections between characters (e.g Sookie and Tara) are almost nonexistent now, and none of the characters feel real or even likeable in comparison to how they originally started out.
4. Characters are being treated more like Sims, for the writers to just manipulate and see to what rediculous extent they can push them- Tara being a vamp (cheap); Sookie going to play in Fairie world; Jason hooking up with a werepanther( really?) who becomes crazy and then never referenced AGAIN?!
5. Too many stories that have no connection with each other and have no interesting substance, whatsoever.
6. The use of slow-motion and cheesy one-liners that just go to show how low the creators are willing to stoop to get viewers,
And the list goes on and on...

This is becoming one of those shows that I watch if I'm in a bad mood and need a cheap laugh (and believe me, this is laughable), which actually makes me sad because of how much I loved season 1. The story was straightforward and all of the little subplots tied together, the characters felt realistic and likeable, the dialogue was smart, funny but never corny, and above all else, every episode was memorable and not just there to set up a bunch of cliff hangers for the next episode to answer. Having gone back and watched the season for the first time since it premiered on TV, I look at the characters and how completely unrecognizable they seem. Remember when Sookie acted a little bit the intelligent and balsy woman instead of the useless nuisance who just screams like a baby when she gets in trouble? Remember how Sam and Tara had a fling or that he was completely in love with Sookie? Or when Lafayette was the funny, slightly flamboyant clown? Remember when Bill was sexy and mysterious and when Eric had that bangin' Kurt Cobain hairdo and that evil streak we couldn't help but dig? I admit, with the slow but steady descent these characters have been on since, it took me awhile to remember, and now that I do, I want to see THEIR show, instead of this fairytale vomit that has taken its place.
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on December 14, 2011
I'm a fan of both the TV series and the books, and as the show progresses it goes farther and farther from the books, but that isn't really a bad thing. In the fourth season there is the usual amount of vampire and werewolf drama, but now adds witches to the mix as well. I loved the casting of Fiona Shaw this season. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, but I really liked the storylines for Jessica this season, as well as Sookie spending her time with someone other then Bill. The one really weak point of the season, in my opinion, was Tara, as it didn't really seem like she fit anywhere inparticular.
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on January 13, 2012
I'd rate this more like 2.75 stars, but that's not an option so I'm rounding :)

THE PROS:

1) There are exciting cliffhangers for almost every show.
2) The witches are the best nemeses they've had on TB yet.
3) We almost get to see all of Alcide... almost.
4) It looks like someone exciting will be back for Season 5.

THE CONS:

1) Sookie is getting on my last nerve.
2) Eric has become a wuss.
3) Ditto #2 for Pam.
4) The sex has become vanilla & lacks heat.
5) The fairy storyline is as annoying as the Hot Shot one.
6) Characters we have actively come to care about get killed off left and right.
7) The Eric-Sookie-Bill love triangle is starting to feel like a drawn out storyline from All My Children. Erica Kane does it better.
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on June 25, 2012
I've been captivated by Bon Temps and it's characters since the get go. Since I no longer have cable, to say I was eagerly waiting the release of this season would be an understatement. I enjoy the character development, the writing, the pure fantasy of the show. This is escapism at its best and I enjoy every bloody moment.
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on June 8, 2015
SPOILERS:
As this series continues, it just gets stranger and stranger. I don't think there's anyone left who can be classed as "mundane" or "normal." Everyone is a fairy or a witch or a medium, or a vampire, or werewolf, were panther, shape shifter, and a whole bunch of other things I have since forgotten.
Then Eric goes all emo, and the other guy becomes the King (its good to be the king). A fairy could get really confused, and she does. At this point, I am basically watching this series for the eye candy. But when you have Eric Northman to look at, it's definitely worth 3 stars.
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on June 16, 2015
I watched season one and I thought it was pretty average. I got so bored with seasons 2 and 3, I ended up just reading a synopsis instead of suffering through an entire season of Sookie floating into a room in her sundress and batting her eyelashes like a horny cartoon bunny rabbit. Season 4 is not as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe because my expectations were so low and I didn't take it seriously. Or maybe it's because Sookie is not always the center of attention. However, the constant breaks in the action as they switch characters makes it hard to watch. I saw the entire season, and there's no rational explanation about why I liked this fourth season. I didn't exactly watch this like it was a train wreck.. but that's as close an analogy as I can think of.

spoilers...

My god was there a lot of love triangles and tangled sexual relationships. You'd have to be some kind of genius to map out the genogram of the characters in this series! And I guess I should have expected Eric would hook up with Sookie at some point.. But I can't be the only one who was creeped out by the almost pedophile-like relationship. It was like Sookie was dating a retarded eight year old!

And that dream sequence with the three way will probably give me nightmares. Anna Paquin looked like a corpse in lingerie!

I do kinda like most of the cast, but Sookie turns True Blood into an unintentional comedy. All she ever does is jump head first into the middle of things and put a monkey wrench in everyone's plans. Hey, but no need to worry, because when all is lost Sookie will just bend over and glorious rays of pure love and sunshine will fire out of her as- and knock everyone unconscious. And just when you're about to turn off True Blood for good, something cool happens-- like Eric tearing a guy's heart out and using an artery for a straw.
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on June 12, 2016
I had heard this season was when True Blood really tanked. It's true, from here on out it's ridiculous soap opera in its most classic form. Characters are cardboard cutouts, their personalities can be changed at will - suddenly Eric is a droopy dud, all Jessica ever does is cry, all Pam ever does is snarl and then cry, Tara is alternately bad ass and puppy dog and not much else, Sookie is just 'gee whiz' wide-eyed and does a lot of blinking and eyebrow twitching as if she is constantly in a state of bewilderment, Bill has "turned evil" but it's so unbelievable that in one moment his nature changed - no buildup, no feeling that this was brewing, just one drink of god blood and 'bam!' he's evil - I thought he was faking it for some hidden agenda like he did when he was the king (I'm starting to feel like Stephen Moyer is not a very nuanced actor but maybe it's the writing/directing), Boyd became annoying when he used to be one of the nicest characters, Lafayette is consistently entertaining (he might be the only character who hasn't been altered or reduced to a facial expression), Arlene is likewise consistent and satisfying as a character.... I could go on but I can't bear it. Oh and Alcide has become boring to me. Sam too, he hasn't changed that much but he's kind of become less interesting. It's not just the writing, the editing and dialog are "off" half the time. The magic is gone. It feels like a third-rate soap that uses any excuse to show people copulating. Yeah, sex has always been a big part of this show, but it felt more meaningful in past seasons, it was part of how characters were bonding, now it just feels rote - someone's sad? sex. someone's mad? sex. a scene is boring? sex. I'd be willing to bet money there are twice as many naked boobs in this season as any previous. Some lovely boobs, don't mistake me, but it's not a substitute for a plot that works because you can feel the emotions of the characters, and because if a character has to change, you see it happening and it feels real and justified, and there is a palpable struggle, not just knitted brows, or a moment of transformation that you can feel, not just a rote "drinking this blood makes the person change" and it's a short cut to supposed character development.
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on February 3, 2013
The True Blood story continues. I will not spoil it for anybody who hasn't seen it, so here it goes: Characters in the series change their behavior and act very different from what is known, which complicates many of the ongoing relationships between them. There are new characters that come in to make a mess of things and you'll just have to get this set to find out. It is very enjoyable TV viewing, although the gratutious nudity has been reduced from previous seasons.
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