Vampires and Pirates and True Blood, Oh My!

It’s that time of year again–summer! And here in New Orleans there are only so many things you can do outside before you start feeling like you’re either going to spontaneously combust or drown in the heat and humidity, melting into the ground like the Wicked Witch of the West. People around here have told me to try eating snowballs, to which I say, "Are you kidding me?" They might be grand for the first couple minutes, but then the thing melts into your hands, making you even sticker than you were before said failed snowball. (I’m just kidding. I really do like the snowballs, especially the ones with sweetened condensed milk. Genius, New Orleans…genius.)

Vampires and Pirates and True Blood, Oh My!

Yeah. I think the only true respite is air conditioning. I don’t even want to think about not having air conditioning around here. It makes me wonder how in the hell people did it before the advent of glorious, beautiful climate control. I look at paintings of antebellum New Orleans and picturesque photos of days gone by, women in long flowing dresses and men in suits and top hats and wonder how in the hell they didn’t all fall down dead of heat stroke. How did the fashions of the Victorian era, in all its corsets and covered ankles, ever survive a New Orleans summer? I don’t want to think about it.

But it’s okay, because along with the lazy heat that summer brings, for the past few years it has also brought True Blood, my favorite show (and it just so happens that watching television coincides with staying in the air-conditioning). It starts up again next week and I’m stoked. I’m even more super extra stoked this year because as the show progresses, each season equals one book in the Southern Vampire Series. And this season is based on my favorite book in that series, the Eric-Northman-and-witch-centric Book Four. I can’t wait. I’m going into full-out geek mode over here.

The only problem is that one of the best parts about loving a show is being able to talk about it with your friends, and most (no, make that all) of my fellow True Blood fanatic pals are back home in Ohio. Not one of my friends in New Orleans watches it or keeps up with it, and it breaks my heart. Back home in Ohio, I had plenty of people with whom to talk about the show. I even made vampire cupcakes for them in honor of the Season Two premier. I’m not kidding.

Vampires and Pirates and True Blood, Oh My!

See? What can I say….I’m a nerd.

But down here? I have no one. It’s sad, really. I was under the impression that New Orleans was into vampires. There are vampire walking tours in the French Quarter, people who dress up like vampires at The Dungeon…hell, True Blood is even set in Louisiana. But I guess vampires are growing increasingly lame and tired (thanks a lot, Twilight). Now it seems like the cool kids in town are no longer vampires, but pirates.

Vampires and Pirates and True Blood, Oh My!

Last year for True Blood, I had to get creative because I didn’t have HBO, and I wasn’t willing to "pirate" the episodes (pun very much intended). My then-roommate and I never got HBO because if we had called up the cable company and asked for a premium channel package, they would have probably caught on that we had been receiving free cable since we moved in. We didn’t feel like bothering them with the burden of such information. So last year, I watched it at the Lost Love Lounge, which was pretty awesome. They would play the show every Sunday on a big screen and you could sit and watch along with other Marigny/Bywater fans and some cold cheap Miller High Life. I actually did end up managing to talk a few of my friends into joining me with the promise of the awesome Vietnamese food that they serve. While they did love the food, I think they were pretty confused by the show. They were like…huh? The Vampire King of Mississippi is 3,000 years old and yet has a southern accent? I told them to watch the whole thing from the beginning… and then they told me to watch The Wire. It always comes back to The Wire with these people.


Vampires and Pirates and True Blood, Oh My!

But the Lost Love Lounge was fun. I highly recommend it and will probably go back for screenings again (they’ve been doing it for Game of Thrones and Tremé as well), but being without HBO sucked. It left me without the ability to watch the episodes several times if I wanted to… not that I really did. Last season, for some reason, left me a bit cold (though Alcide helped…a little.)

But this year I’ve got a new house, a legitimate cable subscription… and HBO. I can watch episodes of Game of Thrones, Tremé and now True Blood whenever I want. And now with that "HBO Go" app for my phone, I can watch any episode of any HBO show ever made. Why even leave the house anymore? Especially when it’s so hot and we’ve got air conditioning? Why go to work, or eat, or sleep when I can watch every episode of The Sopranos from my phone? My mind practically exploded with this discovery.

But I digress. Here are my top 10 hopes for the Fourth Season of True Blood (and there might be some spoilery stuff here so proceed with caution.)

Vampires and Pirates and True Blood, Oh My!

1. No more viking flashbacks. Please.

2. Also, can someone please clean Sookie’s house? It’s been a mess since that Maryanne debacle in Season Two.

3. I hope it’s revealed that when Tara left town, she spent the past several months meditating in an Indian ashram, learning the ways of hope and positive thinking. Last season she was seriously depressing to watch. The poor girl needs a little happiness or power to overcome her obstacles, instead of just shutting down, lashing out or running away. So far, she’s had to deal with an alcoholic mother, being zombified by a maenad, watching her possessed boyfriend get shot in the head and then getting abducted and tortured by a psychotic vampire. Can she catch a break this season?

Vampires and Pirates and True Blood, Oh My!

4. Sam just hasn’t been that interesting lately, but I don’t think that’s a reason to assassinate his character. The revelation that he’s got blood on his hands was jarring, as was the thought of him shooting his illiterate (albeit really annoying) brother in the back. I hope he gets some redemption and a decent storyline as soon as possible, and that we never see his horrible parents again.

5. The new kids. Every season has a few new players on the scene. Maryanne the Maenad got tiresome in Season Two, but Season Three raised the bar. Russell Edgington was such an awesome character to watch. So was Franklin Mott. Now that they’re gone, we need some new supernatural beings to shake things up and I hope they’re just as fun. Though I’m not sure that anything could top Russell’s hijacking of a news show and ripping a guy’s spine out on live television.

6. Can Sophie-Ann go away? I really thought she was interesting in the books, but on the show, she’s ruined for me by Evan Rachel Wood. I’m sorry, she can’t act. When you put her up against other guest actors like James Frain (Franklin Mott) and Denis O’Hare (Russell Edgington), she simply cannot hold a candle. It’s sad, really; Sophie-Ann could have been an awesome character in the hands of the right actress. I hope Bill ends up staking her during their crouching vampire-hidden dragon cliffhanger from last season.

7. It would be awesome for Jason’s storyline to not suck again this season. The whole inbred-meth-cougar town of Hotshot bored the crap out of me and made me a little angry. I felt like this was a rare case where the book-version of the story was actually much better.

Vampires and Pirates and True Blood, Oh My!

8. I’m really excited for the witch stuff to develop and for Lafayette to be a part of it, but I really hope that Jesus (I really like that guy) doesn’t turn out to be the "devil in a Sunday hat" from Lafayette’s hallucination.

9. I hope for more Jessica and Hoyt Fortenberry. I love those two. They might just be my favorite couple on television.

10. Sookie and Eric. I hope that it’s as fun as it was in the books, and that’s all I can say about that.

So I’ll be here anxiously waiting for Sunday to come. I might even make my vampire cupcakes and try to convert my Wire-loving friends again. And I think I’ll need something fun to watch (since Game of Thrones is now over) before watching Tremé break my heart again like it did last week.

And if there are any fellow fan readers out there? I’m in desperate need of some True Blood friends. I would love to hear your opinions about last season and/or hopes for the new one! And how crazy was that "First 8 minutes of Season 4" teaser?

I mean, Lumbergh is Grandpa Earl? HA!

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