Jon B. Reopening Juliet Supper Club?

As I left the subway yesterday afternoon, I wondered if the rain had stopped. I approached the stairway to heaven and all things Meatpacking District when a man who looked like he had just seen Godzilla turned to me and said "It’s fucking Noah’s Arc shit out there.” Armed with a $4 umbrella, I went toward the rain, which seemed more like a portend to an Al Gore "I told you so" monologue than a midsummer relief. As I bravely entered the maelstrom, tourists huddled under awnings, looking like scared wet puppies. They looked at me like I was a fireman entering the burning tenement. I decided to sing and skip through the puddles and had the most fun. I entered my meeting at the Soho House with wet feet and a youthful grin. There, I kissed cheeks and shook hands with fabulous friends who told me secrets that I swore I’d wait on.

Someone asked me if I had been to Jon B’s new restaurant, punctuating the remarks with "air quotation marks and ending with wink, wink." I said, "No, I haven’t gone to RSVP yet and I don’t think I will.” They asked me if he was going to run it like a restaurant or if he would it do that for a while and then let it devolve into just another Juliet Supper Club. I said something like, "A leopard can’t change his stripes,” or “A horse is a horse of course of course," and the dude thought I wasn’t making sense. They put booze in those drinks at Soho House.

Another chatty fellow told me he heard from a lawyer that works with another lawyer that’s getting the liquor license that Jon B was going to reopen Juliet, which has been shuttered because of doing everything badly. This fellow swears that Jon will open there again as a restaurant. "OMG!" I offered while trying to escape. “It will be Deja Vu, Bang ,Bang, Bang all over again!” While the suits chuckled at my escape quip, I ran to the couch to take my meeting, waving to beautiful, wonderful, fabulous people at the bar. Soho House is all things to some people. I’m considering hanging there constantly for inside “wink, wink” scoops.

This Saturday night I am heading to Le Poisson Rouge to catch DJ/producer/old friend Frankie Knuckles. I chatted with him about the gig and the state of dance music yesterday. Le Poisson is really an important spot and has been since day one. It was good to catch up after too many years. Frankie will be joined by Miguel Migs, Sleepy & Boo, Mikey G, and Dan Fisher. It will be nice to hear some good ol’ house music. Electronic dance music is like a mosquito to my ears. I seek some vocals and the company of adults.

Last but not least, and the subject of tomorrow’s post, is this Sunday’s Xtravaganza Ball at XL. It will be everything. Tivo True Blood, On Demand The Newsroom, put your seriously chic outfit on, and head to this ball. I cannot recommend an event more strongly. This is the realest of deals. Please come done-up as that is the requirement at balls such as this. But be warned: there are few balls such as this. I must leave right now for my fitting, as I have been honored to be a judge and must look fierce. Tell you more tomorrow!

Stephen King’s ‘Under The Dome’ To Become A TV Show

Remember the good old days of American TV when melodramatic grocery store novels were turned into super long miniseries? Roots! North and South! Alex Haley’s Queen (or: More Roots!) More North and South! Miniseries used to be great excuses for networks to pack their broadcasts with actors who were probably too big to show up on, like, Murphy Brown but were definitely too unkown to be in big-budget Hollywood movies. There was also a lot of sex involved on screen. That’s always fun! Nowadays, books are still being adapted for television, but now they’re becoming actual series with multiple seasons. Naturally, the king of the TV miniseries is back: Stephen King’s 2009 novel Under the Dome has been picked up by CBS to be a 13-episode series.

The novel, a whopping 1000-page tale of the residents of a small New England town (of course) suddenly finding themsevles trapped under a large transparent dome, will air this summer. But, of course, the book is getting the Game of Thrones / Walking Dead / True Blood / Sex and the City treatment, as the folks involved in the production of the show are not limiting themselves to a year’s worth of TV. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show will be an "event" that its producers hope will turn into a full-fledged series: 

The series version was originally developed at Showtime. But in an unusual move, the ambitious project jumped from a cable network’s slate to the major broadcaster (more on that below). It’s also a rather unique title for CBS, since the network has been traditionally more wary about betting on serialized dramas than its rivals. But with AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s Revolution, apocalyptic serialized dramas have been delivering large numbers lately.

Fans of the novel shouldn’t expect an exact retelling of the same story. Last we heard, writer Brian K. Vaughan’s (Lost) script for Dome was wisely using the novel’s setup as a launch pad for its own TV-format-friendly version of the story and might even lay the groundwork for a different outcome than the novel’s ending. Also, the CBS version is definitely a series, not a mini-series, with a finale episode that will leave the story open for more seasons.

Ah, well. Gone are the days when taking a giant brick of a book like The Stand and turning it into a four-part, eight-hour movie for TV. Who says our attention spans have dwindled? Certainly not the people in charge of making television shows.

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

GLAAD Study: Representation Of LGBT Characters On TV Is Best Its Ever Been

Finally! Some good news! The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s annual study of LGBT characters on primetime TV is out. Gay, lesbian, bi and trans characters have been the most visible they’ve ever been.

Where We Are On TV studied characters on scripted shows on the upcoming 2012-2013 season for both network (ABC, NBC, CBS, The CW, and FOX) and mainstream cable. The numbers may not sound like much, seeing as LGBT folks represent a meager 4.4% of scripted series regulars on broadcast TV. But they are indeed the highest number ever recorded by GLAAD:  2011 saw 2.9%, 2010 saw 3.9%, 2009 saw 3%, 2008 saw 2.6%, and 2007 saw 1.1%. Put another way, compared with 2007, LGBT characters saw a 400% increase on the broadcast networks — but it’s still an unacceptably small percentage of all characters overall.  As for mainstream cable, the networks studied reached a new high of 61 LGBT characters total.

ABC and Showtime came out on top as the channels from their respective categories with the best respresentation. But FOX — yes, really, FOX — had the most inclusive show on broadcast TV because it airs Glee. Over at HBO, True Blood was the most inclusive show in mainstream cable. 

You can read the full, data-filled study in a PDF over at GLAAD’s web site, which is packed to the gills with information about ethnic/racial presentation, gender identity, LGBT people of color, and people with disabilities amongst the characters studied as well. It’s more data than your brain might want to process, but the tl;dr? Things are getting better.

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.

Eric Northman is The Fonz of Bon Temps

Dedicated Fangbangers (I know that’s what you call yourselves, no need to stand on ceremony here) may have noticed that last week’s recap was conspicuously missing from our exhaustive and totally comprehensive coverage of the most Important and Politically Relevant Program Of All Time, True Blood. That was my bad. I actually watched the episode, but I’m not sure I can remember anything that happened in it, as I had just bought myself a vintage model kit for a Tie Interceptor and was trying to concentrate on both things at once. And since I’m just not that good at deciphering stuff that involves a lot of small pieces that don’t really fit together and amount to a crappy product at the end anyway, I got frustrated and ended up muting my TV.

If you understood that convoluted metaphor was my attempt at comparing a crappy Star Wars toy made in Taiwan with Alan Ball’s increasingly cartoonish vampire melodrama, congratulations. You are definitely the type of person who loves the allegories on True Blood.

So what did I miss? Not much: Shapeshifters Sam and Luna turned into flies in order to infiltrate the authority’s underbelly and find Luna’s werewolf daughter, Lily, whom Reverend Vampire Steve Newlin had adopted as a puppy. All the Authority vampires started hallucinating that Lilith was calling on them to be the sort of resurrected Jesus of the Vampire Bible, even though Lilith was supposed to be Vampire Jesus, or something. Bill Compton went especially nutty, killing Chancellor Kibwe Akinjide (the one who was not Tony Todd, much to my disappointment) over who got to drink Lilith’s sacred blood. Then a human general who deals with the secret Black Ops vampire division comes in and is like "You guys are breaking the pact with American Government," because Steve and Russell Eddington ate a fraternity and someone caught it on tape. He’s not going to negotiate with terrorists, except he is, because look, he’s obviously flown all the way in from Washington without any protection against the League of Extraordinary Vampires. So Eric kills him. But you can tell he’s just faking being into it. Secretly, he doesn’t give a shit about who is right in The United States Vs. The Vampire Authority. I am right along with you, Eric.

Sheriff Bellefleur was visited by Faerie Maurella, who was super-pregnant with his progeny, even though they had sex pretty recently. Because even though fairies exist outside of time and don’t age, they apparently have a very short gestation period? This is just the stuff you don’t learn from National Geographic. Werewolf Alcide is chilling with his deadbeat dad, who used to be a pack leader, but is now a trailer park grifter. Pam takes the fall for Tara’s killing the new sheriff, which means those two are in love now.

Eric finally convinced Nora that they were being held in the vampire equivalent of Jonestown, and the incestuous brother and sister dipped out, because sadly the vampire sire-siblings that have sex are now the show’s voice of reason. Sookie and Jason were still trying to figure out why their great-great-great-grandfather promised the mother of his first faerie-born child to some vampire named Warlow, which leads to another faerie carnival-burlesque scene, only to find out that there is a more pressing issue in the form of a super-strong Russell Edgington and a totally crushin’ Steve Newlin running around, looking for their secret hideout. Which Jason leads them to after being glamored, which was part of the fairies’ plan. But then Russell eats the queen of the faeries who didn’t know who Ke$ha was, and so now he’s Super Mario star-power strong and can see through the invisible faerie nightclub, which might not have been part of the plan.

And that brings us to the season finale! Which hopefully, you turned off before the cold open, when Russell drank all the fairies’ magic glowing light they tried to flame at him and then exploded/melted, but not because Eric suddenly showed up to stake him. Because of, I don’t know, too much faerie power. Bye, Russell! Bye, Denis O’Hare! Bye, last remaining reason to watch this shitshow! Even Alan Ball is diving out of this speeding car wreck after this season, despite the fact that True Blood still garners the best ratings of Sunday night television. Yes, even better than Breaking Bad. This is the world we live in, and maybe the Sanguinistas are onto something behind us humans really shouldn’t be put in charge of anything, let alone nuclear energy or Nielsen ratings.

So, Russell is dead. Now who will be the force of evil Sookie will inevitably be whining about next season? In a somewhat surprising twist (no irony), it looks like it will be the resurrected Bill Compton, who turned out to not be faking his whole cult mentality after all. He kills Salome by poisoning the vial of Lilith’s blood with silver (ah, the ole’ "silver blood" gambit…this guy is one step away from defeating the Great Vizzini!) and then reveals to Eric and Sookie—who he’s let infiltrate the compound, for some reason—that what Salome drank wasn’t the real blood of Lilith. He still has it! And he’s going to drink it! Sookie is like "Come on, faerie vagina, remember?" and Eric is like "You are worshipping a mad god," which he delivers in his typical, half-shrugging manner. It is very cool how Eric can be simultaneously super-intense and still appear to not give a fuck. Truly the Fonz of True Blood.

But whoa, Bill turns his back on his former (fuck)buddies and drinks the Kool-Aid/Jesus-Lilith vampire blood. Then he explodes/melts. Kind of like Russell did, except he didn’t turn all glowy before his face melted off. And just when you are like, "Oh SHIT!" because maybe everyone involved in this show is just jumping ship, the pool of blood that used to be the main character starts to take form, like that water-face in The Abyss. And then Bill emerges naked from the blood, the way Lilith used to do, except now Bill is Lilith? And he is going to eat the shit out of Sookie and Eric! Maybe Bill is the new Fonz! (Bill will never be the Fonz.)

In the less important storylines: Alcide drinks V to defeat and kill the packmaster that made his girlfriend drink V, which I guess makes sense? Don’t do drugs except if you are doing it for revenge, is basically the message of this show. Also, his dad and his other ex girlfriend’s mom are very Team Alcide now. We work as a pack! No more drugs!

After being bit by Jessica who had to pretend to turn him into a vampire because Bill told her to, Jason is now hallucinating some evil version of his parents, telling him to kill all vampires. All that amounts to is him rejecting Jessica when she admits her love for him. To be fair to Jason, Jessica’s proclamation of love seems pretty convenient now that Hoyt is gone and she almost killed the only other guy in town who wants a piece of that.

Andy Bellefleur has to tell his girlfriend Holly that he kind of knocked up a faerie, and then Maurella starts orgasming/giving birth right in the middle of Merlotte’s, so Holly has to deliver the love-children (there are like, four of them) of her boyfriend and some slutty supe, which is even more embarrassing because Lafayette and some drunk lady are three feet away, drinking cocktails and making jokes like they are watching a particularly awful episode of Teen Mom. Then Maurella leaves Andy with his new daughters that she just orgasmed out of her vagina.

Tara and Pam make out. Sam turns into a fly to escape Bill, and Luna turns into Steve Newlin to save Lily, but then ruh-oh, Chancellor Harris needs Steve on air STAT! And she has no media training, and can’t even do a Southern accent! So halfway through the live broadcast, Steve starts vomiting blood and turns back into a chick shapeshifter. And Chancellor Harris was going to kill her, but Sam the fly goes into her mouth and then explodes out of her body, Scanners-style. And Luna looks like she’s dead, probably. Because of all the skin-walking and body-bursting and what have you.

In conclusion: fuck this bloody mess. Let someone else clean it up.

Love,

Alan Ball

‘True Blood’: More Crazy-Named Dudes Who Want to Eat Sookie

Oh man, you know a True Blood episode is going to be a doozy if it’s titled after a Hoyt plot line. Because yikers: Hoyt Fortenberry, you guys! How could he be leaving Bon Temps? Actually, it makes perfect sense that Hoyt would be leaving, since Jim Parrack probably got a much better gig on another show. Any other show. Literally. Any. Other. Show.

Or working on an oil rig in Alaska, whatever. You remember your friends in college who always acted like they were going to pull some Jason Bourne shit and disappear into the Alaskan fishing/oil rig business after college? I bet you none of them ever did that. Because Alaska is cold as a motherfucker, and if you hate vampires, it’d be the last place you go, since it’s dark ALL the time there. (See: 40 Days of Night.)

Anyway, before Hoyt leaves he wants Jessica to erase his memories of her and Jason, which Jessica does with some misgivings because Bon Temps is "home." Which is bullshit, too; since when do people need to live at home their entire lives? Sure, the rest of the characters do, but the rest of the characters on True Blood are either supernatural or fatally retardo. Or both.

Case in point: There is a whole scene this week devoted to Sheriff Bellefleur and Holly the waitress eating some steak cooked by Lafayette, because no one is coming into Merlotte’s anymore, thanks to the big VAMPIRE BLOOD SCARE. Or maybe no one is coming to Merlotte’s anymore because there was a shoot-out there the day before, and an Iraqi ghost lady came with her smoke monster ifrit and ate a dude? Whichever it is, people are just straight up chillin’ in town, despite the fact that things are dire. Like, the coroner was turned into a vampire, and Andy is sitting there eating steak? Also, no one has seen the King of Louisiana around town, since, like, a month ago, and that doesn’t raise any alarms?

In case you needed reminding, the reason King Bill is M.I.A. is because he’s busy blowing up True Blood factories like a pro and forcing Eric to drink the blood of Lilith so he can see images of Godric exploding like a bloody water balloon when the first vampire rips his neck open. Suddenly, Eric has decided he’s a Sanguinista as well. Time to talk about school vouchers and education reform policy for vampires! (That thunking noise is Alan Ball dropping his heavy-handed allusion for the current political climate on his own foot.)

Steve Newlin still has to appear on TV and pretend that terrorists blew up those True Blood factories, so we get a nice dose of that political television bullshit as well. In actuality, Steve is too obsessed with Russell Edgington and his were-puppy Emma to care very much about the political agenda he’s supposed to be following, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll end up defecting from the Sanguinistas like Russell did at the end of this week’s episode (dude is mad that The Authority wasn’t giving him the go-ahead to just eat the hell out of Sookie Stackhouse), or if he’ll end up dead because those damn shifters—Sam and Luna—are trying to get Emma back. I hope it’s the former, because Steve Newlin is my favorite character.

Oy-oy-oy-while: Sookie uses her brother’s brilliant detective skills to figure out that last week’s box ‘o’ clues were a red herring, and that the real thing Gran wanted her to find was a rolled up parchment scroll with a bunch of fairy words on them that basically translated (with the fays’ help) into, "Some guy named Warlow is coming to eat you, because your great-grandpappy promised you to him." Mmm hmmm. WARLOW. 

Between this vampire and Russell Edgington, Sookie has two episodes left to figure her shit out before she gets eaten.

The ‘True Blood’ Gang Gets Political

Some people are what they eat, but I’m much more of a "eat what I watch" sort of gal. For example, Monday nights I get toasted off of Ramona Singer’s brand of Pinot Grigot. Tuesdays are Glee-flavored slushies (though I guess now I’ll be throwing them at my set on Thursdays). Sunday is when I either break out the meth or whiskey, depending on what time of the year AMC tells me it is. But last tonight, in honor of the bombing of the True Blood factories in Houston and Japan (8/5/12: Never Forget!), I broke out a long-forgotten bottle of the stuff that HBO once sent me during an ill-conceived marketing campaign. As you’d expect, it tastes like shit. No wonder everybody wants to eat humans these days. 

Everyone except Eric Northman though, who thinks that Bill’s idea to get all vampires chasing down human blood-bags by destroying all the True Blood manufacturers was an idea fail. Bill has drank too much of the Lilith Kool-Aid (blood)! He’s so "lost" and is turning to religion to blindly answer his century-old questions, like "How come I never turned my daughter into a vampire?" and "Why do my eyes always look like they’ve been switched out for a drunken Irishman’s?" Eric rolls his regular-attractive eyes at Bill and tells him something to the effect of, "Time to slaughter more people for the sake of religion," but he says it all sarcastic-like. Then he goes and finds the chick from Veronica Mars who is actually a vampire (Whew! Weight off my mind!) so they could discuss a plan on how to escape from the underground Authority lair that Salome has trapped all her besties in. 

That in and of itself seems weird, right? Like, apparently Russell and his new rent-boy Reverend Steve Newlin—who got to say the BEST prayer ever this week, something about a duck and a goose and whatever AMEN!—can leave the Authority bunker to go round up some werewolf minions and steal Luna’s kid (because Steve’s never had a pet before and Luna’s daughter has been in puppy form for like, a week now), but Eric and the geek vampire don’t have the clearance capacity? And they need the blood from Nora AND Salome to open up the locks to go above ground? It’s like everything is topsy-turvy over in the Authority den!

Eric devises a scheme, with Bill’s reluctant help, to get Salome’s blood. He will "handle" his sister. And by handle he means, "make out with after a long talk about religion." How does God/Lilith feel about incest, you guys? Then he injects her in the neck with a syringe full of silver. Ugh, this show. 

If you can believe it, this narrative arc only took up the tiniest of slivers from True Blood‘s myriad of subplots this week. Like: there was the whole Terry/Patrick face-off, where Patrick took Arlene as a hostage so he could shoot his former soldier and make the ancient smoke monster curse go away, but then Arlene stabs him with a pen—to which we all thought, "A pen gun, bro? Really?"—and screams at Terry to shoot Patrick instead, which makes Terry PTSD-flashback to Patrick screaming at him to shoot the Iraqi woman who cursed them. And then that ghost lady shows up and tells Terry to do what is right. For a whole moment I thought that this meant Terry shouldn’t shoot Patrick, because things end up poorly every time he ends up "following orders" because someone is screaming at him to kill someone else. That would have been an acceptable metaphor for the horrors of being a soldier of war, Alan Ball!

But no, Terry shoots Patrick, and the Iraqi ghost tells her smoke monster to eat Patrick’s body, and everyone goes home happy.

Speaking of ghosts, Sookie’s Gran led her into a red herring of almost certain death this week when she was channeled through Lafayette to look under the bed for clues about the vampire who killed her parents. His name is Wario, or something. Warlow. It sounds like Wario, though, and it’s fun to imagine that Mario’s evil doppelganger with the mustache will turn up as the next True Blood villain. Hey, eventually they have to run out of monsters. Lafayette is bothered by all these damn ghosts yelling at him, although he is back to being sassy and making jokes about being like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost. Which essentially is what his character has turned into, so I guess points for self-awareness?

Sookie finds a box under the bed—weird that she’s never checked under there before!!—and it has all these mementos. She finds out that the old sheriff found her parents’ bodies…she better go investigate him!

In actuality, Sheriff Dearborne doesn’t know much about her parents’ death except they were bitten by vampires, but he DOES know that Sookie is about to be hit over the head with a shovel by his new girlfriend, the Dragon of the new KKK, that "anti-supes" hate group with the Obama masks. They lock Sookie up in a pig farm along with Hoyt, who spends the entire episode out cold. Goodnight, Hoyt! I wish I were you! 

The plan of the Obamas is to feed Sookie and Hoyt to a bunch of hungry hogs, which is hilarious, but let’s not forget, a terrifying and real thing that can happen if you fall asleep in a pigpen. Luckily, one of the pigs happens to be shifter Sam Merlotte, who had figured out where the hate group was hiding out by turning himself and Luna into flies so they could spy on Sheriff Andy and Deputy Jason. Fun fact: there are exactly four people on the police force in Bon Temps? Four! And yet, for some reason, the town’s deputy also has control over the human SWAT team that is there to protect Jessica, who is the Queen of Louisiana while Bill’s gone? That makes about as much sense as the rest of this nonsense show. At least be consistent in your ridiculousness!

Oy: so Sookie and Hoyt are saved, and we found out who was killing the supernaturals (mainly a fat woman who was angry that her husband left her for a shifter), and that silly Obama tie-in is over. Also, we finally got to find out why this hate group wore Obama masks: it was because no one writing this show could figure out if they were supposed to be "patriotic or ironic," as that one cop who is not Andy or Jason or the black lady pointed out. And if you’re going to burn a flag to make a statement, you might as well be very confused about what that statement is. Hey viewers, why don’t you wake up and stop being sheeple and THINK about what those Obama masks represent, because True Blood isn’t giving you the easy answers!

In other news, there’s a new vampire sheriff in Shreveport, and he’s totally usurping Pam’s position at Fangtasia and instructing vampires to feed on humans. Which seems like an easy fix; someone needs to just go find Jessica, who is the surrogate Queen (as mentioned) to pull rank. But maybe she’s been replaced as well, since Bill totally betrays Eric on that whole Salome-blood thing after he has sex with her. He was going to do it, but then he hallucinated killing Sookie and then making out with the bloody Carrie lady again. (Is that Lilith? Gross. Lilith needs a bath.) So obviously, his convictions are now totally in line with this new religion and when he arrives at the appointed time to help Eric and the dorky vampire chick escape with a passed-out Nora, he does so with Salome and a hundred guards. It’s for Eric’s own good.

And just to tie up any loose ends (just kidding!), we are introduced to Alcide’s dad: a former pack master who is an alcoholic and a gambler on disability. Definitely furthered our knowledge of, "What is Alcide brooding about this week?"

Only three episodes left, you guys! I wonder if Steve Newlin can keep his new pet!

‘True Blood’: Someone I Used to Know

First off: You can tell it’s going to be a great True Blood episode when we have a bastardized Gotye song as the title. We’re right in the middle of the season, which is usually the point in True Blood where the million various plotlines start resolving themselves so that the rest of the season can start dedicating itself to whichever major narrative arc some intern drew out of a hat. 

Not so fast! This is new Blood, and instead of dropping off the unnecessary side plots so we can focus on the new takeover of The Authority by Salome and Eric’s reticence to bomb True Blood buildings—vampire terrorists, well at least that’s something new—Alan Ball and his crack team have started throwing even more spaghetti at the viewers’ brains to see what sticks. 

Like: Sookie used her fairy powers to "connect" with the vampire that killed her parents, which is apparently not something you’re supposed to do according to her new fairy friends. (She was only supposed to be able to go back and time and enter her mother’s body while being horrifically murdered.) Now there’s a ghost vampire that sounds like Buffalo Bill and appears behind her in the bathroom to tell her she’s gonna get herself ate up. Or maybe it’ not a ghost vampire, but rather just a vampire that can travel through space and appear in a cloud of smoke. You know, how vampires do all the time. Look it up: it’s in Dracula.

Or how about the creepy amount of time this episode devoted to Sam Merlotte trying to make out with himself once his shapeshifter girlfriend morphed into him. (Every shifter loves turning into Sam Merlotte, for some reason.) Not that I have any problem with watching actor Sam Trammel gently stroke his green-screen doppleganger’s hair and tell himself how beautiful he is, but the gravitas of the moment—Luna might die after she shifts back—is undercut by Mr. Trammel trying to act like a woman. I’m guessing the script notes read something like, "You are the prettiest princess in the whole world…OWN IT." The high-pitched voice, the hysterical hand-motions, the constant whining: Alan Ball certainly has a lot of respect for the ladies. Or maybe Sam Trammel is just a terrible actor. Unintentionally hilarious, you have to wonder what went wrong in both the planning and execution stages of this episode that no one stopped during filming and thought, "Well, if we haven’t lost the respect of our entire audience by now, this might do the trick."

Lafayette finds a vial of True Blood in Jesus’ car while driving back to Mexico and uses it to heal his DISGUSTING lips, which were sewn shut by his dead boyfriend’s crazy uncle. Then Jesus appears to him in the car and they ride back to Bon Temps holding hands. 

Terry and Patrick are also back in town, and, using Lafayette as a medium (at least he’s charging for his services now), they find out that they can only lift the Iraqi smoke monster curse by having one of them kill the other. Patrick bolts, and the countdown for this season’s arbitrary character death begins.

Of course, Patrick’s death isn’t the only predictable demise: Luna very well might kick the bucket since she’s a love interest without a compelling story and we’re all sick of her; Nora the Sanguinista can’t possibly be "saved" by Eric without sacrificing herself in an 11th hour change of heart, and we’re still holding out hope that eventually someone will set Bill Compton on fire. Oh, he’s supposed to be "evil" now; in league with Salome to feed off of humans and force "mainstreaming" vampires to do the same by bombing all five of those True Blood factories, because one time he didn’t turn his dying daughter into a vampire even though she really, really wanted to and he didn’t have any good reason not to do it, except that Bill is a dick.

So now, we’re not fooled by this turn to the dark side, as Bill is always super-righteous and only an idiot would be fooled by his bad boy act. An idiot like Eric, naturally, but that’s because he’s checked out this season to cry about Godrick and his crazy, incestuous sister. It’s very hard to care about Eric’s "feelings" towards Nora, because Eric isn’t very good at expressing emotions, and we don’t have enough context about their relationship. You can’t just add in a character that was never mentioned in five years and then have us believe this chick was the light of his eternal life, sorry.

Much more interesting is Pam’s tutelage of Tara, giving what was once the least likeable character on the show an interestingly dark and sexy dynamic with her maker. Pam is the only person bitchier than Tara, and she just does it so much better that Tara can’t help but start to emulate her maker. (Because turn of the century madams know how to spit game, even though it’s slightly depressing that in 100 years, Pam still has essentially the same job she did in a San Francisco whorehouse in 1910 or whenever.) The parts where Pam gives Tara a "present" by glamoring the racist bitch from her high school into being her blood slave? I want Pam to be MY mom.

Hoyt’s new supes-hating buddies give him a present as well: trapping his ex-girlfriend Jessica and making him shoot her with wooden bullets. Forcing a guy to kill his ex isn’t the best gift a friend can give, but you can tell these guys have their hearts in the right place. Until their hearts are splattered all over the walls, because obviously Hoyt will not kill Jessica, and helps her escape instead by killing his new besties. Let’s just say that everyone in Bon Temps is a bad friend. Also, Hoyt’s mom might be behind this whole "Kill Jessica" campaign, which we can’t really blame her for, since her son has turned into the biggest pussy ever since Jessica broke his (metaphorical) heart.

Basically, True Blood breaks down into two camps of Camp: the awesome, self-aware comedy kind (as represented by the burgeoning vamp love between Reverend Steve Newlin and Russell Edgington, the two best characters on the show), and everything else (clingy shapeshifters, fay fairy burlesque clubs, juiced-up werewolves, smoke monsters, ghost vampires, Bill and Eric’s implausible bromance.) 

Why stop at bombing True Blood factories? Let’s burn this whole show to the ground and see what emerges from the ashes. 

Vampires Be Straight Trippin’

With all the ridiculous concepts that have been thrown onto the insanity pile during the tenure of True Blood—the least sensical show outside Saturday morning cartoons and whatever crazy shit is on Adult Swim—it had honestly never crossed my mind to stop and wonder what would happen if vampires drank vampire blood. Like, we know that vampires like to drink human blood because it’s part of a delicious diet, and we know that humans and werewolves like drinking vampire blood because it gets them super high and heals all their wounds, and we know that vampires especially love fairy blood because it allows them to walk in the sun for a short period of time. 

Yet for some reason, those crazy combinations of symbiotic blood-swapping have never lead to a cannibalistic ritual of vampires drinking a magical bottle of biblical vampire blood. Until now.

With Roman out of the way at the hands of the much more entertaining former King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, the Authority is in desperate need of new leadership. It turns out that Salome was a double agent for the Sanguinistas this whole time, and is totally down with the whole Lilith Fair. Russell, whom Salome saved from an eternity stuck in cement, claims to be converted by his "new maker." Nora, Eric’s sister-in-maker (they both were created by Abercrombie & Fitch ghost-boy Godric), is obviously a fan of Lilith’s as well. 

The rest of the chancellors, along with Eric and Bill Compton, are given a choice: they can either drink this carafe of blood that the Vampire Bible claims came straight from the vein of God’s original vamp, Lil, or they can follow in the footsteps of that  Christoph Waltz-wannabe chancellor and leave the earth in a billion, messy pieces.

Unsurprisingly, Bill and Eric choose the vampire blood. Eric has a "What’s the worst that can happen?" moment, which immediately jump cuts to the whole pack of vampires tripping balls during Mardi Gras. They are high as hell, and out for human blood! For some reason Russell chose to disguise himself in a Bob Fosse costume, which turns Vampire Reverend Steve on. We hope it can work out for those two!

Back in Bon Temps, Sookie learns she might be running out of fairy juice, since she’s only "half-fay." (That conveniently explains why her telepathy has been shoddy lately.) Once she runs out of fay-power, she’ll be normal. (Well, that’s a relative term.) She spends the rest of the episode shooting light-balls into the sky in an effort to drain the last of her fairy batteries.

But not everyone wants to be normal: there’s the hate-group of anti-"supes" that go around in Barack Obama masks shooting every non-human, apparently because they are jealous that they weren’t born as were-cougars or witches or maenads. (We’d suggest they just give it a season: Alan Ball will think of something for them soon enough.) After saving Sheriff Andy from being shot by one of these guys, Sam Merlotte literally rolls around on the ground in the storage room, trying to pick up the scent of the rest of the vigilantes. Being a shape-shifter always had a weird effect on Sam. Like, you never see Alcide the werewolf sniffing the floor like a dog, even though he also has the ability of super-smell. And since he can change into literally anything, does that mean Sam has the abilities of every animal in existence while he’s a human? If so, it’s weird he always goes with the "dog in heat" routine. We can only assume that Sam just likes to roll around on the ground, smelling things. 

As it turns out, the actual hate group is more like a support group that happens to kill supernatural beings because they are jealous. They’ve accepted Hoyt Fortenberry into their fold, and the newly reformed Hoyt says, "I’ve felt more love in this hate group than I have at church or basketball or anywhere!" To which one of his new buddies replies, "That’s what people don’t understand about hate groups. Though if we called it a love group, nobody would join." 

Then they go off and try to kill Sam’s girlfriend again.

Alcide is suddenly in love with his second-in-command, with whom he plans to lead the werewolf rebellion. At first, Marcus’s mom is like, "This is wrong!" But when she sees the packmaster try to feed her granddaughter vampire’s blood, she changes her mind. Nothing to see here, folks.

Lafayette travels down to Mexico to find Jesus’ magii uncle, whom immediately overpowers him and sews up his mouth, which is really gross. He also is the one who stole Jesus’ head and sewed up his mouth, which seems like overkill because the guy is already dead. There is a weird Rosemary’s Baby thing living in his uncle’s girlfriend/child bride/whatever, and right when this crazy guy is about to kill Lafayette and transfer that weird demon into his unborn son, he is stabbed to death by his lady friend, who apparently does not want a demon in her belly. Then she slits all the stitches open in Lafayette’s mouth, which, again: gross.

Terry and Patrick sit in a field, waiting to get killed by the Iraqi smoke monster. It comes and laughs at them. Terry puts a gun in his mouth and almost pulls the trigger, but then doesn’t. Back home, Arlene and Holly watch Arlene’s wedding video. And that’s all for that camp, for the time being.

Tara’s mom finds her pole dancing at Fangtasia, but she’s not so much pissed that her daughter is stripping as she is that she became a vampire. As Tara points out, she didn’t really have much of a choice, but Ms. Thornton will hear none of it. She’s cutting Tara out of her life, effective immediately, which actually shouldn’t be much of a change, and is probably all for the best, because Tara’s mom is a crazy bitch. But Tara is sad anyway, and goes to cry in Pam’s office. Pam shows some maternal instinct for about half a second, and Tara uses her vampire-speed to give her a giant vampire-hug. "It’s really lame how they move like that when there’s no reason to," my friend pointed out. Yeah, it is lame: especially, since most of the time vampires just casually walk places, or drive cars. If all vampires have super-speed, and some—like Eric—can actually fly, you’d think they’d be doing it all the time, instead of just lounging about or standing completely still, which is how Eric and Bill usually spend their nights.

Except not anymore! They are high on Lilith-blood, and interrupt the performance of some high school student’s karaoke event (taking place in a bar during Mardi Gras) to eat all the parents in the audience. And also the girl, who should have known better than to take her one-woman show on the road instead of just leaving it after the senior class annual variety hour.

During their blood orgy, a pool of blood coagulates and a naked woman rises up, Carrie-style, from the congealed clots. It’s Lilith! She’s totally naked, and has a nice bikini wax. Everyone is like, "Cool!" especially Nora, who is just super-psyched to find out that her belief in a blood-soaked lady version of an evil Jesus Christ finally paid off. Suddenly, ghost-Godric appears to Eric and is like "You should probably go save your sister, because you know this is some bullshit." 

Is it some bullshit? We find out next week, as the world turns.

Oh, also Jessica was totally eating some other guy and Jason got mad and shot her in the head, like an asshole. I mean, she’s fine, because she’s a vampire, but it was still a dick move.

Bon Temps Gets a Visit from the Smoke Monster from ‘Lost’

Halfway through this week’s episode of True Blood, either a power outage or Time Warner decided that it was going to do me a solid and just black out a good 15 minutes of the show. As it so happens, I don’t watch True Blood when it’s on (That’s right, I have DVR. Jealous?), so I didn’t notice that I had missed literally ¼ of the plot until I saw the time stamp at the end. What a perfect way to summarize the Finnegans Wake-ian qualities of True Blood‘s least coherent season: delete any quarter of the program and it will still make just as much sense as it would if you watched the whole thing. I might start making that my standard viewing practice, actually.

Still, there’s way too much to slog through. Like all this Lilith nonsense. Some vampires believe in the literal interpretation of the Vampire Bible, where Lilith is like Jesus except she commands you to drink human blood instead of her own. Other vampires believe in a more peaceful version of Lilith, who would like humans to coexist with vampires. Either way, you have to at least pretend to believe in Lilith in order to be for or against The Authority, although some vampires are just faking it. Russell Edgington, God bless him, doesn’t give a shit about Lilith or any "magical thinking" of made-up religions. He also doesn’t care about the Sanguinistas, or the Vampire Bible. He just drinks human blood because—and I quote—"It makes my dick hard." Seriously, God bless you, Russell Edgington.

Also like Jesus, Lilith still might be walking among us, performing miracles. Miracles such as digging psychopathic vampires who don’t believe in your existence (see above, re: Russell,) out of their cement tombs and nursing them to health with papoose-wrapped humans hung from meat lockers inexplicably located in an abandoned mental institution. Water and wine stuff, basically.

Just to be clear here, when I refer to Jesus, I’m talking Jesus Jesus. From the human Bible. Not Jesus, Lafayette’s dead boyfriend, whose disembodied head has begun popping up with his mouth sewn shut in visions received by both his ex and his ex’s schizophrenic mother. It’s just worth a mention, because that can be kind of confusing, especially when Lafayette’s crazy-mom, Ruby Mae, decides to switch which Jesus she’s referring about in the middle of explaining to Lafayette that he needs to go find Jesus’ evil uncle. (Not, like, God’s brother, but the sorcerer guy in Mexico.)

"Jesus loves you! Jesus will always love you! Jesus loves you faggots!" Screams Ruby Mae to her gay son. Oh, brother. Well, at least there’s another roadtrip plot to take us out of Bon Temps for a bit.

But as one character leaves, two return. (Isn’t that always the way?) We’ve finally gotten to the bottom of the burning question that’s been nagging us since season one of True Blood: What’s eating Terry Bellefleur? Turns out his PTSD erased his memory of slaughtering an entire Iraqi village on the Fourth of July. Also, the part where he shot an old woman point-blank three times in the chest while she was in the middle of putting a powerful Smoke Monster curse on him. Meanwhile, ABC is getting ready to sue the shit out of True Blood for actually using the term "Smoke Monster" to refer to the Ifrit. Now Terry is going to leave Arlene. Bye, Terry!

A group is out there killing "supes" (supernaturals) of all kinds now, and even though Sam Merlotte and his girlfriend were just shot, like, a billion times, he’s feeling much better the next morning, and has decided to help the sheriff figure out who done it. Andy doesn’t condone vigilante justice, until Sam saves him from getting shot himself by that Weapons-R-Us owner who sold Sookie that totally ineffective silver mist. Sam kills the dude with a crossbow before he can shoot Andy, because he "smelled his survival mode kicking in." Which makes you wonder why this town is run by Sheriff Bellefleur and Jason in the first place—the only two men left on the show without super powers-—and not Sam Merlotte, who can turn into whatever he wants. Or Sookie, who can read people’s minds. Or anybody/thing else, basically.

Anyway, that particular mystery is solved supes-quicked, as the supe-killers are a bunch of Hoyt’s friends wearing Barack Obama masks. We find out when Hoyt almost dies trying to turn tricks out back at Fangtasia because Jessica won’t feed off of him anymore. They kill the vampire and carry their buddy into the van.

Quick question: sorry, being a fangbanger doesn’t mean you have to dress like a member of Wham! years meets Duckie, does it Hoyt? Here’s a tip for all guys, even those who don’t live in a world with vampires: Take off that black nail polish, pop down the collar on your purple vest (which you’ve paired with a tie but no shirt), and ungell your hair if you want your ex-girlfriend to see you as a viable romantic prospect.

Not that it’s any more masculine in fairy-town. Why would it be? It’s a goddamn fairy-town. (Dimension. Nightclub. Whatever.) Sookie helps Eric and Bill turn Russell over to the Authority—that happens in the first two minutes, good work team!—and Bill has to pretend to glamour her for the sake of appearances. Eric actually glamours Alcide into protecting Sookie forever but also adds in a little something extra to make sure the dog doesn’t get his bone: now the werewolf has a Clockwork Orange-like aversion to Sookie’s fairy vagina. Thanks, Eric. Who will Sookie bone now? (That’s the number one question of True Blood, back and forth, forever.)

Plagued by that question and nursing an incredible hangover, our protagonist drags her brother out to the fairy nightclub with the choreographed burlesque routines to find out if a vampire really killed her parents. After an elaborate scene where the background dancers incorporate way too much Bob Fosse, Sookie gets her answer. Her parents didn’t die in a "flash flood." They were killed by a vampire that smelled her blood on a Band-Aid in the backseat. Gross. Also, can we nickname Sookie "99 Problems"?Tara hates her, and is bartending nights over at Fangtasia anyway. Lafayette tried to kill her. Bill and Eric are both gone until they need her again. The idea of her naked makes Alcide want to puke. And now she finds out she’s responsible for her parents’ deaths. Plus, the whole telepathy thing is a fucking headache. The best you can say about Sookie in terms of her not committing suicide is that ever since she killed that werewolf Debbie, a bitch ain’t one. Of her problems, that is. Sookie has no beef with any dog-ladies at the present moment. She does get fairy-blasted by a bunch of pissed off nightclub patrons, though.

What else? Oh, yeah, Russell is brought before Roman to be given the True Death. Even more humiliating is the fact that Roman plans on doing it in golfing attire, because he wants to get some holes in before the sun comes up. Douchebag. But this was all part of Lilith’s plan, or something, because Russell’s stake-bomb doesn’t go off like it’s supposed to, and he instead zips over and kills Roman. Bye bye, Christopher Meloni. We’ll always remember your cameo as the head of the nonsensical metaphorical for the Taliban/Catholic Church/Liberal America!

The bad news here is that this Lilith concept is truly one of the stupidest ideas ever introduced into True Blood, and that’s saying something for a show that just stole a Smoke Monster from Lost and made it Middle Eastern.

The good news is that Denis O’Hare is back in amazing form. If HBO could do a spin-off just about Russell Edgington, I’d be on that tighter than bark on a tree. (H/T to Arlene for the True Blood‘s "we’re not even trying anymore" fake Southern idiom of the evening.)