Orange level spoiler alert: all I know about season 5 of True Blood I learned from the trailers and the internet but if that's too much for you, and/or you haven't finished watching Game of Thrones or gotten caught up on Mad Men, TURN AWAY NOW!
Look, I know you're sad. I'm sad too! Game of Thrones just ended with a zombie army and Mad Men has only one more episode to go (zombie Lane?). All of the good network shows are long done (Revenge, Parks and Recreation, Community, Awake, which was apparently CANCELED) and we are about to enter the doldrums of summer, without even The Bachelorette to keep us distracted on the lonely nights (I've quit and so I'm assuming you have too, since I am always the last to quit everything).
I tried to get into Cheers on Netflix Instant but it started me thinking that I could be a regular at a bar without also being an alcoholic and that is a dangerous train of thought so I moved on to Prison Break but gave up 20 episodes in when THEY WERE STILL IN PRISON and I remembered that Fox canceled Arrested Development for even more seasons of all those close buzz cuts, steely stares and not-so-subtle Catholic themes. Do they ever get out of jail? Does anyone care anymore?
Thank god then that True Blood is coming back, just in time, to rescue me (and you) from the cold San Francisco summer. Here are 5 things to look forward to, to keep the ennui at bay until it premieres on June 10 on HBO. Get yourself an HBO Go password and get ready!
1. Elliot Stabler is The Authority!
A real TV tragedy this year was the loss of Christopher Meloni from Law & Order: SVU. His blue eyes! His righteous indignation! The way he always caught the bad guy! But if you are a Christopher Meloni fan, you know he is so much more than a worked-up detective on NBC. He's been hilarious (Wet Hot American Summer) and he's been disturbing (Oz), so I fully expect him to be a little bit of both and hopefully totally over the top as Roman, Guardian of the Authority, on this season of True Blood.
2. Sexy vampire blood sucking!
What is it about blood sucking? It's so weird and not a thing most people not on TV have every actually done and yet. And yet. Season 5 is shaping up to be a showdown between the dead and the not-yet-dead and you know what the dead do when things get rough: drink the not-yet-deads' blood in bathroom stalls and alleyways! I don't care if it doesn't make sense! Most of the good things in life make no sense at all.
3. Super powers totally out of control!
Some people have turned away from True Blood because it seems to be getting further and further away from its original vampire theme (though not very far, see above). My brother thought the last couple seasons had too many fairies for example and then there is the fact that now everyone in all of Bon Temps seems to have a super power, even though a few short years ago they were all allegedly normals. But I say the more super powers the better! I'm glad Sookie is getting control of her fairy lighting powers and Lafayette is turning into weird other things and talking to the dead (and not just because Jesus, the hunky and now-dead nurse has a way to get back on screen). Werepanthers, witches, shape-shifters, bring it on! This is summer and I have a full-time job and zero super powers of my own. This isn't a documentary about the Civil War, people. This is entertainment.
4. Oh, the boys!
Another thing about adult summer in San Francisco is a distinct lack of shirtless boys. As an ex-lifeguard from a town in Oregon known for its hearty young men, I am accustomed to a certain level of objectifying the male form. Now I sit in a cubicle with high walls, at an office with a strict clothing-not-optional dress code. Thank goodness that it is so muggy down in Bon Temps, and the temperature and humidity, as well as the sweat worked-up by vampire and/or human hunting, requires one to remove his shirt. Whether it's the dreamy werewolf Alcide (played by Joe Manganiello) or the Norse god of darkness Eric (Alexander Skarsgârd) or, my favorite, the bumbling but good-natured Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) (be still my beating heart!), True Blood never lets up on the sweaty and the shirtless.
5. Oh my god what is the deal with Arlene's baby and her true love Terry?!
Last season one of the main mysteries was Arlene's devil baby, fathered by dead bad guy Rene. In the end, obviously, it wasn't the baby causing all the drama but the restless spirit of a long-dead mom who needed closure (who doesn't?). But still, season 4 ended with a pretty dire warning from the ghost of Rene (who could have done without a shirt HBO -- it would have been totally within his character) saying in his perfect Cajun accent that PTSD-stricken Terry (potentially the only character in the whole show with a back story that relates in anyway to the real world) is about to bring down a whole heap of trouble on Arlene. Oh trouble! I'm sure the baby is involved and I can't wait!
That is just the beginning! Is Tara dead? Will Sookie really Peggy Olson-away from Bill and Eric? How awesome will Tina Majorino (Waterworld, Napoleon Dynamite, Big Love) be as a vampire?
See? Sadness, abated! Summer, as long as you are filled with vampires, I'm not going to dread you one single bit!
True Blood Season 5 premieres Sunday, June 10 on HBO.