True Blood will end next year: about time or do we need more?


HBO has announced that True Blood’s next season, to air in 2014, will be its last. Many of us suspected this would happen, particularly after the bizarre “fast forward” ending to the sixth season. The popular cable show, based on writer Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries series of books, has been on the air since 2008. Last year showrunner Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under) was replaced by Brian Buckner (Friends, Joey). Buckner will continue as showrunner for the seventh and final season, which will include 10 episodes. I question Buckner’s ability to stay true to the characters, given the recent plot twists and some of the bizarre, out-of-touch answers he gave in a Q&A about the show’s direction. More on that in a moment. First, here’s the announcement.

“True Blood has been nothing short of a defining show for HBO,” said HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo in a statement. “Alan Ball took the books by Charlaine Harris, assembled a brilliant cast led by the magnificent Anna Paquin in the role of Sookie Stackhouse, and crafted a show that has taken its many devoted fans on an unforgettable journey. Alan passed the baton to Brian Buckner, who led our fantastic writers and crew in crafting a spectacular sixth season, and he will lead us through the seventh and final season of this amazing show. Together with its legions of fans, it will be hard to say goodbye to the residents of Bon Temps, but I look forward to what promises to be a fantastic final chapter of this incredible show.”

[From EW.com]

This is to be expected, particularly since the show seems to be veering wildly off course lately. About a week after the season six finale aired, current showrunner Buckner did an interview with Entertainment Weekly explaining his vision for True Blood. (We covered this interview at the time but it’s worth mentioning in light of this news.) He seemed to have little understanding of the characters as developed on the show and in Harris’ books.


Spoilers for previously aired episodes of True Blood follow
True Blood has recently painted Bill as a “sympathetic” character, and we saw him extend an olive branch to Sookie. Sookie is now inexplicably in a relationship with meathead werewolf Alcide. Buckner explained that “the audience” felt that “Alcide needed to come back to center” and that he wants the plot to be “more character driven” with characters that change and evolve. Meaning Bill will be a good guy all of a sudden, Tara is going to reconcile with her abusive mom, and we’re supposed to care about Sookie’s relationship with Alcide. Also, spoiler, Eric probably isn’t dead, although that may not have been the plan for him. Buckner said that he was “impressed by how much people care” about Eric, Alexander Skarsgard’s character. So Eric is likely to be saved by Pam.

I guess it’s a good thing that True Blood will be going out to pasture. It just isn’t the same without Alan Ball. I’ll miss it so much, though. The show has had its ups and downs but it’s always been a campy pleasure with some excellent eye candy. Hopefully that won’t change in its final year, not matter what happens to the characters.

Remember when Eric had long hair? Hot.

 

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82 Responses to “True Blood will end next year: about time or do we need more?”

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  1. bammer says:

    I just need my Alexander fix.

  2. Anna says:

    OMG, that Joe M. picture is HILARIOUS. I dont watch the show, but I can spend the whole day googling shirtless (naked?) shots of the werewolf.

  3. Aussie girl says:

    The books and the show seem to drift off course for awhile. IMHO it shouldn’t have ended 2 years ago

    • Stubbylove says:

      I hear u – the show was great for about 3 years (Season 3 with Russell is best IMO) and it has lost it’s way – Southern small-town charm and creativity is gone. When you take a great character like Lafayette and put him in the background as a stereotypical “Southern Mammy”, your writers have definitely lost their way. It should have been done in 2011. Have never missed an episode and will watch the last season, but it’s time.

  4. Kel says:

    I think I’m ready after next season even though I’ll miss it- BUT I have the DVDs so I can watch it anytime. I don’t care for the new direction the show is going. Sorry Brian Buckner but it’s not working out. It’s time for it to end. :(

  5. Lindy79 says:

    They’ve pulled it back slightly in the last series but agree, it needs to end. They don’t seem to know what to do with it.

  6. cr says:

    It should have ended this season, after Episode 9.
    The odd thing with Buckner is he’s been with the show since the beginning so it’s not as if he’s not aware of where Alan Ball was going with it.

  7. Easi says:

    This show could have been so good. I still watch for Eric and some others. The lame romantic in me needs Eric and Sookie back together before it ends.

  8. TherapyCranes says:

    It needed to end a while ago.

  9. Splinter says:

    I don’t even know how they can end this mess. One ending could be thatthe vampires would glamour every human into forgetting they ever came out of coffin.

  10. silken_floss says:

    *Darth Vader voice* Noooooooooooo!
    I want TB to go on forever! I don’t want that kitschy/hot mess of a show to ever end!! What will I do on my summer June-Aug Sundays nights… :(

  11. Libby says:

    I am just astonished that so many still watch that show. I hit my limit around season 3, around the time Kings and Queens were being introduced. That was some truly irritating ish.

    Why did they ditch the Original show runner though? Was it one of those Dan Harmon dramas (onset conflict with talent, tension with network execs)

  12. Abby says:

    After hating the past three seasons, I actually loved this season. It feels like it just got good again and now it’s leaving. Oh well, will now have time to finally watch Homeland…

  13. lucy2 says:

    Time for it to end. I hope now that they know it’s the end, they can plan it well, but…we’ll see.
    This season was actually pretty good, right up until that awful finale. The episode before it was excellent though.
    While the show is often messy, the cast is pretty amazing, and I will be a little sad not to be able to see them all in one place anymore.

  14. Launicaangelina says:

    I enjoy the show for what it is, campy fun with sexy peeps. I’m in the minority but I felt Season 6 was great and the pace was right. It reminded me of Season 1-2. I look forward to what will happen in Season 7. Although I love the show, it is time to close it out.

  15. eliza says:

    Thank God! True Blood needed to end 2 or 3 seasons ago when Ball turned the writing over to others so he could work on another project.

  16. chloe says:

    The series has lost touch, I found myself fast forwarding through some parts of the show this year. I’ll miss it, but it’s time to put a nail in the coffin.

  17. Mom2two says:

    Honestly, I can’t blame Buckner for the show veering off course, that was happening when Ball was in charge.
    What I don’t understand is the claim that he did not realize how popular Eric is? Huh?
    I think it’s good the show is ending, it’s time. I am going to call it, given how much the writers and producers love Bill, he and Sookie will wind up together in the end.

  18. Jenna says:

    Woo hoo!!! Finally! The show has been bad for YEARS! Hopefully Skarsie moves on to better projects.

  19. Jen says:

    The show was much better WITHOUT Alan Ball. He must be in the early stages of dementia or something because as soon as he was gone it was a million times better.

  20. Annabelle says:

    The show has overstayed its welcome by a couple seasons at least. Parts of this season were good and it seemed like they were trying to get back on track, but then there was that mess of a finale. Throughout the show, they’ve introduced too many characters with large story lines with very few character losses to balance things out. There hasn’t been a lot of focus, and Sookie–the main character!–has seemed like an afterthought in previous seasons. It’s a good thing they’re ending it now. At least it introduced me to Ryan Kwanten!

  21. Breen says:

    I’m going to have issues without my Alexander fix, but I can’t say I’m surprised. And for that director to be surprised at how the fans care for Eric tells me how clueless he really is.

    Alan Ball started out wonderfully but a full 12 episodes of the Maenad and the god awful Bill worship kinda did me in. I would fast forward through the Terry/Arlene/Sam/Alcide crap cause they just didn’t interest me.

    I do wish they had grown Pam’s character more and for god’s sake kill Tara and put us all out our misery.

    • Jane says:

      Actually, both the TB people and the author of the books seem to have been surprised, and not happily, by the popularity of Alex S./Eric.

      • cr says:

        I think that both AB and CH have claimed this isn’t true. However, considering that Harris basically character assassinated Eric by the end of her series, when there was no reason to do so, I think there’s truth to that.
        Which is funny/sad, because as writers shouldn’t they be happy that something they created was popular with a good chunk of their fan base?

      • FunFactor says:

        I’m one of the long-standing Charlaine Harris fans who was appalled and outraged by the final book’s ending. So many of us were. Eric deserved SO much better than what CH did with him in that book. It was like a giant f-you to her loyal readers. Alas, her series was going downhill for quite a while, as if she was weary of all the characters and Bon Temps. She certainly did her fans a disservice with how she wrapped things up. Then CH got all bitchy about it’s her novels, her creation, and she can do whatever the hell she wants (despite being inconsistent and not being true to her characters). Maybe the TV show will improve matters. In any case, I sure hope there’s a different, better ending!

      • Debbie says:

        Ever read “Misery”, by Stephen King? Because …!

  22. The Original Original says:

    I will be so disappointed if Eric and Sookie dont end up together

  23. The Original Mia says:

    I stopped watching after S3. Just couldn’t tolerate Beehl & Sookie anymore. Even Eric’s awesomeness couldn’t keep me around. No one was clamoring for more Alcide. In fact, most wanted him & his pack gone.

    I am thrilled Alex will be free of this mess. I was hoping it was this year, but they’ll drag him back for this final year.

  24. pretty says:

    i find Bill to be way hotter than Eric. he’s just hot!! i envy anna paquin so much.

  25. Gretchen says:

    This guy doesn’t seem to know anything about the characters or the audience, who on earth in “the audience” wanted to see more of Alcide? Anyone? No, didn’t think so. I’ve been hoping for a juicy road kill storyline since he arrived.

    Buckner was surprised that the fans were passionate about wanting Eric alive in the next season? The Viking is one of the biggest draws of the show!

    The show has been a hot mess since the whole Marnie storyline, and overall the show never really reached its potential, except of course for Russell who had the best one-liners. *sigh* but I’m sure I’ll watch the last season anyway, such is the pull of the Viking.

  26. eliza says:

    Not that anyone cares, but I have to say it anyway. I HATE the Alcide character with a passion. I cannot watch a second of the show when he is on. The most useless and insignificant character on the show and that is saying something.

  27. pzc says:

    I used to watch it but I couldn’t get through season 5.

  28. Shannon says:

    About time indeed. The show jumped the shark long ago… I’ve just been hanging in with it out of loyalty at this point. And also the man candy. Ok… Mostly the man candy.

  29. Ashling says:

    I will miss seeing the vampires in my summers, but I think it is time to end it. I’ve been fast forwarding storylines since season 4. There was an article written during season 2 in EW print edition I think, calling Alex a scene stealer and predicting his career would get the biggest boost out of the cast. I think it is true. I also think Alex wanted to be free from the show after this season, but is loyal. Most of the cast will never get as high a profile project or get paid as much as they do on True Blood.

  30. Liz says:

    This show has been terrible for so long – they took way too many liberties from the books which were well developed. The series just blows and is time it hit the dust.

  31. grabbyhands says:

    This used to be my favorite show, but they should have finished it off about two or three seasons ago. Alan Ball ruined what he created because he let his ego (and his hard on for Bill) get in the way of good writing.

  32. Stacia says:

    About time. This show jumped the shark 3 seasons ago. It just got plain stupid. The entire town of Bon Temps had witches, werewolves, fairies, vampires, ghosts, psychics and hybrids….It’s just tooo much. It’s past time that this show should have been staked this in the heart.

  33. snappyfish says:

    all the weres (panthers and wolves), tara’s nonstop yelling, and sam’s constantly boring storylines are too boring.

    I wish they had given more background on characters like godric, russell, sophie-ann, and lorena – they were interesting and so short-lived.

  34. CC says:

    Stick a fork in it, it’s done. Sorry but I refuse to use the coffin analogies, that’s how much they irritate me :P

  35. Mandy says:

    I just can’t with this show anymore. I loved seasons 1-3. After they brought in the witch story line, I became so bored. I tried to get into it but it was not happening. I didn’t realize that Alan Ball was out of the picture. Now it all makes sense to me! He is so amazing. Six Feet Under is my favorite show of ALL TIME. Hmmm…I need to go back and watch it again. :)

  36. Bridget says:

    I thought Buckner did a decent job this past season. There were some things I would liked to have seen done differently, but it was FAR more compelling than last season with the Vampire Authority. And he may have put Sookie with Alcide (I get it, was she supposed to be with Eric again? Or deal with someone entirely new?) but they’re moving away from the whole werewolf thing and away from that awful pack. I’m going to miss the show. It was silly and ridiculous and FUN, which is sorely lacking on cable right now. Sometimes I just want to be entertained.

  37. Bridget says:

    And by the way I’m kind of amazed at how poorly you guys comprehended that Buckner interview. They werent saying that they were going to kill of Erik but were surprised that people liked him so much. They were talking about in a sense being surprised at how big of a deal his nudity was – surprised in the absurdity of it. Go back and re-read.

    • cr says:

      In reading in his interviews post season finale I got the impression that he seemed to think that Eric fans were upset with the nudity, which wasn’t the case. It was that it seemed out of context, plus the fact that was the primary marketing tool for the season finale.

      Buckner and HBO are very well aware of how important Eric is to the show. I think they became fully aware of that during the summer of 2009.

      But they also got criticism not just for the Eric scene, but also for the overall crappiness of the season finale, which is something he seems to conveniently overlook.

      I think that Buckner’s trolling more than a bit in the interviews, as TB writers tend to do, but the more he gives interviews the more clueless he looks.

  38. GiGi says:

    I’m with those who really enjoyed this season after the last 2 being reallllyyyy difficult to hang with. But the season finale this year was just the worst. Ever.

    I’ll be looking forward to next season but I’m ready for this show to get wrapped.

  39. Elle says:

    The rumor is that although Skarsgard is a series regular, he will not be featured in all the episodes next season. He and Pam will be in completely separate storyline than Beeeeeeel/Alzzzzzzzzzzz/Suckeh (who I used to love but now I can’t even bring myself to look at anymore). I’m planning to cancel my HBO subscription anyway because of that loathesome finale but at least now I’m even more strongly resolved to follow through with it. I’d rather watch the Pam/Eric show on you tube.

    • nc_magnolia says:

      Thanks to Brian Buckner, I’ve already cried and said my True Blood goodbyes this past season. Season 6 was such an appalling slap in the face to both the characters and the viewers, it was virtually impossible to watch.

      Goodbye Sookie, Bill and Eric. I’ve loved you since show 1. Oh, and you might want to consider delivering the “True Death” to Buckner on your way out the door.

  40. Samigirl says:

    I love the show, but I definitely feel like it’s time for it to be over.

  41. hairball says:

    I still have not watched Season 6. I was such a HUGE fan of the show but after Season 5, I just lost total interest.

    If I heard “The Authority” one more time Season 5…! Now it seems like Season 6 will just be humans going after vamps and 1,000 different story lines for every single character that no one cares about.

    After Andy had the babies and the fire demon coming after Terry Season 5 (Wtf??? A separate side story, no one cared about), I was done.

    I liked Sookie and Bill or Sookie and Eric, but since none of that is going to happen anymore, I just have no interest. I’m sorry to hear it’s ending only because wonder if the cast are sad and it’s an indication that your show is not as good.

  42. Sachi says:

    Good.

    The first 3 seasons were camp, sometimes even “good trash” TV. It didn’t aim to be anything else and that was fine.

    But after Season 3, the show overestimated itself and tried to be more than it really is: a show about vampires.

    It’s hard enough making common paranormal stories believable (ie. demon possession), let alone a town ocnsisted of vampires, werewolves, werepanthers, shapeshifters, brujos and witches, fairies, etc. where only minor characters die and ‘good’ somehow trumps evil all the damn time. There’s suspension of reality, and then there’s completely ridiculous. TB became the latter.

    It all just crashed.

    • Jen34 says:

      The show should have stuck to the vamp/human storyline. All those other paranormal figures just ruined the charm of the town and the credibility of the show. One non-human element was enough.

    • Abby says:

      ^^This^^. Every single season from two and up spent way too much time on a craptacular, ridiculous story line – the maenad and her meat tree orgies, panther ghost daddy, V-tripping and bruhos, witches, fairies … OMG stupid fairies, fire ghost, demon baby, etc. They should have stuck with the vibe and formula from season one, though even that spent a bit too much time on Amy/Jason V trips. Yeah, it’s time to go. Sad.

  43. Cookie says:

    As long as Sookie ends up with Eric I’ll be happy.

  44. Leek says:

    Two years too late. It’s hard to follow something as well written as GoT with garbage like True Blood. It was fun in the beginning but it lost its humor somewhere along the way.

  45. Au de toilet says:

    They all look so aged now!!! Except Moyer .hes probably a real vamper..But c mon people, I mean it was long overdue..!

  46. Sara says:

    The first couple seasons were great. Too bad it started to get so awful. I have to say the hot naked men kept me watching more than the plot. At least we have Game of Thrones now.

  47. FartSack says:

    I will miss the long haired sexy Sheriff. There was nothing hotter in the world. Everyone else is worthless.

  48. Dommy Dearest says:

    I’m happy it’s ending. It’s gotten so cheesy and the storylines are a bit crazy. The books were wild too but I think if they would have stuck with the books the show wouldn’t be considered a light p0rno versus a show.

  49. LZ says:

    I completely disagree with you. This season had been the best True Blood we’ve seen in years. J liked the fast forward. All the seasons sort of ran back to back in terms of time within the true blood universe. The characters have been given a chance to rest up and evolve in a believable way.

    • cr says:

      “The characters have been given a chance to rest up and evolve in a believable way. ”

      Except post time jump it’s very jarring and not believable at all. Which is what ticked people off, as well as the Eric BBQ scene.

      Which has led to theories that perhaps the season finale was some sort of Bill dream/fantasy sequence.
      Or sadly, just really crappy writing.

  50. Debbie says:

    “Buckner said that he was ‘impressed by how much people care’ about Eric, Alexander Skarsgard’s character.”

    ???

    I don’t even read the books or watch the show, and *I* know how much people care about Eric. Durrrrr.