Men of True Blood on TV Guide: Hot or not enough to redeem this whacked show?

Some of the men of True Blood are featured on the cover of the new issue of TV Guide, with stars Alex Skarsgard (Eric), Stephen Moyer (Bill) and Joe Manganiello (Alcide) in a sexy photoshoot and joint interview inside. Contrary to some of the rumors we’ve heard about the male stars’ egos clashing on set, which they sort-of acknowledge, they seem to get along well and have a casual, joking camaraderie that comes through in print. I would have loved to have seen Ryan Kwanten (Jason), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayatte) and/or Sam Trammell (Sam) mixed in, but since they all play non-supes (with the exception of Sam) who aren’t interested in Sookie (again with the exception of Sam), it might have been too confusing to do more than the top three. This gets me thinking that all of the supes just want a piece of Sookie, which should be obvious to me from the books and series so far, but it seems like they’re hitting us over the head with it on the show.

Here’s some of their interview, with more at the source. There are major spoilers for the show here, but ones that are somewhat obvious to anyone who has read the books. It’s up to you of course whether you want to skip this.

truebloodmeninsetTV GUIDE MAGAZINE: What’s it like to play your characters now that they’re in such different circumstances this season?
STEPHEN: Bill had to let Sookie go. And in doing so, he’s become a better man and a better king. It’s been great as an actor having that sort of guiding light for him.
JOE: Alcide is wrestling with that beast inside him. I like moments where that thing inside him that he’s so afraid of is also this place of great strength.
ALEX: I love Eric’s vulnerability. But it’s tricky because even though he doesn’t know who he is, you can’t play it too flat. You can’t chop off his balls. Then there’s his inner struggle. If they break the spell, then Eric finds out about all the things he’s done in the past and who he really is, and that scares him. He’s like, “Hey, I’m kind of happy in this little house with Sookie.”
STEPHEN: Eric and Sookie are the tipping point of this season. The best stuff that’s in the show is their stuff.

TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: Has it been awkward for you, Stephen, since Anna’s your wife?
STEPHEN: It could have been really difficult, but it’s about being professional. And we all really like each other. It’s tougher for Anna because she’s having to show emotion with somebody else, and it’s been the same people on our crew since she and I got together when the show first started.
ALEX: If it was awkward for us, that would spread to the crew. They see us being so relaxed with each other and it’s so obvious when the camera is rolling and when it’s not, you know? And Anna’s great. She’s a very generous actress, very professional. In fact, we shot a scene the other night and it was one of those where…
STEPHEN: It will get people talking!

TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: What is Anna like when the cameras aren’t rolling?
STEPHEN: She’s merciless in her ridicule of everybody, and she expects the same back.
JOE: I spent half of last season dressed in what she refers to as “Giant Joe’s Giant Jumpsuit.” So Anna and Rutina [Wesley, who plays Tara] came up with a dance routine and a song that they would perform every time I wore the Giant Jumpsuit.
ALEX: [Singing] Joe and his giant jumpsuit…

TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: Joe, when you came in on the third season, was there an initiation?
JOE: The new guy on a show can feel like an outsider. There can be egos and things like that. But Anna was completely friendly, welcoming. Still, the guys won’t let me make eye contact.
STEPHEN: I make him get on his knees so we’re eye-to-eye.
JOE: But I guess the initiation would be wearing the “sock” [a wardrobe item that protects an actor’s modesty in a nude scene].
ALEX: I put it on him. [Laughs] Someone had to show him, you know?

TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: You guys have to be [nude] a lot. Who works out the most?
STEPHEN: Joe’s insane.
JOE: Yeah. I work out twice a day, six days a week. I eat constantly.
STEPHEN: I do three days a week. I just don’t want to watch this show 20 years from now and look at myself and say, “Who is that white blob?”
ALEX: I do three days a week, too. But with Joe, it’s all about the pecs. He can make them dance.
JOE: Alex hasn’t looked me in the eye once. I’m like, “Up here, Alex. Up here.”

[From TV Guide]

Spoilers for past episodes and potentially future ones
I’ve been keeping up with True Blood and while there are some storylines that I enjoy and want to follow, there are also plenty that I would like to skip over, and that rub me the wrong way. I hate the Hotshot storyline, with Jason being tied up, tortured and raped by Crystal. Those people in Hotshot are outrageous Deliverance stereotypes and that situation could have been portrayed without being so offensive.

Sookie and Eric’s new dynamic is cute, and I love Eric as dependent on Sookie and vulnerable. I also like the twist where Eric killed Sookie’s fairy godmother. (If that’s what indeed happened and she didn’t just get sucked back to fairy or whatever.) In the books, Claudine is killed in some battle with two evil fairies. I disliked that part of the books and hope that this means that we won’t be subjected to that storyline on the show.

Bill’s romance with calculating Portia is nice to witness. I enjoy that he’s become ruthless and somewhat evil. He always seemed to have that in him and I never really cared for him and Sookie together.

Jessica and Hoyt’s relationship problems seem genuine and relatable. They remain my favorite couple on the show.

Overall, though, the show is kind of losing me this season and while I’ll watch all the episodes I won’t rush to see them the minute they come out. Maybe it’s inevitable that shows lose their focus after a few years. It must be hard to put out 12 hours of programming every year and keep it fresh.



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41 Responses to “Men of True Blood on TV Guide: Hot or not enough to redeem this whacked show?”

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  1. Ben says:

    Er… can we talk about THIS please:

    JOE: But I guess the initiation would be wearing the “sock” [a wardrobe item that protects an actor’s modesty in a nude scene].
    ALEX: I put it on him. [Laughs] Someone had to show him, you know?

    or THIS:

    ALEX: With Joe, it’s all about the pecs. He can make them dance.
    JOE: Alex hasn’t looked me in the eye once. I’m like, “Up here, Alex. Up here.”

  2. ElleGin says:

    @Ben, I’m with ya!

  3. gobo says:

    That whole fairy crap and snookie in general? Meh. I’m in this for Eric.

  4. BellaLuna says:

    I disagree. I think this season is the best one yet. I get so excited to watch it and must do so right when it airs.

  5. CC says:

    Not. A show needs more than hunks (and one is highly debatable, but I guess you need to cater to the minorities as well) to be watchable/entertaining/whatever.

  6. Lisa Turtle says:

    Tara is a huge problem with the show. She gets far too much screen time, and there is always too much of an effort to get her involved in the main characters plot twists. I absolutely hated her Eggs crap, she had no right to be such a whiney waste of space over the death of a guy she’d known for two weeks (most of which she spent blacked out)… Plus there is absolutely no coherence between her storylines from season to season. Tara is just a random assortment of events. Now she’s a cagefighting lesbian? Whatever. Go away Tara.

  7. Becca says:

    love the show, but I can’t imagine these 3 fighting over her in real life. I don’t care how intoxicating her blood supposedly is. Her character is so naive and annoying to watch.

  8. RHONYC says:

    bite your tongue!

    that cover is what fantasy gang bangs are made of.


  9. Jen D says:

    I love their interactions, especially the self-depreciating joke Stephen makes about his height. It could be a total act, but they sound really down-to-earth and friendly.

  10. bigchili says:


    As a huge fan of the books (book 4 in particular), I was very excited for this season to start and so far I’ve been very happy. Nothing is keeping me off of my couch when it’s on.

    And I loved this interview. It seems very genuine to me. And fun.

  11. Leigh says:

    I’m loving this season!
    I think Alexander Skaarsgard is doing an awesome job of portraying this different side of Eric. And I’m loving sort of evil Bill.

  12. Stubbylove says:

    Luv my TB boys but this is Budget. Then again, it’s TV GUIDE – I don’t think my Grandma Delores even picks up anymore.

  13. borderlined says:

    While I don’t think this season has been the best (I still think the first has it beat there), I think this season is shaping up to be way better than the last.

    What they did to the were storyline last year was just awful. I will never get over the drugged-out 80’s hair band looking Debbie Pelt.

  14. Jen34 says:

    That photo! I want to lick Alex’s arm.

  15. Sick of it says:

    I’m so sick of these guys and this show. Every photo spread has Stephen Moyer photoshopped to within an inch of his life trying to make him look younger! Alex just needs to COME OUT and quit playing games and Joe is an arrogant a$$. Seriously, they can’t cancel this show fast enough for me, but that won’t happen as long as there’s a bevy of hormonal women drooling over them.

  16. mia girl says:

    Love them all. Yes, Eric and Sookie are great and need to get it on already. But I really love the Bill back story this season. I know that you think he’s more evil, but I actually don’t see it that way.

    Not to get too deep or anything, but really, as vamps they are all inherently evil to begin with – and so the real character issues for Bill, Eric, Jessica, etc is not how evil they can be/become (given), but how human/moral they are in opposition to that evil. It’s interesting that in Eric’s case this season they have had to wipe away/change him to make him more human in order make him more appealing/acceptable to Sookie.

    Really if you think about it, instead of seeing how human Bill or Eric can be for Sookie, the more interesting development would be for Sookie to find the evil in herself and stop being so pollyana. It will make her character and her relationships with the vamps much more compelling.

    But most importantly, we need to see more hot sex.

  17. Gwen says:

    I think most of the actors on the show are doing a really good job but IMO Alan Ball has more of less killed the story and no ammount of hot men and nakedness can save a ruined story. Too bad.

    Also this interview is funny. In spite of KBos I still want to have Alex’s babies 😀

  18. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    @Lisa Turtle, Cosign 100% I’d also like to add, that maenid storyline was terrible!

    @bigchili, book 4 was the best! Hope this season sticks with that storyline (as it appears to be doing). The last book left A LOT to be desired. All filler, and lacking continuity. It never answers the question set forth in the book prior to it (which vampire truly loves Sookie).

  19. Mika says:

    HOW can anyone like the new Eric/Sookie dynamic? He’s lost all his edge, he’s not sexy anymore, this last episode he looked like a 1980s workout instructor, ph my god, save him Pam. Pam needs to save him so he can go back to torturing Sookie and making her his kept woman, which is actually hot.

  20. Jag says:

    ITA with Mika. While baby Eric is cute, please don’t let it go on too long. His major hotness is his power, strength, and evilness combined.

    What I hate is that by now, Sookie should’ve grown a backbone. When Eric grabbed her faerie godmother, she just stood there. It’s unrealistic. (so to speak. lol)

    To answer your question, I’ll keep watching the whacked show for now, but if it gets too much into witch or Tara-time, they are going to lose me. (I really liked Tara at first, but ITA with Lisa Turtle on that one.) At least the werewolves were scary.

    CB ~ Thank you for saying there were spoilers. I haven’t read the books and don’t like knowing too much about what’s coming. Appreciate it. 🙂

  21. Sara says:

    I liked Tara when she was first on the show but not anymore. I think season 2 was the best but there are characters that keep me coming back, like Eric, Pam, Jessica and Lafayatte.

  22. amanda says:

    CB, I agree with you about the Hotshot storyline. That sh*t is tedious. So far, I don’t think this season is as good as the books, and that’s saying something, because the books are utter trash. But it’s too late to turn back now. And I did have a few laugh-out-loud moments in the first 3 episodes. It was entertaining, at least. Trash, yes…but entertaining trash nonetheless.

  23. Rachel says:

    That is freaking HILARIOUS! Up here Alex. Up here…

  24. Cleo says:

    The vampire characters are more open about being scumbags plus Bill has very bad taste made worse that he’s now in the money.

    Eric is a big lying serial killer with Sookie.

    And Alcide is just a cold biatch who wanted Sookie to see him with his soulmate Debbie meaning he was always working with the vamps all along to break Sookie off from Bill and move her towards Eric.

    They always knew she was part fairy hence all the attention.

    Sookie IS Gidget albeit without the surfing military backup (or is she?)

  25. Ari says:

    Alex and Joe = YUM!

    And I love a vulnerable Eric because you KNOW he won’t stay like that for very long. I also love the angsty love he has for Sookie as much as I cannot stand her I know she will fall into his arms because she cannot help it – if she could I would probably hate her more >_>

  26. Cleo says:

    Eric does that dumb blonde thing with this face and hair whenever he is trying to get out of a jamb like witch hate. He totally remembers Snookie.

  27. Tomas says:

    Season 1 was great and that’s what hooked people, season 2 was ridiculously stupid and season 3 was just okay. They lost me half way thru season 2 and I can barely remember season 3. HBO is living off of season 1 with viewers hoping for them to recapture that spark but I highly doubt it’s ever gonna happen. Vampire Diaries on the CW is actually a better show now!

  28. MourningTheDeathofMusic says:

    I still get a little squeal when I see Fiona Shaw and want to say, “Petunia’s finally a witch!” Only Harry Potter fans get the true bittersweet irony of True Blood casting Fiona in this role.

    I am enjoying this vulnerable side to Eric – he’s stripped to his core, and that’s what we’re seeing. He’ll eventually come back to who he was and I can imagine Sookie will appreciate him more.
    Not that I care about Sookie at all. She’s my least favorite character in this entire thing, to be honest, next to Bill.

    Tara’s anger/rage is just over the top and it makes it hard for me to remotely like her.

    Jessica is still 17 and has a LOT of maturing to do, add becoming a vampire onto her shoulders and I understand why Jessica is as she is.
    I absolutely adore Hoyt and wish he wasn’t with her though. It’s just not going to work out with them.

  29. Samigirl says:

    @RHONYC- HA! It may be the drugs (totally just got my wisdom teeth yanked out) but I just had to calm myself down from the giggles before I could post. That was hilarious. And oh so true. My poor husband leaves the room when I watch TB, as I drool over AS wayyyy too much 🙂

  30. Katija says:

    My brother and I have sibling bonding time over this show (although he insists on covering my eyes during the sex scenes…yes, I am well over the minimum age to watch TV-MA, LMAO)… he is Team Eric and loving where things are going, but I am Team Bill and want he and Sookie to just get back together already!!!!

  31. bigchili says:


    ITA that the meanad storyline in S2 was awful. A-W-F-U-L. Only Alex’s hotness & my love of the books got me thru the series but if AB does something like that to this season then I’m done with TB.

    As for the books, I know what you mean with 11 but I think it was pretty important to the story line. I think they had to estalish that Sookie loves Eric away from the blood bond and are setting things up for Sookie to have to ‘fight’ for Eric so they can have their HEA in the last two books. And I kind of disagree that the question as to which vamp really loves Sookie hasn’t been answered. If you look back through the books all the way back to book 1 – Eric is always there even when it should have been Bill. (Especially when it should have been Bill.) B1: Eric was the one that staked Long Shadow to save her even though Bill was there. B2: Eric protected her at the house bombing and Bill ran off for revenge. B3: Eric stayed with her at Club Dead & the Russell’s mansion after she was staked. B4: Well he was there in every way. B5: He saved Tara from Mickey as a favor to Sookie B6: He helps rescue her & Quinn from the Pelts. B7: He keeps her from being blood bonded to Andre. And it goes on it each book – I just can’t keep the rest of the books straight off the top of my head.

  32. Amanda G says:

    God Stephen is just so unfortunate looking. The pale skin does nothing for him. And that hair…ugh. I love that he realizes that the Sookie and Eric stuff is the best. He’s right, it’s the only reason I’m still watching. They seriously need to clean house and focus on the characters that the VIEWERS enjoy. Which would be Jessica, Pam, Eric/Sookie, Alcide and Lafayette. The rest can either go away or get much, much less screen-time.

    Alex…is delicious.

    What a fun group of guys. I have a feeling the “ego” rumors are because of this interview. Clearly they are just kidding around though.

    @bigchili – and most importantly Eric didn’t rape Sookie like Bill did in book 3.

  33. kim says:

    They’re too girlie!!!!

    I’m sorry but the guy who plays “Bill” is just butt ass ugly. PERIOD.


    they are all so femm looking now, hollywood took them from HOT to woosie in 2 seconds!

    so sad

    they used to be hot




  34. Erin says:

    Ummm, I have to disagree too…I LOVE this season and is so far, my favorite. As far as the Hotshot storyline, that is a part of the books and though parts of it differ, they are remaining true to the books that it is a scary, inbred hole in the earth.
    One thing I also appreciate about this show, besides the actors being unbelievably hot, is that Bon Temps is what I think of when I think a small, Southern town. People live in modest homes (except for the vamps), not in nice fancy neighborhoods.

  35. beth says:

    True Blood is the best show on television. This season is the best to date. Alex is beautiful. Nelsan Ellis deserves an Emmy. Tara annoys me, but I think she was funny in the second and third episodes. Did I mention Alex is beautiful? This show could be utter garbage and I would watch it for him.

  36. Camille says:

    <3 it and I <3 them! Can’t get enough TB. 🙂

  37. sshygirl says:

    Loving this season! Funniest TB moment was when Eric called Sookie “Snookie” – truly made me laugh out loud.
    AS is a beautiful, beautiful man – though I preferred his hair in season 1.

  38. Ashley says:

    Everyone has already said what I’ve been thinking. Though I would add I think Jason should get less screen time too. Season 1 when people thought he was the killer was the last time he’s been interesting. Though he and Amy bored me to death. Season 2 was boring and idiotic and Season 3 did a slightly better job reeling him in but it still introduced Crystal and Hot Shot. I hated Crystal in the books but I liked Calvin Norris and it was clear when they made them meth dealers and Deliverance-esque rednecks that they killed that storyline.

    Please dial back Jason. He’s just not that interesting.

    I also think Eric is too good for Sookie and Bill deserves her. Book Sookie isn’t even the same as show Sookie. Show Sookie is whiney, annoying, weak, and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash if they killed her tomorrow and continued with just Eric, Pam, Jessica and Lafayette. Those are the only interesting people on the show.

  39. sweetsubversion says:

    @ Ben – LOL, Askars is shamelessly gay! Good for him!

    Stephen Moyer looked like he was 1000000000000000 years old last season.

  40. Amanda G says:

    @Ashley – I couldn’t agree more about Jason. People seem to love him, but he is probably my least favorite character. Nothing against the actor, but I guess I get bored with the doopy, sex addicted characters. It’s be done…many times before. And yes, book Sookie is WAY better.

    I think I’m one of the few people who enjoys Tara. She’s a good actress, the writers are just giving her crap to work with.

    I also agree with whoever said that Nelsan deserves an award. He is hands down the best actor in the cast.

  41. Praise St. Angie! says:

    “I hated Crystal in the books but I liked Calvin Norris and it was clear when they made them meth dealers and Deliverance-esque rednecks that they killed that storyline.”

    TOTALLY AGREE. I think this is one of the worst “change the story from the book” parts I’ve seen on TB. I also liked Calvin Norris, a LOT…he was supposed to be this upstanding, hard-working man who was in an unfortunate family/living situation. And they changed him into a violent, gross meth dealer? for shame…