“True Blood” Season 4 premiere: my thoughts (SPOILERS)

Credit: HBO

There will be lots of spoilers in this post so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, proceed at your own risk.

To say that I felt the season 4 premiere of the HBO hit series “True Blood” was a bit weird is an understatement. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, but wow…WEIRD.
At the end of last season Sookie – having just found out that vampire love Bill betrayed her – decided to take a trip with Claudine to the land of the Fae (Fairy). Season 4 starts out with Sookie entering Fae, where she runs into Barry the Bellhop and her long, thought-dead grandfather Earl Stackhouse. Earl, who doesn’t realize he’s been “dead” for the past 20 years, is distraught over the fact that what seemed as days to him has meant that he has missed out on being in Sookie and brother Jason’s lives, and that wife Adele has grown old and passed away without knowing he was okay. All of this, however, doesn’t matter as the true nature of Fae land comes to light.
While talking with Barry, Sookie takes notice of the behavior of other humans who are visitng the world of Fae (one can only assume that these other humans are also part-Fae as Sookie is). When presented with a strange “light” fruit, Sookie gets suspicious and has a mental (telepathic) conversation with Earl, where she panics and decides that they need to escape.  Her thoughts are overheard by all of the Fae, and Mab – who is apparently a leader of some sort – reveals the true nature of the visit to Sookie: the Fae are dying out and need to harvest the humans with Fae blood. Mad tries to force Sookie to eat the fruit and when Sookie refueses (by blasting Mab with her strange new powers), the true face of the Fae is shown, and they are not the perfect, beautiful people they appeared to be.
At this point, the scene gets kind of corny, with a fight/chase scene that could have been pulled straight from an old “Star Trek” episode. Claude (Claudine’s brother) helps Sookie to escape through a portal that leads back to her world, and although Earl is not supposed to go (anyone who has eaten the light fruit cannot go back to the real world), he jumps in with Sookie to make sure she is safe. Sookie and Earl land in the cemetary, where Earl dies atop his late wife’s grave.
Sookie returns to her home, only to find out upon Deputy Jason’s arrival that even though she was only in the Fae world about 10 minutes, almost 13 months has passed in the real world, where the city of Bon Temps has declared her missing. This revelation will lead to viewers seeing the many major changes that have taken place since Sookie’s disappearance. Among those changes:
  • Jason is now the responsible Sheriff’s Deputy, while Sherrif Andy Dearborn is now an addict of V (vampire blood)
  • Tara has left town, traveling to different cities every few months and channeling her rage as a cage fighter. Oh, and she also is now in a relationship with a woman who apparently thinks her name is Toni and that she’s from Atlanta. As sad as it is, it’s nice to see that some things (Tara’s inability to have a dunctional relationship) haven’t changed.
  • Lafayette and Jesus are still kicking it strong, although it seems that things are not great with them as Jesus is still pushing Lafayette to explore his “witchy” side. Adding to the tension is the addition of Marnie (Harry Potter’s Fiona Shaw), a witch who likes to channel dead vampires and bring dead birds back to life. (Side note: am I the only Harry Potter fan who absolutely cracked up when she cried about her dead bird, Minerva? Maybe McGonagall got tired of being a cat all of the time). Although she was a bit…off in this first episode, big things are rumored for Marnie in season 4.
  • There’s trouble in paradise with Hoyt and Jessica. The two lovebirds had made the decision to move in together at the end of season 3, and our first glimpse of them in season 4 shows that the honeymoon is clearly over. They have an unusually human argument about Jessica’s lack of skill in the kitchen, followed by a “make-up” date at Fangtasia, where Jessica flirts with a fangbanger, flees to the restroom out of guilt, where she is cornered by Pam who teases her about her dilemma.
  • Arlene has given birth to Rene’s child, and is still convinced that baby Michael will inherit his murderous father’s tendencies. She comes home and finds that the baby has taken all of the heads off of his sister’s Barbie dolls, and prompty has a panic attack. “What kind of child beheads Barbies?” she asks her now-husband Terry, who replies, “Boys.” I couldn’t agree more, Terry. Arlene’s fretting will probably do more damage to the child than his dead father’s DNA.
  • Bill is now the vampire king, although not much is said about when or how this came to be.
  • During Sookie’s “disappearance”, Jason sold the Stackhouse property, saying that he was too sad at being reminded how everyone else was gone to hold on to it. Turns out the mystery buyer was none other than Eric, who uses his ownership to his advantage by inviting himself into Sookie’s bedroom, telling her with a toothy declaration, “You are MINE”. Wonder what lil’ ole Miss Stackhouse has to say about that? Guess we’ll find out next week.

Speaking of next week, HBO has made the second episode immediately available for HBOGO subscribers on their website.

Fan Faves from “True Blood”, “Vampire Diaries” Added to Dragon*Con

After more than a week with no updates, Dragon*Con has added some fan favorites from two of the hottest current television series to the guest list.

And while you’re drooling over the photo at the left, I will shamelessly admit to adding this blog post with just a teensy bit of lust going on.

If you haven’t guessed by now, Joe Manganiello – who plays hot-blooded werewolf Alcide Herveaux on the HBO hit series “True Blood” – has been added to this year’s guest list for Dragon*Con 2011. This makes the third guest from the show, with Jim Parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry) having been added about a month ago, and Denis O’Hare (Russell Edgington, Vampire King of Mississippi), who was added back in April. Joe joined the show in season 2, and was quickly promoted to series regular for season 3. Expect for Alcide to play a larger role in the show, now that love interest Sookie is unattached. Season 4 of “True Blood” premieres June 26 on HBO.

Another fan favorite comes to Dragon*Con from the locally-filmed television series, “The Vampire Diaries”. Sara Canning, who plays Aunt Jenna on the show, has been confirmed to appear. SPOILER ALERT Jenna’s role on the show took a major, unforeseen turn in the last few episodes of the second season, beginning with her finding out that vampires exist to her being turned into one and eventually killed as part of Klaus’ ritual to become the first vampire/werewolf hybrid. Canning will be joined by fellow cast mate David Anders, who played John Gilbert on the show.

Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon*Cons past at this link.

‘Breaking Up Sucks’ New Promo for True Blood Season 4

Credit: HBO

Breaking up does indeed suck, and die-hard Truebies will find out just how much when the HBO hit series “True Blood” makes its’ Season 4 debut on June 26.

In the season 3 finale, Sookie (Anna Paquin) had just learned that Bill (Stephen Moyer) originally set out to find her under the command of Queen Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood), who was interested in using Sookie’s telepathic abilities to further her own causes. Judging by the new promo for season 4, looks like Sookie will not want for suitors intent on mending her broken heart.

“True Blood” Season 4 begins on Sunday, June 26 at 9pm EST.

True Blood Panel at Dragon*Con 2010 (VIDEO)

Me with True Blood's Nelsan Ellis at Dragon*Con 2010

I know, I know…I promised more Dragon*Con updates and haven’t had the chance to post them! Real life has kept me busy, but never fear! Today I bring three videos from the first True Blood panel that was held on 9/3/10. Panelists included Kristen Bauer van Straten (Pam), Sam Trammell (Sam), and Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette). I will most likely edit this post later this weekend with more commentary (and hopefully, some transcription), but for now…enjoy. 🙂

True Blood panel at Dragon*Con, Part 1

True Blood panel at Dragon*Con, Part 2

True Blood panel at Dragon*Con, Part 3

My Dragon*Con Countdown Has Officially Begun

In about a month’s time, I will be participating in my annual geekout weekend when Dragon*Con returns Labor Day weekend. For those of you who don’t know, Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. I first attended in 2007 and it has now become a must-attend event for me.

This year will also include some firsts for me, as I have been asked to sit on two panels for the Young Adult (YA) Literature track. The first panel, “Minorities in YA Lit” will focus on the role that minorities play in Young Adult Literature, and what trends are popular in regard to race, gender, religion, etc. So far, I am the only panelist listed (no pressure, right?)

The second panel is the one I’m most excited about, “Freaks and Geeks in Harry Potter”, where we discuss the “oddballs” in the HP universe, such as Neville and Luna. My co-panelists include Racheline Maltese (author of The Book of Harry Potter Trifles, Trivias and Particularities), Todd McCaffrey (who co-writes the Dragonriders of Pern series with his mother, novelist Anne McCaffrey), Davey Beauchamp (Writers for Relief anthologies), and M.B. Weston (author of The Elysian Chronicles series).  How the hell I was able to get on such a distinguished panel confuses the hell out of me, and I will try not to feel intimidated. Try being the operative word.

But you guys want to know about the guests, don’t you? You can view the complete Dragon*Con guest list here, but this is the list of the people I’m excited to see and the movie/books/shows I loved them in (the ones in red are musts for autograph/photos).

  • Lee Arenberg (you know, the “Ello, Poppet!” pirate on Jack Sparrow’s crew in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy)
  • Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy)
  • Rene Auberjonois (Odo from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”)
  • Morena Baccarin (Anna on the ABC Series “V” and Adria/the Orici on” Stargate SG-1″)
  • Kristin Bauer (Pam from “True Blood”)
  • Robert Beltran (Chakotay on “Star Trek: Voyager”)
  • Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”)
  • Ben Browder (Col. Cameron Mitchell in “Stargate SG-1”)
  • Chris Bruno (Sheriff Bannerman on “The Dead Zone”)
  • LeVar Burton (READING RAINBOW!!! Oh yeah, and he played Geordi in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
  • Jim Butcher (author of The Dresden Files books)
  • Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
  • Daniel Cudmore (Felix in the Twilight movies, and Colossus in X2 and X-Men 3)
  • Lexa Doig (Rommie in the series “Andromeda”)
  • Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette in “True Blood”) THIS IS A MUST!!!!
  • Michelle Forbes (Maryann in “True Blood”)
  • Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte in “True Blood”)
  • Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
  • Joel Gretsch (Father Landry in “V”; Tom Baldwin in “The 4400)
  • Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing in “Dallas”)
  • David Hewlett (Rodney McKay in “Stargate SG-1”, “Stargate: Atlantis”)
  • Christopher Judge (Teal’c in “Stargate SG-1”)
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon (author of the Dark-Hunter series)
  • Martin Klebba (Marty from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy)
  • Stan Lee (do you really need an explanation of who he is?)
  • Paul McGillion (Carson Beckett on “Stargate: Atlantis”)
  • Alex Meraz (Paul in the Twilight movies)
  • Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis in “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” and Jonas Quinn in “Stargate SG-1”)
  • Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson in “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate: Atlantis”)
  • Mark Sheppard (demon Crowley in “Supernatural”)
  • Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”)
  • Chaske Spencer (Sam Uley in Twilight: New Moon and Twilight: Eclipse)
  • Brent Spiner (Data in “Star Trek: Te Next Generation”)
  • Laura Vandervoort (Kara/Supergirl in “Smallville” and Lisa in “V”)
  • Garrett Wang (Harry Kim on “Star Trek: Voyager”)
  • Paul Wesley (Stefan in “The Vampire Diaries”)

I believe that the guest list for Dragon*Con has been capped this year at 400, so I don’t think anyone else will be added to the list. It would be nice, however, if they could add some more stars from “The Vampire Diaries” (especially since they film the show here in Atlanta). Some Harry Potter stars would be nice as well, as they were the main reasons I’ve been there the past three years.

Catching Up With The Grown-Up Fangirl

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a proper Fangirl post here, and I apologize. Things have been so hectic for me in real life that I had been behind on a lot of stuff. With my Harry Potter assignments over at Hollywood News, along with the summer hiatus of several of the shows I fangirl over, I’ve been neglecting most of my fandoms that aren’t HP related. However, I am desperately trying to catch up with everything. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Harry Potter: Last weekend I attended Infinitus 2010 in Orlando, and got a chance to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I have yet to sit down and gather my thoughts about the convention, but I did manage to do a write-up about the park, which can be found at my Hollywood News blog here. I will say that it was one of the best experiences I’ve had, as I’ve gotten to meet a lot of “online” friends and they’ve now become real life friends, which is great. I can always use more Harry Potter fanatics in my life. 🙂

True Blood: With the frenzy I’ve faced over the last two weeks preparing for Infinitus, I had completely missed the two most recent episodes of True Blood. I finally got a chance to watch them last night and WOW. I don’t even know where to start!!! I am loving the additions of Alcide and Jesus (OMG his scenes with Lafayette!!), and the casting for Debbie Pelt was perfect! Batshit crazy doesn’t even begin to cover it!! And I’m loving James Frain’s version of Franklin Mott; he’s creepy but so pathetic at the same time, while being scary. There’s just a lot going on in this show so far, and we’re only what, four episodes into this season? Speaking of which, a new trailer for the second half of season 3 premiered at Comic-Con and holy hell!! This season is about to get even more intense!!

The Tudors: After getting completely hooked onto this series this past February, I wasn’t ready for it to end. This was a series brilliantly done, and has some of the best casting I’ve seen. The series ended on a very classy note, although I was sad to see the death of one of my favorite characters, Charles Brandon. I would really like for Showtime to re-visit this series and cast, possibly showing the reign of Mary Tudor, especially with Sarah Bolger as Mary. Would be a very good show, indeed.

The Vampire Diaries returns to the CW for its second season on Thursday, September 9 at 8pm. Supernatural follows two weeks later when its new Friday night schedule premieres on September 24. Both of these dates seem so far away, but at least it’s not January, which is when Caprica is scheduled to return.

So for awhile, at least, I may have to find a few new shows to watch/catch up on, and believe me, there has been no shortage of suggestions. I’ll do my best to keep up this blog a bit better, but don’t forget, for all of my Harry Potter related news, check me out on Hollywood News.

The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

Cover image provided by CharlaineHarris.com

I finally got a chance to go over to LiveJournal today, and found this gem of information in one of the True Blood communities. Apparently, there is a new Sookie Stackhouse book scheduled to be released in February 2011. This is great news for Sookie fans, who up until now weren’t expecting the next Sookie installment until May 2011.

According to CharlaineHarris.com, “The Sookie Stackhouse Companion” will include a new Sookie novella, and an exclusive interview with Alan Ball (creator of the HBO series True Blood, which is based on the Sookie books). There will also be a Q&A section where Charlaine answers questions sent in by fans.

You’re invited to send in your questions (limited to three) to askcharlaine@gmail.com from June 17 through June 26. (After that, the email address will be inactive.) Sending in your questions doesn’t guarantee they’ll be included. Please add your name and a valid email address to each question in case Charlaine selects your entry. All questions should pertain to the Sookie Stackhouse series.