Monday, September 12, 2011

An Open Letter to Alan Ball.

Dear Alan Ball,

I  am trying really hard to talk myself into watching season 5 but I am not sure it is possible at this point. The season was off to a great start and then things slowly started to fall by the wayside. I will get to those later in this letter. You have claimed time and time again that you were going to stay true to the 'spirit of the books' because "the books work" but yet you have strayed so far from the beaten path, that I believe True Blood has jumped the shark. Yes, the books do work and there is a reason for that, quite simply, that reason is character growth. I know that you like to shock people but to do so at the expense of character growth and development is simply appalling. A character's growth stirs the plot and makes it grow, not weakens it as is the case here, as it stands right now. This is where I begin stating the issues I have had in seasons past and have gotten progressively worse as this season went on. I kept hoping for change and got nothing.


At the beginning of the season, we see Sookie returning from her trip into Fairy, where it is now a year later. That was the first mistake, if anyone needed a year's vacation, it was Sookie. I chose to let that one go due to the fact that the season was just getting started.  When dusk approaches, she automatically goes outside to await Bill because, well she knows he is on his way over. Stop right there.....are you kidding me right now? In truth I can see her wanting to see him as it is one of the seven parts of broken heart syndrome. A woman is torn between wanting to see the man she loved so much and staying as far away as she can. Then she has some angry, bitter words for him as well as  behind his back. It is a whole long, complicated womanly process, but hey it is ours.

All we got for this process was her saying "I know you must have been worried for me but in my mind, it was only an hour ago that you broke my heart, and shattered it into a million pieces". Really, that was all she had for the man who let her get beaten by two V-Addicted nut-jobs? Where was her anger? Where was her pain and lashing out at him? Am I supposed to believe that Sookie is a heroine or even a protagonist? At this point she is an antagonist in relation to herself.

I waited all season for Sookie to find time to tell Bill how the rat reveal made her feel and to get out her anger and I got nothing except I forgive you and I hope you can forgive me.  For what???? There were huge gaping plot holes as well characters being used a plot devices, (Sookie and Eric mainly) and it all just became one HOT MESS. I am tired of Bill being shoved down my throat when it is not even feasible for her to forgive him without going through the seven steps a woman goes through when having their heart broken. How did she get to the last step so damn fast?

Eric said that there were two Sookie Stackhouse's and he was right about that, but I am thinking that there must be a third Sookie Stackhouse because from what I have seen of Sookie in the latter episodes, the two Eric described were no where to be seen. Sookie was used as a plot device to (1) prop up the character of Bill Compton and (2) to keep him in the mix with this stupid love triangle.  There really was no reason for Sookie to have been shot, other than the need to have Bill offer up another donation of his blood. At this  point, she is nothing but a damsel in distress yet AGAIN. Sookie and her microwave fingers of fail that she only uses when you writers decide it is finally convenient to be used, as yet another plot device. This whole "It only happens when I am upset" idea is just not flying anymore.

She used it in the Moon Goddess to stop Bill, Eric, Pam and Jessica from walking into the "wall of sun" but could not use it moments before when the two men she claimed to love were about to off themselves in the name of love. Nor could she use her power while she was trapped inside the ring of fire, she was upset so she should have used her fear, to set her hands aglow but no such luck. Sookie should be made of stronger stuff by now.

Speaking of Eric, Sookie has no problem calling him out on every thing he has every done but can't have a little talk with Bill about what he has done.  Alex and his character, Eric have truly been the saving grace for me in an otherwise up and down roller-coaster season. He played Eric beautifully, even through all the crap that made Eric so 'out of character'. From what we have seen of Eric, he is a vampire with pride and after telling Sookie that he remembers everything and that he loves her, nothings changed, she throws in his face that she loves Bill too. He does not understand and he felt bitter and was not happy with her. Then you have him groveling at her feet, this was too much to take. Eric would not grovel at her feet, he may be a changed vampire due to his time with Sookie, but he still has his pride.  I really wish you would quit feeding us these little bits of nasty food, because I am no longer swallowing this unbelievable crap.

What is the point of introducing things as part of a major storyline and then do nothing with it? In regards to the Rat Reveal, you stated it as a fact and then LET IT GO. Bill faced no consequences for it at all, in fact he was rewarded for it. Sookie did not hash this out with him and let her feelings be known about it. It all made no sense, it well and truly might as well have never happened at all. EPIC FAIL at best. Now he is the King/Queen and I had to watch him lord it over Eric and every other vampire when his position was earned at the expense of a woman who did not even know she was being used.

 Now, I come to Hotshot, what was that bit of nonsense even for? Was it just to tell us about "Ghost Mommy' and "Ghost Daddy" hinting at the fairy connection? We could have done without all the raping of poor Jason by multiple woman to hear that little nugget you dropped us. Sometimes you go too far with this "shock value" crap. I needed my brain bleached after that and for what, Jason did not even become a were-panther. It was a big Epic fail and I will never get those minutes back.

This season has been full of hits and misses, mostly misses, especially in relation to the last couple episodes.I voted for Alex to win Best Horror Actor for the Scream Awards but picked Game of Thrones for everything else because it was much much better. Why I picked Game of Thrones to win over True Blood, a show I love (yes I do still love it) is really quite simple. That show stayed true to the "spirit of the books" and proved that the "books really do work". Changes were made but not at the expense of a character's arc and motivations. I am all for changes of a book series for a TV adaptation but not at the expense of beloved characters

With all that being said, I hope you, Alan and everyone else associated with this show take heed to what is in this open letter, as well as read what is on the HBO site discussion board. That will give you an idea of what people are wanting, and make the appropriate changes to ensure that you keep viewers. The show does not have to be an exact replica of the books in order to succeed, for that has been proven already, but it does need to be believable and consistent. There are so many things that have already been established on the show that is changed at the drop of a hat to suit the current story-line you are trying to sell us. I could go on and on about all the other things that really made no sense but I think you got my point.

Concerned Viewer,


  1. Mr. Ball, ONE Sookie-Eric-Bill threesome scene was enough, the one in Sookie's dream. Even that one was too much, wrong and weird and incredibly lame!
    There were so many other ways you, Mr. Alan Ball, could have shown how Sookie is torn between the two vampires.
    It would have been funny as a flash-scene in a dream, but it was just too long, too lame, and you did it TWICE!
    You have ripped Charlaine's books to shreds!
    I was naive to believe you would stay true to the books and keep at least some of the major events in the show, but you did not! That put even the good things your changes brought to shade (LaLa, Jessica...can't even remember them all!).
    If I had to pick a highlight scene from this season, it would be the one with Alcide abjuring Debbie! At least a tiny morcel of my beloved books!

  2. I hope Mr. Ball views this and takes it into deep consideration! OR ELSE ALAN! LOL

  3. Make your words my words ..
    to be honest i can't stand watch,talk, post about TB anymore...AB in order to PLEASE Anna and Stephen in the show he screw up season 4 ..I can't even remember Eric begging Sookie love be honest I am over TB . I am Alexander Skarsgard fan that is.Nothing matter anymore .This show is dead ..Eric lost his senses she should fall in love for a real woman..
    Bill and Eric friends ...
    Who Kill the show ? Allan Ball in order to keep Anna and Stephen happy as stars of the is just my opinion...I am glad this show is over!!!

  4. Co-signed, Diane. My only addition would be that of the writing team's systematic destruction of any and all female characters on the program. Sookie (bright, brave, independent and kind) has been reduced to the woman who apologizes to her abuser for forcing him to abuse her, with telepathy that only seems to work when it is plot-convenient. Pam (stylish, strategic, bold and relentless) has been reduced to a whining, vain and petty child. Tara (smart, go-getting, determined and successful) has been reduced to a character who is so predictable that everyone hates her. Arlene, even Arlene with so few good points to her, has been made worse as she told Terry Rene's baby was his, and continued that charade for several episodes. There are no strong female leads in this series, only props for Bill Compton and pithy one liners. I'm truly saddened by the treatment our beloved characters have received, and am at a loss to explain how such a massive change (completely undermining our heroine) is anywhere near "in the spirit of the books."

    Even worse, what has been a staple of my television viewing, and in fact the only show that I watch myself, has become something that I just can't be bothered to really care about anymore. It's a shame that even the phenomenal acting of Alexander Skarsgard, Kristen Bauer van Straten and Nelsan Ellis can no longer actually hold this show afloat - though it is a testament to them that they've done it this long.

  5. Ok, we have endured four years of this charade and I think enough is just that, ENUGH!!!
    I think you had experimented enough with this show and if you really have some ounce of appreciation and "respect" for us viewers, I will suggest that you guys stop whatever it is that y'all been doing for four years and wake up and smell the coffee.. I would hate to see the show going down to the bottom of ratings and suffering the same fate as certain medical drama show that was great and in it's third season and due to a generic case of big head from their creators part, the show got canceled. I guess the station motto wasn't enough to cope with the pandemonium these producers created even though they said, "We know Drama.
    I know that thinks can still be fixed and the new season can be a re- birth for this show. I've watched True Blood from the beginning and I have read all the books. Even though the series and the books are different, I hope to see something that is not going to turn my brains into mush like the drugs commercial with the eggs on the skillet.
    Season 5, people have A LOT of expectations, me included so,........FIX IT!!!!

  6. I agree with it all. Very well said! The EPIC FAIL for me was Eric and Sookie's FIRST true intimate moment. The shower scene. Alan made it out to be something from The Chronicles of Narnia. I understand Sookie being "high" from the vamp blood and all, but my question is...why then? She had never gotten that much of a high before and Eric drained a whole fairy and still did not act like that. Contradicting himself every time you turn around and it has gone far from the books. It's not even the same as the books anymore. But as you said, I could go on and on about the nonsense in this season and I am trying really hard to convince myself to watch season 5.

  7. Can I please get the 3 minutes of my life back I wasted reading this hater tirade?

  8. Its is obvious that they don't listen to the viewer opinions, do they have to do everything we want of course not and its not that we want them too, but to demean women and yes I do think you have done that to the women on this show, the way its been done is beyond disgusting. Why the hell did Sookies character apoligize to Bill and ask his forgiveness. Really Really for what was she asking forgivness for? And then to tell Eric that the things Bill had done had been to protect her. Ok that made no sense. Why was the Rat beating trotted out at the end of last season and the completely brushed under the carpet this season. What kind of women with any kind of self respect is ok with the man who claims to love her allowing that to happen to her. And to compare Eric's actions to Bill's was the lowest point for me. When it does not even come close the shit Queen Bill has pulled and decieved her about. What has Eric lied to her about? Huh huh I want to know. Should he have explained what he was doing to get RE and keep her safe, of course he should have and that was a mistake on his part, but not a lie. The only thing he has lied to her about is when he tricked her into sucking those bullets out to get a bit of his blood in her. And then for her to put him on Bills level about lying is bull fucking shit! Ok end of rant! Really this season had so many EPIC FAILS it is not even funny. To kill off Jesus is just bull, and then Tara also not that I care, of the two Jesus is who I like the most but of course it will be no plot Tara that will probaly be saved.

  9. Guys, i totally agree with everything each one of u are saying.. mr alan ball will continue to smoke stephen moyers pole and yet again fail to deliver. bye. bye ratings, hello ridiculous 'married couple' show.. My hbo subscribtion has officially been cancelled thanks to the utter crap i have seen this season.

  10. Mr Ball, you totally and completely screwed up the whole storyline by having Tara take a bullet meant for Sookie. That one scene in the book where Eric took that bullet was the most important part of the whole book and was the storyline. You mucked the whole thing up. I am so displeased with this and Charlaine Harris is probably cursing your name in her bathroom or closet and damn right she should be. You screwed up her perfectly written story just to keep viewers.

  11. You're preaching to the choir. Weak ass Eric is a disappointment to me too. I am now shipping Eric Bill, really I captioned a photo on the blog, I think it's what I will do all hiatus. I'll put balloons for their thoughts about each other. Dont steal my idea peeps, lol.

  12. Awesome post! Yes you wonderfully voiced so many of my own concerns this season. Season 4 was one that I have patiently awaited since season 1! Too many times have I heard about "staying to the spirit of the books" and yes now also starting to hear how much Alan Ball will start to veer away. Way too many characters for no reason on a show where we lost the main focus of the core characters! Thank you for clearly voicing my pain as a fan!!

  13. Dear Troll Eater:

    NO! Those 3 minutes of your life belong to me know since you decided to take the time to read my blog. Consider it an investment to your being enlightened. Come back again for lesson number two where you will owe me three more minutes. :)

  14. "I know that you like to shock people but to do so at the expense of character growth and development is simply appalling"
    THIS! it seems like all they want to do is shock people!and the sad thing is they arent even accomplishing that cuz lets face it...practically every cliffhanger had been predicted by the audience half way through the season.This is not a show i am going to pay to watch...seriously..
    also i so agree with EVERYTHING u said here diane..i mean..stages of a break up,especially under such traumatic circumstances,take a while! sometimes it can take u years to get past anger!! man or woman! and yet sookie goes from pretty much telling tara she wouldnt forgive bill in ep3 or 4 to loving bill and FORGIVING HIM and ASKING HIM FOR FORGIVENESS!!?! what the bloody f***?! take a knife and stab me in the eye y dont u Alan Ball! u just massacred my heroine beyond repair! there is NO coming back from this...this of all seasons was supposed to be where she showed us what shes made of...and apparently....she's made of nothing. and eric and pam....dude..that takes that where all of alan balls effort was???trying to destroy those beloved characters??jeez...
    i have way too much to say about this joke of a finale...and season (started off great but went downhill FAST)so i'll stop...but another thing...sookie should have been the one given the year like diane said...maybe then all this billshit could have passed for some sort of alternate reality.
    i am done. love alex,and kristen,nelsan and ryan. but even they cant make me get over the unrecognizable pile of crap u've turned the main characters into AB.

  15. OMG I so agree with everything you said.

    To me, that is the most tragic thing...
    Putting plot above characters.

    As I said in another positing on the SVB forum, it's clear to me that Alan Ball has chosen rating over everything else. He cares more about the people that tune in for the sex, nudity, violence, and the shock value, than loyal fans who care about the characters. I guess he thinks he won't get enough rating without prioritizing that stuff but what about the fans like us that care to get more people watching, buy the DVDS, and merchandise and essentially promote the show as free advertising? No, we don't matter. Absolutely Brilliant *UGH*

  16. Thank you! You took the words right out of my mouth. Every single bit and more. How anyone liked that travesty of a scene with B/E/S and then the apology and then the Eric groveling and say it is in character... Did you read the books I say? Gonna go check out your blog now!

  17. I totally agree! The writers of TB might as well pretend Season 4 never happened and fast forward to Season 5. After Season 3 ended, I was totally excited for the upcoming Season 4. Of course, the whole season has been a huge disappointment and I am not in the least bit excited about Season 5. I actually dreading what Alan Ball and his writers are going to come up and destroy what little is left of all things I loved about the previous 3 seasons. I am definitely canceling my HBO subscription! I can't stand to pay money for a show that really failed on so many levels!!!

  18. After Season 3 I was teetering on the edge of giving up, but the Ratt Reveal made me decide to stay. If I had known then that Eric's amnesia would extend to wiping out this act of vicous betrayal from Sookie's mind I wouldn't have bothered. I am done with this misogyny. I am done with the willfull character assassination by the writers. You win, Alan. Go and enjoy writing your sub-par Bill Compton FanFic, but don't expect me to stick around to view it.

  19. Word to everything you wrote Diane! Who is the real Sookie anyways? And Eric for that matter? Who was that guy sitting on the couch with Sookie and Bill? That was NOT Eric Northman. I just weep at the thought of what has been done with Sookie, Eric and Pam this season.
    I am done! I can't put myself up for next season. Next thing we'll see Eric stalking Sookie like Book Bill, you know it can happen.

  20. Nice post, Diane. I think we need to stop caring so much. AB can only mess with us if we let him.

  21. Nathalie (bookies TB) :I'm on all the way with you, Diane ! You know it.

  22. Did you send this open letter to HBO / True blood?

    I really hope so, more people should do that so that we finally get our attention that we deserve, the Eric fanbase is the biggest one, but Ball dismisses it completely and always gives Bill everything to make him look good, every charcter besides Bill looks like an idiot at the moment, great job Alan Ball, great job...

  23. I agree 100% with all that has been said, but I don't fault AB totally. HBO is a huge part of the problem too. While I realize I may be a little biased because I am more of an Alex and Kristin fan, in my eyes HBO also has gone out of their way to push Stephen/Bill and Joe/Alcide at Alex's expense. The photos coming from HBO with none of Eric and darn few of Pam, the Sunday phone calls from cast members but not from Alex, Pam having very little screen time this season and how her character was written to be really whiney, Eric's character would never groval for either Sookie or Bill amnesia or not. It is almost like AB and HBO is penalizing those two actors for being so good at what the were hired to do. I actually feel AB does not really want to continue with the show so he is in principal trying to sabotage it so HBO will cancel it. He consistently says that the show cannot follow to closely to the books because the readers would have no surprises. How about no viewer is surprised when each time Sookie is in trouble Bill comes to the rescue when in fact in the books Eric rescues her often. Why after she was shot shortly after drinking the powerful blood of Eric she would need Bill to give her any? AB needed Bill to be the hero. I am convinced that at the beginning of season 5 Bill will again be made Sookie's hero by turning Tara at Sookie's request. of course Sookie forgiving Bill and asking him to forgive her WHAT she did nothing to him ever, and when did she ever ask Eric to forgive her for how she has treated him from the very beginning never giving him an ounce of leeway for any of his actions however harmless they might have been. I pay for HBO at three different locations simply so I can watch TB wherever I'm at when it airs. NO MORE. Nor will I ever watch another AB project. I realize AB nor HBO cares but it is the only way I know to show my dissatisfaction.

  24. Thanks Everyone! I am going to post this on the Inside True Blood Blog. Then I am going to stop caring so damn much.

  25. Please send this letter to HBO in LA and ask them to forward it to him.

  26. Anon,

    It was tweeted to True Blood HBO and I DO plan on sending it as well. It may not do any good but it is better than just doing nothing.