Lil Reacts To Alan Ball’s EW.com Postmortem

Ok, so this is taking away from working on some other things for the blog, but MY STARS! AB has got me all ruffled. My collar is hot, my hands are sweaty (excuse for typos ;D) and my fingers are typing like the wind! I simlpy could not hold back from commenting on the EW site and wouldn’t you know it, someone wanted to put down the bookies AGAIN.

First read AB’s interview HERE

Courtesy of Ew.com

Courtesy of Ew.com

Then so you don’t have to search through all the comments come back here and see what I had to say………….

It went from the Spirit of the books to the gist of the books? Completely dismantling characters not just story line? Godric the favorite part of the book? Did AB read the same book as me? Because Godric was not a likable vampire in the books, he was a pedophile and the only relationship he had with Eric was E was looking to use Sookie’s talents to earn him money in helping find the ancient vampire. And Eric isn’t just a “bad guy” and again Bill is forever the perpetual victim.

For a while I thought AB was just building Bill up for a bigger fall, but the dismissal of the beginning of Book 3 had “dismantled” my now hopeless theory. And what about the orgy and the maenad story line? Overcooked in every way. Because I have the privilege to hear from so many fans both bookies and Trubies, I know it wasn’t just the bookies saying enough already.

And to be honest as a writer there were several amazing moments from the books omitted that would have been amazing TV. The potential was there and ignored. The finale for me? Was iffy fan fic at best. Am I being harsh? Yeah I guess I am but it’s only because I was sucked in to True Blood because of the writing of season one. I read the books because of the show. I was a Truebie. I had faith that the characters I grew to love would well written and to be honest I just don’t see it. I like Book Bill, he has depth and is brooding but he doesn’t make excuses or deny what he is. He feeds on other humans! He hunts the FOTS! He follows the vampire hierarchy and respects his sheriff no how bitter the pill is to swallow. It made for angst and I actually felt empathy. Now I just can’t wait until he is off the screen, which kills me because I love SM. I would beg my TV to see Sam, or Laffy, or E get more screen time!
And in the words of one Truebie! Get back to the vampires already! That is why we tune in!

And then in response to Patticake who chose to ignore my entire point repeatedly:

At least for me, I know how to keep the show separate from the book. But when someone says one thing and than does another it’s just not right. Alan Ball said last year that he would keep to the books for the most part. Those were his words, then with every interview he has gotten further and further away from that original statement. They made a Behind the Scenes last year and focused on Sookieverse World rules and now most of them have been forgotten. I don’t get that. He’s crafty, I have to respect him for that, but he sucked in scores of book lovers and then twisted the beloved characters into something they did not recognize. I understand their frustration.

Why do I not like Bill? Because he is a high-handed lying racist hypocrite. He knows who Hadley is, he then must have had an idea who Sookie is. He has failed to mention to Sookie that he has seen her long lost cousin. He generalizes all vampires into one gnarly lump. He has continued to kill people in the name of protecting Sookie yet curls his lip when his own kind want to protect themselves and those they care about.
Oh and in regards to Bill and Sookie and Eric and the blood. The point where for many E loving fans is there is no difference in how Bill got Sookie to drink his blood to how Eric did. Actually it was worse. He was late to their meeting in season one and why? Well he never explained that did he? Makes me wonder if he let Sookie become so injured she had no choice but to let him save her, we all saw the foreshadowing in epi 11 but many bill loving fans continue to ignore that very glaring reality.

So not only to the book fans need to be prepared to be disappointed but so do the show fans. If you think you got AB’s plans pin pointed you will be sadly mistaken.
Hugs!

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~ by lilbooth02 on September 15, 2009.

27 Responses to “Lil Reacts To Alan Ball’s EW.com Postmortem”

  1. *stands up and claps* Very well said Lil! I especially liked your view on Suuuukah’s initial feeding from Beeeeeeeeel and subsequently falling for Beeeeeeeeeeeeeel LOL! It’s time for Eric’s hawt viking vampire blood to start boiling in Sookie’s veins and let the fireworks begin!

  2. you know in my blind rage (no not really) I didn’t even a couple of thoughts. LOL

  3. Yay! I love this post. I agree 100%.
    Will they gloss over the fact that not only is Sookie bonded to Bill with his blood but (according to the Queen) her blood as well?
    It’s like he’s making this shit up as he goes along and he’s got such a boner for Bill he can’t help himself. UGH!

  4. There’s also the fact that in the commentary for season 1 Alan Ball said that Sookie’s story would basically follow the books – but the rest of the storylines had to be expanded for TV.

    HOW is Bill proposing following the books? He never even came close in the books. Sookie wasn’t (and still isn’t) sure she even WANTED to marry a vampire.

    I defended Alan Ball’s departures from the book in Season 1 – I had my reservations, but I could find logic behind them if I looked hard enough. Like Sam & Tara sleeping together – I defended it as Tara in the books really was thoughtless to her ‘friend’…and Sam slept with the maenad which had attacked Sookie and LEFT HER SCARRED (yet she’s miraculously healed again on the show)…so it was logical that these two could do such a thing ‘to’ Sookie. I hated that Bill staked Longshadow – but liked Jessica.

    Then this season it just got blown all out of the water. The writing was inconsistent and our favorite spunky, strong female character became the victim of ‘domestic violence’…not with a 52″ plasma TV but with words and emotions.

    Our Vampire Bill who was so dry and bland in the books-keeping vampire politics hidden until really it was almost too late at every juncture-became close to likable with a sense of humor and actualy revealing some of vampire politics…until he got a beyond dark side by glamouring the cop and his behavior toward sookie when they have NOT been going out that long.

    Eric who was barely noticable in the first book (really, I had to ask my BFF to remind me who he was when she talked about him) literally JUMPED off the screen but was kept an enigma and then this season…giving us such gorgeous well-rounded scenes with him and I credit AS’ acting for that…but I digress – then his storyline was dropped…

    Yes, the maenad storyline in the books was little more than a footnote and while fleshing out is good – instead it was DRAGGED out until no one really cared HOW it ended, just that it ended.

    TV and books are very different mediums – but why ruin the opportunity for some AMAZING lines and scenes (eric’s apology when Sookie insisted on one since SHE was the message to ERIC from the maenad; Eric’s “Yield to me”; the fabulous car chase with the revelation of our were-bat friend who contacts Sam later; Eric removing the glass from Sookie’s arm and Bill/Sookie panty-ripping scene)…so that Michelle Forbes could get more screen time? Or so that he can turn a few flawed but well-rounded characters into characters of the black hat/white hat cowboys…

    This goes beyond a lack of Eric in the finale.

    It goes to the heart of a show that could have such AMAZING things happen, AMAZING scenes…AMAZING characters. If they could see beyond the blinders AB insists on making the writers wear.

    If it really is “It’s the emotions stupid”…then GIVE me emotions. Follow your own direction.

    My husband – who absolutely gets totally annoyed when I try to compare book to TB (he’s read the books but insists on keeping the show separate) watches with me every week. HE sat there and looked at me and said, “THAT was the finale? Seriously?” Scenes that didn’t need to happen, a lot of boring plot contrivance, and the wedding proposal. Even HE was annoyed with the end result of the season. It went NOWHERE. The point of a finale is supposed to make us want to watch more? This did none of that.

    Sorry, I think I veered off course. I agree with you 100%. Yeah. That’s what I wanted to say.

  5. I agree with you completely Lil over the fact that the characters are so FLAT. In fact, I’ll repost part of my response over at True Blood Online:

    I’ve hung on. I’ve ignored the fact that AB has a hard-on for Bill. I can live with that. I can live with them taking “Eric things” and giving them to Bill. I don’t hate Bill. Even through the books, I never really disliked him, and I never believed he didn’t love Sookie. Hell, even though I’m 100% Team Eric, I could still be happy with the show if Bill and Sookie got married / she was never with him.

    My problem is that almost none of these crucial characters have depth. Bill is your stereotypical “can do no wrong” white knight. Sookie is the damsel in distress. Eric is the villian. Every once in a while, and very briefly, we see them evolve into something more than “what they are” (i.e. Sookie standing up for herself, Eric’s reaction to Godric’s death, Bill and the police officer from Season 1) but then, as if it never happened, they immediately snap back into their one-dimensional hole. Its like a demented game of character personality whack-a-mole. They pop up to go “Hey! I’m evolving!” and then they get whacked back down again.

    I mean, its sad that the characters with the most “depth” (if you could even call it that) were ones who weren’t even supposed to be around in the first place…

    This is what makes me pray that AB and the TB crew actually look at fan sites like these. I hope they can see where they’re lacking and move forward from it. New season coming, plenty of opportunities to make this thing even more amazing than it is. They’ve got the good solid foundation (the books), they know they’ve got amazing people who can adapt and change the story lines (the writers) and make them great, now it’s just time to channel that energy into building the characters into the wonderfully complex beings that us bookies have come to love and cherish.

  6. AB did another interview. Like you I got sucked into the show, then went out and read all of the books numerous times. I was never one of the ones that thought the plots had to exactly match, but the main characters down to their bones are who they are. Even after all of the dirt Bill dished out in the books, I didn’t out and out hate him. Now I see him on screen and I half to stop myself from fast forwarding. I just hope things will be better next season. It’s the only thing I can do.

    BTW AB did another interview
    http://www.televisionaryblog.com/2009/09/blood-bath-televisionary-talks-to-true.html

    • thanks for the link MM. I have been down without the DSL and had yet to read the article. I have to say it left me with more questions and I still don’t feel good about next season. I hope someone has been humbled a bit and realizes exactly how much he was off the mark.

      I have to point out I LOVE Fan Fic! If it makes sense! If it keeps the spirit of the characters (OC)! Change the plot but please keep the characters as they were! GAH!!!!!

  7. Brave Lil. If only I believed that they even gave a damn about what the book fans, or even the show fans, though. But…. nay. The fact that the character portrayals are even self-consistent within Alan Ball’s worldview (however distorted it may be) is just water under the bridge. I guess my takeaway message is that they think we are too dumb to see dross, badly written and inconsistent (even within the same episode!!!!) character portrayals. Mr. Ball, if your minions read this blog, your version of multilayered is unidimensional. I don’t care if you want to make your world totally different from Charlaine Harris’s books. I can reread the books if I get lonely for her Sookieverse. But for heaven’s sake, don’t give me episode after episode of contradiction and expect me to watch your program. What a waste of fine acting talent and production value. For goodness sakes, get yourself a writing team with a PLAN. A consistent plan. Lay out your characters. And if you have them “evolve” have it make SENSE.

    • Not Brave just angry. I feel a little let down. I kept HBO because of TB and now I feel like I may have wasted some money.

  8. I’m not a bookie at all. I haven’t read them and don’t plan on it and I absolutely DETEST Bill. Does Ball seriously think this character is one we should all admire? Does he truly not get the depth and complexity of a character HE created, ie ERIC?

    My main problem with the finale was the utter and complete lack of logic in the maenad resolution. NOTHING we had been told about how to kill a maenad was followed. And no, I don’t believe SA lied to Bill. She obviously has a huge interest in Sookie and wants her safe, so why should lie? She was lying to Eric because she didn’t want him running in and saving Sookie–can’t have him mucking up her plot with Bill, now can she?

    Anyway, just to keep Eric out of the picture and to positively SHOEHORN Bill into the role of hero, they had to leave us with monumental plot holes in the MA denoument. In fantasy fiction, the internal mythos must be consistent and logical, else the thinking viewers/readers will drift away. If they want to destroy this aspect of their show just to shove the hateful Bill down our throats them I am OUTTIE.

  9. As a long time Lost fan…I think it was during Season 4 that Damon and Carlton had this to say as showrunners. The only thing that is canon is what they say through what is seen on the TV screen on Lost and on the DVDs, everything else they do is to hype the show. Analyzing what creators or actors say is never fun. It’s just best to take with a grain of salt and move on because the horse said that Lost would never do time travel…

    ~simba_317

    • True Simba that is why I stress Alan is crafty and everyone pointing out his quotes has proved over and over again exactly how often he contradicts himself.

  10. Very well written, thank you Lil.
    You know what has me irritated the *most* about some of the comments on that EW article? So many fans of the show from season 1 pining over Bill. Well guess what? Season 1 follows the books pretty closely and that’s probably why they enjoyed it. The characters, on a whole, were better developed.
    Now season 2 comes along and there are crazy deviations from the books(some good but most bad) and people are all OMG THE SHOW ISN’T THE BOOKS. But the show WAS the first book and fans of the show were okay with that until now. wtf I don’t get it.

    • Thanks Min! Sometimes all we can do is shake our heads and move on. And let’s be blunt it is because of Alexander Skarsgard is why I am still watching.

      • I love Alan Ball’s work(minus that whole egg debacle because wtf was that?) and I’ll probably keep watching unless of course it starts looking like the books won’t be followed at all.
        And let’s be honest. I have no idea how they’re going to get to book 4 at this point what with that proposal and all. There’s no catalyst for a break up in sight(aside from that whole assignment from the Queen) but who knows if that will even come up in season 3?
        Again, I don’t care if they change things but keeping the main storyline from the books would be nice/important/necessary for the series to remain ‘based on the books.’

  11. You know, I agree with you lil. I feel like Alan Ball sold me a load of crap. I watched the first season 5 times and got bored with no new episodes. So, in April When I saw the books at Target? Well I had to own them.I bought all 8 books, then and there. Why? 1.)Because in interviews AB stated that he would stick MOSTLY to the books! 2.)The cover of “Dead until Dark” states, “Now the HBO original series TRUE BLOOD”. 3)The other 7 paperbacks state quite clearly “True Blood, the original series based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels”. Now, I know nothing about the law but, someone sold me a line of crap. Who is really guilty of false advertising/bait n’ switch?!? Is it HBO or, Penguin Books?!? I can tell you that someone is responsible. I feel like I’ve been ripped off, big time. If not for the advertising from both parties, I would have NEVER read the books, and would be none the wiser…Honestly, I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed reading the Sookie books. I read 8 books and 5 short stories before the 9th book came out. I have read all the books 5 times since. Alan Ball has truly ruined it for me. I wish I could sue him to be compensated for my time. Your an asshat Alan. And, if they ruin season 3 like they did 2, I hope their ratings plummet. HBO jerks.

    • Don’t hold back!!!!!! We all have our voices and our remotes. Sometimes no matter how painful it is we must use them!

  12. Yay thank God someone has a brain! You are exactly right, Lil!

    I’ve been trying to stick with Alan Ball because he succeeded with the show in season one, but after season two I’m really sad to say that I’ve almost completely lost faith in him. The interviews are no help, either. I only get the same, perpetual “It’s my show, deal with it” attitude from him. I hope he realizes that the fans and viewers are most certainly a part of the show as well. It is because we keep watching that makes the show successful! So I believe that we at least deserve well-written, well-developed episodes. Like episodes 8 and 9. NOT 10 and 11. Complex characters as well. Characters with depth and emotion. Characters like the Eric we saw in “I Will Rise Up” and “Timebomb”. Characters like Bill in the beginning of the first season. Not do-gooder knights in shining armor (aka Bill) and “dangerous, self-centered villains” (aka Eric, or at least the Eric that Alan Ball wants).

    I’m sorry to be so rant-y, but I hope Alan Ball will wake up and smell the coffee. This “my show, my rules” attitude is not going to get him or his show very far.

    But anyway, thanks again for giving us a forum to vent! I respect your opinion immensely 🙂

    • We are happy so many have found their way here! We are all about letting the fans speak their minds. We want to have a voice and we want YOU to have a voice too!

  13. There are reasons why the Sookie Stackhouse novels remain popular. The Sookieverse that Charlaine Harris created. Compelling story, layered characters, sex, romance, violence. Alan Ball can make True Blood his own without ruining that. There is point of view to the other characters that we don’t get in the books. With that alone he can enrich the story to no end. True Blood doesn’t need to destroy the characters that Harris created to make GOOD tv. Which is exactly what happened in season 2, GOOD tv. Season 1 was GREAT tv. If only AB and HBO would heed fans and get back on track, season 3 could be like nothing we’ve seen on film.

  14. and the debate continues on EW, I got so sucked in today my entire day was wasted. LOL but hey the blog was bashed so I had to stay and snark!

  15. YES! Everyone…well said.
    I was very upset by the last episode. I could not believe what I was seeing. Now as I read reviews and posts, I find I am not alone. At least I have company in my misery. I wish Alan Ball would read a few or a lot of the articles. I read the books years ago and was first thrilled by True Blood…at first. I whole heartedly agree with almost every post. Actually, the last few episodes, I feel like hitting fast-forward the minute I hear Bill’s voice. Fell in love with the “Viking” the second he appeared in season 1 and Eric in season 2 is a joy to watch. Don’t let me get started on MA. Love this site…Thanks.

    On one of the polls online, I did check “Jumped the Shark” because that is exactly what I thought as the last episode ended. Thanks for letting me vent.

    Take care

  16. I just found this website (which is suprising given that I’ve been obsessively following True Blood online stuff for the past few months, but I did read and comment on this article that you are talking about as well. And totally agreed with you there (as Pam’s Girl) and totally agreeing here once again, lol. Like I said in another post, I have not seen one blog or post here that I really disagree with at all, it’s so wonderful and it’s a great fix for my TB withdrawals…well, really my Alexander Skarsgard withdrawals. 🙂

  17. Many of guys talk about this matter but you wrote down really true words.

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