An Epiphany! Why TB Sookie…Well, Sucks

So it’s 1am…I’m back on the university grindstone…thinking about literature and how my studies in East Asia have really helped me in my English courses…and then it suddenly hits me. Why TB Sookie sucks. One of the reasons anyway.

One theory that was always in the back of my mind had to do with the current economic crisis, causing people to lose their jobs, houses and go into bankruptcy. Who is it who are losing jobs and unable to provide for their families? Men. Men, who are the traditional breadwinners are losing out on the job, meaning that women are probably picking up the slack. Well, culture reflects our anxieties and our needs. The conception of masculinity is changing or always in flux, but it has come to the point where the entire culture feels it is threatened. So is it any surprise that TV provides a fantasy for us where ‘men are men’ and ‘women are women?’ Is it any surprise that the kickass, self-reliant, strong heroine is on the Endangered Species List on TV? Where there was once Buffy, Sydney Bristow and Xena, we are left to deal with the unsatisfying heroines of Kate and Sookie. Hell, Erica Evans is like spotting the Tasmanian Tiger in Tasmania…how long will that last? And where were the people watching BSG?

I never thought I'd say this. I miss the Mini-Slayers. Dear True Blood, please get Buffy's hair colourist.

We are tempered by our culture. Writers are influenced by it and all art and literature reflects who or what a culture is at a particular moment. I’ve always thought Kate presented an interesting transition through Lost as it as aired from 2004 to present. She started out strong, independent and self-reliant, but along the way, the stupid fucking triangle took away all her strength and power. She’s been reduced to ‘the girl character’, the one that is the whore or the madonna figure, nothing more. Her only story is the love triangle. And it’s funny, because you can almost see that transition in Season Three after the mini-arc as she had to go back for Jack. Her character has never been the same since and because of it, she’s the pariah of Lost fandom, because she’s horrible to men. She’s become the Eve is EVOL thing. Seriously. In fact, all the women just kinda got dropped on Lost. And it’s almost like strong women characters just died when Buffy went off the air along with Alias soon after…when the economy started going down the tubes with the Iraq War.

So when the writers of Lost or hell, True Blood, giggle and pat themselves on the back with how strong their females are, it’s like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ Lost is a TOTAL Boys’ Club. What do the women do exactly on the show to move the plot forward? They’re prizes for the men to win or the girlfriend, really. Sure, they might do something cool now and again, but the fact remains, the boys do all the cool stuff. As for Sookie, she’s not so much strong as she is strong-willed, ignorant and petulant. On True Blood, she’s not exactly the model of a modern woman. Really, what are her aspirations besides being Bill’s girlfriend? Lorena and Maryann are strong, but they’re conceptions of women who take advantage of men, who are out to get men. You know…Eve is evol! Women=BAD!

Both Kate and Sookie represent the fears of our culture, but it’s just sad that their mentalities have been shaped by it and the women in those writers’ rooms let it stand because yes, that fear is out there, but they’re not the best representation of women now. Literature is supposed to move forward ideas, be the forerunner, the model, the trendsetter, show us what we COULD be as a culture, but in terms of women, but both Lost and True Blood fail to be that.

Kate Austen, Pariah.

But that’s not really my epiphany.

The changing conceptions of masculinity has ALWAYS caused conceptions of femininity to change. This was true in the reaction the the rule of the Mongols in the Yuan Dynasty in China. See, the Mongols were a foreign power that ruled China some 700 to 800 years ago. They invaded and took over China successfully for about a hundred years. Those horsemen were really great at invading, but sucky implementers of power and rule, so they got kicked out pretty quickly. The Chinese weren’t exactly into being ruled by foreigners. But Mongol rule had a lasting effect on China.

Think of Confucianism and chances are, one of the most enduring images is the patriarchal nature of it all, how important males are, the power of the patriarch over the family, sons having to do filial piety, the husband’s power over the wife, the wife having to serve the husband, daughters sold off to men in marriage…the lack of women’s rights in all this. Hell, women were exempted from the civil service exams that made people bureaucrats, meaning upward mobility and increased social status. All males could take the exam.  Sure, it took years of study, and lots of money, but it did mean that farmers and merchants COULD go up on the social food chain. Women? Nope.

Well, that whole situation was a product of the Mongol rule in China during the Yuan Dyanasty. Gender relations before this point used to be a lot more equal, but the Mongol rule changed Confucianism and gender relations. You see, what was valued as masculine by the Chinese at this time was a refined, cultured, cultivated scholar. He was a writer, artist and poet. He didn’t exactly get his hands dirty. He’s sedentary. Compare this to the Mongols, they were hot blooded, nomadic horsemen, invading, going to war. Guess what? They came, they saw, they conquered. The Chinese male feel threatened by this, he calls his whole masculinity into question. Are they at fault? Of course not, they’re masculine, dammit. So because the Chinese male is already so refined and cultured, females have to be even MORE refined, cultured and feminine. What happens? The role of the female becomes subservient. The culture changes.

Eric is amused by the poster child for mainstreaming.

Eric is amused by the poster child for mainstreaming.

How does this apply to True Blood. Imagine Bill is the refined, cultured, scholarly dude. Yes, that makes Eric a hotblooded, invading horseman. …The freaking alpha.  And what does Eric do at every turn? Well, he’s pretty much putting Bill’s masculinity into question at every turn. The smirks, the jabs, the scoffs, the ‘How do you stand that stuff? Don’t you find it metallic and vile?’, ‘True Blood, it keeps you alive, but it will bore you to death’…Oh, and Eric is going after Sookie. Now with Bill, with his masculinity constantly being threatened, of course he doesn’t like that. No, he’s gotta be the paragon of masculinity. And because of this, the relationship between Bill and Sookie has to change. Sookie has to become more feminine and refined.

So is it any surprise that Sookie spent an entire season decked out in dresses that aren’t exactly practical for being rough and tumble, battling FOTS goons, escaping churches and what not; with her hair ridiculously curled, which no doubt took HOURS because you know, girls spend HOURS doing hair and makeup; and let’s not forget the ultimate-sitting on her ass waiting for Bill to save her? I didn’t think so either lol.

The Gawdawful Pancake Dress

What does Sookie do on her day off? Spend five hours curling her hair!

What does Sookie do on her day off? She spends five hours curling her hair! ...For a trip on a PLANE.

St. Beel will save me! ...I'm sure there's nothing useful in this storage closet.

Duh. Those caps are great LOL and mockage material. Like I wouldn’t post them. Hee…Anyways, Sookie is Bill’s ego prop, the device he uses to reassure his masculinity. Her vision of him as good, spangly white and all that reassures him that he is good, right, nawt like those OTHER vamps. He is one apart and he may not win cockfights, but he’s masculine! Dammit!

So why does True Blood Sookie suck? Being around Eric causes Bill to feel threatened and question his masculinity, forcing Sookie to become even more feminine and sedate to counteract that, so Bill can be a strapping example of masculinity. Not to mention she is also a cultural product of our moment and the overall threat of masculinity that is felt from the economic crisis.

Off to work now and use my academic knowledge for stuff that will at least get me actual marks! lol.

ETA: I have to finish a paper for university…but I don’t have classes on Thursday, so you can expect my review for DUD then. I’m about 80% finished with seven pages of notes on Word. Quotes and notes lol.

~simba_317

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~ by simba317 on January 12, 2010.

28 Responses to “An Epiphany! Why TB Sookie…Well, Sucks”

  1. I like your theory. It makes sense. Long live Buffy Summers & Sydney Bristow!

  2. Ok I haven’t read it yet, but dude seriously we were online at midnight and somewhere between I bailed and 1 you had the epiphany? And I missed it? Oh and “sucks” is kind of a strong word, I mean parts of it so do, but as a whole? I have to say no, but honestly?

    Dear Mr. Ball,
    I know a fantastic hair/makeup artist, she would be perfect! Call me I’ll hook you the fuck up!
    Thank You,
    Desperately Trying To Fix TB Hair

  3. A-freaking-men! Well said, Simba!

  4. OMG, I’m having a Simbagasm… You just wrote every I’ve been thinking about TB Sookie this last few weeks, specially now that I’m reading the books and I see them so different. How can writers congratulate themselves when they are writing braindead female characters? A few days ago I read a review about this new trend on the paranormal romance novel where the female characters are called: “The blank page girl” or “The girlfriend” because they are shaped according to the male perspective of sucess. And this being written by women!! Oh, our female antecessors that fought so hard for female independence must be rolling around in their graves.

  5. Ok so I have now read it and I can’t say I disagree with you Simba. I know we have discussed this before and we both got plenty fired up about it. I would also like to take it a step farther and point out the only one who actually did the saving in the end was Bill.

    Eric got stuck in NO, Laffy, Jason and Andy succumbed to Maryann, Sookie screamed… a lot, and they made it so it looked like Sam was forced to help. And let’s face it, if Sookie and Tara are in trouble Sam isn’t going to back his shit down, he would face it head on. I don’t see him waiting around for Bill to show up and tell him “You are coming with me.”

    I know I am not in the writers room, but come on, Bill? Really? Oh and have Sophie Anne hand E is balls in front of humans? Really? What happened to all the World Building? The rules set in place for you by the author? Why dismantle it with half assed lame dialogue like “How about ward? Like Bruce Wayne?” Really TB? Really? You don’t think vampires would have established a name for vampire “offspring” over several millennia? Really?

    I still don’t think TB completely sucks, I find myself enjoying each episode to some degree, but when I reflect on the series as a whole? I am still undecided.

    And serious about the hair and makeup? Please AB call, I got connections… 😉

    And for love of all things Girl Power! Put Sookie into jeans and t-shirts so she can kick ass this season! *mails Sookie DVD’s of Buffy, Alias, and Gwen Stefani videos* Watch and learn, these women know how to kick ass in heels and leather!

    Peace out!

  6. Give her time, ya’ll, it’s early yet. She’s still young, naive, sheltered, and inexperienced. I saw some growth with her, particularly in the last couple of s2 eps, after having Eric’s blood. “There’s something different in me”. After her harrowing experiences in Dallas it’s inevitable that she feel more confidence in herself and her place in the world. I feel good about the future for the character.

    Oh, and don’t believe everything you see when it comes to Bill.

    • Well, Sookie, even in the books, didn’t reach a turning point until Dallas. That’s when she got her stripes, her power, he confidence…So yes, I can’t wait to see that. That being said, she became that way because she had to get herself out of the whole big mess on her own. On the show, that didn’t happen. She didn’t use her own skill to escape, she relied on others…so until Sookie is in a situation where she can just rely on herself and no one else to get her out of a situation, nothing’s going to change.

      It’s just like…GIVE IT TO ME NOW, DAMMIT!

      ~simba_317

  7. Very interesting article. Second season sookie has always irritated me in a way that first season sookie had not. The reason is, as you said, that Sookie has turned into a baby doll, with that shirley temple hair and those pretty dresses and all the bullshit she says to Billy to reassure him he’s sooo different from other bad and ugly and cruel vamps.
    Well Bill is a 19th century man, his idea of women is still the same of when he was alive, he wants Sookie to be the perfect housewife, the angel of the house, the damsel in distress and she pleases him.
    However, though I CLAIM to see a deeper, stronger, more independent and capable to think by herself Sookie, I wouldn’t like her to be a new Buffy. Not combat sookie, not an “I always do the right thing at the right time” sookie, I like her clumsiness and her being both spitfire and fragile and sometimes smart, sometimes naive…

    • I agree, the problem is that they’ve taken Sookie to an extreme…the whole baby doll extreme. They need to balance her out and take her away from it. Seriously. She needs to have some of Buffy’s sensibilities, but you know…Buffy was pretty damn girly too. She just staked vampires, went to prom, saved the world and campaigned as Homecoming Queen too.

      ~simba_317

  8. Thanks for this intelligent and insightful analysis. I especially like the linkage between Eric and Kublai Khan. Might we see footbinding in S3?

    I’ve been puzzling over TB Sookie’s arrested development from a literary perspective. A good narrative arc should show the character growing or changing as a result of the events in the story. As much as I don’t love S1, we did see Bill drawing Sookie out of her constrained world, teaching her to value herself and essentially spurring her to grow up. Yet in S2, he heads in the opposite direction, smothering her with his fearful and controlling ways. He basically spends the entire season holding her back and trying to keep her from thinking and doing for herself — let alone making any kind of growth. I can’t see the plot value in a lead character with no capacity for growth. Where can the writers go from here? Unless maybe, like footbinding, Sookie comes to realize Bill is a shackle and breaks free of him.

    But maybe we should all be spending our time curling our hair instead.

    • Yeah…that’s definitely one of the things that really bugged during Season Two. Sookie had NO character growth. She was totally stunted.

      And for some reason, I keep hearing TS Eliot go ‘In the room the women go/Talking of Michaelangelo’ when I see Kublai Khan…even though Kubla Khan is a poem written by Coleridge. And the way I see it, since footbinding really took hold in the Ming Dynasty after the Yuan…Season 3 is when Sookie will either sink or swim.

      ~simba_317

    • You’ve nailed it. Bill is the shackle that binds her, and like a lot of young Southern women she puts up with it, so far, because 1-Her culture has taught her to defer to her man 2-she really has no examples of a healthy relationship upon which to draw comparisons. Her parents died when she was very young and her grandfather was already dead when she came to live with Gran. 3-She’s never had a romantic relationship herself so she hasn’t had the opportunity to explore and date and figure out what she wants in a relationship.

      Essentially, up to this point, Sookie has twisted and contorted herself to conform everything Bill has said or done in order to accomodate him, even to the point of just accepting the fact that he murdered Uncle Bartlett. When she’s had the time and experience to figure out that Bill is an asshole with power and control issues (the mark of a domestic abuser*)she will come around.

      *And this is based strictly upon what is being portrayed on the show by AB and company. I haven’t read the books and I can clearly discern the less than admirable direction AB is taking Bill.

      • Yeah…Bill does not have the mark of an abuser in the books so much. He’s much more a product of the his times and what he is. He’s mostly just clueless to what Sookie needs and wants out of him. However, there are marks of him trying to control her and manipulate her and instances of rough sex that almost crosses the line…the mark of an abuser isn’t as clear cut as on the TV show. He’s more balanced.

        His character still bugs, especially in Book One, but I don’t totally hate him in the books. He’s a figure you can sympathize with, whereas in the show, you just want to roll your eyes.

        I think it comes down to that Douglas Adams line. Mostly harmless.

        ~simba_317

      • Bill does cross the line between rough sex and what constitutes sexual abuse by definition. In DUD she initiated sex with him under the fear that he could be able to kill her. She actually consented on having sex with him more than once because she felt intimidated by the level of violence he brought to the act. Another example is in LDID, where Bill forced her to have sex after she had the car accident, and after she was beaten and almost raped. She didn’t want to have sex on that moment because she could barely move and had glass embedded on her skin, and felt she was unable to said to him her unwillingness to engage in the sexual act. Also, at other times, she refused to have sex with him because she didn’t like his agressive approach.

        Book Bill agressive sexual behavior runs beyond the “vampire nature” because you can’t see the same behavior on another vampires (with the exception of Franklin), and because it was his way to gain and mantain control over Sookie. The lack of information about what really is considered a sexual abuse and that it’s also a form of domestic abuse makes that a lot of women can’t recognize it. Obviously, when we compare books with the graphic visual level of domestic violence displayed on TB w/o the sexual form included, is easier to think he isn’t abussive on the books. But he is.

  9. I like the article. I do miss Buffy and her kick assness. I agree with you that Sookie sucks. She’s not book Sookie and I just don’t like her but I’ll get over it. I’m not sure why Bill has to be made to look more “manly” when he could hold his own. If AB kept the characters to canon, we would have seen Bill as he truly is. Book Bill isn’t the Alpha male but he also isn’t a lackey. He goes about making sure Eric can’t interfere with him and Sook by becoming an Area Investigator (which I assume was a favor he requested of the queen in order to keep his agenda in tact). He’s very aggressive with Sookie almost from the beginning in the way he talked to her and was with her in general, all the while being gentlemanly (*laughs*). I never saw Bill as a little weakling and neither did Sookie. She thought Bill was the strongest vamp ever and that he couldn’t be hurt or defeated, not even by Eric. Of course we know that was due to her overall lack of knowledge of vamps but still, she saw him as a strong man. Now I have to say book Sookie took care of Rene on her own cause there wasn’t anyone else around to help her. She wasn’t looking for Bill she was looking for her shotgun. Where was that Sookie in TB? I think she was capable of handling the situation which she did. She bounces back and forth between being brave and needing to be rescued which just doesn’t make sense. And her being dressed in dresses with curled hair is all Bill’s doing. He always wanted her to dress a certain way in the books and I think AB brought that over to the show in a way that is just too much. I’m rambling now, but my point was that while Sook is naive and young she can think for herself and can take care of herself (TB Season 1) but has slacked off (as you said Simba) to make Bill look like the man in charge and fit into her “role” as the girlfriend. Of course until she got up in Lorena’s face while Bill just stood there and watched looking the the bitch he is. Not really looking forward to season 3 but I’ll give it a chance. Hopefully we see a more brave Sookie now that Bill has gone missing.

  10. I blame it on the Bush administration! LOL. No but seriously, simba you and I have also had some chats about this topic and I sincerely agree. I too miss the days of Alias and a watching a strong powerful yet vulnerable no nonsense woman lead on screen. I feel like ever since Sex and The City went off the air, we have been force fed this domestic bull shit in lieu of what used to be. I do think the economy has had a huge impact on it. If you think about it, when an economy is thriving, women were told to follow their dreams. With the recession, dreams of aspiring lawyers, doctors, actresses, etc are crushed because there just isnt time or money or hope. We fall back on more practical things, which in most cases is to settle down and have a family. Im not knocking anyone who has done just that, it can be a dream for some, but its not everyones dream. Only in the last few years through American media and cinema one would think it was. And Sookie is totally damsel in distress when Bill is around. Did anyone notice how strong and determined she was when she was with Laffey? She was no nonsense take no prisoners. She wasnt waiting around for Beel. No she had power, force, control… It was like a flick was switched. Obviously shes got the strength buried inside her somewhere. It was almost hard for me to beleive she did that at the end of S2 because I hadnt even remembered she was capable of defending herself from Rene by the time we got to the FSOS Church basement. Which is sad because she really could have done more, had more to say, maybe had more involvement with her friend Tara’s brainwashing so we wouldnt have had to sit through another effing orgy. Someone needed to blow the lid off that. But even with MA, Bill held her back, cause when she’s with Bill she falls into the little woman role again. Let Bill save her, its his job as teh Hero. Sookie takes on the more practical, sensible, nothing more is waiting for her outside of Bon Temps role. I have a feeling when Sook gets with E that things might change a little. I really hope they do because I think she still has so much to see of the world and more to offer as well. And I think Sookie getting tied down with Vampire Bill would be nothing more than a gilded cage to a bird who so clearly needs to get out and fly.

  11. At least there is a chance for the future, book!Eric has always shown his appreciation for Sookie as a strong partner (if not his equal then his complement). He pushes her and challenges her to test her limits and realise her own strength. It’s one of reasons I like him so much.
    Sookie was quite annoying to me in TB season 2 because she was so inconsistent, either whiny and shrill or almost disconnected. The heroine who could kick ass whilst reminding the bad guy she was a lady, and should be treated as such, disappeared.

  12. Yes, I see what’s happened to Sookie but look what happened to Tara as well. Her balls competely ascented this past season. No longer was the spunky, mouthy force to be reckoned with. Instead, we got this drippy ‘I Love Eggs!’ character that I wouldn’t even want to dip my toast in. (eggs, get it?) PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let’s get our strong female characters back!

    EVE….EVOL….EVOLVE ALREADY!!

    • Honestly? I think Alan Ball is reflecting the reality of how women allow themselves to be treated.

      Just LOOK at all the real women out there who are head over heels in love with the controlling, secretive, irrational, impulsive, violent, serial killing character of Bill Compton.

      Just LOOK at all the women and girls out there who have acquiesced to dressing and behaving like brainless porn baby dolls.

      And the point made in simba’s article, that in these economic times women are being pushed further and further into the background of society, forced into deferential attitudes toward men so they don’t feel threatened. Why do we expect the women of True Blood to transcend the realities of life for (a lot) of us in America? Why not reflect it and begin a discussion about what we can do about the anti-female zeitgeist sweeping through the air right now?

      I think this is what AB is knowingly doing. He’s not portraying these women with an attitude of approval, or telling us these are examples we should all live by. He is hoping to spark a conversation as he portrays these women evolving into their own. Again, give them time! It’s early seasons yet and I have faith we will see plenty of growth that will be stellar examples for all women, young and old. I really believe this. Despite the surface first impressions one might get from TB, I detect a great love for women permeating True Blood.

      Despite their being ‘villains’, a lot of what Amy and MA said was spot on. I loved their sincere love, respect, and appreciation for nature. Sometimes a seemingly unreliable source will tell us the deepest truths, and sometimes seemingly respectable sources will tell us the blackest lies.

  13. Well EricsVampGirl, actually AB said in his last interview that he loves Eggs character ( http://blog.buzzymultimedia.com/alan-ball-interview/ )… That’s serious stuff and says a lot about his way to think and his vision of TB. And even when I agree with Simba because her theory completely fits the dynamics we had been watching on TB, I also think there are other factors involved here.

    “Honestly? I think Alan Ball is reflecting the reality of how women allow themselves to be treated… Why do we expect the women of True Blood to transcend the realities of life for (a lot) of us in America?”

    Precisely becasue it isn’t THE reality, but just a minor part of the whole reality sunnynala. And because THE reality actually shows that there are more and more empowered women every day, not just in America, but in the whole world. It isn’t the reality on the books either. You have a valid point about Sookie’s feeling more confidence after Dallas, but as Simba said before, she got her power because she had to rely on her own to get herself out from there, and that didn’t happened on TB. “There’s something different in me”. Yes, now she has “glowing hands”… Now she has “super powers” to get out from trouble??? Isn’t she able to rely on herself and be empowered as a woman?? Even if AB develops Sookie’s character later, the fact that he is giving new super powers to her now is also a way to take out power from her as a woman.

    No matter how characters will evolve later, I have to say I’m watching some kind of “gender role” issue at TB, as well as too much “abuse” highlighting. I could be wrong, but take Tara, for example. Tara is a secondary character who is victim of child and domestic abuse on the books and was made a lead on the show. Was this the reason to make her a lead? At first, she kicked ass, but instead of seeing her character having an empowerment evolution, we must say she had an “involution” in Eggs arms (a moron under the control of a crazy bitch manead who abuses her and is a character that AB loves… !?!). Not to say I couldn’t expect any growth in her for a long time because she’ll have Franklin next in her future. Now take Pam. She is one of the most important vampires in the books and Sookie herself considers her as a friend. She is also bisexual. But she wasn’t considered to be a regular at the show until now that she’ll be having a lesbian relationship, while Laffy who is also gay didn’t die and always has been a regular. Oh, but he is also tortured and abused by Eric… (*roll eyes*). AB made Bill the lead male on the show and insists that Sookie and him will stay as the lead couple and that their love is real. Really?? Is true love a relationship based on lies and domestic abuse? Really?

    The only empowered women at the show are portrayed as crazy bitches and their power relies completely on abusive and violent coercion. Maryanne, Lorena… And what about Sophie Ann? Her character is one of the more empowered females at the books, if not the most. Intelligent, centered, wise, strong, and her power over her subjects is based on respect and loyalty. A complete Queen. In TB she has been reduced to be a totally inmature, crazy and vain character, a mix between Linsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, as AB himself describes her, who needs to show her power handing Eric in front of humans as Lil said. But no, the King will be different. Russell Edgington isn’t going to be as young and vain as he is in books, because AB describes him as a lot more mature and centered, wiser and much more formidable that Sophie Ann… Isn’t anyone watching the same continuous pattern I’m watching here?

    • ***must read: “… and much more formidable THAN Sophie Ann”
      And please excuse any other mistake b/c english isn’t my first language ;).

  14. Interesting article and commentary. I’m not sure I agree that TB’s character problems are entirely cultural, but it could explain some things. I tend to think that if the plot needs to be massaged a certain way, reasonable character reaction is sacrificed for its fulfillment.

    Take season 1. Towards the end, Sookie writes Bill off as never coming back and kisses Sam. This is the same woman who in the very first episode arms herself with a chain and rescues Bill from the drainers. This is the same woman who knows Bill was going to a vampire tribunal and saw him leave with Eric and Pam. Wouldn’t it have been more likely that Sookie would confront Eric at Fangtasia to determine Bill’s whereabouts instead of abandoning him?

    I’m not good at picking out nuances in a show. Maybe there was a reason for it i.e. to show that Sookie isn’t really that committed to Bill? Or that Bill is even more of a saint because he’s willing to walk in ths sun in the next episode in order to save her despite this lapse on her part?

    In S2 when Sookie does nothing to try to escape FOTS’s basement, is that cultural or character sacrifice for the plot? If Sookie got a way on her own, she’d return while Bill and Lorena were at it. Also Sookie would not be witness to Eric’s devotion to his maker and his willingness to sacrifice himself on the altar, which I guess was TB’s way of showing that Eric isn’t all bad.

    Of course when TB tries to write in strength for Sookie, it tends to be an epic fail. Take slapping Eric or physically confronting Lorena. After seeing what vampires can do, would you smack one? Even Book Sookie had a healthy respect for their strength and aside from killing ones that were attacking her, I don’t recall her raising her hand to one. Also TB Sookie is risking Bill’s life if he’s forced to defend her. If he didn’t get killed outright, would he be off to another tribunal for killing a vampire over a human? Is Sookie subconsciously trying to rid herself of Bill or is it something else? Even demanding money of Eric while she was trying to rescue Lafayette was crass instead of courageous.

    Of course, Sam didn’t fare too well in season 2 either. He worries about Mary Ann but then is easily distracted by Daphne; he’s going to flee Bon Temps but then doesn’t. He’s tricked back to Merlotte’s – twice. On that last time, he can’t even smell all of those unwashed orgiers hidden in the bar, and yet he’s able to track Sookie through the cemetary in season 1. At the end, Sam waits at his trailer for someone to do something like Sookie did at the FotS.

    Lettie Mae releasing Tara, Tara’s “love” of Eggs, Jason and Andy walking into the orgiers and being instantly absorbed, and Jason shooting Eggs in the head without warning were all examples (to me) of incongruous behavior designed to get the plot to a certain point and not something that I would believe these characters would do.

    Lastly I do agree with Sookie being treated as a prize that Bill and Eric are fighting over. At this point in the story, Eric would have already propositioned Sookie several times as if she was the one with the ultimate CHOICE.

    • Well…for this article in particular, I was just looking at one of the reasons I think TB Sookie sucks…in terms of gender and cultural lines. However, I would say that the ENTIRE show sucks for the reason you’ve just mentioned. That plot above character is privileged. I have a HUGE issue with that because it makes all the characters look like idiots and takes viewers out of the show because it’s no longer believable.

      And you know…I think on the whole, there’s a lot of laziness in the Writers’ Room on TB. AB is a hands off kind of show runner and TB is suffering because of it. The great flux we see in the quality of the show is because he’s not on top of everything. It’s also the same with consistency issues. It’s like none of the writers are on the same page. The Writers’ Room is a mess and in reflects on the show.

      So…when it comes down to sacrificing character for plot to show Sookie’s lack of devotion to Bill. I think that’s bullshit on the writers’ parts, because it’s lazy writing. There are SO many ways to do the same without making Sookie look like an idiot or making her bi-polar or schizophrenic. There are ways to write Sookie as strong, but vulnerable, to show her lack of commitment to Bill because he’s not that important to her…but instead, shortcuts are taken. I say this because I’ve SEEN it on other shows, such as Starbuck on BSG and it astounds me that Alan Ball fails to write his characters like that.

      FYI…Joss Whedon used to be a script doctor…Dollhouse is canceled. Call him!

      ~simba_317

  15. Yes, I think they definately need someone to help clean up the mess. I agree with you mia, the S2 finale of TB was literally the worst finale Ive ever seen. Talk about anti climatic. Why did Sam even go to E? So E could get Bill away from SA so he could come back and rescue Sook and the rest of the entire town of Bon Temps all by himself? Talk about unbelievable. Seriously, MA had like 500 chances to get Sam in her clutches. She didnt need the townspeople, she didnt need to manipulate Tara, she didnt need Daphne to get in there as a double agent. Are we supposed to beleive that she felt incapable of kidnapping him when they were standing face to face, 3 times? And dont even get me started on Tara. She was one of my favorite characters in S1, why? Because she questioned things, because she had a brain and thought for herself. Because she cared about her friends and was a feisty bitch. I dont care how messed up people are, they can still think for themselves and have an interesting storyline. That is the whole problem here imo. Tara was whitewashed and became a vessel for Eggs and MA. Sookie became a barbie doll that Bill could play with. The rest of the town people are nothing but redshirts for MA. Who is thinking for themselves here?

    IMO the majority of the storyline should have been devoted to the dallas parts. Godric is what worked in s2. Stick to what works and more mystery of Godric, maybe Godric sharing a nice conversation with Sookie about Eric. You didnt need to reduce Sookie to a pathetic damsel in distress to promote E. Which IMO was pretty offensive. And they should have had the Maenad storyline revolve more around Eric and Area 5 like it did in the books. Having her come in and take over this town to find one man who basically was right there the whole time was a waste. They could have built on character relations, we could have seen Tara and Sookie working together to find out more about MA while Tara was ex-cursed. They could have brought Pam into it. Eric told Pam and Chow to keep a look out for the Maenad. Eric is the Sheriff of Area 5 isnt he? Shouldnt this involve him? But we never saw that. Instead it looked like Eric pandered to Bill, and then when he found out that it might be advantageous to his relationship with Sook after speaking with Sam he acted. This is showing E as a bad sheriff and basically clueless to the Maenad, which I highly doubt a 1000 year old vampire would be, only to put Bill on that pedestal. Id rather have seen everyone working together rather than being stupid voodoo dolls. Rather than pumping Bill up. Instead we got a finale that went splat, most of the season dedicated to Sookie and Bill’s sex life, Sookie acting like a twit, countless orgies-which have scarred my eyes forever, BS out to stop everyone who doesnt agree with them because they are ‘EVIL’ and Bill who singlehandedly stopped MA after realizing she took over Sookies house. It’s heavily biased and totally contrived, beyond the point of rational thought. I only hope they stick closer to the books in S3 because it seems like when they venture off, its epic fail.

    • On a side note about the finale… Do you all know that Alexander Woo has been nominated for an NAACP Image award for writing the Season two finale,”Beyond Here Lies Nothin‘”. His category is Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series…

      Not for “Nothing But the Blood” or “Timebomb”, but for “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'”?

      Believe it or not…
      *roll eyes*

      (After all, maybe he really deserves it because he had to take the “outstanding” responsability to fix all the mess Allan Ball left after “Frenzy”…).

    • You pretty much got it lol. And if Sookie and Tara actually did intel together we could finally see them BEING friends and not just told that ‘they’re friends’. You know?

      ~simba_317

  16. […] with Bill. She turns into a submissive Southern Belle around him and submerges her own self. Blood Bonds blog had a whole post about how her curls were symbolic of her submission, the subsuming of her own ego […]

  17. I don’t watch a lot of tv, no time with university! But I had seen that behaviour too in TB… We will see in s3 if AB is just following the general behaviour or is opposing it.

    I’ve seeing that in most movies (not all new ones) and whenever I’ve seeing an episode of a series. It bugs me a lot that all women are so dumb! Ok, we know we are not strong physically, that’s why women have beeing usually good at mind manipulation. And though, tv continues showing women try to be the “hero” by he physical strenth and not achieving much, of course… Just being there to show skin, a nice face, sex and to say, “hey, we are strong too!”.

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