Blu-ray Review: True Blood (Season 6)
Let’s face it-the penultimate season of ‘True Blood’ is best remembered for its final, cliffhanger image of Alexander Skarsgard’s fully naked body atop a snowy mountainside, slowly burning to death in the blazing sun. In years to come, fans of the show and the heartthrob Swede will not recall what led Eric (Skarsgard’s central vampire character) to his potential demise, as the events leading up to the searing imagery are wholly forgettable.
Season six of HBO’s ‘True Blood’ was, quite simply, a bloody mess. Narratively, this was perhaps one of the show’s weakest seasons since its inception. In the first half of the season’s ten episodes, executive producer/writer Brian Buckner and his team of writers shine the spotlight on Bill (Stephen Moyer), the Stackhouses (Ryan Kwanten and Anna Paquin), and Alcide’s (Joe Manganiello) pack. Bill’s struggles with having Lillith’s god-like powers take a dangerous toll on him and test his relationships with Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Sookie. Meanwhile, Jason and Sookie are told frightening new information about their parents from a long lost relative (Rutger Hauer, who literally disappears without explanation a few episodes into the season). Sookie also becomes entangled with the mysterious Warlow (Rob Kazinsky), whose identity and motives are slowly revealed throughout the season. Alcide grapples with his role of Packmaster as some members of his group hunt down Sam (Sam Trammell) and his newfound love Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell).
In the second half of the season, the focus is almost wholly on the vampires of the show, as the Governor of Louisiana, Truman Burrell (Arliss Howard) and his anti-vampire crusader partner (and returning fan favourite) Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp, of ‘Pitch Perfect’ fame) throw them all into Vamp Camp. The comparison to Nazi death camps is glaringly obvious, as various torture methods, lack of nutrition, and shameful experiments are performed there. New central characters Violet (Karolina Wydra), James (Luke Grimes) and Willa Burrell (Amelia Rose Blaire) are also introduced. Back in Bon Temps, Andy (Chris Bauer) wrestles with parenting rapidly growing faerie daughters and Arlene (Carrie Preston) faces her worst fears with Terry (Todd Lowe).
Never one to skimp on quality, HBO gives the episodes sheen with a beautiful AVC encoded video presentation and a trembling DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. The in-depth special features are, as always, quite fascinating, with the ‘Inside the episodes’ feature being the standout. Each episode has an accompanying HD quality insider’s look that is perfect for long-time fans of the show. While the cast and crew audio commentaries aren’t as numerous as previous Blu-ray seasons of the show, they do offer newer cast member Amelia Rose Blaire an opportunity to share her fresh new insights.
If nothing else, the blu-ray of season six of ‘True Blood’ gives people the opportunity to pause and view Alexander Skarsgard in all his splendor over and over again.