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'True Blood' season premiere is too stuffed with storylines

'True Blood' has good character moments in its season 5 premiere, but too much is going on.

By Anthony OcasioScreen Rant / June 11, 2012

'True Blood' has the characters portrayed by stars Anna Paquin (center, with series creator Alan Ball) and Stephen Moyer (r.) caught up in too many plotlines.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

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An often action-packed thrill ride through the repercussions of the previous season, the True Blood season 5 premiere presents a thoroughly entertaining, though flawed, first installment for the series’ new year.

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Picking up where the chaotic True Blood season 4 finale left, much of the premiere follows Sookie (Anna Paquin) and friends through the aftermath of their murderous escapades. Certainly a necessity given the numerous cliffhangers and unfinished stories that were left from last season, a noticeable divide presents itself in the premiere, where tying up loose ends with some characters is juxtaposed with new, compelling stories for others.

As Sookie and Lafayette “take care” of Tara and Debbie, Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) “take care” of  Nan Flanagan and the Vampire Authority, and Sam (Sam Trammell) and Alcide (Joe Manganiello) “take care” of Marcus and the pack, while Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is kicking things off with Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) and Jessica is trying to “find” herself. Oh, and Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) is back.

While separate and concurrent storylines aren’t inherently a poor trait, True Blood once began as a single story with many parts. Now many stories with their own individual elements muddle the narrative – each scene represents its own story with its own characters (which rarely overlap).

Aside from this trait making True Blood a truly active viewing experience (if you want to keep up with what’s going on), the lack of fluidity amongst the series’ many storylines makes it difficult to get an overall sense of what’s actually occurring in Bon Temps.

That being said, for those able to completely grasp hold of True Blood’s transition from its initial narrative to its current structuring, the season 5 premiere is a mixed bag of thoroughly enjoyable scenes and intriguing character moments.

With many of the best character moments coming from the likes of Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) and Terry (Todd Lowe), many of the other storylines present a more heightened emotional front, which can often become goofy or silly – while still remaining enjoyable.

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