The HBO series “True Blood,” based on the supernatural novels by Charlaine Harris, aired its series finale on Aug. 24 after seven seasons and the critical and fan reaction to the last episode of the show was decidedly mixed.
“True” centers on waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who has telepathic powers, among others (she discovers later in the series that she has fairy blood). The show takes place in a world where vampires have recently revealed their existence to society, and Sookie becomes acquainted with vampires Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) as well as werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello) and other otherworldly creatures.
In the finale, vampire Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) married her boyfriend Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Bill, who turned her into a vampire, was able to participate. However, he then asked Sookie to help him die and she did so. In a flash-forward, we saw many of Sookie’s friends and family, like her brother Jason and his romantic partner Brigette, gather at her house for Thanksgiving, except for Eric and his progeny Pam, who are still working at their club Fangtasia. Sookie was pregnant in the flash-forward, but the show did not reveal who the father is.
Some were receptive to certain aspects of this finale, including New York Times writer Mike Hale, who called Bill's death scene "genuinely moving," and Vulture writer Price Peterson, who said one of the best parts of it was that Bill was finally gone. “True Blood should not have ended any other way,” Peterson wrote. “This seven-year saga was always Sookie Stackhouse's story, and Bill's entrance… ushered in years of trauma that Sookie probably could have done without.” However, Peterson called the finale “otherwise highly disappointing… One reason [the episode] ‘Thank You’ doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt was because of how badly it miscalculated our interest in Jessica and Hoyt's relationship.”
Variety critic Brian Lowry found the finale to be, “despite some poignant moments… simply too little, too late to redeem a show that frequently managed to feel absurd,” though Lowry wrote that “coming back to [Sookie and Bill] felt right, in a way the series hadn’t in quite some time.”
Entertainment Weekly writer Melissa Maerz did not mince words about her take on the series finale, calling it "terrible."
"True Blood's last episode was the most disappointing series finale I’ve seen in a long time," she wrote. "But something about the blandness of True Blood‘s finale felt almost offensive… the biggest problem? It just wasn’t any fun." She also felt that "True" expressed some fairly limited gender views, writing that "all the focus on marriage and children during the final season also felt like a cop-out... Worse yet, Bill suggested that his life literally wouldn’t be worth leading if he couldn’t give Sookie children... Aren’t there other ways to define a meaningful existence?... Once upon a time, True Blood played with gender roles in pretty subversive ways."
Meanwhile, some fans took to Twitter to express their thoughts. User Sameed Qureshi tweeted his approval, writing,
However, user John DeVore agreed with Maerz, tweeting,
And user John Arnold referenced another poorly-received series finale, writing,
The book series on which "True" also had a controversial ending, which some fans disapproved of. According to the Guardian, some fans threatened author Harris after the conclusion was revealed online.