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True Blood Season 3 (HBO) [DVD] 
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In Bon Temps, everyone has something to hide. But when new threats emerge, no one can conceal the secrets of their past.
After Sookie discovers that Bill has been kidnapped, she heads to Mississippi where she becomes entangled in a world ruled by a pack of vicious werewolves and the powerful Vampire King, Russell Edgington. There, her powers resurface and she learns that Bill may not be trusted. Eric is also drawn to the King’s domain to settle an old score; Tara dives deep into turmoil; Jason falls for a mysterious woman; Lafayette can’t avoid love or demons; Jessica sharpens her vampire skills; and Sam uncovers the truth about his birth family. It all leads up to the revelation of the series... Sookie’s true identity.
- Episode 2 Audio Commentary with Alexander Skarsgard and Scott Winant
- Episode 3 Audio Commentary with Michael Lehmann and Alexander Woo
- Episode 4 Audio Commentary with Kristin Bauer and David Petrarca
- Episode 6 Audio Commentary with Alan Ball and Dennis O’Hare
- Episode 7 Audio Commentary with Anna Paquin, Joe Manganiello, and Brian Buckner
- Episode 12 Audio Commentary with Stephen Moyer and Anthony Hemingway
- Minisodes (20 mins, approx)
- Post Mortems (20 mins, approx)
- Anatomy of a Scene (25 mins, approx) from Episode 2
- Snoop Dogg Video (2 mins, approx)
The 12 episodes composing True Blood - Season 3 are either the best yet or the most ridiculous, depending on one's opinion of the increasing number of monsters entering the scene. As last season saw an onslaught of pagan and ancient Greek-derived "supernaturals", as they are called by Bon Temps' citizens, this season welcomes everything from werewolves to vampire royalty to that surprise-being that Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) finally discovers she shares genes with. While the first two seasons centered on the spicy love affair between Sookie and Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), this season branches out once again from the vampire-human cultural blender. From the first episode, "Bad Blood", when Bill is whisked off to meet the King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), whose villainous scheme will inform all ensuing episodes, one gets less of Sookie and Bill, and more of everything else.
For example, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) reveals himself this time around, starting in the episodes "Beautifully Broken" and "It Hurts Me Too", in which he tracks down members of his past and in turn meets some new family, like his mischievous brother, Tommy Mickens (Marshall Allman). Following up on Eggs's death at the end of season two, Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) and Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) have multiple police dramas, especially in later episodes like "I Smell a Rat" and "Fresh Blood". This season, too, presents some of life's greatest challenges to Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), as if she hadn't suffered enough after her new love Eggs was shot. Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), as a foil couple to Sookie and Bill's vampire-human coupling, have enormous hurdles to jump over simply to continue dating. While all of these dramas make the characters in Bon Temps come alive like never before, the silliest of the plots continues on, unfortunately, as Queen Sophie-Anne Leclerq (Evan Rachel Wood) has to battle King Edgington for Vamp-Blood sales territory. On the up side of that chess-game narrative, Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) and his femme fatale, Pam De Beaufort (Kristin Bauer), play much larger roles this season, and in the finale, "Evil Is Going On", Eric not only discovers his deep past history but struggles through his rockiest present dangers thus far.
Interestingly, though Sookie is still the protagonist, True Blood appears to be shifting to a wider view, emphasizing the overall community and the effects supernatural warfare has on Bon Temps collectively. Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis), still one of the most charming characters, discovers more about his past, thanks to nurse Jesus Velasquez (Kevin Alejandro), and Jason too discovers a new calling, thanks to Crystal Norris (Lindsay Pulsipher). If anything, this season of past recollections and the realizations of future callings will allow for this excellent series to carry on into infinity, as magical creatures continue to grace this setting enriched with full-fledged characters. Vampires were, as the cast confirms this time around, only the beginning. --Trinie DaltonSee all Product description
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The problem is that there are so many plotlines going on here that we're somethimes distracted from the heart of the show. Tara's having more emotional trauma, and her irritating mother gets unnecessary screen space; the story of Sam's natural family drags on too far and his sudden change of personality is very disconcerting; the Arlene/Terry story feels overly contrived etc.
On the positive side, however, Eric and Pam get more screen space; and the various vampire plots play out well.
Having read the books first, it's always interesting to see how to TV show expands and contracts stories: in this series I think they've deviated a little too far from the core story and have spread the plot a little too thin.
That said, this is still wry, funny, dramatic and surprising. Book four is one of my favourites in the series so I'm really looking forward to seeing it re-worked for the show.
I think I may prefer that the series moves too fast than subject us to the tiresome Tara/Mother soap that made the latter half of Series 1 so tedious, but there was so much happening in S3 that you didn't have time to register one thing before the next hit you. I also think that Sam's development as part nice guy part psychopath is too much - he is one of the moral compasses of the show, the others being Bill and Sookie and all three went haywire this season, which is leading us dangerously near to "so what"
And the Timotei advert fey - in Sookie's words "That is so lame". I've read the books and wondered how they were going to do it, appreciate its difficult but if anyone can make it convincing it would be Alan Ball. Sadly it appears to be impossible to do.
Having said all that, I still really enjoyed it - Alcide Hervaux is a great new character, I loved the werewolves and I adore Pam - who got more screen time this year.
**Update** - I've just watched the final season - Season 7 - it was terrible. If you're considering starting on "True Blood" - its a great ride. But if you're someone who needs a good ending to a 7 year series then think hard before you go there.
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