Sunday night on HBO: Sex, sex and more sex — what did you expect?

Spoiler alert — not that you needed one because everyone watches True Blood whether they like to admit it: Last night’s True Blood started with …

FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES: True Blood’s Christopher Meloni
FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES: True Blood's Christopher Meloni

FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES: True Blood‘s Christopher Meloni
Spoiler alert — not that you needed one because everyone watches True Blood whether they like to admit it: Last night’s True Blood started with a bar brawl at Fangtasia between Jessica and Tara and ended with Russell Edgington hissing “Peace is for pussies,” seconds before staking the Authority’s guardian, played for a mere four episodes by Christopher Meloni.

You may remember Russell from the third season, particularly for the terrifically funny manifesto he delivered on TV seconds after murdering the news anchor by literally ripping out his heart. He made his not-so-triumphant return from being burned by the sun, silvered and buried in concrete two episodes ago when Sookie, Alcide, Bill and Eric found him holed up in an abandoned house where he’d gone to heal by slowly draining a roomful of people hung up like animal carcasses in a slaughterhouse.

It didn’t take him long to resume his shit-disturbing ways once discovered by our supernatural foursome, though. His vendetta against the mainstreaming ways of The Authority manifested itself ridiculously easy, ushering his character back into the spotlight for more devilishly funny performances. He’s the guy you love to hate.

True Blood is notorious for multiple storylines that usually and ultimately intersect, and it’s fun playing the “How’s the fire monster going to tie in with Lafayette’s scary demon face?” game. When Eric glamours Alcide and then slips in that from now on, he’ll be disgusted by Sookie, it’s more apparent than ever True Blood has become a parody of itself. Which is, you know, fine. This show isn’t supposed to make any sense, and that’s why legions of fans love it.

The Newsroom? More like The Bedroom

The entire journalist population of Twitter collectively groaned when The Newsroom first aired last month. The portrayal of newsmen and women as both smarmy and entirely foolish at once had the self-appointed Protectors of Journalism up in arms over the lack of integrity and cojones of these whiny Sorkin archetypes.

Last night’s “I’ll Try to Fix You” episode isn’t exactly doing these characters any favours, either. The lead female role of MacKenzie McHale — anchor Will McAvoy’s (Jeff Daniels) old and arguably undying flame — could have been a strong character. In fact, she was poised to be when she took over McAvoy’s newsroom in a coup orchestrated by news division president Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston).

But by the second episode, she’d already dissolved into a messy pile of a woman who spends a shameful amount of time in a state of hysteria and technological ineptitude. She’s not the only hot mess on the show — it seems nearly every character’s libido was in overdrive last night (and in every preceding episode, for that matter), clouding their judgment and making for awkward, creepy smiles from across the newsroom.

The Newsroom’s adolescents trapped in adult bodies serve to distract viewers from the lack of understanding Sorkin really has about newsrooms.

Maggie likes Jim but is stuck in a love/hate relationship with Dan, who can’t seem to make up his mind about 1) how he feels about Maggie and 2) how he feels about handing over the executive producer reigns of Will’s show to MacKenzie. In the interim, Will’s become a womanizing, gun-toting, pot-smoking fiend whose mug gets splashed across the tabloids when he foolishly attempts to combine all three in one single evening.

But, as it turns out, it’s all because he can’t get over MacKenzie, who cheated on him three and a half years ago with an ex-boyfriend. All the characters get angry, talk fast, flail their arms around and turn into bumbling idiots who can’t run their own sex lives, let alone a newsroom.

When you put it that way, maybe it is closer to the world of journalism than journalists are willing to admit.

But in any case, the result of the tension Sorkin is building up here between both Maggie and Jim and Will and MacKenzie is liable to end in one way, and one way only — they’re going to have sex. Urgent, passionate, unbridled and possibly inebriated sex, the aftermath of which will surely be punctuated with even more ellipses of hysteria. Nothing about Sorkin is subtle, and viewers shouldn’t expect him to start dabbling in the art of subtlety now. ■

True Blood airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. and The Newsroom, at 10 p.m. on HBO.

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