Vampire civil war’s a-brewin’ & The Newsroom – on drugs!

True Blood keeps getting crazier, and The Newsroom continues its decline, in our weekly recap of the classiest channel’s trashiest night.


Consider this a warning — if you didn’t watch last night’s episode of True Blood, I’m about to ruin your day.

Two of the bajillion plot lines this season’s got going on seemingly got resolved last night: the fire monster was vanquished when Terry shoots Patrick in the head, and the Obama mask-wearing vigilantes are found out in the nick of time (of course).

Turns out former Renard Parish sheriff Bud really, really hates supernaturals, and has gathered a group of like-minded, supe-hating rednecks (who Sheriff Andy equates with the KKK) to rid Bon Temps of its excessive freak population. They prepare to feed Hoyt (who was captured at the close of the previous episode) and a newly-captured Sookie to the pigs as some sort of political message, but are foiled when one of those “pigs” is actually Sam. Officers Andy and Jason follow closely behind, and the vigilantes themselves are brought to justice in a good old-fashioned barn fight.

These two plots were also the weakest plotlines of the season, and so it’s no surprise the show’s writing team couldn’t go much further with them. That said, True Blood has been known to resurrect villains, so it may not be the last we see of the fire monster or the vigilantes — but let’s just operate under the assumption that this season will ultimately climax with a vampire showdown.

The Sanguinistas have seduced Bill into toeing the party line on the whole “killing humans in the name of God (Lilith)” thing, but Eric wants no part of it. He fails at his escape from the Authority’s compound after Bill betrays him and reveals his plans to Salome, proving that even undead men are guided by wanton desire.

Does Bill have something up his sleeve? Probably. I haven’t figured that part out yet. But after he dreams he’s sexin’ Sookie when it’s really Salome, I can’t help but think he wants out of the Authority compound, too.

Meanwhile, a new Area 5 vampire sheriff is in town to take Eric’s spot, and after fires deliberately set by rogue vampires ravish Tru Blood factories around the world, he announces the ban on public feeding has been lifted: vampires are now free to eat whom they please, whenever and where ever they please.

And while we’ve likely lost two plotlines, we’ve potentially gained a new one when Russell takes Emma the wolf puppy from her grandmother’s arms. Now shapeshifters Sam and Luna (Emma’s mom) will have no choice but to face Russell, arguably the most psychotic and powerful vampire in the Deep South.


This week’s best line award is a three-way tie:

“Being a vampire got its perks, the no dumping and all” — Jason to Jessica, after she tells him she doesn’t take dumps (when he instructs his staff to keep an eye on her, even when she’s, uh, using the facilities).

“Bitch, stop texting me or I will eat you” — Lafayette reading Sookie a text sent by the still-angry Tara. She’s severed her ties with the two in anger,  but may need their help when the fire rains down on both sides of the vampire war about to be waged.

“Just because we drank a bitch together doesn’t make us Oprah and Gayle. Now get the fuck back to work” — Pam to Tara, after Tara tells her she’s there if Pam wants to talk about Eric’s disappearance. Tara retorts with, “Suck me, Vampire Barbie.”




Every Sunday night, I record The Newsroom on my PVR just so I can delay starting it by just long enough so that I can fast-forward through that godforsaken intro.

And the best part of this episode of The Newsroom? It’s that it was bookended by previews for season three of Treme.

But you know, you’ve got to hand it to Sorkin — he’s been picking off the biggest newsmakers of the past few years in an effort to lend some depth and context to The Newsroom, all the while reminding us of what we so easily forget: the events that have shaped this young century.

The events themselves — the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Arab Spring, the Fukushima nuclear crisis, among others — are treated with some form of superficial respect, and last night’s episode, “5/1,” was no different.

For those who don’t recall, May 1, 2011 is when Barack Obama announced Osama bin Laden had been assassinated.

Sorkin is smart to pick the events of the past two-and-a-half years that most plucked at our collective heartstrings, and anything related to 9/11 is sure to accomplish that.

And perhaps it’s partly because of that, that I found this episode to be ever so slightly more bearable than the previous six. I guess I fell for it.

But that doesn’t change the fact that this is a terrible, terrible show.

The show begins with the entire office over at Will’s place for a one-year anniversary party of MacKenzie’s team ruling the newsroom. Will makes no bones about his affection for mary jane (he later exclaims, “I’m wasted! I’m completely baked!”) — but then, somehow, everyone at the party gets hip to the possibility that maybe bin Laden’s bitten the dust. They just know. They all scurry into elevators and rush off to the newsroom, bracing themselves for the president’s emergency address.

The episode unravels from there. While the staff wait on confirmation of bin Laden’s death, and while the president’s speech keeps getting pushed back, several melodramas evolve: Maggie tells Jim he has to break up with her friend, Lisa, after she discovers they’ve exchanged I love yous; Don, Sloan and Elliot are trapped in a plane on the tarmac, sitting on some of the biggest news of their careers, Charlie’s having flashbacks to a terrible time when he reported something prematurely that had grave results and, oh yeah, Will’s baked.

If one thing’s clear, it’s that Sorkin is literally throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. It’s really unfortunate, considering the accomplishments he’s already got under his belt; I mean, shouldn’t he have figured this out by now?

The Newsroom’s losing steam. There are only so many more episodes they can drag on the MacKenzie-Will and Maggie-Jim-Don (-and now Lisa) plotlines before the people who actually watch this show for enjoyment change the channel. Something’s gotta give.

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