True Blood 7/26/09 OPEN SPOILERS

I haven’t seen any of the season 2 shows - just season 1 on Netflix - but I’ve read all the books. Even though it sounds like it’s going to get even raunchier, I’m glad to hear that Bill gets a little badder. He’s awfully tepid in the first season. Actually, most of the “main” vampire characters seem a little lukewarm to me. I think I must have seen too many vampire action flicks. Does everyone get a little more animated or are all the vampires pretty “Meh” through the whole show?

I had that same thought about pouring out the bottles, Max.

Yes, and I have been saying this here in the Cafe for a couple years now. HBO WAS truly the pinnacle of Television, with Deadwood and The Sopranos and Rome and The Wire and Six Feet Under and Extras. Showtime WAS a distant second when they were bascially the gay network. But that’s all in the past now. Let’s compare active shows:

Big Love is much better than United States of Tara
Curb Your Enthusiasm is decent
Secret Diary of a Call Girl is better than Hung
Dexter is far superior to True Blood
Weeds is better than Entourage
Californication is way better than Eastbound & Down

Cancelled shows from recent years:

John from Cincinnatti was the death knell
Tell Me You Love Me kinda sucked
Lucky Louie would have gotten laughed out of Showtime’s offices
In Treatment was the last dying breath of HBO’s former greatness
David Milch almost single-handedly killed HBO. I made a post about this sometime last year; I’ll see if I can dig it up. In short, there was this HBO executive who had a hand in dozens of great HBO classics, from Larry Sanders to Deadwood. Then she gave Milch John From Cincinnatti, which got her fired. Ever since then their original series have been circling the drain. At the same time, Showtime really came into its own, shedding the “gay network” image and putting on some quality shows with broader appeal. (Their original tentpole shows were Queer As Folk and The L Word.)

Heh you and I have very different tastes. I thought Secret Diary of a Call Girl was tedious.

Dexter IS better than True Blood I’ll give you that, but I still love True Blood.
Weeds is not even worthy of licking Entourage’s boots.
Californication is pointless nihilism and I never saw Eastbound and Down.
Curb your Enthusiasm Straight up sucks, so did Extras. Six Feet Under was uninteresting I never got far into it.
Never watched John from Cincinnatti or Lucky Louie. In Treatment admittedly is kind of boring.
United States of Tara is good but I expect it to swallow the big suck like Weeds did.
Big Love is consistently good.

Dexter and The Tudors are the only great shows that Showtime has IMO. US of Tara is good, Nurse Jackie is Good and Weeds WAS awesome until they decided to make it horribly depressing. I expect US of Tara and Nurse Jackie to go the same route. They’ve already set it up to do that.

You, sir or madam, are no longer on my Christmas Card list. Harrumph!

True Blood is incredibly uneven. Some parts are really interesting, and some just flat out idiotic. And I am getting a bit tired of the MaryAnn storyline because it is TAKING FOREVER to establish what she wants.

I actually appreciate the Jessica storyline maybe the most, to be honest. her character is at an awkward nexus of learning to be a vampire and a woman at the same time.

Go through this list of yours with a scorecard and you’ll have a hard time justifying your claim that “HBO is truly the pinnacle of Television, Showtime is a distant second.”

I’ve searched high and low for a post I made detailing the rise of Showtime and the fall of HBO. It was chock full of links to articles about that executive getting fired because of John From Cincinnatti at the same time a dynamic executive joined Showtime with the intention to replace HBO as the class of original programming. Auntie Pam might remember it; as I recall it basically killed a very short thread. But I found it fascinating.

The closest I could find was this post from last year.

Ok, they are pretty much on par, I’ll give you that. For me though, Big Love, Entourage and True Blood which are shows I look forward to beat out Dexter and the Tudors the only shows I really look forward to on Showtime. Oh yea, lets add No. 1 Lady’s Detective Agency in the win column for HBO, so Showtime isn’t a DISTANT second, it only has half as many shows that I really look forward to as HBO. US of Tara and Nurse Jackie are the filler shows I watch when shows like Burn Notice, Lie to Me, Kings or the Philanthropist or the others I mentioned above are not on.

In your post you mention Brothers, I think you mean Brotherhood, that was a highlight for Showtime as was Sleeper Cell.

I couldn’t possibly agree with you more. Her storyline is far more interesting than everything else on the show.

I’ve also just realized that Lafayette was a goodly amount of the show’s charm last season, so having him (figuratively) castrated isn’t helping matters any. And before it gets mentioned, I don’t care that he’s supposed to be dead.

HBO miniseries pretty much kick everyone’s ass, thoug.

Band of Brothers (greatest miniseries ever? Probably second to Roots)
John Adams
Generation Kill
Angels in America
The Corner
From the Earth to the Moon

Which goes into his bitching about not being turned by her - which fuels his anger/resentment issues - he wants to be a vampire, she won’t turn him, and since he is hers, no one else can either.

My money’s on him - cliche and all. The only other possible twist has already been mentioned, that the Vamps are in it to start the war.

Agreed. I never saw Band of Brothers all the way through, I should. Generation Kill and John Adams were awesome! I want to see ‘The Corner’.

Yeah, HBO miniseries are fantastic, as are most of their documentaries. Showtime’s got nothing on those fronts.

Band of Brothers is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.

I was disappointed we didn’t see 21st century Godric this week. (I thought last week’s Eric/Godric storyline was just mindblowing.) This week’s episode, though moving the story along, was kind of ‘meh’ in comparison, though the 1920’s costumes and the music were quite enjoyable. The poor Jean Harlow lady and her sugar daddy! Oh, and I hope that preacher dies the most horrible death!

I’ve been looking too but haven’t found it yet. I did find your pithy post on John from Cincinnati, which made me laugh all over again.

While praising HBO, don’t forget the great and powerful Oz. DirecTV’s been running it on channel 101, as well as Deadwood.

And while we’re speaking (ill) of David Milch, I haven’t heard any buzz on his new series for HBO, the cop show set in the 70’s.

Would you people mind terribly taking the HBO vs Showtime hijack to another thread, please? It’s made it kinda hard to wade through this thread to actually read comments on this episode.

I agree completely. This episode fortunately seemed to FINALLY move things along, a little. At least, now we know who “that pig” was.

Spoilers for next week preview: (because I know some people don’t watch them or want to know)Way to take any suspense out of dog-boy’s fate there, showing scenes for him later on in daytime not in any apparent danger. I don’t usually mind seeing previews, but I really wish I’d skipped this one

TBG: Agreed on the preview, that annoyed the crap out of me too.

IIRC he mentioned last season after he “came out” to Sookie that it is really difficult for him to turn into a bird. My guess is that Andy will somehow stop it.

I thought last night Eric looked kind of seedy, like his mustache is growing through his awful white pancake makeup or something. He’s always been so cool and sleek and handsome; maybe he’s losing his cool over his current troubles? (but he’s been around for 1000 years!)

(and I adored Carnivale and would have loved a few more seasons :()

Your money’s on Hugo as the spy? I like the way you think – that’d be really twisty. What’s his motivation? Isabel isn’t someone I’d want to cross. (Har! A pun!)

I like the notion of Eric setting it all in motion, maybe even arranging Godric’s capture.

I think the Vampire that wanted to go to war is the spy. Why wouldn’t he be? He and the Reverend share a common goal.