Well, I knew it would happen eventually: I am no longer drinking watching True Blood.
As far as I’m concerned, it jumped the shark in 2.7, Release Me, when Sookie’s best friend Tara and her sort-of boyfriend Eggs fell under the black-eyed influence of Maryann the maenad, provoking Eggs to kill Daphne for no apparent reason. I have been willing to overlook a lot of gratuitous sex and consequenceless violence in this show, but the incredible creeping crud of Maryann has just been the final straw.
Maryann, as a maenad, induces uninhibited behavior, causing orgies of sex and violence with her magic powers. Fine. She’s also charismatic and manipulative. Also fine. But I feel like her status as mind-bending orgy-maker is being used by the writers as an excuse to mess with character consistency.
For one example, Tara, Sookie’s friend, has always shown ambivalence and mistrust toward Maryann. While she clearly hankers for Maryann’s approving, soothing company, Tara [like anyone with a brain] rightly suspects that Maryann’s flamboyant generosity might have a rotten core. Hence Tara leaves Maryann’s house and goes to live with Sookie instead. When Maryann and her groupies come over to Sookie’s house with a birthday orgy for Tara, Tara enjoys the party reluctantly, but also evicts Maryann afterward. Any time she is seduced by Maryann’s power, Tara always wakes up and rejects it later.
Therefore, it makes no sense characterologically when, due to Maryann’s magic manipulation, Tara reverses her decision and allows Maryann and groupies to stay at Sookie’s house along with her. This makes no sense because we have seen Tara resistant all along. It also makes no sense because we know the bond of friendship and respect between Sookie and Tara, and it’s hard for me to believe that Tara would disrespect her bestest friend ever by inviting some sexy weirdoes to live in her best friend’s house without her best friend’s permission. Oh, but Tara reversed her eviction of Maryann because she was under Maryann’s power, right? No. Tara reversed her eviction of Maryann because the story required her to get closer to Maryann and Eggs for some reason.
For another example of Maryann’s power thinly disguised as plot machinery, please see her enchantment of Eggs. Basically [hey look a spoiler!] Maryann magicks Eggs so that he kills Daphne, another of Maryann’s groupies. I haven’t watched the ep in which this occurs because I refuse to; it’s too stupid. I understand that Maryann’s power makes people uninhibited, but I have yet to see anything in his character that would suggest that, if uninhibited, Eggs would kill someone. Why yes, we know he has a violent, criminal past, but all his behaviors have been those of a nice, gentle pothead. I remain unconvinced that he is secretly a murderer in his heart of hearts. I think he is just a murderer because the plot needed to off Daphne, and doing it through Maryann’s magic of Eggs was an expedient way.
And that’s why I’m done with the show. “The orgiastic influence of Maryann” only goes so far as an explanation; I see less evidence of overwhelming Dionysian power in the show and more evidence of the plot forcing people together because someone’s creaky, unconvincing idea of “story” demands such turns of events.