A Tear for ‘True Blood,’ which Begins Final Season this Sunday

"True Blood" - Press Conference

Is anyone else completely saddened that the final season of True Blood, HBO’s vampire-based program, is about to begin? I’ve been looking forward to another season starting but the sooner it begins, the sooner it ends, and permanently this time around.

I am proud to say I have been a fan of TB since the first season when Stephen Moyer‘s sweet and sympathetic vampire, Bill Compton, made his way into Bon Temps and knocked innocent Sookie Stackhouse’s socks off. Since then, fans have had all kinds of passionate, violent, wickedly awesome adventures with Sookie and the gang, and I, for one, do not want these times to end. But I guess it is better that the show end on a high note rather than go on and on and end with the last few seasons being less than great. This has, unfortunately, happened to other fantastic shows, like another one of my once-favorite shows, Dexter.

But at least fans can expect an amazing final showdown. After a very solid sixth season (which was definitely better than the fifth), the series picks up right where it left off at the end of last season’s finale. The newly named Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill was coming under attack by a group of Hep-V-infected vampires. The fictional Louisiana town will be left on its own to face and fix the issue, with no support or protection from the government, leaving Mayor Merlotte (Sam Trammell), Sheriff Bellefleur (Chris Bauer), and Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) with their hands full. We also found out at the end of the finale that Sookie (Anna Paquin) is now with Alcide (Joe Manganiello), who will do everything in his power to protect her. And no one can forget what rough shape Eric (Alex Skarsgard) was in when we last saw him, because the sun-proof blood in his body wore off while he was sunbathing on some mountaintop. You could practically smell charred vampire.

Showrunner Brian Buckner promises that this season will keep viewers on the edge of their seats and will not disappoint. He told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s the final season of True Blood, so gone are the days where we pull our punches. Heads are gonna roll.”

Most TB seasons have introduced a new “big bad” to the plot, but it wouldn’t really make sense to do that at this point. Instead, it is the virus that is the bad guy. And the writers and show runners agreed. Says Buckner, “There are certain things that I know we can top. So the writers and I decided from the get-go that we’re not going to take screen time away from our series regulars to build a new character who becomes the focus of the season.”

That is great news, because fans of the show feel strongly about the characters they know and love, and want to spend as much time with them as possible. Sookie, Bill, the gorgeous Eric (guess who’s my favorite), Lafayette (Nelson Ellis), Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten), Tara (Rutina Wesley), Jason, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), Sam, Andy…they all feel like friends we’ve known for years. Let’s just soak them in as much as we can and see what crazy shenanigans they get themselves into this time.

Buckner teased that fan favorite smaller roles might come back as well. “We know who the fan favorites are and we’re going to do our very best to weave everything in.”

I know I will dearly miss spending time with these campy, kooky characters and following along with their sci-fi/scary movie/love story adventures every summer. That’s what True Blood has mean to me – a fun, wacky, far-out feast for the eyes that corresponded with my summer weekends for seven years. I love a good fantasy story and TB was filled with almost every creature in the make-believe universe playbook. I just have to hope that another show comes along to fill the particular void that I know will be left when it ends.

True Blood‘s seventh and final season begins this Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

(Photo credit- Getty Images)

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