October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

True Blood Trails 1.0: Someone is going to get framed for selling V-blood.

Hollywoodnews.com: So we’ll have to come to terms that the werewolves will literally be a real part of “True Blood” this season, both plotwise and acting wise (Alan Ball and Co. are using real wolves).

Given how thick “Twilight” lays their wolves on us, leaves me jaded that they’re even co-starring on “True Blood.” I know, I know – Alcide and wolves are actual characters in the Charlaine Harris novel – however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Alan Ball will follow her map. The gripe among Harris devotees, so I hear, is that Ball followed the first novel in season one, and strayed greatly during season two.

So here’s the good news about my relations with “True Blood” wolves – they make a damn good first impression. At the start of episode 25, we meet the Fuck You Crew, a gaggle of biker beasts who kidnap Bill and feast on his blood while driving recklessly through the bayou. And the great thing is – they’re nasty mofos; not the “Twilight” type who take their shirts off, brood and work on motorcycles. It looks like they have just as many scruples as vampires: you can’t trust them as far as you can throw them.

So Sophie Anne (Evan Rachel Wood) does return to rattle cages. And she’s strapped for cash just like the rest of America. She prances into Eric’s vampire bar with the Magister (Zelijko Ivanek), who doubles as a sinister Joel Grey from “Cabaret,” and puts on an over-dramatic charade, that could make Lea Michele cower in “Glee”: Sophie Anne has recommended that Eric is the best sheriff in the area to discover why a ton of V-blood has been drained. Especially since there aren’t that many vampires missing (By the way, it’s always great to see Eric cornered. We see that he’s not as smart as steel. Whenever he’s not holding the cards, or he’s overpowered, he’s weak. Overall, Alan Ball and Co. have painted a fully drawn, imperfect character here). So Eric agrees, in front of Sophie Anne, to assist the Magister – despite the fact that the duo are the culprits in the immense loss of V-blood.

Eric is in a lose-lose situation here: He’ll be killed by the Queen if he doesn’t sell off the V-blood and flush her with cash; and if he doesn’t pin the thief, the Magister will hang him. My guess: some bloodsucker is going to get framed by Eric. Gosh, do you think it’s our main protag Bill Compton? Better yet, how about those werewolves?

All in all, a thrilling set-up.

By the way, V-blood is like gold in the TV series. It assists in pro-creation, thus its high value. However, it’s meant for the vampires, and any misuse of it is considered to be “blasphemy” according to the Magister.

So who hired the werewolves to kidnap Bill? Sookie could be quite correct: it’s Lorena, Bill’s nut-job creator. Nut-job, because she just can’t get over him. Even though Bill was in the know of the V blood black market, Sophie Anne could care less and apparently never gave Eric the order to nab him. Even more interesting, Eric attempted to kidnap Bill on his own accord from the French restaurant in the season 2 finale, but the wolves got to him first.

In all, a solid pulpy start to season 3. No major wows, rather tracks are laid for bigger bloodlettings. The short, clipped scenes assisted in moving the scenes along at a bone-chilling speed. Ball’s themes of minority versus majority, sexual aggression, particularly in the confines of the rural south prevail. Now, we need to see how he builds on them in subsequent episodes.

Photo: Do you really think Eric will be put in a corner and blamed for sellling V blood? Someone is going to get framed. How about a werewolf? Courtesy of HBO, John P. Johnson.

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