I am a great fan of this series, as evidenced by the speed with which I've devoured the first four seasons. My friends have barely seen me. I've been lost in watching episode after episode, pausing only to write about True Blood on Wizzley.
Yet this fourth season of True Blood gave me problems. As I mentioned in the review of season three, I am a Wiccan. This shifted my focus somewhat, from a mere observer of brilliant entertainment to someone with a stake in how my religion was portrayed. I could no longer watch it as impassively, as semi-mindless entertainment. I could not be objective.
In many ways, season four excelled itself. According to the ratings figures, it marked a sea-change. True Blood became the second biggest show on HBO, stumped only by the runaway success of Game of Thrones. It deserved the accolades. There were moments which made me gasp or cheer aloud. I nearly fell out of my seat at the ending of episode one.
But the subject matter was too close to home. I spent much of the season unsure quite how to react. Should I be laughing at all of the inaccuracies in those Wiccan rituals? Should I be taking offense, as my fellow adherents were portrayed as either fluffy or evil? Should I be ranting about the appropriation of a real religion? Telling about how dramas such as this fuel misconceptions, and how that plays into true life social scares?
Ultimately, this is material for another article. It's not important for those simply watching True Blood as light entertainment. That is precisely what True Blood is. It's fiction, wherein all of humanity's monsters and legends are coalesced in great story-telling. The wicked witch is simply part of that long tradition, which includes vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters and all the rest.
We can take such things way too seriously, or we can enjoy the story. In retrospect, I'll opt for the latter.