True Blood Season 5: Has Sookie’s character strayed too far from the original books?

True Blood: Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse

Sookie, you've changed...

The fifth season of True Blood is just around the corner. You can tell because cast interviews and teaser trailers are starting to drip out of HBO like a leaky jugular vein.

To my eternal shame, I’ve just finished watching Season 4 of True Blood. And I want to talk about Sookie Stackhouse.

For a start, Sookie barely spent any time in the real world during Season 4. She spent the first episode escaping from the fairy ‘dimension’ she’d been sucked into. For the remainder, she seemed to spend an awful lot of time having sex dreams about Bill and Eric. That’s when she wasn’t actually having sex with Eric.

Serena Larkin – of Sookieverse fame – inspired this post when she wrote about who she thinks should die in the next season of True Blood.

Anna Paquin’s version of my favorite telepath is an embarrassment to Charlaine Harris’ book counterpart, even if the author will never criticize her beyond her dress size. People can tout “this is not the books” all they want, there is supposed to be some semblance of the source material here, otherwise why purchase the rights to these characters? So for Sookie to be degraded into a “dumb country bitch” to quote the show, True Blood has completely missed the mark of what the Southern Vampire Mysteries are about, ie Sookie’s character growth as she tries to find a place for herself in the supernatural world. Therefore it is fine by me if TB Sook bites it and then she can haunts us all even more.

Obviously, as the protagonist of the series, there’s no way Sookie’s making an exit unless the series itself gets cancelled. However, as avid readers of the Charlaine Harris Southern Vampire Mysteries, Mrs Unreality and I were dismayed at Sookie’s behaviour in the current season. The character had completely lost her humanity. I’m not a prude by any stretch, but I think when Sookie decided that she Bill and Eric could become a permanent threesome, I felt we’d lost the true spirit of Sookie Stackhouse.

In the books, Sookie’s a humble country waitress whose world is rocked when she falls in love with Vampire Bill. But because of her upbringing, she’s got strong Christian core beliefs, and she can be forthright and outspoken when she needs to be. However, as she journeys deeper within the supernatural community, she finds herself doing things that are morally questionable. And she struggles to deal with the person she’s becoming within this new world.

I think Sookie’s strayed far from this humble character. It’s hard to understand what’s motivating her anymore, and I suspect that’s because the writers are more concerned with the shocking cliffhangers that begin and end each episode than the character development in the middle.

What’s your take?

by Gerard McGarry on April 2nd, 2012

Gerard is the founder and editor of Unreality TV. He writes about TV dramas as well as reality TV talent shows and is obsessed by sci-fi and Doctor Who. Follow him on Twitter @gerrybot or Google+

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