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Case Number 27430: Small Claims Court

Buy True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) at Amazon

True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray)

HBO // 2013 // 600 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // June 3rd, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum thinks this season should have totally sucked, but the vampires saved it by not sucking too hard.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of True Blood: The Complete First Season (published May 27th, 2009), True Blood: The Complete First Season (Blu-Ray) (published June 29th, 2009), True Blood: The Complete Second Season (published May 25th, 2010), True Blood: The Complete Second Season (Blu-Ray) (published May 24th, 2010), True Blood: The Complete Third Season (published June 5th, 2011), True Blood: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray) (published May 31st, 2011), True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray) (published May 28th, 2012), and True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray) (published June 3rd, 2013) are also available.

The Charge

I still wanna do bad things with you!

The Case

When True Blood debuted its sixth season on 16 June 2013, the odds seemed against the series that it would do anything more than just plain suck. Star Anna Paquin (X-Men) who plays Sookie Stackhouse was pregnant in real life (ironically the father is Stephen Moyer from Priest who plays Vampire Bill), so it was decided that an abbreviated run of only ten episodes as opposed to the usual twelve would be in order. Alan Ball who created the show and guided every season prior stepped out of his hands-on role to work on his new series Banshee. At the start there was a new show runner, and the writers were out on their own to create the arc of the season without Ball's guidance. Halfway through production the new show runner quit, and another was brought onboard. In the writing room things were changing as much as the managing staff was. It was decided to depart from the Charlaine Harris Southern Vampire Mysteries structure as season six should have been a loose adaptation of Definitely Dead. Instead the writing team blended together several elements from the whole book series to make new storylines. These borrowed narratives spun out of order and context meant True Blood became more of a collage than ever and less recognizable to fans of the paper version. Of course the written word was never sacred with this series since they have always departed from the books in a lot of ways from the start.

The season started at an awkward place with Bill resurrected as a vampire god thanks to his possession by the deity Lilith. The Authority was left in flames, and we have this new naked "Billith" running around threatening the lives of everybody still standing. Louisiana Governor Burrell decides to declare war on vampires, and in short order he creates a Vamp Camp designed to experiment on and destroy the nocturnal creatures. A plot is unveiled to taint the world's supply of synthetic True Blood and force vampires to contract an insidious disease that should ravage their population. The vamps are in trouble, but surely Sookie is also in mortal danger. An old nemesis named Warlow (Rob Kazinsky, Pacific Rim) is introduced who ends up pursuing our favorite fairy waitress. He supposedly killed Sookie and Jason's parents, so he's a scary guy who even strikes fear in guest star Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) who plays a hunter of Warlow's kind.

Technically you can't beat these HBO sets that are gorgeously rendered with plenty of supplemental material. The transfers are 1.78:1/1080p widescreen HD, and since the show is shot that way they look amazing. There is no issue with digital artefacts, and you couldn't ask for better images. Colors are crisp, blacks have depth, and everything has a sheen and gloss only expensive cable productions have. Same quality applies to the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, through which the sound bounces around the room in a lively manner.

Bonus Features include five commentaries over the ten episodes, and these include participants such as Stephen Boyer, Carrie Preston, and Brian Buckner. They are all informative and give us a lot of insight into what challenges cast and crew faced during this year of the series. "Inside the Episodes" are featurettes that explain each chapter, and they are segments aired on HBO during the initial run. They also offer a lot of insight into the series as they analyze the plot points and allow the writers and directors a chance to address what their intentions were. There are two interactive features which include video and text that you can explore called "Vamp Camp" and "True Blood Lines." The first is a guide through the internment plans, and the second is an exploration of who is what and how that happened. And in case you want them, digital copies are available with the purchase of the set.

If you can get over the fact that we have a continuation of the war on man versus vamp without much new, and yet ANOTHER guy who goes gaga over Sookie, Season Six is solid enough to sate fans looking for another year of True Blood drama. Funny thing is the writers and producers in the special features all hammer home that in Season Six they wanted to return to the glory days of season one. The problem with all of that is they seem to be recycling elements instead of forging new ground, and it feels like an echo. We've seen Sookie fall for the wrong guy, witnessed Eric brood, been subjected to Tara's righteous indignation, and seen Alcide's bare backside. There's nothing new or innovative, but this show does do what it does well enough to only make that be a minor disappointment overall. It's still fun to see all of this unfold despite the issues.

The Verdict

A guilty pleasure mix of blood, sex, and Sookie angst.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 86

Perp Profile

Studio: HBO
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
• DTS 5.1 Surround (French)
• DTS 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
• English (SDH)
• Danish
• Dutch
• Finnish
• French
• Norwegian
• Portuguese
• Spanish
• Swedish
Running Time: 600 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Blu-ray
• Drama
• Fantasy
• Horror
• Mystery
• Romance
• Television
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentaries
• Interactive Feature
• Featurettes
• Digital Copy
• UltraViolet Download


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