Why True Blood Should Have Been Canceled Sooner

Last week, we wrote an article discussing why True Blood is ending after Season 7. Many of our loveliest Internet fans had something to say about the series in the comment section. What I found most interesting about these comments, however, was that very few people seemed to agree on when the series should have ended, and whether or not it should come to a close after this Sunday’s episode, at all.

With these disagreements in mind, we’ve put together what we confidently feel to be the definitive look at the past seven seasons of True Blood. We’ve taken a look at all of the pros and cons of each of these seasons and have put together a list of all the reasons True Blood could have been cancelled, and when. If you’ve ever had an opinion on when or if True Blood should have been canceled, this is the article for you.


Why True Blood Should Have Been Canceled After Season 1

In many ways, True Blood’s first season is the closest to Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse Series of books, following a central murder mystery and the introduction of vampire Bill Compton to the community of Bon Temps, Louisiana. After Bill introduces himself to Sookie while she is waitressing at Merlotte’s, the two embark on a passionate love affair. Also introduced in the season are Eric and Pam, as well as a host of supporting characters, including Lafayette, Jessica, Jason Stackhouse, Sheriff Andy, Arlene and Tara, who are important to the series over the years, although it is worth noting that Arlene and Tara, especially, are much changed from the books.

Both the murder mystery and the show’s somewhat close adherence to the books during Season 1 make it a perfectly contained and exciting introductory season. If the show had ended after Season 1, we would never have had to deal with the ramifications of Sookie’s romance with Bill, nor would we have had to endure all the other dudes she hooked up with in the seasons following. Additionally, there would never have been any weird fairy plotlines, witch tales, giant orgies, vampire gods, or Hep V scares. HBO’s True Blood would have offered fans a perfectly contained storyline and it likely would have lived on via cult status.


Why True Blood Should Have Been Canceled After Season 2

Season 2 picks up right where Season 1 leaves off. In the episodes, Jason Stackhouse meets Steve and Sarah Newlin, who indoctrinate him into the Fellowship of the Sun Church. There are lots of shirtless subsequent scenes. Back in Shreveport, Eric asks Bill and Sookie to figure out what happened to his maker, Godric. The big villain in Season 2 is Maryann Forrester, who turns out to be a maenad. Maryann capably recruits Tara and her boyfriend Eggs to do her bidding, which wreaks havoc in Bon Temps. Elsewhere, Jessica and Hoyt begin their epic love story. The season ends on a cliffhanger, with Bill getting kidnapped soon after he proposes marriage to Sookie. Also, there’s a giant orgy. It’s practically intellectual TV at its finest.

Season 2 was certainly a little more off the rails than Season 1 of True Blood. Fans were treated to crazy sexual orgies and wilder plotlines. Vampire hierarchy, including makers and Queens, was explored more in-depth. Mostly, however, the plot just got crazy complicated during Season 2. If the show had ended on that one last cliffhanger, fans would never had had to worry about even more convoluted plotlines or the saga that became Sookie and Bill’s relationship. Probably the best argument for ending after Season 2 would be that we would never have seen Tara go even further off the rails after Eggs’ death. Tara was always different than her book counterpart, but after Eggs bit it, she lost what little charm she had. All in all, I wouldn’t say Season 2 ended on a high note, but at least it ended on a sane one.


Why True Blood Should Have Been Canceled After Season 3

True Blood’s third season has some good moments, including the introduction of some of the show’s most beloved characters (Alcide, Holly) and that excellent scene where Russell Edgington appears on television, kills the anchor and then viciously declares war against humanity and the American Vampire League. It also vaguely follows the plot of one of the books, picking up after Bill is kidnapped and Sookie goes to Eric, and then Alcide to sort out the problem. It also is the season where Bill’s deep betrayal of Sookie is revealed, changing the dynamics on the series for the rest of its tenure. It’s a love rhombus (thanks for that, Revenge)!

…but it was all downhill from there. At the end of Season 3, we were finally privy to the mess that is Sookie’s fairy family and every single plot related to the fae. I guess it’s nice to know why she tastes so yummy, but if we could have just ended with Russell buried under a ton of cement and Sookie hurt by Bill’s underhanded antics, I think a lot of fans would have been a whole lot happier. Still, if you want gutsy, raw, emotional, over-the-top television, Season 3 is the best example of it. True Blood had the chance to end on a high note, yet the show still went on.


Why True Blood Should Have Been Canceled After Season 4

I get it. Season 4’s the season in which Eric was cursed by the witch Marnie and totally loses all of his Eric-ness for a good chunk of the episodes. Apparently, he’s more charming whilst behaving like a big schmuck and there was plenty of sexy time for Sookie and Eric while his memory was misplaced.

Still, trouble in paradise started when Sookie returned to the human world, finding out that she has been gone for an entire year. Bad news, her Gran’s house was also sold, and we had to deal with the saga of getting it back. Also, there were some weird flashbacks to witches in Spain and Marnie was probably the most annoying villain of all time. However, the Eric plotline's certainly enough to keep fans going and the finale of Season 4 would have truly been a great endpoint for the series, with Bill and Eric defeating Nan Flanagan to protect Sookie and Debbie Pelt breaking into Sook’s home to wreak havoc. That sequence where Sookie holds Tara’s body is right up there with Edgington’s announcement on television, but it’s tragic to boot. Season 4 might end with a bang, but the show was clearly beginning to wear at the seams.


Why True Blood Should Have Been Canceled After Season 5

There’s so much going on during Season 5, it’s difficult to focus on particular plots. Russell returns. Tara becomes a vamp with the help of Pam. Lafayette dates a man named Jesus. Hoyt leaves for Alaska. The Vampire Authority grows religiously fervent. Bill gets on board with the new worship of Lilith and later drinks her blood. More importantly, we get to see Eric stake Russell in one of the most badass moments of the entire show.

Season 5 is is extremely fragmented. Despite Russell’s return, it’s difficult to care about 90% of the plotlines, probably because none of it is that good. That being said, it could have provided a pretty convincing endpoint. Russell is definitely the greatest villain the show has ever employed. So, his death would have provided a nice climax, and had things ended there, we wouldn’t have been forced to watch all those dumb plotlines about the vampires getting to walk around during the daylight hours. I get the desire to reinvent things, HBO, but some rules need to apply!


Why True Blood Should Have Been Canceled After Season 6

Eric’s in fine form during Season 6, hating on the vampire governing body and basically doing whatever he wants. It’s too bad that Bill is busy being the physical manifestation of Lilith, the female vampire God. Sookie finally seems to be settling down with a nice guy, but it turns out he’s actually a person from her past whom she has been engaged to since, like, birth. He’s come to claim his bride, which is weird because he also once had sex with Lilith who is now Bill. Talk about partner swapping.

Despite some great one-liners, Season 6 is mostly a hot mess. In fact, it’s probably the season most fans could point to as featuring more eye rolls than high-fives. It’s one thing for a show to play by its own rules. It’s another to throw logic completely off the table. And Season 6 was very low on logic. Had HBO ended it when the year was out, everyone would have been spared from this newest season of absolute madness. Perhaps more importantly, we all could have looked back at the show’s run and pointed to more good seasons than bad ones. Since it continued, probably not so much.


Why True Blood Shouldn’t End With Season 7

True Blood’s been so crazy for years, but it hasn’t always been ballsy. In Season 7, the writers have finally been alright with killing off some of its main characters, as would happen in real life if humanity and supernatural beings were in some crazy war and there was an equally awful disease ravaging the vampire population. Despite all of its craziness, the show has also started to invest a little more in Sookie’s plotline and has returned to its roots, giving fans reason to wonder what smoking hot individual she will end up with in the long run. It’s actually been pretty cool.

Even though Sookie’s totally changed from a clueless character to a sometimes sarcastic character and then into a yeller who just doesn’t give a rat’s ass, and even though she’s slept with nearly every eligible male on the show and can shoot fire out of her hands, we still watched. Even though True Blood is no longer anything like Harris’ books and even though the show’s storyline is sort-of coming to a natural conclusion, there are so many directions the show could explore and so many plotlines from the books that True Blood could still call upon if needed. Because of this, it feels like the Season 7 series finale may be a little bit premature. (I'd be all over a weretiger.)

At least we can always hope for a sequel, right?

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Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.