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"Who Are You, Really?," "The Sun," "You're No Good," "At Last," "**** the Pain Away," "Don't You Feel Me," "In the Evening," "Dead Meat," "Life Matters," "Radioactive"
by Bill Chambers SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. The penultimate season of "True Blood" was fraught with behind-the-scenes turmoil. Creator-showrunner Alan Ball had departed the series and his replacement, Ball's old "Cybill" cohort Mark Hudis, was himself replaced partway through the season by long-time "True Blood" scribe Brian Buckner. (Ball has a history of tapping out after five seasons and being notoriously difficult to replace--"Six Feet Under" ended when it did because he couldn't convince anyone to take over.) Whether this directly contributed to an abrupt plot development that effectively cleaves the season in two, the truth is that "True Blood" weathers these personnel changes invisibly enough as to affirm it is either on autopilot by now or, to be less generous, was already something of a runaway train that had only ornamental use for a conductor. Whatever the case, the show's sixth year represents a marginal rebound--though at this point in my "True Blood" journey, I'm just a masochist ranking the instruments of torture.