"Turn! Turn! Turn!," "Authority Always Wins," "Whatever I Am, You Made Me," "We'll Meet Again," "Let's Boot and Rally," "Hopeless," "In the Beginning," "Somebody That I Used to Know," "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," "Gone, Gone, Gone," "Sunset," "Save Yourself"
by Bill Chambers Most TV series aren't built to last beyond four seasons. I think it has something to do with how the educational system teaches us that four-year cycles end in graduation. Showrunners consequently feel an obligation to symbolically reboot in season five--to send the high-schoolers off to college ("Dawson's Creek"), to recast the leads ("The Dukes of Hazzard"), to have Fonzie waterski over Jaws ("Happy Days"). To be fair, redefining the status quo doesn't always mean jumping the shark; for every Cousin Oliver, after all, there's a Dawn Summers. Unfortunately, "True Blood" is not one of the exceptions to the rule, as it goes off the rails in its fifth season in a way that is different from those countless other times when it seemed to be flying a kamikaze mission towards ratings suicide. (This is a show that has elevated jumping the shark to an artform.) A good chunk of the season is devoted to vampires--creatures who can, in the "True Blood"-verse, run like The Flash, fly, and fuck like pornstars--sitting around a conference table debating politics and religion, and the other "super" groups don't exactly pick up the slack, with the werewolves holding auditions for a new pack leader and the faes throwing slumber parties.