True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season finds Sookie embroiled in a love triangle and tangling with a charismatic witch; Lafayette, Tara, and Jesus get tempted with otherworldly powers; Jessica tries to adjust to domestic life, while Jason finds himself alone in were-panther territory, and Alcide is caught in the clutches of an old flame. As old alliances crumble and new relationships form, nobody’s safe when there’s magic in the air. Once again, HBO has put together another nice boxed set. Not only do their shows tend to look amazing but the physical box itself is usually high quality, with easily accessible discs. This also marks the first time a television series box set has included all three formats in one complete package. Additionally, previous seasons of the hit series will also be available on “Blu-ray with HBO Select” day and date with season four. The digital copy is redeemable via a provider of your choice: iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon, or an UltraViolet copy through supporting providers.
I strongly suggest watching the previous seasons of True Blood before starting season four. Although you could figure out the basics, you will miss a lot. The characters have very rich backgrounds and histories, and the seasons will go fast because you will want to watch episode after episode. True Blood is one of the few shows that leaves me truly disappointed when the season is over, because I want more.
As season four begins, Sookie is missing, having traveled to the fairy realm. There she meets her fairy godmother and is reunited with her grandfather Earl. Sookie realizes that the fairies aren’t all what they seem and she manages to escape back to Bon Temps. When she returns, more time elapsed than she realizes and much has changed. Jason is now a police officer and her house has been sold. Bill is now the vampire king of Louisiana.
Season four is all about the vampires vs. the witches. Head of a witches circle and owner of Moon Goddess emporium, Jesus’ friend Marnie dabbles with necromancy and soon finds herself possessed by Antonia Gavilan de Logronio. You will hear that name, in it’s entirety spoken many times throughout this season. Antonia once compelled all the vampires around her to walk into the sunlight. Her plan is to repeat that event.
When Bill learns of the necromancy, he sends Eric to stop it. Eric attacks Marnie and he is hit with a spell that erases his memory. Sookie picks up Eric, confused and walking down the road. She takes him home and cares for him. Eric minus the attitude is a much different person. He is happy, at times even silly, and walks around amusingly in basketball shorts. Sookie doesn’t tell anyone that Eric is staying with her even though Pam and Bill spend a lot of time and energy looking for him. Eric in his basketball shorts (although he sure looks good naked) is one of the things I will remember most about season 4. The second thing is Pam and her rotting face after she attempts to confront Marnie and Antonia.
Reviewing this season is extremely difficult without adding big spoilers. There are unexpected deaths of some major characters as well as lots of sex, violence, and humor as you would expect with the True Blood series. The shapeshifters, werepanthers, werewolves and ghosts all make significant appearances throughout the season. To put it simply, True Blood Season Four is more of everything I loved about the first three seasons. I can’t imagine fans of the show would be disappointed. I’m pleased to announce there are plenty of unexpected surprises, as well as an intriguing finale. Once again, I finished this season too quickly and can’t wait for the next one to begin!
True Blood Season 4 on Blu-ray is an exceptional transfer. The 1080p presentation is full of deep, rich rich colors. Color could be considered a character of its own, drawing the viewer into every scene. As always the blood comes in many hues, and the show looks great in daylight, darkness and is especially important in the fairy realm. There are unique visual effects we haven’t seen in previous seasons, and this is one I would put in to see how well my Blu-ray player and HDTV can perform. I have no doubt that the grainy scenes were intentionally meant to look that way, as others are amazingly sharp.
True Blood Season 4’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is as impressive as the video quality. From the sounds of things lurking in the woods to the frequent splashing of blood, it’s a remarkable sound-scape. When a vampire is staked, it is amazing how gooey the layers of sounds are. The front channels deliver the dialogue clearly and consistently. The rear channels offer some great ambiance and some very accurate directionality. The mix is well balanced so you will not need to adjust the volume to hear Sookie scream for help, or when Eric whispers.
The quality of the special features is impressive. In addition to the traditional features, True Blood has a very unique menu with episode previews and information about previous episodes to view and to read. The enhanced viewing mode was a little strange at first, because the actors are talking in character, but I eventually grew to enjoy that feature as an extension of the regular episode.
The following features are available on the various discs:
- Audio Commentaries Six audio commentaries are available: “You Smell Like Dinner” with co-executive producer/writer Brian Buckner and actors Stephen Moyer (Bill) and Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica); “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?” with creator/executive producer Alan Ball and Anna Paquin (Sookie); “I’m Alive and on Fire” with director Michael Lehmann and Alexander Skarsgard (Eric); “I Wish I Was the Moon” with co-executive producer/writer Raelle Tucker and executive producer Gregg Fienberg; “Let’s Get Out of Here” with director Romeo Tirone and Sam Trammell (Sam); and “Burning Down the House” with director Lesli Linka Glatter, co-executive producer/writer Nancy Oliver and Fiona Shaw (Marnie).
- Enhanced Viewing Mode - All episodes offer “Enhanced Viewing” which includes picture in a picture “Character Perspectives” , “Flashbacks and Flash Forward”, and bios, histories, and trivia.
- Inside the Episodes- Each episode has an “Inside the Episode” featurette with a brief look at what’s happening.
- True Blood: The Final Touches – a round table discussion between creator Alan Ball and the post production team. The conversations include the various visual and practical effects, sound and music design, coloring and more. The members of the team talks about their favorite scene and their most difficult elements they worked on.
- True Blood Lines My least favorite feature, this is an interactive overview of the characters and creatures in Season 4.
True Blood in general is probably the kind of show that you either love or hate and I happen to love it. It has intricate story lines and I wouldn’t suggest jumping in to season 4 without watching the previous 3 seasons first. Season 4 doesn’t disappoint, and does offer some pretty big twists and turns with major characters not surviving the season. The show looks and sounds amazing on Blu-ray and should be in every True Blood fan’s collection.
Order your copy today!