True Blood Season 6 DVD review

How did HBO’s supernatural sex-fest True Blood fare without creator Alan Ball?

True Blood Season 6 was the first year without the show’s creator, Alan Ball, and it turned out to be the best run since Eric got amnesia in Season 3.

While last year was waylaid by heavy religious themes, this season quickly retreats from the global implications of the vampire bible and hones in on Bill’s personal belief system instead.

Humans are declaring war on vampires – an arc that deftly returns the show’s emphasis to the fanged population, while also shepherding our favourite characters into one place – a concentration camp for bloodsuckers. It was a smart move by new showrunner Brian Buckner, who realises you can’t give equal screen time to every member of this huge cast.

Meanwhile, in Bon Temps, Sookie and Jason team up with their fairy grandpa Niall – a Munsters-type eccentric played with bags of southern gothic charm by Rutger Hauer. Together, they try to bring down Warlow, the much-talked about big bad who fails to live up to the hype.

His vendetta against Sookie gives our forgotten heroine a chance to redeem herself, though, repairing some of the damage done by previous seasons of bad decisions and moping to Rupert Holmes’ Piña Colada song.

But it was Eric who stole all the best moments. We loved him when he was angry – ripping off a bloke’s gonads (“I’ll be back in ten minutes to make sure you have bled out”). We loved him more when he was upset – crying rivers of blood over the demise of a friend. But we loved him most when he was being Tumblr bait: appearing at a virgin’s window in the night like an albino Dracula, and reclining on a glacier, completely starkers.

Trubies can rest in peace knowing he’ll be back for Season 7, but there was a genuine feeling that anything could happen this year. Instead of expanding the biggest cast on television, the writers bumped off a few instead. By the closing moments, we were left hopeful that Season 7 – the last ever one – will be back to its campy best, with all the gore and social commentary that had us hooked to begin with.