REVIEW: “True Blood” — flirting with the shark

True Blood has always flirted with jumping the shark. How couldn’t it? A campy Southern Gothic horror comedy about redneck Louisiana vampires? Why, the summary alone sounds ludicrous, even if you’re a fan.

But forget that. When it debuted, it was trashy fun — sexy, uber-gay, funny and bone-chilling within seconds. Season 1 was a hoot. Season 2 took a turn, it’s true, but it got better, and Season 3 was mostly very good. But Season 4, which ended last year, was dreadfully bad, almost unwatchable, with witches and fairy blood and trailer-trash werewolf and werepanther packs. As a friend of mine noted, “I can’t watch it — I grew up in Louisiana, and I spent too much time with toothless hick already in my life.” (For me, that’s exemplified in the character of whiny waitress Arlene, who I’ve known way too many of in my life.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones