Fellow Travelers

Monday, September 13, 2010

Open Letter to Mr. Alan Ball

Mr. Ball...Alan...may I call you Alan...

Well Alan, first and foremost I want to THANK YOU. I want thank you for bringing the wondrously amazing Mrs. Harris' books to life. Thank you for letting the world know about these great characters and bringing them into our homes on Sunday nights for 12 weeks (only 12 flipping weeks?). HBO I understand you like to bring on new programming...like constantly, but seriously only 12...Boo.

But I do have a bone to pick with you and your writing team. While obviously brilliant and creative you have taken TOO MUCH creative liberties with a book series that is too widely loved. You have made changes to the story lines in season 2 and 3 that make books in the series too improbable now. While some changes are good... i.e. Lafayette others have disastrous consequences...I'm talking about MARY ANN and FAE here (and Hot Shot/Calvin Norris). You have messed with characters and story lines so much that its beginning to make me dislike the show at certain times.

For non-book readers...sorry if I disappoint you or give away anything..look away.

1. Godric is not Eric's maker. This PISSED me off. Godric is a great character in the book and in the show. Godric, I think was a much more interesting character in the book. Now you'll never see Eric's actual maker and all that entails.

2. Shapeshifters in general... One the 1st born can be true shapeshifter. Sam's whole backward ass, white trash family doesn't even exist in the book. I hate that ENTIRE story line. Tommy I'm pretty sure you're not dead but I hope you are.

3. Vampires cannot cut their hair. You are who you were when you were made. Yes Eric looks much hotter with his hair now, but it makes absolutely NO SENSE.

4. Project Werewolf....Boo.... The Alcide/Debbie Pelt story line is strong, why did you feel the need to f with it. Debbie doesn't have to be so white trash...plus she's not a werewolf she's a werefox. Another reason her and Alcide can't be together...he needs to produce a werewolf child.

5. While I like seeing Hadley and her son...and I'm glad you're introducing them earlier than the books did, its obvious that her death and everything that entails won't be seen in the series.

6. The Queen...OMG the Queen. Awful god awful casting. In the books, while young-looking, she's strong and forceful, and deserves respect. ERW sucks...no pun intended. FYI - the last scene with her and Bill...Cheap Matrix SNL looking skit...BOO.

7. Jason...OMG Jason. I didn't mind the v-fueled relationship of the past, hell I didn't even mind the Fellowship of the Sun diversion. But I hate who you are letting him become.

8. Hot Shot...well yes they are inbred and well...different but they aren't toothless meth heads. They are a close knit 'pack' that needs to ensure the continuation of their 'kind'. And since only 2 pureblood shifters can create a pure shifter with the 1st child (see above) its important that that occurs...hence the inbreeding.

9. Jessica....I don't like Jessica nor the Magistrate or that nasty PR woman. NONE OF THAT IS IN THE BOOKS. They are not explaining the vamp politics correctly.

10. Tara...I'm sorry Tara but you're one annoying ass character. I much preferred you as a peripheral character in the books.

11. MARY ANN - SUCKED. Horrible, I almost stopped watching last season because I HATED that story line that much. And P.S. can we clean Sookie's house already. I'm so tired of looking at the nastiness.

12. Fae...seriously Alan Ball, seriously. This is important in the following books. You have totally screwed up the entire story line with the fae. Every single thing is wrong except her name is Claudine. That I do believe is the SINGLE BIGGEST CRIME you have made against this show....well that and Mary Ann.

13. UMMMM Alan...we all had hoped you were going to end season 3 with Eric...running naked through the woods to Sookie's house. That's the way you, I, and every single red-blooded woman (and gay man) knows it should have went down. You're introducing witches, great...actually I called it early on that you were making Jesus a witch.

So let's get down to brass tacks here Mr. Ball. Here's what needs to happen in Season 4 or else I know quite a few avid and loving True Blood fans might not be coming back...

1. We need to drop Bill like the bad habit he is.
2. Eric story line from Book 4 starting with naked run and progressing to...HELLO SHOWER SCENE, etc. etc.
3. The witch story line needs to be developed and not f'd up.
4. You better have not killed off Calvin. You better stop with the white trash Hot Shot crap.
5. Please let Tara leave town...we don't want her anyway.
6. Stop with the Sam's dumb family and his annoying as brother.
7. Fae - please don't ruin the fae storyline. Its important. Claudine and her brother and sister are important to the story moving forward.
8. Debbie Pelt, she's an important character can we make her less trashy and redneck.

Thank you for your time Alan. I'm sure you've stuck with me throughout this post. I'm sure you're an avid reader of my blog you've always been too afraid to comment...no worries I completely understand.

If you have any questions or if you would like to run some story lines by me...no fear I'd be happy to help in anyway I can.

Mrs. Jetplane

p.s. Shower Scene... you and I both know any scene with Eric naked boosts ratings... just remember those 2 words - SHOWER SCENE...that is all.


Mojito Maven said...

and this, right here, is why i haven't watched the show. once it deviates too far from the books, i lose interest.

Cole said...

Round of applause for Mrs. Jetplane!! Thank you for saying EXACTLY what I was thinking.

Julie said...

You seriously said everything I've ever thought about the show. Thank you! I couldn't agree more with absolutely every single word! :)

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I agree with MM. I quit watching in Season 2. I loved the books and the show was killing me.

PinkSass said...


Lindsay Gray said...

I didn't read the series but I do LOVE me some True Blood. I don't know about all the details but there are two or three things I can totally get behind:
1) Tara is obnoxious, get rid of her.
2) Sookie's house is nasty can we please get some new couches up in there?
And most importantly
3) SHOWER SCENE with eric!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I love the books and I love the show but it is pissing me off! I completely agree on all the above!!!

Kate said...

OK, I haven't read the books because I started watching True Blood before I ever heard of the books... and once I wanted to read them, I heard that the books and show didn't quite match up. I'm faily happy I haven't read them yet, because it lets me enjoy the show more (because I'm totally the a-hole who picks apart movies if I've read the book before).

At any rate... Alan Ball is SO LUCKY that Eric survived the sun & cement incidents. I swear I would have stopped watching had he met the true death. Bill on the other hand.... eh. I could really do without him. I am also in love with Lafayette and can't wait to see what develops with Jesus.

Rebecca said...

I totally agree! If next season isn't any better I'm going to stop watching it!

The Laceys said...

Amen! These are exactly my thoughts word for word! This show is wearing me out. And I hate what they have done to the show and the stories from the books. I hate that they gave Sookie a "fairy power" I hate it all!

I really don't even think I am going to watch next season UNLESS Eric loses his memory and it is ALL about Hallow.

Katie said...

AHH! Straight from my head to your writings! Couldn't have said it better my self!

Dugout Daisy said...


" Dallas " said...

Thanks - I was asking for suggestions on how Ball could fix things in Season 4 on my blog.

WE discussed many of these thing on my 2 hour finale blogtalk radio show Sunday night ...thanks for thinking all these through...


Anonymous said...

I agree with pretty much everything you said, except that I do really like Jessica and I also enjoyed the Magister because I thought the actor who played him was really good.

Why does everybody say that Eric runs down the road naked, when in fact he is wearing jeans with the tiny red underwear underneath? Anyway, I am also really hoping for a scene with Eric running down the road shirtless and of course the shower scene. I don't know if we'll get it, but I am still hoping for now!!

Unknown said...

So true on all points!!! He's walking on thin ice. Another point - do any of the men own clean underwear(Hot Shot, Sam's "father")eww! Why does everyone have to be bad? It seems like he changes the characters to all be trashier like Debbie Pelt, Calvin was respectable in the book series. It's like he leaves out any good characteristics. LOVE the books - I would choose them over the show any day...

Kathryn said...

I agree with everything you said. Faerie Land especially annoys me. Well, that and the non-build up of Sookie's and Eric's friendship.

The horrible way they messed with Hotshot and Calvin makes me sad.

Absolutely, if Alan starts screwing with the AE storyline. I'm gone. I tortured myself this season. I was so unhappy every Sunday until this last one. At least Bill was exposed. I got great pleasure watching him fly backwards out the door.

And one more thing, I don't mind Bill in the books, I kind of liked him, but I loathe the character they created in the show to the degree that Stephen Moyer is no longer one of my favorite actors (seeing him in the promos was the reason I became interested in the show and read the books in the first place.)

Here's crossing our fingers that after three seasons and the critics all saying that the main arc (the one basically taken from the book) is the only dynamic arc in every season, that he gets off this stubborn "It must all be MY creation," sticks closer to the books, and makes a fantastic 4th season.

Anonymous said...

I agreed with this up until I hit #9...then you lost me.

Jessica is one of the best things to happen to the show and an addition I think actually improves upon the books. Even Charlaine Harris says she loves that character and wishes she had thought of Jessica for the books.

Jessica brings real heart to the show. In addition, she was probably the only character who had a worthwhile evolution this season and a good story arc that actually came to a resolution for the finale, compared to all the other subplots which were a mess and left dangling.

Jessica is one of the few characters that keeps me watching show.

Sharon said...

I agree with all you say, though I do like Jessica. I don't have a problem with Lafayette not dying, but I would prefer him to remain a minor character. I really disliked the storyline with Jesus once they started up the V/bruja storyline.

I would have quit watching this show after season 1 if it had not been for loving to watch Alexander Skarsgard and I can only watch Generation Kill so many times.

I have a suggestion for all of you. We should start a letter writing campaign to AB and HBO programming making our discontent known.

And my suggestion to Alan Ball - stick to the books!

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you said, but, and this isn't intended as nitpicking, am I the only one that remembers that Eric was NOT naked when he was running to Sookie's house? He was shirtless and shoeless, but he had on pants. Or is this just the desire to see Alexander nude again? I just keep seeing this as though it happened in the books, and it didn't.

MissPiggy said...

Ok, I'm a book fan and also a show fan. I agree with all this post and I'd like to give my opinion:

1.I like Jessica a lot, specially the romance with Hoyt, that was a nice surprise in the show
2.I like Lafayette a lot also with Jesus, also nice surprises in the show
3. I think there's too much Tara and Jason in the show, altough I like them
4.I hate Sam's family, not a good choice, uncle Ball
5.I will like to see how Mr.Ball will do with the story of Eric's maker (Godric/Appius Ocella)and the stuff with the fairies...
6.I love Eric's hair cut
7.I miss Bubba a lot, it's a secondary but great character
8.I hope we get to have Claude, Niall, Dermot and even Claudine's fairy boyfriend
9. Ok, uncle Ball, you can forget about Quinn, I never likes his character in the books

Anonymous said...

You need to stick to the books and turn off the TV if Godric, Jessica and the Magister bothers you. They are really great.

The only thing that bothers me is the most important character SOOKIE! TV Sookie does not strike me as Funny or Smart. TV Sookie annoys me frequently. The first time I smiled at Sookie and thought there might be hope,
was when she flushed Talbot's gue and blood down the disposal and smiled at Russel.

MissPiggy said...

...and, girls, the shower scene is only one of the several sex and hot scenes performed by Eric and Sookie in the books, specially the 10th one, Dead in the Family....OMG!

Nel said...

Ummm... is it just me or isn't some change good? I love the books as much as the next girl and even though I don't agree with or like some of the changes I can deal with them because I want to see where it goes. Its like fan fiction if I wanted straight canon I would read the books again for the 5th time.

Now don't get me wrong this season pretty much sucked but if AB didn't make changes all we would have is Sookie running around getting rapped, and staked while all the other characters would be sitting at home twiddling their thumbs. That doesn't sound like good TV. Besides we wouldn't have had crazy Russell pulling spines out of people. You have to admit that was fun.

If the show was meant to be just like the book they would have had Charlaine write it. And if she's okay with the changes who am I to complain?

But I will concede that I will like to see Sookie and Eric in the shower together Eric sans memories or not.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on many points. I too am annoyed by the direction of the show. The story plots seems to be all over the place, and the characters are missing everything that I loved in the books. Anna is a great girl, but I am not impressed by her acting, and the shows Bill is even worse.

Eric's hair, while he does look better with it short, I agree it should not have been cut. But really Eric, Pam, and Lafayette are the only actors that do their characters any justice.

Tara's character is just dumb, and Jason gets to much air time. Debbie is also terrible (the story line and the character in the show)

It is a CRIME what they have done to the people of Hot Shots.... and the FAE and light power... Come on?

And is it me, or do we rarely even hear Sookie hearing other peoples thoughts, or even work anymore. She completely lacks the relationship that her and Sam developed in the books.

The first season was soooooo much better, now it seems like the show is just going for SHOCK factor instead of actual story line. I really miss why I loved the show in the beginning, now I just watch it hoping it gets better.

CurvyOne said...

I agree with nearly every point. Jessica isn't so bad, and Lafayette continuing on, that's all right too. However, the big changes are what really tick me off. Like Sookie becoming a whiney weak woman. The Hot Shot stuff. And pretty much all your other deviations you pointed out. I seriously fast-forwarded through half of the series this year. I couldn't take Sam's storyline much, nor Tara's. And watching Jason stupidly try to become a cop was too painful to not fast-forward through. I purposely did not watch the show live so I could watch it on DVR for the fast-forwarding capabilities. I also fast-fortwarded through most of the Hot Shot stuff because making them all meth cooks and dealers REALLY pissed me off. I do hope they do the Book 4 next season, and hopefully they don't foul it up too much.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you!

Mrs. Cup said...

Agree! We got free HBO this season and I was PUMPED but, for lack of a better term, it sucked.

Anonymous said...

Apparently we were all suppose to be glad that Alan Ball wanted to re-create his own version of the story, and we were told to rely upon His excuse that we’d all be bored if the t.v. show followed the books exactly.
But sadly the reality and end result is,….. that Alan B. is not a creative enough writer, capable of TOPPING OR MATCHING HIS VERSION of the story to the QUALITY of the original Sookie Stackhouse story plots.

In many people’s opinion, Mr. Ball’s attempts at changing the plot has only succeeded in presenting us with something akin to poorly written amateur FANFICTION !!
Sadly not only has He disappointed a large portion of the book fans audience, but CHEATED the rest whom have not read the books out of what could have been a great story brought to life on screen!!

Yes, the first season really did seem to have promise, but perhaps really due more to it’s following closely to that of the original written book storyline.
I guess Mr. Ball took that first season’s praise a little too seriously to heart, thinking that anything he threw at us now would be acceptable!

Scott said...

Seriously folks, you have to be kidding me. Alan Ball is a fantastic writer. Don't forget that True Blood is not The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries. The show is supposed to be loosely based on the Stackhouse books. Though I have to say that it holds on pretty tightly to most things Mrs Harris has created. Alan Ball is an Academy Award winning Screenwriter. Six Feet Under is considered one of the best television series of all time. I will admit that last season was a tad slow, but I'm more than pleased enough to stick with it. I'm happy reading the books and watching the show as well. Just enjoy them both :)


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