Spoiler for the end of True Blood season 6 in here somewhere (let's put something right here).
Suppose that will help with my female audience.
With the end of the sixth season of True Blood, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the season and the series as a whole. I should start out by restating I have not read any of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, so this post will avoid my trend of "but in the book..."QQing.
The True Blood series went to the George R.R. Martin school of escalation. In the beginning you take a story that is mostly grounded in some form of reality - with some *slight* twists - and over the course of many seasons or books or what have you, the amount of "magic" that exists in the world escalates. In Game of Thrones (book one of ASoIaF), we barely get a taste of white walkers, the dire wolves are just pups, and dragons don't appear until the very end of the book/season. As the story moves forward we get the addition of dragons, warging, giants, white walkers, red priests, etc. So, how did True Blood follow this path?
Season One: Yes, there are vampires, and yes Sookie is a telepath, but the story is really about Rene. Push comes to shove, season one is a human season.
Season Two: Eric and Godric, the anti-vampire church, Bill and Sookie - Season two really focuses in on the vampire aspect of the True Blood universe.
Season Three: Werewolves.
Season Four: Witches.
Season Five: Back to vampires, but now we have a developed vampire Authority.
Season Six: Vampire God. Faerie Vampire. Fae.
Which leads the show to where it's heading: Season seven - the aftermath of the release of hepatitis V. Did this setup not look like True Blood jumping on the zombie bandwagon?
Pitcher: We want zombies in next season.
Executive: I don't know. There's a lot shows with zombies in them these days.
Pitcher: Wait. I got it. Vampire zombies.
Executive: Shit, now we're talking. Go on.
The problem with this escalation - if it's not done carefully it can come across as over-the-top. GRRM was very careful not to slap the reader in the face with the fantastic elements of his universe. He made the story about his characters. The "magic" becomes a tool to further those characters' stories. True Blood I think has a tendency to cross that line into the camp-zone with all the sub-plots. There can no longer be simple human sub-plots in the True Blood universe. No, there needs to be witches, fire/smoke demons, shifters, voodoo masters, were-leopards, gods, clairvoyance, fae, mediums, ghosts, etc. etc. etc. All of this is on top of the extreme personality humans in the anti-vampire church/government.
What True Blood does though, is keep at least one story-line interesting. Ok, so Sam's girlfriend dies, and here's another chick, and now she's pregnant, and there's werewolves out to get them, but not this one werewolf, and who cares anymore? But, systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored, persecution and murder of vampires in small-town Louisiana; that's interesting. There's always that one element within the overarching season that keeps me coming back. I'll expect the vampire-zombie apocalypse to be no different.