Oh, thank you, HBO. For bringing True Blood back so quickly for season five after a too short season four, and for proving time and time again that any story worth telling is a story worth telling with at least one fully nude character in the scene. Last night’s season premiere had, by our count seven actors naked or mostly naked — and the sheer variety of situations that called for them to shed their clothing was quite impressive. The only downside: For some reason Joe Manganiello’s Alcide remained clothed for his two scenes. Maybe, with Magic Mike coming in a few weeks, he feared over-exposure of his abs? Joe, let assure you that this is impossible. Anyway, we thought all those nekkid bodies would provide an excellent framework for discussing the episode:
1. Jason Stackhouse answers the door to Reverend Newland completely naked, for no apparent reason. It did nicely contrast how confident he is with his looks, even after everything that’s happened to him, with how completely vulnerable he was once the just-turned vampire Newland glamoured him into inviting him in and then confessed his love. Then, adorably, covered in what looks like his grandma’s blanket, he tells the former anti-vampire crusader: “This dog don’t bark that way.”
2. A female werewolf changes into her (naked) human form to confront Sam about killing her pack master Marcus. She’s just as threatening as when she’s covered in fur. Sam chooses this odd moment to be ignorant of werewolf politics and takes the blame for Alcide.
3. After flying off as an owl, Sam arrives at Luna’s house and, of course is naked as he meets Emma and Luna on their doorstep. Inappropriate!
We interrupt these nude scenes for one opposite of nude scene: Pam in a Walmart sweatsuit. For all her bravado, the fact that she was willing to don that thing to be buried alive and turn Tara says so much about her love for Eric.
4. How many times on this show have we seen Sookie take a shower? A lot of times. This time was a real tear-jerker as she flashed back to young Tara saving her from school bullies. Sookie says she’s tired of supes interfering in her life, but man, she is hazardous to all the mortals in her life, too. This was a good way to remind us that, though to us she may have been a whiny, treacherous and super-annoying character whose death we maybe hoped for a little too hard, she apparently once had some redeeming qualities to make her deserving of Sookie’s and Lafayette’s love.