TVLine interview with Buckner *spoilers*

While I’m happy to see that Eric lives, I can’t say I’m happy AT ALL with the rest of what show runner Buckner is promising.  Alcide/Sookie/Bill triangle? I am not interested, not even remotely.

I also note that Buckner refers to Alex as a “season regular.”  Unless I am misunderstanding something, this is actually cutting back on his ranking on the show.  The proof will be in his billing in the credits. When he was made a principle, he moved from the regular, alphabetical run with all the other regulars to principle billing with the other top cast that included Moyer, Paquin, Rutina and Sam Trammell.

Seriously, even with a living Eric, I am not happy. This may be the first season that I don’t bother to watch live.  Details below the Read More.

Although I know all you True Blood fans are all still busy mourning Eric’s (apparent) demise, I suspect you’ll want to take a break from your weeping to read what showrunner Brian Buckner has to say about Alexander Skarsgard’s future involvement with HBO’s monster smash.

For that matter, you’ll probably also be keen to read in this exclusive Season 6 post-mortem/Season 7 preview how the boss explains the lack of Sookie-Alcide sex in the finale and how he plans to reset Bill now that he’s no longer the godly Billith.

And yes, just for good measure, he’ll also reveal how much prodding it took to get Skarsgard to go full frontal for his “final” scene (hint: none at all!), and why Season 7 will not be taking a page from The Walking Dead.

TVLINE | The big question coming out of the finale, obviously…
Let me guess. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Alexander Skarsgard — will he be back for Season 7?
I can tell you that Alexander Skarsgard is going to be a part of the next season of True Blood. He will be a series regular.

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TVLINE | That will be a huge relief to fans.
I am aware! I’m not going to take Alex Skarsgard out of people’s living rooms.

TVLINE | I’m guessing Eric won’t suddenly be alive and well in the Season 7 premiere.
No. That would be a cheat, wouldn’t it? That would be an incredible cheat. Pam has gone off in search of Eric, and maybe she’s going to be the one to find him, y’know?

TVLINE | Let’s talk about Alexander’s nude scene. Full-frontal nudity on a guy is not something you see often on television.

TVLINE | What kind of behind-the-scenes conversations took place prior to shooting?
Alex Skarsgard was the coolest camper in the world. There’s no conversation with him. He’s Swedish. They’re naked all the time. As a matter of fact, when I saw what we had on camera, I sent him an email that said, “We’re going to lock picture. Are you OK with this?” He said, “No problemo.” That was the conversation. It couldn’t have been easier.

TVLINE | Did the reaction surprise you — or him? Probably not.
I think sometimes we are impressed by how much people care. But I don’t think that people care was a surprise. He knew the gift he was giving everybody. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Moving on, talk to me about the decision to jump ahead six months.
Look, we’re going into a seventh season. I’m aware that people like the familiar, but we have to change. We have to be able to pivot. There were bits of story in there that I didn’t necessarily, nor did any of the other writers, want to show. The fallout from what Bill had done… Ours is a show that is so constrained by [our narrative structure]. We’re not 24, but we’re damn close – and sometimes it’s really refreshing to be able to shuffle the deck. For me, it’s fun. We will obviously pick up some of the pieces and explain how certain things happened. But what I think some people found jarring, to me was really refreshing. It was that: The world has changed, this virus has mutated, and this is the way the world is going to look now. Meanwhile, life beats on in this small town.

TVLINE | The show has flirted with a Sookie and Alcide romance for years. Why was now the right time to pull the trigger on that?
In a world where almost everybody is a creature of some kind, Alcide is the most human of all of our creatures. Now, that’s not to say that it was his most human season. We all felt the same thing that the audience was feeling, which was that Alcide needed to come back to center. So it was that as much as anything else. And it was also that Sookie’s going to put her money where her mouth is and say “no more vampires.” She got into it with Warlow without knowing he was a vampire, so she was trying. But this shows growth for Sookie. I mean, I suppose he’s a hunk, so at least she’s still getting her piece. [Laughs] He’s the most normal, most human, most down-to-earth of any of her suitors. To me, with Eric gone and off on his own story going forward, I think it’s a pretty obvious triangle we’re setting up between Bill and Sookie and Alcide.

TVLINE | The time jump deprived us of their courtship though.  
Well, yeah. We skipped stuff, which is not to say that the audience is going to be deprived of love scenes [between them] going forward. But truthfully, the Jason/Violet love scene that the audience did get [in the finale] – or, just shy of love, I suppose – if I had those scenes back-to-back, it would’ve been really pandering. The Jason/Violet [sex scene] was more on story, because that was set up between them. She promised that she was going to make him work for it, and that was the payoff.

TVLINE | Are you looking at Season 7 as a reset of sorts for Bill?
Absolutely. We don’t want Bill to be an a—hole. Whereas the show that I love watching most right now, Breaking Bad, Walter White is on a downward trajectory with the consequences of his actions. The question we’re going to be asking this coming season is: Can Bill be forgiven? Because he made his intentions clear. One thing that I noticed – and I probably shouldn’t read as much as I’ve been reading, but I have been, in terms of audience reaction – is the idea that characters can’t change. I will put to bed one thing for you: this idea that Lettie Mae is trying to poison Tara? It’s absurd. That is genuine. And I realize that on our show, because it’s been so incredibly plot-driven for the past several years, you insert a Big Bad and then have the characters react in the way we expect them to react. That’s sort of what’s been going on. When we let characters change, when we let the show be character-driven, I think people don’t know what to do with that. So with Lettie Mae and Tara, not to say that everything is going to go great, but the conflict is not going to be she’s poisoning Tara. By the same token, I think Bill doesn’t have a trick up his sleeve this time. I think he’s genuine. The real question is about forgiveness.

TVLINE | What do you see as the theme of Season 7?
The show started out as, “Let’s see if vampires and humans can get along.” We’re returning to that original promise of the show. And because humans and vampires are being forced together, we’re going to be examining that with all of our characters. Everyone’s going to come under the umbrella of that main story. These are complicated relationships now because they’re feeding – it’s not necessarily sex, but things get confused sometimes, especially in vampires’ minds – so you’re going to be looking at a number of complicated three-way, four-way relationships.

TVLINE | All the humans will be paired with a vampire, essentially?
For every human a vampire; for every vampire a human.

TVLINE | The gang that appeared in the finale, they were all infected with Hep V?

TVLINE | How do you explain the fact that some of those infected  — Nora, for example — died quickly, yet others are wandering around.
We did say that the virus had mutated, and we get to decide what those mutations are. Perhaps the demand for human blood goes up and that’s the only thing that keeps vampires with Hep V alive. In seasons past – I’m not going to point to any one of them – we took some massive swings, not knowing where we were going. That’s the nature of what we do. In this case, I don’t believe we bit off more than we can chew. I’m not going to give answers to all these things, but the virus has mutated. That’s another reason for the time passage. Just like bacteria mutates and that’s why there are antibiotic-resistant strains. So what applied to Nora doesn’t necessarily apply to this gang. And they’re not zombies.

TVLINE | What are they? Is there a name for them?
In my somewhat limited zombie-genre experience, zombies are not organized. They’re just hunting-killing machines. So what was meant to come across there was that they’re organized, they’re in a formation, they’re hunting, they’re sentient, they can talk. They still have intellect.

TVLINE | There was definitely a Walking Dead vibe in that last scene. Was there any concern that people were going to look at that and go, “Ah, they’re jumping on the zombie bandwagon?”
Sure. Of course, it was a debate in the writers’ room. The logical conclusion to a season about Hep V getting out there in the world has to be [that] there’s Hep V-infected vampires… but we’re not going to do The Walking Dead season of True Blood. Truthfully, all of this is about forcing humans and vampires into relationships. It’s not going to be a plot device the way people are familiar with us introducing a Big Bad at the end of a season.


12 responses to “TVLine interview with Buckner *spoilers*

  1. Can’t like that…

  2. I pointed out on California Kats’ blog already that I’m glad that Eric burning to death nude wasn’t his final scene but not here for the Alcide/Sookie/Bill love triangle…
    Sookie along with the residents of Bon Temps must have serious amnesia to trust Bill again. It’s like the last 2 seasons haven’t mattered with the time jump reset. Are we sure Sookie just wasn’t dreaming and she’ll find her Grandmother alive in the shower?! Alá Dallas!

  3. Although ‘Season Regular’ sounds like a bad case of doublespeak to me, Buckner couldn’t be clearer on S07… ‘with Eric gone and off on his own story going forward, I think it’s a pretty obvious triangle we’re setting up between Bill and Sookie and Alcide’

  4. All of which says to me that I am done with live viewing of the show. I have been an obsessive viewer of the show for six seasons, but an Alcide/Sookie/Bill triangle is a deal-breaker for me. I have really tried to love Sookie for Eric’s sake, but if that’s the way it is going, I have no more interest in her as a character. That she would go back to Bill after all of this makes her so egregiously stupid that I just can’t bear to watch it.

    Hopefully you guys know from reading my blog that I tend to be a pretty optimistic and even-keeled kind of person even as a shipper (or so I like to think), but even I have a breaking point and the idea of the A/S/B triangle is it. I just can’t go there without feeling sick.

  5. He appears to be an A $$ I hope he isn’t upset that Bill and Alcide is not as popular as Eric. I think Alexander will be shooting the movie “The Giver” and Pam will be doing some things for elephants. I’m not watching the show unless I know that Alex will appear this Bill/Sookie/Alcide crap is not flying

  6. I can clearly see the Team Eric and Sookie fan base has never meant anything to this show, thank you for letting me know how you really feel Brian Buckner

  7. In the latest Ask Ausiello, Brian Buckner also says this:
    Question: Thanks for the great True Blood post mortem. Just one problem — you failed to ask EP Brian Buckner about Pam and Tara! —Cara
    Ausiello: Actually, I succeeded at making you think I failed. The fact is, I did ask Buckner about the Sapphic vamp duo — specifically, will their floundering relationship get any airtime in Season 7 — but I opted to hold his answer for AA. (Me = Totally sneaky.) “As the audience heard Pam say in Episode 1, life is long — especially for vampires,” notes the boss man. “She also told Tara that this is not going to be a love story. But I would urge [fans] to be patient. Because if the show delivers on the audience’s expectation every week, that’s not storytelling. Where’s the surprise in that? These [story] threads can be picked up later. I want to be able to tell more interesting, circuitous stories at times and not always deliver on the junk-food promise of the show. “

    So, in THEORY, he could also be implying that he’s not going to tell us about Eric and Sookie if that is endgame because then it wouldn’t be a “surprise.” But he could also just be out of touch with what you, me and a lot of other viewers do want. Unfortunately, trying to be coy when people are already feeling raw after the disappointment of Charlaine Harris’s books makes that kind of approach misguided, IMO. I think he’s more likely to lose audience members to emotional burn out because they give up hope.

    All I know is that I’m tired of being a good, passive viewer, and I’m going to write a letter to Buckner saying ‘This is what I want to see on this show at some point.” If they ever do it is up to him, of course, but I’m not going to sit on my hands and not tell the man what I want to see. At the very least, I want to be able to say that he KNOWS what we want.

  8. I agree with myvikingboyfriend. I think we should all write mr. Buchner a letter he needs to understand the hurt and pain Mrs. Harris caused us. Alan ball said they would deviate from the books because where is the fun in watching what we have already read. Maybe they are pulling Eric away so that sookie can finally get her shit together I personally dislike her and see no growth in her other than bill causing her pain and her disliking vampires to the point of not appreciating the fact even in the show Eric is always there for her. I was also disappointed that they gave her so much of bills blood when it was supposed to be Erics so that they could form the blood bond and be married. Maybe if we write to mr. buchner and tell him from our point of view where we would like to see the end result turn out to be we might have a better shot at seeing Eric and Sookie together. My fear with this season is that she will form that bond with bill. Uggg. Team Eric all the way here. I didn’t watch this season live and have yet to actually watch the finale because of my love and obsession for eric. Now I am not sure I want to see season seven at all. one messed up fan here.

    • I spent the entire evening writing no fewer than six drafts of what I wanted to say, and what I finally went with was something along the lines of “I know you probably didn’t mean to kill the last of our hopes, but you did with some of the things you said in this interview. Here is what you said and here is what we heard and here is why it upset so many people. If we have reason to hope for Sooric, please let us know that. You don’t have to give us details, but just let us know. Or if we don’t have a reason to hope, at least give Eric a good death that respects his character. Just treat us Eric fans with respect, unlike Charlaine Harris.”

      I tried to avoid getting accusatory because I want him to hear what I am saying, not just get defensive.

      I’m letting the draft rest over night before popping it in the mail tomorrow.

  9. We have to finally come to the realization that Eric and Sookie will never happen on true blood ….Buckner and his writers don’t believe in them as a couple otherwise they would have put her and Eric in a relationship by now…..instead they have her living with Alcide who I don’t really believe that she is in love with him but he is not a vampire and wants her…so good enough for her in her mind…..I don’t like that he says Eric doesn’t want to feel any love so he went home to not be bothered….sounds like season 1 Eric to me and that’s going backwards not forwards so….I don’t like hearing that. They will bring a woman in there for Eric …I believe probably a human donor and he will have sex with her I think and his northman clan and fangtasia we will see again. So much wasted chemistry with him and Sookie never to be together. ..what a shame

  10. Just dropping a line to say at people they have a poll going on to see who Sookie should end up with. I know it won’t make a difference I voted for Eric

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