The wait is almost over.

On June 13th everyone’s favorite summer series (okay maybe exempting Mad Men but it’s definitely a close call!) will be back for a third fabulous season. Suddenly the absence of 24 and Desperate Housewives doesn’t seem quite so painful…

Over the last few weeks I’ve been posting plenty of trailers, posters and minisodes to promote the upcoming season. And if I haven’t made it crystal clear – I am super excited for more episodes of the show. At its best True Blood is daring, unique, scary, sexy and simply unlike any other show on TV.

But no show is perfect and as I often do on Remote Patrolled I’d like to throw in my ten cents before the show returns – offering the things I’d like to see, and those I’d rather not – in the upcoming episodes. So if you’re all sitting comfortably, grab yourself a bottle of Tru Blood, and enjoy – my Top 7 Tips To Keep True Blood On Top…

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LESS SOOKIE AND BILL…

Is this blasphemy? How dare I critique True Blood’s central couple?

Don’t get me wrong – I like both characters and am a big fan of actors Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. But whenever Sookie and Bill are together things do sometimes get a little… dull. And let’s be honest – you probably feel the same.

Personally I’d rather not see too many more bed scenes with the couple cuddled up and discussing life, love and their futures together – truth be told there were a few too many such scenes last season and they kind of drained the life from the show… Sookie and Bill work better when they’re kept apart, on a mission or sparring…  otherwise they’re kind of the straight men of the series. So let’s see more sparks and less snuggling please. Thanks…

BUT MORE PAM, JESSICA AND LAFAYETTE…

Giving less screen time to True Blood’s human / vampire lovers will hopefully open up space for some of the show’s secondary characters to finally shine in Season 3. And the underused Pam, Jessica and Lafayette would be right at the top of my must list.

Eric’s right hand woman, Pam, barely got a look in in Season 2 – but now that’s she promoted to series regular I’m looking forward to seeing what Bon Temps most fabulous lesbian bloodsucker can deliver week after week.

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Likewise teen vamp Jessica underwent a radical (and not completely convincing) transformation from virginal schoolgirl to angry adolescent – and experienced her first boyfriend in sweet but dim Hoyt. But last season’s finale scenes – with a vengeful Jessica randomly snacking on unsuspecting lorry drivers – hinted at much stronger stuff to come. I’d love to see Jessica really get her bad girl on!

And then there’s Lafayette – one of the most fascinating gay characters on TV (I love his unique mix of bricklayer butchness and drag queen attitude). But after being enslaved by Eric at the start of Season 2, Lafayette had little to do for the rest of the season other than fret over Tara and get post-traumatic shakes at inopportune times. I want Lafayette back to the cocksure dude he used to be – kicking ass AND shaking it. A potential pairing with Pam – hinted at in the latest two-minute trailer – really would be a fan dream come true…

AND PLEASE LESS ANDY

Finally, on the subject of the True Blood cast can we please put a stake through the heart of bumbling cop character Andy Bellefleur. Sorry to be harsh – but whenever Andy appears on screen the True Blood drama stops dead as he’s just too darn silly a character to handle the dramatic gothic horrors of the show.

Andy is like a comic creation from a bad 80’s cop movie – and no, pairing him with hapless Jason Stackhouse, doesn’t create comedy gold – it just weakens a central True Blood character. An early death at the hands of Eric would put us all out of our misery…

CAREFUL ON THE CAMP

And speaking of Andy – he was at the heart of some of the silliest sequences last season – a key tonal weakness which I really hope True Blood doesn’t repeat this time around.

95% of the time the tone of True Blood is perfect – deliciously dark with just the right amount of black comedy. But every now and then the show’s humor becomes too broad and the series descends into downright daftness

We saw it most obviously in Season 2’s Maryann storyline – which started off (and generally stayed) pitch black, mainly thanks to a towering performance from Michelle Forbes (Emmy please!). I especially loved her homemade ‘heart’ pie which Tara and Eggs grotesquely fed to one another while under her spell. But the last couple of episodes of Season 2 – with Tara guarding a giant egg that was set to hatch, the local cops running round with their underwear pulled down and Jason pretending to be a mystical god – all got a bit too silly and slapstick.

Take a cue from that other summer sensation Mad Men, which last season managed to make a bloody lawnmower accident at a Manhattan advertising firm plausible! Tone is everything!

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

That said, I think True Blood is at its best when it delivers the truly unexpected and shocks its audience out of our couch-bound complacency.

We saw it in Season 2 when Jason’s frat boy buddy Luke became a suicide bomber for the vampire hating Fellowship of the Sun and in Season 1 where another of Jason’s friends, Rene, turned out to be the secret serial killer on the loose in Bon Temps.

I love it when a show keeps me on the edge of my seat and I don’t know who’s safe and who’s not (which I why I loved 24 so much – RIP). So here’s hoping Alan Ball and co rip up the rulebook in season 3 and keep us all guessing… from the look of this gay kiss I think they may already be planning to…

SHAKE UP THE STORYLINES

In the same way I’d love to see a moratorium on some of the following storylines – Tara’s ‘bad’ mother and her bible bashing ways, Jason the horndog, Tara as queen biyatch and Hoyt’s virginal shtick.

Now it’s not that these stories haven’t been a lot of fun in the past. Or that they can’t be revisited in other ways in the future. But as all good series know – the key to a great show is constant character evolution. I’d hate for some of my favorite Bon Temps residents to get stuck in their same old storylines ad nauseum (I like to call this ‘The Brothers and Sisters Oh-God-It’s-Another-Walker-Dinner-Party Syndrome’)

MINIMIZE THE MYTHOLOGY

Which brings me to my final True Blood tip for the show’s producers… keeping it light on the ‘mythology’ front.

Already we’ve met Evan Rachel Wood’s Vampire Queen (and was it just me or was Evan horribly wooden?) and Eric’s maker Godric and Season 3 is going to bring the Vampire King of Mississippi and more of the Magister (the always fantastic Zeljko Ivanek)  – so we’re already pretty deep into the lore and ways of the vampire world. Plus we’ve got a whole cast of werewolves – and their substructure to get our heads around.

So far the show’s done a terrific job at keeping the show complex but not complicated – appealing to those of us who like a bit of fantasy but not the whole geek-tastic shebang. I’d hate True Blood to end up like the lousy Underworld movies – or even worse the dreaded Twilight franchise… (boy do I loathe that anti-feminist, condescending claptrap!) So please – less is more on the mythology front… thanks!

So those are my tips for True Blood season 3 – and beyond… but what do you think? What are you most looking forward to in the episodes to come… and what advice would you give the show’s producers… as always I’d love to hear your thoughts…