True Blood, we need to talk.
When we first met, it was love (and lust) at first sight. We couldn't get enough of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her risqué relationship with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). We were fascinated by the sharp edges and fangs of Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård). We laughed at any dialogue uttered by Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten).
You did bad things to us — and we liked it.
But somewhere along the line, our feelings started to fade. Those bad things you did weren't so enjoyable anymore. And it wasn't us; it was all you.
When HBO announced you were leaving after a seventh season, we were relieved. Not only that, we're not even bothering to stick around to watch you pack up this summer.
Here are seven reasons why we're breaking up with you, True Blood.
1. Sookie is kind of the worst.
In Season 1, Sookie was a sweetheart we could root for. She was a young, naive girl who got pulled into this crazy supernatural world via Bill. Her journey was our journey. Her grand romance was our grand romance.
Now, six seasons later, we're just over her. She keeps getting involved with these sicko supes, even though she should know better. We get the allure of a bad boy, but come on!
While Sookie often talks the talk about being her own woman, she doesn't walk the walk. Instead, she's a vulnerable, weak whiner who always needs a supernatural man to save her. And that's just sad.
2. Everybody's hooked up with everyone, and romance is dead.
So far, Sookie's been involved with Bill, Eric, Alcide, and Warlow (she would've been with Sam, had he not turned her down last season). And it's not just her — there've been so many hook-ups on the show, it's hard to keep track.
"The love triangles became so complicated that they were both irresolvable and weightless," wrote Molly Lambert of Grantland. "I stopped caring whom Sookie or Bill or Eric or Jessica or Jason or Alcide ended up with by the end, because the characters could do whatever, whenever, and it would all be sorted out later by some ancient curse, or vampire superstition, or hazing ritual, or who cares."
Seriously, raise your hand if you can name Sam's baby mama. Nobody? Didn't think so.
3. The defanging of Eric Northman.
When True Blood premiered, Eric was a sharp-tongued, menacing, powerful vampire. He had his own agenda and no morals. But then the badass turned into a softie. In Season 4, Eric lost his memory and essentially turned into a kitten who needed cuddling from Sookie.
As HBO Watch put it, "Eric seemed to not only lose his memory, but his manhood as well, spending much of the season hiding in Sookie's closet. … That storyline came from one of the most popular books in the series, and HBO really dropped the ball there."
[Related: 16 TV Shows That Will End Soon]
4. Lack of vision in making changes from the books.
TV series need not remain completely faithful to the book that they're based on, but they do need to make smart decisions about what changes to make.
At first, creator and showrunner Alan Ball made wise choices in changing things from Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries novels, like not killing off Lafayette and creating the character of Jessica. But in later seasons, there were more and more head-scratchers: killing off Queen Sophie-Anne early and making Bill the king; the awful Vampire Authority; and the whole Billith storyline.
"What we're looking at with True Blood is not the fact that changes were made, but that there is little rhyme or reason to the changes," said HBO Watch. "Most of them are just plain silly."
5. One word: Fairies.
Fairies are a big part of Harris's novels, and that is perhaps the biggest change that Ball and the showrunners should've avoided because that supernatural species has been the biggest drag on True Blood.
"Equally loathed by most book and show lovers, the Fae have been a point of contention in both series," notes Lisa Elizabeth of io9. "But I would argue that the show did a much worse job than the books. Sookie's 'light'? The magical Bellefleur quadruplets? The ridiculous fairy nightclub? The entire Warlow plotline?"
Fairy world was boring and their powers confusing. And none of the fairies made any kind of mark.
"The fairies broke me," confessed Grantland's Lambert. "They were too dumb. There were too many of them. I worried that Alan Ball might follow through on his suggestion that they would turn out to be extraterrestrials."
6. Too many new characters every season, which sidelined great existing cast members.
True Blood is fortunate enough to have some fabulous actors, who bring life to their nutty and interesting characters. But each season, new characters have come in and taken away their screen time. And in later seasons, those characters weren't even memorable.
Yes, Russell Edgington was great, as were the Newlins. But we can barely keep track of which fairies we've met, who's who in Alcide's werepack, all those Vampire Authority executives, and the numerous vampires imprisoned in Vamp Camp. That makes for a lot of side characters that we don't care a fig about.
"True Blood: The Next Class every season wasn't conducive to storytelling clarity or viewer loyalty," sneered Starpulse.
7. Repetitive storylines.
See if you can tell which season this is: Sookie's vampire friends are being held underground. A group bands together to free them. They set the underground compound on fire and escape.
That's essentially the summary of the endings of both Seasons 5 and 6.
Plus, there have been multiples of the following arcs: "I'm addicted to V"; "I'm trying to control this werewolf pack"; "I'm Tara and something bad is happening to me"; and the mother of them all, "I'm Sookie and someone's after me because I'm so very special."
True Blood's final season premeires Sunday, June 22 at 9 p.m. on HBO.