TB Casting: How much is too much?

For my fangalicious Fang-A-Thon 2012 – Day 4 post, I figured I would take a deeper look inside the casting for True Blood. These are my thoughts on all of the casting calls we seem to get every year. Feel free to share your thoughts after you’ve finished reading!

As you know, here at Eric & Sookie Lovers – we keep you pretty much informed on the latest casting calls. Mostly, we do this to inform you on what’s going to happen, and to speculate – especially because (as you well know) True Blood keeps pretty tight-lipped on upcoming spoilers. Other than the promos they choose to share…we pretty much have nothing that tells us what’s going to happen during the season. Sure, they do share spoilers with Michael Ausiello from TVLine.com and Kristin Dos Santos from E! Online, naturally, but those are few and far between and on their time…not ours.  (At least during the off-season.) We love being spoiled as much as possible and as often as possible.

Sorry if this comes off sounding like a rant, because it’s really not. I’m just sharing my thoughts on it.

It seems like every year, we have an astronomical amount of casting calls released for each episode of True Blood. I think it’s roughly an average of four characters/episode, but don’t quote me on that, because I don’t really know. I’m just basing this off what I remember reading in each one. But it seems like True Blood is worse than other shows, when it comes to this. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t follow other shows as closely, so I miss them…but it seems like every couple of weeks, there’s a new casting call out there.

My question is this…how much is too much (character-wise) on the show?

We seem to have many roles filled, for only a few minutes of screen-time and/or a brief glimpse of them on the show. It hardly seems worth it, when all is said and done. Sure, True Blood needs these roles to be able to tell a story effectively – but as you are aware…storytelling isn’t one of True Blood’s strengths. (Continuity errors is a big issue with them, but I’m not going to get into details about that in here.)

There is some good – which comes with posting casting calls like these each year.

  • It keeps actors employed in an unstable market and even worse economy. I can’t really fault them for this.
  • It keeps us informed as to what to expect (somewhat) in the season, example: spoilers.
  • Usually tells us who is directing and writing the episode, as well as the episode title.
  • We need a cast to be able to portray the stories throughout the season. Characters get killed off, and have to be replaced, and introduced.

But we also have a lot of bad too.

  • Too many smaller roles, which could almost be considered ‘glorified extras’.
  • Too many characters not based on the books, but then again…since this is basically Alan Ball’s fanfiction, it’s not really surprising to us.
  • Have you ever heard of the phrase, “less is more”? This definitely does NOT fall under that. If they have to show X amount of people, it doesn’t leave very much room for the true stars of the show. As you know, they are the ones we want to see the most. Why would we want to waste our time watching nobodies (no offense to them)? But I often hear complaints about “not enough Eric”, “too much ‘filler'”, blah, blah, blah. I’m not disagreeing with you, I agree 100% completely. The fans (us) want to see the characters WE care about. Not characters we have no invested interest in watching.
  • Have you ever had too much dumped on you, and it left you feel disorganized, lost and confused? Having too many characters leads to having to squeeze them all in – in a show with a huge cast already. Why do they have the ‘need’ to create other characters in a story, when they have enough characters as it is? If they can’t work it in – due to characters who have no relation to the story, then they MUST get rid of these “added burdens” by either killing them off or just drop them altogether.
  • This all leads to the viewers’ confusion and that eventually leads to their loss of interest.  This eventually leads to the decline in ratings, which leads to the show’s cancellation. If you can’t understand what’s going on, you’re not going to find enjoyment in it, are you?

I could probably go on and on about this…but I thought I’d put this out there for you to read and to (at least) think about it. But this does make me think of the famous advertising slogan…“billions and billions served” – but in this case, it’s more like what is shown in the image below. LOL


Sooooo…what do you think? How much is too much? Is there some kind of quota the show has to maintain? Is there a reason why True Blood seems to have more casting calls than other shows? Should there be some kind of limit as to how many characters the show should have?

Feel free to share your thoughts and voice your opinions below!

About Erika

The owner/administrator of Eric & Sookie Lovers and All About Vikings. A writer, blogger and avid reader. Favorite shows and books include; True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Sons of Anarchy, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the Night Huntress series, Once Upon A Time, Vikings and Game of Thrones. Motto is: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)! Most people tell me I have a way with words. My second language is "sarcasm". Hope you enjoy your visit!

5 comments on “TB Casting: How much is too much?

  1. Erika:
    After seeing last night’s preview of Season 5 I was thinking how I wish that
    Alan Ball had not included these chracters in TrueBlood.
    I didn’t need to see Lettie mae,Rev. Daniels.The Maenad,the crone witch,
    Joe Lee/Melinda Mickens & Tommy, Hotshot,The Unholy Three,
    The redneck trio who spent time in Eric’s basement & jesus’s grandfather.

    Just give me the Vampires,Werewolves,Witches, Humans & Sookie,Jason,
    LaFayette, Sam, Russell,Dr.Ludwig,
    And I’ll be very happy!.

  2. I agree with you Erika. We all know that it is not about the books anymore. I feel AB and company keep adding all the bullsh*t stories and extra’s hoping something will stick with the fans and turn it into the show that had so much promise in the first season. I fear that it is to late for that and we, the diehard fans that made the show what it is, are getting bored with the side shows. I fear the end is near, when in reality it should have been able to rival shows Like “The Sopranos” or even “Six feet under” or “Lost”.

  3. Yep, Erika you’ve summed up the too much pretty well in your editorial. I’ve been saying that there have been too many added characters for years now. All that does is confuse the viewers with all the bullshit side stories that have no meaning to the real story. Although AB’s made quite a mess of it, its’ his fanfic and thats’ all there is to it.

    I tend to agree with lvvamps and that this show could have been one of the “Great Ones” on the air, but also fear that next season (6) will probably be the last for Sookie, Eric and the gang of Bon Temps……..

  4. TB has certainly been overly cluttered with castings for side stories that have no truly interesting impact on the overall story we all want from the show. There are no “requirements” as far as the number of actors a show must hire per episode/season as it runs. The casting is solely based on the scripts written, so it is up to the writers/show runners to determine how the series will go in the direction of small/large casting. Of course, “extras” are a part of most shows, but they aren’t “casting couch” type roles, just people milling around under basic directions to fill in a scene.

    The whole concept of taking the SVM books and creating a television series has turned from what could have been a bit of campy fun to let us all enjoy the characters and stories we love into a ridiculous farce that reminds me of the fanfics I’ve read all the way through simply because I thought eventually they would start making sense and actually get good. Unfortunately, that usually wouldn’t happen, I’m not expecting TB to get any better either. No wonder Alex has said he isn’t planning to continue on the show beyond S6. His contract holds him through then, and he has no intentions at this time to extend it. He has a burgeoning film career that is keeping him financially afloat. He doesn’t need to keep going with a show that is sinking faster and faster into the depths of idiotic oblivion.

    It is terribly sad what AB has done to the television version of our favorite books! I’m fearful of what S5 has to bring us and even more so what we’ll end up finding come S6 when everyone has pretty much given up and knows they’re done for. :(

    I just keep writing my fanfic because it’s WAY better than what I’m seeing on TB anymore and working on my screenplay in hopes of getting Alex in the lead role so we can see him as a great dramatic character that lets him show us his amazing talent in a totally different way. I’ve given up hope on TB, but I’ll keep watching because I enjoy Alex’s acting. He makes the best of the worst scripts they give him. You have to love him for that.

    Crossing my fingers, maybe we’ll get lucky and Eric and Sookie will end up together in at least one of them, between SVM and TB… hopefully BOTH!

  5. Thanks everyone! I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking this way. :)

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