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Q&A: Brian Buckner Reveals True Blood Season 6 Focus

Q&A: Brian Buckner Reveals True Blood Season 6 Focus

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SPOILER ALERT!

Sarene Leeds of Rolling Stone Magazine interviewed the new True Blood showrunner, Brian Buckner about Season 6.  In the interview, Brian talks about the big changes this season will bring, not just for Bill Compton, i.e., Billith, but for all of the characters. Some of the things he mentions is (what we already have heard), the loss of a  major character, how the relationships between Sookie, Eric and Bill will change and what new relationships might materialize. He says Sookie will be more “mature” and while that they tried to keep the show “fresh and riveting,” it looks like there will be a major shift in focus. I’m excited to see what comes about and can’t wait for June 16.

So what can we expect from this new season?
Well, thematically – and I want to be fair to all seasons past – I feel like we do so much running and killing that we very seldom stop to speak to the importance of life. So we will have an episode this season that’s entitled “Life Matters.” We’re trying to remind people that the lives of these human beings and of the vampires here in this small town of Bon Temps, they mean something. So that if we lose somebody, we’re going to stop to grieve them, and try to tell the more human side of the supernatural stories we’re telling. That is sort of my mission statement.

Without giving away any spoilers, what secrets of the new season can you reveal?
I can tell you, because I believe it’s already out there, that you will see both Steve and Sarah Newlin, in a meaningful way. [Pauses] One of our principal characters will not make it all the way through the season. In television, because of the pace of what we do, who these actors are, they inform the characters that they’re playing. Because Anna [Paquin, who plays Sookie Stackhouse] is changing in her life – because she’s a mother now – we’re trying to make a more grown-up Sookie, a less naive Sookie. A Sookie who knows when she needs help and isn’t always saying, “I can do it myself.” And a darker Sookie, honestly. Someone who’s a little bit more eyes-open to the world and self-aware.

Now that we’re in the sixth season, how do you keep this story fresh and riveting?
Change. I’m not going to say what the changes are, but it’s a big deal. Everybody loves the show, but actors don’t want to play the same scenes anymore, and writers don’t want to write the same scenes anymore, and so literally shifting things up. And pivoting people around – on this show, other than when we have table reads and premiere parties, a lot of these actors never work together – so the way I look at it, if we can shift the paradigm, and some of the relationships within the show, there are all these sort of new avenues to go down. Jason has basically never played a scene with, like, Pam, right? So there’s all these pairings, and my job, and the job of the writers is to change the lanes that we’ve been driving down for six seasons. The answer is, because we have all these characters, I think it’s very easy to stay fresh – you just have to be mindful about doing so. So that’s the kind of thing that we have to be aware of and get back to a little bit of our soap opera roots and remember that romance matters in the midst of all the plot we do.

Along those lines, would you say that the Bill/Sookie/Eric love triangle still exists this season?
I think that it exists – the tension is there, but I would say that these characters have never been further apart, romantically. Bill and Sookie are still the center of the show. That pull is there, but you can’t always have people together. But the impasse is really interesting.

How has your role on the show changed now that you are the showrunner as opposed to just one of the executive producers/writers?
Before, for a long time, we pretty much maintained the same staff, the same core group, for the first five years. And nobody wanted to see Alan leave. And now I really know why I didn’t want to see Alan leave. We would all produce our own episodes, and work with each other on a larger story arc, but we were principally responsible for our own episodes. The big difference for me now is I have to be principally responsible for all of them. And I don’t think I ever fully appreciated the pressure Alan was under. So it’s that, and of course the responsibilities go beyond writing. It’s post – it’s having to maintain a dialogue with the actors so they know where we are, where their story lines are headed. And you can get very, very distracted. So the writing seems to come last [laughs], and that’s been a little bit hard, and I’ve actually never had more respect for the job Alan was doing than I have now, now that I am sort of sitting in that seat. Because it’s a big job.

Did you write any of this season’s episodes?
Yeah, I wrote the ninth episode, and I had a heavy hand throughout. But not too heavy. I don’t want to do a disservice to any of our fine writers. The group that I’ve had has really rallied.

How do you think you approach the show differently than Alan did?
[Long pause
] I’m learning to let writers have their own voices. I think Alan was extremely good about letting people do what they did. And I think sometimes my response to pressure is to control more. He’s a more seasoned showrunner. He knows when to trust, and I sometimes will just lock myself [laughs] in a room and try to take more on. I especially miss him in editing, because he was really good at backing off from what was written and seeing what’s there, and treating that as a rewrite. I miss him in that capacity. He was really, really strong that way.

After last season’s shocking finale, would you say Bill has entirely lost his humanity at this point, or is there still hope for him?
I think there always has to be hope for him. But his arc during the season, in that first episode, [spoiler alert!] he asks Jessica to make sure he doesn’t lose it. He will. He does. But he will find his way back, because Bill has to be Bill. But that fight that’s going on between the Bill part of Bill and the Lilith part of Bill, she will win for a little while.

source: rollingstone.com

Lynnpd
Written by Lynnpd

Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at http://lynnpdexclusives.com.

10 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    June 11, 2013

    Interesting. It makes me feel a little better about this season when he said that they won’t be all running around killing all the time. That this season, they will slow things down and take a more rational approach.

    The show runner who won’t make it through the whole season.. hmm .. that’s interesting. It’s hard to know what he means by “show runner” though. It could be a side character and not one of the main characters, such as Bill, Sookie, Jason, Eric, or Sam.

    If I had to guess, I’d say it might be Arlene. That would be totally unexpected.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      June 11, 2013

      Rebecca, thanks for responding. He didn’t say show runner, but that “One of our principal characters will not make it all the way through the season.” Brian Buckner is the showrunner. Hope that clears it up for you.

      Reply

      • Avatar
        June 11, 2013

        Lynnpd – Yep I used the wrong term. Thanks for the clarification. But that does bring up the question. Who are the principle characters? Are they the same as the main characters? Which I think are Sookie, Bill, Jason, Sam, Tara, and Eric.

  2. Avatar
    June 11, 2013

    I think a main character would be Terry, Arlene, Laf, etc. They are all main characters on the show, but a principle one (to me) would be Sam, Bill, Eric, Pam, Jason and Sookie. I don’t know if Jessica or Tara would be a main or principle. If I had to guess based on buzz and who’s career seems to be busy outside TB, I would think it was Eric but really hope it’s not him!!!

    It will be interesting to see where the show goes from here with Bruckner. I had read somewhere that Bruckner was having issues with the show and may have been asked to step down.

    I am a fan so I will be front and center on June 16th 9pm!

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    June 11, 2013

    I have not heard anything indicating Bucky Buckner being asked to step down, Mark Hudis was the show runner picked by AB when AB left the show, but Hudis stepped down in favor of Buckner. Bucky has been with the show since Day 1, no way will he be forced out, he will leave only because he wants to.

    And I jut love that last sentence from Bucky in the interview, that between Bill and Lillith, Lillith will win “for just a little while”.

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    June 11, 2013

    A thoughtful and informative interview. First of all, I’m happy to learn that Bill will eventually find his way back to the Bill who values his humanity. I will be patient, because it won’t happen right off the bat. I’m greatly relieved that he won’t be walking around all season as a bloody vampire god. I’m delighted that Mrs. Newlin will be around in S 6 … can’t wait to see her and the Reverend go at it. Moving the characters around so that there are different combinations sharing scenes (some for the first time) sounds a great idea. About romance: I’m not expecting Bill and Sookie to re-connect any time soon. Grateful to learn that the pull is still there. Also, a more mature, informed, even darker Sookie will be appreciated. Right now, the only downer for me is the loss of a major character.

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    June 11, 2013

    Maybe this show will be better without Alan Ball…

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    June 11, 2013

    I think the death is going to be Tara because I read somewhere that in the second episode she is a victim of a new weapon used against vampires. I also read the major death would be in the second episode.

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    June 11, 2013

    Season 6 sounds great,I hope it can truly deliver.

    Love Bucky’s Bill comments. Of course, he could mean that Bill will return/recover…five minutes before he meets the true death. But I live in hope for MY Bill to come back for good, and have a wonderful story at all times. Season 6 is looking pretty amazing.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    June 11, 2013

    Thank you Brian Buckner for this:

    “…and remember that romance matters in the midst of all the plot we do.” Bring on the romance, any romance!

    This is an informative interview with some spoilers and some disapointments, a major death which worries us all, but such a hopeful send off for S6 that is making me very excited for the entire new season of TB.
    So happy for Bill….(whatever he meant, I’m just happy to see Bill in any form).

    Reply

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