Op-Ed: Eric vs. Bill Debates Make Hiatus Feel Longer

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Note: This is a guest post from Cha, a frequent commentor on True-Blood.net.

Eric vs. Bill is an ongoing debate between our fellow Truebies that seems to be never-ending. Much like the very magic that occurs within Bon Temps city limits and beyond, it also seems to sneak its way into almost every post, relevant or not.

Believe me, I know all too well what it means to be passionate about people I love. My son is two years old and I just last week stopped emailing and texting weekly pics and milestone updates to family and friends… Ok ok it was more like yesterday, the point is, I stopped. 🙂 The lightbulb appeared and the epiphany was hand delivered by my subconscious mind. “Cha, not everyone is interested 100% of the time about the happenings and goings on of your little lamb.”  Everything in moderation. It’s nothing personal, but everyone is passionate about something and to be bombarded constantly by the passions of another is a huge turn off to say the least.

It’s like starting a conversation with a good friend about your new job and by the end of the conversation you’re listening to yet another story about how great her new man is or how cool his new car handles for the 100th time! Grrr! It’s so random, redundant and off topic that you find yourself volunteering to drink the kool-aid. Or for a little less dramatics, just never calling them again.

I say all that to say this…Don’t be a pushy proud mommy or a fairweather friend that hardly listens. There are and will be tons of posts that are perfect platforms to get your Eric/Sookie vs. Bill/Sookie debates going. However hijacking random posts that simply mention these characters is completely inappropriate, not to mention disrespectful to the author.

Respectfully, the fact is that as a fellow Truebie looking for a place to pass the time and seek the company of friends during the hiatus, reading the same thing repeatedly is making an 8 month wait feel like 8 years.

I’m just sayin’…

31 Comments

  1. tori v.v.

    October 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Amen! Thanks for bringing the very annoying habit to light! True blood is a very interesting show, and there are LOTS of other things to talk about other than bill vs. eric vs. alcide vs. any other potential love intersts i’m currently forgetting.

  2. esw45

    October 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Cha brings up some good points….annoying is a good word to describe the debate at times. On other sites I notice people that are bill fans think he gets no love…..that his storyline is non existant. Eric fans (which I am one) believe that he gets put down in preference to Bill and will never have a relationship with Sookie because Alan Ball loves her with Bill and won’t ever allow it to happen. I personally like Bill and as king he was a very good one…I hope he stays as king after this season as well. Even as uannoying as the love,triangle has become it is one of the main reasons why True Blood has the ratings and popularity they have today. I like the Passion I see from the fans of these,characters is it over the top sometimes? Yes but, its genuine but everyone should be respectful of each others opinion…whether we agree or not.

    • trixie

      October 21, 2011 at 3:06 am

      Really? there are people who think Bill is marginalized? That’s kinda mind-boggling lol!
      I mean, this year he was central to the main storyline throughout the season, even more than Sookie… It’s pretty hard to deny it.

      • Laura

        October 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm

        agree on that, in which way was Bill marginalized, he actually had more screen time than eric (who is what I would say more popular than bill anyway) and it felt also like he had more screen time than Sookie; I am ok with not sending him to peru like in the books (the actor also has a contract, so they cannot just take him out) but I found it kind of disturbing that they had Bill to be involved in every sookie eric scene this season, and reading comments from several sites I have seen lots of people who are just annoyed by the love triangle, it seemed just too forced this season, I think they could have given Bill at least a more separate storyline this season with his king stuff, I mean even Sam has barely scenes with sookie, and he is her boss… and later on they could have brought all characters together for the witch war, this is one of the reasons why I was so disappointed this season, this forced triangle and the fact that Sookie did forgive everything so easily…

        and I think there isn´t even that big of an eric bill suitor discussion, I don´t see them so often actually, I personally have read the books and most book readers just tend in generaly to like Eric more, because Charlaine harris has made him so appealing and obviously he is actually more a constant factor in Sookies life than Bill, but BAll has kind of changed it up because he likes Bill so much; I probably will never really like Bill, I am not shipping anyone, because its not so important to me but I just found him too stalkerish in the books and as much as the writers try to make Bill look cool or tragic, I just cannot really feel for him, I think I am jjust too much biased because he really annoys me in the books…

  3. Andrea

    October 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Glad someone put this out, in every single post i read there must be a discussion about who is better with Sookie please! People are making this relationships a really boring soap opera, TB is great and has a lot of great stories beside this. I don´t know if Alan Ball is going to put Eric and Sookie back together but i think that´s what is great about this show you never know what is going to happen, i have read the books and i can´t wait to see TB to watch the changes in the storyline. I agree with Cha it is really rude to start talking about this Bill VS Eric thing every time there´s a commentary section.

  4. Cha

    October 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you all for the positive feedback! I truly love this site, I became a regular here at the end of season 4. What I found to be so great is that I could visit anytime of the day or night a get a taste of All Things True Blood. It’s good to read I’m not alone.

  5. Bethany

    October 21, 2011 at 2:07 am

    I am split. I do agree that there is far too much debate about such things. But I don’t find it all that annoying. I mean it is the main point of the show. Sookie, and her many loves (which she never expected to have any, no matter how much she wished for them.) Personally, I am an Eric fan, and wish so much that they would run closer to the books on that front. But I do love how they find a way to work both Bill and Eric into almost every single storyline on the show, and then you add in Alcide, and Sam, and possibly in the future Quinn??? It all makes for great tv. So although this site focuses on the show as a whole, I think many people are more focused on her love life. They watch the show to fanticise (sp? I am a bit tired) about who they would rather be with if they were Sookie, or who they would rather be (for the guys). Which is why I don’t find it annoying at all. There has NEVER been anything said about this either way, but I believe that Sam has always been the intended OTL for Sookie. And I almost never see anyone cheering or jeering for that one. LOL I just think most people who are doing this (and I am sure I have been guilty myself at times) are simply focused on the romantic aspects of the show. Real life can be so lacking in that area at times. I just look forward to seeing what other debates we can have on here as well.

    Thanks for bringing your complaint to light Cha. Weather we agree or not, it doesn’t matter. Judging from the other responses on here, you struck a nerve that several others agree with. I hope for your sake that the ones who you are aiming this at take note, and try to curb their agendas a bit.

    For the record, Bill/Sookie, Eric/Sookie, Alcide/Sookie, Sam/Sookie, or Quinn/Sookie… No matter who your favorite is, they are ALL played so well, that it is hard to remember they are just characters. Not every show can boast that. They are all worth some steamy screen time. ha ha ha

  6. trixie

    October 21, 2011 at 2:39 am

    See, I think on one hand it’s true that the suitors debate tends to be a bit obsessive and take over other discussions.. but on the other hand the show itself is purposelly structured to elicit this kind of reaction!

    The way they’re perpetuating the love triangle IMO is forced and lazy writing, and doesn’t make the show better in any way. And yet they’re gonna drag it on and on and on… I’m glad people enjoy it, but I don’t anymore. It’s become too soap opera, in a bad way, and I think Sookie’s character is suffering from that.
    The show could be so much more than hot guys and shocking moments, but I think this year has really failed to bring the meaty, interestings storylines of the past. People talk about Sookie’s men because frankly there’s not much else left to talk about…

    • Cha

      October 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      There is something else to talk about when the topic is two new female vampires to join the cast. Adding the love triangle debate to such a post is completely random.

      • trixie

        October 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

        I get your point and agree with the sentiment.
        I was just trying to explain why while it can be annoying this kind of reaction is somewhat understandable and at least partly “encouraged by the very nature of the show. That’s all.

  7. Sookieeleana

    October 21, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I presume I am one of the posters that Cha is unhappy with? I completely see her point about people randomly posting about S/E when it’s not the topic (people can’t help it if that’s what they want to discuss though). If I may I’ll take this opportunity to give my take on the whole “team” issue and perhaps defend myself a little bit. TB fans are not responsible for this “team” stuff and neither is Charlaine Harris. The SSN have never been a love triangle. Bill led Sookie into the sup world, he turned out not to be the man she thought he was, their relationship ended (of course she still has feelings for him – it would impossible not to have) but the books swiftly moved on. In the later books it is all about S/E, we now know for certain that they both love each other but the drama is about whether love can conquer all or whether outside influences will come between them. HBO and the True Blood people have created the team mentality, no doubt completely purposefully (maybe they saw how much publicity / money Twilight got from something similar). They have created these deep fan feelings in 2 ways. Firstly, by the way they market the show. HBO/TB created the “Team Eric” and “Team Bill” merchandise. (And now I wouldn’t be surprised if they include Team Alcide in the mix). HBO/TB created the promo poster for season 4 showing Sookie with 3 men suggestively touching her (when in reality she was only involved with Eric the whole season). It was HBO/TB that sent the TV guides blurb about the finale saying that Sookie had to make the hard decision of choosing between her men. Why did she? She had only been involved with Eric this season, the finale should have been about any future they might or might not have. The writers gave Bill a very strong and entertaining story line this season leading the fight against the witches. Yet in the end they decided to pull him back into the Sookie triangle. I don’t know any Bill fans that are particularly happy about this, Eric fans obviously aren’t, and Sookie (whom I love) just looked rather stupid. As the TB writers are apparently very clever, they obviously did this on purpose – why? To get people worked up, to give them something to talk about, to make them angst for what will happen next season. TB wants to milk this “love triangle” for all it is worth. The second way TB has exasperated the team culture is by taking from Eric in the books and giving to Bill to flesh out his character. (I won’t go in to the long details of this – bring my baby photos out so to speak – anyone who cares knows). They want to keep Eric fans frustrated and guessing if their Viking will ever truly get the girl he wants and they want to make Bill fans think their character still has a chance with Sookie. We are obliging them by caring so much about it. Let’s face it, although we all love watching the likes of Laffy, Terry, Andy etc. we are certainly not emotionally involved in what happens to them enough to want to comment on fan sites continually about them. If we discourage people from speaking their mind about S/E/B I think you would find that most fan sites had very little feedback on them at all, and that’s not what HBO/TB want. If you want people on both sides to stop with the “team” mentality then please tell Alan Ball to stop pushing it at us.

    • Mel

      October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      I’ve been reading the books since the second one came out, waaaaay back in 2002, and Team Bill vs. Team Eric has been a part of the fandom at least since that point. Even now, when Eric and Sookie have been together for a few books, we have people submitting questions for our interviews with Charlaine Harris asking when she’ll put Sookie and Bill back together. It’s not an HBO construct, it’s the nature of the story.

      Cha’s point, though, is that not every post is about that debate. Especially on True Blood, where there are so many other characters and storylines to discuss, it is frustrating for us as the site owners to have to continuously remove comments that are off topic and/or stem the burgeoning war on posts that have nothing to do with that part of the show (or books). We’ve heard from many of our readers expressing the same feelings, and felt that we should let Cha make the point from the readers’ perspective.

      • trixie

        October 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

        Yes, there were supporters of the various suitors before TB, but since the show started the whole thing has become WAY more divisive and confrontational.

        This is due to a few factors. One is the increased exploration and relevance of Bill’s character.
        He’s more central to the show than he is to the books, and even CH herself has commented on how TB has caused a rush of simpathy and interest for Book Bill’s character that simply wasn’t there before. The show sort of influences the perception of the books, not only the reverse.

        Another factor is the way TB is pushing the love triangle. It’s been heavily promoted in the advertising/interviews/spots since season 2, and will continue to be.
        Especially this year, we actually got the classic soap situation of the girl being IN LOVE with two guys at the same time and being torn between them.
        This never was the case in the books. The structure was more “sookie, the heroine of the story, and her various relationships” than “The story of Bill-Sookie-Eric and their neverending entanglement” It’s actually a pretty fundamental difference in how the narrative is built.

        About the need to not go off topic, I agree and I’ll try not to in the future.

        • esw45

          October 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm

          Trixie…..your point is right on…..the triangle is very much promoted and used for ratings. People that have read the books are so frustrated by the storyline at times that they vent and go overboard. The actress that play Holly said the other day that she hopes sookie stays single next season and takes a break from her suitors……I agree with her but that probably won’t happen and now we will have Alcide protagonists arguing with Eric and Bill folks over sookie next….it keeps going and going…

      • Sookieeleana

        October 23, 2011 at 1:55 am

        Mel I apologise about my Eric posting – I’m going to try to only comment in the Eric relevant posts from now on. I’m sure you have realised by now that Eric fans are often very defensive about their man where TB in concerned.(Sorry we just can’t help it). If I can make a quick point about people wanting you to ask Charlaine about putting Bill and Sookie back together in the books. I believe this is totally influenced by Stephen Moyer’s portrayal of Bill in TB and not by anything Charlaine has written. If you go by the book narrative alone I don’t think there is any way of Bill (the man who raped her) being Sookie’s HEA. The show has such a huge influence that it is affecting how people view certain characters in the books. There is nothing Charlaine can do about that.

    • Liz

      October 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Sookieeleana, you’re still missing the point. No one, least of all us, is arguing the fact of the different “teams”. As I said in my comment earlier, (maybe you missed it?), the argument is that the same people say the same things, almost verbatim, in every single topic posted on our site.

      • esw45

        October 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm

        I don’t believe that even with this thoughtful post by Cha that this will change anything. The main focus or characters on TB remains sookie, Eric and bill….people that post on all these true blood still get very animated, upset and frustrated with this triangle…anytime you bring up these characters or the actors that play them the same passion and obsession from the fandom in their responses will occur. I am one of the guilty people but i will calm down and catch myself. Sookieleana your posts and Cha are always interesting and thought provoking.

        • Cha

          October 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm

          Thank you esw45… I hope at the very least others will just try to respect the authors and stick to the topics. If it warrants a love triangle debate, rock on!

        • Mel

          October 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm

          I don’t think the debate will ever end, and that’s fine, the point is that the debate doesn’t need to be fought on every. single. thread. When it is appropriate, well, as long as the debaters follow the comment guidelines, then have at it!

    • Cha

      October 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Spookieeleana~
      I am in no way upset or unhappy with you, your posts or anyone else who want E/S together forever.
      Here it is in a nutshell… It’s gets boring to have to constantly read the same argument over and over in every other post relevant or not. I am not trying to sensor anyone, by all means speak your mind freely. I like to debate myself it’s good for my heart 🙂 In moderation though, too much of anything turns out to be bad for you

      The point here is, there’s a proper place for everything and everything in it’s proper place.
      In this circumstance… It’s not what you say, it’s where you say it.

      • Cha

        October 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

        Omg… Not sure why it ran 3x’s like that it was not intentional. I just got a new toy and obliviously I need to read more to make it work properly.

        • Liz

          October 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

          I fixed it, Cha! 😀

          • Cha

            October 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

            Thank you 🙂
            I thought I was stuck in the Matrix lol.

  8. Liz

    October 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Trixie and Bethany, you are missing the point of this post. The point was that the debate occurs in EVERY SINGLE POST put up here. And the very same things are said by the same people. We welcome everyone’s opinions but when it comes down to repeats of the same things, with no change at all, it’s like watching reruns of the same show over and over and over and…you get the idea.

  9. Jessica

    October 21, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Great article Cha!! Re-hashing season 4 debates makes my TB withdrawals worse. Let’s talk about season 5!!

    • Cha

      October 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you Jessica!

  10. Jules

    October 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I comment on here a lot. I love the show and understand how passionate fans can be. Sure some of the comments go off the deep end, ( its like screening calls )but for the most part I think people contribute really good ideas and that is why I come back. Really, as long as they don’t start talking about Robsten I’m cool.

  11. Belle

    October 22, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Hehe…this whole topic makes me laugh. It just reminds me of my own obsession with the whole love triangle story when I first watched the show (which was only a few weeks ago…hmm, how is it that it feels like years?? ). Sitting there clenching my teeth and being so incredibly frustrated with any storyline that wasn’t Bill, Sookie and Eric. 🙂 Once I’d finished though I must admit I began to appreciate all the characters more! Perhaps it’s just something one needs to get out of one’s system.

    I hadn’t actually noticed this problem on the site but I think your point is a fair one Cha. Personally, I’m squirming with excitement over any and all news of season 5 – absolutely loved the post on the two new female vampires, cannot wait to see what they’re like!

    A big thank you to all you gals for keeping us Aussie fans up to date on all the news, there’s no other site like this one!

    Oh perhaps someone should create a designated “argue about the love triangle” post where those who want to can go? 🙂

    xxx

    • Mel

      October 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Welcome to True Blood fandom, Belle! Have you been to our forum? Plenty of places to engage in debate over the love triangle there! http://true-blood.net/forum/

      • Belle

        October 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

        Thanks Mel! Ah see I didn’t even know you guys had a forum – there you go, no excuses, everyone can go and duke it out there. 🙂

  12. Tania

    October 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I had to comment when I read this post because last week while I was cruising the internet for all things Sookie Stackhouse. I kept coming across this issue on every site I went to. I got irritated and decided to rant about it on my live journal and posted this:

    Bill or Eric? Can we just agree to disagree on this one?
    Blah, Blah, Blah…. I am so over this!
    If I have to read one more thread of comments about why one is better than the other proceeded by talking crap about other people’s comments and or opinions, I will shoot myself. I love the Sookie Stackhouse novel’s and I love The Character of Eric Northman but If you disagree with me that’s totally your prerogative, and I’m cool with that. I just ask that you not attack me for not agreeing with you. My opinion on the matter is this if you think that Eric is devoid of any wrong doing or you think that Bill is a saint then you are sorely mistaken they both have flaws, that is what makes them interesting character. At the end of the day they are both blood sucking murderers who can at times be complete A-holes and also love a telepathic barmaid.
    Unfortunately in the war of words regarding who is better than the other people get carried away and choose to fight and hurt people’s feelings as opposed to meeting new friends and enjoying discussion about things we all love to read and watch.
    We should appreciate all the wonderful characters that Charlaine Harris has created, not fight like 14 year olds about why your stupid because you don’t like the same “Hot Vampire” I like.

    I want to thank Liz and Mel for creating a site for people like me who just want to enjoy a show and books they love with like-minded people.