Oct 7, 2010

[TV] True Blood: Season 2

True Blood: Season 2I've never really been particularly into vampires, probably because I do so badly with the horror genre, which is where you typically have to go in order find vampire stories. It's only in more recent years that there's been an effort to take them out of the purely horror genre into something more dramatic or even more humorous. You can trace the efforts back to Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and eventually to The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris.

Sorry, I don't count Twilight as an evolutionary step forward for vampire-related stories just yet. Or ever.

The first season of this series was definitely entertaining given the nice mix of drama, dark comedy and all the other fun bits. The stories are filled with wonderfuly diverse characters with rich back stories, surprising plot twists and a very well thought of soundtrack, all put together with Alan Ball as Executive Producer. I guess I've been a sucker for his work ever since I first watched Six Feet Under and of course his screenplay masterpiece that was American Beauty.

True Blood is an HBO original series with the second season loosely based on Living Dead in Dallas, the second book in The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris.

Eric NorthmanImage via WikipediaThe season jumps right into the action we all left behind with the season one finale. Our resident telepath Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is back and very much in love with her non-sparkly vampire boyfriend Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Her redneck brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is dumber than ever and manages to get himself enlisted in a conservative religious group known as the Fellowship of the Sun. However this is the same group that happens to be holding Godric (Allan Hyde), the creator of Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård), hostage.

Everyone's favorite homosexual cook Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) is being held as a prisoner in the basement of Eric's bar Fangtasia. By the usual kind of serendipity in these stories, Sookie gets injured by a mysterious beast and thus Bill brings her to Fangtasia for help, which eventually leads to their discovering Lafayette's fate. And thus the broker a deal to get him freed in exchange for Sookie's help in locating the missing Godric in Dallas.

And while all this is going on, Tara (Rutina Wesley) remains a guest at Maryann's (Michelle Forbes) and find herself falling in love with Eggs (Mehcad Brooks). But there's more to Maryann than it seems and she and Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) seem to share some history, which eventually gets revealed during the course of the season.

In know, I know, that was a bit more spoilery for a summary than I usually write, but then it's just hard to resist. The plotlines in this season were very well interwoven and thus it's hard to discuss one without the other, and thus the whole things snowballs. But even knowing as much as you've just read, there's still a heck of a lot more going on and I'm sure you'll enjoy every minute of it.

The season is pretty intense in terms of plot development and all the twists and turns make each episode especially meaty (or bloody?). Missing one is a major paint and detrimental to your True Blood health - better to watch these in sequence with the episodes on-hand as opposed to only occassionally tuning into HBO to catch the repeats out-of-sequence.

Sookie has definitely continued to push the boundaries of her character and continues to be more than just a damsel in distress as much as she can manage. However she doesn't do this at the cost of her femininity - she remains very much a woman and not some tom boy or anything like that (hello Tara!). Thus she continues to be the poster girl for any anti-Twilight movement given that at least she gets laid while Bella just heaves and breathes deeply. Hell, she's even tougher than how Anna Paquin brought Rogue to life in the X-Men movies.

Lots and lots of eye candy in this season for sure. Jason is there if you're into those jock types who are dumb as bricks. Eric of course is your ideal bad boy kind of poster boy. Bill is more or less your nice gentleman next door and Eggs is there if you're into men of color. All get more than their fair share of partial nudity time - this is an HBO series after all.
Oh, and don't forget Godric - I can imagine a lot of viewers waiting up for his type.

The last season felt like the Lafayette show at times, and thankfully that didn't happen this time around. Of course it was a pain to see him as he was in the first parts of the season, but it'll make sense later on. To be fair, I don't think I need to award anyone for most character development since everyone got their time in the sun (or the moon or something for the vampires). And that's a pretty significant achievement given everything going on in the season and all the various plot threads developing independently from one another.

True Blood Season 2 is an amazing springboard from the first and a richly fulfilling experience. It gets 4.5 unusual shapeshifting forms out of a possible 5.

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  1. i might just add "watch true blood season 2" to my to-do list for this month.

  2. Go for it! You won't regret it! =D

  3. I love True Blood! I love almost all vampire TV series and shows. I love the vampire myth so much! :)