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TRUE BLOOD: COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
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A show that continues to get better and better, True Blood recovered quickly from a divisive first episode or two to evolve into one of the best television series currently running in the US. Season two? It’s gone and made it even better.
The series as a whole is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries novels by Charlaine Harris, but they’ve been weaved into television gold by Alan Ball. Ball, previously responsible for Six Feet Under, sets True Blood in a world where vampires are gradually becoming more and more accepted. Living side by side with humans, it’s inevitably not the easiest of worlds, but the scenario offers enough threads for some riveting viewing.
Season two of True Blood in particular is superb. It blends together the blood, sex and mystery that made the show so popular in the first place, but also moves the collection of characters into even more dangerous and edgy situations. Plus, there’s the small matter of an underlying narrative that builds to a terrific finish.
To say much more would be to spoil things, and True Blood is one show that absolutely shouldn’t be spoiled. Instead, it should be savoured, and with that in mind, this terrific second season boxset is a genuine must. --Jon Foster --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Special effects are good but the cast members, not all, let the show down. I don't know if it's their acting abilities or the directors directions / vision but there is no natural flow to some characters as they deliver their lines.
Too much nudity & sex, it's basically a porn show made for TV.
So, if you like cheesy acting, soft porn & vampires you'll love this.
True Blood's second season hits the ground running with a number of complex storylines in progress or just getting underway. As a result the second season has less of an introductory feel than the first, and cuts to the chase much more quickly. There's less of Sookie changing her mind every five minutes about whether she wants to be with Bill or not and more focus on more dynamic storylines, which is what the series needed after the first season, which got bogged down a few times.
The fact that Sookie and Bill are now together and that's pretty much it (despite a couple of curveballs sent towards the relationship late in the season) results in Anna Paquin raising her game notably. Whilst always decent in the role of Sookie, the character's frequent changes in attitude in Season 1 gave the impression of leaving her unsure about how to play the character. In Season 2 she is visibly more confident about the character and that comes through in a stronger, more interesting performance. Stephen Moyer also has an ability to relax and add a bit more humour to the character of Bill, which mostly comes out in his interactions with Jessica and Eric.
Deborah Ann Woll first appeared at the end of Season 1 as Jessica, but she's a regular in Season 2 and delivers a great performance as the stroppy teenage vampire who isn't initially particularly happy about her lot, but then finds vampirism an excellent way to rebel against her strict Christian upbringing. Her interactions with Moyer and also with Jim Parrack as her love interest Hoyt are very well-written and performed.
Alexander Skarsgard also gives an increasingly excellent performance as Eric. He hits impressive heights towards the end of the season when his carefully-cultivated sense of unflappable stoicism is shattered. We also get to see his life as a human in flashback, adding additional layers to his character.
Most of the rest of the cast are great, particularly Michelle Forbes as Maryann, a seeming hedonist who just wants people to have a good time. The unveiling of her true motives is well-done and Forbes seems to have a ball playing a more overt villain than some of her other roles (such as the much greyer Admiral Caine in BSG).
The season's structure works quite well, with Sookie and Bill's adventures in Texas, Jason's storyline at the nearby Fellowship of the Sun church and events back in Bon Temps unfolding in tandem, allowing the story to skip around to another location whenever one storyline starts running out of steam. However, whilst the Texas storyline is well-developed and resolved fairly quickly (in eight episodes), arguably the Fellowship storyline remains pretty predictable and its depiction as a bunch of fundamentalist whackjobs is too simplistic, given the moral complexities of the story explored elsewhere. Events in Bon Temps also unfold far more quickly than is necessary, meaning that the latter half of the season seems to be almost entirely taken up by disturbing magic-driven orgy rituals and Sam running around with various people chasing him, waiting for Sookie and Bill to get back from their storyline to help resolve things.
Still, the show remains well-written and entertaining, and even if it does lack the depth of a lot of other HBO shows it is also a lot funnier (even if that humour is as black as midnight) than some of them. The final episode also does a good job of setting up Season 3, with the introduction of Evan Rachel Wood as the Vampire Queen of Louisiana (a great performance based on 1950s starlets) and several plot elements that look set to be more thoroughly explored next year.
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