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Dec 22

True Blood – Season Two

tbses2Genre: Horror
Year: 2009
Country: USA

Directors: Daniel Minahan, Michael Lehmann, Scott Winant, John Dahl, Michael Ruscio, Adam Davidson, Michael Cuesta
Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley

 

 

True Blood is back again after a highly successful first season. The second season further explores Sookie’s relationship with Bill, Eric gets bumped up to the main cast and is not just a strange evil looking creature anymore, Jason gets himself involved with more trouble and a creature takes control over the entire town of Bon Temp.

Bill’s punishment for killing a fellow vampire last year was to turn a young, innocent female into a vampire that he has to train. This vampire was Jessica Hamby, who are now trying to adjust to the life of being a vampire and a teenager at the same time. Eric demands the telepathic help from Sookie after he has been informed that another sheriff and his creator Godric has ended up missing in Dallas. Tara’s cousin Lafayette has been caught by Eric after he has sold vampire blood as a drug to people and is now being kept in Eric’s dungeon underneath Fangtasia. After being healed, Sookie agrees to help Eric find Godric in trade for the freedom of Lafayette.

Jason finds himself getting involved with The Fellowship of the Sun, a christian organization that condemns vampires and has a plan to bring a holy war upon them. Jason decides to join the leadership camp that they are holding and gets close to the reverend and leader Steve Newlin and his wife Sarah. Their special interest in Jason upsets some of the others at the camp who have used the last years of their lives to get there while Jason just got invited out of the blue.

When the gang arrives in Dallas, they find out that Godric is being kept at the same leaders camp that Jason is currently in. Sookie and another human who are involved with a vampire gets sent into the camp, posing as a couple who wants a new church to get married in. The Newlins where already expecting them and captures them. Even though Bill can sense the danger that Sookie is in, he himself is being held captive by Lorena, his maker and previous lover who has been summoned by Eric. When Jason finds out that his sister is being kept in the church, he turns against them. Eric also looses patience and goes in to save Sookie and Godric. Eric is unsuccessful since he is trying to follow Godric’s orders of not hurting any humans and gets captive. Bill manages to escape from Lorena and together with the help from Jason is able to save the them, while Godric again steps him to avoid any bloodshed. Back in the vampire nest of Dallas, one of the still faithful members of the Fellowship shows up and blows himself up, taking a few vampires with him. Tricking Sookie into believing he is seriously injured, Eric makes Sookie suck out silver bullets from his chest which also makes her swallow some of his blood. This makes her connected to him in the same way as she is connected to Bill. Godric decides to meet the sun under great objections from his faithful Eric.

Back in Bon Temp, Tara moves in with the strange creature that popped up in the end of season one. Her name is Maryann and at first she seems to be a nice and free-spirited woman who enjoys doing anything that makes you feel good, regardless of the consequences. She always have incredible food, alcohol and weed around and Tara also falls in love with another troubled spirit who is hanging out at Maryann’s place. Benedict, or Eggs as he prefers to be called, is an ex-convict who is trying to change his life around. The parties that Maryann is holding keeps getting wilder and wilder and basically becomes big orgies and soon she got everyone in Bom Temp under a spell, turning them into black bug-eyed crazies that worships and follows her every word. The only ones who are not under her spell is Sam and Andy Bellefleur. They now have to try to work together to figure out what is happening to the people in their town. Sam has learned that Maryann is a Maenad, an ancient creature that has great powers and seeks the arrival of an ancient God.

Sookie and the rest of the gang returns to Bon Temp, finding the entire city in chaos. When Sookie and Bill gets to Sookie’s house they see that it has been transformed into the nest for Maryann. They meet her inside and when Bill tries to bite her, he gets sick. Maryann tries to approach Sookie who then shoots out sparkling lightning towards her by accident and gets Bill out of the house. Jason joins up with Sam and Andy to try to take control over the city, while Bill travels to Sophie-Ann, the Vampire Queen of Lousiana to find out if she knows how to destroy this Maenad. Meanwhile, Sookie gets captured by Maryann’s disciples and in the end it is up to Bill and Sam to find a solution to how they can save her and the entire town.

Of the plots and subplots the most interesting is the Vampire vs. Fellowship of the Sun and how some of the vampires have just as much hate towards the church as the church does towards vampires. The scenes at the church camp is perhaps the best written this year. The question of immortality and how that works regarding relationships between vampires and humans are also raised a couple of times throughout this season. Another reoccurring theme is loyalty and honesty in friendship, relationships and family. I don’t think the Manaed was a great villain and that also hurts this season a bit, even though it did produce a couple of fun scenes with the civilians of Bon Temp.

In this season we get to know the characters even more and that’s not always a good thing. Sookie is the main character of the show and she behaves simply idiotic at times, which makes it harder to care and like her. Anna Paquin also shows that she is not a great actor in some of the scenes, which doesn’t help either. Tara is yet again the most annoying character by constantly complaining about how her life is going and behaving badly towards everyone near her. They did try to soften her up a little by getting her a love interest in Eggs, but in the end she is still the same aggressive woman. Even with less “spizazz” as Andy would say, Lafayette is still one of the greatest characters this year aswell and Nelson Ellis continues to steal the scenes that he is in. Bill became boring this year and the only scenes where he becomes interesting is the flashbacks to when he has under the command of Lorena. Eric is also now a softer person and has apparently also developed feelings for Sookie, so now we do have a good old fashion triangle of love thing to look forward to in the next season. Even though he is not as evil as he projected in the first season, he is still one of the most interesting characters and his scenes with Godric is some of the best in this season. Even when we know he is a shapeshifter, Sam doesn’t really do much for me and is still quite uninteresting. Jason, regardless of how dumb he is, is still enjoyable to watch. He goes overboard as a Rambo looking guy in the end, but yet again his charms and good acting by Ryan Kwanten makes the character fun.

There are a few new characters that add greatly to this world. Mariana Klaveno was great as Lorena, the creator of Bill. She is a vicious vampire that goes after what she wants, regardless of the consequences. The new vampire Jessica is played excellently by Deborah Ann Woll. It’s a fun character and a good way for the viewers to experience the transition from human to vampire and see that everything isn’t always easier on the dark side. Her relationship with Hoyt was also sweet and more engaging than Sookie and Bill. Hoyt (Jim Parrack) was in the first season aswell, but got a bump up this year and it’s well deserved. The geeky mama’s boy is a good match for Jessica and they work well as a couple. Terry Bellefleur was also in season one, but just like Hoyt this its first in this one that he gets some decent screen time and he is a fun character. Todd Lowe did a great job as Terry, who is an ex-military with a lot of internal troubles from his day as a soldier. Michael McMillian is also great as Steve Newlin and I hope this isn’t the last time we see the guy. Anna Camp is gorgeous as his wife and I’m sad that we didn’t get to see her more undressed here. Even though I’d prefer another villain than Maryann, Michelle Forbes who played her did do a good job with the character.

I applaud the decision not to turn down the sexiness or blood, as would be an easy thing to do after the success of the first season. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer does have some steamy naked and hot scenes together and stuff like that is such a big part of the show and it would suck if they wimped out and removed it.

It leaves a blank page as to what will happen in the next season. There are some hints that Bill might not be just a dull vampire in love after all and I’m sure there will be more exploration of the Eric character, hopefully not in just romance with Sookie. We’ll surely find out more about what Sookie are and how she can send lightning out of her fingers and it looks like we will be seeing the past of Sam aswell. Andy Bellefleur is another that didn’t get affected by the Manaed, which also needs some explaining. It would be nice if they managed to create a good supernatural villain this time though. We also got too many main characters now and I think it would serve the show well if it cut some loose.

True Blood: Season Two does uphold the interest in the characters and what’s going to happen next. It’s not as consistent as the first season, but I guess that’s too be expected. It could use some more horror to it. It did lose a little of the small-town charm from season one since a lot of it takes place in a different city than Bon Temp, but despite its flaws it’s still a great show to watch and it’s a lot of fun.

 

 ★★★½☆ 

 

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