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This review may contain spoilers to explain parts of season 2 so if you haven't watched True Blood Season 1 and want to, don't read on!
After being hooked on True Blood's first season as soon as I finished watching the last episode of that, I knew I just had to start watching season 2 straight away. Luckily that season was just beginning on FX, so I watched it from there for free, however when the boxset was released, after a few months I purchased it for around £15 preowned off Ebay. The boxset is quite expensive in stores still and last I checked in HMV it is around £30 still, which is pretty ridiculous seeing as the 3rd season has been released for months now!
True Blood is rated 18, mainly due to the gore and sex shown throughout the episodes. However, these scenes don't occur as occasionally as you would expect for such a dark show, and they are not as bad as the rating it has been given. I would say that if you are accustomed to horror films, the gore shown within True Blood will hardly affect you as it's not that bad but for the squeamish it might be a different story..
Even at it's second season, this show still manages to be one of the best shows shown on television at the moment and is high on my list of favourite shows. It's the perfect vampire drama, as it doesn't try and appeal to the normal teenage audience vampires have gained through the years making it more dark, charming and full of the supernatural than other shows produced around these creatures of the night.
The plot follows immediately off of season 1, and although some people may want to just start watching True Blood from this season, I would recommend trying to watch it from the very beginning as you will be able to understand the earlier points and storylines from the past easily. Currently, Sookie, a telepathic waitress is still living in Bon Temps, a small Lousiana town where the people have the most charming southern accents. However, her life has taken to a new adventure when she meets the dark and interesting Bill Compton, the new vampire to Bon Temps...
Several plotlines begin and develop throughout this season, and we follow some familiar faces and their stories as well as being introduced to some new faces. Sookie's relationship with Bill provokes some reactions amongst the towns people, especially amongst her brother and best friend, Tara. These reactions are definitely not wellwishers to the couple though, as many dissaprove of the relationship and Jason, her brother, despises vampires so much he has joined the group or basically cult of vampire haters known as the Fellowship of the Sun.
The Fellowship of the Sun do nothing but cause trouble for the vampires, as they believe they are evil and should not be allowed to mingle with humans as they are freely able to in this modern world. But while the Fellowship of the Sun are plotting revenge against all vampires, Eric Northman, vampire owner of popular bar Fangtasia, is currently on the hunt to find out what happened to his maker, Godric, and he doesn't care who he has to hurt or what he has to do to find him..
One of the great points about True Blood is that not only does it have vampires, but it also includes other supernaturals! There is something fishy about the newcomer to Bon Temps called Maryann, but is it too late before she causes fatality for the people around her, or will Sookie save the day?
The writers have definitely excelled themselves this season, as the script isn't mainly focused on Sookie and Bill this season, and have taken a slight Walking Dead approach where they focus on the supporting characters as much as the main. It only benefits them, as you get so invested in the characters that every episode you are just dying to find out what their story has for them next! The fact that the previous season already had mentioned small bits about the characters themselves really let them just throw themselves into the plots from day one.
However, the writers were smart enough not to tell us too much about the characters in season 1 to leave nothing more to be added in this season, as throughout we discover more and more about them. We see how Tara, however tough she appears to be on the outside, has had quite a sad past due to her alcoholic mother and how she must face her mother's claims that she has a demon inside of her. Eric, the vampire everyone seemed to hate in the first season, has certainly changed a lot of peoples opinions about him in this season to, as before we thought he was just a powerful vampire who loved to cause chaos, but in the season we see the more caring and compassionate side of him.
Not only are the scripts amazing and so darkly written, but they have a great combo of action included within them! The vampires that Sookie has befriended actually seem to be quite angry people and seem to end up in arguments a lot of the time! Usually these arguments end in some kind of fight, and its quite fun to watch these old vampires throw each other half way across rooms for simply disagreeing with each other!
The previous season was very much focused on Bon Temps and the small town, but now it seems Sookie and Bill are becoming more adventurous and deciding to go out into the bigger vampire hangouts. For example much of the action and confronting takes place outside of Bon Temps and we are welcomed to many new varied locations from The Fellowship of the Suns meeting place to Fangtasia to Eric's grotty torture chamber. It's quite refreshing not having to look at the town, however nicely presented it is, for 12 episodes in a row. Yet, all these locations included still add to that overall dark and grim nature of True Blood locations that all True Blood fans have grown to love!
Similarly to the first season, I am still amazed by how the make up people work on the actors, as all of them really do look as pale and undead as vampires are normally considered to look like! Combine that with the fangs that pop out effortlessly and when faced by the sun burn with what is a gruesome but well designed look, it seems that True Blood have one of the best teams for CGI and make up out there.
For the super True Blood fans, you will be pleased to know that the DVD boxset has some amazing special features. Not only is it filled with the usual commentaries, but it also has these special features straight from the world of True Blood referencing things mentioned throughout the series like Felllowship of the Sun and news reports about vampire living. This boxset definitely has much more interesting features than other boxsets I own.
Overall, I would say this season of True Blood manages to keep up with the same high quality it did from the first season, if not improving even more on it. It's a well designed series with a great blend of dark script, action and location to make the viewing exciting and unique for the viewer.
Welcome back to Bon Temps, a small town in Louisiana USA. Home of Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress who has fallen in love with the local vampire Bill Compton.
We start this series and episode exactly where we left season 1, with Sookie, her friend Tara and the town cop Andy Bellefleur find a dead body in the back of Andy's cop car. With the recent dissapearence of Lafayette Reynolds, Taras cousin, could it be him in the back of Andys car or someone totally unexpected. Who murdered them and why?
Sookie quickly learns to love Bills new vampire child Jessica and feels for her when she asks to see her family but it never works out the way its ment to and things get out of hand with Bill having to interveen to save lives. Sookie and Bill have an arguement leaving Sookie walking back to Bon Temps on her own when she is attacked. Not being able to see what attacked her Sookie lays in the middle of the road and Bills comes to the rescue taking Sookie to the only place he knows could help. The vampire club ran and owned by Bills boss and sheriff of area 5 Eric Northman.
Sookie getting into a debt with Eric she has to make an agreement with him, to go to Dallas and try to fid where the sheriff of area 1 has dissapeared to and who has took him. Eric keeps it from everyone that the 2000 year old vampire that is missing is actually his maker.
Meanwhile back in Bon Temps things are getting bad. The new arrival Maryann is weaving her wickedness throughout the non supernaturals and turning them into sex mad manics who love violence, alcohol and finding Sam Merlotte, the one person Maryann needs. The town is being ripped apart by these people with no one to stop them.
Jason stackhouse (Sookies brother) is drawn into the anti vampire cult, The fellowship of the Sun. They claim to be a church and religious people and god doesnt like vampires. Vampires are the devils children and that the humans must stop this. With their training programmes and role playing, Jason soon shines to them and he is recruited to the next level but how long will it last and will se never see the true Jason again.
Its not long before Sookie is reunited with her brother and Erics maker Godric and all is well but it all changes quickly with an explosion that could kill everyone including Sookie. Will she survive and who is going to save the small town Bon Temps before Maryann takes over fully?
This season has alot of expectations, it had to be just as good, if not better than season 1 to keep people interested in the series and the writers totally pulled it off. It if full of action, blood, murder, love, sex and worry and it draws you in. Sookie has got a hell of alot of problems in this season and its very hard to see if she will be able to get through it all.
I was really happy to see alot more of the vampire sheriff Eric Northman played by Alexander skarsgard. Not only is he tall, blonde and HOT HOT HOT but he plays the role of Eric perfectly. Its really nice to see Sookie and Eric bounce off each other. Sookie can not stand eric in the start f the season but towards the end and after a little blood exchange Sookie sees eric in a whole new light.
Based on the second book of charlaine harris's Sookie Stachouse books, it follows the book quite closely but not close enough that you expect what is going to happen. If you have read the books than i do urge you to watch the tv series. There is alot people that i know that have read the books but are put off watching the show because they dont want to spoil the books but i can promise that it wont. Its close to the books but it has taken a different approach, there are different and new charaters in the show and some of the plot has changed a little.
As usual there is alot of nudity and sex in this season aswell as violence. Its not for children or yound teens, it is deffinatly for the more mature audience.
If you want to watch true blood i recommend you watch it from season 1 instead of jumping straight to this season. Although you will be able to pick up the idea of what is happening it will be very hard to understand why things are being done and who the characters are and the struggles each of them have had.
True Blood is one of the finest shows on television at the moment. It's dark, simmering tone combine southern charm, sexual tension and the supernatural in one distinct genre-defying series. Season one was a huge ratings success for HBO, and was immediately followed up with another 12-episode order of episodes. For those who are unaware of the premise, it follows the life of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse and her life in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps. She is dating vampire Bill Compton, who despite his dark past, has atoned for his sins and is very much in love with Sookie. Along with her friends and acquaintances, Sookie must delve into the dark reality of this world, only to discover that not only vampires have 'come out' into the open, but there are other supernatural creatures lurking in the darkness...
Season two follows up immediately after season one, in terms of chronology. This means that while watching the first season is not absolutely essential, without it, not only will many of the early plot points of season two be lost on viewers, the rich tapestry of characters will appear confusing as opposed to charming. There are several plotlines running parallel during season two, which keeps your interest high, as it keeps the show fresh with new ideas and new characters to meet. We see Sookie become further involved in the vampire community, while her brother Jason becomes indoctrinated by a radical religion anti-vampire cult. Ancient vampire Eric investigates the mysterious disappearance of his 2000-year old maker, while the charming newcomer Maryann weaves a wicked web of magic and trickery on the town with fatal outcomes.
First off, I have to admire the writers for being bolder this season. With the first episode dealing with the murder of the forest-dwelling Ms. Jeanette, I feared that True Blood was going to follow the decline of other supernatural shows (like Heroes) by shamelessly trying to recreate season one's winning formula. Luckily, the writers do not. They give more airtime to minor characters, which prevents the intensity of Sookie and Bill's adventures from becoming too draining. The action also shifts out of Bon Temps, with Jason, Eric, Sookie and Bill all spending much of the season out-of-town. Again, I feel this was a bold move - albeit with mixed results. With them away, the characters back home could blossom and bloom with more individual storylines and indeed - the change of scenery was interesting. However, when the whole cast is reunited for the season finale, the sense of community and chemistry between the characters didn't feel as electrifying as in season one.
With the characters firmly established, however, I felt that season two had far more energy and momentum than the first did. While at times it can feel a little frantic and cluttered, the first season could also at times feel a little too plodding and lethargic. I feel like both pacings have their own relative strengths and weaknesses, but for me, the faster moving, more action-based storylines felt a refreshing change.
One of the most captivating aspects of the season was delving into the origins of the characters and seeing more of their backstories. I felt Eric, who was more of a caricature of a malevolent, all-powerful vampire, began to shift to be someone deeper and more complex. He became more appealing and more compelling to watch, as I began to stop seeing him as a two-dimensional adversary, but instead as a fleshed-out character who inspired both my love and loathing simultaneously. I have to praise the acting in the series, particularly Ryan Kwanten's (Jason Stackhouse), as his transition from a dopey womanizer to the role of naive hero was heart-warming. I can't wait to see how the writers expand the character in later seasons.
My only problem with the season was the choice of adversary for the season finale. Some of the best moments of the entire series occur in Texas, as Sookie, Bill and Eric investigate the 'Fellowship of the Sun' cult - a deliciously dark, and frighteningly accurate allegory for some of the right-wing movements going on America today. Yet the conclusion of this storyline three episodes too premature meant that the finale focused on Maryann - an interesting character, but whose power of reducing the entire town to zombies soon lost its appeal and seemed rather too dull. I just felt having her as a villain was a little too anticlimactic, and at times, reduced the show to being a bit of a novelty - like the popular supernatural series 'Charmed' - where characterisation was sacrificed in the name of gimmicks.
Overall though, this is a fantastic boxset to own. I watched the entire season in just over a week because the plotlines were so enthralling. As the momentum of the plot progression hits terminal velocity, you'll find yourself watching three in one sitting.
This season is a marked improvement on the first which is no easy feat as the first series was excellent. This series expands the true blood universe, we get to see how the vampire world has expanded, and we visit different states and meet new sheriffs from other sectors. We get to meet the queen of the vampires which gives us more clues as to how the vampire nation has evolved, hopefully we will see more of her.
The supporting cast from season 1 step up in this series Lafayette, Andy Bellefleur and Jessica all become very important characters this season with there scenes being some of the most memorable.
The most important and revealing story line for me was the relationship between Eric and Godrick, it showed the bond between maker and makee, something which I feel we will see much more of in season three between Bill and Jessica.
The whole taking over the town storyline was good, although I think Maryann Forrester could have been made a bit more evil. Also the ending was quite an anti-climax.
The series is on 5 discs with extras including
* "Fellowship of the Sun: Reflections of Light" - Gives "rules to live by" from Fellowship of the Sun leaders Steve and Sarah Newlin.
* "The Vampire Report: Special Edition" - Highlighting the year's biggest stories in vampire news, politics, and pop culture.
* Audio commentaries including creator Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Michelle Forbes, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, and more.
Sadly True Blood Season 2 is not yet available on DVD in the UK. It is available elsewhere though, including from America or you can get the NTSC version off ebay. If you'd rather wait for the official UK release, this will hit stores on 17 May 2010 and it'll set you back between £30 and £40 depending on who you buy it from. Play.com and Amazon usually have the best price for this sort of thing if you pre-order at least a month in advance.
As I've got a foreign copy, I'm really reviewing season 2 rather than the actual DVD box set (meaning extras etc, of which there's nothing terribly special on my copy anyway!). To really appreciate this you need to have already watched season 1 of this series, and that's already available on DVD in this country right now. True Blood is based on a series of books by Charlaine Harris, but the contents of the series differs quite considerably from the books, so you really do need to have actually watched season 1 and not just be familiar with the books.
For those who don't know, True Blood stars a telepathic waitress called Sookie who spends entirely too much time mixed up with supernatural beings. She works in a small bar called Merlottes in an American outback southern town called Bon Temps, for a shape-shifter called Sam. Vampires are known throughout modern America in the True Blood series, but shape-shifters and other supernatural beings are still hiding in the shadows at present. Sookie finds herself walking from disaster to disaster as she tries to live in, befriend and be of use of to both worlds.
Season 2 of True Blood includes all kinds of goings on which pick up from where season 1 left off. The characters are all the same, thankfully, and no actor substitutions have been made. Some of the characters do noticeably develop though, and in particular I noticed a huge change in Eric and Pam, the psycho vampires who run Fangtasia. Out of nowhere they seem to develop an element of warmth to their characters, which is something they were both completely void of in season 1.
As the plot unfolded in this series, I found myself gripped and intrigued due to how very different the storylines were from what I was expecting. There's a whole new vampire written into the TV series that didn't feature in any of the books, and oh boy is she out to stir things up. I thought it was a great idea to add such a large, unexpected twist to the tale.
There are some huge disasters that take place in this series, including a room full of vampires getting blown up at one stage. I can't believe how good the special effects for those scenes was! Every step of the way with this, I felt like I was really there. I was equally impressed with the way characters were shown to shape-shift, and the scenes which involved characters looking like they were under spells or had been drugged. I felt very much as though I was watching a series of brilliant films, rather than a television series. I can't remember the last time I saw film quality special effects like these used in a television series.
The finale to the series is a real cliffhanger, and I'm thoroughly annoyed that they're leaving me hanging for series 3 like they are! It'll probably be a year or more before I find out what happens. The final scenes are sudden and really quite out of the blue. I suspect that they will tie in to a plot that I recall from the books, but they're leading into that plot in a completely different way to how the books told that particular story.
All in all this is a gripping series that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. The cast are first rate, the special effects are amazing, the storylines are gripping and original, and I think £30 is a very fair price for a DVD of this quality which is nearly 12hrs long. Highly recommended by me to anyone whose been enjoying the books, the first season, or is into action-packed gothic thrillers in general. Definitely watch season 1 first though.