True Blood The Complete Second Season DVD/Blu-ray
Writers/Directors: Alan Ball, Adam Davidson, Daniel Minahan, John Dahl, Michael Cuesta, Michael Lehmann
Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutin Wesley, Alexander Skarsgård, Nelsan Ellis, Deborah Ann Woll, Michelle Forbes
HBO Home Video
Release Date: May 25, 2010
The first season of HBO’s True Blood was something of a surprise hit. The crazy new b-movie-like series took some getting used to at first, but once you were engaged, there was no going back. With franchises like The Twilight Saga making loads of money off dumbed-down, sparkle-happy, family-friendly vampires, the ultra-violent and relentlessly graphic vampire drama unfolding in the southern town of Bon Temps was a bloody fresh new title to embrace.
The one thing about True Blood, however, that was hinted at in the first season and was completely unleashed in this second season, was that this is NOT just a show about vampires…not even close.
For those who don’t know, the basic premise to the show is that vampires and humans live among each other, but real-world issues like racism and hate crimes and protests are often occurrences between the two species. In the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, only a few “fangs,” as they’re called, live among the nervous townspeople. Of these few, only one is really worth note, and his name is Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), and he was turned while fighting in the Civil War. When he wanders into Merlotte’s — a local dive bar — a lovable modern-day southern belle waitress there named Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), immediately infatuated by his presence, goes to say hello. That hello turns into a strong bond and eventually a forbidden love, which is frowned upon by many.
While the first season dealt with the mysterious deaths of many females from Bon Temps who had been associated with vampires, and trying to figure out who did it, this second season expanded far outside of the small town.
The second season followed along two main storylines. The first of them revolves around Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), and his departure for the Fellowship of the Sun — an infamous religious group known for their hatred of vampires. The second storyline revolves around Sookie’s best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley), and the mysterious woman who has taken Tara under her wings, Maryann (Michelle Forbes), who also happens to have an interesting past with Sookie’s boss, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammel).
Because of the small-town setting, simple-yet-effective story, and great mixture of characters and personalities in the first season of True Blood, I think it still remains my favorite. Nevertheless, I very much loved the second season as well. It’s a show that has consistently stayed fun and entertaining, and it has given people very few excuses not to be watching. As with most series you can now find on premium channels known for their movies, this is what mature series are all about, and they’re really better than almost anything you’ll find in prime time shows these days.
Both of the main storylines this season were pretty incredible to watch. Just when you would think that things couldn’t go any farther or that they couldn’t reach that next level of insanity, you would soon find yourself at yet another jaw-dropping moment. That’s what makes the show so much fun. Nothing is sacred. There are no rules. They just try and give you all the crazy, other-worldly laughs, shocks, scares, and tears that they can give you. Fans can’t ask for more than that now, can they?
Without getting into too much detail, many moments really stood out that encompass what I mean. One of these moments takes place in the third episode of the season, when Sookie is attacked by a strange and terrifying creature with a bull’s head and massive, almost reptilian claws. The damage done is severe, and the entire sequence will have you shocked and glued to the screen. This also has to do with the aforementioned “not just about vampires” statement. True Blood offers vampires, shapeshifters, telepathy, werewolves, and other mythological creatures and abilities done right, which really makes it special. Another moment featured a very old vampire named Godric (Allan Hyde) and fan-favorite Eric Northam (Alexander Skarsgård) on the roof of a building. Again, I won’t spill details, but it was a wonderful scene that is also a good example of the heart and soul such a vicious show can still express without becoming dumbed-down. These are just some of the many things that make me such a massive fan, and I can’t wait for more.
I was going to summarize each of the two main storylines of the season and what I liked about them, but thinking about it now (aside from the scenes noted above), I’d rather not spoil for anyone who might not be caught up yet. There’s just too much great stuff to even bother getting in to. All you need to know is that if you’ve only seen the first season, or if you haven’t started it at all, you need to get going! This is way too much fun for fans of horror and fantastical creatures to pass up. And with the third season about to begin on June 13 and some interesting storylines already set up, you don’t have time to waste!
Very rarely is something absolutely “perfect” (such a loaded word!), and there were areas that I didn’t like about this season as well. Fortunately, it wasn’t all that crucial, and I think most people felt the same way about this particular grievance, if you will. The show introduced a vampire queen named Sophie-Anne LeClerq (Evan Rachel Wood), and though Wood was good in the role, something about it just did not work. I think the producers of True Blood like to talk about this unbelievably old and powerful vampires (which naturally has us visualizing really old, or really big and strong presences), and then introducing the complete opposite of what you expected. They did the same thing with Eric’s maker, Godric, but that one still found a way to work. I’m not sure if this queen will be coming back or if fans chased her off, but I hope in the future they put less effort into surprising us, and more effort into some remarkable new characters that live up to the impressive hype that we hear about them from other characters.
Overall, as you can plainly see, I’m a huge fan of True Blood. Everything about it encompasses what entertaining movies and shows should possess. There’s no doubt that a lot of people may have trouble getting used to its style and eccentricity (myself included), but again, once you’re in, you’re completely hooked. It’s not easy to produce one great season of a new series, let alone two, so creator Alan Ball and HBO are on a pretty impressive roll right now.
Along with some commentaries, there’s a Bonus Features disc, though it’s not jam-packed. There’s one feature called Fellowship of the Sun: Reflections of Light that show some short clips from the Fellowship of the Sun, who aim to teach morals and recruit new members. These and more can also be seen at the Fellowship of the Sun website.
The other special feature is called The Vampire Report: Special Edition, which is an entire episode of the news broadcast you see running from time-to-time in any given episode of True Blood.