Created by Alan Ball
Starring: Anna Panquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Michelle Forbes,
“I have never met a vampire personally, but I don’t know what might happen tomorrow.”
First things first: vampires don’t sparkle. I like my vampires’ blood thirsty and up to no good. So, HBO’S True Blood “vamps” are my style. So, how was the show as it entered its second season?
First, a overview of the series in case you aren’t familiar True Blood is based on the The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, and details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional small Louisiana town. The series centers on Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress at a bar, who falls in love with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). The bar that Sookie works at is owned by Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), who just happens to be a shape shifter. Sookie’s best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) also works at the bar, along with her cousin Lafayette, played by the scene stealing Nelsan Ellis. Sookie has a brother named Jason (Ryan Kwanten), that is the local hell raiser and womanizer. He is still up to his old tricks in the second season.
Back for the ride in the second season is fan favorite Fangtasia’s (local vampire bar) owner and the vampire sheriff of “Area 5” in Louisiana Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) and his right hand “woman” Pam (Kristen Bauer). Trying to keep the whole town together is Sherrif Bud Dearborne (William Sanderson) and Detective Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer).
If I was going to list more of the secondary characters or try to recap what happened in Season one in this review, I think I would give our editor a heart attack. Let’s just dig into the second season, shall we?
Season two mainly focuses on two main plots. First, the disappearance of the 2,000-year old vampire Sheriff of Area 9, Godric (Allan Hyde), who just so happens to be Eric’s maker. This causes Eric to enlist Sookie’s and Bill’s aid in finding the ancient vampire in Dallas. Their paths cross Jason’s as he seeks to discover meaning in his life with the Fellowship of the Sun, a church dedicated to anti-vampire activities.
The second plot line in Season Two concerns a maenad named Maryann who visits Bon Temps after Tara attracts her attention at the end of the first season. What is a maenad, you ask? Well, in Greek mythology, a maenad is a frenzied and insane woman who participates in the orgiastic rites of Dionysus. Got that? Maryann is a figure from Sam’s past and knows his true identity as a shapeshifter. Her influence on the town and its residents results in mayhem that grows more destructive as the season progresses.
If you were a fan of the first season, there is just more here to love. The second season differs from the first season, which was more centered on the characters and setting up the players in the story. The second season has even more action, more characters and more interweaving plots than you can believe. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
So, fans of the first season, this is a no brainer. If you are new to the world of True Blood, do yourself a favor…just look for a deal in getting both seasons on Blu Ray.
The series is presented in 1080p AVC MPEG-4 transfer in an anamorphic widescreen presentation. The transfer is first rate. The black levels are highly respectable and the colors and skin tones are wonderfully presented. This is an consummate transfer.
The series is presented in lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio. The dialogue is crystal clear and well mixed. This audio mix is fantastic, blending the ambient sounds, dialogue and soundtrack perfectly. I just can’t say enough good things about this audio presentation. It is simply first rate.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The series is presented in a multidisc blu ray amaray case with a cardboard slipcover.
There is a plethora of bonus material available in this release. There are 7 different commentaries to listen to, featuring everyone from episode directors, to writers to main cast actors. Each one is entertaining and informative and definitely worth your time to take a listen.
Next up, The Vampire Report: Special Edition which is a “tongue in cheek” vampire news program, filling everyone in on what is going on in modern day vampires lives. It is mostly funny, it just feels like it overstays its welcome a bit.
Fellowship of the Sun: Reflections of Light feature Mr. and Mrs. Newlin of the Fellowship of the Sun church giving “advice” on how to live a godly life, free of vampires and darkness.
Exclusive to the Blu Ray release of the season, are enhanced viewing options that include in-character videos that “pop up” with different True Blood characters that give more information about other characters or give “insight” into events that are occurring in the season. There are also flash backs to Season One, “Pro and Anti Vampire News Feeds” and “Flash Forwards” to different events in Season Two. This is well done and is a good time.
Character Perspectives are just the enhanced viewing in character pop up videos available to watch on their own.
Overall (Not an Average) 9.5/10
The Series 10/10
The Video 10/10
The Audio 10/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 8/10
Overall (not an average) 9.5/10