Saturday, 24 October 2009

Of True Blood Season 2

One of the most addicting and down right fun on shows continued in stellar fashion for it's second season. Because I've done one review already in the past few months for True Blood, this sis really going to be rehashing a lot of the same points that made the show work for it's first season. I mean honestly if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Season 2 definitely went bigger when compared to Season. We now know the characters and we're thrown head first into the action. Especially considering the first season ends on a cliffhanger. True Blood does cliffhangers like no other show. Every single episode ends with one and they aren't little lines of dialogue or reveals. These are full blown cliffhangers, characters will quite frequently end up on the wrong side of a life or death situation and add up to make the show feel very fast paced.

True Blood runs at a blistering pace, so much is crammed into one episode that it almost feels like overkill. Whilst not all of it is necessarily as good as other parts (for reasons I'll explain later), the show will quickly move through a hundred plot points in one episode. Season 2 runs at an even faster pace due to the fact that it just delves into far more stories with far more characters and still makes it work. Whilst Season 2 isn't necessarily better than Season 1 it does improve on some points whilst being weaker on some others.

Such as lasts seasons MVP Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) sadly having a serious decrease in screen time (if you've seen the last episode of Season 1 you'll know why), however other characters have more than come into the fold. Many people would rave about Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) in Season 1 but I left him out of my review last time due to the fact that he wasn't there as much. However Season 2 improved greatly on this by having so much screen time for Eric. He came forward as such a brilliant character. Exactly what you want from a vampire on television. This guy is dark and twisted and will stop at nothing to get what he wants but he still has a heart and you just want to root for him. Eric definitely stands at odds to Bill (Stephen Moyer) who quite often comes off as a bit dull but luckily does play off of Eric very nicely (especially considering Eric's feelings for Sookie). Speaking of whom, whilst Sookie is very definitely the lead character, like so many other shows she isn't really anyone's favourite. I love Anna Paquin and her story is definitely enjoyable for the season but give me Jason and Andy any day just for the sheer comic genius that those two are together (look out for that later in the season).

Now the plotting of the season. Season 1 was exceedingly tightly plotted, with reveals and events happening at just the right point for each story. Whilst the same can be said for 95% of Season 2 one part just needed to be picked up a little, namely Tara's story. Due to the fact most of the characters aren't in Bon Temps for Season 2, it suffers from having very little to play off and stalls a little towards the middle of the season whilst the other major plotline of the season is wrapping up. Tara's story focuses upon the Big Bad of Season 2 and whilst leads to very interesting points and a great performance from Michelle Forbes it just needed something else (probably from only having one of the shows best characters involved in the story whilst Jason, Eric, Jessica and Hoyt spend time in Dallas). However luckily it still leads to a compelling ending (even if the finale really ends half way into the episode with the last half literally being the start of Season 3).

True Blood is an amazingly fun show. It's gory and sexy in a way no other show on television is. The characters are for the most part all interesting (Tara being the biggest weak link in the show) and we get some really pairings for this second season (Jessica and Hoyt FTW). My main issue is that for all the improvements it made it added a few flaws to seemingly balance the mix. The show is still great but it didn't make the great leap forward to distance itself from a stellar first season, the biggest being stretching a small plot point in the book to being a full season arc just didn't have the the punch to pull it off 100%.

I'm still massively on tenderhooks for Season 3, it's still massive amounts of fun and Season 2 is just as good as Season 1 but I was hoping it would be better. Luckily Season 3 looks set to do that with the introduction of werewolves (inevitable Twilight comparisons will also follow). The show at the moment is gloriously campy and plain fun and occasionally whilst shows like Mad Men and The Wire are truly sublime, all we want is a bit of fun.


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