Writing a review of HBO’s massive vampire series True Blood is an incredibly daunting task. True Blood is based on Charlaine Harris’s The Southern Vampire Mysteries and there is huge fan investment in both the television series and books. The show is larger than life and is an ostentatious display of sex, mayhem, and drama; can a single review ever capture something as big as the Sookie Stackhouse phenomenon? Having watched the visual feast that is the second season of True Blood on Blu-ray, I shall certainly try.
True Blood centers around a telepathic waitress called Sookie Stackhouse who falls in love with a vampire called Bill Compton. With the invention of synthetic blood, vampires have been able to “come out of the coffin” as they no longer need to prey on humans for sustenance. The series is set in the Southern town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. In the first season of True Blood, Sookie meets Bill and soon falls for him once she realizes that his thoughts are silent to her; his silence is a rare treat for her in a world filled by the cacophony of other people’s thoughts.
The second season of True Blood focuses on two major plotlines and the series begins to depart quite dramatically from the books. Although this season is loosely based on Charlaine Harris’s novel Living Dead In Dallas, there are many more characters and storylines than in the book. The first major plot relates to Eric Northman, the vampire sheriff of Area 5 (which includes Bon Temps). Eric requests that Sookie use her telepathic powers to try to locate his maker Godric who has gone missing and she leaves for Dallas with Bill and his progeny Jessica.
The second plotline revolves around the maenad Maryann who introduces more than a fair share of mayhem, lust and destruction to the small town of Bon Temps while Sookie and Bill are in Dallas. Maenads were the female followers of Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, and they were known for their ecstatic, frenzied behavior. While posing as a social worker, Maryann takes Sookie’s best friend Tara under her wing and they later move into Sookie’s home while she is away. Maryann frequently holds debauched orgies to which the townsfolk are invited and the entire town is overcome by lust and lunacy at these parties.
It is hard to believe that there were only 12 episodes in this season as so much happens and the tension and excitement literally reach a fever pitch as the season hurtles towards its smashing finale. I thoroughly enjoyed this season, even more so than the first season but some parts I loved more than others.