Vampires! Shapeshifters! Pagan orgies! Never a dull moment in Bon Temps...
While True Bloods debut season was a hugely enjoyable romp through the supernatural South, it wasnt the fastest-paced show on the box. A 12-hour adaptation of Charlaine Harris flimsy first paperback, the story had more padding than the Michelin Man and dragged abominably in places. Happily, the second season (much like its printed counterpart) is a far livelier affair. Moving protagonists Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) from Bon Temps to Dallas, the story concerns a missing vampire elder and the genocidal machinations of the Church Of The Sun, providing a far broader insight into the blood-sucking society only touched on first time around. Back in Louisiana, Michelle Forbes Bacchanalian immortal (glimpsed briefly at last seasons close while naked, muddy and accompanied by a pig) gets busy turning Bon Temps residents into fornicating pod-people.
Everything True Blood fans have come to expect (blood, fangs, tits and bare bums) are present in abundance, whipped along by a fun (and infinitely ridiculous) narrative that drops a welcome dash of humour into the sanguineous medley of drama and eroticism. Most gratifying is that stand-outs Alex Skarsgård and Nelsan Ellis are both given far more screentime this time around, the formers Eric emerging as the third side in Sookies love triangle, while the latters flamboyant Lafayette firmly establishes himself as one of the most entertaining characters on television.
That the climax lacks the snap of everything leading up to it is regrettable, but even dipping as it does in the final hour, this is top-tier television with great characters, high drama and regular scenes of explicit group sex.