HBO's True Blood returns Sunday amped up and sexed up for a second season
For many episodes, this quirky show about a small Louisiana town filled with publicly known vampires, covert shape shifters, a serial killer and a mind-reading waitress felt like a sloppy collision of pointlessly dysfunctional characters. (see the official Web site here)
Wide-eyed optimist Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) found romance with the only person whose mind she couldn’t read in backwoods Bon Temps, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). But while creator Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) had developed an amazing concept – Compton and other vampires came out of hiding, claiming to live on a synthetic blood substitute called True Blood – it took him forever to explore the supernatural angles.
But as the show kicks off its second season at 9 p.m. Sunday, a slow start is the last problem at hand. Indeed, tonight’s episode starts with a grisly murder – a woman’s heart is removed from her body outside the bar where Stackhouse and her pals work – launching several crises at once.
Stackhouse learns her man was forced to turn a human into a vampire and now must mentor her. What other secrets is he keeping? (fans know that answer centers on the fate of her abusive uncle).
And the area’s powerful vampire sheriff Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) wants Stackhouse’s help in tracking down a missing vampire in Texas, a quest Compton wants no part of. One question I’m still waiting to see answered: where are all these mind-reading, shape shifting, ageless people coming from any way?
True Blood has emerged as an intriguing blend of hot house Southern drama and backwoods supernatural goings on. Click below for a look at what some of the main characters have in store this season.
Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) – Shaken after just escaping a serial killer last season, Sookie asserts herself more this season, demanding Compton share painful truths with her about his past. Her mind reading seems to emerge only in convenient bursts – like when she’s looking for best friend Tara’s relative. And fans who have drooled over Sookie’s tight t-shirts can rejoice; she has a fully nude sex scene with Compton in the first and second episodes.
Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) – Faced with mentoring a young vampire and learning to trust Sookie with the seamier side of his life, Compton find his anger threatening his relationship. Still, when Sookie is attacked on a dark road by a mysterious, supernatural being, guess who leaps into action to save her life. Again.
Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) – Turns out, Merlotte met party girl Maryanne Forrester 20 years ago when he was a teenager and she looked the same. As Forrester begins throwing wild, orgiastic parties – and feeding on the hedonistic energy they create – questions arise about who, or what, this women really is. And what did Merlotte do with her, back when he was a young pup?