True Blood Season 2 – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

I just finished the finale of the second season of HBO’s True Blood, and I am just as enthralled with the series as I was when I picked up the DVD set of the first season a month or so ago. The writing and production values are still consistently high, and the cliffhanger episode endings make me feel almost—almost—like I do at the end of each week’s LOST.

That said, I’m not sure how I feel about Season 2 as a whole. There were certainly lots of high points, but it seems that the season was full of more “meh” moments than the first. Not that I’m against a show having low points; I expect them and understand that each moment of a series cannot be as high quality as the highest, but the low moments in Season 2 seem lower than Season 1’s.

If you’ve not finished True Blood Season 2, then I warn you: you might not want to read much more of this post. I’ll assume that anyone who reads on doesn’t mind discussion of themes and events that might be considered spoilers.

The Good:

  • Godric. Godric

I don’t know what else of note, if anything, Allan Hyde has played in, and his IMDB page is little help. But hands down, he is the best single element of this season. I don’t like to say often that the casting is what made the character, especially when I haven’t read the novels to know how Charlaine Harris characterized Godric, but I can’t imagine reading about him in the novel being half as awesome as watching the pure and subtle power and wisdom Allan Hyde exudes. His performance is simply phenomenal. If you aren’t heartbroken after he meets the sun on the rooftop, then you simply must be a robot.

My main qualm with the introduction and implementation of Godric into Season 2 is that it was so short-lived. We waited over half a season for him to finally get on camera after hearing Eric and the other vampires laud him, then we see how awesome he is as Dallas’ sheriff, and then, finally, we realize that everything that happened at the Fellowship of the Sun was just preamble to him to kill himself. I understand for story’s sake that he was tired of life, but it was such a waste of a character, if you ask me. He could—and would—have been the Benjamin Linus of True Blood.

  • Jason Stackhouse.

He really evolved as a character this season. I was not sure what to make of him during Season 1, except what was on the surface—the stupid, man-whoring prettyboy. Season 2 changes that, and viewers consistently get to see that Jason is made up of a lot more than just hormones and rock-hard abs. I don’t think he’s playing with a full deck sometimes; he’s still a little slow, but he’s got heart when it counts. He’s easily confused and swayed on what might be the right direction, but once he gets his mind on something (being one of the good guys), he’s not going to back down. I respect that.

Best Jason Stackhouse moment this season: When he tells Andy how hard it is to be him and how much work it takes to get as much sex as he does.

Andy: …and women do just throw themselves at you. You don’t even have to do anything.

Jason: Actually I do. I work out like a motherfucker, and I watch a lot of porn to learn stuff.

Good ole Jason.

The Bad:

  • Maryann the maenad.

Simply put, this story arc sucked. It sucked when it was introduced at the end of Season 1. And it sucked the entire time it ran all the way through Season 2. I never cared about what happened to Eggs. I never had any doubt that Tara would be rescued by Sookie and Vampire Bill, and I never thought that Sam Merlotte was ever in any real danger from his past. The whole subplot made me roll my eyes and wish that the narrative would get back to Sookie and Jason’s goings-on in Dallas, which were exponentially more interesting than anything that was going on in Bon Temps.

The only good part about was when Sam killed Maryann in “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” because now I know for sure that the plot is finished and the characters can finally get into something (hopefully) more interesting in Season 3. Tara is my favorite character, so hopefully her subplot in Season 3 will actually be watchable.

And who didn’t see Sam metamorphosing into the Bull Horned God and deus ex machina-ing it up from a mile away? The symbol and consistent repetition of him being her “vessel” was just too obvious. Meh. Here’s hoping that next season’s Big Bad is worth hating for the narrative’s sake, not for watchability’s.

The Ugly:

  • Waiting.

True Blood S2 Poster One would think that I was used to waiting impatiently between seasons due to my near single-minded obsession with LOST, but alas, one would be wrong. Going in knowing that watching “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” means no more new True Blood until next summer is a little less than physically painful. The pain and my impatience is exacerbated by the fact that I have never had to wait on True Blood for more than a week or so at a time. Now, I hearken back to my post-LOST Seasons 1-3 days, waiting on Season 4, and dying a little inside every day until the almighty Darlton deemed us worthy of more sweet, sweet nectar. Only this time it isn’t the almighty Darlton withholding from us; it’s Charlaine Harris’ HBO acolytes.

Luckily, there is a plethora of new seasons starting this month, and with the Fall lineup just about to hit full-swing, my melancholy over True Blood’s absence will wane slightly until I start seeing trailers and other promos for the third season. At least I have the novels. I already have the first five waiting on me in my Audible.com library.

Overall, I’m pleased. Season 1 really took me by surprise at how good it was, considering my penchant for despising vampire stories, and Season 2 generally built on what Season 1 did right. Even thought I did not like the main subplot of the season—Maryann—I felt that the narrative ran a lot more smoothly with a much nicer arc and climax than Season 1. I’m no expert, and I’m pretty far out of my comfort zone with True Blood anyway given that it’s a vampire story, but if I were a betting man, I’d say that Sookie Stackhouse and her friends are just now finding their stride, and their future televised romps through Bon Temps are sure to be the stuff of legends…or maybe Emmys.

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About B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.

4 thoughts on “True Blood Season 2 – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

  1. From what I have been able to tell from the Sneak peeks which is the only lifeline available to me for season 2 ( curse the backwater tv viewing availablity in Australia) it is so so far off the book series its not funny. Season one was close enough to book 1 to be considered related. Season 2 way off the mark. There are random elements or scenes that seem to be reproduced, and I am sad to say that Godric has only a small part in the book. So as a fan of season 1, and a fan of the books. I need to consider season 2 as a seperate entity of the books, as I will be forever comparing it and getting disapointed. I am very much looking forward to watching season 2 though.

  2. I stopped reading because I want to get season 1 on DVD when it comes out here in the UK in October. I take it you'd recommend buying it? I'm kinda in the mood for some vampires :)

  3. Definitely. It's the single most addictive show I've watched since I started LOST. The serialization is spectacular, and it always leaves me wanting more.

    Even being low on cash, I splurged on the first season DVDs, and I don't regret it. It's well worth the $40 it costs (or whatever the conversion is for you crazy people whose money is actually worth something, hehe).

  4. I pretty much agree with everything you said. Godric is an amazing character and when he showed up, he didn't disappoint after all the waiting, which for TV is REALLY hard to do.

    I didn't hate Maryann as much as you did. I liked the interesting inclusion of Maenads into the "True Blood" mythology, and I REALLY love the actress (Michelle Forbes, amazing). However, my main complaint with the storyline is how long it dragged on for. A lot of shock value and no substance. I am happy it is over as well.

    Can't wait for season 3. Alan Ball apparently plans on starting production before Christmas, so it's not too far away. In the meantime, there's also Lost and Fringe, right? Haha.