Saturday, July 31, 2010

True Blood: Season 2

What makes True Blood so fan-freakin-tastic is not the main characters.  I find Sookie Stackhouse immature to insipid and Bill Compton rather tragically clueless for a vampire his age.  The first season of this show, I was trying to decide if I bought in to the supernatural world as author Charlaine Harris wrote it.  Obviously, I bought enough.  I bought the Second Season on DVD, anyway.

The supporting characters make True Blood rock, and the HBO series has done a better job (through two seasons and the two books I have read) of fleshing them out.  In fact, I would say that the ways that the series departs from the books is all about those characters - keeping around the ones that are worth the investment.

The fangirls are all in love with Eric the Sheriff, and I get it.  He'd make me swoon too, except that I find his attraction to Sookie...unattractive.  Sam Merlotte would be rather more my type.  He is a hero-hero as opposed to an anti-hero.  Although tragically, has a thing for Sookie also.  And OMG, LaFayette.  Thankfully he is gay, so that we don't have to deal with him going all googly at her.

The character that grew on me the most is Jason.  In Season 1, he was dumb and nasty and...dumb.  In Season 2 he is still dumb, but attempting to evolve.  And he's really funny.  One of the chucklier moments was when Reverend Schmuckus was on TV after the suicide bomb - with the paintball bruise on his forehead.

The most disappointing character was Sophie-Anne, the Queen of Louisiana.  I am hoping that Season 3 makes her more three-dimensional.  I have spent enough time in vampire fiction and gaming to know that the most powerful people look lame at first glance - because they prefer to be underestimated.  I expect that True Blood knows that, too. 

Also requiring more dimensions is the Lorena character.  She seems to be set up as jealous Villain of the Future, but I really hope that they make her a compelling evil, because right now she is a pathetic evil who should just die, already.

A more pleasant surprise was the progeny storyline.  Sookie actually made a decent observation in saying that a fledgling vampire as Bill described it - unpredictable, emotional, no impulse control - was really not all that different from the horrors of being a teenage girl.  Sookie just forgot that Jessica has super-strength, super-speed and fangs such that there was no way under God that Sookie would be able to control her when it hit the fan.


However.  While Jessica's dialogue is painful in a teenage girl sort of way, it is no more painful than Sookie and Bill's.  And I am hopeful that watching her grow up with such a blatant lack of guidance from her foolish, self-absorbed sire will be interesting.

Hm.  I seem to feel strongly about that.

In the final analysis, True Blood is still more..graphic than I really appreciate, but it is doing some really good storytelling.  I'm just ticked because now I have to go read the third book.

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