Article on PioneerLocal by Jennifer Thomas
Last September, TV got a little more interesting when “True Blood” premiered on HBO. It’s been a long seven months since it went off the air, and I think I’m not alone in finding something endlessly fascinating about the campy, silly, engrossing, over-the-top, dark dramedy. Season 2 premieres in less than two weeks (June 14) and after watching the first few episodes, it’s bloody good. Last season was partly spent setting up the quirky (and hazardous to its residents’ health) world of Bon Temps, while Season 2 literally dives right into the action. Tara and Sookie’s screams — after finding the body in Andy Bellefleur’s car — are still fresh when the second season begins. (Some minor spoilers ahead.)
Where we last left off, Lafayette had been attacked by something supernatural; Tara was living with the suspicious social worker Maryann — a fan of the vibrating shimmer and pigs; Sookie was recovering after killing Rene, the slayer of vamp-lovers; Bill was recovering from getting a tad too much sun and dealing with his whiny, newly minted vamp, Jessica; and Jason, who never met a lesson he could learn, was being courted by the Fellowship of the Sun Church.
Since things literally pick up where they left off, all those events are fresh in the minds of the main characters. It’s nice that we didn’t “miss anything” while “True Blood” was off the air, but it’s also a little jarring to hear Sookie say that it’s only been three weeks since Gran died.
But back to the body in the car. That dark-skinned leg with the pink-painted toenail leg spilling out…Is it Lafayette, the fan-favorite, was definitely great for his one-liners and his way of cutting through a whole lot of crazy on the part of the other characters? Is he dead? The answers come pretty quickly.
The Stackhouses, Sookie and Jason, have never met a flashing red “Danger” sign they didn’t like, and as usual, they end up in trouble. Jason gets in cozy with the Fellowship of the Sun members, who have an affinity for silver “honesty” rings and singing their own version of Kumbaya. Jason signs up to attend the church’s leadership conference where he gets in good with the young Rev. Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) and his perky blond wife, Sarah (Anna Camp). Here’s where it looks like things are going — maybe an illicit affair between Jason and Sarah, who gets a little glint in her eye whenever recovered bad-boy Jason is around. It also doesn’t take Jason long to inadvertently make a rival out of Luke, (Wes Brown) who thought he’d be the golden child of the Fellowship of the Sun leadership camp. Either way, the camp is a hilarious setting and you’ve got to wonder what would happen if any of the cheerful, but frightening, members ever ran into a real vampire.
Jason’s also going through some Terry-like post-traumatic stress, dealing with the deaths of Gran, Amy and Eddie the vampire.
Sookie isn’t happy about the revelation of Jessica, but eventually decides to take pity on her, which ends up being the exact wrong thing to do. Bill is also finding it hard to play daddy-dearest to a teenage girl.
Tara’s living the high life at Maryann’s (Michelle Forbes) house, and getting cushy with fellow housemate, Eggs (Mehcad Brooks), but her natural cynical side is wondering if a life where there’s an endless availability of passion fruit, might be too good to be true.
The connection between Maryann and Sam — one that goes back to when Sam was a teenager — is revealed in greater depth. Sam’s also starting to get cranky (or crankier) about Sookie’s treatment of him. “I’m tired of charring my ass on your back burner.”
A new waitress, Daphne (Ashley Jones), comes to work at Merlotte’s, and she’s mighty clumsy. (Seriously, why would anyone waitress at Merlotte’s anymore? They might as well give you life insurance instead of health insurance.)
Eric hasn’t forgotten Sookie’s promise to help him when he requires it, and he’s looking for her to find the missing vampire sheriff of Dallas. Which makes Bill a little ticked off in a scene in a woman’s clothing store. Seeing Eric in a track suit alone is worth it.
The usual regulars — the ones that survived anyway — are back with Arlene, Terry, Andy Bellefleur, Tara’s mother and Eric’s vamp sidekicks, Pam and Chow.
The premiere ends with one of the most violent human deaths yet. We’ve seen a lot of bloody vampire demises — Longshadow exploded all over Sookie and Eddie erupted in a geyser of gore in Jason’s basement — but this time it’s a human who goes really grisly.