Wednesday, June 16, 2010

True Blood: Season 2

Eric Northman
Originally uploaded by Vampire_Bill
I know True Blood is only two seasons along, but I have to say I am already interested to see where they might end. As faithful yet different to the books as season one was, season two ups the ante on adaptations and I have a feeling season three will do even more.

Season two of this HBO series deals with Sookie & Bill being called into Dallas to help Eric uncover what has happened to a vampire sheriff even older and stronger than he, and back in Bon Temps people are again being mysteriously murdered and the people of Bon Temps are caught up in the throes of hormones and their inhibitions have supernaturally disappeared. On the surface this is pretty similar to the book – at least the Dallas part of the scenario – but where the series manages to deviate, and improve upon the books is the series of events in Bon Temps.

First and foremost I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that Alan Ball chose to keep Lafayette around. In the books he’s the first victim in Living Dead in Dallas; Lafayette was an interesting character in Dead Until Dark (the only Sookie Stackhouse book he appeared in) but in True Blood Lafayette is downright fascinating. Alan Ball has a knack for taking characters that represent the outer fringes and making them downright essential. I can also tell you that Tara is a completely different character than she is in the book series and I couldn’t be happier for it. I’ve been reading the latest Sookie book (Dead in the Family) and I keep having to remind myself that this Tara is different than the Tara in True Blood - that’s a sign of good creative juices on Ball’s part no?

In regards to plot where season two of True Blood deviates the most is the storyline with Maryann Forester. While Maryann’s character is in the book, as is her need to create and feed off of debauchery I have to give one more point to Ball here. While the storyline in Living Dead in Dallas is entertaining the whole Bon Temps storyline kind of lost me – especially how Maryann eventually left Bon Temps.

For the series Maryann is a god-like creature who arrives in the happy town and decides to latch onto Tara, and instead of feeding off the debauchery already present in the town she creates it in order to facilitate the rituals she needs. Only Sookie and Sam sense something different and dangerous about Maryann and neither can do anything about her alone.

Perhaps the single coolest thing for me as an avid reader of the Sookie Stackhouse series is that for the first time in season two of True Blood we get to see Queen Sophie-Anne and Hadley. I won’t tell you how they become important in the series but just keep an eye out for them as you lucky people with HBO get to watch season three unfold before DVD.

Chow: How much blood do you think he's lost?
Pam: Oh, I still think he has something to offer.
Chow: I hate to let it all go to waste like this. Seems a shame we have to wait for Eric.
Pam: Well, maybe one day you'll be sheriff and you can make the rules.
Chow: I doubt that.
Pam: Me too.

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