True Blood: The Complete Second Season
True Blood
Show your true colours
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Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Chris Bauer
Director: Michael Lehmann, Scott Winant, Daniel Minahan, Howard Deutch, John Dahl, Michael Ruscio, Anthony Hemingway, Alan Ball, Lesli Linka Glatter, David Petrarca, Romeo Tirone, Stephen Moyer, Daniel Attias, Nick Gomez, Nancy Oliver, Marcos Siega, Michael Cuesta, Adam Davidson, Jeremy Podeswa, Gregg Fienberg, Simon Jayes, Angela Robinson, Lee Rose, Jesse Warn
Writer: Alan Ball, Charlaine Harris, Brian Buckner, Alexander Woo, Raelle Tucker, Nancy Oliver, Kate Barnow, Angela Robinson, Mark Hudis, Elisabeth Finch, Chris Offutt, Daniel Kenneth, Craig Chester, Robin Veith
Language: English
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Duration: 720
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
DVD Release: May 2010

True Blood's second season, with episodes involving a new cast of monsters invading Louisiana swamp town Bon Temps, is notably gorier and more camp than the first season. While thematically the central focus in these 12 exciting episodes still revolves around faith and loyalty, these questions are complicated by displays of pagan ritual and obsession. Though the vampire/human relationship dilemma continues, spearheaded by lovers Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), there is less emphasis on addiction to V, or vampire blood, and more time dedicated to outsiders whose supernatural talents make some episodes feel like superhero battles.
Episode 1, "Nothing but the Blood," sets the gory example with a brutal opening scene in which the local shaman has been eviscerated. While gruesome murders continue throughout the season, we become familiar with a new femme fatale, Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes), who hosts bacchanalia, such as the one in episode 4 ("Shake and Fingerpop") that gives Bon Temps a collective hangover. Also developing in this season are relationships between Sookie and Bill's vampire colleagues Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), Eric's master Godric, and a vampire queen who plays Yahtzee throughout episode 11 ("Frenzy"). The ever-increasing vampire interest in Sookie leads to her questioning her own supernatural psychic identity, especially in the final episode ("Beyond Here Lies Nothin'"), a semi-ridiculous, over-the-top segment that is more humorous than scary. Also corny but funny are the episodes featuring Fellowship of the Sun zealots Steve and Sarah Newlin (Michael McMillian and Anna Camp), and Jason Stackhouse's evangelical dedication to them (with Ryan Kwanten as Stackhouse). Perhaps the best episodes are those dedicated to the endangered plights of Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), and Tara (Rutina Wesley). New characters, like Tara's lover, Eggs (Mehcad Brooks), and the young, tempestuous vampire Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll), also add greatly to an already fabulous cast. Though the extras in this DVD set, "The Vampire Report (Special Edition)" and "Fellowship of the Sun: Reflections of Light," offer lighthearted, pseudo-documentary fun, they feel quaint next to the many wonderful episodes of this horror serial. --Trinie Dalton

Stills from True Blood: The Complete Second Season (click for larger image)

Anna PaquinSookie Stackhouse
Stephen MoyerBill Compton
Sam TrammellSam Merlotte
Ryan KwantenJason Stackhouse
Chris BauerAndy Bellefleur
Nelsan EllisLafayette Reynolds
Carrie PrestonArlene Fowler
Rutina WesleyTara Thornton
Alexander SkarsgårdEric Northman
Deborah Ann WollJessica Hamby
Kristin Bauer van StratenPam De Beaufort
Todd LoweTerry Bellefleur
Jim ParrackHoyt Fortenberry
Lauren BowlesHolly Cleary
Joe ManganielloAlcide Herveaux
William SandersonSheriff Bud Dearborne
Michael McMillianSteve Newlin
Adina PorterLettie Mae Thornton
Kevin AlejandroJesus Velasquez
Janina GavankarLuna Garza
Dale RaoulMaxine Fortenberry
Anna CampSarah Newlin
Tara BuckGinger
Jessica TuckNan Flanagan
Marshall AllmanTommy Mickens
Lucy GriffithsNora Gainesborough
Denis O'HareRussell Edgington
John RezigDeputy Kevin Ellis 20 episodes, 2008-2014
Amelia Rose BlaireWilla Burrell
Jurnee Smollett-BellNicole Wright
Patricia BethuneJane Bodehouse
Tanya WrightDeputy Kenya Jones
John BillingsleyMike Spencer 17 episodes, 2008-2012
Bailey NobleAdilyn Bellefleur
Michael Raymond-JamesRene Lenier
Aaron Christian HowlesRocky Cleary
Noah MatthewsWade Cleary 16 episodes, 2012-2014
Michelle ForbesMaryann Forrester
Gregg DanielReverend Daniels
Karolina WydraViolet
Laurel WeberLisa Fowler
Chloe NoelleEmma Garza
Mehcad BrooksEggs
Lindsay PulsipherCrystal Norris
Kelly OvertonRikki Naylor
Brit MorganDebbie Pelt
Alec GrayCoby Fowler
Mariana KlavenoLorena Krasiki
Fiona ShawMarnie Stonebrook
Robert PatrickJackson Herveaux
Dale DickeyMartha Bozeman
Tess ParkerRosie
Lois SmithAdele Stackhouse
Valentina CerviSalome Agrippa
Jamie Gray HyderDanielle
Marque RichardsonKenneth
Scott FoleyPatrick Devins
Nathan ParsonsJames
Carolyn HennesyRosalyn Harris
Arliss HowardTruman Burrell
Robert KazinskyMacklyn Warlow
Allan HydeGodric
Adam LeadbeaterKarl
J. Smith-CameronMelinda Mickens
Giles MattheyClaude Crane
Ashley JonesDaphne Landry
Courtney FordPortia Bellefleur
Peter MensahKibwe
James Harvey WardFelton Norris
Evan Rachel WoodSophie-Anne Leclerq
Jeffrey Nicholas BrownCorbett Stackhouse
Dean ChekvalaRoy
Fiona DourifCasey 8 episodes, 2011
Aisha HindsMiss Jeanette
James FrainFranklin Mott
Brendan McCarthyNate
Paola TurbayAntonia Gavilán
Jessica ClarkLilith
Grant BowlerCooter
Wes BrownLuke McDonald
Theo AlexanderTalbot
Daniel BuranMarcus Bozeman
Lindsey HaunHadley Hale
Louis HerthumJD
Cooper HuckabeeJoe Lee Mickens
Jenni BlongMichelle Stackhouse
Lynn CollinsDawn Green
Lizzy CaplanAmy Burley
Rutger HauerNiall Brigant
Luke GrimesJames
John ProskyDavid Finch
Annie FitzgeraldKirsch 6 episodes, 2011
Lara PulverClaudine Crane
Gregory SporlederCalvin Norris
Don SwayzeGus 6 episodes, 2010
Christopher HeyerdahlDieter Braun
Melissa RauchSummer
Tina MajorinoMolly
Damion PoitierDuprez
Camilla LuddingtonClaudette
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Media: Blu-ray
Sound: Dolby
IMDb: 0844441