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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

True Blood
The Complete Second Season


Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer and Mehcad Brooks
HBO Home Entertainment
RRP: £39.99
Certificate: 18
Available 17 May 2010

Welcome back to Bon Temps, home to mystery, Southern sensuality and dark secrets. For Sookie Stackhouse, life is more dangerous than ever after she and Bill become more deeply involved. Meanwhile, Tara finds herself under a lover's spell; Sam puts his trust in an unlikely ally; Jason becomes involved with an anti-vampire sect; Eric becomes interested in Sookie after he recruits her to investigate the disappearance of his 2,000-year-old maker; and Maryann is revealed to possess a power that can control almost everyone in town. Then, after making a shocking discovery, Sookie, Bill and Sam must form the last line of defence against a diabolical plan that raises the stakes to bloody new heights...

I have to come clean and admit that I really don't get all the hype that surrounds True Blood. The basic story arc to the second season's 12 episodes is paper thin and certainly isn't packed with the most original of plot devices. It is, however, a good excuse to show more flesh as orgies are the order of the day and the locals strip off at the drop of a hat.

In addition the acting, on the whole, is pretty average and on occasions I had a real problem swallowing some of the relationships in the show. The characters were also a little two dimensional - which I assume is because it's such a large cast and servicing all of the characters stories is not an easy task to pull off.

The story is stretched out by having Jason, rather unbelievably, becoming involved with an anti-vampire cult. He just kind of takes off and no one seems to notice he's gone. But that's soon all out of the way and he's back home to help deal with the strange orgies that the locals are compelled to take part in.

Then there's a couple of episodes where Anna Paquin strips off... and all of a sudden it becomes as clear as day why this show is so popular (most notably with teenage boys who are actually too young to legally purchase this Blu-ray).

Extras include audio commentaries on several episodes; Enhanced Viewing mode on every episode; Character Perspectives (to camera pieces with various characters giving more background information on them); Fellowship of the Sun Reflections of Light (12 min, 14 sec spoof religious programs for the Fellowship of the Sun; and The Vampire Report: Special Edition (23 min, 50 sec spoof vampire news channel).

Probably my biggest problem with this release is that HBO have spread it over 5 Blu-ray discs. Even those with the flimsiest of technical knowledge on the format will realise that two... at a stretch... three discs would have easily accommodated all the information, but then as the retail price is only £10 more than the DVD release HBO want fans to feel they're getting value for their money.

There was only one moment in this collection when I thought I was watching something special and that was (without spoiling anything) when one of the vampires voluntarily goes to meet his maker. While the show is entertaining enough I couldn't help feeling I'd seen everything before (minus nudity) on other similar shows, but handled much more impressively. Of course, fans of the show will no doubt lap this up willingly, but those coming to this fresh will probably wonder what all the fuss is about. It's nowhere near as funny or smart of other shows (including Buffy and Angel) that it so clearly apes.


Darren Rea

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