True Blood, Season Two, then. Hey, I didn’t want to crow in an unbecoming manner about the fact that I saw the first few episodes before they were aired on the mighty FX, so I kept quiet. Now the first one’s gone out, I will crow. But NO SPOILERS BEYOND EPISODE ONE, don’t worry. (If you haven’t seen that one yet, look away nooooooow.)
This series has a lot riding on it – and I mean riding, tee hee! The first season was such a jolt in the ribs – sort of a bit like a few things, but utterly unlike them, and even from the charmed pen of Alan Ball it was a new kid in town. Sure, it chimes with the current zeitgeist-mania for vampires, but it’s so not aimed at children, like all the other ones are. (And I speak as a grown-up who was fooled into going to see Twilight at the cinema. I should have stayed at home and watched Skins or In The Night Garden.) S2 begins literally seconds after the end of S1, with the identification of the corpse in the back of Andy’s car, and we’re off! As before the town is the skellington of the show, with Merlotte’s its beating heart, the intersection where all human, and non-human, life passes. The two big shifts for S2 are Jason’s conversion to happy-clappy right-wing Christianity, and Tara’s willing submission into Maryanne’s surreal, dead-eyed netherworld of sex and creepiness, a kind of masque of the red death. (Sam’s flashbacks give hints of something way darker than turning into a doggy or sucking a bit of neck.) There’s some shocking Saw-type action in a grotty cellar where Lafayette is having the joys of life sucked out of him, courtesy of Eric (who continues to be mah favourite character): how appalling to see abject fear in the eyes of Lafayette, a character where previously we only saw lust, wisdom and mischief. Sookie and Bill and vamp-gooseberry Jessica keeps the soap element going, especially when they get … mercy me, if I go any further I will accidentally give away the other sights I have seen from the other side of Episode 5. All I will say is, these are sights to behold.