For those of you who are not familiar with the HBO series True Blood, here is a short recap: vampires exist openly in the world. They are believed to survive off of a synthetic blood type drink called True Blood but that isn’t always the case… Vampire blood is considered a potent mind altering drug and the people in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana have a weak moral compass and will take their tops off at the drop of a hat.

Season Two premiered to the biggest ratings HBO has seen since Sopranos, and judging from the first four episodes, is infinitely better than the first season. Two of the more interesting characters get explored more in depth; Maryann, the well off mysterious woman who showers the unstable Tara with gifts and generosity begins to shed some light on her motives and abilities (apparently she is a walking aphrodisiac). Also, Eric, Bill’s “superior” vampire breaks free from the dark and ominous stereotype from season one and starts showing some character and “humanity.”

Some of the more interesting aspects of Season two involve some sort of poison spreading, bull headed mutant that is on the loose. Jason Stackhouse battling his demons in a pro-god/anti-vampire cult camp and Lafayette’s “retirement” after being kidnapped and used as a snack tray by Eric and his gang of vampires. Also, Bill’s new live-in subsidiary, Jessica, adjusts to becoming a vampire and comes to grips with her past life.

With all this excitement, the lead characters of Sookie & Bill become all the more uninteresting. Their time on screen feels much like filler between the good stuff (unless they are having xxx vampire sex which seems like at least 1/4 of their screen time)

If season two continues as strong as it starts we may see the Alan Ball series around for much longer than most people anticipated.