DVD: True Blood: Season Two, For retail (HBO)

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The Independent Culture

Series one of this befanged soap was delectable but for its sluggish narrative and the screentime afforded to dull, nominal hero Bill Compton.

No such problems here: cramming in foes from evangelicals to pagan deities, the whole thing matches the giddy pace of a season finale, while Alexander Skarsgard proves a wonderfully deadpan yin to Bill's dead-eyed yang in his beefed-up role as alpha vamp Erik. If this isn't HBO's finest hour, then it's certainly their most fun.