One of the things I liked best about it was they toned down on the scheming a bit. I remember watching the first season and hating at least half of the characters. They were just so despicable! (And yet I kept watching.) This season had some scheming- what would the show be without it?- but we know the characters well enough now to see their redeeming qualities.
Of course this season came with some shockers. Too in particular which I won't mention for spoiler reasons, but holy crap!!! I ugly cried during almost an entire episode mid-season. And then there's the last episode of the season... what was up with that??? Gah, I wish I could talk about it but I won't give it away. :)
Anyway, this is a truly great show. If you gave up on it during the first season because everyone was so awful, give it a chance, you won't regret it!
And when does the next season come out? Please don't say I have to wait another whole year!!!