The third season has been pretty good, a modest improvement over season two, which was bogged down by the Eggs-Tara romance (their passion was ignited by their shared love of terrible acting ). But at this point I'm not sure how this show is going to last. Throwing new critters at us each season isn't the solution. Early this season we got werewolves, and we just got jaguar people. What's next? A clan of platypus shifters? Dinosaurs?
Even though it's been a decent season overall (I'm one episode behind), we've had our share of annoying subplots. Let's rank them:
5) The romance between Lafayette and the mental hospital nurse. They wanted to give Lafayette something to do, but this shouldn't have been it.
4) Jason's stint with the sheriff's office. It's a plot line that never really develops, and it doesn't make sense that Andy Bellefleur would allow Jason to sign up by threatening to reveal who shot Eggs (see below).
3) Andy and Jason's conspiring to keep who shot Eggs a secret. Who cares? Eggs was advancing on someone with a knife. The shooting was justified. I don't think the county DA -- who if he exists is no doubt a drunk and has bigger, bloodier fish to fry -- would pursue the case.
2) Sam's pseudo-adoption of Tommy. Not only is Tommy's obdurate bad behavior a boring waste of time, but this whole development has turned Sam, the kinda laidback single guy, into a hectoring tool: "C'mon, Tommy! Jeez! When are you gonna straighten up and fly right?" Plus now they've added a dubious criminal backstory for Sam involving heists and a deadly double-cross. Are they trying to turn him into Sawyer from "Lost"?
1) Anything having to do with Tara. Seriously, it's time to kill this character off. I'm sure she's a nice person, but the actress who plays Tara is terrible. And I mean awful. Though it's almost amusing to consider what sort of planning she puts into her performance: "Okay, in this scene I'm very frightened, so I'm going to open my eyes as wide as possible and try to make my eyebrows twitch."
It doesn't help that the writers have turned what promised in early episodes to be a strong young woman into a perpetual victim, who constantly whines and lashes out at Sookie in anger. Ugh. I did some research on the Wikipedia, and it turns out Tara was a minor character in the books, and Alan Ball and Co. have given her a much bigger role in the TV series. Bad call. Get rid of her by any means necessary. She's dragging down the show.
UPDATE: I finally saw the penultimate episode of the season, so I'm caught up. Let me amend what I said about Rutina Wesley, the actress who plays Tara. She's not bad at everything. When she's being sarcastic or having a normal conversation, she's fine. It's when she gets lovey-dovey, angry or fearful -- basically, any kind of emotion -- that she stumbles. So maybe it's the writers' fault for not recognizing her limitations as an actress and "putting her in a position to succeed," as football coaches say. What the "True Blood" writers have done is like Andy Reid taking an inaccurate QB and putting him at the helm of the most pass-happy offense in the NFL. Which brings me to my solution: Trade Tara to the Redskins.
Also, the guy they have playing the high school QB has no idea how to throw a football. Might have wanted to check that out before casting him.