Is it just me or is True Blood seriously off the boil this season?

After sitting through the last couple of episodes I’m increasingly finding myself distracted, frustrated and – dare I say it – yes, even a little bored this year. The tone, the storylines, the characters. Everything feels all over the place this time around.

There’s now just 3 episodes left this series and while I thought many of the key storylines would have coalesced by now the whole show still feels random. It’s as though the show’s writers are making it up as they go along with only a vague end goal in sight. Are you feeling the same way?

Just like Glee, True Blood has picked up a very bad habit this year of developing storylines and then dropping them at a whim. Egg’s murder was big news for the first three episodes and is now largely forgotten. How about Sam’s sex dream with Bill? Utterly pointless. Or the whole Mickens’ family saga that sputtered out with its underwhelming dog fighting revelation. We really stayed tuned for that?

This year the tone is erratic and characters are up and down and all over the place. One moment Tara is bonding with Lafayette over his new boyfriend, the next she’s practically trembling with fear. Level-headed Sam almost kills Crystal’s dad in a brutal bar fight, just because of an offhand comment from the bratty Tommy. Jessica wants Hoyt, then she doesn’t, then she does. Jesus is disgusted by Lafayette’s drug dealing but a week later they’re back together. Bill and Sookie break up for good, but by the episode’s end are reunited. It feels as though the writers are struggling for storylines this season – and that’s never a good sign.

Then there’s the seemingly endless supply of new characters this season, many of whom have pushed old favorites, such as Jessica and Pam, out of the picture – Hoyt’s new girlfriend Summer, the whole Mickens family, Crystal, Cooter and Debbie, Jesus, Franklin, Talbot, Russell, the list goes on and on.

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I wouldn’t mind all the new blood if the storylines in question were keeping me engaged, but this season’s True Blood is actually becoming kind of dreary in places. I’m loving the whole Russell versus Eric saga, and the werewolf versus vampire politics have been well played. But I really don’t give a damn about Crystal and her in-bred family – and can’t understand why hot-blooded Jason would either (the girl looks just plain rough at times!). Arlene and Terry’s baby saga has dragged on all series and is straight out of daytime soap opera. And Lafayette and Jesus’ romance is pretty dull too (and I’m normally a fierce advocate for same sex romance). Even Bill and Sookie have become kind of boring this season.

This week’s episode ended with high camp as Russell took to the airwaves to announce the vampire’s bloodthirsty intentions – it could have been sinister and dramatic but was instead played for laughs and just became plain silly. And it’s key to the problems the show is experiencing this year (and also went through a little last season with the Maryann plotline). The black comedy is becoming broad, there’s too much going on – and simultaneously not enough – and I’m beginning to not believe any of it.

Sure True Blood has always been sensational and over the top – but it walked a fine line. As outrageous as the show was you still went along with it. But this year it feels like anything goes and the show is getting crazier and more absurd as it nears its climax.

That said I’m a long way from giving up on the series completely. True Blood is still 10 times better than most of its competition – and fiercely original. But am I the only one not feeling the show this season and thinking it may have bitten off more than it can chew? Start weighing in…I’d love to hear your thoughts…