So far I'm really enjoying the direction the show has taken in the latest season of True Blood. The general theme is about the past. Every character seems to be plagued by events from previous seasons, and in the case of Terry Bellefleur, we finally learn what happened during the war that gave him mental issues.
While one of my pet peeves about True Blood is the fact just about every character is a "Super" or supernatural being, the turning of Tara into a vampire has become a great storyline. She was reluctant and suicidal, but after a great scene with Jessica (the character that kept me interested last season when I became mostly bored with the show), Tara looks to be adjusting to life as a vampire...and there's no telling what she'll do with her new powers.
The writers, at least a few episodes into the season, are giving us a lot more backstory, mystery, and all-around misery for each character, stepping away from the trendy let's-all-work-together-and-fight-this-really-really-bad-person theme, a theme that persists in most shows dealing with the supernatural...such as Supernatural on the WB. Instead, we follow groups of characters off dealing with their own problems.
I haven't read beyond the second Sookie Stackhouse novel by Charlaine Harris, so I can't really comment on what's different about the show from the books the way I can with Game of Thrones; I merely take what HBO gives me. I know that in the books Lafayette dies in the second installment and Jason Stackhouse becomes a were-panther or something. I'm glad that HBO changed these parts, as Lafayette is always hilarious and interesting, and if Jason was a "Super" there would be even less normal characters. It seems there's only three normal characters left in Bon Temps: Andy Bellefleur, Jason, and Arlene Fowler, the red-headed waitress. Oh, and Hoyt, who hasn't been interesting in a while now. Despite being portrayed by a good actor, I kind of wish they would kill him off...
The love triangle between Bill, Eric, and Sookie is present this season yet seems to be taking a back seat while Russell Edgington is loose. Then again, maybe the writers plan to make it a four-way since Alcide and Sookie hooked up recently. The love stories really aren't my favorite part of True Blood though. I'm more interested in what's happening with the fairies, vamps, and what-not.
Plus, every scene with the Authority, aka Roman Zijovic played by Christopher Meloni (completely underrated actor in my opinion), has me captivated. There's inner turmoil within the vampires, and they seem to be on the verge of a civil war. I like conflict. I like the idea of purists fighting the Authority and instead of main-streaming, coexisting with humans, they want to rule them as if they were cattle.
All in all, I haven't been this interested in True Blood since the second season, when I used to eagerly await my smoke breaks on Mondays to discuss that week's events with a coworker. If the writers and actors can keep me laughing and genuinely entertained in the story throughout the rest of the season, instead of griping that they didn't show me enough Jessica like I did all through season 4, I dare say it will be one of the show's strongest.