'True Blood' - 'Trouble': Screaming Viking! Screaming Viking!

Season 3 is starting to drown in extranous subplots.

<p>Joe Manganiello as Alcide on &quot;True Blood.&quot;</p>

Joe Manganiello as Alcide on "True Blood."

Credit: HBO

Another new "True Blood" tonight, and it feels like the season is being overwhelmed by subplots that have no purpose other than to service the show's ever-expanding cast of characters, and to lighten the workload of the leads. So every time the werewolf/vampire union storyline starts to build up steam, we have to take a break for the weird psychodrama between Franklin and Tara, or Sam's issues with his biological family, or Jason giving a shirtless audition for a "Dukes of Hazzard" remake. I'm sure there's a sizable portion of the "True Blood" fanbase who didn't object to that last one (just as another portion would be fine if Jessica ever got anything to do, whether or not it factored into the main story), but overall, how many of this season's subplots are working for you?

UPDATE: Forgot to mention a quick programming note: I may be taking the next few weeks off from these "True Blood" posts, as I'll be in California for a while for Comic-Con and the TV critics press tour and may not have time to watch upcoming episodes until I'm back. If you need an outlet to discuss those shows, Leslie Gornstein's (far lengthier) recaps tend to post to our Monkeys as Critics blog every week not long after the show finishes airing on the West Coast.

Alan Sepinwall
Sr. Editor, What's Alan Watching
Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "The Revolution Was Televised," about the last 15 years of TV drama, is for sale at Amazon. He can be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com
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