Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood - which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston.
Each season of True Blood is based on a corresponding novel by Charlaine Harris. The first season was based on the first book, the second on the second, etc. The fourth book in the series is our favorite, so it would stand to reason that the fourth season would be or favorite.
Despite a rocky start, this would seem to be the case. We are now well into the circumstances that made that book stand out. The cocky, manipulative Eric Northman has been replaced with a sad amnesiac struggling to find his way in a world of which he, in many ways, was formerly the master. He's basically the protagonist of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida," except without the desire on our part to invent to ways to injure the human body with a weed whacker after listening to it.[jump]
However, there are indicators, at least to your humble narrator, that series creator and executive producer Alan Ball is not planning on doing this gig much longer.
By way of a for example, though we were less than thrilled with the overly Ren Fest-y aspects of the faerie corner of the Sookieverse, it's not much better to take a character like Claudine and have her drained to the point of going poof by Eric. In the books, Claudine rocks tits to absolute dust. Now, she is absolute dust.
What this is telling Rocks Off is that the world of True Blood is not long for this world. Oh sure, we knew that there was little to no chance that we'd see 13 seasons to match the projected 13-book arc, but we were hoping to get at least seven seasons out of it. However, by having Claudine axed at so early a junction in so brief a way has us convinced that Ball is planning for Season 5, six at the outside, to mark the end of True Blood.
Bye bye easy paycheck.