I think what it comes down to in the end, is that it is so fantastically campy and over the top, that I can't wait to see what happens next. The eye candy doesn't hurt either. ;)You can check out her post here (she writes regularly and interestingly about many amusing things). I was leaving her a reply, and it was way too long, so I put most of it in this post. Just so you have the context.
Now, I think that's definitely how I felt about TB in the beginning - it was *terrible* when it started, but in a really enjoyable way. Graphically sexual, sometimes graphically violent and gross, but also funny, and deliciously over the top. And, I actually felt like it was qualitatively better later in the first season - still campy and trashtastic, but not as empirically bad. (Take this with a grain of salt - I have a high tolerance for bad TV that I find enjoyable.) And, of course, there was the joy of Lafayette. Season two was a mixed bag: I mostly loved 1/2 of it (Texas was largely entertaining), while Bon Temps and the maenad drama wore thin with me pretty quickly. Even then, though, it was mostly enjoyable. When all else failed, there was always the increase in Eric and Pam goodness to keep me going. I mean, that crack about teacup humans alone almost made the whole season worthwhile!
Right now, though, I feel like the bad is outweighing the good. I've complained about a lot of things this season - storylines run amok, racial missteps, problematic gender representations... I'm not deluded enough to think that the show has only recently become bad. My problem is that the show isn't *enjoyable* anymore. I watched the last couple of episodes on Sunday night and thought they were particularly awful. On top of the problematic storylines (and too many of them to boot), the dialogue was awful, and the pacing was off. At the end of two episodes, I felt like I was glad it was over, instead of feeling like I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
There are 4 episodes left in this season., and I"ll probably still watch them. It's even possible that they'll pleasantly surprise me, but I doubt that will be the case. I'll watch them, but mostly because it's hard for me to leave a story-in-progress, especially one that used to be so much fun. And that still has so much eye candy.