Is Sookie really that annoying / superfluous?
No, that would be the writing staff for this season.
She was also noticeably pregnant (real life, not in the show) the whole season which ruled out just about any action or uh..other type of scene besides her sitting (with pillow in lap) or standing there (shot from behind).
I don't have high hopes for next season and honestly I think it will probably be the last. Charlene Harris is already mostly finished with the last book and is already distancing herself from the show (and starting a whole new series, unknown if it's detective or paranormal) and really the only thing shared with the books now are the names and title. That's fine except that most of the audience I would imagine are the book readers and I've yet to find anyone diehard book fan actually happy with the show. It's honestly too bad such a huge money making gold mine was basically squandered because of certain agendas and poor writers.