True Blood: Free Lafayette

Now that we’ve gotten through the laborious first few episodes that were required to establish the True Blood universe, we’re finally settling into some punchy narrative. The jury is still out on this show, in the way that sometimes a jury doesn’t really like a trial that much but can’t help watching the trial every week. You know, law stuff. But, despite the impossibly bad accents, and the over-the-top vampire as homosexual metaphor that drives all the True Blood superfans so crazy, there is one consistently bright spot on the show, and that is short order cook slash drug dealer Lafayette. Each week, he provides some of the most interesting moments on the show, and despite the fact that he’s often a broadly drawn homosexual caricature, he’s also the most human character out of the whole cast. Granted, he’s on True Blood, so there are some obvious problems, like why is he a short order cook, a road crew worker, AND a drug dealer? That is TOO MANY things to be. Also, last night’s episode had a particularly troublesome moment when Lafayette, who claims to genuinely care about Jason Stackhouse’s well being, encouraged him to become more serious about his recreational drug use. But it’s not Lafayette’s fault! He’s simply being used as a false narrative agent by the lazy slop artists who write this show and needed some way to get Jason back on vampire blood. Besides, the moment in the episode when Lafayette confronted the rednecks about their AIDS burger was golden.

There’s something endlessly appealing about him, perhaps because his motivations are so ill-defined. What does he want? Everyone else is completely two-dimensional. Sookie Stackhouse is the “good girl.” Tara is the “loudmouth.” Jason Stackhouse will “fuck anything.” Sam Merlotte is “boring.” And Bill Compton is really focused on “being a vampire.” The cops are keystone clueless, the vampires other than Bill are sinister and wear mesh leather, and Grandma died at the end of this episode. The only person who remains relatively inscrutable and exciting, probably because he just doesn’t seem to give a fuck, is Lafayette, which is why he must have his own show.

You heard me, Hollywood. Give the supporting character on this pay-cable market show that’s still trying to build an audience of its own a spin-off. It’s clearly time for that.