Switching gears from politics: Sunday night programming is once again must-see television with the return of Alan Ball's True Blood on HBO. The second-season premiere ratings are up an incredible 51% from their season finale, averaging 3.7 million viewers. It's the most viewers HBO has had since The Sopranos series finale.
Many fans of the southern gothic vampire series are ecstatic to see the return of Nelsan Ellis' Lafayette Reynolds, the black gay short order cook slash escort slash drug dealer. Last season's cliff-hanger suggested Ball would remaining faithful to Charlaine Harris’ books and send Lafayette to an early grave. The season two premiere saw the return of Layette, who might stick around for the next season or two, Ellis tells EW's Michael Ausiello.
EW:Did he explain to you why he let Lafayette survive?
ELLIS: Not really. He just said he decided after the bar scene in (the pilot), but he didn’t tell me until the 12th episode. He didn’t really go into any detail as to why he decided to keep me — not to me anyway.
EW: When did you realize the character was gaining a large following?
ELLIS: I’m beginning to realize it now. At first I didn’t. I am realizing more and more that people have seemed to respond well to Lafayette, much to my surprise.
Ellis also talks Lafayette's experience of being locked in a dungeon and almost dying: "It certainly humbles him. It shows him there are some situations he just can’t get himself out of no matter how slick he is. He’s going to have to suffer the consequences of what he’s done. And I think he reflects back on his behavior and maybe for a second thinks about changing."
Oh and Lafayette's fans will appreciate some background on an upcoming scene where the "homoeroticism in that moment was off the charts." It's a spolier so I won't give it away—the details are at the interview.
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Meet Lafayette Reynolds, Black Gay Character on HBO's "True Blood" [R20]