In any relationship, there is always the star. The one whose name comes first, whose personality fills the room, whose presence leaves the more lasting impression. But while the quieter partner may be lose out in first impressions, she should never be counted out. For without the yang, the yin cannot make a whole. Without Laurel Holloman, there is no Bette and Tina. There is no center. There is no whole. Bette without Tina to ground her is a one-note character – all power and desire, no heart and consequences. She needs Tina, and we need Laurel.
Of course, Laurel is more than just Tina. She first stole my heart – as I’m sure she did yours – as the adorable Randy Dean. She was the scruffy little butch we all wish we met in high school, or aspired to be. In “The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love,” Laurel was awkward yet determined, goofy yet heroic. Anytime I want a guaranteed giggle, I cue the film up to Randy reading “Leaves of Grass” and replay her delightfully adolescent repeating of the word “crotch.” She so inhabited that role that years later when I encounter her again on my TV, this time in “Angel,” I almost didn’t recognize her.
So then, when we met again in that show about the letter between K and M, I didn’t know what to expect. What we got was strength, smarts, sweetness and, sure, sometimes a neck-bulging screamfest. It’s not easy being the quiet one. But it’s the quiet ones who always surprise you. Happy weekend, all.