Tuesday, November 16, 2010

At your Service

Something strange happens while you’re watching “Lip Service.” You kind of forget the characters are gay. Well, you don’t. I mean, how could you? They’re gay. Everything about them is gay. It oozes from their pores because it’s in their pores. It’s not something that has been paint-by-numbered onto them. They just are, and so you forget. Instead it’s just a group of women living their lives and having the same (albeit hopefully somewhat heightened) drama that we all go through.

Gosh, that’s nice.

What “Lip Service” has been able to craft in just five short episodes (with only the finale left, which airs today) is to bring us into the living, breathing, functioning, non-functioning, crazy, mundane, complicated, silly lives of a group of gay women living in Glasgow. You may not see your life exactly reflected in their lives (I mean, I’ve never dated a hot cop – yet). But they feel right. Their choices feel like their own, even the bad ones.

And while I may not feel the same instant blind devotion to the characters, like I did with certain characters on “The L Word” (Alice, Dana, Bette – group hug), these women seem like women I might actually be friends with. So watching their lives is like sneaking surreptitious glances through an open window into their living rooms. Figuratively, because if it was for real I think we’d all get arrested for peeping during the naught bits.

Amazingly, the writers never felt the need to scream from the rooftops: “This show is about gay women with the gay and their gayness and their gay issues and the gay drama and more gayness. GAY!” Sure, it dealt some issues you see often in gay narratives: The girlfriend who won’t come out, the boss who doesn’t like gays, the gay lady who sometimes sleeps with not-gay-ladies, the Shane/Frankie. But they were handled without muss or blaring trumpets or Very Special Episodes.

In fact, the last episode had a scene that was almost breathtaking in its ordinariness (no, not that scene – that was breathtaking for other reasons). It was in DS Sam Murray in her car with her police partner calmly discussing her relationship. Nothing extraordinary about it except that it was extraordinary. You never see gay and straight coworkers who aren’t already established as “best friends” talk like that. Gays talk with gays, straights talk with straights. Or, if they do talk, it’s about The Gay.

Like I was saying, nice.

Is it perfect? Heavens no. I’m not nearly as intrigued as they think I should be at the Big Scary Secret from Frankie’s past. Jay needs to grow up and stop taking out his Peter Pan impulses on my eyeballs. And for God’s sake, will someone unforrow poor Cat’s brow? Continually perplexed is not a good way to go through life. But those are just nits compared to the greater good.

So, what do I hope for from the finale today? More of the same. I want the big messy. Life is complicated, our choices are complicated. Should Cat go with the steady, dependable, super hot cop Sam or should she go with the damaged, mercurial, super bad decision maker Frankie? Call me crazy, but I’m actually kind of torn. And that’s good, too. Sometimes you can’t script it all out. Sometimes you have to let things happen and hope for the best.

p.s. Once more, with extra gay feelings, my friends over at Feromoon would be more than happy to help you watch. Enjoy.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just watched the finale on Saturday (thanks HMV for your over-efficiency) and it's very good and totally leaves the door open for lots more lovely lesbionic goodness.

Norma Desmond said...

I'll definitely have to check this out once I have more time. Also, this is the second time in less than a week that the L Word has come up. This wouldn't be weird except that it's the first time it's come up at all in a REALLY long time.

Dee said...

I haven't seen the show but it sounds really interesting. What network? Glasgow is a place I'd like to visit. Went to Edinburgh years ago and loved it.

Now if you can locate a show where all the lesbians aren't skinny that would be nice... ;-)

gold-digger said...

Team Frankie!

Anonymous said...

Team Sam!!!

G Funk said...

Yes! I've been trying to find this online! As always, you rock!!!!!

Anonymous said...

it on dvd anywhere??

iampecola said...

Team Hot Cop!

Oh, and kudos to DS for noting the scene between Sam and her (work) partner...it was so refreshingly normal that it really caught my attention.

Anonymous said...

Poor show,bad acting.....
And Europe is not gay friendly,stop the BS and come here in France or England....
And BBC 3 is a no show in UK....

Xena W. Princess said...

Team Hot Cop!
Fingers crossed for season 2
and thanks for the feromoon link, makes life easier...

Anonymous said...

A friend had told me about this show, but I still hadn't gotten around to catching it yet. This was the push I needed . . . thanks DS! I've seen the first 2 episodes so far, and love it!

Anonymous said...

Team Sam, all the way! And not just 'cause I'm biased since my girlfriend is also named Sam. Hot cop is totally hot.

Anonymous said...

Team Cat/Frankie...true love prevails!

Kathryn said...

Must get into this show. Thanks for the enticing posts.

Anonymous said...

wow, now that was just some good TV. very compelling, and amazing acting all round, particularly ruta gedmintas. i was all for sam before, but she's turned into a clingy housecat. team frankie now! the chemistry between cat and frankie blows cat and sam out of the water.

Anonymous said...

Sam's very hot, yummy~

Anonymous said...

Yep, life is complicated, even for the gays. It's great to watch refreshingly "regular/average" (I prefer those words to "normal") people struggle as we do. We always have such high expectations for every "lesbian" show to represent everyone and reflect their lives. No one show possibly can, but Harriet Braun and co. have done a lovely job so far.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Snarker for leading me to this show. Wow!

Watched it all while I was home sick. Totally made the sick day enjoyable. Team Hot Cop all the way!

klevoe said...

Team Sam
Russian fans :))

Anonymous said...

Sam is booring, Cat likes the stability. But Cat loves Frankie, so I'm team Frankie coz love should win even if it's compicated

scrubs said...

I'm on Team Free Sam. They need to find her another hot gal who won't cheat on her.

Anonymous said...

let's not forget that shows that made gay and Issue are the reason shows like this can exist.

cocoro said...

what's the gayness? anyway?

somewhat, keep going as you like,
is there any person who explains well about these
kind of subject? not simply like 10% are gay,
or gene says that, brain tells that,
finger length indicated already,
bad parents relationship increased the possibility,
which looks like joke.

instead of that kind explanation
is there any person who did kind of reliable and
smart, sharp way to explain about this issue?

vilsevals said...

Ah I am already crying bitter tears that my favourite series in a long time is finished! After feverishly watching, downloading and saving every episode I now feel like I've lost some girlfriends/: Even though they were only characters and they are still on my hard drive...More lipservice to the people!!

Also, if Glasgow ACTUALLY has this many hot lesbians I am leaving London TOMORROW and relocating!