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.