WHEN DID AUGUST BECOME THE NEW SWEEPS MONTH?
At one time, summer meant reruns on TV, and that generally translated to no lesbians or bisexual women. Thankfully, times have changed! In the next week you can see lezzies on the tube on several networks; in fact, there are so many lesbians on TV next week I’m scratching my head and wondering if somehow we’ve accidentally entered another sweeps month.
First up: IFC’s four-part series Indie Sex, which debuted Wednesday night at midnight and airs every night through Saturday, explores how sexuality has been portrayed in independent films, tackling subjects ranging from censorship to teen romance to S/M. Produced by out filmmaker Lesli Klainberg (Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema), who also directed two of the episodes (Taboos and Censored), the series doesn’t focus specifically on lesbian sexuality in films, but it’s still a pretty darn gay documentary.
Among the filmmakers and actors who comment in the series are Rosanna Arquette (The L Word), Jamie Babbit (But I’m a Cheerleader, Itty Bitty Titty Committee), Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know), Heather Matarazzo, Piper Perabo (Imagine Me & You), Ally Sheedy (High Art) and Guinevere Turner.
I talked with Lesli Klainberg earlier this week, and she told me, "One of the things we wanted to accomplish in the series was obviously to integrate the gay and lesbian story into the whole story." Thus, the series covers the whole gamut of sexuality (yes, there’s gay sex too) — and I admit I was shocked at the amount of stuff they were able to show on this television documentary! Granted, it airs at midnight on cable, but let me put it this way: This stuff puts sweeps lesbianism to shame.
Klainberg assured me, however, that "no sex toys were harmed in the making of this film." Make of that what you will!
Moving on, this weekend you can also catch the premiere of Jekyll on BBC America (Saturday night at 8 p.m.), which features a lesbian couple, and the Season 2 premiere of The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman on IFC (Sunday night at 11:30 p.m.).
These two shows are extremely different from each other, but I liked them both: Jekyll because it was just dripping with metaphors about gender, sex and violence (and because it was creepy!); Jackie Woodman because the two actresses, Laura Kightlinger and Nicholle Tom, are wise-cracking feminists who also, incidentally, invited me to have a drink with them after our interview (sadly, I had to go to another press conference).
A note to future potential interviewees: I’m easy. If you want me to plug your show, offer me some scotch.
Sunday night at 9 p.m., catch another episode of The Kill Point, a series about a bank robbery-turned-hostage crisis (no, it’s not The Nine, R.I.P.) on Spike. Wondering why I’m recommending that you check out the cable network for men? Well, as a friend of mine once said to me, "Spike rhymes with dyke." And The Kill Point, as we mentioned last week, includes a black lesbian cop, Lt. Connie Reubens (she’s ex-military), played by Michael Hyatt (The Wire).
Here’s a photo of her with co-star Donnie Wahlberg (unfortunately she’s in the blurry background):
I just watched the second episode, and I have to admit, Lt. Reubens is one tough woman. She’s no-nonsense and firearms-experienced, and she seems to be Donnie Wahlberg’s (the hostage negotiator) right-hand man (so to speak). On the other hand, the series includes lame frat boy-type jokes at regular intervals in order to hammer home the fact that this series is airing on Spike, whose new tagline is "Get More Action." If you can stomach those moments of gross non-hilarity, The Kill Point‘s actually not bad television. Believe me: I’m as surprised as you.