Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (February 22, 2008)

A CASHMERE MIFF

ABC’s Cashmere Mafia ended its strike-shortened first season this week. As Sarah noted last week, the pregnancy story line turned out to be the least of the show’s problems. The two lesbian/bi characters, Bonnie Somerville‘s Caitlin Dowd and Lourdes Benedicto‘s Alicia Lawson, were barely on the show.

But before it all went haywire — as in, a couple of months ago, when we still dared to hope — our Malinda Lo spoke to Lourdes Benedicto about the show and her role. Here are a few snippets that hark back to happier times:

AE: Did the idea of playing a lesbian character cause you any concerns
when you were auditioning for the role?
LB:
No, not at all! In fact, I was kind of excited about it. I’ve never played
one on TV or professionally. Actually, I did it in college onstage a couple of
times. But no, I was excited about it.

AE: What was it like working with Bonnie Somerville?

LB: Oh, it was fantastic! It was great. She’s a lot of fun. She, like myself, is from New York originally, and we had a great time together.

AE: Your character reads, obviously, as a woman of color no matter what her specific background is, and for women of color who are queer, that’s just such a rare thing. How do you feel about that?

LB: I think it’s great. We’ve got not only all different colors across the board in our society, but we have to start representing different sexual preferences and everything. I mean, that’s the norm. That’s what we live with every day, and I think that art should represent life as we know it, so it’s important.

She seems cool, right? However, I’m a little floored by Benedicto’s view of Caitlin and Alicia’s relationship as a whole:

Bonnie and I felt really strongly when we did our breakup scene that we really had come full circle with that relationship, so that was really nice. It was real. And I liked that about it, because I think that’s important too. You can’t just represent stereotypes; you have to get down to who these people really are. That’s important to see.

Yeah, it is important! So why didn’t we get to see who they really were? Or, well, see them at all? This week, Caitlin’s sexuality seemed to disappear entirely. She did little more than scream at a fashion designer and spar with the magnificent Christine Ebersole — and not a single one of Catilin’s so-called friends inquired about her broken heart.

For my money, the queerest (and best) moment of the finale was this odd encounter between Mia (Lucy Liu) and a pet adoption representative, played by Wallace Shawn (The L Word, The Princess Bride):



Yes, I’m back to grasping at straws, looking for any glimmer of gaiety on a show that was supposed to be chock-full of it. For more broken dreams and dashed hopes, read bad machine‘s recap on Monday.

A STEP UP FROM THOSE APPLEBEE’S COMMERCIALS

Have you see those commercials in which an apple talks to people — and the flirty fruit has Wanda Sykes‘ voice? If not, be glad, and if you have, take heart: On a recent episode of the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine, Sykes’ lines were actually worthy of her talent.

Her character, Barb, bantered with Christine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) about a fling they had in college. It seems Christine wasn’t all that great in bed:




Ha! Nobody can do unimpressed like Wanda can. And there was never a hotter LUG (Lesbian Until Graduation). Hey, Barb: I hear Caitlin on Cashmere is free, if you want to explore those youthful urges further.

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