THIRTEEN GETS LUCKY, WITH MIXED RESULTS
Um, hi House. Yeah, thing is, I want my 20 seconds back. Yes, those 20 seconds. Yes, I timed them. Those 20 seconds of good stuff. Those 20 seconds you cut from the smoking hot promos compared to what actually aired on American television.
The 20 seconds that include the removal of tops, unbuttoning of pants, kissing of stomachs and breathless, carnal uttering of something like “come here.”
Don’t be coy with me. You know you cut them. They looked like this:
Last night’s episode of House, both ironically and un-ironically titled “Lucky Thirteen,” featured the first real physical evidence of Thirteen’s (Olivia Wilde) bisexuality as she slept with and then had to treat a female one-night stand. The woman was played by Angela Gots, who many will remember from The L Word as Cammie the “gay for pay” actress whom portrayed Shane/Shaun in the meta headache known as Lez Girls.
When I first saw the promos, I commented that it “may be the single hottest, longest, screen meltingest girl-on-girl action to ever be aired in the primetime broadcast TV ‘family hour’ of 8 p.m.” And it would have been, had the whole thing aired. What did air, while still hot, was definitely watered down.
Which leads to the somewhat rhetorical question: Why preview a longer, hotter clip than what eventually got broadcast? The answer, duh, ratings. Bummer.
The rest of the episode — while interspersed with some nice interaction between Olivia and Angela — was largely a bummer, too. Since her Huntington’s diagnosis, Thirteen has learned that she may have even less time than she thought. So instead of trying to stay healthy, she is partying and picking up women at bars. When Foreman confronts her on this her reasoning is simple.
Thirteen: I’m having fun, cramming as much life into my life as I can.
Foreman: You’re doing drugs, staying up all night and having sex with strangers.
Thirteen: Sounds fun to me.
Now, I have to take issue with the presentation of Thirteen’s bisexuality as part of her supposed downward spiral. All of her one-night stands are with women and she admits to not being into “repeat performances.” She looks pale and bleary-eyed throughout and administers IV fluids on herself after a particularly wild night. She even gets fired (temporarily) by House for her hard-partying ways.
Look, we have so few examples of gay women in sexual relationships on TV in the first place, must this one be shown as a symptom of her reckless behavior?
Later in the episode, Thirteen does seem to make a genuine connection with Spencer. (Say, is that TV writers’ new go-to name now for gay women?) But that connection is mostly born out of the fact that Thirteen thinks that Spencer also has a terminal diagnosis. Once it turns out Spencer isn’t dying, Thirteen again admits to feeling alone.
Adding to my disappointment in the episode were earlier spoilers that Thirteen and Foreman might become more than just colleagues. The potential “Forteen” coupling was hinted at broadly throughout the episode as Foreman showed concern in her behavior and she confided in him.
Intentional or not, this sets up the dynamic that Thirteen is “unhealthy” and “unstable” when she is with women and “healthy” and “balanced” when she is with men. And then there is the closing shot of a glassy-eyed Thirteen who is — surprise, surprise — with yet another female conquest.
Hey, House, a message that sex with women is bad for your health is totally not what the doctor ordered.
Still, the episode did give me the newest slogan for my burgeoning novelty T-shirt business: “Another life saved by girl-on-girl action.”
LESBIAN QUOTE OF THE WEEK NO. 1
"When I kiss a girl for a part, people think it’s sexy. But if two guys kiss, suddenly there’s a backlash. It’s a double standard. Honestly, I think we’re all bisexual in some way."
- Olivia Wilde (House), in a new interview with Women’s Health Magazine
— by Dorothy Snarker