Skins creator Bryan Elsley has partnered with the UK’s Channel 4, on a new series called Dates. Dates centers around the dating lives of a group of 20-30 something Londoners. Not unlike Skins, the new show is an ensemble piece with each episode focusing on a (potential) couple, whose stories eventually intertwine with other characters.
Episode Four, “Erica and Kate,” centers on a lesbian pairing and delivers a sexy, and thought-provoking storyline. The episode opens at a molecular gastronomy bar, bass thumping in the background as one of our leading ladies, Erica (Gemma Chan) saunters through the crowd. She’s the kind of gorgeous that would normally cause record players to scratch, and waiters to spill drinks.
She walks up to the bar, where she is greeted by her date, Kate. Kate (Katie McGrath) looks like she could be the result of a loving union between Keira Knightley and Rachel Weiss. (Quick, someone, write that movie!)
In other words, both ladies are stunning and appear quite pleased at their luck. Kate, who seems at home at this bar, orders her usual, a Backwards Bellini. Le sigh. Erica, who wants to seem edgy and maybe a bit out of her comfort zone, goes for the Salmon Jerky Martini. I have nothing to add on that subject.
Kate suggests they find a cozier spot upstairs, and they settle into one of the clubs couches to better size one another up. The chemistry between them is off the charts. Bryan Elsey has a talent for pairing up actors with tremendous chemistry, which is one of the reasons his shows are so engaging. Speaking of engaging, Kate and Erica can barely keep their hands off of each other and the date is only five minutes in. Kate, a girl close to my heart suggests they order some food, to which Erica adorably responds, “Oh are we…doing things?” Oh, Erica, just you wait darling.
Kate steps in and orders them a whole mess of nibbly things. Kate does her best to read Erica’s reaction to her boldness.
Gulp. Kate takes Erica’s cue and has the waiter remove the fish martini and replaces it with a Backwards Bellini. Erica asks her how many other women has she introduced “The Backwards Bellini” to. Oh snap. Kate tells her, not as many as she thinks, and its clear that Kate is utterly smitten with Erica. Erica’s phone rings and she is reluctant to answer it. It’s her brother and he’s kind of a twat but you know family, she says. It turns out Kate only sees her family twice a year, if that, and you sense a tension that likely stems from her being an open lesbian. The women can’t seem to talk about anything for too long without needing to touch each other, so Kate runs her finger along Erica’s arm. She stops to ask if its OK, and Erica purrs back that yes, it is aces.