KEEP CALM, AND CARRY ON…WITH THOSE LESBIANS – Great Britain
British television has been embracing lesbian storylines for quite some time, and not only as supporting characters. The London Olympic Games featured the same sex kiss from Brookside in the opening ceremonies. The BBC has made mini-series out of most of Sarah Waters’ novels, Lip Service was entirely dedicated to the lives of Glaswegian lesbians, Sugar Rush made us lightheaded, and of course, Helen and Nikki set the screen ablaze in Bad Girls. While I plan to talk about some of these past epic shows in a future column, lets focus on the now.
There is no doubt that Emily Fitch and Naomi Campbell stole our collective international hearts in Season 3 and 4 of Skins. It’s been a while since they have graced our screen, but Naomily will be back in one of the final installments of Skins. Effy Stonem will be the focus of Fire, but we do know that Naomi will be her roommate and Emily will be a part of the story as well. Here is the description according to Skins.wikia:
Effy, now 21, has gotten a job as a receptionist for a leading London Hedge Fund. But as she stumbles across crucial financial information relating to a troubled deal and embarks on an affair with her wealthy boss, she finds out that she has bitten off more than she can chew. Her flat mate Naomi tries to stop Effy from ruining her life, but Effy cannot be reached; until tragedy strikes, which causes Emily to fly back from her job.
While I trust the Skins writers more than anything, that description get my tummy a flopping. Hopefully by “tragedy” they really mean “awesome happy ending.” The final mini series of Skins will air in spring 2013 on E4.
This Glaswegian show introduces us to the character of Christina Michalka, a smart and dedicated young woman, whose unpredictable mother has previously left her in the care of her boyfriend and his mother. Christina meets and falls for Alice Reynolds, a street-smart mechanic who has secrets to spare. From the beginning, the couple is thrown one challenge after another. As of just this week, Alice’s past has come back to haunt her and she has to leave town. Hopefully this won’t be permanent, because the storyline is interesting and has room to grow. River City airs Tuesdays on BBC.
Oh, Hollyoaks. The long-running British series is rather notorious for mishandling lesbian storylines. (Murderous stalker girlfriends, anyone?) Last year, there was a promising relationship brewing between the characters of Texas and Jodie, but it was short lived when Texas decided her feelings for friend with benefits, Dodger, were growing stronger. Later producers announced that the character of Jodie was introduced to further along the relationship between Texas and Dodger. Booooo. Jodie, we hardly knew ye. There are now three major lesbian/bisexual characters on Hollyoaks, students Esther and Tilly, and art teacher Jen Gilmore. An illicit relationship between Tilly and Jen is currently playing out and coming to a major head.
“Don’t worry, I’m the Ezra Fitz of Hollyoaks, nothing bad could possibly come of this.”)
Photo courtesy of e4.com
In spite of having amazing hair that has restored my faith in bangs, Jen Gilmore royally screws up everything she touches, and that certainly includes Tilly. The teacher/student relationship may be off-putting to some viewers, and that may be exactly the point Hollyoaks is trying to make. Jen is self centered and fearful of the repercussions of their affair. Tilly is young and unpredictable. A perfect match. I see this ship going down like the Titanic. Hollyoaks airs weekdays on E4.
Our great neighbor to the North has a knack for really great entertainment. Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, the Stratford Festival, nearly all the actresses currently working in Hollywood. Excellent television programing is no exception.
Bisexual succubus? “Sign me up,” said every person with a pulse, everywhere. Except, Lost Girl is so much more that just sexy. (Oh that’s not to say it’s not a panty dropper, ’cause it is.) It’s also about friendship, and finding one’s place in this world. It has the magical, otherworldly feel that’s been missing since Buffy ended. The triangle in the center of the show between Bo the Succubus, Dyson the wolf , and Lauren the human doctor, is complicated because all the characters are so damn likeable. While Doccubus is very much on this season, in order for Lauren and Bo have a happy ending; we have to see Dyson live his life without love. (OK, I’m still rooting for Doccubus. Sorry, Dyson.) There are no easy answers in Lost Girl. It’s not really about gay or straight, or lesbian or bi, human or Fae. In fact, it’s the only show I’ve ever seen where sexuality is a complete non-issue. It also has one of the absolute best ensemble casts out there. If you haven’t seen Lost Girl, you can catch Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix or DVD. The current season airs in Canada on Showcase, and in the US, Monday nights on SyFy.
Check out a sneak peek at next week’s episode:
Just when I think Lost Girl is enough, Canada goes and gives us Bomb Girls. I’m in love with pretty much everything about this show. From the costumes and hair, to the lives and loves of its leading ladies Bomb Girls does a powerful job at showcasing the journeys of its characters, but of course no journey is more appealing to gay viewers than that of Betty McCrae. Betty has all the swagger of a dozen Katharine Hepburns, but once Kate Andrews walks into her life, we discover she’s just as fragile and easy to set off as the bombs she makes.
Can anyone disarm my heart?
Bomb Girls is set in a time when being out was not an option, and love dared not speak its name. Betty, however, couldn’t stop herself from shouting it, by kissing Kate in the last episode of season one. Kate didn’t take it well at the time, but that’s to be expected from someone who didn’t even know that desire and love like Betty’s even existed. Season two has the two women battling their demons together as friends, but there is always a chance fans could see more. All’s fair in love and war. Check out Elaine Atwell’s excellent Bomb Girls recaps to get caught up. Bomb Girls airs Wednesdays on GlobalTv in Canada. Viewers in the US can expect to catch Bomb Girls on the REELZ channel, sometime later this winter/early spring.
One last note, as you may have seen, they are making a Las Aparicio movie as we speak. Las Aparicio was a Mexican series focusing on the lives of the women of the Aparicio family. Apparently the movie will be somewhat of a continuation of the series, and also partly a prequel dedicated to understanding the curse that afflicts the Aparicio women (i.e. All the dudes in their lives die). It will be narrated from the present day. Most of the lead actresses have been replaced due to other commitments, but not the actresses playing Mariana and Julia. Part of their storyline will be trying to start a family. The film is expected to come out in November 2013. If you have any additional info, please let us know in the comments. Special thanks to @barbsbhg, @Raansa and jesterjessie.tumblr.com for your help with translation and research.
What shows do you love that air in another country? Have you ever gone to extreme lengths to watch a show? (I know fans across the pond that get up in the middle of the night to watch Glee live.) Know of any new and exciting things on the horizon? Please tell us in the comments. And as always, flail on fangirl. Flail on.
Biweekly, Notes on a Fandom will feature a different fandom-centric topic. Stay tuned to my Twitter and Tumblr for updates. Tweet me your thoughts on what you’d like to see covered with the hashtag #notesfandom, and send me links to your Tumblr.