Gina’s got 99 problems and her family is 97 of them. In the tradition of the great soaps, there is a focus on family dynamic in Venice. Gina, a successful designer, has major daddy issues. She even calls her dad The Colonel (Jordan Clarke). He’s an ornery son-of-a-bitch who questions his daughter at every turn, but when disaster strikes, it’s Gina he reaches out too. And by disaster, I mean a dead hooker in his laundry room. While he recovers from a stroke, it’s Gina who moves in and takes care of him. After a few come-to-Jesus moments, they begin to grow closer.
Gina’s brother Owen (Galen Gering) is a lovable fuckup. He’s an actor always looking for his big break, and has the absolute worst luck with the ladies. (Attention soap guys and gals: Stay away from characters named Sammie. Just trust me.) He and Gina are very close and look out for each other. Gina and Owen’s aunt Guya (Hillary B. Smith), is a martini-loving, ghost-seeing, younger men-dating spiritual guide. The scenes between the Owen, Gina and Guya are by far the funniest and tender of the series. Add Gina’s ex boyfriend Richard (Peter Reckell) into the mix and the revelation that Gina gave away their child for adoption twenty-one years prior. Time to clutch those pearls!
Soapy? Yes. Super gay? Absolutely.
Soap operas have struggled with audience retention and changing viewing habits in recent years and Crystal Chappell and the Venice team forged into uncharted territory with very positive results. Venice remains very true to its soap roots, but with a very modern feel and aesthetic. Plus, it’s super-duper gay. Steamy lady love scenes, passionate kisses, processing. Venice has something for all audiences, but it’s nice to know it pays special attention and care to complex, adult lesbian relationships. Forget what you know (or don’t know) about soaps. Venice: The Series is one of a kind.
Need More Convincing?
Here are a few more reasons to fall in love with Venice.
1. It’s chock full of veteran soap stars! Peter Reckell played one of the most beloved daytime hunks of all time, Bo Brady on Days of Our Lives. Galen Gering is of Passions and Days of Our Lives fame. Hilary B Smith, Nadia Bjorlin, Liz Keifer, and Jessica Leccia have all starred in popular soaps over the years. And the list goes on and on.
2. Awesome guest stars. Last season, Dot-Marie Jones guested as The Colonel’s tough yet sensitive physical therapist. This season welcomes stunt-woman and actress Zoe Bell.
3. The music! In addition to having one of the best opening credit songs (Jen Foster’s “Venice Beach”) the show features a lot of independent artists and actively seeks out submissions.
4. They’ve given us great characters. Depth and complexity aren’t exactly associated with soap opera characters. Venice once again turns convention on its head to give us some really meaty characters, flaws and all.
5. Loads of ladies behind the scenes. Venice is produced, written, and directed (mostly) by women. How badass is that? Crystal Chappell and her team created a space for us as viewers unlike any other. It’s a well-crafted labor of love and you can feel that in every scene.
Are you ready to dive into Venice? Season 4 begins on August 7th, and you can purchase a subscription to the show on venicetheseries.com. Be sure to check in later this week for Afterellen’s interview with lead actress, creator and executive producer, Crystal Chappell.
Are you excited for the return of Venice: The Series?