“Venice” returns in all its soapy, Sapphic glory


Because I watch and recap a lot of primetime television, I don’t get a chance to just relax and get back to my TV roots very often, but man, Venice just transports me to my younger years when my mom let me stay home from school to watch Bo and Hope’s wedding and I used to rush home to my VHS player every afternoon to find out what kind of baby-stealing, roofie-pushing shenanigans Sami Brady had gotten up to on Days of Our Lives. (Yeah, I remember Crystal Chappell from way back when Vivian Alamain buried her alive and, like, taunted her through that custom-crafted casket PA system.)

When Venice‘s second season landed yesterday, I was back in that warm, familiar place where a person can totally accidentally cry when Crystal Chappell starts crying, but can also totally pause and replay just to make sure she actually said, out loud, "What a disappointing day for you, Colonel. You’ve got a dead hooker and a daughter who can’t stand the sight of you."

God, I love soaps.

Anyway, here’s how it went down:

Gina’s dad either accidentally or on purpose kills a hooker, and when he can’t guilt-trip Gina into burying the body in her backyard, he either accidentally or on purpose has a heart attack. Before he passes out, though, he’s all, "Remember how I think you’re a deviant on account of you like boobs? Well, we’re still a family even though I have zero redeemable qualities and do, in fact, have a dead Lady of the Night handcuffed to my bed."

Gina calls for help when he hits the floor, which is benevolent of her. On 30 Rock Jack Donaghy waited 15 minutes to call 911 after he ran over his mom with his car, and she is no where near the levels of extra-dimensional horribleness embodied in The Colonel.

Across town, Lara channels her inner Bette Porter and starts dropping F-bombs like Halloween candy, and I’m not gonna lie: It is easily the sexiest thing she’s ever done. I know, I know. You like her eyes and her legs and whatever thing. And yes, they’re great — but I like a woman who can properly swear. Lara’s having problems with her editor, and Ani cheers her right up with some snacks and snuggles and the gayest thing she’s ever said: You’re on the New York Times bestseller list and I Google your photo every morning and then your face comes up and I’m like, "That’s my girlfriend!"

Lara thinks it’s adorable. As lesbians do.

They kiss and talk about how nice it is to have someone in your corner and then they dance. And do not have The Sex.

The Sex is reserved for Owen and Sami. Owen tries to get cute about how Sami misses Africa and so he’s recreated the experience of the entire continent with a safari hat. She’s charmed, rather than annoyed, when he reaches for her phone, switches it off, and says, "No cell service in the remote village."

Hey, Owen, if you reach for my BlackBerry, you will come back with a nub, buddy. Warned is warned.

Also, they talk about hippos or something. I don’t know. I blanked out. The episodes are twice as long this season, did I mention that? They’re twice as long, and I hope they’re not full of this inane NatGeo chit-chat. That would be … disappointing.

An Englishwoman, whom I do not recognize, recaptures my attention when she starts chatting up/flirting with Michelle. There’s some heavy foreshadowing that Gina’s going to bungle the "Tuscany Project," but the point is: I think Michelle has a new girlfriend.

The whole boozy shebang — seriously, someone‘s going to become a full-blown alcoholic this season, mark my words — ends with me and Gina crying over wine and some photos of her childhood.

Hey, did you know that the name "hippopotamus" comes from the Greek "hippos," meaning horse, because hippopotamuses were once called "river horses"? And did you also know the hippo is more closely related to the pig than the horse? No? Do you care? Me either! Let’s see Ani and Lana making out!

What did you think of Venice‘s second season premiere?

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