Tuesday, January 12

But it Does...

Alright ladies and that other gender I refuse to acknowledge on the internet, the webseries Anyone But Me that I blogged about in August is back for season 2! Now, today they aired streamed premiered episode 3 and it's taken me this long to blog about the premiere because I was unfortunately underwhelmed by the first 2 episodes. I'm sorry ladies, but I didn't want to badmouth you since we're linked to your press page (we're famous). I mean, the first episodes were a little sketchy. ENOUGH with crazy lesbian fantasies. JENNY SCHECTER IS DEAD. We still don't know by whose hand, mind you, but she's dead. I'm over it. Next thing you know there will be an Anyone But Me reality show.

But episode 3, "Identity Crisis," redeemed everything for me and made me excited for the rest of the season. On to the positives, people!

1. Acting: Upgrade.
2. Production quality: Upgrade.
3. Streaming Free on Hulu.com: Upgrade.
4. Storylines: Upgrade.

Watch the episode via point 3 and you can just see for yourself points 1 and 2. Now to address point 4. The storyline in "Identity Crisis" revolves around Vivian and her childhood friend, Sophie, who just found out she was gay. I won't give away how, because I want you to watch the series. What was so great about this particular episode and what reinvigorated my faith in the series is that it did what it does best and took a very real, often overlooked aspect of teen life and chose to tell that story instead of the omg gay characters! omg black kids in suburbia! omg at some point not even the hot cheerleader fits in! bullshit story lines that I am so tired of seeing told over and over again. It viewed Vivian's coming out through the eyes of Sophie. I've never even thought about coming out in terms of a straight peer. Of it being awkward for them. As an out lesbian, I come out over and over again to different people almost on a daily basis. Believe me, it gets old. Vivian makes that clear and then tells Sophie that it "doesn't change who I am." Sophie brilliantly retorts with "but it does." And I guess it does.

Shame on me for not thinking about the act of coming out this way, but good on you for pointing it out? I'm going to answer my own poorly structured question and say yes. Because I guess it does, in fact, change who you are. I mean all of a sudden just because a person comes out as gay if they before hadn't really enjoyed mustard but then all of a sudden they love it isn't really what I'm talking about. But I think coming out to a peer, or a person of the post-9/11 generation that this web series focuses on, isn't about telling them "hey, I'm what the society major views as a sexual deviant." We're over that. But it's implying a different world view that requires a different set of rules in order to exist and navigate. Viewing the world through queer eyes versus straight eyes is a completely different experience. I get shit all the time for queering everything; however, for me, it's never a stretch. It's my first go-to facet of my argument and is what I naturally see, and how I naturally feel and it is always really difficult for me to understand how other people don't see how incredibly gay the whole entire world is. This is what I think happens when Sophie suggests Vivian put up Twilight (ick) posters in her room and then Aster suggests putting up P!nk posters (yay). Interests are different, the appeal of certain things are different, explanations are different. Sophie says she doesn't have a problem with Vivian's homosexuality and I honestly believe her. I think Sophie is just experiencing gay culture clash. And it's this culture clash that I've never really taken into account when I have to come out to a straight peer. I never realized that, even for a fleeting second, they ask themselves "What is ok or not ok for me to talk about now?"

The acting in this episode really gets my point across much clearer and it's this improvement in the acting that I love so much. Season 1 was great because there were teen lesbians being portrayed as people and not as suicidal depressives. And my goodness that Nicole Pacent (Aster) is one attractive girl. Also, Rachael Hip-Flores (Vivian) and I are real friends. And by real friends I mean twitter friends who I often get @ replies from that support me listening to Ani Difranco over and over again. What else do I need in a friendship? NOTHING.

It'd be really great if this show took the Exes and Oh's fast track from it's original form as a short film to a commercial length cable television series. I wouldn't mind watching the whole ABM story unfold over again during a 30 minute period with regular commercial breaks just to get more of these characters.

Also, I'd like to thank Tina Cesa Ward and Susan Miller for keeping this series free. Since the end of The L Word, lesbian media is nowhere to be found, unless you want them in scrubs. I used to watch We Have to Stop Now, starring Cathy Debuono, Jill Bennett, and Suzanne Westenhoffer. Those are some big names in the lesbian entertainment world. They also apparently like to make money. The series now requires a $25 subscription to watch. I'm sorry. I have to pay rent.

In conclusion, I like this webseries.

Sidenote: I also really like how all of the characters are good at something. Archibald draws, Elisabeth wants to act, Sophie (and Vivian) are into journalism, Jonathan is an athlete, and Aster is just so comfortable in her own skin I don't even know if she has a talent besides her confidence.

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  1. I find this post fascinating. I have so much more to say that doesn't fit in the comment box.

  2. @Becky-

    Don't ever be afraid to email one of us! Our email addresses are in both of our profiles. You can get to them on the right side under the "Don't act like you know me..." heading.

  3. WELL DONE. Everything in the huge paragraph is SO true.