Published on CherryGrrl.com July 2012
Being a poor recent college grad, I was forced to either shut off my cable for a month or starve to death. I’d rather starve then go a day without The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but 20 minutes into my month without food, I caved. Cable had to go.
That being said, I tossed aside my relationship with The Real Housewives and replaced it with Netflix. After I had finished every season of all the trashy reality shows Netflix could offer, I stumbled upon Lip Service. The photo of two women seductively gazing into one another’s eyes quickly caught my attention and I cleared my schedule for the next two days. I could tell this would be a good show.
The opening scene made it obvious that Lip Service would not disappoint. The lead, Frankie (Ruta Gedmintas), who is so attractive it’s almost revolting, starts off by photographing a model, which quickly escalates into a steamy lesbian sex scene within the first few minutes. I finally found a quality show!
Two days later I had finished both seasons. I quickly jumped on my computer and Googled all I could about the show. I followed everyone on Twitter and once I realized the tweeting I was doing to Ruta Gedmintas was rapidly passing the “devoted fan” line and progressing at an alarming rate towards the “stalker” line, I sat in my room and reflected.
What was it about this show that made me crazy in love? Why hadn’t I been able to watch a show before that had the same effect on me?
I came the conclusion that this show got me obsessed because of its British roots. Not only does this mean that the accents are absolutely tantalizing – and the ladies actually use words like “shag” in real life – but I feel British TV shows aren’t afraid of non-heterosexual sex the way American shows are.
Sure, we all know and love The L Word, the iconic lesbian television series that comes to mind whenever anyone argues that lesbians have in fact broken into the television world. Or Glee and Pretty Little Liars… both breaking the lesbian stereotype of the classic butch lesbians with the pretty and popular woman-lover. But must we watch straight couple after straight couple have sex onscreen while the token lesbian simply admits she has feelings for women? Maybe a kiss is thrown in there every once in a while, but come on. Where are the real scenes? The scenes that make women who love women feel like they aren’t being left out of every show.
In no way am I asking to watch lesbian porn on cable, but people pat ABC Family on the back for throwing a lesbian character in a show like they’re brave for being so diverse. It’s not like the idea of being a lesbian is new, though I do appreciate the slow addition of lesbian acceptance in America. However, it’s much too slow for my taste. British TV is where it’s at if you want the raunchy, real stuff.
Lip Service, like any good show really, is based largely on sex. Frankie loves her ex-girlfriend Cat, Cat is with her girlfriend Sam, Cat’s roommate Tess likes Lexy but Lexy likes Sam. Simply a mess. It’s almost like a less hard-hitting version ofThe L Word. The L Word covered topics like transgender issues and co-parenting, but Lip Service is just a messy group of friends, ex-lovers, new lovers etc., and their lives – similar to a lesbian Sex and the City (but with much less annoying characters). Trying to make careers for themselves, living through breakups and new lovers, with seductive sex scenes sprinkled in the mix, is the basic foundation of this series.
While Europe may have it all – accents, sexy television shows, and awesome pubs – with the invention of Netflix, Lip Service can, and should, be yours here in the USA. So, though I rant about America not having shows that feature lesbians without focusing solely on the fact they are lesbians, I get over it every time I pour a bowl of Rice Crispies and tweet to Ruta Gedamintas. Maybe one day we will be like Europe in the television sense, but in the meantime, Netflix (and it’s category specifically called ‘British Television’) will work just fine.