Friday, December 18, 2009

Webisodes Killed the Gay-For-Pay Star: Part 2

How web-based shows will change your view of mainstream media.

Part 2: Desperately Seeking Simone

Welcome back. If you’re not sure why I’m saying welcome back, that’s okay – we’re confused around here a lot of the time. This is the second in a three-part series I’m writing on web shows; shows that can take the gay-pandering mainstream media out into a back alley and beat them to a rainbowed pulp, with their top-shelf content and pure, independent, homo pizzazz.

So yes, welcome back. Please take off your pants.

< This is a segue >

Law and Order: Special Victim’s Unit is a big-bucks, primetime TV show about a bunch of detectives and prosecutors who investigate sex crimes, and I shouldn’t have to explain that to most of you, because it stars Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson and Stephanie March as ADA Alex Cabot. Together, they form Cabenson – a femslash-tastic duo of hotness, in ass-kicking proportions. Why am I bringing this up? Well, partly so I can use these pictures:

And partly because... Sorry, need more time with those pictures? I’ll wait...

SVU is a good example of mainstream media recognising their gay audience without placing any real effort into maintaining or progressing it: They tease with possibility because they know our expectations are low but our hopes are high. We will tune in religiously for the merest proximity between female characters, and write them into a Shakespearian romance in our heads, without the producers of a show ever having to “compromise” their mainstream audience.

Sarah Warn, over at, brought a lesbian hope-induced heart attack to us all earlier this year, when she reported on a press call in which Stephanie March said (about the Alex/Olivia relationship):

"I’m not saying we’re not... I’m not saying we’re not in love."
Warn mentions that,
Later, executive producer Neal Baer acknowledged on the call that he and the writers are very aware of the lesbian following for March and Hargitay”.
Baer admitted way back in 2005:
"We read the fan sites. We know that people are into the Alex-Olivia thing. All the codes are in there."
Again, why am I bringing it up? Because Baer’s awareness, and subsequent admission, does not occur in a vacuum.

I rant about mainstream media pandering to homos without actually valuing them, or portraying and representing them in a fair and realistic way, because it is trufax. Producers do know we are here. They do know we are watching. And they do think there’s little they have to do to keep us right where they want us.

Now, I’m not suggesting anyone stop watching SVU, because my heart also flutters for A/O. And I will always advocate for guilty pleasures.

But I am saying that it is important to recognise what you are being given before you accept it, and certainly to examine it before saying, “Thanks - Your shit doesn’t stink at all.

If you are not a diesel dyke with a trucker’s hat and an affinity for plaid; if you are not a high-femme lesbian with a ball-breaker attitude and a blind eye for penis if it gets you to the top; if you are not a limp-wristed lycra queen with a razor-sharp tongue; and if you are not a bisexual who sleeps with women only when a man is there to watch you – chances are you have not seen yourself represented on a screen of any size, or in printed media at all.

If you have, it is likely you have raised that tiny piece of screen time, or article, or book, or person, high above your head until it has reached a god(ess)-like state for you - even if the image is grainy, or the words contrived, or the impression so fleeting you could blink and miss it.

We crave to see ourselves reflected, to have our lives justified by media, and it may not make a lick of sense but that doesn’t make a lick of difference.

Whether it should or not, representation matters.

And that brings me to my next piece of webisode awesomesauciness:

Seeking Simone.

Simone couldn’t be any more real. Simone is so real, she is sometimes almost painful to watch – Like the time you remember making a fool of yourself in front of that beautiful woman you tripped over in the supermarket, 12 oranges spilling from your hand basket even though you were never going to eat them, but that you picked up so you could linger over her as she checked the nectarines, imagining the cohesiveness of your condiments together, and the way your cats would curl up in her lap when you weren’t in it...

... Not that I’ve ever done that.

Simone is that sort of real.

Simone (a most gorgeous Renée Olbert) is a TV actress/lesbian looking for love, and aren’t we all. (Did I say love? I meant sex. Not love, not the gushy kind – strong and independent woman over here: Yup, the naked, sweaty kind of love. That’s what I meant.)

With the help of her best friend Audrey (Anna Chatterton) and their exhaustive, web camera-based conversations, Simone begins an arduous, crazy adventure through the world of online (and offline) lesbian dating.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Lesbians are nucking futs.

Seeking Simone combines awkwardness, hilarity and a tight, witty script (Rosemary Rowe has mad, Joss-tastic skillz) to wrap you up in Simone’s world; to have you cringing and cheering at each move she makes and, without exception, laughing out loud and with a vengeance – and each webisode is, impressively, between 7 and 9 minutes long.

But let’s get down to the important stuff: Hot Chicks.

Seeking Simone haz them. Olbert, Chatterton, Michelle Girouard (Elise), Kiran Friesen (Carmella - Oh, Carmella) – viewing pleasure is HIGH; femslash-ability potential is infinite. (Seeking Simone also adds to my lifelong belief that most good things come from Canada. ((This list begins with You Can’t Do That On Television and ends with Gay Marriage.))

But it is in webisode 1.4: A League Of Her Own, that Seeking Simone really hits its stride. Am I only saying this because the episode is Sexy-As-Hell and will make your toes curl? Maybe. But then, you’d expect no more less of me.

If you enjoy watching hot women push each other up against walls – And let’s be honest: Who doesn’t? – then welcome to Seeking Simone: You will enjoy your stay here. And, unlike the conversation Simone has with her agent at the start of wep 1.4 'Kill a minor character on ForensicSWAT or make them go "gay" for sweeps week' (spot-on mainstream media pandering tactics) – Simone is playing for keeps. She’s not going to get less gay.

These are webisodes, my dear - Things get shinier from here on in. They will never get less gay-tastic. When Simone's leather-clad love interest Camella (Friesen) returns in the latest webisode, 1.5: Dirty Birds, the sexy just keeps on coming. (Back to SVU again: Carmella = sexier Casey Novak or WHAT)


You're seeing what I'm seeing, right?

So, what will it cost me?

Seeking Simone is in its first season and is completely free. Enjoy it however long that lasts, and make sure that if it ever goes to subscription, that you pay for it because dammit, Rosemary and Renee have proved themselves worth it. Let me use this picspam to prove that:

Cabenson and BeNovak relationships aside, Seeking Simone will have you desperately seeking as much as I do. Seeking Simone has femslash possibilities.

But more than that, Seeking Simone has real world possibilities. Seeking Simone has the possibility not only to fulfil our viewing pleasure, it has the possibility to move beyond webisode goodness and onto the small screen for much longer than the 9 minutes it runs now.

I desperately seek Simone. You will too.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some more SVU/Seeking Simone comparisons to make. In private. With the blinds drawn.

Next up: Part 3 - When Otalia lesbians strike back, Venice: The Series.

Stalk me, stalk my blog: http://


  1. for your prior blog and this one.

    I would just like to say a thank you for the heads up on the two web shows. they are freaking amazing

    and yes, i don't think we really are ever going to be portray correctly in our favourite shows. I remember loving voyager for Seven(jeri ryan), it was at first rumoured about her being the first homosexual character for the startrek franchise)

    and ofcourse it never happened. ;.;

  2. I watched Seeking Simone the other day when I was supposed to be working from home. It's really good. Like addictive good. Despite the whole girl on girl thing, but you'll forgive me for that...

    So today, when I had nothing to do other than clean the house, tidy the yard and weed the vegie patch, I did a search for an equivalent with dudes on dudes.

    You know what I found?
    Nothing, nada, squat. There were a few good leads there, but ultimately everything I found fell into one of three categories:
    - Super-uber camp stereotype queens squealing a lot
    - Real Life/Big Brother-esque "reality" TV mockumentories about gays in a house and the "hilarity" that ensues
    - Coming out/unrequited love high school drama where the "nerd" gets the "jock" in the end (pun intended)

    I havent given up hope, but I'm not hopeful. So if you see anything that may be of some worth, flick it my way.

  3. @Minarobins: Thank you for commenting. And so glad you liked the shows - they make my naked bones p-retty happy too.

    As for J/7 - only in the fanfiction, m'dear *sigh* Yes, that was another good example where they played the scenes knowing we were watching, and sent the actresses scuttling to proclaim their hetrosexuality outside the confines of the small screen.

    Sad face.

  4. @Dan: So glad I could lead you to the distraction of Seeking Simone - as someone who also works from home, my wasted time is your wasted time ;)

    After your comment, I sent out a note to my networks, asking for boy-on-boy recs and although I remain partially optimistic (glass half-full, but I drank the other half), many comments were the same as yours. Which I think is noteworthy in and of itself - why is there awesome lesbian content, and not so much for the boys?

    I'll flick links your way if you promise to do the same - if it's exceptionally bad, send it through too. iChuckle.


  5. Couldn't agree with you more even if I tried... Thanks for being so opinionated *smile* and really for saying things that I believe must be said if change is to come our way.

    "Seeking Simone is in its first season and is completely free" - HALLELUJAH! And what's more, it's realistic, fun, funny, entertaining, smart and well... could dredge up a tonne load of adjectives but I will stop here.

    Will be back to read your blog again and again... Thanks for putting your thoughts out there!

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