The Zhoosh! Brighton Blog
Lip. Service. These two words will be on the lips of almost every gay and lesbian this autumn with the hugely anticipated six-part series following the capers of a group of twenty-something Glaswegian lesbians.
The series, which is due to be aired on BBC 3 soon, was written and created by Harriet Braun who comments:
“I loved The L Word but it’s high time we saw some contemporary British lesbians, with all the bad weather, trips to the pub and repressed emotions that go with that. It will be as funny as it is pathos filled, because in my experience that’s how life is.”
Indeed, the one thing that made L-Word somewhat frustrating was the success and wealth of the women, along with the glamour that adourned every crevace of the series. Of course we all aspire to be wonderfully rich and beautiful but it just doesnt evoke the sense of reality it should. Who realistically has a group of friends, one which is an internet mogul, the other a lawyer, another a successful author and so on and so forth. The vast majority of the public are unable to relate to such experiences (although may fantasise about sex in a pool, or a liaison in a private horse racing box). This is why Lip Service is so exciting and unusual, it explores a world where gay girls largely have normal careers- a sargeant, an aspiring artist etc. However, there is of course a glamorous daytime TV presenter and successful architect. After all, we need a bit of glamour in our evening entertainment don’t we.
I recently discovered As Queer as Folk, a mere 11 years behind the times. I was told by a close female friend about how ground breaking it was. Suffice to say, I was somewhat wary about watching it. As a gay woman how could I possibly enjoy watching a series following the lives of gay men? I believed I could not relate to such a program. How wrong I was. From the first episode I was hooked. What a televisual treat it was! Most unbelievably I think I even enjoyed it more then L-Word. Why, I dont know. Possibly because it was based in Manchester (I have a strange longing to live in Manchester, maybe its the accents) but most likely its the fact its all so down to earth and therefore largely plausible.
I cannot deny there have been other massive gay TV success stories. Sugar Rush, is one such example with its quirky and dynamic portrayal of a teenage girl falling in love with a close heterosexual friend. Although creative, it was however, completely surreal. Call me crazy but my brother doesnt tend to cover himself in blue paint and believe he is an alien, as Sugar’s younger brother Matt did.
Another absolute scorcher of a series was Tipping the Velvet. This victorian erotic masterpiece was an absolute gem for all who watched it. Being set in the 1890′s (a time when lesbianism was largely underground) evoked a naughty, risque feeling to all those who viewed it. The three-part series appealed to millions of viewers and gave a different spin on the lesbian ‘coming out’ crisis.
All of these series’ had some sort of boundary for the contemporary twenty something British lesbian, clearly seperating them from real life. For L-word it is the wealth and pomp, for As Queer as Folk the gender, for Sugar Rush its bizarreness and for Tipping the Velvet the context.
I may be speaking too soon but I believe Lip Service will provide a level of realism that will reel people in and keep them hooked for the six episodes. Here’s hoping it will not just be an entertaining and thought-provoking series; but may ultimately change lives.
The official air date for the series is unknown but is said to be ”autumn”. As far as im concerned the sun can disappear for a good few months. Roll on Lip Service.