The second in my series of angst-free, complaint-free Venice reviews. This post contains spoilers. Go watch Venice: The Series Season 2 Episode 2 first. If you cannot afford an episode, one will be appointed for–I mean, let me know at rysler at gmail.com. I will eagerly provide subscriptions in return for fic. Three left!
We start with commentary from a brilliant writer and hopefully familiar name:
kelinswriter: “Well, I guess my big thing is just overall a sense that this is becoming a real show. And I’m really happy about that. It’s what I expected, but it’s lovely to see one’s hopes and expectations fulfilled. She stepped up to the plate. This is no longer a vanity/grief project.”
rysler: “What is it?”
kelinswriter: “It’s a soap. One that I would stand beside any soap on broadcast TV.”
It’s absolute truth.
And analysis from the left from our neighborhood liveblogger:
inaditch: “I get that the narrative is character based. What kelinswriter says is very true. It’s a soap. I think the things that I find less interesting are very soapy things. Which must mean that those things are actually positive. But I’m not the target audience. I’M STILL GOING TO WATCH HA.”
rysler: “You are the target audience.”
inaditch: “I meant in the way that I’m not a fan of the genre.”
inaditch: “But complaining about the genre-specific things is like picking up a romance novel and complaining that there is romance.”
Our scene opens on Sami and Owen naked and curled up together. Thousands of lesbians groan. Thousands of Galen and Gina fans cheer. It’s an all-inclusive soap. They are awfully pretty. They discuss Owen’s custom made South African village and then Owen checks his phone. “Shit. I’ve got ten voice mails from my sister.”
Hilariously perfect delivery. No one wants their sister to call that much. Not even Owen. Because he’s a good boy and he knows something’s wrong he calls immediately. And gets to say “Fuck.” His father had a stroke. Sami looks appropriately concerned.
Ani shows up at Lara’s door with coffee, which means that they did not sleep over last night. Interesting. Lara is still on her best behavior with busy-bee Ani and accepts that Ani’s off to see Gina with appropriate aplomb.
(Fandom: Less aplomb.)
Not much to say about this scene because it’s hard to tell who to watch. Nadia’s acting sufficiently distracting but LOOK AT ANI’S DRESS. We’re all waiting for Lara to crack, but the honeymoon era is sweet and worthwhile.
We gather with wrecked Gina in Crystal’s beautiful garden jungle. The adorably hateful siblings try to decide the best way to keep their father alive without getting involved. Gina refuses to do anything that would interfere with Owen’s career, because AW she’s protective. Sami has a helpful suggestion. Let Gramps recover at home with a nurse. Despite how nauseating that concept is to the kids, Gina is actually nice to her about it.
I REALLY LIKE SAMI NOW. THAT CANNOT BE GOOD.
Anyway, this is a very quiet, tender, soft scene, and its ability to be a moment should not be discounted. What I’m loving about Venice so far is the immediacy. The real time-ness. We’re still in the raw emotional place that is Gina’s existence, and it’s a good place to be. We shouldn’t rush to other moments. THIS moment works.
Sami goes off to the beach and Owen immediately asks Gina, “What are you not telling me?” Gina gives him a stoic glare. Owen then makes the CUTEST SARDONICALLY ENCOURAGING FACE EVER. A screenshot cannot do it justice. You have to go watch.
A woman’s hand. But whose? I’m going to assume it’s someone we don’t see in this episode but I’d like to pretend it’s Wes Ramsey’s and he’s already onto Sami before he Frisbees her. (kelinswriter: “That IS Wes Ramsey”) Because I watch too much One Life to Live and flash instantly to Rex. Mmm. Rex and Kelly. Oops, scene change.
Guya! Who is played by HILLARY B SMITH. She’s in her own garden because this show is gorgeous, and she tells Gina (who’s on the phone) with that she agrees with Sami about the Colonel’s care, that Mercury is in retrograde, and that Van’s coming home and there is going to be DRAMA WITH OWEN. Squee! Then she hilariously says, “It’s not nice to call your aunt a fucktard.”
I love her so much. And usually her Hillaryness is dominating but in this particular scene she reminds me so much of my aunt. My redheaded Buddhist reflexologist aunt. Every family needs one. If you can’t identify yours…it may be you.
Guya gives Gina phone kisses and then turns around to see Liz Keifer, who is glowing. Guya is used to dealing with weird people, so she just offers her a palm-reading session or whatever. But Liz disappears, leaving Guya spooked and confused, and me in WOE.
Then to the scene of the episode. Katherine is on the rooftop bar talking to herself. She’s having a little pep talk to pick up a hot blonde also at the bar. Exceptionally hilarious. Good work, Tina. Fun and sad but not in a totally pathetic way. I could watch her do this for hours. “I’m stuck on a word. It’s five letters.” Hee. (Why yes, it is all in the delivery.) It’s really hard to act in a scene alone, guys. She’s about to go trip over the hot blonde when MICHAEL SABATINO appears. I have no idea why he’s here. Hi, though. Dreamy. He calls Tina “Elizabeth.”
Back to Gina’s wasteland. Notice how these scenes are completely different in tone? It’s her energy. And Harrison White shines. He was the highlight of last episode and now he is in the most fabulous outfit I have ever seen. I cannot find a way to describe him and all this, however. There are no appropriate adjectives for all this space. So: He tells Gina that daddy’s hooker was special, that she was expensive. The underlying message here is that she was a person, that she mattered to someone.
Another thing I could do for hours: Watch Crystal Chappell cry.
Jamie tells us that the hooker’s name was “Candy Cane” and there is a fantastic existential laughing breakdown on a gloomy beach.
Meanwhile Sami is just chilling on the beach and she meets a babbling Wes Ramsey. He notices she’s reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography and talks to her about South Africa. And hits on her. She has a boyfriend. He is an adrenaline junkie. His tales are as tall as Sami’s. Salt water kayaking and bulls in Pamplona.
jaina47: “He’s pulling off vaguely sinister too. I like it.”
You know how I know this is a soap opera? Everyone has secrets and they are all gonna get buuuuusted.
Let us all take a moment with Gina and pray for her shoes.
Then the magical dress reappears, and with it, Ani. She can find Gina anywhere.
jaina47: “I WANT MOAR.”
LIVEBLOGGING WITH IDA OR
inaditch: “WHAT THE FUCK.”
inaditch: “ANI YOU ARE THE MOST WHIPPED PERSON IN THE WORLD.”
inaditch: “I like that Tanned Swedish Lady doesn’t get insanely jealous at this.”
inaditch: “it makes me like her better.”
inaditch: “I AM CRITICAL BECAUSE I LOVE YOU VENICE.”
inaditch: “Okay. then I can buy that she’s a bad liar.”
rysler: “Lara is an alcoholic. Lara is probably SUPERB at lying.”
inaditch: “Yes! That’s why Ani likes her better. Because Lara is a better liar, she can hide her egomania better than Gina.”
inaditch: “I love Guya.”
inaditch: “WHY DOES THIS LADY GO AROUND L.A. STARING AT PEOPLE.”
inaditch: “I’d like to think that she does that.”
inaditch: “Not just at Hippie Aunt.”
inaditch: “Is she talking to herself?”
rysler: “She’s on the phone with Gina.”
inaditch: “I’m on a roof with a person in a weird hat now. She’s talking to herself.”
inaditch: “Hi Alan!”
inaditch: “HI CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATOR.”
inaditch: “I want to marry him.”
inaditch: “CAN I MARRY HIM.”
inaditch: “THEY’RE COVERING UP A MURDER OR SOMETHING HERE HELLO.”
inaditch: “Okay I have a new OTP. CSI guy and Gina.”
inaditch: “That was a pretty classy way to say “I have a boyfriend dude”, actually. A ‘dudefriend.'”
inaditch: “GINA/ANI HANDHOLDING.”
Sour punch twists are thanked in the credits. EVERYBODY GO BUY SOME.