BiMedia October 2007

BCN 87 cover

This originally appeared in BCN issue 87, September 2007

Perhaps it’s not the most illustrious start to my tenure on BiMedia: a US-centric, three-week-old entertainment story, which, assuming you rhyme “bed” with the letter z, probably won’t reach your TV screen for about five years anyway. 

But really, if the prospect of Joley Richardson and Portia de Rossi getting intimate in the upcoming series of Nip/Tuck doesn’t grab your sexually fluid imaginations, I give up already. Yup, according to US Lesbian/Bi media site, de Rossi is to guest star as a lesbian mother whose teenage daughter goes under the knife, while she goes under the duvet with Richardson’s married character, Julia.  Says AfterEllen’s Editor-in-Chief Sarah Warn: “I’m looking forward to seeing how this relationship plays out…” [with Nip/Tuck’s favoured blend of scrupulous realism and not a kilo of gratuitous flesh, surely??]  “…but these two look a little too similar for my taste. It’s kinda creepy. I mean, who was the casting directory on this one, Freud?” [Sources close to the dead head doctor say he was a bit tied up to take on casting duties for this season’s Nip/Tuck but that, like most dedicated MILF-spotters, he will be zestfully poised in front of his plasma-screen when the relevant episodes air].

Elsewhere, actress Julie Delpy (writer, star and director of 2 Days In Paris) is in the Observer (September 2) talking about her script for The Countess, a new biopic of 16th century Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory, aka The Bloody Countess (so named because, when she wasn’t running affairs of state, she apparently had a thing for slashing young girls to death and sucking on their blood to preserve her youth). Says Delpy:  “She was highly sexual for her time. Probably bisexual.” Rich, power-crazed, promiscuous, and a proto-Goth? Good grief, is that the complete Pokemon-card set of bisexual stereotypes or what?

If you like your GOGA British and un-gentrified, how about Denise Van Outen? The Sun (September 10) brings you the news that: “Stunning Denise Van Outen has signed to play a bisexual performance artist in revamped musical Rent. The groundbreaking show, which opens at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre on October 16, features a cast of gay, lesbian and transgender characters and will also star former Sugababe Siobhan Donaghy.” The headline is “Denise plays bisexual in Rent.” Succinct, like: “Tabloid plumps for unsubtle headline about photogenic woman playing bi.”

In the “spouse leaves for a same sex partner” corner this issue we have two very different articles. The Guardian (August 11) gets half a gold star for its first-person account: “My mum left my dad for another woman” by Sian Norris, with the standfirst: “My parents’ marriage was pretty much over before Mum met Kathryn. She wasn’t a home wrecker – and my dad was surprisingly calm and accepting”. Good Housekeeping’s Real Lives section, meanwhile, has a cover story so depressing it should come with a miniature vodka bottle tacked to the front. In “My husband’s in love – with another man” a devastated woman tells of how her ‘respectable solicitor’ husband had been having secret sex with men for ten years until (yes, of course) she caught an STD. “An affair with another woman would have been betrayal enough…Despite everything, I still have three daughters to stay strong for.” There’s nay a b-word in sight in either article. Sian’s mother, we are told, left her father to “start her new life as a lesbian” while Mrs Solictors’ Husband is gayer than Graham Norton’s Blackberry. It seems that whether the ex lover reacts with calm acceptance or seething anger, the media message is still the same: anyone who leaves their husband or wife for a same-sex partner is a repressed gay man or a lesbian.

Finally, The Times (September 9) profiles ‘Europe’s last movie master’ Pedro Almodovar, whose film All About My Mother has been adapted into a London stage show starring Diana Rigg and opening this week, “At 17, against the wishes of his family, he went to live in Madrid. Probably his homosexuality – well, it was bisexuality then – had much to do with this move. He has always been insistent on being seen not as a gay director, but as a director who happens to be gay. But the big point is, whatever his sexuality, he is perhaps the finest director of women and creator of female characters the cinema has ever known.”

Hurrah! That’s settled then.