This Kiss, this Kiss

So, over at Afterellen.com people are a-voting the best lesbian kiss in entertainment. Flipping through all the pix and amazingly wonderful characters that have also formed some of my most memorable tv and movie moments (I am not that much of a comic-fan), I not only voted my favorites I also thought about the kisses that I missed there, or the kisses that were especially important to me.

Yeah, I know, not really lesbian that one. But it actually was the thing that made me watch the show because it was the first thing I saw and I didn’t know that it was not a lesbian kiss. It ran hot and cold up and down my spine, and I mainly watched the next episode because I hoped it would be explained to me – both my reaction to a seemingly lesbian kiss and the kiss itself and whether it really was between two women… well, what can I say, I was 18 and a babe in the woods. But this kiss changed my life. It did not make me a lesbian, I also did not discover that I was one but it made me watch Xena: Warrior Princess. If nothing else, it made a fan-grrrl out of me. And I am eternally grateful for that.

I would say that the first lesbian kiss I remember seeing – it could be the first I saw but with all the stuff I saw on tv it’s rather unlikely that it really was – was the one between Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey in Heavenly Creatures. The film fascinated me on an obsessive level (not because I saw girls kissing, more because I saw girls killing), I became a heavenly creature (I did not kill anyone but to this day I am convinced there is a fourth dimension… I hope it’s where I go when I die – to spent eternity with Kate Winslet, mostly). The lesbianism in it is disturbing on more than one level (one of these levels is Freudian), it is distructive and clichéed and if you tell me you hate the movie because of it – that’s your prerogative. Still, it was important to me – these two girls made sense to me, their love, their friendship, yes, their madness, too. Let’s face it, sometimes it is maddening to be different, and I certainly knew how that felt.

Tara and Willow. It is strange because I must have actually missed their first kiss. I do know that I did not see every episode of season 5 – because it bored me to pieces. Since I have just watched the whole show (including season 7 which I have not watched before, so now at least I can rightfully jump onto the I-hate-Kennedy-bandwagon), I actually discovered that most of the things I thought happened in season 5 actually happened in season 4 – I must have completely zoned out when 5 was on. I remembered Tara getting brain-slurped by Glory and Buffy jumping to her death, that’s it. But it also held that marvellously disturbing kissing scene when Willow prepares for Joyce’s funeral. Very sensual if your girlfriend sobs into your face, snot and tears running everywhere, very classy. Okay, this was not one of the important kisses – as I said, I didn’t even remember it – but rewatching it, it makes sense: OMG, Willow and Tara-shippers want them to kiss! What are we gonna do?! I know… let them make out during a marvellously traumatic storyline… when someone died or something. We can sell it as a comfort scene, nobody will be the wiser – and thus it was done… RMB when creators of shows had to come up with rediculous storylines like that just to put in a lesbian kiss – crazypants.

But, of course, then there was that massive making-out/having sex scene just before they killed Tara off… putting it like this is not really giving this scene enough credit. But it was wonderfully acted out by both actresses (Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson). It was important – and they kinda killed the importance along with Tara, implicating that evil lesbians must die and all that crap.

But let’s face it, if it wasn’t for these two and Xena and Gabrielle, Emily and Maya (and Emily and Paige and Emily and Somara) would probably not have happened – not in the way we can see them nowadays.

And kissing is so important, too. I mean, who doesn’t remember last Xmas when twitter was all aglow with lesbian rage when some writer of Glee actually insisted that Brittana had kissed… oh yeah, that kiss! What?! No, they never did. And they didn’t and now they have. I guess, you could say that the Glee-powers handled this badly. They told us these two had sex, these two were casual and then they gave them a lesbian story line and it all ended up being about THE KISS… The ultimate scene was well-handled, refusing to give THE KISS a big, dramatic moment with violins playing in the background. It made fun of the whole discussion surrounding it and then gave us the little peck that was the introduction to the Valentine’s kissing concert that was mostly well-acted by Naya Rivera and Heather Morris.

A kiss is still a kiss – but this one blew every other kiss right out of the water. And I guess it will win since Glee seems to take all the awards these days. Is it my winner? No. I am way beyond my teenage years and it would probably have rocked my world if I had seen it when I was a teenager. I liked it but my favorites are these:

Because these days, it’s all about them… and even months after All My Children ended I am still rewatching Minx-vids.

This movie always depresses me – I cannot fathom how real it feels to me and how lonely I feel when it is over… but I keep rewatching it because it also makes me incredibly, stupidly happy. Just believing there is love like that – yeah, and that kiss.

And, of course, this (yeah, yeah, I know, not an actual kiss, just life-saving measures… but ROC sure got into it pretty good):

Advertisements

Back to tv: AMC and Santa Barbara

[For those who do not know this, AMC is the abbreviation for All My Children, a daily soap that has been on American tv for more than forty years – so, why don’t you know that?!]

So, thanks to afterellen.com, I have a new obsession: Minx. Minx is the portmonteau for two characters on AMC, Bianca Montgomery (who is called Binx by her sister Kendell) and Marissa Tasker – played by the equally beautiful and charming actresses Christina Bennett Lind and Sarah Glendening respectively. Just look at them:

ADORABLE!

It is a lesbian storyline on a daily show (unfortunately after 41 years, AMC has been cancelled and will end by the end of this week) which is a big thing. I don’t know if you have ever followed an American “story” but it is usually a heteronormative – and often a homogenous – space in tv and there are not many exceptions. Of course, Binx has been out for some time (she came out back in the days when Eden Riegel still played her) and has had some relationships with women but most of those seems to have played out off-screen and in Paris. This time, it’s on and it’s on tv and it’s lovely and heartfelt and adorable and actually well written.

Soaps are not always praised for having realistic portrayals of anything or anyone, let alone lesbians, but this one is actually really good. And so is the acting. I was surprised myself when I first watched a clip.

The concept of soap operas is not a new one in my life and I was so obsessed with one when I was a teen that I never got over the recasting of one of my favorite characters. Watching the Minx storyline on AMC, made me realize that I actully missed having that connection to a “ship.” So, I got into a youtubing mania and dug up some old footage of Julia & Mason from Santa Barbara.

Coming out as a lesbian, one is always looking for clues that may have told us that we were homos before we came out. And I naturally assumed that Nancy Lee Grahn was the real – the only – reason I shipped Julia and Mason. It is so easy to forget that there were actually two people in this that I adored, two characters that fascinated me. Watching those old Santa Barbara clips made me realize why I fell for Lane Davies just as hard as I fell for Nancy Lee Grahn: he was witty, charming, had the most soulfoul brown eyes, and he was tall and lanky and I really dug him with a beard… yeh, I had a crush on that man and today I am not ashamed to admit it…

I am being nostalgic again, very sentimental. So, I spent my time watching youtube videos (I have been watching about 14 hourse of Minx vids in one night, so, obsession is the right word for it) but I am aware that this is not as it used to be. Comparing those feelings I had when I was 14 to what I am feeling now, now falls short. No more sweaty palms in anticipation, no more tears, no more heartbreak when I miss an episode… still, Minx makes me squeel in delight and make snarky comments at Marissa’s ex-hubby JR (Jacob Young).

Being part of a fandom today is certainly different from being a fan before the invention of the internet. I know that, I am a Xenite still and always. But it is a little overwhelming to be able to watch Minx make out in HD and then going to watch Julia and Mason’s (awesomely silly) wedding vows that’s been copied from a video tape that’s more than 20 years old. Ah, the wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze me.

Since AMC is picked up by an internet broadcasting company, there is still hope that we may watch them for a little longer. But knowing what is sometimes done to soap supercouples, I am not even sure  I want to stick around and see them get broken up again – loving a soap couple is not for the faint at heart, and I feel that I may be one of those.

And here’s a great idea for a t-shirt…

[It reads (front): TEAM MINX, (back) #lesbianbatsignal It’s okay to put it up…]

Update: The first episodes of Prospect Park’s All My Children will be broadcasted this spring – and Eden Riegel will return as Bianca Montgomery. Since the storyline picks up five years from when it ended, there’s no word of whether Minx will return… and if who will play Marissa.