A pretty damned sweet day for Otalia, but with a few bumps in the road for me. Having been forced to accept the unacceptable (Natalia basically getting away with putting my Olivia through hell) I'm pleased with the way these two characters are interacting with one another and exuding as much love and sensuality as is humanly possible for two people who are basically handcuffed and kept at arm's length. Yeah, this isn't a picture of Otalia. It's a picture of Olivia. But she's wearing that jogging suit and her hair is pulled back, and she's so freaking pretty. Is there a law against loving beautiful things?
There's something about this scene that captures the true spirit of Otalia (prior to July 4th) - it's a little domestic gem. Not a big drama, but one of the little scenes that make up our lives. Early Otalia was all about this - about how women who love other women aren't other people living other kinds of lives. They - we - are just like everyone else. We stumble. We laugh. We play Scrabble. We watch TV. We argue over how to decorate the house. We love our kids. We get hangovers. The big "telling Emma" scene was great because it was kept simple. We've always known that Emma was pretty damned on top of things, and that she wouldn't be traumatized. There was no need for drama, so it was wise of the writers to leave the drama out of it. Like so many real-life children I've known, Emma took the truth at face value, and moved on. She's moving back to the her beloved farm, she gets to see Natalia every day, she'll have a baby sister, and her mother is happy and in love. What's not to be happy about? Why would she be phased? I mean, look at her character's history: every year or so she finds out a parent is dead or dying, or she's introduced to a new relative she never knew existed. Mom is in love with Natalia? Yeah? So what? I could have told you that, months ago. Do I get my old room back? A shout out to little Jackie Tsirkin, who has such great screen presence and who has been great ever since she took on the role of Emma in 2007.
Moving In and Rafe
The moving in really was like the old-fashioned barn-raising that I described in another blog post, when I talked about what GL should have done re the Bill/Lizzie house. The whole thing was pretty sweet, even if it does drive home the whole "it takes a village" thing that bugs me so much. What isn't ok, in my opinion, is the fact that it seems as if Rafe is going to get a free pass for the crap he's been handing out to Olivia and Natalia. He shows up and moves a few boxes and all is forgiven? Not in my book. He hasn't even apologized, and it doesn't look as if he has any intention to do so. This is not a message I'm happy about GL putting out there as it shuts down - that being shitty and abusive and bigoted to/intolerant of fags is ok, because it takes "normal" people a while to get adjusted to new things. Bullshit. And, yes, I picked the worst picture of E.J. Bonilla I could find because I hate Rafe that much. Sorry, E.J. - I actually think you're cute and talented.
There was some goofy editing that played a part in this section of the show: where the hell did Daisy suddenly come from? How did Josh hear about Olivia's move, and where the hell did he leave the two babies he was supposed to be watching? How did Billy start out with Buzz to check on Alan's status, and end up sitting at a table with Lillian and Frank in Natalia's back yard? Ehhhh...who cares?
Again, I'm happy with the way Frank has been portrayed in all of this. He doesn't exactly look comfortable about Olivia and Natalia moving in together or telling Emma that they're a couple, but he doesn't verbally object to it. This is realistic. No one can force a person to approve or agree with their life choices - but we all have the right to expect our loved ones to show tolerance. In real life, it does often take heterosexual people a while to get over their discomfort re homosexuality - I think this is where Frank is. Unlike Rafe, though, he's civilized enough to look at the situation and recognize that what exists between Natalia and Olivia isn't really about him and that, at the end of the day, they don't need his approval. They need his help moving. They also want his friendship, and he's clearly moving towards a place where he can be a friend who is comfortable with them being a couple. My own mother never, ever said anything negative about my choosing as a life partner another woman. She never once suggested I try to date men. She never asked me why I identified as a lesbian. I told her the truth and she accepted it. I never for moment doubted my mother's love. I did, however, know that she wasn't initially 100% comfortable about my being a lesbian - even as she accepted it. She accepted it because she loved me. She became comfortable with it because enough time passed that it started to feel just like anything else about me: I'm left-handed, I'm a writer, I love soap operas, I'm a lesbian. Today, my mother is not only comfortable with my homosexuality,but she loves my partner, considers her a family member, always gets her the best gifts, and is disappointed when she can't accompany me on visits. Real life sometimes happens like this.
Yes, I've run out of good pics of Frank D., and this one made me happy.
Doris and Ashlee
Ashlee is good for Rafe. He can learn a lot from her. Unfortunately, he hasn't learned that saying "I'm sorry" is the traditional first step towards making amends when one has been a complete and utter asshole. I really liked Ashlee's take on Olivia and Natalia as a couple. Simple and logical - two things I wouldn't expect from Ashlee, but she delivered. For heaven's sake, they've been joined at the hip for about a year. Natalia is the only one on earth who seems able to handle Olivia. Olivia has been the only one to believe in Natalia's abilities. They're able to work and live together and still get along. They do a great job of sharing domestic and parental responsibilities. How could anyone NOT think they make a pretty good couple? Of course, Ashlee has only so much room for logic. Thank God Daisy has become the Albert Einstein of Springfield's young set - without her, would Ashlee ever have thought to make clear to Doris that the gay thing was no big deal?? Jeez.
And, because it needs to be said again and again: Rafe is a fucking asshole who should be on his knees, begging Olivia and Natalia for forgiveness.
The Mother/Daughter Moment
Lovely. Enough said. Oh, yeah - yay for letting Orlagh Cassidy look pretty!
Again, I'm loving this story line. There wasn't a lot of meat, today, but I loved the scene between James and Alan. For someone like me, who remembers Alan and Phillip's many years of struggle, the James/Alan dynamic is a redemption of sorts. Honorable mention to Marj Dusay and Ron Raines: thank God they thought to give Alexandra a word or two to say, and that they
were so true to history. Alan and Alex have always had a fierce and passionate sibling bond. I know some newbies have mentioned feeling weird about a brother and sister being so close but, again, real life is sometimes like this. Alex and Alan remind me of a late aunt and uncle of mine who were especially close - the were best friends who relied on one another, supported one another, and always seemed to share secrets. One of them was always bailing the other one out of trouble. They also argued like cats and dogs. It wasn't sick or dysfunctional: they were close in age, had very similar personalities, and related to one another almost as if they were twins. When my aunt died, her little brother became despondent. I don't think he ever recovered from losing his best friend.
It's fitting that four of GL's veteran characters should be the ones to take stock of what richness they have before them. This is all a bit of nothing, but it's a sweet, touching, moving sort of nothing. The scene with Billy and Frank at the table was evidently the last scene filmed. The last GL scene, ever. Knowing this made me choke up a bit as I watched it. Billy Lewis, I've watched you go through how many struggles with your demons? You somehow kept me liking you, even when you put my Vanessa through hell, married Nadine, and shot Roger. You've got a heart the size of Texas (or Oklahoma.) I'm going to miss you, you big lug.
I preferred this awesome picture of Buzz and Lillian to any I found of Jordan Clarke. Sorry, mate.
Jonathan, Reva, Josh
Tiny, Little, Almost Negligible Moment of Awesomeness
Olivia and Jonathan running into one another. "Auntie O"!!! IMO, Crystal Chappell is basically the Alec Baldwin of chicks. By that, I mean she's so fucking playful and fun and awesome and I want to go out and get drunk and raise hell with her. I think Tom Pelphrey feels the same way, because they bring out the brat in one another. Jonathan's reaction to his Aunt having a girlfriend? Spot on. (Olivia was like this with her brother, Sam, too - why didn't they bring Sam back? I loved him.)
And, yeah, this picture has bugger all to do with Olivia and Jonathan, but it's a great picture of the Olivia I want to hang with. Plus, you can never have too many pictures of Olivia.