THIS WEEK’S L WORD VOCABULARY:
Principles: Fine for captains, but colonels prefer codes.
Fun gay: What Alice was before she got bitten by the fame bug.
Falling in love: The opposite of selling out.
Sassy: Sometimes confused with bored.
THIS WEEK’S GUESTBIANS: Malaya Rivera Drew rehearses; Alicia Leigh Willis surrenders; Elizabeth Keener zeroes in on Shane’s soft spot; Kate French says the other L word; Patricia Velásquez critiques Shane’s technique; Clementine Ford is bored; Kelly McGillis reimagines Top Gun; Danielle Kremeniuk catches Tina’s eye.
Some preliminary thoughts — We sure have been having fun with movie references this season, haven’t we? In the recap for Episode 5.2, I noted that Adele’s last name, Channing, calls to mind All About Eve. And many an eagle-eyed reader has pointed out other references, to The Last Picture Show, Pretty Woman, Shampoo and more. So over the weekend, I decided to watch All About Eve again, to enhance my spot-the-reference skills and possibly gain some insight into Adele’s machinations.
There certainly are some similarities, such as the phone call Eve places to Bill without telling Margo — that’s just like Adele texting William on Jenny’s behalf. And Malaya Rivera Drew is as compelling as Anne Baxter (who plays Eve Harrington in the movie), and every bit as skilled at conveying a quiet, just-might-strangle-you-in-your-sleep determination.
But here’s what I really learned from watching All About Eve: Movie homages are fun and all, but original stories are even better.
A Lez Girls scene — A reporter is talking into a camera; it seems someone is filming the filming. Do we really need another layer of meta?
Reporter: And we’re here on the set of Lez Girls, where director Jennifer Schecter is filming her groundbreaking new movie about a close-knit group of lesbian friends living in Los Angeles. Let’s take a look!
Hey, that music sounds kind of familiar. Oh, it’s the same groovy tune (“Swing Out” by Elizabeth Ziff) we heard during the Charlie’s Angels spoof in Episode 3 this season. I guess we can consider this the Lez Girls theme song. I much prefer it to, uh, other theme songs.
The moviemakers are filming a Niki/Jesse-Begoña/Karina scene at the Pluto Cafe. Jenny and Adele are even more doppelgangy than usual, with their gum and hair and clothes. No, not gum in their hair and clothes; at least, not yet.
Obviously Jenny has been working on her directing style: This time she whispers “Action,” instead of shrieking it like a four-year-old who’s been mainlining Kool-Aid.
Niki, on the other hand, has been spending too much time studying Jenny and not enough time studying Jenny’s script.
Script supervisor: “I, no, I, it’s just, you know, I thought I should tell you …”
Ha ha! That’s some scintillating dialogue, all right. Director Schecter herself sort of waves the line away. Several AfterEllen.com readers have noted in the recap comments that Jenny’s writing is being mocked this season, rather than lionized as in previous seasons. That is indeed awesome — we thank you, Mama Chaiken.
And you know what all this stuttering is leading up to, don’t you?
Niki: I’m not a …
Karina: A big coffee drinker?
Jesse guffaws. Aw, but I loved that line when Marina said it! But I guess that might have had a lot to do with the real Karina. Not that Patricia Velásquez is any less sexy. (By the way, isn’t it awfully cheeky to give the Lez Girls character the same name as the actress who played Marina?)
Begoña isn’t willing to laugh it off:
Begoña: Jenny, I can’t work like this.
Niki: It’s funny! Oh, my —
Niki: Screw you, Begoña. You know, I am so sick of you ragging on me all the time. You know, how am I supposed to act with her, like, hating me across the table?
Begoña: It’s called acting. Why don’t you try it?
Niki: Oh, it’s called acting with an a–hole.
Tina turns to the camera and suggests that this might not be the best time to film the filming. Jenny didn’t even notice that was happening, so she intervenes:
Jenny: Who the f— is — who the f— are you?
This is weird. As Tina and Jenny look into the camera, it’s like they’re seeing us, the audience, and it’s just as weird as when Harold Crick hears his author in Stranger Than Fiction or the family demands a playwright in Six Characters in Search of an Author. And it’s even weirder because of Jenny’s glasses. They remind me of the Land of the Giants coloring book I had when I was a kid.
Tina explains that the filming is part of EPK, but Jenny doesn’t know what that stands for. I know it stands for Electronic Press Kit, but let’s just pretend it stands for Eviscerated, Peyote-chomping Kook.
Gum-chomping Adele explains that the studio is trying to get behind-the-scenes footage for the DVD extras. Gosh, Adele knows a lot about the biz, doesn’t she?
Jenny: They’re gonna put this on the DVD? But the DVD hasn’t been released yet.
I think maybe those glasses make Jenny dumb, sorta like Natalie’s lightning-bolt hat made her smart on The Facts of Life.
Jenny tells us, and/or the camera operator, to get the f— off her set. Cue that other Ziff-a-rific theme song!