The BBC announced last week that Lip Service—its L Word knockoff drama about the lives and loves of a group of lesbians in Glasgow—would not be returning for a third season. The cancellation was almost certainly due to Lip Service's flagging ratings—its audience declined by half from the first season to its second—which makes sense from a business' perspective. The show was on, and people didn't watch it, so now the show is off. TV 101 right?
Well… maybe. Or perhaps it wasn't that people weren't watching the show. Maybe it was just that straight people weren't watching it.
This hypothesis is, I admit, held together by a mix of anecdotal evidence and educated guesswork (the blogosphere's superglue!). But allow me to explain:
I watched Lip Service. I watched Lip Service despite the fact that it was—let's face it—a terrible show. I watched Lip Service despite the winding, tangential storylines, and the often bizarre, uncomfortable sex scenes. I watched Lip Service, and my girlfriends all watched Lip Service, and my best (gay) friends watched Lip Service, and my favorite (gay) cousin watched Lip Service. We all watched Lip Service because, simply, it was about gay people, and we're gay people. Frankly, we're usually so starved for representations of queer women that that's enough. (Remember Tila Tequila? We watched that. South of Nowhere? Classic. The Real L Word? Every week.) As a group, we lesbians already have desperately low standards for viewership—despite our complaints about the way we're represented, in the end, we're beggars, not choosers. But when it came to Lip Service, neither our desperation nor our begging could keep it around. We may wonder why this strategy doesn't work on our favorite TV shows any more than it does on our dates (zing!), but it seems that in this day and age, gay shows just can't survive without straight audiences.
love electronic music—a genre that had its mainstream heyday in the 90s
with a small resurgence in the form of electro-clash in the early
naughts. Throughout my years listening, I've gathered quite a
collection with my favorites including: Aphex Twin, Plaid, µ-Ziq,
Boards of Canada, Bogdan Raczynski, Venetian Snares, Squarepusher and
on. Guess how many of those musicians are women? Zero. Sure. I like
Mira Calix and Ellen Alien...but they are rare in their field.
So when a friend posted a mash-up
on his Facebook page featuring one of the early innovators in
electronic music, who happened to also be a woman, I was intrigued.
With scientific studies, mainstream media often seems to be playing a massive game of telephone. Figuring out what a scientist actually reported means back tracking through headlines that one-up each other in exaggeration, simplification and pure sex-upification results to snag readers. The game ended last month with the UK Telegraph declaring, "Women with brains have more fun in bed than the average bimbo." Oh gawd. How did this get started?