The Return of "Kiss Her I'm Famous"
In a queer web series about sex and scandal, we applaud Rolla Selbak for creating multi-faceted characters instead of sex objects.
Left, Ilea Matthews, Right, Tracy Ryerson
Coming off a positive first season, Rolla Selbak’s smart comedy about sex tape fame returns to the cyber screen. Season two brings us Jenn, Ilea Mathews, and Mandy, The Real L Word’s Tracy Ryerson, as they're catapulted into media fame after leaking the first lesbian sex tape. Now under the thumb of fame, the two friends start to realize that stardom may not be all it's chalked up to be. Inklings of feelings between the two friends spark jealousy, and scandals threaten to undo the fame they finally achieved.
In season two, the audience learns more about Jenn’s sexuality, gets a fictional behind-the-scenes look at the not so glamorized life of media stars and is introduced to Hannah, Mandy’s ex-girlfriend. Season two moves at a faster pace than season one, but nothing is lost in the translation of speed. The characters are still easy to relate to, the show is incredibly enjoyable and in the fast-paced, bite sized episodes, Selbak is able to delve deeper into establishing the character's personalities. The outcome is a truly fun to watch mini series with the wit and charm of a large scale television production.
The highlight of the show is Selbak's commentary on media, portrayal and lesbianism. Rather than fall into simple tropes of lesbian and bisexual characters, Selbak creates multi-faceted characters whose personalities extend far beyond their sexuality, and she is also able to showcase the diversity in queer identity, even though there are only a few key charcaters.
With Jenn and Mandy fitting more centrally on a spectrum of butch-femme, Selbak establishes the idea that there is no one way to aesthetically express your sexuality. And through Mandy's attaction to both feminine women and women with a more butch aesthetic, and Jenn's non-use of labels and attraction to both women and men, Selbak spotlights that a diversity exists within the queer spectrum.
Furthermore, the characters have personalities outside of their sexuality. Kiss Her I'm Famous is not a show purely about the objectification of the female body. Yes, there is inherent sexuality with the sex tape, but the focus of the show is not to showcase their sexuality. In fact, although there is so much talk about sex and sexuality, the audience never sees more than a kiss. In a highly sexualized world of lesbian and queer representations, this is monumental. Selbak is creating characters rather than objects.
Season two of Kiss Her I'm Famous works to deglamorize the façade of same-sex female relationships propagated by the media. We watch as Mandy and Jenn sit through an interview where they are asked incredibly uncomfortable questions about who is the dominant one in the relationship and how sex between two women works. This interview, although humorous, sheds a light on real life ignorance in the media. With internet access so readily available to people across the world, and at younger and younger ages, many of the first glimpses of sex seen by teenagers is through porn. This of course creates a false notion that all sex is exactly like that seen in porn. But Kiss Her I'm Famous breaks down that false notion by ridiculing the interviewer and with lines like, "Nobody does that Jenn. It's like scissoring, it doesn’t work.” Selbak also makes occasional directorial appearances in the show, which takes away from the created reality of the show. These interruptions occur mostly during the more romantic scenes, thus further breaking down the lines between reality and fiction.
Season two leaves us with questions which we hope will be answered in the next season. Is there something going on between Jenn and Mandy? Will Mandy get back together with Hannah? What will happen to the two protagonists after all the scandal? The only way to find out is to continue watching (kissherimfamous.com).
Watch The Season Two Trailer Right Here