Friday, 14 March 2014

Kicking The Lesbian Winter Blues...

I feel for you State side northerners this year. My God, the snow and storms you are enduring are a true test of patience and perseverance. As for us in the U.K. it's been a WET winter, the most rain and flooding on record in history, or so I've been told. My back yard looks like a swamp fit for Shrek. My water butt over flow-eth, and my drains also runneth over. I think we can all agree that we're ready for Spring. We've been ready.

So, aside from a wicked bout of depression, possibly nursing frost bite and back problems from shovelling snow day after day, how did you spend your house-bound time? Were you ready to smother your partner with a pillow in her sleep due to cabin fever? Did you pack on extra pounds from eating all the crap in the back of the cupboard or ordering pizzas three times a week because you didn't want to leave the house? Have you ever watched so much bad TV in your life, like even resorting to reruns of "The Nanny"? It's okay to say yes to all of these.

This awful winter, I read more than ever and I'm not a reader. I admit it. Right here, right now- I'm admitting that I am not one to curl up with a good book, but I AM one to click on a link to an article, so I was doing that more than ever. I learned everything from "How to Recognise Signs of a Stroke" to "How to Create Space- DIY Projects From Everyday Household Items" and of course, celebrity gossip that I normally wouldn't care about, like Justin Bieber's Miami arrest, and Taylor Swift's NY shopping spree. God help me. I know more about things don't matter, that won't ever matter -and I'm ashamed to admit it. Things got bad, my friends. And I mean BAD.

As I found myself ALMOST…ALMOST watching an episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" on E! out of sheer television boredom, I decided against it, and went to my computer instead. What I found was a TON of majorly cool lesbian content to keep myself occupied. It was like a blessing that came from a winter curse. I landed on which I've always known about but never really explored. I knew that was merging with them, and decided to check things out. Tello was always one of my favourite sites because I truly believed in what they were doing. A premium membership to the site is a mere $4.99 a month, and that money actually goes back into the site as they develop new content, series and shows expressly for us. I decided a fiver a month was totally worth it. I mean, hell, you pay that at Starbucks every DAY for a MochaFrappaSoySkimNonFatNoWhipWhatever every single day, right?  So, whats the big deal?

I became immediately addicted to Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard. If you don't know who they are (especially you ladies in the U.K.) you can find a lot of their projects at the OML site here: including web series' "Gay Street Therapy" (where they dish out awful advice to needy lesbians) and "Roomies"(pretending to be lovers to get a great apartment out of desperation). These long time real-life best friends are so funny to watch in just about anything they do. They also were featured on in a series called "In Your Box Office" doing hilarious movie reviews. In the States, you can see them regularly on Bravo's show "People's Couch".  They are fast-paced, crazy, stupid funny and you shouldn't go another minute of your life not knowing them.

After binge-watching every Julie & Brandy thing I could find, I then discovered director Rolla Selbak's web series "Kiss Her I'm Famous" (also on the OML site, also by Tello) which was right up my alley after all that celebrity gossip I had consumed prior to finding the good stuff in Lesbo Land. The web series stars Tracy Ryerson, the ONLY good thing to ever come of "The Real L Word", a Showtime train wreck by Ilene Chaiken, who gave us "The L Word" and then promptly sold out with a piece of garbage designed to try and keep us in her wallet. The snappy dialog in "Kiss Her I'm Famous" combined with Tracy's talent & looks and Ilea Matthews flawless delivery of some great lines got me hooked instantly. The concept is simple: two best friends' make a lesbian sex tape to become famous because they've been jilted by their exes. 

After that, I cruised right into another Tello web series that is actually the next instalment to the "The NN Files", a series created & launched 3 years ago, that had such a dedicated following, it raised over $65,000 through a fundraising program for the new "Nikki & Nora" series. Written by NancyLee Myatt ("Cowgirl Up!", "3Way" and "South of Nowhere") the series continues to follow Nikki Beaumont and Nora Delaney, New Orleans private detectives and lovers. It stars Christina Cox ("Better Than Chocolate") and Liz Vassey, who are absolutely perfect together- witty, gorgeous and smart. It's everything you wished Rizzoli & Isles was. I ate this up with a super-sized spoon. The writing, the acting, and the quality of this project was amazing. It also has Janina Gavenkar (Poppi, of "The L Word") and Tess Harper ("Breaking Bad", "No Country For Old Men") in it. 

I pride myself on being pretty "up" on new things, because of my "Lesbian Lounge" podcast, but I have to tell you guys, this was the best way to kick the Winter blues! My wife and I hooked our laptop right up to the TV and watched all of these cool, new shows on the big screen with bowls of popcorn between us, snuggled up on the couch, surrounded by our cats, all happy in our little lesbian world. Never once were we disappointed with any of the shows. The quality was so good, you feel like your watching a regular (but shorter) TV show, but with story lines that include us, interest us, and are made by people like us. Now, I feel like I have to stay up on every little thing out there, because it's a whole new world and I'm so afraid to miss any of it! The best part is, you can watch it any time. I watched some stuff over my morning coffee, or during the day when the U.K. has the absolute WORST daytime TV ever on (i.e.: Jeremy Kyle, Loose Women, etc…) and you Americans know what I mean (Jerry Springer, The View) But, I had no problem watching them again in the evening when my wife got home, and we finished cleaning up the dinner mess. So, you make your own schedule, watch whenever you want to, on just about any device, and never fear that the day will come when you've seen it all, because Tello is always making more. Plus, there are SO many good LGBT directors, writers, actors, and they're all jumping on the internet bandwagon! Here are a just a few more web series, short films, and animated projects to keep you busy and away from garbage TV:

"She Said, She Said" - 2013 -a short film by Stuart Blumberg, starring Marisa Tomei & Aubrey Plaza (What?! Yeah, you heard me right!) 

"Easy Abby" - a web series by writer/director WendyJo Carlton ("Hannah Free"), starring Lisa Cordileone- follows the character of Abby as she clumsily navigates through the lesbian dating pool in search of…something… that could possibly resemble love… 

"Second Shot" - an extremely well done comedy starring Jill Bennett as a jet-setting ex-soccer star who is forced to move back to her small hometown in Ohio when she suddenly inherits the local lesbian bar. 

"Geez Louise" by animator Angela Adams - The adventures of Louise and her group of lezzy friends is at 

"The Morning After" - a short film by director Katie Shannon The Morning After  is an official selection in the 2013 Boston LGBT Film Festival, Boston Independent Film Festival, and SHOUT Film Festival 

Also, looking forward to Katie Shannon's new web series "K &A" due out this Spring

If you haven't already watched this music video/PSA directed by Nicole Conn, set to Jen Foster's remixed "She" single, you simply have to. Partnered with the Marriage Equality campaign, Nicole and producer Sue Melke have brought together the super gorgeous Nicole Pacent and Gabrielle Christian as well as a bunch of well known faces of our community in this viral video encouraging your involvement in the marriage equality movement- you can find it right here: as well as share the video, download the songs and ringtones. 

The next time you're reading your Facebook newsfeed or scrolling through your Twitter timeline and you see something from a friend about a membership to Tello, a Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or any crowd funding campaign site, that needs help with their LGBT project or content, take a minute to check it out. Throw a few bucks towards it. Maybe you could skip a latte, or not buy that ridiculous Smoothie maker this month and make a small donation to the project instead. There are some talented people out there that have some great projects that make a difference. They are important to us as a community- the topics are things we can relate to, that are of interest to us and that we can be proud of. Besides, we NEED them! We could have another shitty Winter, folks. Or what if we have a super hot, sweaty summer and we just need to be inside in the a/c? This time, whatever the weather, be prepared.

Until we get to a point where we have these choices on network television, on our own TV's any time, or in theatres and cinemas, during any season, we've got to make the best of it, and we CAN, just by donating, watching, sharing, discussing and supporting LGBT content that's on the web right now.

Take this, for instance- drop a few bucks their way...

"Jenny's Wedding" (starring Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel) 

…So, in of right now, at this very moment - I'm anxiously waiting for the newest Tello web series "#Hashtag" because, OMG, how relevant could this be? Friend me, Tag me, Follow me…. 

That launches March 16th, and should carry me SUCCESSFULLY out of Winter…. and into Spring!