Meet Jennifer, a documentary filmmaker with a vivid fantasy life and a floundering career. Jennifer wants to find Ms. Right
but first she must navigate the rules of lesbian life, most of which she learns the hard way. Fortunately, her friends are there to help: Sam, a sexy commitment phobe who flips women faster than real estate; Chris and Kris, a lesbian couple expanding both their pet accessory business and their family; and Crutch, a young musician who wants to be taken seriously but still has some growing up to do. Surviving singlehood, couplehood and each other has never looked quite like this.
Six half-hour episodes of Exes and Ohs
fly right by in this clever show's first season. Directed by Lee Friedlander, Exes and Ohs
humor is a careful blend of satire and sincerity, as mini-dramas in each saga mock elucidate the do's and don'ts of lesbian social and romantic codes. Each of the characters, based on clichéd "lesbian types," explode the clichés as the characters become rounder. The episodes are "hosted" by documentary filmmaker, Jennifer (Michelle Paradise), who periodically breaks out of character to describe the "rules" of lesbianism, as she learns them. Her best friend and former lover, Sam (Marnie Alton), is a free-spirited, sexy bombshell that provides a foil to Jennifer's tendencies to over-think creative work and relationships. The main story concerns Jennifer's traumatic breakup with Sienna (Darby Stanchfield), and Sam's efforts to get Jennifer dating again. Their network of friends, always gathering at the Beever Café, include Kris (Angela Featherstone) and Chris (Megan Cavanaugh), women in matching outfits who run a pet supply and adoption company who yearn for real motherhood, and Crutch (Heather Matarazzo), the budding Ani DiFranco wannabe.
Subtle teasing happens to show these womens' acute awareness of the clichés surrounding them. To start, in "There Must Be Rules," Sienna has left Jennifer for their couple's therapist. Instead of chiding Sienna for this, Jennifer claims she is destined to become the new couples' best friend, because lesbian exes are above anger and jealousy. In "Cutthroat," Jennifer and Sam feud over a hot billiards player at the local bar, while Crutch gets a new guitar and writes Indigo Girls rip-off tunes to everyone's chagrin. In "Pole Dancing and Other Forms of Therapy," Jennifer discovers therapeutic stress relief in a pole-dancing self-help workshop. Later episodes tackle deeper issues, so that by "What Goes Around," Sam and Jennifer grapple with commitment avoidance, Kris and Chris consider how to get pregnant, and Crutch graduates to role-model status in her community. Since some scenes get overly psychological and borderline corny, it is refreshing to have Sam constantly reminding her lady friends that sometimes women need to stop with the sensitive analysis to "just get laid." Maybe the second season will have more spicy romance.--Trinie Dalton