I Watched: Trigonometry

Meet Gemma (Thalissa Teixeira), a bisexual independent café owner and Kieran (Gary Carr), her risk-taking paramedic boyfriend who’s constantly getting injured on the job. They work opposite shifts and the only time they have for intimacy is the tiny window between when one comes home exhausted from work and the other has to get ready to go to their job. Not the best recipe for a successful relationship. Added to their woes is the fact that they live in the small, overpriced London flat above Gemma’s struggling café and are forced to take on a renter.

Enter Ray (Ariane Labed), a French Olympic swimmer who retires after sustaining an injury during a performance. Her entire 30-year existence has been training and practicing for Olympic competitions and with that gone, she’s looking to move out from under the protective wing of her parents and experience the world.

When Ray arrives at the address, she sees Kieran rushing to get inside (he and Gemma are trying to sneak in a quickie before interviewing their prospective tenant). Unaware that their interviewee is early for their appointment, Gemma hops out naked from the waist down to surprise Kieran and is instantly mortified upon seeing Ray.

Arguably my favorite line in the series is delivered by Kieran when he tries to defuse the situation by saying, “Probably a good icebreaker, seeing your prospective landlord’s vagina.”

Gemma and Kieran like Ray, offer her the room and after she moves in, Ray likes Gemma and Kieran, so what could be the problem? The fact that both Gemma and Kieran like-like Ray and she like-likes them back. Our thruple then begins walking the path of jealousy, acknowledgement and acceptance, which is fine in the microcosm they create but not-so-fine when they introduce their unique relationship to friends and family.

Similar to my last review, I should point out that I’m not the target demographic for Trigonometry and the show is definitely not in my wheelhouse. So, why am I talking about it? Simple. I like it. Despite the fact that it is absolutely not what I look for in a television show, I actual enjoy this drama/comedy series is written by Duncan Macmillan and Effie Woods and directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari and Stella Corradi. It’s been described as “warm, funny and emotionally truthful” to which I wholeheartedly agree and the undeniable chemistry between the three main characters is a joy to behold. More than just sex, this show explores the emotional complications that arise between three people in a committed relationship.

So, would I recommend Trigonometry? Definitely (as if that comes as a surprise). And before you complain about the lack of story breakdowns and spoilers, realize that I’m doing you a favor and I’ve probably said too much already. Go watch it for yourself.

Ciao til next now.

I Watched: “Beastars”

Beastars is an anime series (available on Netflix) based on the manga by Paru Itagaki which is set against the backdrop of a high school where anthropomorphic carnivore and herbivore students coexist in harmony and mainly focuses on a drama club where members compete to attain the rank of Beastar, an individual of great talent, service, and notoriety.

The series opens with a bloody alpaca, Tem, fleeing for his life from a classmate whose identity is hidden from us by shadows yet is known to Tem. The alpaca tries to reason with his assailant to no avail, and his murder causes a cultural divide between the carnivores and herbivores, as it becomes clear that the campus is no longer a safe place for any creature considered prey who is foolish enough to be traveling outside alone once the sun sets.

We follow the struggles of three main characters whose lives intersect and form an unusual love triangle:

  • Legoshi, an introverted large gray wolf with the gentle, contemplative heart of a monk, struggling to suppress not only his carnivore nature but his sexual desire for someone who by all rights should be prey.
  • Haru, an isolated, cheerful, adventurous, and sexually promiscuous dwarf white rabbit who is never afraid to stand up for herself amidst constant shaming and bullying from her classmates.
  • Louis, an intimidating red deer lead actor who lords himself over the drama club, who I absolutely hate, though I respect his plight. He has the heart and soul of a predator, trapped in the body of prey. Though his will is strong enough to dominate all who step into his sphere of influence, his herbivore body can’t go toe to toe with a carnivore. But like I said, I can’t stand him. He has that type of anime face just begging to be punched.

Since there is currently more content available than any sane person can keep track of, this means a lot of movies, tv and anime fly completely under my radar and Beastars would have been one of those shows if a good friend of mine hadn’t recommended it. She knows my taste in anime so I trust her judgment and I went into this series blind, no trailer, no synopsis, no reviews, no nothing. And as soon as I streamed the first episode, I thought Chance the Rapper was going to jump out screaming “You’ve been Punk’d!” because my friend knows there are two things I’m not a fan of in my anime:

  • The first is anthropomorphism. Furries and animals acting like humans no longer holds any interest for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not in my current entertainment wheelhouse.
  • The second is slice of life school kids romance. If that’s your thing, good on you, I’m simply not the target demographic for that sort of thing.

And as I am no spring chicken, the thought of investing my limited time on this planet suffering through a number of episodes of a boy too shy to tell a cute girl he has feelings for her despite the numerous occasions fate forces the pair together…well, ain’t nobody got time for that.

And I was ready to punch out of the series, when this happened:

What the holy hell was I watching?

Don’t get me wrong, I may be old, but I’m not a prude. I have no problem with women taking charge and owning their sexuality and sexual experiences. There’s no slut-shaming here. In fact, take your clothes off, tiny bunny (sung to the tune of “Tiny Dancer”). It’s all good. You do you. (Do the kids still say that?). The scene simply caught me off guard and it was enough to make me curious about the direction the show was heading in.

I know it’s popular these days to recap events episode by episode, provide thoughts and theories and even pose questions to elicit reader response but that’s a bit too spoilery for me so I won’t be doing any of that. I will, however, point out the moment that made up my mind about this series. It’s the scene where after navigating through a string of hardships, Legoshi and Haru are finally about to connect romantically when this happens:

The bits of text you may not be able to read are:

“A rebuke from my rabbit instincts: loving each other is a terrible mistake. A predator has its own instincts, so does a prey.”

And the line that cinched it all for me:

“Their bodies know what their relationship should be.”

It’s a damned heady line that made me ponder not only their relationship but the biological roles we’re meant to play during the mating process, long after the episode ended. And if a show can make my rusty brainbox think and not simply sit idly and absorb content, well then, it’s got a viewer for life.

Looking at this, I realize that I’ve only showcased intimate scenes but Beastars is far more than a randy animal school romance. Characters struggle with the confines of societal roles, fight to rein in their desires, try to outwit the destinies written on their foreheads, and so much more.

I quite liked the character designs and the animation remained smooth and consistent from episode to episode with no dip in quality. The series juggles several storylines effortlessly and I didn’t experience that midpoint slump which often occurs when binging a show whose plot has been stretched thin in order to fill a preset number of episodes.

So, would I recommend Beastars? Definitely. Will I come back for the second season? Most assuredly. And before you complain about the lack of story breakdowns and spoilers, realize that I’m doing you a favor and I’ve probably said too much already. Go watch it for yourself.

Ciao til next now.

Inner Demons

I tried my damnedest to save Madeleine from the demon part of herself, but the moment I saw those black eyes and blue lips and my nostrils filled with the acrid scent of her burnt soul, I knew I was too late.

Pregnancy by Mail

The newspaper ad read:

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Each transaction comes complete with DNA confirmation and sonogram photos to show off to your friends and neighbors! So, what are you waiting for? Get your swab kit today! 100% money-back guarantee if not completely satisfied!

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Prelude to a Fight

“Let’s just talk about this some other time,” she sighed in exasperation. She being Lexi, my once and future girlfriend who is currently merely an ex. Don’t tell her I said merely, that’ll only set off another unnecessary argument.

“Why not settle it now?” I asked.

I watched the topography of her brow change as Lexi bit back her honest response. After a controlled exhale, she offered, “Because I don’t have your full attention.”

“Don’t be silly. Of course you do.”

“Can you please not lie to me, just this once?”

“I’m not lying, I swear.”

Lexi rolled her eyes. “I can see the movement behind your irises.”

I wanted to turn away from her, but that would have been an admission and I wasn’t in the mood to be caught in a lie. Again. “That’s nothing but a trick of the light and your overactive imagination.”

“My overactive imagination? Seriously? Project much?”

“That’s you all over, isn’t it? Creating drama where none’s present.”

“There wouldn’t be any need for drama if you simply cut the shit and tell me what you’re thinking.”

“If I was thinking something, and I’m not saying I am, what business is it of yours? We’re not a thing anymore, remember?”

Lexi threw her hands up. “Precisely why we’re not a thing, because of you and your secrets.”

I craned my neck and peered over Lexi’s shoulder, scanning the server area behind her. “Where’s our server?”

“On his lunch break if he has any common sense. Probably duped some poor unsuspecting clod into covering his tables.”

Random Thought:

Wouldn’t it be great if people, much like good short stories, came with prefaces since sometimes the inspiration for how someone came to be the person standing before you is far more interesting than the stories they choose to reveal? Like glimpsing the person behind the curtain. The problem with that logic is a good introduction can’t be composed until the story is completed and we can’t very well write our own prefaces after we’re dead. Which I guess makes it more of a postmortem than an actual preface.

Never mind.

You Hold My Very Moment

“You hold my very moment.”

“What does that mean?”

“Simply that you keep me here, grounded to this spot at this moment in time. When I am with you, I am nowhere else. My mind does not wander, I do not desire being anywhere else than with you, right here, right now.”

“You say the oddest things at times, but thank you, I suppose. It is kind of a sweet thing to say, actually.”