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We Can’t Stop Laughing At SNL’s ‘Lesbian Period Drama.’

April 12, 2021

"'Lesbian Period Drama:' You get one a year. Make the most of it."

In the spirit of “Ammonite” and “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Saturday Night Live” revealed a satirical send-up of lesbian period drama, aptly titled “Lesbian Period Drama.”

The nearly three-minute trailer features Carey Mulligan, this weekend’s host, as a distressed 19th century lady diagnosed as “medically upset.” Her husband — who complains that she’s “a bummer” — leaves her in the care of an unnamed “female companion,” played by regular cast member Heidi Gardner. What follows, a voice-over tells us, is “another film that isn’t afraid to ask: Will these lesbians be lesbians together?”

The skit pokes fun at the typical melodrama we’ve come to expect from such lesbian period dramas. It stars “two straight actresses who dare not to wear make-up,” includes “twelve lines of dialogue,” and a “two-and-a-half hour run time” that features “the world’s saddest flirting” (“My mother and father died before I was born,” Mulligan’s character tells Gardner’s as the two gaze dreamy at each other from across their shared bed — fully clothed, of course. “Mine, too,” Gardner quips.)

“‘Sure,’ says Lesbian Monthly,” the voice over tells us as we gaze upon a beachy sunset — the same beach where, presumably, the would-be lovers spend hours collecting rocks. “‘I mean, I’m going to see it.'”

The trailer also features an appearance by Kate McKinnon, “the one actual lesbian actress,” who plays the “stone cold ex” of Gardner’s female companion. “We were together for two years,” McKinnon tells Mulligan, “but the sex was so bad we broke even though there’s not another lesbian for five whole countries.”

The trailer also pokes fun at another feature of the lesbian period film: That it may sometimes be made for, and by, the male gaze.  The “Two hours of excruciating tension,” the voice over tells us, build “to a sex scene so graphic you’ll think, ‘Oh right, a man directed this.'”

But whatever it’s flaws, the trailer also reminds women loving women of a sad truth. “‘Lesbian Period Drama:’ You get one a year. Make the most of it.”

 

 

 

 

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