For a little online series shot in Lexington, Girl/Girl Scene has made a huge impact in lesbian media.
Creator and star Tucky Williams has received numerous honors, including being named to the list of 40 most influential people younger than 40 by the gay magazine The Advocate and being ranked No. 9 on a list of the 100 hottest women on Earth by the lesbian-centric media site Afterellen.com.
The show received more than a million views during its first season, and its second season is set to debut at 12:01 a.m. Sunday at its Web site, Girlgirlscene.com.
What has made the show successful is that although it is known as a lesbian drama, it puts the drama first. Over eight episodes, it built a cast of compelling characters: Evan (played by Williams), the promiscuous femme fatale; Maxine (Katie Stewart), the beautiful girl struggling with a terminal illness; and Trista (Roni Jonah), the aggressive pot-stirrer who has a weird way of bringing balance to the proceedings.
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There there is Jessie (Joe Elswick), the underage catalyst for much of Season 1's action.
As that season faded to black, Jessie and Evan were lying on the floor after the two had just foiled a violent attack by a gay basher in Evan's house. Evan suffered a gunshot wound, and her life seemed to hang in the balance as Jessie maddeningly did not call 911, but just curled up next to her love.
Season 2 picks up some time after that and opens with an entertaining sequence in which Evan tries to pick up Avery (adult-film actress Kayden Kross), one of two new main characters this season. The other is Ling (Lexington actress Lauren Virginia Albert).
Abisha Uhl, frontwoman for the band Sick of Sarah, who made a cameo in the Season 1 finale as drug-dealing Bender, returns as a regular.
In addition to the Lexington settings and skyline — how many ways can we shoot the Fifth Third Bank tower? — Lexington theater fans will notice several familiar faces in the season premiere. Those include Nick Swarts as one of Bender's drug customers and Peggy Stamps as an as-yet- undefined acquaintance of Bender. Joe Gatton is back as Maxine's father, and David Haney returns as Jessie's dad and estranged husband of Susan (Cyndy Allen). We learn briefly in the season premiere that Trista and Susan are in a monogamous relationship now after their impromptu tryst in the season finale. As we said, Trista has a weird way of bringing balance to things.
The most striking aspect about the season premiere is that the production values have continued to improve. Fans of the first season, which can be viewed at the Web site, know that the show started with grand ambitions but that there were some frustrating limitations, including sound and lighting that would shift dramatically during a scene.
Season 2 is showing competence, and the show is defining a visual style and deft employment of music, which is a big part of this show.
It also has pared been down from an hour — Williams says new episodes will be 30 to 40 minutes — which turns out to be a good thing. One of the frustrating aspects about Season 1 was that scenes went on too long, including last year's final scene. The season debut shows a much defter editing touch. The pace has picked up, and it hasn't lost any of the drama.
In Season 2, we have lost a major character, which probably will generate some fan blowback. Those who don't know already who is gone will be able to find out Sunday.
After all, whether on the Web or on TV, discovering those major changes is part of the fun of season premieres, and it looks as if Season 2 of Girl/Girl Scene will be a lot of fun.