Have I ever featured a ‘something great’ on this blog just for sheer hotness? I don’t think so. I usually try to take the higher ground and speak to other issues. But screw that. It’s the cold, cold month of January and we need a little heat up in here. Therefore, I declare great thing number 69 to be:
69: Famke Janssen
Because, why not?
Look at her.
For more than just high-cheekbones and glossy hair however, do I geek out over Famke Janssen. Here are a few reasons with which to legitimize today’s entry:
1. She was Jean Grey in “The X-Men” film franchise. As a girl-nerd, I find this to be absolute kismet.
2. Furthermore, there are at least two action figures molded from characters she’s played (Xenia Onatopp from James Bond and Jean Grey from X-Men). No, I don’t own them.
3. She’s one of those super-smart ex-supermodels. She studied English and Literature at Columbia University. She also speaks four languages: Dutch (her native tongue), English, French, and German. I don’t speak any languages. I can barely speak English.
4. She’s opted to reside in NYC instead of LA. That’s just good taste.
5. She has a Boston Terrier named Licorice. Dog-lovers are usually good people. When I walked dogs in NYC, I’d always hoped that I’d encounter Famke. What an easy way into a conversation. ‘Oh, you have a dog. I have a dog too. I love dogs, as you can see. I’m walking it right now. That’s a Boston Terrier, right? I love Boston Terriers. In fact, I run a Boston Terrier rescue. I AM a Boston Terrier. We’re actually having a gala tonight. Would you like to come? OK, that’s a lie. I love you. Hey, where are you going?”
6. She’s a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity. She was appointed to this position after contacting the UN to discuss corruption and the slave trade. Who calls the UN?
7. She did all her own trick-shots as the pool shark in the indie film “Turn The River”.
8. She’s played queer twice. Here she is trying her best to be a dowdy lesbian in “Eulogy”. Nice try, Famke:
She also played a transsexual on “Nip/Tuck”. To be fair, she really didn’t know that she was signing on to play a transsexual. It was a twist that they pitched to her right before her scheduled final appearance. Still, good for her.
Famke is actually slated to appear in yet a third show with gay sensibilities, the “L Word” spin-off–“The Farm”. She’s due to appear as an imprisoned mastermind and a major player in the LA criminal underworld. This prison-based drama will, hopefully be better than the ultimately disappointing “The L Word”.
Let’s talk about that for a moment, shall we?
Because, let’s face it, “The L Word” hasn’t been the best. We had some good times together but that’s it. Sure, once in a while you got a decent story-line and the chemistry between the players was fun– but it had been, for its entire run, a show without a tone. It went from soapy to supernatural to farce in a single bound. Two words that spring to mind are ‘inconsistent’ and ‘plot-holes’. And you can’t fault the actresses. My favorites were Leisha Hailey, Kate Moenning, and Jennifer Beals. But, even Mia Kirshner was fab. Poor Jenny. It’s difficult to be the character that everyone hates, but Mia’s a quality actress. Just watch her comedic chops in “Another Teen Movie”.
Anyway, as this was the first real lesbian-centric serial on television, it does have value. I put my hand up and admit that I’ve collected the DVDs. (They’re worth the investment for the commentary alone. Leisha Hailey and Kate Moenning ragging on easy-to-loathe rock band Betty is priceless). I’m just praying that the producer, Ilene Chaiken, learns from some of the missteps of this first historic attempt and sorts it out for us lesbians’ second chance to dominate an hour of prime time.
“The Farm”, according to reports, is not as homo-centric. But, as it is set in a female prison, it does have its circle of lesbian players. This is a tried and true sub-genre–the women’s prison. It’s been the subject of so much pulp fiction, several campy films, and a hit British telly show (“Bad Girls”).
So, it’s automatically got potential and pedigree. However, it was rather disconcertingly described in a recent press release as a female version of OZ (good) but with a lighter tone (bad). So…yeah…that sounds like an error in judgement already. It’s gritty–but it’s not dark. What is that? Like dramatic but farcical? To me, this sounds like Ilene Chaiken, again, wants to avoid setting a consistent tone so that she can have her cake and eat it too. It’s like with one hour of programming per week she can sate her desire to write for all genres.
Here they have this gift of a comic actress, Leisha Hailey, and they’re going to try their hand at a mix of grit and glee? Why? Sure, set it in a prison, but go for satire. Even better, go for black comedy. Any strong direction will do. Just do it right. You know what they say? Jack of all trades, master of none. Have an idea and execute it! Focus, woman!
As much as I’m complaining here, let me stress, I WILL WATCH THIS SHOW. Showtime, I’m talking to you. Please pick this up for a full season. I don’t care that it will probably be rubbish and that Ilene Chaiken is destined to let us down. If Famke Janssen is on board, then I WILL WATCH IT. I will even buy the DVDs and the original soundtrack. Damn you Ilene Chaiken! Why must you peddle your smack to such a desperate audience? We lesbians have nothing! NOTHING! You throw us kibble and we devour it like it was chocolate bon bons. Leisha Hailey as the lead is enticing on its own certainly. But the promise of a recurring role for Famke Janssen is enough to make me drink the Kool-Aid. I scream ‘uncle’ to your brutal manipulations of my television viewing. I am owned, Showtime, by your progressive gay and lesbian inclusive programming. But let me make one thing clear, Famke has got to be part of the equation. And it looks like her dance card, according to IMDB, is getting pretty full. She’s got about four rumoured film productions in the works. So, get her on a contract now.
Back to focusing on Famke. Isn’t she great? Let’s close today’s entry with a clip from “The Ellen Show”. It dates back to when Famke was making the rounds to promote “X3”. It combines four of my favorite things: Ellen Degeneres, discussion of super-heroes, Famke Janssen, and animals wearing clothes.