Venice – Episodes 1 and 2

Episode 1

I particularly liked this episode and as openers go it was a big tease. I’m not sure if it appealed because it felt like the end result for Otalia (Guiding Light), albeit between two very different characters, so it wasn’t at the same time, that should have been or simply down to it’s own merits and given where Otalia ended up, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to separate and clarify that one fully in my mind.

The episode starts with a cliché shot up from the end of the bed, panning across artfully ‘haphazardly’ strewn clothing to the occupants.

The acting in this episode (and indeed for the most part, overall) is very good. Leccia (Ani) in particular shines, with subtly nuanced reactions and facial expressions. Chappell’s Gina seems to be an overly exuberant and pointed kisser, although in retrospect, and following on form a comment I read on livejournal.com, I now think that this was much more purposefully done than at first glance, Gina is almost trying to prove that she is ‘there’, that it was a form of desperate affirmation, make it seem to Ani perhaps that she cared more than she was allowing herself to, despite it essentially being a one night stand.

The episode sets up the relationship between these characters quite clearly, whilst being entirely unclear about where they will end up. It shows the ‘push me, pull me’ nature of their relationship, that it is… addictive almost, seemingly impossible to break away from, to have some form of separateness from each other, to possibly either commit or just let go.

Episode 2

This is the one episode out of the ones aired so far, that I just don’t get. It feels completely out of place and an odd jump to take from where episode 1 left off to where episode 3 starts up. Also it shows a complete lack of knowledge or interest in Gina’s job, a shot of a piece of fabric being held up to the light does not an interior designer make, it seems like an after thought almost. I understand that essentially the series is not about her job, it’s about Gina and the relationships she has with others, but the scenes around her job are all somewhat jarring in the grand scheme of the world of work and reality. Especially since Guya in episode 4 says to the Colonel that Gina is the biggest designer in America… really? I admit to laughing when I heard that, talk about inflated sense of self and your job. Her office alone suggests that this is not the case not to mention several other points of reference indicating otherwise. It’s almost like they picked out her job and then hoped that people didn’t question it or their lack of knowledge. If you are going to show something, you have to research it.

The scene then jumps straight to the weird and wacky (not a complementary set of words either) Guya. If she is a hack, it’s an interesting scene but ultimately (unless they are going for a big reveal later) not important. The whole episode felt like a confusing waste of 6 minutes… even with second and third viewings I’m still confused, not about what happens, that is abundantly clear, but about its place in the overall picture of the series.

This is pretty much the only episode that left me with this feeling, like they hadn’t really thought it out properly or they’ve aired an episode out of order or something. The scenes with Guya don’t make sense and neither really does the scene of Gina’s work. The only thing of benefit was to introduce Michele and Lillian (wait, was that her Guiding Light character or the character in Venice….? I’m not sure it even matters to be honest)

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About Nerdsbian

I am a nerd for ALL seasons. I am a genderqueer Librarian who unsurprisingly likes reading...a lot But I love being outside too...sometimes even reading at the same time. Also animals, any and all of them. Never yet met one that didn't get on with me and vice versa. I do a couple of different voluntary jobs (animal charity related) and have recently completed my MA.
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