After smoking through all 13 episodes of OITNB like crack, I underwent some serious “gaping-blankly-at-computer-screen” withdrawal and was in desperate need of a new easily accessible show to binge on (sadly Game of Thrones has not yet made its way to Netflix). So one afternoon while haphazardly surfing through the depressing array of TV options (you can imagine my disappointment after coming across the deceptively titled infomercial “Breaking Bald”), I saw a commercial for Hulu’s adoption of the WIGS series Blue, starring Julia Styles as a single mom by day, prostitute by night. According to the advertisement, seasons 1-3 were now viewable on the website for free (and surprisingly this was not another ploy by Will Arnett to confuse you into getting Hulu Plus). I, being a humongous WIGS fan, just had to check out the series, and am proud to say, that I have since spent the last 3 days mowing through all 3 seasons (considering each season only consists of an average of 2-3 episodes, it wasn’t too terribly time consuming).
For those of you who are unfamiliar with WIGS, I can best describe it as a feminist godsend from Youtube. The channel is home to numerous mini series that all star women, from various walks of life, of all different classes, races, ages, and occupations. The average series has 3 or 4 episodes, all about 8 minutes long. And this is no amateur hour; although many of the featured actors aren’t too well known, several big names have made appearances in WIGS series’ such as former Bust cover girl America Ferrera and Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario (Plus, a new series featuring Emma Roberts is coming soon to the channel!)
Blue is the first of the WIGS series to be carried out for several seasons, and this is no coincidence. Prior to watching the series, one would assume that the show revolves around the main character’s moral struggle to maintain her dignity and sense of self worth while taking part in the “obscene” business of prostitution. Refreshingly, this is not the case. In a society where prostitutes are either demonized or victimized, it’s difficult to imagine an in-between portrayal. Nevertheless, the main character Blue (played by Julia Stiles) is no black and white cliché. She is confident, she is tough, and most of all, she is no victim. As the show goes on, despite some encounters with brutish and disgusting men, you get the feeling that she kind of likes being a prostitute. In some way it seems to empower her, at least more so than her humdrum accounting job. However, prostitution is not depicted as all rainbows and unicorns either. The massive toll it takes on her life is very apparent, as Blue becomes buried in her own secrets, and struggles to maintain romantic relationships, as well as her relationship with her son Josh (played by Uriah Shelton). Blue does not attempt to provide a commentary on the morality of Blue’s actions, but rather provides full and dynamic characters who defy all stereotypes that thereby allow the audience to decide for themselves.
While Blue’s exploits as a single mother “Madame” are quite interesting, I have to say that in season 3, my favorite scenes were those that featured Blue’s sister Lara (played by Jane O’Hara) and her lover Satya. The two free spirits wander from place to place attempting to “live in the moment” and sustain just enough to survive. Their love for each other is incredibly raw and genuine, and really sweet to watch. At one point Blue says to her sister “So Lara, when did you become a lesbian?” To which Lara swiftly responds, “I don’t identify as a lesbian, I’m just me, and right now I love Satya.” Personally, I am a huge fan of this interpretation of love and sexuality, as something ephemeral that can not exist in a label. Also, thanks to the addition of Satya (played by Alexz Johnson who also happens to be an incredibly talented singer song-writer), Season 3 brought a much needed musical element to the series with the inclusion of Johnson’s song Mary (which has literally been on repeat on my iPod for 24 hours).
So if you like controversy, well developed characters, and watching shows directed by women, about women – check out Blue on Hulu!