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My 2 Cents on Girltown
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Bilbo67
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 Posted: Mon Jan 1st, 2007 07:22 pm

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My 2 Cents on Episode 3.11: Girltown
(8/30/02)


This is a particularly memorable episode that, IMO, was designed to make the viewer think. Not so much about the on-the-surface nature of Fire/Water, which I’m sure by now everyone had more or less figured out, but about the true nature of the binary afterlife, as illustrated by the “girls” who inhabited the titular town.

As every Lexxian worth his or her sodium chloride has already shouted from the oxygen-deprived hilltops, season 3 is a treasure trove of imagery, and the opening shots of Stan and Kai in the moth, intercut with shots of Xev trekking through the desert, succeed in lassoing the viewers’ attention without so much as a single word being uttered for the fist five minutes of the episode. The music accompanying this opening montage was beautiful. Whatever they paid Marty Simon for his services over four seasons, it wasn’t enough. His background pieces really help to bring Lexx to life, and I’ve got to think that the only reason he isn’t scoring major motion pictures is because he chooses not to.

Finally, after all this time, Stan says what we’ve undoubtedly all been thinking for the past few episodes (no, he didn’t mention that thanks to his experience with Prince/Xev’s electro-erotic, thousand-mile-an-hour phallic stun gun, he now has a newfound respect for what a spark plug goes through, but I imagine I wasn’t the only one who was thinking that either). He begins to put the pieces together and suggests that perhaps they are in some kind of afterlife. My first time through this season I had an inkling or two that perhaps they were moving in this direction, but now I was sure of it. Actually, to be honest, I thought that we were eventually going to find out that when the Light Zone collapsed, everyone on the Lexx (including Lexx himself) “died,” though that idea is entirely implausible if you think about it.

Next stop: Girltown. I must say that was is a frightening place indeed. It seems to me that this is a special kind of hell, where people who were obnoxious, overbearing male chauvinist pigs when they were alive are sent to get a double-dose of their own medicine. Guess I’d better dust off the old etiquette manual some time between now and whenever I die, just to be on the safe side (don’t hold your breath, I plan to live a long time). We quickly learn just how cruel the testosterone-injecting, moustache-sporting, Adams apple-having, no-crap-from-anyone-taking biker chick guards are, as, in yet another example of season 3’s love of tossing Canadians, they swiftly jettison a prisoner just for receiving a dress from his friend. (Frankly, that in itself is a separate, equally disturbing subject, but I won’t get into that, lest someone with extremely volatile fashion sense and an explosive, violent temper should happen across this review). BTW, did anybody notice the large round structure that the seamstress’ carcass couldn’t help but crash into? What purpose does it serve? We never saw what was in it. I honestly believe that whoever built this city placed that thing there specifically so that bodies launched from way up yonder would bounce off of it. But we’re talking architectural aesthetics here, so what the hell would I know? For all I know, Frank Lloyd Wright himself may have dreamed up just such a structure…after a prolonged night of sensory deprivation and a crescent wrench through the temple.

So the moth sets down and Kai tears off after Xev (who’s hardly in this episode for some reason)…so far so good. Stan, on the other hand, elects to stay behind. If I may one-hop onto my trusty soap box for a few ticks: WHY THE HELL DOES HE ALWAYS DO THAT!?!?! I’m a Stan fan…you know this…I’m willing to cut the guy more slack than most, and I really, really want to believe that he’s not a complete dunce, but this is getting ridiculous. The Tweedle family credo must be “Fool Me 3,177 Times, Shame On You; Fool Me 3,178 Or More Times, Shame On Me.” For God’s sake, history has shown us time and time again that when he stays behind, bad things happen. By not he must have let the fact that he always manages to survive his little unintended misadventures go to his head…almost makes you wish someone would come along and take him down a peg (paging Prince, you’re on in five…and wear that little blue number). You’ve gotta hand it to the guy for sticking with his guns, but if I were him (and God willing, minus all the humiliating, embarrassing, downright emasculating things that have happened to him, some day I will be) I wouldn’t let Kai out of my sight.

So of course he gets captured.  Fine by me.  All that stuff I just wrote notwithstanding, there’d be no show if Stan didn’t repeatedly find himself in peril, so I should probably count my blessings and dispense with the bitching.

Ah Queen…definitely one of the most wonderfully absurd elements of season 3. I was wondering why they showed old clips of Giggerotta before this ep, and once I saw her it all made sense. Despite sporting a perm that would make the entire collective lineup of Poison, Raat, Quiet Riot, and Motley Crue gasp, and talking in circles like the bureaucratic twits on K-Town, Queen is actually an excellent source of information. We learn through her that the Lexx crew are the only people on Fire/Water who have never died before (yeah, alright, so technically Kai and Xev/Zev have, but you know what I REALLY mean), as well as some of the background on Prince and Duke. For example: it is apparently widely known that Prince can take on other forms, while Duke can’t. Their power struggle has evidently been going on for as long as anyone in town can remember, and presumably neither one of them have control over Girltown (as if either of them would actually want it).

In what could rightly be called a theme for this season, Stan’s fate most be decided, and so we segue into the timeless “man vs. non-she” debate. Granted I didn’t really catch onto what the hell they were talking about (again with the talking in circles); it’s just good to know that even in a Godforsaken refuge of the damned, where life is cheap and gender identities have been swapped in the most horrifying of ways, there are those willing to stand up for the little guy…even if they are all named after power tools and are about as attractive as a Playboy spread entitled “Women of the Puritan Era.”

Kai eventually ascends to the seamster’s (I guess that’s what you’d call them) quarters high atop Girltown (the longshots of which were awesome, as always).  For those keeping count, chock up two more Canadians, as Kai pitches the guards into the sweet by and by (or in this case, would it be back to the sweet by and by?). Considering how elated they are to be free, the “girls” don’t seem to have any qualms about sticking around the place where they were tortured night and day (universal Stockholm Syndrome, perhaps?). I personally would have gotten the hell out of Dodge….but then again I personally would have probably opted for the window and the giant bone-shattering bouncy ball rather than spending all of eternity sewing for a pair of vascular dominatrixes who could probably bench press more than me. Still, it gave them an excuse to festoon Kai with all sorts of decorations. I’ve an inkling that parts—if not all—of this sequence were adlibbed, and I honestly do not know how MM is always able to play these kinds of scenes 100% straight. (100% straight….definitely something the seamstresses were not [insert rim-shot here]).

The next exchanges between Kai and the girls shoot by pretty quick, but I believe them to be the most pertinent of the episode. Kai suggests that perhaps they would be happier living on Water, and in the midst of their silky little song-’n-dance number, the girls agree.  This brings to mind a load of questions, foremost being why the girls have been consigned to their fate in the first place. If you hold with the explanation Duke offered up to Fifi a few eps back, then their damnation amounts to little more than a supernatural clerical error. This seems perfectly logical, and one could offer the hopelessly self-defeating bureaucracies on Hogtown and Girltown as evidence, but a nagging part of me thinks there’s more to it than that. Ever since the introduction of Fifi, I’ve danced with the notion that perhaps Fire/Water are not absolute last stops. After all, if one can backslide, as Fifi certainly did, I see no reason why one cannot ascend.  Perhaps Fire and Water are two halves of the same whole; a progressive purgatory (in the vein of Dante’s model), wherein the supreme goal for the denizens is to transcend entirely (as in Hindu mythology, wherein the soul strives to break free from its cycle of reincarnation and become one with Brahman—the godhead).  So where do the girls fit in?  Good question.  I’ve batted around a few possibilities:

* It could be that they are on the verge of transcending, that their next reincarnation will see them awakening on Water (in which case the Lexx technically does them a favor a little later).

* It could be an extreme example of backsliding.  Perhaps the girls are one-time Water residents who, like Fifi, betrayed their own people.  In that regard, their punishment is fitting…because they helped the attackers from Fire, they have quite literally been damned to spend all eternity helping the attackers from Fire.  I this case, constructing gondolas.

There are plenty of other possibilities, similarly backed up by circumstantial evidence, but I’ll stick with those two for now.  I have no idea if the beans meant for their audience to interpret the show in this manner, but that point is pretty much moot.  The very fact that it can be interpreted in multiple ways speaks volumes for the strength of the story.  One more reason why this is my favorite season, hands down.

Moving on…

So Queen is actually a disembodied head…totally in keeping with the wealth of whacked out punishments served up on the planet Fire; but you know something…if you really think about it, that wouldn’t be too bad of a life. You could eat whatever you want and never get fat, you’d never have to worry about arthritis, and people would never ask you to assist them with backbreaking labor. But on the flip side, if your face ever started to itch and none of your lackeys were around to scratch it for you the ensuing stress would probably kill you.

Well alls well that ends well, right….except this is Lexx. Honestly, did anyone not think the Lexx was going to eat those balloons? Actually, that was a rather interesting scene, as it looks as if 790 instructs the big bug to eat them, but in all actuality that was just Lexx looking out for number one. We’ve seen him eat things without being told to before, so this should come as no surprise. It did serve as a nice setup for the conclusion, as Kai and Stan, conveniently jettisoned from their moth, are well on the way to taking a 450,000 mph Nestea plunge, and Xev is now the acting captain (I’ll address the key issue in my Beach write-up). And so, as we fade out, our heroes plummeting toward what could be, with an improper landing, one hell of belly flop, I find myself at the mercy of but one solitary thought: How in the name of all things sacred is Stan’s hat staying on!?!?

Cheery bye.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 2nd, 2007 07:22 am

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I loved the reincarnation of giggy as the queen head.  I wonder though what was the purpose of only making her a head, there wasn't much she could do just sitting in a hot pot of water like a batch of potatos, head floating to the top.  All in all I enjoyed this episode and Kai's interaction with the 'girls'.  Kind of sad in the end that the girls were ingested by the Lexx, but rather fitting as Lexx doesn't have ever have a story-telling ending.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 2nd, 2007 09:49 pm

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and I honestly do not know how MM is always able to play these kinds of scenes 100% straight. (100% straight….definitely something the seamstresses were not [insert rim-shot here]).


 

LOL I cracked up on this one Bilbo...you're a genuis..and it's seamstress'..well maybe teamster seamsters..if'n you want..

Great episode and Giggy was a friggin' riot...floating head indeed..   



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 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 01:48 am

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This was such a campy episode it wasn't funny...and the cameo appearance by Jimmy Sommerville from the Communards (among other bands) a  notorious gay disco group, ( I know because I had to work the record for 5 weeks on the charts, heh) was a nice touch. I'm surprised the boys in the episode didn't try to run off with MM during shooting...:c030a:

I bet he had his share of 'offers'.....

:beat_hea:

 



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 02:02 am

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mayaXXX wrote:  the cameo appearance by Jimmy Sommerville from the Communards (among other bands) a  notorious gay disco group, was a nice touch.  


Huh...and here I thought the "girls" were just damn good method actors.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 6th, 2007 04:25 am

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When I first saw this episode I was almost a bit frightened because of how the "girls" were treated. Maybe I'm one of a few which thinks that this was wrong ;-)

A wonderful review, Bilbo, as always...!

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 Posted: Sun Jan 7th, 2007 01:18 pm

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Well the whole episode was an idictment of how gays are treated and how sexual politics really affects people. I thought it a very brave statement. And of course it's supposedly every gay man's dream to have a 'real man' come and rescue them ...which of course, he did.

I did enjoy thepic of Michael in the feather boa....hehe:flucht01:



Last edited on Sun Jan 7th, 2007 01:22 pm by mayaXXX



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 Posted: Sun Jan 7th, 2007 08:43 pm

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mayaXXX wrote: Well the whole episode was an idictment of how gays are treated and how sexual politics really affects people. I thought it a very brave statement.


Quite the poignant observation.  I do believe this is one of the only--if not the only-episodes that features gay characters who aren't entirely used for comedic effect (although I challenge anyone to keep a straight face while Kai is being serenaded with boas).

I'd like to have seen them explore these themes further in season 4...there are an endless number of routes they could have gone, but it never materialized.  Oh well...road not taken 'n whatnot.



Last edited on Sun Jan 7th, 2007 11:34 pm by Bilbo67



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 Posted: Mon Jan 15th, 2007 01:48 am

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There is a small mention in the 'Trip' where Xenia is hallucinating about her failure to please Kai and encounters Stanley and Kai in the clinch, where Kai tells her.." You don't have a CLUE on how to please a man..."...which of course is her biggerst nightmare...

That scene pretty much indicates the point that men know more than women what men really want...hehe..perhaps they do.
:147:
 



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 Posted: Mon Jan 15th, 2007 10:24 pm

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mayaXXX wrote: There is a small mention in the 'Trip' where Xenia is hallucinating about her failure to please Kai and encounters Stanley and Kai in the clinch, where Kai tells her.." You don't have a CLUE on how to please a man 


Ah yes, one of a dozen or so scenes that have been permanantly burned into my frontal lobe.  I was in college when I first saw this ep, and I have no doubt that my boistrous reaction to this scene easily carried through the tarpaper-thin walls in my dorm complex (thank God I wasn't eating or drinking anything at the time, or it's likely I'd have choked to death).

Psycho-semantic elements aside, I've got to imagine that before sitting down to pen this ep, the beans put their heads together and, knowing the end of the series was drawing near, asked themselves "Where haven't we gone yet?", to which one of them--gonna assume for the nonce it was a freakishly inebriated Jeff Hirschfeld--replied "Well...we've already seen some Xev-on-Bunny action...turnabout is fair play!"

As always, Stan and Kai's facial expressions were pure gold.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 16th, 2007 05:30 pm

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It was remarked by one of the cast members that they really enjoyed doing this scene...one of them more than the other...ahem. Not saying who, but he knows who he is...hehe..

:xgroupwave2:



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 Posted: Sat Jan 20th, 2007 05:36 pm

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I do believe that scene marks one of the very few occasions in which lady Lexxians can justifiably say "Damn, I wish I was Stan" without quickly adding "...wait a minute...what the hell am I saying!?!?"



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 Posted: Wed Jul 25th, 2007 07:11 pm

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As I see it, the reason the denizens of Girltown are cosigned to Fire is the primary joke of the show: Jerry Falwell is right, gays go to hell. The "boys" in Girltown are dykes and the "girls" in Girltown are queers.

If the girls and boys of Girltown suffered on Fire either because there was an error (a la Fifi) or because of some "move-up/move-down" dynamic as you describe, then why would it just so happen that all erroneous or transient homos would wind up in the same place?

It is observed by someone in some episode that each town on Fire houses a particular "kind" of person. The people of "K-Town" are insane ('K' for "Krazy"?), the people of Hogtown are beaurocrats, and the people of Girltown are homosexuals. Accepting this, we gain some interesting character insights: Mantrid is mentally insane and Giggerotta is a lesbian.

You're right that homosexuality is frequently played for laughs, but it serves anther major function in the show as a trait of the sinister. Many of the villains exude a homoerotic aura: Giggerotta, The Sub Nebs, Mantrid (and Viggo), Schlemmi (his romp with the assumedly male 790 in Luvliner and more explicitly in Xevivor), Jihana, 791. Homoeroticism repeatedly peppers the personalities of the bad guys and girls.

Despite the heavy use of homosexuality to signal ill will, Lexx deals very boldly and maturely with the matter in the treasure of Nook. Brother Trayger's tender scene with Stan addresses gayness without going for laughs or creep-out. He may be the only person ever to demonstrate genuine affection and desire for Tweedle and when Stan dawns his hat repeating "Oh boy," I think it's plainly obvious he's prepared to take Brother Trayger up on his offer. It's been observed by others that Nook fulfills the promise of the later day Star Trek franchise: to address homosexuality in a serious and major way. Lexx to the rescue, once again.

As for Girltown, the gag, and it's a dark one, is that these people are in hell because they're gay. The joke being that the crazies like Falwell and Fred Phelps are actually right. Personally I busted a gut when it dawned on me.

Last edited on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 08:27 pm by lunchtimemama

Bilbo67
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 Posted: Wed Jul 25th, 2007 10:50 pm

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lunchtimemama wrote: It's been observed by others that Nook fulfills the promise of the later day Star Trek franchise: to address homosexuality in a serious and major way. Lexx to the rescue, once again.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

This point--your whole post for that matter--is a nice bit of food for thought that merits repeating, especially to those who sneer down on Lexx and dismiss it as thoughtless softcore porn.


lunchtimemama wrote:  The joke being that the crazies like ... Fred Phelps are actually right.



...here beginnith the rant...

Fuck...there's a name that brings my blood to a nice rolling boil.  Not sure if I've ever mentioned it here, but I live in Topeka, Kansas, which is that sick prick's base of operations.  Over the years I've crossed paths with his batshit insane family a few times in my personal and professional dealings, after which I always came away with the burning desire to put my fist through the wall and take a long, hot shower.   

One misconception about these shitheads is that they only hate gays.  While that is certainly one of the hallmarks of their twisted little cult, it's really just the tip of the iceberg.  While railing about homosexuality gets them the most press, the fact of the matter is they hate everything.  Absolutely everything.  Best I can tell, Phelps' belief system is built around an extremely warped, extremely narrow misinterpretation of the five points of Calvinism, particularly the idea of predestination (basically, the people in his congregation have been pre-ordained to go to heaven, the rest of us are hellbound), although for a so-called Christian, he never once cites the teachings of Jesus (probably because the J-Man had a few ideas that run contrary to his asinine twaddle).

What sickens me the most about those people (a term I use in the loosest sense, as his so-called congregation is comprised of a few dozen goddamn brainwashed morons who--as they are not allowed to marry outside the "church," are beginning to veer dangerously close to inbreeding) is the way in which they use children in their pickets.  If you ever drive by one of their protests (as I am forced to do just about every day on my way to work), you'll notice that they have children--some as young as five and six--holding some of the most vile, disgusting signs you'll ever read.  How this doesn't qualify as child abuse is beyond my pale reckoning, but I've got to figure if it weren't for the fact that so many of those sick sons of bitches are attorneys, child services would have taken those kids away a long time ago.

I live and breathe the first amendment. 

I absolutely believe in God. 

I have such respect for our men and women in uniform that I can scarcely put it to words. 

And it makes me sick to my stomach to think about how this hatemongering son of a bitch builds a basis for his warped rhetoric by defiling the things I hold dear.  If this asshole is right, I'll go to hell with a smile on my face, and I reckon I'd have plenty of company.

 

......here endeth the rant
(season 4 reviews to start soon, I swear!)

Last edited on Wed Jul 25th, 2007 11:32 pm by Bilbo67



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2007 09:08 pm

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The BBC did a fascinating doc on the Phelpses called "The Most Hated Family in America." If you can stomach it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QRyr3_nCF4


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