Venice, The Series starts out with gorgeous scenery and haunting music that we come to expect. It relaxes me each time I sit down to watch. The first scene in Gina’s bedroom, with Gina and Ani waking up together and making out must have validated the most earnest Guiding Light Otalia fan who felt unfulfilled after the treatment of Otalia on what was the oldest and also an uber conservative and now defunct soap opera, Guiding Light to write in. Why they didn’t is beyond me.
That this soap is not only filled with lesbians, but it’s based on lesbians, for the most part, is refreshing. The main players aren’t the same tired old straight people we see day in and day out in all other soaps that doesn’t reflect on reality. Not that there’s anything wrong with being straight but not having a diverse cast of characters, especially in this day, hinders growth.
We got to know the characters just a little in season one, with episodes averaging 8 minutes in length. There are a few supporting characters such as Michelle, who isn’t just Gina’s assistant. She’s also a confidant. Then there’s Jamie, who owns the Loft and so far is one-dimensional. Even though their parts are small, they fit well into the story.
Gina’s the main character and focus of the show. She’s a strong business woman who owns her own design company. She sabotages intimate relationships when she’s outside her element. It’s possible her feeling of abandonment from her homophobic father has caused a lot of her intimacy issues. Perhaps an ex-girlfriend hurt her as well. She’s overbearingly protective of Owen, but it’s to be expected considering what a daft shadow of a man their father is. (May I say Jordan Clarke is perfect for this part and doing wonders with it?) I am not endeared to her at all. Perhaps in season two, we’ll get to explore her vulnerability more.
Owen’s likeable and makes me smile, though I can’t pinpoint why. Perhaps I feel that brotherly presence. We know very little about him so far, due to the time restriction of the show, and with this many characters and short episodes, character development will take time. His new girlfriend, Sami, hopefully will have a secret. She’s a little too perfect.
Ani is Gina’s sometime lover and a photographer who wears her heart on her sleeve. Her vulnerability is appealing and it appears she pressured Gina, who she was just good friends with, into a relationship that Gina couldn’t handle. Ani met charming and pleasant Lara, the writer/author who has a sweetness about her combined with a seductive confidence, and I found myself rooting for this Lani pairing. At the moment I think it’s important for Gina to move on, much like Michelle says, but on the Venice Facebook page, Crystal Chappell said Gani were "soulmates," and after seeing the season finale, it’s likely they’re not over by a long shot.
Tracy is a bit of a mystery. She’s a lawyer with an incredibly poor British accent that appears and disappears. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, but is exceedingly insecure. The fact that she’s in love with Gina after knowing her for such a short time doesn’t surprise me. It’s more surprising they’re not already shacked up and shopping at Home Depot. I’m not interested in this pairing as I was when the heat was turned up in their first scenes. I’m a fan of taking things slow and I think Tracy scared me away with the last scene on the beach!