Hello my lovelies!
I come to you today with an abrupt review. More of an outpouring of thoughts post-Dick.
I have just finished watching the first season of I Love Dick, an Amazon show adapted from the novel of the same name by author Chris Kraus. It follows the eponymous Chris (Kathryn Hahn, a blessing of an actress) through her rapid descent into psychosexual obsession. The object of this is the disarming theorist and purveyor of cowboy mystique, Dick. No surname required. (Although he is played by Kevin Bacon. Excellent surname.)
So what’s enjoyable about the show? For me it is the discomfort it creates. Who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of discomfort every now and then? It’s reminiscent of American Beauty, a disturbing medley of crossing the line of ‘acceptable’ lust and into the darker unknown. A taste of forbidden fruit. Or Bacon. Or Dick.
One of most interesting scenes was later on in the series as Chris narrates her sexual history and follows it from bedroom to bedroom as a spectre of observation in the background. This includes the dips and peaks of her sexual relationship with her husband Sylvere, who is very much aware of her obsession with Dick and plays a pivotal role in its development. What we find ourselves watching is Sylvere’s relationship and career crash down around him and culminating in quite a disturbing choice as Chris melts in Dick’s presence and only ever receives a sneer of pretension in return. Dick tells her he doesn’t find her interesting, or attractive. What can only come of it is ache and frustration, as there can be no satisfying conclusion to the story. Disappointment is inevitable. Heartache is already on the cards.
Still, I couldn’t help but feel that the images we’re presented with – such as Dick ‘erotically’ shaving a lamb, or a rather graphic altercation in the final episode – were oddly transfixing. Yes, we have witnessed these explorations of female sexuality many a-time, but the ‘loser’ quality and the sheer passion in Kathryn Hahn’s performance is something that pushes this discussion to the next base.
The supporting cast were also very good, particularly Devon and Tobey – dedicated in their pursuit of art and lust and all that pushes the boundaries of what is expected of us. They were stories that I wish were developed further, but in a short series of half-hour episodes, the balance that was struck between supporting cast and main cast was slightly off, in my opinion. The rhythm did not feel right, but in the avant-garde style of pausing at awkward moments in pivotal scenes, what were we to expect. Linearity?
All in all, I would highly recommend this show. The world needs more of this – exploring the unpretty, the awkward and the translation of sexual fantasy to reality.
And now, I’m just going to let you enjoy saying “I Love Dick”. Savour it!