Season 2…that’s a wrap for Anyone, But Me

girls arguing over a guy

Curtain Up supposedly finalizes Season 2 of the web series, Anyone But Me, but I perceive the main title as a Miller-ism, an aptly, writer-applied, stage name signaling the real show is about to begin…for the actors and the audience.  And here it comes.  The observations in this last episode are not definitively declarative statements, but open-ended assertions punctuated by a question mark.

Foreshadowed from the season’s premiere episode, relationships begin to rock and unravel either through happenstance or misinterpretation.  Archibald (Joshua Holland), undercover school narc, has to decide if he can live without Elizabeth (Alexis Slade) and her perceived drug habit.  A habit had he been better at his principal-induced profession, would have revealed a monthly trip to Walgreen’s and a happy-pill prescription from Elizabeth’s therapist.  (Hopefully, the shrink is Dr. Glass (Liza Weil), and Season 3 will provide an ABM diva volume discount.)  Could this incident provide some insight as to why Arch would become a rat in the first place?  Paternal feelings for the principal?  Painful pill popping past?  Curtain Up on Archibald’s family, and let’s discover the hidden genes that help configure those designer jeans.

Can Sterns (Garett Ross) be the queer kryptonite for the Sapphic half of the high school comic-writing super team?  Even though Vivian made it graphically clear her sexual preference in dynamic duo, the poor boy vows to continue his quest.  Curtain Up on the Jonathan (Mitchell Adams)/Sterns bromance.  Is there a lez-beau in their future, or will that broke-back blanket on Aunt Jodie’s (Barbara Pitts) couch get more coverage?

Earlier on, in the fantasy/fear episode, Aster (Nicole Pacent) pronounces to perceived romantic rival, Sophie (Jessy Hodges), that she doesn’t like to share, thus raising more than a realistic, non-Botoxed, eyebrow or two.  At that point I saw the writing on the bathroom wall, the infamous pink triangle.  One part bi-curious childhood friend, one part confused-feelings lesbian, and one part relationship-cynical, impetuous lover in therapy.  (By the way, anyone who didn’t know that Dr. Glass was a lesbian, considering her knowledge and use of the Mag flashlight, should have their card carrying, Home Depot sidewalk sale privileges revoked.)  From the date night reveal of the androgynous other woman (Amy Jackson Lewis) to the impetus behind Vivian’s coming out to Aunt Jodie, Sophie has been angling in between the somewhat obtuse Vivian (Rachael Hip-Flores) and the acutely aware Aster.

There were subtle and delicate little hints that something big was coming…like “the shit is hitting the fan”, “when I saw the last scene, my jaw just dropped”, and “mind-blowing ending”.   Hmm.  Being an avid follower of recent lesbian storylines, there was only one outcome I could deduce…one of them is pregnant.  Oh, wait, that was another one.  No, BIG DRAMA IS COMING.  I have to admit, in my late-night, post ABM Tuesday Skype sessions with friends, my imaginatively dramatic journey eased on down a more carnal road, but the end result is the same.  I have praised director, Tina Cesa Ward on her subtlety, but not this time.  Not that I’m not giving praise; this time it is not subtle.  Each moment of Vivian and Sophie’s dressed rehearsal of unrequited exploration is telegraphed and constructed.  From the star-crossed recruitment for stand-in theatrical lovers, to the peer-laden audience taunting their reluctant stage direction, this passion play is set.  Curtain Up on the Viv/Soph post-kiss emotional fallout second only to the pithos of Pandora.

I have read comments that state there is no way that Aster would sit there and play along with this theatrical farce.  I have to admit, had it been me, I would have overturned the table, vaulted the stage, and launched a verbal attack that would have straightened Sophie’s hair.  But alas, Aster is NOT me, and had it been, the series would have ended right there, and would have been entitled Curtain Call.  Aster sits there, denying her insecurities, wanting to deem this as make-believe before her, until the play within the play hits it’s climax.   Remember, relationships never last.

It doesn’t require Dr. Glass’ high beam to see that Aster’s psychological struggle between the conflicting demands of love, honor, and commitment, is not going to take her down the cathartic high road.  She impulsively ditches her hurt on the fly and the androgynous arms of convenience while Vivian watches, injured and suffering.

Et tu, Aster.  Then fall, Vivster!

Curtain Up on the face of betrayal and season three of Anyone But Me.