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Screen Savor: Damaged Goods Out and About 

Screen Savor: Damaged Goods

1  Web Therapy:  The Second Season
Of all the former Friends cast members, Lisa Kudrow has probably had the most daring career. And she’s definitely had the most gay-positive one! From the campy Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion to overtly queer features such as All Over The Guy, Easy A, The Opposite of Sex, and Happy Endings (both directed by out filmmaker Don Roos), among others, Kudrow is a true friend of the community.

Her latest project, Showtime’s Web Therapy, is based and expands on the online series featuring Kudrow as unaccredited therapist, Fiona Wallice, who sees patients via Skype. This premise sets up a variety of comedic events all handled with shocking detachment by Fiona, who is in greater need of a therapist’s couch than her clients. 

Working once again under director Roos, the series is co-written by Kudrow, Roos and Dan Bucatinsky (Roos’ husband, who also co-stars as Fiona’s bumbling assistant, Jerome, and can also be seen as a gay character in ABC’s Scandal). Fiona’s queer husband Kip (out actor Victor Garber) has political aspirations that could potentially be destroyed by a scandal involving his confusion over the gender of potential lover Robin (Julie Claire) and his intimate relationship with campaign manager Ben (gay comedian Michael McDonald). Zillionaire media mogul Austen (out actor Alan Cummings), who is bankrolling Kip’s campaign, has Kip sent to a de-gaying program run by flighty sex-bomb Camilla (Meryl Streep) and her ex-gay husband. You can probably guess how that goes.

 

2  Damages:  The Final Season
In the final season of the suspenseful cable legal series, Damages, ruthless attorney Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) may have finally met her match. Patty’s granddaughter Catherine (Kiley Liddell), whom Patty is raising, reminds her in the first couple of minutes of the season opener that she is “no one’s mommy.” Not to mention former employee (and rival) Ellen (Rose Byrne), who “knows things” and wants to “hurt” Patty. Ellen has volunteered to testify against Patty in the child custody case.

Through a series of gruesome and ominous flashbacks, we already know that Ellen is dead (or is she?). Damages fluidly moves back and forth from the present to the past, filling in the blanks and leaving plenty of blanks to be filled. Leverage, corruption, betrayal, revenge, paranoia, manipulation, familial obligation, and “playing outside the lines” all play parts in Damages’ intricate plot structure. An unfortunate, and ultimately devastating, mishap involving investment banker Naomi (Jenna Elfman) and whistle-blowing blog operator Channing (Ryan Phillippe), adds an additional dimension of tension to the already taut series. After Patty meets with Channing, she turns down the job, recommending Ellen instead, potentially pitting Patty against Ellen in yet another arena. The addition of Kate (Close’s Albert Nobbs co-star Janet McTeer), a person from Patty’s past who could potentially go to work “for the other side,” simply ups the ante.

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