I’m intending for this to be a rather short Clam Bake this eve, but we all know that I tend to ramble and things, often very quickly, get startlingly out of hand and suddenly we have a 17-page analysis of how the simple intention of purchasing a kumquat at the local supermarket turned into an odyssey of madness. We shall see.
First, a bit of background. In 2018, the movie “Love, Simon” was released. Since the plot involved a gay high-school student navigating the pothole-filled journey of coming out to his family and friends, Partner and I were immediately invested. We’ve been there, albeit a century or so before this modern take. We know the pain, we know the fear, and we’ve got the souvenir t-shirt, faded and torn.
The movie is rather charming and enjoyable, even though it’s a bit sugar-coated, with Simon’s confessional travelogue enhanced by the happenstance of having progressive parents and friends who barely blink an eye, for the most part. This was not the case with so many of us in the past and, sadly, some of the youth in the current day who still run up against the unflinching rejection of hypocritical folks who claim to love but toss that love out the window when they claim we are making a “lifestyle choice”, as if we can change who we inherently are. Ergo, my only quibble with the movie is that it took the easy road.
Apparently, some producer-folks got the message, and in 2020 we were presented with “Love, Victor”, a mini-series that took the harder road, wherein the protagonist is dealing with a family that cannot, initially, fathom the variance in someone they thought they knew. It’s a more turbulent but more honest capture of the coming-out process, at least for the majority of us who don’t live in progressive areas where the entire high school changes their minds overnight and instantly celebrates the variance. (By the way, if you choose to watch this first season, Episode 8 is my favorite. There are several walloping moments of acceptance and redemption. And yes, I cried, each time, because, well, we all need that.)
The second season premiered earlier this month, and Partner and I binged it (a lovely option that we couldn’t do in that last century) in one weekend, seeking more of that acceptance and redemption. Said season fleshes out a budding, somewhat troubled relationship that Victor has, as well as the hit-and-miss trajectory of his parents coming to terms with the new normal, especially his mother. Her personal growth is highlighted by one specific, powerful scene wherein she finally makes a decision and utters perhaps the best line in the entire season.
Now, having babbled more than I intended to do but fully expected that I would, let’s finally get to the main point of this post. The soundtracks in both seasons of “Love, Victor” are terrific. (I was constantly using my phone to trigger “Shazam” so I could see who was singing what, another perk that was not available when I came out during the Age of the Dinosaurs.) I don’t recall the name of the person who selected the music (I was often crying and blurry-eyed during the credits) but whoever that was/is should win an award of some kind, somewhere.
One of the most powerful ballads, expertly used in a great scene, is “Lost Without You” by Freya Ridings. I had never heard of this artist before, which says more about my disconnect with modern music than it does about Freya’s relevance. (When I pulled up the video on YouTube, said video had 30 million views. Yep, disconnected. I’m still entrenched in the singer-songwriters of the 1970s, not ashamed to admit, but the entrenchment does tend to sully my performance in trivia contests concerning music that happened after the dinosaurs perished.)
All suspect rambling aside, though I do hope you enjoyed the Point A to Point Z aspect, here’s a video of Freya’s song. If you don’t mind a little guidance, I’d say you should first listen to just the song (with headphones, if possible and feasible) and ignore the happenings in the video, as the goings-on can be a little distracting. Freya’s husky, aching vocals are sublime, perfect for the lyrics. Then play the video again for the visuals, as I rather like the way her onscreen persona doesn’t mouth certain words, which actually gives them more impact.
Note: The opening photo is a snap of a wall at a wedding venue we visited last year. It may seem a rather odd choice, but I like how the various colors represent the many-hued walls we all encounter, every day, even though we shouldn’t have to, if life were more just and certain people didn’t insist on building those walls…