A queer new drama series
The scripts for the first season's fourteen episodes, written by John Garvey, are completed.

It's not essential for O'Keefe to be Irish-American. The ethnicity of any native Angeleno would be appropriate for him, and the character name can be changed to reflect it. The only requirement for the character is that he be native to Los Angeles.

Both Slim, who is Jewish, and Bar, who is Latino, perform at the Lorelei, a 1940s-themed drag supper club in West Hollywood owned by vaguely menacing Lydeintha Lake, another ultrasleek gender illusionist with one eye lurking behind a curtain of platinum hair. I picture RuPaul playing Lydeintha as an ironically tall impression of Veronica Lake, who was actually only 5'4".

An Iranian-American named Ahmad joins the cast at the Lorelei and becomes romantically involved with Bar until she learns that he has a wife and two young children. Zeph meets an Iraqi-American named Sadiq and they have long Middle Eastern-style discussions, sometimes over a hookah.

Supporting roles in a dumbed-down blockbuster and its sequel take O'Keefe, who drags Zeph along, to soundstages at Sunset-Gower Studios (where Six Feet Under was filmed) and on location to the Hollywood Athletic Club (where a young John Wayne tossed golf balls from the roof onto passing cars) and the Imperial Dunes (where The Empire Strikes Back and Marlene Dietrich's The Garden of Allah were filmed).

The femme fatale is an essential character in the nihilistic world of film noir. She is menacing, but her menace glitters. The contemporary woman in film, by contrast, is much more of a no-nonsense person, and so to preserve the hyper-femaleness of the classic femme fatale in this series, she becomes a sleek, convincingly female gender illusionist whom people often tell "Girl, you're looking so fish!"

O'Keefe's anger originates in a condition called intermittent rage disorder, but his aversion to chemical dependence keeps him from medicating it. He almost kills Zeph in a rage at one point, and this convinces him to accede to taking medication, paralleling my own experience that medication can be, in some cases, far more effective than willpower or therapy. This only corroborates a nihilistic worldview, like Zeph is trying to avoid, that humans ultimately are just bags of chemicals. The subtle underlying theme of the series is "Just chemicals? Just particles? It has to be more than that. But what? The evidence doesn't point anywhere except to just particles," an echo of the theme of Six Feet Under.
   We're just fish made of insubstantial tinsel? Dude. That is so not comforting.


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