A Whole Lot of Lesbian Drama

When the U.K. drama Lip Service first aired, it had an average audience of over half a million across all six episodes, and it’s not hard to see why viewers kept tuning in: lesbians, love lives and a lot of drama. Claire Alexander spoke to Lip Service creator and writer Harriet Braun about the series.

What made you choose to set the show in Glasgow over other cities in Scotland?

Well, first of all I knew it, in that I had friends who lived there, so I’d gone there a lot. And it’s got a thriving gay scene, and it’s very picturesque it’s lovely to film in. All those reasons really. There’s Merchant City, which is the specific gay area – which was a bit like Soho in London, so we could put all the characters in proximity to each other.

Do you think there’s a weight of expectation in writing a Lesbian drama?

Oh (laughs) HUGE! There’s a huge weight of expectation! When I was writing it, I really had to put all thoughts of that aside. It was very important to me that it seemed authentic to a lesbian audience, so there was a lot of attention paid to that, but in terms of storyline and writing, I had to put that weight of expectation to one side, and just get on with doing my job which is to create compelling characters and compelling stories—otherwise really, you’d never write a word.

Were you a fan of The L –Word when it was on? And did that have any influence on you?

Yeah, I absolutely was a fan of The L-Word, and I think The L-Word paved the way for this kind of series. Initially…I thought ‘Wow, do I really want to follow in the L-Word’s footsteps?’, and then I thought ‘Well, you know, there’s more than one cop show and there’s more than one hospital drama and why shouldn’t there be another lesbian drama,’ particularly as it will be based in the U.K. it’s bound to be different because it’s created by someone different, and there’s you know, without question, room for one more.

How is Season 2 different from Season 1?

Well, I think the first season was about people at a pivotal point, approaching 30 and wondering if their life is going to work out the way they want, and realising life isn’t a dress rehearsal. I think Season 2 is more about—what you do when you get what you want or indeed you don’t get it, and how do you cope with that—I think it’s darker. I wanted to throw some emotional curve balls at the characters.

Are there any plans for a third season?

Well, we don’t know yet! We’re waiting to hear from the BBC, and it’s entirely up to them. I’ve given some thought as to what would happen, but nothing that I’m going to reveal!

Lip Service airs on Showtime and is available on DVD. Follow Harriet on Twitter @HarrietBraun

Claire Alexander

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