By Julianna Joyce
In 2008, the Spanish mini-series Chica Busca Chica popped up on the web, introducing the world to four quirky characters living under one roof. Although that might sound like every sitcom out there, Chica Busca Chica throws in a twist. The web series written and directed by Sonia Sebastián follows the convoluted and strange lives of Nines, the series’ Shane McCutcheon, Monica, a more than slightly neurotic hopeless romantic, Carmen, Monica’s straight best friend, and Ana, a space cadet actress who has never seen a “real life lesbian” before.
Here’s how they all tie in: Monica is in love with Nines, the stage five clinger kind of love that calls six times a day and stalks your exes. Nines is in love with Carmen. Carmen and Monica are best friends. Carmen is having a hard time with her cheater boyfriend and often indulges in a bit of harmless flirtation with Nines, despite aggressively thwarting her advances. Ana has just moved in with Monica and is learning the ropes so to speak of lesbian dating.
The mini-series reads a bit like The L-Word except for the delightful hyperbolization of the characters. The characters’ over the top personalities lend a needed comedic touch to the series, making each personality easy to relate to and hilarious to watch. Monica’s constant reassuring herself that she is perfectly normal and in control of her emotions will definitely remind the audience of some inner monologues they’ve had. And watching Ana fail spectacularly at the dating world is sure to bring a few laughs.
The true power of the show lies in its characters. The all-female-made series does a fantastic job of normalizing same-sex relationships without seeming forced. Because the audience can so easily relate to the characters and the storylines, it is easy to forget that the series is marketed as a lesbian comedy. Regardless of sexual orientation, audiences can identify with the struggles each character faces, whether it’s a cheating partner, clingers, the weird world of dating or a dangerous flirtation. By creating this ease of recognition, the series is breaking down the boundaries of the sexual binary. It’s making labels seem less important. Given that so many people still identify sexual preference as an “othering” marker, the series shows that regardless of who you love the struggle is often the same. The show’s popularity within Spain and in the US adds to the universal understanding that love is in fact love: awkward, difficult and at the top of everyone’s mind, a unifying force across orientation and culture that binds us.
As the mini-series works toward creating a full-fledged film, it is important to consider these unifying powers. Not only is it very entertaining and easy to watch, which in its own right earns it movie potential, but its power to draw in diverse audiences is key. By creating an entertainment experience in which the humor transcends the established binaries of sexual orientation, the show is humanizing the on-screen depiction of the lesbian community. Considering the highly stereotypical image usually portrayed, this transcending works to point out that there is more that binds us than sets us apart.
Girl Gets Girl’s film efforts could help to create a cinematic space for future same-sex comedies to take the stage, allowing audiences to identify with the characters in the same way they did in Sex in The City or Friends, and ultimately, creating a space where loving whomever you love does not make you different from someone who might not have the same sexual orientation.
Chica Busca Chica has an Indiegogo campaign to turn the follow up to their web series into a film, Girl Gets Girl. Their campaign ends on Friday, April 4 at 11:59 pm PST. Share their Indiegogo campaign and make a pledge to be a part of the journey of bringing this film to life (Indiegogo.com/girlgetsgirl).
If you’re going to the Dinah Shore in Palm Springs, CA, be sure to get a ticket to the Dinah Shore Film Festival. You can buy tickets at the door on Friday, April 4 at the Hilton Hotel grand ballroom at 7 pm. The viewing will begin promptly at 8 pm. You’ll be able to meet the creator of Girl Gets Girl, Sebastián, as well as actresses Celia Freijeiro (Nines), Adriana Torrebejano (Rai) and María Boto (Sofía). Web series Dyke Central, #Hashtag, Kiss Her I’m Famous, Little Horribles and Nikki & Nora and short film Secrets & Toys will also be screening at the Dinah Film Festival. A Q&A will follow with the creators, cast and crew.