"Sometimes I wish I was a lesbian .... did I say that out loud?" -- Chandler, 'Friends'

TV After making myself miserable last night just by writing three paragraphs, I perked right up after turning on the television and finding on BBC Three the late night rerun of Dawn Goes Lesbian, a Super Size Me-style documentary in which the author and broadcaster threw herself into the gay community to see if it could stir any feelings in her very straight heart. Porter's done this kind of thing before -- in her book Diaries of an Internet Lover, she ran headlong into the web dating scene -- but on this occasion there were cameras.

Essentially this was an episode Bruce Parry's Tribe series if he pitched up in London instead of the Andies and he found at about the gay scene instead of the Babongo. The wikipedia says of that series: "Parry adopts the methods and practices of his hosts, participating in their rituals and exploring their cultural norms. This often enables him to form personal bonds with the members of each tribe." That is exactly what happened this programme -- to spoil the surprise, Dawn did indeed go a bit lesbian with a Fenella Woolgar lookalike, one of the women she shared a flat with for the duration.

They became very good friends, kissed and spent the final night together in a bed, although as Porter was quick to stress 'We both kept our pyjamas on'. What possibly saved the show from being too problematic though was that despite the trips to see strippers and to buy pornography (for, erm, therapeutic purposes), the direction and writing were far less salacious than they could have been. Much of the programme was issues led (there's abuse in lesbian relationships too etc). Porter was refreshingly naive but not in with Louis Theroux's irony -- she seemed genuinely honest and natural and confused.

Her endevour reminded me of the main character's dating attempts in the Cedric Klapich's When The Cat's Away. Except at the end of that film Chloe, though hetrosexual, has to some extent changed her identity in order to conform and find a man, whereas it was very carefully explained at the end of the month that for Dawn it was good whilst it lasted but she couldn't do it full time. Like Parry there was time to say goodbye and wave to the tribe as the boat floated down the river -- or in her case, the front door was shut and she was seen kitting herself out for a night out presumably back in her old haunt. Which is a shame because I thought her and Fenella really had a chance.

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