Reviews

Show Me Yours: The Complete Series

After a while the bounty of sex, integrated with pedantic dialogue delivered by wooden actors, becomes tedious. Racy entertainment has never been so humdrum.


Show Me Yours: The Complete Series

Distributor: E1 Entertainment U.S.
Cast: Rachael Crawford, Adam Harrington, Jeff Seymour, Rachel Wilson, Jennie Raymond
Network: Showcase
Release date: 2009-10-10
Amazon

It is not easy to place the Canadian series Show Me Yours within a familiar television genre. The show’s publicists call it a “dramedy”. Because of its sexual theme and content, Show Me Yours has also been referred to as a “sexcom”. The difficulty with either of these terms is that each promises comedy. In this regard Show Me Yours fails to deliver.

Show Me Yours might be more aptly labeled “daytime porn” or a “sex opera”. On some level, Show Me Yours feels a bit like daytime drama—although it has far fewer story lines and lacks the histrionics that make soap operas so alluring. The show’s treatment of sex, on the other hand, is much like the soft-core fare one might see at night on the American cable network Cinemax (affectionately known as “Skinemax”). Due to this seeming mix of genres, deciding on just the right time of day to settle in with the Show Me Yours DVDs might prove vexing.

Show Me Yours first debuted in 2004 on Canada’s Showcase network, and ran for two seasons that include 16 episodes. Rachel Crawford stars as psychologist turned sex writer, Kate Langford. Dr. Benjamin Chase (Adam Harrington) is a biologist who studies animal mating rituals. Ben has just been hired by Kate’s publisher to co-write Kate’s book. Kate’s boyfriend, David Exley (Jeff Seymour) is a best-selling author and academic who specializes in male aggression. Together, these three learned individuals form a love triangle completely devoid of chemistry or passion. Apparently, the creators of Show Me Yours buy into the stereotype that people with PhDs are dull and boring.

Show Me Yours bills itself as racy entertainment, and makes much of the fact that sex scenes deemed “too over-the-top for American standards” had to be edited when the show aired on the woman-oriented US cable network Oxygen. The sex scenes are graphic, but not extremely so. Some episodes include the kind of nudity that Americans can see on premium cable channels. Said nudity complements an assortment of sexual deeds such as oral sex, heterosexuals making love, lesbians making love, and ménage-à-trois, just to name a few.

Many episodes begin with Ben and Kate interviewing subjects for their book. As the subjects relate their stories, viewers see a reenactment of it. “In Sex We Trust” involves a married couple engaged in a foursome. “It’s My Party” shows a woman making love for the first time—after her sex change. And “Best Foot Forward” features the lovemaking of a man with a foot fetish. In each of these stories, Ben and Kate are inserted into the scene as detached observers, conducting their interviews as if they are in the same space as their copulatory subjects.

In mainstream cinema, sex scenes are sometimes created with the presence of a character with whose gaze the viewer can identify. This identification is believed to help mitigate the feelings of sexual perversion that might arise for the viewer as a result of watching other people have sex. In the case of Show Me Yours, audiences can identify with the gaze of either Ben or Kate. However, this effect, when combined with Ben and Kate’s highbrowed queries, lessens feelings of perversion so much so that the sex is rendered impotent.

The second season of Show Me Yours is slightly more entertaining than the first. It offers flashes of comic potential, but then it ultimately disappoints. For example, in “Let Go My Ego”, Ben and Kate interview a subject who tells the story of having dinner with his girlfriend and her family while he held the remote control to her vibrating panties. In the reenactment, when asked by the girlfriend’s father about the remote, the man tells everyone that it’s a device for pain, and a moment of amusing suspense arises.

The vibrator story would have been satisfying if it had simply ended there but, unfortunately, it continues with the boyfriend taking sick pleasure in handing over the remote to the girlfriend’s mother and grandmother so that they can try it out on their own aches and pains. Taking the “joke” to the extreme, the scene ends with the father using the remote, which causes his daughter to have an orgasm at the dinner table. Even Ben and Kate’s presence here cannot alleviate feelings of perversion. Afterward, through Kate’s dialogue, the show offers recognition of the scene’s misogyny. But the damage is done, and a situation that could have been funny quickly turns creepy.

Show Me Yours make a worthy attempt at being smart, and presents a mélange of sexual situations in a novel context. After a while, however, the bounty of sex, integrated with pedantic dialogue delivered by wooden actors, becomes tedious. Racy entertainment has never been so humdrum.

4

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Music

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

Keep reading... Show less

From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

Keep reading... Show less

Despite the uninspired packaging in this complete series set, Friday Night Lights remains an outstanding TV show; one of the best in the current golden age of television.

There are few series that have earned such universal acclaim as Friday Night Lights (2006-2011). This show unreservedly deserves the praise -- and the well-earned Emmy. Ostensibly about a high school football team in Dillon, Texas—headed by a brand new coach—the series is more about community than sports. Though there's certainly plenty of football-related storylines, the heart of the show is the Taylor family, their personal relationships, and the relationships of those around them.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Mixing some bland "alternate" and "film" versions of Whitney Houston's six songs included on The Bodyguard with exemplary live cuts, this latest posthumous collection for the singer focuses on pleasing hardcore fans and virtually no one else.

No matter how much it gets talked about, dissected, dismissed, or lionized, it's still damn near impossible to oversell the impact of Whitney Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You".

Keep reading... Show less
4
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image