Did you know I was devastated before I met you?
Jill Soloway (creator of Transparent) has a new Amazon Original Pilot called, get ready: I Love Dick, adapted from Chris Kraus‘ 1997 novel of the same name.
The show stars a New York power couple: Chris (Kathryn Hahn) makes films, and Sylvere (Griffin Dunne) writes. In the beginning, the couple make their way to Marfa, Texas for a writer’s residency. An intellectual cowboy named Dick (Kevin Bacon) runs the place, and god damn if his cigarette rolling isn’t sexy.
Meanwhile, Chris intended to go to Venice for the premier of her film. Only problem is, she’s used a song without proper permission for the rights. When she arrives in Marfa, Chris finds out her film has been disqualified. As a result, she decides to stay with Sylvere. That’s where she discovers the infamous Dick, who turns her world around.
This pilot is tough to ease into at first. The Woody Allen, New York style writer neurosis schtick is barely tolerable in men. But giving that persona to a female protagonist wearing neon yellow Birkenstocks who “borrows” music from unwitting bands for her indie film might actually be genius. Her man is a pushover and she’s ungrounded and unhinged. Chris’s encounter with the no bullshit, straight shooting Dick might be just the thing to shake things up. Perhaps it’s even what Sylvestre needs, since the guy seems to have lived a lifetime only saying things under his breath.
Every letter is a love letter.
The plot thickens when Chris writes Dick a letter and Sylvere insists on seeing it. In the reveal, Chris accidentally describes her secret longing for some sexual aggression. Sylvere seems to be liberated by this insight and does indeed take Chris aggressively, breaking their “dry spell.”
There is a genius beyond the framework of the characters at play here. It’s hard for a smart woman to tell her partner how to be a man without emasculating him, and it leaves the feminist in a predicament. Both men and women are guilty of misunderstanding the universal aspects of how we relate and the feminine perspective of sexual encounters. The way women experience men and need men (yes, need) looks like an issue Soloway hopes to explore in the series.
I hope to God that Amazon continues with I Love Dick and we get to see the action play out.