SHOW NOTES: S01E12, "A Private Life"
This episode is a heavy one, so we're starting off on a serious note. This episode strongly references the death of Matthew Shepard, a twenty-one-year-old gay man who died from the injuries he received during a homophobic hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. If you'd like to read more about what happened, this BBC article is pretty comprehensive. Matthew Shepard's ashes were just interred last year, twenty years after his death—here's an NPR piece about that. Caroline mentions that Marcus Foster looks a little like Matthew Shepard—here's a side-by-side comparison.
Brian Poth as Marcus Foster
Jenna theorized that Billy is secretly the creator of Sleep No More, an immersive theater experience modeled on Shakespeare's Macbeth and staged at the McKittrick Hotel in New York. You can find more "information" here, including a two-minute video that will tell you... literally absolutely nothing about what this show is. Here's a photo of one of the rooms from a Vice article entitled "This Sleep No More Thing is Fucked." Seems like Billy's aesthetic, no? All it needs is a few more surfboards.
Brenda's ex-boyfriend Trevor is apparently married to the woman who won the 2000 National Book Award... and that person is Susan Sontag, who was in her seventies and dating Annie Leibovitz at the time. Here's a photo from Getty Images of her at the awards banquet with nominee Nathaniel Philbrick. If you're not sure what's going on with the makeup on her cheeks, you are not alone.
In this episode, Brenda watches the movie Bunny Lake is Missing, which is a 1965 film about a woman whose mentally ill brother gaslights her into thinking her child never existed because he thinks the child is coming between them. Here's a still from the movie, which the New York Times captioned, "Carol Lynley and a supporting cast of off-putting dolls in Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake Is Missing." OFF-PUTTING INDEED.
Finally, Jenna mentions an interview with Alan Ball in which he talks about his experiences seeing gay characters represented in media and David's internalized homophobia. Here's a clip for your viewing pleasure!
Next week is the season one finale! Are you ready?? Don't worry, nothing bad is going to happen. Deeeefinitely not. Nothing bad or sad ever happens on this show... about death...