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'SNL' and Kate McKinnon Perfectly Parody Lesbian Period Dramas

Lesbian Period Dramas photo

In February, when The World to Come was set to premiere Out staff writer Mey Rude wrote an op-ed about the growing, tired niche of tragic white lesbian period romance dramas. That's a very long name but it's extremely specific: two white women, one blonde and the other brunette, share furtive glances, graze one another's bodies, wearing petticoats in a slow, heartbreaking narrative portrayed by straight actors. At the time, Rude pointed to films like The Favourite, Colette, Carol, Ammonite, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and The Affair as meeting many of those prerequisites.

"Why is this the only story straight people want to tell about us?" Rude wrote at the time. "How many times will I have to watch two beautiful white women stare at each other for two hours until one of them dies? How many times do we need to see women who can’t be lesbians because of their controlling husbands? How many times do we need to see movies about queer women that aren’t made by queer women?" Well now, Saturday Night Live and Kate McKinnon have turned their attention to the issue.

With Carey Mulligan as the night's host, the cast put on a skit titled simply "Lesbian Period Drama." It was an ad, not for Ammonite, but for a new film called Lesbian Period Drama. In the plot, Mulligan's character is diagnosed as being "medically upset." Her husband leaves her with a "female companion" in Heidi Gardner. The rest of the preview outlines the similarity in all of these films, namely having "12 lines of dialogue" for a two-and-a-half-hour run time, the world's saddest flirting, and a drawing scene.

"Two hours of excruciating tension all building up to a sex scene so graphic you'll think, 'oh right a man directed this,'" a voiceover says.

It is *chef's kiss* perfect.

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