Sunday, April 28, 2013

Why I Love The "SouthLAnd" Strippers

First of all, I really don't know anything about strippers.  So, if you are more knowledgeable about this profession than I -- and I make errors in this post -- please forgive me.

I just really love the strippers in "SouthLAnd."  And I would enjoy telling you why.

What strippers do I mean?  In Season 5, Episode 1, of this epic television show, Officer Ben Sherman receives a big LAPD award.  In order to celebrate the occasion, the nefarious Officer Mendoza arranges a bash for Officer Ben and all their police buddies at a strip club called Cheetah's.  I think that's what it's called, anyhow.  Officer Ben, always one to support the morale of the team, humbly accepts Officer Mendoza's kind gesture.  Thus, at the end of the episode, we viewers find ourselves being vicarious guests at Officer Ben's party.

My impression of this scene is that the creators of "SouthLAnd" use an authentic strip club and authentic strippers.  I mean, why wouldn't they?  They use real cops and real gang members for the show, so why not real strippers in a real strip club?  I have never been in a strip club (and this is not a moral statement; it is just a fact), so I have no objective basis for saying this.  But, the whole thing just feels real to me.  One of the reasons that it feels real to me is that not one of the girls is going around announcing that she is a "law student."  Have you ever noticed that the vast majority of TV and movie strippers are law students? Not that there aren't strippers who are law students.  And if you are a stripper who is a law student, I mean no offense.  But, our entertainment industry seems to want us to believe that something like 99% of strippers are future lawyers.

Anyway, this brings me to why I love the strippers in "SouthLAnd."

I love them because they look and act like real women.  They are pretty.  But, they also look a bit worldly-wise and world-weary.  They obviously haven't had the good things of life handed to them on a silver platter, and they don't expect to.  And because they have had it rough, they have had to develop a bit of grit and determination to survive.  They have had to be tough.  But, you can also see that these ladies have hearts that have, perhaps, been bruised and broken.  And that bruised, brokenness comes through.  You see a bit of vulnerability.  A little sadness, maybe.  But, these ladies are strong.  They are survivors.  And I find myself rooting for them.

Again, I don't mean to offend anyone.  I don't wish to make unfair generalizations.  It's just that -- like everything else in "SouthLAnd" -- I feel this particular scene presents us with a view of the world and of humanity that is multi-layered, complex, and thought-provoking.  The people who "do" this show aren't afraid to rattle our cages a bit.  And this little gem of a scene is no exception to that rule.

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