Ever since I watched this series (which was 22 hours ago to be exact), I’ve been trying to force myself to write a proper review piece, like the smart Variety people who know a bunch of film-related terms and adjectives do. I found it to be very stress-inducing. It almost felt like I’m back in uni, trying to cough up a semi-presentable assignment for a class and god knows I’m done with that lunacy…
In the end I decided not to kid myself and do the thing I do best when it comes to reviews: write a plot summary in a half-ass manner, ramble inconclusively about the main idea and finally urge you to watch it because I binge watched the first season in one night and I don’t use the term “binge watching” willy nilly.
That’s definitely the first time I’ve ever used the term “willy nilly” though… Also, they better make a second one, like yesterday, because I WANT MORE.
Anyways, let’s get to it then.
Billy & Billie is a brand new DirectTV drama/comedy series, written and directed by Neil LaBute. The story follows two young adults, Billy Jones and, coincidentally, Billie Smith, who fall in love with each other shortly after partaking in an oh-so typical alcohol-infused hook up. Having said that, it is also worth mentioning that they are step-siblings. Non-blood related step-brother and step-sister.
The back story is that Billy’s dad married Billie’s mom when the two mains were teenagers. They were raised as siblings yet there was hardly any bond between the two back then. The audience is made to understand that their ways parted as they’ve left the family nest, however their relationship resumes once again in Episode 1 and then takes a very un-conventional turn. They fall in love.
So much for the half-assed plot summary… You can find all the info here.
I would also like to point out that I highly enjoyed the writing, the actors’ portrayal of their characters and the ‘realness’ of their dialogues. The scenes are quite long too. You really get to submerge yourself into the dialogue. The style and feel of the setting are very cozy. The colors seem very autumnal to me, aka perfect for this time of year. I’m gonna once again prove that I’m a journalistic hack by saying ‘I liked the fact that the camera was not steady and that the image was shaking a bit’. Well done, me… Also, from now on, Adam Brody will be forever blamed for my ‘out-of-nowhere’ thirst for glasses-wearing brunette guys and I want Lisa Joyce’s luscious, perfectly-combed-in-every-scene hair. So these are my 2 cents on that.
Now, on to the main idea: the whole ‘falling in love with your sibling, who is definitely not a blood relative, but it still feels weird nonetheless’ thing. Yes, let’s face it, the concept is at the very least controversial and to some may even seem wrong. The main characters themselves were struggling with the idea of it throughout the entire season, let alone their family and friends. However, I do want to come back to the second title of this post: Is it really wrong to fall in love with your step-sibling?
No. We’re humans. They’re humans. We don’t choose who we fall in love with, neither do they. Yes, the attitude of others may make this kind of love feel somewhat Romeo and Juliette-style tragic, yet there is always something so powerful and beautiful when people come together despite all hardships.
Having said this, I do want to admit that I can’t help but feel respect for a director who plays with conventionality. A director, whose aim is to open a conversation, expand boundaries and challenge beliefs. I’ve always been a sucker for taking something very mainstream, like a couple in love, and throwing a curve-ball at it, by making them siblings. That, in its essence, is probably the biggest strength of this series. To me at least.
Thus, in the words of Adam Brody, ‘Did we blow your mind yet?’