Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Two Weeks Later, the Wedding Night Finally Makes Sense

So, wedding night. I've put it off long enough. Lots has been said about it, twitter has flared up about it, I have not been looking forward to diving into this scene but I felt like I had to. I was reluctant to get into it at first, cause to me the wedding night was disappointing. I am very happy I did it nonetheless, because I saw something. Something that opened my eyes and changed the scene for me kind of radically and while it's perhaps not the wedding night I had in mind, it does give it me a whole other view on it, one I like a lot more than the one I had. In fact, the first half of this post is written before I saw it, so maybe you can even tell by my writing when my opinion started to change. In any case, let's start at the beginning, I hope you join me all the way to the end, because by then the aftertaste of the wedding night just might be a little bit sweeter, just like mine turned out to be.

After the wedding ceremony they do the thing where they throw the flowers carelessly across their shoulders towards a battle ready group of single ladies, where Cadu's harem catches 100% of them. In the next episode, Ivan gives them a cute present, everybody is happy and it's all bliss. Then it's finally time for the long awaited night of love. I'm sorry, the 'night of love'. They arrive at the studio which is all pretty and decorated by Gisele, Flavinha and Vanessa. There is champagne, which prompts the girls to make lovely insinuating winks and suggestive looks at each other which I totally approve of. So far so good.

They take it upstairs, Clara pours herself and her wife (wife!) some champagne while they talk about when they met, how Marina knew instantly, how Clara had no idea what to do with herself and couldn't resist Marina, how far they've come and Clara says how proud she is. As she should be, she has come a long way indeed. Clara says she feels even closer to Marina now that they are official and Marina, who was always the free spirit and never thought about marriage before she descended a certain staircase, says with a voice that is about to crack with emotion that it was the most beautiful wedding she has ever seen. They purr happily at the prospect of having their whole lives ahead of them together, Clara blissfully kisses Marina's fingers with the ring on it before she suggestively says that their night is just starting, because now that Clara has discovered the true meaning of sex since she's been with Marina, turns out she can't get enough of it. Marina does not object and after taking one more sip of her champagne, she puts it down, waits for Clara to have another sip as well and then relieves her of her glass.

Right, so here is where the wedding night really begins. We had all read the spoilers about it and even though we have learned never to believe a word they say cause we'll end up being disappointed, you can't help but anticipate a little, you know? We had a few sources that basically said much of the same thing but put the words in a different order. For example, Extra Globo said Marina runs her hand across Clara's face, then begins to undress her, she gently removes the strap of the dress and it's clear the two are going to enter a beautiful night of love. That sounds great, says the optimistic side of my brain. Noticias da tv claimed Marina will do some cute face stroking and then will remove of a strap of the dress, so pretty much the same, as did Pure People.

Pure Break didn't go into as much detail about the night itself but claimed they would finally pass the state of pecks. They also said the sequence should be delicate and sensual as the script commanded (and the fandom demanded). They call it 'The Big Moment' and write that after the ladies have a toast, they will begin their long awaited wedding night, slowly the atmosphere of seduction will take over the small screen. Well, I don't know about you people, but while my skeptical half has to see it before I believe a word of it, I'll be honest, the optimistic me can't wait. And yes, I know that these are not binding to them, they can change the scenes at any time, they can edit stuff out, yes, I know. We can't count on anything that's written in any of these. My skeptical other half is aware of this fact and over the past months has gotten a bigger voice inside my skull, because as we all know, we have been let down before. Awesome spoilers and then a no show, it wouldn't be the first time. On that note...

Here's a tip to Globo and spoiler-executives of the future, if you have a certain scene and you know a large group of fans (called dedicated fandom) are going to absolutely love it, yet you have some doubts on whether it will or will not air? Do me a favour. Don't bloody tell me about it. Cause we will anticipate, we will look forward to it, we will have hope and flash forwards and daydreams about what it will be like. If you don't have a lot to begin with, if you're waiting and waiting like we have for something to finally happen, to finally see this amazing chemistry we see on screen be acknowledged by the people in charge and have them act on it, you literally grasp at anything you can.

Any spoiler about a look, a hug, a visit, a quote, a gesture, trust me that it's going to be dissected in every possible way after it has been translated into various other languages and posted on all the blogs and facebook pages and after twitter has seen it tweeted around so many times it sends me an email as if to subtly inform me that since it already has 'auto-email-status', it really doesn't need another retweet from me. We're grasping at straws here, people, like I said, these women were ready to have breakfast with each other months ago but they are still staring at each other in ways that give us meltdowns and themselves a doctor's appointment for overworked ovaries related to unreleased pressure. So when some awesome spoiler comes out, the fandom goes wild with anticipation.

And then you go and edit it out.

Do you know how that feels?! Now I'm sure it's all about decisions from higher up, about publicity, whatever, I don't even care. But you're letting down a huge part of your viewers. You are letting down fans. You are letting down fans that care very much about these characters, in fact, those that have probably dedicated the most time and effort into the couple you created. Your creation is loved by people, which should make you appreciate them to be honest, but instead, those are the people you kick when they are down.

I know the show has ended and everything, but I have to get it out. Next time there's an awesome spoiler that you think has a chance not to make it into the scene, if there is a fandom anxiously waiting for any kind of news or progress cause their ship was denied pretty much everything that everyone else on the show was happily granted, don't tell me about it. Ignorance is bliss. Not knowing something is edited out doesn't hurt if you didn't know about it in the first place and not expecting anything and then being pleasantly surprised, see, now that makes us smile. But I didn't stay up till 2:20 am (because for us in Europe, the ep goes live in the middle of the night), only to discover that if I had gone to bed instead and dreamed about it, I would have been closer to seeing this scene ever come to life. I'm seriously messing up my sleep pattern here, have some consideration.

Back to the wedding night. So we got a spoiler about it and it sounded good. Cause let's be clear, we're not expecting explicit sex scenes of Clarina. We all want them, heck yeah, but we don't expect them. We know about the double standard, we know about the taboo that still totally exists no matter who claims it doesn't, so we are able to look at this realistically, really. We know better than to expect all those amazing scenes for Clarina that all the other characters are getting. I'd like to point out the use of the word 'know' as opposed to 'like/accept' here and also the meaning of 'realistically', which is 'it's totally not fair and it sucks but this is what they will do'.

Anyway, no sex scenes, no passionate French kissing, we didn't expect any of that. But if your Clarina-butterfly fix has consisted of basically stares and handholding for the past couple of months, if you had to fight all this time trying to ban the thought of not being treated as an equal human being, then trust me that the mere insinuation of sex is significant. I'd even go as far as to say that an in your face insinuation of actual lesbian Clarina sex that is about to seriously and undeniably go down (pun intended), could be called 'a very big deal', to LGBT visibility and my ovaries both.

So even though the skeptic in me remembers all the hours I put up with Psychoflute's storyline of epic ridiculousness while I could have been dreaming up all kinds of variations of Clarina scenes, the simple fact is that my tender shipper soul wanted it to happen so badly, I wanted it to be beautiful and wanted it to do Clarina justice. This influenced my expectations, as better judgment was temporarily shoved aside by desperate hope of justice finally being done to Clarina. I was not the only one. There was even talk of another surprise peck possibly being tossed in there. I don't know, some rumor or another, wedding night and all, surely just like a proposal and a wedding itself, a wedding night needs a kiss right? There was no confirmation, so no, we didn't expect it to happen. But with only one episode left after this one and the fact that it's a wedding night for crying out loud, surely even Globo might realize that a kiss belongs in there, right? As always, there were skeptics and believers. Turns out no one was safe.

So, back to the scene, enter studio, encounter champagne, suggestive wink, teleport to bedroom, 'the night is just starting', 'let me put that glass away for you'. Wow, I did a one liner recap, how about that? Don't get used to it. In any case, that is where we are now. For the record, up to this point I'm fine with this scene, this is looking good. So, Clara coyly says their night is just beginning. Marina agrees with this, takes a determined last sip of her champagne and then places it down. She allows Clara half a moment to take a last sip of her own before she steals her glass from her in a 'let's get this show on the road' kind of way and places that one down as well.

When Clara finds herself suddenly empty handed, she stands there with her hand still lingering where it was holding the glass and she has this 'oh, ok' expression on her face. At first she's a tiny bit surprised but has no problem with it at all as her eyes start to sparkle with happy anticipation as she realizes Marina is a woman on a mission. I'm sure neither Clara nor Marina is against taking charge between the sheets, my guess is they are both comfortable enough with that, but Marina taking such a determined lead like this, Clara's can't hide the sly smile on her face because she knows she is totally going to get some tonight and she can't wait to find out what kinds of amazing things Marina has in store for her. Neither can I.

Without skipping a beat, she takes Clara's hand and skillfully spins her around. Even before her back is turned towards Marina completely, Clara has already closed her eyes. She braces herself by biting her lips as she feels Marina's body move into hers, because she totally knows this is going to be good. Marina kisses Clara's neck right before we fade into a new camera angle where the ladies are seen from above, facing each other, gently caressing each other's forearms. I find myself thinking this fade out could have been timed a few seconds later because I liked the previous position more based on bodily proximity and intimacy.

The girls seem to read my thoughts at least partly because they close the gap between them and start intimately swaying along with the music. Bare shoulders, cheeks and necks are being kissed and those kisses are being enjoyed and welcomed. As all this is happening, I realize I would not particularly have gone for the dance here, if I was in their place I'd have skipped the dance and have gotten right down to business, but alright. It's their wedding night, if they want to romantically dance first, sure, why not I guess, make it last longer or something. So I'm still good with this. But then...

The next shot is what made twitter explode so massively that some aliens in a galaxy far, far away are still trying to decipher what the hell we got so excited about. The camera once again jumps to the ceiling and we are looking down on them again, just as they assume the back to back position similar to the one in the dance scene and before we know it, they are swaying back and forth in this manner. After a few moments, still swaying, both their eyes are opened and both are looking up at the ceiling. End of scene.

Right. So I remember being on Skype with Emily as I was watching the scene live and I know my stream is for some reason always about 10 seconds ahead of hers and I try not to spoil anything (sometimes I fail), but I remember not having a lot of trouble with it this time, as I was just kind of sitting there thinking 'are you kidding me?' and just sort of shaking my head from left to right as I was silently taking this in. This was their wedding night? This was the insinuating of some steamy sex that's about to go down? This is what they think lesbians do in the bedroom?

Because well, let me say this, I've been an out lesbian somewhere between one and two decades now. I've had a bunch of girlfriends and I've had a bunch of sex... but I have never done this:

By this time, Emily catches up and she has a similar reaction. In fact, the first thing she said was 'I might be facepalming right now. Yeah, yeah, I just facepalmed.' And then there was just a lot of laughing, not the kind that we have when we have one of our hilarious conversations, but the kind where you're basically laughing at yourself cause you allowed yourself to believe they would actually make it like the spoilers said it would be. No removing of any straps on the dress as far as I could see, it started out fine with Marina moving in on Clara from behind when she started with some kissing in the neck, but then it just went to dancing, which, like I said, would not have been my choice of 'next step' at that moment, but I guess some people enjoy a romantic dance, so sure, I could still live with it. But then the back to back dance thing, even ending the scene with that? I have not had the pleasure of experiencing a wedding night. I don't know if I ever will, but if I ever do get married, I know that my wedding night will not include this.

The forum we were on had a similar reaction to us, even the most optimistic and forgiving members of our forum could not believe what we had just seen. To summarize, first half a page of 'wtf was that?', then some comments along the lines of 'do they really think that is how lesbians have sex?' and a page or two with links to tweets that accurately described how we felt about all this. Most of us were baffled. I was of the opinion that if they had cut the scene right after the dance, skipping the back to back rubbing, I would have been fine with it, but that last shot of them back to back staring at the ceiling, it just didn't seem to fit in there at all. We couldn't understand how they thought this was an accurate representation of a passionate lesbian wedding night. Many still can't, they'd rather just forget about the whole thing.

So, as I was getting ready to write about the wedding, the wedding night, the stuff that Globo did well regarding LGBT visibility, things they could have done way better, all that, I started describing the scenes as I usually do, some detailed, some not as much. When I got to the wedding night I was ready to give it a good mocking. I mean, I am very grateful to the actresses because they did a marvelous job in depicting a love story with a lot of chemistry, a lot of love, but just like most others, I wasn't pleased with the wedding night at all. So as much as I was happy with the performance of Tainá and Giovanna overall, I felt like I had to make it clear in my blogpost that this was not a good representation of lesbians in their wedding night and that in my opinion, somewhere in the direction or editing or I don't know, but somewhere, someone screwed it up.

Up to the last shot was alright, but the shot of them back to back staring at the ceiling was just so terribly out of place, I couldn't understand how they thought this is what lesbians did, surely someone in the room must have made a comment like, 'ehm, guys, I don't think lesbians actually have sex this way', so they must have had a purpose with it. What on earth was their purpose? I thought that finding their angle might make me appreciate it more, cause at this point, I couldn't get myself to do that.

Suddenly I think I see it. I see something I missed and it all starts to make sense. I think I know what they were trying to do, I get it now, it kind of makes sense. I think I know what they tried to do and I'll be honest with you, I'll give them points for trying. With the angle I think they had, they had the right idea, but the wrong execution. Let's explain where I am going with this, so you know what the heck I mean.

First of all, I saw many resemblances to previous scenes, like the recent photoshoot and the dance scene that was broadcast on april 10th. At first that made me think they thought that since those were wonderful scenes, let's repeat them, but they forgot that a dance and a wedding night is not the same thing, so they missed the target completely with it. The first resemblance, they talk for a bit before they do their thing. Other resemblances I will show you through some screenshots. I'm sure some were accidental, but I'm not sure all of them were.


From left to right.
Fingers entwined, Clara thinking back to a beautiful night and looking forward to a beautiful night, Marina's determined look as she takes charge, Marina behind Clara, kissing her neck.


Marina with same look and same camera angle, Marina kissing Clara's neck, back to back, same position as photoshoot.

Also, before they danced they talked for a while first, face to face, ending with the fingers entwined, same as in their wedding night. It's like they are replaying Clarina's greatest hits, trying to take us back to that night, because they were so hopelessly limited with what they could and could not do, they wanted us to remember the sensuality we saw there, that's what they wanted to recreate, but the setting just seemed to be so off that it didn't seem to work.

They even started the resemblances the day before during the wedding, when they danced for a few seconds during Tânia Mara's performance.

Then I suddenly see it. As I was step by step analyzing the wedding night, something happened, Marina did something which made all the puzzle pieces fall into place. It happens right after she turns Clara around, pretty much in the fade out, which is why I didn't see it before. She turns her around and gives her a kiss in her neck. Right then it fades to them viewed from above, holding each others arms. But, back to the previous shot, where she kisses her in the neck. That's not all she does. She takes a tiny step backwards, moves her hands up to Clara's back, where she does something. Clara in the meantime has her eyes closed and bites her lips cause she is expecting some steamy, sexy stuff that's about to happen. Something makes me look again and I promise it's not Clara biting her lips, it's something else. After looking at it a few more times, I finally realize what's actually going on.

Marina is totally removing the strap of Clara's dress. As in, Marina is totally starting to undress Clara, right there, in the beginning of the scene! She gets right into it. It's hard to see, it's happening in the fade out, but if you slow down the video and look closely, go frame by frame if you have to, you can see that's what she's doing. When I saw that, I had a bunch of alarm bells going off inside my head and realized this changes things. Cause if in the beginning of the night, right after the drink, the first thing that happens is that Clara's dress is in the process of being removed, then why do we see Clara with her dress all intact in the scenes after? That's when it hit me.

We don't.

What we are looking at is not what we are supposed to be seeing. As we all know, the dance scene was awesome. It showed the sensuality, the intimacy, basically everything we wanted to see in their wedding night, except then instead of a dance, with them having marvellous sex. But they couldn't show them having marvellous sex. So they are showing us a metaphor. They are showing us sex in a dance suit.

Basically, we have Marina taking Clara's drink, turning her around, starting to remove her dress. Everything we see after that, didn't really happen. Marina started removing the dress right away and they got right into it, but they couldn't show us that, because they were limited in what they could and could not, so they chose to take our imagination back to the dance scene because that sensuality, that intimacy from the dancing episode, that was what they wanted to show, that was what we wanted to see, so they recreated their love scene in our own imagination. This dancing we see in the wedding night, it never happened. Instead they got right into the sex, but we're not allowed to watch because of censorship, so they showed us the best way they could.

By calling on our own imagination, by seeing them from above, which is an unusual camera angle. We are spectators, we're peaking in, we're watching them dance, but they don't want us to see dancing. What they want us to see, is them having sex. They want to show us a love scene, but the best they could do was re-create a wedding version of one of their most intimate moment they had and they tried to guide our own imaginations so that we wouldn't be seeing a dance but we see them making love, right there.

We are not supposed to see them standing face to face one feet apart with their wedding dresses on. This is them getting it on in bed, no clothes in sight. Marina's palms are opened, inviting Clara to come to her. That's Marina being passive and Clara taking charge, right there. Why on earth would they show Marina's palms opened like that if they didn't have a meaning with it? They dance closely like they did during the dance, Marina kisses Clara's neck and Clara is enjoying it immensely. They are not dancing. That's them in bed, right now, kissing each other all over, making love.

When the camera shifts back to the ceiling, we see them dance back to back, holding hands. They look up at the ceiling, both of them. Their modest smiles turn to full smiles while looking up, reaching the sky. What do you imagine that stands for? My imagination calls that a climax, the highest point. During their wedding night, they never stood back to back like that. They are having sex and we're seeing them climax, in a wedding dance version in our own imagination because that's the closest they could get. It's the best they could do with the limitations they were given.

On top of all this, is the fact that I don't see Clara and Marina dancing when they could be jumping in bed. They want each other enough not to waste any time. During the photoshoot they were standing close together when Clara seductively said 'I can't resist you' and Marina has to remind her in the cutest singy voice possible that 'we are working'. This tells me they really don't have anything to complain when to comes to their sex-life, they are pretty much up for it any moment, day or night, so you can't tell me, that if Marina gets right on with removing wedding dresses from Clara's body on their wedding night after they just had those seductive winks and suggestive comments, that they're going to spend a few moments first dancing slowly, then dancing back to back. Two women who just got married, both extremely gorgeous and sexy, can't get enough of each other and are in their 'I can't resist you' state of mind. Believe me that Clara and Marina are getting right to business.

So finally, I have some sort of answer. This whole new perspective changes my views somewhat. I'm still not totally happy with it, but like I said, I'll give them points for trying, I get what they were trying to do. I would however have delayed that fade into the other scene for at least a second, so it was more clear what Marina was doing. I don't think many even noticed she was doing something there, let alone that she started undoing her dress. So either the director and editor need to be working on their communication or someone in the editing room didn't quite get it, or of course, once again orders from high above but in this case I highly doubt that, but showing more clearly that she was removing the dress strap would have made things a lot more clear to a whole lot of people, but not showing clear enough is basically what made the whole thing confusing and weird.

Also, would I have picked a different scene than the back to back thing? Yes, absolutely. While it was fine in the dance episode and it also worked during the photoshoot, it doesn't work in a wedding night, not even as a metaphor. That back to back thing is so out of place that even though I'll admit the thought behind it counts for something, that position just seems so awkward that I still wish they'd picked a different way to metaphor a climax, no matter how sexy the dance scene was and no matter how much we liked the photoshoot. It may have worked there but it just doesn't work here.

So, first impression of the scene was basically 'What the hell did I just witness?'. Disbelief to be trolled like that once again, feeling of injustice because Clarina deserves better and because the LGBT visibility in the country definitely needed some kind of accurate representation. But after having figured out that Marina is totally undressing Clara right from the start and they are getting it on good and that's what I am actually supposed to be witnessing according to the director, I altered my opinion somewhat. Now that I know there was immediate dress removal and the girls got right down to business, I'll be honest that I am a lot milder in my criticism. I was ready to mock the heck out of that shot when I started writing and I am not anymore, because in my opinion intentions do matter, so I'll give them credit for that.

I can't get myself to give them credit for execution though, cause somewhere, someone didn't get the memo that the editing department had to make it at least a little bit clear that there was going to be removing of the dress visible. Making the scene a little bit longer before the fade out, even by half a second, would have done the trick. I can't help but think that even when they have the right idea, they still can't seem to get it right cause they manage to edit out a vital piece of information. Also the part of the audience that will not re-watch this scene one million times over and over, which to be fair is the majority, the only thing they will remember is two women doing some back to back rubbing on their wedding night, which is not what they were supposed to see, nor what we need them to see. So let's say there's room for improvement there.

So there you go. I changed my views somewhat. It may not have been the scene I would have reasonably wanted, but knowing what they tried to do, it does help. My girls still got married. That's awesome. I wrote about that too by the way, should be next, it's almost done, but I simply had to finish this first. Hope you enjoyed it once again, hope you can live with the conclusions I came to and please leave a comment and a like, share it on Google Plus, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter and all that stuff, tell everybody what our girls really did that night ;)



  1. Colette -

    Wrote something very wordy, but for whatever operator error I managed, I lost it. Basically, love the blog. I agree with the metaphor. They have been revisiting that first dance scene repeatedly since it happened (mostly the finger movements).

    In my vivid imagination, the wedding night was hot. And wet. Clara is a natural.

    Not going to try to remember all I said.

    But thank you so much. :) I'll have to re-watch to catch that strap actions.

  2. In soap operas there technical Kiss (Pretend kissing) and now technical sex, which is what happened on the honeymoon .Sorry, I used the Google translator...@creupires

  3. OMG...
    their first dance was actually their first sex !!!

  4. Thanks so much for this. As a first thing- you totally made my day and probably even tomorrow. First part of the article was really funny and I have to admit I felt the same at that point. And even if I actually noticed Marina´s hand on the Clara´s back I wasn´t sure with all these things together and what it all meant. But now, everything is more clear and I think you´re right. Thanks for your words and for better understanding :)

  5. what i 'd like you to comment is the the wedding rings disappearing from marina's finger ( in the scene when she invite luise and laerte to the phoshoot) and clarina wearing their rings on the right hand in the scene after the wedding ( the stunning scene where they wright 'love' on each other lips.

  6. thx for explaining the wedding night scene. i am a details nuts i had already seen that she was starting to undress her but i was mad that that they cup the scene to show some dance coming from nowhere. and the must strange thing was that they were dancing on the carpet that they used for the stunning scene where they are lying dawn takling,touching hai and stuff ( you see what scene i am talking about!)
    And that carpet was in the studio not in the bedroom so i was kind of shoched. but now it make sens w/ your explanation...... the other thing i noticed was that they weren't wearing their wedding ring on the same hand when clara does her declaration and kiss marina's finger. that why i made my request..... i am really fond of the detaills and that why i like to read your blog.... thanks again.

    PS: sorry for my poor english i am from Belgium.

    1. for me the carpet scene explain the shooting from the ceiling.

  7. Thanks again for the wonderful text, explaining that scene - i have to agree with you that at least they tried it, but poor editing and execution really compromised what could have been a wonderful scene.

    I have to say that as for the metaphor, they did it better on the photo shoot scene, when they basically introduced a love scene through the audio tracks - overlapping the dialogues with the sex moans, and then later, as they laid on the table with Clara's naked leg on top of Marina and depending on the angle, the dresses didn't look like dresses, but looked as if they were both lying under a white sheets.

    Anyway, at least they tried, but i still would have made it much simpler... sometimes trying to hard can make things unnecessarily complicated, and probably the editor was not on the same page as the director of the scene. Regarding text, lets bear in mind that the spoiler from Extra was actually a spoiler from the author - was the text of author as it was given to the actresses and directors, but we know that it is up to the directors to interpret the scene. Anyway, all of their scenes were charged with poetry, hidden meanings and subtexts, and this one couldn't be different, simply they screwed up in making it too metaphoric...


What do you think?