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We Are Family

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We Are Family

The show begins with a dream of Sam's. This sequence is entitled "What Ever Happened to Sam McPherson?" It's a parody of the camp classic What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. A little background here for those of you who may not be familiar with this movie: for a post WWII/Pre-Stonewall gay man, a viewing of this film is generally considered as important to one's development as a Bar Mitzvah is for a Jewish adolescent. Ever wonder why drag queens are always saying, "But ya are in that chair, Blanche! Ya are!" to each other? It all stems from WEHTBJ. It's about two elderly sisters who used to be big stars and hate each other. Blanche, the good one, is crippled, and thus Baby Jane, the evil one, takes care of her and uses her physical advantage to make Blanche's life a living hell. I don't know what it is biologically, culturally or otherwise about being gay that makes one shriek with laughter over the sight of a chair-bound, teary-eyed Joan Crawford being served a rat for dinner or Bette Davis, wearing way too much pancake makeup, singing "I'm Writing a Letter to Daddy," but what this implies about my people disturbs me.

Anyway, I didn't see a What Ever Happened to Baby Jane parody coming until next season, nor did I think it would be Sam and Brooke acting out the Blanche and Baby Jane roles, but as the Bentley convertible pulls up to the gate in black-and-white and that sinister music plays in the background, I fax an invoice to Ryan Murphy. Sam as Baby Jane stops at the gate and tells Brooke as Blanche that she can't believe that their parents are getting married, and that therefore Sam and Brooke will be linked for all eternity. Eternity? What Muslim country does Sam think she's in where marriages last that long? "That means that you'll be forever standing in my blonde cheerleading shadow," says Brooke as she goes to open the gate. Sam hits the gas and rams into Brooke with the car.

The year is 2025. A pleated chiffon-wearing Sam/Baby Jane calls "Nicole Julian's House of Booze" and asks them to deliver a couple dozen wine coolers. Heh. "Whaddya mean you can't deliver it?" asks Sam/Baby Jane. "Whaddya mean you need my sister to approve it?" As an intercom buzzes in the background, Sam/Baby Jane imitates Brooke/Blanche's voice and authorizes the booze delivery. Brooke/Blanche keeps buzzing the intercom and Sam/Baby Jane loses it. "All right already Miss Brooke McQueen!" yells Sam. "I know you want your dinner, Miss High and Mighty!"

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