logo: 28Barbary.com - a blog about Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin

August 15, 2022

"Connie's Place"
commentary for scene 2 of #book1

JUMP TO: Plot Summary - Cultural References - Locations - My Thoughts

Mary Ann Singleton and Connie Bradshaw - from the 1993 Mini-series of Tales of the City

TAGS: #book1 #MaryAnnSingleton #ConnieBradshaw

Link to the text: Connie's Place (starting on page 14) (Scribd membership required)

Plot summary: Mary Ann arrives at Connie's apartment where she hopes to crash while looking for a new apartment. After she settles in, she looks around the place and is overwhelmed by the explosion of pop-culture kitchyness but also by the evidence the apartment gives of Connie's sexual liberation.

Connie also gets out their old high school year book, but Mary Ann is not eager to look back to anything from Cleveland.

Cultural Refences:


My thoughts: This scene is an explosion of kitschy over-the-topness, packed to the gills with detailed bits of the pop culture of its time, intentionally over-the-top like the Garfunkel and Oates crazy/offensive/hilarious video "This party took a turn for the douche."

Interestingly though, this scene works better in writing than in video form. For fun, I watched this scene from the 1993 PBS Mini-series, and was surprised how the scene was chopped down but also how that most of the super-specific cultural references were cut out. --- Which meant I spent a lot of time with Google in reviewing this episode and discovered that my previous understanding of some of these cultural references (based on context) was completely wrong.

But also I have to say that the mini-series so got the casting right for these two characters. Laura Linney had the benefit of having a previous scene to build up her character (Mary Ann), but Parker Posey had to jump out from her front door instantly in full character, and she nailed it. Together... it just works. Mary Ann is getting more and more awkward at the same time that Connie keeps trying harder and harder to impress Mary Ann.

Lastly, I really enjoyed delving into the colors and visual imagery of this era while researching the cultural refernces from this scene, as it evoked a strange mix of emotions.