Opening scene: a female private investigator waits patiently outside a suspect’s Toronto residence, telephoto in hand, giving a play by play into a voice recorder. Two women emerge from the front door. One, a hot blond, is wearing a silky, pink robe. The other, a brunette a bit rough around the edges, is wearing a black leather jacket and worn jeans.
This alternative lifestyle, Focus on the Families’ nightmare of a gem is the creation of Canadian, Regan Latimer of Bee Charmer Productions. The show’s first season won the 2008 AfterEllen contest (which is, in no way affiliated with Ellen DeGeneres, except for the fact that they both like women) to find the next great web series and has been picking up steam ever since.
B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye’s cast and support crew’s background in performing arts and media production is extensive and well-rounded. Their experience clearly comes through in the series.
BFA holding Lindy Zucker and Dana Puddicombe play the two main characters, B.J. Fletcher, a bumbling drunken tribute to the classic film noir detective and Georgia Drew, B.J.’s sidekick and wannabe writer who finds herself falling for B.J. You can really see Zucker and Puddicomb’s onscreen chemistry build with each episode and the two play off each other superbly.
B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye is also unique in its use of lesbian and gay elements. Sure, there are plenty of gay jokes throughout, but this show, unlike other current and similarly-themed programs (The L Word and Queer as Folk), doesn’t use it’s character’s sexuality as the show’s major theme. Rather, the focus is on telling an entertaining story about a private eye and her partner who both just happen to be gay.
Plus, there’s plenty of slapsticky physical humor throughout, as well as some outrageous props. B.J.’s tape recorder, for instance, is almost as big as the Dobson’s family bible and Georgia conducts her investigations while shining a big black flashlight even in broad daylight.
B.J. Fletcher‘s high production value, polished quality, and confident acting belie Latimer’s very low budget. As is the case with most fledgling web series / projects of passion, the cast and crew dedicate a lot of their own personal and unpaid time. But after the success of season one, Latimer and company were able to wrangle enough generosity and support to continue with another 10-episode season two (which is already halfway complete, with a new isntallment released once a week).
If you’re worried about the sanctity of marriage, your snow white kids, and some soul swallowing gay agenda, don’t be. And if you want to be entertained and enjoy a funny show check out B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye.