I first learned about Isabella Rossellini's new project, Green Porno, through the following quote:
"I was reluctant to do mammals, because they look so similar to us. But what's interesting about the whale is the female puts her vagina on the surface of the water, out of the reach of the male. Then she can see the males fight and she can select which one she likes, and then she turns over and lets him get to her. I thought, I can do that!"I had no idea what she was talking about, but I wanted to know more.
Green Porno is a webseries hosted by the Sundance Channel. Starring Isabella Rossellini, it chronicles the sex lives of various animals. The first season was all about backyard bugs; the second, which premiered on 1 April, is about marine animals. The videos are super short -- only a couple of minutes long -- but chock-full of information and utterly hilarious.
Rossellini plays the animals featured; she begins each episode saying "If I were a ____", filling in the blank with the creature of the day. Various body parts attach to her, making her a male bee, an earthworm, a right whale. She then earnestly describes and acts out the mating rituals of whatever animal she happens to be, copulating with paper cut-outs or papier mache partners.
The webseries is unlike anything I've ever watched. It's so bizarre, I don't know what to make of it, but I know I like it. The script is fantastically funny -- I now pepper my speech with non sequitur quotes from the show, saying things like "I would light up my ass at night" and "so I don't get screwed by a bear!" -- but always smart. The science of reproduction is first and foremost; the humour and dry wit simply season the science.
Rossellini has said in many interviews that her goal was to make people laugh, but also to educate them. You giggle at the snail's confession "sadomasochism excites me!", while you learn that they shoot daggers at their mates.
My only complaint is that the videos are too short. While, admittedly, there's only so much you can say about starfish sex, the episodes are addictive and engaging. I want more! I only hope that season 2 hasn't finished yet. I want to know more about the sex lives of fish, plankton, whatever brings us more Green Porno.