The introduction states, “The following is a collision of reality and fantasy featuring real people and inspired by their own stories.”
They could have stopped after the word, “collision.”
I’m finishing up details on a book about my hometown of Fairhope, Alabama. So, when Hulu premiered the TV show, “Love in Fairhope,” I told my husband I felt obligated to watch it. You know, “research,” and all that. He wanted no part of what sounded like a sappy-gooey-girlie show, so . . . I watched it myself.
Love in Fairhope is a docu-drama about women of various ages and backgrounds who (supposedly) live in Fairhope and are looking for love.
I’m leaving much unsaid because, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” But I will say, I momentarily flipped the channel over to the news to make sure the USA wasn’t under some sort of missile attack because the feeling of ominous doom was in the air.
The local scenery held my attention and I watched through the cracks of my fingers covering my face. It was fun seeing my hometown and recognizing restaurants, houses and other locations I’ve come to know and love.
And then, the best part of the show finally appeared. It was Claiborne. She’s the only featured woman from the show I’ve actually met in real life. I can’t remember where we met — at a party or Friday Night Art Walk, but I remember I liked her. As the most mature character, Claiborne was widowed after a long marriage and was looking for a companion. She’s witty, creative, and loves her friends. She also pushes a duck around in a stroller. So in other words, she’s typical Fairhope.
It seems the older the women on the show were, the better they communicated. LaShoundra was somewhere in the middle, age-wise, and she was also a natural in front of the camera. The younger ladies just had trouble getting their thoughts out. "Umm . . . like, like, well . . . you know?" It was awkward and uncomfortable.
Then came the added bonus of Claiborne’s friends, one being my real-life friend, Lori Dubose, who is the voice of our local WABF radio station, where I’ve visited many times to talk about newspaper or book things. I knew she was “involved” with the show, but didn’t realize she’d be on camera. These older women were. . . real. They delivered their lines with heartfelt truth and a realness that flowed effortlessly.
While the younger women acted like robots and were hard to watch (stop stroking your hair!!!) Lori and Claiborne and one other friend seemed to speak from the heart. It was refreshing and relaxed. I guess not growing up texting and staring at a screen develops good conversational skills.
Even the older gentlemen on the show had a natural acting ability. Yes, they were "gentlemen," because unlike the others, they didn't pop their shirts off everytime the wind changed.
I think the older characters on Love in Fairhope were believable and natural because they’ve reached a point in their lives where they don’t give a “flip” what others think of them. It’s a beautiful place to land. You can dress up, down, with a duck or with a pig and you don't worry about what everyone else thinks.
Viewers will find different messages from this TV series, but my take-away is, “older people are much more interesting than younger cookie-cutter counterparts and thank you God that I’m not 20 anymore.”
And yes, the mature ladies had a swimsuit scene. It wasn’t the thong-a-thon on the sugar white sandy big-surf beach of Mobile Bay (ha-fake-ha-ha) but they held their own with class and sass. They were happy sitting by the pool and no, they don’t care what you think.
If you watch Love in Fairhope expecting an honest portrayal of our small town, you’ll be disappointed. But if you watch to observe the relationships and communication styles of those of different generations, you’ll find an interesting view of older secure women at their best. They know what matters in life and don’t worry about the rest.