Sunday, April 17, 2011

Monkey on My Back 6

Wow, so 3 years, huh?  That was a longer break than I expected!

Ok, so here’s the thing.... I’ve been revisiting Bad Girls again after 3 yrs. I hadn't watched it or even thought much about it since my last recap here. I don't know, I just got busy.  You know, life and all…

And I'm driven back to Bad Girls again because of my past, but in a different way this time.  For one thing, it’s not the obsession it was when I first found the show. But it still strikes some really deep chords and I guess it always will.  And of course, I'm still all mush when it comes to Helen and Nikki J

But recent revelations about my own Larkhall – the place where I was banged up as a teenager – bring me back to Bad Girls and this blog.  I'd hasten to add that it’s been many years since I’ve been anywhere resembling a lockup, lest anyone think me a total nutter or criminal.

So I stumbled across my old Larkhall a few months ago in the news. A guy escaped from there and killed a guard and stabbed a nurse in the process. He got caught and is awaiting trial, but it was the first I’d heard about the place in over 20 years.

One of the articles linked to a Google satellite map. And as soon as I clicked and saw that place again, it was like….BAM.  I can’t even describe the feeling.  I was totally transfixed for the rest of the night.  Obsessively zooming in on the property and buildings, checking it out from different angles. I had to remember to keep breathing. 

And since (apparently) I’m a masochist, I was then compelled to look up Larkhall #2, where I landed when I was 19.  There were about 30 other kids with me at what was basically a really harsh work farm. I recently learned that former residents had organized to expose the abuses there (they even testified before Congress!)   As bad as that place was when I was there (and it was pretty fucking bad), it had gotten worse in subsequent years. 

So with all of that, I find myself returning, perhaps not surprisingly, back to Bad Girls and this blog. I’ve always wanted to finish these recaps – at least Series 1 and the last Series 3 epis – and hope to do so in the upcoming months.

I don’t know if there are many Bad Girls fans still out there – it hasn’t aired in the US for a few years.  And since HBO optioned the show for an American version (blimey!), a lot of online BG stuff has disappeared.  Much of the content on youtube is gone and a lot of fan sites seem to have gone down as well (save for the fanfic sites).

Luckily, there are still some sites around; most notably, the Bad Girls Annex (tho you probably know that if you found your way here). I can’t begin to say enough about this incredible site, they have it all:  recaps, analyses, a timeline of events; even a walking tour of Larkhall:

The Nikki and Helen message board still has the most intelligent, in-depth, and lively debate about the show. Everything you ever wanted to know about Bad Girls but were afraid to ask - there's lot of good stuff here, carefully parsed and dissected:

It's been awhile since those crazy, hazy days when I first discovered Bad Girls and tumbled headlong into the obsession.  Late nights, feverishly typing recaps, and wired on too much coffee.  Rummaging through the wreckage of my past and exorcising some demons along the way.  Three years later and this blog remains a labor of that I still hope to finish.  Cheers.