BoJack Horseman’s third season hit Netflix over the weekend, and it’s weird and devastating and hilarious—everything you can expect from the brilliant animated comedy about a washed-up celebrity horse-man navigating the wicked world of fame. Season three is groundbreaking and heartbreaking and pushes BoJack even deeper into his depression and destructive behavior.
On a slightly lighter note, season three also brings back the serious and dry lesbian movie director we know and love: Kelsey Jannings (voiced by Maria Bamford). Her return isn’t exactly sunshines and rainbows…BoJack fails to make amends with her and actually ends up worsening their fraught relationship, but nonetheless, it’s good to see Kelsey Jannings back and doing what she does best: directing off-kilter indie films with highly specific premises.
This time around, she’s trying to get the rights to a story about a girl who loves jelly beans (?), but back in season one, Jannings mentions her movie Women Who Love Women Who Love Recycling, which sounds like the best movie never made. And so, I have come up with a list of other movies I imagine Kelsey Jannings made in the early days of her directing career. Please enjoy this collection of fake films made by a fictional cartoon character.
Dirty Dancing In Danskos
This art-house film is one of Jannings’ more experimental works from her film school days. It’s just a 75-minute erotic dance floor scene intercut with close-ups of clogs. As an added twist, all of the women featured in the film are Jannings’ exes.
A Christmas Carol: A Documentary About Seeing Carol With My Girlfriend On Christmas
The title pretty much says it all. Jannings is working on a companion documentary called Imagine Me & You Watching Imagine Me & You.
In this indie rom-com, three identical triplets all played by Ellen Page all fall in love with the same girl only to find out that she, too, is a triplet with identical gay sisters, all played by Lizzy Caplan. The special effects required to make this film work led to Jannings going way over budget, and she ended up having to invest a lot of her own money in order to finish it, but she later described the project as “totally worth it.”
Her most ambitious and hard-to-find undertaking to date, Independent Angels is Jannings’ unauthorized entry into the Charlie’s Angels filmic canon. An ardent fan of the Charlie’s Angels universe, Jannings always felt conflicted over the possessive nature of the title. Why do they have to be Charlie’s angels? Shouldn’t the angels exist on their own? Does Charlie even do anything other than give orders and fulfill a weirdly fatherly role for the trio of clearly queer superspies? Independent Angels is actually a shot-for-shot remake of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle that cuts out all scenes featuring Charlie and also brings the subtext of the original film straight up to the surface. The only member of the original cast who stars in Independent Angels is Drew Barrymore, whose character’s name has been changed from Dylan to Dijon for legal purposes.
Riding In Cars With Girls Because Carpooling Is Environmentally Responsible (a followup to Women Who Love Women Who Love Recycling)
After Women Who Love Women Who Love Recycling, Jannings realized there was a very small but very passionate target audience for environmentally conscious lesbians who wish to see themselves represented in cinema. This led to the romantic but sensible Riding In Cars With Girls Because Carpooling Is Environmentally Responsible, which is still sometimes shown in warehouses across Brooklyn.
The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Flannel
Four friends who are all extremely different from one another except for the fact that they are all lesbians discover a flannel shirt that magically happens to fit all of their disparate bodies. Faced with spending a year apart because they all get into different MFA programs around the country, they decide to take turns with the flannel as a way of keeping in touch. The final scene of the movie shows one of the friends getting married in the flannel.
The Mare Witch Project
Her brief work on Secretariat was actually not Jannings’ first time working with a leading horse. Several years prior, she made a movie about lesbian horses who also identify as witches.