Sex, Memories, and Queer Love Come Together in the Multiverse of Roku’s “Slip”

See Mae.
Mae was bored.
Bored Mae made a mistake.
Bored Mae made a mistake that launched her into a multiverse of love, sex, and relationships so she could find her way back to herself and the true love she may have lost.

Slip — written, directed, and starring my imaginary mentor Zoe Lister-Jones — is a Roku original series where we meet Mae, a museum curator, who we learn sees her life as dull and repetitive. Where some folks would see a career on the rise, a quiet marriage, and an overall vibey life, Mae is seeking a change. Instead of addressing all the things she slips, cheating on her husband after an event one night with a musician who has a high bun and can probably touch the ceiling.

The night kicks off a series of hella unfortunate events for Mae. She wakes up the next morning and she’s married to the high bun! She’s rich, he’s famous, and they have the most gorgeous Brooklyn apartment I think I’ve seen but she’s still unhappy. She is the only one in this new universe who remembers her previous life, everything is different — her homes, her partners, her style, and her jobs or lack thereof. The only constant is Gina (Tymika Tafari who let’s fucking face it is a GOTDAMN STAR OKAY?!), who has been her best friend since she was a child and remains so in every universe. Then she discovers the way to launch into a new universe is to orgasm, and realizes that she has to keep coming with different people to find her way back to her old life and herself.

Zoe Lister-Jones in three outfits and makeup look in a poster for Slip

I love Zoe as an actress, Fawn Moscato in New Girl is one of the greatest characters of all time. I also really, REALLY enjoy Zoe as a writer (we are NOT going to talk about The Craft ‘tho), she has a thing with time and memories, and, so do I. Bits of my memories are foggy and I have lost time both trying to erase and chase them and in Slip I feel like Mae is doing a lot of the same. Listers’ 2021 film How It Ends, is so underrated and a film I really love revisiting. It hits on time and memories times a million. Losing them, finding them, figuring out how to move through them, and all of that is also present in Slip. Mae is trying her best to comb through the memories of the life and love she thought she didn’t want in order to figure out how to not just get it back, but to hold onto it.

Time is such a thing, you never know how much of it we have left. And memories have the power to control your feelings, throwing you forward in smiles or backward in tears. Mae uses the power of time and memory and grabs bits from each life in every universe to finally figure out what she needed and wanted in her original one.

Yes, it gets gay, and not just like for a smidge of a second but for a whole episode! The television gods are listening to us and giving the girlies some depth this summer as a treat! Emily Hampshire plays her wife, Sandy, in one universe and it’s pretty dope. Without spoiling it I really like how they capture that queer relationships are full of love, passion, friendship, and flirtation — but that they also have their not-so-perfect moments too. Shout out to my bestie Zoe for giving us some well-roundedness (it’s a word, I didn’t look it up but — it’s a fucking word). I just dig how their connection isn’t fraught with trauma and we see such an expanded world for them that we don’t often see when it comes to lesbian couples on TV.

In each of Mae’s relationships in these worlds, each one isn’t just teaching her a lesson, but it’s trying to force her to reckon with all the feelings that launched her into this whole thing in the first place. It’s sort of letting her live in the world of “The grass is greener on the other side”, making her look at the issue of comparing her life to those of others and realizing it may be good for them but it ain’t for her.

All in all, I feel like Slip is the age-old story of not knowing what you have until it’s gone but told in a far more unique and layered way. We all make mistakes and have to live with them but thank goodness we don’t have to keep making mistakes to get back to the thing we want most. It’s also about making sure you know you and that you dig you, and wow I never actually thought I’d quote RuPaul again but if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gon’ love somebody else?

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Shelli Nicole

Shelli Nicole is a Detroit-raised, Chicago-based writer. Her work has appeared in Bustle, HelloGiggles & Marie Claire. She is terrified of mermaids and teenagers equally.

Shelli has written 18 articles for us.

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