Starz advertised a deal I could not refuse in conjunction with the new series Hightown. I’m interested in Hightown because I’ll probably never make it to Cape Cod or Provincetown, and this story is set there. Ever since I memorized all the words to Patti Page’s “Old Cape Cod” as a kid, I’ve wanted to see that area.
Hightown stars Monica Raymund as a cop with the Marine Fisheries Service. The opening episode showed Provincetown in all its LGBTQ glory during carnival. The camera lingered on the beach, showed the town from the air, and took us inside several buildings.
The episode also showed the dark side of the area with drugs, murder, and addiction.
Raymund as Jackie Quiñones is among the addicted. In episode one we see her snorting coke and drinking to excess. She drives drunk, has a wreck, and injures a woman she’d picked up at a bar.
Earlier that day, Jackie found a murdered woman on the beach. The scene haunts her. Because of the wreck, she’s forced into rehab. The description of the series explains that she sobers up and gets very involved in the murder investigation, but that didn’t happen in the first episode.
I also wanted to see the series because I’ve been a Monica Raymund fan since the old Lie to Me days. She never had enough to do in that series, but she stood out. I remember what a big deal it was in that series (2009 to 2011) when her character admitted to loving women. We forget sometimes the progress made in representing LGBTQ characters on television. The journey from Lie to Me to Hightown represents a huge cultural shift in the space of just over 10 years.
The series was created by Rebecca Perry Cutter with the first episode directed by Rachel Morrison. The first episode was strong enough to keep me coming back for more of this series.
Are you watching?