Ensconced in a longtime but clearly unsatisfying relationship to David (Alex Macqueen), Sally (Christina Shepherd) has a chance encounter with Emma (writer-director-producer Julia Davis, whose credits include the original British version of HBO’s “Camping”), and is instantly drawn to her.
The free-spirited Emma turns out to be everything the buttoned-up Sally isn’t, which makes their liberating sexual encounters all the more shattering.
While Sally’s reaction alternates between amusing and bittersweet — overwhelmed by feelings that leave her excited and confused — those around her are so exaggerated as to distract from that sense of discovery, starting with the fact that as he’s presented, it’s hard to imagine what she ever saw in David. Perhaps that’s why “SALLY4EVER” often feels like two shows crammed into one.
There’s nevertheless a symbolic message in these two series arriving so close together, reflecting the latitude of premium TV platforms to showcase female talent and international productions, here providing women’s perspectives on different forms of sexual awakening. They’re the sort of projects that once would have resided on the theatrical art-house circuit and have migrated to television, where characters and issues tend to be more gradually fleshed out.
As shows go, however, “The Bisexual” — despite Leila’s confusion — has a clear identity, while “SALLY4EVER,” beyond Shepherd’s vulnerable performance, can’t seem to decide what it wants to be.
“SALLY4EVER” premieres Nov. 11 at 10:30 p.m. on HBO, and “The Bisexual” premieres Nov. 16 on Hulu.