A few of my favorite things: Isabella Rossellini in Green Porno

In my novella The Joining, the aliens’ reproductive method is described in great detail. For comparison, the human biologist uses some parallel examples taken from Earth’s own animal kingdom. If you find reproductive biology interesting and want to get into some bizarre and downright alien reproduction right here in our own backyard, you need to check out Green Porno.

Isabella Rossellini writes, directs and stars in this webseries that explores a variety of reproductive methods from all over our crazy little planet. I discovered Green Porno soon after it began in 2008 and I have really enjoyed watching the series develop. I am fascinated by the reproductive biology of different species and through some of the examples brought up in this webseries I have found food for thought and sometimes inspiration in developing alien biology for stories.

Green Porno - "Limpet"

Rossellini in “Limpet”

Green Porno is not your average nature documentary of David Attenborough narration spoken over gorgeous scenery, lush landscapes, and spectacularly filmed animals doing whatever it is those particular animals do. No: this is Isabella Rossellini dressed up as the animals and acting out the nature documentary. Sound funny? It’s supposed to be: though the information is accurate and educational, ultimately “the purpose of each film is to make people laugh, to entertain them.”

Each episode starts with Rossellini saying “If I were an [animal]” and then transforming into the animal in question via simple costumes. She acts out the aspects of the creature that the episode focuses on, whether she becomes a snail twisting into its shell or a starfish losing limbs in order to reproduce asexually. Now understandably this sounds a bit bizarre and middle school drama presentation and, to be honest, with the minimalist sets and paper costumes the production can feel that way at times. But surprisingly it works. The quirky, eccentric style of Rossellini and Green Porno is endearing and feels very genuine. It is evident that the series is a true labor of love for Rossellini, especially as the third season touches on environmental topics.

Green Porno - "Shrimp"

Rossellini framed with bycatch

So if you haven’t watched any of Green Porno before, where do you start? Well, if you want to start with an animal that I referenced in The Joining, you can begin with the “Anglerfish” episode. Then if you want recommendations, some of my favorite episodes are “Spider,” “Fly,” and “Shrimp.” Otherwise, starting at the beginning is always a good place for any series. Currently Green Porno is only three seasons long, and each episode is very short, just two-five minutes, so you are not committing too much time if you decide to watch the whole thing.

The entirety of Green Porno is available for free online, though a book and DVD bundle was released for the truly dedicated fan.

Ready? Here, I’ll start you off:

(Visited 341 times, 1 visits today)