Remember the trials and tribulations of Davina Jackson of HBO CANADA’s Sensitive Skin? She’s a 50-something woman who was married (although it looked like it was unhappily), worked in an art gallery, had one son, sold her big suburbia house for a condo loft in downtown Toronto and was taking a plethora of hormone replacement therapy. Davina has a sister, Veronica, who is also married and Davina’s brother-in-law is currently awaiting a trial. Sketchy, to say the least. Plus, Davina herself was dabbling in marijuana and after a while, carrying on with younger men. Oh, if you do’t recall all that then check out HBOWatch’s previous posts on Season One including our Counterpoint Review.
Davina (played by Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall) appeared to have a good life. She had a career she enjoyed; her and her husband sold their big house and downsized into a loft (presumably making some money and banking it); they have a grown son who provides a bit of the comic relief in the series and she is prone to these flights of fancy – she will have these hallucinations where she sees or hears someone or something (and not necessarily living) speak to her and give her advice. It’s kind of kooky and kind of funny, but deep down, Davina is an emotionally conflicted woman. She questions her relationship with her husband, Al (played by Don McKellar). Was she happy with Al? Did he fulfill her every wish and whim? Was it the right move carrying on with younger men? And when Al died of heart failure, Davina is left bereft, grieving and completely lost. She lost her husband and the only life she really knew. Now, she has to start from scratch. When you’re in your 50s and you have to start over from the bottom, it’s no cake walk.
Davina is dealing with self-esteem issues. Aging, especially if you’re a woman, is not something to look forward to. Especially if you’re Davina. Your skin starts to sag. Your confidence starts to wane. You may gain weight or you may lose weight. You begin to notice a multitude of health issues that weren’t there before. You start to become critical every time you glance in the mirror. In Davina’s case, popping the hormone replacement therapy, combined with going outside the boundaries of her marriage to find fulfillment is what kept her going.
Only when Al ended up dying did Davina realize that she had a good thing. Marriage is one of the hardest relationships to have because almost everything is a compromise. Now that Davina is a widow, the second season of Sensitive Skin is going to examine how she navigates the dating scene, her rocky relationship with her sister, her career and her social circle. Will Davina come out of her shell and allow herself to take risks? Will she find another man in her life that will be compatible? How will her relationship with her son and her sister turn out? Is Davina going to stop taking drugs? What other madcap adventures await her? Or will she have a fulfilling relationship with the person that counts the most: herself? Who says you need a relationship to feel settled and secure? Maybe she will surprise us all in the second season, which is now airing on HBO Canada.