Episode 501 - LGB Tease
The long-anticipated fifth season of The L Word finally made its debut
Sunday night. As Jenny Schecter's smirking face filled the screen even
before the opening credits, anticipation turned quickly to nausea. As much
as we were hoping Jenny would meet an untimely end during the break between
seasons, however, episode one of season five did have its high points—the
primary one being, of course, a gratuitously naked Rachel Shelley.
First, we have to question why Ilene Chaiken must insist on opening the
fifth season of The L Word with her annoying, circus freak alter ego Jenny.
Nothing against Mia Kirshner, who firmly inhabits and propels Jenny's
psychotic narcissism with an almost frightening ease. Nothing against Ilene
either, she's obviously a master at knowing how to laugh at herself and the
lesbian community in general—a good thing all around.
It is simply that Jenny has become such a shallow, pointless stereotype that
it seems wasteful to even spare a moment of precious L Word time on her
existence. I'm sure at some future date she'll experience a terrific
revelation about what an incredibly self-involved bitch she's developed into
and everyone will feel terribly sorry for her and there will be crying
involved, etc. etc. But frankly, at this point I would just as soon have
seen Jenny drown at sea at the end of last season.
I'm sure Bette and Tina would probably agree—though they might feel guilty
about it. Well, maybe Tina would. Bette would probably throw a way too fancy
dinner party in celebration of the Lez Girls author's demise. Believe me, I
understand the point of engaging in a little L Word parody play—which is
basically what the whole Lez Girls storyline is about—but really, haven't we
been tortured enough?
Anyway, enough about Jenny. Let's move on to more tasty topics, such as
Katherine Moennig's delicious Shane. Now, Shane's been through a rough time
all around. She left the hottest woman in existence at the altar and then
followed up by getting drugged to the gills and making a bloody wreck out of
herself. She prostituted herself on billboards to help her little brother,
only to have him taken away by her womanizing father. And no matter how
badly she seems to want to find love, she manages to mess it up at every
Honestly, Shane's inability to stop bed-hopping is getting just a little bit
tiresome. At the same time, the whole bit with Amazonian housewife Paige
(Kristanna Loken) was kind of hard to click with. The two actresses had
little in the way of chemistry with each other and their love scenes seemed
more humorous than erotic. So when the first episode of the new season found
Shane sliding back into her old Casanova waves, it was almost a relief.
Admittedly, the transition from "let's move in together in this nice
apartment" Shane to "I'm going to fuck the rental manager" Shane was a
little swift. Maybe the rental manager's litany of Shane's ex-conquests in
front of girlfriend Paige just got Miss Hugo Boss too hot under the collar
to resist adding another chick to her OurChart constellation. Of course,
Paige walks in on the impromptu liaison and then promptly walks out. And
there goes another LTR prospect for the girl who just can't keep it in her
what's this, Paige is willing to forgive, forget and let Shane get laid all
over town while still coming home for family dinner? Sound like a hot deal
to me, but Shane never has let a good thing come her way without fucking it
up—so it's goodbye to Paige. Because, of course, Shane is once again 'not
good enough' for a nice, stable, reasonably well-adjusted woman. But Shane
has obviously not learned the lesson about a "woman scorned" as her precious
shop Wax goes up in a burning inferno, and Paige is the primary suspect.
Hmmm, maybe Paige was not as well-adjusted as she appeared to be…
On the site of another burning inferno in the making, Bette is waiting
anxiously for her lover Jodi (Marlee Matlin) to return. Tina (Laurel
Holloman), however, is not so into the idea of Bette's brilliant, beautiful
new girlfriend coming back to town. No, Tina's decided to rejoin the lesbian
brigade and Bette's started to look like a tasty treat she's been denied for
far too long. Especially since Kate was fired off Jenny's film and packed
herself off to New York. Now Tina's single, desperate and willing to float
herself topless in a pool to try to garner some attention from Bette. (Well,
how can you really resist Jennifer Beals?) Frankly, Bette looked like she
was almost ready to bite too, until Tina smacked her upside the head with a
nasty 'lesbian bed death' dig. Bad Tina. She should be spanked. Repeatedly…
Though it seems Bette is still having some naughty thoughts about her
ex-partner Tina, once Jodi arrives, she's the center of Bette's universe. At
first, Jodi and Bette are as slobbery as two puppy dogs in love—exhibiting a
disgusting level of public PDA. But then Bette errs again by invading Jodi's
space with her 'gifts' all uninvited. Poor thing just can't escape her
control freak persona even for a minute. Jodi's answer to the problem?
Blindfold the bitch and give her a taste of being a real bottom to another
Alpha female for a change. Now that's what I'm talking about.
Meanwhile, over in Alice's world things seem to be on a downhill track.
Tasha and Alice have transitioned to full-on mushy love, but soldier girl is
on her way to Iraq and possible death by roadside bomb. Then, while taping a
podcast for her breakout OurChart site, Alice gets dished by former lover
Phyllis (Cybill Shepherd), who has the audacity of saying Alice was too
'vanilla' in the bedroom. Ouch, we can imagine Leisha Hailey just died a
little inside at having to endure that categorization of Alice. Apparently
Phyllis' new lawyer lover Joyce likes it a bit saucier than pretty
Pieszecki. But although lawyer lady may have some tasty treats up her pants,
Phyllis isn't content to settle down with just one hot power dyke—she's
looking to play the field. If only she can get rid of Joyce…
Next, Alice manages to offend Max by saying OurChart is a site for
lesbians—and that means the whole transgender thing really isn't appropriate
discussion material. She tries to cover up her snafu, but it's pretty
obvious this is an issue that will be popping up again. Max, by the way, has
decided for the time being that he is enough of a man as is without having
transitional surgery. But that too is likely to be another plotline that
hasn't yet been resolved. Both subjects are worthy of more exploration, in
my humble opinion. There simply hasn't been enough real representation of
transgender individuals in our media and it should be quite interesting to
see how these delicate issues are dealt with in future episodes.
But I digress, back to the lovely Alice. Lo and behold, Alice's day looks to
be brightening when Tasha's next stop isn't the desert sands of an unjust
war; instead she comes knocking on Alice's door for a booty call. Alice
wants to know if her lover girl is in trouble, but Tasha shuts her up in the
most efficient manner possible—by taking off her clothes. If all lesbian
drama could be interrupted with such exquisite sexual interventions, the
world would probably be a much more fabulous place.
Checking in with our favorite hot girl Helena, she's unfortunately on the
receiving end of an entirely unpleasant form of intimacy. A cavity search by
a stern female prison guard wearing a rubber glove is probably only exciting
to people with rather odd fetishes, but a naked Helena is steamingly
delicious regardless of circumstances. Whoever decided to include that
particular scene was well aware of the absurd eroticism of stripping Helena
naked for the audience's pleasure while making them feel guilty for ogling
her in such an uncomfortable situation.
The moments when the humor shines through the drama on The L Word are the
moments that truly make the show worth watching—Jenny and all. Such as when
Shane, just broken up with Paige after cheating on her, goes pelvic
thrusting after a delectable inmate while on her way to visit Helena. Sad,
wrong, twisted—but priceless. And, of course, we cannot forget the most
cliché and yet most amusing moment of the season opener. Yes, the chorus of
Shane, Tina and Alice telling Helena very seriously: "Don't drop the soap."
Which we know, courtesy of next week's previews, she will.