When the L Word first premiered Season One, I was really excited about it
and genuinely impressed with its quality. It was Hollywood, but it didnít
quite feel like it. It was gritty; I related to the characters and the
storylines. It took place among glamorous L.A femmes, but there was this
universal quality to it that made it appeal to a large range of gay women as
well as more mainstream populations. It was down to earth and sympathetic.
As the seasons have unfolded up to this point in time five years later, I
canít say my sentiments are entirely the same. The show still has some
really positive elements to it and its existence is invaluable to so many
gay women and men in America, but Iíd really been hoping that Season Five
would revive the earlier feelings mentioned. Thus far, itís ceased to do so.
I donít think itís the strongest season of the show, but the seasonís not
over yet, so I wonít speak too soon...
At this midway point in the season, the show is improving, but I donít think
the season got off to a glowing start. If the Season Five Premiere was
supposed to wow us into believing that Season Five would transcend any
other, I donít think this goal was accomplished. And the storylines that
developed in the first several episodes were disappointing on more than one
Helena ended up in some maximum security prison. Poor Helena Peabody went
from a philanthropist who funded amazing charity organizations to a
disenfranchised poker player to a prisoner. No one knew what to do with her,
so they sent her straight to jail. Her character really had a lot more
potential. It was also too convenient that her murderous looking cellmate
who on first glance was some sort of Silence of the Lambs carnivore killer
was really just a butch looking dyke in jail for tax fraud who she ends up
having hot sex with.
The Alice/Tasha relationship would strike a chord with me if it felt
realistic. But Alice as a sulking military wife waiting for her soldier who
has shipped out at 0900 oíclock doesnít work for me. Iím still carrying this
residual baggage about it from last season. Itís not that the relationship
is impossible; it just doesnít sit right with me.
Onwards to Shane...she is conclusively a sex addict who keeps sleeping with
different women in different ways. Maybe her character is realistic since
any addiction is hard to kick and many addicts donít change. But Iím bored.
And the sexual exploits that Shane keeps finding herself in get more and
more outlandish. In the second episode of the season when Shane got busy
with the bride, the brideís sisters AND the brideís mother all in one
afternoon, I couldnít help shaking my head. That was just too much action in
one day for someone whoís not a hooker. (Or maybe I should say no longer a
Iíd have liked to see Shane have some authentic remorse for breaking Paigeís
heart. After all, they were planning to merge their families. When Paige
wouldnít return her calls, Shane drank a beer, smoked a cigarette and was
over it. It felt like, ďPoor me.Ē Also, there was nothing in Paigeís
character that helps me believe that she would have committed ARSON. Itís
moments like these on the L Word that evoke the surreality of Melrose Place.
I had originally prided the L Word on being so different from Melrose, but
sometimes now it feels like Lesbian Melrose.
I think weíve caught on that Jenny is supposed to be unlikeable now that
fame and power have gotten to her head. Weíve resigned ourselves to the fact
that she is merely a caricature of a girl. All we can do is wait for those
moments when she acts strangely human, shocking the hell out of us all.
Those rare moments arrive when she is with her good friend Shane or when
Nikki Stevens (who will play ďJessieĒ in Les Girls) kisses her ass enough to
penetrate her looming and grotesque new ego.
Bette is kind enough to fix up Jodiís apartment for her upon Jodiís move
back to L.A. In less than five seconds, Jodi tells Bette that she doesnít
like it and calls Bette a control freak. This really whets my appetite for
Bette to dump Jodi. Maybe itís Jodi thatís the control freak. Itís kind of
clear by now that Bette and Jodi are doomed. If the trip to the cabin to
visit Jodiís friends, NONE of whom Bette bonded with, was not the tell tale
sign of their parting, I donít know what was. And the guy who threw Bette in
the lake was the most insufferable guy in the world. Jodi barely reprimanded
him for being such a petulant jerk which had me confused. I think our
sympathies as viewers are being evoked here, so that when Bette finally
cheats on Jodi with Tina, we donít hate her that much for infidelity.
Bette is the one character that Iím really fascinated by right now. Iím
trying to crawl into her brain to figure out whether she really misses Tina
and after TWO break-ups finally realizes that Tina is the love of her life,
if it is her own commitment issues acting up again which create her growing
impulse to cheat, or whether this is simply a device by the writers of the
show to be forgiven for separating Tina and Bette in the first place. The
fan base has a desperate need for Tina and Bette to get back together once
and for all because it will reaffirm that true loves ultimately find their
On a quick side note...WHO IS RAISING ANGELICA? There is no manny anymore,
and we barely ever see that little girl. We saw her early on in the season
when she was at her private pre school interview with her two mommies who
want her to be a fine artist by the age of two. This kid is going to be on
the fast track to Pratt Institute or RISD. Iíd really love if the show
explored lesbian parenting issues in more depth.
I admire Maxís assertion that trans men should be accepted by the lesbian
community. Iím also interested in Aliceís decision to ďoutĒ the basketball
star Darryl Brewster via her podcast ďLesbolandĒ. It was a contradictory act
on her part to risk becoming the talk of the town when her girlfriend was
hoping more than anything that sheíd stay on the down low. Maybe this was
Aliceís subconscious way of terminating the relationship.
I am compelled by the militaryís investigation of Tasha. This has been
entirely educational to me since I never knew that one could be investigated
for homosexual conduct that happens OFF the job. If this is true, Iím sure
many of us are receiving a crash course on one of the many unethical
practices of the American government.
I love the ďmovie in a movieĒ storyline. It is fun and witty. I like the
scenes that bring us back to the earlier L Word days, evoking nostalgia.
(But Nikki Stevens in the bathroom with Jenny was not as hot as Jenny and
Marina were). The Charlieís Angels opener was brilliant and well crafted.
I am also a bit fascinated by Jennyís assistant Adele. Anyone willing to
work for the new, improved and grandiose Jenny Schecter must have horrible
self esteem resulting from unfathomable childhood abuse. I think that Max
might have been onto something when he said that Adele is not who she says
she is. Iím curious to learn more.
I await the remainder of the season and will return with commentary after
the season finale.