The L Word

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Jusenkyo no Pikachu
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The L Word

Post by Jusenkyo no Pikachu » Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:01 am

OK, I'll admit it: I like lesbian-oriented stories. By that, I mean the stories that don't portray lesbians as psychotic or lesbian relationships as ill-fated (I do, however, like Lost and Delirious, but there the blame for the inevitable goes to homophobia. Plus, that movie had Mischa Barton). I blame Show Me Love for this interest. And it's also gotten me watching Hex (where the best character is a lesbian ghost).

That said, though, I hated The L Word when I first saw it. I dunno...something about it just bored me somewhat. Maybe it was because I was, at the time, going more for the sex. Don't get me wrong, there was sex, but at the time I certainly didn't find it titillating. Maybe it was also because the episode I saw was only half of the pilot. And maybe it was partly because I, not having had a girlfriend before, was a bit uncomfortable with the concept.

But, fast forward about a year. I read the transcript, and make like NBC with Star Trek. So I download the pilot, and surprise surprise: I actually like it. Of course, the space on my hard drive is limited, so I decide to go buy the DVD. And me like. And me await eagerly the release of the second season down here. Which, unfortunately, has not happened yet as far as I can tell.

Lesbians on TV aren't all that common. Sure, TV shows often have lesbian kisses and maybe brief relationships, but up until Buffy, no two girls could carry on a relationship and keep up the ratings for more than a season. The OC, I'm looking at you (and no matter what Josh Schwartz says, Marissa and Alex still didn't really feel right). But let's face it, most TV shows are designed with a straight audience in mind. Not that that's a bad thing in itself, but seriously, most lesbian relationships are there to pull in viewers--indeed, it was the whole Marissa/Alex thing that got me into The OC (and they should have kept it up, because I quite liked Ryan/Lindsay).

So enter The L Word, the lesbian answer to Sex and the City and Queer as Folk. This time, the show deals with lesbian issues in a matter-of-fact way, and instead of using the characters, it focuses on them. In fact, if I were really looking for comparison, I could compare it with Chasing Amy (for those that don't know it, it's a brilliant film with a supposedly-lesbian main character) or Kissing Jessica Stein. Of course, part of that may be due to this show being created by a lesbian for lesbians.

The show focuses on a small group of bisexual/lesbian women in East Hollywood. As of Season 1, there's Bette, the mixed-heritage (she's part African-American) head of the California Arts Council, who is having trouble fighting off a fictitious version of Focus on the Family. Bette's girlfriend Tina is the stay-at-home type who wants to have a baby. Their friends include Alice, a bisexual journalist (over the course of the first season, she has the most interesting relationship--a man named Lisa); Shane, who is plowing through every woman in LA (and looks rather androgynous); and there's Dana, the not-yet-out tennis player who gets together with one decent girl (Lara) and one muchly hated girl (Tonya). And then there's Marina, the owner of a diner called The Planet. Into this world comes Jenny. Jenny is a straight girl who has come to live with her boyfriend Eric, but one night, Marina follows her into the loo and starts kissing her before she's had time to do whatever she had to do. Although she goes back to Eric, in the days following, she (like I did with the show) starts having second thoughts. She's also the most hated regular of the cast--well, as far as AfterEllen.com is concerned. And after hearing about what she does to Marina (as I said earlier, Season 2 hasn't been shown yet), I'm not inclined to disagree.

So we have the plots and characters. But how about the other reasons for tuning in? Well, the sex isn't quite Tipping the Velvet, but really, we're not tuning in to see British girls using leather NFBSKs. Instead, this avoids controversy fairly well--mainly by being on Showtime (whereas Tipping the Velvet was shown on BBC). Unfortunately, Channel 7 doesn't have plans to show the next season just yet--maybe they just got shy after losing sponsors or something. It's a bit of a shame, really, as they've lost one of the best shows they could have short of Housewives
"That new girl? She seems kinda weird to me. And what kind of name is Buffy anyway?"
"Hey, Aphrodisia!"
--unaired Buffy pilot

If you're reading this, then you've lost the game.

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Tyra
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Post by Tyra » Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:48 am

the L word is an awesome show.

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Jusenkyo no Pikachu
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Post by Jusenkyo no Pikachu » Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:38 am

Just bumping the topic to say that I now have the Season 3 DVDs and the image of Shane in a white dress is fucking hilarious. Thanks, Mrs. de la Pica-Morales, for making me laugh my head off. That's right up there with the idea of Gabby and Lara hooking up at the same time as Dana and Alice.

Also, has anyone else been trained to recognise Rose Troche's trademarks? These include: Panning from Jenny's eyes to her mouth in Season 1 (then cutting to Marina's mouth) and a similar shot in the teaser for Season 2 Episode 1. Oh, and the discussion that closes "Labia Majora" is a one-up on a similar conversation in Go Fish.
"That new girl? She seems kinda weird to me. And what kind of name is Buffy anyway?"
"Hey, Aphrodisia!"
--unaired Buffy pilot

If you're reading this, then you've lost the game.

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