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Monday, February 07, 2005

I've been watching the first season of The L Word on DVD, and I've noticed what awful people the L Girls are, by and large. Bette treats her stay-at-home girlfriend as disrespectfully as any breadwinner man ever did. Dana is a real idiot, mistreating the charming cook who threw herself at her -- in the ep we just watched, she "forgot" to tell her she was not invited to a big tennis party, on account of Dana isn't out. Meanwhile the truly awful Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirschner), a lyin', cheatin', flakey c*** if there ever was one, gets caught nailing a girl, lies to her fiancée about it ("it was just this once"), and then marries him because she would "die" without him. (Oh, and she's a horrible, overwraught writer, too.)

It's refreshing to see Lesbians Behaving Badly. I guess the creators of the show realized that everyone who's watching -- dykes and horny guys both -- is watching 'cause they're lesbians. So there's no need to give them that extra gloss of loyalty, inner sweetness or charm you generally see in core casts across TV. These girls behave like real people: selfish, idiotic, self-destructive and just plain dumb. They hurt people and they trip over their own immaturity.

Of course this is pay cable, so it doesn't matter whether the show keeps its audience, mind, it just matters whether the show gets people to sign up for Showtime for the year. I still remember reading an interview with an HBO exec who said something like, "We don't care if anyone watches the show. We only care if they subscribe." Which is a world away from the overnight Nielsen ratings broadcast tv has to worry about.

On the other hand, I would like to see a few more unexpected plot twists on my favorite shows; and I only seem to get them on Boston Legal, where you get them all the time, but they don't necessarily add up to much. You can guess where a lot of the plots of The L Word are headed, and often you're just waiting for the strappy sandal to drop.

I wonder where I can watch Season Two in Canada?


This is one of my favorite shows, and it's for the exact reasons you list below. All of the characters, at one point or another have left me going "what the hell are you doing!?" This is especially true of Jenny. What I love, though, is that in one episode I'll be thinking how much I hate a character, and a couple of episodes later I want everything to be okay for them again.

I agree about being able to see where the show is headed, but in some ways I find it refreshing after so many shows that go for the plot twist and it ends up cliche, or just lame. I like that I can see what's coming in this show because I usually care enough about the characters that I don't want them to do what I know they will inevitably do. I've never been as engaged with what I know is about to happen as I have with these characters.

By Blogger Erik, at 3:51 AM  

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