My usual response to those articles, which essentially say, “How come all the characters are skinny, wear lip gloss and don’t drive trucks?” is, “How come all the girls on straight shows are skinny, wear lip gloss and don’t drive trucks?” I.e. TV does not represent anyone accurately—there’s just more pressure when only one show is giving it a try.
But my new response will be, “Have you ever been to Falcon on Sunday night?”
After four and a half years of not getting out so much (oh, let’s face it, 27 years—which is my age minus one year when Nerissa and I went dancing semi-regularly), hanging out in any bar is a little foreign. And Falcon, where Heather and I met up with Julia, Joni and Jen on Sunday, is not just any bar.
It’s The L Word come to life. I have never seen so many shaggy Eastside hipster haircuts in my life. So many strategic slouches. So many formfitting wifebeaters and fluffy peasant skirts and Ellen DeGeneres sneakers and heels-because-we-do-wear-heels-okay? So many great snippets of conversation (overheard by Heather: “Why don’t you just admit you went bungee jumping with Holly?!”).
And because Sunday night at Falcon is L Word night, it was way meta-weird. Were all these girls imitating The L Word, or is The L Word imitating them? The $64,000 pomo question.
Which I don’t have an answer to, but I will say that the “Real”-Life L Word (using quotation marks in that pomo way) beats the TV L-Word in several ways:
- When you can’t hear the dialogue over the bar chatter (though several tables of hardcore fans like to yell “shhh!”), Joni and Julia dub over their own superior dialogue: “Okay, you be Shane, I’ll be Carmen. ‘Oh, Shane, it’s okay that you cheated on me. Come have sex with me in the shower.’”
- You could theoretically hook up with one of the Real-Life L Word girls, although it’s probably just about as likely as Shane and Carmen going Wonka-vision and climbing into your living room.
- The Real-Life L Word girls actually dress better than the TV L Word girls because there’s no obnoxious costumer trying to rival Sex and the City by dressing them in outrageous, unflattering designer clothing.
- No one throws pepperoni at you or squirts you with a fire extinguisher or stalks you or delivers poorly timed, self-righteous gay rights speeches to your parents. No one cuts away from perfectly good sex scenes to get back to the cancer plotline.
- And most important of all, at Falcon, there is no Jenny. Yes, there was a Jen, but she was a friendly, good-natured girl, not the world’s most angst-ridden, attention-starved writer of terrible, terrible fiction and receiver of giant advances from drooling publishers.
But, as with TV and fashion magazines, bars full of really good-looking people can be as intimidating and depressing as they are inspiring. I guess that’s where the booze come in, another thing that you can’t get on TV, at least not until someone invents martini-vision.