Monday, January 08, 2007

L word premiere highlights

And by “highlights,” I mean “really awful moments of a two-thirds awful show that I’ll nevertheless keep watching.”

We (me, AK, Meehan and three nice dykes I met for the first time last night) gathered at Nicole’s apartment, which was so much better than Falcon for a variety of reasons:

1) You can hear the dialogue—this isn’t always a good thing, but it’s harder to make fun when you don’t know what’s going on.
2) Not being at Falcon means I’m not single and trying to blend in with a group of friends who are nice enough but whom I barely know and whose jeans and haircuts are leagues more amazing than mine will ever be.
3) You can smoke pot at Nicole’s. I’m not saying anyone did, just that it was an option.

After pizza and salad and wine and truffles (all of which collectively cost the same amount as one martini at Falcon), we crowded onto Nicole’s couch and air mattress (which were so much more comfortable than bar stools—yes, okay, I’m an old, old, let’s-stay-in-tonight lesbian), we turned on the TV, and saw:

1) Alice shamelessly plug the show’s new online spin-off,, which I will not even dignify with a hyperlink. But did I visit it first thing this morning like a sheep in Showtime’s flock? Yes, I did. And it makes Friendster look cool.
2) Alice pronounce the name of Papi, OurChart’s reigning player, as “Pappy.” Papi is apparently the stud who can give Shane a run for her money, but, as AK said, “I just picture an old guy who makes moonshine.”
3) Shane stumble around the city wet and bloody and sad.
4) Helena learn to live without her parents’ money. This might be more interesting if it hadn’t been done better by Rachel on the first season of Friends.
5) Jenny’s book get compared to work by Dorothy Allison, Mary Gaitskill and Truman Capote. Fuck off, Jenny.
6) Shane stumble around some more.
7) Pregnant Kit get ambushed by pro-lifers in a building set up to look like a free women’s health clinic. This strikes me as a lot of work—you have to pay rent, put up a fake sign, hire fake staff and set up a fake examining room, all to trick a handful of women who will immediately warn all their friends to stay away.
8) Jenny tell Max, “I can’t be with you because you are a straight-identified man who wants to date a straight-identified woman, and I am a lesbian-identified woman who wants to date women.” For someone who supposedly weaves words like Truman Capote, Jenny talks a lot like the world’s first transgender-themed after school special.
9) Shane stumble around and…curtain. Tune in next week.

The L Word has recently tackled trans issues, breast cancer and—for about two seconds last night—anti-Semitism. They’ve added more women of color to the cast and will soon be adding a disabled woman and a 50-something dyke. All of these things are good ideas individually and theoretically, but taken together they add up to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman—a Very Special show in which the 19th century heroine campaigned for freedom of speech, feminism, and Native American and African American rights in the Wild West. I think she even fought AIDS.

In other words, I’m starting to suspect that every time The L Word gets a letter from someone who says, “I want to see more _____,” the well-meaning writers write that person or group or issue into the next episode, to the ultimate disservice of all persons and groups and issues involved.

The night ended with the TV off, and Nicole and Emily taking turns playing the mandolin in front of the fire, an activity I think Dr. Quinn would have enjoyed if she hadn’t been so busy saving the kids at the one-room schoolhouse from Internet predators.


jenny said...

But it was all worth it for the scene where Jennifer Beals slams a chair up and down chanting "Arson! Arson!"

Cheryl said...

How could I have forgotten--that was one of the best moments. That, and the uterus quilt on the wall of Jane Lynch's office.

Claire said...

I've yet to see an episode of this, but your sporadic views of it are entertaining. (#4- ouch!)

My bet is in 3 years or 1 year after it goes off the air- whichever comes first- it'll be on Bravo. I think I can wait. ;)

Schrodinger's Kitten said...

Are you saying Dr Quinn was a...ahem...BAD show???? Oy the HUMANITY!

ackleykid said...

Here's a good quote from Heather Havrilesky in Salon:

So that's my problem with "The L Word": You're watching it, it's fun, it's easy, you're into it, you're on board, you're ready to lend Tina your lawn mower and let Helena decorate a room for your baby, and then every third or fourth scene is so annoying or so pretentious or so moronic or so unbelievably lazy that you want to rip your eyes out of your skull.

thelastnoel said...

I want to see Rosie on the L Word. I want to see Rosie on the L Word. I want to see Rosie on the L Word.

Cheryl said...

Noel: Just write them a letter. I'm sure they'll put her on, although the audience may collectively have many less eyeballs by the end of her episode. (I say this being a sometime Rosie fan--back in her standup days, I even named my pet rat after her, which, if you know how I feel about rats, is a total compliment.)

ER said...

After your description of the new season, I'm very happy we no longer have DirectTV. I'll just wait for the new episodes to show up on You Tube so I'll have something to do on my lunch break. Thanks Cheryl!

Cheryl said...

Be careful--some of them have "mild nudity." Though, despite that promise, the most nudity that episode offered was Shane in a wet button-down shirt, angsting it up on the beach.