Tuesday, February 14, 2006

reality tv

The writers of all those outraged articles about how The L Word does not accurately portray lesbians have clearly never been to Falcon on Sunday night.

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.


Tracy Lynn said...

That's what bars have ALREADY is martinivision.

Anonymous said...

Oh no - does angsty Jenny actually get worse this season? I'm still netflixing (now a verb) season 2, and actually find her far less annoying than in the first season. Maybe it's the hair.

Cheryl said...

Her hair is better, but she does a little dance when she gets her big fat advance check. It's not nearly as adorable as she thinks it is. Bring on the martinis.

erin said...

so if falcon is the real lword... does that mean kate moennig and rosanna arquette show up there and have steamy poolside sex that everyone gets to watch? (incidentally, if the answer is yes, erin and i are on the next plane to l.a.)

Cheryl said...

Yes. That's exactly what happened. Now get thee to the airport.

the last noel said...

Were there commercials at the Falcon?

Cheryl said...

It's ALL a commercial--for the L Word.

Hyperion said...

I'm struggling not to write something about how hot that post was, having no wish to offend.

But perhaps you will enjoy my BLKF theory, that is: everthing in life, from TV to movies, from salds to soups, from Parliament to yoga can be improved by at least one of the three following things: Bacon, Lesbians, or Kung Fu.

Cheryl said...

Well, I'm a vegetarian, but I'm with you on the L and the KF.

Claire said...

"The L Word come to life." I can see it so clearly. I'm not a bar person, but if there was one like the Falcon here, I'd have to at least go once for the people watching.

Thanks for such an entertaining tale.

Hyperion said...

Again I have no wish to offend, but after reading several of your posts, you seem like a lady with a pretty good sense of humor. My girlfriend just saw "Imagine Me and You," which contains lesbians (or at least potential lesbians; I'm not sure) as an essential plot point. Anyway, one of the characters calls them "Vagitarians." I thought since you were a Vegetarian, you might find that funny.

On another note, what does one have to do to read your fiction?

Cheryl said...

Actually, I'm technically a pescatarian (I eat fish), which is even MORE ripe for lesbian jokes.

Some of my fiction is in the "Writing" section of this blog's sidebar. And when my first book comes out this April, I will be shouting from the rooftops. You'll know. You'll know so much you may wish you never asked.

Jessie said...

Hmm... I used to work for Falcon and Sunday nights are definately their own kind. The show actually shows twice (they pick up the East coast feed as well) and by the time the show goes on the 2nd time there have probably been 4 huge fights between girlfriends. People screaming, throwing drinks, and storming out. Ah yes, the L Word night at Falcon... I remember it will. If you go, be prepared to get a bit rowdy. It is common that women will hoot, hiss, clap and yell at the screen during certain parts.

Cheryl said...

The new season is about to start, so we can look forward to lots of catfights--onscreen and off.

Anonymous said...

actually i was there this past sunday and kate moennig, lesiha hailey, and rose rollins showed up, along with clea duvall. its was a bit weird and surreal for the tv l word to be on the screen while he real scene with the same people were right there in the mix.