Friday, May 15, 2009

The L Word Tribute Blog


Originally posted May 14th on http://www.gcn.ie/The_L_Word_Tribute_Blog

After six seasons and 71 episodes, The L Word has finally come to an end. The show after the likes of Queer As Folk and Six Feet Under was the most prominent for it’s depiction of LGBT characters and in spite of various hiccups, it certainly has left a lasting impression.

The final episode, entitled “Last Word” was something alright. While I don’t think it was a particularly terrible episode (we’ve had worse), I did feel that perhaps we should’ve gotten more – like a resolution about who exactly killed Jenny (though I have a feeling she actually committed suicide) and perhaps seeing Bette and Tina actually take off for New York. I guess the birth mother really didn’t give them the baby in the end.

I liked the various cameos – Tim, Angus, Ivan, Peggy, Jodi, Marina, Carmen, Joyce/Phyllis as well as the various video tributes from the gang to Bette and Tina (oh and Dana got mentioned, which was nice) but some of the relationships decimating were a little sad.

I totally believe in Shane binning Jenny especially after the letter from Molly and hiding the negatives from Lez Girls but in a weird way, I was actually sad to see Helena and Dylan break up. Not sure why though. At least Tasha chose Alice over Jamie or at least that’s what it looked like to me.

Final credits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D42lJV_E8t0

From what I’ve read we were supposed to get a spin-off called The Farm with Alice jailed for Jenny’s murder but now that’s looking like it won’t materialise. Maybe it will eventually, given that the series did big for Showtime. Either way it’s unlikely that people are going to forget this show in a hurry. Even people on TWOP are still posting furiously on the show’s thread in the Drama Forums.

Six seasons is a lot for any show and each season has certainly had its pros and cons as I’m about to delve into.

Season 1

The first season of any show can be tricky but the series did manage to establish all of the leading ladies beautifully. Bette and Tina – the power couple on the verge of heartache, Shane the commitment-phobe but loyal friend, Dana choosing her sexuality over her career after the cost of her relationship with Lara, Kit the straight recovering alcoholic, Marina the alluring but manipulative temptress and Jenny, the once innocent, doe-eyed small town girl who’s voyage of discovery closed some doors while opening others. In other words as first seasons go, this was brilliant. The less said about Tonya though, the better.

Season 2

For me, this was probably my least favourite season (is that an unpopular choice?). Two storyline bugged me – Jenny’s self destructiveness and the myriad of horrible writing fantasy sequences that we had to endure and I suppose Helena and Mark as villains, which just didn’t work. The season also didn’t do itself any favours by going overkill on the Betty exposure (even to the extent of giving them acting parts in certain episodes). There were some positives though – Bette/Tina celebrating becoming parents, Shane and Carmen finally getting it together and the Alice/Dana/Lara triangle, which left me conflicted as well.

Season 3

Something of a mixed season but definitely better than it’s second. On one hand while I liked Dana and Lara back together as a couple, I did feel sympathetic for Alice even if her constant stalking of Dana did drive me nuts. Dana’s cancer plot and eventual death was harrowing, even if it lead to an episode where all the gang showed fond memories for her. It’s also interesting that while the writers got it right with Helena, they were wide off the mark with Moira (now Max) wanting to raise cash for a sex change. It was also nice that the writers gave Kit a romantic interest with Angus (though I’d pay not to hear him sing again) but once again, Bette and Tina broke up (damn the latter’s renewed interest in men and that dullard Henry) and Shane and Carmen didn’t quite make it to the altar either.

Season 4

I started to feel that things were getting a little better with the fourth season of the show. They found a way to keep Bette and Tina mostly apart but without having them at each other’s throats all the time but this was also the season that introduced us to Papi, Phyllis, Tasha and Jodi. Papi (was she the girl that Carmen lost her virginity to?) was sort of annoying and at times, I could really take or leave Phyllis (though hooking her up with Joyce was a good idea) and Jodi (wasn’t overly keen on her and Bette as a couple). Tasha for me worked a lot and I loved her and Alice as a couple. They might not have a lot in common but something about them does seem to fit. Jenny’s ongoing crazy antics (trying to get revenge on someone who dissed her book) were nonsense though and it was obvious that Shane’s relationship with Paige around the time she was parenting her little brother wasn’t going to last that long. And poor Helena was destitute, took to gambling scams with rich bitch Catherine, only for that to blow up in her face.

Season 5

The penultimate season of the series was dominated by the Lez Girls plots and you have to give the show credit for being able to poke fun at itself and also for reminding viewers of past storylines. Unfortunately it was also at this point that Jenny was pissing off all of her friends in one easy swoop. Her relationship with Nikki (the girl playing Jessie/Jenny in Lez Girls) brought out a much needed side but ultimately, Jenny got screwed over Nikki copping off with Shane and mousey assistant Adelle usurping her and taking control of the movie. It wasn’t all bad though. Helena might have had less to do but when she showed up, we saw Dawn Denbo tossed out with the garbage, Bette and Tina got back together, Shane opened up to Molly and Alice and Tasha also progressed as a couple. However a recurring trend over the last few seasons was Kit being savagely underused and even though she got robbed in this season, there was still very little she had to do.

Season 6

Most cable shows when they hit a final season (Sex And The City, The Sopranos) usually try to do more episodes whereas this show decided to opt for less. It was probably a smart move given that in the space of eight episodes, Jenny’s death couldn’t be resolved (still think it’s suicide). As a final season goes, this isn’t awful – there were some enjoyable moments, especially the dance off but perhaps we should’ve gotten a bit more for the last episode. All we know is that Alice might be heading to the slammer (if the spin-off actually does materialise), Bette and Tina are off to New York and everyone else is still doing the same old thing. Maybe on re-runs, things might better fall into place.

With so many couples on this show, here are my five best and worst of the bunch.

Five Best

1: Bette/Tina: No matter how much they fought, they were the ultimate couple on this show.

2: Alice/Tasha: Opposites attract and they are as unalike as you can get but adorable no less.

3: Shane/Carmen: Probably the only woman who got the farthest with Shane ever. Also kinda hot.

4: Dana/Lara: Probably my favourite relationship in the first season after my number one choice of course.

5: Jenny/Robin: The only non-destructive relationship that the former was in as far as I can remember.

Five Worst

1: Jenny/Shane: There’s a reason why you don’t date friends and these two prove it. Plus Jenny’s kind of nuts.

2: Tina/Helena: Penchant for pregnant women and Helena was a lame villain in the second season. All factors for me.

3: Bette/Jodi: I think ‘Yawn’ nicely covers this all round.

4: Jenny/Moira (Max): Another lifeless and unengaging pairing. Plus Max was a pain in the ass when we first met him/her.

5: Helena/Catherine: The one thing I probably would erase from the fourth season if I could.

Agree or disagree? Definitely let me know what you think on this topic.