March 09, 2009

The L Word means never letting go. Even when you're ready to.

Well, you’ve gotta give it to the L Word. It truly is a lesbian show. And not because in the finale we got a steamy and tender TiBette sex scene that to every L word insider felt like a nod to an episode in Season One when Bette emerged from under a different sheet and wiped her mouth just like she did last night.

It’s a lesbian show not because it gives us lesbian sex , but because the show itself acts like a lesbian. Here we are six years in and fed up, ready to say good riddance to the series that, yes, turned us on, even connected us with new friends, lovers and communities, but ultimately made us insane with its astounding lack of cohesiveness. Why won’t it allow us to make a clean break? The damn thing is supposed to be over. We were supposed to start moving on.

But you heard Ilene Chaiken last night in that self-congratulatory but sweet pre-L special. She doesn’t think the L Word is over. We were so ready to break up with her and her show, but she just isn’t taking no for an answer. She’s gunning for that spin-off about Alice in chains. Or in prison or whatever. She’d also like to do an L Word movie that would catch up with the gang a little later, a la Sex and the City. Even if she can’t get either of those projects done, she’s left us with a maddening Who Shot J.S.? scenario that forces us to watch these new webisodes on Sho.com, the Interrogation Tapes. Supposedly we’ll learn the answers to burning questions like, how did Shane’s business burn down and who stole the film negative. Wait, don’t we already know who stole the damn thing?

The real question is, will we ever come close to knowing who the f*ck killed Jenny? Or, did she just pitch herself off Bette and Tina’s new second-story terrace in a moment of clarity about how hateful and annoying she was? What we do know is that Alice may come back if Showtime picks up the spin-off. And she’ll be in the slammer. But did she actually do it? Everybody had a motive to do Jenny in. But are any of these glamour dykes really killers? I’d be pissed about the loose ending, but does it really matter who killed Jenny when it simply never made any sense all season, and still didn’t after the finale, that any of these characters would kill anybody? I mean, when did this show stop ripping off Sex and the City and start ripping off Desperate Housewives?

Anyway, finally, the L Word was on the verge of cutting us loose after six dysfunctional seasons. And in the end, it decides to string us along a little longer! For the sake of sucking us in to future projects, no doubt. But Chaiken didn’t have to be so manipulative. We would have tuned into her next project, even if she had given us a decent ending last night.

Hell, we stayed even when the show got so bad at the end there that we cursed it and cursed it and then fell into lesbian bed death with it. It didn’t turn us on anymore, but we were just unable to leave it. And I still say you’ve gotta give it up to Ilene for that. The show really was a first for us. It really did mean so much to so many lesbians around the world who were seeing themselves reflected in the first mainstream TV show to focus on lesbian lives. Finally, at least during its six-year run, we were no longer invisible.

Let’s also give Ilene credit for giving us a happy surprise at the end. We were sure the finale was going to blow, but it actually was pretty good . Shane and Alice having that sleepover and connecting like two friends who go way back and really know each other? Brilliant. Some points to the way that threesome thing was addressed, with Alice having some balls and everybody dealing with the truth. We never expected anything half lucid to come out of that, did we? As for Helena and Dylan, I’m totally OK with them breaking up. Dylan is obviously still a lying ho. And even if we can forgive her for playing Helena with that Niki surveillance camera thing, and then playing her worse by acting all shocked and crushed when Jenny spilled the supposed beans about it all, I’m thinking anybody who puts a knife to my throat, even if just for fun and games, is somebody who needs to go.

And cheers to Bette and Tina and their “ultimately triumphant love story,’’ even if it takes them to New York. But are they gonna end up with Max’s baby? Never mind. Some things are better left unknown.

I just know that I’m going to miss the L Word, even if I enjoyed bashing it. I’m gonna miss JB and her arms and, well, everything about her. Like the starring role her ass played when she was on that ladder in the gallery recently. Come to think of it, I’m really gonna miss Helena, too.

We knew the finale wasn’t going to tie everything up neatly and satisfyingly. I mean, hello, it’s the L Word. But, now what? Is it over or not? Oh well, might as well stay with it. Not like there’s a new lesbian show in town to get all worked up about.

One more thing: Let’s give Ilene and company some love for finally getting rid of that screechy theme song. That instrumental rendition at the end, with nobody screaming at us about the way we live and loooove, proves there really is a God.

OK. I need to go and do some heavy processing about this damn show.

More later, I guess. Damn you, Ilene!

Posted by Lydia Martin at 08:47 AM
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March 02, 2009

Step off, Rocky Horror Picture Show! The L Word is finally so bad it's (almost) good.

I had a breakthrough watching 607!  The secret to watching the L Word is partaking in enough mood-altering substances to make the whole thing feel like one big gag with sophomoric, funny(ish), sometimes even sexy visuals. Forget the story. There is no story. There never really was a story.  The series is  finally crossing over into So Bad It’s Good territory. And now it's just about over. Bummer. But, hey! Somebody spark one up and pass it.

 

 All the better to enjoy  Pam Grier’s nod to her own Blaxploitation past. She is a  bad mofo in a fro!   Who cares that in six whole seasons, Grier was barely given one set of decent lines to string together?  Her ghetto gab is all dat, gurrrrl. So what if her character was nuthin' but Ebonic comic relief?   Let me pour another Goose and soda,  cuz this is all such a gas! And  Kit with Sunset Blvd.?  Who can be mad at two queens cut from the same cloth and made for each other in caricature heaven!  Love indeed is grand.

 

Look! Now the gang is line dancing all groovy like!  In funky costumes, yet.   Wait a minute. Why the f*ck is Jodi telling Bette that Kelly confirmed Jenny’s stupid gossip about Bette creepin’ while Tina was in New York? When would Kelly have told Jodi jack?  They don’t hang out. And  it doesn’t look like Kelly is in the club right now. Plus, why would Kelly tell Jodi a stupid lie? Jodi can only be making that sh*t up. Not that any L Word writer thought to follow up that idiotic exchange with anything valid at all. We’re just supposed to get caught up in the drama of Bette’s  ex confronting her to say she’s glad she dodged the Cheatin' Porter bullet. Just for fun. So let's just go there!

 

How about Alice, Tasha and Jamie working out their three-way sexual frustrations in their Salt-n-Pepa gear? Ahaha! Seriously, Tasha did bring it. Gotta give her that.

 

Hey, this is all so camptastic!  It’s time to start shouting sh*t at the screen like  it’s the lesbo Rocky Horror Picture Show. Why not? It’s not like the powers behind the  L Word were even pretending to worry about character development, plot, continuity, anything at all but giving us some sight gags to giggle at.

 

 Too bad the camp is too little and too late.

 

Check out Marlee Matlin’s character doing her Dancing with the Stars routine. But on the L Word! With a girl dance partner instead of a guy dance partner.  How cool is that? Who cares that they probably built this whole episode around a dance contest to show off Marlee’s dancing skills and to get out of actually writing something half  reasonable about anything at all to do with the story the rest of us have been trying to follow.  And after Jodi wins the dance contest, she says something by way of a b*tch slap to Bette: “We all start every day and promise ourselves blah blah blah. The problem is the execution.’’ Which Bette, because she all of a sudden is the most dense  b*tch on the planet, takes as a moment of happy closure with her ex. Aww, look, Bette wants to hug it out even though Jodi  is continuing her insanity about Kelly. Yes, that’s a bizarre reaction from Bette in that moment. There was nothing prompting a hug there. But, then again, I'm being a  stickler for reasonable writing again. My bad.

 

I guess it doesn’t matter that JB was directed to act like these two have just worked their shit out when THAT”S NOT WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THE SCREEN AT ALL.  Not when this episode cranked some cool retro tunes and we got to see Shane hotly pushing Niki against that bathroom wall and…huh? If you stop to think about it, it’s totally out of character for Shane to be getting nasty with Niki of all people, and when Jenny is right there in the club. I mean, sure, Shane was established as the Don Juan of the gang. But she was also supposed to do right by her friends and loved ones. That’s why we all loved the character. She was a player but her heart was in the right place. There was a certain emotional elegance to her. Even when she left Carmen at the altar, she did it out of misguided decency. But this thing with Niki, well it doesn’t make any sense at all and…

 

Hey,  Bette and Tina doing the tango in glitter gowns was pretty sexy.  Though it would have been cooler of they could actually DANCE. But that doesn’t matter, because they sure do look hot together. And lord knows we’re not getting much more by way of a steamy love scene between those two. Not ever again. Unless you count the blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene coming next week. So let’s be glad for the little things. Like, the lack of pirate blouses this episode. Though like I said a couple of weeks ago, I finally got over my hate for the pirate shirts because in the end, Bette’s pretty damn PILF.

 

Honestly. How hot is Jennifer Beals? She’s so hot I almost forgot to worry about the fact that the powers wasted a whole episode, the next to very last episode, on bullsh*t costumes and dance routines and did almost nothing to actually move the story forward.

 

Only the finale left, people. Don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think  Jenny pitched herself off Bette and Tina’s new second-floor terrace just to exit the whole mess of this show. Nobody’s been shafted worse than her character. Who can blame her for wanting to end it all?

 

Posted by Lydia Martin at 02:19 PM
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February 23, 2009

We'll always have Season One.

        Why isn’t Jenny dead yet? Forget ripping off the screenplay idea from Alice, hiding Molly’s love letter in the attic, probably stealing the Les Girls negative, lobotomizing Shane and messing up Helena’s good thing with Dylan.

 

    Now she’s got Max at some weird throne in a bizarre getup for his baby shower. As if Max needed any help looking like a freakshow. And no, I’m not being anti-tranny. I’m just being anti…well, you know. At this point, I’m not bailing on the L Word and its ridiculous, mind-numbing storytelling because it’s the final season and we’re only two episodes away from being put out of our miseries.

 

    I know many of you are doing your best to enjoy whatever scraps you can. And I don’t blame you for hanging in there. I’ve tried. But, really, I’m tired of having to make do with scraps. Like the Alice-Tasha-Jamie triangle business, which did yield a hot little moment on the couch between Alice and Tasha. But it was over much too quickly. And why hit us over the head with the fact that Jamie is just feet away, naked and in the shower and hearing everything, when you’re not going to go anywhere with that?

 

    And wait – these three are supposed to be so inseparable all of a sudden, right? So why are Alice and Tasha acting like they had no idea their crush has a dog? OK, maybe Talice had never visited Jamie's apartment. But in all their time together she never mentioned having to get home to walk the dog or anything?

 

Whatever. At least Bette is once again in fighting form now that she’s back in her element, mackin’ at her own gallery opening. Yeah, she made a pretty hot dean. But academia can be so stuffy. So many rules. Bette’s a lot sexier prowling around a room full of art snobs with a glass of champagne in her hand. And I don’t want to ever hear her tell Tina she didn’t flirt big-time with her ex-roommate Kelly.  She pours it on thick anytime she’s anywhere near Kelly. But, I say bring on a cheating Bette. Why not? It may be wrong. But it’s definitely more fun than watching Max having a pregnant man hormone meltdown.

 

    Though, gotta give Bette credit for stopping Kelly cold when she showed up at the house later, bubbly in hand. Awww. Bette is so in love with her baby mama she just can’t kiss another girl, not anymore, not even to cash in on the little somethin’-somethin’ she had been begging for since she and Kelly were just college kids.

 

    I suppose I’m glad Bette kept it in her pants. Though, since I’m not really following the inept storylines anymore because (well, what’s the point of that?) I would have been perfectly happy to watch Beals get it on with Elizabeth Berkley. Especially since they’re supposed to be BFFs in real life and all. Which begs the question: isn’t JB an Ivy-leaguer? Isn’t she supposed to be brilliant and deep and everything? Like, what do she and Berkley talk about?

 

    Never mind. Now I’m just being mean. They do have some chemistry together, I’ll give them that. I’ll also give points to Joyce for sending that text to Phyllis talking about how boring Tina and Bette were. No s---! How can you take the couple that delivered major explosives last season and sideline them for most of the final season? Major waste.

 

    But, hey! I’m perking up because the series is almost over. It fell apart at the end, but I’ll always remember the good times. And according to the spoiler stuff out there, it looks like there will be a short TiBette moment to rejoice in before the series signs off for good. Which is a good thing, because I’m still trying to erase images of the bearded, big-bellied Max contemplating the breast pump thingie.

 

A happy little TiBette scene might just do the trick. See, I don’t ask for much. Not anymore. Except, please, somebody kill Jenny already. Seriously. Except, what will the girls do with Sounder once his crazy master has moved on to her big dirt nap?

Posted by Lydia Martin at 02:26 PM
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February 16, 2009

Somebody wake me when Dylena is back on screen.

Last week, I watched 604 with a crowd of girls at a friend's place. Lots of wine and spirits and smart snacks. Plus some other party favors outside that of course, I personally did not partake in. Not to mention good old-fashioned lesbian gossiping, flirting and carrying on. Then the episode came on. And the fun was sucked right out of the room. Just like that. Because the final season of the L Word is rock bottom for a series filled, certainly from the second season on, with implausible plot lines, personality transplants, complete disregard for continuity and general WTFness.

There we all were, grooving at a nice little party. And once the L Word came on it was Instant Buzz Kill. The second the episode was over, everybody scurried home, no post-game wrap up.

Last night my gf and I watched alone at home. And barely stayed awake. We've lost our will to even snark at the sh*t on our TV screen. How sad is that?

Let's see, what were the highlights of 605?

Jenny trying to keep Shane on a short leash. Jenny stealing Alice's story and selling it for $500,000. Tina's angry ranting at the Hollywood pr*cks (We know Julia Sugarbaker. We cheered her indignant, Southern-flavored rants over the years. Sorry, T, but you are no Julia Sugarbaker. Neither are you Bette, so settle the f*ck down.) The continued fear of Bette doing her cheesy, overly flirty former college roommate (who was straight and bolted when Bette tried to put the moves on her back in the day and continues to be straight judging by all the men she hits on, but somehow is being sold to us as a huge threat to the future of TiBette.) The Alice-Tasha-Jaime triangle that seems will never pay off in any fun way for the viewers.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

I did perk up for the Helena and Dylan love scenes. But, come on, how ridiculous is it that Helena would want Dylan back after the serious extortion sh*t she pulled a couple of seasons ago. I might have considered the, um, deployment of the mission to ascertain the disposition and intent of one Ms. Dylan Moreland at Kit and Helena's nightclub sort of amusing. Except for the fact that this little scheme felt like a rip-off of the Season One mission to ascertain the deal with one Ms. Lara Perkins.

It might be distressing that the L Word, in its sixth and final season, is so out of decent story lines that it has to rip off not only tabloid headlines (Bearded man gives birth! Boozing starlet likes girls!) but has to cannibalize itself. Except...

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Well, I guess if the L Word could actually eat itself... Oh, never mind.

Just kill Jenny already, get Max to spit out that baby, break up whatever couples you're going to break up and put us all out of our misery.

Here's hoping to be less afflicted by L Word ennui next week.

Posted by Lydia Martin at 02:39 PM
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February 09, 2009

Shenny, schmenny. It may be time to start worrying about TiBette.

 Bptk


Remember Season Five? Remember when Bette grabbed Tina at the club, kissed her, then sobbed because she so missed her soul mate after their heart-wrenching separation? Remember how we sat on the edge of our seats through that, through Stir Fry Sex, through Honey Sex, through Elevator Sex, through the Dance of Hotness? Yes, Bette cheated again. But can you call it cheating when Bette stepped out on Jodi to be with the woman who never stopped owning her heart? And did Tina really do any wrong? Or was she just taking back what was rightfully hers? It was all so hot and heavy last year, wasn't it?

Well, hang on to the memories folks, because it's not looking so good for the Couple With The Best  Chemistry Ever. No, I haven't watched Season Six all the way to the finale. I don't know for sure what goes down.  But if you believe all the spoilers -- Oh, wait. I guess I should let you know now that  if you're trying to stay unspoiled you should STOP READING NOW. Just...SHOO!

OK, where was I? If you believe all the spoilers, you got all the TiBette sex scenes you were gonna get. There ain't no more. Not ever.  So start dusting off those previous seasons because Six is gonna suck for TiBetters especially.

Now, as always, it's possible the spoilery out there is full of sh*t and TiBette is gonna burn the house down before it's all over.  It's also possible, as some of the rumors go, that Ilene Chaiken still has a little something up her sleeve and she's going to edit the end of season six in such a way that even her stars will be shocked and awed when they see how the story resolves.

But I've been worried since I interviewed JB a few weeks back. It's never been like JB to give up even a tidbit of spoilery. But, for some reason, she was letting it all hang out this time.

"I certainly would have liked it to have ended differently...Knowing what I know,'' she said.

So what does she know? Are Bette and Tina going to be OK? I mean, it would be pretty terrible if after everything those two have been through -- and everything they have put US through -- they wind up breaking up in the end.

"That would be terrible,'' Beals said. "Did I mention that I'm sad about the ending of the show?''

Gulp. I mean, did JB really mean this? I had been holding off on sharing this little tidbit because, well, I didn't want to be the one offering bad news. I suppose it's possible JB was just joshing. But she repeated this bombshell  a couple of times during the interview. She didn't say it was off the record. Maybe her guard was down. Or, maybe she wanted all the ardent TiBette fans to brace for the worst. I don't know.

But I do know that we moved on to talking about the L Word convention in Blackpool back in November and I asked her about that moment when she told the crowd that  there was no big cast good-bye because everybody wrapped at different times. She was on stage with Laurel Holloman and she broke down and cried as she said to her "I just never had the opportunity to say thank you.''  It was so moving, watching the women stand and hug and cry. Check it out on Youtube.

"Because she and I wrapped on different days, we didn't have a moment to say good-bye,'' Beals told me. "You draw your own conclusions. And because we were in front of 1,900 people, I had to start sobbing. It's a definable illness.''

All I know is that I'm having a hard time watching the final season because I keep hearing those words from JB.  Well, I'm having a hard time watching this season for a lot of reasons, including that the shark-jumping sh*t is just a giant, repeating WTF.

That whole thing with Max at Lamaze class with a full beard and a belly? My hands were covering my ears and I was LA LA LAl!  Sorry, I can't deal with this pregnant man story any more than Tom could deal with those vagina stretching exercises. I mean,  give us one break one time!

I know many of you are still dealing with your eyes bleeding over Shenny sex. But, really, compared to Max with child (the beard looks even more fake-ass than the belly) , almost anything will work for me.

The Shane and Jenny closet editing stuff was fun enough. But if I came home and found that my roommate, who I started f*cking just a couple of days before, turned my bedroom into an office for herself, I'd torch the place with her in it. But, I guess Jenny has to die in Bette and Tina's pool and Shane has to play whipped.

Hey Shane, why don't you two gals leave the closets for another day and clean out the ATTIC? You might find some disturbing stuff up there, but if it speeds up Jenny's demise, I'm all for it.

I had high hopes for the possibility of an Alice and Tasha threesome with the new girl. But who the hell wants to live through more vegan food and board games?

 Helena and Dylan? I'm there. It's possible this couple is our last hope for hotness. And you would never kick Miss Peabody out of bed for eating anything,  not nutloaf and not caviar.

As for TiBette...maybe there is somehow still hope?

Whatever happens, just don't shoot the messenger.

Posted by Lydia Martin at 04:01 PM
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February 02, 2009

I ain't mad at Shenny. But what's up with TiBette?


Why is eveverybody on the L Word so bent out of shape about Shane and Jenny getting it on? Aren't these people lesbians? Don't they know lesbians do this sort of thing all the time? Cue the excruciating theme song because it's definitely the way that we live -- and looooove!  Lesbians tend to end up in bed with their roommates and BFFs. It's just a thing lesbians do. They're not always, you know, boundaried. Wait, is that a word? I've had lesbian shrinks throw that word at me more than once. Which is one of the reasons I gave up lesbian shrinks for straight male shrinks.

But that's another story. The point is, Shane and Jenny have cute energy together and I'm totally buying that they would end up in the sack. And yeah, I can see why everybody is in LMFAO mode. Though, that Bette cackle at the end seemed way overdone.I mean, what's so f-ing funny?  But the fact that they're getting down all of a sudden is not nearly as grody and gagillicious  as, say, Max taking the strap-on to Billy that one time at the Planet. That was a total ew!  Kit and Papi? Double ew! But Shenny? What's surprising is that it didn't happen earlier. Not that this relationship will have great potential, given Shane's intimacy problems and  Jenny's general psychoness. (Not a word either? Sue me. My editor doesn't even read my L Word blog, so I can get away murder here.)

But, hey, big ups to Mia. Really. She is just  so much better than most of the cast at the acting thing. But why name names this late in the game? Let's focus on the positives for a second:

There's Mia's inspired interpretation of freaskshow Jenny. And Leisha's great way with Alice. And the comfortable, fun interaction between some of the cast in the final season. You get the sense that these women have gotten close over six years and are just having a fun time playing off each other this time around. Look at Shane and Jenny together. There's fun familiarity there that makes their hookup pretty believable. 

Phyllis firing Bette  at the bar was sort of fun, too. Then again, real actors seem to bring out the best in JB and Cybill Shepherd is a solid veteran who seemed to have pulled some decent comedy out of her this episode. I mean, those two together? Talk about an ew!  But Phyllis coming on to Bette was amusing enough. Seriously, if you lower your expectations enough and stop being a stickler about decent or even lucid writing, it's still possible to enjoy this show.

What wasn't amusing at all was Alice getting all public service announcementey  on The Look. Why won't the writers of this show get that the gay soap box non sequiturs are just plain lame? If I wanted to hear cliched, humorless, gay political ranting I'd check in with one of my gay activist friends.  Actually, I'll almost forgive Chaiken for giving us that scene where Alice talks the  suicidal teenager off the ledge because it was really in the function of introducing the cute director of the gay center. Which takes us back to the way we live and love.

 Alice and Tasha seem to be headed toward that other thing unboundaried lesbians tend to do: Bringing a third party into their relationship to ultimately f*ck everything up. Seems the gay center girl is gonna be all up in Tasha and Alice's sh*t. It'll start like it always does. Just a fun little triangle of platonic friendship. But as we all know, this could easily end in a threesome (maybe if we're really lucky, there will finally be a hot sex scene in season 6). Or worse,  a lesbian game of musical chairs. The second the Indigo Girls tune ends, well, who knows who'll get kicked to the curb. And in which direction the U-Haul will ride.

I have no idea where Tasha and Alice are headed with this. But I know there will be drama. I know because mama said:

"The third wheel friendship is never acknowledged as dating, but it is kind of a three-way romance,'' Chaiken told me in a recent interview. "And invariably it leads to drama. Two of the three people involved usually end up in an affair.''

Chaiken would not say more.  But  wait for it. Some sort of bs is gonna go down. Hey, it's better than worrying about who had the motive this week to kill Jenny. Honestly, Tina is not going to kill Jenny. That would be like, another show.

Which takes us to Bette and Tina. Um, why do I feel a bit uneasy about these two?  First of all, after all that hot makeup sex last season, why are we just about nearing the halfway mark for the final season without any real TiBette action? And what could this mean?

But the more disturbing question is, why did I not hate on Bette's pirate blouse this week? I mean,  I have been turned off by  every single one of her pirate blouses. But this episode, she was, I don't know...sort of PILF. 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Lydia Martin at 01:07 PM
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January 26, 2009

Losing that loving feeling. Or, what happened to the hotness?

Lword Holloman and Beals su 

As episode 602 opens, Niki is having a soap opera fit about Jenny's morning-after diss -- "You are dead meat Schecter! Dead!" -- and already, I've having that awful feeling. You know the one. It signals that the romance is way over and you're ready to move on. If only there were another lesbian show to leave the L Word for.

 Because truth be told, I'm watching the L Word's final season out of a sense of duty and history. We've been through so much together, after all.  But it's not really where I want to be anymore.   I'm just not into this show the way I was when the relationship was all about discovery and promise. After six years, I know too much. There have been too many WTFs to just sweep them under the carpet. I can't pretend this show is something it's not. I can't keep hoping something is going to change. I mean, hello. Jenny is dead, we're going to be subjected each week to another L Word character saying some hackneyed sh*t along the lines of  “Jenny Schecter, I could just kill you!’’  And Max is pregnant, which is something I really can’t even talk about because, I mean, are the writers f*cking serious?  My eyes just might roll right out of my head before we get anywhere near the finale. And I hate to repeat myself, but what’s the point of a whodunit when you’ve already told us what’s up with Alice and that spinoff?

 But what’s really tragic is that I’m so not feeling this show these days that  -- well, I can barely get riled about Bette's ridiculous blouses anymore.

That half-sleeve Rumba Pirate situation she was rocking last night may have been the worst of the stupid blouses. And yet, I couldn’t muster any outrage. It isn’t just that I’ve suffered through one gay blouse too many and have lost my will to snark. It’s more that I made a terrible mistake recently. I actually asked Jennifer Beals when I was on the phone with her what she thought of those blouses we have all hated.  She was saying how much she loved the wardrobe and how she has taken a bunch of stuff home over the years and I don’t know why I had to go there, but I did.

“What did you think of all those billowy blouses?,” I made the mistake of asking.

“I still wear some of them,’’ Jennifer said. “I love them. I think they’re great. They’re fantastic. Maybe I don’t wear a whole outfit, but I’ll wear one with jeans.’’

Great. Another bubble bursts.

But there is a little something to hang on to.  In a recent interview with Ilene Chaiken, I asked her if she agreed Jennifer is looking more butch than ever this season.

“Bette was always convincing,’’ Ilene said. “I always would have said she was butch. She’s definitely into fashion. But she’s definitely a butch character and Jennifer really embraces it.  But yes, she’s definitely more buff this year. When you see the finale, check out what Bette is wearing. It’s so indicative of how well Jennifer knows her character. She chose what she was wearing and it was just perfect. It was classic Bette for me.’’

So what did Jennifer pick from the L Word closet?

“I just wanted to get back to who Bette was at her core,’’ Jennifer says. “A power suit with cufflinks.’’

Moving right along to the WTFs this episode.

 So Bette had a roommate in college she had the hots for. They made out even though the roommate was straight. Clearly, they were pretty close for a bunch of years. Now that former roommate is standing in front Bette and Bette has no clue who the woman is? WTF? I mean, they even establish that Tina has heard all the stories about the roommate. She’s not someone Bette never thought about again. She’s the straight girl who got away. But Bette doesn’t recognize her? OK. Whatever. Bette and Kelly might as well get it on, too. Why not? You know whack sh*t is bound to happen, even to TiBette. There’s no point in getting worked up about any of it.

As for Shane and Jenny, I don’t see why everybody is so scarred about this hook up. Shane and Jenny had one of those near-miss situations back in the Carmen days, didn’t they?  Didn’t they flirt with the idea of threesome?  Shenny sort of makes sense. I’ll buy it for a minute.

What I won’t buy is that Alice and Tasha go to a shrink and the shrink (even if it is the lame Dan, who never did a thing to help Bette and Tina with their issues) blurts out during their first session that they really shoudn’t be together because they have nothing in common?  Simply.would.not.happen.

As for Helena and Dylan. Well, you need some serious couch time if you go back to the b*tch who schemed to extort money from you while she was pretending to be into you. But hey, a little hot and heavy Helena-Dylan action would be fun enough.  Who cares that the story line is implausible, especially the way the L Word will surely tell it? Helena Peabody is just plain lovely to look at, whether she’s bouncing some girl out of her nightclub or getting in Dylan’s face in the parking lot or being dysfunctional eniugh to pick up here she left off with this psycho b*tch.

Oh yeah. Bette was definitely flirting with her former roommate, and we should give props to Tina for  addressing it without creating drama around it. But that little TiBette nookie moment would have been way hot if it hadn’t been way short. Where the hell is the sex this year?

Oh well. Two episodes down, six to go.

Posted by Lydia Martin at 02:11 PM in Television
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January 19, 2009

Where else are you gonna get your girl-on-girl fix?

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  Jenny is dead and her friends are sitting around the house looking pretty blasé as her body is wheeled out -- no body bag, no blanket over her face, no nada. But before you can really work up any emotion about any of this, you're back to the Season Five finale and Jenny has that mike in her hand at the party for Les Girls. And not only are you annoyed because the fine writers behind this show decided to waste so much time repeating scenes and dialogue from last year, but you're instantly reminded just how excrutiating Jenny can be.

Her friends aren't crying any rivers over her death and neither are you. You're also not the slightest bit surprised or moved by this major plot twist because Showtime went to great trouble making sure we knew walking in that Jenny dies and that Alice takes the rap, thus setting up a possible spinoff starring Alice in the can. Showtime told us all of this even though the whole season is set up as a whodunit.

This might have stopped me cold, but I'm a veteran L Word fan. I don't stay baffled long. I shake it off and dig on whatever I can. A sexy visual here, an enlighted bit of acting there.

Which brings us to how good Mia Kirshner is. Watch her exchange with Shane before she hurls that  lamp at her and you're reminded that the woman should get a medal for managing to deliver such an amazingly quirky, batty, fragile Jenny, given what she's had to work with.

And let's thank Mia for that hot sex scene with Nikki.  You didn't think it was that hot? Here's some friendly advice: Go back and watch it again, suspend everything you need to suspend about the writing, about how ridiculous Nikki is, etc. and try to get off on Jenny shredding the dumb starlet's back with her nails and getting her on her knees.

Honestly, take the sex where you can in Season Six. For one, it looks like Bette and Tina are focused on playing mommy and other mommy, now that they've settled down again and don't have to try so hard the way people do when they're trying to seal the deal (you think this couple is going to bother with messy, uncomfortable elevator sex again?)

Which brings us to Jennifer Beals and perhaps some of her best acting when she's ripping into that homophobic hospital employee. And those arms. Damn. I guess all that training Jennifer did for her Olympic-distance triathalon really paid off. For us.

Will Bette really stay faithful to Tina this time? Again, it's probably better not to sweat the details of an L Word plot line. I'd rather think about the fact that Jennifer is looking hotter than ever, and that each year, she gets butchier and butchier.

And how cute are Shane and Bette -- the original bad girls -- vibing on the challenges of keeping a b*tch?

But here's a burning question: What the hell is in that ratty Whole Foods bag that Shane is dragging around?  I guess whatever Jenny threw at her. But if Shane had five minutes to gather some essentials before fleeing, what would she throw in that bag?  My money is on some hair product, her trusty strap-on and a change of clubwear.

Another burning question: What does Pam Greer actually think of the lame lines that are written for her? That scene toward the end of the episode where she actually gets to string together some real words when she's giving Shane advice doesn't begin to make up for all times she's been used as nothing more than sassy black girl comic relief. Honestly. The way Kit's character is written borders on the insulting. One more ethnic caricature. Remember Papi?

Hey! Here she is, all Latin and sh*t in her Latin crib filled with Latin crap.  And she's up to her old tricks. Speaking of old tricks, Gabby Deveaux is in Papi's bed, making crazy noise. Cuz, you know, she's getting it Latin style. Whatever. I was amused enough seeing those two again for a second. And since I no longer get hung up on the details, it's all good.

Alice and Tasha? The whole "We don't have nothing in common" thing got old before it got going. But Leisha Hailey and Rose Rollins are cute and engaging whether they're laughing or f*cking. So that's all good, too.

As for Helena. I still say it's too bad she and Bette never tangled. Because, again, at this point I'm just in it for the hot girl-on-girl visuals. If I have to watch Bette do it with Elizabeth Berkley's character, I'll try my best to get into that, too. Yes, I've been a hopeless TiBetter from day one. But I have risen above. It's the only line of defense. I'm focusing on getting the hotness where I can. And so should you. The show is gonna be off the air in seven more episodes and there's no other lesbian show to take its place.

OK, there might be a spinoff. But Showtime hasn't decided if it's actually going to pick it up yet. And even if it does, the powers have made it clear that the spinoff wouldn't be a lesbian show, but a show with some lesbians in it.

My only hope is that Helena, who's been on the inside, gets a chance to impart some knowledge on poor Alice, who's going down. And not in a good way.

Notice how I haven't mentioned Max. I'm gonna stay in denial about Max for as long as possible.

One more thing. The theme song. It still sucks.

Posted by Lydia Martin at 10:53 AM
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January 15, 2009

The L Word ends with a deadly sixth season

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BY LYDIA MARTIN LMARTIN@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Poor Jenny. Everybody wanted her dead, and now she is. In Sunday night's opener of the sixth and final season of The L Word, the groundbreaking girl-on-girl melodrama fans have swooned over and bashed in equal measure, we see the lifeless, kooky novelist rolled from Bette and Tina's house on a gurney.

''I mean, it would be horribly unprofessional of me to say anything about how the story ends. But how can I phrase this? I'm curious to see how it all comes together,'' Mia Kirshner, who plays Jenny, says during a Miami visit to read from her book, I Live Here (Pantheon, $29.95), an edgy, graphic anthology written with three co-authors about the lives of refugees and displaced people. Kirshner spent seven years, and a good portion of the money she earned on The L Word, traveling to war zones and refugee camps around the world to collect its gut-wrenching stories.

Her work on behalf of displaced people is her greatest passion. But she can quickly shift back to shooting the breeze about the TV show -- airing at 9 p.m. on Showtime -- that inspired dozens of websites and chat rooms dedicated to dishing about alpha dyke Bette Porter (played a little more convincingly each year by Jennifer Beals, who can certainly work a power suit and cuff links) and her crew of fab friends and lovers.

The series, long on sizzling sex scenes but also dedicated to exploring serious issues -- gay marriage, the custody dramas of gay couples who co-parent and then split, the marginalization of transsexuals by gay and lesbian communities -- quickly established a cult following not only in the United States but also in China, Israel, Russia, Mexico, France. Just about any place with Internet access and a lesbian community thirsting to see itself represented in pop culture was seduced.

So, doesn't Jenny go off the rails toward the end? And doesn't she sort of deserve her fate?

''When you're an actor, your hands are tied. Ultimately it's one person's vision,'' says Kirshner, obviously as invested in the show as the multitude of fans who obsess on it as if it were real life. ``I actually feel sorry for Jenny. I think she's immature and harmless. And she did go through a lot. She was gang raped as a kid, which is pretty awful. She became a cutter and had an eating disorder. ''

As the season opens, we meet a presumably lesbian detective played by Lucy Lawless of Xena: Warrior Princess fame (The L Word has always been good at delivering guest appearances by actresses its lesbian viewers crush on), and it looks as if she'll be asking the gang a lot of questions.

The first television drama to focus on the lives of out-and-proud lesbians originally sold itself as Same Sex, Different City when it debuted in 2004 with a cast of lipsticked glamour girls. (Leisha Hailey, who plays Alice, is the only out lesbian in the cast.) This year, the series is more Desperate Housewives.

Just about everyone will be suspected of doing in Jenny, whose demise has been plenty publicized by Showtime. The short, eight-episode season is told in flashbacks to establish possible motives.

Hardcore fans, even those who have long wanted annoying, self-absorbed Jenny dead, have for weeks been griping in cyberspace about The L Word's ''shark-jumping'' final season. Someone got hold of the first episode and posted it on YouTube, and a bunch of spoiler commentaries and stills have viewers in a tizzy.

Fans are worked up, and they don't really know how Bette and Tina, their favorite couple, who broke up, made up, broke up and made up again, will ultimately fare.

Read between the lines of what Jennifer Beals has to say about TiBette in Season Six and. . . . Well, better we not get ahead of ourselves.

''From what I've seen, the edited version is quite different from the way we shot it,'' Beals says from her house in Los Angeles. ``I certainly would have liked it to have ended differently. Those crazy writer people.''

Beals confirms what everyone in cyberspace has prattled about: the tears she shed at the end of last season's money shot, when Bette grabs Tina in a nightclub after they had both allegedly moved on, kisses her and then starts sobbing, were not scripted.

''Bette just missed her,'' Beals says. ``Sometimes in the middle of a scene, the character you think you really know in your head will tell you what's actually going on. You can intellectualize all you want about the character and the story, but sometimes it hits you in the middle of a scene. Bette loves Tina so much and realizes she is her soul mate. Or, certainly at the time she thought of her as her soul mate.''

Beals isn't about to give up what happens in the end. But she says she'll miss the show and the cast.

''I'm tremendously proud of all of us and the fact that we made this work that has been so helpful to so many people,'' she says. ``One of the most memorable moments is when a couple who won an auction to do a walk-on on the show came in. They were two older ladies who had been together 30 years and had just decided to come out, and it was because the show had given them the courage. That was really moving.''

There's one more thing Beals won't get over right away: ``I'll definitely miss those clothes. I'm already grieving about the loss of future shoes. Even though I tried to take as much as I could. You can go on Wire Image and see that I keep wearing the same clothes from the show to everything. They're beautiful.''

Ilene Chaiken, creator and executive producer of The L Word, says she is hoping to sell a spinoff, and that she'd like to do an L Word movie. Chaiken won't offer details about the spinoff, but Showtime confirmed this week that a pilot is in the works. The spinoff would star Hailey, whose character winds up in the slammer. From high-fashion lesbians in WeHo to jumpsuit-wearing lesbians in prison?

''I can't talk about it yet,'' Chaiken says. ``But I am stubbornly saying it's not over. We tried to do something in the final season that had a shape to it, some sense that life goes on. And I do believe that because of what this show is and what it has meant, and because there is nothing else taking its place, that it will live on.''

Chaiken has hinted that the behind-the-scenes drama on TheL Word set has been pretty juicy over the years. Would she ever write a tell-all?

''No. Never. But it's better than The L Word,'' Chaiken says.

Beals also won't blab: 'I just go home to my family. When somebody comes up to tell me the gossip, I'm always the one going, `Really?' People will say, 'So-and-So flipped and now has a girlfriend.' I don't know if anything is really true.''

Beals, who vows to continue raising awareness on behalf of the LGBT community, plans to put together a book of the photographs she took over the years on the set.

'First I thought of doing it just for the cast, just as a way for us to remember. But then I said, `What if we made it available to fans and gave all the money to charity?' ''

Beals says she is hoping to use the designers who did Kirshner's book, which comes alive with drawings and illustrations and gripping narratives geared toward the short-attention-span generation.

''I wanted it to be a book my friends would read. Because of the Internet and the way our brains are shaped, we want small things,'' says Kirshner, whose father was born in a displaced-persons camp in Germany after World War II, and whose mother was displaced from Bulgaria to Israel when she was 6. Kirshner grew up in Canada.

She says she enjoyed playing Jenny, but she also felt burdened by being the lesbian character everybody loves to hate.

``I stopped reading the blogs, because, obviously, I can't comment. But I agree with what people say about Jenny. She's crazy.''

Kirshner is still disturbed about a plot line in the fourth season in which Jenny adopts an aging dog and takes it to a vet's office to have it put to sleep as a way of getting close to the cute vet, the girlfriend of a critic who bashed her book.

''Obviously, my personal morality doesn't have to play into the story,'' she says. ``But the dog incident was just outrageous. To this day, I don't understand why we needed to do that. It got to the point where it was like, can I lose my job if I refuse to do this scene?''

Chaiken shrugs off the pouting her actresses have done over the years. Beals and Laurel Holloman (Tina) several times appealed to Chaiken to get their characters back together.

''These actors become very connected with their characters,'' Chaiken says. ``They meld with them. They were all playing flawed people living in Los Angeles and working in and around the movie business. In some ways it was close to home. They were upset by Jenny's death the way they were upset by Dana's death. But I understood pretty quickly that the show wouldn't be successful if it wasn't eliciting passionate and outraged responses. It's an ensemble drama, and I do embrace the genre. It's about making people angry sometimes.''

Posted by Lydia Martin at 03:57 PM
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May 20, 2008

Hey Laurel, it's your birthday...

Laurel2 Well, actually, it's on the 23rd. But Laurel Holloman fans have been working for weeks to make sure she has a happy day. Her wish has been their command. Here's some info on what they've been up to:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 19, 2008
Loving Fans Donate to Actress' Favorite Charity
Fans of actress Laurel Holloman, who stars as Tina Kennard in Showtime's Hit Series The L Word, are working on a unique birthday gift to present to her. Through numerous online chat rooms and message boards, fans of the actress are working together to "present" Ms. Holloman with a substantial donation to her favorite charity, Doctors Without Borders. Donations are fast closing in on the $10,000 mark. Each time a target (set in $2000 increments) is reached, a new target is set at $2,000 more.
Doctors Without Borders Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries. A private, nonprofit organization, Doctors Without Borders was founded in 1971 as the first non-governmental organization to both provide emergency medical assistance and bear witness publicly to the plight of people it assists.
This is what Laurel said about her support for Doctors Without Borders:
This year my husband and I asked not to receive any presents and we didn’t give any presents to our daughter – we just made donations to Doctors Without Borders.
I just think it’s tricky to find an organization that you feel the money gets distributed in the right ways. It’s a challenge, especially in the Sudan and those countries, to make sure it’s distributed the correct way and Doctors Without Borders is known for its work and is probably one of the most powerful organizations in Africa. When it was time to pick a place to give donations, Doctors Without Borders was probably the one that was the most important.
Online donors can leave a message along with their contribution if they wish. Organizers of this fundraising drive hope to see the donations continue to come in after the actress' birthday on May 23rd, but are definitely excited about this generous way of letting their favorite performer know how she has impacted their lives through her work while benefiting the lives of others.
In addition, a Birthday Blog has been created where fans can leave messages and videos they've created. see http://laurelsbirthday.wordpress.com/.

Posted by Lydia Martin at 03:03 PM
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