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| WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THAT LESBIAN SHOW?
Written by Kace
As I sit here and ponder the rights and wrongs and oddities of Season 3, I feel that something needs to be addressed about this show. It's something that's been mentioned here and there online, but now I'm gonna go as indepth as possible and try to figure out just how the Hell we got here.
Before we begin, I just want everyone to know that above and beyond all things, I consider the Entertainment Factor and in spite of the odd quirks of this show at times, I'm still entertained. I usually maintain the positives of the show when doing my own weekly show, What The L! online, but I guess the need to go on a rant supercedes things a bit. So consider this verbally tough love from a loyal fan.
I can't help but realize that the most stable relationship of this show in 2006 has been between Kit and Angus. Yep...straight couple. Now, as a straight guy myself, I'm fine with the fact that at least one heterosexual couple can actually have stability in a show that's about lesbians and so on. That's actually one more than stable lesbian relationships. And therein lies the problem. Despite being adopted online by some as a "Lisa" or Lesbian Identified Male or honorary male lesbian, depending on who I'm talking with I still consider myself to simply be a guy. So I can only imagine what it must be like for lesbians (and arguably just gay people in general) to watch The L Word nowadays, only to see that there's no stability whatsoever. Sure, there was Shane & Carmen, but that went out the window when Shane had that fling with Cherie. It stayed out the window when Carmen was left hangin' at the altar. With Season 3 over, let's break down the couplings, shall we?
Bette & Tina...on the splits as Tina finds herself interested in men for the first time in a while.
Jenny & Moira...becomes rather invalid with Moira going Pinnochio and wanting to be a real boy. Also consider Moira's fling with Billie and I don't know how to categorize that.
Shane & Carmen...hot to bland to cheating to grieving to engaged to split up.
Alice & Dana...broke up before Season 3 ever gets off and running.
Dana & Lara...the only real hope, but that became nullifed once Lara was chased off/left/whatever. And let's not forget Dana dying didn't do any favors for either of her relationships.
Helena & Dylan...turns out Dylan was lookin' to leech in a bad way. Sure she feels bad about it NOW!!! The damage however is done and unless Season 4 dictates otherwise, all feelings are moot now.
So far, not so good...now then!
Kit & Angus...starts off rocky, but damn they stick together. Right away, the "breeders" are schooling the lesbians on relationships....on The L Word. Does anybody sense the problem here???
Tina & Hammerin' Henry...so far, so good and these two have really taken to each other. It's as if they're both looking for a normal family utopia or something. I'm sure Henry's a nice guy and all, but normal ain't why we watch this show.
Sure, only 2 notable couples, let's also consider some of the guest straight couples. Henry's friends, Tim & his new significant other. For a show allegedly about gay people, in particularly gay women, there sure was a lot of heterosexuality going on.
Now you're probably asking yourself, "Self? Why would Kace be critical of the idea of straight people hooking up? Isn't that there so people like Kace can have something to identify with, 'cause you know...mainstream audience and all that? Why the complaining?" It's not so much a complaint as it is a concern and here's why. The end of Season 3 doesn't exactly paint a pretty picture. Consider this as coming from someone who is arguably on the outside looking in. This show, whether anybody likes it or not, has become the fictionalized window into the world of gay women for straight people, in particularly, straight guys who haven't quite figured out women can be attracted to each other, but still not wanna get down with a guy when in need of a certain type of penetration (which I won't go into detail here...kids might be reading...yeah, that's it). What we guys are seeing isn't something I would consider all that flattering. To break it down a little further, we have...
Bette: Evil genius who will stop at nothing to get what's hers.
Tina: Lesbian who suddenly wants to be with men, which let's face it, is gonna give a lot of male viewers a false sense of hope that's totally unfair.
Shane, (maybe) Carmen, Jenny, Dana and Alice: Short attention span theater when it comes to relationships, leading to cheating around and such.
Lara: Runs away in the face of danger.
Helena: Buys happiness only to lose it. Also comes up short in the good relationship area.
Moira: So embraced by being a gay woman that she would prefer to be a straight man, instead.
Kit: Long term relationship...oh yeah, it's with a guy. Nevermind.
So what's a male viewer who might not be all that exposed to the Lesbian Community (or whatever one calls it) to think when seeing Season 3 all the way through? If nothing else, the unfortunate misguided lesson that's been taught here is that lesbians really suck at relationships. Considering that this is The L Word, that's not a good thing. As much as I love this show and yes it is my favorite on TV, there's something incredibly wrong when our lone longterm happy couple is a heterosexual one. It doesn't paint a nice picture at all for lesbians. I'm sure it's one thing for lesbians or even women in general to point that out. I'd like to think it's a little more damning however when a know-nothing, "breeder" boy like myself notices it without anyone having to point it out to me beforehand.
Season 4 is Make Or Break for this fine program. If the lesbian relationships continue to fail while the heterosexuals of the show continue to flourish a bit more in theirs, be it for irony or for better ratings, I don't see Season 5 being around for anyone to watch. Let's be honest with ourselves, here. If we want heterosexuality to run rampant on our screens, we have a boatload of shows to choose from already. At the risk of sounding perverted, it is my sincerest hope that Season 4 brings us something a little better in the Lesbian Sex Department. More Bette & Tina, less Tina & Henry. Kit & Angus are fine, since Kit's supposedly the token straight lady anyway. For the rest of the group however, they need something good, quicklike. FanFic Writers can only do so much to remedy the situation, but it's up to the writers of the real thing to make it happen. It needs to happen. Because right now, this show's giving little to no reason for people to embrace homosexuality in a positive light. In fairness though, I guess it does teach that gay people can be just as screwed up as us straight ones. The only problem is that the only ones on the show with any stability are the straight people.
Season 4 needs to rediscover and embrace its "L" in The L Word again. Or else a few straight people'll be the only ones left watching it...and we have more than enough options and short attention spans as is. It's the only hope for there to be a Season 5.
Just my opinion. Other opinions may vary.
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2006-03-28, 18:32:39 PM
Comments: i saw agree with you, kace...s3 showed more stability and "normalcy" in straight relationships but all the gay ones were screwed up...as a straight girl i found myself cheering up for the girls getting it on because i can see stable and unstable hetero relationship everywhere else
2006-03-28, 20:20:13 PM
Comments: I have to agree with you on this. You are so right on so many things. I would love to see more Bette & Tina and less Tina and Henry, for Bette and Tina are my fave couple on the show. It breaks my heart to see that they seem to focusing more on the heterosexual relationships then the lesbian relationships that kept me watching this show season after season.
2006-03-28, 20:26:18 PM
Comments: I agree with you 100% Kace. This show so far has only shown that lesbians are pretty darn lame at trying to have a lasting relationships. Cann't figure out what IC means by "these are our stories". They sure aren't mine or my friends. IC better take a good long look at S1 and review what made it work so well.
2006-03-28, 21:28:56 PM
Comments: See why the lesbians are angry. Even a straight guy gets it. Thank you for putting into words. If I want straight TV I can go to CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, shall I keep going....thanks Kace
2006-03-28, 21:41:01 PM
Comments: IT'S THAT FRIGGIN BETTY THEME SONG! EVER SINCE IT CAME ON IT ALL WENT DOWN JILL!
2006-03-28, 21:41:46 PM
Comments: .. I mean HILL, not JILL!
2006-03-29, 01:47:08 AM
Comments: I agree with you. I watch this cos it the only program which is normal for us gals but now it not mormal amongst my las friends cos most of us in relationships.If they bring more hetro into this program we may as well just watch any old soapie on tv.
2006-03-29, 12:11:45 PM
Comments: Kace: thank you a lot! You were very nice, clear,...perfect!IC/TheLW crew: What a f*** is happening?Girls: How can someone like this season? We are shown as crazy, lunatic, kidnappers,unhappy and unhealthy people...And you know, i´m talking about a gay show... I mean, my american lesbian friends are not this sick :)... Neither I am, here in Brazil, or in Argentina, Holland... Well, So, where, this freak lesbian from LW came from? Of a torture mind?Would I expect something good in S4?
2006-03-29, 12:35:04 PM
Comments: Couldn't of said it better myself...
2006-03-29, 13:52:14 PM
From: mette hartmann
Comments: I totally agree. The show went from great to bad to "who gives a fuck". It seems monogamy is not possible in the gay world and lasting, loving relationships with or without children just not happening. I can´t figure out whether IC is hellbent on chasing drama for the sake of drama and thereby killing was used to be a great lesbian show or she actually believes that this reflects an honest image of the lesbian lifestyle - it sure as hell isn´t my story, nor the one of my friends. Wonder how many of us will actually watch S4.
2006-03-30, 15:30:56 PM
Comments: Good job on the overall picture. I swear IC had this group take a major "screw up" pill before the season started. They're all over the place.What happened to the close group of friends just going about they're day to day lives. I have a group of friends that have been together over 20years in some cases, and we've gone through a lot, but nothing compared to this fiasco. As far as all the straight people. Hello, its not like we don't know there out there, but isn't this suppose to be "OUR" show. I love Kit and Angus, and hey I don't mind the reality, but somewhere along the line IC lost the flow here.
2006-03-30, 16:10:10 PM
Comments: A-freakin-men. And thank you, Kace, for making this point. This is one of the major things about this show that has, at this point, pushed me to the point where I wonder if I’ll keep watching. I loved season 1 of this show. Loved it. But now….. well, by the last few episodes of season 3 I found myself dreading it. I’ve always wondered what this show was saying to straight viewers. And here’s a fine example. Is this really how we want to be represented? Can’t speak for others but, for me, it’s a resounding NO. I am amazed at the number of stereotypes that get played out and unfortunately reinforced by this show. Example – Moira/Max… IC herself said repeatedly in interviews that there would be a true “butch” added this season in the form of Moira. Then she hauled off and made Moira a transsexual. Nice. Gee, doesn’t that just play nicely into all the assumptions about “butch” lesbians really wanting to be men. Note to IC: there’s a big damn difference between a butch and a transsexual. And at a time when the community has been working for marriage/partnership rights, what better way to smack the community square in the mouth than to provide a show about lesbians showing that clearly we can’t or don’t want to have long term committed relationships. Oh yeah, that’s gonna help. I understand that it’s “just” a TV show. But you can’t tell me that homophobes or just “curious” straight folks aren’t going to consider it some level of looking glass into the community. And I won’t even go into what it says to young lesbians who may take this as a representation of what they have to look forward to. When this show came on I hoped it would show our lives. The sameness we share with straight couples and the challenges unique to being gay. Sadly, at the moment I see neither. My partner and I just celebrated our 9th anniversary this past week. Just like Bette and Tina would have if IC wasn’t determined to destroy them. And that just makes me sad.
2006-03-30, 21:12:33 PM
Comments: 100% agree with you kace!!And now my comments on S3:What the hell happened with S3? I mean, Shane with Carmen, cheeting on her with cherie, then asking her to marry her and finally ditching her?? And what about Alice/Dana/Lara?poor Dana dies and next thing you know the two of them are kissing!!Ok,Ok... grieving, lost love and all that, but didn't IC think it was a little twildyke zone??? And Bette/Tina/Josh/Henry? Tina, girl you need to break it off with Henry and find Bette and little Angie to get your family back..Which reminds me...You go Bette kidnapping Baby Angie!! Ok, before you say anything, I'm not in favor of kidnapping, but you can't expect Bette to stay in her passive 'I'll let Tina do whatever the f*** she wants' self... No f***ing way! I say You GO Bette!! (You must have guessed by this that I'm a 1000% fan of B&T together!! that's why S3 broke my heart with each chapter)And Angus/Kit? Since when in a show that is supposed to be about lesbian relationships a straight couple has a better time than the entire group of lesbians in the show?? Man! It totslly sucks... but what gives me hope is my theory.. yes I have a theory.OK!OK!Not a theory, but a way of reasoning: S1 ended with the affair-Sad ending; S2 ended with Angie's birth-happy ending; now S3 ends as screwed as you have seen it.. So the logic thing is that S4 ends with a really happy ending... I really have my fingers crossed for this reasoning applies in IC's twisted little head!Ok, with that said, I'll go back to my happy fanfiction world, where everything is possible and magic and sappy and happy endings(or B&Tbeginnings)!! Yeah! I'll do that before crying for the S3 finale...Take care, girls... AND guys!(sorry Kace... not used to the guys part) Let's just keep the hope!
2006-03-31, 08:16:01 AM
Comments: You go boy. I waited 50 freakin years to see something on screen that reflects my life. But the joke's on me, instead we get a never-ending commercial for the Republican National Committee. Thanks for your eloquence.
2006-03-31, 12:48:29 PM
Comments: Couldn't have said it better myself. In my view, S3 is good for nothing but fuel for the right wingers who think we don't deserve to marry or have/adopt children. Let's hope that they put some sensibility back into the show for S4.
2006-03-31, 22:30:50 PM
Comments: Kace... i agree with every thing you wrote... but i will add one thing... this str8 lady will not be watching... if they don't get bette and tina back together... and soon... not ep 12 of season 4... and if henry is still there... will GOOD NIGHT IRENE...thanks again kace
2006-04-01, 21:08:40 PM
Comments: Kace, I thank you for the wonderful job you did for the gay community in writing what many feel and are at a loss for words or cannot convey properly. I sure hope TLW will take heed (i'm sure they are concerned about their viewers) and come back leaving us to sigh in relief "now you're talkin"!
2006-04-02, 17:03:55 PM
Comments: What a shame, a guy telling IC that we need more L in this "world", Kace , you are absolutely right. When I started watching this show I thought Wow! finally a show with lesbians, finally a little space for me who has been closeted since I have memory, with season 1 and 2 I enjoyed as hell , specially with Shane, I fell in love with Kate/Shane , that girl had something that made me shiver , that delicious mixture of male and female being in just one. I have not watched season 3 since I am from South America, but for what I read, I don't think I would spend my money in season 3 DVD as I did for 1 and 2 and as I said in one of the threads , I am not interesting in watching season 4. the lack of originality this season sucked. So many good things could have been done with characters like Shane, Alice , Bette; god this show has an amazing cast , but the stories in season 3 did not have any sense. Why IC ? If you wanted to show all that could be wrong in a relationship; cheating , no communication , etc why twist Carmen and Shane relationship, is it not enough to have Bette and Tina for that ?Carmen and Shane could have been a great couple, it would have been more interesting watching Shane dealing with her past, growing up, opening herself with Carmen by her side instead of the old cheating formula and the wedding crap. Many could argue , this is just a TV show, I agree, but it was supposed to be a TV show in which for the very first time a minority had the opportunity to show themselves, to tell their stories, and their stories could be dramatic, could be weird sometimes , but also could be honest , loving and full of emotion. I thought I have learned my lesson with Xena, but now with the L Word I did, never trust in a TV show, at the end they only look for money and ratings, they are not interested in showing real lesbians stories with their ups and downs. finally I was able to release a bit. Thanks IC for make me feel like shit. R>
2006-04-03, 00:27:21 AM
Comments: you couldn't be more right about the show. last i checked, i thought i was watching the show because it showed my lifestyle in a POSITIVE way. now this season is depicting lesbians as being crazy and psychotic. the percentage of crazy lezzie's is actually pretty small. so for these writers to focus on negative so much is wack. they are definitely gonna loose my support if the show doesnt shape up next season
2006-04-03, 22:52:39 PM
Comments: I am so sad about Shane and Carmen! They were my favorite couple and it was sad to see that after all they went through they still couldnt make it. I really dont know what to expect next season. I really hope that they somehow get back together but I dont know!
2006-04-04, 09:12:19 AM
Comments: Y'know, as a straight chick, even I found myself cringing at the evolution of S3... I mean come on... where's the love, and the friendship that made S1 so damn fulfilling? They said they wanted to take it back to the S1 roots... Um yeah what were they on?! Even gay friends of mine think its gone AWOL... Go figure guys!
2006-04-05, 13:35:15 PM
Comments: I totally agree
2006-04-07, 16:13:52 PM
Comments: Just to be clear: I stopped watching LWord in Season 2. Really couldn't handle any more frustrations, and didn't want continue throwing stuff at my TV screen, which I was prone to do :)However, I have religiously followed the comments and posts about it on various sites. Have to say: a bad show means lots of funny snarky reviews, quite entertaining. My impression overall is: on the love/hate score is now about 1/3, ie. for every positive comment, there are 3 negatives.Kace's editorial takes the cake!! When a heterosexual guy is pleading for a more lesbian centred show, you realise IC has gone beyond the pale...WHY IS HELL IS SHE STILL EXECUTIVE PRODUCER?????Those of you in the US who can contact SHOWTIME directly, please make your feelings known to the powers that be. After all, you pay to see this show, your opinions should count! After all, indirectly, you pay IC's salary....