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| AN OPEN LETTER FROM RACHEL SHELLEY FANS
Article Writen by Jill (aka RachelAdmirer)
At the end of November, main cast members Laurel Holloman and Rachel Shelley attended The L Word Convention and were warmly received by the fans. Laurel gave an exclusive interview to l-word.com in which she said: “All credit to Rachel because I think even on paper the character wasn’t credited with layers, and Rachel has played her with such sensitivity. (..) I think Helena’s layers will show slowly. You just have to give a character enough screen time for it to develop. The layers you have to add in as an actor which is what Rachel has done, and I think it’s better to have lots of shades of gray because people are not black and white. “ Does Ms Cole even read genuine articles on your site?
On 29th December, you proudly proclaimed ’The Show Newsflash! Rachel Shelley Condolences for tbsaver’, yet on the same page you provide a link to Ms Cole’s piece in which there is an unwarranted attack on the acting ability of Ms Shelley. We say unwarranted as the derogatory remarks are not substantiated in what reads, to all but die-hard Bette and Tina fans, as a piece more suited to a message board forum. Did anyone at l-word.com take the time to read this ‘article’ before adding it to the site? If so, how can you reconcile your delight in Rachel’s kindness and selflessness, yet allow Ms Cole’s defamatory opinions to appear unchallenged? This piece is a litany of the writer’s personal disappointments at the Season 2 finale, but l-word.com raises it to the status of serious critical analysis by calling it an ‘article’ and failing to point out that it is merely opinion, a skewed and biased opinion at that. It troubles us further, that l-word.com gives additional credibility to Ms Cole’s ruminations by having three of her other blog entries on the site as ‘articles’.
To the points with which we have issue: Ms Cole’s piece is entitled ‘The end of Season 2’, but in place of critical appraisal or analysis the author mainly talks about Bette and her relationship with Tina, and the things she'd have wanted to see and was disappointed not to get. She states: “I couldn't bear to watch the final trick that might be played on the audience. The trick was this: it was Jenny who had the grand finale, not Bette and Tina”. Unless we are mistaken, The L Word is an ensemble drama. Doesn’t this mean that no one or two characters make this show? That all the characters are important to this collective narrative? We love Bette and Tina as much as anyone else, but though they are a central part of the storyline, they are not the be-all and end-all of The L Word. There is an obvious partiality here in Ms Cole’s writing, which in itself is sufficient to justify that it is read with circumspection. It does little to enhance the reputation of l-word.com to publish it without a rider to that effect.
Although fans of Ms Shelley, we are not blindly devoted. Rachel Shelley is a good actress, who can even be excellent when she is provided with quality material. . Her first appearance in the series may not have been her best one, but, hey, who's never made a mistake? Everyone has the right to fail. It happens. Even Al Pacino can be bad! In Rachel’s defence, (and Ms Cole did reference poor writing as a blatant generality), she did have some of the most painfully toe curling lines to deliver – lines that took no regard of British speech patterns or idioms. Not even Jennifer Beals or Laurel Holloman, on both of whom Ms Cole lavishes praise, could have found a suitable way to convey a line as unwittingly hilarious as “It brought tears to my eyes”. It was to Rachel’s credit that she managed to deliver this without appearing too ridiculous.
Ms Cole wrote: “The character of Helena is a whole problem in itself. I have never, for a moment, bought into Rachel Shelley as a lesbian…The fact that Shelley was given this part, and then brought back for season three, really boggles my mind. While Shelley was stellar in Lagaan, she is a heterosexual actor with no experience (real or imagined) to inform her performance as a lesbian. Bad casting. Still, I have my doubts that this character could have become believable even with great acting. Helena has so little genuine emotion as Helena that it's hard to tell if Shelley is acting badly, or if Helena is acting badly in her own superficial play.”
We find Ms Cole’s assertion about Rachel Shelley's lack of ‘imaginary experiences’ in the lesbian domain’ puzzling. What is an "imagined experience"? It is real experiences of loving and being loved that will inform the actresses’ performances. Has Ms Cole asked herself the same ‘imagined experience’ question in relation to Jennifer Beals? No. Emphatically no! After proffering that an actor has to be “in some way like” the character they audition to play, Ms Cole goes on to assert in “Jennifer Beals v Bette Porter”: “Ilene Chaiken has said that the only actress she ever considered for the part of Bette Porter in The L Word was Jennifer Beals, so we must assume that the Jennifer Beals Chaiken knew was very much like Bette. Beals herself claims to be quite different from Bette, in that she is not as pushy or quick to anger. And yet the ease with which Beals has assumed the role of a character whose sexual orientation is different from her own, makes us instinctively question those differences and look for similarities instead.” Did we mention a little bias on the part of Ms Cole? Add to that some very confusing ways of expressing herself, and one is hard put to understand what point the writer is trying to make. Many of us also feel that the tone and content of Ms Cole’s writing would be a source of embarrassment to Jennifer Beals, should she have the misfortune to read it.
One of our number was so incensed by Cole’s ‘heterosexual actress’ comment that she was moved to say:” As a lesbian who often gets accused of “not looking like one”, I take a personal offence to her remarks about Ms. Shelley. What the hell is a lesbian supposed to look and act like? It tells me a lot about the writer's own hypocrisy about tolerance. Time and again I see this hypocritical act in a Gay community that demands tolerance, yet does not give it to begin with. I feel that Pam Cole suffers from what I keep seeing on various message boards and L Word fans sites: she seems to be confusing the actor with the character, and vice versa. Is this not a testament to the actor’s skill rather than evidence of her inability to be convincing, as Cole would have us believe?”
Perhaps Ms Cole and l-word.com may be interested in our reading of Helena, and the evidence that verifies just how good Rachel Shelley is in bringing Ms Peabody to life?
Much of the credit for the complexity of the characterisation of Helena - loving mother, sexual exhibitionist, abandoned daughter, insecure lover etc. - is owed to the subtle performance given by Rachel Shelley. The way in which she peeled away so many layers from the apparently somewhat cold and hardened woman we first met to reveal a vulnerable and insecure core is a credit to her talent. Her interactions with her mother, in particular, demonstrated superbly the fragility of the cool façade Helena presents to the world.
Throughout Season 2, Rachel Shelley was being true to her character, like any actor would be. Ms Cole seems to have forgotten that Rachel doesn't have to wear flannel shirts, a mullet or Doc Martens to be a believable lesbian. Is she forgetting the fact that Rachel had to perform two controversial and explicit love scenes? Did the pool scene, with a very pregnant Tina, escape Ms Cole’s attention? Not to mention the balcony scene with that ingenious foot technique? Two further examples of intimacies that have never been shown on television before. But hang on, what was that landmark scene? Was that a straight girl’s idea of going down on another woman? Because it looked pretty believable to us - lesbians included. Not only is Rachel Shelley believable in her role as Helena and in her scenes with Holloman but, dare we say, that the chemistry between those two actors rivalled that of Beals and Holloman from Season one. This begs the question: “Was Ms Cole watching the same show that we saw?
Part of the statement that this show is making is that there is no set rule for what anyone is supposed to be like, gay or straight. In interviews and public appearances, Ilene Chaiken, Laurel Holloman, Jennifer Beals other cast members have stated as much. Rachel never appeared in any Season 2 Promos, unlike Sarah Shahi, the other new addition to the Season 2 main cast, and the role of Helena seems to have been hastily written as a half-series diversion for Tina. Ms Shelley most certainly impressed someone to have been made a permanent cast member, and her prominence in the Season 3 Promos already has many fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation of her Season 3 storylines.
We have no problem at all with reviews on fansites which criticize any aspect of the show, whether it is the writing, acting, editing or whatever. But that criticism has to be reasoned and substantiated. What concerns us is an attack on one actress in an ensemble cast that is apparently made principally on the basis of her sexual preference in real life. Little, if any, other justification was provided in Ms Cole's article. This is aggravated by the fact that the attack is contained in a badly written piece that barely conceals an obsession with one of the other actresses, and is then endorsed by being given prominence on a fansite that purports to promote the show and all the characters.
We urge l-word.com to publish this open letter, not only to restore fans’ faith in the site, but also by way of an apology to Rachel Shelley who has been most gracious and generous towards all L Word fans, as those who attended the convention will testify.
As Fans of The L Word,
- Laurel's Monkey
- The Archer
- Where's Lenore
Go Back to Fan Editorials Archive Pages
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2006-01-03, 17:00:46 PM
Comments: Bravo! I couldn't agree more. Cudo's for publishing open letter. Please add my name to the list. Just saw Ep. 12 of Season 2 on MNet in South Africa tonight, looking forward to Final Ep. and dreading long wait until Season 3.Loyal L-Word.com reader AND Rachel Shelley fan.
2006-01-03, 17:10:19 PM
Comments: Completely agree with this open letter - consider my name added.
2006-01-03, 17:20:31 PM
Comments: christ, mate! get a grip! you must have been those nutty marina fans who were taking ads out in magazines. moved on to rachel, have you? you might want to look into joining a club or organization, reading a book once in a while, volunteering at hospital or another charity. in other words... GET A LIFE.
2006-01-03, 17:34:33 PM
Comments: May I just say that I agree with every single word in this letter. My name can be added to the list too.
2006-01-03, 17:52:58 PM
Comments: Yawn.Honestly, some of you must lead very sad little lives if you've gotten your panties in a twist over this. I hope most who signed are, thick as shit teenage girls, because I would hate to think a bunch of grown women would be this pathetic, and over the top about an actress, whom you don't even know.
2006-01-03, 18:44:56 PM
Comments: To Rossi and honda. Just a question: How fair is it to pillory an actress on a site that is supposed to be a fan site? We can all make our views known and open for discussion in a forum, but an email was sent out publicising Pam Cole's work, and now it's as if the bad-mouthing has nothing to do with this site and is all down to Pam Cole. If she had given examples in her criticism of Rachel Shelley, then fine, but she didn't. The way I see it is l-word.com wants to have its cake and eat it. Give space to somebody for a public bashing of Rachel / Helena, and at the same time laud Rachel for her kindness to fans at the convention and for her condolences when tbsaver died. Does it matter how old the people who signed are? Surely the main point is, l-word.com allowed an ill-judged, badly written opinion to be published to great 'hurrah', and then covers its back with this 'comment page' and no apology for the initial error of judgment. I think the open letter is restrained in it's criticism of this site and Pam Cole's words, and I am happy to add my name in support.
2006-01-03, 19:06:58 PM
Comments: Add my name to the list too. While I sometimes find Ms. Cole's opinion pieces interesting, that is what they are...not journalism, not objective articles. I appreciate the fact that she is a diehard Bette n Tina shipper and admits it freely. However, that devotion certainly has colored her 'articles', most particularly her quite partial and unobjective review of Ms. Shelley's performance. I came away thinking, OK, this is another Helena hater who is taking it out on the actress, whom I find to be quite talented and who has performed a difficult role with so much intuitive subtlety and nuance as to reveal a great deal of substance beneath the veneer of Helena as a home-wrecking, career-wrecking villain. I respect Ms. Cole's right to her opinions and her freedom to express her opinions. But her 'articles' should be labeled as editorial comment and not imply that there is some journalistic impartiality by labeling her pieces articles. I have written both over a very long career and I know the difference between the two. No, Rossi, I'm not a thick-as-shit teenage girl, and I'm certainly no more over-the-top about Rachel Shelley than Ms. Cole is over the top about Jennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman.
2006-01-03, 19:10:55 PM
Comments: It's your _opinion_ the original article was poorly written. I thought it fab, as did most of my mates. As we've heard ad nauseum already, opinion does not = fact. And right as rain, your opinion is just that of a lunatic fan. Actually, I'm a Rachel fan, but I'm not a lunatic like your lot. Why aren't you pitching a fit over the criticisms of "Jenny"? People post those all over this--and every site--as well. Reality check--good sites aren't shrines to the stars of TV shows. After Ellen is a great example. Intelligent, mature, sane people are open to other people's opinions without having a cow about differences.
2006-01-03, 19:15:16 PM
Comments: I agree with the comments made by shameless. That the l-word.com used the image and kind words of Rachel Shelley in such a shameless display or self promotion for their site whilst giving such prominence to an ill-judged, poorly written fan rant as that which spewed from the pen of Ms Pam J Cole shows desperately poor editorial judgement on the part of the l-word.com team IMO. Rachel Shelley is a fine actress deserving far more respect than that she was afforded in this instance. I hope the editorial team will bear this in mind in future. I wholeheartedly endorse the above letter.
2006-01-03, 19:22:08 PM
From: Precious Shadow
Comments: Helena is a lady everyone loves to hate. It takes a very good actress pull that kind of emotion out of the audience. Cudo's to the acting skills of one Ms. Shelley!
2006-01-03, 19:41:33 PM
Comments: honda, I still think you are missing the point. Yes, Mia Kirshner and Jenny comes in for a lot of stick, and in a forum she can be defended. Pam Cole's words were not published in a forum, they were elevated to an article, giving critical cedibility and a status higher than a 'fans opinion', which is what we are giving now. If her piece had been the opening to this page, fair enough, but it wasn't. To decry the fans who wanted to put the record straight because they don't read Pam's writing in the same way as you and your mates - that is 'fab' - then that IMHO is where the immaturity lies. I am more of a Bette fan than anything, and yes, I could say 'wow' to what Pam has written, but I don't. This is the blinkered type of fan writing that is usually associated with teenagers. It is not the reasoned or circumspect prose I would expect a grown woman to pen, and I agree with the comment in the open letter, that Ms Beals would be embarrassed by it, and by the attack on her friend and colleague Ms Shelley.
2006-01-03, 20:05:02 PM
Comments: Add my name to the list.I'm a big fan of Rachel Shelley, she is a good actress and I wacth the show mostly because of her.
2006-01-03, 20:09:26 PM
Comments: I couldn't agree more with this well-warranted letter. I'm still puzzled as to why a supposedly offical fan site would choose to display Cole's weakly written, blog-like piece as some kind of an "article".
2006-01-03, 20:42:40 PM
Comments: I just wanted to say that I'd like to add my name to the letter also. Not only because of Pam Cole's unfair 'article', but also I think Rachel Shelley was kind of treated unfairly throughout Season 2. Many fans started to hate the actress because of Helena. I thought she was good. And I don't let my dislike of a character cloud my judgement of the actor or actress. That's just silly. And after all the stuff I've seen about Rachel from the convention, she seems really nice. Pam Cole's 'article' is a perfect example of how a fan can blur the lines of reality. I wonder if Jennifer Beals has a restraining order? If not, maybe she should think about getting one.I agree with the points that the other comments were making, but they just say it better than I can. I liked the letter a lot. Thank you, Jill (aka RachelAdmirer), and all the others who put their name on the letter. You said everything I was thinking and more. Go, Rachel Shelley!
2006-01-03, 22:19:51 PM
Comments: I really have to de-lurk now, after years of successful hiding *sigh*anyway, thank you very much for this letter! I second every single word, and as a fan of the show and a member of this website I would like to apologise for how Ms Shelley has been treated here. I know that it is not my place because I am not a moderator or the owner of the website, but as there hasn't been anything from them yet, I feel obliged to overstep my rights as a poster/lurker. This letter would not have been written if Ms Cole's opinion had been stated as such, and not being published as an article. It now that has been degraded to a fan editorial (what is that btw??), which it should have been in the first place!Dear honda, as you have stated so clearly, opinion is not fact, but Ms Cole's article has not been published as such but as an article.
2006-01-03, 23:32:30 PM
Comments: NO DIS-RESPECT TO ANYONE: Just an opinion -First of all let me state for the record that I most importantly a fan of The L Word t.v. show. That stated I question why we are arguing about who is too straight to play a gay character or vice/versa and who likes particular characters/actresses more than others. For those of us who have been subjected to years of prejudicial behaviour from others simply because of who we love - please remember how that feels. I personally think that it takes a tremendous amount of courage for the actresses to accept these roles in the first place. We all know that just because it is 2006 there is still a long way to go as far as acceptance and understanding. Although I would imagine that the entertainment industry is far more accepting of these roles than they were 25 years ago these actresses are still taking a risk by portraying lesbian and bi-sexuals without regard to any possible repercussions to their careers. I think that we owe them all a debt of gratitude for believing in a show such as this. As far as crossing/blurring the lines between actresses and their characters I have to say that I believe that we are all guilty of this to a degree - which is exactly what acting is all about. I think that it was very kind and considerate of Rachel Shelley to take the time to extend her condolences and that in itself speaks volumes concerning her character. Again I guess all I am trying to say is instead of arguing about the actresses we need to remember that if this show (lets not forget it's a t.v. show), with these actresses can change just one persons opinion and help to make the world a better place then for that we will all ultimately be better off.
2006-01-04, 01:57:29 AM
Comments: Very well said, fellow Rachel/Helena fans. Fantastic letter. Add my name to the growing list who thought Ms Cole's 'article' was very poor.
2006-01-04, 03:12:56 AM
Comments: i totally agree that the article was clearly a dis to Rachel Shelly. i was telling a friend what i had read and couldnt believe how someone could diss a actress/character on a ground breaking lesbian series. i just want to say im glad this article was posted to show the members of thelword.com and the cast of lword that we do like every member of the cast not just bette and tina and treat all the cast with respect
2006-01-04, 06:31:39 AM
From: Mad Maggot
Comments: Please, add my name too. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion, it's a matter of personal choice and preference whether you like certain characters and actors or not. Some people like Meryl Streep and some like Susan Sarandon (or both), it doesn't mean either of them is a bad actress. What I'm saying is, it's okay with me if you don't like Rachel's acting, but converting it into public bashing is certainly too much and uncalled for... As for me, I've stated numerous times that I love Rachel Shelley, her acting abilities and talent and think Helena as a character has a lot of potential, which I'm eagerly waiting to see in S3.
2006-01-04, 09:18:34 AM
From: Johannes Kreisler
Comments: Add me to the list, guys ! Dear Rossi, I have no problem with an opinion posted in a "fan letter" section, section in which you can now find Pam Cole's burps ; however, I do have a problem with an opinion that was first published as an "article" written by "new writing staff member Pam Cole" (btw, I still wonder how a fan letter can be written by someone you can contact at email@example.com. Idea, anyone?).I also have a problem with a site that shabbily treats an actress but does not hesitate to use that same actress's image for its self-promotion (random note : I sometimes find it difficult to locate the articles in that sea of ads). So not classy. I, for my part, am not above the top about Rachel Shelley but I do have a problem with l-word.com's behaviour, that I regard as pretty disreputable. To honda : how is it that you're not currently reading 'In Search Of Lost Times' six volumes (wait : actually, if you enjoy Pam Cole's prose, there might be some incompatibility) or helping in the soup kitchen? In other words, how is it that you're not currently leading a real life in the real world, instead of posting vicious comments about some harmless fan letter on a that silly internet ? Tsktsk. Lunatic.
2006-01-04, 11:23:31 AM
Comments: I have to say that I really didn't want to comment here because I believe the letter speaks for itself. However, THIS IS NOT THE FULL LETTER THAT WAS SENT TO YOU! The despicable way in which this whole situation has been treated only serves underscore the very nature of the managers of this site. What do you have to hide? Why was the full letter not disclosed? I believe you owe fans of Rachel Shelley and the L Word fair treatment considering the blatant endorsement of your staff writer's harsh words to begin with. Only now, when there is controversy, is this so-called 'staff writer' relegated to a fan. Yet she still carries an l-word.com email address, and continues to write very skewed pieces that are only now being called Editorials. This is too little too late, and is rather a slap in the face. All of this, without so much as an apology to Rachel or her fans. Shame on you l-word.com!
2006-01-04, 11:37:27 AM
Comments: i totally agree with the above letter, but ladies come on we are adults we should'nt be bickering over this, everyone should say there opinion but dont argue on who's is right,
2006-01-05, 07:19:40 AM
Comments: Well done! Completely concur with that! Free speech right?! We are entitled to our opinions and quite frankly as a newcomer here, I was a bit baffled to find on the home page, smack in your face Ms. Cole's article...thought maybe it belonged on a 'Spoiler' thread as I have navigated around here & found the rules/tone of this site to be... Maybe some of us didn't wish to read an article from a newly added staff writer that had such negation. Is it relevent that Ms. Shelley is straight? I think not, she's a brilliant actress, who is the perfect villian and apparantly is not a homophobe. Ms. Shelley also extended personal condolences regarding the tragedy of "tbsaver" another indication of character, genuineness and integrity she possess. That is what is pertinent in my humble opinion. Women can be so caddy and petty, there are no arguements here, a great debate should be a welcome occurrence and there's 2 sides to every situation. They are merely as the header states "comments." Fair play is what's at stake. Happy New Year to all!
2006-01-05, 09:47:20 AM
Comments: navygirl, if the full letter wasn´t published here, maybe you could send the missing parts here as a comment (or maybe provide us with a link to where ever we can read the original letter?). I´m sure at least some of us who agree with your open letter are more than interested to know what was originally written.
2006-01-05, 11:08:54 AM
Comments: Bloody hell, what a load of fuss over bugger all !! Ok,i'l admit im prob a bit biased being a fellow brit but i think she played the uber/snobby/rich cow brilliantly ! anyway has'nt one of your mates dated someone you disliked ? maybe its who i hang with but we don't spend all our time being angsty that someone somewhere maybe possibly offended by whatever ! Too busy having fun !! besides , as with all of the cast the words " yeah !, and her mother and any pets !!" springs to mind ! the l word is top !
2006-01-05, 11:27:42 AM
Comments: The fact that so many intensely and actively dislike Helena is a testament to Rachel's fine acting ability.As everyone who met her can attest she is an absolute sweetie and wowed everyone with her kindness, charm, sense of fun and infinite beauty.I have been a fan of hers for years; she ALWAYS gives a first class, convincing, believable portrayal of her characters. Rachel has had an active career in movies and will continue to do so long after the L Word is a distant memory.So just lay off!
2006-01-05, 16:19:58 PM
Comments: I am happy to see that this avenue has been re-opened to give those of us who want to express an opinion the opportunity to do so. I endorse the well-reasoned, well-written (Ms. Cole would do well to learn from it) and sober letter written by Jill. I, like Navygirl have to ask why did you not publish the entire letter of Jill’s? This is one example of the less than stellar behavior exhibited at and by this site that is quite disturbing. I question this sites judgement in publishing as an article the poorly written, embarrassing outburst of one fangrll’s adoration of Ms. Jennifer Beal’s (who deserves better) while subjectively attacking Rachel Shelley absent a constructive critical eye. An unprofessional and silly attack against someone who has been loyal to your site and who even went out of her way to express her condolences for the loss of a contributing writers (who was a very good writer). Ms. Shelley’s letter of sympathy was placed alongside Ms. Cole’s attack on her. Then not soon after you published Jill’s Open Letter, you then proceeded to remove Ms. Cole as a "Featured Reporter" and relegated her to "Fan Editorials". One has to ask this question. To whom are you loyal? You would do well to apologize to Ms. Shelley first and foremost. She is a beacon of grace and class and generosity and loyalty (as shown to your site). It would do you well to learn from her behavior. You also owe the composer of the Open Letter, Jill, an apology for not only not publishing the complete text but for coopting her idea which she never offered to you and that is the idea for Fan Editorials. But, I suppose this site is just above apologizing. Finally, I feel embarrassed on behalf of Ms. Beals. Here is a woman who is reportedly shy and a private person. I hope she never reads Ms. Coles “fan” piece. And, I hope she stays away from fan sites in general because some of the things that are written for love of this wonderful and very private woman are startling and would make her wretch. When I read Ms. Cole’s piece “Jennifer Beals vs. Bette Porter”, my head spun and it made me embarrassed for being a gay woman and it made me embarrassed on behalf of Ms. Beals. More so than any of the other actors on this series, Ms. Beals seems to have been subjected to this so-called adoration. If she does read this piece, I am counting on her considerable intelligence to recognize that not all gay women or straight women (for that matter) who admire her and her talent as an actor think of her with Ms. Cole’s over stimulated, overwrought and desperately infatuated eye. Is it any wonder why Ms. Beals will never consent to attending a Convention as the one recently held in the UK? It’s fangrrls like Ms. Cole who give the sober women and men amongst us who enjoy this show and it’s actors a bad name.
2006-01-08, 15:02:56 PM
Comments: I totally agree with this open letter. Pam Cole's "articles" are just her hyped up opinion of her obvious obsession with the Bette and Tina story line (and JB personally). I have read all her articles and I can say they are pretty much a load of trash, they should be on the discussion board for other whingers like her.Having met Rachel Shelly at the con I can say she is nothing like Helena which leads me to assume she has to be a good actress to make the character as believable as she does. Add my name to Fans of Rachel Shelly and stop Ms Coles writing more pants!
2006-01-08, 20:26:56 PM
From: Janet Marie
Comments: You can certainly add my name to the list of the Impressed By Rachel. I disliked Helena from the moment I saw her and that, ladies and gents, was the point of the character. To be flawed. To be real. I, myself hate, yes, HATE the machine called BeTina. I thought Tina grew more in the episodes with Helena than she ever did with Bette because she was stiffled with Bette. Rachel was a breath of fresh air to TLW and hopefully Rachel/Helena will get a few siblings to rouse the rabble. Merci for defending the ladies honor. Oh and as for Rachel being miscast? Because she's not a lesbian? Then shouldn't Erin, Jennifer and the other half of the cast also be fired for being miscast? Just a thought....
2006-01-09, 11:37:55 AM
Comments: Mitya, I believe that it is the responsibility of l-word.com to provide this information for you. But I'm sure that you will see the full letter somewhere on the internet. There are plenty of fan sites out there. But if I name any here, my user id will get banned and all of my posts will be deleted as it is a violation of l-word.com rules to do so. How convenient...
2006-01-10, 10:16:02 AM
Comments: While I hesitate to respond to the hysteria my little essays (which is what I have always called them) have stirred up, I am beginning to feel more personally attacked than fans are saying Rachel Shelley has been by me. I don’t know Rachel Shelley personally. I assume that she’s a lovely person and that, as a woman who has spent her life acting, she is used to having critics review her performances, even as I am used to having editors (and now l-word.com readers!) review my writing. (There is no failure, there is only feedback.)I offered my personal opinion of her acting as Helena Peabody in The L Word and as Elizabeth Russell in Lagaan (2001) (where I said she was “stellar”). I’ve not seen her in anything else, but based on the comparison between these two roles, I stand by my claim, for I have seen her ability as an actress. I feel she was badly cast as a character that was contrived by writers as an antagonist for Season 2. (I don’t believe I ever called her a villain; that was started by someone else in these messages.) And as I also said, I’m not sure if it was Shelley’s acting that caused the problem, or Helena’s character; it’s possible that no one could have done a better job than Shelley with this role. Yes, Shelley is drop-dead beautiful; yes, she’s probably a very nice person; but she strikes me as a straight woman who is struggling to act like a lesbian. Now that I think about it, she also strikes me as a nice person who was struggling to act like a character that was not so nice. In season 3, writer’s seem to have remade Helena into a kinder, gentler character and already I find Shelley’s performance more effective. Was that me laughing out loud at Alice and Helena in the Season 3 premiere? Yes, it was.But all this is just my opinion. That and $3.50 might get you a latte at The Planet. If it upsets you to read anything I’ve written, please don’t. But to the dozens of fans who have e-mailed me about how much they have enjoyed reading my editorials (from South America, and Vietnam, and California, and Australia, and everywhere else), thank you. Very much.My issues with Shelley’s season 2 performance don’t make her a bad person anymore than your disapproval of my opinion makes me a bad person. Some in their comments have called me a bad writer. Fair enough. That’s your opinion, on a highly subjective matter. And though I disagree with it, I respect and accept your right to express that opinion.
2006-01-12, 19:14:38 PM
Comments: I am in complete agreement that it was inappropriate to publish the article as yes it is supposed to be a FAN site. I actually like what I have seen of the character Helena thus far in season three. After reading of her interactions at the UK convention, it is also apparent that Rachel Shelley is a compassionate person as well as highly professional. I believe she is the only one that reached out to address her condolences about TBSaver. I have gained more respect for her as I think of the lines that are sometimes blurred betweena fictional character and the actor portraying. Did you remember that she said she once visited the L-Word.com site but shied away after reading such terrible things (non)fans were writing about her/Helena. Now she has begun to visit again and look at the mess she will have to read. Looks like Cole needs windshield wipers and a Get A Life pill. Will the site be issuing any rebuttal? I'll wait.
2006-04-05, 03:28:32 AM
Comments: I couldn't agree with you more! Im totally on your side
2006-04-17, 13:52:48 PM
Comments: Rachel Shelley has given a touch of class to the L-Word. She took the character of Helena and made her a complex woman. To say the Rachel is not convincing as a lesbian, I'd have to think the person who wrote that never had sex as a lesbian. Rachel deserves an Oscar. She is totally into the role and doesn't play her as a two dimentional lesbian character. I still have a hard time believing she's not into women. If the L-Word loses her a lot of fans will leave. She put the love, lust and life in the show.