Monday, December 01, 2008

Pre-Pre-L: Spare the rod, spoil The L Word

Oh, kittens. If you want to maintain your sanity, please stop reading now. I mean it. Stop. Go here. Or here. Or possibly here. No good can come of what follows. Look, you'll find out on your own soon enough. But I want you to hold onto your mental well-being for as long as you can. Why rush the crazy?

But for those poor souls like me whose sanity is already long gone, please join me as we talk about all the latest “L Word” spoilers that splatted all over The Internets over Thanksgiving weekend. [Big ups to TWoP Forum and SaabStory!] So, in case I haven't made myself clear enough, STOP READING IMMEDIATELY IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED FOR SEASON 6! This is your last chance. I am in no way kidding and will not be held responsible for what follow. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

So, here is the thing...hey, you! I see you hiding in the corner. Get outta here. It's for your own good, trust me... Are they all gone now? Good. Let us begin at the beginning.



As nice as it is to see Lucy Lawless pull up to the gayborhood, it's disconcerting to see that the show about hot women kissing has turned into an episode of “Lesbian & Order.” And it's even more disconcerting when we find out who is in the pool. Because Ilene Chaiken has gone and done it. You thought, perhaps, that even she didn't have a big enough ego to end her series with not only a death but The Death. But, you clearly thought wrong. Yep, Ilene killed Jenny.

So, the great Lesbian Clue games begins (and presumably ends) with Jenny floating in the swimming pool. Um, Ilene. Yeah, hi. “Sunset Boulevard” called, and it wants its plot back. As my friend the brilliant (and returning, woo to the hoo!) TLW recapper Scribegrrrl pointed out, last season was Ilene's “All About Eve” moment. Now this season Ilene seems to be telling Mr. DeMille that she is ready for her close-up. A Hollywood writer is found floating in a pool and the rest of the story is told in flashback. Where is Norma Desmond when you need her?

The Death of Jenny (heretofore to be known as DOJ, since the irony of this act sharing an acronym with the Department of Justice or anything related to justice is just...rich), will surely be cheered by some. I mean, Jenny is crazy. Like coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs, full-tilt boogie, do not pass go do not collect $200 crazy. But, the thing is, Mia Kirshner somehow managed to pull it off. For all of Jenny's megalomania, destructiveness and bat guano mainlining, you always hoped that she could be redeemed. After all, the series has been, in large part, about Jenny's journey. She is the one who came to Vancouver L.A. She is the one who realized she was gay. She is the artist in search of herself.

So, as loyal followers, we hoped that her journey would take us somewhere. I don't kid myself to think that TLW is much more than a sexy, stylized and sometimes sensationally acted soap opera. But instead of rewarding our loyalty, Ilene has chosen to kick us for our stupidity. Did she really think she was going to sneak the oldest lesbian story in the book past us? You know the one. You've seen it your entire life. It's the sad doomed lesbian. (For reference please see “The Children's Hour,” “Lost and Delirious,” all the very special episodes of a crime procedurals during sweeps month).

Come on, Ilene. The best you could do was to Sylvia Plath your lead character? Just stick her head in an oven and be done with it. We get it. This is your show. This is your character. This is your prerogative. All of this is true. But that you chose to take all your creative energy and pour it into this? Whether by murder, suicide or accidental flotation device malfunction, I can't help but feel cheated.

While I don't think that artists owe their audiences anything more than the art itself, I do think that art must be authentic. It needs to mean something. And it certainly needs to mean something more than the hubris it takes to kill a character just because you can. I mean, what are we meant to take away from Jenny's life and death? If you had told me from the start that this would just be a giant LOLlesbian I could have saved a lot of time these past five years.

I've largely stayed away the rest of the spoilers (yes, yes, I know about Shenny), not because I don't care but because the DOJ has left me adrift like Gatsby in that pool (hey, if Ilene can steal so can I). But this isn't a commentary on the empty materialism and easy immorality at work beneath the glamor of the rich. Nor is it an ink-black comedic dismantling of the Hollywood myth. This is Jenny fucking Schecter. The only thing that would be worse is if Ilene ended it all as a dream. God, she wouldn't, right?



So, have at it kittens. Are you ready to scratch your own eyes out? Are you ready to scratch Ilene's eyes out? Are you just trying to scratch your way out of of this box and into freedom? Don't worry, Ilene. You are big. It's just the lesbians that got small.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now I'm confused. Jenny is killed in the beginning? But she still is among the cast in other episodes? So the beginning of the season is actually the ending..and we are gonna watch 8 episodes of build-up of the "shocking death"..C'mon Ilene!!

foxysox said...

you know what, out of 5 seasons, I've really enjoyed 4 (s3 sucked ass soooo bad!) so I'm gonna go ahead and give her the benefit of the doubt, yes the idea that Jenny is murdered and then Alice takes the fall and is shipped off to a British prison does seem ridiculous, but I'll still be watching, I'm excited to see the last season and genuinely sad its the last season. I have hope, I'm optimistic this will be a good season! (Just wait, I'll be back here in 2/3 months ranting about how utterly appauling the writing is! :) )

RHEA said...

This just annoys me to all get out...perhaps when the smoke pouring out of my ears stops, I'll come back and have something to say about it all...

...grrrrr....

vikki said...

I still remember when this show resembled something akin to reality. I miss those days. That said...I'm a sucker and I won't be able to keep myself from watching.

Slym said...

I truly comment all and any of you who still watch TLW. I've been off this show since the beginning of S4. And I don't even read anything about it anywhere else. The only reason I see/read (and not in full) anything about it, is here at Surrenders because I check in daily for my daily fixes.

Chaiken has scarred/marred me deeply :(. (her blantant disregard for anyone else's - not that she owes any of us anything, is the biggest turn off for me of them all).

Lindsay said...

so....no Carmen? I had heard EVERYWHERE she was coming back. Hmm...nice to see Dylan though. THAT will be an interesting story!

Anonymous said...

come on, it's just a tv show. As long as it's entertaining and there's enough kissing, I'm in :-)

Anonymous said...

even if the L Word has lost it's resemblance to reality, I still love it. I greatly enjoyed watching season 5 in all it's grazyness and it doesn't bother me at all, that season 6 will be a completely different show than what the L word use to be...

;)) babs said...

OMG tina looks so shitty! hehehe
and I'm already scared of elizabeth berkley!

I hope there wont be too much drama,
a happy last season would be nice.

and I so miss "season 4 alice"!

;)) babs

Anonymous said...

not jenny. anyone but jenny. i was hoping shed be redeemed too, in fact i was just saying that this weekned. but when i read this there may have been hyperventilation. i officialy hate ilene chaiken.TLW was at its best in seasons 1-2. ill miss her unique brand of crazy:(

long beach kelster said...

My message to IC: If this is "not an ending but it is taking a breath", it is a breath of poo if you ask me. LAME, LAME, LAME. I feel betrayed by what I have dedicated so much positive/fun-time energy towards. That is what I get for watching a TV show...my Daddy always told me that it's no good and rots the mind. This tragedy is evidence thereof.

TheWeyrd1 said...

It's disappointing, but then again it comes full circle. And that's what I would expect from a writer writing a show about a writer. Because really, as you pointed out, the show was always about the world that Jenny came to visit. If Jenny doesn't come to visit, does that world exist? And when she leaves, does it fail to exist any longer? And Alice also being a writer, somehow does continue to exist, but she must go to a new world in order to exist. I think this may be the new existentialism...heh.

Grace said...

8 episodes only?! that just sucks... Jenny being killed... wow.

DILLIGAF said...

Well, you saved me some time. I'm not watching L-Turd.

Probably.

God Damnit.

Anonymous said...

You are hilarious and IC is a fucking bitch!

K said...

I appreciate this most amusing post, but I must say that I've kind of been hoping for the character Jenny's death since she first shared her "writing". Personally, all that sort of "I bleed ink from my soul betrayed" and "she gnawed out the antelope heart of me" tortured freshman seminar prose made me, an English teacher, cringe right to the edges of my stuffy tweed jacket.

Therefore, that makes me think Chaiken probably heard the audience buzz (which was about as subtle as a punch in the kidneys) about their feelings for Jenny and had to act, lest she lose viewers. I know, I know, she's doing plenty to lose viewers. This is like a band-aid on a knife wound.

Still, given my elitism, I can't stop liking the L Word, in the same way that I like rubbernecking at car crashes, wincing at the Surgery Channel, and trying to follow the logic of telenovelas. Also, I sincerely enjoy an extended crime drama, so if TLW is turning into a whodunit, I'll be more excited than I have been since season 2.

Thanks for posting and thanks for the spoiler!

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand too. Jenny is killed in the beginning but she's still in the other episodes???

Anonymous said...

Open two minutes is a teaser with the death and then it goes back to "three months earlier" for the rest of the episode.

fallon ash said...

Well, I'm one of the cheerers. Sort of. I don't care about Jenny. I've been fast-forwarding her scenes for the last three seasons because I can't stand her. I don't care one bit if she's on the show, or if she's killed, or whatever happens to her, but I am a bit wary of the season, because knowing that she dies, it will without a doubt be ALL ABOUT JENNY.

However, I'm ridiculously happy and relieved that Helena wasn't killed. (Or, you know, Bette or Tina, but I don't think they were ever in the running.) And with Dylan coming back, at least I'll get to see Rachel Shelley and Alexandra Hedison on screen, and then I can ignore the rest.

Anne said...

The whole plot-nonsense is exhausting, but I do love to watch girls kissing. Guess I'll be tuning in for one more season. (she sighs)

Nanc Twop said...

Looks like Rachel Shelley was telling us the truth when she said (in the latest promo) that TLW would be unraveled before our very eyes...

'Thanks fer nuthin', Ilene.' ... sheesh

Lopey said...

I'm just thankful that it wasn't Helena on the wrong end of Ilene Chaiken's "artistic liberties".

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying. I know I'm a bit slow (a part of me was refusing to believe it's true) but I'm officially upset now. Very upset. As much as Ms. Snarker, if not more.

I love Jenny (well, maybe not the unbearable S5 Jenny but hey, she was so ridiculous that it was funny and Mia made it fun to watch her).

Opening the final season with the death of one of your main characters (that we have been following for 5 years) and then going back to "3 months earlier" to show us what happened is probably the worst (important) creative decision that TLW has made and structurally, it is simply bad, boring and lazy.

Anonymous said...

Well TLW has been a love hate thing for me since s2. I get pissed at the poor or non-existent story. The never ending WTF's and of course the TiBette rape.

So here we go again. I have NO expectations were this series is concerned except hearing endless Fucks(I love it), watching HOT HOT women(love that too) and noting the very slight resemblence to my world contained within.

There never has been a story that makes sense, way to many characters and now there is no need to even try - it's the end.

It's like watching the last game of your hometown team's season which is in last place - sigh. Shit, you go outa habit and to just enjoy the friends and food. That's not such a bad thing....

Dawg said...

At least for the past 5 years we been able to watch 'lesbians' on TV .. right?!?

Kissing, licking, fucking ... at least it's on TV!

sarah said...

at least i saw a glimpse of Jane Lynch so we know something good will happen this season!

Anonymous said...

This sucks, Jenny is my favourite character, and Dana was too.

As ridiculous as The L Word has been at times, the one redeeming thing about it has been the fact that the actresses' acting has been consistently really good (exception: Daniela Sea). I think it's kind of unfortunate that they weren't given better material to work with, because they are all really talented.

I don't know how the story is going to play out but I feel like having Jenny die doesn't really do justice to the excellent job Mia has done with the character. I don't really understand the people who don't like the character of Jenny, I think she is crazy, hilarious, and entertaining. Also, I think if another actress had played this character it would've never worked. Anyways, in sum, Chaiken sucks.

Katherine Simon said...

Alright, I was pissed when she took it on herself to basically spoof All About Eve last season and expected us to not know how it would end... but now? Are you shitting me? Sunset Boulevard?! Even less interesting to try to parody.

My question now is... who's going to go crazy if Jenny's dead??

Anonymous said...

why are you searching spoilers???

Chaiken is probably mad but you???

i'am waiting for your response via your blog??

don't care about jenny or shane (i hate her,no brain,no sensuality etc..) and the actress is dramatic...and her sex scenes are .... .

but just for JB @LH....

Anonymous said...

i hate lucy lawless and xena....

please dorothy ,don't talk about her....

it's probably the biggest error ....

Lil Cameron said...

I'd also like to point out that the narrator of the second clip you've posted sounds like the narrator from Desperate Housewives. So wrong...yet somehow so appropriate given that Days Of Our Lives (DOUL) lighting!

Melinda Barton said...

Didn't Jenny kill "Sarah Schuster" by drowning her in the first season around the time she was falling in love with Marina and figuring out that she liked women? Maybe Sarah got her revenge and framed Alice. haha

Chaiken must be one of the worst writers in television. No wonder most of her career was spent on Aaron Spelling's drivel.

Sweden said...

This can so not be happening. NO! Jenny was the funniest she'd ever been last season, and now she dies? NO! I sure hope there's something more to it..

Katie Lind said...

I have no idea why I watch this show, but I do. I guess that's what you call "desperation"?

If they're going to fuck everything up, they should just balls out and jump in a time machine back to before Dana got sick. You know, back when the show was (relatively) good.

eme said...

Maybe it is a mess of beautiful people but at this point there is something for everyone.

Although some of the spoiler dialogue is so bad....it has to be a dream. cause it reads like a nightmare.

Tiffany said...

I hate the Max character with a burning intensity and hoped it would be him that died. I've always like Jenny and am sad to see she's the one IC decided to off. Though I am even madder that Carmen and Lara is not back. That said I'll watch even though I'll be seething with anger all the way until the end.

Anonymous said...

what's going on with dylan's hair?

imthey said...

While it is "just a TV show" it is nonetheless one that I have invested my time in since the beginning, so I will follow through and watch until it is over. That being said, I am a bit disappointed by a. how short this season will be and b. the direction the storyline is going to be going in this season.
My favorite character has always been Alice (mostly because I think that Leisha has really done a great job in her portrayal of Alice... even during the awful obsessed with Dana period and the in love with a male lesbian time before that).
I have always had the utmost respect for Mia Kirshner as an actress and felt badly that Illene had written her character the way she did. I always thought that Mia deserved much better and it did take me a while to warm to the character of Jenny because of that, however I did and I really enjoyed Jenny and Nikki together until Illene went and destroyed that as well. I'm disheartened that Jenny (or any of the characters) are going to be killed off, as I feel that there could surely have been other directions to take this last season in, however I will still watch the season to show my support for the actresses as well as supporting the show, which really was one of the only shows focusing on the lesbian and bisexual community and while perhaps not the best show on the air it did have its moments.

jessica said...

is anyone else stoked to see an asian cast member?? even if she is a third wheel and likely? i'll be watching especially for her!

Crystal said...

I wish I could quit this show, but I can't. I'm picturing the murder like this:

Alice: *holds hand to ear like a phone* Oh hey... Jenny, it's Monet. He says "I told you not to fucking compare yourself to me again." Yeah, he asked me to suffocate you with a copy of Sum of Her Parts.

(I knew I shouldn't have had that second glass of wine...)

Elizabeth said...

While Jenny has been awful and annoying and crazy from the beginning, she has been that character that most of us love to hate. And I did feel for her at times because I think Mia Kirschner has done a beautiful job (epecially considering what she's had to work with...) I really was hoping that Jenny would redeem herself in this final season. Especially after how things ended for her in season 5. I'm a big Mia fan so this just makes me sad. I was kind of hoping that something happened to Tasha so that in Alice's spinoff we could see her trying to figure out her life and move on to new love and new experiences. Like what happens in real life when people lose loved ones. Then again, she already lost Dana. Sob. Oh well.

Trihardist said...

::scratch scratch scratch::

Umm, let's forget TLW and spend our time making up more LOLlesbians.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant Dorothy - and I have to say if this was art one could say that artist's have the right to create whatever they wish and not fulfill a communities needs to shake off the "tragic victim" stereotypes but this is far far far from art so IC has no excuse whatsoever except she likes to do what amuses her.

If it weren't for the actresses that I enjoy seeing play at being dykes I would be long gone and I feel stoopid for getting and being hooked but that is how starved I am for lesbian imagery in the media.
Damn you IC.

Pugs said...

Well I had hoped to see Carmen but hey, at least Ilene is throwing me a bone with Alexandra H. I'll take it!

www.ComeTogetherGiftBaskets.com

citizen spot said...

IC should have just ended it with an alien invasion, as she once "jokingly" said she would do. At least the regular actors, staff and crew, and guest actors will pick up a few paychecks. And now maybe Angela Robinson will be freed up to work on her own projects (cough, Girltrash, cough!).

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

I prefer Scribe's recaps to the pain of actually watching the show, so the news that she'll be returning to AE for that stint is wonderful!
I just can't watch TLW. I can't. It's the same reason why I can't watch CSI: Miami. Bad writing with no sense of irony on the badness. It's ok to be bad, just know that you are.
Plus, I miss Scribe. Her wit, her keen eye for the underlying absurd, her way of stringing words together that aren't boring...it's all like keyboard magic springing from someone who actually has an original thought now and again :)

skinnymalinky said...

Perhaps it will be more like 'Murder on the Orient Express' and all of the other characters get together to bump off Jenny - They can take turns dunking her under the water and reel off a line of why she wronged them.
Alice can take the fall in this scenario as the first person to push her into the pool.

I'm hoping it will exceed my expectations and either be surprisingly good or ridiculously, horrendously awful so that either way I'll be entertained. Just don't let it be flatline mediocre *shudder*

Anonymous said...

Pugs, Carmen is back and my money is on her to be the victim, not Jenny

J. Frank said...

God I am blaming all of this, on Betty.

Anonymous said...

I second the blame on Betty.

Anonymous said...

I hope Jenny didn't commit suicide. It's not funny (ever happened to a friend). Well... I feel like scratching Ilene's eyes out. Urgh!