Saturday, March 31, 2007

Post-L: Season Four in the Rearview Mirror

The L Word season may be over, but the hand wringing has just begun. Will Bette and Tina ever unmix their messages? Will Shane and Paige move to the ’burbs? Will Alice keep the home fires burning for Tasha? Will Helena go directly to jail, do not cross go, do not collect $200. Will Jenny get eaten by sharks? I am particularly pulling for the latter.

Instead of a formal review (we all watched, we all can form our own opinions), I’ll just say that I thought season four was an improvement over last year. As always, the writers have continuity problems both in writing, pace and plot. Also, far be it from Mama Chaiken (TM, Scribe Grrrl) to tread lightly in the Big Metaphor department. War, it’s bad for lesbians and other living things. Tolerance, it’s best addressed through an after school specials. Daddies, they sure have a lot of issues.

We could analyses and psycho analyze until the cows came home (or at least until Bette drove that tractor back from New York to L.A.). Instead, I’ll just break down my hopes and dreams for season five. Mama Chaiken, can you hear me?

Alice/Tasha -- Listen Ilene, whatever you do, DO NOT kill Tasha in Iraq. Let the woman live. Let Alice be happy. Do not make her crumble into another pile in a hospital hallway clutching a damn singing sunflower that keeps belting “You Are My Sunshine.” I mean it. I am not above physical violence.
Bette/Tina/Jodi --Oh what a tangled web we weave. I’m actually looking forward to the love triangle we all know is coming. And, surprisingly, I’m not sure who I am rooting for just yet. I love Bette and all her micromanaging, belittling, putting people in a box ways. I love Bette with Tina (well, the real Tina - not the vein-popping, banshee-wailing bore we’ve seen for 1.5 seasons). And I’m beginning to love Bette with Jodi. Marlee Matlin has signed on to become a season regular next year, so I’m just gonna let this one play out for our anguish and enjoyment.
Helena-- The gambling addict/sex slave/personal maid storyline was a dud. Still if Helena goes to prison you could kill two lesbians birds with one stone, so to speak. Of course, we already had the Great Prison Pantomime Sex of 2004. And jail duds are so unflattering. Just please do not let this devolve into a courtroom drama. This is not “Law & Order: Lesbian Intent” (though, now that I think about it, someone get me a meeting with Dick Wolf).
Jenny -- Ms. Schecter continues to drift in the ocean. She floats further and further away, toward an uncertain horizon. Then, after living on rain water and the fish who committed suicide by jumping into her dingy after being subjected to days upon days of her endless blathering about why her damaged life is her art, Jenny hits a sandy shore. With her last ounce of strength, she pulls herself onto the unknown beach. She blinks into the sun, only to see….Hey, is that Matthew Fox? And Evangeline Lilly? Good luck J.J. Abrams. She is your problem now.
Kit -- Someone, anyone, please give this woman something to do. And please let it not be another retread of her battle with the bottle. Yes, alcoholism is a terrible disease that must be taken one day at a time. But Pam Grier deserves a real plot. She was Foxy Brown, for God’s sake.
Max -- Bring back Grace. She makes Max bearable. Just don’t let them lapse into tech talk. Unless you’re intentionally making their pseudo-computer speak hilarious. In which case, carry on.
Papi -- Find another dimension. That one you’ve been living in is so flat and predictable. I hate da playa and da game.
Phyllis -- Let Joyce and her drive off into the sunset together and only pop back up for campy effect. Cybill is best taken in small doses, just like her beloved Botox.
Shane -- Since Kristanna Loken is on Painkillers now, seems Shane’s white picket fence dreams will be on permanent hold. I wonder how the writers are going to wiggle out of that one. Honestly, I’m relieved. I couldn’t picture Shane looking very minivan today. Though, I have enjoyed the more mature, more soulful Shane. Next season let’s see more soul, less suburbs and a lot more sex. Cause, you know, yum.

And finally, one last plea to Mama C. Please, ma’am, may we have some more group scenes? The core cast’s chemistry is a thing of beauty to behold. So let us behold it more. All these separate tables are fine, but nothing beats a nice, hearty meal around the kitchen table with family. Come on, we’re all family, after all.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post and share (most of) your hopes and dreams for season 5. I like Jenny's character, however, and would love to see it developed going forward as something other than the crazy girl everyone seems to love to hate.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the triangle graphic.

Heather Anne Hogan said...

Yes, to all of these. Especially more family scenes. Thank you in advance, M. Chaiken.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree about giving Kit a real plot. Till now I cannot figure out what was/is "Papi" role in "the family"... so misplaced. Get lost!

Anonymous said...

I agree that Papi needs a better storyline. I'm excited that her real name, Eva Torres, was dropped into this episode. (Remember...from season 3, Eva Torres was the girl that Carmen skipped her prom with) Wouldn't it be great if Carmen got caught between Shane and Papi?? That would be the real showdown.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. Was just reading the above comment and hadn't even made that connection. Man, that fans are goooood. I wonder if that was intentional or not, I wouldn't run it by the writers of this show to forget the significance of the character name and pop it in again without thought. Maybe her and Carmen do have a connection though... how interesting would that be?!

I also enjoy your commentary on the show. I agree with what you said, and think it's horrible that writing Kristanna Loken out of the show now is likely to happen. I think she was hot and had good chemistry with Shane, but really, how long could that play nice family thing really go on. Shane does need stability though. I'm sick of seeing her character doing blow and actin' a fool.

Anonymous said...

i loved this post, and agreed with almost everything you said! i love your blog :)

Anonymous said...

I like the Lost reference with Jenny. If I could add one as well, rather than sending Jenny to a mysterious island, I would like to see Jenny and Max get plowed down by a bus as they were crossing the road. That would be excellent!

nycrouge said...

Yes. YES! Send Jenny to Lost! Maybe the Others can kidnap her and blow her up in one of the hatches.

Anonymous said...

Either bring back Carmen, or give us a little closer.

Anonymous said...

gree. love them all. cause im too lazy to sign in, im the one who posts on