Thursday, March 27, 2008

Post-L: Season 5 in the rearview mirror

It was the philosopher George Santayana who said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” And, after watching season 5, it is L’impresario Ilene Chaiken who seems to be saying “Those who cannot remember the past will wallow in season after season and even make a movie about it because, seriously, they just can’t let go.” Or, perhaps, something a little shorter like, “Hey, I liked season 1, let’s see that again.”

Whether you’re a Tibette supporter or would like to see them quashed Chinese government-style, you can’t deny that it was their storyline drove whatever small amount of emotional growth there was this season. Everyone else, well, they sort of wound up where back where they were in season one. Alice finds herself falling for someone unexpected. Shane finds herself at the end of another relationship and returning to her lothario ways. Jenny finds herself devastated and deceived. Kit finds herself, uh, well Kit never gets much to do, period.

But I don’t want to kvetch for pages and pages about the enigma of Mama Chaiken’s mind (OK, maybe just a little: Why have Tasha give up her entire career if she and Alice were only going to break up? Why did you have to bring Helena back just to be the moneybags? Why can’t Shane grow as a person, ever?) Instead, how about we put a message in a bottle with our hopes and dreams for the sixth and final season and toss it out to sea in hopes that Big Mama C will find it. Hey, if Jenny could find land on her dinghy, then anything is possible.

Bette and Tina: Slow it down. Way down. What’s this talk of another child? Can’t all three of you just learn to be a family again without adding even more to your plates? Tina wins hands down for “Most Improved” this season from the neck-vein popping disaster she was last year. As for Bette, she could use a little more Alpha, but not a the expense of New Tina. Balance, ladies, balance. Just, please, not another pregnant lesbian storyline. I’m now officially begging.

Alice and Tasha: Well, that went from cutest thing ever to totally doomed in 3.2 seconds flat. I kind of loathe the idea of a “we’re working though our problems” storyline. That said, I definitely want to see Tasha again so they’d better work something out. Regardless, I want my adorable Alice back. Where was she? Something is seriously wrong when Jenny has all of the best lines.

Kit and Max: How about some storylines? Or some lines, period?

Phyllis: I don’t care as long as she keeps bringing Joyce with her.

Jenny: I don’t know how Jenny did it, but I went from thinking she was the bitchiest narcissist on the planet (not to mention in The Planet) to thinking she was the most heartbreaking narcissist on the planet. Next season, I’m sensing, will be about trust for her. Which is all fine and good, but just don’t make her go back to that freaky circus, OK?

Shane: Oh, Fonz. What madness have you wrought? I’m beginning to lose hope. Are you really nothing more than tight jeans and long fingers? When will you learn to think with Big Shane instead of your 10 Little Shanes? Your season will be all about redemption. Yeah, good luck with that.

UPDATE: Some TLW enthusiasts asked me to mention their Save The L Word campaign with accompanying petition. They’ve got some 7,500 signers so far and are encouraging folks to write Showtime president Bob Greenblatt, too. Best to you, ladies.


Anonymous said...

If only Illene Chaiken would read L Word reviews like yours or listen to the L Word viewers and actually try to incorporate some of our ideas/hopes for this show.

I too miss my happy go lucky, snarky Alice from earlier seasons, though glimpses of her shone through here and there, and Leisha Hailey really can do no wrong in my book!

I actually liked Jenny this season, and even more I was starting to like her and Nikki and now another relationship destroyed, well actually 2 of them. Shane and Jenny and the ending of this season was "heartbreaking" for me as well!

I stopped really caring all that much about Tina and Bette, so whatever happens, eh I'm not really that invested in it, though I do think that they belong together.

Shane is somehow the least developed character, just when one thinks she has had an epiphany, she goes right back to her old ways, leaving a path of destruction behind her. If there is anyone who is the "stereotype" lesbian character (the kind that prejudicial heterosexuals imagine us all to be), Shane would be the character most likely to fit that bill.

I still flock to watch the L Word, as frankly there is not much else on TV that gives us this many lesbian characters in one place (or any lesbian characters, for that matter), so I'll still be tuning in come this last season, but I'll try to keep my expectations low and hope for the best anyway!

Anonymous said...

About Bette talking about having another baby: maybe Holloman (or Beals) is thinking about having a baby in real life, and they thought it would be a good idea to mention one in the last episode.

You know, so we won't be shocked to see a big belly when the last season begins. :)

TheWeyrd1 said...

Shane's 10 little fingers...snicker Phyllis had it wrong when she was berating her for not keeping "it" in her pants. She should have berated her for putting her 10 little Shane's in other people's pants!

Shazzer said...

Phyllis: I don’t care as long as she keeps bringing Joyce with her.

LMAO! Love it! No idea when Swedish TV will get around to airing Season 5, but thanks to Dorothy's re-caps, I'll definitely be prepared!

delurk said...

Thank you for wonderfully articulating all my hopes and fears for season 6! Except I do not care about Max - sorry - but whatever ... just no pregnancies!

bitterbutter said...

I love that you call Shane "Fonz".


Anonymous said...

There’s something I cannot understand when it comes to L Word, maybe somebody with a better vision can enlighten me. I don’t have any connections with the gay community, no insight into it whatsoever, but I find very hard to believe how it is described in this TV show (even if we are talking about West Hollywood). Some of the behaviors I see in this series are over the top; it seems to me that L Word takes place on another solar system and the protagonist are anything else but humans.
I find really hard to believe that a character like Shane is plausible, at the extent it was portrayed in the show. Also Alice has suffered a disturbing personality change from a sweet/dependable/lovely person to a cranky/ungrateful/cold character. Don’t get me started with her wardrobe for Season 5, it was simply outrageous.
Oh boy and the last scenes from S5, with Shane doing the unthinkable. Also Alice getting advice from Shane in matters of the heart?! And Shane’s answer is still haunting me: "You have the right to be happy, it's your human right to be happy ...” At first there’s nothing wrong with this statement but when you think about who’s giving the advice and who’s receiving it it’s a whole different matter. This is whole bunch of bad karma. How can you feel so madly attracted to somebody you’ve met for like 5 minutes, after a scooter ride? In my book is really bad movie making craft.
There’s a reason why a TV show is not supposed to last more than 5 seasons (I would say 3 in this case). I don’t know from what point the belief that any kind of visibility is a good one stops being true.

Anonymous said...

I too watched the L word for the past five seasons because it was nearly the only game in town. For the entire series, the writers and producers of this show have missed a brilliant opportunity to portray real people that we can care about, in realistic situations that are meaningful in any universal way. These real people could have been depicted by the highly attractive actresses that have played the L word characters.. but instead Ziff and Chaiken and the whole bunch have tried so hard to Make a Statement, Be Arty, Be Clever, that they missed the boat entirely. The missed the boat by creating unidimensional characters and too many thin story lines. An excellent show like BAD GIRLS, over seasons 1 -4 demonstrate to me what the L Word Could have been. Another show that comes to mind that did it well--presenting the complexities of life with attractive actors playing complext people is Thirtysomething.. which played in the early nineties. Chaiken and Ziff managed to make the L word a laughable hackneyed series that has truly been disappointing!

spat said...

Thoughts for season 6, the L Word series finale. Perhaps borrow some ideas from Six Feet Under and the Will and Grace finalies.

Fast forward 20 years and a beautiful young girl is at her college graduation talking about her family, and the flash backs begin of ALL of our L Word favorite characters, including Dana. We can see if Shane ever settles down, if Alice becomes the girl we used to love so much, and so on.

Of course the young woman is Angie, and we can see how the characters developed over the years, and it would end in real time with whatever characters remain, but of course Bette and Tina as the proud mammas. Ok, sappy, I know, but I am a sucker for a happy ending...just have to work out all the middle stuff!

slacker said...

Good points all around, Ms. Snarker. I'm glad to see TiBette back together...but would it have killed 'em to toss in some make-up sex? And why drag on the doom of the JoBoring relationship for lack of any drama in the resolution? Similarly the Adele story. Good build followed by loud "huh?"

I'd like to see Kit get a storyline next season. I'd like to see Max follow Tom to wherever Jodi's going. If Jodi sticks around, maybe Max is so busy at Tom's place that we'll never see him.

Where did funny Alice go? I like TnA, and will be bummed if that gets trashed, also.

Jenny*100 was enjoyable this season. At the end of 4 I'd have been glad if they'd left her in the dinghy. S5 redeemed the character for me.

Shane. Shane. Shane. Shane. Yoda better figure stuff out. I think KM is finally up to the acting tasks of drama. Now, can they get her story in gear and not replay S1-S4. Again.

I liked Cybil and Cybil Jr. Joycie's always fun to toss into the mix.

Helena. Again. Please, find a plot for Rachel. She deserves one.

Slym said...

I should probably be the last person out here to comment on TLW S5 becauswe I haven't watched nary a one. I think I'm just fed up with Chaiken's blatant disregard for viewers' views. I don't expect her to just run willy-nilly with whatever is suggested but I think it's offensive.

Good to know that TiBette is on again and believe me I think I'm the biggest TiBette fan ever but not even that could have pulled me to the show. I agree with all who mentioned that the show needs to be even a bit more realistic as well and that it missed a great opportunity to tackly some truly worthwhile and important issues.

Anonymous said...

You're not gay and haven't seen the show but you are posting here? Right.

Sterkworks said...

I have never been a fan of Shane, but in this season's finale, I finally saw her do a selfless thing and I actually started liking her.

As for Helena, nothing wrong with some nice eye candy.

The Big Shamu said...

So we're at the end of Season 5. The question is were you entertained?
All the comments here and other places make me believe most "cared" for the characters enough to talk, complain, and blog about them. So Chaiken must be doing something right? Can she please everyone? Never. Did she please enough to run for 5 seasons on pay cable? Hell yes.
It's entertainment. Did someone put out a press release that I missed claiming it was something more?

Chola Of The Day said...

From your mouth to Chaiken's ears! No baby for Tibette, let them figure their reconciliation out first! Grow up Shane! Alice, come back! More laughter from Tasha! I have high hopes for the final season, and I actually liked Jenny this year. That has NEVER happened before...

sam991 said...

I really liked this season. Granted, Alice has not been her usual self, but what we got in return has been a more stable, understanding Bette, Tina finally becoming more independant and less reactionary and -- dare i say it -- A Jenny who may actually be likeable.

Though i have to admit i was rather hoping that the glimpse of Dana we saw in the S4 finale would be continued or at least explained.

As for S6, i'd love to see it end on a high note.

Anonymous said...

i loved your comments about LWord and your pre...

thanks a lot.....

great blog,indeed

merci madame

vampira said...

Online Petitions:

si vous avez de l'argent en trop :

celle ci me parait bien, c'est gratuit que 260 signatures :/

Writing Letters to:
Bob Greenblatt, President of Entertainment
10880 Wilshire Bl.

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Contact by phone:
Bob Greenblatt - 310-234-5301
His assistant: Brian
If he answers tell him exactly how you want the show to stay on showtime. You know, just be convincing. Or you can leave a message.

Fax Number - 310-234-5448

ça me ferait bien marrer d'appeler le gars au tel pour lui demander de continuer la série ou de laisser un message sur son répondeur mais bon c'est les States ^^
ou alors envoyez un fax si vous pouvez le faire du boulot pour voir ce que ça donne, disons que filer le n° de fax par internet ça me parait étrange....

en gros la pétition gratos c'est le mieux ^^