Saturday, January 31, 2009


L603: “LMFAO”
With apologies to Chandler Bing: Can, open. Worms, everywhere. The Shenny secret is out. And upon hearing the news everyone experiences – what I like to call – an involuntary, uncomfortable Sphecter-Tightening. Prepare to pucker. Oh, and Shenny fans: relax, unclench – I come in peace. LMFAO, indeed.
[Click any and all to enlarge.]

1) Who Wants Jenny Dead (WWJD) 2: “Fucking Jenny. I'm gonna fucking kill you.” 2) God, this is going to take some getting used to.3) No, really, possibly my entire life.4) Dude, I just had the weirdest dream.5) Alice: Sphecter-Tightening Illustrated6) Just Tweet all your friends; it’s so much faster.7) Maybe even several lifetimes.8) Paging Mr. Seinfeld. We’ve located your puffy shirt.9) What? The personality transplant? It itches a little, I guess.10) A swim you say? Hmm, I’ll consider it.11) WWJD 3: Just in case you didn’t hear Tina the first time.12) Oh, God. The crazy. It’s contagious.13) Fun Gay: FAIL14) Inelegant kiss avoidance in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…15) Fuck, this is my script? What’s next, a Post-It?16) Where can I get me one of these? Seriously.17) No way, I’m only the second Asian-American character ever?18) Wait, did I flip over to an after-school special on accident?19) Wow, the economy really is bad. Shane is recycling outfits.20) Hey, Chaiken. Stop trying to make this happen.21) The only appropriate responses to Shenny.

New Guestbian Count: Jamie Chen (Mei Melançon)
What She Said: “Bette, you are and will always be the woman of my dreams.” – Phyllis to Bette
Least True Statement Ever: “Alice is so annoying.” – Jenny to Shane
Most True Statement Ever: “Boundaries? Jenny doesn’t even know the meaning of the word.” – Helena to Alice
Most Jenny Thing to Say Ever: “I’m happy we fucked.” – Jenny to Shane the morning after
Most Deluded Thing to Say About Jenny Ever: “And I have to believe that she is not going to get weird.” – Shane to Alice the afternoon after
Murder, Ilene Wrote Finally Explained: “It’s about a talk show host who is really fantastic and is dating a cop who is dark and broody. They get caught up in this murder mystery so there’s like car chases and it’s got the action excitement. It’s kind of ‘Foul Play’ meets “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.’ So it’s got the romantic, action. It’s kind of got everything.” – Alice pitching Jenny her treatment

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Weekend Crush

There is a solidness to Anna Torv that has nothing to do with weight and everything to do with sensibility. It speaks of confidence and capability. Unfussiness and intellect. Strong hands and short nails. What? I'm just saying... The Australian newcomer (at least to our side of the pond, and hemisphere) has been steadily overseeing the weird as it gets weirder on the freshman sci-fi series “Fringe.” I've watched on and off since its start and have always been impressed by Anna. At first glance she looks like a the middle sister of Cate Blanchett and Blake Lively. As Agent Olivia Dunham she has a buttoned-up intensity that intrigues. Also, the woman looks good in a suit. Or, for that matter, out of her suit.

So one night I let my curiosity get the better of me and Googled her name. Which led me to YouTube. Which led me to “Mistresses.” Which led me to another sleepless night. I had heard about the BBC show before. I knew about its lesbian storyline. And I had even gathered it was pretty hot. Yet I had resisted. I don't know, the whole mistress thing sounded a little, um, trashy. But then I learned that Anna was part of its lesbian storyline and this, well, this I had to see. Curiosity is a very, very good thing. Anna Torv + a thumb ring + her real accent* = God bless The Internets. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. I know she is Rupert Murdoch's niece. But it's on his ex-wife's side. So you can't blame a gal for who her relatives marry.
p.p.s. Shelley Conn is, obviously, lovely too. Plenty of weekends, plenty of crushes.
p.p.p.s. Well, damn. Anna married her co-star over the weekend, and not the lesbian one. Sigh. But you can hear what I am hoping is really her real accent here, too. [*Will you forgive me, not only?]

Thursday, January 29, 2009

SGALGG: Award Season Edition

I love award season. First, you get to honor amazing actors for outstanding work. And second, dude, women in beautiful dresses. Hello. But, even better than a lady in a nice frock is a lady in a nice frock acting frisky with another lady. Oh, kittens, you know where I am going with this. In honor of last week's Oscar nominations, here is a look at the Best SGALGG nominees so far this awards season. The competition is fierce. And by fierce, I mean hot.
[Click any and all to enlarge for, you know, judging purposes.]

Most Insistent: Robin Wright Penn & Kate WinsletRobin really, really wants to get a little closer to Kate.
Can you blame her?

Best Couple: Amy Adams & Emily BluntWhat? In my head they're totally a couple. (p.s. I can't wait for “Sunshine Cleaning.”)

Luckiest S.O.B. Ever: Dude between Olivia Wilde & Angelina JolieThis guy is inches away as Olivia and Angelina are about to touch. Five bucks say he jizzed! in! his pants!

Best Kiss: Anne Hathaway & Rosemarie DeWittDear Anne: Brokeback for lesbians. Think about it.
xoxo, Ms. Snarker.

Most Blatant Checking Out of the Merchandise:
Eva Longoria & Rosario Dawson
Rosario, honey, her eyes are higher.

Best “Oh My,What Are You Doing With Your Hand?”: Meryl Streep & Penelope CruzA little down. Now to the left. Oh yeah, just like that.

Most Mommy Issues: Jessica Lange & Drew BarrymoreSure, they play mother-daughter in “Grey Gardens.” But if men can do May-December, then so can SGALGG.

Best Recruitment Material: Christina HendricksFine, so there isn't another gal to act gay with Christina. But, come on, if just seeing that doesn't make every straight gal on the planet question her sexuality, well, nothing will.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bedtime stories

How is it that it's been just three days since my vacation and already I am feel sleep deprived? Clearly, I have a problem. Clearly, this problem is serious since it was not remedied by a whole week of sleeping in until past 11 a.m. Though, thinking about this issue in the wee small hours of the morning, I realized that perhaps my problem is simply motivation. Because, well, if any of these women were in my bed I'd have no problem crawling under the covers. Of course, whether we'd sleep or not is entirely another matter. Hmm, perhaps this is the wrong kind of motivation after all. Wrong but delicious.

Famke JanssenAudrey TautouAngelina JolieJulie DelpyMargaret ChoKate WinsletSarah ShahiTina Fey
Come to think of it, maybe a good night's sleep is overrated.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Grace notes

God bless Emma Thompson and her glorious, gorgeous Botox-free face. Actually, bless all of her bits and pieces (especially the naughty ones). But it’s her face in “Last Chance Harvey” that reminds us what a rare and remarkable privilege it is to see our stars age gracefully – or for that matter at all. At 49, Emma is of course far from old; banish the thought. But in this age of baby-faced senior citizens and frozen-foreheaded fortysomethings, to see a woman embrace her age makes me smile almost uncontrollably – laugh lines be damned. As Emma told More magazine about our youth-obsessed culture:
“Well, I’m not fiddling about with myself, if that’s what you mean. We’re in this awful youth-driven thing now where everybody needs to look 30 at 60, and you go, ‘Don’t you get it? This is the law of diminishing returns. You are creating what can only be described as a great big cat-o’-nine-tails to flog yourself with as you get older.’ The trick is to age honestly and gracefully and make it look great, so that everyone looks forward to it.”

Well, she is certainly doing that. I’ve always harbored a not-so-secret crush on Emma. Her bawdy good humor, her unapologetic Cambridge smarts, her standing firm on the importance of eating dessert. In “Last Chance Harvey,” Emma’s Kate is achingly real: single at a certain age, guarded yet too world-weary to be anything but direct and with a mother who has her cellphone number on permanent speed dial. Still once Kate meets, or spars more accurately, in an airport bar with Dustin Hoffman’s Harvey, you know the poor fella is a goner. The film is simply charming – a romance for grown-ups in the best possible sense of the phrase. Love knows no season, lovely knows no age. Emma is proof positive that you can rage against the dying of the light without ravaging your face. When I grow up, I want to be older, wiser and just as wonderful as Emma. Now, bring on those laugh lines.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Madness of Mama C

The ego is an infinitely powerful thing. It can lead us into war. It can cripple us for a lifetime. And, just like love, it can make us do the wacky. Wacky like, say, creating a mystery you have no intention of solving. Yeah, that kind of wacky. While it shouldn't shock us anymore, Mama Chaiken has hit us with one last terrible, horrible, no good, very bad story idea. Considered it her coup de grâce of bad ideas. [Note: Stop reading now to avoid spoilers and/or elevated blood pressure.]

You see, Ilene has no intention of telling us who killed Jenny. In fact, she cheerily told L.A. Times writer Kate Aurthur:
“There are ways I could still answer it if the need were to arise. But I don't actually feel compelled to answer it. The show is about character and relationships, and I used this story to deeply explore those relationships. It's a risk not to solve a mystery, admittedly.”

A risk? A risk, Ilene? No, lady, that is just ridiculous.

So, what possible reason could Ilene have for her non-ending ending? Could it be that she is ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille?

“I hope we'll do an 'L Word' movie -- there's no plan to do an 'L Word' movie. But I would love to do that. I just believe that in some way, the show will live on....And that if there are questions that need to be answered, they'll get answered.”

Oh, so she is going to end the first major dramatic series about lesbians with a murdered lesbian and then not tell us who murdered her because, um, she wants a big movie deal? And what about that dead lesbian stereotype? Shouldn't she try to avoid instead of embrace that old chestnut?

“I'm mindful of it. But I've always considered my primary responsibility to entertain and tell good stories.”

[p.s. That L.A. Times article may or may not (totally may!) contain a couple quotes from yours snarkily. And Kate, its writer, has seen a rough cut of the finale and may or may not (totally may!) have told me, “Oh, you'll have a field day” with it.]

The great failure of “The L Word” has and continues to be that Ilene's ego is its unseen yet most insistent character. It's always there, poking its head in where it doesn't belong and derailing the other characters for no reason other than its own glorification.

In its best moments, the women of The L were able to breathe – not to mention laugh, love, fight and fuck – as if they were real, autonomous, sentient beings. But at its worst, the women moved like powerless pawns on the great chessboard of Mama Chaiken's ego. We all know those clangingly false moves immediately. The death of Dana. The shameful misuse of Max. The insane clown posse of Jenny. And if you want to be here all week we could get into the overnight personality transplants and gaping plot holes.

Continuity is important for a reason. Simple physics tells us that bodies at rest and motion tend to – in fact must – behave in certain ways. When they don't, well, nature gets cranky so same goes for viewers.

You see, Ilene, telling good stories doesn't mean just telling whatever damn story you damn well please. It means letting your characters come alive. It means letting their actions feel organically theirs, and not like your manipulations. You know a story has you when, instead of getting mad at the author, you get mad at the character if she does something stupid. That is the triumph of storytelling.

And, as always, it is painfully apparent that for all her hoo-ha about telling stories and exploring relationships, Ilene doesn't get it. Instead it comes back to – who else – her.

For as she also told the L.A. Times: “You're absolutely failing if you don't have plenty of people ranting and raving.”

So, then I guess by her standard, she is a raging, rapturous success. And I guess by ranting and raving I'm just feeding her insatiable ego. Yet still I feel deeply cheated. You see, it's not that Ilene owes us, the show's fans, anything really. Art should be able to exist outside of its audience's expectations. But she does owe her characters – her own creations – the simple courtesy of acting like themselves. And they certainly deserve the basic dignity of a reason. She owes it to Jenny to let us know who killed her. Otherwise, really, what is the fucking point?

And, perhaps, that is the point. This is Ilene Chaiken's show and don't you fucking forget it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pre-L: Least Likely

L602: “Least Likely”
Cheaters vs. Martyrs. Smugs vs. Nakeds. Sanes vs. Insanes. Not since Paper vs. Plastic have the stakes been so high. Choose well and reap the rewards. Choose poorly and you could be stuck with a martyred smug insane person. Oh, wait, we already have one of those on the show. Well, if all else fails leave it to fate and let Rock, Paper, Scissors decide.

1) Welcome to your first installment of Who Wants Jenny Dead (WWJD for short, but so much less holy).2) Really, Ilene, really? You named the DJ Sunset Boulevard? Really?3) Of course Bette is always rock, of course.4) You're supposed to write what you know but this is ridiculous.5) This is exactly how Romeo and Juliet did it back in the day.6) Someone cleans up real nice.7) Helena is Switzerland. Nice, um, Alps.8) What I did on my summer vacation: Slept with my awesome boyfriend, grew a kickass beard, kept up my bitching campaign to bring back the Prince Valiant cut.9) Looks like the "Grey's Anatomy" people got their hands on "Lez Girls," too.10) Smug Jodi? Yeah, not a fan.11) Naked Joyce?Hello, megafan.12) Ripped from the headlines looks bad on Max, really bad.13) Anyone who makes Tasha and Alice go from this is a bad, bad man.14) But it's nothing a little Mini Cooper sex can't fix.15) Daniela Sea must be really tired of picking up scripts and reading: “Max acts like a raging lunatic.”16) OK, but if Screech shows up I'm leaving.17) Check out the meat in that lesbo sandwich.18) See, now isn't......this better than......any dumb old.........murder mystery?19) Oh shit, is Ellen here?20) Well into the anger phase of grief, I see.21) Use extreme caution when approaching the crazy.22) The Shenny has landed. If you see a plague of locusts, run.
New Guestbian Count: Kelly (Elizabeth Berkley)
Best Line I: “You and Shane should work your shit out because this place is becoming like the black hole of Calcutta.” – Alice to Jenny
Best Line II: “Joyce! Cover your junk!” – Phyllis to Joyce
Best Line III: “Still a gay, eh Porter?” – Kelly to Bette
Never Mind All of Those, THIS Is The Best Line: “And don't get me started on the kids because where did those go?” – Alice talking about Helena
Worst Line: “Get on board, Tina. The train is not going to lezzie town.” – Skeezy producer guy