Monday, July 27, 2009

Sometimes they come back

Over the weekend at the big ladies-with-laptops BlogHer conference, we saw The Return of Chaiken. Yes, Ilene was back. She was talking. She was sorry. And by sorry she meant, “Go see my movie.” As reported on Twitter by Trish (our intrepid AfterEllen Blog Headmistress), Mama C addressed both a) the fans’ reactions b) those “The L Word: The Movie” rumors.

First, her mea culpa:
“I made a foolish mistake saying didn’t care what viewers wanted in the stories. Learned a lot from engaging with community.”

And all the lesbians in the room say, “DUH!”

Then, her humdinger:

“When we make ‘The L Word’ movie, we will say who killed Jenny. Movie is in scripting process.”

When. Not if. WHEN. Seems that was her plan all along – string ’em along to get a spinoff movie made. I knew it, I fucking knew it. Of course, this strategy comes with a very real risk. When she finally decides to tell us who killed Jenny, will we still care?

Do I care who killed Jenny at this point? Not really. I mean, it’s just not one of those great, haunting unanswered cinematic questions. Like, what did Bill Murray say to Scarlett Johansson at the end of “Lost in Translation?” What was in that briefcase in “Pulp Fiction?” Or, seriously, what the fuck was that all about, “Mulholland Dr.?”

But will I still go see the movie? Who am I kidding, I’m totally going. The siren song of Jennifer Beals’ ass in a perfectly-tailored power suit is just too strong. If I can make it through six sanity-sapping seasons, I can certainly make it through two hours of whatever crazy Chaiken can throws up there now. Plus, I own a flask. Two even.

The Puppetmaster

I guess what irks me most is even though Ilene says she is sorry for being all “Ney-ner, ney-ner, it’s my show so suck it!” about the storylines, I still feel manipulated. Artists don’t have to justify their art. She doesn’t owe us anything, but she owes her stories everything. She owes them truth and consistency. And all too often that’s just not what they received.

Look, I will forever be grateful to Ilene for creating this amazing universe and bringing together even more amazing women to inhabit it. But such is the great conundrum for GLBT viewers everywhere. We are unquestionably grateful and thrilled when any artist chooses to tell our stories. But that doesn’t mean, sometimes, we can’t wish those stories were better. Or made sense. Or didn’t make you want to throw any and all heavy objects within arm’s reach at your television.

Though I guess the one good thing about a movie version is that no matter what happens, we’ll at least get a nice big tub of popcorn out of the whole experience. So, are you in? And, most important, butter or no butter?


FASTTCR said...

Over in the AE Otalia thread a term recently used to describe a storyline/writing off the rails - Chaikened.

I will no doubt see the movie, as long as Jennifer Beals is in it and it begins with Bette and Tina together. There will definitely be review reading before ticket buying.

frannie said...

Nope. Not gonna watch anything she does. She's an arrogant ass and I refuse to be manipulated.

RHEA said...

Butter all the way.

Honestly...they might be in the scriptwriting process right now...but I'm still not convinced that the film will actually get made. And after the debacle that was the 6th season (not to mention the interrogation tapes)...I mean...she ruined the characters. And honestly, I feel that by killing Jenny, well, there are at least 5,498 things wrong with killing Jenny, but my original point was that by killing Jenny you ruin a movie. The series started with Jenny, and by killing her, IC ended the series.

My guess is that she's just thinking about a film now that 'The Farm' didn't get picked up.

You know what I really want? A Tina and Bette wedding..if the film could give me that, then I'd see it.

Anonymous said...

sad fact about what it took away from that post:

who the hell eats un-buttered popcorn at the movies?

Anonymous said...

agree with "The siren song of Jennifer Beals’ ass in a perfectly-tailored power suit is just too strong. "
just for Ms Beals,i want this movie

what a woman!

Julie/Bobeep said...

Mulholland drive is not that hard to understand if you study it properly ;)

LiLa said...

keep the butter coming!
I'll definately see the movie..just to be manipulated by the divine..faces..of J Beals, Rose Rollins, Kate Moennig and Leisha! Hopefully Pam Grier's script will be longer then 2 pages!

Le Genie Provacateur said...

“When we make ‘The L Word’ movie, we will say who killed Jenny. Movie is in scripting process.”

When. Not if. WHEN. Seems that was her plan all along – string ’em along to get a spinoff movie made. I knew it, I fucking knew it."

What's WRONG with you?! It wasn't I.C.'s plan all along to string the viewers along for a MOVIE!!!!!

When her spinoff series was rejected she only decided to address the viewers concerns in a movie. You wrote yourself that the movie was in the "scripting stage". This means that Ilene and her barrel of hapless monkeys are once again surfing fan fiction forums, and other online sites to see what original ideas and story arcs they can steal under the protection of proprietary copyright.

The ONLY saving grace for me asnd others like me who know where to go is the fact that the L Word movie will ineivitable beuploaded to the internet and made available for free viewing and download. That &&^! doesn't deserve ONE RED CENT from L Word Fans and I wish there were a way to convince EVERYONE to boycott this movie!

CAB said...

I would maybe consider going to see it, but I couldn't care less who killed Jenny. Besides there is no way this will hit theaters around here. If this film ever gets made it would be a limited release. Hell Milk didn't even make it here

Le Genie Provacateur said...

Oh and if yolu are so desperate to se "Horse Faced" Beals you can always go to your nearest equestrian center.

Anonymous said...

How funny... I was just thinking how I missed some of the priceless moments of L.

I do have an issue with Ilene though.
It's like supporting an addict if you participate
in her drama of self-delusion. But it's about the
actresses for me... they committed to some great
characters that were owed their dues!!

I sure hope if Ilene does a movie it is a reciprocity to what she owed the characters... a great finale!

tlsintx said...

oh dorothy, i love that you actually typed out "ney-ner ney-ner"

you rock

Le Genie Provacateur said...

At this point if you are not inteligent enough to use the internet to understand Mulholland Drive Dorothy Snarker then maybe you deserve this feeble attempt by Chaiken to siphon more money from you under the falsehood of continuing the amazing universe that she created (that she really didn't create but stole). I mean COME ON!

Just cause you contribute to AfterEllen doesn't mean that you have to be a sychophant like AfterEllen.

Anonymous said...

Chill out, Le Genie!

Anonymous said...

Nah, i won't spend a penny on anything written by IC. What a cunning businesswoman. Messing up TLW first, then No spin-off and now TLW movie again.. She really respect the viewers?? That's what they call themselves artists.LOL

Lezlie Mac said...

Ouch Le Genie, Mulholland Drive is not that easy of a movie. Although I'll sum it up in 2 words for you: Naomi Watts.
I will sit through those 2 hours of brain-liquefying crazy anytime, just for those steamy few minutes of Miss Watts sporting denim mini shorts (with her hands somewhere very close to said shorts). Or for those other steamier minutes with mini shorts nowhere to be seen. But that's just me.

Chaiken is nuts. We all knew from the start she was playing us (po-po-po-po-po poker face...). But I'll still go see the movie. Because, honestly, what else is there for us to see ? Claire of the moon? puh-leaaase...

Dorothy, once again, I had everyone at work staring at me for laughing out loud. No thanks, really :D

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Count me out. I wouldn't watch the movie for free. I don't care who killed Jenny because how do you care that an evil caricature is dead? It makes no sense, but then, Chaiken never could be bothered with cogency.
Maybe I'm a bad lesbian, but I just hated TLW.

Anonymous said...

Dear Le Genie,
1) One shouldn't have to use the internet to understand a movie.
2) I can decide for myself if I want to watch an L Word movie. (I kind of do; I miss some of the characters.)
3) There, you've "provoked." I hope you're happy. Now please leave.

I love you, Dorothy!


Anonymous said...

If the original cast came back for the movie, yes I will watch. If it's some form of warped spin off with other actresses acting as the original roles, nope.

She got power hungry, Ilene. :( Arrogant the word.

TheClaire said...

Eh Ill probably watch the movie, but like you Snarker, its because of the good lookin ladies, not because I care to know who killed Jenny. Im sure that crazy ass killed herself, but the writing indeed did butcher the characters to hell and back.

One question though, and a trivial one at that...why do you say GLBT instead of LGBT?

J9 said...

I'm not a fan of The L Word - too inconsistent for my tastes. But in reading this post I can't help but wonder if there might be a fan fic universe for these characters with well written stories.

Trop said...

Terrible series, terrible writing, awful acting. Very disappointed in The L Word from the very beginning. Stopped watching after first season.

Becky said...

Wow you guys are pissy! Love how to internet enables people to be mean and allows others to say things they would never say in front of another person.

Yes, I do feel manipulated by IC and I wish she could have given a real show and not 20% good and 80% bad. I really don't think she cares what we think (obviously) it's her show and thats that.

I do love my B&T so I will wait for the download like some others. I don't want to give that lady any money.

Dorothea said...

No butter, definitely ;-)
Phew, I'm going to see the movie though I don't care adam about Jenny and who killed her and though I'm not really interested in more of Bette and Tina corniness - it's Keisha I'm going to see and may IC and her 'story' rot in hell :-)

Anonymous said...

She'll tell us "who," not "what" killed Jenny. So much for the suicide theory?

Anonymous said...

honestly? I don't think I'm going to see it. I didn't watch any of the interview tapes either. Chaiken's done so much wrong with the characters and the stories that I just can't watch her fuck it up anymore. I want to stop it right here, where at least Bette & Tina are together, Shane and Molly is a possibility, and Tasha goes back to Alice. I just don't want to mess with it anymore.

Plus, I feel totally manipulated, as you said. Just, not cool, Ilene. It's like she knows we're easy, so she's just gonna take advantage of us, and then get away with it because we're not gonna stick up for ourselves. I call bullshit. Don't get me wrong, I'm so glad the L Word universe exists -- but Ilene has been blatantly disrespectful of its fans.

;)) babs said...

if alice and tasha are a happy couple again, if carmen comes back, if pam grier gets intelligent lines, if there's a happy ending for everyone, I might watch the freaking movie...!

;)) babs

Anonymous said...

I'd love to watch "horse face" JB for two hours, along with her magnificent ass.

Ugh --- Le Genie Provacateur

Anonymous said...

Ilene is a fucking joke and so are the people who are willing to finance what will end up being a really shitty movie.

How can Jenny's death be made into a romantic comedy?! O_o

What a joke!

dc said...


Regardless of Jennifer Beal etal...

May get it out of the library when it comes out on DVD. May.

Chaiken thinks she's the bees knees. I want her to crawl into a hole and stay there. Forever.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear GOD just STOP already IFC!!!

Salt w or w/out butter

dc said...

You know, if there was ever a poll for the MOST HATED LESBIAN IN THE UNIVERSE, Chaiken will probably win....hands down.

Natalie said...

DC...thank you for making me laugh out loud in my cubicle!!!

As much as I'd like to stake IC, I wouldn't be able to stop myself from seeing the movie.

Kaisa said...

Jeeze, the Mulholland Drive fangirls are a prickly bunch. David Lynch's recent movies (haven't seen his older movies, so I can't judge) have been new-agey, pseudo-intellectual bullshit. I don't mind having to put some effort into watching a movie, but I shouldn't need a fucking notebook to keep track of everything in order to recreate some semblance of a plot. That's the motherfucking WRITER'S job. The whole movie was an exercise in wankery.

Karen Kilgariff's take on MD always made me chuckle:
"Thank god Bill, Max and Andy explained "Mulholland Drive" to me because when I saw it, I thought I didn't like it. Now I see I just wasn't doing my homework. It was my job to infer the deep and meaningful symbolism inherent in evil lesbians, powerful cowboys and tiny old people, therefore coming to the now embarrassingly obvious conclusion that it was all a dream.

Of course! It must be a dream if bad dialogue is being delivered badly! It must be a dream when one plodding, soul-sucking scene has nothing to do with the next. You especially know it's a dream when the dreamer lets her lesbian lover have her own dream during it! That makes it perfectly clear. Now "Mulholland Drive" is my favorite movie of all time because I realize the director actually factored me, the viewer, into its plot! I was supposed to provide it! Thanks, Mr. Lynch. You make me feel smart.

-- Karen Kilgariff

Norma Desmond said...

I wouldn't pay to see it in a theater. I would rent it, pirate it, perhaps, but there's no way I'm shelling out top dollar to see what kind of sh*t she serves up next. Of course, that's assuming that it would get made at all. Just because they're writing a script in no way means it will ever get made.

And it is a pity, that we eat up whatever it served to us just because it tells "our" stories. At what point do we get to stop being so f**king grateful and actually get to question the way we're being portrayed? Personally, I'm over blind acceptance.

And always butter.

roark said...

I suppose not too many people are knocking on IC's door.....

iamaleo said...

I was so disappointed by the last season that I still have the last three episodes sitting on my dvr, unwatched. Still, I know I will pay to go see this movie. It will be a great group experience, whether the movie is good or bad.

riese said...

the recession does strange things to people ... dictators flirt with humility, actors consider projects they'd typically abandon ...

I actually refuse to believe it's actually happening until it's announced by someone other than IFC. Hey maybe if the show had been better we could've had 6 more episodes of season 6 instead of a movie.

That being said, I'd go see an L Word movie if it:
1. took place in heaven with jenny, mr. piddles and dana fairbanks
2. is a musical with lots of dancing

Taylurk said...

My plan would be to wait until it goes to DVD and then download it off xtorrent without admitting so to anyone.

mchottie said...

God, I want to agree with everyone, a movie would most likely be awful, I mean the sixth season was DIABOLICAL, and I read the detailed description of the Farm pilot, it actually made me embarrased for Leisha, that she'd have to lower herself to such bad, bad writing for a couple more years. If Rose Troche just took over from IC and ignored season 3 and 6 ("I like to pretend that crap never happened, and now you can too!!") well then I could get super excited. You just know if "the worlds most hated lesbian" makes it she'll break Bette and Tina up, they'll have been broken up and for months and then she'll put them back together at the very last minute of the movie. That or they wont be in it for more than five seconds.

And as for all this Jennifer Beals is a horse stuff, where did that come from?! Just shut up. Anyways, horse porn is really hot right now thanks to Britneys Radar video so get on board and respect the hotness!

TheWeyrd1 said...

OMG...well I'll wait for the wait, is it gonna be on Showtime? It really doesn't deserve an actual THEATRE. But as with "almost" everyone else, I will see for Jennifer Beals. Because when it was all said and done, for the LESBIAN/QUEER GIRLS, the show was really about Bette and Tina, not Jenny.

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe everything she says? I mean, I can provide you some interviews she did throughout the years and everytime she says what is convenient at the moment -not that it is something wrong or uncommon, especially in Hollywood.

FYI, she said in an interview -ok, I know, sometimes they must be taken with a grain of salt- anyhow, she said in an interview just pre-season six that she thought that the show hit its stride in season 6 (really papi, really?), yet now she says she's sorry about the result, when, at the time of the writing of the script even RT told her that it was bad (RT claimed that not many months ago). But she didn't listen because she wanted to pursue the jail spin-off.

But really, the problem was season 6?
I mean, S2 was abysmal ( how many Six Feet Under ideas - and tone, in all honesty- they ripped off? (and this comes from someone that did like SFU, but those ideas fit for SFU, not the Lword),
S3 was the biggest joke, far worse than S6 - and I never liked Dana or the actress, so this is not a disappointed dana fan point of you, but the whole story/ treatment that the Dana character -and the actress, to be honest- had was laughable.

Really, never seen a treatment like that. The actress must be a real cunt seeing how she was unceremonously ditched.

Then we have a good S4, I think the best, enjoyable, not too serious, not too many WTF.
But at that point, after 2 seasons of nonsense, the show had lost credibility to my eyes.

Then it came S5, which, despite not being cringeworthy like S2 or S3, was nothing worth of notice, but at the least it was lighthearted.
Really, the best thing of it was reading the comments on it on the forums and especially the recaps of scribegirl and riese. Man, they were fantastic!

With S6, it was even better, I had to watch the show to see how far the writers could go, and the worst the ep was, the happier I was, because that meant that the day after the recaps would have been hilarious.
I wish there were more of them even for S2 and 3. But really, I couldn't care less about the characters and they respective sl.
You can't butcher a character how you want and then expect people to be invested in their storylines.
And once you did this, there's no way back.

So, not, I'm not interested, because these characters had nothing left in them anymore.

Big Shamu said...

This is an interesting development. Would all the actresses come back? Guess it depends on whether they are getting work or have a gig when it's time to film. From the comments here it sounds like the Sisterhood is torn between those who will plunk down their hard earned ducats into IFC and some studios checkbook to see the girls again but it looks like Jennifer Beals is driving this Lesbian ChooChoo, not Ilene. The other half won't spend the money to see it in a movie theater, butter or no butter. So you've already split your core audience. What happens if you can't get Beals? What if Beals wants a LOT of money to put her pretty ass back into that powersuit? Is there anyone else in that cast you can't live without? Tell those actresses now if you really want to fuck with IFC's grand movie plans. Pull our puppet strings will ya, try making your L Word movie without Beals and THEN you'll see the real meaning of "Most Hated Lesbian in Hollywood".

Butter. The better to lick off your fingers.

Anonymous said...

I can't fathom this would be a movie for the theaters. More likely it'll be a movie made specifically for Sho, IF Sho will shell out the cash. I'll also be really eager to see which of the main cast will come back. On one hand, they all need to pay the mortgage, so why not come back, but at the same time, it seems like a number were really not pleased with the way the show ended or their individual storylines were handled. All of that aside, it would be so strange to see the show again w/o Jenny, even if she wasn't my favorite.

Thanks SO MUCH for sharing the term "chaikened" and saying "the bees knees" -- always been one of my favorite expressions.

Damn if I don't hate Ilene C.

N said...

They killed Jenny in Season 6?!?

Anonymous said...

The ONLY thing I thank IFC for is "introducing" me to Sarah Shahi . Other than that, she can suck it!

dc said...

So, cos I have nothing better to do right now, I counted up all the negative and positive comments on IC on this thread:

negative/vitriolic = 62%
mildly positive = 13%
n/a = 25%

(Even the positives weren't enthusiastic about IC, more about Jennifer Beals.)

Yeah, sounds about right from my impression of the internet buzz. Gobsmacked she can still get funding!@#$%^&*

Anonymous said...

I hated TLW. It was a poorly written, terribly acted mess. And for all the lesbians out there who were finally glad there was a "show about them" I only have to say SERIOUSLY? Do you all live like the characters in TLW? Wow, I guess I must be totally missing out.

I could shell out some respect if people just admitted this show was unrealistic and the only reason people watched was to watch Shane fucking everyone she came into contact with and Bette and Tina have "sex" (BTW, totally fake and stupid), and because they feel obligated as lesbians to watch a show about lesbians.

My partner lied to me saying she didn't like the show, then I found out she was watching it behind my back and then said she felt obligated as a lesbian to watch. Then I found out she was obsessed with Laurel Holloman and watching her try to have lesbian sex.

I hate the lies and deceit. So yeah, I get a little fired up over the show and the loyal following. I won't be happy when she goes to see the movie - by herself - out of obligation even after stating the show had jumped the shark.

I win some, I lose some...nevertheless I love my partner forever.

Jetgirl said...

She can still go fuck herself.

With that said, I can't wait to see the movie! ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, if the movie is going to be about who killed Jenny, then I guess Jenny won't be in the movie, which is one good news.

mary said...

Le Genie Provacateur Sapphic Hyperbole

You're boring.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE, whatever you do, please DO NOT ever lead a column with a big picture of Ilene Chaiken. You almost killed me. I nearly screamed, and not from joy. UGH.

I have no respect for Chaiken and will only see her friggin' movie IF I hear advance word in the press from the actresses themselves how happy THEY are with it.

Chaiken herself can go suck an egg now and forever more. I will not be supporting anything she does in the future. She really can go suck it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love love love TLW, and most definately will see the movie too!

I love the writing, the creator, the actors, the storylines, everything!

I so wish they would start making the show again. My dream come true!

Anonymous said...

IFC is writing a movie? It'll be a Sho TV movie for sure. I'll watch it on Youtube and then d/l high quality compilations of the Bette & Tina scenes. The 6th season was a joke and it's way too late for apologies. Chaiken doesn't get one more cent from me.

I love Bette and Tina but remain baffled as to how the lez community has turned Beals into some kind of Lesbian Messiah. She spouts platitudes, gives boring interviews, writes boring blogs, and the fans just eat it up anyway. I think Chaiken isn't the only beneficiary of this community's desperation for representation.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous who hates the lies - your Laurel Holloman obsessed gf has good taste!

delurk said...

Definitely IN.

btfan2 said...

Lots of anger here, I get it. I was very angry about all of it too. Shutting down our chart with out a peep to the fans, all the other crap and then season 6 - nuff said. After all it was just a tv show and life after TLW is not much different then before.

Except I do miss Bette and TiBette. TLW movie can't fathom it with IC at the helm. If she would turn it over to someone with some real writing, directing skill and some REAL ideas, maybe, but; only maybe.

IC gave us a lot but; did it without dignity so I give her credit for what she contributed. Damn her for the rest..

Anonymous said...

J9 said..."I'm not a fan of The L Word - too inconsistent for my tastes. But in reading this post I can't help but wonder if there might be a fan fic universe for these characters with well written stories."

There are a couple of fantastic fan fiction sites that have literally thousands of stories about the L word characters...the vast majority of them way better than what we watched on screen. Just do a search for L Word fan fiction and start reading!!

Anonymous said...

I'd go for an event film with my friends i guess.. as long as the acting talent wasnt wasted again(mia, leisha and kate especially who have made me watch through awful plotlines and character assassination in their roles- literal and metaphorical)