This is the story (true story!) of six lesbians picked by Mama Chaiken to live in Los Angeles and have their lives taped to find out what happens when lesbians stop being polite and start getting real: “The Real L Word: Los Angeles.”
Sounds like a joke; really, really isn’t. Ilene Chaiken is back, like the unkillable creature from every horror movie you can’t believe you’re still watching at 1 a.m., with a new series for Showtime. Ilene has signed a nine-episode deal with her former employer to bring back “The L Word,” sort of. This time it will be a reality series following six real, live lesbians around Los Angeles.
Oh, fucking hell, where do I begin? No, seriously, WHERE? First, “The Real L Word?” That’s its real title? How unspeakably lame. They couldn’t even come up with a new name? Look, we already have “The Real World,” “The Real Housewives” and even the really silly lesbian reality series “Gimme Sugar.” So how is this in any way original? This is groundbreaking television? And what makes it truly diabolical is that it’s called “The Real L Word: Los Angeles,” which means Mama C clearly thinks of it as a continuing series. I can see it limping along just like the real “The Real World” with “TRLW: New York,” “TRLW: San Francisco,” “TRLW: Cancun.” For all I know, Mama C is really thinking big and already plotting for “TRLW: Mars.” Which is also, coincidentally, where I would love to send her.
Oh kittens, this is just so, well, sad. As much as I desperately want and think we rightfully deserve more and better representation of gay women in the media, I sincerely doubt this is the way to get there. While in theory reality shows can be used to illuminate the human condition, in reality they have exploited our more salacious side. It’s all about hair pulling and hot tubs, hookups and hangovers. Could a reality series about the real lives of lesbians be a good thing? Sure. Do I trust Chaiken to take a thoughtful, real look at lesbian lives? Um, you saw the finale, right?