Monday, January 27, 2020

Season Review: The L Word: Generation Q

Well now, that was indeed something. I’ve already gone on and on about how much I unexpectedly fell in love with “The L Word: Generation Q.” No, obviously, it wasn’t perfect. The clunky, “Everybody Hurts” first half of the finale is a prime example of the show pushing too hard. But in the second half it gave us some of the loveliest moments of the whole damn season. I especially liked Bette and Angie’s relationship, and to be honest I often dislike depictions of parent-child relationships on TV. They’re either all adversarial or all transactional or all jokey. But it felt real, and it felt earned and it was a lovely recall to the past.

Speaking of the past, there will obviously be comparisons drawn to the original. The shows are different in many ways, primarily in tone and consistency. The revival is unquestionably a more solid and stable show. It’s competent in many ways the original “The L Word” could only dream of being. But, it is also less fun in some ways than the OG series. What made us fall in love with TLW back in the day, despite our better judgment, was how goofy and relatable and aspirational it could be at times. But with those higher highs came so (so, so, so) many lower lows. Most of Jenny Schechter’s storylines. The way they mistreated Max. And, of course, killing off Dana Fairbanks. No, we’ll never forget that. Ever.

The tonal inconsistencies of the original could give you whiplash. Sometimes wildly arty (remember some of those opening sequences?), sometimes delightfully campy (the Dinah Shore roadtrip still makes me smile), sometimes flat-out incoherent (hello, circus trauma) and - on those rarest of occasions - just perfect.

But the steady, skillful competence of the new show has won me over. It has a lighter touch which when done well is engrossing and intimate at the same time. I still feel more attachment to the original cast. And the connection between Jennifer, Leisha and Kate is palpable. I’m trying to feel the same affection and investment for the new cast, but that kind of forever devotion is earned. Luckily they have a second season to get there.

So, thoughts. What did you love? What did you hate? Will they ever add a full-on butch, masculine-presenting lesbian character? And who do you want Sophie to choose? Personally, I think she should ditch them both and go to Hawaii on her own, but that’s just me.


Elana said...

I enjoyed it though still found myself moaning (not in a good way!) at some of the scenes. The original cast were great. I hated the Finley character, truly annoying. The trans story line still felt underdeveloped, like they wanted to just make sure they had one in there, with no real interest in developing a round character.
For an actual butch character- work in Progress, also on Showtime!! How have you not written about it yet?

Carmen SanDiego said...

Kudos to Marja, she pulled it off. The show was much better than I expected.
So it wasn’t perfect, it still had some pretty good moments. The throuple, the friendship between the originals, the Sinley friendship, actually having the show in LA and the very first scene of the pilot were some of the highlights of the season for me.
Now, Marja, if you’re reading this, can we please give Fortune Feimster a storyline? Or just some other butch character for next season? Please? I’ve been waiting for butches since 2004...

Carmen SanDiego said...

Besides the butch character my requests for next season:
Bring back Lena and Quiara
Make Gigi and Father Rebecca main characters
Get rid of Jose and have Micah date a woman instead
Maybe Helena and Peggy Peabody could come visit ?

Anonymous said...

I clicked away during the Finley-Sophie hookup. Watching someone you like (Sophie) do something really stupid is hard. Finley (the character) is toxic and needs to go sort her shit out (Wisconsin?) and leave everyone alone until she does; at least she got that right. I guess my antipathy for Finley reflects what a good actor J. Toboni is! If Sophie follows her, I'm done with the show. Will be interesting to see how Bette reinvents herself now. And I need more Tina.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, being an OG, I actually liked the newer characters better a lot of the times than the older ones. Really didn't like Alice doing the mom thing. Was glad when that ended, but apparently not actually. Wasn't happy to see Shane starting out so one dimensional again. Really hope they keep Quiarra in the mix. Always love Bette. Almost hope Sophie chooses Fin just cause I'd kinda like to see a Dani and Bette hook up. Fin grew on me through the season. I really liked the priest. I'd like to see more of that story line, and ditto on the more animal representation.