Ah, Regret.


“The L Word” 6×08: Dear Jenny, No Regrets

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If you’ve read any of my “L Word” posts to date,  then first of all, you deserve some kind of award.  But more to the point, you probably already have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to say about the finale.  I’m probably going to use words like “phew!”, “relieved”, and “thank god that’s over”.  And I’ll admit that, up until this week, I probably would have agreed with you.  But now that the “Last Word” has been spoken, as it were, it turns out both you and I were wrong.  It turns out that, now that it’s all over, the last words I have for this show are “disappointed” and “sad”.

“Disappointed” as in, “I’m not angry, Ilene…  just disappointed.”  (You know how much worse that is!)  For five years, “The L Word” was the only show in town. So, as you can imagine, lesbians were filled with high hopes (and a lot of other feelings) for it.  And for a few seasons, things went pretty well (huge exception:  Dana’s death–which Ilene supposedly regrets, HA).  Like other TV shows, it had its share of annoyingly outrageous plot lines, but overall it was exciting to see a bunch of lesbians (just like us!  Sort of.)  living, loving, laughing, and all of those other l’s.  But by the time Season Five rolled around, the grumblings were getting louder.  Jenny was becoming unbearably bitchy/crazy.  Adele was even worse.  Shane still couldn’t hold on to a girlfriend for more than five minutes.   The dialogue seemed poorly written (maybe it always was, and we were just now noticing?).  Dana was still dead.  Etc.  Etc.

Sadly, the worst was yet to come.  As soon as the first rumors of Season Six’s “murder-mystery” theme hit the internetz, I realized that this series was about to carry on for one season too long.  In Season Five, the filming of Lez Girls (essentially a movie about the show, contained within it) brought the show to the brink of cheesiness: it was a gimmicky plot device, yet its bizarreness was actually kind of interesting–entertaining, at the very least.  But Season Six–the Max pregnancy, the show’s LBD, the “Who killed Jenny?” crap–now that was just a mockery.  

To paraphrase Alex, was Ilene even trying?  “The L Word” used to be meaningful, at times funny, and–for the most part–enjoyable.  It used to be respectable not just as a TV show about lesbians, but as a TV show period.  But now, I can’t help but feel a sense of loss–and it’s not so much over Jenny’s death (well OK, maybe a little–I kind of liked her in Season Five!) or the show’s end (although that’s certainly sad–especially considering the astounding lack of any other lesbian shows on television right now, five years later).  What really makes me sad is the show’s loss of dignity.  And that’s the one thing that could prove even harder to get over than Dana’s death.  (Like Marge Simpson would say, I’m a woman.  I can hold on to it forever.)

And now, only one question remains:  which will we miss less, that unbearable theme song, or these unbearably long recaps?

6×08: “Last Word”

The first scene kick starts this episode’s annoyingly jumpy format, which is apparently going to cut between the following scenes: people being individually questioned by Mary Beth Duffy, Police Investigator/Warrior Princess; everyone speaking emphatically about much they (still) want to kill Jenny; everyone alluding to the perilously broken deck railing, which just so happens to overlook the pool; and clips from Jenny’s “L Word”-alumni-studded tribute video for Tina and Bette.  It took me a ridiculously long time figure out this setup, mind you, but it wouldn’t be the first time this show confused the shit out of me (see also: Episode 4 breakfast/dinner mix-up).

Shane is the subject of the first interrogation scene.  She basically complains about how Jenny was so f-ing annoying while she was making everyone shoot scenes for the tribute video, which she put herself in charge of making because she’s a self-described “genius” at directing films.  That’s great, but what I’d really love to hear Shane explain is why exactly she wanted to date that crazy biotch in the first place.

And now it’s… threesome time!  HA, just kidding.  Alice’s crush on Jamie–which should have completed the trifecta, resulting in some incredibly steamy sex scenes–has magically disappeared.  And so, in lieu of a threesome, we’re getting this scene:  and awkward/emotionally painful breakfast.  So lez.  Time to talk about feelings!  

Alice tries to corner Tasha and Jamie into confessing their love for each other.  It’s a classic lose-lose: Alice will be pissed if they admit to it, and pissed if they don’t.  Understandably, they immediately bust out the whole “nothing ever happened between us” thing, but come on you guys.  You’re lesbians.  It’s the emotions that count.  That’s why, for all the shit these two are getting from Alice, they really should have capitalized on the physical aspect while they still had the chance (Bette:  “Suckers.”).

Alice accuses Tasha of closing her eyes during sex so that she can think about Jamie naked in the shower (which,while true, seems like something a little too specific for Alice to figure out on her own.)  Tasha’s response:  “Alice, you know that I live a life of honor and duty.”  Um, nice try there Tasha, but for some reason I really don’t think the West Point motto is going to help you win Alice back over.

Anyway, the result of this whole exchange is that Jamie admits to being in love with Tasha.  Alice, as predicted, gets pissed.  Then she tells them that should just go have sex with each other and be together for all she cares.  Oh yeah, like they’re going to do it now–you totally ruined the mood on that one.

Next interviewee:  Alice.  “The only person I ever loved as much as Tasha was Dana.”  (Me:  “Same!”)  Er, Is anyone else questioning the relevancy of this type of information to the police investigation?  These “interrogations”  sound more like therapy sessions.  And why isn’t Lucy Lawless getting more face time?  AfterEllen live-blogged the 2009 Xena Convention, for god’s sake.  (Oh, right… the director/genius thing.  Sorry.)

Dylan and Helena are having trust-related relationship problems.  Shocking.  Luckily it’s nothing Helena can’t fix with a little pre-lunch cocktail.

Max is the next to be questioned.  He says he thinks of the group as friends that are as close as family.  “I call them ‘framily’.”  O.  M.  G.  Ilene.  Stop trying to make these words happen!  They’re not going to happen!

Bette and Tina are preparing the house for their going away party.  Bette mentions that the railing is unstable because Weezie the contractor skipped out early on the job.  (She was probably too busy sleeping with men, because she loves men.  And re-braiding her rat-tail.)  But here’s the real kicker: guess where said precarious railing is situated?  OVER THE POOL, omg.

Kit pesters Bette about the move to New York.  Bette says she’ll be glad to go, because in LA, everyone is all up in each other’s biznas.  Bette:  “I want Jenny to stay out of everyone else’s fucking business!  (Erin:  “So that means if I kill her, you’ll stay in town?  Mmm hmm.”)  I am so tired of this lesbian hotbed of incestuous inter-fucking connectedness!”  (Read:  “I, too, think that Shenny is gross.”)  +10 Foxy Brown points to Bette for all of the f-bombs.  -6 for all of the big words.

Alice and Shane are hanging out, complaining about their respective sig-other situations and criticizing each other pot/kettle style.  But the important thing is that they’re fixing things the only way any character on “The L Word” knows how:  by turning to the bottle (Dos Equis, in this case.  But you know Helena would have skipped straight to the bourbon.)

Alice interrogation:  “Women drive me crazy.”  It’s only the fourth interview scene, but I’m growing weary of the extreme close-up face shots.  I don’t need to see Alice’s pores while she’s talking.

Helena doesn’t trust Dylan as far as she can throw her (which is actually pretty far, I bet–considering how much time Helena spends at the gym), so they’re having a little argument.  (I can’t figure out if Helena is wearing leggings, or just skintight jeans.  Hopefully the latter, because leggings are not pants!!!)

Helena interrogation/therapy:  “Being rich is a curse.”  I’m trying to muster up some empathy here.

Suddenly Helena and Dylan are kissing passionately.  Oh lord, it’s cat-grooming time.  Dylan throws Helena on the kitchen counter.  Then she grabs a BUTCHER KNIFE!!  Omg WHAT?!  She wields it in a throat-slitting postion, then slices… Helena’s shirt off.  And then resumes kissing her.  (Bondy:  “Honey… I just lost my libido.”  Madge:   “I just peed my pants… how about we go take a shower?”)  Well, this is the “murder-mystery” season.  Why not throw in some gratuitous knife scenes just for fun!  Maybe Jenny could come in and scratch them too!  Hot.

Tina and Bette are having sex that is not-at-all weird.  OK… that’s weird.  I guess this counts as a sex scene, but it quickly becomes a montage of Tina and Bette hugging and holding each other while “I’ll Be By Your Side” plays in the background.  Aw.  I’m kind of glad they ended up together.  (Ilene is throwing us a crumb of satisfaction?  No way.  They’ll break up by the end of the episode.)

The next morning, Tina and Bette are drinking coffee on their front steps, and Shane walks over from next door to greet them.  We’re back to Season One, to how it all started.  Another crumb.  This is turning into a feast!

Kit and (Uncle?) Sunset come over to drop off Angie after a trip to the zoo.  (Whoa, a loose end got tied up!  One down, one hundred to go.  We can do this!  More caffeine pills!)  Sunset needs to put on his drag outfit and makeup for the night, but Bette tells him to use the “powder room” (Why don’t I have one of those?  Where am I supposed to powder my nose?)  instead of the bathroom.  Bette:  “He’s a man… I’m not comfortable with a man in my newly renovated bathroom.”  WHAT!  Especially coming from a biracial lesbian, isn’t that just a tad intolerant?

As Sunset is walking out the door, Angie says, “Bye Daddy!”  Oof, I guess Bette is going to have to let him have the run of the house now.

On the Dylana front, it looks like… yup, more lies and deception.  Apparently Dylan knew the Niki thing was a set-up.  Helena gives her the boot.  And who’s to blame for all this misery?  Helena:  “Jenny Fucking Schecter!”  (Merkin:  “SCHECTER!!”  I wish Merkin would be the killer.)

Shane is shopping in a vase store (?!).  And who does she happen to bump into?  Molly!  Let’s see if we can get this loose end tied up in thirty seconds or less.  Start with some small talk, then Jenny, the coat, the coat pocket… the letter!  Shane slowly but surely puts it all together.  Jenny.  Is.  A.  Crazy.  Bitch!  Wow, that was hard.  Molly says goodbye.  Will Shane and Molly ever be together?  Who knows!  NO TIME!

Moving right along.  Alice shows up at the party.  She has been drinking since 11 AM.  (Anyone else thinking that the spin-off should take place at an AA meeting instead of a women’s prison?)  Kit confronts Jenny about the supposed Bette/Spano affair.  Kit refuses to believe it, but Jenny has proof.  She magically projects the video from her iPhone onto the Plasma TV, with bongo music playing in the background (?!).  (What?  Did she edit the clip or something?)  Kit tells Bette about the evidence; Bette flips.  Fucking Shecter.  xoxo.

Shane rummages around in the attic, and of course finds not only the letter but (gasp!) the negatives!  She runs next door to show Tina.    It was Jenny all along!  Of course!  More caffeine pills!

Bette corners Jenny near the (broken!  dangerous!) railing and delivers an extremely threatening lecture regarding what might happen (murder?!) if Jenny “threatens her family”.  (Madge:  “This is quite a party!”)

More from the Alice interrogation:  “I don’t see what this has to do with who killed Jenny.”  Mary Beth:  “So you think someone killed Jenny?”  Dun-dun-DUNNNNH!  Alice is going to jail!  Sequel time!  

Here’s a roundup of alumni that Ilene brought back for the Tina/Bette (read:  “L Word”) tribute video:  Angus (says a Kit quote–lol); Ivan (“Vote No on Prop 8” sign in the background); Peggy Peabody (makes some sassy remarks); Jodi (is surprisingly nice); Marina (Ah, Jenny… remember how it all started?); Carmen (What?  We only get to see her for five seconds?  Ugh.).

While the video is still playing, Alice bursts into the living room, visibly shaken.  “Jenny…!”  (Madge:  “She killed herself!”)  OMG JENNY IS DEAD!?!?!?!!

Officer Xena (Bondy:  “Warrior Detective.”)  shows up at the scene.  “Tell me what we know.”  Wow, Lucy Lawless was tragically underutilized in this guest appearance.  A few police officers outside stumble upon Niki, who was–hilariously (suspiciously!)–hiding in a bush.  Tasha shows up at the house and uses her police academy training badge to gain access to the crime scene.  Which (I guess) means that her and Alice ended up together, yay.

Jenny’s spot on the tribute video is playing in the background.  “I’m never gonna forget you!”  Oh Ilene.  We’ll never forget you either (The grudge!  I’m holding on!).  Xena tells everyone they’re going to have to go down to the station for some questioning.  They all drive separately, then arrive and park in the police station lot at the exact same time.  Now, here’s where it gets really artsy:  we see a shot of each character catwalking (to the station?), smiling, wind blowing their hair, glamorous.  And what’s the background music in this final-bow montage?  Why, the ultimate fan-pleaser–“The L Word Theme” (bongo version!).  

Kate Moennig and Mia Kirshner, holding hands:  “Thank you for six great seasons!”  Shenny, it was our pleasure.

Leisha Hailey:  Something about checking out the “Interrogation Tapes” on Showtime’s website.  So let me get this, er, straight:  Ilene has decided to (not really) wrap up some major loose ends for “The L Word” via online videos and Alice’s spin-off show.  Instead of, say, the show itself.  Because we needed that time for awkward baby showers and Jessie Spano not taking caffeine pills.  Wow.  (I’ll be sure to take a look at those if I’m in the mood to sit through something annoying and then mock it on my blog.)

Argh.  OK.  You know what?  Let’s do this rightmindleftcoast style.  Let’s always remember it this way:

carmenshane

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8 Comments so far
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That breakfast scene with alice/tasha/jamie was horrible, what were they hoping to accomplish! those potatoes they got served look delicious though, too bad alice had ruined everyone’s appetite (for various things, including 3-somes! At least tasha left the country part out of the west point motto, i don’t think that would have gone over very well.

framily — blaaaah, more like frenemies

maybe helena could be the guest speaker at the LTC. also i didn’t like that whole knife scene…creepy!! but it did leave to the hilariousness of helena later stitching her shirt back together…like she doesn’t have a seamstress for that. maybe she didn’t want to have to explain how it happened, umm, butcher knife cat grooming accident?!

Kit and Sunset are together now, i guess she wasn’t feeling that betrayed. Stupid Bette not wanting him in her bathroom, you’re selling the house!! who cares!? also tina is right, he is too big for a little powder room.

how’d that iphone pic get turned into a video?! ridiculous.

Tim seemed a little out of place in the tribute video, was he even friends with tina and bette, in fact, didn’t he kind of hate the whole gang for stealing his wife? maybe he saw what a crazy bitch she turned into so he felt the need to thank them.

Niki hiding in the bushes was weird, so she saw jenny die? or she was just sneaking in and didn’t notice all the cops out front? she’s without her fav 5? all of this is just too hard to believe.

also since when do academy badges get you into crime scenes? oh whatever i’ll let this one go since it meant tasha and alice get to be together (for now). i hope their are conjugal visits in the spinoff. or maybe tasha will get arrested too to protect alice in the joint.

Comment by Erin

Haha, I forgot to mention Tim’s cheesy little appearance in the tribute video (Eric Mabius is such a lesbo). And the breakfast potatoes. My bad!

Comment by VallyO

I like the idea of Tasha getting arrested to so that she be a henchwoman for Alice in prison. I just saw an iCarly (look it up if you don’t know) episode where Freddie and Carly had to get detention so that they film iCarly during detention (which Sam had on filming day). It was REALLY hard for them to get detention. So, we could have several episodes where Tasha tries to commit a prison worthy crime but keeps coming out a hero and/or getting foiled by meddling kids (ala Scooby Doo style).

The potatoes were freedom fries if I recall…so why were they having French fries at breakfast? And do we really believe that Kit has a deep fryer at The Planet? If so, someone on the show should be driving an old VW Rabbit powered by Planet Gas and the name should be changed to “The Greasy Planet.”

And thanks for writing this up Val. Reading it made me realize just how many things were effed up in this last show. And the one before it. And the one …

I’m making a funny face because it’s so weird. Breaking up over a crush when Alice kissed some scooter fashion diva. iphone pics to video…on TV…streamed. Perhaps the writers are influencing engineers right now at Apple. The continuous stream of Dos Equis. The knife and kitchen counter. That annoying girl in the bushes. The therapy sessions during the interrogations. Oh, and the interrogations…I watch First 48 and never, ever, have I seen an interrogation room like the one they were in. As a matter of fact, I think they use that same interrogation room on every show on TV and in every movie. They def should have been smoking. EVERYONE smokes while being interrogated. And they shake. And if it’s anything like First 48, then they shouldn’t have been having therapy but instead saying things like “I don’t know why you BEEP callin’ me down here! I just a crack dealer and BEEP ain’t BEEP done nothing like BEEP push Jenny into da BEEP pool and then BEEP jump in after her and hole her BEEP head under til her she good and dead and then put her in da trunk of da car and drive her into da BEEP woods. I don’t BEEP need her bars. I got my own. BEEP. I’m all cash. I got nuttin to do wit this.” Or like on Sid and Nancy…”Yo kid, just tell us who the girl is.”

Comment by Bondy

OK, you make fun of us for the Gossip Girl references, and you’re busting out iCarly? And I know I’ve heard you mention Webkinz and other internet-sounding-nickelodeon stuff more than once. What’s next, Hannah Montana quotes? Jonas Brothers lyrics? Come on!

Comment by VallyO

agree with erin, the breakfast scene was painful. BUT made SO much better by your recap. (yes, im still annoyed that sarah warn hasnt let you replace all her unfunny bloggers)

as for jamie, im a little sad i didnt get to see more of her. she’s… hot.

max – finally getting some well deserved screen time. some very high highs (Jenny melting) and some very very very low lows (i refuse to even reprint ilene’s attempt at rachel raying the relationships between these highly complex women. it’s like when rray bastardizes thick soup by calling it stoup. wtf??).

i sort of like sunset blvd. and powder rooms ARE tiny. i wish he’d been introduced earlier in the show. (i do have one gripe, though, what’s with these dumb ass names?? sonny? angus?? really, who names their kid angus?? this is the l word, not brokeback mtn)

i kind of liked jenny’s bit on the video… you couldnt help but sympathize. but really, would it have been that hard for these ppl to call them and say bye?? or you know, attend their going away party?

nikki jumping out of the bushes… so not as exciting as that sentence could be. where the heck did she come from? and how desperate did she sound telling shane she was being kept by jenny?

lucy lawless: worst use of hot lez icon ever. she didnt even proposition anyone!! ilene really has slipped!

im glad you called out all the boozing. im actually really glad there isnt a season 7, bc if helena went to AA i couldnt bear to watch.

gosh, im going to miss all this snark, val. maybe you should write your own lesbionic show, and then act it out with erin, bondy and madge. i dont know if id watch it, but id certainly read the recaps =)

Comment by iwentwest

YES! I’m going to write and direct my own big gay TV show, build up a HUGE lesbian fan base, make the show really SUCK after a few seasons, and then congratulate myself for changing people’s lives.

But since I’ll be so busy with that crap, Alex, I’ll need you to devote HOURS of your free time (do you even have any?! you’ll have to quit your job) each week to the extremely important task of writing hilarious recaps of the show that, while ripping it apart, also expose your hopeless devotion to it–and, in turn, me.

Comment by VallyO

so bondy managed to comment while i was composing. two things:

1. i dont see tasha in the [inevitably awful] spin off. esp not after rose rollins publicly said she was NOT cool with the way the show ended. i believe she said something along the lines of, id be sadder if i liked the way the show ended. but i didnt.[read: implied happiness at no more flat, middle parts and black tux vests)

2. i refuse to watch the interrogation tapes. seriously. have you heard about the content of the tina tape? Ilene took SERIOUS liberties. it’s enough to ruin the entire series for me. just… dont.

Comment by iwentwest

I’m glad to hear that the episode was actually choppy…I thought it was just the 4 PBRs I guzzled out of anxiety. The breakfast scene was ridiculous. First of all, Alice already confronted Jamie about it and Jamie essentially admitted that she did have feelings for Tasha then, so why have another awkward confrontation, over brunch, no less? Do these people ever eat breakfast at home? Did anyone else notice that Tasha and Jamie were the only ones being served any food and they ordered the exact same thing? Is that supposed to be symbolic?

I agree that the interrogations were more like much-needed therapy sessions.

WTF with the Bette/Sunset Blvd bathroom thing? Would she have said that if he was dressed in drag? Who the hell would ever say something like that? I could think of a million better ways to have spent those 3 minutes of screen time.

The closing scene where they all drive to the police station in separate cars….I know they live in LA and everything, but why not carpool? And then the creepy catwalk thing where they’re all smiling….I just don’t get it.

I’m with you Val. I will remember that smokin’ hot scene with Shane and Carmen, not this garbage. Although, it’s certainly been fun reading you rip it to shreds.

Comment by Cat




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