Tuesday, March 14, 2006

No One Dies In This Post

At least I hope not, despite the NY Times noting it's now trendy to kill major characters off. That's in television shows, not blogging. Besides, I'm not sure I count as a major character, and this post is just another lesbian rant about The L Word.

That said - oy. The show has been stinking up the joint for some time now, and it seems they're interested in alienating as much of their audience as possible. Not that I disagree with killing off a major, well-liked character, in general, nor do I think it was terribly played in this show. Frankly, I think the final scene as Alice realized Dana's death was one of the best, most moving and real of the entire series (yes, even despite the previous episode's mortifying lightbulb-head baldy wig). But that's just the problem. The show has been so bad-it's-laughable-then-past-funny-to-grating, so melodramatic, so bizarre in it's structure this season, yet now they want to get serious? By killing off one of the more endearing characters and emotionally destroying the other for a second time?

Mrs. Nator and I have come to imagine Chaiken and her troupe as obtusely self-congratulatory. They must think they are being so clever with their quick-change characterizations and soap-opera "plot"lines punctuated by random after-school special/PSA-style soliloquies. But they're not. Most of the time, the show is just plain stupid. And the only reasons we watch are 1.) lesbian sex, even if it is often between frightening people or, even worse, not lesbian at all and 2.) as it's really the only queer chick drama out there we so want it to be worth watching. We're desperate, and, what's more, afraid to look away for fear of missing out on some important part of the dykely zeitgeist. I could stop watching Queer as Folk (the awful US version, not the fab UK one, of course) when it became truly unendurable because eventually I felt I wasn't obligated or motivated to participate in parsing it, somehow. With The L Word, I feel as though I'm supposed to have some investment in it, because it's all we lesbos have in the major media. I know that it's a dumb show about people I'd most likely never interact with (i.e., rich, skinny, self-centered L.A. residents), but I want it to be better, to be more. It might be different if we had at least a couple other dyke shows out there, and I know it can't be all things to all people, but we don't and... well, I'm not even sure the creators have any idea that who might be watching, at all.

Alas, in killing off Dana it seems they've gone both forward and back. They have an opportunity to use this to advance some real emotion and drama, but considering the variety-hour see-saw of narrative styles they've got going within even single episodes, it's unlikely. Instead, everybody the audience even vaguely likes is put through interminable crap or completely re-imagineered beyond recognition, and who wants to stick through that?

Meanwhile, in other storylines, as I think I've mentioned before, it's come to the point where I can't remember the difference between what's happened with Bette and Tina versus the farkuckt lesbians who used to be on QAF. I find myself literally asking Mrs. Nator things like "what happened to the ugly painter? Didn't Tina sleep with him?" "No, honey," she has to explain, "that was the stupid privileged LA lesbian who just had a baby and now wants to sleep with men on the other show. This stupid privileged LA lesbian who just had a baby and now wants to sleep with men is seeing the ugly non-painter."


Once again, I'm sure I'll continue to watch, mainly because Mrs. Nator makes me. And, for some strange reason, I do seem to feel glimmers of hope now and then, in a funny line or particularly well-acted scene. I just keep wanting, beyond reason, to like the program, and feeling disappointed or even purposefully goaded. I suppose I should just keep a sense of humour about it, like they've done over at Fake Gay News. But I'm just too aggravated. Sigh.

At least Leisha Hailey's cute.

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