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When the L-Word first began — I’m going to say in 1999, although I really have no clue and am too tired to look it up so I’m just going to stick with 1999 — I remember watching the show’s first few episodes. Throughout its run the show has been marked by long, extended scenes with stage-like pacing, and the pilot is a classic example of this. As such, the show is a hell of a lot better when you don’t have to sit in front and absorb every word. You can watch the L-Word on the go, totally. If you miss a scene, they’re probably going to have hard sex in the next one, so who cares?
To me there is nothing very mystifying about being a lesbian, especially if you look like this.
Having concluded its fourth season and being picked up for a fifth, the show is entering a particularly joyous creative period. Around the time of season 3, by far the most intriguing storyline on the show was the transitioning storyline of Moira into Max, played by Daniela Sea, who I would probably like a lot more if I hadn’t visited her website:
Daniela Sea is as much a philosopher as an actor. Her years of wandering, traveling and living in villages and cities in Western and Eastern Europe and Asia have cultivated a way of life and unique relationship to the world that is undeniable in her eyes when we watch her.
Nevertheless, Sea is extremely hot and a terrific actress and her relationship with Mia Kirschner, especially the tremendous sex scene with Alan Cumming that was expertly played, is note perfect.
Also, Helena is so hot on this show. She’s the rich lesbian.
Her early storylines were so absurd as she seduced this filmmaker and was charged with sexual harassment as the whole thing was a scam. They went too far, but the sex scenes were revolutionary. Not. Safe. For. Work.
Despite a rocky beginning to season 4 that found them trying to write Jennifer Beals as a university dean with Cybill Sheperd as a coming out lesbian boss, they paired the two perfect characters in Cybill and the show’s centerpiece, Alice.
One of three confirmed lesbians in the actual cast, and played by Leisha Hailey, she develops a chart that has who has fucked who that is really handy and usually surprising when you look at it. For instance they revealed her and Beals doing it in like season 2 and it blew my mind.
The usually blond Hailey and k.d. lang.
Hailey is apparently a VFL (very famous lesbian) and she does a nice job on the show. Her big storyline was fucking this tennis player who dumped her, Dana. Then they (spoiler alert!) killed off Dana. She was a little underwritten so I don’t think it bothered the fanbase. The funeral episode and other stuff surrounding that was all really amazing.
As the show went on, they quickly reshaped the character of Shane, played by Katherine Moenning. At the beginning of the show she just screwed everyone, which was entertaining, don’t get me wrong. In the ensuing seasons, she became a better character and person. Her storyline with Carmen, a DJ was basically the only thing drawing me to the show when I tired of it the first time.
Carmen (Sarah Shahi)
They paired her with a much better love interest this past season as Shane became responsible for her half-brother Shea, this girl who is now the main character on another show.
Here she is now.
Meanwhile, they paired Pam Grier with Dallas Roberts, an acclaimed stage actor from his association with Adam Rapp’s stage classic, Nocturne who I spent a summer with at the Eugene O’Neill a few years ago. This was genius.
Jennifer Beals’ storyline was among the best in Season 4. They teased a possible reunion with her bisexual ex-partner Tina and then set her on a crazy journey in which she hijacked this awesome sign and presented it to her deaf girlfriend played by Marlee Matlin, who is so hot on the show. This was an incredibly romantic scene that ended the last season which was set to Pink’s song about George W. Bush and the remarkable thing was, it worked.
I don’t remember them doing an Asian lesbian storyline although they may have & I don’t remember. Besides that, the love gets spread around to all peoples and cultures.
The one place where they went a little too far was pairing up Leisha Hailey with this hardcore African-American soldier Tasha. They don’t really have chemistry, and it’s pretty unbelievable the things Leisha says to Tasha. I guess racial and military tension gets some people hot.
Tasha. Check out the casting call notice they put out to get people to audition for this role.
Anyway, this is the perfect show to watch on your computer, and a certain file-sharing service that shall remain nameless can get you in utero rather quickly.
If you want to go the more legal route, you can get the first three seasons for straight up $100, which is not a bad deal.
This show is a great argument against censorship in itself, as it features hearty doses of sex and profanity and yet it is one of the most purely moral shows around. My favorite thing about the show is how many ethical decisions they put their characters in that are not clear cut. For a rigid moralist like myself, it’s fun trying to figure out what the ‘right’ thing would be to do.
This simply is one of the best things television has produced. I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone, but if you’ve ever enjoyed a soap opera, this is the greatest thing going and the writing is better than 99 percent of what’s out there.
I mean, can you seriously resist Robin from HIMYM as a lesbian with Jennifer Beals? This was a dream sequence that gets no cred.
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