And Then Sunday Night Fell Silent (The L Word Season 2 IM Postmortem)
I leave our exchange fairly unadulterated (and promise to post something more substantive soon) so if you aren't familiar with the show, we doth duly apologize.
jostle: guten morgen
jostle: i just ate a sprouted bagel with.. yeast!!!
jostle: which segs nicely into a lezbo discussion
liser: or concussion
liser: Ok, basically, we're having an IM convo that wraps up Season 2 of The L Word, which we had, I think it’s safe to say, hotly anticipated
jostle: right up until we heard the new theme song
liser: exactly. someone let the fact they were getting some get in the way of taste when it came to using BETTY for the theme song
jostle: in what started to seem like every scene of every episode
liser: Betty was Where's Waldo
jostle: i think Waldo's cuter
liser: Better fashion, for sure
liser: Anyway, cheesy theme song....
liser: cheesy Season 2
jostle: yes, i think it took a little while to sink in, say about halfway through, but then we started to recognize that the show was in a serious sophomore slump.
liser: it got progressively worse the whole season
liser: we should disclose that we spent weeks before the new season began watching Season 1 on DVD. It got us through the February snow ambush and I do mean bush...
liser: so we were not inclined to acknowledge at first how crap the show got in Season 2
jostle: when the season commenced, we were all taken in by the wondrous transformation of Jenny Schechter, the sexed-up, annoying tree sprite to Jenny, the actually really hot, nearly lovable character, but that was about the only real exciting development
liser: yeah, Jenny didn't suck for about three episodes
jostle: and then she headed into a self-reflexive women's issue martyr role
jostle: i can't remember. did she adopt some Christ-like poses during those final strip scenes? it seems highly possible
liser: you know, she's a Jew so it was more like Survivor Syndrome chic than Christ at the Cross
liser: it's like being jewish is the most exotic character trait ever seen
jostle: as you said, the fetishization of judaism
liser: But you're right. it's hard to remember now, but we had higher hopes in the beginning of the season
liser: Jenny had a spine
liser: Tina was pregnant and really mad at Bette so she had a spine while Bette was eating the crow
liser: which meant that Tina wasn't just speaking in her weird, wheedling voice and Tina was!
jostle: Carmen was still almost hot
jostle: Alice wasn't pathetic
liser: and Dana was still pathetic, just like we like her!
liser: Shane was still a lothario
liser: all was as it should be
jostle: one thing that occurred to me recently is that the primary problem was that they actually wrote themselves into a corner
jostle: almost all of the characters became one-dimensional
jostle: once out of the closet, what did Dana have to offer as a character?
jostle: judging by Season 2, nothing really. just someone who was uncomfortable with sex toys
jostle: once in a relationship with Dana, Alice lost all her humor and her spine, plus any confidante to reveal another side of her personality other than the co-dependent girlfriend
liser: they'd spend the whole of two episodes on Shane's career and then drop it
jostle: yeah, what happened to the producer bitch?!
liser: and none of the characters related to each other anymore. It says a lot that neither of the two new characters had any dimensions
jostle: Carmen was never a character, more like a cardboard cut-out used to play other characters off each other. or a dj'ing vehicle
jostle: Helena began and remained a rich brat with a fetish for pregnant women
jostle: which didn't change at all when she was confronted by her mother in what should have been a somewhat climactic scene
liser: the fetish for pregnant woman is so Remedial Freud
liser: Mommy wasn't around. so...
jostle: I think they had the least well-hung cliffhanger i've ever seen
liser: i know. such dimension!
jostle: i mean, when Shane finally says i love you to Carmen--which was supposed to be huge--you have no idea why she'd even be attracted to her, nor do we ever get any kind of reaction shot from Carmen or hear anything from her!
jostle: weighty, dying father plot and all, Bette was the only one who really remained an interesting character throughout Season 2, and went somewhere
jostle: we'll have to await Season 3 to see if they just blew their wad, so to speak, in Season 1
liser: their oh-so proverbial wad
liser: what makes it so much worse now? the show was still kind of bad, but it was enormously fun to watch and to talk back to
jostle: a) less sex!
jostle: i would say Season 2 had about 75% less sex
liser: b) too many plotlines randomly abandoned
jostle: how about? no real plotlines that stuck throughout the whole season?
liser: and the star cameos were nighmarish. they were just abrupt interruptions
jostle: c) heavyhanded treatment of ISSUES
jostle: d) introduction of another lame and/or evil straight guy
jostle: guess what ladies? they're not all bad, and it's kind of boring to imply that
liser: ruth, you speak the truth
liser: it'd be a Better use of the straight guy if he was just a hapless but supportive sidekick
liser: like the gay man in romantic comedies
jostle: having ruminated upon it more, i think that the loss of Marina was a big blow to Season 2
jostle: she was sort of the Yani to Shane's yang
jostle: and someone who wasn't really in the inner circle, so to speak
liser: if you're going to have more than a certain amount of main characters, it results in a superficial, soaplike treatment of all them. Better to have a limited amount and then some blatantly minor ones
liser: Marina was a perfect minor character
liser: interesting to look at and visit with but not as important so she wasn’t a competing plotline. They knew which cog she was!
jostle: the whole Season 2 played like they just hadn't really mapped it out in advance, as if there were too many cooks in the Kitchen, all being really supportive of one another's ideas in a really unhelpful, destructive way
liser: typical lezobots!
jostle: can i take this metaphor further?
liser: take it further, sister
jostle: the season two climax was all lesbian bed-death
jostle: it's interesting. once she started to downshift out of Lothario mode early Season 2...
liser: she became almost as bad as Jenny
liser: she had this big freakout when her big studio boss tried to get with her
jostle: "everybody needs something from me!"
liser: and then she went to confession
liser: and then she was doing all the drugs
jostle: oh that was the WORST
jostle: the oxycontin freakout music?!
liser: SO FUCKING BAD
jostle: her character became so unmoored they had to start playing music that whispered SHANE SHANE SHANE in the background when she was fucking just to remind us where we were
liser: (the music in general:)
liser: (wet wet wet wet)
jostle: omigoodness i almost forgot about when she brought the twins home! twins! Twins!
jostle: (twins twins twins)
liser: i forgot about dem twins
jostle: (bed-death bed-death bed-death)
liser: that's so hot!
jostle: it was like a porn soundtrack to heat things up when they really weren't building them up properly
liser: we liked Shane before because she was a little tragic but had an understated wit about it
jostle: too true.
liser: maybe moving in with Jenny was a bad influence on her
jostle: Or Season 2 just ran her through the issue wringer
jostle: “have i ever really loved anyone?”
jostle: “where am i going with my life?”
liser: “has anyone ever really loved me....for me?”
jostle: “what's my fashion like?”
liser: “I LIKE TIES!”
jostle: “why don't i wear glasses anymore?”
liser: the thing is, i don't expect L Word to cover every issue and person in the lesbian community
liser: but i think that the L Word tries to
jostle: they do have a show to run and it ain't ELLEN
jostle: if only it were.. then it'd be funnier
jostle: (worse dancing tho)
liser: it's like a 14 year old who wants to tackle all the issues but you know like still be cool wrote this season
jostle: i think that 14 year old lives in Jenny's pink room
liser: it had an unpleasant makeshift qualiity where if it was a liittle worse we could laugh at it and it if was a little Better we could relax into just viewing as lesbian Dynasty
jostle: well put
jostle: you knew it was bad when i looked up at the clock during the cliffhanger and was sad to see only 20 min. had passed
liser: it was like being held hostage at the bad play of a friend who is going to quit acting next year and go to law school in a few years so what’s the point of sitting through it in that drafty theater that smells like old cheese?
jostle: maybe shane should just get her own spinoff, like the hair salon she never had: SHANE
liser: i'd get my hair cut there any day
liser: if you catch my drift…
jostle: oh dear
liser: will we even watch season 3?
jostle: i think we have to see if it was just a sophomore slump, to see if they can pull it back together
jostle: really the end of Season 2 left me cold, but you never know
jostle: we know they've got new writers...
liser: yeah, but that's what is weird. they always have good people connected to the show
liser: the directors list alone is nutso
liser: ernest dickerson, lisa cholodenko, etc
liser: yes, but the writing has a little too much Go Fish influence
jostle: let's put our heads together and lay on the floor and talk issues
jostle: i dug Guinevere Turner’s cameos on the show tho
liser: she's a Bette-r actress than writer
liser: but i guess because she is a big old out lesbian and not uber gorgeous she ends up writing more than she acts
liser: but when she writes, lordy, the hand it is heavy
jostle: well, if Season 3 doesn't pan out Dynasty is available on DVD now
liser: we could just turn off the sound and rename the characters with L Word character names
jostle: shane= blake carrington
liser: ok, final list
liser: different ways to spice up L word sex
liser: tantric sex
jostle: i think we're in need of a friend three-way mayhaps?
jostle: Kit getting it on with a lady? mmmaybe Ivan is coming back
liser: Jenny should stay celibate from now on, though
jostle: she should at least let someone else remove her clothes once in awhile
jostle: i'm tired of the tit flash
liser: no more urine sex
jostle: HA! what WAS that???
jostle: no more shower sex
liser: ladies, in general golden showers are not so golden
liser: and on that note, my friend. i think we have put this baby out with the bathwater
jostle: baby angelica's out of here!