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February 9, 2004


The L Word

As the rest of the world snored along to Beyonce, the Robot viewed the new episode of Showtime's new series The L Word, which follows an ensemble cast of lesbians living in LA. As the poster for the show indicates, it's being marketed in terms of Sex and the City, the pioneer of women-oriented cable shows that feature a lot of nudity and other sexy stuffy. One thing the shows have in common is a pretty unrealistic image of the standard of living for young urban people with funky (read: low-paying) jobs. They all seem to work in cafes, or be journalists or musicians, or run a small avant-garde art museum, yet live in gigantic, beautifully-decorated houses with in-ground pools, and in this week's episode, one character pays her mother's $6,000 hotel bill. Another thing: these girls are FEMME. Even Jennifer Beals, the tough, bitchy museum director who wears strong beige suits, has perfect pearlized eye shadow and fluffy hair in every scene. The one who I guess is supposed to be sort of butch looks a lot like a dark-haired Meg Ryan in Addicted to Love, and wears gobs of eyeliner. Yeah, just like all the girls you see in the Dyke March every year. Well, I guess it's LA, after all.

Last night's show should have been called "The Everyone Does Mia Episode", judging from all the action our old favorite from 24, Mia Kirshner, got. Mia plays a "straight" girl who is realizing her queer tendencies through a series of hot make-out sessions with the one who looks just like a young Charlotte Rampling. She also has a lot of tedious scenes writing her bad prose-poetry, and gets pawed over by her former college professor, Julian Sands, who is reprising every single slimy role he has played in the last 10 years. Mia's boyfriend (who played hunky Steve in Welcome to the Dollhouse) seems to be the only major male character, and judging from the title of the show, looks like he's not going to have her around much longer.

It's a good cable show with well formed characters, it's funny but maybe a little heavier than Sex and the City, and it has the benefit of not involving Carrie Bradshaw. Also: bizarrely enough, Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier play half sisters. I can't make any sense out of this. UPDATE: A reader notes that Jennifer Beals has a black father and a white mother, so I guess it does make sense. And Pam Grier's background includes several different races and ethnicities.

categories: TV
posted by amy at 1:46 PM | #