... to watch the third season of The L Word. Jane anxiously awaited the release of season 3 on DVD, and it finally came to our local video store. (I dunno why we didn't check the cable company's video on demand selection, but I digress.) But every Friday or Saturday evening that we stopped in someone had already rented the first disc. We imagine that our video store clerks see an endless stream of middle-aged dyke couples on the weekend, toting their pizza boxes and clutching the latest arthouse release, preparing for the usual big night in.
So I outwitted my neighbors by stopping in on a Wednesday evening and scored disc 1, and we tore through all the episodes by the end of Friday night. And as with the first two seasons, my inner critic could not fucking shut up.
First, what the hell have they done with Shane? Now she's mature and emotionally available, and had a head-on collision with the eyeshadow counter at Fred Segal? Ick. Granted, I would happily trail after Carmen, holding her hand and gazing at her moony-eyed, but it's a big evolutionary leap from the Shane of old. And all the characters now look like they've been assaulted by the makeup artist, with the possible exception of Bette. It's kind of like kabuki.
Second, can Kelly Lynch come back, please? Even just to collect loan payments from Kit and be mean and vindictive? I suppose Moira/Max has taken the single gender queer slot in the ensemble. At least I hate Jenny less in these episodes, and it's always fun to watch Alan Cumming chew the scenery. I love the special musical guests, too.
It made me sad that Alice and Dana broke up, since Alice is my favorite character, but her inability to move on rang true, unlike Bette's depression over her humiliating job loss and disintegrating relationship. A real woman would gain 20 pounds and start drinking during the day.
I'm ashamed to admit this because I know better, but the fact that the production is so glossy and all the actresses so physically flawless depresses me. I know I'm supposed to be a more sophisticated media consumer by now, but I can't see anything of myself on the screen (especially when they glop pink lip gloss on Alice). It's just one more message that only beautiful people deserve to be desired.
We just finished up disc 2 last night, and I invited my inner critic to take the night off and let me enjoy the lifestyle porn and soft-core sex. Mostly it worked, but Jane and I both liked Helena better as an undiluted villain. What's with all the emotional growth (that happens in big, blocky chunks)? People usually grow in tiny increments--they don't wake up and decide "I've treated people really badly before, but now I'm going to be an ethical slut!" Or maybe they do, and they try, but then they backslide.
The writers are rushing things with Dana's cancer, too. The tribe behaves like the immature, self-absorbed idiots they are when they all rush to her bedside after her surgery and mournfully stare at her like she's dying already. And almost overnight, Dana goes from the embodiment of innocence, sweetness, and light to completely despairing and bitter. It's actually a pretty believable reaction, but the abruptness is like flipping a light switch. A character with the inner resources to be a champion athlete probably wouldn't go there so quickly. She deals with losing her hair by shaving herself completely bald and going without any makeup? Makes for a dramatic visual but is a creakingly obvious device. (BTW, I know what happens to Dana by the end of the season; the NYT TV writer is a huge spoiler.)
Maybe I should follow the example of the straight male TV character (from Six Feet Under? I don't remember) who made a crack about watching The L Word with the sound turned off. At the least, that would take care of hearing the show theme, which is a Grade-A earworm.