Remember that FOTC song, “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor”? Well, the best way I can sum up my experience with The L Word is by varying that phrase slightly: There were too many tits on the television.
Don’t get me wrong. Lesbians are great. I love them, I support them, all that. I’m just not one of them. There are certain issues I can relate to, and certain ones I cannot, and that’s it. That being said, I think this show did a wonderful job of making the characters’ personal issues transcend her sexuality. Each character was incredibly relatable for different reasons. It’s just that, at the end of the day, there was an overload of gratuitous sex, and the whole “shock value” or whatever they were going for wore off really quickly.
I want to go over my favorite and least favorite characters and my favorite and least favorite actors on this show, because they all came to mind quickly. Love Dana (Erin Daniels), hate Jenny (Mia Kirshner), love Jennifer Beals, hate Laurel Holloman. Dana’s story is the most heartbreaking and fascinating, I thought, because she’s so self-conscious and self-loathing and guilty all the time, and regardless of her conservative country club upbringing I think there’s something about her that makes sense to everyone. We’ve all been tied down by something at some point in our lives. (But, sadly, she is a horrible tennis player. It’s so obvious.)
Jenny, on the other hand, might be one of the most easily despicable characters on television. She has this great guy, she cheats with a horribly annoying woman, she becomes incredibly egotistical and introverted and touchy-feely and blah blah blah. She’s so selfish, it’s unbearable to watch her destroy everyone in her path. So, bravo, I guess, Mia Kirshner.
Jennifer Beals is, quite simply, mesmerizing. She’s so beautiful and elegant and likable, even in her darkest moments, which is why I think I hated Laurel Holloman’s performance so much. It’s hard to like Tina because Holloman is so boring! Or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know.
I should also say that I love Shane, and Alice, and Kit, and the rest of them. I love these characters. I just don’t care that much to find out exactly how their lives play out or how many times they sleep with each other over the remaining 4 or 5 seasons; in fact, I read the rest of the synopses online afterward because I wasn’t interested in 50 more episodes of lesbian drama, and found out that the show seems to jump the shark like eight times. There are character deaths and marriages and all of this really soapy crap. Over the top, I say.
I think it just comes down to the fact that I like men. I love the way men and women interact, and I love to watch it too. With women, there are so many feelings, which is made evident in a show with a nearly all-female cast. So many goddamn feelings. It’s just not my thing—but I’m sure glad I watched it. It’s an important piece of television, and one that gave an overdue, deserved voice to so many unrepresented women.