Which L Word is it?

The L Word – everyone’s favourite show of overly-dramatic, over-sexed, crazed lesbians. But I mean those as good things. On Tuesday night (in Canada) the show ended after 6 seasons.

I’ve been a big fan of the L Word – watching quite religiously for the entire series, but at the end of the show on Tuesday night I wasn’t sure how I felt about it ending. I’ve often had mixed reactions when shows I’m into end. Usually it is because they started out fabulously (or my standards were lower) and gradually, or in some cases drastically, went down hill. I quit the OC before the last season because while it was bad to begin with, it lost its fun. I quit Lost last season because I just didn’t have it in me to make it through another extreme season of madness. But when I finished the last season of 6 Feet Under (despite being totally bummed out by the last episode) I felt satisifed. I felt like we had just been on a lovely journey together and now it was our natural time to part. There were no hard feelings, no frustration with fallen storey lines, extreme characters, or shark-jumping. It was just right. So while I do not hold the OC to the same standard (because it wasn’t intended to have standards it was meant to be entertaining), I do hold The L Word to a higher-standard.

Now my reasons for watching the L Word are likely different than some. Unfortunately, being straight, I wasn’t watching it just to be on the afterellen bandwagon. I’m really not bold enough or clever enough for that. I watched it because it was a good show. It was a good show about women, and the good and fucked up things women did.

Over the series it obviously had some ups and downs – Alice went crazy, Max was a weird addition to the club, and Tina went straight I guess just to show that she could. But nothing drove me crazier than the new Jenny.
Jenny started out as a sweet, artistic and likable character and turned into a crackpot narcissist that didn’t even remotely resemble the original character. Why? Why was it necessary? Why do writers think that drama isn’t interesting unless you can make it completely absurd and never ending? As if it wasn’t bad enough that Jenny’s Hollywood persona last season was irritating and silly, this season she just seemed to be schizophrenic. She was mean, and conniving, and bordering on evil. The worst part is is that they appear to have over done her evilness just so they could feign a mystery surrounding her death.

Jenny’s death was revealed in the very first episode. I was happy she was out because her character was so very painful last season. Then I discover that the entire season is going to be the lead-up to her death. The trouble with this is not only that it spoils the surprise at the end, but that the episodes didn’t seem to unfold naturally but instead were forced toward a pre-established goal. What’s more is that the episodes that had goals weren’t very good, and the finale where this was all to come together was rushed and confused.

I didn’t even know I was watching the series finale until I realized everything was being revealed really quickly and they were forcing together happy, emotional goodbyes with a whodunnit murder mystery (the worst of which was the police interrogations that would have been better suited for a sleepover party). Everyone has a clear motive because Jenny was so completely hateable, but at the end they reveal the murderer. Sort of. Well kind of. They lead us to believe that Nikki is the killer because she hid in the bushes and I guess was obsessed with Shane. Considering all the well-crafted motives of everyone else, couldn’t they have given us more than a one-line scapegoat? Better yet, they could have left it as a mystery. I hate cliffhangers, but I could have dealt with that one because it would have been demonstrative of the complexities of all of their relationships..

I got where they were coming from but they failed. And it hurts me. It hurts me deep inside. Because I expected more.

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