So, I have said it. The L-Word is not great TV, anymore. Anymore being the key to that sentence. So before you start targeting me for being against the show because of it’s themes or lesbian content, read a bit of what I have to say.
My wife and I started watching the L-word while we still lived in England. Faith was the first to get into it and then of course I followed along. In the first season, I thought the show was pretty damn good. Gritty and compelling story lines that showed both the ups and downs of a circle of friends in L.A. who happened to be lesbian. The show was warts and all and the writing and story development was top notch.
Then, there was the sex. This show has never shied away from showing the sex in the lives of the characters. What makes it even more compelling is that faked lesbian sex is so much closer to the real thing than faked heterosexual sex. This always added to the realism of the show. Until it didn’t. Let me explain.
After the second season, which was excellent as well, I noticed a shift. The story lines started to seem secondary to me. The characters started to be less interesting. There was a turn in season three, and not for the better. By Season 4, I had all but lost interest in the show.
It seemed to me that the production just got lazy. The writing less inspired. The sex, well, too much. That is hard for me to write. As much as I liked the unabashed sexual aspect of the show at first, I found by season 4 it was just boring for me.
Let me reiterate that point. I, “ME”, a high testosterone guy as it is, was finding the lesbian, near hardcore sex uninteresting. Amazing, isn’t it?
Starting with season 3, and fully in effect by season 4, the show seemed to have story lines that were just an excuse to have something happen between these sex scenes. The tales grew cliche and the character studies were just silly.
The show had lost a lot of it’s appeal.
By now, you may be thinking, so what? You are a straight guy, this is not meant for you!
That is where you are wrong. First, it was not just me. Faith kept up watching through season 3, not missing an episode, but did not enjoy it as much. By season 4, Faith watched a bit, but soon dropped it as well. She is a demographic that counts.
With that said, even if I am not the viewer that the show producers have in mind, my eyes are still valuable. If the L-word were really only meant for the gay or female community to watch, it would not be starting season 5. It would be a ratings disaster. Obviously more than just the targeted demographic watches the show.
So, why am I writing this? Well, Season 5 just started, and after getting caught up on the previously missed episodes, Faith is giving it one more shot. I have been watching along with her and have to say, the story is a bit more compelling again. I hope that the production keeps up the momentum.
So, reluctantly, after seeing the first episode of the new season, I have to give a tentative thumbs up.
Ways to keep that thumbs up? Stop writing this show as if the story is only a way to get to another sex scene. Hell, cut back on that aspect. Once we see where things are going, get back to telling us the tale of these friends. The power is in the story. Hopefully Season 5 will stay on that track.
My two cents, get the first and second season on DVD. These are the best in my humble opinion.
Let’s see where season 5 takes us. I would hate to see another, once great show, go down.
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And hell, why not make up your own mind?