It’s happening to us again…
It was announced earlier this week that the newest show to get a ticket for the revival train is the aughts lesbian drama The L Word. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’d like to provide you with a five point primer to what you can expect from the show. For those of us that have seen it, you may want to read this primer, too. It’ll help you remember many things your mind has chosen to forget for its own sake. Me, I can never forget.
1. Pray for a new theme song.
The L Word didn’t have a real theme song for the first season. Turns out that's not because they were spending so much time creating a good one, because what happened to the intro credits in Season Two may or may not be a violation of The Geneva Conventions.
Betty's theme song sounds like a list of what the band saw out of their apartment window during a Pride parade, culminating in a non sequitur stream of gerunds that, during the initial airing, my friends and I Weird Al-ed into a series of bodily functions: "Laughing, loving, pooping, peeing..." It sounded pretty much the same.
2. We lesbians LOVE babies.
In the six seasons of The L Word, one baby was born. However, all six seasons offered year-long storylines about getting pregnant, staying pregnant, having babies, adopting babies and, at one point in the final season, a pregnancy plot involving the only trans character. This is just the tip of the iceberg of cringe as far as the show's one trans storyline, and let me sum that up with this: I told two trans friends that I was writing about The L Word's Max (Daniela Sea), and one replied, “The second worst trans TV representation after Caitlyn [Jenner]” and the other just texted me the poop emoji. So really, they had similar reactions.
3. We lesbians HATE babies.
That only baby? She was kidnapped by one of her moms during a particularly rough separation for the couple, which seemed to alternate like so: even seasons they'd break up, odd seasons they were profoundly in love. During an even season, her moms held her on their laps whilst the dead body of someone she knew was wheeled past her. (She was like four at the time, too, so girl knew what the deal was.) She was otherwise just generally a scene prop, like a precocious puppy or maybe a particularly exotic plant. I don’t have kids. I’m not really interested in ever having kids. But I do regard kids with more thought than these moms, and would at the very least settle my acrimonious divorce out of their earshot and/or distract them with something shiny while the murder in our backyard is cleaned up.
4. Why jump the shark when you can BE the shark?
The L Word was amplified drama for five years. For their final season, though, rather than jump the shark, the writers simply ate their own world. The final season became a murder mystery in which one character died in the season premiere and the rest of the season was built around whodunit. You want to know who did it? ME TOO! We never found out. The last scene is just all of the characters walking away from the police station after their interrogation, smiling, happy to be done with the drama of it all. There may not have been a snow globe involved, but it wasn't far from it. I happened to stumble across footage of my friends and me watching The L Word's series finale, embedded here for your viewing pleasure:
The L Word was MY dog, Ma. I’ll do it.
5. I’ll watch every minute of the revival.
Shane, you’re still the coolest. Bette, va va voom. Alice, please be my best friend. All three actresses (Katherine Moennig, Jennifer Beals and Leisha Hailey, respectively) will be coming back for the revival both in front of and behind the cameras, as well as the original run's co-creator Ilene Chaiken. The show was frustrating, camp, over the top, uneven and inconsistent, but it was ours. It was the first TV show for lesbians, by a lesbian, and let’s be real: very little TV representation outside of supporting roles has been seen ever since. So, welcome back, The L Word. I’m looking forward to yelling at you every week all over again.