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The L-Word and it’s New Generation

09 Dec Posted by in Jan Miller Corran | Comments Off on The L-Word and it’s New Generation
The L-Word and it’s New Generation

Last night I watched Episode 1 of this remake of what was a groundbreaking series fifteen years ago. Fifteen years ago and only a few years after Queer as Folk blasted on the scene, lesbians finally had a series about them.  Okay, not all of them because as much as I loved looking at the young LA lesbian scene, I sure wasn’t living my life like that.  But, I loved being a voyeur. And I am sure most of us leaped at the chance to see all the bed hopping, the drama of new love and broken love, and the mystery of who killed Jenny. So last night I turned on the show and the first scene to jar me was a full on gratuitous sex scene between two of the new kids on the block. My first thought was, “here we go!” but not in a joyous way.
I’m sure the new generation will find some connection to this newly painted series. The draw for me was seeing Bette, Shane and good old Alice Pieszecki once more and they didn’t disappoint.  Bette still “f..ks” way too many women and cries way too much when called on the carpet for it. Her daughter Angelica is all grown up and living with Bette but mentions Mama T.  I missed Mama T also. Shane, well, Shane does what Shane does but now has a great house. 

Now on to the Generation Q group.  Someone sent a memo to the office of diversity at central casting because there is this random group of young women roaming around, having random sex a bit, hooking up, and having the opposite of Queer as Folk’s token lesbian couple (ah Melanie and Lindsay) in the two guys as their token gay boys. I do have to say something about diversity in TV and films.  I am all for it. The original L-Word had its bi-racial Bette and once again her character has to remind us that Bette is bi-racial. I think we remember plus do we really care? Generation Q reminds us that people couple, f..k, cheat with and fall in love with people of all colors and ethnicities just like the real world. Bravo. 
It’s only the first episode so I’ll watch more to see if the storylines become worthy of our time on Sunday night.  I noticed that the creator is not Ilene Chaiken though she is listed as a writer. The creator of all eight episodes is Marja-Lewis Ryan and she directs an episode.  The opening episode was disjointed and choppy. It included gratuitous sex because there is this belief that if lesbians don’t immediately see breasts we change the channel. It includes a who cares if Bette slept with a married woman reveal, and an invitation from Shane to have a young “traditional tool packing”young lesbian suddenly be offered a room in her new house just because she lives with five roommates. Throw in the opiod crisis, homelessness and vaping and they covered everything but climate change and the impeachment hearings. 

I’m thinking that it really needed a previous master lesbian story teller from the 2004-9 L-Word like directors Rose Troche, Angela Robinson, Ilene Chaiken, Jamie Babbit and Lynne Stopkewich. The original L-Word had three things going for it. First, it was amazing to have a show about lesbians and their lives. Second, it had an amazing cast. Will we ever forget Laurel Holloman as Tina and Mia Kirshner as the famously killed Jenny Schecter? Will we ever forget the night Bette “rapes” Tina?  Will we ever forget Alice and her soldier Tasha?  And Shane’s time with Carmen, the gorgeous Sarah Shahi?  In the words of Dana Fairbanks, “CRISPY!”

If you get a chance, watch the reboot. After one episode I’ll be honest. It didn’t snag me.  But I’m giving it one or two more episodes in hopes that Bette calls Tina, the murder of Jenny is solved, and it all gets crispy. 

Jan Miller Corran:
Writer and producer of multi-award winning Snapshots
Writer and Producer of the critically acclaimed play The Last Word
Writer and Producer of three upcoming projects. 

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