Does Season Six Measure Up?
Well, they’re finally here: the final episodes of Showtime’s groundbreaking series, The L Word. For six years, fans of the series have tuned in to watch the latest drama unfold for our favorite Sapphic Southern Californians. Viewers have been rewarded with everything from kidnapping, arson and Love Boat role-playing to a lesbian identified man named Lisa. So, after all that, the question now is: Does the final season do the series justice? The answer: It’s easily the best season since the first, so yes, pretty darn well.
The premise for season six is fairly controversial. For those who don’t already know, and have miraculously managed to avoid the spoiler-tastic whirlwind of L word marketing, Jenny Schecter is dead. Which is doubly surprising considering the show’s writers somehow managed to pull off a miraculous feat in season five: making Jenny likeable again.
Fans may be shocked and disappointed to see her kick the bucket in the first 30 seconds of the series premiere, but in the rest of the series—which is a flashback to three months prior to Ms. Schecter’s mysterious demise—you get plenty of reminders of why she is throttle-worthy. In keeping with the previous season, each episode opens with a vignette, and, in the case of season six, each one unveils a different cast member’s potentially murderous motive in this penultimate lesbian whodunit. Talk about dyke drama.
By no means is the entire season about Jenny’s impending doom. As promised by Ilene Chaiken in a yet-to-be-published interview with Curve (lookout for that in a future issue!), the focus of season six has returned to the core group of women who started the journey together, with a couple of minor additions. Most notably: Max’s new abundance of unkempt facial hair that, when paired with his pained but luminous pale blue eyes, makes him eerily reminiscent of Robert Powell’s turn as Christ in Franco Zeffirelli’s ’70s crucifixion opus, Jesus of Nazareth. There are also a few subtractions, so prepare for some bitter farewells.
Bette and Tina—still thankfully together—face major life changes, as well as an aggressive woman from Bette’s past. Alice and Tasha return to fight for their increasingly toxic relationship. Shane sleeps around. Jenny falls madly in love (emphasis on the madly). Helena and Kit enjoy success with their two clubs—The Planet and Hit, the night club they managed to wrest from the hands of Dawn Denbo (and her lover Cindy). Then there’s Max and his beard (and no, I’m not referring to Jodi’s interpreter) who suffer through a plot twist ripped from the pages of the tabloids (and Oprah’s couch).
Despite its morose kick-off, season six manages to pack in all the drama we have come to expect from The L Word while remaining upbeat and enjoyable. There are even a few—much to my delight—dance numbers. So while it’s always hard to bid adieu to a show that has touched so many hearts—and libidos—at least in this case the cast and creators do it with style.
Besides, before you know it, it’ll be time to set your TiVo to record the spin-off.