Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What the L?

Sorry, I couldn't resist...

Well, I’ve now seen the entire first season (I know, I’m only about three years behind the rest of the woman-identified world).

This series has really generated a lot of conversation, on the web, at potlucks, over dinners and cocktails, in the bars, at basketball practice (not that I’m at the latter; what, exercise?!). Some people love it, some people hate it—and often for the same reasons.

My feelings and observations (as if the world needs more commentary on this show):

1. Physically, the women are NOT representin’. Every one of the characters is attractive and thin. None of them have weight issues, none of them even wears glasses, for cryin’ out loud, except one scene with Bette, and she just looks cuter.

2. Economically, they’re not realistic. I’ll give you Jenny (writer and grocery-store clerk), Shane (hair stylist), Alice (journalist), Marina (café owner) and Lara (chef); but a professional tennis player, a director of an art museum, a director of development at a major studio, a costume designer in demand by the biggest stars…puh-leeze. Hardly representative of reality.

3. Ethnically, they aren’t realistic. Where are the black lesbians (apart from the token angry woman in Bette and Tina’s therapy group)? How about some of our Latina sisters, or Asian? Dare I mention First Nations? Feh.

4. Do we really need the Web of Relationships?

5. The sex is unrealistic…it seems more like a straight man’s fantasy of what women do together than, um, reality. No, I am not going into detail.

6. Can we have some real issues? They touch on them, but just barely. Bette and Tina don’t face hassles when they want AI; yes, they get some nasty stuff from the fundanut woman, but the fact that they are lesbians is not even mentioned at the clinic. The conflict over the art exhibit is another example; and their “jail time.” Bette and Candace get off, for cryin’ out loud. Tough time, indeed. Again, a straight man’s fantasy.

7. Can they mention the B word (Bisexual) without snickering? Jenny is, at this point, clearly bi; but will they (i.e., the writers) let her be or will they make her “choose”? Alice comes under fire for being attracted to Lisa, too.

8. Give Alice more to do! She’s the most realistic person on that show!

OK. I know this is entertainment, and “Queer as Folk” wasn’t a reality show, “The Cosby Show’s Huxtables didn’t represent the African-American reality either, and “Chico and the Man” didn’t represent Latino/Latina reality. But still.

I do have some things I like about the show, some of them very much—someone get that woman some water, I think she’s fainting… Thank you. As I was saying, I did enjoy some things.

1. I realize there’s a lot of dissention on this out there, but…Shane is hot! OK? I just wish they would have let her stay the wild, love ‘em and leave ‘em woman she was in the first few episodes, instead of mooning over that shrew Sherry….

3. Kudos for their attempts, at least, to portray gender-different people (Lisa and Ivan). But there was much too much snickering about Lisa, and I hated it that Alice didn’t take seriously Lisa’s desire to be a lesbian (in spite of a male body). Ivan fared rather better—but then, I’ve only seen her in two episodes. I do like a good drag king…sigh.

Well, I can’t say I’d try to watch it if this were the second season. I’m not going to try to watch it now, because way too many seasons have gone by and I would still be lost. But I will rent/borrow the other seasons, just to be able to hold up my end of conversations.

And I do want to see if Ivan and Kit get together….and what about Shane?

Drag Kings...

1 comment:

Mary Beth said...

Glad to read this assessment. I don't watch much TV, but have checked out this show a couple of times...I thought maybe my straightness made me unable to see that this really was representative of lesbian realities in 2007! Glad to know I wasn't all so wrong.