The L Word Season Six: well, at least it’s over

Damn you, L Word. After five seasons of drama, awful writing, inconsistent characters, offensive gender stereotypes, horrible treatment of trans issues and butch issues and positive sexuality and relationship accountability, I still want to like you. I still watched, because I wanted to be able to participate in the lesbian culture that says “oh my god she is such a Bette, I don’t even know how you can date her.” I still hoped that maybe, perhaps, somehow, it would redeem itself, because, well, I am that starved for lesbian imagery and lesbian characters and lesbian representation. I am so starved that I sat through Shane’s singularly sexualized androgyny and Max’s transition and Jenny’s insanity and every character’s complete lack of growth and the painful dialogue and writing that made me shout at my computer screen. I put up with it because somewhere, I am a little ashamed to admit, I like deconstructing the awfulness that is the drama and bad writing and intolerable plots and horrible representations of … not me.

The L Word: Season 6 DVD – Reserve Your Advance Copy Today from Wolfe for just $44.95, Available October 20, 2009

It’s the final season of the show that won our hearts and got us talking; the show that The New York Times called: “a Sapphic Playboy fantasia” for its unwavering dedication to portraying sexy lesbian characters in a steady stream of increasingly hot and wild story lines. Season 6 is wilder than ever as it revolves around the $64,000 question: “Who Killed Jenny?” Nope, that’s not a spoiler – the first episode begins with that question and we spend the whole season in flashback leading up to the big event. And in the words of that great infectious theme song, Season 6 covers everything from: “Talking, Laughing, Loving, Breathing, Fighting, Fu**ing [sic], Crying, Drinking, Writing, Winning, Losing, Cheating, Kissing, Thinking, Dreaming.” And SO much more.

I wonder if the writers worried that there was no other way to redeem Jenny other than to have her killed. I wonder if they wrote her to be so terribly annoying and inconsistent and bratty and self-absorbed and completely intolerable ON PURPOSE so we would love it when she gets murdered. I admit, when I first heard she was getting murdered, aside from letting out a huge BWA HA! NO WAIT, SERIOUSLY? laugh at the ridiculousness of attempting to add a level of unbelievable suspense to the show, I also said, well it’s about fucking time.

Despite this, the only possible thing that could have kept me watching season six, I didn’t see past the premiere. Mostly because I just couldn’t be bothered to seek out some place that had Showtime. I’m still vaguely curious to know what happened, who killed Jenny (though I hear it’s never revealed) and how the show wraps up, but I do have other important things that might take presidence. Like, you know, cleaning my kitchen and watering my plants and reorganizing all my ties by color. I’m still tempted though … and I just might get the season’s DVDs when they’re available in October, and see if I can’t at least have a good time deconstructing everything that’s wrong with it. I do get a little thrill out of the perfect deconstructive insult.

If you are as curious as I am, or if perhaps you are a fan (I know there must be some of you out there), you should reserve your advance copy today from Wolfe Video, queer-owned community source for LGBT movies since 1985.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

10 thoughts on “The L Word Season Six: well, at least it’s over”

  1. Ari says:

    I am sorry to say I couldn't get through the first disc of the box set of Season 5.

    I still, however, quite enjoy the copy of Sugarbutch Star that came with it. Yes I do. So it wasn't a huge loss.

  2. I hated the L Word, for the most part. I watched half of the first season, then stopped. Then I watched part of the 5th season because I had a roommate who was obsessed. Then the 6th sesason. I think The L Word is going to be responsible for bad lesbian sex for generations. Even the sex wasn't particularly realistic, in my opinion. And who wants a show about lesbians with no butches? Not moi. Shane, for the record, is so not butch.

  3. Kara says:

    It was so nice to read this post. I thought I was the only one to thing the same of the L-Word as you. When I would complain about it to some of my lesbian friends that would look at me like I was crazy. It almost felt like if your were Gay/Lesbian you had to like the show. Maybe one day they'll do a show that depicts us the right way. Kara :)

  4. e says:

    Not a fan. I watched occasionally because, damn it, it was the only lesbo show on tv.

    I could never get beyond the ridiculous stereotypical "power femme" representations. Personally, I don't know anyone who is anything like any of the characters. I know one woman who is tall, thin, blonde and breathtakingly beautiful, but she's a real person with real person issues, not tv nonsense.

    And, what lesbian community is complete without butches? I want to see some flannel, dammit! I want clunky shoes and jeans or dapper suits and ties. Or board shorts and sports bras. I want to see some real dykes on tv!

    Oops, sorry. Didn't mean to rant!

  5. haha, how lovely. i couldn't possibly have summed up my feelings more accurately than you did in that headline.

    quite honestly, there is very little television i am a fan of – almost none that is not comedic. the issue i took with the l-word (and would probably take with most tv dramas if i were similarly steamrollered into watching them) is that i find that sort of personal bullshit terribly boring at best. at least when it's my friends' personal bullshit it's *relevant* if still boring.

    i'm increasingly convinced that my friends (most people?) really enjoy that sort of nonsense even in their own lives, so i suppose on television it similarly holds interest, but without the fallout.

    sorry, that was bitchy ;)

  6. jnbklyn says:

    To add to this list of why the L-Word totally fucking sucks: horrible treatment of bisexuality. As in, openly disparaging it and having characters like Alice renounce their bisexuality as a mistake. Wow, bisexual people as just being confused… really groundbreaking stuff here, Ilene Chaiken. Thanks for the shoutout.

  7. Adelai says:

    Oh, thank you for this. I watched the first season on DVD and was okay with it…then watched part of the second and the horrible way they treated Ivan's gender identity (and heard about how they dealt with Alice) and bailed. And, like others who commented, I feel like a complete outsider in the community for mostly-disliking it.

  8. freyja says:

    I lasted 5 shows into the first season of "The L Word" — and that only because my partner was determined to watch it. I found pretty much everything about it offensive….but, then again, I find pretty much everything on TV offensive, which is why I don't watch any of it as a general rule.

    The worst part for me, however, was the fact that, in those 5 episodes, I bet I saw more ways supposedly lesbian women's sex-lives somehow included men, then I would have seen of ways gay men's sex lives somehow included women if I had watched every single episode of "Queer AS Folk," just for very different reasons!

    …and that friggin' little cross between Joan Jett and Sid Vicious was supposed to be the token "butch"??????????? Give me break!

    Barf! Barf! Barf!


  9. Allison says:

    I was extremely disappointed in The L Word. I wanted to like it for the same reason as Sinclair- to see some lesbian imagery out there. I hated the lack of ethnic diversity, the horrific treatment of Max's character, the plain old inanity. I will not purchase the DVD set. Still, I appreciate the fact that the show existed, only because it may open avenues for future lesbian-centered series that approach our lives differently.

  10. Saw the first episode of season 6 and refused to watch the rest. Boo. I could not handle any more of this nonsense.

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