‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Review: More Like Generation Who-Is-This-for-Exactly?

IndieWire | 12/8/2019 | Staff
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For a certain generation of lesbians, queer women, and queers with vulvas who don’t identify as women, “The L Word” was — to put it mildly — the most personally significant piece of pop culture of the last 20 years. Speaking solely for myself (I fall into the latter camp), discovering the comic melodrama about a group of attractive lesbians living in Los Angeles in the mid-aughts was a revelation. I can still remember driving back from my local video store, cradling the DVDs in my lap like a precious gem, my semi-clueless father innocently inquiring: “So, what is the L word?,” emphasizing the last word in the title much in the way he still says “Burger King.” Graciously filling in my loaded silence, just as he would the following year when he lobbed me the Bill Clinton answer about my marijuana use, he asked — “Is it…love?”

“Yeah…it’s love,” I answered with teenage curtness. And — unlike my “That’s right, I don’t inhale” line — I wasn’t lying.

Seasons - L - Word - Showtime - Television

For so many of us, it was love. The first two seasons of the original “The L Word,” which premiered in 2004 on Showtime, are objectively good television. Jenny’s (Mia Kirshner) coming-out story provided a gripping narrative backbone to the first season. The fallout from her affair, plus more screen time for secondary characters who had quickly become favorites, filled out the second.

Adam Sandler on Never Getting A Moment of Joy as Howard Ratner in 'Uncut Gems'

Viewers - Showrunner - Ilene - Chaiken - Litany

Viewers were hooked from then on, and they stuck with showrunner Ilene Chaiken through a litany of questionable storytelling choices designed to test the mettle of their loyalty: The death of fan favorite Dana after she had just begun a long-simmering romance with Alice; Max’s messy and stereotype-ridden gender transition; and the infamous murder mystery mayhem of...
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