Reviews: The L Word
Pandering, Pandering, Pandering and... not much else.
The L Word is another one of these queer shows that is just not one. Featuring mostly Hollywood Style actresses and heavily relying on sex scenes to pander to the highly coveted staight male demographic, the show could still have been much needed, except it's just another one of those relationship-centred shows (à la One Tree Hill, Footballers' Wives etc...) that women enjoy so much, with a slight queer conscience sprinkled here and there and a transgender for good measure. And because it coasted so much on the sex scenes to garner audience, it also suffers from a bad case of Everybody Remembers The Stripper. Many times, all the portrayals and PSA's that were supposed to "educate" straights (especially men) to the realities of lesbianism are just ignored or brushed aside as "boring" and "irrelevant". Which is why so many people only remember the show as a lesbian erotica flick with boring dialogues and bad acting in between. Yes, bad acting. Because, to be honest, if there ARE some good actresses in the show (Pam Grier in particular), the vast majority of them are incredibly unconvincing in their performance. Other than that, the plots are unbelievably trite (the obligatory All Lesbians Want Kids for instance) and soap-opera-ish with few gems here and there. Plus, the number of straight guys in the supporting cast compared to the virtual absence of gay guys is telltale of who the intended audience actually is. Whatever works works but The L Word shows one more time that queer shows need the straight demographic if they actually want to be of any significance at all. In contrast to this and Queer As Folk, little known British show Metrosexuality, despite its campy humour and theatricality, works better in its depiction of how gays and lesbians relate to one another. Even the aesops do better simply because they could apply to anyone. But its limited fame shows that, no matter what, shows about minorities can be great and all but will only attract... a minority of people if they don't pander to the straight audience.