'The L Word': On the rebound

Katherine_lYes, PopWatchers, I’m late as L with my recap today, and I have no excuse other than sheer laziness. There will be very few cutesy hyperlinks today, as I fear my EW.com editors are already eager to bonk me over the head with a soft, cushioned bat for running behind. I also fear that there may not be anybody left reading my recaps since I keep sending you over to YouTube to watch clips of Mia Kirshner acting like Captain Insano. (Aaawhoops!) And since I marveled along with you as my indefatigable (and apparently sleep-averse) colleague Whitney Pastorek made comedic mincemeat of the Sundance Film Festival over the past ten days, I already hate everything I’m about to write, so let’s just roll along and start discussing what shall heretofore be known as The Basketball Episode, shall we?

But first, let’s talk trash about Tina. Like most of you, I’m still trying to figure out when that bug flew up Tina’s butt, roosted there for good, and turned her into such an insufferable human being. It’s unfortunate, because I’ve always enjoyed Laurel Holloman as a performer; sadly, when Tina started dating men again and tried to act like some high-powered film executive (so didn’t work), she went from being the long-suffering, pregnant underdog to a whiny, self-centered brat. You might say she took a few pointers from Our Lady of Perpetual Ego Bette Porter (don’t start, I still love her), but you might also say that this character was written into a corner. Nay, you’d have to say that, since Tina barely exists in the girls’ circle anymore and Jenny—oh, my beloved Jenny!—just slams her at every turn. This episode’s dig about "maintaining heterosexual privileges" was both laughably brilliant and ridiculously heavy-handed, and when Tina pouted her way onto Papi’s pick-up basketball team, I found myself staring at the screen quizzically, shrugging my shoulders, and effectively blocking Tina from my vision for the remainder of the episode. Remember when she used to be compelling?

Speaking of which, I can’t take my eyes off the screen when CybillShepherd’s doing her thing—and by "her thing," I mean "that strangelywooden line delivery that both diminishes her real-life ebullience and also leaves me cackling unintentionally." So now that Phyllis and Alice have—in L Wordparlance—made circles together, I fear we’re in for some trulyuncomfortable, but-don’t-you-love-me? moments that will make me runscreaming from the room as I shield my eyes in horror. Agita, folks,agita. It gets me every time.

As for that basketball game? The buzz here in the hallways ofEW—where we screened this season’s first six episodes before theholiday break—was negative from the get-go. I sense that most folkswere turned off by Papi’s brusque, over-the-top challenge to acourtside duel with a big, honkin’ group of cholas,and they were also probably annoyed by the name our girls chose fortheir team: The Bourgie-Ass Girls. Me? I found the entire scene amusingand a nice illustration that season 4 isn’t going to bog itself downwith big, weighty breast cancer storylines for the sake of melodrama.Of course, I say this now… and the next thing I know, Episode 7 isgoing to arrive in the mail, it’s going to be titled something ominouslike "Lymphoma" or "Lupus" or "Late-Term Abortion," and I’m going tohave to eat my words.

What else, what else? Oh, yeah: The ‘men’ of the show—and I use thatterm lightly—had a few choice moments, but since every single personwho reads this blog and every single person who watches the showbesides myself hates Max, we can just move right along. (What?? Yousaid you hated him!) And I’m not sure what to make of Angus’ littledalliance with Angelica’s new nanny, Hazel. I mean, you knew from thevery minute that she first appeared that they’d be sucking face, didn’tyou? You watch The L Word, friends. You know that every serviceworker/plebeian who lives in a 5-mile radius of these characters isgoing to be A) impossibly gorgeous, B) impossibly horny, C) impossiblyimpulsive, or D) some combination of the above with a potential fetishthrown in for good measure. And Hazel (doesn’t she look like Marie Fredriksson?)proved true to form. And as I watched another scene with Angus, Iproved true to form, too, and quickly lost all interest the minute hepopped up on my TV screen.

On the other hand, you know I loved me some undies-clad Shane(Katherine Moennig, pictured) glamming it up for that Hugo Boss printcampaign. Man, is her little brother a klutz or what?! First he spilledmilk all over Jenny’s super-expensive shoulder bag, and now he’sfalling off of skateboards, breaking his arm, and costing his oldersister tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. GOOD JOB, KID!!It’s a good thing Shane was so conveniently approached for thatmodeling gig last week; I fear if she’d been forced to cough up thatridiculous $20,000 it’ll take to heal his damn arm, we’d be in for somereally awkward Shane-goes-prossie sequences underlaid with dark,crunching, atonal music by—the horror! the horror!—Betty.

What did you think of the basketball game? Is Helena’s new gig asPhyllis’ for-hire caterer going to be a whopping success—or a giganticdisaster? Can Bette and Tina ever have a civil discussion again? WillAngus tell Kit that he kissed that girl from Roxette? (Kidding.) Andwhat’s in the cards for Bette? Do you think Nadia will out her as asexual predator now that she’s dumped the loser? Because, you know, I’mall about a nice Notes on A Scandal-y storyline if it means I get to see a Jennifer Beals-Cybill Shepherd smackdown.

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  • Nell

    Does anyone know if there is any truth to the rumor that Bette is being written off the show because supposedly Jennifer Beals is pregnant?

  • Lori

    You know Papi is going to make moves on Tina and bring her back onto the other team. Tina probably realized at her gay-straight mixer that her politics and social outlook really is lesbian. That said, I sure hope Bette and Tina never get back together (except maybe for some ex booty call slips once in awhile).

  • Ed

    I loved this episode, looks like it’s going to get good up until the end.
    The Moira/Max plot line finally exploded; I think she/he is going to get fired next. “I DON’T DATE FREAKS!”
    Bette and the student, so predictable, either the student or Bette is going to get the ax.
    Jenny buying the sick dog so that she can start an affair with the vet, so classic – love it!
    The best line of all last night was said at the basketball court from Jenny to Tina, (paraphrasing) “you can’t call yourself a lesbian if you’re enjoying white heterosexual privledge!” LOL!
    I can’t wait for the next episode!

  • Sam

    Jenny Beals was pregnant during the third season and wasn’t written off then so I don’t think they’d do that…I do hope they find a way to redeem Tina though. Always loved her until she turned…

  • Lucas

    Until they change the theme song I will not watch!

  • Anna

    For the love of all that is holy, please crop that picture.

  • Nell

    I don’t hate Max, I think the character is unintentionally hysterical! Like last episode when ‘he’ was lifting weights! I haven’t laughed that hard at the show yet! “Fifteen.. sixteen…” with this tiny little weight and no muscles! But seriously…lose the soul patch!

  • Alex

    Now that Phyllis and Alice have made circles, I think it’s appropriate to christen them with a couple-name: PhAlice. Irony!

  • Anonymous

    Best line…from Bette…brown Barbie…whatever Carmalita Tropicana!

  • Holly

    Pull up your pants, sister.

  • Maria Tomas

    The writers of the show want to sell the
    Jody Bette pair so turning Tina not compelling is the right move I guess

  • delishdish

    Where’s Jodi here? I thought Marlee was a great addition; real, in your face and a perfect match for Alpha Bette. I saw a clip from the music video where they kiss and it looked so hot!

  • Keri

    Nothing about OSCAR WINNER Marlee Matlin as Jodi??!!?! Shameful!

  • Kevin

    That is the greatest picture of all time!!! Please post it everywhere!

  • Liz

    Ok, I’m not gay but Kathering Moennig has always been the sole reason I watch. I’m so strangely attracted to her!!! I like to see that she has remorse and heart now. They finally made her into a human instead of a sociopath-although I may be ahead of myself here! And Alice has become more amusing -and might I add, hotter-this season!

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