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    Friday, January 20, 2006

    More L Word



    Am I naive to think this sounds like ... potential?

    The Ladies Who Munch:

    ... Whatever the reason, characters' careers seem to be taking a backseat. Alice is still a riveting figure (Leisha Hailey has some of the best, loopiest comic timing on TV), but she's so flaked-out by her recent breakup with Dana that she's on the verge of losing her radio job. Tennis star Dana has health problems, Shane the hairdresser is rarely seen clasping clippers, and Kit seems to have handed most of her duties at the cafe over to Alan Cumming. It's a shame, because the most interesting plotline this season involves the shifting power dynamics between Tina and Bette. Fired from her top position at an L.A. contemporary-art museum, Bette now deals with humiliations like having her spending habits questioned by Tina. Formerly submissive and bovine, Tina has become the family breadwinner, working as an exec at a new movie studio run by her former lover, rich bitch Helena Peabody, and she clearly enjoys the turnabout, lording it over the crestfallen Bette at every opportunity.

    Power and privilege also play out in the friction between Moira and the gang. Out of place in their Sex and the City world of chic clubs and designer yoga, Moira's old-skool butch manner and working-class toughness both amuse and disturb them. Only Bette even tries to sympathize: "She comes from a place where you have to define yourself as either-or." Clearly our luscious libertines feel this sort of identity politics is behind them; Moira figures as some sort of unwelcome flashback to a prehistoric past of dyke struggle, whereas they can live with a more fluid sense of gender. Yet Moira herself is quickly plunged into L.A.'s slipstream of self-reinvention, encouraged to explore her transgender fantasies. The L Word remains a kind of impossible dreamspace, our latest take on the idea of California as the utopian state, the end zone of American possibility. ...

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