Monday, July 23, 2007

TV on DVD: The L Word (Season Two)

Minor spoilers about events in the second season included. Avoid reading if you have not seen the season and plan to watch the show.

The second season of "The L Word" continues the greatness of the first season despite a few unfortunate tweaks. The opening credits now include a bizarre montage and obnoxious theme, unlike the bouncy and quick tune from the first year. Weird whispering also pervades a number of the scenes each episode. Jenny's storyline takes a turn for the slightly creepy and altogether disturbing. I do praise the second season for several things, however. The aftermath of Tina and Bette's breakup is very well played out, and all characters contribute well to the dramatic and often comedic situations. Dana and Alice finally get together is great, and all their scenes together, especially sneaking around, are lots of fun. Having roommate Mark not be the typical, lesbian-porn-loving male is fantastic, and he proves to be a fascinating character, especially his relationship with Shane.

Guest star Ossie Davis is very good as Bette's dying father, and has some powerful scenes with both Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier (Kit). My pick for best guest star of the season is Charles S. Dutton as Benjamin Bradshaw, the author of the "Theory of Everything" book and a love for interest for Kit. He brings an uncommon male energy to the show, and is truly excellent (the man learned to act in jail! He is awesome). The best performances of the season come from newcomers Sarah Shahi and Rachel Shelley, who really add a lot to the show. As Carmen, Shahi is energetic and very open about her feelings, and causes Shane to consider her lifestyle. Shelley is unapolegetic and manipulative yet still likeable as Helena Peabody, who ends up influencing Bette and Tina's lives more than anyone could imagine. Overall, a great second season not quite as amazing as the first, but still lots of fun.

"The L Word" Season Two: B+

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