Saturday, August 4, 2007

TV on DVD: The L Word (Season Three)

MAJOR spoilers below regarding events throughout the third season of the show.

There is nothing more disappointing than a great show which falters in its run. From the first moment of the season premiere, something was off. The new direction the show takes is really quite unfortunate. The line-connections that are drawn before the opening credits are dumb. It was somewhat inevitable that Dana and Lara would get back together, but not like this. Alice in this season is creepy and clingy to a truly obnoxious point. The break-up could have served as a fascinating plotline, but it is skipped over in favor of a few brief flashbacks. Dana becomes uncharacteristically harsh, and killing off one of the show's best characters seems like a poor decision.

I am of the firm conviction that Jenny should have been written out of the show. Her character was headed down a despicable road during season two, and headed back home to work out her issues. Why she was brought back is a mystery. She is easily the most detestable character on television, and new addition Moira/Max is just uninteresting. Though s/he should be a fascinating character, every scene with both Jenny and Max are cringe-worthy and awkward. I seriously considered fast-forwarding every time either of them came on screen. Tim correctly diagnoses Jenny's insanely messed up tendencies in his brief guest-starring role.

The inclusions of both Max and Helena in all the gatherings of the group seem more than forced. It is hard to believe that both of them would be so readily invited to personal events like Dana's memorial ash-scattering. The other characters also suffer from poor plotlines and personality changes. Shane and Carmen become a generally unexciting couple, and they no longer spark as they should. I also find it bizarre that Shane would so quickly dump Carmen at the altar based on something the father she hardly knew did. Bette is a pathetic wimp, and Tina is a controlling, selfish bitch. Their baby custody war only gets decent at the end of the season.

It is not all bad, though. Angus is a fun new character, and his relationship with Kit is entertaining. Dallas Roberts, who had an excellent breakthrough role in the little-seen "A Home at the End of the World" a few years ago, serves as a nice Token Male Character replacement for Tim and Mark. Alan Cumming is just fantastic as Kit's new employee, and enhances every scene he is in. The episode following Dana's death reaches close to the quality the show used to have. The finale is so-so, the best part being Helena getting cut off, which should make her character all the more entertaining. And Holland Taylor is just awesome as Peggy Peabody.

I am really hoping that the fourth season of the show is much better, and I think it does stand a decent chance. I believe that at least four new cast members are added, and I do hope they are intriguing. The characters will hopefully bounce back and continue to become enraveled in thoughtful and enjoyable storylines. The fourth season is coming to DVD in October, and I plan to watch it in December. The fifth season premieres on Showtime in January. For now, I have a ton of "Battlestar Galactica" to get through.

"The L Word" Season Three: C-

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