The L Word
wasn’t perfect. It has possibly the worst credits song of any TV show ever made (see lyrics above). Characters seemed to get entirely rewritten from series to series. It is maddening to watch Helena Peabody – in what could be historically the worst example of character continuity in television’s history– transforming from a sexy and sophisticated British heiress to a ditz, having a prison romance and sleeping with Papi in the back of a limo. (Did anyone else worry where her kids were?) It also got far too meta after Jenny wrote a book about the group of women, which then got made into the film-within-the-TV-show, Les Girls
, meaning that by Season Four there was essentially two of every character. You get the feeling the writers were really pleased with themselves for coming up with that mindbending idea. Plus, the last ever episode was atrocious.
Still though, The L Word
was informative – depicting experiences of gender transition, IVF and coming out at work – and fictional or otherwise, it definitely gave me role models. I have no problem admitting that, even now, at the age of 24, I am trying – and failing – to channel Bette’s sass on a daily basis. I am also desperately trying to emulate The Shane Effect. No show since The L Word
, except maybe Transparent
or Orange Is the New Black
, has portrayed LGBT lives with so much sensitivity and accuracy, which is why we must never stop watching it and re-watching it. We must pass The L Word
on to people who need its optimism, no matter how dated it will continue to seem. Queer, feminist, radically inclusive, it wasn’t just a show for lesbians, but for anyone who loves women, and needs a bit of help loving themselves.