Today, I thought I'd turn our attention to Showtime's The L Word. I'll admit that the Los Angeles-based ensemble dramedy created by Ilene Chaiken was marred by over-the-top situations, uneven character development, hackneyed writing, a bevy of skinny femmes, and racially problematic casting decisions. It also featured one of the worst theme songs ever, which was written and performed by BETTY.
However, until the final season I was hooked. I started watching with my girlfriends in college toward the end of Sex and the City's run on HBO (L Word fans may recall that the show's original tag line was "Same Sex, Different City"). I was invested in many of the L Word's characters and their long, interconnected histories with one another. I appreciated the incorporation of lesbian icons through dialogue or cameos, and the attention drawn to lesser-known cultural practices like Dinah Shore Weekend or the prevalence of lesbian nuns. I liked the sex, even though it was often of the lipstick variety. Most of all, I enjoyed the role music played in the women's lives.
You know, when Jersey Shore aired, my first thought was "I wish they would make a spinoff of this show about Iranians, because really, we don't get enough bad press as it is." Lucky for me, MTV read my mind and is creating The Persian Version, which is, um a Persian version of Jersey Shore. From the casting call:
Two thousand years ago the Persian Empire ruled the ancient world…but they didn't have your soundtrack, your style, or your swagger! Today there's a new Persian empire growing right here in L.A. and it's ready to conquer the world all over again. It's a bad-ass new dynasty where exotic beauty and wild style dominates the sexiest nightlife, exclusive venues and hottest beaches the modern world has to offer.
You've got the means, the money, and the motivation to cut through the velvet rope and rule the VIP! For you life is all about Gucci, Gabbana, Cavalli and Cristal. From BMWs and Bugatis, to Mercedes and Movado and money is no object.
Monday marked the release of the music video for M.I.A.'s "Born Free," the lead single off the British rapper/singer/visual artist's forthcoming third album, and yet another clip from a female pop star this year that caused quite a stir. Continuing the discussion begun by the open thread Kjerstin started yesterday, I thought I'd share my thoughts.
My So-Called Life only lasted one season on ABC during the 1994-1995 season. But for a considerable number of folks in my peer group, the critical darling was a huge part of our adolescence, televisual fandom, and nascent feminism.
I never really identified with protagonist Angela Chase (Claire Danes), as she was prone to bouts of maudlin narcissism. I related more to type-A childhood friend Sharon Cherski (Devon Odessa), particularly her struggle to balance advanced course work with a myriad of extra-curricular activities. I also enjoyed Cherski's developing friendship with Deadhead Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer), who Chase abandons Cherski for early in the series' season-long run. Like Cherski, I wasn't sure what to make of Graff the first few times I watched the show during its initial run on ABC and when MTV re-ran it a few years later. Graff's self-destructive tendencies were frightening, but her creative potential always had me rooting for her.