AfterEllen.com’s 2009 Naughty or Nice List

 
 

Ilene Chaiken commits murder — again

In another year — 2004, perhaps — the creator and executive producer of Showtime’s hit series, The L Word, might have earned herself a place on our Nice List. But this year Ilene Chaiken drove our favorite soapy lesbian drama off the tracks and into a ravine, where it exploded with a nary a whimper or flash of light. In fact the only noise that could be heard as it went up in smoke was the yip, yip, yip of Sounder II.

The L Word compared itself to many cinematic and literary masterpieces in its six-season run. At least in this season’s “Lactose Intolerant” it finally found its match in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

There’s no earthly way of knowing / Which direction we are going / There’s no knowing where we’re rowing / Or which way the river’s flowing / Is it raining? / Is it snowing? / Is a hurricane a-blowing? / Not a speck of light is showing / So the danger must be growing.

And by “danger,” of course, we mean “loose balcony rail and open swimming pool.”

Not everyone loves a cheesetastic happy ending (see: South of Nowhere), and we have to admit that Jenny Schecter had it coming, but it would have been nice to see some organic writing as we waved our fictional pals into the sunset. Instead we got an entire season of convoluted, backwards whodunit. (And don’t even get us started on those post-season interrogation tapes.)

In the end, who really killed Jenny Schecter? We say it was Chaiken in the Conservatory with the Candlestick. Just like it was Chaiken with the Cancer in the Hospital with our beloved Dana Fairbanks, way back in season three.

#amazonfail

2009 saw plenty of trends that can be summed up by their Twitter hash tag, but none deserves a place on our lump of coal list like #amazonfail.

It started on Easter weekend when Mark Probst noticed that his book, The Filly, had lost its sales ranking on Amazon.com. He contacted Amazon and received a reply that cited Amazon’s policy to exclude “adult material” from its best seller lists and some product searches. A little digging revealed that nearly all of Amazon’s gay-themed literature — from novels, to self-help books to biographies to parenting guides — had been “>reclassified as “adult material.”

After a weekend bombardment that included #amazonfail as a trending Twitter topic, Amazon recanted and issued a statement calling the entire debacle a “system glitch.” We didn’t buy Amazon’s excuse, and neither did most of the general public. In fact, the term “Amazon Rank” took on its own definition in the Urban Dictionary:

Amazon Rank
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked

1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dog fighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.

Example of usage: “I tried to do a report on Lady Chatterly’s Lover for English Lit, but my teacher amazon ranked me and I got an F on grounds that it was obscene.”

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