At Long Last: “The L Word” Season 4 Preview


Tina –
Tina and her blander-than-paste boyfriend (whose name I can never remember)
were last seen living the incredibly dull adventure of two hets in like. Now
that she's straight again, how will Tina reconcile her old friends with
her new life? Will anyone remember to invite her to the next theme party at
The Planet? Will anyone want to?

The burning question
on many viewers' minds is: Will Tina and Bette get back together? Legions
of "Tibette" fans have forums, message boards and online petitions
devoted to nothing less than a full-blown reunion and a return to the good old
days of Season 1. But before you download any more Tibette wallpaper, remember
what Ms. Chaiken said about giving the audience what they want.

Jenny –
No other character is more despised. Self-absorbed, manipulative and
occasionally destructive, Jenny is pure id. (Personally, I like Jenny. I wonder
what that says about me?)

Last season, she broke up with Max, but forgot to tell him to get his own apartment. In Canada for the wedding that wasn't, she hooked up with French-accented Claude, who could be a foreign version of Jenny herself. This season, Jenny's first novel, Some of Her Parts, is published, which leads to predictably bad reviews, which leads Jenny to predictably psychotic behavior.

Since we first met her in Season 2, we've seen Helena transform
from a rich bitch who casually cut Bette's funding and dated her ex to a
more human, rich bitch friend who paid for Shane's wedding.

Now that she's penniless, how is Helena going to make a living, considering her only real skill sets consist of shopping and ordering people around? Well, remember how she had that miraculous personality transformation between Seasons 2 and 3? This year, she develops some miraculous new skills (using coupons and reading bus schedules?) while BFF Alice helps her out by inviting her to be her roommate.

Max – Moira
doesn't live here anymore. But since he started living as a man, Max's
life hasn't changed much, either. He still lives with Jenny and Shane. He
still spouts nonsensical techno-babble about programs that navigate documentation
for IT process best practices. And despite a ridiculous new soul patch, Max
still has the highest, little-girl voice in Los Angeles.

Max is now the poster child for gender issues. If the writing improves, they'll
examine the way transgender people are treated in gay circles, or how Max moves
through the world as a new man. But alas, that's a big "if."

Kit and
Angus –
These two straight people would be logical friends for Tina
and Blander McForgettable. Unfortunately for Tina, her former sister-in-law
wants little to do with them, outside of Angelica's well-being.

This season, Kit
and Angus deal with their own baby issues in the wake of Kit's unexpected
pregnancy. Meanwhile, Angus, the Manny, has yet to buy a razor and probably
never will. I can only hope Pam Grier gets more to do this season than be a
supportive big sister who occasionally chastises someone with a good zinger
like, "You've got to be out of your motherf—ing mind!"

Sure, The
L Word
is a soap opera. But it's also a relationship drama.
These women are a family – not by blood, but by choice. "Chosen family"
is a uniquely gay concept, and The L Word is unique in its lesbian
portrayal of it. Despite the whack-o girlfriends (paging Tonya) and disturbing
hook-ups (manatees, vampires and Betty in a hot tub – ahh, my eyes!), maybe
the real point of this show is that the great loves of our lives are, in the
end, our friends.

It's that, or an excuse for really hot girl-on-girl action. Either way, it's a good time.

The L Word premieres
on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007, at 10 p.m. EST on Showtime. For those of you who want
more dirt on what happens in Season 4, click here
for bad machine's Top 10 Season 4 Spoilers.

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