The L Word Recaps: Episode 1 “Pilot”

The sperm donor party — Bette and Tina wonder why the men keep turning them down. Tina asks whether there’s something wrong with their “pitch,” but because she has that California surfer girl accent, it sounds like she says “patch,” and for a minute I think that she’s been giving the potential donors a peep show. Shane explains what the real problem is:

Shane: It has nothing to do with you guys. It’s the new male.
Dana: What? What do you know about men? I mean, you’ve never even been with a man.
Shane: Well, the new male is more spiritual than the old male. He sees his sperm as an extension of his inner being. Whereas the old male shot into any female without thinking about what would happen, the new male totally cares what becomes of his seed.
Alice: Oh my God, it’s Yoda.
Dana: Yeah, they teach that at hairdresser school, by the way.
Bette: Well, that’s just great. Why did they have to get all sensitive on us just when we needed them to keep on being the same old assholes?

Shane leaves with her latest conquest. Dana’s gay boy date is drunk and starts to hug her and apologize, but she tells him the party’s over and he can go back to being gay. That party was starting to de-gay me a little too, so I’m relieved.

Jenny’s studio — Jenny couldn’t sleep in the postcoital bed, so she crashed on the couch in her studio. Tim comes in and starts pawing her, but she’s not interested. Tim, I’m just as confused as you are.

Spin class — Tina and Dana beweep their outcast states: Tina has a true love, but no sperm, and Dana has neither, and just wants a good look at the trainer’s “spectacular tits.”

Tina: So go for it.
Dana: No. Besides, she’s straight.
Tina: How do you know?
Dana: Because I’m so attracted to her. Every time I’m attracted to somebody, she’s either unavailable or straight.

That was probably supposed to sound like that tired phrase, “All the good ones are either taken or gay.” See, we’re all the same! Lesbians have exactly the same experiences as straight people: the sperm has low motility, the gorgeous people with accents own the planet, and the ones we want don’t want us. Why must we continue to let our differences divide us? They’re just minor, quibbly things: who cares about hate crimes and second-class citizenship when you’ve got the common ground of repugnant sperm and unrequited love?

The Planet — Jenny bumps into Tina, who invites Jenny to sit with her and the others. Alice looks kind of annoyed and Shane looks amused. Marina comes over; she and Jenny pretend they’re just friends. They talk about the cafe and about writing and reading groups, but they look like they’re talking about when, where, and how many times they’ll have sex.

Marina: So, how do you like The Planet?
Jenny: It’s beautiful. It’s nice.

Dana’s eyes roll, Alice’s eyes widen, and Shane’s jaw drops — and one by one, they make their excuses so that Jenny and Marina can be alone. Tina expresses a little bit of concern and wonders whether Jenny will be OK, but Marina dismisses her with a steely stare.

Marina: You’re OK, right?
Jenny: No, I’m good. I’m good. I …
Marina: I hope I didn’t upset you the other night.
Jenny: No, you didn’t upset me. I just, um … I came here to say that I’m not … I’m not …
Marina: A big coffee drinker?
Jenny: I have to go. I have to go.

After some more mumbling and awkwardness, Marina walks Jenny to her car. It’s Tim’s car — a “muscle car,” which Jenny says is embarrassing, but Marina says it’s sexy. She could say that linoleum is sexy and it would be true. She invites Jenny to Radar, which is a special night they do at The Planet on Tuesdays. Jenny says thank you, but no. Marina is gracious and still smiling and perfect.

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