THIS WEEK’S L WORD VOCABULARY:
Meta: The only way to describe the transmogrification of Bette, Tina, Shane and Jenny into Bev, Nina, Shaun and Jesse as Lez Girls begins production. Well, either meta or messy. Probably both.
Preschool: A place where Bette and Tina can pretend; also, Phyllis’ word for sex with Alice. (Ouch.)
Creativity: What Tina lacks, according to Jenny.
Vegetables: Good for everyone, even Shane and Bette. But does “good” kill the passion?
THIS WEEK’S GUEST-BIANS: Kristanna Loken sees Shane clearly and then sees red; Lucia Rijker cracks her knuckles; Wallace Shawn adores Jenny; Jane Lynch creates a monster.
Previously on The L Word — When we last saw our heroines, they were talking laughing loving breathing fighting f—ing crying — hey, I’ve just realized that the theme song is really a recap in itself. Every season and every episode is right there in the lyrics, in both content and quality. I am superfluous, washed-up! I’m like the recapper version of Norma Desmond. But that’s OK; I get to wear false eyelashes and say, “I am big! It’s The L Word that got small.”
But seriously, previously — In Season 4, Bette drove that big tractor of love for Jodi. Tina broke up with Henry and missed Bette. Tasha prepared to go off to war. Kit kicked Angus out. Max contemplated top surgery. Shane and Paige contemplated becoming a happy suburban family. Helena gambled and lost. Jenny annoyed everyone with her barely fictionalized book-turned-movie. Papi just annoyed everyone. And best of all, there were some great Angela Robinson–flavored scenes and some funny and fascinating stuff. What wonders are in store for us in Season 5?
Words on the screen — Jenny is writing the screenplay for Lez Girls. At least the words on the screen aren’t scrawly ramblings about manatees this time. But we can still tell it’s Jenny because she’s using words like unctuous and penning an ode to her own ass.
We get to see the scene she’s writing. It’s the sperm donor party from the pilot episode, only in Jenny’s cinematic vision, it’s quite a bit different. Everyone else is as focused on Jenny/Jesse as she herself is. Bette, Tina and Shane — make that Bev, Nina and Shaun — stare at her and talk about her and hit on her.
Tina/Nina: Hi. Jesse, can I get you a drink? Margarita? [waggling her eyebrows] Strawberry dykequiri?
Snort. Nice one, Nina. Jesse makes her excuses, and as she scampers off, the words on the screen say that Bev, Nina and Shaun “ogle Jesse’s cute little ass” — but those words are quickly deleted and replaced with “ogle Jesse’s lithe, elegant body.” Is it just me, or does Jenny type really slowly? I keep wanting to grab the keyboard like an overeager IT guy. (I’m also having an uber-meta moment of typing about someone who’s typing about a fictionalized version of characters on a TV show. Ouch, my brain.)
This Lez Girls scene looks a lot like the pilot episode, but otherwise Bette, Tina and Shane are not quite themselves:
Tina/Nina: Do you think she could be … ?
Bette/Bev: No, no, no. Too pretty, too feminine.
Shane/Shaun: I don’t know, I’d be happy to …
Bette/Bev: Taste the fruit?
Shane/Shaun: Peel it, section it and squeeze the juice with her.
Tina/Nina: Get in line, sister. [to Bev] Oh, I’m sorry, baby.
Bette/Bev: [sultry] As long as you share her with me.
Big props to Beals, Holloman and Moennig for starting us off with such hilarity! Tina/Nina’s expressions are especially priceless. Mama Chaiken, can we have a full-fledged Lez Girls so these funny ladies can camp it up?
Jenny closes her laptop and smiles to herself. I do the same; I already need a break from Schecter-land.
A prestigious preschool — Bette and Tina (the real ones, er, the non–Lez Girls ones) are trying to convince a preschool teacher/administrator/whatever that Angelica should be admitted. They both love the preschool art curriculum.
Bette: I mean, essentially, our house is a gallery.
Yes, she said “our.” Their ruse of togetherness is the least of their problems; the woman they’re schmoozing is less than impressed by all the art talk. Bette and Tina can see they’re not really winning her over. Their nervousness (and their fake togetherness) is cute.
Another preschool person brings Angelica into the room. Whether or not Angie is right for the school, she’s definitely adorable. Bette calls her “sweet pea,” but then gasps a little when Angelica makes the sign for “play.”
The heretofore unimpressed woman finds the sign language impressive and asks whether Angelica has a deaf relative. Bette hurriedly says they have a “friend” who’s deaf. Tina almost manages to hide her discomfort as they both change the subject to Angelica’s aptitude for languages.
Bette: She knows “Frère Jacques” by heart.
Again, how great are these two together, especially when they laugh at themselves? It makes me long for happier times.
Afterward, Tina and Bette wonder whether it was OK to pretend to be together. Tina calls it a “little white lie told for the greater good,” but I think her chin dimples (chimples?) are secretly hoping it’s a big red portent foretelling a Bette-r life.
Bette suddenly exclaims, “Oh, s—,” because she has spotted an approaching gay male couple whose kid is also hoping to get into the preschool. They all play a game of “My kid reflects more diversity than yours does.” Tina and Bette go from nervous and cute to dejected and annoyed.