“The L Word” Recaps: Episode 5.4 “Let’s Get This Party Started”

THIS WEEK’S L WORD VOCABULARY:

Self-defense class: A form of group therapy.
Nicorette: A projectile weapon, when it’s in Jenny’s hands. Er, mouth.
VIP: Someone who gets more than she bargained for at SheBar.

THIS WEEK’S GUESTBIANS: Kate French lives up to her last name; Malaya Rivera Drew feeds Jenny’s addictions; Elizabeth Keener introduces herself and her lover, Alicia Leigh Willis.

Previously — Did you hear that? Was that just Helena’s voice saying, “Previously, on The L Word“? Am I going to have to cling to little crumbs like this now? Her voice is nice, but it’s not enough. We want her bod, too.

An actual casting couch — Tina and Jenny, perched on a couch, are trying to find the perfect starlet to play Jessie in Lez Girls. So, wait — the director and the V.P. of development are also handling the casting? Tina and Jenny seem to be responsible for everything. It’s like they’re Barbra Streisand, with total control over every phase (but not half as much brilliance in any phase). But I know next to nothing about the process of auditioning for a film, so this could be totally normal.

In the audition scene, Jenny/Jessie confronts Marina/Karina for breaking her heart, and then they make out. Ah, memories. Who wouldn’t want to revisit the heady days of Season 1? But the first contender for the role of Jessie can’t take us back to those times; Jorinda Garber just isn’t up to the task. She’s amateurish but not atrocious, and, as we all know from American Idol, atrocious is far more interesting. But she does sort of remind of Kristen Wiig’s character Penelope on Saturday Night Live.

The second starlet, Niki Stevens, is not amateurish, but she’s not exactly a virtuoso, either. A dyspeptic film critic might call her “histrionic.” She seems to really like the word “absolutely,” (but not abso-abso-absolutely) and she emotes most fervently. I can’t tell whether Kate French, the actress playing the actress, is trying to be a scenery-chewer or thinks this is good acting. I mean, it can’t be easy — she has to pretend to be a lesbian and a thespian. Acting! You fooled me!

(By the way, Kate French was also on a few episodes of South of Nowhere.)

I feel like these auditions should have been more extreme, inducing guffaws instead of chuckles. They should have been more along the lines of Jennifer Tilly’s “Candy Man” audition in The Fabulous Baker Boys, or the many bad auditions captured in Moments: The Making of Claire of the Moon. OK, that last one is the wrong kind of extreme.

But the second starlet does veer toward the extreme in one way: She really goes for the kiss.

A startled little “oh” escapes Tina’s lips, and then she says “cut” and clears her throat. Hee. And then there’s Jenny’s embarrassed grin:

These two are great together. As forced-together co-workers, I mean; not anything else!

The final candidate, Luchi Santis, wakes up the room (I think Tina actually is nodding off at this point). This Jessie is raw and angry, and instead of giving Marina/Karina a stage slap, she hauls off and smacks her like she’s on Dynasty.



Jenny is transfixed.

Jenny: That was awesome. That was totally amazing. I loved it.

I wonder: Is this how Jenny wishes she had treated Marina — with more rage? There was that time she threw the bottle at Marina and Francesca’s house, but maybe she wishes she had smashed it over Marina’s head instead.

But anyway, I agree with this interpretation of the character — the more unhinged the better, for both Jenny and Jessie. Bring on the bitch-slapping!

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