L.A. Scene April ’09: “L Word” Finale Viewing, GenderPlay, Stand-Up, and Dinah


L.A. Scene is a monthly column that chronicles lesbian nightlife and events of interest in Los Angeles. Sarah Witness, an East Coast transplant and obvious femme, has been navigating the snark infested waters of Hollywood since 2001. Although she’s an NYU trained actress, she prefers sipping vodka and making idle chit-chat at really gay nightclubs.


In the olden days of The L Word, periodic screenings were held at a bar called Revolver in West Hollywood. The bar was icky and devoid of seats, but lesbians would gather in throngs to watch. It was always impossible to actually hear the show because the crowd was so wild, shrieking and squealing every time two women made out or Shane appeared on screen.  The majority of the audience sported sensible shoes and unfortunate hair.  Lesbians in West Hollywood watching a show about lesbians in West Hollywood, giddy with the long-sought after and wildy flattering representation.

A few years ago, Revolver was closed, gutted, and transformed into East West. All the lesbians flocked to Falcon on Sunset Blvd. to watch the show, frequently alongside the actual cast and crew. The Falcon night was unrivaled until January 09, when promoter Shannon K. started a competing viewing at East West, giving the lesbian crowd something we’re not used to: options!

I chose to watch the final episode at East West because I can walk there from my apartment, and that is pretty much the sole requirement for anyone who owns a Corolla with only standard features. 

East West is located in the dead center of the uber gay and mostly boy-centric stretch of Santa Monica Blvd. The bar is large and upscale and the drinks are expensive and roughly the size of  human heads.

If you are some sort of power lesbian or regularly sleep with them it’s possible to score one of the comfy V.I.P. booths which flank the main bar area. This is Hollywood after all, and it wouldn’t be a party without a glaring imbalance of power. Here you can eat your chicken satay behind a Plexiglas barrier that separates you from the lesbian riff-raff.

The place filled up quickly with the usual crowd: a handful of celesbians, a disproportionate number of superfemmes, slightly butch women who would be considered femme in any other city, and actual butches who probably spent just as much time in front of the mirror. 

A sizeable number of straight girls and guys of all persuasions were in attendance as well, some of whom were clearly dragged there but many who seemed genuinely interested in the program. 

Although the event was advertised as the “two-hour finale,” there was clearly some sort of silent unanimous decision to completely ignore the entire first hour, which featured endless sound bites from the global lesbian peanut gallery. 

This gave everyone time to ingest enough alcohol to be able to stomach the atrocity that was the actual episode.

The audience response proved immensely more entertaining. When Max said he had felt the baby kick, someone said it was too bad the moustache hadn’t been knocked off. Bette revealing that she was “happy to be getting out of this little incestuous hotbed of lesbian [email protected]#$ing connectedness” encouraged cries of “take us with you!”

After the booing subsided, Shannon K. took the mic and explained that she didn’t actually create the show, she just tivoed it for the masses. 

Everyone made a mad dash for the bar, the smoking area, and the frustrating unisex bathroom that features about 75 urinals and two stalls, this being boys town and all.

Then, back to real life and real conversations. The long-term couples talked about having babies and home additions with quirky bisexual girls who can never seem to make it last. Girls who moved out here with their boyfriends, so recently it seems, looked around wide-eyed. Those girls who seem to get whoever they want went back on the prowl. 

Gossip regarding hook-ups and break-ups was intercut with talk of screenplays and deals. Everyone tried to avoid their inevitably present exes. 

Fortunately, we all made it out alive.

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