Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Left and Leaving

I was going to stay up until about 2:30am to watch the L Word on Sunday, but as it got later and later I realized that I would be too emotionally fragile to handle such an epic goodbye that early in the morning. So instead, I woke up on Monday, took a shower, toasted a bagel and made a cup of coffee, and sat down to watch the episode. It felt like a funeral.

But even though pretty much everyone seemed to unanimously hate the finale, I actually thought it was kind of good. I wrote a review of the show last October where I said I thought the strength of the show was its manic, quasi-postmodern inconsistency, which perversely fostered a devoted viewership who identified with the characters and savaged the show when it was at its most awful. (The critics who talk about the show attracting viewers as a show about lesbians are only partially right; it was also that a show that everyone occasionally loved to hate. It's one of the few I've watched that generated genuine communities in its own right, either in viewing parties or on the many, many forums where people freak out about it on a daily basis.)

I thought the finale was kind of bittersweet. As they did the retrospective video montage, I remembered watching the first season as a first-year in college, all of the season premieres at the Avalon in Boston, trekking out to Giselle and Lizz's place to drink a bottle of beer and watch with their cat, the bootleg viewings in the Lowell Grille, catching up with Emma from across the Atlantic for the past two years, and always sort of secretly wanting to be Bette Porter when I grow up. I kind of realized that I'm irrationally attached to this show - not because it's in any way good, but because its occasional forays into wackiness made the experience of watching it in reality even better. I thought the last episode was good for precisely that reason - it tied up a couple of loose ends, but left the vast majority of them untied in a kind of nonchalant, let's not wrap up everybody's lives kind of way. Given the way the six preceding seasons played out, I think anything concrete or comprehensible would have been way too weird.

(Also, I think Weezy murdered Jenny.)


Anonymous said...

Hey, you meant, "salvaged," not "savaged," right?

Ryan said...

Oh, no, I meant savaged. L Word viewers are not exactly kind to the show...