Monday, March 9, 2009

The L Word finale: Kinda lacking. . .

Ilene Chaiken, creator, empress, and spirit guide of The L Word: You are no David Chase.

Chase, you see, can create an open-ended, existential series finale of his show, The Sopranos, because, well, he earned it. That finale was in keeping with the status-quo-defying, challenging, philosophically complex nature of his drama.
The L Word? Not so much.

The L Word, as the obnoxiously self-approbating one-hour special reminded us, was not just about the culture of lesbians, it was about friendships and relationships and work and fashion. The show was at its best when it got off the soap box and just gave us good, juicy melodrama and let the cast just be their gorgeous talented selves.

And I actually loved what Chaiken was doing with the “Who Killed Jenny?” final season. It was campy, it was bitchy, it was naughty—in all the right ways.

For those who don’t know. The first episode of The L Word’s final season started with ingĂ©nue-turned-villainess Jenny being fished out of the pool, quite dead. The cops arrived, as the cast huddled together in the home of power lesbians Bette and Tina. The whole season was a flashback.

“I could kill her!” several characters—now suspects—hissed at various times during the show’s last mini season.

Was it adorably flaky and gossipy Alice, pissed because Jenny stole her screenplay idea?

Was it pregnant transsexual Max, angry because Jenny refused to accept him as a man?

Was it film producer Tina, convinced that Jenny stole the negatives to her movie?

Was it domesticated lothario Shane, ready to lash out because Jenny had her on such a short leash?

Was it spacey starlet Niki, rejected by Jenny and now pining after Shane?

Was it righteous Bette, furious that Jenny was meddling in her private affairs?
And so on.

So now here’s the finale and all the gals are together and there’s a suspiciously loose railing on the balcony and we all know what’s coming—the only pleasure at this point is finding out the who’s and how’s—and instead we get . . . nothing.

Chaiken, in all her infinite wisdom, decided to leave the mystery of “Who Killed Jenny?” open-ended.

Let me get this straight: You frame an entire season around a mystery and then you. . . don’t solve the mystery?

It’s arrogant. It’s cruel. And most importantly, it’s just plain dumb.

It’s not what David Chase did, at all. Ambigious endings are fine, you see. But they need a context, a purpose.

So can someone please explain to me, what was the damn point?


sgoodl said...

I should have known you'd write about this...and that I'd have sometime to gripe with. How AWFUL was that? One of my biggest irritations is that we're to assume that someone actually killed Jenny - the girl was an unstable nut jub. Who's to say it wasn't an accident? And this ridiculous plan for a sequel and Alice in it possible to undo every good thing about a show?

sgoodl said...

P.S. are you watching/blogging ANTM?