The L Word: The Complete Fourth Season (2006)

Genre(s): Drama / Romance
Paramount || - 600 minutes - $55.98 || October 23, 2007
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2007-10-29


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Ilene Chaiken (created by)
Cast: Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig, Pam Grier, Marlee Matlin, Cybil Shepherd, Kristanna Loken


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Special Message from Leisha and Pam
  • Free Episodes of 'The Tudors' and 'Californication'
  • Fanlib Sweestakes Winners
  • Photo Gallery


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Mono)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

For those who are unfamiliar with "The L-Word", check out this clip from my season 2 review (which is modified slightly to include some season 3 elements):

"L-Word" (for the uninitiated) is an hour drama about the lives, trials, and tribulations of a group of lesbian friends. There’s Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman) who are a married lesbian couple with a newborn baby girl, Shane (Katherine Moennig) the “playa”, Alice (Leisha Hailey) the cute best friend type, Max(Daniela Sea) an lesbian who is in the process of turning into a male, Kit(Pam Grier) who is Bette’s straight sister and friend to all the girls, Helena the group's rich, British friend and finally, Jenny (Mia Kirshner) a young lady who discovers she’s a lesbian when she cheats on her husband with a woman and is still trying to find herself. The show is basically a drama about relationships. It occasionally takes some time to educate the viewers about different Lesbian events and meetings and celebrities and such but mostly it’s all about the girls and their interpersonal relationships and it’s quite engaging.

Season 4 was quite the season. Bette and Tina (who were a couple the first two seasons) broke up in season 3 because Tina became attracted to a... (gasp!) man! In season 4, Bette and Tina began fighting over their newborn baby, Angelica. In their other storylines, Bette starts a relationship with new character, Jodi (Marlee Matlin) who is an deaf artist and Tina continues her new heterosexual relationship as well as trying to help Jenny get her new book(which she wrote in season 3) turned into a film. Kit (who found love with an musician named Angus last season) deals with a possible pregnancy and infidelity by Angus as well as her feeling like maybe she too might be an Lesbian. Alice (who is just now getting over the death of major character Dana during the previous season) begins a relationship with Tasha (Rose Rollins), an former Iraq war vet and best friend of Papi (Janina Gavahar), a womanizer that puts Shane to shame. Speaking of Shane, she has to deal with a lot of drama this year too. After leaving Carmen at the alter in the previous season, Shane discovers she has a long lost little brother and hooks up with a single lesbian mother (Kristanna Loken). And finally, Bette's new boss Phyllis (Cybil Shepherd) comes out to her husband as a lesbian and Bette and Alice help her deal with it.

Overall, season 4 (like the seasons before it) is pretty good. I think it's about on par with season 2. Season 3 is good but was a little bit of a downer. Too dark and too depressing. Season 4 by contrast is almost too lighthearted at times. The whole storyline with Papi and Alice and Tasha starts off way too goofy and doesn't get serious fast enough. Shane's relationship with the single mother feels kind of forced which I don't blame the actresses on but I do think the writers felt Shane had nothing to do without Carmen. Another thing I’m not high on is Bette's relationship with Jodi. I just didn't feel it's conclusion at the end of the season rang true.

Despite my misgivings, there's still a lot to like. The performances by all of the returning characters are typically great and Cybill Shepherd’s Phyllis is a fun character that has great depth to her. Also great is Max's storyline. I didn't think splitting her and Jenny up was a good idea at first but ultimately it made for some great stories. The overall storylines for the season are just better than season 3.

Ranking the seasons it would go 1, 2/4 (tie) and 3.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Special Message from Leisha and Pam is an sweet but incredibly cringe-worthy public service announcement about adopting dogs. Lame and having little to do with the show AND the two were obviously reading from cue cards.

Free Episode of "The Tudors" – “The Tudors” is another Showtime original series, staring Jonathan Rhys Myers as a king a few hundred years ago in England and his many romantic entanglements. It's not horrible by any means but it's quite the yawner.

Free Episode of "Californication" - Another Showtime show, this time more of a comedy which follows David Duchovny as a depressed novelist who recently separated from his wife and deals with his pain through sleeping with numerous women including one that he really shouldn't have slept with. The writing is a little clunky at times but overall this is a funny and interesting show that I think I’d like to see more of.

Fanlib Sweepstakes Winners is a little featurette about fans who won an L-word writing contest.

Photo Gallery and Biographies - A few publicity photos from this season and brief text bios of the show's cast.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

I thought the sound and audio was great overall but the picture I wasn't feeling quite as much. I noticed there were several scenes where greens felt too green and oranges were a little too orange (especially in scenes heavily saturated from sunlight). Not bad but not as good as some of the previous sets.



.::OVERALL::.

“L-Word” season 4 is a worthy addition to your collection if you're a fan. It's much more lighthearted than season 3 but not too much and as a fan of character driven drama, I can easily recommend it. The DVD is lacking special features though and Showtime/CBS needs to get it together in that department. You can't have 3 boxed sets with a decent bevy of extras, get to the 4th set, and suddenly put very little into it.