The L Word (2005) - The Complete Second Season

Genre(s): Drama / Romance
Showtime || NR - 756 minutes - $69.99 || October 25, 2005
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2005-10-27


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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 (creator)
Cast: Jennifer Beals, Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Katherine Oennig, Pam Grier


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Cast-Crew Commentaries
  • L Word: Girls on Record
  • Word Game
  • Playing with the Girls
  • Contests/Giveaways
  • Music Video
  • Ms. Foundation for Women
  • Biographies


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

Showtime has never really been one of my cable channels. For me, all they showed was movies which I guess is fine for some but not me. Not in this day and age. Nowadays, you have to have more variety. Like HBO for example. They show movies but they also have great dramas like Sopranos and Six Feet Under and comedies like Curb Your enthusiasm. Things are changing though. Showtime in the past 2-3 years has slowly become a powerhouse of original programming and I’m a fan now of lots of their stuff as well. I watch Weeds, Barbershop, Huff, all good quality shows. But none of those has quite taken me the way the L-Word has. I LOVE the L-word.

"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: Shane (Katherine Moennig) the “playa”, Alice (Leisha Hailey) the cute best friend type, Dana (Erin Daniels) a quirky tennis player, Kit(Pam Grier) who is Bette’s straight sister and friend to all the girls and finally, Jenny (Mia Kirshner) a young lady who discovers she’s a lesbian when she cheats on her husband with a woman. In season 2, the cast was joined by Carmen (Sarah Shahi) a DJ and love interest for Shane, Helena (Rachel Shelly) who serves as a romantic foil standing in the way of Bette and Tina’s relationship and finally Mark (Eric Lively) a male roommate of Jenny and Shane.

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. I started watching the show in Season 1 and got hooked. Season 1 was brilliant. The standout storyline was Jenny cheating on her husband with another woman and learning she’s gay. Other storylines included Bette cheating on Tina(this played out further through season 2), Shane falling for someone for real, Dana coming out to her parents and Alice helping her along, and a few others. Like I said, season 1 was brilliant.

How is season 2? Still very good but not quite up to par. The problem I have with season 2 is that while some characters are handled just as masterfully as they were in season 1, others are rather shafted. Bette and Tina’s storyline about Bette cheating was played out very well for example but Jenny’s new one about being suicidal and having some kind of quasi love triangle with Shane and Carmen just doesn’t work. I never for a second believed Carmen and Jenny really dug each other. Dana and Alice’s storyline this year was a mixed bag as the first half was good and the second seemed fairly directionless. And what was the point of the character of Mark? I couldn’t find one. He seemed like just a way to shoehorn in a straight male character for no particular reason. Despite my gripes, season 2 is still quite good. Strong acting, overall strong writing and generally enjoyable. It’s not season 1 but it is definitely a keeper.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The features on the season 1 box set were kinda blah and honestly not much has changed here, despite there being more here. Let’s break it down:

L Word: Girls on Record, Word Game, and Playing with the Girls - L-word shorts are just a bunch of little interviews that Showtime obviously plays between programming of the actresses talking about their characters. They’re not bad but they’re not much more than promotional fluff. The Word game is kind of fun but it gets old kind of quick.

Win a walk on role! Sweepstakes, Olivia Cruise Sweepstakes, and L-word Couture Fashion Special are just a bunch of contests and giveaways that fans of the show can enter to win various prizes ranging from a Cruise to props from the show. Yawn.

“Some kind of Wonderful” Music Video is a video version of a performance by the band Bettie (with Pam Grier lending vocals) that appeared in the third episode on the set. It’s not a bad song. I liked it.

Ms. Foundation for Women is a brief featurette about a women’s organization that helps out lesbians. Informative but too brief and not all that fun to watch. L Word Fan Mail: Life changing stories consists of postings from fans at the official website of the show talking about how much they love the show and how it effects their lives. I thought it was very touching but I probably would’ve just preferred some interviews with the fans. Still, I can understand why they included it.

Biographies is just little brief profiles on all the actors on the show that you can read.

2 Audio Commentaries on “Land Ahoy” (with actors Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, and Katherine Moennig) and on “Lacuna” (with exec producer/creator Ilene Chaiken and music score person Elizabeth Ziff). These commentaries single-handily saved the features on this set. The “Land Ahoy” one with the actresses was pretty enjoyable. There’s almost nothing informative about it. It’s just them goofing on each other, the show, and the theme song endlessly. You won’t learn anything but you might laugh. The commentary with Chaiken and Ziff is also fairly enjoyable and this time you DO learn stuff. I thought it was neat that Ziff did an original score for the “previously on…” scene. According to them that’s never been done on any other series before. Lots of neat little factoids throughout the track.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

"The L Word" season 2 is presented in anamorphic Widescreen enhanced for 16x9 televisions. It looks damn good too. Not Star Wars quality or anything but better than on TV. Equally impressive is the sound quality. That theme song sure does have a lot more bass on dvd.



.::OVERALL::.

"The L-Word" is a very good show and I think it will appeal to fans and non fans alike, straight or gay. The box set on the other hand is a mixed/positive affair. The commentaries are fun but the rest of the features are either trying to sell you something or are really only for hardcore fans. If you’re a fan, I’d say pick this one up for sure, if you’re not, I’d say rent it first and if you like the show enough, buy it later.