Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The L Word, Season 3 (2006)

Season 3 of this show opens six months after the close of season 2.  Bette and Tina are back together and trying to raise their child as a couple, but they're falling back into the same old bad habits, albeit with their respective roles reversed.  Dana and Alice have broken up: a development with which Alice is really not coping.  Shane is also struggling to cope: though in her case, it's with being in a monogamous relationship with girlfriend Carmen.  Jenny is about to introduce a new lover, transman Max Sweeney.  Oh, and Bette's former nemesis Helena has become part of the group and has purchased a B-list movie studio.

It is, in other words, packed with exactly the kind of sudsy lesbian soap opera antics that - if you've watched the previous seasons - you've come to expect.  Everyone's playing the break up/make up dance; there are betrayals and confessions and confessions of betrayal; and even the extras are impossibly beautiful.

Also in keeping with the previous seasons, the show continues to be a mix of really well done elements and really not-so-well done ones.  In the former camp, for instance, we have a storyline involving one character suffering from a serious illness: it's genuinely moving stuff at times.  Or there's the execution of Bette and Tina's latest implosion, which deftly handles their role reversal without changing anything about the characters themselves.  In the latter camp ... well, let's just say that the only thing I can find to praise about the show's treatment of Max in this season is that at least his badly written story arc gets to be fairly prominent: the writers never really seemed to know what to do with him after this, and he became more and more marginalised in later years.  Which is a real shame given the marginalisation of transmen and transwomen in the real world.

At the end of the day, if you enjoyed the first two seasons, you'll likely enjoy this one too.

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