Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

And then I watched...

I don't imagine for a second that the interim deal between the writers and United Artists is going to make much difference to the television situation, even if a few other small movie studios like Weinstein and Lionsgate settle. Small movie companies need written product to exist; television studios and networks have clearly calculated that they don't for a while. Which means that this is going to be a lean spring in which I will probably be a little more tolerant of mildly crappy shows than I would otherwise be.

This probably explains why I am looking forward to Torchwood in spite of the way it let me down last year, its very odd sexual politics and my serious suspicion that it is going to produce more irritating smugness both from those who like it and those who hate it than I can quite be doing with. And there is Ashes to Ashes which I am genuinely looking forward to.

Last night, of course, we had the season opener for The L-Word which has been from its inception a show that I made a compact with that I would like it in spite of its dreadfulness. Let me count the ways it irritates me - I cannot stand Bette and Tina; I do not believe that the rich professional characters, the sweet Bohemian characters and the working class characters would actually hang out all the time to the extent that they do; I think that the show's treatment of the transman Max often borders on the transphobic and I am prepared to be persuaded that it crosses that border.

There are things which are reasonable decisions - the gradual turning of Jenny into a monster of ego is amusing in a dreadful way; the running gag about the irresistable quality of Shane is often genuinely funny; I even quite liked the death of Dana - I've had enough deaths in my various circles of friends over the last few years that I felt it was a reasonable attempt to deal with loss rather than a series of Very Special Episodes.

And there are things I genuinely love - as I have mentioned before, I was part of the London gang whose chart of sexual connections the showrunners avowedly copied. I spent last season squeeing over Cybill Shepherd who is now a plump middle-aged broad and utterly gorgeous without being even a bit less than real - her sex scenes with Leisha Hailey were hotter than hot. I like Shane and Alice, and some of the minor characters. Also, the people in the show are generally cute and it features several directors I like, and at least one I used to know.

The new season? More of the same pretty much -. Helena is in jail for stealing from her gambler lover and everyone is being irritatingly ineffectual about getting her out. Soldier-girl Tasha has mysteriously not gone to Iraq and we will find out why next week. Someone burned down Shane's salon, possibly her disappointed lover. Bette had hot blindfold sex with her deaf-mute artist lover and leered at a naked Tina. And we got some of Jenny's psychotic revision of the events of the first season - now, that was even funnier than the musical version. I can live with it for another season, I guess, unless they are too impossibly offensive in the handling of Max or some other character we have not met yet..

I also watched The Cashmere Mafia. I don't know why this bunch of women CEOs living glamourous NY lives irritate me so much more than the characters in The L-Word except that the LA dykes actually create or curate art and knowledge, or the rich bastards in Dirty Sexy Money except that they have genuine old money screwball comedy charm going for them. The four women in TCM are not charming - one accepts a deal whereby she and her new fiance get to compete for a job and is utterly ruthless, and is punished by his breaking the engagement when she wins. Another has problems with servants - if you are thirtysomething, twentysomething help walks all over you, don't you know, unless you step on them hard. One discovers her husband is having an affair with SOMEONE THEY KNOW - his sin is not infidelity, it is social embarrassment. He is punished with threats of retaliation; the other woman with petty social persecutions about her apartment and restaurant table. We are supposed to find this high school nonsense endearing.

There is also the soundtrack which tends to the unsubtle - when the fourth of the group, the one in the process of coming out, is kissed good and proper by the woman of her dreams, we get 'Natural Woman', and not even the Sylvester version...

Yet I may well watch it for a while, once the pickings get thin. It is glossy and these horrid servants of capitalism are moderately shiny; it will irritate me in an entertaining way, no doubt. And there is the coming out episode next week which may not be Very Special. Also, perhaps in later episodes they will all start reading Jane Austen together, or Fight Crime.
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