Real L Word Needs Lesbian Executive Realness, Context, Depth: How We’d Fix It

Context. Context is everything, right? Agreed? Fantastic! Let’s discuss how The Real L Word ignored context, favored quantity over quality and ultimately failed for those reasons. Furthermore, just like its namesake, it didn’t have to. The supplementary material (blogs/recaps/cast follow-ups), per ushe, have been way more compelling than the show itself. See, these are real human beings, and editing them into cardboard cut-outs in a vacuum void of political/cultural forces was awkward and unnecessary and NOT, in fact, inevitable by virtue of it being a reality show.

I knew nothing about modern reality TV going into this, but now I’ve read a lot about it, grilled my friends on their varying affections for Jersey Shore/The Hills and endured a full six minutes of The Real Housewives of Somewhere and 20 (20!) minutes of The Jersey Shore Does Miami, so I’m more or less an expert now.

[All photos of Real L Word cast are their own or public photos, none of them are from the actual show.
It is important that you know this.]

1. The Real L Word needs a point/central idea

What was the point? There wasn’t one. That’s its first failure. Other reality shows have points! You think they don’t, but they do! EVERYTHING GOOD HAS A POINT, IT IS MY LIFE GOAL TO PROVE THIS TO YOU. Don’t believe me? Read The Hills defined the boom, Jersey Shore defined the bust” and you’ll get it.

Usually the point of docusoaps seems to be “money doesn’t buy happiness” which runs contrary to our assumption and therefore challenges preconceived notions and therefore is inherently interesting. Perhaps “lesbians are sexy by patriarchal standards of beauty too” was the point for some lesbian viewers (like, apparently, for Rosie O’Donnell), but that’s not enough for a series. That’s one episode of True Life.

2. “Real Lesbians” is not a hook, people.

The reality TV model is premised, usually, on the idea of taking people out of context and seeing what happens (into a house with seven strangers, onto an island, swapped with your wife). When a reality show DOESN’T take people out of context, that’s ’cause the context itself is a worthy hook — apparently this applies to rich beautiful high school kids, outrageous funny loud party animals who enjoy The Jersey Shore, hoarders, drug addicts, wealthy housewives and Show Dog Moms & Dads. It also applies to a GROUP OF ACTUAL FRIENDS. The Real L Word is the only show we can think of which did not feature a peer group OR a context/challenge/contest. What we ended up with was a documentary-style cast stuffed into a reality TV show box.

THIS LOOKS LIKE A CUTE EPISODE, I WANT TO SEE THIS EPISODE

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Because what was The Real L Word‘s “hook”? What was it “about”? “Real lesbians” is no more interesting than “real white people” or “real straight people.” The “real lesbians in Los Angeles” premise was abandoned after the first episode and in all subsequent marketing materials.

Hooks matter before anything gets to the editing room, too. Reality TV stars sign up to be the “realest” housewife/”guido”/bitch they can be. They’re prepared to play it up. But for TRLW, everyone was just supposed to be … uhhhh… gay? If they eschewed a group of friends in favor of “diversity,” they failed at diversity so, let’s not even go there. These ladies are just similar enough to be representative of the same social strata but too different to say or be anything, collectively, besides “lesbians.” Nor was it exceptional enough to attract a significant hetero audience desiring a “window” into the Exotic Lesbian World.

3. Needs a Snookie

Every successful reality show needs at least one outrageous, iconic Reality TV personality. Or so I hear. That Memorable Someone destined for weekly appearances on The Soup, trademarked by a complete lack of self-consciousness and a few memorable catchphrases.

FourFour accurately described this type of person in his commentary on the commentary of Jersey Shore‘s Season One’s DVD Commentary:

The Jersey Shore audio commentary tracks are perfect documents of the heightened, fascinating narcissism of the reality star that sometimes runs these shows like a perpetual motion machine (the acting out provides themselves entertainment, which makes them want to act out again and more ridiculously so as to provide themselves with future entertainment, which will only make them want to act out more…).

LOOK AT THIS VIDEO OF MIKEY & RAQUEL. WHY WAS RAQUEL KEPT FROM US, SHE IS A BRILLIANT MAGIC WIZARD.

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4. It Should Have Been Five Shows, Not One

Though I’m pained to imply that I might want to spend one more godforsaken minute of my life listening to Rose and Nat play Douche-Bitch Verbal Volleyball, there’s more to these women than the show let us know. Read their blogs. Rose, Tracy, Jill, Nikki, Whitney and Mikey tried REALLY HARD. The footage must be there… we just didn’t see it.

This Looks Like a Good Episode

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It should’ve been FIVE shows, not one. I would’ve probs hated all five (because I’m unable to enjoy reality tv b/c i am annoying), and definitely 2/5, but they would’ve been better, I think, than this.

Why give each character one theme  — Whitney is Sex, Rose is Drama, Nikki & Jill are Consumerism/Marriage, Tracy is Family/Growing Up, Mikey is Work — when you could have every character encompass three or five or ten themes each? Negotiating how to properly prioritize life’s many forces is what makes human beings — and shows about human beings — who they are. Entire shows have been made of these storylines — GOOD SHOWS! Instead, Mikey’s like the poor man’s Kell on Earth and Whitney’s posse came off as a 30-second preview for what could be their own Gimme Sugar.

Whitney has a job

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It’s the hard, complicated, uncomfortable truths that make the best stories. Yet TRLW left nuance on the cutting room floor, valuing pre-determined “stories” over asking truly compelling questions. The pedantic opening queries set the tone for eight episodes which relied on editing, rather than personalities or actual character arcs, to coalesce. The result felt incomplete, sloppy, and often boring.

Why was so much discarded? Probably FOR TIME! We don’t know the girls much better than we did watching TRLW’s pre-season interviews and preview, unless you’ve followed their off-screen lives online. I know the conflict in Sammi & Ronnie’s relationship from watching twenty minutes of Jersey Shore. I’ve still got no clue what Rose & Nat are ever actually fighting about.

When you read Whitney’s blog or interviews with her friends, you see a smart, introspective, entrepreneurial, ambitious, funny, philanthropic human WHO ALSO possibly mishandeled Tor/Romi/Sara’s emotional well-being with reckless rationalizations. But we only saw Sex Whitney, which is a shame because the paradox IS WAY MORE INTERESTING THAN WHAT WE SAW. The friends who love you despite everything (see: Jersey Shore bros) needed more air time. We don’t need to be told who to hate, Ilene. Give us the facts and let us decide, like we did with Jenny Schecter until you turned her into a monster.

This Would Be a Good Episode

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Women can spend entire series shopping and falling in love, but we care about Carrie Bradshaw‘s shoes because we care, to some degree, about who she fucks, where she works, what makes her sad/happy, and what her friends talk about when they talk about her loves. These things intersect. Nikki & Jill’s life is more complicated than what we saw: they have jobs, sex, actual exes (not made-up ones). On Jill’s blog she noted that they never showed “Nik’s rendition of Taylor Dane’s Tell it to My Heart as she skirted around the living room in her underwear.” Instead, they juxtaposed strap-on sex with Passover Seder. Good job, show.

5. Frankenbiting Made Us Stop Trusting that Real Stories Were Being Told

Even if there’s no conflict between people, there’s conflict within people, like Bette’s idea of herself as a powerful, in-control person cutting against her failure to be faithful to Tina. By splicing up Tracy’s journey with her Mom into two-minute bits, we got the revelation (which was poignant) but only a haphazard sense of the process.

this is one of the most beautiful pictures i’ve seen all day, and i read a lot of tumblrs

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Furthermore, due to speak-and-spell editing, we lost confidence circa episode 102 that anything genuine or true-to-life would ultimately unfurl. So many bits felt as artificially tacked-on as Jenny’s nonsensical murder, and like Jenny’s murder, we couldn’t see anything beneath the surface for us to hold onto.

6. The Real L Word existed in a Vacuum

MOST IMPORTANTLY! This is such a FASCINATING time to be queer!

We’re right on the edge of/maybe really far away from so many things, like actual media representation and equal rights. We’re victims of massive religious and political conspiracies (for real!). There’s in-fighting within the queer community tearing us limb-from-limb. We face specific challenges and experience specific joys. Alice’s “The Chart” worked because it illuminated a concept we all knew about but hadn’t yet seen reflected.

Evidence that the cast Knew About, Cared About Prop 8

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TRLW ignored Prop 8. That’s criminal! We know they talked about it! By leaving it out, the producer irresponsibly allowed Mikey & Raquel’s story to convince a few thousand straight viewers that gay marriage IS legal. OH HAY there’s a recession going on AND WE NEVER HEARD ANYONE TALK ABOUT IT! Why not?

Those are the moments we have to relate specifically to THESE PEOPLE at THIS TIME. Hollywood is cutting jobs left & right. Our relationships and emotional health are under specific strain in America. The macro/micro shit going on here is what’s fascinating, as it is with any marginalized population. This show could’ve reached out and drawn us in to familiar feelings of what it’s like to live now — like the best art does — but instead it opted for tiring, ahistorical, worn-out concepts. It could’ve been filmed in 2002 or 2012.

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Let’s get real: The Real L Word feels like it was storyboarded by straight people.

I endeavor to suggest that queers are, on the whole, more likely to be interesting than other people and their group dynamics subsequently more complicated. Stuffing everyone into lazy tropes meant none of that complication had a chance to unfurl, if it ever existed at all. By not introducing the cast to the cast from the get-go, we never got to see anyone out of their comfort zone — now that they’re all friends, however, a Season Two would likely be much better than Season One.

So, what are you so afraid of, Little Chicken? How weird and complicated and beautiful we really are? If you peel back the surface you’re so obsessed with, you’d find rich layers of detail and contradiction. By ret-conning characters — picking plots first and characters second — you’re treating actual humans like Helena Peabody! And you didn’t have to. If reality TV survives the decade, it’ll have to shift focus. I predict ACTUAL HONESTY making a comeback, as foretold by MTV’s If You Really Knew Me and Julie & Brandy In Your Box Office For Reals.

We’re eager for labyrinthine personalities; that’s why we read cast blogs, watch home videos, and befriend Romi on facebook. But we don’t want Season Two. We want these girls to tell their own stories. We want somebody else in charge. Everyone’s paying attention now, aren’t they? Show them what we can do, and tell me — what are you here for?


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Profile gravatar of Riese

Riese is the 35-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2405 articles for us.

51 Comments

  1. excellent points, seriously. for me, this show was like helplessly watching my girlfriend click through 1,000 youtube videos of puppies when i really just want to see that dachshund with the booties on over and over. the dachshund with the booties is tracy and stamie being cute obviously.

    • AMEN. I mean foreal Riese you’re such a freaking amazing writer. Maybe it’s just ’cause I’m all tipsy ‘n shit (I’ll admit I originally spelled it “righter”…) but seriously I feel like you could talk about anything and I’d be like OMG I HAVE TO FINISH THIS!! and I’m not even that big of a reader. So I guess that was kind of irrelevant. Ummm…but anyways, I mean good article and all that.

  2. I’d love to see what would happen if Showtime handed over all of the footage to a few different sets of people. What kind of show they would create… Autostraddle would probs win, due to the above article.

  3. I want Nikki and Jill to spend half as much as planned on their and donate the remaining $s for Autostraddle to produce a series just of Tracey and Stamie.

    Girl can dream…

  4. “On Jill’s blog she noted that they never showed ‘Nik’s rendition of Taylor Dane’s Tell it to My Heart as she skirted around the living room in her underwear.’ ”

    Nikki continues to impress me. That song is a goddamn classic. Good taste, woman.

    HEY ALSO THIS WAS AMAZING. I can’t find something I don’t agree with.

    I actually really like reality shows… some of them… and so it bothers me when they aren’t done right, or if I feel like the people making the show assume I’m stupid and can’t handle real or interesting plots.

    Riese, so many fucking companies and people should be hiring you for your ability to tell a story better than IFC and for having your finger on the pulse of the voice of our generation. I’M SERIOUS. EVERYONE IS MISSING OUT.

    Well done.

  5. Well written, such a turn-on *wink*
    One thing to note is that I doubt IFC had much if anything at all to do with the show, really. Her name is on it but I’m sure she wasn’t filming with these women or editing their stories. I agree, the producers were clearly straight…remember the production company is famous for cooking shows and fashion shows on Bravo. Out of their league for human story telling with lesbians without a “quick fire challenge.” Plus it just plain looked like crap, seemed like it was made by college boys which is totally creepy. Such a shame, hope they didn’t blow our chances of having more lesbian shows. Bestist realist thing to come out of all of this is AutoNatic (thank god they didn’t make her a cast member). Love you Nat…Call me!

    • I don’t think that you need to be queer to film and edit queer “characters” in an honest, respectful and compelling way, and to automatically say that something that represents lesbians negatively, either as lesbians or, you know, as actual human beings, was automatically done by straight people is a bit of a cop-out. Straight people objectify other straight people on reality TV ALL THE TIME. I don’t think bad editing, whether by error or by design, is a fault of not being a member of whatever community you’re filming. If you can edit a straight person to seem like a complicated, multi-faceted human being, you can do the exact same with a queer person, and queer people are just as capable of making shitty TV series, movies, books and music as straight people.

      IMHO, the issue with TRLW is not the sexuality of the people who made it, but that it’s designed for a segment of straight people who have never met a lesbian, but are very, very interested in seeing what they’re like. (Instead of, you know, lesbians who are fucking DESPERATE to see any semblance of themselves on television.) It was like a field guide to lesbians. Like, this is where the lesbians feed, this is what they do for a living, this is how they have sex. We’re like lions! Watch us all devour an elephant together! Witness the lesbians in an apolitical bubble where no social issues are acknowledged!

      I think Magical Elves did a pretty fair job editing both queer and hetero contestants on both Top Chef and ProjRun, including one quick-fire challenge on Top Chef where a contestant’s winning dish was fueled by her frustration at her girlfriend being sent home the previous episode. Their relationship was addressed on the same grounds as any of the straight relationships on the show.

      • that statement about the sexulality of the real l word’s stoyboarders — which, actually, doesn’t say that they ARE straight, only that it ‘feels’ like, as you say, it was edited with a segment of straight people who have never met a lesbian in mind. It was a joke, it’s not a thesis and isn’t investigated with points & evidence like the other 800 sentences in the essay.

        It’s just a joke amid an essay which more specifically targets the problems I personally perceived.

        • Riese – your essay was amazing amazing amazing, funny/smart/clever, and my (mini) rant wasn’t in response to that particular sentence in your essay, or even completely to the comment above (that also referenced the possibility of a straight editing staff, but mainly suggested the idea that part of the reason TRLW was so “off” was due to Ilene’s possible lack of hands-on involvement, and instead, the fact that the producers were “clearly straight”, which I thought was an interesting idea to respond to), something in hindsight I should have noted, and I am in no way attempting to use that sentence (out of others) as a definitive thesis for the entire article.

          To me, (anyone, at all, in this whole wide universe) stating lesbians were not portrayed as human beings because they were edited by straight people feels like a bit of a cop-out, because anyone, regardless of their own personal identity can do a good job of editing someone to be either three-dimensional and/or one-dimensional, and that part is something that could/does happen on almost any reality show.

          When I said that it felt like a field guide to lesbians, I meant that it felt like the narrative had been constructed (or storyboarded) WITH a straight audience in mind, which, to some extent, has to happen to appeal to a wider audience. However, the “field guide” angle didn’t seem work out, because it felt dumbed down, and seemed redundant to the actual lesbians who watched the show because it was on and because it had lesbians (and probably a little bit because it was horrible), including myself.

          I don’t want to come off as attacky, and I have nothing but love for this website.

          • It’s okay, you can love this website and attack its ideas too! That’s part of the conversation!

            I’d argue also that — w/r/t your statement, which I agree with, that the “field guide” angle didn’t seem to work out — that one cannot, in this day and age, create a “field guide” to lesbians. There are just too many of us, we aren’t a homogeneous group. So, amen to that.

            I’ve had to think about what i meant by that statement (which again, wasn’t meant to be central) in order to respond and I think the thing is that it felt like somebody was scared to dig beneath the surface in order to tell the stories they were told to tell.

            It felt like [‘felt like’ = my perception = not necessarily relevant or true] this was storyboarded by people who didn’t know the territory well enough to write the field guide. So, instead of providing the best map they possibly could — full of short cuts and scenic drives and kodak moments — they just told us how to catch a monorail that would take us right where we needed to go. Better that, they figured, then risk anybody getting lost. We’re all a little hesitant to give directions when we’re new to the area, or are trying to map things out based on what we’ve seen on tv and read about and our one friend who lives there. Of course an Irish person who’s never been to Ireland isn’t more qualified to write the field guide than an Ireland-dwelling expat, so I think it has nothing to do with natives being more qualified than non-natives. You don’t need to be a native to write the field guide, but if you aren’t, you should either be super-familiar with the area or simply confident enough to trust your instincts while writing it — to take risks for bigger rewards.

          • yes yes yes. the field angle was bull, because it’s not like you can say, these are the lesbians, this is what they do in any ethnographic sense any more. if you ever even could. and as much as I love david attenborough, you can’t do that with humans. it’s like they tried to zone in on the most lesbian parts of these women’s lives to live up to the “L” in the title, because this can’t just be ONE lesbian reality show, it has to be THE lesbian reality show, and it has to out-lesbian any other reality show with lesbians.

            And perhaps the editors didn’t know how to recognize that being queer permeates every part of your life. Maybe the reason Magical Elves edited queer contestants well (IMHO) on Top Chef and ProjRun was because on those shows, queerness did happen to permeate what they were focused on, but it entered into the show in many of the same ways that a straight person’s politics, love life and sexuality did.

            plus, how did you know that I’m an Irish person who’s never been to Ireland?

  6. Good points, that I hope future lesbian tv creators will take note of – but there’s a sector of the lesbian community that also needs to change – It’s attitude.

    Many people decided they were going to hate this show (with a passion), a year before it came on tv. The simple fact it was connected to The Chaiken was enough for the main lesbian sites to write the show off, before they’d even seen a teaser..

    A few sites did their darndest to set a negative, snarky tone and didn’t seem to care less that a lot of their readers (especially those living outside of the big gay cities) were just looking forward to finally seeing lesbians on tv. Many don’t get to see lesbians in real life.

    Could TRLW have been better? – sure, but in terms of a reality show, the quality was high (strap on episode excluded). For the vocal “IFC” crowd – it was and will never be good enough. It’s obvious they can’t get past their issues with Ilene, yet they can’t stop talking/blogging about her and her L Word. Love to hate much?

    • I’m going to agree with you that people who hate Ilene Chaiken judged the show before they saw it, but I don’t think it rose above those expectations. Now, I am not fond of IC or anything, but I don’t really have the desire/energy to spend a lot of time railing against her. Among other things that I won’t go into, I think she is a bad storyteller and I think both TLW and TRLW reflected that.

      I like to watch the occasional reality show and I mean, my life isn’t just teeming with other lesbians, so I gave it a fighting chance. I couldn’t do it; I thought the show was crap. I am surprised that Riese was able to watch the whole season AND spend so much of her time writing quality recaps. However, I am not surprised that she took the time to develop such a thoughtful and well-written critique that is very clearly not based on a superficial hatred of Ilene Chaiken.

    • Agree with Cary here. It was frustrating to read reviews by reviewers that clearly already had their minds made up. Velvetpark just stopped reviewing it altogether, and I thought that was pretty douchey. It’s that kind of, I don’t know, almost parochial thinking that keeps Velvetpark small and insular, basically talking to themselves. I know I’ll get clobbered for saying that because, well, the lesbian blogosphere is like that.

      Autostraddle is by far one of the better sites, but there’s DEFINITELY that same sense of cliqueishness here. I would say you can give AfterEllen a run for their (now considerable Logo) money as far as content and writing. Obvs there’s a difference, they cover 99% entertainment and Autostraddle is all over the place (in a good way).

      What I’m trying to say is there did seem to be some snobbery to the coverage of TRLW, and then people slowly started changing their tune when they found out a little more about the peeps involved. And you had a hand in that, with your interviews of several non-starring cast members and links to Rosie Radio interviews with a couple cast members. It’s like you helped to inform yourselves a little more about the people, and then slowly changed from just completely slamming it and being dismissive, to trying to find something to say beyond the snark, though there was plenty of snark til the end. I know, it’s the only thing that makes it bearable to people who fancy themselves superior.

      Granted, to find out even a little more about the people behind the caricatures presented, you have to look outside the show. It was a horribly, horribly produced show, I would say even clueless. I agree that Ilene Chaiken is not a very talented person when it comes to producing a show. She does seem to be able to sell ideas, though.

      I think almost anyone else could have done a better job. Why Showtime sticks with her, I have no idea.

      But if you haven’t watched the show, then stfu with commenting about it. How can you pretend to have an ounce of integrity bitching about and denigrating something you haven’t bothered to watch?? Someone else’s recap/opinion is not the same as forming your own, no matter how much you admire and fawn over their intellect or writing ability or whatever the gushfest was about in the comments of the last episode’s review. That just makes you SHEEPLE. And lazy. That makes you worse than the (insert bitchy swipe) people on the Tv show you refuse to watch but claim the ability to judge.

      • All of that is not say I didn’t find the recaps valuable. I did. There were truly great insights and perceptions, and I realize how much work goes into them, that you’re not just throwing something out there. That was not what I was trying to convey.

  7. A splash of color within the cast would do the show some good. There was hardly ANY ethnic representation, aside from touting Rose around as the spicy Latina.
    Just saying, inclusion would be nice, and I find it a bit ironic that it didn’t exist in this “real” world of lesbians.

  8. I worked for 495 Productions for several shows. Currently on Jersey Shore and the first show I started with them was Tila Tequila. Every show that has the word “producer” in it is just that, a production puppet master leading wanna be actors. You can Google reality cast, actors and will find a site that has resumes of people that are trying to get their foot in the door. Others have cast calls and word of mouth. Their is no such thing as “reality.” This show was a spin off of a show creatively written about lesbians that supposedly lived in LA. The premises with the current L word is to

  9. I didn’t watch the Real L Word, but I have a feeling this piece was way more interesting than the show itself.

    And the reason I didn’t watch it is Reason #2. But I think a better comparison is “Little People, Big World” which is going on 6 seasons.

    Yes, I’m saying that the reality show about a family of little people living on a farm is more compelling than the reality show about lesbians in LA. WHY? Context: Privilege.

    A show about real lesbians could be interesting it if was “Gay Women, Heteronormative World.” That’s what everyone wants to know. Trivial things like, OMG how do they survive without a man? Who kills the spiders in the bathtub? Where do butch dykes get their clothes? Which one uses the drill when they install the cabinets: http://www.diynetwork.com/renovation-realities/the-obert-job/index.html

  10. I am sorry, I am using my phone. This show was a spin off of a scripted show. The premise was to gather real West Hollywood lesbians and follow their lives. As someone that has been in the scene and partied with Rose I can assure you she demonstrated her true self. The other lesbians were exactly as many of my friends. Watching other reality shows, reading about them and interviewing your friends is not as reliable as working behind the scenes and being able to distiguish real from a mold that other production companies cannot seem to break away from. I agree with Carey, completely.

    • I’ve worked behind the scenes on reality shows too! And all my friends work on reality shows — big ones, major huge ones. And I’ve watched hundreds of hours of reality shows as well. And I agree with Riese 110% — this failed to work within the current molds of reality shows and failed miserably to be a compelling series. Hating IC’s previous productions has nothing to do with this — though it does help to possibly figure out where things went wrong.

      It’s not even about whether or not the “characters” were “real” or not anymore, at least for me. When I look at this show I see a failure to create a compelling narrative, make the audience care at all about the characters, or prove any thesis of any kind. This show is a failure when held up against any other successful reality shows (Real Housewives series, Jersey Shore, etc).

  11. I was going to originally comment about the article, but after scrolling & skimming the comments…
    Tinkerbell has an account?!?! Bahahaha autowin!

    Why yes, I have indeed lol-ed at probs the funniest youtube vlogs evarrrrr. I love you and Haviland!
    I don’t even remember what I was initially going to comment on, but I enjoyed the article and agree with you. Maybe IFC should’ve just made TRLW into a documentary instead of a reality tv show…

  12. Reading this, I started wondering if IFC is Jenny. Maybe she tried to tell us something with the “movie” storyline and showing how executives distorted her story, rendering the lesbian character a perfect stereotype (she ends up with the man, blah blah blah).

    I don’t know, maybe she just sucks at writing.

  13. When there is nothing else present then the wish to create, to make something, it just comes out empty, blank. No story to tell, no questions to ask, no messages/feelings/ideas to convey.
    You know that feeling you get when you have a blank piece of paper, a new pen and nothing? It doesn’t matter how bad you want to draw if your mind is completely empty. You can start doodling, but you don’t share it with the world. The Real L Word is like those doodles; uninspired, uninteresting, and poorly drawn.

    Riese, I think I love you for making me care about something that really doesn’t matter to me, but I’m not sure.

  14. I managed to watch every episode despite living in Australia because i nursed the nigh eve hope that TRLW would be some kind of window into what it’s like to be gay in LA (also because your recaps made me smile:) ).
    But like Riese said there was no context to be found it was all editted out: there was no prop 8 & no DADT just poorly shot sex scenes which were meant to distract from the show’s obvious floors

  15. TRLW was like rainbow ice cream: initially exciting cause of how gay it looks but then you take a bite and it’s just vanilla, the world’s most borring flavour with a little artificial rainbow added in.

  16. Pingback: Some words from the 'Real L Word's Mikey Koffman during her Portland visit | qPDX.com - Queer news, views and events for Portland

  17. ARGHHHH,

    Why-oh-why are there so many RLW articles?! I may be British (and completely opposed to reality TV), but the whole concept of this show is AWFUL. Sure, you can write about it because it is about ‘lesbians’, yet I struggle to believe that filming sex/makeout scenes makes their issues more poignant when it comes to showing what it’s like to be out. TLW was a series, and DAMN the sex was good right there, but it wasn’t real. Filming such things in this manner ridicules the idea of lesbianism/being gay, and it increases how often stereotypes are used.

    FUUUU.

    [rant over]

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