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DVD Review: The L Word – The Complete Fourth Season

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Written by Senora Bicho

The L Word is a television drama that centers on a tight-knit group of female friends. Similar to Sex and the City, the women experience relationship ups and downs, job issues, and a host of other problems. What makes this show unique is that the women in this group of friends are lesbian and bi-sexual. While the show is overly dramatic, it does tackle real issues and brings subjects to light that are thought-provoking and that deserve to be discussed.

Ilene Chaiken is the creator, writer, and executive producer. Her previous experience includes The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Barb Wire, not a strong resume by any stretch. The show premiered on Showtime in January 2004. Production has started on Season Five and the season premiere will air in January 2008.

Season Four provided a lot of excitement for the group along with adding a few new faces. Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman) are dealing with the aftermath of their breakup and custody of their daughter Angelica. Tina has also started dating a man, which creates some interesting dimensions and hostilities in the group. Shane (Katherine Moennig) left her fiancé at the altar at the end of Season Three and is trying to get her life back on track. She ends up with custody of her brother. This has a dramatic impact on her outlook on life and attitude towards responsibility. One of the most interesting storylines is about Max (Daniela Sea) and her desire to physically transition into a man. The hostility that she faces from her co-workers and family is very disturbing and authentic. Alice (Leisha Hailey) continues to host her radio show while building her Internet site based on “The Chart” and becomes involved with a military officer who ends up being called back to Iraq. Jenny (Mia Kirshner) has published a book about the group that hits a little to close to home for some of the ladies. Kit (Pam Grier) has a relapse with her alcoholism when she encounters some relationship problems.

Cybill Shephard, Marleen Matlin and Janina Gavankar joined the cast in Season Four. Shephard is the Executive Vice Chancellor at the university where Bette starts working. After 23 years of marriage and two children, she realizes she has been living a lie and is really a lesbian. Matlin is an artist at the university and Bette’s new love interest. Both provide good performances and are welcome additions. Gavankar plays Papi, whose conquest totals crash Alice’s website. Alice becomes fascinated with her and sets out on a mission to track her down.

While the DVD cover promised special features, there are none to be found about the show itself. There is an episode of The Tudors and Californication, a message from a couple of the stars on pet rescue, the announcement of some contest winners, biographies, and a photo gallery.

The L Word is a fun and entertaining show that one can easily be sucked into. It is also great to see a show that is based all around strong, independent women that also empowers the gay community. If you have Showtime and enjoy melodramatic television, give it a chance as some of the storylines are intriguing. I can’t recommend purchasing the DVD collection unless you are a die-hard fan of the show and plan on owning every single episode.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS