150 of 169 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Don't be fooled by the theme of this show: The L Word is so much more than some throw-away gay show. The themes are universal and should resonate with more than gay viewers.
S2 lived up to its promise from the producers. In comparison to S1 (which was quite good), S2 provided much better storytelling and Ilene Chaiken and her production staff have become much better film makers. This show is a very adult drama. One example, the Bette and Tina (Jennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman: fiery chemistry) saga remind one of Bergman's "Scene's From A Marriage" as this couple struggles with issues of sexual inertia, miscarriage, infedility, the loss of self to a seductively potent and sometimes dismissive partner, wanting sexual intimacy with your partner while your partner is seemingly disinterested.
The themes dramatized are universal: in addition to those already mentioned, these include the fear of disaffection of a loved parent (Bette's father, Melvin: performed by Ossie Davis who was nominated for an Emmy for his brilliant turn as Melvin), the loss of a loved parent (Melvin), the lost soul (Shane) who craves love but thinks being in love will destroy her, the best in class girl (Dana) whose parents love her and who is their "golden girl" in all but her private life, the woman who miscarried (Tina) and wanted nothing but to conceive of a child with her partner, the woman (Tina) whose partner desired another woman and who got back some of her sexual self-esteem and broken ego in the arms of another (Helena), the woman (Alice) who fell in love with her best friend, the scared and troubled woman (Jenny) who is trying to remember a traumatic childhood event and is spirilling toward a mushroom cloud of self-destruction, the down to earth and earthy woman (Carmen) who lives her life as she pleases while looking for someone to love and be loved in return.
All of these stories are told with honesty and passion. The storytelling is not the familiar fare one (especially Americans) are used to in their couch potato universe. You need to pay attention when viewing this series for it is not spoon fed to the viewer as are so many series.
Some viewers (the most vocal but who, imho, represent only a minority of viewers) have expressed disdain over the music of EZ-girl. I am not one of those viewers.
While I don't applaud everything this composer has produced for this show in S2, she is not without talent. In fact, Betty is a very fun band to see in person.
EZ-girl just needs a bit of managing. (Her website has served as the red cape to some viewers. She is an in-your-face person and does little to assuage the ridicule and hatred of some viewers. It seems the more vocal the minority is about their hatred the more she may be increasing the volume of her in-your-face fare. She is not that different from other artists in this vein like Emminem, etc.)
IMHO, a few scores of the background music she produced for S2 do not lend themself to the overall benefit of the production. However, (and this is where her talent comes to the fore) her background music was pristene for other scenes. Several come to mind: Tina alone and very pregnant in Dr. Wilson's office; Alice and Shane talking about Tina on their way to the Planet; Tina and Alice walking to Tina's Lawyer's spare guest house; Bette drunk; Bette with hangover; Tina and Helena making love in the pool; Melvin's sick and death scenes (truly haunting scoring, imho). There are more but those are just a few of the ones that come to mind.
Indeed it is a mixed bag. But, it is no where near as bad as some of her harshest critics passionately avow. As I said, her talent needs to be directed and the scores I mentioned in the last paragraph that showcase her talent and strength as a composer needs to be cultivated and encouraged by the producers. I am not unhappy that she will be coming back for S3. My only wish is that her talent is as focused (and directed by the producers) as it was in the scoring scenes I mentioned.
The few things that didn't work for me in S2 were a couple of the Shane and Carmen scenes and the Gloria Steinem scene in the finale (which was preachy and out of place: talking about feminism when they should have been telling stories about Melvin, Bette's father, which brought them together in the first place).
The few Ez-girl missteps, a couple of the Shane and Carmen love scenes and the Steinem scene in the finale are the reasons I am giving S2 a 4 but a solid one.
I already pre-ordered S2.
This show is groundbreaking. I have never seen on my TV some of the scenes shown on this show. For example, a very pregnant Tina making love. Some people have been turned off by this for various reasons and others have rejoiced in its depiction. I fall in the latter category.
I have been a subscriber to Vanity Fair for over 15 years. I remember the scandal that was caused when Demi Moore posed pregnant on the cover. That issue was mailed to me (and every other subscriber) in a brown paper cover so as not to offend. Imagine that. A pregnant woman not doing anything but being pregnant in full beautiful bloom on the cover of a major American magazine: but it was considered by some to be disgusting and pornography. It was nothing of the sort.
So, for those of us who have been pregnant whether or not we are gay, Moore's pregnant cover girl and Holloman's very real life pregnancy played out in Tina's character (who was not ashamed of her body or of her sexual needs and desires) was glorious and very much welcomed and celebrated in my household and among my partner and my circle of friends (straight and gay).
So, brava to Ilene Chaiken and the people behind this show. Overall, wonderful writing, directing, acting and production values.
Of course, every show on TV can be improved upon and TLW is no exception. If a show has nothing to shoot for then why continue on with the show. There are so many stories left to tell and I for one am looking forward to S3.
I recommend this show and the DVD without hesitation.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2005
I have to admit, I started watching The L Word because I'm a guy who was channel surfing and I saw lesbians. Of course, anyone who I tell about me liking the show immediately assumes that I watch it as pornography, and that's sort of what I was looking at it as in the first place.
But by the end of the first episode, I was hooked like no pornography could aspire to hook someone. The L Word isn't about lesbian sex. Does it contain some? Yeah. Do I like seeing it? Can't deny it. But the show is largely character and plot-driven, and if you try to watch it with only shallow feelings in your heart, you will be sorely disappointed. Every character is unique, with their own flaws, misgivings and uncertainties, and it really makes them all very watchable. There are shows that have some characters that, you know, they're okay, but you find yourself wishing for them to get back to one of the more entertaining characters. Not so with The L Word. Every interaction and every character is presented in a very fresh and original way, so that you never feel like they're reusing material and you're always glued to the TV screen to find out what happens next.
My greatest regret about moving out of my parents' house is that I can't afford Showtime so that I can watch season 3.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2006
No, season 2 isn't perfect. Many other reviewers have pointed out its flaws: the over-involvement of music group Betty and too much irritating re-use of the new theme song throughout the episodes; the one-dimensional character Helena, who it's almost impossible to believe Tina would have ever stayed with as long as she does; the repetitiveness of the Jenny flashbacks; the gets-old-quick and very unrealistic Mark sub-plot; and the loss of Marina.
But there's just as much good here: the blossoming of Shane's character (and she is just truly a wonderful person); the addition of the very fine and fun Carmen; the hook-up of Dana and Alice, which is just so full of joy; watching the superb Jennifer Beals deal with heartache and loss; the astounding Pam Grier and Jennifer Beals coping with their father's disintegration; and Kit becoming owner of the Planet and really finding herself.
At the end of the day I don't think any TV show is perfect, especially when you take each episode by itself. As far as I'm concerned, sesaon 1 had some lackluster episodes and sub-plots, too, and really, all great shows do. It's impossible to put in 12 or 14 absolutely perfect shows that will please all viewers from start to finish. But taken as a whole, the L Word season 2 was still a riveting experience, making me laugh and cry at so many different moments.
And I'd like to say to those who say this season was too depressing that TV should not always just be there to help us "escape"; the poignance of what the Kit, Tina and Bette characters have to face throughout the season is dramatic acting and storytelling at its best, and though the Jenny stuff was over the top and could have been done more sparingly, when you come to understand what's at the root of her problems, you also come to understand why her story is worth being told and why she is so troubled.
I believe this season has set us up for a happier, stronger season three. And again, taken as a whole, it remains a very satisfying collection of stories and characters. Kudos to the L Word creators for keeping us wanting more.
Just please give us a break from that darned theme music! ;)
28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2005
This season delves more deeply into the lives of the L.A framily. Can't really put my finger on what I feel about this second season. It was more serious than the first, which in a way is a good thing (not all lesbians have fun ALL of the time lol) but also it kind of took something away. The spirit, the 'network' if you will. The friends have kind of gone seperate ways (Shane and Jenny are practically best buds, which I LOVE by the way) Alice and Dana become lovers, Bette is on her own for the most part, which I'm glad of, and Tina is with THE biggest div ever lol.
I liked the season, loved it infact, but I was expecting more I think. Season 1 was so huge, so awesome, I was hoping that the same level of greatness would be carried through. I think this hasn't been realised in season 2.
The success of the show may have clouded people's judgement. It's now being written 'trendily' for trends sake, because they knew they got it down perfectly in season one, only then they weren't trying to impress. It was real then, natural. Now it seems somewhat 'performed' for the audience, giving them what they want and trying to get the gay world right out there. Slighty tright and self apreciating.
That makes me sound like I don't like the show anymore, which is far from the truth. I do love it, I just think that the writers should be careful not to go overboard. It's sink or swim now. Take it slow, built on relationships. At the end of the gay....sorry, day (laughs), it seems they are trying to sell tickets into the big gay club that is the world; showing us the fashions, the trends, the life...but not the people living it. Come down a peg or too, and they'll be fine.
P.S Shane and Jenny need to end up together, I'm serious.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2005
Season 2 of The L Word has many, many high points and just a few low points.
1. The introduction of Carmen. My god this girl is hot!
2. The Shane/Carmen/Jenny triangle. I loved the whole storyline. Whenever Shane and Carmen were on screen together my tv melted. The chemistry is unrivaled in my opinion and add Jenny to the mix and you had the most gripping storyline of season two.
3. The incredible acting abilities of Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier. The Melvin death scenes were acted so well by these incredible actresses,
My only real complaint about season two was the lack of group scenes which we were spoilt with in season one. Also the lack of screen time given to the characters of Shane and Carmen. The small time they were given they did so well, it's just a pity that more time wasn't afforded to that particular storyline. That's the only reason I'm giving it 4/5 instead of 5.
Go buy it, and enjoy the ride!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
at the beginning of the year i started watching repeat episodes for season two of the l word. i never thought that i would get so hooked on the show, but i did. i saw the last six episodes and i couldn't wait for season three to start. but i realized that i wasn't up to speed, so i purchased season two the next day. i was so happy that i did. i watched all of season two in 3 days. i'm really thrilled that there is a show that isn't afraid to talk about women's issues. this show has touched me in a way that i never thought possible and it has also opened my eyes to certain topics that i could have cared less for. i gave this item 5 stars because it changed my whole perspective on life and the society that we live in just a matter of days. i'm sure that it could do the same to someone else.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2006
The L-Word has received a deserved worldwide reputation for mainstreaming lesbian relationships. The series has artfully endowed our globalized community with poignant story lines, which resonate on issues familiar to both gay and straight people. I applaud the writers for avoiding linear social commentary, breaking the mold, and becoming the eloquent voice of Lesbians in America. I am appalled that the series was not nominated for an Emmy Award. I think it was entirely worthy! I give the second season 4 stars instead of five because though brilliantly crafted, season two has a commercialistic flare I found mildly irritating. It seemed to slightly compromise the integrity of the production.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2011
When I first heard about the show I was thinking... Les porn... but I started watching the show and it's actually funny, well written, well acted, and does address some of the issues faced in our society today from a lesbian perspective. If you don't like lesbian content, don't watch the show. If you're a lesbian, a must see! If you're simply interested in changing your worldview a bit, this can give you some interesting insight to a culture you may not know very well. But be warned, there are risqué moments in the show, very well done but be warned. And I would agree, this is definitely not a family show... not for kids. Come on... it's showtime people... you really think their target audience is children...?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2006
I loved Season 1 to pieces... until Season 2 began. Season 2 really gets to the core of who these characters on the screen really are. The story lines improve, and the writing is better. The actors are more comfortable with their characters, and the overall change is just so much easier to watch.
The true highlight of Season 2? They cut way back on Jenny's flashbacks throughout the season until they are FINALLY eliminated. I can't tell you how happy I am that they finally got the picture!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2005
I love this show! I love the characters! The first season was great, but this season is even better. The only thing that I would change, is the pace, it could have moved just a bit faster, but it was still great though. What makes this season better than the last is how much we see of the characters, all of them are opened up for us to view. Theres even a few new characters that add even more spice to the drama. That is what I love about The L Word, the drama! It truly reminds me of the crazy things that can happen to a group of friends when love and lust is mixed in with friendship- I love that! I realy do reccomend anyone to buy this, it isn't only about lesbian issues, it goes beyond that.