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The L Word: Season 1

4.3 out of 5 stars 385 customer reviews

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(Nov 09, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set in the chic world of Los Angeles, this humor-laced dramatic series explores the lives of a group of lesbians, their friends, family and neighbors. The series takes a smart, sexy and fun look at the hopes, dreams and lives of these people as they deal with things like career struggles, relationship issues and the pressures of trying to start a family. The show provides a fresh look at everyday life, told with passion, frankness and humor.


Four years after Showtime made gay men the focus of its original series Queer as Folk, it was time for a little turnabout with The L Word (bad title, great show). Centering around a tight-knit group of lesbians in Los Angeles, this drama was far removed from its working-class male counterpart in both style and content. While the men of QAF enjoyed a fabulous if melodramatic life on the middle-class streets of Pittsburgh, the women of The L Word lived it up in sunny California, with gorgeous houses, glamorous careers, and sexy wardrobes. Ironically, though, The L Word adhered more to the everyday drama of ensemble shows like thirtysomething than the soap opera antics of QAF, and the results were surprisingly heartfelt and effective, appropriately stylish but never over the top. There was plenty of room for titillation, but creator Ilene Chaiken fashioned from the start a show centered on characters and not just sex, aiming for the heart rather than... well, other places.

The L Word focused primarily on committed couple Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman), a former power-career duo who've decided to have a baby; however, artificial insemination and the changing dynamics of their relationship throw their previously happy existence off-kilter. Within their orbit are spunky journalist Alice (Leisha Hailey), sultry hairdresser Shane (Katherine Moenning), closeted pro tennis player Dana (Erin Daniels), and espresso bar owner Marina (Karina Lombard) who, in the show's most polarizing storyline, bedded the seemingly straight Jenny (Mia Kirschner) and shook up her heterosexual world. Jenny's am-I-straight-or-not? kvetching frustrated both her fiancé (Eric Mabius) and many viewers, who were alternately irritated and intrigued by her inability to decide one way or the other. But Jenny's weakness was part of The L Word's strength: in exploring many sides of many issues, both domestic and political, it never came up with an easy answer for any of them, making the show all that more fascinating--and compulsively watchable. --Mark Englehart

Special Features

  • All 14 episodes from the 2004 season
  • Fashion Extra
  • Puppet Movie
  • The L Word Defined
  • Power Up Panel
  • Fan Mail
  • Biographies
  • Photo Gallery
  • Previews & Promotions

Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Beals, Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner
  • Directors: Rose Troche, Lynne Stopkewich, Clément Virgo, Daniel Minahan, Tony Goldwyn
  • Format: Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    General Audience
  • Studio: Showtime Ent.
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 822 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (385 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002MPQRS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,314 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The L Word: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Museum director Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals) and executive Tina Kennard (Laurel Holloman), a committed couple for 7 years, are planning to start a family.
Their next-door neighbor is swimming coach Tim (Eric Mabius), who is preparing for his girlfriend, Jenny ( Mia Kirshner),a talented young writer, to move in. Soon after mixing with Bette and Tina's circle of lesbian friends, Jenny learns that her Midwest background may not have prepared her for what she will soon learn about life, lust and love in Los Angeles.

Bette's sister, Kit (Pam Grier) is battling with her alcoholism and trying to keep her music career going. Dana (Erin Daniels) struggles with her identity as a closeted lesbian while advancing in the world of professional tennis.
Shane (Kate Moennig), an assistant hair stylist by day and resident player by night, always keeps the women satisfied. Writing for a local magazine, Alice (Leisha Hailey) makes sure she's in the know about everyone and everything. Their lives and loves are discussed and played out at the local coffee shop/club, The Planet, run by Marina (Karina Lombard).

The L word is most definitely one of my favorite shows. I can't wait to own it on DVD. The story is well written, the characters engaging. This first season also has excellent guest stars including Ossie Davis, Holland Taylor, Lolita Davidovich, Rosanna Arquette and many more. This series gets my highest recommendation.

As for the DVD itself:
The episode list:
1.1 Pilot
1.2 Let's do it
1.3 Longing
1.4 Lies, lies, lies
1.5 Lawfully
1.6 Losing it
1.7 L'ennui
1.8 Listen up
1.9 Luck, next time
1.10 Liberally
1.11 Looking back
1.12 Locked up
1.13 Limb from limb

Extra DVD features include:
- An Original Puppet Show Performed by the Cast
- Photo Gallery
- Audio commentary by Ilene Chaiken and Jennifer Beals on the pilot episode
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Format: DVD
At long last, the entire first season of the L word is out on DVD! And while fans of the show are undoubtedly thrilled, as a DVD buff, I was less than thrilled with the lack of extras on the set. Any fan of Star Trek or Xena knows box sets covering those TV classics are chock full of extras such as bloopers, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes interviews with the stars, commentaries, and more. Early reports said this box set would have some such content, but it evidently didn't make it into this season's offering.

While the box set does have an extra disc dedicated to special features, most of these features have either been seen on Showtime or available in print-form on the Web. For example, "the L Word Defined" is a special that Showtime aired several months ago while promoting TLW, and while it's always nice to watch reruns, once is normally enough. There are some behind-the-scenes featurettes about the fashion designers, and we get to see a little bit of what goes into dressing the character of Dana Fairbanks (Erin Daniels), and the process dressing each of the characters. We get cast bios, some selected fan mail, and a Season 2 preview (which is also currently running on Showtime).

The most original, and probably the funniest, piece on the set is a puppet show created by the cast. A spoof based on Marina and Jenny's first meeting, it will crack you up laughing. Evidently, these ladies have entirely too much time on their hands or have a damn good time hanging out together. Either way, it's pretty darn funny. Kudos to the creators!

Even though it's not as packed full of goodies as we'd like, it's still nice to have all the episodes of the L word on DVD without worrying about someone erasing the TIVO! Enjoy!
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Format: DVD
Perhaps the L Word originally intended to cast a net to catch a small niche audience; women wanting to see their lives represented on television. The end result of the L Word, however, casts a large net by telling compelling, interesting stories of compelling, interesting women.

Set in in the great sin city, Los Angeles, the L Word tells the story of several women who are friends. Bette and Tina, the show's "power couple", start the series trying to concieve a child and suffer the problems of finding an adequate sperm donor. Tennis player Dana is just starting to come to terms with her orientation and the demands of a burgeoning successful career. Writer Alice, the group's bisexual, plays sweet while dealing with a kooky mother and a male "self-professed lesbian". Shane, who starts out as the show's loose cannon, grows into her character as the episodes progress to a complex woman actually dealing with strong feelings. And then there's Tim and Jenny, who test the bounds of their relationship when Jenny starts an affair with coffee shop owner, sultry Marina. Each of these women are self-realized and very real.

Kudos goes to the women who play these characters honestly, and realistically. You can see each of them grow into their performances as they get comfortable in their characters skins, especially with Jennifer Beals portrayal of Type-A Bette. Also, kudos to Mia Kirshner, who gives Jenny's struggle through the first season real heart and intrigue. She is everyone who has ever struggled with their sexual identity, and Mia nails the struggle on the head.

However, it's one Pam Grier, who plays Bette's straight sister Kit, who will run away with your heart as she wrestles with the demons of her alcoholic past.
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