Guilty pleasure: the return of The Real L Word
Los Angeles’ finest are back with a new season of shenanigans, but does this show do more harm than good?
The UK is subject to a lot of awful reality TV shows, but bar Channel 5's dismal attempt to bring some real life lesbians to the small screen with their documentary Candy Bar Girls, not a lot of them can safely say that they accurately reflect lesbian life in any way, shape or form. Neither can The Real L Word, but here it is, back for a third season on America's Showtime! And seeing as it is the only reality TV show focusing exclusively on lesbian life, like a moth to a flame I will repeatedly subject myself to its myriad of pleasures whilst angrily passing judgement on others' business that is of no real concern to me.
The general consensus of the last two seasons was that it was not representative of the vast majority of girls who like girls, there was a disappointing number of ethnic minorities involved and the one black couple that were on the show were made out to be completely out of their minds. (The fate of Sadjah and Chanel will forever remain a mystery, as they did not join the Season 3 cast.)
Added to this was the frank ridiculousness of the vast majority of the situations, which did evoke a fair number of facepalms (as in getting your male best friend to have sex with his girlfriend in another room and then when he's uh, aroused, getting him to run and put his member into a plaster cast mould in order to create a hollow dispenser for your friends who are trying to have a baby but aren't too keen on the clinicalness of insertion at the doctors' surgery - it's the way that we live and love!)
But whilst this show is undoubtedly trashy, the question with a show regarding ladies of this disposition is whether or not this representation is actually damaging to LGBT people, or if it's just damaging to the brain capacity of those interested in watching any show of this ilk, be it focused on irritatingly wealthy people, irritatingly orange people, or irritating lesbians.
And to the credit of Season 3, the premiere was not as bad as its predecessors. The show and indeed the regular characters seem to have matured, and the relationships within the programme are more varied and seem a bit healthier than previous series where it seemed to turn into a competition as to how many girls Whitney could make cry in an hour.
This season follows Kaci and Cory on their journey through pregnancy, Whitney as she tries her hand at monogamy and Romi, who is dating a man. The frontwoman for all girl, all gay punk rock band Hunter Valentine also has a main part in the show so if you're a Hunter Valentine fan then you might feel obliged to tune in this time around. Also included in the new line up is a New York born and bred high-end jewellery designer who feels that LA is petty and stupid so is going to move there with her best friend and have sex with her, just for funsies, which is totally not stupid.
In any case, your ardent shrieking at your television that despite the stereotypes notthat manygirls ask their girlfriends to marry them after two weeks will be in vain. We shall all have to just accept that lesbian reality TV shows will be held to the same standards as any other reality TV show, and that standard is pretty outlandish. I like to think of it as a grim step towards equality.
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