Would You Introduce the Mystery Guest Without Blindfolds?
I feel sorry for my husband. He is slogging through the series finale of The L Word. I saw the train wreck last night and wished the episode had a warning: You will never get this hour back. EVER!
On the whole, I love series finales. They give the creators and writers leeway to wrap up their creations in their own unique, pretty pink bow. And there have been some doozies, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos come to mind. And let's not forget Newhart, when Bob Newhart woke up in the arms of Suzanne Pleshette, his TV wife from his previous show. Turned out his Vermont existence as the owner of the Stratford Inn was a horrific dream. If only someone told me The L Word was the same.
Unlike Newhart, which used wit and humor to tell its final moments, The L Word was a mishmash of storylines, many left open ended, most noticeably the plot they splashed across their own ad campaigns, "Who killed Jenny Schecter?" This publicity carries with it various unwritten promises. One, there will be murder. Two, there will be mystery. And three, the mystery will be solved. The L Word miraculously doesn't offer ANY of the above. Jenny does end up dead, but I couldn't tell you if she was murdered or died of boredom. Now, if the writers were clever, perhaps making a commentary on America's bloodlust using good old fashioned murder mystery as a metaphor, that would have been surprising and worthy of a well deserved hats off. But instead we we're treated to a messy episode, including an incomprehensible scene about Jennifer Beals's discomfort with Pam Grier's drag queen boyfriend (don't ask) using her master bath. "What if he forgets to put the toilet seat up, or something?" Was this really scripted? And what's the something she's eluding to? It played like bad improvisation.
I mentioned in a previous entry that I have an addiction to serial television. I'm a cliff hanger whore. Even when the show gets stale, almost any lame mystery will keep me watching. And mystery was promised on The L Word. Great pains were taken to give every character a motive. Melodramatic scenes ended with the stock, "I'm going to fucking kill Jenny Schecter." But the show's creator, for reasons quite unfathomable to me, disregarded tried and true mystery formula, and didn't give us a resolution. I can only believe, in her hands, Who shot JR? would have a new-agey twist: How do we feel about JR being shot?
The following promise is made about the next episode of Desperate Housewives, "Revenge has found a home in the neighborhood, and it won't rest until a housewife is dead." At first listen, my blood started pumping with familiar anticipation. A housewife killed? It was like the good ol' days of Lost when they'd advertise one of the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 was going to bite the bullet...or be mauled by a polar bear or attacked by the smoke monster. It's a dizzying feeling with so much possibility. But on second look, the Desperate Housewives promotion does not really say a housewife will be murdered. It says Revenge won't rest dot, dot, dot. This could mean Revenge could be killed before he/she completes the task. It's a clever bit of publicity, and the loophole makes me less excited.
What can I say? I look forward to the demise of television characters I avidly watch week after week. My salvation glands gush, blood pumps through my ears, my palms sweat all at the anticipation of grizzly death. My mind reels, creating scenarios and suspect lists. I become an armchair detective and I love it.
The L Word used to stand for lesbian. Now, as we lay it to rest, I guess it stands for lugubriousness.