With its first season finishing this week and series two quite a long way off, it’s a good time to look back on what we have learned from The L Word.

Lesson one: LA dykes are hot and have long hair. According to an article in this week’s New York Times, The L Word is now part of the full-scale lesbian take-over of street fashion. The stars’ hairstyles are reflective of what LA women-loving-women were wearing long before Meg Ryan got her choppy cut, and the andro-chic style of the show demonstrates that lesbian fashion is not to be dismissed any longer.

The show drew criticism when it appeared for its lack of butch content -“ mostly due to the hair lengths of the cast. But over the season it’s become clear that the LA dyke scene (as represented by The L Word) can’t be broken down into short-haired butches and long-haired femmes.

Take, for example, Ion Overman’s character Candace, the black carpenter currently seducing Bette away from her white-bread married life. Judging by the interactions between Candace and Bette in the past couple of episodes, and especially last week’s prison sex scene, Candace is a long-haired butch bottom. Even Kelly Lynch (the actor, not the Sydney DJ), who plays Ivan the drag king, sports a long mane of hair -“ styled somewhere between a quiff and a mullet.

Lesson two: Babies are bad. American viewers complained about the inclusion of yet another lesbian parenting storyline when the show first started. But the baby brought death, tears, betrayal, a weird prison root, an almost threesome with a hot, dumb artist guy and a session of forced sex.

Lesson three: Marina is at least as annoying as Jenny. When this season started, Jenny was hideous. Sydney dykes had more crushes on her boyfriend. As the series played out, Jenny became less needy and more odd, and her mousy earnestness seemed kind of cute. Meantime, Marina’s modern German accent became worse and worse, and her character fell into a kind of parody of itself. How things change.

Lesson four: Good bone structure runs in the family. Katherine Moennig’s Shane is definitely Gwyneth Paltrow’s better-looking cousin.

The L Word finished this week. Producers are currently filming series two, and a DVD release of
series one will come out in the US later this year. Sandra Bernhard and Tammy Lynn Michaels are confirmed guest stars for series two.

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