Anne and Gabby gave me copies of the first five episodes of the second season of the L Word.
This is the kind of show that sort of grows on you as you get to know the characters better. The new season takes up where the last left off. The main plotline concerns Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman from Angel) who have split up after Bette had an inexplicable affair last season. This is handled very well. There's something really quaint about the way that Bette is so wrapped up in herself that she doesn't notice that her partner is very pregnant. Laurel plays Tina as tough. (So tough that I think she'd make a great Gabrielle if the ever make a Xena movie and Rene is not available.) Tina's new relationship with Helena seems very realistic precisely because Bette and Helena are so similar.
Tennis player Dana's relationship with her agent Tonya is perhaps what the season with be remembered for in the long run because Tonya is a lesbian character with absolutely no redeeming characteristics whatsoever who makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and your skin crawl, reminding me all too much of certain people I've met over the years. This, therefore, marks a departure from handling its lesbian material with kid gloves.
If this sounds less like mile stone and more like an inch pebble, then that is because it is. Most notably, the show runs scared of the Butch. It seems that American television is totally unwilling to put out even the mildest challenge to traditional feminity. The script keeps saying that Shane looks butch but her her hairstyle says otherwise. An even more incredible situation exists with drag king Ivan who has long hair. I mean, come on! Apparently, we can have two girls kissing on the OC (at every ad break) but lesbians must still keep themselves nice.
Finally, I'm not sure what to make of the subplot concerning Mark, the man with the video cameras. As we say here in Canberra, we don't condone this sort of behaviour but we do encourage it. Otherwise, we might have had to cut back on all the cheesecake and gratuitous nudity in this show and we wouldn't want that, right?