I hate "The L Word." And yet I watch it every week, ever since I got sucked in during Seasons 1 and 2. Those were the good 'ole days, before they murdered Dana and the fashion, hairstyles, and storylines went to shit.
To recap the last four seasons (as well as the first four episodes of Season 5), Jennie is a pyscho, Shane is player, Bette and Tina are on again/off again, Kit's character only exists to make random "black comments," Max gives trans guys a bad name, Alice is still funny, and Dana is still dead. Do I seriously have this on my Tivo list?
Last week's episode, however, included a little twist that was actually worth discussing. Alice outs an NBA basketball player on her website and starts a firestorm of controversy.
So in Episode 4, Alice gets invited to this top secret party for Hollywood homos who are in the closet. She and Tasha see an NBA player making out with a fine young thing on the dance floor and Alice videotapes it on her cell phone, even though she signed a nondisclosure agreement when she was invited to the party. I smell trouble afoot.
In Episode 5, the same NBA player goes on national TV and says a bunch of homophobic nonsense after a retired NBA player comes out of the closet. Alice gets pissed as his hypocrisy, so she posts the video of him at the party on her website. Within hours, the video has 500,000 hits on Youtube and the player is on the news again, this time resigning from his job. Tasha and Alice get in a fight because Tasha says Alice shouldn't have outed the guy, and that he has a right to his privacy. Alice says that "this is America" and she should be able to say whatever she wants. It looks like Alice and Tasha are headed for splitsville in Episode 6 because they're realized that they have irreconcilable political differences.
Right wing nut jobs aside, are celebrity outings justified? I go back and forth on this one. But in the case of professional athletes, I don't think it's right, especially when it's male athletes we're talking about. Only three NFL players have ever come out of the closet, and none of them came out while they were still playing. Former Utah Jazz player John Amaechi is the only NBA player that I know of who is out of the closet, and he also waited until he stopped playing. The world of professional sports is hyper-masculine and gayness is seen as an attack on that masculinity. I take players' comments seriously when they say that they wouldn't play with a gay teammate. And if you're a football player, that could mean some pretty serious body damage.
As far as female athletes go, homophobia is prevalent too, but the reverse assumption happens: You play ball? You must be queer. Female athletes already earn less than male athletes do. Many female athletes have lost endorsements after coming out. So the decision of when and how to come out should be left up to them. It's their career we're talking about.
Back to "The L Word" . . . I was slow to come around on Tasha's character, but I'm going to be sad to see her go. I think she had a point when she told Alice that her outing the basketball player was no different than the military outing Tasha. I haven't always appreciated it when "The L Word" has tried to tackle political issues (does anyone remember Kit and the fake abortion clinic), but I'm glad they've taken on Don't Ask Don't Tell.
The hair and fashion are back, too. And there's plenty of sex this season. So I guess that's why I keep tuning in. But you know what the show REALLY needs? A hot Asian lesbian. Cuz you know I'm a rice queen and that would DEFINITELY have me glued to the set. Yowzas!