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    The L-Word Season 1 Episode 4 – Longing

    S1 Episode 4 – Longing

    One of the things that I am enjoying in “rewinding” and viewing these early episodes is a fresh peek into different aspects of the main characters as we are getting to know them from the beginning. I can also appreciate how in the early episodes, the story lines had continuity and progressed to a logical conclusion instead of just being introduced and dropped as we saw in subsequent seasons.

    Jenny so torn between her deep love for Tim and the life she sees with him and so tortured by the feelings for Marina that she can’t ignore. What I can appreciate about Marina now, is that she is finally stepping back and giving Jenny some room to come to terms with these feelings and to make it her choice. I think she was so over-bearing in previous episodes and she was almost predatory in her pursuit.

    We get a glimpse of Bette at work, and a taste of what she is up against in her job at the CAC. We now understand a bit more of why she has to always be on top of her game. She not only has the stress and pressures from external sources in this highly competitive field, she also has to deal with a boss and a board of directors that are not progressive and have no vision.

    The Bette and Tina connection/chemistry (or whatever you want to call it), is becoming more evident now as we witness the subtle communication with body language and glances. We are getting more of the nurturing Tina as we see her taking interest in Bette’s work and offering her support in any way that she can. We also start seeing some traces of Bette putting work first, but Tina in her subtle way reminds her that she will accept it for now, but she won’t be shut out and she reels Bette back in. I think this is evidenced when Tina follows Bette as she suddenly gets up from the table without a word to anyone, and starts heading for her car on her way to see Peggy Peabody.

    I love Tina’s approach to Jenny in offering to be a friend she can talk to if she chooses, but being respectful and not intruding where she is not wanted. We see the same thing with her comment to Bette about Kit when asked why she didn’t stop Kit from drinking and Tina says it wasn’t her place. A bit off the subject – I loved Tina’s top in the scene with Jenny 

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    Comments

    1. I too loved James. But I got the impression that Bette did not appreciate what a friend he really was to her. She was always in her alpha work mode and James was her gopher. But I certainly can see that Bette would grow to love and depend on James just as she depended on her self to make the right decisions.

      Peggy…she was a dynamo. I always wondered what would go through her mind when she discovered that Bette was not who she thought she was. Fortunately they clicked and were bound to be linked together forever. Peggy was really perfectly cast.

      Dana and Lara had such an awkward beginning. It took a few scenes for me to see any attraction between the two at all. Dana with her constant desire to remain in the closet and Lara with her almost the devil may care attitude about the world. I had always wished that the writers had given Dana a little more intellectual approach to her character. She did not seem to be a college graduate unless she spent her entire collegiate years on the tennis court. Remember in these scenes she is about 29 to 30 years old. She died at the age of 32…. Her character has the experience and maturity of someone in their early twenties. The only thing that seems to reflect her age is the fact that she no longer lives with her parents.

      Thanks for this…

    2. I’ll take your lead on this episode since the title doesn’t remind me of anything in particular. One thing that I thought from day one was how IC tried to make Bette emulate her own life, only Bette was not a movie producer who has to work 16h a day. Bette was a museum director of a small museum! I’m sorry, but that to me is a 9 to 5 job except perhaps when a major exhibit is being planned. But still … So, the idea that Bette never has dinner at home and Tina has to beg her to come home in a later episode … was forced to me. Or one time when she says that she came home early to be with Tina, but Tina is leaving to go to the gym.

      Peggy Peabody did not impress me back then. I loved her later on, when Helena entered the picture. In this episode, she was an entitled wealthy woman that Bette had to suck up to. Certainly, some of the scene was funny. I laughed with the “hasbian” comment. Holland Taylor of course impressed me: she is a real actress.

      Remember that Bette’s problems were of her own making. She disobeyed the Board of Directors and created that whole mess that contributed to the demise of her marriage. That was grounds for being fired. It matched her personality in S1. I’m not sure how to qualify Bette’s behavior/personality, but seeing how she was treating Tina, how she was acting at work, how she would treat Dan Foxworthy, and how she ended up having an affair, it felt to me that she was a little manic during that period. The fans loved that she was this alpha person, this type A personality, but this is not what a professional person does. I think that a real stress for her would be trying to get grants, following the desire of the BOD but not being able to perform, to qualify for a grant. They chose to go for the dramatic, and Peggy saves her ass, eventually. Not very professional. Now, had Bette been a TV producer, her stresses at work would be a lot more real to me, as the ups and downs of ratings, budget and shows being cancelled are real pressures on producers who may lose their jobs at any moment. In fact, IC mentioned losing her job while being the breadwinner of her family.

      I also loved when Tina came to talk to Jenny. I thought that Tina would be the perfect friend for Jenny as she entered the L world, from the very first time they met in the backyard. It is a shame that Jenny didn’t accept the offer.

      As for Tina’s top that you mentioned, I wouldn’t know without a description, but I do remember one of her tops that I really liked, on Tim&Jenny’s party. The back of the top is like a corset – quite pretty. I also liked her black top when she was watching Bette’s lecture. I remember it from the photos that JB&LH took together Bette was wearing that awesome white suit. Bette’s working clothes were magnificent, but I don’t recall liking her casual clothes much. I tended to prefer Tina’s style. There was one of Bette’s blouses that I really liked: the one that she wore in the S2 sex scene with Tina (no other love). I liked when she wore jeans. And she also had some horrendous blouses in S2 (which I believe are more JB’s personal style). But I digress … ????

      OK, so the step-off bitch was on this episode? I loved it. And I loved it how Alice repeated B&T’s speech word for word when getting rid of Gabby. Leisha’s acting on that scene was brilliant! So funny, both moments!

      I think that Bette saying step-off bitch was very Bette. She is confrontational and knows how to fight. Remember, she is the same one who called the guy a midget in front of the Board. Bette saying that Shane looked like the Unabomber was also funny!

      Oh, I liked Dana and Lara so much! Dana’s shyness was so Dana! And I felt that her attraction for Lara was convincing. Have they kissed yet? I liked that kiss and I was happy for her. As for Dana’s intellect, she represented the “dumb” athlete of the group. After all, someone in that group had to be the clueless one. I think her cluelessness played well against Alice, who was always correcting her. I remember her calling Jenny “crispay” and Alice shaking her head. Funny! I did think that Dana could have been younger, after all, you can’t be a 27-28 year-old tennis player still starting your career. It would be easier if she were 23-24. It would help explain her naivete. But her naivete also comes from living in the closet and having had so few personal experiences in the L world. In many ways, she is still a teenager.

      Let me guess: the episode ends with Jenny. Does it?

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