The L-Word: The Complete Final Season

The L-Word: The Complete Final Season
The ladies are back one last time in this three-disc package, gathering the final eight episodes of this groundbreaking lesbian drama. For a finale, however, this is a skimpy DVD set. No audio commentaries appear on any episode, neither from the cast, headed by Jennifer Beals and Mia Kirschner, nor from creators such as executive producer Ilene Chaiken or Rose Lam. Meanwhile, DVD sets of Mad Men and The Simpsons feature one, sometimes two, commentaries per episode, on top of other bonus features This is a missed opportunity; the creators and performers could have used this opportunity to reflect on the success of the show over its six seasons. After all, this was the first primetime lesbian soap opera on TV. In fact, discs one and two offer no additional features or footage, just three episodes per DVD. You have to wait until disc three before you see any bonus features. "Generations" is a straightforward yet sobering documentary profiling the older generation of lesbians who pioneered the gay rights after facing heavy discrimination. As well, there are clips from an LGBT event in New York where producer Chaiken boasts about the accomplishments of her show yet fears for the vacuum it will leave on TV's airwaves. The other bonus features are photos of Jennifer Beals, a chapter from Marlee Matlin's biography and PC-accessible episodes of TV shows The United States of Tara and The Tudors. These are "bonus" features? Sounds more like commercials. The L-Word season itself opens with the police investigating the death of Jenny (Kirschner), whose body is found floating in a pool. The drama then rewinds three months and the ensuing episodes lead up to her death. The quality of the show's writing, acting and directing is consistent with previous seasons, meaning they're uneven and often melodramatic. Couples break apart, betray each other and find new partners like every other soap opera. The difference here is that it's girl-meets-girl. Fans of the show will pick up this set anyway to complete their collections, but casual viewers need something more attractive and substantive to justify the hefty price tag. (Warner)