|the d word
2004 - (ongoing)
Executive Producer and Creator:
Despite being billed as The L
Word with real people (what, are there some fake
people in The L Word cast I don't know about?)
actually, The D Word is little more than episodic
fan fiction for television. It takes all its cues from
The L Word and doesn't really have much claim
Unfortunately as a parody it kind of falls flat too, with only
one or two of the characters being truly funny. So for me, watching
this was a pretty bland experience.
The D Word takes the story of the The
L Word with all it's rich, beautiful and powerful LA
lesbians and transplants it to New York. Our New York characters
include a lothario, a WNBA basketballer, a type-A personality
freakish woman and her doormat girlfriend who are trying to have
a baby, a predatory bar owner, a transgendered rap singer, a writer
for Fetish Magazine and a sweet and innocent playwright who has
just moved to NY to live with her boyfriend. It takes us about
two seconds to connect the D dots to the L dots and then we continue.
The rare highlights don't come from the faux plot put in place
by the writers, they come in audience recognition of the in-jokes
made for fans of The L Word. For example, Daynisha
the WNBA basketballer doesn't have a bush problem like our dear
Dana. No, instead she has foot fungus, which she has to try and
get rid of in order to score a sponsorship from a big shoe company.
Instead of our lothario having nipple confidence, we're advised
that she has cuticle confidence, that confidence of getting laid
you get from a perfect manicure. My personal favourite was Daynisha
and Dara grappling over a dildo in a sex shop as Daynisha tries
to figure out if Dara is gay.
Other interesting touches have a distinctly New York flavour
to them. When the Jenny-substitute arrives in New York, instead
of picking her up in a car, her boyfriend Dim insists no one drives
in New York so they wait hours for the subway and then have to
haul her luggage up twelve flights of stairs to a tiny little
studio apartment. Dim has converted a closet into a writing studio
(oh the subtlety) and points this out proudly while his Jenny-esque
girlfriend looks on in horror. Meanwhile we see the WNBA basketballer
in her locker room being taunted by her teammates wearing what
looks like an old-style New York Liberty uniform. As is pointed
out to the audience during the film, why should she be afraid
of coming out? All the other players are gay too!
The writers have been to The L Word message
boards and websites, read the wish lists by all the detractors
of The L Word and included them all here. The
women aren't rich, they all live in dingy little apartments. None
of the characters are particularly successful, articulate or good-looking.
Some are quite butch. Sex is quick and looks uncomfortable and
the less said about the kissing the better. Even the so-called
babe-magnet of the piece is an overwrought parody. There are representatives
of so many different ethnicities here that you could tick them
off on a checklist.
Yes, this is what The L Word landscape might
have looked like had the political correctness police gotten their
way. It's horrible, and it isn't even as funny as it thinks it
is. I can't quite figure out if that is the whole point.
The D Word is obviously a labour of love by
fans of The L Word. Not a single word or scene
is in place that doesn't reflect or comment on some aspect of
the source material. Anyone expecting an original story with actual
characters (as the advance press could have led you to believe)
is going to be sorely disappointed. Basically, The D Word
is an homage that points out all the ways that The L Word
is good, by showing us all the ways it really could have sucked.
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