Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The B letter in the L Word

Yikes! How time flies when you're supposed to be writing a blog. The real world of bisexuality has been pretty quiet in the last week, dear reader, but one thing that has been exercising my neural pathways is the new series of the L Word. After simply adoring season one, I'd been worried about this series: season two had some storylines of staggering implausibility, and dreary longeurs where they were doing the TV version of Phil Space. It was all too easy to see why it never made it to UK terrestrial television. Season three, however, is cracking... in some ways. I have seen three episodes now (lucky me, having a "screening" DVD) and there are some really interesting plot twists and turns. Real life (maintaining long-term relationships, illness, homophobia, George Bush) impinges good and proper. But there is one serious disappointment.

Blithering bisexuals
Yes, you've guessed it, it's the bi characters. Jenny is still recovering from her period in a mental hospital after self-harming, and Alice... well she's turned into an obsessive stalker, turning her flat into a shrine to Dana. Why can't one of them be solid and boring? Repressed? A multimillionaire? A tennis star? Or at least more grounded. Of course, many people have issues with their mental health - yours truly certainly not excepted - but why the bi characters? Both of them. Isn't this just another stereotype: bisexuals as confused, unstable, yada yada yada. Studies from respectable bodies such as MIND have shown that bi people have worse mental health than other groups, but lesbians don't do tremendously well either and we don't see that on the L Word. OK it's entertainment, the women look great, the plot romps along, but that needn't stop proper issues being addressed and - bisexuality aside - it doesn't.
Still maybe there's hope. There are hints that at least one other character might be entertaining heterosexual fantasies. Three guesses who it might be.

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