The Bitter End

Get mad at ‘The L Word’ all over again (SPOILER ALERT).

By Nancy Ford

theLwordThere have been a handful of incidents in the annals of lesbian pop history that cheesed off women in a big way: Ellen DeGeneres and Jodie Foster’s long, long time refusals to come out of the closet. Pink marrying a man. Personal Best.

But the mother of all on-screen atrocities, inarguably, was leaving Jenny floating face down in that swimming pool as the final moments of the sixth and final season of The L Word flickered on our television screens, without telling us who to thank.

Jenny Schecter, played to pouty-lipped perfection by Mia Kirschner, punched our buttons hard. She waffled about her lesbianism. She lied. She cheated. She betrayed. She had a dog put down, for crying out loud, to get revenge. Then she batted her big, round Powerpuff Girl eyes, and all was forgiven.

We hated her. Haaaaated her. And we tuned in every Sunday night to do so.

When it was revealed that TLW’s final storyline would ask the J.R. Ewing/Dallas cliffhanger-like question “Who Killed Jenny?,” premium cable-subscribing lesbians from coast-to-coast, disgusted with the lead character’s non-stop freaky flights of fancy, lined up to do the deed. Pick me! Pick me! they pleaded, waving their remote controls in the air like they just didn’t care.

The L Word - Season 6
Series producer/director/writer Ilene Chaiken coaching Mia Kirschner.

Many viewers believe Jenny was the embodiment of series creator Ilene Chaiken, which is entirely possible. Leaving us hanging like that after six years without a proper good-bye to our beloved Alice and Shane, et al., was a very Jenny-like thing to do.

“There are ways I could still answer it if the need were to arise,” Chaiken flipped to the Los Angeles Times in January. “But I don’t actually feel compelled to answer it.”

Then in July, as a featured panelist at the BlogHer Business Conference, Chaiken more than hinted that a TLW film follow-up is in the works. When asked by an attendee, “Who killed Jenny?” Chaiken responded, probably with Powderpuff Girl eyes, that she is in the scripting process for The L Word movie and that the issue “will be addressed” in the film.

Well, okay then. All is forgiven.

Meanwhile, fans now have the opportunity to add The L Word: The Complete Final Season to their collection of the previous five seasons. And here’s more good news: among its many bonus features, those online police station interviews with Sgt. Zena are nowhere to be found. October 20. Showtime (


Once more, with feeling: The L Word’s Mia Kirschner (l) is coached by series producer/director/writer Ilene Chaiken on a fine point of her character, Jenny Schecter. Showtime has announced that Chaiken is currently working on The Real L Word: Los Angeles, a Sapphic version of Bravo’s Real Housewives. The nine-episode series is tentatively debuting sometime next year on the cable network.


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