The L Word: Sad Max

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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime

How uncomfortable are the architects of The L Word with the growing trans movement? Squirmy enough to drop a tortured character (Max) into the proceedings as a cautionary male. The ultimate after-school-special message reads: Dude, don't go there — total downer. To which we say: Out of touch, much?

Any queer in a major city who's under 30 knows that trans men are the rock stars of the scene. In metro areas like L.A., they are not alone. Max, however, seems completely alienated. While The L Word exposes isolated lesbians to places like West Hollywood, where sexual orientation is worn like a favorite tank top, transgender viewers get a peek into Shamesville.

Even when The L Word swipes the Pregnant Man plotline from headlines, they change it from a proud person who is choosing to challenge society's assumptions to Miserable Max, who feels like he's been implanted with an alien. This week's episode, "Leaving Los Angeles," spends a good chunk of time on Sad Max fretting over his breeder dome. And the show loses much of the energy it had during last week's giddy ride.

Processing

Dylan keeps wooing Helena, even tricking Tina into a meeting so she can try to get her message of love through to her. Although the Planet posse thinks Dylan has as much of chance of bagging Helena as Kit has of getting a decent line of dialogue, we know differently when Helena surreptitiously snags Dylan's business card.

Alice and Tasha try to fix Helena up with Jamie, their new friend from the gay center, but Helena's mind is elsewhere. We get the sense that Alice and Tasha are really trying to fix themselves up with Jamie, especially after they make a "nut loaf" in her honor. As a pal said of this new development: Nuttin' but trouble. Still, Alice and Tasha seem to be getting along pretty well — they even have brown and white eggs in their refrigerator.

Bette is in full-on manipulative mode: She convinces rich Kelly Wentworth that hiring her would be a great idea and then lies to Tina about who actually made the proposition. But when Bette and Tina fly to Nevada to meet with a prospective birth mother, Bette comes across the one demographic immune to her Bette-ness: the Lower Class.

While Shane is out, Jenny converts her bedroom into her own personal office, leaving Shane to ask: "Are you putting on the Crazy Jenny Show to test me?" And yet, Shane remains infatuated. Harrumph: We once got dumped for just buying a toothbrush … if only life were more like television.

Miserable Max and his gay lover, Tom, go to a birthing class. We see Tom practically gag when the teacher whips out a model of the vagina and instructs the class on how to massage the perineum. If only she had said "taint." At home, we see Tom's interest fade as he watches Max undress (a prosthetic baby bump!) from the tiny twin bed they share. By morning he's out the back, Jack. Hmm, an unwanted baby is arriving next door to some baby-hungry lesbians. Wonder what's gonna happen?

Hook Ups
More Shenny. Vomitus afflictus. How much more of this can we take?

A drag queen seems to be making a move on Kit, which really, really makes sense.