‘The L Word’: In Defense of Jenny Schecter

Shane! That guy’s not even animate! And he’s a guy!Photo: Courtesy of Showtime

Right about now, we want to make a Chris Crocker–like YouTube video in defense of Jenny Schecter. Last week at Cattyshack, where we watched the episode before this one, taunts were hurled whenever J.Schect hit the screen. Even the lady who runs a fan site devoted to Mia Kirshner, the actress who plays Jenny, refuses to post about anything past season three because she so despises the character. We don’t condone Jenny’s narcissism, her prima-donna-ness, or her questionable writing skills. But she is highly entertaining — and more important, her polarizing personality exposes the people around her. To wit: In season one, Bette was willing to go to jail over her “Provocations” gallery show, and this week she defends an art student’s right to whip out a fake gun. And yet when Jenny published “Lez Girls,” Bette exploded over being exposed, blithely denouncing Jenny’s right to free expression. Tina, meanwhile, elicits sympathy for dealing with Jenny on the production of Lez Girls — a project that Tina does not believe in but is still willing to expedite by kissing ass. Jenny’s ambitions are naked and steadfast; Tina’s, easily corrupted and status-oriented. Anyway, on to this week’s high-energy episode, “Let’s Get This Party Started,” and the nasty new characters we hope to love to hate: Dawn Denbo and her lover, Cindi, the cheeseball owners of new lesbian nightclub SheBar, who could well wind up making Jenny look good.

Alice and Tasha go to a velvet-mafia Hollywood party where they see a famous basketball player snuggling up to his man-love on the D.L.

Shane breaks her celibacy pact in a VIP-room ménage à trois with SheBar’s owners. We didn’t expect her to cave to a low-grade self-tanner in a tank top who constantly refers to her girlfriend as “my lover, Cindi.” Shame, Shane, shame.

Bette and Tina kiss. Are you all happy now?

Tasha stands up to her homophobic military defender, encouraging him do a complete 360 by the next morning and love the gays (and, apparently, Alice). Only in Hollywood.

Rising young actress Niki Stevens courts Jenny for the part of Jesse in Lez Girls. She’s no Natalie Portman, but she’ll do.
Caryn Brooks

‘The L Word’: In Defense of Jenny Schecter