The L Word - The Complete First Season
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Product Description

Explores the personal and professional lives of a group of lesbian and bisexual women in Los Angeles.
Genre: Television
Rating: NR
Release Date: 9-NOV-2004
Media Type: DVD

Four years after Showtime made gay men the focus of its original series Queer as Folk, it was time for a little turnabout with The L?Word (bad title, great show). Centering around a tight-knit group of lesbians in Los Angeles, this drama was far removed from its working-class male counterpart in both style and content. While the men of QAF enjoyed a fabulous if melodramatic life on the middle-class streets of Pittsburgh, the women of The L?Word lived it up in sunny California, with gorgeous houses, glamorous careers, and sexy wardrobes. Ironically, though, The L?Word adhered more to the everyday drama of ensemble shows like thirtysomething than the soap opera antics of QAF, and the results were surprisingly heartfelt and effective, appropriately stylish but never over the top. There was plenty of room for titillation, but creator Ilene Chaiken fashioned from the start a show centered on characters and not just sex, aiming for the heart rather than... well, other places.

The L?Word focused primarily on committed couple Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman), a former power-career duo who've decided to have a baby; however, artificial insemination and the changing dynamics of their relationship throw their previously happy existence off-kilter. Within their orbit are spunky journalist Alice (Leisha Hailey), sultry hairdresser Shane (Katherine Moenning), closeted pro tennis player Dana (Erin Daniels), and espresso bar owner Marina (Karina Lombard) who, in the show's most polarizing storyline, bedded the seemingly straight Jenny (Mia Kirschner) and shook up her heterosexual world. Jenny's am-I-straight-or-not? kvetching frustrated both her fianc¨¦ (Eric Mabius) and many viewers, who were alternately irritated and intrigued by her inability to decide one way or the other. But Jenny's weakness was part of The L?Word's strength: in exploring many sides of many issues, both domestic and political, it never came up with an easy answer for any of them, making the show all that more fascinating--and compulsively watchable. --Mark Englehart

Customer Reviews:

  • Always a good time!!!!!!!!
    Love the ladies, always a good time watching the L word, anyone that is a fan of the show will love watching it over again!!...more info
  • Great
    I never saw the first three seasons so this certainly filled in some of the gaps....more info
  • Great Introductory Season for a Great Show
    I watched the last (6th) season of The L Word first on television and was amazed I had not heard more about this show. I immediately ordered and watched seasons one and two, and loved them. I then purchased seasons three, four, and five - loved them, too. You do not need to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) to appreciate the show. It is beautifully written. These gals go through all the same day-to-day struggles that the rest of us do, but with - perhaps - a little more of a challenge.

    Note: there are, at times, very graphic sex scenes, so I do not recommend this for anyone under 21. There is also a lot of explicit language; it is really only intended for adults. Just my opinions......more info
  • Awesome experience!!
    I actually ordered this product for a relative of mine whos birthday was gonna be in a few days. I was worried the item would arrive after her birthday but i was wrong, it arrived quickly and in mint condition!! I was very pleased. Thanks amazon!!...more info
  • Great show
    This is an awesome show. It not only deals with the relationships of the ladies involved but also just basic life issues....more info
  • Peel me from the tube
    Don't put this one in the DVD player unless you can just keep watching one after another. ...more info
  • l-word
    the first season of l-word was brilliant, the set came in perfect order. there was no damage to the box,and the discs worked perfectly cant wait for the second season....more info
  • the l word season 1
    A wonderfully fresh and believable glimps into the daily lives and loves of a groep of women. A great portrait of the complexity of the choices faced by all women, gay or straight. The well represented groep of characters are easy to identify with, and the stories of each episode are interesting, believable and endearing. Great show, and roll on season 2!...more info
  • who is REALLY the meat of this show???
    I am completely obsessed with this show, which I started watching in Season 2. I then rented Season 1 and watched ~ 4-5 episodes per day...could not stop. The puppet show is hysterical on the dvd...everything else is skippable except maybe the compelling slowness of the interview with the writers and leisha hailey--you keep waiting for something funny or interesting, but have to settle for Leisha's "I'm about as gay as they come" in case you were wondering.

    I am intrigued by all of the story lines after season 1 and 2, but focusing on Season I.....
    Bette is NOT interesting and therefore is not especially attractive to me; I would not even be friends with her. I might be friends with Tina (Laurel Holloman) but would be constantly annoyed at her weakness (in Season I)--except for the last couple of episodes which are a glimpse into her future.

    Mia Kirshner is ANNOYING, delivers many lines unbelievably poorly and is a complete physical turn off. That said, I did like her story line with the beautiful and awful Marina (Karina Lombard).

    HOWEVER...the whole reason I am writing is to highlight what most reviews overlook:
    (A) Shane (Katherine Moennig) is wonderful and compelling...can't get enough. I'd be afraid to watch her in something else as it would destroy my Shane fantasy :) (B) Let's hear something about Leisha Hailey (who plays Alice)! I love her character. Most of my laughing out loud in this show is in response to her. She's the person that is most realistic and you'd prefer to be real world friends with. She has very little acting experience (plays in LA band) and is a complete natural.
    (C) Erin Daniels (plays Dana) is strangely one of the gayest characters (based on longevity) but one of the most awkward about it...I also find her among the most realistic and the Dana/Alice scenes are great--esp. the Dana comes out to her parents/Alice "can look republican" episode.

    These are peripheral characters? They rock my world--
    get your drink when the so-called "stars" are on.

    ps--Season II is HOT...but the back stories from Season I are pretty important. I'd give II a chance if you are wavering...there are good new characters and they drop some of the corniness (flashbacks). ...more info
  • Not Bad, But Not Worth the Hype
    I often find myself bucking the tide, and here I go again. I avoided The L Word for a long time because I feared it would be unrealistic in its depiction of lesbians. Although I know there are lesbians in the real world who look totally straight, are extremely feminine, have tons of money and very mainstream values, I'd have to say that yes, my fears were realized. I've been out for 35 years and I know zero lesbians who match the profile of any of the women on this show. So then I had to decide if I could simply sit back and enjoy the show for what it is: cheesy entertainment. First I had to overcome my almost immediate hatred for the leading couple on the show, Bette and Tina, who spend the pilot episode trying to locate the appropriate sperm to make a baby via artifical insemination. Have these highbrow, professional ladies never heard of the sperm bank? Rather than doing it the scientific way, carefully choosing an anonymous donor from a reputable sperm bank, they interview their male friends and acquaintances, none of whom is just right. And then at the last minute, these two very choosy lesbians decide to have unprotected sex with a strange guy they pick up at a lecture! The stupidity and cluelessness of these two characters made my jaw drop. And over time, my interest in this couple never grew. Tina is vapid, dull and depressed; Bette is more dynamic, but humorless and dry. These women never seem to be having a good time! Making them the central characters is a serious weakness of this series.

    Other reviewers have mentioned the problems with the character of Jenny, so I won't bore the reader with repetitious criticisms, except to say that anytime Jenny is on the screen is a good time to take a bathroom break or get a beer from the fridge.

    But after watching the entire first season, I figured out what the strong suit of The L Word is: satire. When it's funny, it's really funny. Viewed as a satiric take on our up-to-the-moment political and cultural trends and fads, The L Word really shines. From Alice's "male lesbian" boy/girlfriend, Lisa, to the group therapy sessions for expectant parents, to Rosanna Arquette's kinky sexual predator, to Snoop Dogg's sleaze-ball hiphop impresario -- well, let's just say that I laughed out loud more than I expected to, and those moments were a real pleasure.

    In addition, the casting of Helen Shaver in the role of Bette's right-wing Christian fanatic nemesis was a stroke of genius. Shaver is loved by millions of middle-aged lesbians for her ultra-romantic turn as an uptight English professor brought to her lesbian senses in "Desert Hearts," and here she is cast as an activist, homophobic bigot with considerable skeletons in her own closet. Brilliant!

    Bottom line, The L Word turns out to be fairly entertaining if you don't look too deep or expect too much realism from these plastic, shiny, sleazy and flaky players.

    Oh, and one last thing - there seems to be more hot and loving sex depicted between heterosexuals than between the lesbians. What gives?...more info
  • the l word the complete first season
    Awesomely written and you couldn't have picked a better person to play Bette. I am not a Lesbian but this show has me hooked. I can't wait to see the complete second season....more info
  • Review
    Unfortunatly you send me the serie without disc 1 so i can't give you an acurate review; i did like the serie do, and i look forward to get the second season.

    Thanx...more info
  • POWERFUL
    This show has changed my life! The L Word is fantastic.

    Being a fan of Jennifer Beals I read in the newspaper that she was going to be in a TV show where she played a lesbian, little did I know what a fricking amazing show it would be.

    The L Word is real. I don't think it matters that it's about lesbian(all the actress are wonderful in each role) or bi or whatever, all the themes are universal, honest, raw etc.

    Words are not describing how much this show has changed my life.

    A must see!...more info
  • The L word - first season
    I had rented and decided to purchase for my own video library to
    enjoy again at my leisure. Don't have hbo, so the cost was very reasonable ( one time $$ rather than every month)
    Would recommend --- sort of sucks you in to see what will happen next :) ...more info
  • Groundbreaking Showtime Production....
    Showtime, who produced the long running, honest series Queer as Folk, continues to break new ground in the GLBT world with the amazing series, The L Word. Focusing on a group of women friends living in LA, this show is not about being lesbian, rather it as about life, love, and relationships that span the sexual spectrum.

    The first season of The L Word, though not long enough, is just short of phenomenal. Though critics have attacked the show as unrepresentative of "real" gay life, they miss the point entirely. This show is wonderful because it focuses on the love and lives of these women within the gay world, not merely the fact that they love women. In fact, the difficulties of relationships covered in Season 1 are those that anyone, straight or gay, will identify with. The tension wanting a child brings to a relationship, secretly being in love with a friend, secretly hating your friend's significant other, and facing difficult choices regarding one's own self are all themes that resonate.

    Jennifer Bealls and Laurel Holloman are wonderful as central couple Tina and Bette. Holloman especially brings an incredible emotional depth to the character of Tina. She is the emotional glue of the cast. Leisha Hailey, Erin Daniels, Katherine Moennig, and Mia Kirshner round out the cast, all solid in their respective roles. What impressed me the most was how the actresses were able to become their characters to the extent that you could feel their emotions while watching.

    The writing, though occasionally cliched, still rings true as a whole. I have yet to see Season 2, but I am anxious to find out the resolution to the end of Season 1, where so much was left in the air. No spoilers here, but WHAT HAPPENED???? I can't wait to find out and it is driving me crazy, which is ultimately the mark of a great show. Does it resonate emotionally? Check. Does it leave you wanting more? Check. Is it a great show? Check....more info
  • Not just good sex.
    Yes, it's hot, and I love a good lesbian sex scene as much as the next guy, but I grew to really care about the characters too. Like Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere (I'm dating myself), the ensemble cast is really the star of the show. ...more info
  • INCREDIBLE SHOW.... TERRIBLE DVD'S
    As a latin fan from the series I must say that I was dissapointed beyond all expectations because these SHOWTIME fellows contracted a very vey BAD Company to make the dubbing in spanish. I really can not understand how they managed to make the background sound so loud and the voices in such low volume that sometimes you have to repeat a scene many times to understand the characters.

    The spanish voices sound so unconvincing and boring!!! This was an issue that made my friends that do not speak english not interested in watching the show which actually is very good.

    I have the First Season of Queer as Folk which is dubbed in the most terrible way too!!!! The voices are so femenine and so bad synchronized.... I believe the dubbing company is the same because some of the voices are in "The L WORD" too.

    The SHOWTIME executive that hired this company have to be dating someone working there because otherwise I can not understand the LOW QUALITY.....

    Is so damn difficult to put spanish subtitles instead???? I prefer that 100,000 times!!!...more info
  • Realistic? Who gives a damn?
    Although I have been a long-time critic of soap operas of all kinds and hardly held higher expectations for The L Word, I have become hopelessly addicted. Maybe it is because I am a semi-closeted bisexual woman in the Midwest. Maybe it is because I am entranced by the L.A. gay scene. Despite its ever-present drama, clich¨¦s, and stereotypes, I find The L Word touching, funny, and unique. The characters are mostly well-developed and well-acted, and the music and formatting of the show are innovative and fresh (for more evidence of this check out season 2). Many people who gave The L Word a poor review attempted to overlook what the show actually IS and is trying to do. It faces criticism for not being "realistic." The only thing that is unrealistic is to expect a TV show seeking high ratings to depict average-looking people with average lives. Not every lesbian has a well-paying job, good looks, a great job, or a glamorous life in L.A., but none of the show's creators have ever pretended that this is the reality for all, even most, lesbians. The show is there to get lesbians and bisexual women on the map of pop culture, and the glitter exists to keep people watching. Leave it alone.
    ...more info
  • Help please
    I need to know if dvd brings subtitles in Spanish.

    somebody can help me?...more info
  • Best Lesbian TV outhere!
    The L Word is by far the best (and most realistic) lesbian tv soap to date. Better than Queer as Folk by far! Enjoy!...more info
  • First season is brilliant!
    The dramatizations, music, editing, as well as, subtle humor of the first season, is an artful and poignant display of life to which many people, regardless of sexual orientation, can relate.

    I was immediately disappointed by the second season, however, as it quickly dissolves this great work of art and turns it into cheap pulp.

    I hope that the third and fourth season doesn't make the same mistake as the second season.
    ...more info
  • ms
    This series has to be the best thing that is going on at the moment. have truly enjoyed the reality of life that accecptance of other....more info
  • For Those Who Love Dramas.... A Really Good Show!
    I'm not a lesbian, but I LOVE this show! If you like GOOD solid dramas with a bit of flare (like the O.C.), as well as stuff exploring the emotional life of women (like Sex and the City), then you must take a chance on the L-Word. Even though the first episode was incredibly boring, and sometimes its a little shocking to see women romantically linked with women, from the second episode the L-Word hits its stride and only ocassionally falters. As to the shock, well, when you come right down to it, all women - regardless of orientation - have the same stuff to deal with no matter who they love, and that's where you find the bridge of association. There is such great comedy in here in unexpected places, also, and I sometimes found myself laughing even as I was reaching for the cleenex; the writing of the show is quite good. **But I must warn that there are blatantly graphic scenes, and there are moments that reveal lesbian fantasies to those of us who are straight for the first time; if this will psychologically disturb you, don't watch this show.** ...more info
  • A Thrilling Drama
    I just bought the season and finished it in 3 days, it catches you and is a joy to watch! I'd recommend this to anyone.

    Also can anyone answer me, does this DVD not allow any subtitles? Doesn't give me that option...more info
  • Not great but watchable
    So how does one write a show about lesbian's in a city as tough as LA? While I've never been there, it seems as though the writers of this show haven't either--nor have they ever met a lesbian--or completed an undergrad course in creative writing. The constant comparisons to S&TC are valid in that this show attempts to link these characters and their lives with the same humorous and sentimental string we saw work so well for our favorite NY daters. The problem? The L Word proves painfully disjointed and overwhelmed with its own attempts at supporting such a large cast--so much so it often slips into terrible clich¨¦ patterns that almost destroy the enjoyable aspects of the show. One cannot help but cringe at the site of Tina's pout and whine combo, Bette's (and Shane's, and Dana's) out-of-no-where obsessive love attractions or Jenny's completely bizarre breakdowns over the most insignificant events (and the poems--eek!). Relationships come and go with almost no explanation either way--plot and character development is cast aside and you often find yourself groaning at the screen, "Why?!!" or "not another breakdown, please." If this show were about portraying women with coping mechanisms of a five year old, then I could understand--Girl Interrupted was an interesting film I guess. But I thought I was renting something smart, challenging and explorative. I thought "The L" was about strong women, their relationships, their lives, their missteps--but it ends up a kind of schizophrenic jumble of grossly sentimentalized floss-thin plots, faucet-like love affairs and embarrassingly bad dialogue.

    Okay, so that said (I know, how can I redeem myself from here?) there are good parts of the show. The soundtrack is fantastic, the women themselves are great to look at, and when the writers let go of their pretense and let the "camp" out, it's funny, mildly witty and somewhat engaging. The premise has potential and the casting phenomenal--but there is just too much happening, too many divergent themes and stories and too little development to make it really POP the way Sex and the City did. I feel bad for the cast because their talent is really lost in the convolution. I hope that some of the mistakes of the first season are mended as the series goes on and the writing tightens up a bit. Will I watch? Yes--my crush on the cast makes me retain hope that Showtime will recognize the flaws and fix them. We'll see when I rent season two. And while I know the writing will never be on par with HBO, I'll keep holding out that the script will grow up, Jenny will stop being so scary and Shane and Alice will spend a little more time on screen.
    ...more info
  • The L Word 1st Season
    I really enjoyed watching this DVD Set. Its serious, funny, and provactive. i liked the way the stories developed and how the producers intertwined the stories together. One thing i really liked were the featurettes that begin some of the later episodes and provide a framework for the episode and its characters. The best one being the one featuring danas mother in epeisode 9.

    The characters seem real enough and the relationships that develop over the course of the season are believeable. I especially like the story lines that followed Shane, and Alex and Tina. What started well but got more boring as it went on was the marina 7 jenny storyline. it got to weird with the introduction of characters later on and some ofthe twists weren't really believable.

    The BIGGEST tragedy of Season one was the relationship between Lara and Dana. This was the greatest story of the entire season. it was so romantic and they seemed so good together. you wanted them to be together, but the story ends strangely. Theres words and feeling left unsaid and not acted on. lara wants dana to be herself and once dana is herself she never trys to reconnect with lara. And in the remainding episodes dana goes on about lara was the best thing she ever had...but she doesnt go back to her. ...more info
  • Beautiful people indeed
    I never saw so many gorgeous "lesbians" in my lifetime. There is not an unattractive one in the whole lot. Okay, this is a TV show so I'll pretend I'm okay with the beauty factor. The show was well-made, very pleasing to the eye for the most part and I enjoyed seeing the seedier neighborhoods of LA. On the other hand, both Jenny and Marina (especially Jenny though) got on my nerves quite a bit and I wanted to slap Tina around frequently. I agree with the reviewer who said Pam Grier's talents were wasted. Jennifer Beals plays an annoying character (Bette) but it is mostly realistic and she is so beautiful you want to watch her all day long. Dana and Alice are type-cast as providing the lighter side and the comic relief. As for Shane, I am not quite sure what to think. All in all, it had me sitting in front of the TV for a long time so it's worth giving a try. ...more info
  • |
    A few years ago, it would have been outrageous to think about a show focused on a group of lesbians. The gay community have been able to achieve, one step at a time, more and more ground and the area of entertainment and showbiz is no exception.

    Writer Ilene Chaiken brought us The L Word. A story about a group of very different women who have to face their lives upon the fact that they're gay or bisexual.

    The main characters presented are the 7-year old couple, Bette Porter and Tina Kennard, played by Jennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman; the writer-to-be, Jenny Shecter (Mia Kishner), along with her boyfriend Tim Haspel, played by Eric Mabius; the athletic, and closeted Dana Fairbanks, interpreted exquistely by Erin Daniels; the funny and charming Alice Pieczeski, played by Leisha Hailey, and last but not least, Karina Lombard plays Marina Ferrer, who will have a very interesting role along with Jenny and Pam Grier who plays Kit Porter, Bette's sister.

    The lives of this women living is Los Angeles is quite diverse, and we'll learn about romance, deceptions, lies, lovers through the eyes of lesbian characters. The reality and the pains, the discrimantion and the acceptance, whether its by family, coworkers or complete strangers.

    The story is quite good, and fortunately, if you are yet to explore this world , you can enjoy both seasons 2 and shortly, season 3.

    This first season includes 13 episodes:

    Pilot
    Let's do it
    Longing
    Lies, Lies, Lies
    Lawfully
    Losing it
    L'Ennui
    Listen up
    Luck, Next Time
    Liberally
    Looking Back
    Locked up
    Limb From Limb

    Also included are photo galleries and audio commentaries.

    The DVDs feature English and Spanish audio. I really must say that the only downside of this is the Spanish audio, it's absolutely hideous. The quality is poor and the spanish accent is horrible. This is quite a disappointment, because The L Word is a show that's getting quite popular among the Latin American audience and many people won't understand English audio. I would have wished that there would be spanish subtitles available, unfortunately this doesn't apply for any of the seasons so far released....more info
  • IT"S AWESOME!
    I heard about TLW when it first came out a few years back, but since I don't have ShowTime, I had no idea what it was about until about a year later when my aunts let me watch s1 on DVD...I was hooked instantly!! (Tina's my fav!) They're a great cast, great plot, and most of all it represents gay & lesbian life in a positive light...
    ------
    ...more info
  • You Must See It!
    Finally a show that caters to the population of women who love women! This show is like a lesbian soap opera, except the writing is so much BETTER! The L Word showcases some very common things in life that lesbians encounter. There's a tough, but caring woman who tries to use her crotch instead of her heart, there's a basket case who calls herself bisexual (we all know she's a lez!) There's a loving couple who want their own family, there's a closet case, a wisecracking bisexual, and other interesting characters who bring it all alive. The comedy and gay terminology along with the sizzling sexuality make this the show to be watching. The show also includes a few misplaced guys from time to time, but as in real life, their stay is brief and they leave nothing memorable. My wife and I have seen all of the episodes and we encourage YOU to see it. Hope you love it as much as we do....more info