Monday, November 14, 2005

DVD and the Drama of My Former Life

I spent my weekends watching DVDs. Managed to finish all 13 episodes of "Wonderfalls" and went on to the second season of "The L-Word." For the record, I think "The L-Word" is losing direction. They are adding new characters that I don't care about and doing things to well-loved characters that I don't want to watch.

I made it past 3 episodes of "The L-Word" before I called it a night. For the uninformed, last season, Bette (played by the divine Jennifer Beals) was caught cheating on Tina, her partner of 7 years. So Season 2 opens with Bette, formerly the golden girl of the pack, suddenly relegated to social pariah.

Bette was the alpha of the "L-Word" pack: ravishingly, well-groomed, charming, confident with a core of genuine warmth to her. It was hard to watch a character so well put together disintegrate on-screen. I watched Bette trying to apologize for her mistake, but somehow it just wasn't enough. Other aspects of her life, work and personal also edge towards collapse. It's as if anything Bette touches is tainted.

The true charm of "The L-Word" was its focus on the close-knitted friendship between the characters. It is therefore almost cruel when the friends begin to quietly side with Tina, the wronged party - isolating Bette by default. As Bette later declares in a drunken stupor, "If I met myself, I'll run the other way."Bette's loneliness and self-loathing cuts through. This is a woman awashed with remorse, desperate for forgiveness.

The producers are evidently going to milk the melodrama for all it's worth. So it's going to be a fair bit of painful viewing until we get to the reconciliation. *Argh*

I find it ironic that my appetite for TV drama is inversely related to the trauma of my own personal life. Perhaps I often sublimate my own emotional drama into these TV soap-series that I watch. Maybe without the prozac-effect of these TV dramas, I may actually be at risk of acting out real-life passion plays - with their real-life consequences. However, last night's 3 episodes of melodramatic overdose came too close to home. It reminded me too vividly of a more dramatic time and place a few years back. I thought I was over it. Apparently not.

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