News and Opinions

The L Word Season 5 Premiere

Written by Indu on . Posted in Entertainment

The much-anticipated premiere of Season 5 of The L Word, for which we were teased by two scintillating trailers, was utterly underwhelming. The opening was nothing like that of the previous season, which left me hanging for each and every episode. Part of the problem was that Season 4 ended on a flat note, with not many cliff-hangers or teasers. There wasn’t much the writers could pick up on, and expand further.

Warning: Spoiler Alert. Do not read further if you do not want spoilers!


Sayoni leafSayoni leaf

Related links:

Sayoni: The L Word Season 4 Review Part 1, Part 2 and Best of the Season

The episode opened with Helena in prison, for having stole Katherine’s money at the end of last season. Who is Katherine? Just a little rich bitch who Helena hooked up with after being financially cut off by her mummy dearest. She won’t tell her friends where the money is – like that is going to help with not eating the horrible, torturous, prison food she can’t even swallow.

Thats not the only torturous thing on the show: The writers have decided to continue torturing us with Bette and Tina, with that sexy, topless-and-floating-on-the-pool scene. Tina is still hung up on Bette, and can’t seem to take her eyes off her even in a crowd of hot lesbians. Bette and Jodi are still in love, still fighting a lot in a way that proves how incompatible they are, and having completely boring make-up sex. How does anyone make a BDSM scene like that so utterly unsexy? Though this is supposed to be a compelling love triangle, I have a feeling I know exactly what is going to happen.

Jodi and Bette are utterly unsexy, but Alice and Tasha make up for it. Tasha magically came back after being deported off to Iraq, after an entire episode of Alice moping about watching rallies on TV. They are still as cute as ever, and this is one couple I hope will stay together forever. And probably will, as soon as Tasha quits her job, or the US Army changes their Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell policy [I think we all know which one will happen first]. According to Lesbiatopia, Tasha is going to be charged with homosexual conduct this season. The L Word tries very hard to address social issues, and explore discrimination in every season – most of the attempts fall flat or are direly miswritten. So I hope they do this one right. After all, it might be their final season.

Speaking of final seasons, Season 4 was supposed to be Max’s final one. But he/she is still on the show. Don’t ask me why – if it were upto me, I would have fired Max after season 3 and hired Dani Campbell instead. At the very least, she looks better. And I hope she acts better too, because Daniela Sea puts wooden-face Ben Affleck to shame. I acknowledge that transsexual issues need to be addressed, and I can see that they are trying… but did they not do a casting call before Daniela was cast? Or was she the sole applicant?

Phyllis Kroll feels the same way I do about sole applicants, apparently – don’t take the first and only one who comes your way. She is thinking of “playing the field”, though she is having earth-shattering sex with Joyce Wischnia. Why do I get the feeling when Joyce finds out, she’s going to sue for conversion or breach of constructive trust, having paid for the “coming-out” party she threw Phyllis?

Talking about breach of trust, Shane pulls a major one this season. At the end of last season, we saw Shane and Paige wanting to move in. They are searching for a house now, and in a most typically Shane way, she fucks the real estate agent IN the house they were going to rent, and to add insult to injury, in the room Gerard was supposed to have – and Paige walks in on them doing it, when about to show her son his room. Seriously, how does anyone, even the ones with no conscience, do that? If she really wanted to have sex, couldn’t she at least wait a few hours and get a budget hotel room miles away, and lock the door securely? She does get her comeuppance though – because in the supposedly most dramatic moment of the show, someone burns her Wax parlour down. I felt absolutely no sympathy for Shane, because, there is only so long someone can go around acting like a 17-year old boy and getting away with it. I am so over 4 seasons of Shane sleeping around – it was novel at first, but now it is just boring.

And she is not the only person I’m completely over – Jenny is back and doing a perfect Paris Hilton with her newfound wealth and fame. Though how the writers turned her drifting out to sea into a “cruise”, is quite beyond me. In season 3, Jenny accused Max of becoming a monster – seems like the monster decided to hop out of Max’s body and inhabit Jenny’s. If she were any more annoying and bitchy, I’d have to punch something. And it seems she is going to be directing Lez Girls – how someone with absolutely no filming experience is supposed to direct a movie is beyond me, but of course, it is explained away by the fact that a rich old man with a thing for Jenny is taking over the financing of the films. I couldn’t be in more sympathy of Tina, who has to deal with Jenny’s over-inflated ego. Though I absolutely loathe the current Jenny – as if I ever liked Jenny in the first place, I have to say her turn-around into Miss Bitch is completely realistic. Jenny has no EQ, lives in her own world, and was probably Carrie at her high school prom, minus the pig’s blood. So the minute she got power, she abused it indiscriminately, even on her friends. Someone predicted that Shane and Jenny were going to get together – thought I don’t see the chemistry between them, I am devoutly wishing that they do, because the two of them deserve each other.

All in all, the entire episode failed my expectations grossly – if I were not a dedicated fan, I would not even bother to watch the rest of the season. But I am, hence I stick through to the painful end, in the hopes and prayers that it gets better.

Lee Low Tar

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Entertainment

Foreword by Yawning Bread

This is the “tall tale” that Ng Yi-Sheng was planning to relate on Sunday 5 August, at the planned event “Tall Tales and Short Stories” during the Indignation Gay Pride Season 2007.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) deemed such an event an arts performance, and insisted that the organisers obtain an arts event licence.

Yi-Sheng, who had planned something a little more spontaneous, then had to put down his story in words. As he told me,

“I had no inclination to write it in letter form until MDA demanded a licence application. My irritation with them imposing this system on us put pressure on me to create something *worth* their attention. And while I knew they’d probably ban it (as they did your photos), I was also completely aware that this was part of the game; that their action of covering their backsides by banning something they’re uncomfortable with (though for no specific reason) would backfire in the end, through enhanced public interest in a text that suggests that they’re gerontophilic paranoiacs.

“In short, I am not the victim here. They are.”

* * * * *

On 1 August 2007, MDA rejected Yi-Sheng’s text. He was not allowed to read it at the event. The MDA gave a one-line reason in their letter:

A review of Hitting (On) Women (Singapore)

Written by neo on . Posted in Entertainment

I admit I was one of those people who were present at the Theatre Idols reading earlier this year. So the play wasn’t new to me. But this version was, and despite some unexpected directorial choices, I enjoyed and appreciated its art. Now, Hitting (On) Women is one of those things you just have to experience for yourself in whatever form. At the reading I remember being stung with shock as each revelation rolled in. The very foundations of the story became rather unstable, which was tremendous fun. Watching the reading was helpful as I was able to put both renditions beside each other and let different emotions shine in the interplay. This version, although less subtle in some ways, did illuminate certain aspects by carving them in stark relief. It was a very physical, tangible performance, and that helped to bring out the power of its words.

What particularly amazed me was how incredibly intense it was. Hitting is a play that really lives in the characters, and it works well when viewed as a character-driven story. That’s not to say that the plot is lacking, for this highly psychological play has layers and takes us on a ride into the human psyche. As truths unravel, the innocent theatregoer may unwittingly find their own covers peeling back. At the same time, we never really know the characters, and chances are that every member of the audience will see the big picture in a different light.

This is where the acting plays a part. Janice Koh does a fabulous job of portraying the lead character’s inner life, and Serene Chen’s performance winds over and around it, albeit in a rather loud way, providing a foil for the woman’s desperation. I cannot imagine what it takes for these two actors to go through this performance after performance; it must be draining, although such a feat is expected of a professional. Watching them act it out, I (who only have a nodding acquaintance with the stage) realised that this is the power of live theatre. The rest of the cast provide solid dramatic and comic support as well. Admiration and appreciation aside, I suppose that criticism can be levelled at the choice of making Karen a butch character, thus rehashing some unfortunate stereotypes. The possible interracial relationship was also ellided for some reason.

The lighting and the set were commendable in creating an introspective world. I was glad to be seeing characters and scenes in the flesh, as it were. On the other hand, I missed the minimalistic setting of the reading that left more to the imagination. Back then, the bareness meant that I was hearing voices echoing back and forth in the imaginative space of my own head, and I felt that I could temporarily share in the internal world of the lead character in a claustrophobic inner space. For that reason, the horror may have been greater, magnified by virtue of its internalisation. Perhaps because I have seen a similar scene on the near-empty stage, it was a delight to see the contours gaining definition in this rendition.

Something my mind has insisted on hanging onto through both performances has been the idea of how the past doesn’t go away. This probably coalesces in the image of the childlike woman atop huge furniture being alternately shy, coy, wistful, and angry. It is the picture of a woman, grown up and grown away, but partially stunted inside by experiences she can never entirely leave behind. I thought I saw, just below the surface, a plethora of emotion from a younger version of the self, emotions more genuine for having come from a place of innocence. Something in this dynamic resonated with me. When she said a line about people never really changing, I felt a momentary sympathetic desperation that rose, and, clenching, subsided. Halfway through the play, I wondered if anyone could not feel the strange lure and odd safety of that terrifying cliff. How one exorcises the past… I think that’s important.

Other imprints I carried away: Abstraction, pain, the sensation of being lost; subjectivity, and madness in the midst of subjectivity.

Back to the event, there was a little surprise at the end when roses mixed with undergarments and a stray chrysanthemum somehow found their way– I mean, were thrown, onto the stage courtesy of Jean and the Sayoni folk. The cast seemed entertained. Then there was a Q&A, with very astute questions being produced by the audience, such as the one directed at Serene Chen’s “swagger” when very few butch lesbians do so, as someone claimed. It was a pretty eventful matinee, and hopefully a thoughtful one for all concerned.

Hitting (On) Women by Ovidia Yu
10 – 19 August 2007
8pm daily plus 3pm on Sat & Sun
No performance on Mon

VENUE The Room Upstairs @ 42 Waterloo Street
TICKET PRICES Sat-Sun, 3pm: $30 Tue-Thu & Sun, 8pm: $35 Fri & Sat, 8pm: $40
Free Seating Free Seating Available from SISTIC

Eternal Summer… Eternally Frustrating

Written by Indu on . Posted in Entertainment



Warning: Spoilers ahead. Do not read if you don't like the plot revealed at all. If there are any major spoilers, I will put it as a footnote.

You can call this the chinese version of Brokeback Mountain. Or maybe the directors saw The Journey, and decided that torturing the audience was the way to go. Certainly, if there was an invisible criteria in film festivals and awards to honour a gay film... wait, what am I talking about? 90% of independent films at Film Festivals are gay or gay-themed. And then you get the occasional, tear-jerking documentary/film which gives you the urge to do a Mother Theresa, such as Born Into Brothels. Anyway, as I was saying, if there was an invisible criteria for gay films, it would be that the film has to boost the sales of Kleenex, or it has to make the audience stomp out of the theatre, utterly confused and frustrated. Or both.

The film follows two young men, Shane and Jonathan, from childhood to their continuing friendship in young adulthood. Jonathan, the good boy, is predictably in love with his best friend Shane, the bad boy. Indeed, every time he appears on screen, Jonathan has this sad, lost-puppy-dog look on his face, especially when he is looking at Shane, that just makes you want to either f*** him, or slap him.

Their world is disrupted by Carrie Tu, a young girl at their school. Initially, Carrie is shown to be dating Jonathan, a relationship which ended when Carrie and Jonathan try to sleep together, but he just could not bring himself to do it. Carrie realises Shane is in love with Jonathan, and pledges to keep his secret. And she turns into the most wonderful ex-girlfriend, hooking up with Shane for the most unfathomable reasons within the next 15 minutes of the show.

The rest of the show is taken up by subdued drama due to the linkages between the three hearts, unspoken love and tensions. It is extremely frustrating, accentuated by the slow pace of the movie, and the sometimes non-sequential writing. Shane spends half his time saying 'Oei, Jonathan' and exhorting him to talk and spend time with him. Jonathan spends half his time studying, or at least trying to pretend the sight of a half-naked Shane in his bedroom does nothing to him. And Carrie spends half her time creating phone drama between the three of them.1

The L Word Season 4 Review: The Best of the Season

Written by Indu on . Posted in Entertainment

Read Part 1 and Part 2 here

Every season, the L Word gives us some completely unforgettable moments. Some of these scenes and dialogues are so strong, they have even made their way into lesbian lingo and culture. Who can forget one-liners like Tina’s “Did you f*** all night before you told her I was the love of your life?”, or “We are not faggots, we are dykes, you a******e” by Jenny? Or the scenes that are simply too emotional to put into words, like Bette and Tina having angry violent sex after discovering Bette’s infidelity. Whatever that caught your fancy this season, this is my personal best of the season: the scenes and lines that makes the agony worth it.

Top 10 scenes

1. Bette, Alice and Shane stealing the '17 Reasons Why' sign [episode 12]

2. Phone-tree drama [episode 6]

3. Shane and Alice vandalising Shane's Hugo Boss ad [episode 9]

4. Argument/mediation scene between Bette and Tina, as Joyce convinces them to settle it amicably. [episode 1]

5. Angus at Tina's straight-and-gay mixed party talking about 'BoyButter' [episode 3]

6. Signed argument between Jodi and Amy [episode 10]

7. Alice's monologue in the sex scene between her and Phyllis [episode 4]

8. Jenny freaking out at Curve magazine receptionist [episode 2]

9. Basketball game [episode 4]

10. “Intervention” by all the friends when Bette runs off with baby [episode 1]

Best line from each episode

Episode 1: Helena to Alice- I can't even buy a pair of shoes with 3500 dollars!

Episode 2: Jenny to Curve receptionist- Do you know what merkin means? Vagina-wig

Episode 3: Papi to Shane- You're just a skinny little white girl.

Episode 4: Papi to Alice - What are you going to call yourself, the bourgeoisie girls?

Episode 5: Jenny to Alice- Would you kiss me? Please kiss me! I beg you. I'll buy you starbucks for a week.

Episode 6: Bette- Some lesbians, you need to break up with them more than once

Episode 7: Kit – “I once gave a blowjob to a home-player. For a line of cocaine!” Helena – “Afterwards, how did you feel?” Kit – “High. I was a high whore.”

Episode 8: Tasha to Alice- The question is, why the hell am I here? Alice- Because we want to fuck each other!

Episode 9: Leonard to Phyllis- What are they doing that is more important than helping me understand why my life is suddenly falling apart?

Episode 10: Amy to Jodi [about Bette]- Does she whisper sweet nothings in your ear? Make you feel like a part of her world?

Episode 11: Kit to Angus- You should have thought of that before you had the nanny's lips wrapped around your dick.

Episode 12: Alice to Bette- I’m stuck! I’m stuck! Go without me! Leave me behind! Save yourselves!

I would have a done The Worst of the Season, but doing so would indefinitely destroy my faith in the show. And I, like a besotted lesbian who knows her lover is really bad news, but just can’t find the strength to let go of her because the time they spend together can still be wonderful sometimes [in other words, like Bette with Jodi], am not ready to let go of The L Word. Here’s to hoping for Season 5, full of lesbian drama, hot girls and lots of sex.

Sign up to receive announcements and updates