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Girl On Girl: What’s Real About “The Real L Word”?

Reality TV is a tricky medium. It claims to be a realistic portrayal of the people (“characters”) and themes (“storylines”) it pieces together in each episode, but viewers are often left wondering how much of it was all for the cameras. So when a show is supposed to be a “real” portrait of a subset of under-represented people, it can be a little dangerous. And I’m not talking about any Housewives, Kardashians or aspiring pop stars.

Last summer, Showtime premiered the first season of “The Real L Word.” Reviews and ratings were poor, but the president of the network and producers of the show believed they identified a diamond in the rough in one of its “real” lesbians named Whitney. The second season, which premiered last Sunday night, is a radically different show in that Whitney is the only returning cast member, and the rest of the new ones all appear to be just as willing as she is to get naked and intimate on screen. Keep reading »

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