'The Real L Word' premiere: Really, Showtime?

Welcome to The Real L Word, where the Power of the Clam is so intense that the sun shines out of your crotch. I can't really believe this Showtime show exists or that Ilene Chaiken, creator of The Fictional L Word, has been so hell-bent on it happening. I could understand an L Word spinoff or even an entirely new show about different lesbians, but a reality show? Ugh. It just feels cheap and scuzzy right from the opening location shots, during which we're treated to an in-your-face montage - Los Angeles! Fashion! Sunshine! Hotspots! - and then cheesy, stylized who's-who chyrons reminiscent of Lauren and the gang on Laguna Beach and The Hills.

At least watching The Real L Word is better than watching other The Hills or any of the Real Housewives, because you get the feeling that the people on those other shows are all desperate to become bigger stars (in the field of reality TV, or possibly something even greater, if you can imagine that) and are therefore constantly constructing a persona according to what they think viewers want. It's impossible to avoid the awkwardness of the camera's presence in any reality show, but I do get the impression the Real L's are at least trying to be real. Sure, they signed up for a reality show, but it's not necessarily their fault trying to be real doesn't ever truly work. (Whoa, you guys, I totally just discovered the basic problem with reality television.)

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