We’re all familiar with it: The L Word is iconic within the lesbian community. Love it or hate it, you still know about it. Almost every lesbian can recognize a “Shane” and can draw out “the chart,” regardless of whether or not they watch the show.
And The L Word is more than just an hour on Showtime every week: OurChart.com was modeled after a fictitious Web site on the show; every issue of Curve magazine contains something about it; there are an innumerable amount of blogs, wikis, forums and Web sites devoted to the show; Katherine Moennig is now the default lesbian pin-up; thousands subscribed to Showtime just to see the first show that actually was about women like them; over 36 premiere parties were hosted at queer bars across the nation for the beginning of this season.
No, The L Word has become much more than just a show. As we have faithfully been watching these final episodes it has become clear that as The L Word winds down, a monumental part of our culture goes with it. The show was a first of its kind, and hopefully not the last.
This brings me to remembering my favorite character to appear on The L Word:
No, not Shane (although she is second and the hottest), but Billy Blakey. You know, the club kid Kit hired to manage the planet back when there was always something going on there, like casino nights and performances by the B-52s.
And while Billy Blakey, played by Alan Cummings, may have been overly flambouyant and obnoxious at times, he was unlike any character that The L Word had ever seen before. He had a hard time in life, did a lot of dope, had sex with Max a few times and suffered from some chronic FMS, Fear of Missing Something, which I am a sufferer of as well. Billy put leisure and laughter back into The L Word.
Billy, I wish you had stayed on longer than those few episodes, but once a character is gone they never return on The L Word. And now that the show is finally ending, I realize just how much I miss you.