Tina for President

This is why I could not be a professional blogger. I have been meaning to write this post for weeks. Haven’t y’all noticed that I still haven’t given my final opinion of season 5 of The L Word? The truth is that while I have been busy (reading and grading and writing and going to Billy Joel concerts and blah, blah, blah), I am also still processing. (How gay am I?) I am reluctant to admit that I was less than satisfied with S5, and I have been waiting for my sister to come home for the summer so I can go over the thing again and maybe find something I missed.

What I didn’t miss was Tina. On the AfterEllen review of S5, Tina was named Most Improved. Can I just say “duh”?

You see, I’ve been watching S3, and I remember all too clearly the veins of S4. Tina could have been sitting at the counter at The Planet and drinking coffee for the entire season and it would have been an improvement. Instead, she kicked ass at her job, she made out with Bette (I know there was more action than that, but I am all about the making out), and she just basically lived her life like a person who is not insane.

I have always liked Laurel Holloman. She is adorable, and she never ceases to amaze me in interviews. She knows Tina. She has bothered to understand her character, and I love that about her. Also, I adore The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love and sometimes when Tina swears, it reminds me of Randy Dean.

Part of the reason it was so easy for me to love Tina this season is that we both love Bette. In the early episodes of S5, when Tina was going on doomed dates in which she would just talk incessantly about Bette, I was thinking, “So it isn’t just me who wants to talk about Bette all the time?”

Another reason for me personally to love Tina is that Andy pointed out how similar she is to my best friend Yvonne and now I can’t ignore it. Yvonne is not gay/bisexual, but she is frequently exasperated at the behavior of the people around her. When Tina is next to the Turkish oil wrestling ring, shouting at Niki, the look on her face is so Yvonne. This brings me to one of my favorite Tina moments of the season: when the power goes out on the set and she just says, “Shit, shit, shit.” I can’t explain how much I wanted to hug her.

This reminds me of another pitch perfect Yvonne moment that I noticed in the S3 finale. (I apologize for bringing up this crap.) Henry is trying to convince Tina to stop Bette’s legal adoption of Angie because if they were to get married, he would want to be Angie’s father. Tina replies with this “Henry. We’re not there yet” line that makes me smile. She shakes her eyes when she admonishes him, and it’s both hilarious and important because she is sticking to the promises she and Bette made.

Remember in the season premiere when Jodi shows up at The Planet and Bette kisses her and Jenny says to Tina, “They’re so in love”? How great was Tina’s face in that scene? Acting isn’t just about words, and Laurel gets that. Sometimes, frankly, her line delivery is a little off, but her face is always spot on. Like her L Word castmates, Laurel is so clearly a professional actor, and that is why she is so compelling to watch.

I just couldn’t be more proud of Tina. It surprises me to want to say that I loved her in S5. She wanted Bette back but she refused to sacrifice anything to get her. She was just herself and Bette came back anyway.

Both Tina and Laurel deserved this season. I hope next season continues to treat Tina well.