The L Word Opening Credits (Season One)

The L Word Cast

Everyone fast forwarded through the credits of The L Word because they didn’t like the theme song.

Big mistake.

You can learn everything you need to know about all 6 seasons, all 70 episodes, just by watching the opening credits. I’ve had it in my head for years that it would be fun to do recaps of The L Word using only what you see in the credits. Let the fun begin.

The L Word

Herewith find all The L Word you ever need to know from nothing but the opening credits.

The regular cast for season one in every episode:

  • Jennifer Beals: Bette Porter
  • Leisha Hailey: Alice Pieszecki
  • Laurel Holloman: Tina Kennard
  • Mia Kirshner: Jenny Schecter
  • Katherine Moennig: Shane McCutcheon
  • Pam Grier: Kit Porter
  • Erin Daniels: Dana Fairbanks
  • Karina Lombard: Marina Ferrer
  • Eric Mabius: Tim Haspeth

Pilot, Part 1 (S1, E1)

  • No irritating theme song in season one. It’s safe to actually watch the credits.
  • It’s LA. Freeways. Cars. Palm Trees.
  • Tim is rearranging furniture.
  • Bette and Tina are still asleep. Together.
  • Tim dresses to leave.
  • Tina wakes up, gets happy over her ovulation. Bette wants her to make a baby. Bette will drop Tina off on the way to work to do said baby making on her own. My god, Bette. Drop her off? What’s up with you?
  • Tim is in the car. Oh, look at that. Bette and Tina are his neighbors.
  • Tammy Lynn Michaels is a guest.
  • In The Planet, Marina is serving coffee to Dana, Alice and Shane. Random girls are hitting on Shane.
  • Bette and Tina appear at the coffee shop door as Shane is leaving for a 9 o’clock – whatever that is.
  • Everyone sits down for coffee together except Bette, who takes off. Maybe she has a 9 o’clock, too.
  • Tina talks about an appointment with Dan Foxworthy.
  • Jenny pulls a suitcase through the airport where Tim meets her.
  • Tina and Dan Foxworthy are alone in his office. Waiting for Bette. When Bette arrives she’s on the phone giving orders.  Bette sits down next to Tina and pats her on the knee. She pats her on the knee! What? I’m prepared to love Jennifer Beals and her gorgeous hair in this show, but drop-offs at the fertility clinic and knee pats in the shrink’s office are not sitting well. You gotta show me something more after the credits stop rolling, Bette.
  • Tim gives Jenny a tour of the city in his muscle car.
  • We are 5:08 minutes into the show and finally see the director credit for Rose Troche.
  • End credits

Pilot, Part 2 (S1, E2)

  • Jenny works checking groceries in a red checkered shirt and a green apron.
  • Marina buys groceries and flirts with Jenny. Marina invites Jenny to reading group. Jenny eyeballs Marina’s butt as she walks out the door.
  • Tammy Lynn Michaels is a guest.
  • Lauren Lee Smith is a guest.
  • Guinevere Turner is a guest.
  • Tim and Jenny are entertaining friends at their house. The friends suggest a future poker game. Tim wants to go, but guess what? Jenny claims a prior engagement at Marina’s reading group. Oy.
  • Bette is home from work early and wants to make nice with Tina. Tina blows her off to go to the gym. Oy.
  • Directed by Rose Troche. Only took 4:18 minutes to get there today.

Let’s Do It (S1, E3)

  • Alice is explaining The Chart to her boss because she wants to do an article about it. He tells her to do an article on vaginal rejuvenation instead. But, hey, we found out what the chart is.
  • All those words starting with L float across the screen for the first time.
  • Tammy Lynn Michaels is a guest.
  • Guinevere Turner is a guest.
  • Ari Cohen is a guest.
  • Tina is jogging. She stops and says “Let’s do it.”
  • Inside, Tina tells Bette she wants to do an insemination at home with the sperm from the African American donor Bette picked out. Happy, happy Bette rewards Tina by climbing into the shower with her while talking sexy about making babies.
  • Jenny wants to talk to Tim but he has to go coach his swim team. Go team.
  • Shane is leaving the house of a barely dressed girl who chases her out for more smooching.
  • Directed by Rose Troche at 3:56 minutes in.

Longing (S1, E4)

  • New York City 1986: a photographer and a nude female model. The photography is foreplay.
  • Guest Star is Holland Taylor. Can’t wait.
  • The photographer and the model are still fooling around.
  • Guinevere Turner gets a credit. Whose heart is she going to break?
  • Tammy Lynn Michaels is a guest.
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Michael Tomlinson are guests.
  • All the words starting with L flash by. The music is some techno stuff.
  • Oh, that heartbreaker Gabby is in bed with Alice. Time to go to work, say goodbye. Alice isn’t good at saying goodbye.
  • Tim and Jenny are in bed. Tim is asleep. Jenny is rolling her eyes, giving Tim soft kisses and sneaking out of bed.
  • Directed by Lynne Stopkewich at 3:42 minutes in.

Lies, Lies, Lies (S1, E5)

  • Greenwich Village, Present Day. A couple of sleeping women are awakened by a knock on the door. It’s Helen, looking for her missing girlfriend. Hello – she’s right inside in the bed. Don’t tell.
  • Holland Taylor is back. Plus Anne Archer. Impressed. Julian Sands – wow, what’s he doing here? Devon Gummersall – hey, wasn’t he in Felicity?
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Michael Tomlinson are guests.
  • The words starting with L flash by. The music is still some techno stuff.
  • Jenny tells Tim she’s going to the Planet to write. She looks really nice. He decides to go with her. Oh, oh.
  • Dana is in bed with Lara and in a shame spiral of some crazy sort. Lara pats her head and tells her not to be ashamed because “it happens.” There’s a cat in the bed, too.
  • Tina is eating gross stuff. Stuffing sardines in her mouth at the moment when Bette would give her a goodbye kiss. No kisses for sardine face. Bette, your girlfriend is eating weird shit. Do we know why?
  • Tim and Jenny are at The Planet. Jenny should be writing but she is eying Marina. Whoever did Mia Kirshner’s makeup today made her look extraordinarily beautiful. She and Marina make eye contact. Marina heads for the back. Oh, oh.
  • Directed by Clement Virgo at 4:47 minutes in.

Lawfully (S1, E6)

  • West Hollywood, California 1976: A burly cop is rousting a guy in a restaurant bathroom. Demands to be blown.  Afterwards, he drags the guy through the restaurant to arrest him. Honestly. Once a burly cop becomes a hypocrite, he’s always a hypocrite.
  • Wow, Ossie Davis is in this episode. Duly impressed. I bet absolutely everyone came to work when he was on the set.
  • Anne Archer is back again as are Lauren Lee Smith, and Ari Cohen.
  • Kwesi Ameyaw is a guest.
  • Floating words that begin with L. Techno beat.
  • Jenny and Tim do their morning toilette, which involves kissing Rhett Butler style.
  • Alice wakes up yelling at Lenore, her mom, who made a mess in Alice’s kitchen. Lenore adds her name to The Chart with a line connecting herself to Shane. Alice cries foul. Lenore describes a “moment” with Shane.
  • Directed by Daniel Minahan at 3:38 minutes in.

Losing It (S1, E7)

  • Detroit, Michigan, Two Years Ago: Girls working in a restaurant are cleaning up the place. There’s kissing. There’s lesbian sexual fantasy big time from the male store manager who’s watching. I bet straight men love this show.
  • Floating words that begin with L. Techno beat music again.
  • LisaGay Hamilton is in this episode if you don’t blink. Lauren Lee Smith is back.
  • Shane’s in a strobe-lit club. Guys with drugs want to meet her cause they think she’s a gay guy. Sorry, fellas. But Harry thinks she’s so delicious that he will introduce her to some rich hair clients.
  • Tim wakes up alone and looking troubled. He puts something on his hands – something for boxing maybe – and heads somewhere in his very buff and shirtless body.
  • Bette finds Tina up in the middle of the night reading. Bette rubs Tina’s feet because she’s preggers. They talk about whether Tina feels good enough to go on a trip they are planning to take to an opening. Bette offers to get her a Slurpee.
  • Directed by Clement Virgo at 4:02 minutes in.

L’Ennui (S1, E8)

  • Rome, Italy Present Day: Francesca is fitting a woman with a dress while discussing The Gift of Magi. The girl in the dress is Erica Cerra, looking not at all like a vampire expert – oops, I’m getting way ahead of myself with that. Francesca is doing lots of fitting, or flirting, or fingering, or some such.
  • Floating L words . . .
  • Marina is in the bathroom so happy she’s singing. Nice voice, too.
  • Devon Gummersall is a guest.
  • Lauren Lee Smith and Ari Cohen are guests.
  • Lolita Davidovich is a guest.
  • Tim is throwing all Jenny’s stuff out on the lawn, just as she comes through the front door. He asks where she’s been and she talks about meeting two kids and going to Bishop and climbing a mountain. Wow, Jenny is pretty strange.
  • Directed by Tony Goldwyn at 3:37 minutes in.

Listen Up (S1, E9)

  • Santa Rosa, CA, 1968. Two young women on horses in dressage outfits talk about how much they are going to miss each other over the summer. One girl gets a bit too passionate during a hug and gets a big fat rebuff. Just because you feel things you don’t have to act on them! That’s going to come back to haunt someone, I’ll bet.
  • There go the L words floating by.
  • Bette and Tina are beside double doors to what looks like a conference room. Bette doesn’t want to go inside. She finally agrees to go in after telling Tina’s womb that she’s only doing it for the cozy little person inside there. OMG, it’s group therapy with Dan Foxworthy.
  • Lolita Davidovich is back.
  • Jenny comes home from work in her red checkered shirt and greets an old friend from college who has come to visit. Jenny is living in the shed behind Tim’s house now.
  • Back in the group, Bette is still being a pain about joining in with the therapy session. An African American woman in the group is giving her the stink eye.
  • Jenny and the BFF are discussing the situation with Tim. Oh dear, old friend doesn’t have a clue.
  • Directed by Kari Skogland at 4:42 minutes in.

Luck Next Time (S1, E10)

  • Lisbon, Portugal – Present Day: Some dude with a beard in Biblical garb is surrounded by several other bearded men. Rhythmic Spanish music with lots of trumpets and percussion is playing.
  • Snoop Dogg is a guest star. That ought to be interesting and not at all about rhythmic Spanish music.
  • Lolita Davidovich is here.
  • Meanwhile a woman is on her knees backed up doggie style to Mr.-Biblical-garb making motions that seem awfully sexual for a dude with a halo above his head.
  • Helen Shaver is a guest star. Helen Shaver from Desert Hearts! Can you say lesbian icon 10 times real fast? The only thing that could possibly be better than getting Helen Shaver on the show would be getting Xena to come by. Why am I so freaking excited about Helen Shaver, we get Laurel Holloman every week and she is pretty iconic herself on account of The Incredible Adventures of Two Girls in Love. Oh, I know why I’m excited about Helen Shaver – when Desert Hearts originally was released I was already in my 40s and I remember it well from way back in 1985.
  • Another new name as guest star is Rosanna Arquette. Thanks be to Harry.
  • Words. They start with L. They float by.
  • Alice is in bed with Lisa. Lisa is a guy, by the way. And he does NOT want to let go of Alice. Alice says, “What a lez!” when she finally escapes his clutches. Tense.
  • Tina wants Bette to move her car so a birthing tank can be delivered. Bette complains that Tina decided to use a birthing tank without asking her. Oh, oh, things are looking a little tense in this lover’s paradise, too.
  • Kit gets in a limo with Slim Daddy. They are going to a studio and drinking smoothies on the way.
  • Dana is on the bed with Mr. Piddles, explaining that she’s gay.
  • Directed by Rose Troche at 4:26 minutes in.

 Liberally (S1, E 11)

  • San Fernando Valley – Last Year: A porno movie is being filmed in a bathroom. There are two school girls  in the film. I must interject an editorial opinion here that setting this film project one year in the past makes absolutely no sense when you consider the use made of the film later on.
  • Ion Overman appears in the cast. Danger. Danger.
  • Snoop Dogg is back again. So are Helen Shaver and Michael Tomlinson.
  • Lolita Davidovitch guests.
  • Tina is listlessly stirring eggs. She looks terribly sad and sinks to the floor. Bette finds her and attempts to comfort her saying things like, “It will take time but we’ll get through it.”
  • Jenny is spying on Tim talking to one of his students. A pretty one. Pretty student discovers Jenny and Jenny makes lame excuses. I thought she was a creative writer, but apparently not now.
  • Francesca accepts a job dressing Drew Barrymore. Will she be talking about The Gift of Magi with Drew? It will be far, far away from Marina (again!) and Marina is not happy about it. There’s just no lover’s paradise anywhere anymore. Sigh.
  • Directed by Mary Harron at 3:50 minutes in.

Looking Back (S1, E12)

  •  Los Angeles, 1979: Big party, lots of drugs. Women make out in the swimming pool as men watch. Lenore is also in the pool and doing absolutely nothing at all daring or interesting enough for men to watch it.
  • Anne Ramsay is a new guest star.
  • Anne Archer is back.
  • Ion Overman guests.
  • Meredith McGeachie guests.
  • Bette tells Tina she’s going to ask a carpenter she just met to bid on the work for the Provocations exhibit. Tina thinks its a good idea. Oy. They enter a gathering that includes all the friends and Mr. Piddles in his cat cage. Dana is explaining to Kit how to care for Mr. Piddles. Dana, Shane, Alice, Tina and Jenny going on a trip to Palm Springs.
  • Only 2:24 minutes in and we see directed by Rose Troche. A speed record for the credits.

Locked Up (S1, E13)

  • Off the coast of Florida, 1999: Sea mammals can be gay.
  • New cast member: Kelly Lynch.
  • The words go floating by.
  • Shane is busy trying to discourage the daughter of her heart’s true love without revealing that the lady who has her heart is really the woman’s mother. Love is so complicated. Undiscouraged, young miss thinks Shane’s history of turning tricks on Santa Monica is cool.
  • Kelly Lynch is a guest.
  • Anne Ramsay is a guest.
  • Michael Tomlinson and Ion Overman are guests.
  • Kit discovers that Marina has money problems with The Planet. Money that came from off-to-Virginia-to-dress-Drew-Barrymore Francesca. Francesca has Marina in a hard place. Hmm, maybe Kit will hatch a good idea about how to help her.
  • Jenny is eating with Tim. She asks where pretty student is and Tim says he’s cooling it with her. He’s off to get his teaching degree. Jenny tells him she’s writing a story about manatees. Tim and I both roll our eyes.
  • The Planet is having a kings of the night party. Sexy girl is dancing in a cowboy outfit.
  • Directed by Lynne Stopkewich at 5:35 minutes in. So much for last week’s speed record.

Limb from Limb (S1, E14)

  • LA, 3 days ago: Bette gets out of her car in a parking garage. She sees the carpenter drive up. She gets in the carpenter’s truck and says “Take me somewhere.” To her credit, she looks conflicted as she says it.
  • The words they go by.
  • Jenny is in bed with Robin. They try to make a date, but both have other commitments. Anne Ramsay doesn’t usually get to play sexy parts, which is too bad, because she’s good at it. (Another editorial interjection. Good on The L Word for letting all kinds of people who don’t normally get sexy parts play them on this show. It’s one of the best things about The L Word.)
  • Anne Ramsay is a guest. Duh.
  • Ion Overman, Kelly Lynch, Rosanna Arquette and Meredith McGeachie are all here.
  • Tim brings the paper to Jenny’s door. Sees what’s going on inside. Kinda freaks out. There’s knowing and then there’s seeing. Eric Mabius is brilliant in this moment as he reaches out to the wall to steady himself. Such a subtle but telling gesture.
  • Bette and the carpenter approach an inn where they get a room.
  • Directed by Tony Goldwyn at 5:31 minutes in.

See Also: Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5, Season 6.

4 thoughts on “The L Word Opening Credits (Season One)”

  1. Can’t for the life of me figure out the artist or title of the song playing in the end credits of “lawfully” in season 1 of the L word, please help!! It’ll be be greatly appreciated

  2. What is the song called in season 1 episode 8 when Jenny goes to marina coffe shop trying to mend things with her after her breakup with Tim. Some of the lyrics are
    I’m not good for you
    You’re no good for me.

    Please help

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