Audiences are an issue that I keep coming back to in relation to The Real L Word. I continue to be curious about who actually watched the show, and who the producers expected to watch it when they decided to make it.
It seems to occupy this weird place in between trying to appeal to the type of privileged queer viewer featured in the show and a wider straight audience. In my experience, most shows featuring marginalized people are about presenting those people to the dominant culture, and informing/educating the general audience about the marginalized group (whether in a positive way or otherwise) is usually a part of their content. The Real L Word seemed odd in that it did very little educating: it was just about the enjoyment we’re supposed to get from watching these people, but it provided very little guidance on who is supposed to enjoy watching them and why they are supposed to enjoy it.