Ilene Chaiken and Showtime spoil their own show

When is a spoiler not a spoiler? When Showtime spills its own beans six weeks before the episode in question even airs. As news of The D Word on The L Word has spread, the question on everyone’s mind was who would be this season’s big death. Last week, we spoiled all who were willing to be spoiled. But now Ilene Chaiken has gone and one-upped us: She released the damn video.

Since this is still, technically, a spoiler, please consider this your SPOILER ALERT. As in, if you want to go into Season Six as blind as those three mice whose tails had an unfortunate encounter with a carving knife, then stop reading now. And whatever you do, don’t click “play” because Showtime’s latest promo is the first two minutes of the season premiere, which clearly shows the dearly departed.

Hello, dead Jenny in the middle of the living room. What? No one thought to cover her up with a blanket? Or maybe a body bag? Nah, let’s just parade her right through the middle of the house for everyone — including children — to see. That’s not traumatic or realistic or anything.

We’ve already discussed the merits, or demerits, of the Death of Jenny (or DOJ, as I like to call it, because it shares the same initials as the Department of Justice and I’m a fan of irony). So what perplexes me now is why Ilene and Showtime would officially let this cat out of the bag so early.

Even the video spoils its own mystery by including the blaring headline “Jenny is dead!” What, they didn’t trust people would wait two minutes for an answer? Showtime also contacted media outlets, complete with a picture of Mia Kirshner, to make sure anyone who had somehow managed to stay unspoiled was now totally, completely screwed.

The story ran on sites like Yahoo, MSNBC, and many others, largely without spoiler warnings attached. The news also got picked up by the Associated Press, which means newspapers across the country could use the image and article, putting the proverbial nail in the coffin of any and all suspense.

Now, I guess this wholesale spoiling of the spoiler could have been a response to the leaks. This could be their proverbial throwing up of hands: “Everyone knows already, screw it!” But I feel like this was always the plan. Other promos showed the distraught party guests while stopping short of revealing the deceased. But anyone with sharp eyes and deductive reasoning skills could see that the only people not present and accounted for were Jenny and Tasha. Way to narrow it down to a coin flip.

Instead, I think Ilene & Co. really did intend to make this season a giant game of Lesbian Clue where we’ve already found the body and now just have the whodunit left to solve. Which, of course, is why we all started watching The L Word in the first place — the crime solving.

It’s hard to think how the DOJ can play out in a way that is even remotely satisfying for fans. Either we see someone (probably Alice, given the spoilers about her spinoff) get taken away in handcuffs. Or we see a sad, crazy, suicidal lesbian floating dead in the pool.

Frankly, I can think of only one scenario that would work. And from all that yapping in the preview, I could be onto something. You heard it here first, ladies: Sounder did it.

So, what do you make of Showtime spoiling the spoilers? Though, as our returning TLW recapper Scribegrrrl aptly quipped, “You can’t spoil what is already ruined.” And, seriously, will someone please get a sheet and cover poor dead Jenny? We might not be able to respect the storyline, but we can at least respect the dead.

NOTE: Because this is still, technically, a spoiler post, please NO SPOILERS IN COMMENT SUBJECT LINES. Also, be sure to fill in your subject lines (otherwise they will default to your first sentence). If you can’t think of anything, might I suggest, “It was Mama Chaiken, in the study, with the candlestick.”