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Oh, fuck off, Mark. It's not my job to make you a better man, and I don't give a shit if I've made you a better man. It's not a fucking woman's job to be consumed and invaded and spat out so that some fucking man can evolve.

Jenny, "Loud & Proud"

Jennifer "Jenny" Diane Schecter is a main character in The L Word. She is portrayed by Mia Kirshner and debuts in the series premiere.

Background[]

Jenny grew up in Illinois, Chicago, with her mother Sandy. She disliked her step-father Warren and wanted to leave home as soon as she could. Jenny became a writer of fiction at a young age, she completed her Master of Fine Arts at the Iowa Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa. She won a major literary award and has had one of her short stories published. Jenny dates a man named Tim who she moved to Los Angeles to start a new life with.[4]

The L Word[]

In season one, Jenny arrives to stay with her boyfriend Tim. On her very first night in Los Angeles, Jenny attends a party with her neighbors Tina and Bette where she meets Marina. They start an affair, showing Jenny fighting her feelings and questioning her sexuality. Jenny begins to outright lie to Tim and everyone else about her infidelity. When Tim finds out about the affair, he forces Jenny to marry him. She later goes back to Marina, goes on a date with Dana Fairbanks (Erin Daniels) and briefly dates Robin (Anne Ramsay).

In season two, Tim decides to move out and leave town - his faith and trust in Jenny - and humanity in general - destroyed by her infidelity and outright deception. Jenny becomes best friends with Shane, and invites her to move in. She begins a relationship with Shane's ex-girlfriend Carmen de la Pica Morales (Sarah Shahi), but Carmen later goes back to Shane. Jenny starts having flashbacks of her childhood in which it is revealed she was sexually abused. Jenny starts writing another book and taking a college writing class to improve her fiction skills. Jenny's teacher accuses her of being a non-fiction writer because of her prose resembling Jenny's past. Mark Wayland (Eric Lively), a filmmaker who moves into the house to help pay their rent, starts spying on Jenny, Carmen and Shane, with hidden cameras. Jenny is hurt when the truth is revealed because she trusted him. Jenny becomes depressed and in the series finale she self-harms by cutting herself with razor blades.

In season three, Jenny is sent away to a clinic in Illinois home town. There she meets Moira Sweeney (Daniela Sea), who is transitioning into a man. They begin a relationship and return home. Max begins to take the first steps of his transition. Max's hormone blockers result in his temper flaring; he starts being slightly abusive to Jenny. Jenny later decides to end their relationship. She then writes a story about all her friends for The New Yorker.

In season four, the story later gets turned into a stage play, then a film titled Lez Girls. Marina briefly returns during the play, portraying Jenny's character. Jenny realizes she is over Marina after being propositioned by her. Jenny becomes more mentally unbalanced when she adopts a dog to get close to a female veterinarian. The vet is a girlfriend of a columnist who gave Jenny's story a bad review. Pretending to be distraught, Jenny has the dog put down. Jenny begins secretly dating the woman as part of her plan to ruin her girlfriend's career. When Jenny is found out, she accused of being manipulative and evil.

In season five, while filming Lez Girls, she is promoted as the director. Jenny hires Adele Channing (Malaya Rivera Drew) as her personal assistant. Jenny then starts a relationship with the film's biggest star, Niki Stevens (Kate French). While on a camping trip, Jenny and Niki make a private sex tape. Adele then steals the tape and makes numerous copies. Niki, who is a closeted lesbian and needs to stay in the closet for the sake of her career, is shocked when Adele reveals her plans to send the tapes to the media if Jenny doesn't hand the director's job to her. She stands down and asks Niki to join her; they split up when she doesn't join her. Shane later sleeps with Niki, leaving Jenny heartbroken.

In season six, it is revealed that Jenny is dead. The series then reverts three months before the incident, picking up from the previous series finale. Shane's ex-girlfriend Molly Kroll (Clementine Ford) gives Jenny a letter of apology addressed to Shane. Jenny hides the letter so Shane will not find it. Tina defends Jenny after the original film reels of Lez Girls are stolen, preventing the film from being released. Jenny later starts a relationship with Shane. Jenny steals Alice Pieszecki's (Leisha Hailey) ideas for a play which sparks a feud between the pair. Alice tries to convince everyone that the ideas were hers. Jenny keeps up the pretense and convinces everyone it is an original idea. Alice tries to break Shane and Jenny up to no avail. Jenny then reveals to Dylan Moreland (Alexandra Hedison) that Helena Peabody (Rachel Shelley) and the rest of their friends are setting her up to find out if she is in love with Helena or her money. Jenny starts teasing Max by buying him feminine gifts for his pregnancy. This alienates Shane and is worsened by her trust issues involving Shane's fidelity. Shane sleeps with Niki once more and their relationship reaches a breaking point. Helena later finds out that Jenny revealed the truth to Dylan. This makes Helena desperate for revenge on her old friend. Tina and Shane later find Molly's letter in the loft. Tina then finds the stolen originals of Lez Girls and she goes to confront Jenny.

Jenny spends her final days putting together a film of memories for Bette and Tina. The film contains friends past and present sharing their best moments. During the going-away party held for Bette and Tina, who are planning on moving to New York, they watch the film and Jenny is found dead in the swimming pool in the back yard. It is assumed that she either fallen or was pushed from the landing above the back steps, which is unfinished and lacks a proper railing. Because so many people have been offended, betrayed and hurt by Jenny, there are many suspects. They are interrogated.

Personality[]

Characterization[]

Throughout her duration on the series, Jenny went on a journey from the very first episode, which saw her transform into a selfish egotist and many observers have perceived her as a narcissist, and even as a borderline sociopath.[5][6] This latter assessment was based early on around her recurrent lying, and the fact she seems to excuse her own cheating in the first few seasons as a corollary of empowerment and as research for her book: which features an experimentalist female character who is evidently herself. Kirshner has described Jenny as mostly being duplicitous and confused.[7] Jenny often acted "utterly impulsive". Kirshner said it is very hard for people in the series and the viewers to like Jenny because she is "a very despicable character who lies, cheats, behaves and treats other people horribly for no reason, and is extremely selfish, self-indulgent and so terribly truthful... and she does not hesitate to hide any it."[8]Template:Quote box

Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe described Jenny stating: "Dreary, confused, introverted narcissist [...] downcast, secretive, almost Goth in her black moodiness, she is the epitome of an unhappy egotist. She is so consumed with the ups and downs of her own depression and self-loathing, she just doesn't have the energy to look outward. Her misery is her mirror, and she's forever gazing into it."[5] New York Magazine describe Jenny as a capricious yet obnoxious type of character adding that she can be patronizing. They also observe her as looking "fabulous, fun, and sexy but her downfall is her annoying side."[9] Diane Shipley of The Guardian branded Jenny a "whiny egomaniac".[10] Lesbian magazine Curve brands Jenny a "narcissistic navel-gazer".[6]

Sexuality[]

When Jenny is introduced on-screen she arrives in Los Angeles to stay with her boyfriend Tim Haspel (Eric Mabius). Tim is described as the person who makes Jenny "feel the safest in the world".[11] She soon becomes aware her neighbors Tina Kennard (Laurel Holloman) and Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals) are lesbians. Kirshner said that Jenny becomes intrigued by lesbians and attends their party.[12] They introduce her to Marina Ferrer (Karina Lombard), she senses that Jenny wants some danger in her life. When Marina kisses her, Jenny sees her life going into a tailspin and forces her to reckon with herself. Jenny acknowledges her passion for Marina, but realizes that being unfaithful will ruin "the one stable relationship she's ever had". However, they begin an affair.[11] In the show's companion book "The L Word: Welcome to our planet", they describe Jenny's confusion as leaving her "unmoored". She was alone in battling the heartache, along with facing "an overwhelming identity crisis" in a place that was not yet her home.[11]

Kirshner opined that the situation with Jenny was "not pretty". Jenny loves two people at once, She is the kind of character "who will just grab experiences because of the holes inside her [...] she will leave the casualties in the wake behind her."[12] Kirshner often pushed and encouraged for more truth. She made Jenny's sex scenes "darker, painful, and sometimes not so pretty to watch".[12] Kirshner did not mind portraying sex scenes with other females. She described them as "more fun and easier" and that she genuinely felt there was "nothing to be ashamed of." For her there was a "comfort level that is beautiful".[13] Kirshner had never appeared nude in previous roles, but she requested to go nude as Jenny in certain scenes to add to the reality.[12]

Chaiken decided to keep audiences guessing about Jenny's sexuality. She stated that whilst sexuality can be fluid, that Jenny's sexuality "definitely exists on the edge of fluidity". This was because she had planned to have Jenny romantically involved mostly with females, but with some males too.[14]

Sexual abuse[]

One of Jenny's storylines in season two was her revelation of being sexually abused as a child. The events were portrayed in a series of flashbacks and dream sequences. Yet, this left viewers confused about what actually happened to Jenny. During an interview with LGBT monthly magazine The Advocate, Chaiken commented about the storyline: "Well we all know it was an incident of sexual abuse. I had not wanted to be more explicit about it than that – one because memory of trauma is very strange. Who knows what happened to Jenny? Jenny doesn't necessarily know herself."

Chaiken also didn't want to portray Jenny's ordeal in an explicit manner, confirming this she said: "I am loath to portray rape as a filmmaker. I think it is really hard to do it without somehow becoming complicit and exploitative. And so as much as it's important to talk about it, I wanted to be vague and not milk it."[15] Chaiken has also admitted that the use of dream sequences involving Jenny were not a successful inclusion, but claimed it was necessary to portray Jenny coming to terms with her abuse.[15] Heather Hogan of AfterEllen criticized the storyline because there was no conclusion to it, also stating it was never explored enough, leading everyone to think she was just a jerk.[16]

Transformation[]

Jenny was negatively received amongst TV critics and viewers from the very first episode after she cheated on her nice guy boyfriend with another woman for no clear reason. This prompted Chaiken to implement a series of changes to Jenny to help make her more likable.[15] Chaiken defended Jenny stating: "I'm well aware of the response to Jenny. I love the character, and I love that people are passionate about her. I know there are a lot of people who just can't stand her. And that's why it's so important to have that character in the mix."[15] Kirshner defended Jenny stating: "Jenny's a very controversial character. I think the great thing about her is the fact that she's so flawed."[17] During season two Jenny is seen coming out, getting her hair cut and becoming best friends with Shane McCutcheon (Katherine Moennig). AfterEllen.com stated that Jenny cutting off her hair was a defining moment in her development because it also symbolized her cutting all of the bad stuff that happened before out of her life.[17] Jenny's transition continued into season three, Chaiken stated: "We find Jenny coming together, I predict this [...] that Jenny will be more likable and accessible to the audience than she has ever been. She's recovering."[15]

In 2009, Chaiken was still confused over Jenny's bad reception, of why it might be she said: "People read into the character that she was a manipulator, self-absorbed, and a trouble maker who puts other people in service of her own neurotic agenda. I think people react so strongly because Jenny is just a mess in the way that so many people are."[18]

Of her character's changes after season five, Kirshner stated: "I think she'll continue to be just like a tumbleweed and a car crash and I'm happy for that, I don't want it to be wrapped up. She'll never be normal and that's just the way it is."[19] Responding to the criticism Jenny has received, Kirshner states: "Well, I agree with what's said about the character for the most part. But again ... it's my job. So, I mean, it's a fun character."[6]

Relationships[]

Notable relationships[]

Full list[]

Series Name Type Summary
TLW Shane McCutcheon Girlfriend
  • Jenny and Shane are in a relationship in season six of The L Word.
TLW Niki Stevens Girlfriend
  • Jenny and Niki are in a relationship in season five of The L Word.
TLW Claude Mondrian Girlfriend
  • Jenny and Claude are in a relationship in season four of The L Word.
TLW Max Sweeney Partner
  • Jenny and Max are in a relationship in season three of The L Word, before Max comes out as a trans man.
TLW Carmen de la Pica Morales Girlfriend
  • Jenny and Carmen are in a relationship in season two of The L Word.
TLW Robin Girlfriend
  • Jenny is in an open relationship with Robin in seasons one and two of The L Word.
TLW Gene Feinberg Boyfriend
  • Jenny is in an open relationship with Gene in seasons one and two of The L Word.
TLW Dana Fairbanks Fling
  • Jenny and Dana attempt to have sex but give up halfway in the episode "Liberally" in season one of The L Word.
TLW Marina Ferrer Affair
  • Jenny and Marina have an affair in season one of The L Word, while Jenny is in a relationship with Tim Haspel.
TLW Tim Haspel Husband, boyfriend
  • Jenny and Tim are in a relationship in season one of The L Word.
  • They get married in the episode "Lawfully".
Pre-TLW Nick Barashkov Fling
  • Jenny once gave her college professor a blowjob.[20]

Episode appearances[]

The L Word, season 1
Episode Appearance Status
PilotAppears
Let's Do ItAppears
LongingAppears
Lies, Lies, LiesAppears
LawfullyAppears
Losing ItAppears
L'EnnuiAppears
Listen UpAppears
Luck, Next TimeAppears
LiberallyAppears
Looking BackAppears
Locked UpAppears
Limb from LimbAppears
The L Word, season 2
Episode Appearance Status
Life, Loss, LeavingAppears
Lap DanceAppears
Loneliest NumberAppears
Lynch PinAppears
LabyrinthAppears
Lagrimas de OroAppears
LuminousAppears
LoyalAppears
Late, Later, LatentAppears
Land AhoyAppears
Loud & ProudAppears
L'ChaimAppears
LacunaAppears
The L Word, season 3
Episode Appearance Status
Labia MajoraAppears
Lost WeekendAppears
LobstersAppears
Light My FireAppears
LifelineAppears
LifesizeAppears
Lone StarAppears
LatecomerAppears
Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the WayAppears
Losing the LightAppears
Last DanceAppears
Left Hand of the GoddessAppears
The L Word, season 4
Episode Appearance Status
Legend in the MakingAppears
Livin' La Vida LocaAppears
LassoedAppears
LayupAppears
Lez GirlsAppears
Luck Be a LadyAppears
Lesson Number OneAppears
Lexington and ConcordAppears
Lacy Lilting LyricsAppears
Little Boy BlueAppears
Literary License to KillAppears
Long Time ComingAppears
The L Word, season 5
Episode Appearance Status
LGB TeaseAppears
Look Out, Here They Come!Appears
Lady of the LakeAppears
Let's Get This Party StartedAppears
Lookin' at You, KidAppears
Lights! Camera! Action!Appears
Lesbians Gone WildAppears
Lay Down the LawAppears
Liquid HeatAppears
LifecycleAppears
Lunar CycleAppears
Loyal and TrueAppears
The L Word, season 6
Episode Appearance Status
Long Night's Journey Into DayAppears
Least LikelyAppears
LMFAOAppears
Leaving Los AngelesAppears
Litmus TestAppears
Lactose IntolerantAppears
Last Couple StandingAppears
Last WordAppears
Generation Q, season 1
Episode Appearance Status
Let's Do It AgainAbsent
Less Is MoreMentioned
Lost LoveAbsent
LA TimesAbsent
LabelsAbsent
Loose EndsAbsent
Lose It AllAbsent
Lapse in JudgementAbsent

Quotes[]

Gallery[]

  • Jenny Schecter/Gallery

References[]

  1. The L Word, 4x01: "Legend in the Making".
  2. The L Word: Interrogation Tapes.
  3. Generation Q, 1x02: "Less Is More".
  4. Mask 2009, p.101.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Template:Cite web
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Template:Cite web
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named diva
  8. Template:Cite web
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named jen
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named guard
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Bolonik 2005, p.18.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Template:Cite web
  13. Template:Cite web
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named miaillene
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Template:Cite book
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ellenl
  17. 17.0 17.1 Template:Cite web
  18. Template:Cite web
  19. Template:Cite web
  20. The L Word, 1x04: "Lies, Lies, Lies".

External links[]

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