Let’s take a moment here to figure out what really went wrong with Jenny Schecter, most hated character in the history of lesbian television, and probably, the most misunderstood. See, she is often written off as just some psycho bitch, and don’t get me wrong, she totally is. But she is so much more. Continue reading under the cut, but be warned, it is long and will contain spoilers if you haven’t yet finished the series.
Jenny is in her mid twenties at the beginning of the series. As you all know, she moves to Los Angeles from a small town in the midwest to move in with her boyfriend Tim.
Tim is the only person (serious relationship) that never cheated on or deceived Jenny (that we know of). Let that sink in for awhile.
A lot of people identify with her story in season one. While in a straight relationship, she falls for a woman and is sort of thrown off balance in every aspect of her life. She isn’t sure what to think or do and ends up being unfaithful and lying to her boyfriend, fiance, and then husband for awhile. Jenny wants to be straight. It’s the only thing she knows at this point. But as she said, she’s been “dismantled” by a certain Marina Ferrer.
Of course, Marina breaks her heart when she reveals her long-term, open relationship with Francesca. This is all just days after breaking up with the guy she’s been dating for the past several years, and the guy she’s just gotten married to for some strange unknown reason. Yeah. Okay.
Oh, and let’s not forget Tim’s rapey exit from her life, which I’m sure made Jenny feel used and worthless as fuck.
So season two rolls around and again, she is chewed up and spat out, again by three different people. Carmen falls for Shane (after like 30 minutes). Shane doesn’t like sleepovers. Carmen wants to make Shane realize what she’s missing, so she begins dating the vulnerable Jenny, who is in a state of transition. And the third person is Mark. His disgusting hidden camera ordeal opened up a dark, previously suppressed and hidden side of Jenny. She started to remember her terrible childhood mixed with the fact that she just found out her girlfriend is using her to get to her best friend and roommate, and fell into depression. The season ends with Jenny cutting herself on the bathroom floor.
Season three is interesting because I think it really marks the change that everyone notices. She goes from nice, innocent yet troubled Jenny to this entirely different girl. I shouldn’t even say girl, it’s like she’s become a woman. She’s experienced, she’s out, she has no more doubts about her sexual preference. And she brings home Max, who ends up cheating on her relatively soon after their relationship begins. And then several more times after that. As Jenny realizes that he’s becoming a man, she feels lost again. Is it selfish? Yes. But not completely unfounded. Max is abusive and can be just as unkind as she is. All of this coupled with the death of Dana and the sort of disappearance of Carmen might have been too much to handle. Which is why she begins to act out. She no longer channels her rage into self harm and internal tumult. It becomes more…..external..
Season four brings no real love interest for Jenny, but instead the story of Stacy Merkin, her girlfriend, the old dog, and the evolution of Lez Girls (from book, to stage play, to film). I think the vagina wig’s girlfriend, while initially just part of a plan to ruin her, soon became an actual full on crush. At least, a new kind of crush. I think at this point Jenny has learned to not trust the people she’s involved with romantically, and why should she? So she enters these subsequent relationships under a sort of alias that I think actually becomes her. But more about that later. This season still brings about heartbreak for Jenny, as she opens up to Stacy, a rare glimpse at the “real Jenny.” She speaks from the heart to this kind stranger, only to learn she’s been trashed. Publicly. So she’s goes on this rampage (that produces a myriad of hilarious .gifs and screencaps) where she puts down a dog and misleads the poor vet (the vagina wig’s girlfriend) all in the name of revenge. Once caught, we see another glimpse of the “real Jenny.” She shows true emotion and realizes she’s been caught up in her lies to the point of destruction and malice, not only for her but for others as well.
Ahh, season five. Along comes Niki (yes, it’s one “k”), and the even bigger bitch, Adele. Both send Jenny over the edge. I’ll explain. As production begins on Lez Girls, Jenny has fucking had it. The past four or five years have been full of hope only to be soon dashed by disappointment. She’s been extremely unlucky in love. I think this is why she begins a relationship with Niki, At this time Jenny is about ten or so years older than her girlfriend (who is kind of her subordinate, just adding to the situation) so she tends to act like a big sister as well as a lover. And, of course, Niki cheats on her. Not only with some random gross actor, but with her best friend in the entire world. Imagine the devastation you go through when you were just conned out of your job by a mentally unstable assistant who intended on either taking your throne or ruining your life. Or both. I think she kind of did both. Jenny is knocked off her high horse and is heartbroken once again. Let’s remember that Shane is supposedly the most loyal friend ever. And she fucks around with Niki. Repeatedly. I just….
Season six. Jenny dies. No one knows why or exactly how, but she’s gone. What led up to this? Well besides everything I’ve just told you….in this final season, Jenny is betrayed time and time again by the only real friend she has left. A friend she’s landed into a haphazard relationship with. A friend she’s lived with for six years, knows everything about, and a friend who she has fallen in love with. Not only is this friend too cowardly to own up to the fact that she doesn’t belong in committed relationships, this friend goes behind her back to fuck Jenny’s on and off (but now pretty much off) girlfriend. She opens her heart for one final time only for it to be completely and totally destroyed. And sadly, it ended up being for good. Shane was the final nail in the coffin for Jenny (in my humble opinion). All these years. All these experiences and troubles and triumphs and heartaches and happy moments. Thrown away. All because Shane couldn’t keep it in her pants when she needed to the most.
Of course, I do not blame Shane entirely for Jenny’s demise. Although she obviously plays an integral role, she’s not the sole reason. Her childhood troubles, the apparent karma from her indiscretion with Marina, the heartbreaks that followed, the trust being broken, the job being stolen, her final love betraying her, and her depression and mental instability, something no one can control themselves, all led to her destruction and death.
This is why I cannot fathom why people hate Jenny. If anything, you should pity her. Did Jenny REALLY hurt anyone the way she was hurt? Was anyone’s life REALLY ruined by Jenny? Did everyone else TRULY end up unhappy because of her? Did her annoying habits ACTUALLY make a difference in the end? No.
Because Tim, Marina, Carmen, Mark, Max, the Vagina Wig, Niki, Shane, Bette, Tina, Kit, Alice, Helena, Tasha, and everyone else (excluding Dana) continued to live while Jenny’s thirty one year life came to a tragic end in an unsolved mystery. She will never get her happy ending.