Tina Kennard

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Tina Kennard
First appearance Pilot (episode 1.01)
Last appearance Last Word (episode 6.08)
Created by Ilene Chaiken
Portrayed by Laurel Holloman
Information
Gender Female
Occupation Chief Development Executive for Peabody-Shaolin Film Studios
Spouse(s) Bette Porter
Children Angelica Porter-Kennard (daughter)

Tina Kennard is a fictional character on the Showtime television network series The L Word, shown nationally in the United States. She is played by American actress Laurel Holloman. Tina lives in Los Angeles, California, and mostly hangs out in West Hollywood. She is the mother of Angelica Porter-Kennard and the on-off lover of Bette Porter.

Storyline[edit]

Back Story[edit]

In the context of the six seasons of The L Word very little is said about Tina's background and nothing at all is revealed about her family. Only in the interrogation tapes, released online after the airing of the final episode of season 6, does Tina reveal some 'truths' about her upbringing. As a child, Tina and her two siblings were abruptly moved to Atlanta, Georgia by her mother when Tina's politician father refused to end his extramarital affair.

Tina's first sexual relationship was a seemingly abusive relationship with her older sister. The relationship lasted three years, and later her sister became a Fundamentalist Christian and shunned Tina for being a lesbian. Tina kept this secret from everyone, including Bette, and only confessed it to interrogating police officers after Jenny Schecter's death.[1]

Prior to meeting Bette, Tina lived largely as a straight woman and had a few relationships, along with two abortions in her early twenties.

Bette and Tina met when Tina's then-boyfriend Eric took her to the Bette Porter Gallery. Tina found Bette to be smart, tough, incredibly beautiful, warm, and gracious. Bette noticed Tina's right earring had fallen off. Despite the fact that Bette returned it to her, Tina left her earring at Bette's gallery so she could come back and get it later. Bette had kept it for her. While Tina was picking it from her hand, Bette kissed her for the first time.

Season 1[edit]

At the beginning of the first season, having been a couple for 7 years, Tina and Bette are in the process searching for a sperm donor so that Tina can be artificially inseminated. After a successful insemination, Tina conceives, but suffers a miscarriage before she is even showing. This event is very traumatic for Tina, who finds comfort in working for a charity organization. Though she finds fulfillment there, her new career drives her further away from Bette. When Bette eventually has an affair with carpenter Candace Jewell, Tina is distraught, and moves out of their shared house.

Season 2[edit]

During the second season, Tina lives with Alice, and under her advice, decides to seek legal advice over her situation with Bette. It is then revealed that Tina secretly inseminated herself before she learned of Bette's affair, and is now several months pregnant. Not wanting anyone to know about this because of her broken relationship with Bette and previous miscarriage, Tina hides her expanding body with loose clothes. Eventually, Alice notices that Tina appears to have gained weight, and blames this on the breakup with Bette. She has a dinner with Bette at their former house and plans to tell Bette then, but is derailed when Bette begins dominating the conversation with discussions of her work problems. After her charity organisation is granted money from the Peabody Foundation, Tina begins a relationship with Helena Peabody. It is Helena who reveals Tina's condition to Bette, and the two are shown as having a rivalry for Tina's affections. Helena's promiscuity and possessiveness combine to push Tina back towards Bette, who in turn is reaching out to her over the loss of her father Melvin. Though Tina experiences a difficult and traumatic labour, her baby girl Angelica is delivered safely, and at the end of the season it is revealed that she plans to move back in with Bette and raise their baby together.

Season 3[edit]

The third season is set six months after Angelica's birth, in which Tina and Bette are shown suffering more marital strife (including Bette losing her job at the CAC, and showing little interest in finding a new one). The couple appears to be more distant than ever; Bette seeks partner support from an overwhelmed Tina, who starts looking for the protection Bette cannot give her outside the home. Helena Peabody has just bought a movie studio, and offers Tina the chief development executive position.

Another source of stress for Tina is the apparent reemergence of her attraction to men. Tina reveals these troubles to Bette, who decides to go on a spiritual retreat. Because of this revelation, Bette decides to remove Tina's 'life-partner privileges'. During Bette's retreat, Tina (who has already had an online fling and also a frustrated attempt at fulfilling her interest with a male movie producer) meets Henry Young (Steven Eckholdt), a divorced man with one son. Upon realizing the relationship with Bette has reached a dead end, she gives Henry a chance and explores her renewed heterosexual interest with him. Bette and Tina have difficulties with a social worker who is tasked with evaluating their second-parent adoption process, who is both unimpressed with Bette's attitude towards finding another job and sows doubts in Tina about Bette adopting Angelica. As Tina and Henry (who also shows doubts about Bette's parental rights) continue settling in, Bette decides to visit Joyce Wishnea (Jane Lynch), a gay civil rights lawyer Tina had previously contacted for her separation from Bette, in order to obtain the full custody of Angelica. Later on, Bette decides to withdraw her sole custody petition. The notification unfortunately reaches her lawyer too late. After receiving Bette's letter, Tina decides to withdraw her consent for allowing Bette to become Angelica's other legal parent. The season closes with Bette's desperate act to keep Angelica, as she kidnaps the baby and runs away.

Season 4[edit]

The fourth season, which is set immediately after the events of the third season, sees Bette return with Angelica after a short time away. Relations are generally strained between Bette and Tina at the start of the season, but things gradually improve between the pair, and they agree on shared custody of Angelica. Relations with her close friends also show strain, as Alice and Jenny react negatively to Tina's decision to date men. Tina is still working in the movie studio, "Peabody-Shaolin Film Studios", and acquires the rights to adapt for the screen a novel of Jenny Schecter's, "Lez Girls". Work on "Lez Girls" strains the relationship between her and Jenny, a former close friend of hers, due to their conflicting opinions on how the piece should be adapted, and also leads Tina to meeting Kate Arden (Annabella Sciorra), the selected director for "Lez Girls"; it becomes apparent that there is a mutual attraction between the two. This happens around the same time Henry breaks off the relationship with Tina after discovering she was only using him and his son to spite or frighten Bette. Meanwhile, Tina is slowly coming to a better place in her relationship with Bette, and the two begin to renew their friendship towards the end of the season.

Season 5[edit]

Tina repeatedly clashes with Jenny while producing Lez Girls. Shane and Alice try to be Tina's wingmen but Tina's obvious, lingering affection for Bette, who is now involved with artist Jodi Lerner, affects her dating prospects. She soon meets a woman whom Tina ends up sleeping with her on the first date. Later Bette finds out and Bette's jealousy over Tina's new girlfriend is the probable cause of a surprising moment in their self-defense class. Later that evening, they catch the other alone in a bar lounge. Unable to hide their mutual longing for each other, they kiss. Soon Tina begins an affair with Bette. For a while, both Tina and Bette wonder if what is happening to them is nothing more than a sexual reconnection. During a blackout, Bette and Tina get stuck in an elevator on their way to their Couples therapist. It is here that they confess each other's fears and, most importantly, the love they have for each other. They both agree to keep the affair a secret until after the Subaru Pink Ride. The truth of the affair comes out during the camp fire "I Never" game. Bette admits to her sister Kit that she loves Tina while Tina also admits to Shane and Alice that she too still loves Bette. Jodi brushes her off when Tina tries to apologize as Jodi picks up Bette at The Planet. After Bette breaks off the relationship and endures a shocking public humiliation at the first exhibition of a new Jodi Lerner piece, the future seems bright for Tina and Bette as they dance the night away at the Lez Girls's wrap party.

Season 6[edit]

Bette moves back in with Tina, and they decide to adopt a second child using a surrogate mother. In preparation, they begin to add an expensive extension to their house.

The pair finally meet their chosen surrogate Marci in Nevada, an underprivileged caucasian woman expecting a half African-American son. Despite the fact that Marci's family rejects the notion of giving the child to a lesbian couple, Marci agrees to give Tina and Bette her child. However, this transaction is threatened when Joyce Wishnea informs the pair that Nevada law does not permit adoption to same sex couples. A solution is reached when Bette and Tina agree to board Marci during her pregnancy, but when they arrive to the Los Angeles bus station to meet her, Marci is not on the bus. They later appear to abandon the hope of adopting Marci's child.

Tina unknownly accepts a lunch meeting with filmmaker Dylan Moreland, only to learn that Dylan used the meeting as an excuse to recruit Tina to help her win back her ex-lover Helena. Tina refuses this request.

Meanwhile, Tina's job at the studio is threatened when the Lez Girls negative is stolen. Tina's boss Aaron believes Jenny is responsible for the theft and orders Tina to retrieve the negative from her. But when Tina confronts her, Jenny claims innocence and soon suggests that the film's hedge fund millionaire producer William was probably the true thief. Later, the negative is ransomed via correspondence faxed to the studio, signed by Tina and thereby implicating her as the thief. Tina is incredulous and afraid for her job, but finally snaps when she sees Aaron and William at a dinner meeting with new clients that she wasn't informed of. Believing herself to be already fired, she causes a scene, angrily accuses Aaron of mistreatment and William of theft, and quits.

Also in this season, Bette reconnects with her college crush Kelly Wentworth, and the pair open an art gallery together. Tina seems largely nonplussed at Kelly's attempts to flirt with Bette, as she has accepted Bette's apologies for prior indiscretions and believes she will now remain faithful. However, Jenny managed to film an encounter between Bette and Kelly on her cellphone, mistaking it for a sexual tryst (the two were actually just picking up broken glass from the floor), and threatens Bette that she will show the footage to Tina unless Bette confesses the alleged indiscretion first.

Tina soon finds herself in a new business meeting in New York, where she is offered her dream job. She and Bette decide to move to New York so Tina can take the job. At their going away party in Los Angeles, Jenny prepares a video montage of several friends wishing them farewell. During the party, Shane leads Tina to Shane and Jenny's attic, where she has uncovered the missing Lez Girls negative. Tina is enraged, believing Jenny has stolen them and lied to her (The true thief is later revealed, via online interrogation tapes to be Jenny's ex-lover, Lez Girls actress Niki Stevens, who planted the negatives in Jenny's attic). Shortly afterwards, Jenny is found dead in Bette and Tina's pool. The series continuity ends with Tina and her friends being interrogated by police regarding Jenny's death.

The Interrogation Tapes[edit]

One day after the television series ends, footage of Tina's police interrogation appears on Showtime's L Word website ("The Interrogation Tapes"), during which she reveals certain elements of her early life such as her adulterous father and a secret, incestuous relationship with her elder sister that lasted three years.[1]

The Chart[edit]

Tina's chart as of episode 4.02:Livin' La Vida Loca. Pink represents lead female characters; light blue and navy blue represent secondary female and male characters, respectively.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The L Word Interrogation Tapes: Tina". Showtime. Retrieved 2009-03-11.