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WEDNESDAY

There were a few pluses to Season 2 of The L Word. Bette and Tina reunited, but not before Helena Brit-bitched up the place. Alice still got to be funny. Bad novelist/baby-dyke Jenny became slightly less annoying. The rest is on the minus side: the hidden-camera subplot, the near absence of drag-king Ivan Aycock, and…BETTY. BETTY everyfuckingwhere, individually and collectively: BETTY, smarmily earnest and creepily coy, crooning about cross-dressing over the credits; BETTY playing at Kit’s club and dancing with the soaper’s star wimmin. Maybe I’m just jealous ’cause I’ll never make out with Shane. (It’s hopeless: We’re on different coasts, I’m straight and married, and she’s fictional.) But I’m also old enough to remember a time when BETTY ruled, when the then-D.C.-based trio shook the stodgy women’s-music circuit with its funky cabaret. Now, a couple of decades on, the schtick is a bit played and the shocks are reduced to Elizabeth Ziff’s potty mouth. The group’s L Word music may bite, but the Ziff sisters and Alyson Palmer still make cool harmonies and lively entertainment, especially when they’re shooting for campy humor and not playing ur-dyke pinups on TV. Their autobiographical musical, BETTY Rules (which runs Dec. 20–Jan. 29 at Theater J), has gotten good press, and if memories of their Christmas show last year are any evidence, their New Year’s Eve concert this year should be good girly fun. Just try not to think about what The L Word’s Season 3 might have in store: If Amy Ziff and Jenny get together, I’m switching to Gilmore Girls for my estrogen-power fix. BETTY plays Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 1:30 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133. (Pamela Murray Winters)