Well well well we are halfway through the season, and things are getting heated! Not necessarily in a sexy way, I should say, but in more of a fighting and fire alarm and first kisses kind of way. Alice and Taylor are arguing in a movie theater, Shane and Tess are arguing on a balcony, and Sophie and Finley are only not arguing because the fire department is on their way!
We’re also getting a little heated on the pod this week! Not necessarily in an angry way, but (hopefully) in more of a sharing our thoughts about writing and representation kind of way. Halfway thru the season check-in: how’s everybody feeling? Heated? Chillin’?
+ Riese’s recap of Episode 305: Locked Out
+ Drew keeps using her intro for her other podcast, Wait, Is This A Date?
+ Check out the calendar month for Carmen LoBue!
+ Alice is actually reading an old Margaret Cho book, I’m The One That I Want
+ Sa’iyda’s interview with Jacqueline Toboni!
+ Drew’s new interview with Daniel Sea!
Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.
Analyssa: And I’m Analyssa.
Riese: And I’m Riese.
Drew: And welcome to … Nope, this—
Analyssa: Do you say, “Welcome to,” on Wait, Is This a Date?
Riese: Oh, do you want to just do, Wait, Is This a Date?
Drew: This feels fun. Should we keep this? And this is To L and Back Generation Q Edition.
Riese: Well, but we’re all supposed to say it.
Drew: Okay. And this is…
Riese: To L and Back.
Drew: To L and Back Generation Q Edition.
Riese: Generation Q Edition.
Analyssa: Generation Q Edition.
Drew: Wow. Excellent work. We are virtual for the first time this season because it’s holidays and so people are in various places, and yeah. Should we talk about The L Word program?
Analyssa: Yeah, let’s talk about The L Word TV show on this TV sets.
Drew: Great. This is episode 305, Locked Out. It’s directed by Nancy Mejia, who has been writing on the show from the beginning, and wrote on Vita and then directed an episode of Vida in season two. And now this is her first episode directing on Gen Q
And I just want to shout out Tanya Saracho, who’s the showrunner and creator of Vida, because Nancy Mejia was a first-time writer on Vida. So having your first-time writer in the second season, only the second season, directing an episode is a very cool thing to do.
And now that has allowed, three seasons in, for her to direct this episode and also direct an episode of The Chi. So I don’t know, that’s just a cool thing and I love Vida and I love Tanya Saracho.
And then it’s written by Melody Derloshon and Nina Kim. Melody Derloshon, been writing on the show the whole time. We’ve talked about her many times. And Nina Kim, this is her first episode of television, which we love.
Drew: Yeah. Personally, there are things in this episode that the show’s doing that annoy me, but
scene to scene, I thought this was such a well-written episode and such a well-directed episode. And I just was like, I don’t know. I feel like there were more jokes that made me laugh. There were more just like, I don’t know. I liked it. I liked it. Good work, everyone.
Riese: Great job, everybody.
Analyssa: And that’s the episode for this week.
Drew: Honestly, I’m saying this because I think even when shows are bad, celebrating the talent that makes them better is worth it. Especially when they are not as super experienced. So that’s actually my take. But okay, so let’s, let’s get into the episode. Go scene by scene maybe and sort of discuss it-
Riese: Reiterate it.
Drew: Yeah, as we go. It could be a fun thing to try out this week.
Riese: For me, what I like to do personally, is I like to watch the whole episode, take screen caps of every second, write a full recap of it with captions for every picture. I like to take at least three days to do this. And then once I’m done with that, I like to hop on the podcast and talk about it scene by scene with both of you. And then share that with the world and then listen to the podcast to give edits on it and then do that.
Drew: Wow. That’s a lot of work for one episode.
Riese: It is.
Drew: Do you think you do more work on each episode of The L Word than anyone who works on The L Word?
Riese: The only way I could find out for sure would be if they hired me to write for The L Word.
Drew: That’s a really great point.
Drew: Okay. So this episode begins with Alice and Shane planning on doing one of my favorite pastimes, going to a movie. And Alice asks Shane not to be late. So I bet, I think something might happen.
Riese: Someone’s going to be late. Alice’s sweater is cute.
Analyssa: Is that the big striped one?
Analyssa: Yeah, that’s a good one.
Riese: I usually wear less nice clothes to the films, to the cinema though, because I don’t want to get buttered popcorn on my clothes.
Analyssa: Don’t you think that’s Alice’s least nice sweater, probably?
Riese: Probably, yeah. I mean as we’ll discuss, apparently she’s a huge star who always is impeccably everything, so, you know what I mean? And Shane is packing stuff up and you might think it’s because she’s moving out, but it’s ’cause Patty’s moving out.
Drew: Yep. And there’s a bee and Tess is freaking out about it and there’s just an incredible CGI bee. And it chases—
Riese: How do you know it wasn’t a real bee?
Drew: Do they use real bees? I would imagine not.
Riese: Well, I hope if they did, if it was a real bee that it was gay.
Drew: Yeah. It’s really important that we have gay bees.
Analyssa: They put out a casting call that was like, “Queer please.”
Riese: I hope it was a trans bee. But the character was cis, the character of the bee was cis.
Drew: I mean, that’s the next step for bee representation.
Riese: It absolutely is. Yeah. That’s forward thinking. That’s like the new queer avant garde.
Drew: I’ve been really hush about that all season, we’re circling back around on two different occasions this episode for me to free talk about this. But basically what it does is it results in Shane and Tess being locked out, the title, on the balcony. And you know what? I love this trope. Every, give me your blackouts. Give me your-
Analyssa: Stuck in an elevator.
Drew: Stuck in an elevator.
Riese: Love that. Yes.
Drew: I love it. And every time it happens in my real life, I go, “Oh, I’m in that episode of the sitcom.” And sometimes it doesn’t, nothing interesting happens, but sometimes it does. And I go, “Wow, that was a good episode of the sitcom of me.”
Riese: It happened in an episode of New Amsterdam yesterday. I watched this yesterday. They had a snowstorm, a blizzard, a blackout, and people stuck in an elevator.
Drew: Oh my God. That’s a trifecta.
Riese: Yeah. The disaster trifecta. What a treat. Yeah. So now they have to talk. ‘Cause before they weren’t talking.
Drew: Yeah. And it’s also very enjoyable to watch Shane try to get a dog to open a door. I would’ve watched an hour of Shane being like “Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac.”
Riese: I didn’t realize Patty was already gone. And it doesn’t necessarily make sense that she was, ’cause I believe we’re trying to act like this is the next day. Again, I’ll deal with the timeline at the end of the season.
Drew: Please do this on your own time, Riese.
Riese: But first, I was like, “Oh no, Patty’s stuck in there and they’re not going to be able to help her.” But then I realized that she wasn’t there.
Drew: Speaking of people who are stuck, Angie is stuck in this weird power dynamic with her professor who’s now asking her if she wants to go away with him. I do not like it.
Riese: No. I think that she should say yes and then they should go drive to a cliff and she should push him off it.
Analyssa: Oh, I don’t…
Drew: Sure. Yeah. Okay. That seems very-
Riese: Just kidding.
Drew: I’ve thought about it.
Riese: Just kidding. No, no, just kidding. I don’t think she should, I don’t think that this man should die, obviously. He’s a perfectly nice man. I just don’t think he should be dating Angie. I think he should maybe date someone in his, a different person who’s not his student.
Drew: I don’t think he should die, but I don’t think he’s necessarily a perfectly nice man. I think he thinks he’s a perfectly nice man.
Riese: Fair. Yeah, that’s true.
Drew: I think that’s a very important part of his self image.
Riese: Yeah. I feel like this is endemic of writers, male writers. They think they’re so sensitive and so in tune with the world and emotions and sadness and poetry that the rules don’t apply to them. Do you know what I mean?
Drew: Yeah. I blame decades of Woody Allen movies.
Riese: Yes, exactly. Yes. It’s the Woody Allen scenario.
Analyssa: Which is why this plotline is almost less interesting to me. It’s like this is so cliché. I’ve seen this.
Riese: Boring, yeah.
Analyssa: What’s not cliché is this storyline with the little roommate who comes in and is like, “Okay, I’ve been hooking up with this guy. Let’s not get into the details, whatever. A condom is stuck inside me.” And immediately I was like, “Angie’s going to have to get this out. There’s no other end to the story.” I also lived in a sorority house in college, whatever, we don’t need to talk about that. But there are many stories of this kind of thing where people would come home and be like, “I’ve got something going on and I need somebody else to handle it for me. I can’t see what’s happening.”
Drew: Finley and Sophie are doing their, “Well, we want to talk about Dre, so we’re going to talk about Dre details.” Finley says that Dre’s a hot person’s name and Sophie says that they’re not hot, which is—
Riese: Which we all know is a lie.
Analyssa: I don’t believe that for a second.
Drew: Why would you say… Also, I don’t understand why Finley says that it makes, why would it make you feel better to know that you’re…
Analyssa: Oh, you have a weird thing about this though, don’t you?
Riese: Yeah, I was about to say, I have a feeling like I’m going to disagree.
Analyssa: Drew has a thing about this, I feel like. About when you want your exes to have dated only other hot people because otherwise it… Haven’t you talked about this before?
Drew: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I want to be in the group of people that you’re hooking up with and we’re all hot people. If you’re hooking up with someone ugly… What I would love in this scenario, I mean, I might just trust that Sophie loves me and it doesn’t matter and whatever. Maybe I have a different relationship to non monogamy and other things. Anyways. But if I’m trying to be in Finley’s experience, if Sophie was like, “Dre was super hot, but very boring and whatever.” I’d be like, “Cool. That checks out. You hooked up with someone who…” Anyways, what’s more suspicious to me is Sophie saying that they only slept together once. And it was like-
Riese: Right, because Mari referred to them as this person you were sleeping with.
Analyssa: Yeah. Also, just the whole having to go question by question thing. I was already just kind of on edge about, it just feels like things are getting sort of obscured for the sake of not hurting Finley’s feelings anymore.
Drew: Yeah. Just start from the beginning. Be like, we met—
Analyssa: Just tell me what happened.
Riese: Also how hard would it be for Finley to find Dre out in the world? As we learn, not that hard. But also on social? We’re already suspending our disbelief that Finley hasn’t already looked this person up on social media because social media doesn’t really exist on The L Word. But there’s no way that Sophie’s going to hide Dre from Finley indefinitely.
And also pretty much everyone is hot. So the chances that Dre is hot are pretty high just statistically speaking when you look at the world of the not cis men dating pool. Because cis men are not always hot, but most other people are.
Analyssa: Also this is sort of edging in on Drew’s point, but you wouldn’t hook up with someone who you’re like, this person is not hot to me. So what does it matter? I get that Finley is hurting, but even the question of “Were they more charming than me?” Let’s not get into that. Do you want to know the details or is it a competition?
Riese: That is what people ask though.
Analyssa: Oh, definitely.
Drew: Also I’m sorry but we meet Dre and Dre isn’t like, “Oh, Dre’s hot.” Dre’s hot. It’s not like, oh different tastes, different whatever. There are people where for sure, like if you’re a listener and you do not find Dre hot write in because I’m fascinated by you. But this whole talk doesn’t feel like it’s being done well.
Riese: Right. I’m not sure, we obviously know Sophie’s lying about Dre being hot. But are we supposed to think that Sophie’s telling the truth about their time together? Because I got the feeling that we were.
Analyssa: Yeah, I don’t know what we were supposed to think, but I didn’t feel like I was hearing the whole truth.
Riese: Right, and why? Just tell the whole truth. You were allowed, you were on a break.
Drew: You were on a break.
Riese: Tell the whole truth.
Drew: Yeah. I also am not sure. It definitely felt like, I don’t know if it said Sophie’s so used to not telling the truth that she’s having a hard time telling the truth, but that doesn’t even… I mean, I know that’s what they want me to think, but I’m not buying it.
Analyssa: Well, but Sophie says that she has kept all this from Finley anyway because Finley’s been doing so well and Sophie doesn’t want to mess that up. So I wonder if that’s part of it too.
Riese: Like protecting, not wanting to upset the delicate balance of Finley’s sobriety.
Drew: By the time Finley’s being like, “I want to hear everything,” it’s like, respect Finley enough to trust her and to know that if you’re not honest, it’s going to screw you over when Dre happens to be at Dana’s later. Just saying.
Analyssa: Just in case you happen to see… Every time I go to a queer bar, I assume I’m going to see an ex or an ex-hookup. So they should just be planning for that eventuality anyway. I don’t know.
Riese: I went to Dana’s once and saw an ex, so.
Drew: Oh God. I remember that.
Analyssa: I went to Ginger’s in Brooklyn the last time I was in New York by myself for a random night and ran into, not an ex, but someone who mistook me for my ex. And I was like, “Cool.”
Drew: Wow. I love Ginger’s.
Analyssa: I know, me too. I love it there.
Speaking of revealing truths, Micah has told his mom about his relationship with Maribel. They decide that they’re going to celebrate by either, by doing one of two activities that sound both really not celebratory to me, but okay. I’m happy for them.
Riese: Oh, they sound fantastic to me.
Analyssa: Oh man.
Riese: Organizing the Tupperware drawer or picking a sperm donor. But I thought this was a really cute scene with them when they were like, “Can we be in bed by eight?” That was adorable.
Analyssa: It was really sweet.
Drew: Yeah. Boring people deserve to be on TV also, even if I don’t relate.
Riese: I really did. I love the idea of being in bed by nine, if only I didn’t have insomnia.
Drew: A couple that is not doing as well as Micah and Maribel is Tess and Shane who are now talking about it. The first thing I wrote obviously, and I’m so glad we find out the answer to this is, wait, is Alice going to be alone at the movie? Which we’ll get back to that. But Tess is like, “I knew about your reputation. Everyone in this town except Finley knows about your reputation. Why did I think you were going to be different?”
Yeah, I don’t know. It’s fine. It’s a fine scene. I don’t necessarily think that that much interest… I mean it is the first part of a longer conversation and throughout this whole thing I was just feeling like, “Oh, you know what would be so interesting is if Tess was trans and she had feelings about Shane cheating on her with a cis woman.” Like Kehlani doesn’t identify it that way. But I think Ivy’s supposed to be a cis woman and either way. So there’s a lot of feelings that could come up. What an interesting thing that could be? And as is, I’m just sort of like, “I’ve seen this before.”
Riese: It was funnier before, because Carmen had a fire extinguisher and was screaming about birds. That was far more entertaining.
Drew: Right. There are moments and we’ll keep returning to this where I’m like, “Oh, is it going to go somewhere new, somewhere interesting?” And it never really does.
Riese: It really doesn’t. Yeah, I know it’s hard to talk about because also I don’t remember specifically what they talked about in each scene. But that kind of speaks to the nature of the conversation in that we didn’t really get a lot of new information. Like you were saying that if Tess was trans, that would’ve deepened the conflict or just given them more to work with.
And I felt like there was a lot of generalities and big, broad statements. If I was editing this short story, I’d be like, “Give us a detail, give us a specific detail. Tell us exactly what you envisioned for your future together. Tell us about a time when you thought things would be different. Tell us about anything you’ve done together over the past year? Or when did you stop being happy? Tell us a story. Give us a full story.”
The original series did this too. Just skating on the surface of things instead of digging into the details of it. And I don’t know why it’s always like this, but I just wish they got a little bit more real. Thank you for listening.
Analyssa: I loved it.
Well, speaking of getting real. As suspected, we’re back at college and the roommate, what is her name? Bella?
Analyssa: Bella, but not from Twilight. That’s what you said last week, right?
Riese: Oh wait, no, I said it was Bella. It was Bella from Twilight.
Analyssa: Oh, you said it was Bella from Twilight.
Riese: Yeah, so it is Bella Swan, but she’s different. She looks different now and she’s in
college and she’s obviously not dating the vampire because he would’ve freaked out if she’d hooked up with the baseball player.
Analyssa: Unless it’s him when they play baseball in that scene, his family.
Riese: Oh yeah, that would’ve been fun.
Drew: And vampire condoms are bigger and that’s why they get stuck.
Riese: Yes, exactly.
Analyssa: The one funny thing from this scene is her saying, “I can’t tell what’s a condom and what’s me.” What an insane series of words together. It’s just very funny. But again, these are little pops of the scene with them kind of. The whole time. They’re just trying to get this out of her.
Riese: Honestly, I was bummed because it does seem like from this that Bella is straight. If she’s queer it’s definitely not, it seems like she’s straighter, at least at this point. Don’t you think?
Riese: You think Bella’s queer?
Analyssa: Like a flirty thing between the two of them, Drew?
Drew: Yeah, I… No?
Analyssa: No, I don’t think that’s going on. I know what you’re pointing out, but I don’t think that’s what’s going on.
Riese: Right, there was a moment when I thought maybe, but I thought, no. Not because it couldn’t be there because also I think that Jordan is just good at having chemistry with other actors. But because it just felt like this is not where they’re going to go with this character.
Drew: That’s what I thought initially. There’s a moment later on that we’ll get to where I was like… I mean, look, straight girls flirting with a queer girl, that’s not unheard of. So the moment later where I’m like, “That feels a little flirty.” Also, I think maybe just girls talk to each other that way. I’ve never been a straight girl.
Riese: Yeah, I think it felt to me like a straight girl and her friend in college and I just would love Angie to talk to even just one gay person in college and I was hoping it would be her roommate.
Analyssa: You can find a lot of them at college, sometimes a lot more than you were used to.
Riese: Yeah, especially at California University with their legacy of Jodi Lerner, Bette Porter, Phyllis Kroll. A long legacy of big queer minds at that institution.
Drew: Speaking of big queer minds, Dani is listening to a voicemail from Roxy about, so Roxy’s gone and then all of a sudden I immediately, I think because images were released earlier, I knew it was Dre. Dre saves Dani from a scooter. Those scooters.
Riese: Those scooters.
Drew: They can be dangerous.
Analyssa: I hate those fucking things. I hate them.
Riese: But they’re so good for transportation for people.
Analyssa: Yes, I am certain that they are useful, especially in a city like Los Angeles that does not have good public transportation. On a personal level, I hate them.
Drew: Dre says, “I feel like I should kiss you, but we’re not in a romcom.” And Dani then kisses her.
Riese: I loved that.
Drew: I loved it. I was a fan.
Riese: I was like, “Let the romcom begin.”
Analyssa: Yeah, who says we can’t be in a romcom? Also, Dani is coming off a breakup and coming off having hung out with her friend who it seems like have always had some weird sexual energy maybe and nothing happened. I don’t know. Get wild girl, go after it.
Riese: This is when I can say that the actor who is playing Dre, Autostraddle used to do a calendar every year. We would do a calendar every year and we would have a different model every month.
Analyssa: That’s how I found Autostraddle the first time.
Riese: Oh really? Through the calendar?
Riese: Oh, right. Because your friend was in the calendar.
Analyssa: I knew someone at my college who was in one of the calendars, and it was the first time I’d ever heard of Autostraddle. And then I started reading your Faking It recaps, which is how I eventually became sucked in.
Riese: Those are really good. If I could just celebrate myself for a minute.
Analyssa: I don’t miss watching the <emFaking It show, but I miss reading the Faking It recaps the day after.
Riese: Thank you so much. That means so much to me. But Carmen, this actor, was the March calendar model of our very first year. So I was like, “Oh my God, they’re all grown up.” And I was just like, “Wow.” It was just really weird to see. And because they were friends with our friend Julia, who was the February model, and Julia had been like, “Oh, I have this other friend,” and we’d gotten them in. So anyway, that was kind of exciting.
Analyssa: That is exciting.
Riese: So just so you know, if you want to be an Autostraddle calendar model in the early 2010s, you could one day end up on The L Word: Generation Q.
Drew: I mean that’s a good endorsement.
Analyssa: The chart, but for professional connections to Autostraddle.
Riese: Yeah, I mean, calendar models have gone on to do great things in their communities. They really have. So just a moment for the calendar. Okay.
Drew: I did think it was quite bold of Dre. It was quite bold.
Riese: It made me love them immediately.
Drew: Speaking of flirting, Sophie and Finley are flirting at the bar and Finley asks Sophie to go to meet me in the back. And we’re going to…
Analyssa: Again, who works at this bar? If Finley goes into the back room to have sex with Sophie, who is taking drink orders? I’ve seen none other people.
Riese: There was one, I saw another bartender this episode.
Analyssa: The good news for Finley in this situation, re: the rules is she’s the boss. She has no checks on her behavior.
Riese: But I like her outfit. She looks hot.
Drew: Everyone looks very hot this episode.
Analyssa: Oh yeah, this little white sweater.
Drew: And then Dani arrives and asks Finley for tequila on the rocks, nothing cheap. Which I loved this whole thing. Dani this episode was so fun. I loved it. Dani’s like, “I want to have a hot girl autumn.” I don’t know, the whole energy was so fun. I love that they’re all friends again.
Riese: Her energy was radiant. Is this when she tells Sophie?
Drew: Yes. And they talk about The Wedding Planner.
Analyssa: And they do a really extended Wedding Planner bit, which I personally also loved.
Riese: And she tells Sophie that she hooked up with this really hot person.
Drew: Yeah, I really enjoyed that bit. Dani has on and off been one of my favorite characters of the new show and sometimes the storylines they give her all, like the Sackler stuff, no thank you. But when they’ve moved beyond that, she’s so fun in this episode, I felt like they really let that character, I don’t know, it was really, five stars for this part of the episode.
Riese: Never mention her father again. I don’t need to know that she even has a father. Let’s just ride this out. I’m loving this.
Drew: Maribel and Micah are picking their sperm donor and Maribel says she wants a guy over six feet, which Micah will eventually be like, “This is eugenics.” And they have some funny banter. Honestly, pretty impressive to have funny banter about eugenics. But I also am like, “You can’t be partnered with a trans guy and be like, ‘I want a guy who’s over six feet.’”
I know it’s been coming from a place where she’s like, “My family’s all short,” and okay, whatever. But I didn’t love that.
Riese: I don’t understand what they’re doing here.
Drew: I mean, I was confused why they didn’t just do it the old fashioned way and find a famous artist and use that sperm.
Analyssa: Right. Right.
Riese: I guess I’m curious how they’ve decided to get pregnant to begin with. If they are going to be doing it with an at-home insemination. If they’re going to be doing it in a doctor’s office like an IUI if they want to do IVF.
Drew: I mean, I think it’s fair for us to say that it’s kind of weird to have the character who’s supporting quote, unquote “eugenics” is the disabled character. And obviously it is turned into a joke and they sort of move past it or whatever. But it is weird. I know that eventually it’s leading towards them being like, “We wish we could just combine our genetics.” And it’s like, okay, but then why are we-
Riese: I don’t understand why they don’t start there. That’s where couples start. They start with, “Well let’s find a donor who looks like you or who has some traits.” I was really confused at first. I was like, “You’re just choosing traits randomly? Why wouldn’t you want to choose traits that look like Micah? That’s what most queer couples or couples where no one’s producing sperm that can be used to get anyone pregnant do, is they pick someone who looks, somehow has something in common with or resembles the other. Also, if they want donors who are only over six feet, I don’t think she was going to find a lot of options there.
Drew: Why, because it’s mostly struggling actors?
Riese: I mean just making it 5’10” and above, you’re really decreasing your options. So I think when this story first started, I assume they weren’t talking about Mari’s disability at all in relationship to it cause it didn’t matter. Like it really didn’t have any impact on her pregnancy or conception or anything like that. And then someone had asked me about it, so I like did a little research and first of all, I’m not a doctor, but, there does seem to be like, there are certain things that you would have to consider differently when you’re thinking about your pregnancy and how it might impact your body if you do have muscular dystrophy. Like I’m over 40, right? So for me, there’s certain things I have to consider differently. So like my journey started at a doctor’s office because there is an increased risk of miscarriage. You know, there’s things I might wanna consider when deciding how I wanna conceive and what I’m looking for in a donor and all of that stuff, you know? And I think like showing the way that different bodies might be approaching this differently is like, I don’t think that that has to feel like we’re making this story just about their disability. It’s just like, this is just a part of someone’s identity, someone’s experience in the world. It makes for like richer storytelling and like more interesting character work when we address those things that are pretending like those things don’t exist. But again like, I don’t know, I feel like I don’t wanna mess up talking about it, you know what I mean?
Drew: Again, it’s just a lack of specificity. Same thing with the breakup between Shane and Tess. It’s just a lack of specificity that results in scenes that, taken at face value, it’s fine, but it is just like, “Why do you not want this show to be more interesting? And why are you picking this storyline if you’re not going to get into any of the specificities of these two individuals?”
Analyssa: I wonder if it’s a thing of what Max was saying of, “I want to show you how great it can be.” And the show is picking very interesting topics to be like, “We’re actually just going to show you how possible it is and great it is,” without getting into the specificity of stuff. And then there’s other things where I’m like, “Why are you making that so hard for the characters?”
So Tess’s mom’s storyline. I’m like, “Why is this so difficult and sucking so much of her life when there are ways to make that easier on her.” But then in this Maribel and Micah getting pregnant, which seems really complicated and really overwhelming as a process, they’re kind of like, “Yeah, isn’t it so fun?” It’s just an interesting, I don’t know they’re choosing-
Riese: Right, they’re just-
Riese: Yeah, they’re just, we’re just going to look online and find… It’s not that’s not that casual. It’s not that simple. It’s not that easy. And one thing that I think is good that they’re doing is that I do think that they’re coming from a very disability positive perspective. Where I feel like other shows that address disability and pregnancy, they’re very much like, “We would never want to have a kid who has this disability.” And they’re not doing that.
If they were doing that, then they would be doing IVF and using a donor egg so that they would for sure not pass it on. And if they’re not doing that, then that’s great and that’s all the more reason why I wish they would engage with the things that are still relevant to this process for them.
Analyssa: And even that would be interesting. The two of them being like, “Whoa, this is something, we don’t really have a framework for this. This is really hard to find people who have gone through this or this is really… ” Even just lines like that. Like, “I wish that the baby could be part of both of us.” “I wish we had people like us who we could turn to.” We had that a little bit in the last episode, but it seems like it’s just tough because it seems that it’s in an attempt to be very positive about this experience or also showing people that it is possible, what that route looks like.
It seems like it’s in an attempt to do that, but it elides any interesting specificity or discussion, any deeper representation than just these two people get to click around the sperm donor website, which doesn’t really feel super realistic.
Riese: It feels very similar to how they deal with trans characters.
Analyssa: And honestly, sometimes sobriety. It’s just, not that is a identity on the same level, but just this thing where it’s like, “Yeah, Finley’s now sober. Isn’t that amazing?” And it’s like, there’s not a whole-
Riese: Do her and Sophie have to talk about how that’s going to work for them?
Analyssa: Does she have a sponsor? All these details that could really add some real heft to a story and make them more meaningful, instead of the thing we’re kind of bumping up against this episode is the broad strokes of stories.
Drew: If you don’t have the ability to really get into these things, and if you’re not interested in getting into these things, I mean, I guess this is what happens when you make your trans character and your disabled character the respectable, boring ones where you run out of storylines. And so when the goal is like, “Oh, we’re going to do something so radical by having these characters want to be asleep by 8:30,” which is great. I support anyone doing that. But when you’re making a show that is, as I referred to it last week, a gay hookup show, and then you want to have these underrepresented identities there, but not actually do much with them, you’re just running out of storylines. And so then it’s like, “Well, they’ll have a baby.” And it’s like, “Okay, but that’s also complicated for these specific individuals.” I don’t know.
I mean, look, part of the reason why I think I was able to just turn my brain off and just watch them banter and watch the actors I like do their little thing is because I’ve, seasons ago, checked out so much as far as how the show treats Micah and Maribel.
They’re not even in every episode and not in a Bette Porter choice way, but in a, “Oh, we don’t have anything to do with them this week” way. And I don’t know, just my expectation for these two characters is so low that when they just get some scenes to have fun with, I’m like, “Okay.” But it sucks because having this conversation is making me be like, “Oh, right. There’s so much that could be done and isn’t being done.”
Riese: And obviously I probably last year would’ve been like, “Okay, whatever, this is fine.” But now that I’ve been through this process of looking for donor sperm, I’m obviously… And not just that, but also looking back and being, there are all these things about how Bette and Tina did it, where I don’t feel like there’s a lot of really good representation of what it really is like and what it really costs to get pregnant as a queer person. And I wish that they would engage more fully with it.
And it feels very weird that they’re just like, “Now we’re looking for sperm donors on the internet.” That would not be their next step. Their next step would be going to the doctor and talking about the best way to proceed with this pregnancy. And that would be informative. And if Mari and Micah were fuller characters it still wouldn’t feel like that their whole story was about disability because this doctor’s appointment was about disability.
Analyssa: And even if we didn’t see that, but they said it. It’s the thing you were saying last week, Riese, you have lines that can mean something. We could be doing more with each line to say “There aren’t a lot of options because of remember the thing we talked about with the doctor, but let’s look at what we can,” or whatever. It’s possible. So it’s just kind of frustrating.
Drew: Yeah. I really take issue with this idea and I’ve talked about this in reference to Tess not being trans. I really take issue with this idea that if you have any sort of marginalized identity, that the choices have to be either never talking about it or having nothing about yourself that is connected to it. I talk about being gay all the time. I talk about being trans all the time. I’m also Drew, I have a lot of personal, specific things. And the way I talk about being gay, the way I talk about being trans, those are specific to me and those are specific to my character.
And it’s just so dehumanizing to feel like those are the options. And I experience it in general, in this industry of people wanting, basically it’s like, “Oh, is this a trans story where we’re dealing with the trauma? Or is this a trans story where transphobia doesn’t exist?”
And I’m like, “There’s such a vast world in between those two things where it doesn’t have to be crying in the mirror, mascara going down my face, and I’m not a character with any sort of qualities or I’m out in the world and everyone’s just correctly gendering me and gender is dead and tra la la, la.” There’s so much else to explore. And it just takes away from our actual experiences to act like those are the options.
Drew: Anyway, from a storyline that I don’t enjoy to a storyline that I do enjoy, Alice is at the movies alone. I have never related more to The L Word than Alice sitting there waiting for her friend. I also love that she texts and says, “Previews are starting,” to Shane when previews are not starting. Oh, we want to talk about representation. That’s representation. That is my trans experience. Also, Taylor’s there with someone, so whoops.
Riese: Yeah. Taylor’s there with someone.
Analyssa: I personally love insane Alice. This is something I love from the original run too. Anytime Alice gets unhinged. Like cardboard cutout Dana, Alice I know, is very polarizing, but Leisha Hailey does such a fun thing when she commits to these things that I just was really on board as soon as she saw that. I love when she goes just a little bit off the rails.
Drew: Very entertaining.
Analyssa: Yes, exactly. I don’t have a good transition, but back on the balcony from hell, Shane and Tess are talking more about their relationship and Tess asks if Shane is wanting to do ENM, which made me laugh, just because if you’ve been on Tinder in Los Angeles in the last, I don’t know, five, 10 years, it’s full of people with ENM in their little bios.
Riese: Shane should be like, no, I want to do unethical non monogamy.
Drew: She literally does. She’s like—
Analyssa: Shane prefers unethical non monogamy, actually.
Drew: She literally said, I mean, the way that that line is delivered made me laugh so much because Tess is like, “It’s ethical non monogamy, beautiful partners. Dating, dating other people. And Shane goes, “Oh no, no, no, no, no.” And I’m like, what do you mean? No, no, no, no, no, no. That’s your whole life. You just want,” and yeah.
The way that they brush past this so quickly was another one of my real sticking points for the episode. I just was like, we’re just going to move straight to, is Shane a sex addict? Okay, maybe. But also it’s Kehlani. I’m sorry, but that is not a good portrait of… I’m sorry if this is offensive to sex addicts, but I just feel like that’s not a good portrayal of… Kehlani cannot be Shane’s rock bottom. That is not, I just feel like that is, like, yeah, she cheated and that sucks. But she’s fighting with her. It just feels like the most basic of Shane’s cheating. She’s fighting with her partner. They’ve been together for a year and a half or whatever it is. And then she meets Kehlani. I’m sorry, do you remember when she drank her drink? Do you remember that?
Analyssa: I even put in my notes when, earlier in the scene when Tess is like, or Shane is like, “It’s just an old pattern.” I wrote down, “Weird way to say Kehlani’s really hot.”
Riese: What’s more ethical than hooking up with Kehlani? Name one thing more ethical than that.
Analyssa: It’s your moral right. If you and Kehlani want to hook up with each other that’s the right thing to do.
Riese: But then it made me realize, was she not not monogamous with Kiara? Did we make that up in our heads?
Analyssa: I really was like, why aren’t we talking about the possibility of open relationships?
Riese: Obviously that’s what Shane needs, is a poly relationship.
Analyssa: It’s also what the dialogue is. Shane is saying, sex really doesn’t mean anything to me when it’s just sex. This, as a person who is sober, Tess, being like, “Are you a sex addict?” feels so intense. Instead of just being like, it sounds like you really rely on a lot of validation outside. There’s such a vast ocean of attention makes me feel good between never hooking up with anyone and I’m a sex addict that it just really drove me nuts. And then they don’t really talk about that either. Shane’s like, “Well, maybe,” and then it moves on. So it’s like, “Why put that in there?”
Riese: I felt like it was trying to say that that was a paradigm that Tess felt like she could work with because she knew addiction and she understands addiction. And if Shane could just say, “I’m a sex addict,” she’d be like, “Okay, this is what we do next about that.”
Riese: But then it seemed like Shane was like, “I don’t know, maybe.” But I don’t, I mean Shane’s not a sex addict.
Drew: I don’t know enough about sex addiction to weigh in on that, but it doesn’t seem like the show thinks she is. So why put that, like why engage with that? I did enjoy that when Tess was like, “Yeah, I’ve been feeling disconnected too. And I wrote in my journal.” I did enjoy that line.
Riese: Oh yeah, that was good. That was good.
Drew: Again, it’s so interesting because there’s like, I’d say half the storylines in the episode actively make me want to slam my head in a window. But the way that they’re, all of them had a few lines and performances that I enjoyed. And so it was a very weird experience. That’s what I, but yeah.
Analyssa: I thought the line when Tess, it’s in the same thing, but when she’s like, “And I didn’t go out and fuck the first person to show me attention or something,” I was like, “Okay, yes, great line.”
Riese: Although I’m sure Kehlani was not the first person to show her attention.
Drew: No, of course not. I literally just, I know I’m making a joke out of this, but it is partially because I just don’t really feel like they’re talking about, everyone has different relationships to sex and to monogamy and I just don’t really feel like they’re talking about what their specific relationships to those things are. And it’s driving me nuts.
Analyssa: Also, Tess is talking really strongly and sort of punitively about their relationship and has not yet, which this comes up later, but even in this part of their conversation I was feeling uncomfy with, she has no idea if Shane wants to be in this relationship anymore. And she’s like, “You must change.” And I was like, whoa. I don’t know. It felt like a really intense place to be bargaining from, to me.
Riese: That felt honest to me at least.
Analyssa: I agree. It was more like me having… It’s not a script note. It’s more me having secondhand embarrassment, watching two people have a fight and being like, “If I had just been cheated on, I would not be starting from this tone.” Me personally. God bless all of the work that Tess has done on her self worth. ‘Cause I would’ve been like, “Do you still love me?
Drew: But also Shane said goodbye to Kehlani. So if she did that, if she doesn’t want to be with Tess…
Riese: Yeah. Can we get Ivy back on the show or what?
Drew: That’s what I said.
Analyssa: We might not get Ivy back on the show, but as we know Fletcher is going to guest star. And that’s in part because Dani is throwing Fletcher’s album release party, which is very funny to me.
Drew: I mean it’s the classic daughter of the Sacklers to party planner pipeline. Everyone knows about that. It’s like…
Riese: Yeah, everyone knows about that.
Drew: Then Dre gets on stage to sing because it’s karaoke. And so they have a little banter back and forth about like, that’s them. And they’re like, “Oh, that’s them.” And then they, you know. So Dani’s like, God damn it.
Riese: But she’s still enchanted. Enchanting singer on the mic. I loved watching Dani watch Dre.
Analyssa: Me too.
Riese: Me too. And then Sophie goes to, Sophie’s like “I have to go find Finley to warn her that Dre is here because we’ve just been talking about them.” And Dre is singing a song with lyrics that could be about being sad about Sophie while Sophie and Finley hook up in the back room, which I was just very stressed about.
Drew: It’s “Dancing With a Stranger” by Normani and Sam Smith. And yeah, it definitely was a moment of where I was like, “Wow, imagine fucking your girlfriend while the person who you fucked while you were on break is singing, serenading you.” I was like, this was the kind of shit though that I was like, “It’s so absurd.” But I had such a grand time with all of this. I was like, “This is what I’m here for. This is why I’m watching this show.” I was delighted. It made no sense a lot of it, but it didn’t make sense in a way that didn’t make me want to slam my head in a window, made me want to stick my head out a window cheerfully and shout, “Look at these crazy queers”
Riese: They start hooking up and we see Sophie flashing back to the sex scene with Dre in her mind, which is a lot, but I also felt like it was honest. It’s like hard. Obviously all these things are running through her mind, but it seems like it’s not working.
Analyssa: And Dre is literally singing, basically in her ear while she’s hooking up with Finley. You would be thinking about that.
Riese: And then Dani’s coming in her pants at the bar and it’s incredible. Everybody is aroused. Everyone is aroused except Sophie.
Drew: People in The L Word and in fiction in general are not good at being like, “No, we’re not going to hook up for five seconds, five minutes, whatever.” I’m going to actually say the thing I need to say. Because personally, I mean this is just me. I’m a little bit kooky. If, when Finley’s trying to hook up with me, I’d be like, “Whoa, something happened. We need to talk. We’re no longer having sex in the back room.” I would just be like, “Okay, if you insist on kissing me.” And also if I was Finley and Sophie was like, “I need to talk to you,” I would be like, “That can wait babe.” I’d be like, “Oh yeah, what’s up?” Sure.
Riese: Well I thought Finley maybe thought that was a front because they were joking because they’d already planned to meet in the back for sex. But then Sophie’s obviously, “I can’t,” and Finley’s like, “Of course, we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.” And then Sophie tells them that Dre’s here and then they go out.
And this honestly really hit home for me because I was dating someone once and it was not monogamous, but that was their choice and not something that I really wanted. And we went to a dance party and we were at this party and then she was actually, the other person that she was dating was the DJ, up on the DJ stage DJing. And I was like, “I can’t dance.” I mean I normally am a really bad dancer, but I can’t, there’s no part of me that can dance with you to this person DJing this party. And again, it wasn’t like it wasn’t allowed, but it was still something that I had a lot of feelings about and didn’t really enjoy the scenario.
Drew: Did your partner at the time tell you that the DJ wasn’t hot?
Riese: No, she had not. She had not. But it was the first time I had seen this person’s face so it was a lot. So I was in the moment with Finley feeling all of the blood drop out of my body, knowing this is not, I can’t be mad at her, but I’m still having a reaction to this. So as absurd as it seemed that she switched the fire drill, to me it did not feel that absurd.
Drew: I loved it. I thought it was so, it was chaos. And this was all good here.
Riese: So everyone evacuates?
Analyssa: So yeah, then everyone is leaving. Well and later there’s more of a scene of them later.
Drew: We’ll get to that. Yeah.
Drew: But first we go back to the balcony where Tess asks Shane if she’s ever been to therapy.
Analyssa: That really made me laugh.
Riese: How has she still not been to therapy? She’s like, what, 42?
Drew: And also they’ve been together for a year and a half and Tess has never asked Shane if she’s been to therapy? What kind of queers are these people? And then Tessa’s like, “We’ve all been through a lot.” And I’m like, yeah, Tess transitioned at a young age and has kept it quiet, hasn’t told a soul about it. And that’s got to be hard to live a stealth life like that.
Riese: When she said that for one moment I thought, what if? What if they’re going to do it? And then I was like, “No, they’re not going to do it.”
Drew: No. Shane’s just being a sad puppy.
Riese: And Shane’s been through a lot, but what does that have to do with this? I don’t know.
Drew: And there’s a whole conversation about responsibility. I don’t know. Again, it’s just vague. We don’t need to go over this again unless either of you have something to add. But it’s just, all feels very vague and lots of conversations about responsibility, and I’m just like, okay, I’m not learning anything about these characters.
Riese: I did think the one thing that she said where, because Shane was like, “I am taking responsibility for it.” And Tess was kind of being like, saying you’re sorry after the fact is not the same thing as taking responsibility for this behavior in your everyday life’s. Which is something that Shane could’ve learned in therapy. Which we now know, surprise to everybody, she’s never been in.
Drew: That’s crazy.
Riese: Dan Foxworthy would’ve dined out on her.
Drew: If I had Shane’s money, I would be in therapy all the time.
Riese: I’d be in massage therapy all the time.
Drew: So then we go back to the bar and yeah, Finley’s sent, is continuing to send everybody home and is just freaking out. I did write in my notes, am I better than everyone? And it let me explain that. And I just think that I have the ability, and I’m sure this is a bad thing in some ways. All of our, we all have our own struggles. But I can get through anything. I need to shut down and just not be emotional and just do my job and get through the rest of my bartending night while the hottest person ever who’s fucked my partner is singing. Great. I need to even chat with that person? Great. I could do it. I really have an ability to not make my problems anyone else’s problems. It’s not always a good thing. But I do sometimes watch television and go, “Can you just take a breath?” But, no.
Riese: Yeah, that’s what I felt watching Bros. I thought, suck it up. Stop sharing your personality with this man’s family and just play a role.
Analyssa: That one scene, I was like, “Just pretend for one day. We all have to pretend around people’s families about all kinds of stuff.” What do you mean?
Riese: Yeah, just suck it up, weirdo.
Drew: Yeah, there’s got to be an in between there. But yeah, I’m not judging Finley. I think it fits with Finley and I think is funny. And then Dre, they’re outside and Dre asks Dani to leave with them and we also learned that Dre’s actually a singer or trying to be a musician of some sort.
Riese: From Ohio.
Drew: And then Dani’s like, tells Dre that they slept with her ex and Dre’s like, “How is that possible? I’ve only been here for six months.” Enter Sophie.
Analyssa: I thought this scene was so fun. The whole Dani and Dre, Sophie entering, Sophie joking and getting into the car. Dani and Dre still joking. I liked this whole bit.
Riese: Yeah. Sapphic chaos.
Drew: Dani’s like, “Here’s my card. You’re going to need a publicist.” Which no one’s that good at karaoke. Come on. Also, she’s a publicist and then she was a party planner.
Riese: She can do it all. Women can have it all. Yeah.
Drew: I hope that Dre and Dani do have some sort of…
Drew: We’ll get to it later when Dani’s like, “I’m just so loyal,” but I’m like, “Sophie left you at the altar. Like please fuck Dre. And then when Dani and Sophie leave and Dre’s just laughing at the circumstance, I was like, “I’m in love.” Like Dre. Yeah. I’m immediately just like I, this is, yes. I like, this character’s great. Autostraddle calendars have once again, proven to have good taste.
Riese: Excellent taste.
Drew: Then we finally check back in with Angie who has some gloves on, like latex gloves on. And her roommate’s like, “I thought you knew your way around there.” And Angie says, “Well, we did stuff but we never had sex.” Which I say, “Why couldn’t Jordi just be trans? Why couldn’t that just be the case?” And also obviously people, especially teenagers, have sex on their own. I guess I just was like, how long were Jordi and Angie together?
Riese: Two years.
Drew: And also, I’m sorry, but the way that they sold us the character of Jordi was like that she was like wild girl. They didn’t ever do anything sexual beyond making out and boob stuff.
Riese: It’s hard to talk about ’cause it’s not like I want to be, I really wish those teenagers would bone. But then it’s also at the same time, gossip girl in the OC, we’re used to seeing the sex lives of teenagers on our screens, but usually played by older actors. So it’s something that’s in the discourse. But I was like, “Really? You guys were together for two to three years?” I mean, teenagers are notoriously frisky.
Drew: I fully believe that there are plenty of teenage couples who are not having sex anywhere together and are just making out. I don’t believe that Jordi and Angie, given what about those characters? That doesn’t really line up with them. It’s also just why couldn’t Jordi be trans? What are you accomplishing? The actor, she didn’t ask to be cis. That was Jamie’s thing. What are you accomplishing by Cannon making Jordi cis here? Okay, you didn’t want to engage with it when Jordi was on the show in all these interesting ways that we’ve already covered on this podcast, but it’s literally just writing a scene different, writing one line differently here in a way that…
And I guess it’s to eventually lead to Angie being like, “I’m ready to have sex with a professor,” which I’m like, “Really, you would rather Angie’s thing be like, ‘Oh my God, I’m finally ready to have sex with this professor because I’m so in love and I’m comfortable with my body now,’” as opposed to “She fucked her trans girlfriend.” It’s that, we’re so against, I’m just…
Analyssa: But also queer Gen Z thinks about sex and virginity in such a different way than when I was in high school. At least, I’ll speak personally. So that they didn’t even really need to do all this to say that. If it really is, Angie is nervous about going away with this guy, which seems to be the thrust of this whole thing. She’s never had sex with a guy. She’s never had sex with an older person before. She’s never had sex with like…
Riese: A man.
Analyssa: Like a cis man or what? I don’t know. There’s so many other ways that, yeah, it’s not the same way you’re coming at it, Drew, but I was just like, it just felt very weirdly genitals focused in a way that I don’t think Gen Z of being around virginity as a concept anymore. They’re just like, “Yeah, we hooked up,” or “Yeah…” I don’t know. Just feels really weird.
Drew: I have no idea what 18- and 19-year-olds, 18- and 19-year-old queer people’s relationship to virginity is. But do you know who else doesn’t know? The writers of The L Word: Generation Q. It is so clear that they are just projecting whatever experiences they had as straight 18-year-olds onto… It’s like they’ve forgotten that Angie was in a queer relationship and they don’t want to engage with it. They don’t want to engage with what that was like. They just want to do this fucking storyline with the professor. I was so, this all pissed me off. I was so mad. I was just like, and not because again, not because I need teenagers to fuck. But, in fact, if they are going to, I would rather it be with each other than with full grown adults. That’s my hot take.
Analyssa: This is what I mean, is this dialogue is so contrived as to say number one, I’ve never looked at another girl’s literal vagina. And number two, I am a virgin. No penis has been inside. It’s all just so genitalia focused. Sorry to be so gross, but like…
Drew: No, yeah.
Analyssa: And to no end except to say, “I’m going to lose my virginity to my old professor.” Again, who wants that? Who asked?
Riese: And why is she ready for that now but wasn’t ready to have sex with Jordi a month ago?
Drew: Yeah. Makes no sense.
Riese: She barely knows this man. I honestly thought, I thought at this part, there was a moment when I was like, “Is she going to go inside this girl’s vagina and then start to feel like sexual feelings towards her while she’s inside?”
Analyssa: I was really nervous about that too.
Riese: That would’ve been more exciting than what did happen. It would’ve been gross and weird. And again, I don’t know how to talk about teenagers, but I was like, at least that’d be interesting.
Analyssa: Also, the first time that Jordi comes over, Angie is like, “We have the room to ourselves.” It’s like if they were just making out the whole time anyway, why do they care? You can do that when Bette and Tina are in the kitchen cooking.
Riese: I just could not believe that people are really waiting in that regard. Right.
Analyssa: Anyway, another part of this that drove me absolutely bananas is that when they are talking about sex, Bella, the roommate is like, “Only with consent. We love consent.” Yeah, we love consent. And it’s like, if two Gen Zs are talking about this, then it would also be fucking weird to them that Angie is hooking up with her professor. Sorry.
Riese: Right. And also that felt like it was just like, they just wanted to remind us that. When I think that, in fact the show already does a good job reminding us of consent with things like when Sophie was like, “I can’t do this.” And Finley instantly was like, “We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.” Those are the subtle ways you can communicate about consent. You don’t have to have two Gen Zers looking each other in the eyes going, “We love consent,” like they’re like a cartoon that’s in a sex ed pamphlet.
Analyssa: Especially when one of them is in a consent dubious relationship that you put them in. What do you mean? Whatever. Anyway.
Drew: Just feel like Jordan Hull’s so talented.
Drew: And it fucking sucks that they’ve really never known what to do with her beyond being Beth’s daughter. Which is fine. If that was the only role she played on the show, fine. And look, obviously I wish that Tess was trans, but with Jordi it’s just like, you want to do a thing where it’s only the next generation where Shane would never be with a trans woman, which isn’t true. It doesn’t align with, I mean, Shane’s character in the original series would absolutely have dated a trans woman. But even like fine, you want to keep that. You want to say that trans people were invented yesterday, okay, then make that part of the Gen Z story. Make that be the younger generation. Angie’s dating a trans girl. And to just do this basic boring stuff that you would see on this, the most boring sort of college show, whatever. It’s such a bummer.
Riese: Yeah. Yeah. One thing I did like was that she did say, she was like, “And then you know, you tell him what you want.” And Angie was like, “And I’ll just know what I want?” Because I feel like that’s often part of the consent dialogue is that the person on the other end just, you assume that that person knows what they want and can communicate it immediately. And that’s not always the case. And I feel like that was a good sort of moment where it was Angie being like, “What if I don’t know what I want?”
Drew: I have one more thing to say and that is, if Angie didn’t, and Jordi just made out and Angie doesn’t masturbate and is this uncomfortable with her body and this unclear what she wants, it makes the fact that she is about to enter a sexual relationship and really already has entered a sexual relationship with this man who is like, he’s my age.
Riese: Right, yeah.
Drew: He’s at least, he’s got to be late twenties. And it’s just so fucked. And if the show doesn’t know that, which I really thought they did. I thought they were going somewhere, and now I’m a bit scared. If they don’t know how fucked it is, I’m going to be irate.
Riese: They have to know.
Analyssa: It has to be headed somewhere. What I would love is, I was going to say, and then Angie’s roommate is sort of like, “Let’s talk about masturbation.” That’s not what she says, but it’s clear that they’re going to talk about vibrators and stuff. I was like, “Okay, maybe we are introducing Angie to the concept of her own body and her own, what excites her. And that will lead to her being like, “Actually, I want to explore more with more people or more people my age, or I want to do something more casual. I’m already in something really serious after just having dated someone for two years.” That’s my hope for where they’re going.
Drew: And finally we get to go back to a storyline I’m interested in. Alice at the movies. She’s asking the woman behind her for advice on what, she’s like, “Does that look like they’re, does it look like they’re dating or that they’re cousins?” Then Taylor kisses the woman that she’s with, and then the just Emmy worthy delivery of this woman who goes, “Let’s hope they’re not full blood.” Oh, I don’t know who this actress is, but yeah, give her the guest actor-
Drew: Pulitzer. And then Alice does what Alice does best and causes a scene.
Analyssa: I loved it. No notes. I do think that Taylor could’ve explained this a little better. Just being like, “I thought we were not exclusive,” would’ve really solved a lot of this conversation. It goes on for a really long time, which is I imagine and see annoying to all the other movie goers.
Drew: What movie were they watching? I couldn’t tell. It was obviously an old movie.
Analyssa: Only you would be able to answer that Drew.
Riese: Yeah. There’s absolutely no way that we would be able to identify a film that you could not identify.
Analyssa: I could do one frame from 27 Dresses. I would nail it and I think Drew would not, but that’s maybe the only one.
Drew: If you listening, wherever you are, were able to tell what movie it is. Or if you worked on the show and you’re listening, hi, how you doing? Are you doing anything with this Angie storyline? Let me know what movie it is because I’m curious. But yes, Taylor could have explained it better or been like, “Let’s talk about this outside,” though for comic reasons I’m glad they didn’t. But I loved, ugh, this is what I’m constantly trying to communicate to people. Dating is dating and when you are just starting to date someone, you have no, I mean, you never have ownership over another person, but you really have no, you can’t be so invested.
This is something that I think I constantly see people not doing well, which is if you’re a few dates in, even if you’ve had three days of sex. How exciting. That’s really cool. That’s really exciting. Maybe in your eyes you’re like, “I’m falling so hard.” And to find out the person still going on other dates would be hurtful, but they didn’t do anything wrong. And it’d be good to not make assumptions about what someone who you’ve just met is thinking. And dating’s about experimentation and about meeting people and about figuring out what you want. And Taylor and Dre are the MVPs of this episode.
Riese: Except that Taylor lied about having to work.
Drew: Yeah. I think that if you’re newly dating someone, if I said to my girlfriend of a year and a half, “I’m working,” and I was actually doing something else, that’s lying. But if I’ve been dating someone for a week and they’re like, “Oh, what are you doing?” I mean, I guess it is, it’s not necessary. I would probably just be like, “I’m busy.” I wouldn’t make a lie.
Analyssa: That’s the thing that takes it to like-
Riese: I’ll just say, “I can’t.” I would just be like, “Oh, I can’t tonight.” But.
Analyssa: Yeah, that’s what makes it weirdly unkind to me is being like, “I have to work. I have something that I’m doing.” Instead of just being like, “I can’t,” or, “I’m busy,” or “I have other plans.”
Drew: Yeah, that’s true. I agree with that.
Analyssa: That’s a little tough.
Riese: That’s what I would say. ‘Cause I do feel like it is weird to say something, “Oh, I can’t, I’m going out with somebody else.” But-
Analyssa: I feel like I would just be like, “I can’t,” and they kind of know what that means, you know?
Analyssa: Yeah. I very much am of the belief, if you have not had a conversation with the person you think in your head you’re exclusive with about being exclusive, then you’re probably not. And just go ahead and have that conversation if that’s what you want. But it does not feel great about Taylor’s character that she fully just told a lie. But.
Drew: Yeah. That’s true.
Riese: But do you feel like she’s breaking up with Alice here when she’s like, “You’re in this different world and I’m not in it and I want to be in my normal world?” You don’t think so?
Drew: No. She just says, “I want to go slow.”
Analyssa: Oh, I think they’re broken up.
Riese: Right? I know Gretchen didn’t think they were broken up, but I thought they were broken up and I was devastated for this couple that I’ve already deeply invested in.
Analyssa: In. Yeah, I was really sad. I was like, what the fuck?
Drew: She literally says though, “I want to go slow.”
Analyssa: No, but she was like, “I want to turn it down, and I didn’t know how to tell you.” And Alice was like, “Well, this was a really way to find out,” and then walks out. I just feel like it’s… And he is like-
Drew: I still, I’m not, I haven’t given up on them yet.
Analyssa: I love that. I hope that the show has not either.
Riese: Alice… yeah.
Drew: I do appreciate when Taylor says to Alice, like, “You haven’t been normal for so long, you can’t even see it. You can’t even realize.” Which I do think happens to rich people, famous people.
Riese: Fancy people.
Drew: I bet it’s happened to the actors of the original series of The L Word who are back on this show. Probably there’s a little bit of meta stuff there. Then we go back to Micah and Maribel, and again, it’s the same things we were talking about before. There are some fun jokey moments like when they’re trying to list off Micah’s qualities and Micah’s like, “I’m anxious.” And she’s like, “You want our kid to be anxious?” That got a laugh out of me.
Riese: They look at the screen and one of the things that they can check off there on their thing is that, is bachelor’s degree. They click master’s degree. They want the donor to have a master’s degree. And I’m telling you, at the end, they end up getting zero results. Right? You got to get rid of that master’s degree.
Drew: Why do you need someone to have a master’s degree?
Riese: I personally wanted a donor who was really smart because I want to have a kid who’s really smart so that we can be nerds together. That’s important to me. I don’t know if, is that problematic? Whatever. That’s what I wanted.
Analyssa: I was going to say, even though, yeah, what you said over six feet, there is something darkly comedic about how changing these little characteristics will just take your options to zero. That can be in there.
Riese: I don’t know. I mean, I think most couples where they’re looking to have a donor who’s of a specific race, that ends up narrowing the field so dramatically that that’s kind of often all they can narrow it to, which is obviously incredibly frustrating, but I imagine that they would be coming up against that as well.
Analyssa: That’s kind of where I thought they would land when they were like, “Yeah, we want someone who’s kind of like both of us,” was running into, again, a more interesting problem to explore, is there aren’t that many sperm donors who are of my ethnicity or of yours. What do we do about that? How do we… ?
Riese: There are a lot, but there’s not tons.
Drew: I just feel like some of the least intelligent people I’ve met have master’s degrees. Sort of like college degrees in general. I just feel like there’s no, “Oh, you want your kid to be intelligent. Okay, well maybe read to them when they’re a baby.” I don’t know. I just am like…
Riese: They give you the donor’s GPA, their SAT scores, all that stuff.
Analyssa: Do they really?
Riese: Yeah. And then also they’ll give you an essay. There’s also an option, you can listen to the donor speaking out loud, which I didn’t want to do, ’cause I was like, “There’s no way I’m going to listen to a man talk and feel affection for him in any way. That’s just going to ruin it for me, whatever it is.” And pictures and stuff. I mean, you have to sign up for a real account. They obviously hadn’t signed up for a real account yet, which they would do if they were really looking because they’d want to see pictures.
Analyssa: In that case, I would opt to read the people who wrote essays.
Riese: Yeah. They have to answer questions.
Analyssa: That’s where I would start personally in this conundrum.
Drew: Yeah. What I find so fascinating about this is if you wanted a child, like either of my parents, let’s say my dad, because he’s the one with sperm, and you picked my dad because you wanted someone like my dad and then you got me, you’d be so bummed. How many of us are that similar to our biological fathers? I get certain things, but it does just feel, I don’t know. I think finding someone in the art world, that’s the move. I just think that that’s…
Riese: Well, that’s more expensive I guess, because all the legalities around it.
Drew: Oh, interesting.
Riese: They’ll tell you, getting a known donor is actually more expensive than getting a non known donor because all the paperwork you have to do with it apparently is really expensive. But I think, I don’t know, I feel like Bette and Tina were going for a certain vibe that was kind of, made a little, made some sense in terms of what they were looking for.
But yeah, you’re not going to find, I think it’s sort of, you feel like, as somebody who’s trying to get pregnant who’s not in a relationship with somebody who can provide the sperm that you need to get pregnant. You’re like, “Well, maybe this one silver lining is that I can pick somebody based on these qualities or something.” I don’t know. I’m not sure. Anyway, she should pick a shorty. She should pick a 5’3 dummy. Gretchen told me to pick a beautiful idiot. She was like, “Everyone loves the beautiful idiot.” Okay.
Drew: We go back to the balcony. Tess says that she let herself think long-term, and Shane says that she’s not happy.
Riese: Yeah. I wonder why.
Drew: And Angie’s roommate is ordering her vibrator, and this was the one moment where I thought, I don’t, what did, there must have been a line that made me say this. All I have in my notes is, “Wait, are they going to fuck?” I don’t, but I wish I’d written down, knowing that that was a controversial feeling, I wish I’d written down what line it was.
Analyssa: I had the same reaction at first and then it ended up being jokey about them mixing up their vibrators in a way that I was like, “That’s not what they’re doing here.” It is I think just what Riese said, which is that Jordan Hull has a lot of chemistry and is shiny around so many people that I was like, “Oh, some interest.” And then I was like, “No, way, no.”
Drew: Okay. So then after that brief moment, we go back to the balcony. Finley has arrived at Shane’s and lets them out and Shane is like, “I’ll get my stuff and the dog and leave,” and it’s like, “Just go to therapy. It’s not that hard.”
Riese: Also, it’s Shane’s apartment.
Drew: Yeah. I don’t know what’s happening there.
Riese: But Shane is always, Shane would fully be like, “I’m going to take the dog and a small duffle bag and all of my, I’m going to leave all my possessions here forever.”
Drew: Yeah, I do understand that move.
Analyssa: Yes. Well trod on this podcast is that you and me both understand that point of view and I simply do not. If it is my house and my furniture, I will be taking it. Thank you.
Drew: Okay, so then we finish the Micah and Maribel story with them not finding a donor, which we’ve already covered.
Riese: We love these actors so much as people, you know.
Drew: We know. It makes this… I mean, that is where the frustration comes from. The actors are always not, it’s not their fault to me ever.
Riese: Yeah. Leo’s so great.
Analyssa: And they do such good stuff with the stuff that they have that I get frustrated that there isn’t more interesting stuff for them to do or more. I just…
Drew: They’re so good that I fully didn’t think about all the things that I’m now angry about. I was just sort of like, “Okay, okay. I’m, brain off. Smooth, smooth, smooth.”
Analyssa: In my friend group, we call this and another thing where you go see a movie and you kind of have a fun time and afterwards you’re like, “Yeah, it was fun. I enjoyed it.” And then one person says one thing and three hours later you’re still going, “And another thing about that movie, and another thing about that movie.”
Riese: That’s this podcast. That’s this podcast.
One of us will like a scene, someone else will have a gripe. And then we’ll be like, “Actually building off of that gripe, I also hated this.”
Analyssa: One finger up, right. Now that you’ve said something,
Drew: Should we have an And Just Like That podcast called And Another Thing?
Riese: And another thing, dot, dot, dot. God, I couldn’t yell about that show forever.
Drew: I know.
Riese: Truth be told, this is not the only incoherent show on television.
Analyssa: Far from.
Drew: That’s a really great point.
Analyssa: Well, the next scene is literally, and another thing about this show for me, which is that Angie is going to go with her professor on her weekend.
Drew: And the music is like inspirational. The music is like Angie has come into her womanhood and her body and is going to go have sex with this man. What? No. Bad. No. Bad L Word.
Riese: I hope he listened to his audiobook on the drive.
Drew: Oh Lord.
Analyssa: What do the teens call it? Getting the ick. I’m like waiting for Angie to get an ick about this man. I have many of them.
Riese: I hope that Shane and Alice run into them at a truck stop and neither of them know, but judging it by their own pass if they can make an ethical judgment about the morality of this relationship. But eventually they’re like, “No, you know what? We have to say something.” And then they do a car chase all the way to Santa Barbara or wherever, and then they get out and they go to La Jolla and they’re like, “You can’t be with this man. He’s your teacher.”
Analyssa: Beautiful. Put Riese in the room. Alice is reading Margaret Cho’s book dejectedly in bed because-
Riese: Yes, I love that.
Analyssa: She’s been dumped, and I love the implication that Margaret Cho brought copies of her book to the Alice show.
Riese: Yeah. It’s like-
Analyssa: For sure.
Analyssa: Yeah. Or Alice is on the advanced reader copy list. I love it. And Alice’s phone rings and she’s like, “Where are you? Outside?” And it’s Shane.
Riese: It’s obviously Shane.
Analyssa: Obviously Shane. Then Finley and Tess are talking, and Finley is sort of trying to own up for the fire alarm fiasco. This is a very, to me, this is AA kind of attempt at representation. She’s sort of doing a mini immediate amends and she’s just saying that she will pay what the bar didn’t make and she’ll pay the fine. Tess can-
Riese: Finley’s finances just stress me out so bad. I’m like, “Do not volunteer that. You can’t afford that right now. What are you doing?”
Analyssa: Anytime Finley talks about money? I’m like, “Shh. No, no, no.”
Drew: When she’s like, “I needed to leave or else I would drink.” I was like, “Maybe you shouldn’t work at a bar.” I don’t know. Just a thought. Maybe you shouldn’t be working at a bar because it’s, you know?
Analyssa: Where alcohol is readily available anytime you have that feeling. Yeah.
Riese: I was so nervous that she was going to drink. That’s why she wanted Sophie to leave. And the fact that she didn’t drink, I was like, that gave me so many positive vibes that carried me through the rest of the episode.
Analyssa: A win’s a win, you know?
Riese: Carried me right up the vaginal canal into that condom.
Drew: And another thing, I wish that Sophie had said to Finley in that scene, “We don’t leave together, but I need to see you get in your car and leave and not be in the bar.”
Analyssa: Yeah. Like, “I don’t want to leave you here.”
Riese: Yeah. I don’t want to leave you. I don’t want to leave you in the room, the alcohol room, in a room of alcohol in the alcohol museum.
Analyssa: And Tess suggests that they go to a meeting, and I did not understand the vibe I was supposed to feel about them going to a meeting. There was weird music underneath it. But I’m happy that that’s what they’ve decided to do. Genuinely. Personally, I am.
Riese: So in the interview that we published with Jacqueline, I think two weeks ago now, she said that Tess is Finley’s sponsor.
Riese: Just so we know. But I thought it was nice. I thought it was a nice little thing.
Analyssa: I agree. I like going to a meeting.
Drew: And then we go to Sophie’s, where Sophie gives Dani ice cream and popcorn, which is oh, two best snacks. And Sophie’s like, “That was all so gay,” and Dani’s like, “There weren’t enough of us.” This is also, I do think that when this episode ended, I just, in my brain was like, Alice causing a scene at the movie, Sophie, Dani, Dre, Dre hot. I think that was my experience with this episode. But Sophie tells Dani that she can fuck Dre, which is like Dani did not need permission, but Dani’s still like, “No, I’m loyal.” Like, what? No. Why? Why?
Riese: No. Sophie wasn’t loyal to you, but also no, Sophie has a girlfriend. Sophie hooked up with this person once. If you’re not going to date someone, I mean, remember she did the same thing with Bette, being, making sure it was okay. But if she felt comfortable dating Gigi with Bette’s okay, why would she not feel comfortable dating Dre with Sophie’s okay?
Drew: Yeah. It doesn’t make sense.
Analyssa: I mean, speaking of choosing qualifications that will narrow your approval down to zero. If you’re ruling out in Los Angeles the people who have slept with your ex one time, what are you doing? Especially when they’re all hanging out at the same bar all the time. That’s actually the thing, is if you’re making your location kind of the locus of your hangs, going to be tough.
Riese: Yeah. This is what the show is about. The show is about dating your exes, your friend’s exes, and your exes’ exes. That’s the topic of the program.
Drew: Dani needs to just pull a me and just find someone in another country. It’s the only way you’re going to find someone. I mean, I wasn’t, I don’t even care about my friends and people I dated and the intermingling and whatever. That’s not even. But I do think it’s probably the only way that you can get around that is if you’re like, “Well, I’m going to look for people on Instagram who live in other countries.” Which for the record, that wasn’t, I wasn’t actively doing that. But anyways.
Analyssa: Good that you clarified.
Analyssa: Sophie does say that she had the best weekend with Dre.
Analyssa: Which I feel like is in a gray area between, she told Finley the truth and she did not. Just feels kind of weird.
Riese: Yeah. But it does feel like it was nice that it was one weekend. It was just a compact. That was like, okay, so that’s true. It was just one weekend. Yeah. It’s nice to have one weekend with somebody.
Drew: Oh, I love one weekend with somebody. Those are the best.
Riese: I remember being asked, how many times did you have sex with somebody who I had a weekend with? And I felt like being like, “Exactly how many times? I’m not sure. It was a weekend.”
Drew: Yeah. I agree with that, that it feels, yeah.
Analyssa: That was sort of what I thought Sophie might say is, “I can’t tell you an exact number, but it wasn’t that many. It didn’t mean anything to me.”
Riese: Yeah. I would’ve just been like, it was a weekend, so several times within that space.
Drew: I would be like, “Well, there was when she fingered me in the shower, and then I guess we kind of took a break and then a half hour later… ”
Analyssa: That is how my brain works. So I actually would be able to account for all of them.
Drew: But Sophie does a funny Matthew McConaughey impression, so, “Oh, how much, we really,” you know.
Analyssa: Yeah. There’s a lot of Wedding Planner stuff in here, which I just love. Again, my year of romantic comedies. I had already seen the Wedding Planner, so it wasn’t on my list, but I do love that one.
Drew: Then we go to Shane is showing Alice the now viral video of Alice interrupting the movie. I think that is so funny. And Shane asks Alice if she ever feels like the not right thing of their relationships has more to do with her. And she says, “Nope.” And I thought that was quite funny.
Analyssa: I did too.
Riese: I love the confidence. Because absolutely, as someone who’s a little bit younger than Alice, I would definitely be like, yes. At this point I can blame no one but myself.
Drew: Yeah. Let’s close us out.
Analyssa: And then, because as we know, sisterhood is powerful. They have a very cute moment where Alice is like, “Do you want to be a little spoon?” And Shane says that no one’s ever asked her that before.
Riese: That felt like a big moment for Shane, realizing she just takes on the role, these roles, without ever really thinking about what she wants.
Analyssa: I agree. And then they’re going to spoon with this dog in between them, which not tenable, not a sustainable situation.
Drew: It is cute.
Analyssa: But it’s very sweet.
Drew: And that my friends is the episode. I don’t know, what do we think about this episode?
Analyssa: Well, I feel like we shared a lot more of our thoughts in pod than we normally…
Analyssa: I will say that, again, like we said, there are individual scenes and character conversations that are really fun to me and that have life and zip and excitement to me. Then there are some underlying things that every time I think about them, I go, “And another thing,” and that is a bummer. Good for podcasting, but you know.
Drew: A lot of banter in the dialogue. And I very much enjoyed that. And I had a good time watching the episode for the most part. Yeah. Everything else has already been said. I’m excited that Dre’s going to be back and I do think Taylor’s going to be back. I don’t think that’s done.
Riese: I hope not. But I really fear it is. Because eventually Tom’s coming back.
Drew: Oh, well, what if Tom comes back next episode. We have a little moment where Alice gets to realize what she’s done, the mistakes of past relationships, and then that Tom’s like, “No, you really can not realize how you are famous.” And then she’s like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” And then she’s like to Taylor, “I talked to my ex Tom, he gave me pens, and now I realize that I’m ready to be more casual and normal with you.”
Riese: Oh yeah, that could be cute. I still want Tasha to come back.
Drew: Ugh. I don’t want to deal with that.
Riese: What if Gabby Deveaux comes back?
Drew: Well, that would be fun.
Analyssa: I love Gabby Deveaux. I really do.
Riese: Have a real full circle moment. And now look who’s on top, look who’s on bottom now.
Drew: What if Gabby Deveaux is the one?
Riese: Oh my God.
Riese: I mean, that would be a fucking twist.
Analyssa: That would follow this show’s ethos of you’ve already met the one, perhaps.
Riese: Right. I think that she thinks that maybe Tom was the one, but how about this? Gigi, Alice and Gigi. Let’s get that twosome back together—
Analyssa:: Let’s try it again.
Riese: And trust Nat. They have a shared, they are good at having sex with each other. They both wear good outfits. Let’s just get Gigi back in to Alice’s bedroom.
Drew: Yeah. Is Gigi just never going to be on the show again? All of the people on Twitter being like hashtag, Where is Bev Porter? Hashtag, Where is Gigi?
Riese: Where is Gigi? Yeah, I know. I’m still, I’m fine with the no Bette and Tina still.
Riese: I think it’s good. I like that we’ve let the other characters have more time.
Analyssa: Yeah. And I really love Riese, the point you keep making about Leisha Haley, like getting to front the series basically now, being one of the better cornerstones of episodes now is really fun.
Riese: Yeah, definitely. I agree with my own point there.
Analyssa: Genius. As you should, Queen.
Lauren: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of To L and Back: Generation Q edition, one of two podcasts brought to you by Autostraddle.com. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter at To L and Back and back, and you can also email us at To L and Back Cast @gmail.com. Our theme song is by the talented Be Steadwell, and our Gen Q logo is by JAXCO. This episode was produced, edited in mix by me, Lauren Klein. You can find me on Instagram at Lauren Taylor Klein. You can follow Drew everywhere at Draw underscore Gregory. You can follow Analyssa on Instagram at Aanaloka with two A’s and on Twitter at Analoka with one a and an underscore. You can follow the legendary Riese Bernard, everywhere at autowin. Autostraddle is at Autostraddle. And of course the reason why we’re all here, autostraddle dot com. And finally, to end this ep, let’s hear some keyword from our girlies.
Drew: 3, 2, 1. Quart.
Drew: What’d you say?
Riese: I said Queensland. It’s in Australia.
Drew: What’d you say?
Analyssa: I think I said Quadrilacteral, and what I meant was Quadrilateral.
Drew: Do you have a reason or was it just a fun one?
Analyssa: Just thinking about all the various interconnections of weird dating.
Drew: I said quart because I was like, I would like a quart of soup right now. ‘Cause I’m very hungry and it’s a little chilly. It’s not really anything to do with the L words, but I think maybe they would like, you know what I want? I want a quart of ice cream and popcorn. Just like-
Drew: They probably had a pint because that’s more traditional. But let’s get a quart.
Riese: Oh man. I want Gretchen to make me popcorn because hers is better than the one I make myself.
Analyssa: Oh, I want ice cream.
Drew: I think ice cream is for all weather. To loop back around to weather. Let’s bookend with weather. An exciting day at To L and Back.
Analyssa: Woohoo. You know it’s big when we’re talking weather. All right.
Riese: Okay, cats and dogs.