The Real L Word Episode 209 Recap: The Pieces Fall Into Place On Top of Each Other

Hello Nation. It’s time for another episode of The Real L Word, a show about a group of teenage detectives who go around solving neighborhood crimes and mysteries with the help of a very secretive friend: Ghostwriter!

L to R: Lesbian playing Whitney, Lesbian wearing a vest, Lesbian with a flat-top, lesbian in mom jeans/belt/tucked in&billowed out shirt, lesbian in overalls, lesbian in flannel

Hello lesbians, lesbian allies, and people who have strong feelings about lesbian erasure and welcome to the very last recap of the worst show in the whole wide world besides I Want a Famous Face, The Real L Word. As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s a show which follows young sapphics as they have sex, talk about sex, talk about Whitney, and wrestle in various liquid food items.

Number one feeling about this episode?

[Sidenote: Because I'm supposed to be in a car right now on the way to San Diego to talk about something important, I feel insecure about the quality of this recap which I wish I had four more hours to obsess over than I do.]

ARE YOU READY !?!

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We open with The Real L Word getting all Suddenly Sundance with about 45 seconds of avant garde to the skippy sounds of a song my intern tells me is called “New Little Girl” by Kimberly Nichole, a singer apparently as famous as the cast of this show. Guess Tempted was too expensive.

Romi’s very year-of-her-birth today with a 1981-inspired morning routine which includes ancient arts like shaving one’s legs in the bath-tub, listening to records on a record player, and wearing tri-pink-colored bras from The Limited Too.

the wife of bath

Romi’s all like, bla bla sober sober getting my life together, no more Kelsey, bla blah, whitneysex was fun but won’t let the Mixterator get in the way of her career goals with Love and Pride Jewelry etc etc blah blah.

Speaking of the Jewels, Romi’s prepared like a Boy Scout for this Day Out. Lest a hapless midwestern lesbian attempt to wear a necklace as a feather earring, Romi and Vanessa are putting together a “look book” because in order for them to succeed, they need an visual explanation of “who the girl is and how you wear the jewelry.”

Top Model Challenge: The One With the Mohawk and the Tunic

You know how America’s Next Top Model gets more & more irrelevant every season as they dangle anorexic 24-year-olds from helicopters and dunk them in dry ice and paint their faces into other people’s faces and then stick jungle leaves in their tits and tell them to model through a flesh-eating bacteria epidemic? I wish this part was an episode of ANTM where Romi had to do a shoot on a rooftop in this Futuristic Dominatrix Monk tunic thing and she was afraid of heights. You know?

romi's evil twin

Romi: “There’s more love, there’s more passion, and there’s gonna be more heartache that comes to it too if things don’t work out.”

one thing's for sure: my hair is bangin'!

The camera loves her. It’s never really loved someone like this before.

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Over to Whitney, who’s driving my dream car through my television nightmare, declaring her hookup with Romi “a mistake” ’cause of Kelsey & Romi’s recent split, which is so very whatever.  “Romi and I will always be friends.” Yawn yawn black swan.

she's my favorite mistake

Whitney’s jitney’s heading to LAX to snatch the exotic brunette Whitney ordered on ErosGuide this morning, Jaq.

when a lady has 56 identical lovers, you run out of lower-third options

Jaq is Whitney’s San Francisco Treat, second only to Rice-a-Roni.

Maybe I’m just unable to wrangle through Jaq’s battalion of accessories and multifaceted jingly pirate apparel to hear her words or thoughts, but I’m 85% sure she’s spoken maybe five words this season. She’s a body, Whitney will fuck it, next!

Jaq appropriated three different cultures just to make that one earring

“Jaq’s coming to town to help with the pants vs pumps event,” says Whitney, which makes as much sense as anything ever has in Whitney World. Palm trees!

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Francine’s mother, adorned in a silk leopard-print blousey thing and the largest most amazing sunglasses in the Sunshine State, has arrived.

no mom wait 'til we get to the cabaret show to start dancing with me, this isn't grey gardens

Francine’s dying on the inside with her big gay secret, but Momma jumps right on in to the boyfriend-pushing and cassette-mongering. By the way: love her. Wish this show was Date my Mom instead of whatever it is, I Want a Famous Face or something.

dream lover come rescue my daughter

Fun fact: Francine’s Mom was apparently a “famous actress and singer” in Japan in the 60′s, which I’d like to see an entire documentary about but instead I’m watching this show. Continuing with the vintage audio device theme Romi established with her record player (she was listening to Frampton Comes Alive! if you must know), Mom’s brought Francine “cassette tapes of me singing” which is so so very Little Edie (sans craziness/raccoons).

put that shit in the tapedeck francine

Yoko’s talking about boys as Francine makes a face for every stage of  necrotizing fasciitis.

Mrs. Francine: “Yeah, if you’re going to choose a guy, he has to be nice.”
Francine: “Yeah.”
Mrs. Francine: “Of course they need to have money, too, not just a pretty face. You’ll get bored of the face in one year.”

Francine, who’s been bored of the face since grade school, manages, “It’s important to be with a — good person.”

god this lady has no fucking idea how fucking gay i am

Francine: “It always makes me a little on edge when she comes into town but this time I’m even more on edge because I want to come out to her.”

where can i get rid of this church's chicken before it stinks up the hotel room

Look at Yoko and Baby Francine:

when i knew

I used to think Francine’s look was Fancy Hobo but now I realize it’s 100% Olsen Twins:

who wore it better

At the hotel, Francine retires to poolside where she vacillates between Foxtrot Posture and Pain Faces while staring at her phone and freaking out. Francine rings room service for two girly gaywads with a slice of lime and a cherry in hopes the grenadine or vodka will inspire her to reveal her gayself to Yoko, who I already have this like very deep tender love for that I can’t explain.

i feel like there's flesh-eating bacteria in my solar plexus

#headdesk

or maybe email? what about email? an e-card?

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Over at Rachel’s Rock Bottom, our hapless heroine’s submitting herself to therapy, ’cause the best way to really expose yourself emotionally is to do it on Showtime in front of the 400 people who still watch this show.

rachel, you are getting very sleepy. very sleepy.

The Therapist, in all her therapeutic splendor, says things and then Rachel says this thing:

Rachel: “I’ve always had problems talking about my emotions and whatnot. I lost my father like ten years ago very suddenly and then I had to move in with my grandparents who just lost their son — their only son — you know at that time my Mom and me were not like, okay… I also hate crying so I don’t do it, especially around my family, I never cry. I don’t want them to think that I’m sad.”

i guess they're gonna know now that i'm sad though

Rachel was close to her father. He went to PFLAG and was supportive, a regular Novotny (sorry I can’t stop bringing her up, the woman just needs to be seen). He even let Rachel’s kicked-out-of-her-own-home girlfriend shack up with them. Meanwhile according to Rachel, Mom is always “walking by” and telling her she’s going to hell.

hi rachel, you're going to hell and i made peach cobbler

I love how I repeatedly have nothing in common with anyone on this show besides death. And I guess life.  Not even taxes, ’cause I haven’t paid my taxes in two years ’cause I don’t know how.

have you been seeing spencer, emily and hanna?

Upon leaving therapy, Rachel says she feels way better, like “a lot of pressure is out of [her] body.” In a way it is –  when something terrible happens and you become the De Facto Capable Adult in your broken family you sort of store all that excruciating pain and sorrow in a drawer in the back reaches of your brain. And when people ask how you’re doing about that death thing, you say “I just block it out,” and they then they tell you it’ll catch up to you one day, all that repressed sadness. One day everything beyond the blocks will hurtle forwards and eat you alive when you least expect it. So you do other things, like drink and do drugs and work all the time so everyone else’s needs take up all the room in your brain, leaving very little space for your own feelings, which is just how you want it. But you fear the pit everybody’s warned you about, you’re still afraid that it’s lurking and could unexpectedly explode. Will it kill you? Sometimes you feel like it could kill you.

And then somebody makes you go, pays for you to go, calls so you can go, does everything short of sitting there and explaining your life story to the therapist so you can go. Then it feels passive enough to not set off the alarm system you installed on every emotional wall. Then you sit down and you say all the things and you cry and then there it is. That thing you’ve been afraid of — taking out your sad little heart out of your anxious chest and holding it up to the light — has started. And you’re still alive. More alive, even.

So anyhow, that’s what I think she meant by “I feel like a lot of pressure is out of my body.”

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Cori & Kacy are sitting on the couch with chocolate milk and a dildo, talking about sperm.

i can't open my mouth any wider i swear

Kacy and Cori make penis jokes and slap each other with the prosthetic, which I hope they stick in the dishwasher afterwards. Also, they say weird things like this:

Kacy: “Lesbians have this tendency to befriend guys with huge penises because they never have to ride that donkey.”

Her lips, G-d’s ears.

bitch i will pimp slap you with two cheeseburgers and a dildo

Cori: “That guy has the biggest dick ever!”
Kacy: “It’s super ridiculous.”

which is why we're going to sinclair sexsmith's how to use a strap on workshop at good vibrations in san francisco next week

Long story way too long — Cori’s strappin’ up for the Great Gyno in the Sky again rather than using The Tugaboat Penis Machine, like a proper First Worldian Lesbian. More importantly, Kacy’s hair in this scene is six degrees of sexy like Kevin Bacon:

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Over at Whitney’s Whimsical Workshop, Whit-Brit’s putting her hammer-swinging skills to good use, spray-painting and building shit with Jaq, who is suspiciously also operating various power tools.

it was the night before christmas, and all through the house...

The Pumps/Pants set pieces, inspired by Putt-Putt and high school productions of Guys & Dolls, are huge and ridiculous and unnecessary and also cute/oh.

butthead, she said "suck" heh heh heh heh

Hold your seasonably-inappropriate hats tight on your heads, ladies, ’cause Whitney’s about to blow your mind by doing something totally unique and important.

you remind me of a baby koala that i once knew

And the Whitney tape goes round and round and the painted ponies go up and down, we’re captured on a carousel of screentime. We can’t look back, we can only look, behind from where she came, and go round and round and round in the circle game.

Whitney: “If we work this well together making props, could we work this well together in a relationship? It’s possible.”

Just to recap, Episode 201:

Whitney:I mean, we’ve given it a shot before so I don’t know if it’s meant to be for the future. Casual hookup [with Rachel]? It’s a possibility.”

Also earlier this season:

Whitney: “Is [Sara] someone I could see myself lasting with? I don’t know what the exact answer is.”

Just leavin’ all the doors open. Flapping in the breeze.

Cut to the shower, where Whitney and Jaq disrobe and make out in the red-light district of the Harem Bathroom. The lighting/music makes it seem like they’re slathering each other in cooking oil in a post-apocalypse sauna/bomb shelter.

I’d like to quote the song playing during this scene:

Ahhhh

Ohhhhhhh

Yeahhhhhh

Turn the lights out

Baby

Did you like that

I know you did.

Top that, EZ Girl.

hot cross buns

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Avatar of Riese

Riese is the 32-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1734 articles for us.

98 Comments

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      Right? Who will spread the word of Birkenstock-free lesbians roaming the earth?

      (I think someone here actually posted a link to her site in a comment-miraculously, it did come to be-but it was neither dirty nor boudoir.)

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      Her site is aninitial.com. If you type in dirtyboudoir.com though it automatically redirects. I’m sure she knew real l word fans were gonna be looking for it and didn’t want to miss out.

      It’s a nice site but it’s mostly just pretty pictures and not a lot of actual articles.

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          As I fully expected, Claire’s website is a hot mess. She can’t spell. I think that she should have either taken that internship opportunity and learned more about publishing/writing simply started a little blog for her friends to read. A tumblr or something.

          The absolute low point of the show, apart from the very pointless screen shot of Romi’s vadge on her way to the shower, and the awkward Romi/Kelsey love scene, has GOT to be that argument Claire and Chas had where they argued about who was cooler and less ugly because they had “f**cked hotter girls” than the other. I was so embarassed for them. Was anyone else cringing at how lame that was? I am cringing just remembering this.

          I’m not normally this bitchy, but hearing how mean spirited Claire was on the last episode regarding Francine’s new girlfriend, who seems on the whole a much better catch than boring and dumb Claire, makes me feel less guilty.

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          Word.

          Claire’s “website”: it’s just what you’d expect from the girl whose ego conducted that embarrassingly hubristic interview with PowerUp! and Jamie Babbit. You know, the one in which she couldn’t even verbalize the objective of her site but said, “fashion,” “words”, “I don’t know,” “no background” and “like” (x5) before she contemptuously turned down an offer from Jamie Babbit for an internship (?!?). Right after admitting that she knew Nothing about the industry she was trying to break into.

          Her site has a high production value because she’s managed to convince very talented people to donate their time and skills to her project. Great. I hope she’s giving credit to those people who have contributed their expertise to make it look like a legitimate professional venture.

          Because here’s the biggest problem, and the problem that Claire is solely responsible for: the interviews/articles are just dreadful. The titles are engaging, but then you click through to the article and what you get is essentially an article with the depth of marketing text on the back of an organic cereal box. Real questions: Celebrity crush? Top or bottom? Blonde or brunette? Tits or ass? (3 word answers. No depth. No irony.)

          Really? That’s how you’re going to let your readers learn more about lesbians that they may see as role models or at least very interesting people who are living their lives in the 2010s?

          Check it out for yourselves. When you read these interviews, it’s patently clear that there’s not a single thought in the interviewer’s mind (Claire’s) except maybe: Ooh, which celebrity will I be interviewing next? And oooh, I wonder how long it will take me to claw my way to the top of the new media mogul pile?

          Why I have beef with this: It’s not really Claire-hating. I don’t know the woman. I only read the recaps here on AS and she’s a highly-manipulated character in a Reality Show. So she’s a construct. Fine.

          What really irritates me is that “The Real L Word”,” though a reality show, by dint of being the Only one out there about lesbians/queer girls, presents the storylines/actions of the characters as what the lesbian/queer community is actually doing.

          As an owner of 3 successful lesbian/queer-run internet/interactive businesses over the last 15 years, it’s a tough world out there. If Chaiken is going to choose to present such obvious fairy tales as the truth, how will that impact the real goals of real-life queers who want to start their own companies?

          We will still find it’s very difficult, not only because starting a small/medium business is always difficult, but because we still DO run up against ALL KINDS of bias and roadblocks as we try to make our dreams realities. Whether we’re masculine-of-center (that be me) or feminine of center or gender-queer or choosing our own identity day by day.

          It all comes back to the fact that the Real L Word is a reality show; reality shows are bullshit; and the L word in particular has spent VERY little time on the real lives/careers of their characters. But it still sucks.

          I’d like to see more examples of queer women really living in the world and facing the challenges that come along with that. I started my own company at 23 and I know there are plenty of 23 yr olds doing the same thing now. Damn. I would have loved to have been able to see how other people LIKE ME were negotiating that ground. (Not like the Harvard-educated dudes that I was selling services/products to. Or the 25-yr-old male Ivy League “wunderkinds” on the cover of every biz/interwebz mag.) I’m positive that current 23-yr-olds are way more together than I was, but damn, we’re a minority in the business/new media world, and we can use as much help as we can get when taking risks and trying to make our dreams reality.

          Boo on Ilene. Maybe she doesn’t want to present stories that would be enlightening, honest, and constructive because she’d rather not face any competition. Sorry for the length of my comment. I feel very strongly about this.

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        Thanks for solving this harrowing mystery for me.

        I think it’s great that the first thing you see on the website is “an interview with Whitney Mixter!” Good ole Whitney. If she’s known for anything, it’s definitely sticking to her guns. It’s refreshing.

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    You complain and complain about a lack of visibility and about nothing speaking towards your culture. And then, you get a television show dedicated to your culture. Your response? Complaining and more bitching.

    Why the LGBT community can’t get further? Gee, I don’t know. Is it because you’re uptight and can’t be thankful for the gift of such publicity? It may not be your thing, and you may not understand what being popular and apart of a bumping lesbian community is, but you should be thankful the show is happening.

    It’s no different than you wishing and wishing a celebrity was gay and reading every last detail into their possible homosexuality, but then turning on a bisexual out female because they are with a man. “Oh, please turn gay for me, please!!!” “What, you’re bi? Bitch, you will end up with a man, I hate you!”

    “Please put more gay women on television, please, please please!!!” “What, I don’t like THESE gay women, fucking nevermind! I am going to go watch Golden Girls!”

    It’s a tv show, it is for entertainment. Most people don’t want to watch housebound lesbians knitting and not having sex. These may not be your people, but I find them pretty progressive and varied.

    Uptight lesbians of the world unite!

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    Hey Riese, you’re free. YOU ARE FREE.

    Buy an epic new smoking device – use it – and relax in celebration of your new found freedom.

    Imagine me saying this in Kathy Bates’ Six Feet Under character Bettina’s voice:

    “I sure as heck hope yer girlfriend knows you deserve a fine romp in the sheets and some good ol’ pamperin’ this weekend! You deserve that shit for putting up with that mess of a show for so damn long! Honey I woulda’ quit the first time that Marissa girl said “This is crazy. Now ya’ll make sure a buy ya a nice big chandelier too. I know ya’ll queer folks love them thangs.”

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    I wish I could still wear tri-colored bras from Limited Too. But I haven’t been able to since I was 12, since they don’t carry anything above a B cup (at least they didn’t in 2002). I remember being so bummed because I totally wanted the one with the cupcake pattern on it or whatever.

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    I laughed at for a good two minutes at the ghostwriter intro…i felt like i just learned what a modem was…again!

    Thank you for putting yourself through this for the love of tragic comedy. It’s actually disgusting..all of it. But you’re a champion for finding the funny in this shitpile.

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    This was THE best recap of all time – you really outdid yourself, Riese. I loooooved Francine’s mom so much! They should make a show just about her, Vivian and Scarlett. And there should be no mention of the word “penis” or of any food wrestling. The end.Also, I loved the summary/screencap montage.

    Now we can all celebrate never having to watch this show again!

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    the thing that connects all of them is the watering hole (they all go to the pyt parties) or ” WHAT IF THIS SHOW SUDDENLY BECAME A BRET EASTON ELLIS NOVEL” then i would guess that julian is everyone’s shitty dealer and they all go to the same boring ass party every other day and blah blah blah disappear here. that’s what this show made want to do.

    riese good job, you where working with less than zero for material. the only reason i’m not canceling showtime is for weeds and dexter, and they know it.

    p.s. who didn’t love franny’s mom! the was the best thing (other than francine, kelsey, and barb [guys remember barb! she needs more air time!}) on the show.

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    yes… that really does explain why Whitney has never fucked Scarlett!

    I also love Francine’s mom… her reaction was pretty amazing, compared to how Tracy’s mom last season.

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    brava, here’s to the last of an amazing series of recaps! i watched last season, but this season i found the recaps were way more entertaining, so i spared myself the hours of waiting for free links on the interwebs to load.

    at the end of the season, i am left with several questions/comments/requests:

    1. thank god that you guys posted that bit way back when about lesbians out-earning their straight counterparts. if not for that, i would be left wondering how these women afford to shuttle back and forth from la to san fran every other week like it ain’t no thang.

    2. can someone confirm for me that the whole creative job thing is an la phenomenon limited to la la land? because otherwise i need to reconcile my identity with workdays that start at 8am.

    3. is there anyway that intern grace or some other brilliant and so-inclined human can make a collage of all the celebs/models/cultural figures throughout time who have sported one feather earring? because i can barely handle romi dubbing herself trendsetter of america one more time all because a few queers in west hollywood liked season 1 maybe a little too much. and i am just assuming that’s what happened. it may simply be a case of solipsism gone wild.

    4. for whatever reason, romi and whitney hooking up at the end of the last episode was like shane and jenny all over again. just, no.

    5. i really like tattoos. i imagine that whitney and all her look alikes must also like tattoos since they are covered in them. so. do you think when they hook up – not the first time, necessarily, but the second or third maybe, depending on pre-hook up alcohol consumption – they sort of scavenger hunt one another looking at whatever shit they put all over their ass cheeks. that’s pretty much what i was thinking during the whitney/jaq shower scene.

    6. francine’s mom is adorbs. i bawled at how great she took francine’s coming out. and i felt that familiar pang when francine asked if her mom still loved her.

    7. cori and kacy are real humans, spelling weirdness aside. i agree they had real chemistry, and i bawled again during their oceanfront fertility ceremony. there’s something special about the queer urban family, the village raising a child. it’s a common trope for queer folk (or infertile folk, or anyone who uses ART) to imagine their baby out there in the universe, finding their way toward them. it may be a little kooky, but it’s also really hopeful. just, yeah. in the end, these two were legit.

    8. if by some improbable turn of events, i ever find myself at the abbey and run into whitney taping the real l word 17, i vow to loudly yell, “OH YES, I REMEMBER YOU FROM THE RECAPS BY RIESE ON AUTOSTRADDLE DOT COM.” and maybe bare a boob in the process just to see how Eileen would jump through hoops to edit around it.

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    I have to watch this episode because for years I’ve heard stories about Franny’s mama and now I can see her on TV. She looks so fabulous. I can’t wait.

    Riese, great job. Srsly, I’m impressed at your ability to make something so boring/ frustrating into something hilarious and interesting. I’m also impressed at how you managed to keep down your lunch/dinner through all these viewings. Kudos to you my friend.

    Real L Word ladies… congrats on being done with the show. Now, put your clothes back on dammit!

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    Omigod, Riese, I don’t know how you did it. This episode was so goddamn bland, but you still made a ridiculously funny recap. You and InternGrace make beautiful magic together.

    (Glad to see the Vagina costume made its appearance here lol So fucking random)

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    These recaps are the best out there… you never fail to say what we most of us are thinking. The only think I was waiting to be mentioned that never was is the fact that Saj has a different car every week… I wish they explained that shit too on top of other crazy shit that was going on this season. I hope Im not the only one who noticed that. All in all, Im so glad this season is over… i admit, this was a total guilty pleasure because this is all we really do have in terms of visibility, but I literally lost a plethora of brain cells and I now must re-learn the true meanings of words i.e i just re-learned that lust and love are totally not the same thing, as Professor Whitney and her loyal follower Saj would so have us believe…. ( i need to relearn the words “honestly” and “literally” too.)

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    You may feel insecure about the quality of this recap, but you shouldn’t! It was funny as always, and the things you said about Rachel’s therapy session and about how showing happy queers is the one thing this show got right were both poignant and important things to say. And that also proves you put about 563% more thought into this show than anyone who produced or edited it did.

    While I don’t think there are any e-cards you can send to come out, David Ellis Dickerson did make some coming out greeting cards that are fun.

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    In Whitney style: im not gonna lie, these recaps were the best thing about this show or anything IFC has ever created and produced.

    On a different note, what’s the song at around 46:36? Goes sth “you don’t have to change at all. You fake it for the cameras, your smile just says it all. Hey young girl…” I’ve googled the hell out of this bitch and also listened to all the songs sho.com lists for this episode but no luck. Someone tell me, please, before I spontaneously combust.

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    This was the best recap that I read about the last episode of the show. I have to agree with the poster before me said that the last episode was bland. Let’s just hope that Showtime doesn’t renew the show for another season. It has overstayed its welcome, IMO.

    If the show were ever to come back, they would have to get a whole new set of cast of twentysomethings who are in college or have jobs. Truth to be told Showtime was trying to get a younger crowd this season.

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    YOU GUYS.

    My grandma watches this. Like, in a legit way. DVR’s it and everything. And she’s always asking me questions & I’m like, “No, it’s not real dearest grandma…it’s like that show ‘The Real Housewives’, y’know? SO NOT REALLY REAL”.

    …but she also asked me why they changed ALL of the actresses..which makes me think that that “fine” line between TLW and TRLW isn’t all that fine for some people.

    My point here is that, Riese, your recaps here help me stay up to speed with my grandma w/r/t TRLW.

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    i agree
    the saddest thing about the show is that it had potential

    instead of just descending completely into pandering camp they gave a few heartfelt truly interesting moments that offset everything

    they COULD have devoted each episode to a different character–not an unusual “reality” trope and really given a true documentary style view into these people’s lives with some depth

    or

    they COULD have just gone full on “real world” and made it scandalous and immature and a guilty pleasure.

    instead it just straddled the line and wound up being boring and frequently uncomfortably awkward.

    and yeah i watched every episode but i also watch “true blood” and “entourage” and “weeds” so i clearly have no taste

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    I kind of disagree with the sentiment that show represents lesbians loving themselves, being who they are and not caring, and living life. Deb in Idaho is instead viewing a bunch of women with some serious issues – relating to their sexuality and family dysfunction – who are filmed having sex and talking about private things in therapy in front of a mass audience. Sure these women may seem to be out and proud, but the resulting difficulties of being gay are still there — excessive drinking, emotional instability, desperate need for parental attention — and capitalized on for Showtime’s audience. So many of these women remind me of lesbians I’ve met in big cities: they are often just Debs in Idaho masquerading as confident, proud people. Their poor life choices, dysfunction, and emotional and financial struggles often result from the family chaos and uprooting that followed their coming out. There’s something about this show that just seems exploitative. While watching it, I just couldn’t get over the feeling that it’s making a profit over filming and manipulating a minority’s emotional and financial difficulties. What are the ethics of filming something like this? Of approaching people like Romi or Kelsey, who are clearly struggling, and dangling money in front of them in return for filming them having sex? Obviously, I’m committing the deep sin of taking The Real L Word seriously, but I found the Rachel and Romi + Kelsey scenes deeply depressing and sad. Sure, scenes like them happen on all reality shows. But when a lot of what these women go through happens because of family rift or problems coping over being gay, it seems exploitative to use them in a show for other people’s cheap entertainment.

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      except that most of these women’s issues don’t seem to stem from being gay but from being self absorbed and childish
      (with a couple exceptions, obviously)

      claire, for example, would still be an obnoxious, spoiled, womanchild if she was hetero

      i prolly would have found cori and kacy suburban hetero couple cloying and one dimensional as well

      that said it is quite exploitative as is most “reality” tv. i hope they were all paid very well…

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    riese, thank you for these hilarious recaps! they definitely did not make me feel good about being a lesbian in america…it might be because i’m an angry queer in finland. but i realized i had a few us dollars sitting in my paypal account, so what better use than to donate them to you who WENT THROUGH HELL! and made me laugh. like a crazy person. which i pretty much am. but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been brilliant and to the point!

    ps: i’ve been reading AS for a while now…a year? two? i forget…and have been meaning to comment earlier, but for some reason haven’t. but hey: i love you guys, you’re doing a great job.

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    I really find this show hilarious, but mostly for it’s absurdity.
    However, I do like the honest moments, the ones that feel like we should not have seen (Mostly ones involving Rachel). Also, Francine and her mom this episode was rawly (I’m sure that’s not a word?)relateable. Who can’t recall that nausea of coming out.
    Anyway I guess what I’m saying is, for all the things this show got wrong, or exaggerated, it’s important to remember that these are still actual people.

    Oh, and I wish I would have used a power point for my coming out. That’s would have been funny.

    Thank you Riese for enduring this show for our entertainment. You’re wit is always “on-point”.

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    Hahaha This show DOES have the worst music ever (although the theme song is super fun to sing in a mock-raspy, inaudible kind of way). Worse than a score by ezgirl (yeah, I said it. Listen to “The Hell Word”, guys. Masterpiece). If I were on this show, I think what I would take offense to the most is the music they have the audience thinking I listen to. Like, Romi did not put on a record of Kimberly Nichole or whatever the fuck that was.

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      Truth.

      The soundtrack is unremittingly awful. On the other hand, it’s awful in that particularly cheesy, pretending-to-be-hip, while co-opted and focus-group-tested, Los Angeles way that seems to define everything about this show.

      I highly suspect that the music is chosen to sell to the same people it was focus-tested on: “18-25 yr-old” “hip, young, urban, gay and straight Los Angeles ‘scene’ people” with an average $104.32 disposable weekly entertainment budget.

      So I suppose in one way it’s perfect.

      I kinda get the same vibe from the fashions. What’s with all the snoods? (Still, Chanel can rock a snood.)

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        “pretending-to-be-hip, while co-opted and focus-group-tested, Los Angeles way that seems to define everything about this show.”
        BIG.FAT.EFFING.WORD.

        Though I wouldn’t be surprised if they had saved their money and forgone focus-group testing and just assumed how that ideal focus group would have reacted and what it would have wanted. Leaving the show being build entirely on the producers stereotypical beliefs about “18-25 yr-old” “hip, young, urban, gay and straight Los Angeles ‘scene’ people”. *sigh*

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    Even though I like the recaps and find them funny for the most part, I do have a question. If the Autostraddle “about us” page says this:

    “You will see the following rules applied to all our content and discourse:

    1. Never criticize or make fun of a woman’s physical appearance”

    then why are almost all of the jokes in these recaps cheap shots at what the girls are wearing? I thought Autostraddle was less superficial than that. Every time I read one (there were so many) I cringed, especially the “anorexic” top-model comment (as an eating disorder survior, I take personal offense to that one).

    And for the record, I like Romi’s hats.

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    Enjoyed your recap as usual Riese! Just thought I’d point out that the box Francine’s mom was bringing into the hotel room isn’t Church’s Chicken.. It’s from Beard Papa. Delish Japanese cream puffs that are really big in the West Coast!

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    For some reason it really bothers me that kacy and cori never talked about the option of adoption. Like I’m sure that’s something theyve considered in real life thats just not shown on tv but it fucking irks me bc there are SO many kids that need good homes. You don’t have to pop one out your vadge to be a mom. /rant

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    I think I love this the best because of your conclusions, Riese! You always do such a wonderful job of saying exactly why the show is worth the watch even through all the bullshit. If it is out there as some sort of representation of what it means to be one kind of lesbian/woman/American/etc, then it’s important to be critical as well as understand that these women are trying hard to love themselves in a word where that is just not easy. Bra-fuckin-vo. Always a pleasure to read your recaps, and I especially love it when you mention things you know from creative writing-character development, missing plots and threads, and just plain depth.

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