In honor of New York City Pride Week, our kickass First Annual Rodeo Disco Pride Party & our amazing Pride raffle (enter here, and read Laneia’s piece about women in small business here), we were putting together a Top Ten Gay Pride Moments from all Television & Film Ever … but it was taking too long and I began expounding upon the only element of said list I’d already started writing and ta-da bada-bang one thing lead to another and here we have ourselves a RECAP of (a little bit of) Episode 211 of The L Word, “Loud and Proud.” I’m aiming to do this in 5% of the time it takes to write an actual recap. Come out this weekend and get drunk to further the “Recapping Seasons One & Two” Cause. Also, any ideas for that top ten list? We’ll run it next week.
Before I get in too deep, I was told by Co-Event Master Stef (Stef & Carly are the ones making Rodeo Disco happen, obviously I’m better at throwing parties for Sims) to push it [the Party], push it good. This is what that means:
Alright so! Consider this recap the “White Castle” version … and this is the part of the White Castle experience where you’re sitting in your car, wondering when exactly you’ll be getting that little tiny cheeseburger you ordered.
If you forget the whole child-rape-flashback thing, the Papa Porter dying thing, the Helena-wasting-time-Tina-could-be-with-Bette thing, the paper-dolls/Baruch Atah LaLa Hoolehay Heeyhoooo thing, the Marc pantsing himself thing (when he really should just write “fuck me” on his chest) (Confession: I actually thought that Jenny/Marc fight scene was brilliant, applauded when Jenny yelled, “Yeah! You stupid fucking coward! Then you’ll know what it feels like to be a woman!”) and the Jenny/Random Elder thing, Loud and Proud is one of the series’ best episodes. It’s about gay pride in West Hollywood. How topical.
Let me rephrase this: if The L Word was The Dana & Alice Show guest-starring Shane & Carmen, Loud and Proud would be one of THAT show’s best episodes. So that’s what I’m gonna recap.
We start off in the grassy meadows of cuteness, where Alice & Dana’s romantic role-playing game (Dana is Steve Urkel, Alice is The Saucy Maid/Laetitia from The Old Maid and the Thief, a role once played by Haviland Stillwell on a video she showed me back in the heydey of our love affair) is interrupted by a surprise visitor — who could it be? Oh, it’s Howie! Howie Fairbanks!
Alice isn’t happy to see ol How-How, especially after he remarks that Mama & Papa Fairbanks can’t stop talking about how Dana let Tanya go for that loser Alice. Clearly he’s never seen the music video for Common Reaction.
Alice informs Howie that she and Dana are “out and proud” and will be participating in activities for other out & proud people, which means that he and Clay Aiken are not invited. (This was in 2005.)
I’m already getting a tear in my eye thinking about the incredible comedic chemistry between Erin Daniels & Leisha Hailey which unfortunately died along with Dana Fairbanks. I’m really gonna lose it when Shane tells Carmen she never had a hamster.
“Gay pride, Howie, is for gay people,” Dana and Alice explain. (It doesn’t really matter who says what exactly, as they are both so cute and in sync they may as well start a band and call it The Jonas Brothers or “Sister Sister.”) They demonstrate this homosexuality by pointing at themselves as “gay” and Howie as “not gay.”
He says “alright,” which means that he’s gay, but probs confused about when exactly his sister registered at Hogwarts.
Durr durr durrrrrr durrr durrrr!!
Later that evening the happy trio is getting ready for bed and our unity is suddenly clear as crystal: whether we’re gay or straight, we’re all the same underneath it all, because we all have nipples!
Dana makes amazing faces. This one means “maybe they’ll let you ride on the float with me!”
Despite how cutey-cute-cute they are together, Dana once again gives Alice stone cold silence in response to Alice’s “I love you.” Is this the part of the show when y’all started thinking this relationship was gonna break like Shay’s arm in the schoolyard and I started thinking “I want more raisins in my rice pudding”? Probs.
Instead of “I love you,” Dana says, “I’m gonna set the alarm,” which isn’t what you’re supposed to do to people you love. For example, every morning when A;ex’s iPhone sings (every seven minutes, ten times in a row) “I’m on a mission, and it involves some heavy touching yeah,” I do not feel that she loves me, and I suspect she feels similarly about me when my fire alarm-esque alarm starts in on its morning rounds. This is especially fun now that we’re both unemployed starting a business.
Alice “The Chart” Pieszecki, inexplicably dressed in a red terrycloth pride romper that every lesbian in the universe loathed except me (I want one!) is denied a spot on the Gay & Lesbian Center float because she’s not on the clipboard like International Lezzie Tennis Star Dana Fairbanks and um …
Clipboard Lady: “I’m really sorry Dana, only the names that are on this list get to go on the float. They can watch you from the crowd. That’ll be fun for them.”
Alice: “Well, it’s not like it’s the HRC or the GLAAD float or anything.”
Clipboard Lady: “What?”
Alice: “You heard me.”
Clipboard Lady: “Dana, if you’d like to ride on our float, we’d be happy to have you. ALONE.”
Howie observes that people really “love Dana,” and Alice thinks, “Yes, and I am one of those people, but she just wants to set the alarm!” Dana’s amazing faces here are a cross between “I love you!” and “is she gonna embarrass me in public one day? Like, really bad?” Oh, such star-crossed lovers, doomed from the start by Chaiken Cancer and the Soup Chef.
Shane, wearing a hoodie I googled for thirty years, and Jenny, wearing my costume from Newsies (I put on my own production in my room for my parents in the 90s), ascend the mountain of cuteness towards Alice & How-Chow:
Shane: “Allll, come with me, she won’t come with me so you have to come with me!”
Alice: “What? What?”
Jenny [perfect]: “‘Cause she — she — Shane wants me to ride with her with the motorcycle lesbians!” [OMG JENNY I LOVE YOU!]
Alice: “She wants you to ride with the dykes on bikes and you’re not going?”
Jenny: “I wanna be an observer.”
Alice: “Oh I so wanna go.”
Jenny has decided to stop just writing about things she’s experienced first-hand, but also to write about things she watches. She’s a regular Miranda July, that Jenny. Her next story will be called “Dykes on Bikes Stole my ‘Soul'” and she’ll put ‘soul’ in little quotes like Tao Lin.
So Alice leaves Howie with the Heart of Darkness and dashes off with Shane to go ride with the real lesbians — but first! Alice executes a Top Ten Alice Moment when she hops over to the Clipboard Lady and lets her know, “I’m gonna go ride with dykes on bikes. Put that on your clipboard” and then flicks the clipboard in her face.
Durr Durrr Durr.
Do you hear what I hear? If you’re listening to the sound of a dyke’s motor running, then we must be in the same room! These are real lesbians, not movie-lesbians you guys. Sidenote; Remix #435 of “The Way That We Live” is all up in our grill at this part.
This is how the song goes goes: “girl meets boy, boy meets girl, this is the way that we live. This is the way that we LAHHH — VVEE! This is the way that we LIIIIVEEEEEEEE!!!” Sounds good right? Just wait ’til you hear it sped up.
Jenny is strolling alongside the parade like she’s in a late 80s movie about a little boy who gives blow jobs in his backyard so he can save up money to buy himself Barbie dolls. [Actually, Mia really gives this bit her all, you know?]
After some more parade-related B-Roll we go back to our Dear Bell Jar. Jenny’s smiling at everyone, including Dana who’s partying with all the cool kids on the “we all deserve the right to marry” float. Jenny gazes into their sparkling eyes, wondering why they are so happy and she is not happy and furthermore her pants are extremely tight at the crotch and ankle, which actually is exactly what depression feels like. Srsly!
Always a potential same-sex bridesmaid supporter, never a potential same-sex bride = Jenny Schecter.
Helena: “GROWL! British! Rawr!”
WELL! Now that the parade is apparently over, Dana & Alice hunt down Jenny, who’s standing at the HRC booth staring listlessly at pamphlets, blissfully unaware that one day she will plunge to her death in Tina & Bette’s backyard.
Jenny says Howie will meet up with them later, and Dana & Alice theorize Howie’s probs at a sports bar with the other straight dudes having a brewsky and talking about where to get good animal-printed underpants.
So clueless, Danish, all wrapped up in their love for one another! Jenny leaps buoyantly across the rolling hills of OMG SO CUTE with her beguiled expression of amusement that Dana & Alice haven’t caught on that Howie also carries the gay gene.
Then! A freaky girl wearing a rainbow chain necklace strides over to invite these Sapphic Sisters to her Tower of Terror. She tells Jenny she loves to punish a tease, which inspires Dana to make Amazing Face:
This is the way is the way that we liveeee and loveeee
After that brief interlude for Death & Disease, we return to Danish debating a trip to the Chamber of Horrors, a.k.a., The Seven Stations of the Cross. I’m sure there’s some liner notes somewhere that explain the point of this device or the obscure celesbian cameo it enabled?
Dana’s not too big on anal penetration, but the buffet with chicken wings & tofu sounds good! They’re so cute I want to eat them! Not the chicken wings, but the Dana & Alice Out & Proud thing.
Dana & Alice walk in, see Jenny staring at the haybales muttering about her organs in Yiddish, and bust that pop stand with classic hilarity. Alice yells “Where’s my chicken wing, bitch!” It’s off-screen, unfortunately, but will be on the DVD Extras in my brain.
The Ascent of Cute Mountain ambles gamely on with Dana popping bubbles in the air at the Planet, wondering if she should’ve spent more quality time with Howie. Alice isn’t worried about Howie (surprise!), he’s got keys after all .. until she sees that Howie has removed his shirt (nipples!) and is dancing with a boy, which is not how they do it back in Wilmette.
Alice doesn’t like seeing ol’ How-How chowing away with another fudgepacker. Neither does Dana. Get out and stay out my ass.
Dana makes ten faces that change my life while yanking Howie off to the side to get the dirt. In the background, Alice is cute and her boa is covering most of her unpopular romper.
Dana: Okay. A cosmo, Howie?
Dana: That’s alcoholic.
Alice: “That’s gay.”
Dana: What’s going on?
Howie: I’m celebrating pride!
Dana: But Howie what do you have to be proud of?
[Howie pulls hunky man to his side, holds him there, says see Dana, this guy just shot a load at my tonsils in the backroom of Babylon on our way over, holler, Dana doesn’t get it.]
Dana: Ahhh okay. Excuse us for just one second — Howie, that man is gay.
Howie: I know, Dana.
Dana: Are you imitating me? Is that what this is? It’s not funny, if that’s what you’re doing.
Howie: No, I’m not.
Dana: So you just — you just decide that you’re gay. You’re too young, you’re just — it takes time!
Howie: Dane, I’ve known since I was four.
Dana: You made that much fun of me?
Howie: Well, Ilene didn’t decide until just this episode that I was gonna be gay, soooo … any ideas on how to explain that reaction from last season away, smarty-pants?
Dana: Oh COME ON, you’ll take any excuse to rip on Ilene. That’s how it always works with gay characters, hello Jack from Dawson’s Creek. It could’ve been so much worse.
Howina: I’m pregnant.
Dana: You made that much fun of me?
Howie: It’s ’cause you were scared. I mean be gay! Be proud everybody!
Dana gives Howie a special squeeze and they share a moment while Alice continues pursuing awesomeness somewhere in the background.
IS EVERYONE READY TO BE PROUD AND RODEO DISCO?
OUTRAGEOUS CELEBRATION ENSUES LIKE TYRA JUST ANNOUNCED WE’RE ALL GOING TO CANCUN!!
DANA & HOWIE HUG AND HAVE A BRO/BRA MOMENT!
After another trip down ancient memory lane with Pops & Kit-Kat and Jenny & The Paper Dolls, we return to The Planet where Alice & Dana have made it to the tippy-tippy top of the Cute Mountain.
They smile and laugh and dance and everyone is gay and then Dana tells Alice that she loves her and Alice looks like happiness was invented to shine through her teeth lips and eyes, and she smiles with her whole body while music plays and they zoom out and life is perfect and beautiful.
I didn’t remember this the first time around, but Jenny’s sexual assault flashback involves a carnival, some hay, and then randomly all the rabbis from Shul are playing cards in a platform tent? I really just don’t know where these ideas come from, they cannot possibly just appear.
Then! Shane tells Carmen that she never had a hamster! And about foster care and the dead dog and her brother who’s 9! Carmen looks at Shane tenderly/hotly and caresses her cheek, and it’s so quiet and lovely.
The first time I saw this — when it was actually on the air — I remember when this scene happened ’cause we all had teary eyes (this was when I watched it with two of my besties from high school, not with my current motley crew of lunatic lesbian weirdos), and I was wondering how Sarah Shahi could be on The L Word and not turn at least a little bit lez and then I realized that the fact that I didn’t understand how you could kiss another girl and not become gay is because I was possibly significantly gayer than I’d thought. (Does that sentence make sense? I should fix it in the morning.)
Well, times have changed. Now I can tell you that I had a hamster and her name was Picky-Pinky, but she died. You know what rhymes with died? PRIDE!
I just set a personal world record btw, I wrote that recap in two hours. And we still don’t know who killed Jenny! Waa-waa.
If you want to have moments like this in your life, I’d suggest Rodeo Disco this weekend!
She won’t necessarily be there, but lots of other pretty girls will.