Well, friends, here we are again. Here I am recapping my 72nd episode of The L Word franchise. I have recapped The L Word in three parts of Florida, in New York City and in Oakland and in Michigan and in Los Angeles and in Austin and in middle seats on airplanes, at hotel desks and in the chilly back office of my Mom’s house in suburban Detroit. I have recapped while crying, while drunk and high, while having a violent allergic reaction to my friend’s new cat in her otherwise impressive Nyack lakehouse; in my underwear with my laptop on a pile of pillows and my back against another pile of pillows, my face lit up by computer-screen glow next to a naked sleeping girl who’d wake up for work at 7am and ask “is it done yet” not because she was worried about my physical health (these burdens are our own to bear, I’d made that much clear) but because she wanted to read it on her subway ride downtown. I was recapping The L Word when I started dating my first-ever girlfriend, when I started this very business with my next girlfriend and was recapping The Real L Word when I moved in with the girlfriend after that. Now I host a podcast that recaps The L Word out loud with a friend I used to watch The L Word with when it actually aired. This is the way, it’s the way that we live. These burdens are our own to bear.
Today’s “To L and Back” podcast episode is a live recording of our interview with the Gen Q cast that we did last week at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and on Thursday, the first Generation Q episode of “To L and Back” will debut with its new hosts! In subsequent weeks, the Gen Q podcast will come out on Mondays, like the TLAB podcast did and will again after the Gen Q Season One finale.
TV recaps have changed since I used to do this, though: they’re not popular in the same way they once were. So I’m curious to know what you’d like out of these recaps! Do you want the same formula I did before — the blow-by-blow? Or would you prefer a shorter review or some other clever and brief format? Let me know in the comments!
Until then, I’ll be recapping in the same manner in which I performed my original L Word recaps, which’s to say I will be counting Sexy Moments and Squabbles and picking a quote of the week. Unfortunately, I cannot do a Jenny Moment because… Jenny is dead.
So, here we go: welcome to the first recap of the first season of The L Word: Generation Q, brought to you by the same network that brought you The L Word, a show about a super-hip skateboard shop called “Wax” and its singular salon chair! Let’s begin, shall we?
We open on a picturesque Los Angeles morning. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, the grass is growing, the climate is changing and the lesbians are carpet-munching. Let’s not waste any time!
Lesbian Sexy Moment #1: Bloody Heaven
The Players: Dani and Sophie
The Pick-Up: Happened before our arrival but Sophie reveals, post-orgasm, that she ‘woke up so horny’ so I think we can imagine there was some spooning transitioning into sleepy ass-to-groin grinding transitioning into full cunnilngius.
Hot or Not? Yes! What a way to start the show, you know?
Now Dani’s hand is bloody, like Macbeth’s, because everything is normal and our bodies are beautiful. She reminds Sophie that “this happens every month.” You know what else happens every month? Ovulation. As Tina pointed out to Bette in the first scene of the original series! It’s the circle of life, it’s the wheel of fortune, it’s the leap of faith, it’s the elastic waistband of hope.
Thus we now know biblically and otherwise that this is the beautiful golden couple: Dani Nuñez (Arienne Mandi) and Sophie Suarez (Rosanny Zayas). I promise I won’t do this for the entire recap, but Rosanny and Ari had a lot of cool interesting things to say about this scene on this week’s episode of “To L and Back!” Seriously it’s not-to-be-missed.
Elsewhere, Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) is creeping out of somebody’s very nice bedroom in her boxer-briefs, clutching a pile of clothes to her bosom, likely in hopes of making $2 at Crossroads.
Her car won’t start, so she very kindly steals her date’s bike and leaves her dead car in the driveway, probably blocking the live car in that garage, which means the girl she left behind is gonna have to Demolition Derby her way to work this morning, which’s very butch, if you think about it.
Finley’s flash of armpit hair feels as deliberate as opening the show with a period sex scene between two women of color — we’re still in fantasyland to some degree, but rooted in something undeniably authentic.
We’re then treated to a montage of Silver Lake / Echo Park street life, including Finley biking past a man who tells her to smile. She reminds him that “time’s up, jackass!” Just a note that the original script said “motherfucker” and the preview said “bitch” so that was probably quite the journey for everybody involved.
Finley rolls up to Sophie/Micah/Dani’s little palace and spots a shirtless man with a significant pectoral region carting some boxes and jets inside to interrupt Micah’s phone call with a student to ask him if he HAS SEEN WHAT’S OUTSIDE. (Micah is Dani’s best friend and ex, and is played by Leo Sheng!) You know what? There’s a better view from upstairs, so let’s just run right upstairs and bolt right into Sophie and Dani’s room…
I feel like I know a lot of Finleys, you know? Like that friend who just really wants the best for you and gets more excited about your life than you’ll ever be while maintaining only the most chaotic grip on their own. They’ve been through it — but you’d never know, looking at that smile. Finleys can be a nightmare to date but a dream to befriend.
Sophie cracks that Micah and Shirtless Man will probs get married before Dani proposes to her. So Dani’s definitely proposing to Sophie this episode.
With Finley and Sophie safely off-set, Micah’s like “what are you waiting for, propose!” and Dani’s like, listen, I will, I just have to tell my Dad! [Trivia: this scene was re-shot — the original, which provided us with a very popular episode still of everybody in the window, felt too hokey to showrunner Marja Lewis-Ryan when she saw it, so they redid it. This and more interesting tidbits coming your way when I publish the interview I did with Marja later this week!] [Let the record show that Ilene Chaiken has STILL not invited me over for dinner to look at her birds.]
Cut to Bette’s Enormous Home, where our Lady of Porter looks fantastic on the phone giving design feedback on her campaign materials (her first line is “Hello Again”, as per promotional materials) while her daughter, a now fully grown up Angelica Gaymo, is texting in the bathroom.
Angie’s texting with her friend Jordi who wants Angie to “not bail” on their plan today, and Angie says she won’t, and starts to text “I’m sooooo excited” but then deletes it, which means Angelica is gay and has a crush on Jordi. It must be the gay gene. I bet Marcus Allenwood is bi. Angie tries to leave without saying I love you but then is like, JK I love you!
Three generations of queers: I love to see it.
Cut to Nat’s house! Nat (Stephanie Allyne) is Alice’s girlfriend who has two (2) children. Her son Eli is intently reading the back of a cereal box and Alice can’t find the fucking spatula! Alice, like Bette, also looks fantastic!
Alice: “You know, when i was a kid, my Mom made me split a Slim-Fast Shake with her for breakfast.”
Olive: “You’re not our mom.”
Alice: “Oh yeah sure I do know that!”
Who’s at the door??? IT’S GIGI (Sepideh Moafi)! Yup, Nat’s ex-wife and the Other Mother of these two fine young specimens appears out of the clear blue, pulling off a camel-colored blazer/trouser combo and looking, if I may say so, obscenely attractive.
It’s time for our first throwdown!
Lesbian Squabble #1: A Marriage Story
In the Ring: Gigi vs. Nat
Content: Gigi acts like she didn’t know it was Alice’s day to drop off the kids at school, which Nat finds VERY upsetting as it’s thwarting her plans to get Alice to feel like part of the family as per their deliberately non-partisan shared calendar. The kids, clearly scarred by that time Alice was scream-crying post-yoga in a hoodie and barrettes while car-chasing Dana through multiple-lane roads in Malibu, wanna ride with Gigi.
Who wins?: Gigi. She’s the fun Mom.
Gigi saunters up to Alice and informs her that her manicurist loves Alice’s show and finds it very “cute.” Also, Gigi is emotionally undressing Alice, this woman could probably seduce an oak tree or a box of paper towels. She and the kids exchange some dialogue in Persian ’cause guess what, Gigi is a Persian character played by a Persian actress! HOW FAR WE’VE COME!
Nat wants to process but Alice isn’t in the mood for therapy talk, but… it looks like everybody woke up horny today.
Lesbian Sexy Moment #2
The Players: Alice and Nat
The Pick-Up: “When do you have to leave?” “In seven minutes” “Wanna see if we could do it in six?”
Hot or Not: Feels like they got off to a solid start besides the bleating plush toy wedged behind the throw pillow? I wish them all the best.
Uhh, then we arrive at the um, tarmac? You know, the thing where PRIVATE JET OWNERS de-plane onto a slim red carpet, wearing sunglasses and holding a single duffle. It’s Shane. Shane pauses at the top of the stairs, scoping the air for errant owls and reflecting, it seems, on her return to Los Angeles for the L Word reboot.
“I look forward to seeing much more of you in the future,” says the flight attendant with the perfect ponytail. In other words: they’re gonna bang. And my friends: they do. Shane’s gotta Shane!
Lesbian Sex Moment #3
The Players: Shane and the Air Hostess
The Pick-Up: I’m gonna guess “hey.”
Hot or Not? Of course.
Jsyk this is our third set of boobs and we are ten minutes in. Shane remains in full dress for the duration of the scene. Shane does her scoop-in-lean-kiss, she removes her shirt, she unhooks her bra, she lifts her ass onto the kitchen counter, slips the thong onto the kitchen floor and my friends, WE HAVE LIFT-OFF.
Cut to a golf cart outside of The Aloce Show, where Finley’s telling Sophie about her last-night romp, which involved a bartender who just broke up with her boyfriend, texted “u up?” and because Finley WAS up, she hopped right on over. In Finley’s words they “fudged” and it was “awesome,” but then she woke up and her car wouldn’t start ’cause she only had enough gas for a one-way trip, so she had to steal the girl’s bike.
Finley: “Look at us, still on time for work and shit though!”
Firstly, that is b a n a n a s, now this entire town is gonna know Finley as the girl who stole that girls bike. Secondly, I love the ease and the gentle ribbing of this friendship. Thirdly, there is no greater gift than that of how much time TV characters have to hang out before work / school.
On set at The Aloce Show, Finley’s gotta get Alice’s take on if she wants the one or two lips coffee mug (“vagina lips or mouth lips, impossible to tell at this point”) when an ominous figure jaunts into the arena, clapping her cum-soaked hands for no discernible reason.
IT’S SHANE!!! AND THE CROWD* GOES WILD!
Alice: “I can’t believe you’re really here! Do you really live in LA again?”
Shane’s like, holy shit, look at what you’ve done for yourself, it’s outstanding!
IT’S TIME FOR AN EXPOSITION BRUNCH WITH SHANE, ALICE AND BETTE! One topic not covered in this brunch is how exactly everybody’s skin is so firm, supple and radiant?
1. Shane sold her salon in Paris and her salon in New York
2. Shane has not “spoken to her” (her wife, we suppose) since leaving, and “does not plan to”
3. Something spilled in Alice’s backpack
4. Alice got Shane a house, which is big and empty
5. Alice is gonna send Shane a bed and also a Finley to put the bed together
6. Shane doesn’t need Alice to send her a bed
7. Too late, it’s already done
8. Alice keeps stepping on legos
9. Bette and Alice are both parents now wow how we’ve grown
10. Bette missed Shane more
11. In all honesty, Shane believes she missed Bette more
12. NO Bette missed Shane more!
13. No Shane missed Bette more and it’s not a contest
14. Yes it is, and Bette’s gonna win
15. Nat and the kids didn’t move into Alice’s house because it would’ve been a “whole thing”
16. Alice’s Mom is living in her house
Which brings us to…
Shane: …and how is Lenore?
Bette: Oh stop.
Bette: No, really, stop!
Alice: Are you going to fuck my Mom?
Shane: I’m just asking you how she is!
Alice: I can’t believe you still wanna fuck my Mom!
Shane: She’s an attractive woman, Alice.
In all, the reboot is a lot less wacky than the original, which I have both good and bad feelings about. But regardless I relish this opportunity to bring some wack back. Then, Bette gets a phone call.
As we say in the hit podcast “To L and Back,” IT’S TINNAAAAA.
Angie’s at school, doodling through a Don Quijote lesson in her GAY ASS SHOES.
But who needs school when you’ve got a badass best friend willing to call the school, pretend to be your Mom, get you out of school on account of your “Grandma being sick” (which is impossible b/c Tina never mentioned having parents and Bette’s are dead) and then pull up in a lil car pumping hip-hop!
It’s Jordi, played by Sophie Giannamore! They’re gonna vape, just like the teenagers in the drug PSAs! I love this trope, all my teenage novels had Jordis in them.
At Bette 2020 HQ (Bette is running for mayor of Los Angeles), Bette, standing of course in front of a giant picture of Bette, is trying to convince imaginary phone Tina that Angie can handle her AP courses and the school play. NOT IDF SHE KEEPS VAPING.
Bette’s super important, which’s established by the number of humans who attempt to join her walk-and-talk, including Kacey (Lex Ryan), thus far our butchest character, who took another stab at Bette’s piece; and Bette’s assistant, Pierce Williams (Brian Michael Smith), who has set up a series of meetings with very important political donors who are friends of the party as well as Rodolfo Núñez, head of a minority-owned investment firm with “deep roots in the Persian and Latinx communities.” “Jesus, that’s half the city,” Bette says.
Cut to an airy office building where Dani walks around in power-suits like someone who can put on a strap-on in less than 45 seconds. Dani’s gonna take Daddy’s Two PM ’cause he got called away for something important and probably terrible. Lucky for her, her Two P.M. is Bette Fucking Porter, who, if elected, would be L.A.’s first openly gay mayor. Dani is Rodolfo Núñez’s daughter.
It’s time for a production meeting at The Aloce Show! The team is pitching Alice ideas like “Dr. Oz,” a noted vaginal steaming advocate. Alice wants to keep her show progressive and queer or queer-adjacent, but the network has bad ideas. It’s suggested that if she goes along with vaginal steaming then eventually they can have Roxane Gay on the program.
Alice: “I did vaginal rejuvenation in ’04. Have vaginas changed since then?”
Sophie: “No they have not.”
Intergenerational dialogue! Sophie’s got a pitch of her own, though:
Sophie assures Alice she can secure Kamala Harris for the show and Alice is like, “I cannot wait to ask her real but also inappropriate questions.” Someone’s keeping Dr. Oz warm as a backup. Love a warm man.
Ladies and gentlepeople, it’s time for a top-off!
Lesbian Squabble #2: Prosthetics Don’t Pay For Themselves
In The Ring: Dani v Bette
Content: Bette wants to know where their foundation gets its money, like specifically, does it come from “Big Pharma”?
Bette: And the funding for the biomedical research, does that come from the sale of pharmaceuticals?
Dani: We design prosthetics for wounded warriors.
Bette: I understand. Do you also invest in the production of opioids?
Dani: Prosthetics don’t pay for themselves—
Bette: I see.
Dani: Our only interest here is finding the best person to run this city, and we believe this person is you.
Bette: I’m not buying what you’re selling.
Dani: Our current mayor bought it.
Bette: I’m not him.
Dani: Miss Porter —
Bette: Do you know why I’m running for office?
Dani: I can’t say that I do.
Bette: It’s because of people like you. The products you’re pushing are the cause of suffering, they’ve contributed to the worst opioid crisis our city has ever seen. That property you wanna turn into offices? That could be used as a long term rehab facility. And while I might understand the willful ignorance of a straight white man I’m having a hard time figuring out how you could turn a blind eye. So I guess what I really wanna know is: how the hell do you sleep at night?
Who Wins? Bette — but that being said, Dani holds her own like a future Bette. She doesn’t flinch, and every fluster is quickly finessed. She’s a fucking pro.
Pierce is like wow Bette, I think we blew that one! He also says he’s aware of her “sensitivity” “around that particular issue,” by which he means opioids, and wow guys, I’m really nervous about what exactly has become of Kit Porter!!!!
Back in the glass tower of power of terror, Dani looks out over Gotham and feels pensive, and then learns from her Dad that an employee’s son just died of an overdose and it’s her job to go make sure he doesn’t blame himself or, you know, the company that sold the drugs.
[Also I’d just like to sidebar real quick that in addition to the myriad lives lost or damaged to opioid addiction due to the ruthless marketing of painkillers by the Sackler family, there are also lots of people who genuinely need those medications to manage their pain who now cannot get prescriptions because of how they’ve been recklessly prescribed in the past. I feel like those people often left out of these conversations.]
Dani tells the grieving employee that they’re all a family and they can’t let the media tear them apart because his son is not a statistic? He’s like good point, he was my little boy! Okay.
Cut to Porter 2020 HQ where Bette and Pierce are admiring The Employee’s performance on the news. Pierce says it was clearly Dani who coached him well and Bette’s like “too bad she’s working for the wrong side.”
Meanwhile on the wrong side, Dani’s Dad is like “good job, grasshopper.” She says thanks, but she’s holding back, too: she’s not proud of herself. She wants to use her talents for good.
Micah’s got his sweat band on and he’s gonna make it happen with the hot guy who carries boxes around. Actually scratch that he’s got his sweat band OFF and he’s gonna make it happen with the hot guy who carried boxes around but has now switched gears to poorly moving furniture around. Micah’s nervous but he’s gonna make his move!
The hot guy’s name is Jose and he just moved ALL THE WAY FROM ECHO PARK and Micah’s so excited about how much he loves Echo Park that he slams a chair through Jose’s front door. It’s ok Jose is the new property manager, so he doesn’t even need to call anybody about it.
Micah asks him to dinner, Jose thinks it’s a group dinner, and Micah boldly assets that no it is not, it is definitely a date; and he’s like yeah sure sounds fun! A tip of the hat to Micah, asking your neighbor on a date is almost as terrifying as dating your neighbor. So far this is very cute and also, I love dinner!
Back at The Aloce Show offices, Sophie says she was unable to book Kamala, who deemed Alice’s show “too small.”
Lesbian Squabble #3: For the People
In the Ring: Alice vs Sophie
Content: Alice is like, wow, that was “super fucked up” that you said you could get Kamala, and Sophie is like, I really thought I could b/c of [various connections, and Alice is like, do not overpromise, and Sophie is like, okay, and then Alice is like “I can’t wait for Dr. Oz to mansplain my vagina, it’s gonna be a great day at work.”
Who Wins? What happened here! I’m a person who never really worked under a manager who couldn’t have benefited from an anger management class, some valium or perhaps a tiny fan, so I’m always extremely interested in observing managerial behavior in the media as if I can learn from it what I couldn’t learn from my own. This feels like an uncool way to talk to your employee! I get that Alice is pissed and has a right to be, but damn. I’m giving it to Sophie ’cause there’s no way to just hug her in real life.
Cut to Shane’s Palace in the Hills, where Shane’s developed significant biceps from punching things, just like Kate Moennig! Finley put Shane’s bed together like a girlfriend who’s had a lot of experience constructing GRÖNLIDs and KVALFJORDs, but there’s some screws missing so Shane’s gotta watch out next time she invites twins over. .
Finley: “If you get any more furniture and need me to put it together — or I can build stuff. Anything! Built ins, tables. I’m like a traditional lesbian when it comes to tools, so.”
There’s something surprisingly withdrawn about grown-up Shane — young Shane could be wrapped up in her own shit but that attitude felt more incidental than it does here. This feels deliberate — she’s less perceptive, she avoids eye contact. Maybe she’s learned to set boundaries, or maybe losing Jenny changed something, or maybe it’s about her estranged wife and our slow march towards death.
Finley’s oblivious though, talking about being from Missouri and living in a one bedroom in Koreatown with five other roommates. Shane’s been there (in Season One, she shared a one-bedroom with four other roommates) and she says so. Finley’s surprised, but look you gotta start out as Molly Kroll’s bottom and then you’re here. And then, the iconic line:
Finley: Man, this is what I thought living in LA was gonna be like!
Shane mentions off-handedly that there’s some extra bedrooms in the back if she needs some space, so Finley’s definitely never leaving that house.
Then Shane gets some texts.
“Who’s that?” asks Finley. “My wife,” says Shane. Chill! Anyhow, “Quiara” was cast a few months back. She’s played by Lex Scott Davis and her character was described as ‘a sensual lead singer whose international travels bring her back to L.A.” So put that on your clipboard!
In the parking garage beneath the Tower of Power and Doom, Dani’s Dad would like to promote her to Senior Vice President ’cause she excelled at convincing a mourning Dad not to create a PR crisis for their company. Also, he’d love to invite her to a fancy dinner. She’d like to invite Sophie, and he’s like, sure fine she can invite her friend, Ms. Kennard, if she wishes.
“Dad, you know she’s not just my friend,” she says. Please G-d I hope you will spare us another “Latinx parent being homophobic” storyline!
Dani sits in her car, thinking hard. To her left, she spots the guy whose son died in his car looking very sad. She listens to a voice mail from Sophie, who had a “fuckity fucked up day” and just wanted to say “hi I love you” and “I can’t wait til you get home so I can smack that ass.” It’s real cute. I need her to propose to Sophie ASAP because I’m very nervous about her storing a wedding ring in her car!
At a Bette Porter For Mayor rally, Bette says she’s the face of change this city needs. We stan Mayor Bette on a stage.
She opens up the rally to questions from the crowd and predictably, a guy who looks like he probably considered killing his neighbor’s cat but then got scared as a child gets on the mike to verify that she was formerly the Director of Cultural Affairs for the city of Los Angeles and once that verification has completed, has just one more small inquiry, and it’s not “Dana Fairbanks will you marry me?”
White Man: “When you were working as Director, do you remember fucking my wife? How does sleeping with Felicity Adams, a married employee of yours, make you qualified to be mayor?”
I think what this speaks to is her powers of persuasion and ability to inspire women to reach their full potential in life, but the crowd does not agree. But also dude, way to announce your wife’s name to like the entire universe? They would’ve found out anyhow but shit.
Bette has some hot breathy sex flashbacks while he yells SHAME ON YOU MISS PORTER.
Bette’s escorted out of the rally like the stage is on fire. In the safety of the elevator, Bette says she’s gotta tell Angie before she finds out on Twitter.
Blissfully unaware of this drama, Angie’s listening to music with Jordi on a bench by a lake, you know, sharing earbuds, probably sharing feelings. Jordi says they should get matching tattoos, which btw did NOT work out for Sharmen.
Jordi gets her phone out to take a poorly-lit selfie and is like whoah dude, there’s some shit going down with your Mom! Angie’s phone was off ’cause her Mom tracks it, because of course she does.
Meanwhile at the Palace of Porter, Mom’s having hot flashes (“Death is coming” – Bette Porter) while hashing out the issue with Shane and Alice, who don’t think Bette should drop out of the race. They say she’s not like those male predators, although Bette’s unconvinced.
“That’s shame,” says Shane. YOU TELL EM SHANE. Shane’s come back just in time to be part of the very essential Lesbian Need of a reliable Lesbian Advice Panel: All Grown Up Edition.
Alice says it’s ’cause she’s gay and Bette Porter jumps right in there like a tiger, “I think the problem is Felicity’s gay and that makes her husband feel like less of a man.” THERE’S OUR BETTE PORTER. I don’t think it’s morally okay for Bette to fuck a married woman, but also — that’s Felicity’s job to negotiate with the betrayed partner, not Bette’s. Just like Jenny’s cheating was her own to sort out with Tim, not Marina’s. We also don’t know anything about Felicity’s marriage or what Bette knew about it, and that crowd and the media certainly didn’t either. Maybe she wants out but can’t because her husband is [something terrible]? Bette’s comfort with this is disarming to the degree that it makes me wonder/hope there’s more to the story.
Alice wants Bette to be on her show!
Shane: “You can tell them who you are.”
Bette: “I don’t know who I am right now.”
Shane: “You’re Bette fucking Porter.”
Exactly! It’s like she’s got no idea how much fan fic has been written about her, how many blazers with enormous collars have been flexed in her honor, how many men have been yelled at on highways because of her and — oh never mind. Angie’s home and she is UNHAPPY!
For example, she feels it’s humiliating to be Bette’s daughter because Bette “fucked somebody.” Younger Bette was much more reactive and flinching than Mama B, I’ll tell you what. Like Angelica just yelled at her about fucking somebody and this is what comes next:
Bette: ARE YOU HIGH?
Angie: We vaped!
Bette: What does that mean, you vaped? What? Pot? [Bette starts going through Angie’s bag]
Angie: But I don’t have it! Jordi does.
Bette: Angie you cannot smoke pot.
Angie: It’s not illegal!
Bette: Yes it is! You are 16 years old!
Angie: I wanna live with Mama T.
Bette: You want me to call her and tell her what you did today?
Angie: Fine, I’ll just tell her that you fucked somebody!
Bette: I’m pretty sure she already heard.
Bette grounds her and says also, she’s deeply sorry and that it pains her to know that she hurt Angie.
Sophie comes home from her long ass shitty day to find that Dani’s about to start a forest fire in their living room with a candle situation that approaches “vampire lair” or “Boyz II Men I’ll Make Love To You” territory. You know what that means!!! IT’S PROPOSAL TIME!!
My favorite part of proposals on television is that they are always preceded by a list of small quirks the proposer appreciates about her partner but they generally lack any telling specificity. In this case we learn that Dani loves how Sophie dances with her eyes closed and yells at the TV. So she has that in common with your grandpa.
Sophie says yes, I tear up because I can’t help it. “I can’t believe you’re gonna be my wife!” Sophie exclaims, thus jinxing their relationship forever.
Unfortunately, the ring doesn’t fit, but Sophie’s not stressed ’cause rings are just a symbol of patriarchy! But listen — Dani still wants her to have one, okay? I too was once proposed to with a ring that turned out not to fit. JUST LIKE THE RELATIONSHIP. However, there were no candles at the proposal because we were outside.
Anyhow! Then Micah and Finley tumble down the stairs where they’ve been spying from and are like DID YOU DO IT and they’re so excited because friendship is magic! Also, Micah would like to be the best man.
The L Word: Generation Q is really laying out a juxtaposition of what it’s like to be a young queer person — first dates, marriage proposals, new jobs and new promotions, the beginnings of things — and what it’s like to be an older one, even while sharing neighborhoods and workplaces. This is perhaps what it does best, and so authentically.
The original characters are dealing with parenting, divorce, separation, workplace affairs with lifelong consequences, sorting out how best to make an impact with the important jobs they have instead of just trying to get a job. A lot of their stories start at the end of things, really — Nat’s divorce with Gigi before she started dating Alice and everybody had to move or make space for something new, Bette’s divorce from Tina and the child that remains from it. Shane selling her empire and moving far away from her wife.
There’s a Gen Q trailer where Kate Moennig says — most likely out of context — “this community is no different than any other community.” I know why she said it but I don’t think it’s true. Furthermore, ur differences are what give shows like this one (and shows like Vida, Tales of the City, Work-in-Progress, Pose and The Bisexual) such opportunities to tell new stories, especially intergenerational ones. I’m closer in age now to Shane and Alice than I am to Sophie and Dani, who must be in their mid-to-late twenties (Dani has a post-graduate degree, Micah is a professor), which means same-sex marriage was legalized before they were old enough to be considering marriage at all. I like that Shane and Bette are ostensibly single, heading into potentially a second go-around. I’m pretty close to their age and unlike many heterosexuals of this age group, at least half my queer friends between the ages of 35-45 are single or divorced. And it can feel both fated and random who remains in your regular world and who slips away.
We then cut to The Aloce Show, where Alice is SO GLAD TO BE BACK FROM HIATUS! Her third-cousin Heather (Fortune Feimster), a profoundly gay name, is her hype girl. She lives in a shared studio in the valley and would like to live in Alice’s spare bedroom. C’mon, Alice, just throw Heather in there with Lenore! Is it supposed to be funny that Alice’s show underpays their staff to the degree that they cannot afford to have their own bedrooms? Because it’s…. not???
Everybody’s turned up in the audience for this occasion — Shane’s sitting with Nat, Dani’s sitting somewhere that seems only vaguely part of this set, and Alice’s special guest this evening is Bette Porter for Mayor! She also establishes that she’s never been easy on Bette and it’s true, we all remember the “you’re a cheater!” campfire.
Alice: “Do your voters know that you stole a billboard in the mid-aughts?”
Bette: “Borrowed. We borrowed it.”
Alice: “Oh, WE? Are we gonna keep that on the DL? Because I didn’t get that memo.”
So, Bette’s on the show today because she will not! Be! Shamed! Into! Silence! Bette says she’s not okay with causing another person pain, but she also isn’t going to apologize for having a relationship with a consenting adult, which’s another message she’s not comfortable delivering. You know I feel like an apology would’ve been … appreciated.
Alice: “So you’re not sorry?”
Bette: “I think I answered the question. It’s not that simple.”
Bette says the most frustrating part of this whole idea is that it’s distracting. A wanton distraction, one might argue! BUT YOU KNOW WHAT’S EVEN MORE DISTRACTING BUT IN A GOOD WAY:
Anyhow back to this cryptic conversation topic that I’m 99.9% certain will eventually lead to a reveal that Kit is dead!
Alice: “I know that you have a very real reason, a very personal reason, why you’re running. Why won’t you talk about it?”
Bette: “Um, because despite this week’s events, I’ve chosen to keep my private life private.”
Alice: “But those people out there, they wanna know who you are, not just what you stand for.”
Those people out there should just go read/see Lez Girls! Anyhow, what better way to do that than by delivering a list of vague, already-known demographic facts about herself? She is:
1. a woman
4. a mother to an extraordinary daughter
5. an ex wife
6. a friend
7. a really loyal friend
8. a daughter
9. a sister
[a bitch, a lover
a child, a mother
a sinner, a saint,
and she does not feel ashamed.]
11. a part of you!
12. that part of you that wants to do better
13. that part of you that loves the city and wants to see all of its communities thrive
15. that part of you that makes mistakes
Also, she knows that she has disappointed people that she loves and she doesn’t want to make that mistake again and she hopes her indiscretions don’t distract from this:
Bette: “I know I’m not the perfect messenger, but I do have the perfect message.”
Her conclusion is strong and full of potential — but to be honest I did expect a bit more from a Bette Porter speech! Perhaps Dani did too:
Night-time montage! Micah and Finley are playing “catch the frisbee in the swimming pool,” a classic evening game for giggling queers who, unlike me, have access to a pool.
Nat and Alice were naked and perhaps engaged in an activity of a sexual nature but then the little tot bounded in desiring a story be read to him. They should teach him to learn how to read for himself! You know the saying: teach a man to fish and he’ll never interrupt lesbian sex any day of his life!
Bette’s crawling into bed with Angie. Attachment parenting lives on!
Shane’s sitting by the pool in her palace, staring at her rings.
Speaking of rings, Sophie’s got hers on even though it was too big and Dani’s not sleeping. This is a throwback to when she told Bette she couldn’t sleep at night.
It’s the next morning. Dani is awake and on a mission! Her colleague’s son’s death has shattered her illusion that her job was to protect the company who afforded her the life that she has and the people who work there, and:
Dani: “You asked me the other day how I sleep at night. But the truth is, I don’t. I am damn good at my job, but I wanna work for someone I believe in, and I came here today because I believe in you.”
Bette’s not sure that she trusts her and Dani’s like ok fair but if you wanna win, you need me! And then, Peaches’ “Boys Wanna Be Her” begins thumping in the background [ETA: This was the song playing in the screener, but it seems the song was changed prior to air.], throwing us right back to a moment way before all this when Shane had to be an underwear model to pay for the injury her half-brother Shay suffered from a skateboarding accident while she was playing a pick-up basketball against a self-described “player” named Papi who Alice met through OurChart. AHEM.
Lesbian Sexy Moments: 3, 3 all season
Squabbles: 3, 3 all season
Quote of the Week: I’m gonna give it to Alice, for “I can’t believe you still wanna fuck my Mom”
Also a hot tip: WATCH WORK IN PROGRESS! It airs after “Generation Q” on Showtime and it is one of the most original, hilarious and oddly comforting queer-centric television shows I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.