Real L Word Recap Episode 102: Making Something Out of Nothing

What’s up bitches, Sarah, Laneia and I watched this show and we didn’t like it. Let’s begin.

Today we’re starting in the middle, because I gots to cleanse myself of this nonsense before I can move forward. About midway through the episode is one of the most poorly-edited scenes in the history of television, second only to my ninth grade Film/TV Production classmate’s self-edited VHS production of Sublime’s “Santeria,” starring himself skateboarding in the park and lip-syncing on the monkey bars with the “solarize” effect applied haphazardly throughout.

Unfortunately there’s no music in this scene, which involves Nikki and Jill picking up Jill’s friend from the airport and Jill talking about being happy to see him. Maybe the on-air version was better than the screener DVD, but holy crap what a shitmess of a scene.

We weren’t surprised to read that Nikki & Jill contest the scene’s version of events, or that Jill seems a bit put off by the interviewer’s leading questions in her extended interview, or that in this extended scene you can see Nikki’s “irritating looks in the backseat” which were probs more about Jill’s sense of direction than the possibility of her suddenly undressing and boning D-Money, forever losing the rock that she’s got deep in the recesses of his cold male heart.

Jill says things like “there’s definitely feelings for him” and Nikki says “at first our relationship was difficult for him,” but who is “him”? Is it Derek? I mean, we’re supposed to think so, but the audio mixing is so bad that most of these sentences seem to pull words from several different sources.

Why do we see footage from three different Nikki interviews? During the entire scene, the only time we actually see someone speak the words we hear is when Derek comments on Jill’s ring and Nikki responds, “I take care of my bitch.”

I’d go on, but whatever.

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Perhaps that’s ultimately what’s so strange about the program: the lack of premise has required editors to add drama where there is none. It’s almost like The Real L Word itself is jumping the shark for reality-based television in general — and because lesbians are such a notoriously outraged bunch, I can’t imagine this thing disappearing quietly, The Littlest Bachelor-style. It’s premium cable and not network, so the show can’t get canceled.

Conflicts thus far? Zip. Zero. Well, there’s Whitney kissing three indiscernible versions of the same human and Rose and Natalie fighting about commitment and partying, but everyone else seems fairly content — good jobs, no yearning for more in life, good relationships, good looks, etc. Y’all made some acute points in the comments on my first Real L Word recap:

Bizzle: I’m hoping in the next few episodes they’ll reveal that they know each other. I mean, they couldn’t find a group of queer people who are friends in LA?!

Sally: … despite all the things I expected it to be, it managed to be something entirely unanticipated: dull… I think the problem is that it’s completely lacking any humour. Even the unintentional stuff just caused guffaws of embarrassment rather than belly laughs. Chaiken and co must have been so focused on casting the Shane and the Papi that they forgot about the Alice.

Shaqueera: The poorly-lit hookup and the obligatory romantic sunrise shots accompanied by “[awkward orgasm noise] I’m gonna come. You’re so good at this”… was whack.

Robin: Why not have some actual single ladies on the show? Nothing against GOOD relationships obvs, but srsly not one of these ladies is actually single and therefore I’m so bored watching them hit the town.

Leave it to Ilene Chaiken to find a way to make something as terrible as it could possibly be. She should run for president – we could bathe our children in oil spill and anthrax.

Anyhow you bastards, I said I wasn’t going to recap this episode unless I got $300 of Paypal donations, and well, you came through. We were holding steady at $295 until this morning when we crossed the threshold, so I’m doing it in gratitude!

Also, because of Nat!

Here’s a donate button p.s.:



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This week’s riveting opener is “What kind of lesbian are you?” Because that is what we are: we are all types of lesbians. Whitney snags this opportunity to once again point out her hammer-holding abilities (The Indigo Girls can handle that and a nail, so really it ain’t no thang, Whit-Whit) and Mikey, eschewing constricting labels like “butch” and “futch” and “dutch,” says she’s a “Mikey lesbian.”

Jill points out, “I don’t think you’d ask a straight person what kind of straight person are they. You love who you love and can’t the conversation end there?”

Just Look at my Back, Okay? Just Look at my Fucking Back!!!

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Tracy gives a few WTF looks before offering up, “the kind that likes girls?”

+What the Hell Are You Talking About Now?

Riese: Thank you, Jill.
Laneia: Thank you, Tracy.


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In the Hot Seat

We last left our Don Juan Whitney at the airport, where she dropped off one girl and picked up another. The new girl, Tor, looks identical to the last one. Whitney explains that Tor just got a job in LA and is gonna crash at Whitney’s ’til she “gets her bearings,” that Tor is Alyssa’s cousin, and — wait for it — Whitney and Tor have you know, “HOOKED UP.” In the “past.”

Laneia: Oh my god that is such a mistake!
Riese: Or a great set-up for a dramatic television series!

Oh, the past. You dirty wicked Whitney and your past; chock-full of skinny, tan, dark-haired girls with gigantic earrings and eager wet tongues.

Come On Let Us Futches Handle the Bags

Whitney continues, “We’re U-Hauling it and I haven’t even started dating her yet!” and then she explains what the U-Haul joke is, and this whole shenanegan causes us all to black out from slamming our foreheads into the wall, so we miss the rest of the scene. I’m not kidding, I can’t. I JUST CAN’T DO THIS.


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Mikey tells us that she was born and raised in the projects and her best friend was shot and killed right next to her when she was 9, which is really fucking interesting.

About 100% more interesting than “Mikey trying to establish herself as the leader of the non-existent LA Fashion Week,” which is what we jump to next —

This is a Large Room. Write That Down.

Mikey is looking at… spaces. That’s right. Large, spacious rooms. Big rooms. Lots of space. Spacious rooms. Empty, empty, empty large rooms.

Project Runway

Riese: The runway is longer you guys, and you know what they say about a girl with a long runway!
Laneia: She takes more time walking down the runway?
Sarah: A longer scene?
Riese: Never mind.


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And This is How You Make Bra out of Coconuts!

Back to the Tracy and Stamie Show! This week’s topic is “Dating a lady with kids is hard.” For example, Stamie’s son, Jagger, is “special needs.” Tracy explains: he has Williams Syndrome, a form of autism.

Riese: Everything is a form of autism these days.
Laneia: My ass is a form of autism.

The Kid Stays in the Picture, Wants the Cereal

This, again, is totally fascinating (our inappropriate jokes notwithstanding) but instead we return to the relationship’s alleged conflict. In addition to the daily stresses of feeding and bathing other humans, this week the kids are coughing a lot (Stamie tells Jagger “You need to quit smoking! No more cigarettes for you!”) but that’s okay, because Stamie is still funny:

Stamie: If Tracy took a second to think about this and break it down, that bitch would run her ass down Ventura Blvd and I’d have to stop her with my vehicle.

I dunno, these kids are super cute for real:

A special moment of tenderness by the indoor palms:

We Have Long Hair

Stamie thanks Tracy for all her help, and they share a super-cute moment on the couch that makes us all feel like our relationships totally suck and we probs need kids or a couch or something. Then Stamie tells Tracy she looks pretty and asks, “Did you shower today?” which is like, fucking perfect.


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I Had a Similar Idea Called Sexual Fluids

Nikki and Jill are working on a TV project based on “Sexual Fluidity,” a book they optioned and also one Alex‘s Mom gave her to explain how she could maybe flow on back to men and still like ladies.

Sarah: Nikki always adds the h’s like Martha Stewart.
Laneia: She is always talking in her sexy voice.

Jill used the book as a tool to explain her fluiditity to her parents, thank the good lord, because her own explanation of her sexuality is sort of hard to follow — which is fine. Clearly she’s still figuring it out, but it’s not getting in the way of her relationship with Nikki.

Jill: “For me it’s still very much about the person versus the gender. And some might argue, ‘Isn’t that bisexuality?’ Bisexuality still positions you as liking men and liking women. I’m coming at it from a point of ‘I wanna like the person.”

Jill says they have to talk about bisexuality and get it out there because nobody talks about this. Actually they do, it’s just incredibly difficult to get funding for such projects so um, lest I journey further down the trail of bisexual publishing industry rage, I’d just like to briefly applaud Jill and Nikki’s project, because they’re working with one of the women who’s spent a great deal of time on this topic. I hope they do it well, unlike that time Ilene Chaiken had an idea to make a show about lesbians living their lives in West Hollywood. Or um, Lez Girls.

Nikki says Jill dated women before Nikki but is still a bit uncomfortable about the labels. Jill is 60% comfortable saying she’s openly gay, but 100% comfortable saying she is in love with a woman.

I’m 100% sure that the author of the book is adorbs / reminds me of Berkeley:


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Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. 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 Nylon, Queerty, 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! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2676 articles for us.

77 Comments

  1. So Taylor is a bartender at the Cat Club in San Francisco. Despite the name, there are only a few queer nights each month.

    Anyway! I went to a Pride kick-off party there on Friday night and saw Taylor, and confirmed that yes indeed that is her on The Real L Word. Whitney was also there and looked terribly uncomfortable. Probably because we’re so unpolished or whatever up here.

    Taylor is very sweet and said I was the first person out in public to recognize her from the show, and that she’ll be on a few more episodes. Apparently she and Whitney are old friends from when they both lived in NY.

    This is the end of my Real L Word scoop.

  2. I don’t understand why someone would be excited to get into the Chamber of Commerce. Isn’t that like something anybody can get into as long as they are willing to pay the membership fees, like at Sam’s Club?

  3. How the hell do Rose/Whitney get so much ass? They have to have like special lesbian catnip/clam juice oil or something that they rub on themselves to attract women because it’s obvs not their sparkling personalities.

    Great recap Riese!

    • Whitney seems like the kind of girl who could make a cool friend, but is a spectacularly shitty GF. If she was more authentic, I might not mind her. Alas, alas.

      Rose? Rose is just a Grade A twat machine, dude, just like Mikey.

  4. When you say, “Okay actually you know what, I can’t keep doing this,” you’re not being for realz, are you?! How the hell else am I supposed to “watch” the show!?

      • Yeah, you missed the part when Rose and Natalie fight in the bedroom and Rose tells Natalie to move out. Made me want to hurl/shank Rose if I ever see her on the street.

        • like we know that they’re still together in real life, soooo it’s really hard for me to give a shit! like okay, here’s a dramatic fight that leads to nothing actually changing in your relationship. i see plenty of those happening around me every day so um, why watch tv?

          • Too true. This show is boring and useless and I’m not watching another episode. We only get tidbits of actually compelling parts of the lives of these women, and the rest is just normal drama, normal happiness, and pure unadulterated assholery. Can we petition to put a stop to future episodes?

  5. I thought the Chamber of Commerce part was a joke at first.

    Also, I laughed so hard at this- “Just so you know, we’ve figured this out physically – fucking five girls at a time – and it involves lying on your back with your legs and arms in the air with someone’s vagina in your mouth.” And it’s made up for my crappy day. Especially since I got the strangest mental picture.

  6. im only on page 2, but i will just comment now…

    major notes:
    1) i’ve known boob/snuggie girl since i was 17 (24 now) and i cant believe the first time i saw her boobs was on reality TV. Sigh.

    2) the racerback shirt/regular bra thing is something i support because I FUCKING HATE SPENDING EXTRA MONEYZ ON BRAS just to be able to wear one or two shirts.

    3) was that “dykes to watch out for”? I’m pretty sure the name of the girl on the couch on the right of that screencap is Courtney. like… 100% pretty sure.
    However, with that said..i havent watched the episode because it is full of suck and your recaps are much much better.

  7. This show sounds even less like the way that we live than the fake L Word. I do wonder if Ilene Chaiken has ever met like, a real, normal person.

    I truly believe that everyone has a story that is beautiful and awesome and heartbreaking and should be told to the world. It should be the function of sort-of-documentary shows like this to tell those stories. These people don’t seem any different – Mikey’s friend got shot next to her when she was 9?! Woah. Tell me about that. I don’t care what kind of lesbian you are, I care about what happened to you and how it made you the person you are. Fo srs.

  8. what group of people is the real l word supposed to be marketed towards? i don’t understand what mama chaiken is aiming for, b/c really, who would enjoy this shit? people who enjoy manipulation, misrepresentation of all lesbians, unjustified generalizations via labels, asinine behavior w/r/t socializing…

    is “asshole” a demographic?

    who gave the a-okay to kill off dana and produce this self-indulgent show?

  9. I think we should take up a collection and make paypal donations for Riese to talk about ANYTHING ELSE including Sesame Street. Even though these recaps are REALLY FUNNY.

  10. Riese, thank you for your recaps. I know it must be super hard to watch a show this mind-numbingly awful. Thanks to your recaps, I don’t actually have to watch the show & I feel like this is way more entertaining than the actual show.

    <3… kells.

  11. dear riese & the gang, i’m sorry you can’t afford fruits and vegetables. i’m also sorry you have to recap this mess of a show. since i can’t fix the recap thing, where do i donate?

  12. Lesbian Squabble #fail: “Please don’t feed the Lesbians, they eat just fine on their own”

    In the Ring: Riese’s Recaps vs. the worst show ever, brought to us by IFC.

    Content: AS’s fearless leader tries not to drill a hole through her brain while watching an ill-conceived effort at promoting Lesbianism to Chamber’s of Commerce across America.

    Who wins? no one. no one could ever possibly win this. ever.

    so, um … yeah.

  13. Being British, I often get envious of US TV. However I feel if I was subjected to this I would potentially scrape out my lesbian womb and shove a carrot down my pants in order to fully disassociate myself from this!!!

        • Um, yeah? Skins is probably the teevee show that is closest to my life, for sure. I mean, everyone is prettier and takes more drugs and is much wittier on Skins, and I don’t know anyone who got murdered with a baseball bat, but other than that it’s pretty realistic.

          Aha, I’m not going to take this show as a sample for a whole country, but seriously these people are terrifying. No one cares about anything and none of them have a reason for being an arsehole. I’m actually more disturbed by the people around them who can’t see that they’re terrifying. Like why does Whitney get so many girls wtf.

          And don’t worry, everyone wants to fuck Effy. It’s the eyes/mental breakdown. Hotstuff.

    • I did my regular L Word recaps for free for three years. And it actually does literally take me about 30 hours to do these ones — and that’s with Crystal helping me out with screencaps while she was in town. When I started writing L Word recaps I had two jobs, lots of freelance work and was two weeks away from being out of debt forever. Now I have heaps of debt, no jobs, no sleep and no time. Get out now, Bronzey. Get out now before it’s too late. I mean FOLLOW YOUR HEART!!!!

      • Shit, I guess it’s payback time, but still! I’m starting out with heaps of debt, no job, a move on the horizon, and hell… I’ll keep doing it. Luckily, the recap didn’t take 30 hrs (holy shit!). Anyway, I like making fun of people too much. This show brings out the best (worst?) in me!

  14. I just want everyone to know that Carly is in the other room watching this episode and I am in this room, where I cannot see or clearly hear the TV, reading this recap. This is all I’ll ever need of The Real L Word.

  15. Why isn’t it fair to go back to sleep? Like, can’t they take turns?

    Only people with really good incomes can celebrate monthly anniversaries. Unless by “celebrate our anniversary” you mean “hold my hand and tell me I’m pretty while I call and ask for forbearance on my loans again”.

    • When my girlfriend and I had our first kid, I would become irrationally angry if she was sleeping while I was up with the baby…like CRAZY angry. So when I was feeding him, I would poke her constantly so that she couldn’t sleep. I don’t know why but it did seem unfair for her to be sleeping. You don’t think clearly when you are sleep-deprived. By the time the second came around, I realized that parents need to sleep whenever they can or there is a lot of yelling/weeping.

  16. Holy jeezys! Bill Nye and Family Ties in the same post, FTW!!! Great job, Riese! Also, did you mean to say indict when talking about the Chamber of Commerce? I think the first mention of the COC, you said inducted, but then used indicted twice, but I can’t blame you, by that time you had probably already stabbed yourself in the brainbox with a dull, rusty spoon. But seriously, I LOL’d thru the whole thing:)

  17. sweet jesus… my friend got up and left the room near the beginning of this episode to watch paint dry. literally. and she swears it was more entertaining and made her want to kill herself less. Riese, i have adored you and your amazing recaps for years, but don’t feel like you have to keep going. in this case, rather than terrible slash awesome, this show is terrible slash destroys my will to live.

  18. I don’t know if I can handle hearing Mikey say “LA fashion week” or any variation of that one more time. For reals, I think she said that more in one episode than I’ve heard Heidi Klum say the NY week in a season worth of Project Runway.

    Plus, Heidi has better hair.

  19. I watched this episode, naively thinking that I had to be better than the first episode. I was wrong, it made me want to kill myself rather than watch another minute of its drivel.

  20. I watched this episode to be prepared for your recap. So thank you for being amazing and witty, and fuck you for being amazing and witty.

    My friend and I said “thank god!” at the same time when the credits started.

  21. For some reason I found the second episode a little less excruciating to watch. I think it’s because:
    a) my expectations were much lower (like way lower)
    b) I felt numb after the first few minutes
    c) I knew I could help make the pain go away by reading this recap afterward.

    I can’t figure out if these ladies are all total douches/really boring or if it’s more the editing. It seems like IC and crew are throwing the characters under the bus to try to salvage something from this suck. I also cringed at how the situation with Jill and Nikki was portrayed. Of course what can we expect? After all IC transformed Alice’s character from funny bisexual chic to bisexual hater so fast it made my head spin.

  22. Riese…it’s like when the English teacher makes you write a paper about As You Like It and as much as you love W.S., you have to prove that, yes, no matter how much gender-queering and cross-dressing and gay content, Shakespeare thinks that marriage between men and women is the only way for society to not fall apart. At the end of the day, Ilene, not you, is creating this content, you are simply providing the opinion of the people. You are the only voice of reason we have left.

    You just have to remember that THIS SHOW IS NOT YOUR FAULT. In fact, you are doing everything in your power to counteract the inevitable oil-spill-esq backlash that this shit of a show will inspire in entitled straight people the world over. God help us. And please keep recapping, because I am NOT ordering Showtime. I will buy you breakfast.

  23. Tidbit: I kept seeing the cast everywhere during SF pride. Hotel bar, dyke march, in a really crowded sandwich shop for a long time. I asked “is the hilarity of having a photo with them worth the ego boost it will give them?”. I decided no. But they didn’t seem as bad in real life. Tracy, Stamie, and Natalie were the nicest and cutest, obvs. Tracy had to squeeze past me once and smelt delicious, obvs.

    Mikey was also at the Eden Comedy Show and Gina Yashere and Sandra Valls were giving her a lot of shit including “there’s been one show, you’re not famous yet” and imitations of her freaking out about the comp cards. Then Mikey started tweeting about it during the show and Sandra called her out. I loved it. It made me feel slightly ok about missing Rodeo Disco 2, but only slightly.

  24. I just want to punch Ilene Chaiken in the face!!!
    I feel sorry for the lesbians in L.A. who are going to get stereotyped by middle America and beyond….I want to go and whisk Tracy away from the madness!!!

  25. so, I watched this and I’ve decided that I wanna see the Real Stamie Show. She has the potential to be “the Alice”, and Alice ain’t no sidekick.

    also, I think it’s kinda dangerous if you throw too many light bulbs and chemistry in the mix, just saying.

  26. This show should have been called Awesome Tracey and The Douchettes.
    I want more Tracey, less douchie stereotypes.

    I’m in love with Tracey, she won me with her facial expressions. 🙂

    P.s
    I am medium rare, soft, fem-butch with hardcore butch tendencies and a splash of lip gloss… I’m just saying.

  27. i don’t even know what to do anymore about this show (aside from continuing to watch/hate on it). about 20 minutes in I just started watching youtube videos on my laptop because I was so bored.

    i want to hate crime this show. can i do that?

  28. Per ush, the recap blows the “real show” out of its little cesspool of disproportionate lesbian representation.

    But, seriously. BEST SCREENCAP EVER for Whitney & Romi’s post-fight kissing. The grimace on Whitney’s face is brilliant, and completely real/revealing. Obviously the unavoidable chemistry between those two is fucking PALPABLE with that hot snogging

    I am always going to make out with my eyes open from now on and if my girlfriend ever has that expression on her cute little face, I will know that she secretly hates me and and may want to bite my head off instead of kiss it.

  29. “Laneia: Oh come on, she’ll quit the party scene when she gets old and ugly, like everyone does.”

    I would like to venture that she is already ugly.

    Too harsh? Ok, she’s … not attractive then.

  30. ugh even as i witness all of whitney’s bullshit i’m still attracted to her. fail.

    poor romi, she obviously wants a relationship. and whitney obviously does not.

  31. Yeah, I agree with riese that it DOES need to be funnier. Because I feel this show could have went two ways: it could have, in a genuine, interesting, compelling way, shown lesbian life in LA. OR it could have been a spoof of the lesbian scene and people like Rose, Mikey, et al could have been held up as funny stereotypes. Cuz, you know, an emotionally abusive relationship is funny…i don’t know.

    Here’s my real problem with the show: I can’t stop watching. It’s because, I think, I really like seeing real lesbian couples/real lesbians. There isn’t a lot of exposure to real gay couples on tv and some of us are starved for it. I like watching Stamie and Tracy, Mikey and Racquel, etc., because they’re real…but then again, they’re not. Everything’s manipulated and contrived, as evident in the disastrous editing of the show, as pointed out by riese. So I’m a bit angry that Ilene hasn’t at least tried to make it funny and a bit angrier that by giving up on the funny she hasn’t at least used her power/weight to come up with a decent show about lesbians. It just all seems such a waste…of the real lesbians’s time, Ilene’s, and more importantly i must say, OURS.

    I think a great reality tv show would be the real real l word, which would depict the making of this shiteous reality tv show, complete with Ilene splicing sound bytes together on her Mac, calling up her buddies and begging/pleading them to appear on the show, giving the Abbey money/bribing them big time to use their patio constantly, etc. Because that would be funny. And we would see real lesbians in action. Or at least a certain breed of LA lesbians.

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