Real L Word Episode 106 Recap: Family Ties You Up, Girl

This week, our excitement for Episode 106 of Showtime’s The Real L Word vacillated slightly from day to day. Occasionally we’d find ourselves daydreaming mid-afternoon about Rose and her bros blowin’ off steam or Mikey’s Sunglasses facing off against Whitney’s Power of the Clam in a Celesbian Lazerdeath Match. From time to time, we’d awake sweaty in the middle of the night, screaming: “IT’S THE PERFECT DRESS!”

Then, at last, the time came.

My stomach hurt — was it dread? PMS? The responsibility thrust upon me to be “playful” as I recap a program which undermines everything I believe in as a human being? There was only one way to find out.

Laneia and I sat down to watch the show, alcohol on hand. About ten minutes in, we were joined by Carlytron, who you may recall from this website and my L Word recaps of yore.

Laneia: I’m in my underwear! I’m going to try to not be a bitch this week!
Riese: I’m not.
Laneia: You should drink more!


It’s time for another round of  everyone’s favorite party game, “Please Don’t Ask Me This on Formspring!”

Today’s Question: When Did You Come Out To Your Family?

Whitney screamed, “Dad, I’m gay!” on her way out of the house on National Coming Out Day. Dad didn’t pay no mind. Perhaps he was drunk, or just happy that Whitney was leaving and wouldn’t return pregnant.

Tracy’s Mom has got it going on. (I’ve been wanting to say that for six weeks!) JK, Tracy’s Mom’s face “dropped in” and it was awful and Tracy never wants to see that face again. Luckily, she can look at her own face whenever she wants to:

When Nikki came out, Nikki’s Mom said she’d always known Nikki had a Big Lesbo Crush on her college roommate. And she was right. So. There’s the first twenty seconds of an erotic film.

It took Mikey’s grandmother five years to say the word “lesbian,” probably because of dentures.  Similarly, it took five minutes for Mikey to figure out how to lean:

Laneia: Oh yay, a coming out question!
Riese: G-d I’d rather read Mikey’s memoir than see her on the TV.
Laneia: I am so bored.


“Once I knew who I was, I didn’t give a fuck about what everyone else thought,” says Rose. However, her early self-realization led to very strict sleepover policies. Poor Papi.


“I said, ‘I think I’m gay,’ and my oldest boy said, ‘I knew,” says Meredith Baxter. This episode is clearly going to be about Meredith Baxter, because it’s called Family Ties. Right? I just figured, so I thought I’d throw her in here.


I Fell In Love With a Stripper, Bro

Rose & The Bros are at Hamburger Mary’s, discussing their recent mid-evening hotel stripper experience. Rose does some quick math: “I was sandwiched by two strippers, so that’s four breasts, and then Danielle, so two and a half breasts.”

Rose’s knowledge of social networking is quaint and elderly, while also gross.

Bro: Did you tell your other half?
Rose: No, nobody. Twit nothing. Tweet. Twat. Nothing twattered, nothing.

Got it?

Rose: [Natalie] would not be cool with it. But I did not do anything wrong, and so if it does make or break us, that’s retarded.”

Bro: “Let’s say Natalie had a night like that…”
Rose: “No.”

4.5 Breasts is What I’m Telling You, Bros. You Think Nat’s Tiny Head Could Handle This Shit?


Laneia: My stomach hurts. I think this show is giving me an ulcer?
Riese: I wish this show gave this show an ulcer. I like her friends better than her, per ushe.
Laneia: Si.  [see what i did there?]
Riese: [si!]


Rose would “put Natalie’s ass out for a while” if she had a hotel stripper party. Isn’t that double standards, bro? “No,” explains Rose. “I’m not double standards, I’m just saying, I’m growing up, you know.”

Okey doke.


Family Hour

Tracy’s family stops by for hugs, smiles, and clear skin. Tracy’s two sisters have boyfriends. “It’s cute,” says Tracy, probably about something else. Amy, despite having a name that rhymes with “Stamie,” isn’t totally cool with Tracy’s gayness, maybe. It’s a bit hazy.

The Sisters are hungry and want to order food. Also they want to watch The Oscars with sound, not on mute (as one must do when a camera crew is around).  I know this from The Live Lounge interview with Tracy & Stamie, not from the episode. Yeah, I hang out there sometimes. The Live Lounge. It’s pretty chill. I dig the music.

Forget everything I just told you about what I heard in The Live Lounge, okay? Forget it. That’s not the story Ilene wants to tell.

Laneia: How cute are these people?
Riese: You’re really trying to have the glass half-full right now. It’s cute.
Laneia: How do they all have such beautiful glowy skin?

Clean But Also, Unclear

Tracy wants Mom to know about/like Stamie. The boyfriend explains that Stamie’s best shot at making a good impression on Mom is to dress really “girlie.” You know —

Or, You Could Just Take Her to a Hotel Room With Strippers

Riese: Her mom will be seduced by boobs?
Laneia: OH AMY’S THE MIDDLE CHILD. That explains it.
Riese: What’s wrong with middle children? Are they like bisexuals?

Eventually, the stench of homosexuality drives one sibling from the room.


Riese: Maybe she’s upset about Tracy being on the show, not about her being a lesbian.
Laneia: This is all such problematic wording.
Riese: Because if I visited my brother and there were cameras there, I would be like, “What the fuck are you doing you do not want a shot at love with that girl!”


Amy: “You guys can cuddle, it’ll be okay.”


So Which of These Books Should We Read After Our Wedding?

If there are two things Jill & Nikki don’t get enough of, it’s 1) Wedding Planning, and 2) Private Time. So Nikki set up a “private dining room” at a fancy restaurant to talk about the wedding.

More importantly, Carly arrives to watch TFS (This Fucking Show) with us.


Laneia: Where are they? The library?
Riese: Yes, they’re picnicking at the library
Carly: Wait, are they are at the Taschen store?


Have You Considered a Large Parking Lot, Tented?

Today’s topic: the venue. Also, as they’ve developed “stronger opinions,” Jill thinks it is now necessary to call a truce and agree to never argue. Speaking of arguing, Nikki’s father refuses to ‘ride outside his comfort zone’ and therefore probs won’t ride a horse to California Vadgeville to walk her down the aisle, but that’s what Nikki WANTS DAMMIT:

Jill: “Why, because that’s tradition? If we’re gonna play by tradition, then I should be a man. Right?… this is our wedding, our union, so whatever feels best for you.”

Also, this happened:

Nikki: “When my parents got divorced I was in my 20s… and the last time I ever heard from my father was when I appeared on Oprah in 2006 … it was a show about women who figured out that they were gay after they were married… and what he said was, “I was in my house the other day and turned on Oprah and saw a beautiful woman, and I thought to myself ‘what a waste of a woman’ when I saw the subject matter. And then I realized it was you.”

Nikki has just almost moved me to tears, and they aren’t tears of boredom. Then Jill says that Nik is a wonderful loving person and bunnies fall from the sky, knocking us all unconscious.


Man I Wish This Chick Wasn’t My Sister So I Could Bang Her

Whitney’s got one sister, Alexis, who she loves “more than anything in this world.” This furthers our vampire theory as it suggests there is “another world.” Whitney’s starving, she’s gonna eat this bottle of ketchup. Also, it’s toasty.

Riese: “I’m starving, I’m gonna eat my words” – would be better
Laneia: It’s toasty, yet you’re still in leather?
Riese: She can’t take off that jacket. It’s like a Barbie or Mikey.
Carly: It’s how she gets her powers.


Also This Helps. The Drinking Also Helps.

Whitney’s old strategy involved being honest but “leaving out pieces of information.” George W. did it and he got re-elected, so that probs will earn Whitney at least one more term in Romi/Tor/Sara’s pants.

Whitney: “I’m doing this thing where I’m like so brutally honest with girls… but I am so open about it, I have no secrets, you know I can’t be in a relationship, and I’m not ready, so if you want to still talk to me and deal with me in this way, then you know this.”


Laneia: ‘Deal with me in this way’? Appropriate.
Riese: That’s not being honest? Leaving out pieces of information?
Carly: It’s being vague.
Riese: I think that’s the opposite of honesty.
Laneia: I wish we’d put ‘honest’ in the drinking game.
Carly: Whitney is to blame for the financial crisis, clearly.
Riese: We should drink every time Whitney rationalizes her behavior with a weak rationalization.

Really, it was said best in the 1983 film The Big Chill:

Michael: “I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.”
Sam Weber: “Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.”
Michael: “Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?”

FACEPALM! Whitney Obviously Doesn’t Know the Volturi Are Back

Whitney’s Dad had an affair and her parents got divorced. When Whitney was wee, her Dad would mack on all the soccer Moms at Whitney’s games, therefore messing her up as she attempted to head-bump some chick in the vadge. In short: she’s got issues; she got it from Dad. You remember this storyline.


Carly: Oh it’s her DAD’S fault.
Riese: Wait, this is semi-interesting to me?
Laneia: It IS the family episode.
Carly: She’s acting very Shane today, Daddy Issues and all.


Wink Wink


Carly: I love when I go out to dinner in a major metropolitan area and there’s no one else out on the patio.
Riese: Me too.
Laneia: Happens all the time.
Riese: It always makes me worry that it’s about to rain.
Laneia: Rain money?
Riese: Oh yeah it might rain money for Mikey’s party. I mean EVENT


Mikey’s taking Manhattan just like the muppets! Apparently one must visit New York City to prepare for LA Fashion Week, ’cause there aren’t any writers in LA anymore to see her designers. For evidence of this, observe the grammatical accuracy of your LA friends’ Facebook wall posts.


Riese: SHE SAID WeekEND instead of “week.” FINALLY. Thank God, I feel so much better, I feel like Mikey just came out.
Laneia: Great, now I have to down this beer.


Like Anthropologie, But Probably Even Less Affordable


Carly: Oh no Mikey has lesbian collar.
Riese: Why wasn’t I invited to this event?

This is What They Do on That Real Housewives Show Right

Nat & her older sister, Leslie, are getting Nat’s nails done for Nat’s new “job” as Rose’s “assistant.” Uh-huh. Guess you wouldn’t want to let your nails get too long for that job.

Hello Nat’s Sister

So like Rose got Nat a gift card? Because she was upset and stuff. Nat says she’s like Rose’s “Baby Mama,” or like her “wife.” Also, it’s time for Rose to meet Mom because that’s what today’s episode is about.

Riese: Did they do Nat’s entire interview in one day? I’m upset about her blush and want a new shot/outfit.
Carly: Why didn’t they make them change outfits? That’s like the first rule of “Shooting Everything In One Day.”


Nat: “It’s just in my nature. Out of all of my sisters, I always wanted to be married. Younger rather than older.”

I feel bad for Nat. She’s like the younger girl in love with an older guy who’s always at the Dairy Queen flirting with high school girls, and she’s like, “No he loves me, we’re getting married!” and they’re like, “Uh huh [no way].”


Carly: Aw no one’s at Mikey’s lil party! Sad trombone.
Riese: I just feel sad for her all the time so much.


In Mikey’s defense, McDonald’s stops serving breakfast at 10:30 so the mysterious Editors of New York City are likely on their way.

Mikey says her PR person is the best PR person ever, just like the Parking Lot Disco Ball Salesman was the best Producer of Events ever. I bet she also thinks this was the Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. and it totally was not. Mikey has lots of Editors coming on the schedule but none of them have shown up.

Why not? STOP ASKING QUESTIONS. The Question of the Episode is, “When did you come out to your family?” and the topic is “family” so we can only conclude that the Editors are probs having dinner with Mikey’s linguistically challenged grandmother.

Riese: They should’ve invited Julie and Brandy, they would’ve gone.
Laneia: Yup.
Carly: Totally they would have.
Riese: Because this event is gay and fashion. It would’ve been perfect for their blog,
Carly: I love that blog btw.

Mikey is Gay But Not Fashion

Mikey goes from booth to booth to check her designer’s moods. Maybe if Mikey talks loud enough, it will seem like more people are there. The Best PR Person Ever tells stressed-out Mikey not to be a “negator.”

Laneia: “Negator.” Like a raptor, but grumpier.


Carly: She’s wearing her Hogwarts blazer today.
Riese: I hope she can magically make ‘editors’ appear.
Carly: Maybe she can magically make sunglasses disappear?

There’s only one thing to do in this situation. And it’s not to don the Coat of Invisibility.

It Was My Unlucky Day Today on Avenue A

Mikey: “The only thing I really know how to do in this situation is try to get everybody in a good mood so when the editors come in later this afternoon, everyone feels like they’re having a good time.”

Laneia: “The only thing I know how to do is get drunk.”
Riese: Maybe they think it’s magic juice.
Carly: “So when they come in later this afternoon everyone is passed out on the floor.”

But to Cry In Front Of You, That’s the Worst Thing I Could Do.


Mikey: “Having a slow start is possibly the worst thing that could happen.”


Laneia: Nope! Nope! Getting drunk in the middle of the day is the worst thing that could happen.
Riese: Yup, already happened. Done.

So basically Mikey is starting the drinking early, and most of her clients are partaking, except for one stuffy lady named Wendy. This is a commendable strategy and I hope it ends in HIJINKS! How do lesbians have sex btw STOP ASKING QUESTIONS.

Riese: The dogs are with Angelica.
Laneia: Last week was dogs, this week is sisters.
Carly: Every week is dogs.
Laneia: Should be.
Carly: I am missing the dogs. I thought this show was about cute dogs living in LA? Is this not that show?
Riese: I know I thought this was “Showdog Mom and Dads.”


Teachable Moment: Listen up, Mikey. Not everyone wants to party. Some people are v. serious about fashion. If Tyra was here, she would tell you about this time she flew to Bangladesh for an Ethiopian Fashion Week event, wearing a stick-and-berry bikini surrounded by racks of stinking bloody cowhides and her assistant only spoke French-Canadian and Naomi Campbell called someone a bitch and still, STILL, still Tyra Banks who was only 13 years old, THIRTEEN YEARS OLD, still TYRA BANKS managed to acquire editors from every major newspaper in the Eastern Bloc while smiling with her eyes and doing creative things with horse-hair and flip-flops.

In other words, she modeled through it.


Pages: 1 2 3See entire article on one page

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, 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. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.


  1. Does anyone else view reality tv ‘stars’ as characters?

    I feel weird thinking of them as actual people just because I’m getting a bit more information about them than I would reading a tabloid magazine.

    • most definitely, reality stars are “characters” for sure. you never get a real sense of who a person actually is watching a reality tv show, because there are producers and editors and blah blah blah. they definitely become characters, for sure.

  2. Wow. With each recap, I realize how much of the show I miss when I watch it drunk with friends on Monday nights. Which, to be fair, is hardly a loss on my part. Still, thank you for filling my Real L Word knowledge hole with your snark week after week.

  3. See now I’m curious…who would be the photographer at a Carly/Robin wedding? I wonder about these things.

    Like when I watch all those cake shows on TLC/Food Network, I wonder who makes THESE people a birthday cake. Would they even want cake? Or is that like when you work at Chick-fil-A the last thing you want EVER is to eat chicken nuggets, which is just crazy because everybody knows they have the best chicken?

    • Robin will obvs be in charge of that, she already has people picked out actually.

      and catering will be by chick-fil-a for obvious reasons.

      • i would move to america for chick-fil-a.

        okay maybe not. but i would do lots of things for chick-fil-a.

    • Looking at Robin’s blog today made me want to get married so I could have her take pictures of it. You need one of those thing Hermione used in HP so that Robin can go back in time and take pictures of her own wedding. Maybe that would be too meta…

  4. My favorite part of this recap is def the Boy Meets World reference. IT’S LIKE YOU KNOW ME.

  5. I think this show is actually about straight people because only they could be this boring.

  6. i’m with Carly on this one: I thought this show was about cute dogs living in LA? Is this not that show?

    also i almost jumped for joy when i got to the bottom of the first page and realized there were TWO MORE PAGES of hilarity

  7. For me, the Real L Word has become sorta like when you slam your leg into the table next to your couch, and initially you want to cry and it’s like the worst thing that has ever happened to you, but then it dissipates or you get a little more used to it, and then eventually you don’t notice it anymore… until like 20 minutes later when you realize there is a giant welt on your leg. Anybody else? Anyway, that’s what the Real L word has become for me. I’m not screaming at my TV like I was during the pilot, but now it’s just boring and whatever.

    I just need to know where the dogs are at all times, you know? There have been no fewer than like 8 unique dogs on this show and I just want to know that they’re all ok all of the time. And if they’re not they can come live with me.

    I am still laughing about the random girls showing up in Whitney’s backyard and drunkenly psychoanalyzing people and situations they knew nothing about. That always happens!

    I thought the girl in the Google Image Search Result for “Craft Fair” photo was Daphne Duck for a second.

  8. I wish all things I have to read could be written by Riese. ALL THE THINGS.

    I saw a real life double rainbow last night, and none of the other 4 people in the car with me had heard of that video, and I felt lonely. But, I don’t feel lonely when I read AS.

  9. Riese & Co., why don’t you guys vlog yourselves watching it? These recaps are hilarious and I think that your real-time reactions to the show would be priceless!

    Also thanks for recapping, it seems to be tortuous for you but it makes my otherwise horrible day a little brighter!

  10. I’d like to take this moment to thank Riese for painstakingly watching, writing and photo grabbing this show.

    Having said that, the Fiddler on the Roof photo made me LOL IRL.

  11. I was going to say last week about Shanna being Adele, YOU STOLE MY THOUGHTS.

    I was worried there would be no Whitney superimposed hats, but then BAM, vampire getup at the end, this appeases me.

    Once again I offer appreciation that you are so willing to bungee into the reality lesbian abyss for our entertainment.

  12. the guy with BARBIE COMMITING SUICIDE ON HIS HEAD!!!!!!!!!
    Best. recap. ever. well almost.
    You have my eternal devotion.
    *runs to find tip jar*

  13. Dear Riese and co., thank you for watching this shit so you can write funny things about it for free so I can read it and love it and be happy and write really long run on sentance comments and say the word “and” a lot and be filled with joy and love for the world.

    You’re the best.

  14. I kept reading Tor’s name and immediately thought of Bring It On and I was like “Oh My God, I’m too gay/old to still be using that movie as a reference” and then you guys DID two lines down and I breathed a sigh of relief.

    But seriously, did anyone else have a moment of pre-teen homo realization watching Eliza Dushku in that movie?

    • Word! The “I got the door, Tor!” reference was so money and I want to marry you b/c of your avatar picture.

      • Word indeed, Special K. All we need are 2 custom wedding dresses for six grand each and a Malibu mansion. And a pair of Nikki-style crazy eyes.

        • I’m gonna be honest, my #1 concern is finding a ring that will fit on your tiny finger.

  15. Just sayin, that OC reference made my day. I’ve totally convinced myself that that house is actually the one that the Coopers lived in when Marissa’s mom was with Caleb. So now I’m gonna go watch The OC on DVD and pretend Marissa never died and not be ashamed that I own the show on DVD…

  16. THANKS RIESE! for the recap. I look forward to having you articulate my distaste for (TFS). Plus it’s fun laughing to myself in my otherwise boring office. Shameless ego stroking…maybes:)

  17. Tracy’s family was SO awkward. for pretty straight bitches they seemed so weird. something was up, definitely.
    Funny as always. Keep it up, please!

  18. Holy shit, I had like 14 LOL moments. I sat in an airport terminal and read this, so that made it even more awk. I love that these recaps exist. They are the “AWESOME” to the “-slash-terrible” of the actual show. It’s like yin and yang but a lot less balanced.

    • Agreed.

      I have no problem with dinosaurs, but I prefer “Torlett” because: 1) my sense of humor tends towards the scatological, and 2) I also enjoy self-deprecating humor and my (spoken) English is really weird. So, for me, Torlett=toilet mispronounced=great times all around.

  19. This is the first episode I have seen (belated pseudo-solidarity!), and, as the credits started rolling, a single glistening tear ran down my pallid cheek because I thought: “They have watched all six of them, and they have produced recaps for each one. TOO MUCH. This show is boring and it almost never asks/answers anything interesting; watching it is not that bad, but how is it possible to generate entertaining recaps of such a fuc…I shouldn’t ask questions. I feel guilty.”

    Anyways, all the recaps have brought me tremendous pleasure (I don’t even care if they’re ‘playful’ or not).

    ¡Gracias! ¡Perdón!

  20. Riese: What’s wrong with middle children? Are they like bisexuals?


    I’m currently dating a boy (not man, I’m in my early twenties for g-d’s sake) and having a ton of feelings for this girl and I’m a middle child AND I’M CURRENTLY THINKING I’M BI. This is not a surprise, I’ve known I was at least half a gay since I was in second grade.

    And judging by my random comment in the recap of the worst show ever with my email that I’ve had since sixth grade, one could probably tell that I am pumped full of a lot of 4 loko (college student, obvs) and feelings at this point in my life. KTHXBYE.

  21. “They are like the movie It’s Complicated, which is actually about Meryl Streep’s struggle to make a larger gourmet kitchen in her mansion.”

    honestly this is the best thing i’ve read all week

  22. just a question for the people who speak hebrew (riese?) – I always though it was “ani ohev otach”, why “ohevet”?
    I quit learning hebrew many years ago and can hardly read it these days, but still find it fascinating – and I know how it’s said correctly, otherwise I will tell people stuff that isn’t right.

  23. This is me stroking Riese’s ego via comments. I rarely laugh out loud alone as much as I do when I read these recaps!

  24. This recap had so many references and so many lols I still can’t wrap my mind around it. I also share Carly’s concern about the dogs.

    I hope Ilene never actually makes a show about dogs. I don’t mind having lesbians make me sad, but there would undoubtedly be a Jenny or Whitney or Mikey dog character in it and I would CRY STRAIGHT FROM MY HEART.

  25. That sequence of photos? With Mikey standing, then looking at, then leaning against the weird,holey cheese wall? LOLololoLOL. I’m never going to watch this show but I will love these recaps forevarz.

  26. maybe mikey’s eyes shoot laser beams. maybe she’s a cyborg and she’s just organizing LA fashion weekend so that she can kill the prime minister of malaysia.


    although strangely, they make me want to watch the show even MORE. you’d think i’d be turned off the entire concept by now…

Comments are closed.