Real L Word Season Three Torture Prep: These Trailers, This Book

The clock tower on the hill is ominously counting down the days between now and Thursday, July 12th, when The Real L Word returns for its third season of mayhem, magic and masturbation. In this trailer, released last week, we go ‘behind the scenes’ with the cast, despite the fact that reality TV is, by definition, always “behind the scenes.” I mean… unless the scenes are staged or something? That’d be so weird! Here it is:

There’s also a new webisode of “Somer Fridays” available on the Showtime website. I was hoping it would be a show about how an average girl can develop an amazing jaw like Somer Bingam‘s, but instead it’s about the upcoming season of The Real L Word. I believe Somer will be releasing these videos every Friday. (Did I ever tell you about the time I went to apply to the TGI Friday’s in Times Square and they told me they only accepted applications on Friday’s? So I walked across the street to The Olive Garden and got a job there, and the rest is hospitaliano history.)

In anticipation of the impending darkness, I’ve decided to start reading Lillian Faderman (Odd Girls & Twilight Lovers) and Stuart Timmons‘ Gay L. A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, And Lipstick Lesbians, in hopes of tricking myself into viewing this program as somehow relevant, fitting into a broader cultural history of queer life in Los Angeles. It’s a long shot, but regardless I invite you to read along with me! (Also, if you’ve yet to read Reality Bites Back, now would be a good time).

As some of you are aware, I have been cursed in life with a gift for Real L Word recaps, which attract heaps of traffic to this website. Therefore, every summer I endure the program in exchange for ~30 people telling me that I’m funny once a week in the comments on a post it took 30 hours to write. So look forward to that! It beats The Olive Garden, I guess.

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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 3211 articles for us.


  1. Fellow Autostraddlers! I am not ashamed to say that I love AND hate this show. I know many of us do, even if we don’t watch it and just come to read riese’s amazing, smart, hilarious, incredible critiques and recaps. The show is terrible, I know, but it is a guilty pleasure to watch it, critique it, yell at it, and still come back and give it my ratings every week.

    The important thing is that we all come here and keep talking about all the issues with The Real L Word, reality tv, crazy Ilene C., the problems with having a non-reality, but semi-real reality show about some kinds of lesbians in our world right now–what that means for visibility (especially since this is one of the only shows that tries to be visible for us) and identity, and how the control of media and production alters what is really going on and the choices these women make to get drunk and show us some of their lives.

    I love it. I love that we all love to hate it (maybe not as much love to hate it as hate it). Our community here is strong and the most important aspect of it all–the fact that we make decisions with and against popular culture and continue to document our reactions and feelings to this show (and everything else girl-on-girl in culture)–is that we are here responding on this amazing website. This is active participation in culture! (as much as possible, I suppose) I look forward to this time of year not just for the show (which I always need a few glasses of wine before I get into) but for the community and discussions it creates here. Let’s keep it up, and even if we hate what it does to our lives, let’s try to watch it and respond and maybe make changes. Shit, there are so many women here capable of making better shows than this (writers, artists, phtogs and videographers.) Unite for and against the Real L Word mess! Can you tell I’m a bit excited? Too much coffee today?

  2. Addendum:
    reise, what I’m trying to say is that I feel you. I know you want to spend more of your time with the important things, the poetry, the love, the music, the activism, everything I’ve been reading about and following you for all these years. It’s why we all feel close to you; you’re so damn smart.
    However, the fact that you keep having to come back to these must be important, and the community you have created here began from L Word recaps, so the connection, though tedious, is still strong. We come to read your recaps even though some of us don’t even watch the show. Your sharp eye and critiques are so necessary, and the community you’ve created is unlike any other, queer or non, ever. My studies in pop culture and audience autonomy and identity tell me this is important, even though it feels like utter shit-tasticness in the process, and such a waste of time. Keep it up, and know that for some strange reason, it’s all semi-important, even if it takes more just drinkable white wine:)

  3. That trailer just made me wince. Another season I will NOT be watching. Although I might read your re-caps every once in a while just to see how ridiculous the show is without having to suffer through it (thank you for your sacrifice, Riese).

  4. For some reason, I cannot see the trailers that were posted. In any event, there is always room for moar lol’s in my life and I welcome them openly.

    • Ok, restarted the computer, saw the trailers and lol’d@ Whitney trying to remember her lines with the whole “East Coast versus West Coast” stutter/stumble (whatever you want to call that). Then trying to correct her mistake with an awkward, “Yeahhhhhhh” like she was Lil’ Jon & The East Side Boyz. Then you have Kaci’s picture (on the actual Showtime site) that gives off a, “This is a fake smile, I’m not sure what I’m doing here, help!” There is a lot of subtle non-verbal behavior and awkwardness that I picked up on those trailers alone and the fact that they didn’t edit that out, notice, or give a fuck, is even more funnier.

  5. Oh my Lord, that trailer just made the new season look even worse than I thought possible. Even the way the girls are talking about themselves makes it sound so fake – Romi: “My storyline…” No, hun, that implies fiction, not your actual life.

  6. So excited for this terribleness. I need some trash in my life. I really don’t like Hunter Valentine though. Snooze.

    • I am the most apathetic about Hunter Valentine–saw them last year (with a few Chistraddlers) sandwiched between Vanity Theft and Sick of Sarah and I was just so not into it. It could have been that the booze hit me most during their set, but they just couldn’t hold my attention.

  7. I don’t get Showtime so I won’t be watching, but I’ll definitely be reading the recaps

    • *cough* tor *cough* rent *cough* My, what a beautiful day it is today! It’s the 4th of July for Americans! Woooo! *waves a sparkler* *runs off*

  8. Since we are on the topic of The Real L Word I thought I’d mention that Francine’s girlfriend from last season, Khristianne, was on this week’s episode of Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell. She didn’t win which I was really disappointed about but I ended up really liking her after having negative feelings about her initially. You get a much better sense of what’s she’s really like than on The Real L Word where she was just a supporting player in Francine’s drama. She seems very organized, was not catty at all with her competitors, and her food looked really good.

  9. I’m gonna risk someone yelling at me and calling me shallow but
    I’m not gonna lie, I think Whitney is totally hot… With or without her shitty ways that she treats her ladies. Also I wish Cori and Kacey (is that her name?) would just leave this show alone. They are a little to cute and sweet to be having themselves out there on such a crappy show. But then again them being on this show lets other people know that there are lesbianas out there like them that are starting a family and are super cute with each other. It’s the whole visibility thing. Also Riese you are amazing and I love you.

  10. Wanna trade stories working for shitty jobs?
    I’ll swap the watching AND recapping of this crazy show for supporting Smart Phones for a well know manufacturer….(nope, it’s not the fruit job).

  11. Or maybe not – I am not that funny and this way I can read your awesome stuff at work on damn expensive senseless meaningless ( to me) toys surrounded by sexist, homophobic idiots…there is some sort of sick enjoyment in that.
    Delete history is my favourite button.



    but seriously, you shouldn’t have.

  13. The weird thing is I actually feel like I have watched The Real L Word and yet have never done so, I have only experienced it through the medium of Riese’s recaps.

  14. The only reason I would watch would be to see Kacy and Cori, after reading their blog and watching them in Season 2 I want more! :) I’m hoping they have good news baby wise.

    • Its like Kacy and Cori exist in a parallel show that is lost within TRLW
      I hope Alyssa the roommate comes back. And Kelsey, she was super hot.

  15. Things I did while watching the trailer:

    1. compulsively muttered “no no no no”
    2. laughed
    3. cringed
    4. made a sarcastic comment to no one
    5. hid in my sweater
    6. wanted to cry
    7. moaned in fear
    8. was turned on

  16. Real L Word recaps are my favorite. Remember the power of the clam? The photo of Nikki & Jill and the many words describing their love and superiority and true love forever and ever?

  17. The main reason I watch TRLW is that I get to see how lesbians be (I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing) in a place where they can be themselves unlike where I come from. So, aside from Reise’s wonderfully written recaps, I can’t wait to see this season and who gets their hearts broken (real or fake), and who gets laid (nope, I’m not a pervert).

    • Not to belittle your reasons for watching the show (I have a close friend who’s femme in the PI so I know where you’re coming from), but that is only a small fraction of what the openly gay population looks like. I’m very out, and my life is nowhere near that crazy.

      • yeah I understand and I am not generalizing (im sorry if I hurt anybody including you with what I said/posted), what I’m trying to say is that it’s totally different out here in the PI… we’re all baby dykes when we’ve been dykes our whole life because of the culture and openness (or the lack of it) of our country to gayness…..I try my best to read and watch all LGBTQ related things to widen my perspective of the community I identify with, I guess thats why I find AS very helpful…

        • (I have a close friend who’s femme in the PI so I know where you’re coming from) –> thanks for your understanding..

  18. I, for one, am excited for Hunter Valentine to be on this cluster f**k of show

    Had a huge thing for Kiyomi back when I was a young gay. ( Fun story: I actually came out to my mother while showing her their video, Break This. It was New Year’s, I was drunk on champagne. You can imagine how well that went. )

  19. Romi and Kelsey got back together and then broke up after Romi started dating some “musician”

    • …because it’s television, most television shows are trashy, especially the ones behind major networks and ratings equate to money, so there you have it, the cookie is now crumbled.

  20. Ever since camp, the only thing I can think of when I see an article about TRLW is the look on Riese’s face when she realized that almost no one actually watches the show, but almost everyone reads her recaps.

  21. And the sad thing about this is these fakes are a real/true segment of the community. Fracking posers of life. These trustafarians are everywhere and about trotting for attention. I wouldn’t mind watchin this show for kicks but Ilene and beautiful actresses of this fictional show need to stop calling it the real L word cause aint nothing real about. Everyone knows this is really bad acting, skinmax scenes and phony drama. I suggest renaming it.

  22. A few people in the above comments have essentially said that even though they don’t like the show or the behavior of those starring on the show, it is still a good thing to have “exposure.” I would have to politely disagree.

    A few years ago I watched a few episodes of the first real L word season when I had free Showtime and was going through deciding whether to live as a queer or be celibate and live in the middle of nowhere. Watching the real L word made me stay in the celibate camp for more than a year. I remember thinking, “If this is what living like a lesbian is like in a big “enlightened” city, I want no part of it.” And at this time I didn’t know autostraddle existed.

    And I hope that none of my friends/family/coworkers ever see this show. I have a hard enough time convincing them that homos can be normal well rounded human beings. And for the record I’m not saying the problem with the show is the promiscuity (yay for sex!), it’s the self absorbed BS that spews forth from the “characters” mouths. Do these people listen to themselves?

  23. I don’t watch this show except for like one episode I saw a long time ago but can I just say I wanted to punch Whitney in the throat for comparing Kiyomi to her XD I have fangirling issues with Kiyomi. Anyways besides that look forward to Riese’s recaps and seeing Kiyomi’s face, even if her actions are mostly manipulated by Showtime to make her appear to be this crazy lesbian like the rest of the Real L word cast.

  24. Late to the comment party, but I watch this show because it becomes a fantastic drinking game. Then again, this isn’t uncommon: laundry day also becomes an excuse to drink.

  25. I honestly have to say I like the show. Not because it represents our community well (-5 pnts) but because it shows our counterparts as “hard-working” and more or less “successful” people. The show is for “entertainment” and as such, it’s fulfilling it’s goal. Can I also mention that they have some really good looking people with an amazing fashion sense? I mean… i’m baffled by Whitney’s “dress”code (which I think is for marketing purposes or marketing/ Whatever it is, it looks unnatural. it is unnatural). Finally, I have to say, my true reason for watching this season is Amanda’s and Lauren’s “story.” I get the basics of what they are about but yea… they are good looking and “real.” All in all… i’m just saying, the show isn’t that bad but I understand Riese’s perspective.

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