Welcome to the third recap of the third season of The L Word: Generation Q, brought to you by the same network that brought you the original L Word, a show about an elderly dog teetering on the very lip of death who is adopted by an unhinged writer in a depressive spiral about a negative review of her memoir in Curve Magazine who has decided to cope with said review by forging a connection with the small animal veterinarian currently dating the reviewer, leading to the writer taking the dog to the veterinarian girlfriend to be euthanized and subsequently managing to manipulate the reviewer into believing she has a coveted assignment from a prestigious magazine that inhibits her ability to spend the weekend with the veterinarian, thus enabling the writer to swoop in, take the veterinarian on a romantic dinner date and then to a hotel suite to remove each other’s tops where the writer has a revelation and wants to come clean about her duplicitousness when the reviewer shows up and forces the vet to realize the writer was lying about being a marine biology student which in turn inspires the writer to confess that actually she did write a short story about manatees once, so it was a little bit true.
My friends, this week I received a gift that was not a gift at all, it was in fact a virus known as Covid, and let me tell the 25% of you who’ve not already had COVID: it’s pretty unpleasant! Then of course my girlfriend got COVID and her COVID has been even worse than my COVID! Luckily I did power through this recap in small chunks with what I can only describe as a strength bestowed upon me by the Left Hand of the Goddess.
Before we get into the recap if I may, for a moment, share a personal story: on Wednesday morning while my coworkers were wondering if I was dead, I was sitting in the bathtub with the shower on (which is a clear sign of physical and mental wellness) when I got a message informing me that my recaps had been mentioned in that day’s new episode of Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey’s beloved PANTS podcast. I thought “Oh cute! I didn’t know they read the recaps! I wonder what they said!” and popped it right into my earholes. And my friends, you could’ve knocked me over with a box of Kleenex, I smiled so hard my face and heart actually exploded!!!!!! At the risk of sounding very sentimental about what is essentially [way too many] years of my inner monologue as I watch this TV show about hot queers in LA who make interesting choices, it’s thrilling and validating as hell to have your work not just acknowledged but really seen and felt and appreciated by the people who create that work. I did briefly wonder if I was having a fever dream! I won an award in 2008 from the Hyperhidrosis Society for writing an article about my sweaty armpits for Marie Claire magazine and believe it or not, hearing this conversation was way more of an honor than that. What should I wear when I do my guest appearance on PANTS? Lmk.
We open in the dark chaos of night following Episode 302’s car accident. Gigi’s in a neck brace on a stretcher in an ambulance and her emergency contact, Nat — having apparently beat the traffic that thwarted Bette Porter earlier that same evening — is there at Gigi’s cot-side.
Then, an errant EMT somehow shoves Nat forward in a way that presses Nat’s lips into Gigi’s lips? Then, Nat kisses Gigi chastely again, unencumbered by gravity’s restless intervention into the fate of this former union. Before this tomfoolery can continue any further, Dani clambers up into the ambulance. They’re letting anybody in now, Gigi’s third grade teacher’s probably right around the corner.
After a restless 1-5 nights of sleep, it is again morning and it’s not just any old morning: It’s The Aloce Show‘s 100th Episode!!!
Alice is particularly stoked for the Dating Show segment during which three (3) humans will compete for Alice’s heart and she’s confident that of these three (3) humans, one could be her soulmate! In an effort to seal that deal, Sophie has confirmed that 0% of these three (3) humans are associated with any cults, mixed martial arts or improv. That last one is particularly important in Los Angeles because if you date someone who does improv they might expect you to attend an improv show and that could ruin a perfectly good evening you might otherwise have spent doing a jigsaw puzzle from Target while watching New Amsterdam with your chihuahua.
Alice moseys over to the Liberated Coffee Cart where we meet Taylor, played by Joey Lauren Adams, best known to The Community for her role in the controversial lesbian-falls-for-a-man Kevin Smith vehicle Chasing Amy as well as for notable roles in Dazed & Confused, Mallrats, Big Daddy and The United States of Tara.
Alice is a little attracted to Taylor, perhaps ’cause Taylor’s attractive and has an adorable scratchy voice, but Taylor’s too consumed by her own normal-ness to pick up what Alice is subtly laying down.
Alice: Are you gonna stay and watch?
Taylor: Oh, no, I’ll have to stay and overanalyze this conversation for two hours, so.
Alice: Why, it’s going so well?
Immediately Taylor has become the most relatable character on the program! Alice tells her to stay — it’s nice to have real fans in the audience and not just tourists who thought they’d signed up for Ellen.
It’s a productive day shift at the Dana Fairbanks Memorial Tavern and Finley’s got her laptop open, hesitant to hit “submit” on her completed application to the California State School of Hospitality, where I can only safely conclude she is looking to get a degree in restaurant management and eventually study abroad at the Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute of Tuscany. Shane saves Finley from taking this monumental step by showing up with a sledgehammer and an invitation to go “break shit” at Bar #2.
We then transition into a hot masc dance-off to Genuwine’s club classic “Pony,” a longtime staple of the lesbian cover song community, which my girlfriend immediately declared “the best three minutes of the entire series.” Then she took a break from Covid coughing to make me these gifs!
I could’ve absolutely watched three additional minutes of this but alas, the fun is over: Tess is here and she’s wearing the worst jeans I’ve ever seen in my life.
Tess is upset that Shane has taken initiative to “break shit” for free prior to tomorrow’s scheduled demolition. She’s very stressed out because of the terrible idea she had to buy a second bar for no reason. I think she’d feel otherwise if she’d seen the dance scene!!! Isn’t it every gay girl’s dream to see the person you’re currently sleeping with grind against someone you had an ill-advised one night stand with?
Anyhow Tess is very stressed out, probs mostly because of this terrible idea she herself had to buy a second bar for no reason.
Lesbian Squabble #6: Demolition Derby
In the Ring: Tess vs Shane
Content: Finley enthusiastically invites Tess to partake in the smashing, but Finley’s ceremonial whack of the wall punctures an apparent free-standing water pipe hidden in the drywall, and water begins gushing from it like the flood in the Torah. Shane attempts to fix the leak with her own body:
Unfortunately I think the proper method is actually this:
Tess fails to appreciate how hot Shane looks soaking wet in her muscle tee with a sledgehammer and gripes to Shane that now Tess will have to miss Alice’s show so she can sit here and wait for a plumber. Shane says there’s no need for Tess to wait for the plumber, she and Finley can take care of it!!! Tess says them doing it is how they got into this mess to begin with!!! Shane says she’ll get out of Tess’s way, then! SO THERE
Who Wins? Ivy
Over at Dani’s Castle in the Sky, Dani’s prepping to leave her still-ailing girlfriend to orchestrate The Aloce Show’s 100th Episode when Nat shows up, apparently summoned by Gigi to “help her get ready.” Dani’s clearly irked by Nat’s arrival — and sure, it’s slightly disarming that she wasn’t warned of this arrangement, but I wish we had some clue why Dani’s so insecure about her relationship with Gigi this far into it, or what the last 15 months of their relationship has looked like. All we’ve seen Dani and Gigi do this season is fight about Nat. Seemingly Gigi’s been raising her kids with Nat this whole time, you know?
Gigi’s on a lot of drugs but not so many that she’s unable to summon a desire to practice her favorite hobby of directly addressing a recent emotionally complicated event. On today’s agenda: the kiss in the ambulance.
“Honestly, it was nothing,” Nat shrugs it off, not wanting to make things messy. “Right?”
Come along, fair academics, as we venture back into the hallowed halls of California University, where Angie’s stoked for her first day of classes and chatting with her Moms on the phone about how Jordi keeps texting and disrespecting Angie’s boundaries.
Angie has barely unpacked her backpack for her first day of the deeply imaginary freshman class “Introduction to Creative Writing” when she realizes the boy she kissed at the art show is in fact…
Ezra Fitz Hendrix, her new teacher!
Back at The Aloce Show, Alice is basking in the glory of her pre-show presents, for example Shane has framed a 2005 edition of The Chart and Tom sent her a basket of Bic pens, which enables some Tom exposition: he proposed, she turned him down, and they’re still good friends.
Elsewhere in the annals of The Aloce Show, Dani and Sophie are running through the event outline. Sophie gets an update on Gigi’s well-being and then gamely invites Gigi and Dani over for dinner in some imaginary future where Dani isn’t still mad at Finley. Dani gives a hard “maybe.”
Back at the Jenny Schecter Memorial Tavern, ‘Ol Sparklepants arrives with Misty, a Homo Depot lesbian she’s acquired to fix everything up really good. (Misty is played by queer actor Heidi Sulzman, who was the lead in Marja Lewis-Ryan’s play “One in the Chamber” and also appeared in Marja’s film 6 Balloons.)
Finley insists she remain with the plumber so Tess can move along with her day, but Tess says she’s already arranged to meet with her sponsee here.
Although Tess does not say this specifically, the fact that this is a pre-scheduled sponsor/sponsee meeting that involves The Big Book suggests that the intention is to do step work. Finley says it’s no problem, she’s got the book and a highlighter and can handle this meeting herself, which doesn’t make sense!!!! Finley is not this person’s sponsor or, as far as we know, anybody’s sponsor! It would’ve only taken a line or two from Tess to reconcile the gulf between “whatever is happening here” and “whatever would actually happen within the paradigm of AA” but instead they are content to let me BE ANNOYED.
“Go be with Shane,” Finley implores her.
“I was … way harsh on her earlier,” Tess acknowledges. Well, we all remember what happened the last time Shane’s girlfriend was harsh on her for 45 seconds: