To L and Back: Generation Q Podcast 308: Let’s Drop a Turkey

In case you’re family drama-ed out after all of the winter holidays that just passed, The L Word is here to provide a fresh supply! And this one is a doozy. It’s Thanksgiving at Dana’s, and Finley’s mom has arrived! Sadly, she did not bring a green bean casserole, just a bad attitude.

All roads lead to Dana’s in this episode, as it becomes the go-to location for Dani and Dre, who are spending the holiday together, Carrie and Misty, who are turkey trotting, and the entire Suarez family who are still mashing potatoes upon arrival.

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SHOW NOTES

+ Honestly this episode was light on references but please read Riese’s recap of 308!


Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.

Analyssa: And I’m Analyssa.

Riese: And I’m Riese.

Drew: And this is To L and Back: Generation Q Edition.

Analyssa: To L and Back: Generation Q Edition.

Riese: To L and Back: Generation Q Edition.

Drew: Wow. We all sound like we’re at a funeral.

Riese: In a way, we are.

Analyssa: But isn’t it nice that we all just nailed our intro to our show that we’ve done a hundred times and yet mess up every time?

Drew: Yes.

Riese: Yeah. Well, it’s easier now because we’re in person again.

Drew: That’s true.

Analyssa: That is true.

Drew: Yeah. I’m sorry for last week, when, I think… I want to say that something went wrong with my recorder, but I think I maybe just didn’t hit record in the beginning.

Riese: Ooh.

Drew: It was between Christmas and New Year’s. I’m very sorry.

Analyssa: Drew’s going to have to post a notes app apology.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Yeah. The holidays are done. I think that’s part of it. It’s really rainy here.

Riese: It’s raining right now.

Analyssa: The holidays are over. I had to go back to work this week. Hopefully, Lauren can edit out the rain.

Riese: I know. I was wondering.

Analyssa: Like they did for the Fletcher episode that apparently filmed in the rain.

Drew: Oh.

Riese: Did it really?

Analyssa: Yeah.

Riese: That’s brave of them.

Analyssa: Yeah. Well, they probably had a really small budget, and they were like, “We’re filming today or else we’re never filming again.”

Drew: Yeah. We only have Fletcher for one day.

Riese: We only have Fletcher for one day so… I actually think it was two days that she worked.

Drew: Sure.

Riese: Carol, stop licking yourself. Carol…

Drew: Carol just looked up so like, “Who? Me?”

Riese: She was caught. I mean, sorry. I know that’s what dogs do. And that’s her right, as a dog.

Drew: Sure. We will not cancel you for shaming dogs for their dog-ness. Well, this is an episode of the Gen Q.

Riese: Television.

Analyssa: Of The L Word.

Drew: Yeah. It’s episode 308. It is called Quality Family Time. It’s directed by Em Weinstein who really has directed most of the season, and written by Allie Romano who has written on Gen Q since the beginning and wrote on The Upshaws. I think we can start by saying that this was none of our favorite episodes of the show.

Riese: No. Definitely not.

Analyssa: Definitely not.

Drew: But I have a theory to keep us all a little bit lighter…

Riese: Okay.

Drew: …which is that we spend a lot of time thinking about this television show, and-

Analyssa: I’ve heard this theory.

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: I was like, “Where could this possibly be going?” And I remember I live with Drew.

Drew: But, okay, so this theory has extra support, which is that… So I’ve been watching The Best Man: The Final Chapters. And it, weirdly enough, is very similar to the third season of The L Word: Generation Q.

Riese: Huh.

Drew: Because the first two episodes feel like a separate mini season. There’s an ayahuasca thing.

Riese: Wow. Big year for ayahuasca.

Drew: There’s one nonbinary character.

Analyssa: Big ayahuasca is like—

Drew: Because every reboot needs a nonbinary character.

Riese: Right.

Drew: And, well, I don’t know if we can talk about the end of the episode, but, basically, the third to last episode of both the third season of Gen Q, this episode we’re about to talk about, and the third to last episode of The Best Man: The Final Chapters both end with a character having a heart attack.

Analyssa: Whoa.

Riese: Wow.

Drew: And I was like, it’s very real, but they also are both not very-

Riese: Good?

Drew: Yeah. Not very well written, not very whatever. And I’m having a great time watching that show, because I don’t have to take notes on it, don’t have to do anything for it.

Riese: Right. Yeah.

Drew: I’m on my phone. I’m doing other things. I’m getting some work done. Gen Q, I’m taking detailed notes. And it results in it being a pretty miserable experience, when an episode is like this. But, if you’re watching it with friends, chatting, on your phone, doing work, maybe you’re having a great time. And I love that for you.

Analyssa: Right. Elise was excited to catch up on The L Word: Gen Q.

Riese: Oh, really?

Analyssa: Yeah.

Riese: Wow.

Analyssa: She’s like…

Drew: Yeah. Yeah. She caught up, after watching the musical episode. And, I mean, she’s playing solitaire on her phone. It’s on in the background.

Analyssa: Right.

Drew: She’s having a great time.

Riese: I mean, I think about that a lot. Because I think about watching the original series and how, when I was watching season two for the first time, I did not think one critical thought about it.

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: And then, when I was re-watching it with Carly, for the podcast, I was like, “This is…” I just accepted the whole Marc and Gomey storyline with the cameras as part of the program. And I was there for whatever it had to give me. But I also think about this, from watching Elité, which I’ve brought up before, that, I’m like, “Wow. This is such a disaster.” But I don’t care.

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: I think I personally spend so much time thinking about this series that I think I get really frustrated. But I really want to be funny.

Drew: Sure.

Riese: I want to be hilarious.

Drew: Sure.

Riese: You know?

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: So, hopefully, I don’t know if I can not complain, but…

Drew: No. No. No.

Riese: …I can try to complain in…

Analyssa: In a fun way.

Riese: A humorous way.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Maybe.

Drew: What a fun challenge.

Riese: Oh, this might be a complain cast.

Drew: Yeah. Well, let’s get into it.

Riese: Welcome to And Another Thing.

Drew: So we start with Carrie asking Finley if she’s sexting Sophie. And Finley says…

Finley: What? No. No one says sexting.
Carrie: No one?
Finley: No!

Analyssa: I’ve never received that memo.

Riese: What do people say instead?

Drew: I don’t know.

Analyssa: Just texting? You just don’t talk about it? That can’t be right.

Riese: People don’t sext anymore, maybe.

Drew: Oh, that can’t be true.

Riese: That can’t be true either.

Drew: I think people, I mean, if you know the new word that people are saying, we want to say…

Riese: Please let us know.

Drew: We want to stay cool.

Riese: Cause we want to say it. Yeah.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: We want to say it. However, I was thrilled to discover that Finley and Sophie were indeed sexting.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Even though I know it’s unhealthy, I was like, yes.

Drew: Can I say something that reveals maybe something about me? Based on the last episode, I thought Finley was texting her mom and things were going well with her mom. And so the episode starts, Finley’s smiling and texting someone and Carrie’s like, it’s Sophie. And in my head I’m like, no, she’s getting along with her mom. That’s not where this was going. But that’s immediately what I thought.

Analyssa: Just in a big way. That’s not where this is going.

Drew: It’s truly not.

Riese: I just, I liked it because I feel like breakups are rarely as clean as they are on this show.

Drew: Fair.

Riese: Especially when you’re in the same social web. It’s not everyone… They don’t break up with Gigi and then Gigi just disappears. And we have no idea why or why she’s still listed on IMDb as being in every episode. It’s so confusing. Anyway,

Drew: And then Finley does a little teasing back about Carrie being in love with Misty. And then Carrie reveals that she and Misty have not had sex yet. And Carrie also says that she’s demisexual which does mean she loved Tina. So let’s just sit with that for a little bit.

Riese: Yeah, let’s all think about that. I will say that their relationship has lasted according to my timeline, five days. So it’s not out of the realm.

Drew: Sure.

Riese: Demisexual or not, I’m not sure.

Drew: Yeah. Absolutely.

Analyssa: I mean, Carrie and Tina were engaged to be wed. I would hope that they…

Drew: I was just making a little funny.

Analyssa: More critically to me. They’re going to do a Turkey Trot, which is just…

Riese: Gretchen does one every Thanksgiving.

Analyssa: Five days into a relationship, you would be hard pressed to catch me doing a Turkey… Any sort of…

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Physical activity? But on Thanksgiving of all…

Riese: Of all days.

Analyssa: On a holiday that I have off work? Simply no.

Drew: Yeah. We should say this is a Thanksgiving episode.

Analyssa: The holidays are over for us.

Drew: Which I was like… The L Word never had an Indigenous character, have they? If they have, remind me, but I was like, and we’re just going to… Then later in the episode, they address it with a brief land acknowledgement and go on their merry way talking about how great Thanksgiving is. But it is a Thanksgiving episode.

Riese: So Carrie and Misty go on their trot and then Finley spots Tess in the back room, which is where 75% of this episode takes place and goes back and they talk briefly about Tess’s mom, her being upset, whatever. And then Finley comes out and her mom shows up. Just like Cherie Jaffe. And just like depression just walks in the door.

Drew: Something else about that is Tess’s mom’s ashes are in that back…

Riese: In Dana’s. Or in Dana’s. Yeah. I’m going to steal them. Make us soup.

Drew: And Finley brags about not knowing anything about politics.

Analyssa: Can I just say one thing that is a complaint, but is a dumb one? I hated the shirts that Finley and Dre were wearing in this episode.

Riese: Oh, really? I liked Finley’s shirt.

Analyssa: I really… Maybe I didn’t hate it, I just was surprised that Finley would wear that.

Drew: Huh. I have to go back. I don’t remember them.

Analyssa: I don’t know. It just looked so business casual to me.

Riese: There were so many closeups of the shirt. I feel like never… Yeah.

Analyssa: I feel like the shirt was really on display.

Riese: I felt like the shirt was a character.

Drew: Season one, I was all about the high waisted pants. And since then I’ve really just not been paying as much attention to the fashion.

Analyssa: I know that this is a fancy event because Dana’s is hosting Thanksgiving dinner, so they’ve got, they have a Turkey cooking. There’s a whole…

Riese: This is abstract, this is all, sure.

Analyssa: Who knows? But they’re having a Thanksgiving dinner of some sort. So I know that it’s a dress up event, and that’s why Finley’s wearing this shirt. But I just was like, this looks like she’s working at the Alice Show as an executive. I don’t know. It just felt weird. Anyway.

Drew: We then go to the one part of the episode that had some enjoyable things, which is Dre is in bed with Dani and was talking about being excited for Thanksgiving. Dani is like, “is your ex going to be there?” But it’s said in a way that feels fairly light and a little bit…

Analyssa: Chill?

Drew: Yeah, and they’re making out, I don’t know. I like these two together. I do miss Gigi, but I might like these two more than Dani and Gigi.

Analyssa: Ooh, wow.

Drew: I miss Gigi.

Analyssa: Sure.

Drew: But I was never fully… I’ve said this, but I was very sold on those two characters and I liked watching them together, but I wasn’t like, oh my God, these are soulmates.

Riese: Oh, I loved them together. But I mean, these guys are cute together too. But then Dre’s flight was canceled, an experience which is relatable to many people. 2,300 Southwest flights were canceled. So that’s a lot of people. We can relate to this. So this is a really relatable episode, and that’s really important. There are people to have things they can connect with.

Analyssa: More critically. The email or text that Dre gets interrupts them kissing.

Drew: Yes.

Riese: Right. Yeah. No one gets to make out on this show. I think we have. It’s, this is fucking Blues Clues now.

Analyssa: As soon as their lips started touching, I was like, okay, what’s going to stop it? What is it? What’s coming?

Riese: Yeah. An anvil? No it was a phone call or a flight alert.

Drew: And then we’re with Shane and Angie who are going to be helping at a food bank. They’re on the phone with Alice, who is with her mom, which makes me go, “oh, Alice isn’t going to be in this episode.”

Analyssa: Right. So now they’re even.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: This must have been in their contracts for this season.

Riese: Right.

Analyssa: Now, I’m like, this was something that they all kind of wanted or did not want but everyone had to have the same terms.

Riese: Right.

Drew: Right.

Analyssa: Because they’re all the same level in this cast, and they all got an episode off.

Riese: I was devastated because I think, as I said before in the pictures for 308, there were no pictures of Alice. And usually what that means is that they’re involved in a spoiler storyline. One that if there are any pictures of it, we would be…

Analyssa: Like when Dana came back.

Riese: Yeah, like when Dana came back.

Drew: You thought someone was something [inaudible 00:11:44]

Riese: So I thought Tasha was coming back and instead Alice is on the voicemail saying wherever she was, I didn’t even listen, ’cause I was annoyed. But also, I mean, I like Alice, so I wanted her to be an episode. I wanted Shane to be in the last episode, but…

Drew: I miss Gen Q Alice far more than I miss Gen Q Shane. I mean, I didn’t even notice until we were recording the podcast Shane wasn’t there, where as this, I was like, Alice is missing. Where is Alice?

Riese: And then they spot Hendrix.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Whatever the fuck, in Angie’s. But the funny part is that Angie’s like, that’s someone I used to date. And Shane’s like, which one? Because it’s like… So that was cool, I guess.

Drew: Yeah. I really did enjoy Shane Angie time together in this.

Analyssa: Yes. Yes. That’s really fun.

Drew: We go back to Dana’s. Tess is, oh god.

Analyssa: So they’re in the back room because Finley’s mom has arrived. And so Finley is kind of freaking out and Tess is like, I’ll ask her to leave.

Riese: But also…

Analyssa: I kind of think, maybe you should take this opportunity because we don’t know how much time we have with our loved ones, which…

Riese: I swear to God if no one ever says that on TV one more time. It’s such a generic… It’s such a fucking annoying platitude. Arguably. Also, we don’t know how much time we have left, so maybe you shouldn’t spend it with people who hate you..

Drew: That’s a really good point.

Analyssa: Finley says that she needs a minute and goes outside, and I thought that she was going to just bolt. I was just really ready for her to just be gone.

Riese: Steal someone’s bike again and just get on the road.

Drew: I will say that I wish we had more specifics about Finley’s mom and Finley’s family.

Analysssa: I have no more answers from when Finley’s mom arrived in the episode to the end of the episode where I’m like, oh, I understand this.

Riese: I think that there’s some things I understand a little bit more honestly, but I think the basics of what happened or basically remain that Finley was kicked out from being gay. But we also know that Finley went back for a summer that one time. So I don’t understand, how did that work out? And also Finley later says she likes her dad more their mom, so maybe they talk, I don’t know.

Drew: Also her mom says, that’s not what happened. Which maybe it is what happened, but I just…

Riese: Yeah. I thought it was what happened.

Drew: But I just mean, and things are complicated. It’s just interesting to live in that complication instead of kind of avoiding it.

Riese: Yeah. That’s a good note for the whole episode, I think.

Analyssa: Also in this back room Tess pours alcohol into a coffee mug in a subplot that I really just don’t want to talk about at all. I mean, it doesn’t really even actually become anything. It’s just running through the whole episode. Every time you see her with it in hand, you’re like, well, that’s bleak. And honestly, I think the whole episode could have happened exactly as it did without her drinking. Right. And it’s just really, again?

Riese: Again? Why? Why the relapse storyline? Also, it’s stupid. She’s walking around with that mug. She’s drinking out of it. People can smell things. Especially Finley in an unventilated back room. She wouldn’t be fooling anybody.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Drew: Yep. It sucks.

Riese: And it’s just boring and I don’t care for it.

Analyssa: Yeah. It’s not interesting storytelling on top of being just like…

Riese: Right.

Analyssa: Cruel, kind of.

Riese: Yeah. It’s cruel and what did they even do with it?

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: I mean, is that why she dropped the turkey? Is that it? Because I can drop, I dropped three entrées on one girl at the Olive Garden and I was stone cold sober.

Analyssa: Instead of bolting, Finley calls Sophie and Sophie’s with her whole family for Thanksgiving.

Drew: And does something that is absolutely bonkers, which is say basically our Thanksgiving dinner is canceled. We are all going to Dana’s spend it with Finley, and then Micah does something which is bonkers, which is pops three weed gummies in his mouth, which… But is also, how much should I take? So it’s like, are you not… it’s not that, I mean, I don’t know what the dosages of those… It’s not like three is so crazy, but if he’s having to ask and they’re probably at least five, if not 10, who does that? Who goes, how many should I take? Bump, bump?

Riese: The crazy thing is he says, how many should I take? And Sophie said, “I don’t know, start with one.” And he immediately puts three in his mouth.

Drew: Which is also not Micah’s character at all. If Finley did that, then I’d be like, sure, that’s…

Riese: Right. Even Micah saying, I need to take the edge off. I was like, who are you?

Analyssa: Where did that come from?

Riese: What is going on? To what? To go talk to Finley. Also, what’s interesting is that I feel like Sophie and Finley in this episode finally showed the connection that they have that’s been missing. Now that they’re broken up for some reason now they’re actually being written normally again? The way that they care about each other and the way that Sophie, which is funny, I mean, they broke up and now Sophie’s literally moving her entire family dinner.

Drew: This is the first time I’ve ever actually seen the thing that was addressed, the musical episode, which is that Sophie’s life gets consumed with Finley. This is the first time I’m really seeing it.

Riese: Yeah, but it’s like now that Finley’s her friend, it’s okay or whatever, to which I would argue, well, maybe it’s just that you guys can’t be just friends and you should get back together so that I have something…

Analyssa: Well, you and Finley’s mom and grandma are… And Sophie’s mom and grandma are…

Riese: They’re betting money that they’re going to get back together. And then also Maribel.

Drew: Maribel’s going to propose. Her grandma loses the ring in the mashed potatoes somehow and then Sophie’s like we need to leave. But then it’s like, why would Sophie know that Mari was going to propose at Thanksgiving?

Riese: She doesn’t.

Drew: Well, I know she doesn’t, but why would she know that? They’re like, oh, close sisters. Right? Why would she not give a heads-up? So it makes no sense. Makes no sense.

Riese: If they think that the ring is in the mashed potatoes, why bring the mashed potatoes?

Analyssa: Why wouldn’t you leave the mashed potatoes at the house?

Drew: Also that. It doesn’t make sense.

Analyssa: The craziest thing to me is that this ring disappears like slight of hand. It’s like she hands it to her grandma then she looks up at her grandma and says, where is the ring? And her grandma’s like, what are you talking about? I have no idea. Where did it go?

Riese: When the actors got this script, do you think they sat and stared at each other? And they’re like, how…

Analyssa: So what did…

Riese: How are we going to pull this off?

Drew: If this script didn’t give several actors existential crises involved in the show then I don’t know what to say.

Analyssa: And it’s so funny for it to be over these really small things, but I was just sitting there staring at my screen like the ring… They think the ring fell, but it didn’t make a noise. So then where did it… It ends up just on the table under stuff, which means that somebody put it down. You would remember that.

Drew: Yeah, it makes no…

Analyssa: And if it, yeah, it fell on the… Whatever.

Drew: We then… there’s something else in this next scene, which it’s… Dre’s on the phone with the airline and trying to figure out how to get home for the holidays. And earlier they had mentioned that their mom makes stuffing with Saltines and Dani’s like problem solved, goes in the cupboard, takes out a box of Saltines. Which I asked, yes, this, the stuffing supposed to be incredible, but is the issue for Dre really the stuffing or is it seeing their family?

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: Yeah. Also, they still have to go to the store if they’re going to be making a whole Thanksgiving dinner.

Drew: I mean, they just make stuffing, but still do they have all the other things to make stuffing? I, it was, I just was like, I don’t know.

Riese: Also, Dani said she was going to do her Peloton and obviously that’s not going to fit into her schedule and that’s upsetting.

Analyssa: I don’t know. I know that travel this holiday season was a nightmare for many people. Not me though. Not to brag, but they don’t try very… It is wild that they’re like, well, there’s this flight. Oh, just kidding. It’s sold out or canceled or whatever. And then they’re like, well, guess that’s it.

Riese: I was ready for Dani to use her Delta Reserve Platinum Express card and call and get Dre on the flight.

Drew: I thought Dani was going to go home with Dre. That would’ve been fun too!

Riese: Budget. It’s not in the budget. It’s not in the budget.

Drew: At the very least, instead of it starting with Dre trying to figure out the airline stuff, it could have started with Dre hanging up the phone and going, I can’t get a flight.

Analyssa: And then I wouldn’t have all these questions.

Riese: Or my flight’s been delayed for two days, so it’s not worth it to go anymore.

Analyssa: They’re flying presumably on the holiday or the day before so it’s like…

Riese: It is the holiday.

Analyssa: So it’s like, which it’s not worth it anymore to try now that there’s just no way. So it’s an easy fix. It’s like, why am I quibbling over this?

Drew: It’s so easy. It’s just so small. There’s so much more room in the scene then for things that are actually interesting, if we don’t have the whole conversation about, “well, the eye of the storms in Chicago,” and it’s like…

Riese: The eye of the storm.

Drew: I just… It’s like it could have been so much… It just, it’s so wild how fundamental deep things are bad and then also why are you doing a relapse storyline? But we can’t really even have time to really talk about that because there’s all these small stupid things that could just so easily have been changed.

Analyssa: Because there’s a huge storm, the eye of which in Chicago.

Riese: The eye of the storm.

Drew: The next scene, all I wrote is Finley and her mom fighting. I don’t have anything else.

Riese: Finley’s mom allegedly made a reservation at Dana’s for one…

Drew: For this Thanksgiving dinner.

Analyssa:Riese: For this Thanksgiving dinner. And is generally bitching about the situation. She’s like, “there’s not a menu? I don’t get it.” And Finley’s like, “well, you should have gotten an email.” It’s very…

Riese: Yeah. And her mom was like, well, you would know I was coming if you’d answered my phone calls. Which, sure. I do feel one of the good… I do feel like we started to see the dynamic between Finley and her mom and why her mom… Her mom is a cunt as apparently she was called at somebody’s wedding. That’s true. She’s like, she’s really manipulative and mean to Finley.

Analyssa: Just so nasty.

Riese: Yeah. So it explains a lot about Finley’s personality and stuff. And I think that Jacqueline did such an amazing job this episode. This was Finley’s episode. There was so much good character work that happened, but everything else was bad.

Drew: I actually, this episode made me more than ever be like, wow, Jacqueline’s a really good actor.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: Because the writing is not good and she pulled off a lot of it.

Riese: Yeah. She really did.

Analyssa: Yeah, for all of the foibles I have with the episode, none of them are about the performance or the Finley side of things really. I’m always sort of like, yeah, I’m on board.

Drew: We then go to the turkey trot and Carrie’s boss is like,

Carie’s Boss: Oh, you must be Tina!

Riese: 17 months. It has been 17 months since they broke up. 17 months.

Drew: To be fair…

Riese: A whole other Thanksgiving has already come and gone.

Drew: I do think what is slightly justified is that Carrie is very annoyed about it and is like, “Nope. Remember? She left me. It was a while.” And I do think it’s kind of making fun of this old straight man for being like, “the lesbians, it’s Carrie and Tina,” and you’re like, “no, it’s not. We’ve been broken up for over a year.” That could get that tone. Anyways, Carrie calls Misty her girlfriend, which feels very soon.

Riese & Analyssa: Five days.

Drew: Misty seems freaked out. Which, fair. And…

Riese: Starts running.

Drew: Starts running.

Riese: Back at Dana’s. The Suarezes are arriving. There is this funny point where Amari’s like, if we all came here so you can sleep with Finley, I’m going to be so pissed. Micah’s high, eating puff pastry. Why did they get Micah so high and do so little with it?

Drew: So little. All he does is eat, he doesn’t even seem high. All he does is eat a lot! It’s Thanksgiving. He can eat a lot anyways.

Riese: I mean if you watch Leo in the background, he’s doing it, he’s really trying to do it. He’s doing it. He’s doing it. But why make Micah who’s like uptight, anxious character so high?

Drew: He could’ve called Finley’s mom a cunt. He could’ve… It could’ve been like, ah, there’s so many things you could’ve done.

Riese: Why is Tess wasted and why is Micah high as a gourd? And to what end?

Drew: You know what I wish? I wish I’d taken three edibles before I watched this episode.

Riese: Nothing that happened on the show would’ve been different…

Analyssa: If they had not been.

Riese: Or even if Micah had just taken one edible and was chill.

Drew: Also, the missing ring storyline would’ve been better if she still wanted to propose and she was like, I need to find the… And they were like, bring the mashed potatoes, cause I still want to propose even though we’re going to be at Dana’s and so then it’s still looking for the ring. Instead it’s like, Micah’s high you’re not going to propose now.

Riese: That didn’t stop my parents from proposing, but they eventually got divorced. But my mom was on opium when she proposed to my father.

Drew: Wow.

Analyssa: Wow. That’s kind of iconic. Yeah.

Drew: Is that how a lesbian proposes to a straight man?

Riese: That is how a lesbians a straight man, yes.

Analyssa: We have Finley’s mom like saying hi to all of these people and immediately she insults Sophie. She basically is what happened to your hair. Which is just that Sophie has an undercut.

Mrs Finley: Oh no, what happened here?
Finley: Mom!
Mrs Finley: Well it’ll grow back!
Sophie: I’m sure it will.

I just want to say, I know that this woman is supposed to be from Kansas City and that’s actually a personal attack on me. I know that there isn’t a lot about, in the episode, about her being from Kansas City being the root of the cuntiness. But there are so many people with undercuts in Kansas City. It’s not a…

Drew: It’s a city. It’s in the name.

Analyssa: It’s not crazy haircut. I don’t know. I know that I’m very hashtag blessed to have a family that’s pretty progressive for having all been born very Catholic Mexicans in the middle of the country.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: Love them. Shout out them. But even my grandmother would never be like, “What happened to your head?” So crazy. Okay. That’s the last time. I’ll say that. It is an affront to me.

Drew: I did write down later when she says “you’re the only one who ever left Kansas City and created your own life.”

Analyssa: I can’t even… Imagine I’m the only person that everybody I know who left for a city… That’s so crazy. I can’t even. In my family alone.

Riese: She talks about Kansas City like it is a small rural town.

Analyssa: Unbelievable.

Riese: Yeah. Speaking of things that are unbelievable, we go to the charity Thanksgiving event.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Was there something else you wanted me to mention before?

Drew: No, it’s this, I’m just confused about this…

Analyssa: No, but Micah reads the email that he has a donor. It says they have a match.

Riese: Yeah, they have a match to their preferences.

Drew: That’s how it works right?

Riese: Yeah. Well they do. They say… I guess probably you can say, these are my criteria and they’ll send you a match. But you’d probably want to check out the match, see, make sure it was a good fit for other reasons. See what…if they were, whatever. They’re… whatever. So yeah, that happens. Then we go to the Charity Thanksgiving event. And this is a really good example of why do something when you could do something more interesting?

Analyssa: Yep.

Riese: Angie says, this is a guy I used to date. He says that we could get back together at the end of the semester, which by the way is a month away. So come on. And also, at no point does she say to Shane, he was my professor.

Drew: Not once.

Riese: And there’s also no point where she start where it’s shows that she’s deliberately obscuring that fact where she starts to say it and then catches herself. Or is like, I shouldn’t… Nothing. It just isn’t mentioned. And why the fuck not? Because that would be so much more interesting and consistent with Angie’s character than her beginning to like fucking… Is this where she waxes poetic about how she wants to find love like her moms?

Drew: Yeah. Which is what? Literally, she watched her mom’s be a nightmare her whole life and literally their happy ending was driving through traffic in a chaos.

Riese: What?

Drew: It makes no sense to say, I just want to fast forward to what my moms have or to what you and Tess have. It is so…

Riese: What?

Analyssa: It’s also odd to me that Shane doesn’t clock that he’s old. To your point, Shane doesn’t clock that he looks much older than Angie at any point. Or that the woman he’s with looks much older than Angie.

Riese: Or that he’s on campus.

Drew: Which we… Unfortunately becomes relevant because he walks in, which is also just like…

Riese: Why? What is he doing there?

Drew: I don’t know.

Riese: Why is he at this charity event?

Drew: He helps…

Riese: He’s around campus because they show campus B-roll before they go to the event. So it’s somehow on campus. But like… he goes in there and they start looking at the canned goods.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: For the homeless.

Drew: I know that professor… Adjunct professors aren’t paid a lot, but I’m sure he should not be taking those, that food.

Riese: Yeah. I don’t think it’s for him in his polo. I was so excited to finally have Angie talk to someone about this who might actually talk about it in a real way. And I cannot believe that they decided to just forego that opportunity.

Drew: And then we go back to Dana’s where for some reason they’re serving the mashed potatoes, which they didn’t even finish making. They were, it was mid-making. I was like, when did the mashed potatoes get finished? And also weren’t you saving the food for the next day to have leftovers Thanksgiving? Because there’s food at, does Dana’s not have their own mashed potatoes?

Riese: Well they were. They’re bringing it because of the ring.

Drew: I know that. But why would they be serving it?

Riese: Well, aren’t they trying not to serve it? They just brought it to look through it, but they’re trying not to serve it.

Analyssa: Micah takes it.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: But that’s not your potatoes!

Analyssa: I feel like your little head is going to pop off your shoulders.

Riese: I think they should have hid the mash potatoes under the table.

Drew: Yes.

Riese: You know what I mean?

Drew: Yes!

Riese: Right. So they have this ongoing bit where Nana’s smashing the potatoes with the… To see if the rings in there and Micah’s responses to it are cute and funny. That whole joke. That’s funny. That’s cute. So then Sophie says they play this game. This game actually sounds cute. I like it.

Analyssa: It’s really sweet.

Riese: Where they write down what they’re thankful for and they put it on a bowl and then everyone reads and I guess they guess whatever.

Drew: I like it.

Riese: And then in a personal affront, to me, a person who loves the rules of games…

Analyssa: Continue.

Riese: Finley’s mom just says out loud:

Mrs. Finley: I am thankful for my daughter Sarah.

Analyssa: Literally not the rules of the game. We just told you what we’re going to do. What the activity is for you to do it right now is so rude.

Riese: It’s unhinged and Finley’s like, well I never felt that before. And then she says she’s leaving Finley’s dad. That they got married young and Finley’s like, I have no idea what you’re talking about. She’s like, this couldn’t come as a surprise. And Finley’s like, it very much is a surprise.

Analyssa: Finley is floored.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: How long has it been since Finley has lived with her parents?

Riese: I mean, it’s been two years since the summer that she spent there. Right?

Drew: That was recent. Two years is pretty recent.

Riese: Yeah. That’s recent-ish but also, I don’t know if they remember that she spent the summer there.

Drew: The writers.

Riese: Yeah. I’m not really… But that was always unclear because it was very clear to us that her parents did not want her at home and then suddenly she was there for the summer and then we went back to the way it was before, which is apparently them not wanting her at home.

Drew: Do you remember when Sophie was running to the airport? and we were all so, oh my God, this show. The chaos. How fun. There was a thruple.

Riese: Finley did say in season one that her parents slept in separate beds.

Drew: So then that seems like a sign to me.

Riese: But it was funnier that she didn’t know. I found that more entertaining as a conversation. So then her mom is like, she thought Finley would understand because, and Finley’s not saying this is bad or wrong, she’s just surprised. She thought Finley would understand because Finley’s the only person who ever left Kansas City and made a life for herself. And we’ll get to the other problems but one of the problems with this for me was that that is kind of interesting, were it feasible. That is a really interesting thought. She came here because she’s feeling like in a box in Kansas City.

Analyssa: And nobody in her community understands her.

Riese: Right. No one understands her. Finley’s gone out on her own. She came all the way here. Finley didn’t even invite her or know she’s coming. She’s still here. She’s that desperate to talk to somebody who might give her some guidance and how to start your life over again. And she actually thinks that Finley’s done a great job with her own life. And then that whole line of thought is just thrown out the window like it was literally never said. It fits with nothing that happened after and nothing that happened before.

Analyssa: Because if you’ve come here seeking that connection with your daughter, then why does any of the fight that continues to happen, why would you come in so negatively and so mean? And there’s no explanation for…

Riese: Right. Why is she here?

Analyssa: It would even be interesting if this is how my mom always is and she can’t get over herself enough to admit that she needs help.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: And look, because we… Probably, most of us have family that maybe sometimes is, I’m trying and then isn’t trying and that’s totally a real thing. But the way that it’s written does not feel like that at all. It feels completely disconnected and you’re like, why is she here? It doesn’t, doesn’t feel interesting. It doesn’t feel like, oh, she just can’t help herself, but be her normal cunty self. It’s not like that at all. It truly feels like she showed up to fight.

Analyssa: She came here to be mean. But then she said that the reason she came here, here is to look for some connection that she needs. Not even something that Finley needed.

Drew: Right.

Riese: And it’s realistic. It could be real. You just were saying with families to sometimes see that one way and someplace be another, but we only have, I don’t know, 10 minutes with this character. We don’t have time to do that. They need to pick a story.

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: And stick with it. I have no idea what this woman is doing in this town at this time.

Analyssa: What does she want? What did she hope to accomplish on this day?

Drew: It’s truly the most basic storytelling. It’s just such basic, like, what is this character’s motivation?

Riese: Right. I feel like…

Drew: What is the character’s goal? Desire. What is the arc of these char… It’s all these basic things and it’s just like, it’s so wild.

Riese: I feel like she did, her presence enabled us to do a lot of character work with Finley, but her on her own still doesn’t make sense. Which happens with a lot of their one-off characters.

Analyssa: So Finley gets sort of corralled by Tess and Sophie.

Riese: Finley goes into the back room cause she’s upset. And Sophie and Tess both go back there to try to help her.

Analyssa: They’re both sort of giving her—

Riese: Similarish advice?

Analyssa: Yeah.

Drew: Until Finley’s like, I should do amends. And Sophie’s like, I don’t think this is the right time. And Tess is like you should. Which I guess I’m also confused with, are we supposed to think that because Tess relapsed, she also has forgotten how…

Riese: I mean, has she ever been good at being…

Analyssa: So yeah, they have a conversation about how Finley’s going to take control of this situation by doing her amends, which

Riese: On the clock.

Analyssa: Yeah. First of all…

Riese: During a family meal.

Analyssa: First of all, she’s working. There’s a huge event at Dana’s right now. Okay. It’s not the time. She also hasn’t written her amends to her mom yet, which…

Drew: No, no. We’re going to get a writing montage. I’m joking.

Analyssa: But she has nothing prepared at all, which everyone is different but that’s a huge jump to make. It’s like, oh, I’m going to do it right now. If you have nothing, you haven’t even written it out.

Drew: Yeah. It’s also just so wild because if the storyline in this episode for Tess wasn’t that she relapsed, Tess could’ve been on the other side of this debate and it could’ve been a sign of Sophie trying to manage Finley’s feelings and trying to help and being over-involved in helping and being like, yeah, that sounds great. You could totally make it amends with her, but whatever.

Analyssa: And Tess being the sort of older, wiser mentor figure being, actually this might not be the right time. This is, but like…

Riese: If anyone was going to be wasted this episode, I really felt like it should have been Finley’s mom. And that could have given us a lot of insight into the way that Finley was raised and the way that… What she grew up around and how we got there from here. That would make even her giving amends at least more interesting but also, I don’t understand why this show really just doesn’t want Finley to ever do amends with anybody in a way that is actually going to be good.

Analyssa: And feel cathartic for her in the way that it’s supposed to —

Riese: and to be be doing it in public at a table where other people can…

Drew: Someone must be sober in the writer’s…. Like there must be someone who has some knowledge. What’s happening?

Riese: Also, it’s not, I mean, you can Google. A lot of meetings are closed, but you can go to a meeting. Anyone of this writing staff could go to a meeting or read the book or whatever.

Drew: It’s just weird for sobriety to be such a big part of Gen Q. From the beginning being on a through line and just there’d be no… I just don’t….

Analyssa: There’s also just so many people in LA, not especially queer people, but if you are in queer community, you know people who have done AA. It’s just not hard to… So even if no one in the writer’s room has experienced that, which I would be shocked. I guarantee you of writer’s room of 10 people would have a one friend who was in it.

Riese: Or an ex or a current partner or an ex and a current partner.

Drew: Aren’t you worried that… not worried but aren’t you aware that given that you’re dealing with something that so many people have personal knowledge of that to then put it in your show, it’s going to distract them?

Analyssa: And feel intensely connected to. The process of that is something that people have so many feelings about. It’s so absurd. It’s not Finley’s mom saying Kansas City in a derogatory tone, which only hurt my feelings probably. It is something that many people will be like, wait, what the fuck?

Riese: Yeah. I mean I feel like in general shows and movies do a bad job representing AA, but I don’t see why this show couldn’t strike out and do it correctly.

Analyssa: Be brave.

Riese: Be brave. Yes, I want to see them be brave.

Drew: It is interesting. I don’t know how either of you feel about this, but when I interviewed Mae Martin about the first season of Feel Good, I had heard criticisms from people about the way that AA was shown or meetings were shown. And so I asked them about it and they were like, yeah, this isn’t meant to be a formal AA meeting and I tried to make it so it was structured different so it didn’t seem like I was referring to that and I picked this format because it is more compelling to watch on screen. So it is fake and jokey and whatever, and that is what it is. But it’s a comedy show. And it was like, okay, even if you disagree with that, there was some thought put into that. There was some thought put into that. There was some internal logic to it, whereas this feels so baffling.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Analyssa: Yeah and then Tess sort of tells Sophie to mind her business during all this at the end.

Riese: Yeah. She’s like, Finley’s a big girl. I’m like, what are you talking… As she wasn’t… Because obviously she’s telling Sophie mind your business because Finley’s not her girlfriend anymore. But what does that have to do with Finley being a big or a small girl?

Analyssa: And it’s very clear from this episode, Finley actually does need the support of a lot of people, which is not a knock. It’s just what she’s in the market for right now. So it is bizarre.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: We go back to Angie and Shane and Shane is like, I’m going to help sneak you out. And Angie’s like, what about the hungry? And Shane is like, I’ll write them a check. Just like, okay.

Analyssa: I did think this was cute, them loading Angie up into the little cart and like, is this when they run into the teacher and he’s like, can I have one of these? Which again, why are you here? And Shane is like, they’re for the hungry or whatever she says, which is…

Drew: It feels very weird. I’m just like…

Riese: I did laugh. I was like, well that’s funny.

Drew: It’s not the Shane saying I’ll write them a check. That feels Shane to me. It’s more of Angie being the hungry, the people who are here to eat Thanksgiving food. Like, can we… I don’t understand.

Riese: Shortly thereafter, we find out that Shane is also hungry.

Drew: I don’t understand. I mean I, we’ve established that they don’t know how to write the Gen Z, but…

Analyssa: The Gen Z. And actually we do.

Riese: Yes. As you can see, we’re very tuned in. We have our finger on a lot of young pulses.

Drew: But I just am like, I don’t understand what they want Angie’s politics to be and what her political awareness is.

Riese: I mean, she had a $5,000 duffle bag last week, guys, so.

Drew: I guess maybe it’s true. I mean it was funny that the way she was serving the potatoes was, and I was like, well, she is the daughter of Rich lesbians, so she probably has never served mashed potatoes.

Analyssa: Fully grew up in Brentwood. I read that in your recap about her duffle bag and really lost my mind. It was very funny.

Riese: And it was weird ’cause they showed it really intensely Twice.

Analyssa: Prominently. Yeah.

Riese: Anyhow, so Angie’s out. Yay. Turkey trots.

Drew: Carrie apologizes for calling Misty her girlfriend and Misty’s like, I have to poop.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: Okay.

Analyssa: Oh right, because earlier in the morning…

Riese: Just so you know, it’ll take her 45 minutes.

Analyssa: They’re at a reservoir. No, it’s going to take so long.

Drew: Why would they go to Dana’s?

Analyssa: Because that’s where everybody is this episode, Drew.

Drew: I didn’t think about that. I didn’t know that.

Riese: LA is this big.

Analyssa: Because when you have to shit urgently, you need to find the closest location that has the most of your friends in it.

Drew: Those are good points. Because that’s what everyone wants to do is shit around a bunch of people.

Riese: I’d be like everyone I’m trying to impress…

Analyssa: At a place that has one staff bathroom that is horrifying. It’s because Finley made her coffee earlier in the morning, which is actually very relatable to me. That will mess me up for a whole day.

Riese: If I were her though, I would want to find… I’d be like where… I would just disown… I would leave Carrie and just find a whole new life, a whole new family and use their bathroom and then never see them again. I’m gone. Straight to Dana’s. I thought they were walking over the porta potty, whatever.

Analyssa: I thought they were going to use a porta potty. I was like, oh, there’s, they’re outside. There has to be a little restroom. Having to do that waddle all the way back to Dana’s from the Silver Lake Reservoir is so hot.

Riese: She should’ve just gotten on side the road and just popped a squat. That’s how they did it in nature.

Analyssa: Yeah, it’s true.

Riese: Have you ever seen Planet of the Apes?

Drew: I thought you were going to say Bridesmaids.

Analyssa: Bridesmaids happen just right in the middle of the street.

Drew: Then Dani… Dre’s like, do you have a whatever,

Riese: A Bree.

Drew: A Bree.

Riese: And I would’ve been like, no, I have a Gouda.

Drew: And they’re like, is it Sophie? And Dani’s like, what? No. And it’s like, how long were Dani and Sophie together? Because I feel like the show is wanting me to think they were together for a year and then got engaged. They were together for like eight years, right?

Riese: Oh, I don’t think that long.

Drew: A long time though. Anyways.

Riese: Several years.

Drew: Anyway, Dani’s like, it’s Roxy and talks about Roxy and then…

Riese: Why did we get all this information about Roxy now? They were in daycare together. They hooked up in high school.

Drew: I want Roxy on the show.

Analyssa: They’ve known each other their whole lives.

Drew: What if… I have a theory. .

Riese: Like Roxy… if someone was coming in who I know my whole life, I wouldn’t be, the most important thing about this person is that they’re my bad friend.

Analyssa: It’s that lifelong friend who I have always had a weird thing with.

Riese: And especially, I mean, I don’t have this, but I feel like people who have someone in their life who has been their friends since they were really young and they both turned out queer, that is a weird, very special bond.

Drew: I have one of those. We don’t hook up though.

Analyssa: But it’s feel, I mean, that’s what you would lead with. You know what I mean? This is somebody who you’re very close to.

Riese: That is what you lead with when you talk about [inaudible 00:43:03].

Drew: Oh, what I was going to say is that I like Dani and Dre. I like Dani and Gigi. I like Dani and Roxy. What if everyone else goes away? We get It’s Dani spinoff.

Riese: It’s Dani.

Drew: It’s Dani.

Riese: Dani’s Home.

Drew: Dani’s Home. And it’s her various relationships and lovers.

Riese: Like Scandal except that she’s dated everybody in her firm.

Drew: Yeah. Speaking of backstory. Dani’s telling Dre is like, my mom is dead and my dad’s in prison.

Riese: Yeah. I did find this relatable in terms of someone just trying to be like, so what do your parents do when you’re like, he’s dead. And then they’re like, wow, this is really supposed to be a nice fun conversation. And now it’s a bad one. You know what I mean? Well, it’s so awkward, especially when it happens when you’re relatively young and you just have to spend the rest of your life having that awkward conversation. So I felt like that was great and authentic and good job to everybody.

Drew: Good job for that.

Riese: They were great together.

Drew: Dre is like my Thanksgivings were loud and Dani’s like, if you want loud, and I was like, wait, but what about Finley seeing Dre and all of that and…

Riese: Oh right. I forgot about that.

Drew: An adventure.

Analyssa: As soon as they walked in, I was like, wouldn’t this be really stressful for everyone involved? Sophie just drunkenly kissed Dre a week ago. Oh, isn’t this crazy?

Drew: We then get maybe the wildest scene of this episode, which is the writing montage. I’m just fascinated by the way writing is shown on screen because it’s a very uncinematic thing. And so I always find it very entertaining to watch shows and movies try to create some sort of… Which is why I’m pro circus. I love a choice. This is, instead of just having…

Riese: That opinion is a choice.

Drew: Instead of having Finley writing then crossing things out and the music is this song and…

Riese: She could’ve been envisioning herself at the circus, waking up in the dirt with the Ferris Wheel.

Drew: Well, you know what I…

Riese: Yes, exactly.

Drew: Do you know what I would’ve not minded?

Riese: What?

Drew: A montage of flashbacks. Yeah. We don’t need that. There’s better, there’s more interesting choices.

Riese: Oh my God, and who would play Little Finley? A little tomboy.

Drew: Aww. Yeah. But we don’t get that. We just get this weird writing montage and then we go to Sophie doing a land acknowledgement. And then Finley’s moms, what about the Mayflower? And then there’s some back and forth that honestly has the political sharpness of the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends. It’s like where you’re like, Thanksgiving’s bad, right? And you’re just like, cool, thanks for addressing this. Thumbs up. You’re good liberals. But it is just, I guess one more thing with Finley’s mom where, yeah…

Riese: So then Finley is like, this would be the perfect moment for me to sit down on this chair next to my dear mother and do my amends for her that I just wrote. And it begins honestly, beautifully. And it was gorgeous. The writing that montage, that process clearly worked because Finley’s very first statement is, I’m sorry for getting drunk and calling you a cunt at whoever’s wedding. Which is like, that’s just,

Analyssa: Mwah. Big chef’s kiss to that one.

Riese: No chef’s kiss for the turkey, but a big chef’s kiss for that one. And of course I think she’s raised Catholic, right? Isn’t that the history?

Analyssa: Christian of some sort, yeah.

Riese: Yeah. So her mom basically is like, we don’t have to talk about our feelings. That’s too much. There’s sort of a big explosion because Finley’s like, I just want to apologize for embarrassing you or whatever. And then Finley’s mom is basically, you embarrass me all the time. There’s just some things you don’t remember or something.

Analyssa: Yeah. So a couple things. Number one, if you have to do your amends in that little voice that you do at a party where you talk under your voice to just the person next to you? Bad. Do it somewhere where you can actually speak at your full volume. That’s just a helpful tip. And then the thing about this that maybe is nitpicking, because it’s so small, but drove me nuts. It’s like, okay, so this is a woman who’s intensely afraid of being embarrassed or hates being embarrassed. That’s something that she resents Finley for, is having embarrassed her her whole life. So she has decided to fly to Los Angeles to be in a room full of strangers to yell at her daughter in front of a room full of strangers. That seems deeply embarrassing to me and of her own making. So I was like, again, Finley, I’m begging. Please stop springing your amends on people when they say, no, I don’t really want to talk about this right now. It’s not a sign to continue to barrel through and be like, no, no, no, I just have to apologize. That’s not correct. But her mom’s reaction is insane. And I get that’s the point. I’m supposed to think that her mom is the big bad villain of her life. Fair, but there’s no subtlety, there’s no anything. It’s not even a good portrayal of a person that exists who is so worried about appearances and upkeep that she is cruel to the people she loves for embarrassing, but minor transgressions. This is so unhinged.

Riese: Right. I mean, I think this is another situation where it would make sense if she was also an alcoholic where she doesn’t realize that she’s also embarrassing herself because she’s not with it, you know what I mean?

Analyssa: I also thought for a brief second that she might be a lesbian.

Drew: Oh yeah. Right.

Riese: That was what I…

Riese: The jacket. The whole sort of Mary McCormick’s vibe has always been intensely lesbian.

Analyssa: There are just people who have a vibe that are like, yeah, she has a vibe.

Riese: That’s a queer person or a queer character.

Drew: I just think we would learn more if Finley was doing these amends in a way that was—

Analyssa: Correct?

Drew: Correct. And then her mom reacted poorly we would learn something more about her mom.

Analyssa: Or the day is going really well. And so Finley is like, okay, I’m going to actually try to make my amends. I thought that I wasn’t ready, but she’s here and we are kind of coasting through the… There’s been some bumps, but it’s okay, let me try. And then it explodes. This was just like…

Riese: Yeah. I would’ve loved even for them to try… If she wants to do it, to take her aside and have it be just the two of them and then we’d get a lot more out of it. But I guess they wanted everybody to see it or whatever. But then, that’s when Dre and Dani show up and Dre’s like, “Hmm, this is actually a pretty quiet Thanksgiving.” Because everybody is still in shock that Finley’s mom is who she is and is saying the things that she’s saying.

Drew: And then Finley leaves and Sophie runs after her. Then we go back to Angie and Shane. They see the Hendrix’s car and Angie sees the Chatbook in the back.

Riese: Brutal. To see your little handmade gift and the thrown in the back seat of someone’s car.

Drew: Truly is.

Riese: Like a Burger King wrapper.

Drew: And Shane is like, you’re better than I was at your age. I would’ve broken the window, so.

Riese: Would she? I think Shane just would walked away.

Analyssa: I feel like Shane wouldn’t have given anyone anything sentimental at this age, actually.

Drew: Shane would’ve done a bunch of drugs and had a threesome.

Riese: Or I guess fallen asleep in her truck outside of the house.

Drew: It was like other people giving Shane gifts that she was discarding actually.

Riese: Yeah. It was other people throwing rocks through Shane’s window.

Drew: But then Angie a piece of the things that are a parking spot. You know what I’m talking about and then throws it at the window, takes the chapbook, and then Hendrix shows up soon after.

Riese: And as you can hear the alarms in the background.

Drew: And then looks in the back and sees that the book’s gone and knows that it was Angie. Which it’s like, don’t fuck 18 year olds if you don’t want them to act childish.

Riese: Right. Also, Shane was like, do you want to take his parking pass? And I’m like, is that his faculty parking pass? Is there any way this could possibly still come up? Maybe?

Analyssa: They do an extended bit about calling the cops. Hendrix and the woman he’s with, which I was just like, we don’t need to get into it. We’ve already talked about this on multiple episodes, but there’s a real leaning into calling the cops this season in a way that I’m like, what are we doing? I did think that it was very funny that Shane was like Angie, no, stop, stop, stop and then was just clearing off the glass so that she was not getting cut. It’s very fun, gay aunt instead of responsible one, which I loved.

Riese: Wouldn’t it have been even more meaningful if Shane had also been mad at this man because she knew that he was her professor, right?

Drew: Yes. It would have been.

Analyssa: And she felt like it was justified because someone took advantage of an 18 year old.

Riese: Why did they set this up for so long. Oh my God.

Drew: Then we go back to Finley crying about her mom. And then…

Riese: I thought this was good though.

Analyssa: I really liked this scene.

Drew: Finley and Sophie kiss.

Analyssa: Sophie gives her a really sweet speech about how much light she brings to the world and how everybody loves her. And I really enjoyed this, especially the way that we’ve been talking about Carrie being in Finley’s life and being like, I’m not going to leave you. It’s just so important to have people who remind you that you are good. The people who get in your head are not the correct ones. We are here because you are good inherently. Because Finley’s just talking about feeling an idiot and wanting her mom to not hate her and I don’t know, I just really liked it.

Riese: Yes, I saw this really sweet moment between them and I was really glad that they kissed because I thought finally they’re getting back together.

Analyssa: And then they are busted by Misty who has to poop in this one bathroom as previously discussed. I guess they’re busted by Carrie, but Carrie is bringing Misty to the bathroom. Finley and Sophie go back out and Finley’s mom is still there, which is not what I would do if I had just caused a scene. I would’ve left.

Drew: Also, what about all of these queers who showed up to Dana’s being safe space for Thanksgiving and then it’s like, it’s just this homophobic lady screaming.

Analyssa: There’s a comment here from Sophie’s family about them getting back together because Finley and Sophie come back to the dinner table together and Finley’s mom is like, you guys dated? I didn’t even know she was gay—

Riese & Analyssa: —she’s so pretty.

Analyssa: I’m like, what is going on here?

Drew: What year is this?

Riese: Also, I would be more believable if she was like, she’s so feminine. But obviously they couldn’t have her say that because she’s not. But I’m just like, there’s nothing, what are you talking about?

Analyssa: Her daughter is gay and very pretty. It doesn’t make any sense. Again, I need desperately to know where every single writer in this writer room is from because it does have such… She’s from the Midwest, she’s not from California. That’s why she doesn’t get it. Which is like, it’s just not how it is.

Riese: Yeah. Gay people literally live everywhere.

Drew: It’s also a greatest hits of boring lines from other shows where people were homophobic. But they also contradict each other because it’s like the, I don’t know, all of it’s so confusing.

Riese: Also, she just commented on Sophie’s hair we were saying earlier. That was her first comment to her was like, what’s wrong with your hair? And now she’s saying, “oh, I thought you were too pretty to be gay.” I mean it’s a fun… There was a moment where it did feel like the whole cast is sort of coming together in a way. And it was really nice when she was like who are you and Carrie was like,

Carrie: I’m Carrie, I’m the one who’s been filling in your absence.

Riese: I was like, yeah, that’s right. Go. And I was like, this is nice and is nice for Finley. So I guess there’s that.

Analyssa: But then Finley tries to stop in. So Carrie says that. Yeah, and Finley’s mom is like, great, well, hope you’re ready to take care of all her problems.

Riese: Yeah, clean up all her messes. Hope you like cleaning up messes. I’m like, what’s wrong with you?

Analyssa: Also, she has not lived with them in years and years, so you don’t have any idea what kind of messes, again, maybe two for the summer, but whatever. And then her mom… So Finley tries to kind of quash the situation and her mom really escalates it and starts screaming. I didn’t take notes on what she says except for the line where she says, you need to be on medication. Which is like…

Riese: I was like, oh my God.

Drew: The question is, does Finley’s mom think that Finley is a disastrous fuck up or does she think that she’s the only one to ever leave Kansas City and make a life for herself? Those feel contradictory.

Riese: That contradicts this also. But I do think it’s possible to read this as her mom is intensely religious and homophobic and so just that she cannot help herself from immediately just going in the way that on television, religious, homophobic people do to gay people where no matter how much she might have decided to have some composure that she thinks that Finley is just this giant mess. But also that doesn’t fit with you’re the only one who left Kansas City. You build this beautiful life for yourself and might make more sense. I don’t know if she was resentful that Finley was sober and she wasn’t and was resentful of Finley’s success. Just something that’s happened since she arrived in that room and saw Finley that has in some way triggered her. You know what I mean?

Analyssa: It’s been like festering this whole day. She watching it and becoming seething with it. I just… You need to be on medication. I need so many… I have to ask this woman 16 questions about that specific thing said to her daughter who she hasn’t seen in years.

Riese: I assume that was about being gay.

Analyssa: Medication for what?

Riese: For being gay.

Analyssa: They make a pill for that?

Drew: She doesn’t even come across as a homophobe. I mean, I know that she is, but she doesn’t come across as that kind. She comes across as the same kind of, I don’t know… She doesn’t feel like that kind of religious zealot.

Riese: Right. Also, because she’s leaving Finley’s father.

Drew: Yeah. And she’s spending Thanksgiving in a lesbian bar.

Riese: In Heathenville.

Analyssa: She’s not looking at all the people around. Well, maybe, I guess we’ve been led to believe that she doesn’t know that all the people in here are because he think they’re just pals.

Riese: Yeah. They’re just girlfriends. Girls who are friends.

Drew: It makes no sense.

Analyssa: It doesn’t make any sense.

Drew: Makes no sense. Then my next note is Micah is still high, but not really acting high. He’s just eating a lot.

Riese: Right. Which, haha,

Analyssa: Wait, but there’s a scene here where Carrie tells…

Drew: Carrie tells Finley’s mom to leave.

Analyssa: So Carrie tells Finley’s mom to leave and then hugs Finley and calls everybody over to like…

Riese: Wait, we forgot about the turkey drop.

Analyssa: Oh, did I skip past already? Oh okay.

Riese: So Tess drops a Turkey. I have questions about this meal.

Analyssa: In Finley’s mom’s lap, which I wish had been purposeful.

Drew: Yeah, that would’ve been fun.

Analyssa: Because we get some, like you said, when the cast all kind of assembles around the table, when Finley’s mom says Sophie’s too pretty to be gay. All the cast is sort of side eyeing each other like this bitch. It would’ve been so funny.

Riese: And they all make, there’s lots of little comments around the table that were funny too.

Analyssa: It would’ve been so funny if Tess was like, whoops.

Riese: Yeah. A sober Tess had been like, whoops.

Drew: Also, this is a minor note, but a Turkey is the least funny thing to be dropped from the Thanksgiving table. It’s the end of the meal. What about a pumpkin pie? That’s gooey.

Riese: What about green bean casserole? She’s from the Midwest. Come on.

Analyssa: Cranberry sauce.

Drew: Cranberry sauce. Like a turkey? Also, why does she throw it on the floor? That’s really how I knew that Finley’s mom was ac cunt is that she just, it’s on her lap and she just flops it off. Put it on the damn table.

Riese: Put it on the table unless it burns. Unless it’s burning. Also, why is, I assume they do the turkey because it’s not as messy to do multiple takes.

Drew: I see, sure.

Riese: But also, is that really how film works? I don’t know anything.

Analyssa: A whole bowl of rolls.

Riese: I would’ve dropped a bucket of blood on her like Carrie or maybe slime. The Nickelodeon old days. And there’s a part where she said to Finley, I was hoping you’d change. And Finley was like, I have. And I was like, that’s good character development.

Analyssa: But again, I’m hoping you change does not square with you’re the only person who left Kansas City and made a life for yourself. Okay then Carrie tells Finley’s mom to leave. We’ve had enough, two hours too late I think. And then Carrie gives Finley a hug and she asks everybody to come in and give Finley a hug. And I did cry.

Riese: I just thought, I’m so happy for Finley that she has this wonderful caretaker. What a nice thing.

Drew: I thought it’s so strange for a television episode to be written where every writer in the room can only say one word and then you just go around the room like that old camp game where you had to tell a story that way. What an interesting way to write a screenplay.

Riese: So then…

Drew: Oh, then Micah’s high and eating and I guess then they never found the ring and they’re like, we never found the ring. And I was like, did he eat it?

Riese: Yeah. Then everybody’s in the bathroom. Isn’t that funny? Wouldn’t that be funny?

Drew: And then Sophie says that she still wants to be friends and Finley says that she’s still in love and so can’t be friends for some time. Which, I’m sorry.

Riese: What has been going on all this time?

Drew: Yeah, I don’t really know. And then Finley does say something about being thankful for all… Says I love all of you and says even you Dre. And I was like, oh. So we did acknowledge it. What?

Riese: Oh was she talking to Dre? I thought she was talking to Dani.

Drew: Oh, I thought she was talking to Dre.

Riese: That would’ve been really funny if she was talking to Dre. That would’ve been a bold statement.

Analyssa: No. Yeah. I think she says even you for now or today or something. And it’s about her and Dani.

Drew: Oh, I thought it was to Dre because she and Dani made up episodes ago.

Riese: Also then she’s like, well I got your pie or something. I was just like, what?

Analyssa: They’re doing…

Riese: That’s sounded weird. That’s not a really special thing to know about someone. What kind of pie they like. Couldn’t they try a little bit harder with that. Just a little harder. These are good actors. They can do a good job if you write good work.

Drew: My favorite kind of pie is whatever…

Analyssa: I was just about to say, I actually know Drew’s favorite kind of pie.

Drew: What’s my favorite pie?

Analyssa: Drew’s favorite kind of pie is whatever pie is the specialty at the place that she’s getting the pie from.

Drew: Correct. I love most flavors of pies. And when you sometimes go to a pie shop and they’re like, we are known for our cranberry dark chocolate crumble or whatever.

Riese: No ’cause I never talk to people but I can imagine.

Drew: Or it could be written somewhere. Where you’re like, oh well that’s not something that’s at every pie shop. I mean, I love a pumpkin. I love an apple. Yeah, I love… Pie’s my favorite dessert. Pie with a scoop of ice cream. Ooh. Amazing.

Riese: Were they eating sides for an hour and then they were all going to eat Turkey as a main course?

Analyssa: It’s in my notes. What did the people at Dana’s eat? What did they serve that day? I don’t know.

Riese: Because they were all eating, they were eating way before the turkey came. So those were, and then also…

Analyssa: Appetizers?

Drew: It’s actually, it’s not a turkey, it’s a cake.

Riese: Oh it’s a cake. And was that turkey for everyone who were…

Drew: They didn’t know that all these people were going to be there. It was all surprise friends because Finley’s mom.

Riese: Even though they had to make reservations.

Drew: So I don’t know how many turkeys they made. Who’s cooking?

Riese: I wish that Finley’s mom had made a… Because at first when she was sitting alone at the table for 10, I was like, she made a reservation for 10. Who else is coming? And it was like, I don’t know her only friends in LA like Rick Caruso and some girl she knew in college. Katy Perry. So who wants to be friends? So they’re like, oh, we never read the gratitude.

Analyssa: And also Carrie tells Finley she’s really proud of her and she stood her ground today and stood in her truth.

Riese: And I just love their relationship so much. And I loved how it was portrayed in this episode as well. And how Carrie stuck for her. Cause I think it’s really cool to have, if your butch lesbian Rosie O’Donnell mom is standing up to your shitty whatever.

Drew: And that’s why she has to die.

Analyssa: I was going to say, lovely intergenerational queer relationship you got there. Would be a shame if somebody did something to it.

Drew: But before that, Micah reveals about the donor… Oh, because the note says something about a donor and then Carrie’s like organ or baby, which was, that got my biggest laugh in the episode.

Riese: This was so annoying to me. Why is everyone cheering that you found a donor?

Drew: It makes no sense.

Riese: Who cares?

Analyssa: It doesn’t make sense.

Riese: Of course you found… Eventually people find donors and also they didn’t yet. They don’t know anything about this man. I mean, whatever.

Drew: It makes no sense.

Riese: The way everyone was cheering. And the moment I saw it, I thought when I re-watch this to outline the episode, cause I have to watch it once the screencap and then next I was like, I’m going to have to fast forward through the scene because it’s like rage courses through my body. They’re like, Oh my God! What? When has this ever happened? Oh my God. Just watch they’re going to go home and they’re going to be like, sorry, all the vials are sold out. And they’ll be like, oh I wish we hadn’t done that. Wish we just cheers to Finley like Carrie asked us to. Or no, Dani proposed the cheers to Finley.

Analyssa: Dani makes a toast to Finley. That’s another…

Riese: She’s like Pink. She raises her glass.

Analyssa: Step forward. They’ve really made…

Drew: I feel like we’re past… The show’s forgotten. It’s all good with this.

Riese: Oh, I thought it was funny though that their mom says the same thing every year.

Drew: Oh that was…

Analyssa: That was cute.

Riese: Yeah, it was like Sophie’s family is cute and lovely and I think was also nice to show that the family that is the most intact for all of these people is one that doesn’t, the dad left and it doesn’t matter. They’re still the coolest family and the most supportive and most loving.

Drew: And then back at Carrie’s house, oh boy, Carrie has a heart attack.

Riese: She says her arm hurts and I was like, oh no. And she fucking collapses. And I’m just like…

Analyssa: They did a truly grim thing to Rosie’s makeup.

Drew: Yeah. It looked, I was like, what’s going on? And then I found out.

Analyssa: So scary.

Riese: Also her being one of the only characters who isn’t super thin.

Drew: Yeah. It sucks.

Riese: And her being one of the only butch characters. I mean I know that it’s like Rosie also talks about how she hates exercise and stuff. But come on guys. Rosie’s so good. And she really does…

Drew: She sells everything.

Riese: Every scene she’s in. And I probably said this about people and haven’t really meant it, but I really truly mean it. Whatever lines they write for Rosie, no matter how weird, she just kills it.

Analyssa: And it’s incredibly endearing, the whole character of Carrie. But when you think about the pieces that have gone into the humor around the character of Carrie, you’re like, this is shitty, maybe.

Riese: Yeah like giving her a fucking heart attack ’cause she ran a little bit today? Come on.

Analyssa: It’s terrible.

Drew: And then Tess drinking.

Riese: Tess drinking. And then she starts reading some absolutely inane thing to her mom who none of us really know or care about. I am thankful that you taught me… I can’t remember a word of it because it was the least memorable thing anyone has ever said on any television show ever and I watched all 17,000 seasons of Glee.

Analyssa: I wrote them all down.

Riese: You did?

Analyssa: Yes because it was interesting to me, the people that they happened to coincide directly with the little montage that we are given of all of our characters.

Drew: Also wait, before Tess texts Shane and says, miss you.

Riese: Right.

Analyssa: She’s thankful that her mom taught her that rules are meant to be broken. And we see a little insert of Angie and Shane with their arms around each other. Get it? Cause they broke rules today. We have the power to make the family we choose and we’re with the Suarezes—

Riese: Biological family.

Analyssa: Biological family, but ok. And Maribel is proposing to Micah and they all watch. So in that way we have chosen a family member. When something good comes into your life, you should hold onto it. And Dani and Dre kiss. And then I’m thankful you taught me every moment on this earth is a gift. And Tess scatters her mom’s ashes. And then it cuts to Finley like doing CPR on Carrie while she’s on the phone with 911.

Riese: It felt like someone had walked into my apartment and taken two rusty nails from the bottom of the good ship lollipop and stuffed them into my eyes. I assume Carrie’s going to live because it would be really fucking gutsy of them to literally kill her.

Drew: It would be… There’s no way. I mean it’s how I felt when Gigi was hit by the car.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Drew: I was like…

Analyssa: They just can’t.

Drew: You’re not going to kill anyone.

Riese: You can’t like… You’ve already offscreen killed Kit and Jenny, which was brutal for both of them. And I mean Jenny was already dead. So I guess technically you’ve just offscreen killed Kit, but you’ve also offscreen killed Marcus Allenwood and we just don’t need it. And also this episode doesn’t need this because what if this episode’s doing really well, is building this relationship, is finally giving Finley who’s had a rough go of it, something to hold and that is actually going really fucking well. Why would you do this? And the cheapness of that ending.

Drew: It’s awful.

Riese: Same thing with Gigi getting T-boned. It’s just so fucking cheap. It’s so easy. It’s so boring. And it’s so…

Drew: It’s not a cliffhanger also because again, we have the level of there’s no way. There’s just no way. So it’s not a cliffhanger. It’s like why did you do that?

Riese: Yeah. What I’m wondering at the end of the episode, what I want to know for next week is, why the fuck did you do that? I don’t want to know… That’s what I want to know.

Drew: I don’t understand why you would be granted the privilege of making The L Word and this is what you get.

Riese: And having Rosie O’Donnell.

Analyssa: Right. Rosie O’Donnell is guest starring and

Riese: And saying she loves it! She always says nice things about being on the set and she enjoys it.

Drew: It’s just so wild that the original L Word is so much better than Gen Q when that original L Word is such a fucking mess. I mean obviously there are certain things that are better but not nearly enough. What did we learn in those years away?

Analyssa: I just feel so often the plot lines, I understand that they are not real humans who have real feelings. They are characters in a TV show. I don’t understand why the plot lines are so cruel to them. It just feels like—

Drew: It’s because they’re not… It’s lazy writing because they can’t think of… They can’t sustain any sort of conflict. Stories need conflict and they can’t sustain conflict that isn’t from “The Soap Opera Book of 12 Boring Choices.”

Riese: And also, I don’t think twice in one 10 episode season you can end on a “will they or won’t they die” cliffhanger.

Drew: Maybe if you’re doing…

Riese: They just killed Tess’ mom.

Drew: Yeah. If you’re doing an action show or your show is about soldiers in World War II?

Riese: Yeah. Or it’s like you’re doing The Walking Dead or it’s True Blood or I don’t know, Westworld.

Drew: But it’s The L Word: Generation Q. Can you please stop.

Riese: If you’re doing like Battle Royale, if you’re doing The Squid Game.

Drew: They only know how to…

Riese: This is The Squid Game. Basically.

Drew: They know how to kill, almost kill, cheating, breakup and lie.

Analyssa: I was like, oh, this is a perfect “and lie” joke.

Riese: And again, no sex scenes.

Drew: No sex scenes.

Analyssa: Nope. Just one kiss.

Riese: Just one kiss. Isn’t that a song?

Analyssa: One kiss is all it takes. I disagree.

Riese: I think we need a few more. A few more kisses.

Drew: Okay. Well, and that’s, that’s all right?

Riese: And that’s all she wrote.

Drew: The fact that I’m so happy there are only two more episodes is such a bummer. I shouldn’t be happy about that. I should be sad.

Riese: I’m sad because I’m nervous that the things that I want to happen are not going to happen in time. But it’s just so disappointing and I don’t understand, because I have tried so hard this season with the podcast and the recap to be as positive as possible and give it the benefit of the doubt beyond reason. Did I say this last season? Maybe I did because the same thing started happening this last few episodes just went…

Drew: I’m now remembering why the finale, I was like, I’m not coming back next season. And I did and now look.

Riese: They get feedback, right? So what’s going on? I mean, I guess who, it’s funny because, whatever. I mean it doesn’t ultimately matter. Nothing really matters. We’re all going to die.

Analyssa: I was going to say, what? What’s a little bumper?

Riese: What’s a little bumper? We’re all going to die someday. But I think it’s frustrating maybe because we like these people and we love this franchise and I would like it to continue.

Drew: I love the cast.

Riese: I love the cast.

Drew: I love new people who were brought on this year. I love Kehlani. I love Joey Lauren Adams. I love Dre. It just shows how famous various people are who I refer to by character names. But I like Roxy. They’ve brought on really good new characters. Carrie’s been a bigger part of it. That’s been great.

Analyssa: And I feel like we’ve been, so the show’s iteration of Bette and Tina are gone. Actually watching Alice lead episodes or watching Shane centric episodes, that’s been really fun and exciting. And just… By episode… I feel like this has happened. This happened last year and this year that it’s by episode seven or eight you’re kind of like where do we go from here? And it just gets frustrating because I want nothing more than to just be a fan.

Riese: Right? Yeah. I want to be a fan. I want to be having a really good time. I don’t want to be complaining. After watching this episode, I was like, we have to record the podcast immediately because I am just teaming at the gills with frustrations. Even though I’ve already written the recap. That’s not enough. I still have more to complain about. But I think I probably complain in general more on the podcast than in the recaps. But it just, it’s frustrating because it feels like it wouldn’t be that hard to make it better.

Analyssa: That is actually, I think part of the reason that the podcast can tend toward not complaining but getting more critical, which is that all three of us have better ideas for how… Have very easy pitches for, oh, if it was two lines that were different, this would make sense to me. And when you’re writing your recap, I assume you’re thinking that, but there’s no bouncing ideas or validation of like, oh yeah, I also thought that. Again, it just can quickly become, and another thing when we’re on.

Drew: You might say that this is a writer’s room and why is this not happening in the writer’s room? Which is just, I think something’s happening in the infrastructure of what it takes to make television where things…

Riese: Somehow things are not working.

Drew: I don’t know. I don’t what is happening. I don’t know if they’re not getting enough time. I don’t know.

Riese: Yeah, there’s something going on because they have talented people in that room.
Yeah. I mean, yeah. I do think that probably is worth, we’re a podcast of writers. We are writers and I’d love to write for TV and we have invested interest in this medium. All of us do. It’s not that, I think in that way it might be different than a podcast by fans or by comedians or actors or something. Because we’re all writers we, it’s basically, this is a writer’s take on the show. You know what I mean? And that is going to be probably more, maybe that’s why we’re so frustrated because we just want to edit it.

Analyssa: I read a review of Babylon on Letterbox today that was just somebody I follow that was like, give me a pound of cocaine and 72 hours in the edit bay. I could fix this thing. And sometimes I don’t even need the drugs, obviously I just watch the L word. I’m just 10 more words. I think I could change it, which maybe is just my own feeling like I could do better. But also just sometimes I’m like, but logically, puzzle wise, doesn’t that make sense?

Drew: I will say from having been on sets before, that sometimes you are trying to put out certain fires and change certain things that really bother you. And everyone’s kind of trying to do that and in the end you get this, there isn’t the prep time when the person who’s leading the ship isn’t maybe given the resources or isn’t equipped to do so. All the different voices that are involved and have good ideas end up with a thing where one person’s good idea of, well maybe Finley’s mom justifies it by saying that she’s here because she’s leaving her husband and Finley left home. And so it really makes sense. And they’re like, oh, that’s a great idea. And then on then someone else is like this idea, and everyone’s trying… then someone else had an idea that was offensive to one person. So then someone’s like actually, that’s offensive. We need to change that line. And all these different things are happening and then it results in work that just feels incompetent. I do think that that happens and that probably is what’s happening. And it’s just frustrating because with the right amount of planning and with the right amount of actually listening to people the first time they say things like, you can avoid a lot of that, I think.

Riese: And it seems like they’re shooting on a tight little schedule. They had one day of rehearsing for the musical episode.

Analyssa: Whoa.

Riese: And that they shot the whole, all that Fletcher stuff they had to shoot it in the rain because they couldn’t put it off. I think it just would’ve been great if they had engaged with the reality that Gigi… Because obviously she has a different job. And I wish they just… I don’t know why they just weren’t open about that. In the past I mean, most shows usually are, they’re just like, yeah, sorry, we killed this character off. They wanted to leave the show.

Drew: Do you think they wanted to kill her with the car accident? And then were like, we can’t do that. And then wrote another episode where she…

Riese: But that’s a really distinct way of looking at it, is that this is a lot of different people having different ideas. So somebody, especially if you’re trying to involve all these young voices, but you don’t… Like it’s trying… Any type of group work, sometimes you end up putting something in cause you’re like, well I want that person to feel like their ideas are validated and valuable and I want to include that person ’cause their voice is important for this story and then you end up with sort of something that’s a jumble of a bunch of stuff and it doesn’t really hold together as a piece.

Drew: Yeah.

Lauren : Well, thank you so much for listening to this episode of To L and Back, Generation Q edition. One of two podcasts brought to you by Autostraddle.com. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @tolandback. And you can also email us at tolandbackcast@gmail.com. Our theme song is by the Talented Beast Steadwell, and our Gen Q logo is by JaxCo. This episode was produced, edited, and mixed by me, Lauren Klein. You can find me on Instagram @LaurenTaylorKlein. You can follow Drew everywhere at Draw_Gregory. You can follow Analyssa on Instagram @analocaa with two a’s and on Twitter @analoca_ with one a and an underscore. You can follow the legendary Riese Bernard everywhere @autowin. Autostraddle is @Autostraddle. And of course the reason why we’re all here autostraddle.com. And finally, to end this EP, let’s hear some Q words from our girlies.

Analyssa: 3, 2, 1. Quibble.

Drew: Qualms.

Riese: Quinn.

Analyssa : What’d you say?

Riese: Well, first I was really, I was just going to say quince meat and then I looked at Anna’s face and I thought, she doesn’t deserve this. So then I said Quinn, because I was thinking she was T-boned.

Drew: I do remember that. I said qualms because I have many qualms.

Analyssa: I said quibbles.

Drew: Because you have many quibbles. That’s beautiful.

Riese: Quibbles or Qualms.

Drew: I hope you’re all doing wonderful out in the world.

Riese: We love you.

Drew: We love you and maybe…

Riese: Maybe next week will be really fun.

Drew: And also just a reminder that there’s luckily a lot more queer media out there other than The L Word: Generation Q.

Riese: Like my recaps of The L Word: Generation Q.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Number one.

Drew: I mean, it’s really nice that this show still brings us all together and it’s one of my favorite things about it. I love chatting with my pals, chatting with all of you. But just a reminder, there are several great TV shows, several great movies every year. Not as many as there should be, but there are some. Yeah.

Riese: Also, if you want a To L and Back sticker, it’s like $1 in the Autostraddle store.

Drew: That’s a great deal.

Analyssa: Wow, that’s a deal. Happy New Year.

Drew: Happy New Year! 2023.


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Analyssa

Analyssa is a co-host of the To L and Back podcast: Gen Q edition. She lives in LA, works at a TV studio, and can often be found binge-watching an ABC drama from 2008. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or her social media of choice, Letterboxd.

Analyssa has written 52 articles for us.

32 Comments

  1. I also thought Finley’s mom was about to come out to her!!! Now that I’ve had some time to reflect, I would have hated it – but it initially reminded me of Phyllis, so I had some warm, fuzzy feelings, hoping that Phyllis and Joyce are doing well and that Joyce’s law firm of questionable ethics is thriving.

  2. very small but I’m with Drew—I interpreted Finley’s remark at the toast being directed to Dre. I felt like the tres leches scene was the symbolic peace-making between F and Dani. Plus Dre raised their eyebrows when Finley said it.

      • As soon as you attempt to parse this exchange the degree of insanity that is the Dana’s Thanksgiving crew becomes clear:
        “So… the bigot mother of my ex-fiancee’s ex-girlfriend showed up, and even though my ex-fiancee and her now-ex-gf slept together while we were engaged and then the ex-gf interrupted our wedding as we were saying our vows, and then went to rehab for a year, and then was a bit overly bothered by the fact that you slept with said ex-fiancee, and now they’re broken up anyway, and all of this has transpired in the past 7 days – 2 years, yeah, let’s NOT have sex, or even make-out, but instead let’s show up unannounced to this reservation-only fixed menu catered Thanksgiving at the lesbian BAR that the ex-gf improbably manages now that Shane has disappeared and Tess is relapsing. Or should we just make more saltine stuffing?”

        • 100% agree with Drew and this thread — I think Finley’s toast remark was directed at Dre, not Dani. I had to rewatch that moment a couple times cause I was initially unsure, but I was ultimately convinced by Dre’s reaction and also (weirdly) by the way Finley directs it towards the far corner of the table, where Dre is sitting. (why I had to rewatch a scene and analyze the angles to figure this out is beyond me). anyway more importantly, big thank you to @caitrw for this incredible gift of the wild explanation Dani would have to give Dre about where they’re going. I would add that Dana’s is also the lesbian bar where Dani and Dre met, AND where that whole Finley-pulls-the-fire-alarm thing happened that same night (specifically because Dre was there)!! this show makes my head spin, and yet I keep coming back for more.

  3. Since I have given up watching Gen Q I really enjoy all podcasts and recaps. I’m going to have to reread because I was temporarily distracted by the news of Kelly O’Hara’s engagement.

  4. My maybe controversial take on why Sophie abruptly decided that she can’t be a complete person when she’s fully in Finley’s romantic orbit is that it’s actually just Tina’s reservation about being with Bette, rinsed and repeated. Tina and Bette’s big step back from the main stage necessitated a speedy resolution, but I think the writer’s room liked the idea of continuing that storyline anyway, even if they did not feel compelled to demonstrate how it might make sense in Sinley’s dynamic.

  5. I understood Finley’s mother as a manipulative narcissistic mean person who doesn’t necessarily have to make sense because she is messed up. Surely the writers could have made her more coherent. But as someone whose estranged mother does not make sense logically also, I am buying Finley’s mother being all over the place. If my own mother was a fictional TV character, viewers would say she is incoherent, and they would be 100% right – but real life people can be disjointed as well in their toxicity.

    Actually, I am surprised by saying this because I usually complain about the inconsistencies of these fictional characters and wish the writers had a golden thread with their characters and storylines, and I complain a lot about writers forgetting their own established character archs/stories. But Finley’s mother appeared only once and I saw parts of my mother in her. Also when Analyssa pointed out that if the mother was embarrassed by Finley, why fly to another city and yell at her daughter in a room full of strangers… True, for probably most people, this would be embarrassing of their own making! But some people, for various reasons, lack the feeling how they could be uncomfortable, embarrassing or rude to others, as they are very preoccupied with themselves and that they, and they alone, are right and everyone else is incorrect and they deserve to be heard out, no matter what and how…
    Which is why I, for once in my life, don’t complain about this one inconsistency but found it relatable.

    Great podcast! Thanks!

    • Yeah I do agree with this, narcissists are incapable of realizing they’re in the wrong, so of course Finley’s mom wouldn’t think she’s embarrassing herself. And the way she first complimented Finley are then demeaned her all night read as, again, unfortunately very realistic from a manipulative person

    • Hi—thanks for this response—I came here to chime in the mom content too.

      I had a similar reaction too-and actually felt very seen with the depiction of this mom.

      My mom is born and raised in California and says off handedly “she’s pretty why can’t she just find a man” and “oh gross” to queer women. All the while seeing all female appearing people as straight regardless of their apparent queerness.

      She also would be embarrassed if she was connected to her actions and thinking it was wrong but my mom would 100 percent make a loud scene with no overt shame because it feels right and she’s dysregulated.

      The “embarrassment” is more like code for controlling and rejecting behavior, and being associated with anything not straight versus making a scene.

      So as much as this episode was all over the place—that mom was so spot on.

  6. As always, I love this podcast so much and it’s one of my favorite parts of Gen Q season!!!

    I just wanted to jump in and say, ever since I read that production shut down on 208 last season, resulting in what I felt was the worst episode of the whole series, I’ve been thinking that their tight production turnarounds have a lot to do with a lot of the stuff we have issues with. I work in production, and wrapping shooting right before the first episode airs, meaning post on most of the episodes is still happening while the show is airing is something so insane I didn’t realize it still happened, especially on steaming shows. Between that, the clearly stock music choices, the lack of coverage it seems like they get, and the fact that this aired over holidays which are traditionally a dead zone for shows – it really feels like this show was given 2 dollars and just thrown on air in between their bigger shows. And that affects everything – they probably have limited time in the writers room, and less time for revision with the way everything needs to get run up the flagpole, and then limited shooting / edit time to fix or improve any issues with the writing. And I feel like it’s even more of a detriment on a show with such a large cast, because there’s so many balls in the air. Of course this is all speculation on my part, but I think it’s speculation that checks out!

    I also think it was a good point that watching the show closely makes one critical – I don’t even have to talk about it for my job like y’all but I think about it and look forward to it every week so I feel more disappointed when it’s not great than with other shows. Like Hacks is a show I’m always wishing is better than I find it to be, and while watching I’ll nitpick, but then once it’s over I don’t think about it again. If anyone asked me what was wrong with it, I don’t think I could really say, but I could give a detailed laundry list of the things I wanted improved about this show, haha

    • It is somewhat reassuring to hear from someone in the industry that it is slightly bananas to be finishing production/post while already airing episodes, because from the outside I thought that was wild.

      I had thought I heard/read that Showtime actually gave them more $ for this season of the show than in the past, but maybe I’m misremembering, as it certainly doesn’t seem like it. It feels like the delayed renewal announcement (which wasn’t made public for, what, 6 months?) must have really crunched their production timeline (if I recall, the writer’s room wasn’t working until, like, May?).

      As for the music, is part of the issue streaming? Like I know with the OG the soundtrack on streaming is often different (and much, much worse) than on the original episodes/DVDs, because of rights/the particular circles of hell of streaming. I wonder if for Gen Q they’ve just given up on having decent music because it feels too hard or too unpredictable in a streaming world?

      • Oh my god if they did get a bigger budget that would be so shocking!!! But if they did maybe it just went to Kehlani and Fletcher

        And yeah that’s a good point about music I didn’t consider – honestly as insane as the music is, every time I hear it I’m like “at least you saved money”, and now I can also think “and you don’t have to deal with legal” which is nice

        • My theory doesn’t really hold though because the season 1 soundtrack was so much stronger (and more in line with the OG ethos of using good existing music). Rewatch 1×05 if you want to be reminded of 1. how hot and specific and long the sex scenes used to be and 2. how good the music pairings used to be (could there be a better soundtrack to the very hot if very ill-advised first-relapse-for-Tess hook-up scene with Finley than Sylvan Esso’s “Dress”? I think not).

  7. Thank you To L and Back for keeping it real even with the Showtime sponsorship. I really appreciate your recaps.

    I have been frustrated with the show since the middle of season 2, but they really lost me on this one.

    I think of Lena Waithe’s award winning Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. It exemplifies the opportunity lost here by trying to have too many storylines and new characters that are not tied by a unifying message.
    I grieve the loss of the L word universe as something I care about.

    I would 100% listen to and support a To L and Back scripted podcast written by the three of you where the stories we want to hear are acted out, with the extra steamy scenes provided for A+ members. Maybe it can be called Les Q.

  8. This might be a controversial take, but I think there is something uniquely wrong going on in the L Word writers’ room. Many shows have low budgets and rushed production schedules. The CW shows are so badly run that people literally get maimed on those sets and others fall asleep driving home. Batwoman had a dramatically dysfunctional set and introduced a new main character in its second season, but even with all that pressure the story STILL made more sense than Gen Q. It’s like Gen Q doesn’t know who its characters are or how people actually interact.

    Their failure to execute basic romance arcs is especially bizarre – it’s like going to an Italian restaurant where they don’t know how to make pasta. This is what they’re meant to be good at! It doesn’t surprise me that they can’t handle a story about the opioid crisis; it IS weird that they couldn’t write Finley and Sophie’s relationship breakdown to make any sense at all.

    I wonder if the L Word writers’ room follows a dysfunctional consensus decision-making process. Maybe there is a bad actor in there. Maybe a sorcerer cursed them a long time ago. Maybe it’s actually being written by an AI.

    • I do think those CW shows are all over the place though – I haven’t watched Batwoman (it’s on the list!) but Riverdale is definitely a show that doesn’t make sense one ep to another.

      But also, I sometimes wonder if the bad writing of relationships is some sort of weird homage to the original show – none of those couples could be happy once they actually got together either

      • I agree that there’s some overlap from the original L Word’s weaknesses. And some of it is just too many recycled themes, but at least those themes make some kind of sense. Like I’m bored of Shane cheating but it doesn’t confuse me.

        But Gen Q is just so over the top with stuff that doesn’t make logical sense. A lesbian bar manager wanting a second lesbian bar? Doing Ayahuasca with your employees? Micah being ready to propose marriage but then hesitating to have a baby because Maribel hasn’t met his mom? Whatever they did with Cherie Jaffe last season?

        Even mediocre shows find ways to justify plot lines so that the viewer isn’t left wondering what the hell is going on. I actually think the CW plots make more sense because the intended audience is teens so they prioritize making their stories easy to understand.

        • Unfortunately I think it may be time to come around to the idea that this simply isn’t a good show. Or at least that’s what I’ve decided for myself.

          Of course we’re all rooting for queer content to be good, but objectively this show is not good. The writing is not good. The music is not good. The stories are boring or nonsensical. The acting is, well, actually the only thing fooling us into thinking it should be a good show, and even that is only held up by a portion of the those involved and some stellar guest stars (Rosie!).

          The thing is there IS good content out there to be talking about, like Tar, for example. Exceptional content in fact. Exceptionally well written and intelligent and thoughtful content. So I for one, think I may say goodbye to this series. It’s gone the way of those endless cop/firefighter/doctor dramas on network tv that recycle very tired ideas and appeal to the lowest common denominator of human being. I may be queer, but I’m not stupid. We should demand more from queer content. Queer content shouldn’t get a free pass to be shitty just because it exists. I think we can and should set our expectations higher. If these guys can’t make anything worth watching then to hell with ‘em. I’m gonna turn my attention back towards smart, high quality content and vote with my viewership.

          • I think you’re right and good for you!

            This was a big shift for me with the OG L Word – I was very confused when I watched it and learned it was bad, because I thought it would be good, but once I shifted it in my mind to “this is a bad show with hot sex scenes and all queer people” I found it easier to watch.

            If I understand Gen Q as a bad show but with actors I really love and a ship I’d die for, it too gets easier to watch

    • “ dysfunctional consensus decision-making process” would make a LOT of sense. And the writers perhaps feeling allegiances to do what soooo many different groups of people want. And short timelines? I mean, I feel like they weren’t exactly set up for success!

      Also, thanks to the podcast team for another good episode. Even though it sucks that it’s getting hard for y’all to watch, feels like you’re keeping it real. Would be very into y’all recapping another queer and ridiculous show next.

  9. Sometimes I think people who watched the original l word in a critical time in their life have a very fuzzy memory of how bad it often was. Gen Q also has some nonsensical writing and silly story lines, but if you think the original was “better” I think you haven’t rewatched it recently with someone who has never seen it before. It’s regularly very bad! That’s part of its charm. I like when they embrace it’s trashiness. More sex, more slightly soapy drama, more silliness

    • This too. It’s actually why I can’t fully enjoy some of the other LW podcasts out there that seem to detest Gen Q (including many of the actors) and lionize the original. I’m being honest, I struggle now to rewatch much of the original show (viewed with a fun cohort of fellow out queer friends, in college) because it is bad in many of the same ways, with the added layer of 15-20 years/early aughts life.

    • oh yeah i mean, as someone who re-watched it all for a podcast after recapping seasons 4-6 in real time: it was so bad, so often!!!! and not simply bad but also often offensive. i don’t think the original series was overall better than gen q… but i do think they had better music!

      • I was so thankful to have To L and Back to listen to during so many parts, especially the Max episodes!! Before I discovered the pod and thus was watching the show alone I truly was like Um why does everyone love this hate crime of a show

  10. Re Katy: I also thought the mom was realistic.
    Re Ana’s question: “What is the character’s motivation?” My take: “I love my daughter! I missed her! I want to be close to her! I want her help & sympathy! I admire her for her courage! I want connection! I want to put her down, how dare she speak to me this way! I want her to see how she did me wrong! I want her to say she’s sorry! I want her to acknowledge the pain she caused me! She is speaking badly about me and this is not what happened, I DID NOT behave that way!” All of this in an instant. Or given the changing circumstances within minutes, or hours. By all means: that could be my mom. It’s not contradictory. Not everyone is subtle.

    Re Dre: Now that you said it, I want the montage of flashbacks as well. Desperately.

    Hendrix thinking about calling the cops: Don’t the writers realize that Hendrix could end up dead when calling the cops? Don’t they think he has reasonable reasons to not trust them? Don’t they know that some communities of color don’t call the cops *no matter what* because the cops pose more danger than provide help???

    Re Ana “Her daughter is gay and very pretty. It doesn’t make sense” – not for queer people, but for religious zealots, it totally does! Every member of my family could have said “She’s gay but she’s so pretty” about some lesbian/queer woman even though I was considered pretty. There are other rules for people outside of the family. And maybe Finley’s mom doesn’t think Finley is pretty because Finley’s hair is short and because of the way she dresses. Just saying, my family thought I was pretty when my hair was still long and I dressed more feminine…butch today and not considered pretty anymore (yay).

    Re Riese: “Medication for being gay” – I interpreted it more in the context saying she didn’t kick Finley out and this is not what happened. That she wants Finley to be on medication because she thinks her daughter is psychologically unstable and has mental problems. Some families declare the truth teller to be “insane” because they pretend bad stuff (violence/trauma stuff) never happened. The person who names it becomes “mentally unstable” in their mind.

    Re Ana: Thank you for pointing it out with the montage in the end, how it coincided with the characters, and spelling that out.

    Dre: “Stories need conflict and they can’t sustain conflict that isn’t from ‘The Soap Opera Book of 12 Boring Choices’.” HAHA! YESSS!

    Also Dre: What you said about putting out fires, validating writers etc., many things happending and the end product feeling inconsistent… That would explain a lot of the L Word GenerationQ.

    The podcast made my day, thank you all. And Dre, in many instances you are my kind of people in “The L and Back.” I relate to a lot of the things you say.

  11. Rosie just steals every scene she is in – but if you know anything about her life, she had a heart attack a few years ago and has made it her mission to spread awareness of women’s heart attacks, how the symptoms are different, etc. The minute she started complaining about shoulder pain I knew where this was going!

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