To L And Back: Generation Q Podcast Bonus Episode: Goodbye, Again

By now you’ve surely heard that The L Word: Generation Q is no more, and boy are we sad about it! After months of bated breath, we received word last month that the show will not return for another season, and to top it off, is no longer available on Showtime anymore. On the…brighter? side? Maybe? We have also received word that original series showrunner, Ilene Chaiken, is already back to the grindstone: hard at work on a(nother) reboot set in New York.

Come join us to commiserate the end of our problematic fave, to talk about the state of queer television at large, and what We, the hosts of To L and Back, would have happen to all of the characters after the end of this season!

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Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.

Analyssa: And I’m Analyssa.

Riese: And I’m Riese.

Drew: And this is To L and Back.

Riese: To L and Back: Generation Q edition.

Analyssa: Generation Q edition.

Riese: Back to New York.

Drew: Back to New York?

Analyssa: Well, not yet.

Riese: Not yet. Sorry, that was a reference to season 10 of The Real World where they went back to New York and they called it The Real World: Back to New York.

Riese: Because the first episode of The Real World… The first season of The Real World was in New York.

Analyssa: What year, approximately, do you think season 10 of The Real World aired?

Riese: 2002 or 2003.

Drew: I was in elementary school.

Riese: Because I think 9/11 happened during the Chicago season. The first season-

Analyssa: Did they have to address that in the universe of The Real World? I know it’s about the real world, famously, but did they discuss 9/11? Was it happening while they were filming?

Riese: Yeah, they watched it happen.

Analyssa: What?

Drew: Wow. I don’t think I have an understanding— The Real World was never something I watched. I think by the time I came to The Real World universe, it was Real World vs. Road Rules. It was years later.

Riese: Well, it stopped being good around, I would say, the Las Vegas season. It started taking a turn where it became like a lot of reality shows are now, which is just about young hot people drinking a lot and having drama, you know?

Analyssa: Sure.

Riese: But in the beginning, it was very much a genuine social experiment of mixing people from all these different backgrounds, especially at a time when the internet wasn’t a thing, so people really didn’t know about anything besides their own little world, and putting them all in a house together and seeing what would happen. A lot of interesting things came out of that, but then the vibe shifted as MTV shifted more towards those types of party shows and The OC, or whatever that was called, Laguna Beach or something.

Analyssa: Laguna Beach.

Riese: And Super Sweet 16 and Teen Mom and all that kind of stuff. The vibe of MTV was shifting away from progressive, social, alternative, indie rock, whatever, towards more trashy reality TV, I guess, which has a place in the universe.

Analyssa: Which was my favorite era of MTV. That was the era I grew up in. Also I watched Reality Bites last year in my rom-com project, and Reality Bites is about that shift.

Riese: Great film.

Drew: I liked Jackass.

Analyssa: I forgot you were a Jackass kid.

Drew: I really was.

Analyssa: That was not my vibe.

Riese: One thing no one ever talks about is I Want a Famous Face. Does anyone remember the show?

Analyssa: I do remember that show.

Drew: Is that the show where people got plastic surgery to look like famous people? I vaguely recall that.

Riese: People didn’t talk about it enough at the time, and they’re not talking about it enough today.

Analyssa: That’s how I feel about the reality show The Swan which was fucked up.

Drew: Oh The Swan.

Riese: That was wild. Every now and then I get into another Swan rabbit hole and just get lost in what a time that was.

Drew: I’m scared, because I do think that cyclically in media — and maybe this can get us to The L Word — I do feel like we’re back in a place where queerness is going down, fatphobia is going up, where I am feeling because of my young age of 29 that I’m experiencing a backslide culturally in a way that I maybe never have. Obviously Donald Trump was elected president in my lifetime, but that galvanized people in a way where, yes, he was president, but the culture around me… my mom was all of a sudden liberal, you know?

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: It felt like people were getting more liberal around me, not less.

Riese: Well, and also in art, when Donald Trump was elected, the amount of shows that had queer characters skyrocketed, the racial diversity of shows, because suddenly it was like, “We’re in this hellscape. We have to…” Suddenly people were finally on board with doing all these things that we were asking for forever, because they were no longer in this like, “Why do we need more diverse TV shows? Obama is president,” you know?

Drew: Right. Weird. I don’t know. I know that progress isn’t linear, but it’s still jarring. Certain things have been jarring in recent months. Look, not to keep dragging my family into this, but I’m aware that fatphobia was alive and well before six months ago, but I at least thought in certain circles… I don’t know. Just, it’s wild to me how, I don’t know, the way people are talking about gender and sexuality, the way people are talking about race, the way people are talking about bodies, it feels like we’re in a bad moment.

Analyssa: I feel like this has been a topic of conversation about Gen Z too, and their reaction to sex scenes and sex in culture. I don’t know, I haven’t really noticed this personally, so I can’t really say whether it’s accurate or not, but I do feel like people are talking about that a lot, that there’s a move towards more…

Drew: Puritan.

Analyssa: Puritanical, for lack of a better word, views on sex.

Riese: I think that was easy to call, the forces leading to that.

Drew: Should we share that this is a podcast where we talk about The L Word: Generation Q, a show that no longer exists?

Riese: It was, yeah. This is a podcast where we talk about The L Word: Generation Q on Showtime, a program that brought our community together.

Drew: And tore us apart.

Riese: Brought us to new heights of life, and now I guess is over. It has been canceled.

Drew: Which we knew.

Analyssa: I know.

Riese: Well, I really think I was in denial.

Drew: There’s something that’s also important to obviously talk about, which anyone listening to this podcast I’m sure knows, which is that the cancellation announcement was paired with an announcement that Ilene Chaiken is already working on The L Word: New York, which my question is—

Riese: Why?

Drew: Why would be one question. That not so much. The question I have more is, will we ever actually see The L Word: New York? Shows get announced all the time. The Farm never happened. Is it something that’s being announced in order for Showtime to not have gay people angry at them, or do we think that it’s actually a thing that’s going to someday be real? I have my doubts.

Riese: I have no fucking idea, because “in development” means nothing. It feels like the way that was released was as a rumor. The reporter who reported it was like, “I hear,” which I assume meant that she heard from Ilene Chaiken or from somebody else in that universe or whatever. It seemed a little bit odd for that to be happening after there was this big fan push towards, “Reboot the OG series again, put Ilene Chaiken in charge,” as if everyone forgot that she did so many things right, but she did so many things wrong. Suddenly everybody’s idealizing Ilene Chaiken.

Drew: As people do to the past.

Riese: As people do to the past, and wanting her to bring back the show or have a new showrunner. So, it seems interesting that they would say that. I just wonder what is going on behind the scenes, what the rumblings are, and does this mean the original cast would be a part of it? Are Bette and Tina going to be there? Or are they going to be in Toronto doing Murdoch Mysteries? Who would be in New York? Also how would that work out for us in terms of whether or not we would get invited to any parties?

Analyssa: Which is number one on the agenda.

Drew: I don’t know. It’s also a question of, do we want that?

Analyssa: To be invited to the parties?

Drew: No, obviously we want to be invited to the parties, but do we want The L Word franchise to live on, especially back in the hands of… If it was announced that it was like, I don’t know, who’s someone who’s cool that we like and is a good writer? And it was like, “This person is going to be doing a new L Word.” I’d be like, “Incredible, amazing. I love it.”

Analyssa: Riese Bernard.

Riese: Tanya Saracho.

Analyssa: Better answer, I guess. Sure.

Drew: Yeah. If that was announced, it’d be crazy. But I don’t necessarily know if I need more Ilene Chaiken L Word. I don’t really know what that’s going to offer. I don’t know. But it is also one of these things where I think a lot of the problems of Gen Q were baked into the premise in the sense of having now watched the Queer As Folk reboot, which I liked more than some, but it wasn’t perfect by any means, I think the idea of a queer ensemble show that is trying to be everything is going to fail always, both artistically and creatively. I think A League of Their Own comes closest, and it’s because it really grounds it in a certain history and is not trying to be everything per se, even though I think it does a really good job at representing a lot of different identities, but still, it at least has baseball to be based around. I don’t know.

Riese: But they also don’t have to… They have certain rules about how society was structured at that time in history that gives them a box from within to tell their story, where I think there’s less room to totally fuck up what you’re doing. You know what I mean? You can’t put Micah and Maribel’s story into A League of Their Own. It would never happen so therefore it would never be fucked up. Do you know what I mean?

Drew: Sure. But I do still think that the League of Their Own reboot spends half of its runtime on Black characters, which in rebooting the original League of Their Own, that wouldn’t be the choice that I think a lot of writers would have taken.

Riese: No.

Drew: Also so many people are gay or queer, and also they include trans characters. I do think they do a pretty impressive job, but that show is also getting canceled.

Riese: That’s the thing. Because people were like, “Why do we need this? Why can’t we just have a really well-written show about queer people?” And I’m like, “There is one. It’s called A League of Their Own. It came out last year, and it just got canceled.” We got that. That imaginary show we were all dreaming of that had an ensemble that was all the main characters were queer and it was just their stories, and it wasn’t just about white people and it wasn’t just cis… We got it.

Drew: It’s a bummer. I do think that if we were to get The L Word: New York, I would want it to be like — it’s so funny, because this show got such backlash, and I understand why — but Looking, where that show wasn’t very representative of all gay people in San Francisco. It was very white, it was very, very cis, but it’s really good, and it feels like it’s people who all are in the same world together. There are times where its somewhat sheltered characters are pulled out of their world in ways that I think are well-done. Speaking of Tanya Saracho, she was a writer on it. And Vida is another one where that’s a specific queer space.

Riese: A community.

Drew: Gen Q not having trans women characters was brutal because they tried to have it seemed like every other character… and they did a bad job with all of them that weren’t whatever. But in general, I don’t want Ilene Chaiken writing a trans woman. That’s a nightmare. I don’t want that. I want her to make—

Riese: Write the Bette and Tina show, and it’s middle-aged… or lesbians in their fifties and sixties and stuff, their lives or whatever; whatever it is that she can speak to I think, whatever that looks like. The social group represented in Gen Q was realistic except for that there were no trans women in it. There wasn’t anyone in that social group who wouldn’t be ordinarily, no one felt stuffed in, you know what I mean? But I don’t know.

Drew: Identity-wise, no, but writing-wise, yes. Writing-wise, they never really knew what to do with Micah. That’s more I guess what I’m getting at, is theoretically you can have a lot of… There are plenty of friend groups that are very diverse in the truest meaning of that word, but a lot of times writers can’t really make that work, because that’s not their experience.

Analyssa: I do think it’s worth noting — well, there’s two things I want to talk about — but the first thing is Ilene Chaiken developing this, like Riese said, “in development” doesn’t really mean anything. It means someone has some idea that they’re thinking about at home sometimes. But it also doesn’t mean she’s writing. Ilene Chaiken developed The L Word: Generation Q.

Drew: That’s true.

Analyssa: And then she brought Marja in as a showrunner, and then they assembled a writers room.

Riese: So, it could still be me?

Analyssa: It could still be Riese. All three of us could find our way into The L Word: New York.

Drew: Oh my god, my phone’s ringing right now. Ilene!

Analyssa: I was thinking about this on the drive home from work, because I actually have a lot of thoughts about the business side of this, because that’s what I do for my day job, but I think it’s probably pretty boring to people listening. But Ilene Chaiken is going to be involved as an executive producer in developing any L Word reboot for the rest of time. Anytime The L Word comes up, Ilene is going to be at least involved in the conversation, and for all the reasons that Drew said and Riese has said, good and bad, you know what I mean? It means something to people, but also it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best product, but it just comes with the property now, which is just something for people to know when we’re talking about something like this. It’s always going to be Ilene Chaiken’s L Word, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Ilene Chaiken’s L Word, if that makes sense.

Riese: That’s true.

Analyssa: The other thing was that I feel like we all read the announcement of her developing this show differently. I was like, “I think it’s The L Word with all new characters in New York City.” Is it a period piece? I have no idea. But it’s just a group of lesbians in New York City, and I think Riese had a different take.

Riese: I thought it was going to be the original cast members, shedding Gen Q, and either they were going to go back in time to have it take place in 2010, 2011 when Bette and Tina allegedly just moved to New York. Because also at some point Shane moved to New York, because Shane had the salons. Shane moves back to LA in the beginning of Gen Q. So either it’s going to be a prequel or whatever, which would be great, because then Shane would have the eyeliner again and we’d all get to relive that, and that was a meaningful thing for me personally. It’s either that or I think it’s going to be the original cast, but I don’t know how they would all get to New York. But also it’s about LA! That’s the whole point of The L Word. I love New York. New York City is my favorite city, but I think The L Word is an LA show. It’s about lesbian life in LA.

Drew: Well, that’s why it has to say “New York” in the title. Again, that’s why it’s called The L Word: New York. My thought process, when I first heard it, I thought entirely new characters, just lesbians in New York present-day. Then I was like, “Or-”

Riese: Why?

Drew: “What if it’s a 90s…” Well, because I thought of it as a Queer As Folk-type thing.

Riese: Then why use the name?

Drew: Because it’s easier to get a show made.

Analyssa: Well, and because it means something. The Real L Word, why call it that if it’s… You know what I mean? Why? It’s not a scripted show, but it had the same idea at its center, you know?

Drew: Yeah. I think that potentially it takes place in the ’90s. New actors are cast to play our core characters.

Analyssa: Oh my God.

Drew: It is a prequel, but we get Shane; someone’s cast to play ’90s Shane.

Riese: Could Kristen Stewart play ’90s Shane?

Drew: Can you imagine?

Riese: She’s never done TV besides being on Irma Vep for one second. But if Kristen Stewart was cast as baby Shane, that would be a hit right there. That’s a hit. That’s a hit.

Drew: She’s too old, though, for ’90s Shane. They need to cast someone who’s 20.

Analyssa: But ’90s Shane had lived a lot of life by then, you know?

Drew: That’s true, that’s true.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: I really did think before this show started Kristen Stewart was on the get list for The L Word. It was announced—

Riese: She’s never going to do TV.

Analyssa: No, certainly not. But it was announced in 2017, 2018 that they were developing it. It was peak Kristen Stewart coming out, talking about being queer, publicly appearing with people she was dating. And I was like, “This is going to happen.” That feels so, so long ago now.

Riese: What they really should do is they should cast Jacqueline Toboni to play ’90s Shane.

Drew: Wow. That would be a choice.

Riese: I would love that. I would have such a good time.

Analyssa: It’d be so fun if they could bring back the young members of Gen Q as prequel members of the original L Word cast, except that none of them were ethnically diverse enough. You could retcon a bunch of people.

Riese: What if it was just a shot-by-shot remake of The Carrie Diaries, but everyone’s gay?

Drew: I haven’t seen it, but I was thinking The Carrie Diaries. It was The Bette Diaries. Was Bette ever in New York?

Analyssa: Mm-hmm.

Riese: Well, she went to Yale, and that’s a train ride away.

Drew: So what happened? Do we know the history of that?

Riese: No, she was in New York. She was in New York.

Analyssa: When Alice and Bette were at the opera, isn’t that in New York?

Riese: No. I think she was in New York at some point. I’m pretty positive.

Analyssa: Maybe I just think of the opera as a New York activity, so I’m like, “They must have been on the East Coast then.”

Drew: Also when has The L Word ever cared about continuity or things being correct? They could easily be like, “It’s about Bette and Alice dating in New York.”

Riese: That would be your dream show.

Drew: It would be. Bette is played by… God, can you imagine how The L Word fandom would react if someone else played Bette or any of these characters?

Riese: But imagine a young queer actress playing Bette.

Drew: That’d be so cool.

Analyssa: Jasmin Savoy Brown.

Riese: That’s who I was about to say, Jasmin Savoy Brown.

Analyssa: Obviously top of mind because of Yellowjackets‘ premiere recently.

Riese: There you go. Cast, perfect. Jacqueline Toboni…

Analyssa: We did it.

Riese: I don’t know how I feel about the spinoff. Obviously it’s, again, hard for me to separate my own business interests from the interests of myself as a person, but I really enjoyed everything happening around The L Word: Generation Q so much, you know what I mean? I liked that I got to write recaps and people got to give me compliments about how good I am at recapping. I love doing the podcast with you guys. That crazy week in LA when it premiered in 2019 was a week to remember, and partially forget, but also remember. It was just very exciting. I guess the reboot came up during a time in my life when I was not doing very well, and it was a lot of excitement and fun and flurry and getting back into recaps, and I love that.

I think what I really wanted was for it to keep going, but with a new showrunner. That’s what I want more than an L Word: New York. I wanted this to keep going, but to be done; for them to, not get back to the drawing board, but kind of, you know what I mean? They can’t retcon anything, but try to fix a little bit and move forward. The showrunners switch out during series after a few seasons all the time, don’t they?

Drew: I guess because Marja had an overall, I was feeling less optimistic about that, which I think we maybe talked about. But it seems like Showtime wouldn’t necessarily invest… I don’t know. Whatever cost that would have entailed, I don’t think they cared enough. But I also think that, what shows are left? Yellowjackets and The Last of Us, which is another interesting… I know it’s only two shows and two shows don’t make a pattern, but it is interesting that the highest-profile queer shows that aren’t getting canceled are-

Riese: Genre shows?

Drew: Yeah, are violent and about… Yes, genre, but it’s not even genre like CW superheroes genre. Genre in the sense of really brutal, violent, scary, somewhat despairing television, which feels interesting. I think one of those shows is a lot better than the other one, but I don’t know. Obviously, Hacks is still on and I’ve since caught up on Hacks and think it’s great, but one of two protagonists…

Riese: And Sort Of.

Drew: Sort Of is so good. I guess because Sort Of is Canadian, I don’t think of it as indicative, but I guess HBO probably gives some money to it.

Riese: It feels just really scary that shows that are centered, the queer person is the star or it’s a queer ensemble, cannot seem to not get canceled. And there’s always everyone’s like, “We need to make our own stuff,” and it’s like, “No, you don’t.” I don’t want another 2,500 lesbian web series out there; that’s not what we need. Unfortunately, people who have the money do have to invest some of it if we’re going to scare ourselves on TV, you know?

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: But it bums me out, even though it was bad.

Analyssa: Well, and I would love for, like you said, queer-centered shows or shows with a bunch of queer characters to have the opportunity to be a little bit bad and still get a chance to find their footing, figure out what the problems are, get more on level ground, because I think there are so many shows that have really uneven seasons or a lot of drama behind the scenes or whatever; like you said, showrunner switches, and they still get to run for a number of seasons.
I don’t understand… I do, but I wish it weren’t the case that it’s the ones who aren’t allowed to really flounder a little bit are queer shows. And that’s not me being, “This was the best show ever, and it should have run forever the way it was running before,” because we obviously had our thoughts about it. But it’s not a show that doesn’t have an audience. And A League of Their Own is the same way. It’s not like people don’t love that show.

Riese: Yeah, people love it.

Analyssa: I don’t know. There’s always a reason, and that reason never seems to apply to other shows, even if they have the same kind of problems.

Drew: I do think that, again, it’s all cyclical, and TV in general right now is at a really bad place, writers’ strike coming up. And I do think it’s not that we shouldn’t be fighting for more and better. I think I probably place a little bit more emphasis on the “better” portion of that in the sense that I will miss the camaraderie and the community built around The L Word: Generation Q, but I do think we can ask for more and ask for better. I just think it’s a matter of time in the sense of there will be queer shows, the patterns will fluctuate; one streaming site will crumble, and a new wave of shows, whether it’s we go back to an old way of television being made or we go to a new way of television being made, there’s going to be another boom and then another bust, and it’s just always what happens. That has happened since the beginning of movies being made professionally and as an industry.

So, I don’t usually feel very doomsday about media in general, about queer media specifically. It sucks to be in this point of time where we’re losing these shows, and especially when you have attachments to certain characters; it sucks. But I do think things will get better again, and maybe even better than they ever have been. I do believe that. In looking at the GLAAD numbers that come out of, “These are the number of queer characters,” I would love if in the next wave of things getting better if we focus less… I think those numbers are like the Bechdel test in the sense of it can be helpful as a tool and as a test, but that’s not—

Riese: The end-all, be-all. You need a qualitative analysis as well as a quantitative analysis, and I think some of that has to be about community. We want shows that are about queer communities. That’s what Gen Q was, that’s what A League of Their Own was, that’s what Generation was: communities of humans who are all queer, because that’s really realistic. Instead of us just being part of a straight person’s story or one queer friend in the social group, which I know is common as well, but also queer community is really common, and we don’t see shows like that.

Drew: I definitely agree with that as one of the measurements, so I definitely will be sadder about the cancellation of something that centers queer people than the cancellation of something where there’s a subplot, or not even a subplot, but even one of the main characters. I’m not going to care as much. I’ll care if the show is really good, but I’ll be forgiving towards a Gen Q or a Queer As Folk reboot. I think what’s frustrating to me is that I would rather live in a world where we don’t have to be forgiving. That’s why A League of Their Own felt so special, and I’m really sad. It’s not official yet, so hopefully it doesn’t get canceled, or at least they get more than four episodes for this second and last season, because that felt like a real mix of a populist art that a lot of people could watch and have fun with and obsess over, but that’s also really good, and to me was like, “This is what we could be asking for.” So, that’s a bummer that that also got canceled potentially.

But I don’t know. I guess I’m just looking at the landscape, and in 2012, the idea that the company that sent us DVDs in the mail would make a big queer women ensemble with a trans woman involved about women’s prisons, that would have been wild. That’s 10 years ago, so who knows what the next 10 years are going to bring? I think right now feels really bad and sucks. I literally work in the industry; if people who have been showrunners and are queer, or specifically trans, aren’t getting jobs, I’m fucked. But I think I’m able to just be like, “Well, for now, I’m fucked for a few years at least, but then media always changes,” and I weirdly feel more optimistic when things are bad because I know that they’ll get better than when things are “good,” and we’re being told that everything is great because—

Analyssa: That we don’t need diversity on screen because someone is president.

Drew: Yeah, where it’s like, “We have Gen Q, so what more could you want?” Or, “Euphoria is…” I guess Euphoria is still on, still kicking, and it’s like, “What do you mean? You have this.” That drives me crazy, whereas there being nothing, even First Kill can’t get renewed, Warrior Nun is getting canceled. It doesn’t matter what type of show it is. I think that to me, I’m able to be like, “But there will be more shows that get made, and in the meantime watch Sort Of and actually talk about it, and if you’re not as excited about Sort Of, maybe examine some of your biases,” while at the same time understanding that it is a much lower-budget show that’s made in Canada. I’m in Canada currently myself, so that’s not a knock on Canada; it’s just the industry here is different, and it’s not the same kind of show. I get that. But also enjoy, and also there’s a hundred years of media that you can potentially catch up on if you would like, and there’s a lot of good stuff out there.

And there’s a lot of good stuff that’s made every year. I know it’s not the same to have a Gen Q that we have watch parties and everyone is talking about the same characters and all that, but there will continue to be great independent queer movies made every year. Television is tough because there’s a lot of moving parts to get TV made, but there will be movies that are made that you can watch, and more now than ever, or if not… I don’t know. I guess I just wish people would focus on that sometimes.

Not that we shouldn’t be having conversations about how Hollywood is treating queer people so terribly right now and how it’s connected to the political backlash. It’s not just like, “We’re not getting Gen Q anymore,” it’s also the attitudes around queer people legislatively is also bad. So, it’s not that we shouldn’t talk about it, I just do encourage queer people, if you feel hopeless, to remember that the queer artists who have worked on these shows, and who haven’t worked on these shows but should have worked on these shows, are going to keep making stuff, because people make stuff and people are going to want to create, and they deserve bigger budgets and more opportunities and money from Showtime. But if they’re not getting it, you can still find their creations somewhere.

Riese: But I want to be able to recap a show.

Drew: No, it’s sad. I think I sometimes do what my mom does when other people are negative, she reacts in the opposite.

Riese: I do that too.

Drew: She’s a leveling system, which sometimes is really nice and sometimes is a little maddening. So, I apologize if this is maddening to any listeners who are like, “Yes, but Shane.” I get it. But did Gen Q even have Shane the character? Let’s be honest with ourselves.

Riese: No. She was inconsistent.

Drew: Does Kate Moennig even think that Gen Q had the character of Shane on it? Because I’m getting no vibes from her Instagram.

Analyssa: Demonstrably not.

Riese: There’s going to be a reckoning also, because I think that the networks that are building these libraries of content, those libraries are a lot less attractive when they’re only one season long. This cancellation spree, at some point they’re going to have to sit down and be like, “Wait a second. What are we doing here? We’re not building…” You can join Netflix and you can watch, I don’t know, 200 episodes of Orange Is New Black or something, or a hundred. But are you going to get invested in First Kill, which has eight episodes, I think, or any of a myriad… On Hulu are you going to watch The Bisexual — you should — that has four episodes, five episodes?

Drew: Six.

Riese: Six. I think that they need multiple seasons of shows to have them. Otherwise I feel like they’re throwing away what they spent on the first one.

Analyssa: Especially because so much of, especially Netflix, anecdotally people’s watching is The Office and Friends and New Girl, things that have run forever.

Riese: These shows that went on forever, because people want things… And they don’t also want shows that ended knowingly. No one wants to be left on a cliffhanger; people want a fucking finale. You want a finale. None of these shows get finales.

Drew: If you’re going to kill Tess, show me Tess’s cold, dead body.

Riese: Show us Tess hanging off a highway overpass with blood coming out of her eyeballs, or give me death. Speaking of Tess’s fate, should we discuss what we think should really happen to all of these characters in the finale?

Analyssa: What we’re living in our heads for the rest of time with?

Riese: Well, I’d love to start out on a positive note and remember that we never got to see Angie and Bella have their love confession.

Analyssa: I forgot about them.

Riese: That is I think the next scene that I would want from Angie, would be her going to Bella’s and apologizing, and Bella being like, “But,” you know?

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: You know what I’m talking about, those scenes?

Drew: Yes. That would be really nice. I love that for those two.

Riese: And then Hendrix never publishes another word for the rest of his life and he has to work at Cold Stone Creamery.

Drew: I don’t think Cold Stone deserves him.

Riese: Actually, you’re probably right.

Drew: I hope Micah and Maribel patch things up. Maybe he’s sitting in the car, and then he takes a deep breath and he’s like, “This is absurd,” and then he goes back inside the house.

Riese: He’s like, “I only packed three T-shirts. And not even deodorant.”

And he’s like, “Let’s talk this out.” He’s like, “Maybe we rushed into the whole baby thing. Maybe what we should actually do is just-”

Riese: See a therapist.

Drew: Yeah! “Let’s work it out, and if you do still want a baby, that can be something we can talk about.”

Analyssa: Maybe we see a doctor who can assuage a lot of these concerns first.

Riese: And talk to them about all of our fears and concerns and all of the complications, and decide what the best path forward is.

Drew: That sounds lovely.

Analyssa: I know we didn’t leave her on a sad note, so we don’t really need to give her a future, but I just feel like Sophie was on the brink of being like, “I’m actually ready to take a creative turn. I think I want to go do stuff that excites me.” Maybe that’s documentary making, as we’ve learned. I don’t know, Pippa…

Riese: Is she going to be broke?

Analyssa: Well, I think Pippa is a very wealthy artist.

Drew: I’m just saying that yes, all the queer shows are canceled, but you should seek out Sophie’s new queer documentary. You just have to get a subscription to Mubi and you can watch it.

Analyssa: Exactly.

Drew: It’s just $5.99 a month or something like that. You can watch Sophie Suarez’s new documentary. It’s eight hours long, and it’s fantastic.

Riese: Introductory subscription, 25% off. Anyone can watch it. I think that would be nice for Sophie. What I would actually predict for Sophie is that she enters into this thing with Pippa, but Pippa is very non-committal because she’s not going to commit to somebody who’s 20 years younger than her. And Sophie is kind of enamored, but Pippa doesn’t really give her the attention she desires. She thinks about doing the documentary, but freaks out and decides to stay on The Alice Show, which is also good, so that they’re all in the same set interacting, right?

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Then of course Finley is back working at The Alice Show, and once again, Sophie finds herself back in the arms of her one true love now that they’ve both explored themselves and their experiences and Finley has dealt with whatever has happened with Tess, that then they come together in health and joy and then they have a baby.

Drew: Wow. That’s lovely.

Riese: And then they throw sperm vials at each other that cost $925.

Drew: I think that Tess wakes up from her coma, because she doesn’t die.

Riese: And it’s like, “Why am I friends with these assholes?”

Drew: I think she confronts the fact that living a stealth life has weighed on her, and made sobriety more difficult and other things more challenging. So, she decides to be more open about being a trans woman, and then she just forms this really great community of trans people and gets a trans girlfriend and just is thriving. That’s how I see her end.

Riese: I would love to see her working at a juice bar instead of an alcohol bar. Or remember those oxygen bars?

Drew: No.

Riese: No?

Drew: But I believe you.

Analyssa: You don’t remember those?

Drew: No. What’s that?

Riese: I guess you would go and get oxygen?

Analyssa: You would go and they would have little… It depends, but they would put them up your nose, like oxygen from a hospital or a little tube that you could suck in.

Drew: Was it flavored?

Analyssa: Sometimes.

Riese: Sometimes. I think so.

Analyssa: It was one of those…

Drew: Wellness?

Analyssa: Yeah. It was a booster shot like Kreation Juice. Or like how rich people get IVs brought to their homes so that they can have all their vitamins or whatever.

Drew: What if Tess realizes that what she really loves is bringing community together, so she opens up a queer, non-alcohol-centric space?

Analyssa: There are so many people online who would love that.

Drew: Like a bookstore or a coffee shop?

Riese: Yeah, a bowling alley.

Drew: Bowling alley.

Riese: Although my girlfriend doesn’t like bowling, so maybe a bookshop and coffee shop would be better for me personally. A roller rink.

Drew: Tess buys Stories in Echo Park.

Riese: Tess starts a swan boat company in Echo Park to compete with the present swan boat company, and then we get into swan boat company wars. No one has done that. That’s completely an unexplored topic on all of television.

Drew: That’s true.

Riese: No one has got into that at all.

Drew: Do we think Gigi works it out with Nat? Do we think Gigi and Nat go the distance?

Riese: Well, isn’t Nat still poly?

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: I think that now that they’re dating, and Nat of course is like, “Well, I’m poly. We should date other people.” And then Gigi is like, “I don’t really want to,” but then she goes on a date with Dani, and then yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, they realize, “Let’s give a throuple a try again.”

Drew: Wow, with Dani. See, I would love if The L Word: New York was Gigi and Nat moved to New York and they live their poly lives, and it’s just a really positive representation of a queer poly relationship, but it’s still in a messy way.

Analyssa: But not in a boring way.

Drew: The two of them aren’t fighting or cheating on each other, but they’re fighting and cheating on their various other romantic partners, but then they always come back to each other to process. That could be really fun.

Riese: Maybe they could live near Bette and Tina, so they see them in the grocery store, and Bette and Tina are like, “Ugh,” because those are our poly friends.

Drew: That would be a very funny cameo.

Riese: They all have children, so they’d all be in Park Slope with their little strollers. Well, I guess their children aren’t in strollers anymore, but you can put a kid in a stroller if you want to. It’s legal. I went to Disneyland recently and I saw a lot of them, so I think that sounds good for them.

Drew: I do think Gigi is too interesting to be with Nat, but sometimes I forget what The L Word always reminds me that sometimes really interesting people like to have boring partners because that’s the dynamic they like, whereas I do not understand that at all.

Riese: Well, we didn’t really get to know Nat that well.

Drew: That’s fair.

Riese: And I’m going to go on a limb here and say I don’t know how well-written any of these characters were in the end of the day.

Drew: Whoa.

Analyssa: That’s bold.

Drew: Hot take.

Analyssa: Brave. I liked Nat. I always thought she was funny.

Drew: You did like Nat.

Riese: You were a big Nat fan.

Analyssa: Well, I’m a big Stephanie Allynne fan, which is definitely inherited from an ex of mine, but I just think she’s so funny and charming.

Riese: She is really funny.

Drew: Speaking of shows that got canceled, if you haven’t watched One Mississippi, that’s still an Amazon. You can watch it.

Riese: That’s such a good show.

Drew: That’s one of the best shows to ever be made. It’s so good.

Riese: It’s brilliant. It’s so good. Two seasons. I don’t usually write entire posts about a show getting canceled, but I sure did for One Mississippi.

Drew: I remember that.

Riese: I said, “They canceled One Mississippi. I’m going to set my television on fire.” I think they canceled I Love Dick the same day or something.

Analyssa: Yeah, I think it was a big—

Riese: I was like, “Excuse me.”

Drew: Which again there’s always these moments where it feels like all hope is lost. And in fact—

Analyssa: And then sometimes you get an L Word: Generation Q.

Drew: I think what’s crazy is that right after Bette and Tina’s wedding, Tina died. That’s just so sad and brutal for that couple, that they finally get married and seem to be doing okay, and then Tina gets hit—

Riese: Maybe Tess and Denver railed into the little golf cart that Bette and Tina were driving off in.

Drew: And Tina died.

Analyssa: I can’t believe we’re just never going to know what happened to Tess. So mad.

Drew: It’s so brutal.

Riese: I know, that’s so annoying.

Analyssa: Why end it on that note when you know that you might not come back?

Drew: It is one of the most unforgivable sins.

Analyssa: When the odds are stacked against you, why would you make the cliffhanger she might die in a car accident because she’s not sober and neither is the person driving? Why couldn’t it be the cliffhanger is like, “Will Dani choose Roxy or Dre?”

Riese: You still have the trans person unhappy at the end of the episode, even in that one.

Analyssa: Sure. Will Angie go find Bella? There are so many other-

Drew: Angie could have run after Bella, and Bella’s on a date with some other, I don’t know. There are so many fun things that could have happened.

Riese: I wanted Bella to walk in.

Drew: That could have been even more fun. They kiss.

Analyssa: I really thought Bella was going to be Angie’s date to the wedding. I thought it was going to be a whole thing that was like, “I was going to bring Hendrix, but of course now we’re broken up, and also my moms hate him, so I couldn’t. Thanks for coming last minute.” And then Bella is like-

Riese: “How is my friend?”

Analyssa: Yeah, and Bella’s like, “Well, I always wanted to be your date to the wedding. Here’s why.”

Riese: I love the moment where they’re at the party and they turn around and they see that person standing there in their attire. Although I guess that exact thing happened with Dre, but it was not at the right moment.

Drew: Poor Dre.

Riese: You know what I mean?

Analyssa: Right.

Riese: Poor Dre.

Analyssa: Poor Dre.

Riese: Oh my God. I reread my recap just to refresh my memory of what happened. And Dre, they looked so cute in their suit. Oh my God, it broke my heart all over again for this fictional character. But anyway, that love triangle I’m sure would be messy.

Drew: And hot.

Riese: And hot also.

Drew: Because of what happens to Micah and what happens to Tess, I was not happy with how it ended with Dre. But as far as leaving trans characters or trans actors in a bad spot, at least that is fairly low-stakes.

Analyssa: That’s gay hookup show drama; that just happens in the natural course of things. The things that felt horrible-

Riese: Cruel?

Analyssa: Yeah, were like the cruel, “Oh, cool. We’re near murder-”

Riese: With Tess and with Micah.

Analyssa: “…and we’re near breakup for no reason.” It just felt bad. Who’s left?

Riese: Alice. Alice and Tasha back together.

Analyssa: Alice and Tasha I feel like live happily ever after. I do think The Alice Show gets canceled pretty brutally coming up soon, so that’s something we have to deal with. I bet Alice doesn’t-

Riese: If The L Word: Gen Q didn’t get canceled then The Alice Show would have.

Analyssa: Exactly. I think Alice would go on a podcast revenge tour trying to be like, I don’t know, “I can be famous without them,” but she ends up just being embarrassed about stuff she says. I don’t know, she’s so goofy.

Riese: I would love her to learn something from Tasha instead of just, you know?

Drew: I was going a different route. She has a standup special called Silenced.

Analyssa: Maybe she tries to do a standup special or a podcast tour or something. She tries to go scorched earth and Tasha’s like, “What if it’s nice that you don’t host the show? It makes you kind of unfun.”

Riese: “Why don’t you just start a home decor line?”

Drew: I would watch a Hacks-esque show-

Analyssa: Ooh.

Drew: …about Alice as the Jean Smart character and a young, let’s make it someone with a lot of marginalized identities, that Alice can just be terrible about. Let’s do that show.

Riese: I would love to eventually though see Alice evolve and change and grow.

Drew: Well, that would happen throughout the course of my spinoff show about the trans woman who’s stuck taking care of Alice’s ego.

Analyssa: She’s her assistant post-Alice Show cancellation, so it’s really just Alice management. There’s not a lot else going on.

Riese: I love that idea. That’s perfect.

Drew: Let’s see.

Riese: Shane.

Drew: Oh, God. I hope Shane just figures out being non-monogamous, opens up a salon.

Analyssa: You and Kate Moennig both.

Riese: Gets back into hair, maybe Ivy comes back in town.

Analyssa: I forgot.

Drew: Wait, Ivy has a kid, right?

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: So, Shane finally gets her family and is a surrogate parent to Ivy’s kid, and Shane continues to learn and grow up, but also goes off and has sexcapades and it’s sometimes with Ivy, sometimes not with Ivy. Great stuff.

Riese: They did retcon that and have Shane suddenly be totally against having kids when Quiara wanted to have kids, even though she wanted to have kids when she was younger and she lost Shay. But I think we could retcon it back.

Drew: This is our show.

Riese: This is our show, so Shane’s getting the family that she’s always dreamed of with Ivy and her tank tops. Bette and Tina. We’ve already… Bette and Tina moved to Toronto and rented a condo.

Drew: And Tina died.

Riese: Okay, in Drew’s ending Tina dies. I don’t want anyone to die.

Drew: I don’t want anyone to die either, but sometimes it happens.

Riese: I don’t want anyone to ever die.

Drew: I know, it’s brutal.

Riese: Except Donald Trump.

Drew: But it was so sudden. It was really brutal.

Analyssa: Who’s left? Carrie and Misty?

Drew: Aw.

Riese: They’re cute. They remain Finley’s parents, and eventually grandparents to Finley and Sophie’s children.

Drew: Carrie gets some queer friends who are also fat and learns that she doesn’t have to-

Analyssa: Carrie starts hanging out in different circles than the ones that she’s been forced to hang out in.

Riese: Maybe she makes more bowling friends.

Analyssa: I was just about to say, I feel like the bowling league is a great place to start for that. Now that she’s dating Misty, she hasn’t ruined the bowling league, so she can go back to the bowling league. I feel like that’s a great place to make new friends of all different ages, sizes, professions, class, all sorts of different stuff that she’s not been… at Bowl-a-rama.

Riese: Tess’ Bowl-a-Rama.

Analyssa: And Tess owns it. Exactly.

Drew: Oh, the show writes itself.

Riese: I did ask AI to tell me what would happen to Shane, and they said that she would keep working on her sobriety. And I asked what would happen to Tess, and they said that her and Gigi have a really strong connection and that they will keep building that connection. I thought, “Interesting. I wonder where you’re getting this from.” Anyway, I did provide feedback on both answers to correct their factual errors, so that-

Drew: Don’t teach the robot!

Riese: …hopefully it can become a better AI. Well, listen-

Analyssa: What did you feed into the AI?

Riese: I said, “What will happen next for Tess on The L Word: Generation Q?”

Analyssa: I see.

Riese: It gave me a lot of answers, but those were the ones that were funniest, because they were the incorrect ones. The other ones are pretty generic, you know?

Analyssa: Sure.

Riese: She could get into LGBT community and building blah, blah, blah, working on herself or pursue meditation.

Drew: Fun fact. Marja’s initial pitch was also crafted by just typing words into an AI chat generator. People don’t know that. It’s a little industry insider fun fact.

That is very insidery.

Analyssa: Drew, when you said the show writes itself, I was like, “Well, and haven’t we heard that before?”

Riese: Anyway, is there anyone left?

Drew: Tom? What’s Tom up to?

Riese: Oh, Tom. I think he’s going to live happily ever after.

Analyssa: Tom is raising his baby with his new-

Riese: I just want everyone to be happy.

Drew: That’s nice. But Tom’s kid is queer, and because of Tom’s experience dating a bisexual woman, he’s able to be a much better father to a queer child.

Analyssa: Can you imagine Tom showing up with even a six-year-old being like, “My kid says he’s queer. Can someone help?” And Alice, Bette, Shane are like, “Yes. We have advice.”

Drew: Incredible.

Analyssa: Exactly. It’ll be beautiful.

Riese: In conclusion, I’m pretty bummed it was canceled even though I hated about half of it.

Analyssa: Even though it made me viscerally angry, I am pretty sad that it’s not coming back. And even though we kind of knew after a couple of months of it not getting announced, I think Riese is right, what you said at the beginning. There was still, “But maybe. Maybe it’ll come back.”

Riese: It’s a good, strong franchise, the social media-

Analyssa: I don’t know. It caused a lot of conversation I feel like, and maybe that’s just we were hearing all the people who were having the conversation.

Riese: In the conversation.

Analyssa: Maybe elsewhere, nobody knows that this show is happening, but I just feel like it was really fun to have something that was rally-aroundable and is eventized. A League of Their Own, I know a ton of people watched, but it wasn’t as like, “When is everyone watching?”

Drew: Because all the episodes were dropped at once, which was the worst decision ever. If A League of Their Own had been weekly, it would have been even more of a phenomenon, and it pisses me off so much that didn’t happen.

Analyssa: Because word of mouth is so important for queer shows especially. We talk to our friends who talk to their friends, and eventually a bar in LA is hosting a watch party, you know what I mean?

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: I think that’s such a fun part of the experience and makes you really feel like you’re watching with people. That’s the thing that I think I am sad about this show about queer community, also built queer community when it was airing. It offered an opportunity for that.

Riese: This franchise started this community.

Analyssa: And then continued in the comments. Every recap that Riese posts gets hundreds of comments, because people are just dying to talk about the show they just watched, and watch parties in real bars. That’s really fun. Or the Discord we did that we watched along with people was so fun. So, that is a bummer, and I will miss our friends.

Riese: I think as a franchise for some reason, for better or for worse, it brought us all together, and for some reason it’s like our weird, little community problem that we just have, that we keep returning to, but it for some reason brings everyone together. We all watch it. It’s a big enough cast that everyone can find somebody they’re into. I feel sad for the cast, because I think it was probably really cool to be able to work with each other, you know?

Analyssa: Yeah.

Riese: And I think it’s sad for us, for our website traffic. Also, for all of our listeners for To L and Back who enjoyed listening to us talk about the show for better and for worse throughout our time. But maybe we’ll find something else to talk about.

Drew: Maybe we’ll see you in New York.

Riese: Or maybe we’ll see you in New York.

Analyssa: Now that I have my windpipe fixed, I’m ready to podcast about truly anything. Can talk for ages.

Riese: Yeah, we could talk about a different TV show, or we could talk about movies. Drew never talks about movies.

Analyssa: We can never get Drew to talk about movies, so that would be a really good opportunity.

Drew: Fine, fine, I’ll talk about movies. It would be fun in what I was talking about as far as there are so many queer movies that come out each year that deserve deep dives. I would… Monthly movie club, To L and Back monthly Movie Club.

Analyssa: Movie club.

Drew: I would love that.

Riese: That’d be fun.

Drew: Weekly is tough, but once a month we pick a movie that came out in the last three months that’s queer. Be super cool.

Riese: That would be fun. I always wanted to do a podcast that was a deep dive on the history and the culture around different shows that had queer characters in them at the time, and talking about what they mean today. But that’s one of those things that I think about when I think about, I don’t know, writing a TV show or building a treehouse.

Analyssa: Owning a home?

Riese: Or owning something that’s worth more than $50. So, it’s in the fantasy space at this time.

Analyssa: But it’s nice to have a dream column.

Drew: When you sell Autostraddle to Tess, who realizes that the best place to create community is online, then you can-

Riese: Then she’ll fund my dream podcast, my dreamcast.

Drew: I don’t know how Tess became a millionaire, but all of a sudden Tess became a millionaire in my fantasy.

Riese: I think the insurance settlement, because the other man died in the car crash and they thought that he was her husband, and so she got all of his money, because he was rich from modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch. That was just the vibe I got from him, even though he was a cater waiter.

Analyssa: He was just doing that for fun to try to connect with people, you know?

Riese: Yeah, and to deliver his product.

Analyssa: He was trying to make a switch into acting and dealing, so he’s like, “I’m going to connect with real people for a while to emote.”

Drew: Well, this was fun. RIP Tina Kennard.

Riese: RIP L Word: Gen Q. Thanks for all the memories and all the fun times we had.

Lauren Klein: 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 You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter at ToLandBack, and you can also email us at [email protected]. Our theme song is by the talented Be 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 at laurentaylorklein. You can follow Drew everywhere at Draw_Gregory. You can follow Analyssa on Instagram at analocaa with two A’s, and on Twitter at analoca_ with one A and an underscore. You can follow the legendary Riese Bernard Everywhere at Autowin. Autostraddle is @Autostraddle, and of course, the reason why we’re all here,

Analyssa: This is where the song “Graduation” by Vitamin C would play.

Riese: That would be ideal if we could queue that up. Are we going to do Q words?

Drew: Oh.

Analyssa: Wow. Well, you just said “queue that up.”

Drew: You did say “queue that up,” so maybe you finally broke. The reason there’s no more Gen Q is because you finally didn’t say “quincemeat,” you said “Q.”

Riese: I was hoping to get to say “quincemeat” one more time in the podcast.

Analyssa: Let’s do Q words.

Drew: Ready?

Riese: Uh-huh.

Drew: 3, 2, 1, quincemeat.

Analyssa: Quincemeat.

Riese: Quincemeat. Everyone said “quincemeat.” You guys.

Analyssa: So true, Riese.

Riese: I love you. Wow, what a great show.

Analyssa: The final quincemeat.

Riese: Carol is so excited.

Analyssa: If you get to write the Christmas special that inevitably ends the whole Gen Q thing, do you think you’ll just title it Quincemeat?

Riese: Yes. I’ll be like, “Christmas with Quincemeat: An L-Word-”

Analyssa: Yeah, if it’s a Christmas special. If it’s a Christmas episode.

Riese: “… Back to LA.”

Analyssa: A quincemeat truffle or whatever. I don’t know, we’re already making shit up.

Riese: They’re going to have it at an Airbnb in Palm Springs maybe, or maybe Joshua Tree. It’s hard to decide. I have so many creative options available to me on this project I haven’t been commissioned to produce, but again, would love to.

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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 58 articles for us.


      • I wouldn’t wish death upon any characters even ones I dislike and I’m really sick of the Tina hate. Laurel Holloman was given a character without a backstory and did a great job shaping a character out of nothing. She has fantastic chemistry with Jennifer Beals and I don’t see the point of wishing death upon her character. She hasn’t done anything that other characters haven’t done and no one is joking about them dying.

    • She would absolutely never. These guys are insane for suggesting it. Look at her trajectory, she only does things now that are high caliber. She doesn’t need this show. Why in the world would she align herself with a poorly written show that failed and was met with rampant negative backlash from the community it was meant to represent? These hosts live in a world of delusion.

  1. I loved this ep and will miss the pod so dearly!!

    so sad about Tina but c’est la vie and so glad to hear that it’s canonical fact that Sophie and Finley reconcile and get married and have babies that Carrie and Misty grandparent! Catch y’all at Tess’ juice bar slash sober community center!

  2. I will miss your podcast and Riese’s funny recaps! Will miss your “AND ANOTHER THING! AND ANOTHER THING!”-moments. I will miss screaming into the void together when L-Word writers make more than questionable choices with imperfect characters, and to hear other smart viewers being outraged. What I love most about this often terrible show is the community aspect of it and the recaps and comment section on AS. It is so sad to see that go! Especially in the backlash that is our reality.

    As a fan of your work, I have ideas for further recaps:
    – Paper Girls (episode by episode)
    – High School (episode by episode)
    – Queer as Folk / 2022 (episode by episode)
    – All Céline Sciamma movies (thanks Drew for your review on “Petite Maman” – I dearly appreciate your thoughts on movies in general and your smart analyses)
    I can imagine you’d have an audience!

    Riese, you are an amazing writer, and I especially love your personal essays and the more serious, sad topics. Of course I also love your TV recaps – you have the gift of being extremely humerous and to make people laugh. And I hope you get to write a L-Word holiday special at some point! A person can dream… a person can dream.

  3. This episode was insane to listen to. What are these guys on about? The show was not good. The acting was not good (aside from a few folks doing their best with what they got). The writing was god awful. We should expect more from queer content. It shouldn’t be made if it’s not good. Just like any other show shouldn’t be made if it’s not good. That’s the bar all content should have. There’s SO much garbage tv being made right now (straight and queer), that’s the problem. We need to go back to looking at merit and not looking at “does this show and its characters check the box of all the diverse kinds of people in the world” and ranking that as a more redeeming quality than it being well written, well designed content. This show’s downfall was trying to be everything to everyone, when all it needed to be was a show about lesbians in LA. There is no reason queer content has to be inclusive of every walk of life. There’s no reason a show about lesbians needs to check any box other than oh wow this is a good show and also a few of the characters like women. Done, end of story. It’s actually insulting to toss all the “others” into one box and say here ya go ya non-normies, here’s your content. Why can’t content just be about one niche and satisfyingly delve into the intricacies of that experience and that experience alone, whatever it may be?

    This time we live in of content needing to be for everyone and about everything all at once has ruined tv. And it’s an overcorrection. I have to imagine that we’re going to see the tides begin to shift away from this participation trophy model of content creation based on manufactured inclusion, back to a meritocracy that is inherently more inclusive in its nature. That’s where it has to go. There’s just too many one and done garbage being shilled across all streaming platforms, which is clearly indicative of a bunch of old white boomer dudes confusingly throwing money at “diverse” shows that miss the mark entirely on what those audiences actually want and what makes for entertaining television in a broader since.

    Gen Q getting canceled is a good sign in my opinion, it shows someone’s putting their foot down and saying no, this isn’t doing it, this shouldn’t be rewarded, let’s reset.

    • I’m pretty sure we didn’t listen to the same episode. All three of the host spoke to all the ways in which Gen Q was a failure (I believe Riese’s exact words were “even though I hated about half of [the show]”), and they spoke at length about the ways in which queer shows that ARE better often do have a more narrow focus and aren’t trying to be everything to everyone (eg., the historical framework of A League of Their Own, the Latinx LA environment of Vida, etc.).

      • Yes this, the podcast acknowledged the failings of the show, but also I have to wonder if this person is new to watching television? Bad shows get made…all the time. I would even argue there are very popular shows that are badly acted and written! Many shows starring all white men, that aren’t attempting inclusivity at all, are bad!

        • (Sorry it submitted before I was done) whereas many good shows get cancelled – if you think network execs are cancelling shows like this one because they’re taking a stand in the name of good content, I think you’re sorely mistaken

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