“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 201: “Life, Loss, Leaving” with Vico Ortiz

Hello we have missed you desperately and thoroughly and are here, now, today, to welcome you back to America’s Favorite lesbian Podcast, “To L and Back.” This season’s gonna be a little different than last season — for starters, we have a new co-host, my dear friend Carly Usdin, who was on Autostraddle’s founding team and is a film writer/director (Suicide Kale, Misdirection) and the author of the comic series Avant-Guards! For seconds, we’re gonna have A LOT MORE GUESTS, including guests who can add perspectives to the podcast that we, as two white humans, do not have! Sometimes they’ll recap the episode with us, sometimes we’ll just have ’em in for a little interview, you never know ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN! Our first special guest is actor/activist Vico Oritz! We do a little interview and they were able to join us for a sliver of the recap too. They’re really f*cking great and hopefully we’ll have them back on the pod in the future.

So, what’s happening with our dear friends on “The L Word”? Five months have passed (or have they??) since we last saw any of these women in their underwear or their buttoned-up jackets, and Jenny’s been collecting rejection letters while a baby grows inside Tina and everybody spreads rumors about Marina. Also, Dana and Alice battle sexual tension, Tina flips a table, Bette has some excuses to share, Shane is going to do Arianna Huffington and WE MEET CARMEN FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!! Plus: introducing our new segment HOT GOSS, in which we share special hot gossip.

Episode Index:

+ Our coverage of Vida
+ Vico Oritz’s instagram
+ This picture of Carly from 2007:
A picture of your host, Carly Usdin, from 2007. They are wearing a white button-up shirt and a skinny black tie. They have an extremely gay asymmetrical haircut and have one finger demurely in their mouth as they stare off into the distance.
+ You can read about Fred 62 in our Los Angeles City Guide
+ The Knitting Factory
+ Our fundraising campaign!
+ About Leisha Hailey’s original band Gush
+ Carly’s Season Two L Word Promo for Logo

We are so excited for the new season and we hope you are too!!!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3223 articles for us.


  1. It was a long week without the L and Back !!

    Dusty Springfield was queer btw, I’ve read a few biographies on her !!

    There is a vice article, not sure how good the sources are in the article, but I’ve copied the link below.


    Here is a quote from the article/Dusty

    Springfield committed an act of bravery during a 1970 interview with Ray Connolly of the London Evening Standard. “A lot of people say that I’m bent, and I’ve heard it so many times that I’ve almost learned to accept it,” she told him. “I know I’m perfectly capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy. More and more, people feel that way and I don’t see why I shouldn’t.”

      • Carole Pope talks about their relationship in her Memoir “Anti-Diva” ! Dusty was quite a handful LOL.

        • Dusty was very much a handful ha, she was in very turbulent relationships and I think was the turbulence in relationships also.

          I’ll definitely read that memoir, thank you for the recommendation , going to order it now :) love a good memoir !!

  2. will there be a post of the previous episode, the first season recap with the senior editors?

    • ahhhh there will not be unfortunately because i was too sick that day to do it and then the moment passed into the ether — was there something mentioned on it that you want more info on?

  3. just listened and had to immediately run to comment that yeSSss dusty springfield was queer and dated canadian lez icon CAROLE POPE aka the lead singer of rough trade known for their deeply gay song ‘high school confidential’ and if carole pope hasn’t been profiled on autostraddle before i would just like to volunteer to do that. also so glad the pod is continuing and growing and i am loving the guest interviews, i love hearing everyone’s l word origin stories and their complicated feelings about the show. thank you so much riese and carly!!

    • Oh my God, Carole Pope is one of the hottest people I’ve seen on Candaian TV! She did a performance of High School Confidential on an episode of SCTV looking like a cross between Shane and Chrissy Hynde; I was never the same again

    • WOAHAHAHOW i love this important late breaking HOT GOSS i love it!!!!!! and yeah i was like “that is an older shane with a splash of joan jett” when i just google imaged her

  4. This episode introduced some of the season 2 plotlines I love (Alice and Dana, Carmen and everyone) and the things I have very little patience for (any of Jenny’s carnival stories, the ominus video camera in the theme song). You definitely addressed those feelings on the podcast!

    • Also ran here to comment on Dusty being GAY AS F*. Before Carole Pope she was with the equally astonishing Norma Tanega for five years. And then there was that Pet Shop Boys collab…and that voice! I could listen to Just One Kiss forever.

      P.s. Also yay for the pod! I love that you’re getting other perspectives from the guests this season.

      • Yes Dusty !! Her voice still gets me to this day.

        Also she apparently was nick named Dusty by the boys she played football with, which is a little gay.


    Also commenting to say the Hot Goss segment (and the little news report music stinger) is the BEST. It made me completely crack up.

  6. Holy shit, Karina Marina is just so bonkers, thank you for the best gossip ever! Very impressive detective work.

    I am also personally disappointed in all of the Bettina shippers for their influence on the show. Like, what if they’d just killed Tina off in the second season and replaced her with Candace or literally anyone else? WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN?

  7. Yay, so glad this podcast is back! I tried to re-watch the episode at work, which, even though no one could see my phone screen, was a bad choice because I felt compelled to fast forward through all the sex scenes. They are some really freaking long scenes, btw, I had to hit that 15-second jump button on the Netflix app MANY times to get to the end of each scene.

    In retrospect everything Bette says about Ivan is SO TERRIBLE AND TRANSPHOBIC. So so cringeworthy to hear in 2019.

  8. Please tell me that to L and back will/is still continuing, it’s literally the favourite part of my week, Also I love all the commentary and Riese’s knowledge and input.

  9. Can someone explain to me how the amazing Tina flipping the table scene is in Jenny’s script and movie but she wasn’t actually there?! lol

  10. – Listening to this now and LOLing @ Riese naming all pre-corona diseases in 2019

    – Not sure how Tina is hiding that belly (or did they forget that they showed us a massive belly earlier in the episode) in that knitting session.

    – Heard of consent Tim? or did this word exist in the naughties ya’ll?

    – WHAT a scene of Bette & Jenny staring at each other. No words needed. Cheater to cheater.

  11. Also, did Bette just diss the trans community by insisting Ivan is a SHE! Hadn’t realised when I first watched this how bleak the situation was for the community. YIKES!

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