“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 407: Lesson Number One With Lianna Carrera!

Listen we’re not gonna ask anybody or tell anybody anything butttt it’s time for Lesson Number One and comic/writer and CODA Lianna Carrera is here to make us laugh and assess Bette’s sign language skills. Furthermore, Bette and Jodi are wearing matching white tank tops, Tasha doesn’t finish her churro, Phyllis has some major lesbian processing to do, Helena is playing strip gin rummy with Catherine, OurChart is BLOWING UP WITH HITS, Shane and Paige are gonna teach kiddos it’s ok to be gay I guess, Alice is going on a series of rides with Tasha and Katie Holmes wants to be in Lez Girls by Jenny Schecter!

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!

Carly: And I’m Carly.

Riese: And this is —.

Riese and Carly: To L and Back!

Carly: Hi.

Riese: Hi. It’s hot out.

Carly: It’s so hot out.

Riese: That’s all.

Carly: That’s all we have to say. Thank you so much for joining us. We’ll see you next week. So here we are again, another episode of To L and Back, a weekly podcast from Autostraddle that recaps every episode of The L Word one week at a time, one episode at a time, here we are.

Riese: Yep. That’s us. We’re here, doing it from our homes.

Carly: It’s happening. Yes. We are still in our homes because that is where we are supposed to be. I hope that if you are able to be in your home, you are home also. This week we’re talking about season four, episode seven, entitled, Lesson Number One, not to be confused with the rules of poker number one from last week, that’s totally a different number one.

Riese: Or not to be confused with a title that would actually make sense.

Carly: Yeah. What the hell? Does this … yeah, this does. I guess this could be referencing the school children storyline.

Riese: Then they could have just called it Lesson Plan.

Carly: Oh, cute! Or “Lessons.”

Riese: Yeah. Lessons.

Carly: Like Learn a Lesson. That’s two Ls.

Riese: Yeah. They could have called it learn a lesson. They would have gotten two points on Scattergories.

Carly: That would have been great. This was written by Ariel Schrag and directed by Moises Kaufman and originally aired February 18th, 2007.

Riese: We have a special guest today.

Carly: Yay.

Riese: Would you like to introduce yourself?

Lianna Carrera: Yeah, sure. Hi, everybody. I’m Lianna Carrera. How’s everyone doing? Thanks for having me.

Carly: Thanks for joining us today. This is very exciting.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah!

Riese: And what do you do? What’s your deal?

Lianna Carrera: So I exist in LA. I’m retired. I walk my dogs all the time. No, I’m a comedy writer, stand up comedian and I work in entertainment, developing television concepts or trying. And pitching, and taking meetings and seeing what we can do about getting storylines that I particularly care about on television and film. I do come from a deaf family. So my mom is deaf and I have two deaf brothers. And so I can relate a little bit to how they chose to deal with a deaf character on the TV.

Riese: I just want to say that I’m glad to have a person with that perspective on our podcast today.

Lianna Carrera: Thanks, mom.

Carly: Very cool. Would you tell them your L Word origin story?

Lianna Carrera: Sure. L word, that means where I found L Word or? Right? Okay.

Carly: Yeah. The circumstances in your life when you first found and watched the show.

Lianna Carrera: Gosh, L word was college I think for me. I went to an all women’s college in Lynchburg, Virginia. And so we were ripe for L Word supporting. I remember we used to get together in our dorm rooms and just Lez Out and watch. And I think we all decided we were all supposed to be like Shane. So that was weird because you have all those same male plugs in a room or whatever. We all wanted to be sexy like Shane.

Carly: You can’t have a room full of Shanes. What are you going to do with a room full of Shanes?

Lianna Carrera: Exactly. Exactly. So you go to the straight women when you’re in the room full of Shane. So the lesbians are watching The L word, but then we have the rest of the campus who wasn’t watching The L word, then we were like, “You should watch this, The L word.” And we also introduced a lot of straight women in college to lesbianism by asking them to watch, But I’m a Cheerleader. So it was a one-two punch of like, “We’re funny and also sexy. Ah, you’re curious, you’re like Jenny.”

Carly: I was in high school when But I’m a Cheerleader came out and I invited my friend to go see it with me, because she was a straight girl that I had a crush on and I was not yet out. And I was like, “This is what’s going to do it.” Spoiler, it did not do it.

Lianna Carrera: Oh, no. That movie holds up. I don’t know if you’ve watched it recently, but it still works.

Carly: I have and it absolutely still holds up. It’s still one of my all time favorite films. Yeah. Same.

Lianna Carrera: But yeah, that’s my origin L Word story.

Carly: Awesome. Did you have any favorite characters when you were watching it originally? Anyone you identified with or thought was hot or anything like that?

Lianna Carrera: I never did. I felt like I was one of those … I think because I was a Butch presenting woman, there wasn’t anyone that was super obvious who I could be besides Shane and I was failing at being Shane. I think you either accept that you’re the sexpot or you’re a nerd, and you just accepted. And so I didn’t accept it. So I was a nerd trying to be a sexpot, which didn’t work out. But I felt like I really liked the qualities that Bette had and I didn’t know why. I didn’t know if I wanted to be Bette or if I wanted to have sex with Bette, I wasn’t sure, but I appreciated the pantsuit and the “in charge” attitude of Bette. I don’t know.

Carly: A lot of good Bette stuff in this episode.

Lianna Carrera: There is. She gets to … she shows out her skill.

Riese: Wears a tank top.

Carly: We got to see her arms and that’s the best thing about Bette sometimes is her arms. She’s great but also she has great arms. All right. Should we get into episode seven?

Riese: Yeah. Let’s do it.

Carly: Did you have something else you had to do first or are you good to go?

Riese: No. I can do this now. Yeah, this works.

Carly: Oh, cool. Okay, great.

Riese: So we open and Tasha putting her clothes on, unfortunately.

Carly: Yeah. There’s no music. It’s just Tasha at home, putting her clothes on, being hot. And it’s intercut with combat imagery from her time I guess in Iraq. And it ends with her hyperventilating. Great cold open. It’s a lot of information. We got a lot from that.

Riese: Yeah. We know she has a uniform.

Carly: Yes. Yes, she does.

Riese: And it’s camouflage, so if she was in the woods you would be like, “Where’s Tasha?” Right?

Carly: Yeah. Presumably yes.

Riese: So that’s good. And yeah, so that’s that.

Carly: Yeah. I have nothing more to say about it. It is what it is.

Riese: Yes. Then theme song and then we go to Bette’s house?

Carly: Yeah. We are at Bette’s house and Jodi is reenacting scenes from Portrait of a Lady on Fire, where she’s drawing a picture of Bette who is lying in bed.

Lianna Carrera: Oh my gosh. I thought of “Titanic” when I saw that. Right?

Riese: I know. That’s what I thought of.

Carly: Well, that means I’m gayer than both of you.

Lianna Carrera: You are. It shows how — and then can we talk about the actual drawing. It was like-

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: It looked like a cartoon for the first draft of a graphic novel!

Lianna Carrera: All you want is to really believe in the person you’re dating. You want to believe in their talent for real. So you don’t have to fake it and you get handed this thing and then she’s got to go, “Oh honey, that’s beautiful.” And like, “Oh God.”

Carly: Just like, “Did a child draw this? Did my child draw this?”

Riese: Yeah. Probably stick to metal sculptures.

Carly: Yeah. She’s a sculpturist and I think that she should just stick to sculpturing.

Riese: To building things. Yeah.

Carly: They’re both wearing white tank tops and they both look great.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. What is that? Did I miss why that’s happening? They looked like cult members a little bit. They’re all white.

Carly: They’re in a cult of sleeping with each other for the last several weeks. That’s the cult they have joined. And they’re both wearing white tank tops and pajama pants.

Lianna Carrera: That was some costume designers pick, they were like, “What are we going to put them in?”

Carly: Well, they are two different types of white tank top, which I really feel like if you’ve read enough into it, you’re going to get a lot of deep character information.

Lianna Carrera: I see. I didn’t notice that. That was funny.

Riese: I will say that I think I spent most of 2007 in a white tank top. Yeah. Anyway, I would wear two at a time. It was wild .

Carly: WHOA.

Riese: Layering.

Lianna Carrera: Don’t go crazy there.

Carly: Yeah. I know. Careful.

Riese: I did. So basically Jodi’s like, “You’re the boss, so you can be late.” Which as a boss, I can say, that’s not true. And then she seduces her. She seduces her with … there’s finger sucking, and kissing and boob touching-

Carly: All the greatest tools.

Riese: All the moves.

Carly: And Bette whispers in Jodi’s ear, “I think I could fall in love with you,” and then Jody’s like, “Did you say something?” And Bette’s like, “No, please fuck me.” And that’s basically what happens.

In the throes of passion, Bette says into Jodi's ear, "I think I could fall in love with you."

Riese: I was like, “Oh God. This is your first night together.”

Lianna Carrera: It’s also like a very slick move on the writer’s part, having them whisper something in a deaf woman’s ear. And as a general rule, it’s rude as hell to say anything to a deaf person, good or bad around them. But I did think this was kind of a cool technique to move the story forward, especially because it was a positive kind of thing. So I thought that was really cool how they set that up.

Riese: Then we cut to … Oh, so then they’re going to bang. They bang.

Lianna Carrera: They bang.

Riese: Bang, bang, bang. It’s hot. Then we go to Shenny’s where Jenny is burying the ashes of Sounder and then putting a little bit of flowers on top. And then Max comes out and Jenny goes, “I like gardening.” Because she’s going to grow flowers out of a dead dog meat. And she apologizes to the dead dog for using her and says that she hopes she’s in a better place now, which she probably is because of All Dogs Go to Heaven, that’s a film, and it’s true.

Jenny outside the house gardening in a white frilly tank top. She's looking at Max. We can see Max's back, Jenny says "I like gardening."

Lianna Carrera: I didn’t realize that. But thank you for connecting the two for me.

Riese: Of course. Yeah. You’re welcome. And so Max has read the latest … I guess another chapter of Jenny’s Lez Girls-

Carly: Of Lez Girls.

Riese: Lay Girls.

Carly: I’m going to keep calling it Lez Girls because that’s how it’s spelled.

Lianna Carrera: Isn’t it? Isn’t that Lay Girls? Because you’re classy, is that what it is?

Riese: Because I’m French. I’m European.

Carly: Vaguely.

Riese: I’m not.

Lianna Carrera: It’s such a meta storyline to you, a film about your friends being filmed in Hollywood. You’ve already got your project going, now you’re just rubbing it in our faces. You know what I mean? Because now you’re bragging about a project about your projects in Hollywood.

Riese: Dawson’s Creek did this too. And I’m just like, “Jesus Christ.” So Max is like, “This is pretty harsh about Bette.” And Jenny’s like, “It’s not Bette.” And Max is like, “Yeah, it is.”

Lianna Carrera: She’s like, “It’s Bev.”

Carly: I changed a few letters in the name. It’s a different person.

Lianna Carrera: Oh God.

Riese: And then she’s really mean to him.

Carly: Yeah. She’s super mean to him. She’s like, “Why don’t you go lift a weight?” He’s like, “That’s so rude.”

Lianna Carrera: And then he very dramatically just throws down the script.

Carly: Yeah. She’s super dismissive of all of his notes, even though she clearly gave it to him to read for his feedback.

Lianna Carrera: And everybody knows how hard it is to get people to read anything you give them for notes and feedback, so that was disrespectful.

Riese: He was doing that for free. He was giving free feedback.

Carly: You can’t even pay for that.

Lianna Carrera: Disrespect.

Carly: Rude. Just rude. She’s being so rude. So we go back to Bette’s house and she enters her kitchen where Jodi has made a big, fancy breakfast for them. They are again, both wearing white tank tops and pajama pants. They both look radiant. Bette’s like, “Everything is art to you.” And Jodi is like, “Everything is desire.” And then she tries to seduce her again. And Bette’s like, “No, girl, I really have to go to work.”

Lianna Carrera: So I have a question for you guys because when I watch it and I see the sign language taking place and I see the quality of it, I can see that it’s sort of like being phoned in, but it doesn’t affect the “hearing audience,” which is what call everyone else who can hear it. It doesn’t affect you all’s perception of what’s going on. You’re just recapping. There was no awkwardness in their exchanges, which I find fascinating. So that means that they did a great job for hearing audiences.

Carly: Interesting.

Lianna Carrera: But a deaf audience would watch it and be like, “Oh, Bette’s not signing all the words correctly or it’s movie magic.”

Riese: Interesting.

Carly: That’s super interesting. It’s also … so in the last episode, Bette was like, “Get me the best sign language learning website around” to her assistant. And then part of her montage was her looking at her computer and doing some signing. And then she was speaking vaguely okay sign language by the end of the episode. So it’s also like she’s new to it? I guess that’s part of it.

Lianna Carrera: Wait. When was this? The very end of the the series?

Carly: The very end of the previous episode.

Riese: Last episode she learned sign language in three hours.

Carly: She learned all of it immediately.

Lianna Carrera: Wow. Amazing. Amazing. Well, I just have to give a shout out to Marlee Matlin here too because when you’re acting with someone who doesn’t know sign language, Marlee is essentially acting off of kind of like when you’re on an audition and you’re reading your lines, and the reader’s not giving you very much, you have to act like you’re still being set up with the right emotions. And it’s interesting because Bette will literally … she’ll say, “Go work.” And of course, she’ll voice, she’ll sign go work. But her voice was like, “Oh, I have to go to work.” You know what I mean? But she’ll shortchange it with like, “Go work. I go work.” Or something. And then Marlee’s character, Jodie has to react to it like, “Oh, do you have to go?” Fully as if she was set up with the full line.

Riese: Right.

Lianna Carrera: So it’s kind of incredible to see Marlee work as Jodi. And then also I noticed that the … what’s it called? You tell me Carly because I’m not behind the camera. I know you have some experience. Who’s the person that’s actually doing the shot? DP?

Carly: The DP. Yeah. The cinematographer.

Lianna Carrera: I noticed that the DP kept cutting off Jodi’s hands. So it’s sort of a zoomed in, and then what you have is Bette speaking to fill in what happened while they cut off Jodi’s hands. So why would you … if you have a deaf character, why would you not just at least frame them so that a deaf person watching could be in on it as well. Because this is a beautiful gift and it’s a beautiful language, so why not frame it? So I think that just goes to the sign of the times where they don’t know really what was going on and how excited people were to have a deaf character on television at all at that time and representations, everything. So you never complain, you know what I mean? You’re just thankful that it’s there, but now we can complain. We have the internet now, and we have petitions and now we could look back on it and talk about it. But yeah, I thought that was interesting too.

Carly: Yeah. It was like they were so excited to be like, “Look, we have a deaf character.” That they didn’t really do the rest of the work around it.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. And I can sympathize because in a lot of the scripts that I write, I always try to include one deaf character just to … because I want to make the world a better place for people like my mom, that’s it. I just want people to be more exposed to deaf people and deafness and how to interact and stuff. And so I try to include one deaf character and giving them sort of a storyline that just makes them sort of typical people having … like they did in The L Word, but also focusing on how to represent deafness as an authentic experience.

Carly: Right. Yeah.

Riese: Is it that she’s reading Bette’s lips and then Bette’s sign language is just an extraneous thing that she’s doing sort of for her own self.

Lianna Carrera: I don’t know how Marlee does it. I would ask her. I don’t know how she does it. I think it’s also a counting thing, they time it, they can know when … so I think something like that. It’s brilliant, whatever it is. It’s like an extra hurdle that she would have to cross to be authentic in response. But yeah, what they do is a lot of people … and it makes sense. It’s movie magic, you want to get the story going, but a lot of writers or directors will have the deaf characters kind of understand how to read lips when it’s super convenient for the story to move forward. And this maybe is not how it’s happening. It’s interesting.

Riese: Right. Which is what they did, that’s what they’ve done with Jodi from the start. In the beginning when we first saw her she was like, “Look at me, I have to read your lips.”

Lianna Carrera: She can do everything.

Riese: Yeah, she can do everything.

Lianna Carrera: And again, we’re talking about this from a 2020 perspective where we’re all really “woke” and whatever, but deaf people in real life, that’s the kind of stuff that gets people in trouble. Because hearing people do think that they can just talk to the deaf person and the deaf person can read their lips. And that there’s no struggle whatsoever when really the best chance someone has of understanding what you’re saying is 30% and that’s equivalent to a pro baseball player. Most people aren’t pro baseball players, but they play Little League. That’s what lip reading is like. You’re not going to have someone that understands 30%, which is pro most people understand less than 10 or 5%.

Riese: Wow.

Lianna Carrera: So you’ve got this representation in TV that’s like, I’m just going to talk to you and Oh, hi … I’m accommodating to you and you’re talking to me and I understand you. And it’s so not that easy in real life. So it would have been cool. I actually don’t know if you guys know because you’re a little more into these … you’ve watched more into these episodes, do they struggle at all ever with communication? Because that would have been an interesting-

Carly: When Bette first meets Jodi, she sneaks up on her while she’s working on a sculpture and nearly gets hit with a drill.

Lianna Carrera: That’s great. I’ve done that.

Carly: Yeah. And then she meets her interpreter, Tom, in that scene and she keeps talking to Tom instead of to Jodi.

Lianna Carrera: Oh good. So they correct that?

Carly: Yeah, she corrects that.

Lianna Carrera: Awesome.

Carly: And that’s like pretty much it. There’s some random dude extras at a party that they’re all at that are talking like this to her, which is so insulting and stupid, but that’s kind of it I think.

Riese: Yeah. There was one part where Bette was walking with her back to Jodi and I think maybe Tom or … I don’t know, maybe Jodie was like, “You have to look at me.”

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Cool. Cool. It’s sort of a really interesting thing. And I obviously applaud anyone who attempts to take this on with any sort of representation. Yeah.

Carly: That’s so cool.

Lianna Carrera: I think you have more deaf filmmakers and deaf screenwriters popping up now and so they’re doing it right for themselves as well.

Carly: Totally.

Lianna Carrera: And so, it’s really neat to be able to collaborate with them too and just write something that’s not for “our gaze,” as Joey Solloway introduced into the lexicon. It’s not just for our gaze, it’s theirs and we can understand walking in their shoes too, which is cool.

Carly: Totally. Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: But, try explaining that to Lifetime executives, though. They don’t want to know. They don’t care-

Carly: They don’t.

Lianna Carrera: … about queer. They don’t care about-

Carly: No executive cares about that.

Lianna Carrera: Oh, my God. I had a butch lesbian and a deaf character in a Christmas film and just sitting there and trying to talk to executives about both? I mean it was not happening!

Carly: You’re like, “Why am I even here?”

Lianna Carrera: Yeah, “I’m just going to go away.”

Riese: This is so beyond what you ever approve. Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. It’s funny.

Carly: Okay so then the phone rings,

Riese: So Phyllis calls. She’s losing her mind.

Carly: She’s crying. She’s drinking. She’s in her pajamas and Bette’s like, “Girl, just get out of bed and go to work. You’ve got to distract yourself. Don’t be at home alone.” And then Jodi grabs the phone out of her hand and she’s like,

Jodi: “Phyllis, just stay where you are. We’re coming over.”

Lianna Carrera: She shows her how to be a good friend.

Carly: Yup. Way better friend than Bette. Bette’s trying to not get involved. Bet wants so badly to not be involved in the Phyllis and Alice drama. And Jodi’s like, “No, we’re going to be good friends.” And not just good friends, but that thing when, I was going to say elder gays, but it’s not really the right phrasing for this since Phyllis is older than the both of them-

Riese: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Jodi looking at Bette saying "She's a lesbian." Close-up head shot.
Carly: People who have been out for a longer time and then you come across people who are just coming out and you have to kind of impart some wisdom on them and it kind of flips the whole mentor/mentee thing on its head since Phyllis is their boss and is older. But Jodi’s like, “No, we need to go help her and be good gays,” which is cute. And Bette’s like, “You’re so bad,” and then they kiss and it’s adorable.

Riese: So then we go to The Planet for the first time and Helena is having a crisis about if she… Because she assumes she has to fuck Catherine Rothberg to get out of her gambling debt or whatever?

Carly: What a realistic storyline.

Riese: Right. And so Jenny’s like.

Jenny: “Helena, everyone is a whore in their life at one time or another.”

At a table at The Planet from Helena's POV. Jenny and Alice in the front, Kit and Shane behind her. "helena, we've all been whores," says Jenny
Riese: And Helena still feels weird. There was a lot of weird things in this scene.

Carly: Yep.

Riese: I mean, I remember at the time when I first watched this feeling weird because a lot of people in my life didn’t know I was a sex worker. And so it was like, I had feelings about it, but I didn’t feel like I could say them. But I thought Shane said that — being in her underwear shoot felt really whorish??

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. That was weird.

Carly: That was weird.

Riese: She used to be a sex worker.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Why would she mention the underwear shoot?

Carly: And why would she try to equate getting paid a ton of money to be an underwear model with sex work?

Riese: Yeah. Why didn’t she just say “Yeah, for example, I was an actual whore for several years to get by”? She was.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: And I don’t think that’s a secret. I think her friends know that. However, I think that Kit was hilarious.

Carly: Kit was really funny.

Lianna Carrera: Kit’s the best.

Carly: Kit’s pretty great. In this whole episode. She doesn’t have too many scenes, but all of her scenes are pretty… She has some great lines and just some good Kit moments. And then Tina ruins her life later, but we’ll get to that.

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And they’re like, “Also isn’t she beautiful?” And Helena was like, “Yeah, does that matter?” And everyone’s like, “Well…”

Carly: That was hilarious when she was like, “That shouldn’t matter. I still have to maybe do whatever.” And they’re all like, “She’s like really beautiful though.”

Riese: Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: Like everyone else in that cast.

Helena at the head of a table at The Planet, saying "I'm going to be a whore."

Riese: Yeah. When Kit says:

Kit: “Once I gave a blow job to a home player so I could get a line of cocaine.”
Helena: “And afterwards, how did you feel?”
Kit: “High. I was a high ho.”

Lianna Carrera: That was funny.

Riese: I loved that. That was funny.

Lianna Carrera: Perfect timing.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: I thought the whole… it was weird, but there was enough funny parts that it was fine.

Carly: Yeah. Then we go to Papi and Tasha. This is another episode where the morning time lasts most of the episode.

Riese: Yeah. XL Morning Time.

Carly: It’s XL Morning Time! I guess they’re in Long Beach, right? They’re at a taco truck and they’re eating churros. Tasha’s dressed for work so she’s in full military garb.

Riese: Papi’s wearing enormous pants.

Carly: Enormous pants. And has her limo of course. And she’s like, “You should get out of Long Beach. Come and have breakfast at The Planet sometime.” And Tasha is just like, “What?” And then-

Riese: She said that — well, I think Papi’s trying to get her to go to the planet because Alice is there.” And she’s like, “I don’t want to just be…” Oh, because Papi’s talking about portals because she started talking about portals too.

Carly: That’s right.

Riese: Which are as you know, little windows on cruise ships.

Carly: Boats. Yes. And that somehow is something that we keep talking about in relation to lesbians on the show.

Riese: Right. And Tasha’s like, “I don’t want to just be Alice’s Black girl experience, that she’s trying to rack up these different experiences, which is a very fair suspicion to have and feeling to have.

Tasha in full military uniform. Her bike is parked behind her. We're outside, it's sunny. There's a taco truck in the background. Tasha is talking to Papi saying "I don't want to be some chick's Black Girl Experience."

Carly: Especially knowing that she just, specifically the Papi and Phyllis stuff.

Riese: Right. However, saying, “I don’t want Papi’s sloppy seconds.? I hated that.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: It’s so judgey and misogynistic and I hated that.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: I usually love Tasha, but I just hated that part. I was like, “That’s really gross.”

Carly: Yeah. Also, all lesbians have hooked up with all other lesbians so everyone’s hooked up with everyone’s ex. So it’s really just, it seems like a moot point. Why even bother being upset about this?

Riese: Right. Yeah. Just like, I don’t know. I feel you shouldn’t judge a potential person based on their past sexual behavior. I think that’s –

Lianna Carrera: Bad.

Riese: But she kind of makes Papi feel bad, I think.

Carly: Yeah she does because in the rest of the episode, Papi feels bad.

Riese: Poor Papi.

Carly: Aw. She tells her to grow up, that they have different values and different codes of conduct. Then she gives her her unfinished churro back and leaves. How are you not going to finish a churro? A churro’s delicious. Why would you not finish that?

Lianna Carrera: Clearly you have different values. You’re not finishing your churro. One of our values is to finish the churro.

Carly: My values is “food comes before everything else” and that’s just how I am and that’s, that’s true to me.

Lianna Carrera: I feel that.

Riese: I definitely wanted a churro watching it.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. They did a good job with that churro.

Carly: For a second I was like, “Can I Postmates a churro?” And then I was like, “What am I doing?” And then just —

Riese: I think you can, right?

Carly: I mean, sure.

Lianna Carrera: We have to talk about Papi’s outfit and overall representation —what is happening.

Carly: Oh please, please.

Lianna Carrera: We have shows now like Vida, actual shows of the experience. You’ll just see that in its time capsule moment. It’s like, “What?”

Carly: It’s pretty horrifying. And of course, I mean, you probably know this also Liana and we’ve talked about this in previous episodes. When Papi was introduced, we talked about it a lot, but the actress playing her isn’t Latinx.

Lianna Carrera: I didn’t know that.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Oh, you didn’t?

Lianna Carrera: No. Common for that time period, I guess.

Carly: Yes. Very. I mean, that’s like in the earlier season with the character of Carmen, that that actress isn’t Latix either.

Lianna Carrera: Do I look Latinx? Because I am Latinx. I am, and I always get mistaken for white. So it’s funny. Who is and who isn’t? Oh, “I’m a white Cuban.” Is what I just say. “I’m white Cuban.” Because I look like there’s nothing. But my dad is dark. And if I brought up my family tree, people would be like, “Really?” Like, “Yeah.” That’s my abuela! She can speak Spanish but they Americanized me. What are you going to do? But anyway.

Carly: Yeah, the handling of… Well, I’ll only speak to Papi because when we talk about this season, the handling of Carmen was a whole other thing. But the way Papi is handled on the show is very bad.

Lianna Carrera: And I’ve also been cast as like pre-transition trans, which I’m like, “Is that sort of fair? How many roles are there for non-binary or butch looking women in general too? “So it’s sort of like we’re swimming in the same little-

Riese: Like four.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah, it’s interesting.

Riese: And Lea Delaria took all those jobs.

Carly: It is very complicated and nuanced. It was then. It still is now, but-

Lianna Carrera: Was it then? I don’t even know.

Carly: I guess it wasn’t then, because nobody was really doing it right.

Riese: People didn’t care.

Carly: They didn’t care. Yeah.

Riese: I mean people didn’t care about any of it. I mean, there wasn’t even that much conversation around hiring Asian actors to play Latina roles. No one was talking about that, which I feel is especially egregious with Papi because of how they’ve built her character and feeling like she’s-

Lianna Carrera: Caricature.

Riese: Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: I mean they hired a deaf person to play Jodi. So I mean, in that way they were totally spot on which doesn’t happen today, to hire people who know how to sign, which is unacceptable. So it’s so interesting.

Riese: Marlee and Jennifer Beals are really close friends.

Lianna Carrera: Are they? I didn’t know that.

Carly: So it’s probably more that Jennifer was like, “Marlee wants to be on the show.” And they were like, “We will write a deaf character for her.”

Lianna Carrera: I will say that the first time I met Marlee, I told her that I loved her and The L Word, and I asked her if she was coming back. This is the scoop. I asked her if she’s coming back in the new L Word and she said, “I would be open to it.” That was our quick elevator conversation. So maybe-

Riese: I want her to come back. She should date Dani.

Carly: I want her to come back so bad.

Lianna Carrera: Can they do that? And then can I get a freaking job in the writer’s room or something? Or can I PA?

Riese: I know that’s the undercurrent of all of our podcast episodes, are me and Carly asking to be hired to be in the show.

Carly: Yeah I just want to send you guys to the writer’s room. Let me direct an episode. Let’s do this.

Riese: Yeah. Where do we go next, Carly?

Carly: Next we go to [sound effects] INTECH MODE the most masculine computer programming company on all time.

Riese: Right.

Lianna Carrera: This is where Max takes the walk?

Riese: So Max is on a conveyor belt. Yeah. Max first is floating through the office, imagining that everybody knows that he’s trans and is saying things like, “Oh, your hips are kind of big. Or-”

In a boring office, a dude is leaning out of his cubicle to say "Your hips are kind of big."

Carly: Yeah, they’re asking him these like horribly invasive questions and then he snaps out of it. And actually, he’s just walking through the office and no one’s even looking at him.

Riese: Except for one very-

Carly: Except for one cool dude with a popped collar.

Riese: Yeah. Yeah, he looks like a startup bro.

Carly: And he says,

Startup Bro: “Can I just say that I think what you did for Megan was totally righteous. Got a lot of respect for you dude. My brothers gay too. I’m cool with it.”

Carly: That doesn’t make any sense in this context.

Riese: But Max seems to be like, “Yeah, cool.”

Lianna Carrera: Yeah, like, “Oh, thank God.”

Riese: Then we go to The Planet very briefly, right?

Carly: Very, very briefly because Helena is flipping the coin to decide what to do. What is her choice? Go see Catherine or hide from her forever? What are the two options here?

Riese: Go see Catherine or go bowling.

Carly: Okay, great. Well, she’s flipping a coin. She can’t decide. I guess she’s not-

Riese: Bumper bowling or regular bowling. I don’t know which type of bowling.

Carly: Uncertain.

Riese: Uncertain.

Carly: But Alice can’t be bothered with this because you guys, OurChart.com is crashing. This is a big deal. This is a big problem. The website is crashing!

Riese: The website’s crashing again. Although I could relate to that because remember when Autostraddle to crash every three days.

Carly: We’d always be like, “Red alert! Red alert! It’s down.”

Lianna Carrera: They were describing Autostraddle at that moment. You could put blogs and you could put video and it’s all very forward, techie sounding.

Carly: Yeah. Oh my God. So then we go to just a very ridiculous scene at the principal’s office of Shay and Jared’s school and Shane and Paige have been called in because Shay punched a kid.

Shay: “Mike Cutler said we were gay because…”
Shane: “We’re gay because…?”
Shay: “Because our mom’s are lezzies. He said his mom saw you and Mrs. Sobel.”
Paige: “His mom saw us what? Jared?”
Jared: “She said she saw you and Ms. McCutcheon lezzing out together.”
Shay: ”That’s when I punched him.”

In the principal's office. Paige wearing a purple tank top and Shane in a polo and a blazer, both looking displeased and shocked. Caption is what one of the off-screen boys is saying, "Cause our Moms are Lezzies."

Riese: I love this for Shay.

Carly: I love Shay being a vigilante for homophobia.

Riese: And also, Paige and Shane are not upset at him about it at all, either.

Carly: Well in the beginning, Shane’s a little like, “Oh, yeah, he’s going to apologize.” And then Paige is like, “Fuck that.”

Riese: Yeah. I’m Shane in this situation and some of my more outspoken friends are Paige, probably. But so first of all, Shay asks Shane if she’s gay. I’m like, “That’s great.”

Carly: He lives in the house with you. How does he not know that your whole life is very gay?

Riese: I know you’ve been to all of her gay spots with all of her gay friends.

Carly: She co-owns a skateboard shop.

Lianna Carrera: Kids are clueless, you guys. They could be with their moms their whole life and not realize that they’re gay, unless their moms look at them and say, “We’re gay.” They’ll go to the playground and they’ll be like, “You’re gay.” And they’ll say stupid shit. And you’ll be like, “What are you talking about? Your moms are gay.” “What?” Surprise.

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: Well, Jared doesn’t know his mom is gay, it sure seems like. Although it seems like she’s bisexual.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah.

Riese: Basically the ending of this is that the principal kind of just wants him to apologize and move on. And Paige is like, “No, you need to teach your kids to be more tolerant.” And volunteers her and Shane to do the teaching.

Carly: I love that.

Riese: I love this.

Lianna Carrera: It is a disaster though. It’s good for TV.

Carly: You know, going into it, what’s coming. You know it’s going to be a disaster. They are not trained to deal with this. Then we go to see Tina who is on set, getting lunch with her boss, Aaron, who sucks. And he’s like, “I want Shaolin to land Lez Girls. She’s your friend, right?” And then he starts joking about how “everyone knows that you’re Nina,” which takes our whole previous argument of, maybe it’s okay because no one knows who these people are, to a really brand new place.

Outside a trailer on set that serves food, Tina and Aaron are filling their plates and talking. Aaron says, "Play the Ex-Lesbian card, you know?'

Lianna Carrera: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah. And the best part of this is the end. Basically he threatens to fire Tina she doesn’t get Jenny to sign with Shaolin. And then at the end, he’s like, “Can I ask you something though?”

Aaron: “Your ex really cheat on you with a plumber?”
Tina: “It was a carpenter and it was fiction.”

Carly: Oh, it’s so funny.

Riese: Yeah. I loved this for them. And then we go to Phyllis’ house where-

Carly: Phyllis’ den of sadness.

Riese: Would Jodi just have called Tom had been like, “Someone’s having drama.”??

Carly: “We have to go.”??

Riese: “Meet us there,”? I can’t figure out what his-

Lianna Carrera: Oh, you’re talking… Yeah. So that’s again, that’s movie magic, right? So deaf people don’t have just a best friend slash sign language interpreter built into their everyday life that follow them around. I’m sure that’d be very convenient. So on the one hand, again, that’s setting up totally false expectations of life. But on the other hand, I read that the relationship between Jodi and Tom is based on Marlee Matlin’s relationship with her real life sign language interpreter . So he’s sort of her “business partner / best friend / voice” is what he calls himself because interpreters, they have what’s called something called a “code of ethics.” So you actually cannot personally involve yourself in private situations without compromising… Well there’s different rules, but for the most part, you never contribute your thoughts to a conversation. You never jump in. You never interrupt. There’s all these roles that Tom breaks by virtue of being her interpreter. But obviously Jack Mason and Marlee have a very different relationship where he is her business partner, so he can sort of do that. So they got away with it, but nobody else knew that. So it’s sort of a really bad representation of interpreters on television, except for he did a great job acting wise. But I mean, so just the rules of using an interpreter, and interpreter ethics and stuff. Then it gives everyone a false impression of how to use a sign language interpreter and what a sign language interpreter really is, and I feel a moral obligation to portray interpreting and deafness and deaf characters in a way that’s really responsible for the community and responsible for how we communicate with deaf people so that you can learn from it. So this is an example of an interpreter taking liberties that would never happen. And that’s the thing. When deaf people go to doctor’s appointments, for example, they’ll say, “Can you please bring your own interpreter?” Well, you never ask a deaf person to bring their own interpreter. We have the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s against the law to ask a deaf person to bring their own interpreter, but that’s the first thing that even doctors say to deaf people. So Jodi, having an interpreter just at her beck and call also sort of sets deafness up for something to have to reeducate people about it in that sense.

Carly: That’s so interesting.

Riese: Yeah! They’re basically telling Phyllis that no one has ever died of a broken heart. First she’s double-fisting switching between whiskey and ice cream, which is melting.

Carly: First of all, she’s doing everything right. Phyllis is doing it right. She’s got whiskey, she’s got ice cream. She’s in pajamas. She did it right.

Phyllis is crying and eating ice cream out of a Baskin Robbins cup, saying "Nobody ever broke my heart before."

Riese: She’s in love with Alice after a very brief encounter and they explained that coming out is like a second adolescence. We’ve all been through it. Bette tells a story about her first love at Yale who for some reason eventually rejected her, which, who rejects Bette Porter?

Carly: That’s crazy.That’s a person without any sense.

Riese: It’s cute. It’s fun. It’s a cool little, like what we were talking about before.

Carly: We go back to The Planet.

Riese: Jenny has called Max to come in and help with the tech, which is realistic. I was thinking about how Tess helped me with the website in the beginning.

Carly: Oh yeah.

Riese: But so Max is glad to be out of the office. And then he says that Alice’s website is—

Max: “totally slammed with hits.”

Carly: Greatest hits.

Riese: 40,000 hits. “Like top 40.” Yeah. We got all the classics here. They got 40,000 in the last hour and wow, she should not sell this to wagon.com, everyone’s favorite purveyor of fine wagons and carousels.

A screenshot of OurChart's "usage statistics"
Carly: They offered $10,000.

Riese: But it’s worth so much more than that. Max wants to make totally state-of-the-art. By state of the art, he means-

Carly: Blogs.

Riese: Blogs, instant messaging, streaming video. First of all, I think it’s cute that they think that doing that website, they’re going to make a lot of money doing it. Because I got news for them. That’s great that you have 40,000 hits the last hour, but guess how many companies care? None.

Carly: 0.0 companies.

Riese: 0.0 companies. It took us 10 years to make significant money from advertising. So I was just like, “Ugh, my friends.” This is-

Carly: Poor little babies.

Riese: Poor little babies, but yeah.

Lianna Carrera: Onward ho.

At a table at The Planet with lots of plants behind them. Max wearing a tight white tee sitting next to Alice, who is saying "Max is going to help me become an internet mogul."

Kit is standing above Helena and Jenny, who are sitting at a table in the Planet. Kit says "I got a couple of Bill Gates-es-es."
Riese: Good luck selling ads guys, especially on a website that outs people’s past sexual encounters.

Carly: Yeah. She should take the 10K for the site and just call it a day.

Riese: I know. Yeah, take the 10K and-

Carly: Don’t worry about trying to fix it and make it run better. Just take the money and shut up. Yeah, never think about-

Riese: It’s also funny because the actual OurChart website didn’t function at all.

Carly: I know it’s very funny. It didn’t work at all.

Riese: So we’d always be like, “Max is not doing a good job with this.” And then Papi shows up and she seems sad.

Carly: Yes. She’s sad because Tasha made her feel sad. She made her feel bad about her whole everything. She kind of criticized her entire way of existing, essentially.

In The Planet, Papi, in braids and wearing hoop earrings and a tank top, is sitting with Alice, saying "Yeah, you dipping into me and then dipping in her."

Riese: She kind of slut shamed her.

Carly: Yeah. Not cool.

Riese: Then we go back to Phyllis’s.

Carly: Yes, and now Jodi is talking about her first love and it’s funny because anytime she and Bette have a little moment of connection and they flirt or almost kiss, Phyllis is like, “Hello? Hello? Pay attention to me.” Literally.

Riese: Back to me.

Carly: So funny.

Riese: Jodi said was that her first time having sex with a deaf lover was earth shattering and Bette immediately takes it personally and is like, “Wait. So is it not good with me or whatever?” And I’m just like, “Oh God, Bette. Oh God.”

Carly: And then it gets worse. Then it gets worse because she talks about how she, through this relationship-

Riese: Yeah the story ends with her breaking someone’s heart, not with her heart getting broken.

Carly: Yeah, realizes that this is the relationship that made her realize she could never be monogamous! And then she met this other person and then left them for the… And then Bette’s face starts being smiley in the beginning. It just falls apart by the end of this conversation. She looks deeply confused by the end of it and Phyllis hands her the box of chocolates and Bette starts eating the chocolates.

Riese: That’s good.

Lianna Carrera: That’s good. The fact that Jodi said that, and it made Bette freak out a little bit, I think it’s obviously a question of identity. Bette could never be a deaf woman, no matter how much she would try. I’m sure she tries a lot. But it would be two deaf people together that it’s a question of identity. You can’t compete with that. It’s almost like, I don’t know. Maybe if a man hears someone, say a woman, talking about another woman, maybe they go, “Well, I can’t…” They get defensive. So, it’s interesting-

Riese: Yeah. They do.

Lianna Carrera: … this identity question, that was barely touched on right there. I also wanted to hear more. Why? Because we don’t know why. Why is two people, deaf women, why is that more… I don’t know. I don’t even have any idea. I don’t know. It would have been interesting to hear more about that.

Riese: We never will. No, of course not. Then we go back to The Planet for Tina to really mess up.

Carly: … really just fuck a lot of shit up. It starts off cool, whatever. She’s like, “Hey Kit, I’m here to just meet up with Jenny. She knows I’m coming,” because she clearly feels uncomfortable being here, because of the breakup and everything. Kit is really cool, and she’s like, “You’re always welcome here. I love you,” whatever.

Riese: Then Tina takes it upon herself to be like, “Man, I’m just so sorry for everything that happened with Angus.” Then they do that classic television moment, where they are both talking about-

Carly: … two completely different things.

Riese: I hate it.

Carly: One of the tropes I hate. Definitely hate these tropes.

Riese: Basically through Tina being Tina, Kit finds out that Angus-

Carly: Cheated on her.

Riese: Is cheating on her.

Carly: With Hazel. So, Kit’s heart breaks. You just see great acting here. She just falls apart. Tina runs off and then we cut to Kit in her office and she’s so distraught and she tries to call Angus and it goes to voicemail and she hangs up. She tries to call Bette and it goes to voicemail and she actually does leave voicemail for Bette because she needs her sister. They need to talk. She needs to talk to someone, but her sister can’t help her because she’s dealing with another heartbroken person, which is Phyllis. So anyway, check your voicemail, Bette.

Riese: Papi is to Alice is like, “Why are you guys so mean to Tina?”

Carly: And Alice says, this is a quote.

Alice: “She went straight and it feels like a betrayal.”

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Alice who, when the show started was the bisexual character, I say that with little quote hands. What the fuck? That’s so biphobic.

Riese: Yeah. Just admit it. You don’t like Tina.

Carly: Just be like, “we don’t like her. She doesn’t have much of a personality and we think she’s shady.” That would make a bit more sense at this point.

Riese: She picked a really stupid guy to date and none of us like him.

Carly: Yeah. He’s sucks.

Riese: He’s annoying and all of his friends suck and his life sucks. It sucks. Just be honest about it.

Carly: And he brought Hazel into our lives, and we all know how that turned out.

Riese: Yeah, exactly. He hired Hazel.

Carly: Clearly a bad judge of character.

Riese: He was being seduced by Hazel to begin with.

Hazel:You’re way too hot to be a Papa.”

Riese: Then they start talking about Tasha. See, basically, the point of it is that Papi is very protective of Tasha and Alice needs to get with it.

Carly: Well, she just needs to understand who Tasha is as a person and be okay with that if she’s going to pursue her and not make jokes about her being in the military and shit like that.

Lianna Carrera: That’s a pretty good friend though, right there at that moment. Save a lot of people a lot of heartache.

Carly: For sure.

Riese: Elsewhere in The Planet —

Carly: This is so funny.

Riese: … Tina and Jenny.

Carly: Tina is lying through her teeth to Jenny. I feel like maybe we’ve all been in an experience where we have to go talk to someone about something. Maybe it’s work related and we would rather die than have to go do that. This is the situation Tina is in. Because she wants nothing to do with Jenny. She wants nothing to do with this project and now her boss has made it so she has to go suck up to her to try to get the rights to the book.

Riese: She’s lukewarm on whether or not she wants a lesbian writer to adapt it, but insists that there should be a woman director, which I guess is something.

Carly: Sure. Sure, we’ll go with that.

Riese: She does the annoying thing where she says, “It’s not about lesbians. It’s about people and relationships.” I’m like, ugh, go shove your head in a kiddie pool. I fucking hate that.

Carly: At one point Tina says that Shalon is committed to the integrity of the project, which is hilarious of hilarious word to use for a thing written by Jenny, where she trashes all of her friends.

Riese: Right. Then who enters the story that Tina is telling, but our very best friend, the proverbial teenage girl in the Midwest who was lonely and hates herself and needs positive media representations. She is trotted out in so many scenarios-

Carly: All the time.

Riese: … often by me. I guess I was that girl, but I didn’t know I was gay, but that’s what wins the thing.

Carly: Yeah. That’s all I took.

Riese: Jenny’s like, “Oh yeah. I’d like to make a difference.”

Carly: Okay. Let’s do it.

Riese: Let’s do it.

Carly: And Tina’s like-

Riese: I would be like, “I’d love to make money. Let’s do it.”

Carly: Yeah. I know. Tina’s like, “Cool. You’re going to really definitely want to get agents to deal with this.” And Jenny’s like, “I don’t want agents. No, no, no.” And she’s like, “No, you’re going to get so screwed over if you don’t have agents. You absolutely…” Really, what she needs at this point is a lawyer but —

Riese: And then we go to the army base where Alice is just stopping by in the middle of the day to see Captain Williams and let her know—

Lianna Carrera: In high heels and shorts.

Carly: She showed up unexpected. There’s a Sergeant at the gate that she’s just trying to charm. It’s just silly. She’s so out of place there.

Riese: Yeah. When she walks in Tasha is like, “Close the door. Stop,” because Alice just walks in. She just wants Tasha to know that she’s not a portal because the portal is a window on a cruise ship.

Carly: And a window isn’t a person.

Riese: It isn’t, no.

Carly: A person is a person.

Riese: And a window is a window. Correct.

Carly: Think about it.

Riese: Yeah. Think about it.

Carly: She immediately makes a don’t ask, don’t tell joke, because of course she does. She’s one of those people that walks in and is uncomfortable, so she just picks up every single thing on Tasha’s desk, including a grenade.

In Tasha's office, Alice is standing in front of Tasha'a desk holding a grenade. Alice's hair is very 50s. The caption reads "put down the grenade."

Riese: That was funny. I thought that was a grenade trophy. Was really a grenade or something?

Carly: I thought it was a grenade trophy, too, but she’s like, “Put down the grenade,” and I was like, Whoa. What? She just drove all the way out there just to tell Tasha that she likes her.

Lianna Carrera: Which is from Los Angeles to Los Alamitos and that’s a good hour and a half drive. If you live in LA, people don’t date when they don’t live in the same neighborhood.

Carly: They don’t.

Lianna Carrera: So, that is-

Carly: That’s considered long distance.

Riese: That is long distance. That’s the suburbs. She passed three Outback Steakhouses to get to her.

Carly: Totally.

Lianna Carrera: That’s love for Alice.

Carly: Tasha’s is like, “Here, come on. Let’s go. We’re going to go do something.” They go outside and she introduces Alice to a bunch of hot lady pilots because they’re going to take a helicopter ride and it’s really cute.

Riese: Taking a little ride.

Carly: Then we have a quick scene where Helena is doing her own fashion montage of outfits to go meet with Catherine. She settles on one that is good. I don’t know. I don’t have …

Lianna Carrera: I thought it was cute.

Carly: … a wrap dress. I think it was her best option, for sure.

Helena has been trying on outfits. In this one, she's wearing a short-sleeve white dress and looking in a full length mirror saying "It's too public school girl."

Lianna Carrera: I was like, oh, get it.

Riese: Perfect vibe. Then back in the, is it big helicopter? What were they supposed to do this day? Does their military give scenic helicopter rides, like as a side gig?

Carly: I liked that she didn’t know Alice was coming and she is like, “Come on, let’s go.” And they walk right out of the office and then it cuts to them with the helicopter women being we’re going to go take … Did they not have anything else going on that day? Were they already planning a scenic tour?

Lianna Carrera: That’s called having game, Carly. That’s game, okay.

Carly: See, I wouldn’t know because I have none.

Lianna Carrera: You need it.

Riese: Tasha holds Alice’s hand and Alice is like, “What?” And then Tasha explains that this is the gay helicopter where it’s for the gays. Everyone in the helicopter is gay.

Tasha: “Don’t worry about it.”
Other military person: “We’re all family up here.”
Alice: “Okay. Tricky soldiers.”
Tasha: “This is the ask and tell helicopter. Don’t try this any place else on the base.”

Inside a helicopter: Alice, another soldier and Tasha. Everyone is laughing and happy. Caption reads 'Yeah this is the "ask and tell" helicopter."

Lianna Carrera: Think back to don’t ask, don’t tell. That is so crazy. The gays today don’t even know, the baby gays.

Riese: And then it seems they just took some random footage of L.A. from aerial shots of L.A.

Carly: It’s definitely not shot from that helicopter. No.

Riese: I was like, what is happening?

Carly: It doesn’t match up super well, but the point is that Alice is having the time of her life.

Riese: Yeah, she is. She’s up into her airplane, which is that’s where you experienced life to its fullest is when you’re flying like Superman or like the magic carpet in Aladdin.

Carly: Oh, my God. I just literally just watched Aladdin last night. I hadn’t watched it in so long. The animated Aladdin.

Lianna Carrera: Aladdin?

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Then it’s nighttime.

Carly: Yes, it is nighttime and Helena goes to see Catherine and there’s this sexually charged foyer discussion. Then Catherine opens the door and it’s a table with some cards, a Helena’s like, “Oh, we’re just playing cards?” She’s like, “We’re going to play strip Gin Rummy, and if you lose, you have to pay up, but if you win then consider your debt paid off and you can go.” So, that’s what her big plan has been.

Image: A very fancy living room, with peach and orange tones. Catherine and Helena are sitting at a table playing cards. Helena is naked except her underpants, with her arm over her boobs. Catherine remains fully dressed. There are two flutes of champagne on the table.

Riese: I would have hoped that the table had little snacks on it, like cheese and crackers and maybe some drinks.

Lianna Carrera: It had “snacks,” but ….

Carly: Zing! There is champagne as we see when we cut back to them later, but there was no-

Riese: That’s true.

Lianna Carrera: That was, that scene was very distracting for me. I don’t even know if I understood what was going on. I was like there’s naked people asking-

Riese: I don’t think the writers understood what was going on either.

Carly: I’ve never played Gin Rummy, so I had no idea what was going on.

Riese: Is that a real game? They’ve definitely never played it in Monte Carlo, that’s for sure. No one in Monte Carlo’s ever played Gin Rummy. I’ll tell you that right now.

Lianna Carrera: Oh my gosh, talk about-

Riese: I’m from Ann Arbor. I’ve never seen anyone play Gin Rummy.

Lianna Carrera: Oh, really?

Carly: We cut back to the end of Alice’s day with Tasha. It’s nighttime. Tasha drives her back to her car on her motorcycle. Very cool. Alice got to ride in a helicopter and on a motorcycle.

Riese: The guard did tell Alice to park her car next to Tasha’s motorcycle.

Carly: So, they probably got off the helicopter and then she was like, “Let’s take a motorcycle ride,” and then she drove back.

Riese: Oh yeah, you’re right. That’s good.

Carly: Do you think they just like made her jump out of the helicopter someplace far away?

Lianna Carrera: They initiated her!

Carly: They were like, “Bye.”

Riese: With one of the little parachutes that goes off and then she comes down and then she has to walk through a field and it’s really romantic, and the waves of grain are flowing in the field and she’s like-

Lianna Carrera: That sounds—

Carly: I hate everything about that. Yeah. I don’t want to do that at all.

Riese: You’re right. She got two incredible rides today and she’s kinda gunning for a third.

Lianna Carrera: And she’s in the suburbs. In the suburbs next to the Outback and these are the things that are happening.

Carly: She tells Tasha that this was one of her most favorite days ever. And Tasha says, “Me, too. I’m glad Papi ran her big ass mouth this morning.” And then they make out.

Riese: And Alice is ready to bone immediately.

Carly: Ready for bone town.

Riese: Tasha doesn’t want to go to bone town, the infamous Town of Bone.

Carly: But in the suburbs.

Riese: It is, it’s a suburb. It’s the suburb. That’s where the Applebee’s is and in The Bahama Breeze. Those aren’t everywhere.

Lianna Carrera: Applebee’s, I can’t do. I can do Outback any day, but Applebee’s is a step too far.

Carly: I would like a Chili’s. I’d be really cool with the Chili’s.

Lianna Carrera: I like Chili’s, too.

Riese: I would go to any restaurant now. Any one.

Lianna Carrera: Me, too.

Carly: Remember going to restaurants?

Lianna Carrera: Remember restaurants?

Riese: Oh, man.

Carly: Tasha’s is like, she still wants to take it slow. She wants to be sure. And then Alice suggests that they go on a date and it’s cute. They have a cute little-

Riese: Let’s go on a date. Okay, whatever. Then we return to the mansion of fancy ladies where Catherine Rothberg is winning-

Carly: Yes.

Riese: … the Gin Rummy game.

Carly: She is winning. Helena is in her underwear and Catherine is fully clothed.

Riese: Helena thinks she’s making up the rules to Gin Rummy because she’s never seen anyone play Gin Rummy in Monte Carlo.

Lianna Carrera: This is a thing. You guys are trying to care, too. You’re like, “I’m trying to care about this storyline.”

Carly: We dissolve to later-

Riese: It doesn’t make any sense. This is the stupidest-

Carly: It doesn’t at all.

Riese: … storylines of the season.

Carly: Just hook up. What are we doing? Then it dissolves to later and now Helena is wearing more clothes and Catherine’s pretty much naked. Then Helena suddenly win by a bajillion points, and then she seems like she can’t wait to get out of there. She’s like, “Thank you” and gets dressed really quick.

Riese: But then she takes a turn and is like Catherine still needs to remove her underpants, and she does, and then she’s naked. Now Helena feels like she’s the top again and is — .it appears, ready to go to bone town.

Image Description: Catherine Rothberg, naked, has just dropped her underwear on the floor. The caption reads "[Panties Hit Floor]"

Carly: Yeah. Bone Town is now open for business.

Riese: Yeah, because Catherine’s already naked.

Carly: So, you’re halfway there.

Riese: You’re halfway there. That’s half of sex is taking your clothes off and that’s been taken care of. This makes literally no sense and I don’t understand it. I do love this actress.

Carly: I love her.

Riese: I love her. I love everything she does.

Carly: Yeah. She’s great in everything.

Riese: She’s hot.

Carly: And is super hot. I feel they just didn’t really know what to do with Helena’s character at this point in the season and they were trying to figure it out. They’re like what about gambling debt? That’s sexy, a sexy debt. Just let them hook up. Clearly, just have hot people and leave them alone together. I don’t know. Anyway.

Riese: Or Helena could start becoming an eBay super seller because she has so many luxury items.

Carly: Yeah. That’s how she could make money. Start Poshmark.

Riese: … sell them like in the book “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” Yes. She could have started Poshmark. And Max would have helped her when it got 40,000 hits in an hour.

Carly: Exactly. Man, what a missed opportunity for Helena Peabody.

Riese: She could have had a startup.

Carly: Helena Peabody, CEO of Poshmark. Can you imagine. So then we go to the moment we’ve all been waiting for. It’s tolerance, assembly time at school. There are three children and 400 parents in attendance. I don’t know how that happened. I don’t know why any parents are in attendance, but sure.

Riese: I feel like someone messed up with extras hiring that day.

Carly: It also is not the whole school. It’s maybe just their class. Not even their whole grade. It’s just their homeroom and it’s going about as well as you would expect.

Lianna Carrera: That’s where we meet the lesbian mom who’s not a lesbian-

Carly: What is up with her? She has lesbian-

Lianna Carrera: She clearly has lesbian vibes. She stands up and is like, “Why do we have to learn about this?” She looks like a farmer. She looks totally gay in the middle of Los Angeles. She has a duck, her a little hair in the back is spiked out.

Image Description: Paige and Shane sitting at a table in a school library. Shane's wearing a t-shirt and a blazer and slouching, Paige is sitting up straight with her hand over her mouth. The caption reads, "This woman is a pain in the ass."

Carly: She’s the embodiment of the line in Clueless when she says, “She could be a farmer in those clothes.” That’s that line became sentient and became this woman who’s clearly a lesbian.

Lianna Carrera: She’s that line embodied.

Riese: She says, “We don’t need our children learning about the gay lifestyle,” and I have a question for her, which is then why did you move your family to West fucking Hollywood?

Lianna Carrera: That would’ve been-

Riese: It is a gay city. It’s not secretly a gay city. It is very loudly a gay city.

Lianna Carrera: I just like how Shane is upfront, like slouched. She does not care. She’s like, “What is the shit? I’m not here for any of this.”

Carly: I know. She does not care at all.

Lianna Carrera: “I don’t care. I do not care.” Even when she sits on the table, she’s totally looks like a monkey bent over. She’s a mood right there.

Riese: Then we have a little cliffhanger before we return to the school where Shay, apropos of almost nothing, stands up and says…

Shay: My sister is gay

Lianna Carrera: That’s a brave moment.

Carly: I did a slow clap for Shay. when I was watching it personally. I love that-

Lianna Carrera: So did Shane-

Carly: … he had to stand up and say it.

Riese: Shane clapped with her eyes.

Lianna Carrera: Shane was like, “All right, little dude.”

Carly: “I’m sure they could tell from my hair and the fact that I’m here talking about this, but sure.” Then we go to-

Riese: Poor Jared’s still in the dark.

Carly: Jared’s still super confused about what’s going on.

Lianna Carrera: Just randomly yelling.

Carly: Just randomly interrupting the parents.

Riese: Then we go back to the art school for what I believe I would call a top off.

Sound Effect : IT’S A TOP OFFFFFFF

Carly: In this corner we have Jodi who missed Bette last night, and in this corner we have Bette who really needs to talk to her, and then we have Tom who has to go walk around outside.

Riese: She says, “Go walk around outside.”

Carly: He’s like, “I guess I’ll go walk around outside.” Okay. Jodi is very good at everything and she knows why Bette’s there, and she knows what she’s going to say. Bette’s like, “Yeah. Clearly, we need to end this because I am monogamous.” Bette’s been spiraling out since they were sitting with Phyllis, clearly, I think.

Lianna Carrera: She says to Bette, “What are you doing? You’re not even ready for a relationship. You just got out of this marriage.”

Carly: Seriously.

Lianna Carrera: You got out of this eight year marriage or whatever it was.

Carly: Why would this even matter?

Lianna Carrera: You shouldn’t want that.

Riese: Right.

Carly: Bette’s like, “Don’t tell me about myself,” or whatever she said.

Riese: Yeah. “Don’t tell me what I’m ready for.”

Carly: And Jodi says she’s not seeing anyone else around and hasn’t been since she met Bette.

Lianna Carrera: And doesn’t want to. But I think it’s refreshing to hear Jodi know herself enough to say that to someone. Because a lot of us tend to get in relationships with people who that’s how they end things, and it’s just a pattern. It’d be great for someone to be honest. Know that about themselves. Like, “Hey, this is going to end poorly. I’m going to try my best.” Because you know lesbians love crazy, too, so they would probably be attracted to it like moth on a flame. If someone really likes you-

Riese: Yeah, “this seems like a bad idea. Let’s do it.”

Lianna Carrera: “I could totally be the exception.”

Carly: Always.

Riese: “This will work out.”

Carly: This never works, but it could work for us.

Riese: “I know you hate children.”

Carly: I just appreciate that the show, actually having a discussion for once, actually about monogamy and the alternatives.

Riese: Have you seen that meme that’s like, “Oh, you’re in a lesbian relationship. Which one of you is poly and which one of you is the one pretending to be okay with it?”

Lianna Carrera: I have not seen that. That’s awesome.

Carly: That’s so funny. Oh, my God.

Riese: Well, who do you think wins?

Lianna Carrera: Jodi, obviously because she suckered Bette in and made her feel better.

Riese: That’s true.

Carly: Yeah. I think absolutely, Jodi wins again. I think it’s now four-nothing, Jodi.

Riese: She also literally topped Bette that morning, or the day before.

Carly: Honestly, another point for that, so that five-nothing, Jodi, at this point in the season.

Riese: Jodi is crushing it. Bette is going to be a bottom by the end of the season.

Carly: Bette’s going to be straight by the end of this. We go to the school tolerance assembly once again. This is exhausting at this point. I wrote down just that Shane tells her entire life story so that the other parents will treat her like a human being. Please feel free to fill in the details.

Riese: A small child goes…

Little Boy: “Yeah, but how do girls do it?”

A classroom of children and their terrible parents watching a presentation. A little boy in a striped t-shirt in the front asks, "Yeah, but how do girls do it?"

Riese: First of all, stop. Second of all, why are they having a Q and A, and then this dad stands up and is like, “Hmm… so, my brother is gay, and he lives with his partner, but I don’t feel comfortable about my daughter staying with them.” And that’s just dropped. And I’m like, “Dude, you need to chill out, and let your daughter hang out with her gay uncle. And also, again, you live in West Hollywood, what’s your problem?”

Carly: Seriously. What is wrong with these people?

Riese: None of these people… I don’t think anyone in the room has had sex in maybe years, besides Shane and Paige. I mean, amongst the adults. These people are very obsessed with what everyone else is doing because they have nothing to obsess about in their own lives.

Carly: That tracks.

Riese: No one stabs the small child. And then the mom is like, “Oh my God, you’re the person from the underwear ad.”

Carly: “I have to drive by that every day.”

Lianna Carrera: Which she loves, but she’s pretending she doesn’t.

Riese: Yeah, she loves that.

Carly: Exactly.

Lianna Carrera: She’s repressed.

Riese: She’s like, “I stare at it every day and think about you.” I guess. “I purposely drive by it. I sometimes sit near it, and masturbate in my car while staring at it.” So yeah, Shane tells her whole life story, which has nothing to do with anything.

Carly: No, it does not.

Lianna Carrera: She says there, she had to do it because her brother needed his arm fixed, right?

Riese: Yeah, yeah.

Lianna Carrera: And so, she sounds apologetic for it, again.

Riese: Right.

Carly: I know.

Lianna Carrera: Which goes back to what you were saying earlier.

Riese: Yeah, and why?

Carly: She has to have an excuse. She has to explain why she did it? Fuck that.

Riese: Yeah. Also, it’s totally completely normal. Like you’re in LA. Again, actresses, musicians, models, everyone is like…

Carly: This is a normal thing for this town.

Riese: Yeah. Being half-naked on a billboard is not shameful. It’s like… That’s success.

Lianna Carrera: Success.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: That’s success.

Carly: Like, “I got paid. Fuck off.”

Lianna Carrera: Yeah, yeah.

Riese: “I got paid to stand still.”

Lianna Carrera: And she’s covered up. I mean, she’s got obviously-

Carly: Yeah. Also, I thought it was weird to be like… I don’t know. I wonder if like… I mean, we never know anything about Shay because they never give him anything… like any actual scenes to do anything, or whatever. But I have to imagine if I was Shay, I would feel shitty hearing that. “I had to go do this because Shay hurt himself, and I had to pay for it.” I’d feel like complete shit if I was Shay. And I feel like it was super weird to do that in front of him, too.

Lianna Carrera: And it shut the lady up. I mean, she’s like all of a sudden like, “Oh.” Like it provided some sort of humanity, I guess, based on it. It was weirdly handled.

Carly: Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: It was. That scene was interesting. Yeah. Yeah.

Carly: So yeah, the school assembly went about as well as we thought it would.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah.

Carly: Then we go to a really fucking hilarious thing. Jenny is at a fancy Hollywood poolside meeting at night, which is totally normal, and a thing that happens all the time. I was trying to figure out which hotel this is, but I couldn’t… I wasn’t sure.

Lianna Carrera: I recognized it.

Riese: I thought maybe it was in Vancouver.

Lianna Carrera: Oh. I don’t know. It looked so familiar.

Carly: What did you think it was?

Riese: It looked familiar.

Carly: It wasn’t the Roosevelt.

Lianna Carrera: Because of the balconies.

Carly: I don’t know. I was definitely thinking about it.

Riese: Yeah. It wasn’t the the Roosevelt.

Carly: No. I always assume it’s the Roosevelt anytime anyone is in a movie, or a TV show having any like Hollywood movie by a pool, a Hollywood meeting by a pool. So I’m assuming these are her new agents, I guess?

Riese: I thought they were maybe studio heads?

Carly: They never said.

Riese: Because why is she…

Carly: But they’re talking about all the studios that are interested in the book rights. I’m pretty sure these are her agents.

Riese: Right.

Carly: And they talk about how there’s a bidding war for Lez Girls. And they’re like, “Focus wants it. And this company, and this studio,” and blah, blah, blah. And-

Riese: This never…

Lianna Carrera: Which is so realistic.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Could not be-

Riese: Everybody is clamoring for the lesbian film! They all want it! In 2007. This has never happened. This has never happened.

Carly: And then hilariously, Tina shows up, and Jenny’s like, “Shit, shit, shit, shit.” So like… Did she invite her to this meeting? Maybe? I don’t know. But Tina shows up and Jenny is like, “Hey, in that bidding war that we were just discussing, you guys should add Tina’s little company Shaolin to the list. Yeah. Definitely like definitely give it to them,” or whatever. And Tina’s just blindsided by the whole thing. And Tina’s just really caught off guard by this because Tina thought she had it already.

Riese: And we can tell that’s going to be awkward.

Carly: Yeah. Also, Tina never wanted to do it in the first place! Oh, it’s so good!i

Riese: I know. Exactly. If she loses it, then she’d probably be happy that she lost it. But also, can we talk about the conceit of Katie Holmes calling, wanting to play Jessie Star?

Jenny smiling while somebody says "Katie Holmes called. Her people called me." It's an evening meeting near a pool, but you can really only see Jenny.

Lianna Carrera: I was like, “Okay.”

Carly: And then she’s like, “I always pictured her as like a tall, skinny blonde model.” And I’m like, “That’s the character that’s Jenny.”

Lianna Carrera: You guys, that’s how middle America thinks Hollywood works, though.

Carly: Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: You know what I mean? And Hollywood’s probably responsible for us having so many false expectations when we arrive.

Carly: Because they put scenes like this into their television programs.

Lianna Carrera: Yes. We’re like, “Oh, that’s what’s going to happen.” And it’s like, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: No.

Carly: It’s so easy to sell your lesbian show or movie.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah. No. Uh-uh nope.

Lianna Carrera: And even if you are friends with that celebrity, you’re not approaching them. Probably not till five years later, and maybe by… not even directly.

Carly: Exactly.

Lianna Carrera: Like in…

Carly: With 18 intermediaries.

Lianna Carrera: Not even gonna ask them directly.

Riese: And wasn’t Katie Holmes still married to Tom Cruise and in Scientology at this time?

Lianna Carrera: If so, I love that line because it’s so [crosstalk 01:08:35].

Riese: Yeah. It would be better if…

Carly: Yeah. I don’t have my Scientology timeline in front of me, but I hope so. So then we go, and we see Bette at home doing some work. And ah, I love more than anything old tech, old internet. And she gets an Instant Message. Remember IM’s, guys? From Jodi. And Jodi says that she thinks she could in love with Bette too, and then immediately signs off. Do you remember signing into AIM-

Riese: That’s such a power move.

Bette's computer screen: a document with class summaries on it, and an IM from Jodi, reading "I've been thinking"
Carly: -saying something… and saying to someone, and then immediately signing off so they couldn’t respond?

Lianna Carrera: If you got in a fight or something?

Carly: No, just like being dramatic, or being in a fight, or anything. A startling disclosure of some kind like, “I love you.” Or like, “I have a crush on you,” and then like signing off.

Lianna Carrera: I don’t think I’m that bold.

Riese: Wait, if someone messaged you, and you weren’t… They couldn’t message you if you weren’t there, right? It’s not like–

Carly: There were away messages and things. So like, I think you would get… Remember, they put up the away message that you spent all that time–

Riese: Finding the song lyrics.

Carly: Getting the right song lyric to put how depressed you were. And then they would get the away message that said you weren’t there. And then I think you just had to stop. You couldn’t write anymore. Or… It’s not like you would get home and see like… Or maybe it changed at some point. Like there was a time where you couldn’t do it, and then you could… I don’t know. Look, I don’t remember.

Riese: I think you could actually…

Carly: Well Bette reads it, and has some feelings about it, but we won’t know what those are because there’s only one more scene left in the episode.

Riese: Yeah. Back at Shenny’s house.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Apparently Shane invited the entire class to take a field trip to Wax

Carly: [WAX GUITAR RIFF] You know what kids love? Field trips. Do you know what kids love more? Field trips to actual cool places, and not museums.

Riese: Yes. Yeah. We took a field trip to McDonald’s once.

Carly: Shane’s the most popular parent in the class.

Riese: Yeah. They’re going to have a great time. I hope they all get mohawks.

Carly: Oh, that would be fun for them. And tattoos. Kids love tattoos.

Riese: And tattoos. Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: Gay tattoos.

Carly: Yeah. Gay-ass tattoos.

Riese: Shane and Paige are like, “Ooh, la, la, la.” And then Paige is like, “Since we already did the time, we might as well do the crime.”

Carly: Which means “Let’s go to…” Where did I say? Bang city?

Riese: Yeah. It’s time to go to Bone Town.

Carly: Bone Town.

Riese: We’re going to Bone Town right on this table.

Lianna Carrera: And I have this theory that now I’m so glad to have a platform to be able to tell people. I have never thought Shane was totally hot during sex or initiating sex because I have noticed, and maybe I’m wrong, but now that I’ve said it, maybe you’ll see it… I have noticed that Shane never grabs anybody. She paws at them like it’s a very light… Like almost a-

Carly: Like she’s a cat.

Lianna Carrera: -a baby seal. Like a cat. She very sexily breathes. And then she just sort of paws. And I can’t unsee that now. So please prove me right or wrong. I’d love to know if this piece is real. She doesn’t grab someone when she pushes them in or pulls them in.

Riese: Yeah. She sometimes she grabs their face. Like she grabs a face and kisses the face.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah, she grabs the face? But what about like… when the body… I feel like it’s a very delicate dance.

Riese: Yeah. She does. I think, first of all, she does grab the face sometimes, but I think it’s common for her to be leaning in with the kissing, and have the rest of her body…

Carly: Eight miles away back.

Riese: … kind of back.

Carly: Yeah. She’s on a 45-degree angle.

Riese: Right. It’s like this swoop up move, which is more pronounced here because Paige is taller than her.

Carly: Yes.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. Yeah. That’s true. Well, let me know.

Carly: And now I’m going to look for it all the time.

Lianna Carrera: But I don’t think she grabs anybody.

Carly: Interesting. Very interesting.

Lianna Carrera: Because when you’re passionate with someone, you want to grab, you want to pull them toward you. Right? Like I would think. She’s very…

Carly: It’s part of her aloofness, I think. It’s her whole vibe of just kind of sitting back and girls just come to her, kind of thing.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. That’s true.

Riese: I don’t know. And come on her.

Lianna Carrera: Oh God. But do you remember when we were young, like 10 years ago? I thought that Shane’s storylines were something to aspire to in real life.

Carly: Yeah. Me too.

Lianna Carrera: I think there should be `a little bit of like a cautionary tale of like, “This is not great in real life.”

Carly: Don’t do this.

Riese: Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: You know what I mean? You don’t want to feel ever like you’re in one of these storylines in real life, you know?

Riese: Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: They could have helped so much lesbian drama.

Riese: I know. I did it.

Carly: Oh I did. I thought I was Shane for like a hot minute. Moreso in this appearance. Like I had the haircut, and I wore the outfits, and I tried to look like her, but like my personality was never Shane. Like I tried to be cool, and it was not cool, ever. I was never cool.

Riese: I did the personality for one summer.

Carly: You were like, “This has an expiration date in three months.”

Riese: Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: Which you have the frame to dress like Shane, too.

Riese: Yeah.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. I never had the frame, so I just looked pudgy and…

Riese: Yeah. And I wore the same… Like I pretty much just wore what she wore just for that summer. And I did try to get a similar haircut, like when it was a little bit longer, but they didn’t do it right.

Lianna Carrera: What do you think hairdressers were thinking about just the dozens of lesbians walking in with Shane’s hair cut?

Riese: Coming in with printouts?

Carly: Coming in with photos of Kate Moennig, like promo photos from Season Two?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: But also, I say that because I absolutely brought a photo of her to a haircut when I lived in Florida.

Riese: Yeah. I did, too.

Lianna Carrera: I had a Justin Bieber phase too, with his haircut. Just like, “Hey, could you do this? Could you do…” after Shane. It was like, “Why?”

Carly: Oh God, Oh God.

Lianna Carrera: This is why the Indigo Girls say “every five years you look back on your life, and have a good laugh.” I need to be quoting scripture to everybody right now, but that is right. That is true.

Carly: It’s not wrong.

Riese: Absolutely.

Carly: It’s absolutely true.

Riese: I love the Indigo Girls. Oh also, there’s a terrible Betty song.

Carly: Yeah. I was going to say. So they start to hook up, and they’re like going for it. But then they hear someone and they don’t… I don’t know if the implication was—

Riese: Someone flushed the toilet?

Carly: Yeah. If it was like one of the boys, or if it was like Max is home. I don’t know what’s going on. But they’re like, “Let’s continue this another time.” And then the most insane song is playing. It’s called Barnyard by Betty. And the lyrics are all about like barnyard animals. I don’t understand. And that’s the episode. That song is what takes us to the credits.

Shane, topless, is on top of Paige, who is wearing a lacy red bra. Their faces are hidden in shadows, sex is about to happen

Carly: So we’re done. That’s the whole thing.

Riese: That’s the episode.

Lianna Carrera: That’s it.

Carly: That’s the episode. What do we think? I liked this episode.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: I don’t have any strong love feelings for it, but I don’t hate it. It’s good. It’s fine.

Riese: Yeah. I didn’t remember it very strongly.

Carly: No, there are not a lot of memorable moments or plot things happening here, really.

Riese: Yeah. Well, they’re moving a lot of plot along-

Carly: But nothing iconic happened in this episode.

Riese: Yeah. Uh-uh (negative). There was two great sex scenes.

Carly: Yes. Great sex scenes.

Lianna Carrera: I liked it. I mean, I love whenever I see deaf characters represented on TV, and that was really cool to see, especially a queer deaf person too a storyline. I mean, more of that, you know?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Definitely.

Riese: Like they should bring her to Gen Q.

Carly: Like, definitely. Please have Jodi stop by Gen Q.

Riese: I didn’t like the kid’s thing. “How do girls do it?” Makes me want to jump off a bridge, but-

Carly: That made me crazy.

Lianna Carrera:
Because they don’t even know how boys and girls do it!

Carly: Right. Why do they pick girls to talk about?

Lianna Carrera: They’re dumb.

Carly: You are small children.

Riese: You already know how two boys do it?

Carly: You’re like 10.

Riese: These parents have bigger problems, you know?

Lianna Carrera: Like your mom and dad did it. That’s how you got here. You want to talk about gross? Don’t worry about what we do.

Carly: Lianna, thank you so much for joining us for this episode. It was so wonderful to… I mean, it was wonderful to get to catch up with you, and also to have you and your particular perspective on the world here today with us.

Lianna Carrera: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate you thought of me for this.

Carly: Totally. Where can people find you? Social media, things like that? Anything you want to plug?

Lianna Carrera: Yeah, please. I just recorded a standup special with Seed&Spark, seedandspark.com. You can check out Cameron Esposito’s special on there too. And then I was a part of six… they’re calling Rising Stars in comedy. And so we all got to do little sets. And so I talk about my deaf mom. I make fun of my deaf family members as well as my existence in the world as a gay daughter of a Southern Baptist minister and all that good stuff. And so it’s all there for you. So please visit Seed&Spark and check it out. Everything is Fine, is what the standup special’s called. Everything is Fine. And then I don’t like Twitter, but I’m on there. I love Instagram, LiannaC, and I’m on Facebook so friend me if you want another person raging about politics in your feed. I mean…

Riese: Who doesn’t?

Carly: You can follow this show @tolandback on Instagram and Twitter. You can follow Riese @ottawan, you can follow Autostraddle @autostraddle, and you can follow me @carlytron. We have an email address to [email protected]. You can write us, you can say hello. We have a hotline, 971-217-6130. We also have merch available, stickers and shirts at store.autostraddle.com. Our theme song is by the incredible Be Steadwell. Our logo is by the very talented Carra Sykes, and the production and editing of this podcast was done by the one and only Lauren Klein. L-words. Okay. Ready?

Riese: One, two, three.

Carly: Lamp.

Lianna Carrera: Luscious.

Carly: Okay. Everyone go around. Riese, what did you say?

Riese: I said lacy, because Paige’s bra was a little bit lacy.

Carly: Nice. Leanna, what did you say?

Riese: And it was red. It was cute. I liked that.

Lianna Carrera: It said “luscious” because it was the first word I thought of. But I didn’t know it was supposed to be related to the…

Riese: It’s not.

Carly: It’s really like an exercise in stream of consciousness…

Lianna Carrera: But I wanted to say “lamb” and I was like, “That’s stupid. Say luscious.” But what did you say? You said something close to it.

Carly: I said “lamp” because I-

Lianna Carrera: Dang it!

-I watched the original animated Aladdin last night for the first time was in probably over a decade. And I was just thinking a lot about the genie in the lamp. And it also reminded me of how much I loved the magic carpet as a character. I thought they really did a great job of humanizing an inanimate object.
All right. Well, great. I like to end things on a really relevant note. Yeah. Thank you all for listening. We’ll be back next week with another one of these, and as always, stay cool. I’ve never said that before. I don’t know why I…

Riese: Stay safe out there, kiddos and adultos. Do the good things for the peoples.

Carly: Be cool.

Riese: Be cool. Because we are cool.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: And whoever you are is good and special, and you are special.

Carly: That’s really special.

Riese: And we love you.

Carly: It was beautiful.

Riese: You are enough. Okay.

Carly: Wow.

Riese: Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Carly: Well, we’ll see how the rest of the day goes.

Lianna Carrera: Right?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: All right.

Riese: Okay.

Carly: Bye.

I have to pee really bad.

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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. I’ve learned more ASL and Spanish by accident just by being alive so I can’t believe these lesbians have literally never encountered anyone but hearing English speakers their entire lives until now.

  2. Love this podcast episode and your CODA perspective on Bette’s incomplete sentences. My college ASL teacher had us watch Switched at Birth as a class, which also cut off the Deaf characters’ hands. And then she asked us if any of us had watched Marlee Matlin in the L Word…and I didn’t raise my hand. Oh half-closeted baby gay me.

    • Omg I thought I’d heard all the “times/ways I hid my l word watching” stories in the world but this is a new one!!!

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