L.A’s hottest new club is SHEBAR. It has everything: Riese, Carly, special guest Shelli Nicole, Dawn Denbo, her lover Cindi and only the best champagne in the VIP rooms! Also included: Jodi wanting to dance and Bette wanting to fight, Max’s podcast is a blog now, Tina can’t keep up with Brenda, Alice and Tasha are going to a secret Hollywood closet party, Jenny doesn’t want to cast Niki in her film because she doesn’t look like she’s read a book recently, Adele coming in hot with the scheming and Shane playing video games aggressively while picturing everybody naked.
Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!
Carly: And I’m Carly!
Riese: And this is—
Carly and Riese: To L and Back!
Carly: I said it a little differently than you this time.
Riese: I said it slower?
Carly: Yeah, I wanted to say it with more energy. I was trying to infuse some energy.
Riese: Do you ever feel like your fingers are sweating?
Carly: Sometimes! I mean it’s like 4 billion degrees out in Los Angeles… It’s a hot one! That’s what they would say if it were a movie, and somebody had a radio on in the background —
Riese: It’s a hot on!
Carly: the person on the radio would be like, “It’s a hot one today.”
Riese: (deep voice) “It’s a hot one today in L.A!”
Carly: You know what I mean? You know what I’m talking about? It’s like a movie from the 90s. It’s probably Mrs. Doubtfire.
Riese: Yeah, and they’re panning from the TV around the room and everyone’s sitting there like, “Ugh!”
Carly: Yeah, exactly. Well, we’re off to a wonderful start once again!
Riese: As usual!
Carly: This is “To L and Back,” not some sort of Groundhog Day fan podcast. And this is where we talk about a show about lesbians, and the name of the show—
Riese: Is Dawson’s Creek.
Carly: —is The L Word. Did you say — what did you say? Dawson’s Creek?
Riese: I got confused, I thought we were talking about Dawson’s Creek.
Carly: I thought we were talking about Gossip Girl You told me, Riese, you told me this was a Gossip Girl podcast!!
Riese: It’s The L Word.
Carly: I’m so pissed.
Carly: So we are still in Season 5, which is going great, I think. And we’ve got a special guest today.
Riese: A very special guest, all the way from Autostraddle.com, and your heart: the amazing writer, fashion person, Instagram live host, all-around great person.
Carly: One of my favorite people to follow on Twitter.
Riese: Yeah, she’s amazing on Twitter. She gives great Internet.
Carly: Yes. Please welcome to the podcast, Shelli Nicole!
Shelli: I’m so sorry, I went to talk because that was so romantic, I loved that. It was just—
Riese: I blushed while I was talking.
Shelli: Just the way I always want to — “gives good Internet”?! Ugh. My mom would not be happy, but confused. But I’m so happy to be here!
Carly: We are so happy you are here. We wish the circumstances were different, in that you were in LA with us.
Shelli: Low key! I know. I’m not ready to go to Cali yet though. The girls — I tweet about this often, how I am unprepared for California girls. I am not —
Riese: Because they’re all really mean?
Shelli: No! They’re all so great, and the fucking smooth talking, and those bitches — y’all, I can’t even. I… no… I can’t. Especially Oakland girls? I’m not ready.
Carly: Oh man…
Shelli: Yeah, I’m prepping now —
Carly: Yeah, we’re just down here in LA. I don’t even think… I mean I would not describe either of us as smooth talkers, but I would definitely think that we would not stand a chance with the lesbians and queer folk of Oakland and the Bay Area.
Riese: We wouldn’t.
Carly: We wouldn’t even come close.
Riese: I did live there for a few years, but—
Carly: You did! But I still think that we don’t —
Riese: I made… zero friends.
Carly: There we go! Yeah.
Riese: Shelli, tell us about yourself.
Carly: Yes, let’s hear it.
Shelli: Oh my god, alright. I’m Shelli Nicole, I’m a writer at Autostraddle.com. Yeah, I live in Chicago right now. I’m queer and a lesbian. There should either be a dash or a slash or ellipsis, I’m not sure, in between some of that stuff. But, yeah, I like The L Word a lot. I just saw it for the first time completely a year and a half ago.
Carly: Ooooh! Oh this is good!
Shelli: That was my first time watching it, like, all the way through. Have some thoughts, have some feelings on some very particular bitches, but I… yeah, no that’s it. I mean, I don’t know what else to say about myself. I’m more of a visual person.
Riese: What inspired you to start it?
Shelli: What did make me — Oh! Gen Q coming out.
Shelli: Yeah so Gen Q was coming out — I was watching it a little bit before then, but I wanted to watch it a little bit more because I was obsessed with Jacqueline Toboni. Listen, it’s a… we all have a type, ok? But I love her, and I just wanted to catch up, because I knew Bette, and Alice and them were going to be on it, so I was like, I need to know some backstory, because I like to be prepared. So yeah, I just watched it all. I tweeted because I fell in love with Dana right away, and nobody told me she was gonna die?! So like, when she was getting better and shit, I was like, “Oh! She’s—”
Riese: You thought she was gonna get better.
Shelli: Oh my god! It was like—
Carly: So you got to have, like, almost an authentic real-time 2006 viewer experience!
Riese: Even I didn’t have that! I knew she was gonna die.
Shelli: It was so sad! Like, I was so—
Carly: They were weirdly publicizing that she was gonna die before she died, in the press.
Riese: Yeah, we knew.
Shelli: Oh like when it was out out, like when it was first happening?
Carly: Yeah, like as it was happening, it was teased. And I was like, what the fuck is this!
Shelli: Maybe to save people from heartbreak? I don’t know.
Riese: They didn’t do a very good job.
Shelli: Nobody told me shit, and I was livid on Twitter for like 6 hours. It was wild. Yeah, it was crazy.
Carly: It’s just cruel storytelling.
Shelli: But yeah, that’s me! Slightly narcissistic, double Taurus, Pisces rising.
Carly: Double Taurus? I’m a triple Taurus!
Shelli: Yeah! See, I thought I was a triple Taurus, I had to yell at my mom a few weeks ago when I found out this news. But now, we’re settled, we’ve worked through it, we’re fine.
Carly: Good. Good, I am glad to hear it.
Shelli: I’m ok with where I stand. But yeah, that’s it! That’s me.
Carly: Well you just basically told us your L Word origin story. Which is great, because we were gonna ask about that. Our next interview question for you is if you have any favorite characters, either characters that you just really love, or the characters that you think are super hot. Either way, however you interpret “favorite.”
Shelli: Ok, I don’t know if I have a favorite — do I? I mean, alright, can I do the whole “I identify as a…?”
Shelli: Alright I identify as a 75% Alice. I love when people look at me, give me attention. I love gossip, but I also don’t want to be involved in the drama. So that’s the 25% that’s like, I don’t need that from Alice. But every test I have ever taken has told me that I’m a Helena. And I think it’s because she’s a scammer and I love a good scam. So maybe that’s what it is.
Carly: Helena is such a scammer!
Shelli: But I love Alice. I love that she got a talk show. I love that… yeah, so I love Alice, I loved Dana. Helena is probably the hottest person to me on the show. Bette’s hot, but like, she is very “Mom” to me, so I can’t look at her like that. Oh! And Angie, does she count? No, because that’s Gen Q. Well, she was on the original one, she was a baby.
Carly: She was a baby…
Riese: Oh that’s true! She was a cast member. She was in the program, she was in the program.
Shelli: She’s one of the cast members. So she’s my favorite.
Carly: “I identify with the baby that had no dialogue.”
Shelli: “I didn’t ask to be here. My mom was very concerned about me being Black.” So that’s my answer.
Carly: I love it. Today we will be discussing episode 504, entitled, “Let’s Get This Party Started,” with no punctuation. Now “Look Out, Here They Come!” had an exclamation point. There’s no punctuation in “Let’s Get This Party Started.”
Riese: Yeah. I think, it could be a question mark.
Carly: I think it should be a question mark, is what I was going to say, absolutely.
Riese: Let’s Get This Party Started?
Shelli: It’s a very direct statement. Like, “Let’s get this party started.”
Carly: And just in case anyone was wondering, the Pink song with the same title came out in 2001, so this was not a direct relation to that, though that song has been stuck in my head all day because of this fucking episode title, and I’m very unhappy about it. This was written by Elizabeth Ziff, AKA “EZ Girl”, and directed by John Stockwell — love when the show brings on the cis white men directors, really just a treat, but it’s fine. He’s directed episodes before, so, great. This originally aired January 27, 2008.
Shelli: Ok, before we get this party started, may I make a quick statement? Ok, so I love this season, Season Five is fucking lit as hell, right? But I do want to say that the only naked, fat, black, supposedly queer bodies that I’ve ever seen on L Word or Gen Q, was in prison.
Riese: —Were in jail.
Shelli: —Were in jail.
Carly: Yep, yep.
Shelli: Like, that’s the first thing that I — I’ve been re-watching Season 5 randomly anyway, because it’s the best one to me. And I was just like, “that’s so fucked up.” Like, and you don’t even—
Carly: It’s so fucked up.
Shelli: You don’t even know, you can’t assume that they’re queer or whatever, but I guess some of the dialogue does take you there, or whatever. But that’s my only, I mean I’m not going to go back and rewrite it, but that’s my only little fact that I noticed.
Riese: What’s even more fucked up, because especially then, even though it wasn’t that long ago, really the amount of, the variation of body types you saw on TV was like, nothing. Everyone was underweight. And that they had — like all of those women were basically extras, so they were paid a day rate, to be completely naked on TV, and it was maybe one of the only gigs they got that month, and they had to be completely naked in order to accept it. Which, who knows how they felt about that, which is kind of like…
Shelli: Yeah. Sorry I’m not getting this party started in a very fun way…
Riese: Oh, we LOVE to talk about the bad parts.
Shelli: Ok. That’s the only tidbit I had.
Carly: That is very real and very “of this show.” This show does shit like that all the time. Like, of course they did that. Does it make it ok? Not at all.
Carly: Let’s get into 504!
Instrumental transitional music
Riese: So we open with auditions for the role of Jessie Star: naive young writer with a lithe body and a cute butt, who has come to Los Angeles to be with her boyfriend. What’s his name? Tom? Jim?
Carly: Ted? I don’t know.
Riese: So we see three auditions.
Carly: Yikes. The first one was terrible.
Shelli: The first one… she has on an un-steamed dress from 579, and it is like, ridiculous, and I hate it so much.
Carly: I cannot believe you said 579!
Shelli: I hate it so much, because I wanted to fit in everything in that store so bad.
Carly: That takes me back to the mall in the late ’90s in New Jersey. 579.
Riese: 579 was, yeah it was always tucked in a little corner of the mall, you know?
Carly: Ours was right next to the escalator, right outside of a Lord and Taylor.
Riese: Yeah, it was under the escalator and tucked in the corner.
Shelli: I’m from Michigan, so it was like, underneath the escalator on the side, and I was just like, whatever, whatever.
Carly: Ok, wait, so all three of these women are basically the same woman. In different outfits.
Riese: Bad in different ways.
Carly: Yeah, differently bad.
Riese: Yeah, and Tina and Jenny are watching the auditions. And then, we have Niki Stevens—
Carly: Dun dun dun!
Riese: And honestly, her audition is kind of bad, but then she just puts her whole mouth into the reader’s mouth.
Carly: I have so many questions about, like, are you allowed to be full-on mouth kissing the reader?
Shelli: That was my question!
Riese: They felt a spark!
Carly: Sure. The projects I’ve directed where I’ve actually gotten to cast people… the thought of that happening makes me feel nauseous.
Riese: Yeah, someone just — but what would you hate more? Being tongue-kissed — actually, definitely the tongue kiss, ok—
Carly: Yeah, I have so many boundaries.
Riese: Ok, being tongue-kissed by her or being slapped right in the face like the next auditioner does.
Shelli: Holy shit.
Riese: I would definitely rather be slapped.
Shelli: I would rather be slapped.
Carly: I would rather be slapped! Yeah!
Shelli: Says a lot about us, but —
Carly: I don’t want to have someone I don’t know’s tongue in my mouth. I would much rather be slapped.
Shelli: Jenny was really into the slap too, though. When the slap happened—
Riese: Yeah Jenny was like, “I love it.”
Jenny: ”That was awesome! That was totally amazing. I loved it.”
Carly: Jenny loved the slapping girl.
Shelli: “That was amazing.”
Riese: She’s hired. Then we go to self-defense class.
Carly: But like a private self-defense class, right? There’s no extras except for like one dude.
Riese: It’s like an AirBnB experience, yeah.
Carly: They definitely called ahead and they were like, “We have a group of 17 queers and Kit coming, and we need a space and we need an instructor.”
Riese: Yeah, “and also we’re kind of insufferable, so make sure no one else is there.”
Carly: Kit is like, kind of queer, right?
Riese: Yeah, Kit’s kind of queer.
Shelli: And we’re all wearing jewelry and bangs and—
Carly: Makeup, eyelashes. Full on.
Shelli: I was like, what’s happening?
Riese: So the discussion of the class — there’s a few discussions happening–but the main discussion is that tonight there is an event—
Carly: Normally they have — my favorite thing about this show is that in the first act, there is usually a scene at The Planet where they discuss what’s going on, and what they’re doing as a group at some point in this episode. This time, they changed it up, they had it during their kickboxing class.
Shelli: During their self-defense class.
Riese: And it’s She Bar, it’s a new club, and it’s obviously a parody, I guess, of Girl Bar, which was in LA and was run by a couple that were very volatile, party promoters.
Shelli: Hold on, hold on, hold on. Is a lot of The L Word based on real stuff?
Riese: Yeah, uh huh. Most of it, they didn’t make anything up.
Carly: They didn’t have the imagination. It’s like when Jenny changes Helena’s name to Helen, but in real life.
Shelli: Oh my god. So it’s like, so The L Word is like a real, sort of Lez Girls situation?
Carly: A little bit, yeah.
Shelli: That’s so wild!
Carly: So wild.
Riese: So sometimes we’re seeing a third degree adaptation.
Carly: It’s pretty crazy.
Shelli: This makes me so happy. I love this. Damn!
Riese: So The Planet is based on Urth Cafe, but in this context it’s sort of more like The Abby, where it’s like, a place that people go to eat and drink but there’s also a girls night, and it’s like a lot of — at least back then a lot of queer women there, now it’s mostly guys, but anyway. So, SheBar is opening, it’s LA’s first club for super hot girls straight out of Miami…. I don’t think I wrote those words down in order.
Shelli: I love that that’s what was on the flyer, “for super hot girls straight out of Miami.”
Riese: Bette doesn’t want to go. Jodi is dying to go.
Carly: Yeah, Jodi’s excited.
Riese: Yeah. She’s going to go. Alice isn’t going because Tasha can’t be out, so instead they’re going to a whole party of people who can’t be out.
Shelli: And Shane is like straddling a dummy, but not straddling, she’s sitting on top of the dummy. What are you doing?
Carly: I really, I truly believe that Kate walked in there, and they went to block the scene, and she saw the dummy, and the dummy was probably off in a corner. And in my mind, I believe truly that Kate saw the dummy, dragged it over, and was like, “I’m going to be with this dummy in the background of every shot.” And that’s how she ended up with the dummy.
Shelli: I just feel like they go to so many lengths to make Shane cool. Like, “this is something a cool girl would do.”
Carly: She’s gotta lean on something!
Shelli: She’s gotta lean, she’s gotta straddle. You can’t just stand.
Riese: It’s a sexy lean.
Carly: And she’s, like, playing with Jenny’s hair.
Shelli: Yes! Ew! I hate it!
Riese: Oh my god I love it.
Carly: Oh, Riese loves this shit so much. Riese is the #1 Shenny Stan.
Shelli: I hate it! Ew!
Riese: Did you know we turned our whole website into Shennystraddle for April Fool’s Day three years ago? Did you know that?
Shelli: Laughs. No!
Riese: It was the best day of my life. It really was one of the best days of my life.
Carly: It really was one of the best days of her life.
Riese: Because we also have, for some reason — I’m a Shenny Shipper, Laneia’s a Shenny Shipper, Heather’s a Shenny Shipper, Sarah’s a Shenny Shipper.
Carly: It’s deeply upsetting.
Riese: There’s like 10 of us in the world, and 4 of them work at Autostraddle.
Shelli: Oh my god.
Carly: I hate this.
Riese: And so we made the entire website into Shennystraddle. And the icon was Jenny and Shane kissing, and the whole background was just Shenny.
Shelli: You spent the whole day making everyone’s life a living hell! I would just be like, “I hate this! I hate this!”
Riese: And people’s reactions were so amazing! Everyone was like, this is so brilliant and I hate you, I hate all of you. And we published six articles about Shenny.
Carly: It was such a brilliant troll move, because I was like, “I feel so trolled.” 24 hours of being trolled.
Shelli: Oh god.
Riese: Yeah, so um… Jenny thinks that everyone at the party wants to be in the movie, so it’s going to be a lot for her, or whatever. Which like, no one knows who you are, stop it.
Carly: Literally nobody cares.
Shelli: No one has zero clue who you are. Girl, stop.
Carly: This reminds me of, like, there’s a moment in Schitts Creek where Alexis tells David that people are not thinking about you as much as you are thinking about you, and he does not get it. And this is like, I need someone to tell Jenny this every single episode.
Shell: I volunteer! No one cares about you.
Carly: No one caaaares!
Shelli: Just every tweet, just sending it to her, just sending it to her every day. Ugh.
Carly: Oh god.
Riese: What we learned through this, is that Natalie Portman, apparently, was originally cast in this primo role, but apparently passed on it, and now they’re hiring Niki Stevens, which Jenny reacts to by going, “No! No!” and punching the bag a million times.
Shelli: I wonder how Natalie Portman felt about her name being in the show.
Carly: I would love the next time she is interviewed, for someone to slip a question in. They’re talking about whatever thing she’s promoting, and—
Riese: They were tossing around Katie Holmes in an earlier episode as a potential lead, so both of them have a question.
Shelli: All the Teen People starlets.
Riese: Just two really fascinating women, women who also look exactly like the other women who already auditioned.
Riese: And, Alice wants Shane to have sex with the trainer?
Shelli: Which, listen: this little, like, holy field hottie, she was hot though!
Carly: She was, she was.
Shelli: The pants, like, I don’t understand that. Her pants were so low, like, you could see everything, and she was hot.
Carly: That was, like, 2008 pants, for sure.
Shelli: Were they velour, too? Or were they not?
Carly: Maybe. They might have been.
Shelli: She was hot!
Riese: Yeah, Brittney Spears had those low-rise, Velour, Juicy’s, so did Paris.
Carly: Those were very hot at the time.
Riese: We also learned that Tina is bringing this girl with her to the party this evening.
Carly: It’s Brenda! Remember last week when you guessed her name correctly?!
Riese: Yeah, she looks like a Brenda.
Carly: Her name is Brenda! It’s incredible.
Riese: No offense to my Aunt Brenda.
Carly: I love that on this show they only call her a heart doctor on this show, like no one knows what a cardiologist is.
Riese: I know, that’s so weird.
Shelli: And it’s so like, Oh she’s a heart doctor. It’s like, so she’s very educated and hot?
Riese: And rich?
Carly: Oh, I’m sorry, so she’s rich and fucking smart? Like, what the fuck?
Riese: She probably gave herself her boobs. Because she said that her boobs were enhanced. She probably did it to herself.
Carly: Yeah, I’m sure people performing surgery on themselves is very common place and good.
Riese: Well it happened on Nip Tuck.
Carly: Well if it happened on Nip Tuck — I’m just saying, has no one on this show seen ER, or Grey’s Anatomy? They don’t know what a cardiologist is?!
Shelli: And so much of The L Word is based on reality, that Nip Tuck could also be based on a lot of reality.
Riese: Anything could be!
Shelli: Anything could be!
Carly: Shit, there’s no way to know. There’s absolutely no way to know, because we are not allowed to interact with reality right now, because of the pandemic.
Carly: So Bette finds out about this Brenda person and is far too invested in the situation. And Tina is eating it up!
Riese: And Jodi is like, “What?”
Shelli: Exactly! I thought that was so fucked up. They had this full-ass conversation and Jodi has no fucking clue what’s happening, and she’s literally right next to her, and her current person or partner is just like, flirting with her ex! Like, this is why we do not kick it with your ex, I’m sorry.
Carly: It seemed like the audio for this scene was so crisp and perfect, that it made me think that they had to ADR this entire scene, because of all the kicking and punching sounds that were probably happening in real time. And so they probably had to go back and ADR the whole thing, because the audio all sounds, like, too good.
Riese: Oh really?
Carly: Yeah, it just sounded so crisp and super clean. And I was like, oh this whole scene is ADR, that’s funny.
Riese: Well, speaking of great scenes, then we go to the first annoying scene of the episode. Max’s podcast… does no one on this show… a podcast is not a video show… a podcast is not a blog. It’s not a blog. Max has allegedly written — did they think no one was ever going to freeze frame this shot, and try to read what’s actually there? Because it’s bananas! And it’s not about Max, it’s about, like, biology?
Shelli: What does it say?!
Riese: I screenshot it, so…
Carly: Riese has the screenshot, she’s going to read it to us now.
Riese: Ok, the title of the blog is, “Transgender.” It says, “Whether you are a male or a female, you owe it to the accident that the chromosomes determining your sex got the upper hand at the most propitious moment. Males have what have been called the vestiges of the important female reproductive organs in females experiences sexual climax in an organ that is so analogous to the principal male genital — the penis — that it is called the penis mullebris, the penis of the woman. If a male happens to inherit more of certain genes from his mother and his female ancestors, provided they are what we call feminine appearing, he will look somewhat feminine regardless of the capacity of the gonads, or the dimensions of his other genital organs. The same is true with regard to the females. Males who are careful about shaving and females who devise means of overcoming bust prominence, frequently find when they learn…” And then it’s cut off.
Riese: Right. My question for this is: WHAT?
Shelli: What editor was just like, “Yes, this flows perfectly.”
Carly: Max needs an editor.
Riese: I mean, but you know what? Honestly, probably an editor would be like, “I don’t know anything about trans stuff, so just I’m just going to like…”
Shelli: Yeah, “I’m just going to let you post this.”
Riese: Anyway, so, I don’t know if they really meant that?
Carly: They didn’t know that people would have the ability to computer enhance in the future, and see the text.
Shelli: Yeah, the screenshot.
Riese: He has 17 comments on his blog, already, according to Grace, who I completely forgot was even in Season 5, I’m like, “Why are you even still here?”
Carly: I know, in Season 4, he kept saying, “Bye Grace, we’ll never see you again.” But she keeps coming back.
Riese: I know, he left her in Illinois, and now she’s all the way over here doing shit. Why is that?!
Carly: She found her way back from Illinois!
Shelli: To The Planet!
Riese: And of course someone in the comments is someone being like, “This is a lesbian space, and we don’t need to know that you think your clit is a big dick and you like your tits squeezed.”
Shelli: Which — oh, my, my. I was like, what? I live alone and I looked side-to-side. I was like, “Did everybody hear that?” Like, it was crazy. I don’t… I can’t… that, and the fact, well this is a side note, but they were blasting reggaeton in The Planet, and I was just like… ok! This is… fitting. I guess Kit was like, Papi’s gone, so let’s spice it up a little bit. But that comment was fucking wild!
Carly: It’s soooo crazy.
Riese: Usually in these Max scenes, we break down why it’s offensive, and why they’re promoting these stereotypes. But this scene is so off-the-wall that I don’t even know…
Carly: Everything about it was bad.
Shelli: Yeah, everything was wild.
Riese: The content of the blog post doesn’t make sense. Also, how do you use a word that I could not pronounce and have never seen before in my life in one sentence, and then use “gonads” in the next sentence. How?
Shelli: That, and I really hated Max’s scarf. Those were the things that I didn’t like.
Riese: I know, I didn’t like the scarf either.
Shelli: I just didn’t like how it was tied, kind of? That was my biggest takeaway from this terrible scene.
Riese: Well, luckily, this scene — Alice was like, “I don’t think this scene is bad enough, let me call” and she calls and is like—
Carly: “Let me call and make it worse.”
Riese: Yeah, “let me call and make it a little bit worse. I have an idea, guys, for how this could be a tiny bit worse!”
Carly: And she’s like, “Hey, Max? What the fuck. You invaded my space, for your personal trans agenda.”
Riese: And she’s like, “Fine, we will give you a little box.” Literally they will put him in a box.
Shelli: They put him in an actual, little box, on the corner of her blog podcast site.
Carly: Whatever this is.
Riese: She was like—
Alice: ”Not with the guestbians.”
Riese: And, I have to say, as a former Our Chart guestbian, that Max would have been welcome.
Sherri: Wait, is Our Chart also real?!
Carly: Ohhh it is!
Riese: Ohh, yes.
Carly: Ok, Shelli, here’s what happened.
Riese: This is an advertisement, every scene is an advertisement for OurChart.
Carly: They created OurChart in Season 4 to go along with the show. It was, like, a companion social networking slash content farm. And the site was broken all the time.
Riese: It never worked.
Carly: Like you could set up a profile and try to meet people on it. And the site crashed every time you tried to use it.
Shelli: Were you literally allowed to connect yourself to people, like how they do?
Riese: Yeah, but no one did. We just connected with our friends, because no one was going to put on the Internet who they had had sex with.
Shelli: Yeah, exactly.
Carly: The concept is perfectly flawed. It’s a terrible idea.
Shelli: Oh my god, I want it so bad!
Carly: And it looks just like the screenshots. Like all of the fonts are Serif fonts for some reason, which I never understood.
Riese: Yeah, the headers were all in teal.
Carly: And the site crashed every time, I stopped visiting the site because it crashed, it never worked, it never worked.
Shelli: This is so cool!
Carly: It was complete trash garbage.
Shelli: Holy shit. I’m surprised they didn’t do it again.
Carly: And there was a thing called Guestbians, and Riese was one of them, and she — were you writing for them, or just doing videos?
Shelli: Riese, you’re famous! Oh my gosh!
Riese: Um, I was just writing for them. The best part of it was that I got paid nothing.
Carly: The site that was created as a marketing tool by Showtime paid her nothing.
Riese: Not one dollar. Zero.
Shelli: By Showtime! Oh my god, you need to write a strongly worded letter right now. I will write it for you and get you paid!
Riese: Big zero, big zero.
Carly: It was a wild time.
Shelli: “Excuse me, I was a guestbian, and I got zero dollars.”
Carly: Back-pay invoice.
Riese: They literally said, “We don’t pay guestbians.” But they paid columnists, like Laneia had a column, but it was like $20.
Shelli: Still, you all need $20. “I was a guestbian, I want 10.”
Riese: “I wrote an essay that had a lot of web traffic hits on their webbernet site, so, you’re welcome.”
Shelli: This is… holy shit.
Riese: Anyways, so while Alice is yelling at Max about how transgender people don’t belong in her lesbian space, who should come down the hallway but two soldiers?
Shelli: Just two soldiers, I guess?
Carly: They’re here, they’re in the hallway, they would like to speak with Alice.
Shelli: And she’s just like, “Yes!”
Shelli: “Yes, please come in my apartment—” Only white women, I’m sorry, I would never.
Carly: She lets them in the apartment! Lets them touch her things, question her, ask who T is… get out! I don’t, I want so many people to get out of so many spaces in this episode. It’s just, get out. I cannot believe she let them in her house.
Carly: That’s a great theme in this episode.
Shelli: It’s just like, let’s get this party started?
Carly: Like, let’s get the fuck out of here.
Shelli: I just can’t.
Riese: And they’re picking up her shit, so they’re like, “What’s Velvetpark?” Which is obviously just a plug for Velvetpark. And then he picks up Gay LA from her shelf, which I just want to say is a really good book, and you guys should read it.
Shelli: Actually, I did look for it, I Googled it.
Riese: It’s good! I learned a lot. And they want to know what her relationship is with Tasha but she won’t tell them, and then they see the chart, and they’re like “What’s this about?” and then they want to know if it’s T, if T is Tasha. And T is obviously Tim Haspel from Season One.
Carly: They also find a really cool SheBar flyer.
Shelli: Oh my god.
Riese: Oh yeah, they’re like, “You going to this?” She’s like, “No.” Get out of my house.
Carly: I was like, good luck. I would love for you to show up at SheBar and see what Dawn Denbo and her lover Cindi have to say to you two, sirs.
Shelli: Oh god, her lover… I’m sorry, we’re not there.
Carly: I know, we’re not there yet, I jumped the gun a little bit because I’m just so excited that we finally get these two characters. The military men know about her website, they have heard of OurChart, so I’m really proud of her marketing dollars, one dollar, two marketing dollars? They have now seen the real chart and the virtual chart, and I’m pretty impressed by their detective work. I feel like these army dudes have never talked to a lesbian other than, like, Alice, and so I really…
Riese: And they’re gonna jerk off about it later.
Carly: I’m really bummed out that whatever representation of queer life is for them, that this is their first introduction to it. It’s like, space aliens came to Earth. Like, I feel like we need to curate whoever they would meet first, so they wouldn’t think we’re all terrible, even though we are. And I just feel a similar thing here, like I wish they could have met some other lesbians or queer people first, because Alice has a fucking chart of who all her friends have fucked on the wall, and that’s not normal behavior!
Shelli: It’s not! It’s just not.
Carly: It’s not home decor!
Riese: No, it’s not.
Carly: You’re not going to get that at an Ikea!
Riese: No, you’re not going to order that on Society 6.
Shelli: I’m surprised no one has a printed version, like a print for sale, of The Chart.
Carly: I’m also surprised. So finally, she kicks them out, after—
Shelli: 38 minutes.
Carly: Yeah, after an hour of them going through her shit and her being like, “Wait, you don’t have a warrant, you guys!” I’m like, Alice you let them in, I don’t understand what was so difficult about this. Finally, she gets rid of them, and that’s that. And she is shaken, but we’ll come back to her. First we have to go to Bette’s office—
Riese: At Carly Usdin-iversity.
Carly: At Carly Usdin-versity.
Riese: Where a child has been traumatized by art.
Carly: It’s Lonnie Shipman!
Riese: Good old Lonnie Shipman always stirring up trouble in the art department.
Carly: We have heard her name all throughout these episodes and we have not met her, and we finally get to meet her. And the first thing I would want to say about Lonnie Shipman is that this is the second person in this episode wearing a Michael Jordan forearm wristband. The kickboxing lady was wearing one too. Remember in 2008, was that when people were wearing double popped collars on polo shirts, and they were also wearing the wristband as the Michael Jordan forearm band, because I think that was the era.
Shelli: Not double popped collars, my god!
Carly: It was a rough era.
Shelli: They wore like layered, double polos, where one was a little wider than the other?
Shelli: Listen, honestly into it, I don’t care.
Riese: Then we go to Shaolin’s meeting space. Tina and Erin are like, “Wow, Niki’s audition tape is great!” And Jenny’s like, “No, she’s not. She doesn’t look like a writer. Like she just stepped out of Maxim.” And by the way, that actress was in Maxim, and the last book she read was Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret. Which is a good book.
Carly: That’s a good book!
Shelli: A great book!
Riese: And then they’re like, “Isn’t it good that it looks like she’s into kissing girls?” And then Jenny says—
Jenny: “Go fuck yourself. And you know what? You have a small dick!”
Carly: And then she leaves!
Shelli: She literally goes, she basically — first of all, the audacity of this little… I hate her. I’m so sorry. But she literally goes basically, “She’s too pretty to be a writer.” And it’s like, girl you’re a writer, like I’m so confused.
Carly: Uh huh. Doesn’t make it any sense. And Adele’s there. Her Nicorette gum!
Shelli: She spits out her Nicorette gum on the table!
Carly: I love how Adele’s job is to give her Nicorette. She’s nuts, and then at one point, Tina screams that the girl that Jenny wants to hire—
Tina: “She’s not fuckable!”
Carly: Which is a bit much.
Riese: What? What does that even mean? She’s fine. Then we go to Bette’s office, she has a really nice fruit plate on her desk.
Carly: Yeah! I thought so too.
Riese: Here we have a little example of why it’s complicated to date your coworkers. Just a little scene about it.
Shelli: Is this when her and Jodi were fighting?
Carly: Yeah, yeah.
Shelli: Ok, because Jodi was basically, like, “This is stupid, do you want to go to McDonald’s? Like, I don’t want to talk about this. And she was like, “What? Like this is so dumb. Do you want to have sex? I don’t know, I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” Yeah, I loved it. I love Jodi too, I always forget about her sometimes, but I do love her.
Riese: So then they kiss, and then they kiss more.
Carly: Yeah, there’s kissing.
Shelli: I thought they were gonna have sex, but…
Carly: I also thought they were gonna have sex, but then they did not.
Riese: I knew they didn’t, because I ranked every single L Word sex scene, and I don’t remember that one being in there.
Carly: You are the expert!
Riese: And then we go to Alice’s, where she is erasing The Chart, which gives me a lot of anxiety. I’m like, I hope you took a picture of it first. Then Tasha comes home, she’s like, “What the fuck?” And then they hold each other.
Shelli: So gay. And also she called, what’s those guys, Nazis. And I was like, not Nazis! Oh my god, the drama! She’s just like, “Nazis came to my home!”
Carly: And like, well, first of all, you invited them in, ok?
Riese: Second of all, you don’t need to exaggerate who came into your house, it was bad enough as is! You don’t need to be like, “Oh, it was a Nazi.” No, I mean, it was a member of the U.S. military coming into your home and looking at your lesbian flyers! Like, that’s bad already!
Carly: Like, they saw a SheBar flyer, they didn’t even see a flyer for Sleater-Kinney at The Planet, or the B-52s.
Riese: No one wants to see that.
Riese: Anyway, this was a still from that, this image. Tasha holding Alice, it was a still that I saw all over the place, it was very dramatic. Anyway, they both look beautiful in their sorrow.
Carly: Then we go to The Planet, where Shane is continuing her channeling her sex energy into other things, like drinking pomegranate juice.
Shelli: Listen, it’s the biggest note I have, Carly, in this whole thing. I was like, what psychopath drinks just lukewarm POM juice?!
Carly: Just a gigantic thing of it! In that wacky bottle that’s all bubbly-looking.
Shelli: While playing her Nintendo DS. I was like, what?
Carly: Playing some, like, Tomb Raider. Eating chocolate. Like she’s a weird mix of stereotypes of a woman in her 30s and also of a young boy.
Riese: And also everyone in Quarantine right now. Horny, playing video games…
Carly: Eating chocolate.
Shelli: My DS is literally in front of my computer, in front of my TV at all times, because I just might need it. But yeah, that’s the biggest note I had because it made me really upset. Like, I hate it.
Riese: Then she envisions all of them naked, because she’s, I get it. What day is this, that she’s gone without sex, like 6 days? Or whatever.
Shelli: I think it’s, like, her 3rd of 4th day, so it’s just like—
Carly: It’s been zero time.
Riese: It’s been at most a week.
Shelli: Yeah, right. Tops.
Carly: She has all this frantic energy, and she also keeps rubbing her nose, like she’s definitely on cocaine.
Riese: Which I thought was a nice touch.
Shelli: Is she just switching vices?
Carly: That’s what I thought too!
Riese: That’s all anybody really does, you know, that’s all any of us really do. I’m like, I’m giving this up, I’m taking this on.
Carly: That’s how it works, you gotta have a vice.
Riese: So Tasha goes to Beech’s house just to yell at him.
Carly: Yep. She sure does.
Shelli: Like, in the middle of the night.
Carly: In the middle of the night, I was like, “Go, go wake him up.”
Shelli: Yeah, just do it.
Riese: It’s a real Friday Night Lights. She could have called, could have emailed. That could have been an email.
Carly: What? No, you needed to be there in person. Because it’s a television show, and it’s more dramatic.
Riese: She was like, “Why didn’t you tell me that they were going to interrogate Alice like that?” And then his wife shows up, and she has a change of heart.
Riese: She knows suddenly, “Oh no, I’m doing to this woman what those men did to Alice.” Even though she’s not.
Shelli: Not at all.
Riese: She is going to walk in there and be like, “Oh, is this Better Homes and Gardens? What’s that? What’s this flyer for a bake sale? What’s that about?”
Carly: What is this receipt from Target? What is this? You went to a Target?
Riese: What’s that on the wall, is that one of those Thomas Kincaid paintings? What’s that all about?
Carly: What, you get that at the mall? You like shopping at the mall?
Riese: You like the mall? You wear sundresses to the mall?
Carly: I hate us. Okay.
Shelli: I love this!
Riese: So she’s like, “Sorry, it was wrong of me to come here and bust in on you.”
Carly: And that’s it.
Shelli: Alright, bye! See ya!
Riese: And then they cut to, I guess the next morning? Tasha and Alice are in bed, so we can all appreciate again how visually pleasurable their faces and bodies are.
Carly: There’s moments that I forget why they’re together, because they’re so different, and then moments like this where I’m like, “Oh my god, I love them together!”
Shelli: Yeah, I have to see them, and then I’m like, “Ohhh, okay, I get it.” Even though they do Tasha so dirty, but still. I’m always like, damn, ok, like I see it, I see it.
Carly: Well that’s what happens when you have one well-developed character kind of? And then one character that you didn’t give a backstory to at all.
Shelli: Right, who shows up with attitude and a bike? Like, just, give her a bike!
Carly: We don’t know anything else about her, we’re just, we’re just going to give her a bike? Ok.
Riese: Anyway, Tasha is like, “I don’t want to go to your party, it makes me uncomfortable.” And Alice is like, “What’s the point of going to my secret love party without my secret love?” And then Tasha laughs and it’s really cute.
Carly: She had to sign an NDA when she got the invitation to this party.
Riese: Oh yeah, that’s real.
Shelli: Which, that’s the best way to get me to go to a party.
Carly: I will definitely go.
Shelli: I’m like, sure there’s some shit going on, can’t wait to talk about it in 30 years, I will go with you, for sure.
Carly: Yep yep, exactly. So there’s a knock on the door, and guess who it is? It’s our favorite, Captain Beech.
Riese: He’s come around and he’s there to discuss the case, and he’s really nice to Alice.
Carly: This runner of all the military men not pronouncing Alice’s last name correctly, which tickled me. That did tickle me. I was tickled.
Riese: Tickled you.
Captain Beech: ”You must be Alice Piezecki”
Shelli: I just don’t like that. I’m sorry, if I’m dating anybody, and like, you bring this amount of cops or military into — we have to break up. Like, you can’t keep bringing all these types of people.
Riese: You can’t keep bringing all these types of military into my home. That’s the Third Amendment, isn’t it?
Shelli: And I’m supposed to get them tea? Waste my tea? No.
Carly: This is the tea I was gonna drink.
Shelli: This is what I was gonna drink. This is my right. Get out! No. I don’t like it.
Carly: I don’t like not knowing I’m going to have company, I want to run to the store before I have company.
Riese: Yeah, I want to refrigerate a third LaCroix.
Carly: Exactly! Just the third one.
Riese: Yeah, because I only got two in there, I don’t want to take up too much space. Anyway, Bill of Rights, look it up! Number Three, you don’t have to let soldiers into your home.
Shelli: You do not! Get out!
Riese: So all these members of the military are just all over the place and they have a nice little conversation.
Carly: Yeah, and he actually takes her seriously, discusses her case for real for once, and seems genuinely charmed by Alice, which is…
Riese: And I guess he knows that she’s gay and is gonna just go forward because that’s his job. Yeah.
Carly: And Alice thanks his wife.
Riese: So that Tasha can keep her terrible job.
Riese: Then we go to a really cute Shenny scene!
Carly: Oh god. It’s time for our weekly segment, Riese Is Insufferable! Welcome!
Riese: It’s so cute, so like Jenny is trying to pick out what to wear to the party, and Shane is looking at her super horny on the bed, and you can see her body through her shirt.
Carly: Yeah, Shane’s not wearing a bra.
Riese: And then Jenny gets a watch from William, and she’s like, “I could buy a house.”
Carly: She said, “I could buy a house in Cambodia with this watch.”
Shelli: In Cambodia? I was like…
Carly: This bitch.
Shelli: This insufferable little hamster! I just…
Carly: She’s acting like a little child.
Riese: Did you say insufferable little hamster?
Carly: That’s what we should call her from now on.
Shelli: Yeah, because I hate hamsters, so things I don’t like, I say hamsters. I know that they’re cute or whatever, but… She was acting like one anyway.
Carly: She was. She was like, “Oooo! A little present!”
Shelli: Yeah, “Give me a Nicorette!”
Carly: Oh my god, she totally makes her give her a Nicorette.
Riese: So Shane’s, like, giving her sexy eyes. And she’s like, “Why are you looking at me like that?” And Shane’s like, “I don’t know.” And she’s like, “Stop glaring,” and she like grabs her boob. It’s really cute. I mean, Jenny’s insufferable, we all know that, but it’s cute.
Carly: And Jenny spits her Nicorette out on the floor again!
Shelli: On the floor of her own home! But I was kind of mad, because that scene was like, it was really cute, and her bra was really cute.
Riese: Yeah, it was. It was a cute bra.
Shelli: It was a cute scene, I admit.
Riese: Thank you.
Carly: If it was two different characters, I would have been so into it, because like their chemistry is really great, so it was cute. I just am not a Shenny supporter. And it’s so hard to really get into this pairing. But anyway, Kit’s buying a gun.
Riese: So yeah, Kit’s buying a gun?
Carly: Kit’s buying a gun.
Shelli: Kit’s getting strapped up. And honestly, whenever I see this, I always see Pam Grier.
Shelli: And I’m always just like, I wonder… this scene is, I mean, it’s Coffy, it’s Foxy Brown. Like she knows how to like — so I always wonder if people who watch this show know know who fucking Pam Grier is, you know what I’m saying?
Riese: I think so.
Carly: I literally put this in my notes, I was just like, this is Pam fucking Grier, in this moment.
Shelli: Right! She’s, momma’s holding her gun, and she’s like, let’s go. It was good. I just always wonder if people know who that — she’s a bad bitch.
Riese: Yeah, I feel like that’s why they hired her, right?
Carly: I would think so.
Shelli: But like, I’m always just like, “This is Pam Grier!” And her holding that gun, I was like, damn! That’s wild! But, yeah.
Carly: I know, I was thinking about that too. I was just like, uhh, man, they could have had so much, they could have done so much visually.
Shelli: So like a cool scene, give her that whole thing.
Carly: Give her that moment!
Shelli: Like a Charlie’s Angels kind of thing with the girls in one scene? Like that would have been like — but they’re just like, “Anyway! Jenny!”
Carly: He’s like, you gotta buy the bullets with the gun! And it’s like, I was like, no, this is fucking Pam Grier, are you kidding me with this? I know, there was a real opportunity missed there, for sure.
Shelli: Yeah, for sure.
Carly: It’s a bummer.
Riese: Remember when Papi called her the foxy lady once?
Riese: And we were like, oh that’s a nod.
Carly: Yep, it was definitely a nod.
Shelli: That’s cute!
Carly: So then, Alice and Tasha arrive for their closeted famous people party, which is very fancy. But before we get to do anything there, we have to go to SheBar. Am I going to need to make a SheBar song like I did for Wax?
Carly: Ok, here’s the — I’m going to come up with it on the spot, here it is.
Cut to techno music.
Riese: Yeah, that’s perfect.
Carly: Ok we’re at SheBar now.
Shelli: I was going to say, whenever I do listen to To L and Back, and Wax would come up, I would do it on the street. And people would be like—
Riese: You’re a trendsetter, Carly!
Shelli: It was so great! It was dope, it was dope.
Carly: I’m so sad they burned it down! I don’t get to do it anymore.
Shelli: Burned it to the ground!
Riese: And now we have SheBar. This is what we get. As aforementioned, this is fucking Pam Grier, and she’s not on the goddamn list.
Carly: What the fuck? I don’t want to go anywhere that Pam Grier is not on the list.
Shelli: Not on the list.
Riese: I don’t either!
Carly: I’d turn around and leave.
Riese: So we see Dawn Denbo and Cindi for the first time. Dawn Denbo is played by Elizabeth Keener, who is—
Shelli: She’s hot.
Riese: The daughter?
Riese: Sister, of Catherine Keener, and she’s gay.
Shelli: Who’s Catherine Keener?
Carly: She’s an actress who’s in very Indie films of the 90s, early aughts.
Riese: Yeah, 80s… yeah.
Carly: And then, I know she was in that Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph show that only had one season.
Riese: Oh yeah, Forever, yeah she was. Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Carly: She was amazing in that, truly incredible in that. She’s a great actor, she’s been in a little bit of everything, kind of, over the years. And then yeah, she has a gay sister who got cast on The L Word.
Riese: Yeah, but she wasn’t out at this time, but. We went to a lesbian oil wrestling event hosted by her.
Carly: Yep, that’s a real thing that happened!
Riese: Uh huh, yeah.
Carly: Even though nobody had an Instagram to post on, we had to get creative.
Riese: Uh huh, yeah, right. And once we get inside SheBar, we have to look at Grace again, I still don’t know why she’s on this show. She’s just wearing a bra dancing with someone. Tina’s wearing, like, all the sequins in the world.
Shelli: That dress!
Riese: Everyone is dancing, hardcore like no one is playing any music. Like, no one. It’s bad.
Shelli: Her and that up-do were having the night of their life. She was like, “Momma is out, my ex is here, her girl is here, I’m about to turn this shit out.” That dress was everything. Tina looked…
Carly: Tina in Season Five is awesome?! It’s weird.
Riese: Tina is shining… Season Five Tina I LOVE, which is so weird because I hate her in every other season.
Shelli: Every other season she’s terrible.
Carly: Season Five is her best shining moment. Everything about this place is the most 2008. Like, it is so of such a specific era. Like this was everything in West Hollywood. This was exactly what it looked and felt like.
Shelli: This is my dream! This is my dream!
Riese: Except a little bit more crowded.
Carly: This was definitely much more crowded in real life, but obviously they had a crew and wanted to keep it under control.
Riese: There’s also a lot more people wearing beanies, I don’t think the beanie representation was there.
Carly: More beanies, and so many fedoras.
Riese: Yeah, there were some fedoras in there, I saw some fedoras.
Carly: No, more! There were not nearly enough. Well I’m going to bring it back to this because we’re about to meet Lover Cindi for the first time.
Riese: Yeah, we sure are.
Dawn Denbow: “Hi, I’m Dawn Denbo. How ya doing?”
Bette: “Hi, Bette Porter.”
Dawn Denbow: “Hi. This is my lover Cindi. Welcome to She Bar!”
Carly: “I’m Dawn Denbo and this is my lover Cindi.” This sentence will be used 4 billion times on this show, and this was the first one.
Riese: Uh huh, yeah.
Shelli: So I wonder if that was based on a real person, who somebody knew?
Shelli: What?! I love The L Word so much more now that I know that there’s real people out in the world.
Carly: It’s crazy, I know. It’s so crazy. So now, Team The Planet and Team SheBar have met. And Dawn tells Kit that they’re totally not trying to take any business away from her, because “what we’re doing here is in another league entirely.” It’s like, a whole new scene, straight out of South Beach, hot nights, LA is not ready for this, this is new. I’m like, nothing you’re doing is new, you just have different lighting, but cool.
Shelli: It’s such a backhanded compliment, just being like, “So yeah, your place is so cute, but this is nothing like yours…”
Carly: “Like this is upscale, like… we don’t even serve coffee.”
Shelli: White women, I’m sorry, I just can’t do it, they do her so dirty!
Carly: It’s very real.
Shelli: So wild.
Riese: Shane rolls in, and is like, “It looks like South Beach threw up in here!”
Carly: Which is… funny, but also stupid, because it’s just lighting. It’s just lighting and people wearing halter tops. It’s lighting and halter tops!
Riese: That’s South Beach for ya.
Riese: Dawn gives them all VIP Lounge passes where they have the best champagne. Dawn is insufferable. And I love it.
Carly: When Shane meets Cindi she’s like, “Lover Cindi, how are you?” Which is very funny. And then someone comes up that has a clipboard and she’s like, “There’s some girl out front that claims she’s a director and wants to put SheBar in a movie?” And they all look at each other and are like, “Oh god, it’s Jenny!”
Shelli: Which is one of my favorite parts because Jenny is outside trying to flex: “Excuse me, I’m a director.”
Carly: “I’m a director.”
Shelli: And the girl with the clipboard is like, “Girl… okay.”
Carly: So then we go to Alice and Tasha going to this Barry Bird party, which every time I hear the name, I just think Larry Bird.
Shelli: Me too! That’s why I was just like, “Oh my god! Is he gonna be there?”
Carly: They go to the party, Tasha looks so amazing. Like, she always looks amazing, but that white jacket? Oh my god.
Shelli: Yeah, she looks really good.
Carly: And Alice is like, oh my god, I hope we see famous people. I hope we see Beyonce.
Riese: And Tasha’s like, Beyonce’s not gay.
Carly: Alice is dying to see something scandalous, which is exactly the kind of attitude I would have going into an event like this.
Shelli: That’s why they signed the NDA, yeah yeah.
Carly: That is why I would go to something where I had to sign an NDA first. And then Tasha is like, “Oh my god, that’s Derell Brewer, he’s one of the best point guards in the NBA.” And like, I wish one of the best point guards in the NBA in real life would be gay, personally, and he would come out and just change the entire world, but it’s not gonna happen anytime soon. Anyway, then we meet Barry Bird, who is like—
Riese: Who is exactly who you think he would be.
Carly: Exactly who you would think.
Riese: Exactly. This is the kind of man that hosts those parties in LA, for sure.
Carly: Which I believe this was also based on a real-life situation, but I don’t remember who it was.
Riese: I mean these parties existed, they existed for women too. Which is where I think it was like, one of these parties for women… because you know how The L Word had all of these actors in it who weren’t out but were gay — like Dawn Denbo, she wasn’t out yet. And like.. Holland Taylor wasn’t in the closet but she wasn’t out. But all these women somehow ended up on the show, I wonder where they met and hung out…
Carly: Hmmm, interesting. He sees Tasha and immediately says—
Barry: ”Fabulous cheek bones.”
Carly: Which is accurate.
Shelli: Very accurate.
Carly: But very funny. And then he realizes that he knows Alice because of her podcast, which is an insane thing to say because again, it is an audio medium!
Riese: Yeah. And also, no gay man has ever taken interest in anything a lesbian has ever said.
Carly: Never. And he’s like, “You won’t be doing any podcasting from here” and I’m like, actually, of course not. But also at the same time, she records podcasts in a busy cafe in the middle of the day, so she can do it anywhere.
Riese: Yeah, she’s portable.
Carly: I really liked Barry’s voice, and I would like Barry to have a podcast. I enjoyed the tone of his voice. I would want to hear more of it, but this is the only episode this man is in, so we will never see him again.
Riese: I will say when a gay man tells me that he reads Autostraddle, I’m like… I love you.
Shelli: I was waiting for some shade!
Riese: No, I like it! Like, oh that’s so nice!
Carly: It feels like a true honor.
Riese: Yeah, it does, I’m like “Wow a man! A man likes my little website, I’m so excited!”
Carly: So we go back to SheBar, and Adele gets Jenny a drink and tells her that Niki Stevens is here. And this is super interesting and we are starting to see a little bit more of who Adele is, because Adele orchestrated this entire thing.
Shelli: Yeah, she sure did.
Carly: Which is really interesting.
Shelli: So dope.
Carly: Niki is in fact gay, and her agents know that, and her close friends know that and she is not out otherwise. She was like, “My agents would freak if they saw me here.” And then Tina’s like, “Adele, did you set this up?” And Adele’s like “Yeah…” So now Tina knows and is like, “I love you Adele!” and so now that’s interesting.
Riese: No, they trust her. And Niki’s leaning into this little bubble seat… did you see those little bubble seats?
Carly: Yeah, so Niki is hiding in this pod, bubble chair thing with Jenny because there’s a girl that she hooked up with who won’t stop calling her.
Riese: Do you think she’s telling the truth?
Shelli: I think so, but I think like… yeah…
Carly: Maybe an exaggerated thing…
Shelli: Like she called you twice, girl, because you had her stuff. Not because she wants to talk to you.
Carly: She’s like, “I want my bike back.”
Shelli: I want my shit back!
Riese: Yeah, I found your copy of Bad Feminist.
Shelli: I love that reference because I know exactly where it’s from.
Carly: Wait, isn’t that something that Drew posted on Instagram?! Laughs. Oh my god, I’m so dumb, I feel like I just saw that… what show is that from?! And no, that’s from real life.
Riese: That’s from Drew’s Instagram.
Carly: Drew’s so fucking funny. Ok, so they’re going to go talk. So we go back to Tasha and Alice at the party. Everyone’s slow dancing, which is, I think any party where everyone is slow dancing is hilarious.
Shelli: Especially if the lights are on, like what’s happening?
Carly: You’re in the guy’s house and you’re all slow dancing, it’s so funny!
Riese: Were they listening to November Rain?
Carly: Yeah, which is a 17-minute song, so it was a long dance.
Riese: Yeah, you really had to pick somebody you really liked.
Carly: Oh yeah, you’re like basically getting married.
Riese: You’re in it.
Carly: So Tasha and Alice are slow dancing right by… what’s the name of the basketball player… Darrel Bruer, and the guy he’s with. And they have a little interaction, it’s really cute, and then fucking Alice takes her fucking dumb flip phone with its 2-pixel camera out of her pocket and secretly takes a photo of them kissing. I wrote in my notes, “I’m going to murder her.” But also, how did no one notice her doing this, because she was not stealth.
Shelli: She wasn’t smooth about it at all. But it just made me so… I wrote too, “Wow, you have zero control.”
Riese: One thing about SheBar that I would love to see at an actual lesbian bar is that the music was at a level where you could hear people talk, and there were little private areas to speak.
Shelli: There were seven little private booths and bubbles she could go to.
Riese: Which is where Niki and Jenny are.
Carly: For the grand opening of a hot new club in town, it’s so incredible how few people were in there!
Riese: Correct, yeah. That’s more like the third week of the lesbian bar existing that no one’s there.
Carly: Because any time I went to any of those West Hollywood clubs when I would visit — because this was before I lived here — they would always be so obnoxiously packed that it was difficult to be there for more than a few minutes, because you’re just like…
Shelli: See… I want that.
Carly: Yeah, I know, it’s like I used to be so annoyed by that, and I’m like old, so I just never want to go anywhere. And now after six months of being at home, I’m like, I want to go out to a crowded club and dance and be drunk and on drugs and I don’t give a shit, and I want to act like I’m 22 because I’ve been in my house for too long.
Shelli: Yeah, I want everyone to sweat on me, I want everybody to yell in my face, and be like, “What can I get you?” Whatever you want, it’s fine, just talk to me. Slow dance with me, please, if you can?
Carly: Ok, so Niki and Jenny are having their little chat in one of the very quiet secluded chat rooms in SheBar, and Niki is hardcore selling herself to Jenny to get this role.
Riese: She’s dying to play Jesse.
Shelli: It’s a little too desperate for me. I was like, girl, and plus you already know you got the job!
Riese: Just relaaaax! She was like, “Have you ever read something that’s just so true?”
Carly: Don’t ask Jenny that.
Riese: Like… yeah? We all have? Everyone read Tom Sawyer.
Carly: She’s like, a woman broke my heart once, and this character is me. And I’m like, wow, what a unique experience!
Shelli: Right! To everybody who is in this bar right now!
Riese: Right, every lesbian novel written before five years ago is about a lesbian who falls in love with this straight girl who breaks her heart.
Shelli: Right, it’s like… alright, what do you bring to the experience?
Carly: And then Niki starts crying about Hollywood. And she’s like, “I know what I look like!”
Riese: That was so weird!
Carly: And at that point, I left my body, and I don’t know what else happened.
Riese: Like, yeah… you can’t look like that and cry and say, “I know what I look like.”
Shelli: “I know what I look like, I know how weird this is going to be.” Girl! So you also agree that you’re really pretty? I don’t understand.
Carly: Right. So you agree, you think you’re really pretty.
Shelli: So you agree, you think you’re really pretty… I don’t understand, like… no. You can’t do this.
Carly: Like, she already has the job, she’s just trying to get Jenny to not hate her.
Shelli: To not hate her!
Carly: That’s all this conversation is trying to do.
Riese: But it’s kind of flirty.
Carly: It’s kind of flirty, but like deeply pathetic.
Shelli: I just saw the desperation, I couldn’t see anything else.
Riese: Oh yeah, my note is that “Niki starts crying about being white and pretty.” “Crying” in all caps.
Carly: You know what, I bet if Niki Stevens was a real celebrity, she definitely would have been in that “Imagine” video that came out a few months ago in black and white with all of those celebrities.
Riese: Oh absolutely. She would have a weird TikTok. God, that feels like 17,000 years ago.
Shelli: Oh god. If I were a white woman, you couldn’t stop me, honey. I would have every role, every man, every everything. Ok? I would be living my best Witherspoon life. I love it.
Carly: Oh my god. So Shane’s trying to leave, and Dawn Denbo is like, “We’ve heard a lot about you. We would love for you to become a regular.” Like, girl, why are you trying to force it? Your club just opened. You have to have a good place so that people want to hang out here. And you stalking people as they come in and knowing all the shit about them already is deeply creepy, but Shane hasn’t had sex in three hours, and so she’s really horny, so it doesn’t matter.
Riese: It’s been almost an entire week!
Shelli: That room was wild.
Carly: The VIP room… they kick everyone out. They’re like, “Everyone get out! We reserved this room at 11pm, everyone please leave.”
Riese: If this was now, someone would Instagram Story that and be like, “Wow, first night of this new bar, and we were just kicked out of the VIP room we paid for by the owners, so don’t go to SheBar.”
Carly: “Um, we have wrist bands!” Laughs. So they propositioned Shane for a threesome, and it works instantly, like no convincing is needed. None!
Shelli: It works immediately!
Carly: In .2 seconds.
Riese: They’re like, “We don’t have jealousy” “Ok, let’s do it.”
Carly: Oh, well as long as there’s no jealousy.
Shelli: She’s like, whisper-repeating the things that they say to her, like back. Like, “Oh, we share.” “Oh, we shaaare.” It’s just like, “Oh yeah, we do.” “Oh yeahhh, you do.” Like Shane, it’s terrible.
Carly: Shane’s brain is, like, broken. But… we interrupt this threesome to bring you a brief transphobic moment.
Riese: [singing] Da, da, da, da, daaaa, another moment of transphobia!
Carly: In a different empty part of this bar—
Riese: Jesus Christ.
Carly: So in a totally other part of the bar that is also not very populated, Max is dancing with Tom, which I love that for both of them, and Bette and Jodi are talking about it, and…
Shelli: Oh, fuck!
Carly: And what is it? Oh yeah, Jodi’s like, “I’m so excited for Tom, he really wanted a boyfriend.” And then fucking Bette Porter is like, corrects her to say, “girlfriend.”
Riese: Do they know that when they have Bette Porter, who was idolized and revered by millions of lesbians—
Carly: Wow, millions?
Shelli: I would say millions! Or a million.
Riese: I mean, there’s at least a few dozen… that they’re saying that’s ok?!
Shelli: And they both chuckle about it, too. They say it, and then they go, “Hahaha, that’s funny.” And I’m like, girl, wait, what? No, it’s not.
Carly: It’s not!
Shelli: God, and it was such a sweet moment at first.
Carly: I know, they ruined a really sweet moment.
Shelli: They ruined it, yeah.
Riese: And like always, there’s nothing, no “Bette, that’s not fair” or “Don’t say that,” or “That’s not true.”
Carly: Like, Bette, wow, you’re misgendering an entire human. You’re being super shitty.
Shelli: You’re being such an asshole about it right now.
Carly: The one thing that was funny is just thinking about Max and Tom having to dance for such a long time in the background of that scene, where there was no music playing when they shot it. That is deeply funny to me.
Shelli: Oh wait, because that’s what happens on sets is there’s no music, right? You have to pretend dance?
Carly: Yeah, if there’s dialogue, there’s no music. Sometimes, they’ll do like a crowd shot, an establishing shot, and they’ll play a track so people can kind of get it in their heads, so that they kind of know a vague idea of how to move to it, but for this, it’s like they’re in the background, Bette and Jodi are by the camera, they’re talking. Like they were just props in the background awkward dancing in silence. Laughs.
Shelli: Eww… I mean that was such a sucky moment, because I thought it was so cute, and then…
Carly: I know, I loved that moment, until… Bette is super awful about Max in every fucking opportunity she gets, she is shitty about it. And then fast forward to Gen Q when they’re like, “We want Bette to win, because of trans issues!” And I just remember watching that and being like, “Interesting! Tell me more!”
Shelli: What if somebody who was there that night at the club was like, “Actually, 10 years ago, I was next to you at the bar, and I overheard you talking…”
Carly: Like, Dawn Denbo’s at a rally.
Shelli: “Do you remember, Dawn Denbo, Bette Porter?”
Carly: “Do you remember 2008, Bette? I heard you misgender someone in my club?”
Shelli: “Yeah, so… tell me about that, Bette.” That’s so wild!
Riese: That’s such a Dawn Denbo move…
Carly: I know, she would pop up 12 years later.
Riese: She loves to interview people.
Shelli: I want her back next Gen Q. That would be so dope.
Carly: Can you imagine?
Carly: So Kit’s trying… Kit’s like, “I’m over it, I want to leave.” And Bette’s like, “Cool, let’s go, but I gotta find Shane first, I promised I would find her and tell her when I’m leaving.”
Riese: Where’s Shane?
Carly: Where’s Shane? Uh, we don’t know!
Shelli: Whenever the question is, “Where’s Shane?” It’s just like—
Carly: [Whispers] Sex.
Shelli: We know where she’s at.
Riese: [Singing] Fucking in the VIP room.
Riese: That’s a risk to have sex on the opening night of your business. You kind of want to be out on the floor, you know?
Shelli: You should be, like, mingling, right?
Carly: You should be out there! On the floor. There’s a random man who will not allow her into the VIP room, and so she goes into yet another part of She Bar that also has nobody in it. How many rooms does this place have and why is it so empty?
Riese: I love this bar, I would go there every night.
Carly: Me too!
Riese: You get your own private room for you and your ex to have sexual tension?
Riese: You could have a threesome? You could have a conversation about literature? Everybody gets their private room!
Carly: To do whatever in! To fuck their ex! Or have a threesome! Or awkwardly dance in silence!
Riese: Misgender their friends!
Carly: So, she finds Tina at another bar alone, and she’s sad. She’s like, “Tina, why are you in here?” And Tina’s like, “Oh my god, I don’t know. Just kidding, I’m hiding from Brenda.”
Riese: Which like… okay. She’s like—
Tina: “I’m hiding from Brenda… she’s so nice and everything, but… oh my god, she’s fucking crazy. I can’t keep up with her. I don’t know where she is, somewhere else dancing.”
Shelli: It just took such a turn. I was just like, yeah we’re having such a great time, like an hour and a half ago you were dancing your heart out. I don’t understand what’s going on.
Carly: I know. Maybe Shane brought cocaine, because clearly she has cocaine on her because…
Riese: Yeah because Shane always has — best to call her “Cocaine Shane.”
Carly: Cocaine Shane. And then maybe Brenda did the coke, and then Brenda was insufferable and Tina was like, “Whoa, this is too much.” I feel like they just deleted a couple scenes.
Riese: She did say, we can’t keep up, and you know what that means, I can’t keep up with the cocaine, so.
Riese: Tina’s like, “This is just not my scene. And you’re so lucky to have Jodi so you don’t have to date.”
Shelli: Right, or like, have a good time, I guess? I don’t know. Because her and Jodi are always fighting, like I don’t get it.
Riese: Yeah, you’re so lucky to have this person you never get along with.
Shelli: You’re always fighting and having disagreements and wearing really awful tops with each other, it’s so beautiful!
Riese: They really wear the worst tops.
Carly: Really interesting belt choices.
Shelli: Really interesting belts and shirts!
Riese: They really want Jodi to dress up a t-shirt all the time.
Shelli: Like, we get it, you’re an artist!
Riese: “How do we dress up this t-shirt? To be artistic?”
Carly: Like, let her wear a jacket! Come on! Artists wear jackets! So then the moment of all the tension between them of this season thus far, leads us up to this moment where Tina goes to leave, Bette grabs her, and puts her face on her face and they have this very intense make out situation. And I’m just like, Bette, what are you doing!!!
Shelli: She just ruins it!
Riese: Iconic moment.
Shelli: I just don’t like how Bette’s face looks when she knows she’s about to do something wrong. And she’s just got the “Uh oh, I could stop, but… I can’t do it.”
Carly: It’s like she has a “tell”
Shelli: Yes! Like, don’t play poker! With Helena, or I don’t know. It’s just like she just has this face, where she’s like, “I can’t help myself” — yes you can!!
Riese: Yeah, she does.
Shelli: Like, she does not have to do this.
Riese: She’s like, “Oh, I fought this battle with myself and I lost, oops!”
Carly: You’re a grown-ass woman, and you have a lot of agency in all of these situations.
Riese: But just think about what this moment meant to so many Bette and Tina shippers on that night.
Shelli: Oh wait, was this when they, the first time they re-hooked up, since?
Shelli: Okay, so people were probably like, “Yay!” I was like, wow, sounds like somebody’s cheating, don’t like it, I’m not interested.
Carly: Wow, look who’s cheating again! Bette!
Riese: Bette is a serial cheater. But then just to make this moment a little bit—
Carly: But then Bette cries.
Riese: Yeah, yeah. She really tops off the moment with a little extra touch. Like this was a good cupcake, let’s put a little icing on it. And the icing is violent crying. Heaving tears. Like if I kissed someone, I’d want her to start crying right away. You know? I’d be like, I understand, I feel the same way.
Carly: I think it’s great to be making out with someone and then just start crying on their mouth.
Shelli: And just on the sparkles and the dress and it’s just like, wait wait wait wait wait! This is SheBar, this is opening night, we can’t keep this up.
Carly: There’s no crying at SheBar!
Riese: Laughs There’s no crying at SheBar!
Shelli: Tina looked great, though, again, the lighting in this extra special room on the dress was like, ugh. So good. She looks great. And I like her attitude in this season, probably because it’s not directed towards anybody I care about, so maybe that’s why I like it?
Carly: She’s just mad at her boss and sometimes mad at Jenny.
Riese: She’s really just mad at Jenny this whole season, which is fair!
Shelli: Which is probably why I’m like, “Ugh, love Season 5!”
Carly: Yeah, seriously. And that’s the episode!
Instrumental transition music plays.
Riese: Well, well, well. Opening night at SheBar!
Carly: Opening night at SheBar. What an incredible night. A night to remember.
Riese: What an incredible night. Exactly, a night to remember. You might think Prom, Homecoming, opening night of SheBar.
Carly: It’s up there on that list.
Riese: I just want you to know that GirlBar co-founder Sandy Sachs, said of her venue: “We wanted to do something to help make the lesbian community more visible, and create a place for women to come together.” And her partner, Robin, said, “GirlBar is a place where our patrons can come and feel safe and feel comfortable, and most of all, feel empowered.”
Riese: And then it says that these women have “gained national acclaim as the poster children for lipstick lesbians.”
Carly: Oh god, I have to jump off the roof.
Shelli: So this person’s name was Sandy Sachs? So Dawn Denbo, DD, SS?
Riese: Yeah, Sandy Sachs and Robin Gans.
Shelli: Oh, who wrote this?! I’m surprised people haven’t been sued! I’m so confused!
Carly: I know!
Riese: I wouldn’t be surprised if they did sue.
Carly: We should investigate.
Riese: I feel like these people were litigious.
Carly: Oh yeah, oh for sure.
Shelli: I would be like, that’s about me! Stop it! Give me some money!
Carly: You’re Lez Girls-ing me!
Shelli: You’re Lez Girls-ing the shit out of me right now, bro! Like, what are you doing?! Why did you do this?! Oh my gosh. That was a dope episode though. I am going to speed through Season 5 again, just because, because it’s so so so good.
Shelli: It’s a fun season, I love it. It’s just good.
Carly: It’s definitely the lightest and most fun season, for sure.
Riese: There weren’t as many really terrible things. Like there was no Mark and Gomey, there wasn’t Dana dying. But yeah, I enjoyed the episode.
Carly: Yeah, me too.
Riese: Yeah, it was cute. I wish we could have gotten to read more of Max’s podcast.
Carly: Which is apparently a written medium now.
Riese: Yeah, it’s a written medium now. Next week it’s going to be, like, a puppet show. And they’re going to be like, “Look at my podcast!”
Carly: Max — this whole season is about Max trying to learn what a podcast is! And he just keeps guessing.
Riese: The last time he said, “Will you look at my podcast?” and he handed someone a full laptop computer. And they were like, this is a computer, it’s not a podcast.
Carly: Like, what do you want me to do with this laptop?
Riese: The title of the blog post was “Transgender.”
Carly: It’s a very specific…laughs.
Riese: The title… Come on. Try just one tiny little bit harder.
Carly: Like, do one extra additional thing.
Riese: Just a teeny tiny bit harder. Just a little bit harder.
Carly: Oh my god, why do we think this episode was named “Let’s get this party started?” Just kidding, it’s obviously [tech music plays] She Bar!
Riese: I think it was because Kit got a gun.
Carly: I still think it would have been better if there had been a question mark at the end of the title.
Riese: Everyone’s like, oh, where’s the party. Oh, this room has one sad woman in a sparkly dress in it.
Carly: This room has three women fucking.
Riese: This enormous room has three women fucking. This entire room has two girls with bangs talking about being gay. Like, where is the party? Where is the party starting? Dance floor is Max and Tom being misgendered by their friends.
Shelli: Right! Like, where is the party, I’m confused.
Carly: There is no party. The title is a lie. Shelli, thank you so, so much for being our guest on this episode!
Riese: Yes, you’re a real delight!
Shelli: Oh, thank you! I feel like I didn’t know a lot of trivia, but I tried!
Riese: No, you did! I was like, I don’t even have to tell any jokes this episode because Shelli’s so funny that no one will notice.
Shelli: Oh my gosh, please, throw me in, please feed me compliments, I love it.
Carly: If the people listening love you as much as we do, where can they find you? On, say, the internet?
Shelli: You can find me on Instagram @ayoshelli. And I’m on Twitter @HiShelli. I’m always talking about… I’m trash on Twitter, low key, that’s what I’m always talking about, is trash. I’m flirting with everybody. I’m always talking about Scott Pilgrim, that’s basically it.
Carly: But like, all I ever want to do is talk about Scott Pilgrim, so I get it.
Shelli: I always want to talk about Scott Pilgrim with people on Twitter. So that’s it! Oh, and then on Autostraddle.com!
Riese: Autostraddle.com, it’s a great website. And Shelli writes for it.
Carly: It’s okay.
Riese: You should… yeah, it’s fine. It’s middling. It’s like the She Bar of websites.
Carly: No, that’s so rude, don’t ever say that, that’s so mean.
Riese: It’s The Planet of websites.
Carly: That’s better, but not great. So we have reached the part of the show where we all have to say a word that starts with L, and we will all say them at the same time. Everyone let me know when you are ready, I am actually — Riese, you’re going to be so impressed, I came prepared, I wrote an L word down before this episode. That has never happened before, ever.
Shelli: I have one in my head that just popped out.
Carly: Great! Riese, you good too?
Riese: Yes, I’m totally ready.
Riese: 3, 2, 1…. Lockdown.
Carly: Ok, Shelli, what did you say?
Carly: Ok, nice. Riese, what did you say?
Riese: I said lockdown.
Carly: Cool. I said Lynx, which is the WNBA team in Minnesota. As I said last episode, I will be finding some sort of WNBA L word for every episode of Season 5. And The Lynx of Minnesota are the rivals of my favorite team, the LA Sparks. And one of their players, Napheesa Collier, has a podcast right now that is my new favorite podcast that isn’t this podcast. Napheesa Collier and A’ja Wilson talking about the WNBA from the bubble. And it’s the best podcast.
Riese: Someone invite Carly to the bubble.
Carly: If I don’t get an invite to the bubble, I’m gonna die.
Riese: Carly will die.
Carly: All I want to do is go to the bubble.
Shelli: I’m trying to marry one of them so if I can make that happen within lockdown, then I’ll get you an interview. Like I said, if they got social media, I can get you in.
Riese: They just need to get into the bubble.
Carly: Their podcast is called “Tea with A & Phee” and I really recommend that everyone listen to it. It’s my new favorite podcast. I promise to talk even more about the WNBA next week.
Riese: Also our podcast!
Carly: And our podcast. Thank you all for listening, I’m sorry I keep talking about the WNBA, except I’m not.
Riese: No, it’s good! The WNBA is important. And people should watch it.
Shelli: Yeah, it’s dope!
Carly: I just love it so much.
Riese: What else are you doing? Watch it.
Carly: I feel like it’s having a moment, finally, more people are watching than before, people are talking about it more. And I’m just so happy.
Shelli: And I think it’s dope that we have a lot more coverage on it, too. Especially queer coverage.
Carly: Yeah, there’s so many televised games. There’s televised games basically every day, it’s crazy. It’s awesome. Anyway! I’m done. Thank you all for listening, goodbye.
Riese: Thank you guys! So much!
Shelli: Thank you for having me!
Riese: Thank you Shelli!!
Carly: Thank you, Shelli! Thank you audience!
Riese: We love youuu. Get your party started. Bye!
Outro music plays
Riese: Just so you guys know, Urth Cafe — if anyone who works for Urth Cafe is listening to this, I love your carrot cake, and I would like a slice of it right now.