“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 505: Lookin’ At You Kid With Zeke Smith

I haven’t finished putting all the screencaps into this post because I’m falling asleep at the wheel but I will in the morning!

Get your gay brownies ready we’re going to the cast party with special guest, comic/actor and two-time Survivor contestant Zeke Smith!!! This week, the gals meet their Lez Girls counterparts at a wild party, Alice goes viral by outing a basketball player, Shane gets her boots on Dawn Denbo’s couch and her hands inside Dawn Denbo’s girlfriend, Max questions the veracity of Adele’s traveling salesman stories and we all dance on the table!

The usual:

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!

Carly: And I’m Carly!

Riese: And this is—

Riese and Carly: To L and Back!

Carly: A podcast about The L Word

Riese: The L Word! A podcast about The L Word program show.

Carly: A program show! Ok!

Riese: Yeah!

Carly: Ok, that’s good.

Riese: Yeah, it’s about ladies, and one man they’re all really mean to…

Carly: Yeah…

Riese: And… one dog, a tiny dog named Sounder.

Carly: Sounder. I’m going to be calling this dog Sounder 2, going forward—

Riese: Oh right, Sounder 2.

Carly: Because this is the second Sounder.

Riese: Oh and then there’s also the man who runs the studio.

Carly: Oh Aaron, Tina’s boss.

Riese: Yeah. I think that sums it up…

Carly: That’s all the characters, yeah. You just named everybody.

Riese: Yeah, yeah.

Carly: Well good! great episode!

Riese: Great episode! I had a really nice time watching it, I enjoyed it.

Carly: This is a real treat, this episode. There’s a lot going on here.

Riese: Yeah, no, I actually really love this episode, so I’m excited about it

Carly: Yeah!

Riese: Today is a really exciting day, because we have a really exciting guest!

Carly: We sure do! Please welcome to the show, the one and only, Zeke Smith!

Zeke: Heyyyy!

Riese and Carly: Yayy!

Zeke: We are so much like Alice Pieszecki, podcasting about lesbians!!

Riese: Yes! Except ours is like an audio thing?

Zeke: Yeah, so I — full disclosure — it’s been a long time since I’ve watched Season 5 of The L Word!. I just watched this episode and just in the recap, it brought back so many feelings and memories. And it’s also — this season was probably written in 2007, 2008?

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah.

Zeke: And Alice has both a podcast and a social media dating site. And to me, it’s no wonder that in the reboot, she’s worth gazillions of dollars, because she got on the ground floor of two things that are huge now!

Carly: Yeah, for sure.

Riese: Right, exactly. Just like I did!

Zeke: Exactly!

Riese: And now I have—

Carly: You’re a media mogul, Riese!

Riese: And I have…. one…. thousand dollars in the bank! Saving it for a rainy day, I’m excited about it.

Carly: Well it’s LA, it’s never gonna rain again. Zeke, welcome to the show, we are so excited you are here! Why don’t you tell our listeners a little about yourself!

Zeke: So, I’m Zeke. I would identify myself as a writer and a comedian. But if you have any idea who I am, which you probably don’t and that’s fine, it’s probably for the better, I was on two seasons of Survivor. And I’m most well-known for being outed as transgender during my second season of Survivior. You know, it wasn’t great, but hey, I won a GLAAD award and I met my boyfriend, so…. you know.

Riese: I mean, wow.

Zeke: I mean, not too shabby!

Carly: Yeah that’s not bad! That’s not bad! Those are both great things to come out of it.

Riese: That’s kind of the best case scenario.

Carly: Especially the boyfriend part — I mean the GLAAD award is nice, but I mean the boyfriend, that’s great.

Zeke: I mean me and the boyfriend are serious, like, we’re in escrow on a house right now.

Carly: What?! Congratulations!

Zeke: Thank you!

Riese: Now’s the time to buy!

Zeke: We are going to be homeowners! Yeah, you get that low interest rate.

Riese: Yeah, now’s the time, that’s what I keep hearing.

Carly: Making big moves, I love it! So, we love to start this off when we have guests on the show by asking the all-important question: what is your L Word origin story? Where were you, what were you doing, what was going on in your life when you were first watching this program?

Zeke: Um, yeah, so I remember this very vividly. I was, I think I was 16 years old — 15 or 16 — and I knew Queer As Folk was the thing, and I was pirating Queer As Folk, like secretly, you know, on LimeWire, under the covers in my bed, and watching it and being like, ooooo nobody knows I’m queer. And then, of course, everyone knew I was queer. And… as you have probably ascertained, I am a gay, trans guy — but I didn’t start that way. Because living in Oklahoma in the early aughts, the first off ramp towards masculinity was lesbian, because that’s where cargo shorts and short hair and football jerseys resided.

Carly: Totally.

Zeke: There were no trans guys in the media.

Carly: Yeah

Zeke: Max was obviously our first television character and… oof. I have feelings about that and how he played a role in my transition and my community. But yeah, so I heard, you know, I was like (deep voice) “Yeah, I’m a big dyke, rawr!” And I heard—

Carly:: Did you do that voice?! Because that’s convincing!

Zeke: Yeah! You would think that people would be like, maybe you’re more male-identified than female-identified? But we didn’t know, there wasn’t enough representation, hashtag representation matters—

Carly: Exactly.

Zeke: So yeah, I asked my, you know, because for The L Word, I was like, ugh, I’m gonna want to watch it the moment it comes out, I don’t want to wait to pirate it, you know, weeks later.

Riese: Right.

Zeke: So I asked my parents, you know, for my birthday or Christmas, I want Showtime.

Riese: Were you like, “I love Californication. I just want to keep up on it…”

Zeke: Yeah, I was like, “yeahhhh, it’s just for the expanded film content, yeah.” And my parents were very concerned about my academics and getting into a good college, so they were like, no no no, since more television is a distraction, here’s the thing: if you get a 1600 on your SAT, then we will get you Showtime.

Carly: Oh my god!

Zeke: So guess who studied all summer and got a 1600 on his SAT?!

Carly: Whoa!! That’s amazing!

Riese: Oh god! Holy shit!

Zeke: And I got my Showtime and I got to watch my L Word, and I got to watch and drool and TiVo that shit, and rewatch, and ugh, it was just, you know? Because I lived in, you know, a very small community in central Oklahoma, I didn’t have any other queer people around me, so this got to be my queer world, and the future I imagined for myself, for what I thought it was going to be like to be a queer person in a place where people could be queer. And then, you know, of course it’s not… the authenticity of the The L Word is running at about 3%…

Carly: Yeah

Riese: Yeah, uh huh. I still can’t believe that you got a 1600 on your SAT, first of all, but also that you did that so that you could watch The L Word.

Carly: This is incredible.

Zeke: Yeah…

Riese: Like, I don’t know, that might be our best effort story that we’ve gotten so far.

Carly: Definitely best effort story. That’s amazing.

Riese: Most effort put in to getting access to The L Word, like, you aced the fucking SAT.

Carly: Jesus.

Zeke: Yeah. I mean, I really wanted to watch some hot naked ladies get at it!

Carly: It’s totally, it’s a good cause! It’s a worthy cause, getting Showtime.

Zeke: I mean there are worse reasons to study for the SAT, right?

Carly: Exactly!

Riese: Yeah, there are! So you were in high school when it was starting?

Zeke: Yeah, so I was in high school I think for the first two seasons, maybe? Then I went to college, thinking, alright, I’m gonna go to college and be with all the other dykes, and we are gonna go to the women’s center and watch The L Word on Sundays. and that’s what we did!

Riese: And that’s exactly what happened!

Zeke: Yeah! And we watched it at the Women’s Center on Sundays! And you know, it was a hairy armpit festival. And people would go and hook up in the broom closet and what have you.

Carly: This is like legendary. I love this.

Zeke: I mean it was a lot of fun and it felt so great to have community — which made it so hard when, because right when I got to campus, you know, because I never met any other lesbians, I didn’t know that that’s what I was, because I just defined it myself. And that’s the only term I had access to. But then I met other lesbians in college in Boston, and they were like, “Oh are you trans?” And that was the first time I had encountered that idea, or anything, and it took a couple of years to sort of wrap my head around the fact that I was trans.

Riese: Mhmm

Zeke: And one of the reasons that it took me 2 years, I think, to finally articulate myself as trans is that you know, as Max was transitioning on The L Word, while I was in college, and I saw how all the L Word gang, who I always identified with — you know, Alice and Shane and all that jazz — I saw how they reacted to Max and I was like, ohh, I’m gonna transition and I’m gonna be shunned from this community that I’ve longed for for 18 years, I’m gonna lose my community if I transition.

Riese: Mhmm

Zeke: And you know, I did, to a great degree, lose that community of people that watched The L Word on Sundays, because their first experience with a transgender man was Max, and they were following Alice and Jenny and the other people, right?

Carly: Yep!

Zeke: That’s how they were being taught to react, you know?

Carly: Oh man…

Zeke: Yeah. People don’t — now, I think people are starting to see all the TERF-iness that is coming out of the UK and they’re understanding that there is a left-wing opposition to trans people, but most people don’t understand that. You know, the biggest hurdles that I faced with friendship and acceptance in college were from people who were feminists, or people who were super involved in the LGB movement and didn’t want the T to join. And now, people see it in the UK and understand why it exists here. But it exists so much less in the United States than it used to.

Riese: Mhmm. Yeah, it’s still pretty strong here, though.

Carly: Yeah… heavy exhale.

Riese: But yeah, I mean, that speaks to — I mean we obviously have talked a lot about Max’s storyline on this podcast—

Carly: Ohhh yeah.

Riese: Because it’s just really remarkable what a bad job they did!

Carly: Yeah!

Zeke: Yeah, yeah, it is. Like really there are no stereotypes about trans guys. Like one of the ways in which I talk about how there is such a lack of representation of trans men is that we don’t have our own slur.

Carly: Oh my god…

Zeke: Like no one has taken the time to come up specifically with something derogatory towards us… but to the extent that there are negative stereotypes about trans men, The L Word hits all of them.

Carly: Yep! Every single one!

Riese: Every single one!

Carly: They check every box, they really do.

Riese: Uh huh.

Zeke: I’m gonna — I know we’re not supposed to plug until the end, but I’m gonna plug right now.

Carly: Do it!

Zeke: So I’m in the documentary Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen.

Carly: Yayyy!

Riese: Yay! It’s just so so good!

Carly: Sooo good! Which we have also talked about quite a bit on this podcast, because of how much we love it.

Zeke: Oh awesome! Well if you haven’t gotten the memo, watch it and tell everyone you know about it. So part of my homework is I knew I was going to talk about The L Word, then I also was asked to do my homework on Coach Beiste in Glee.

Riese: Yeah, that was…

Zeke: Yeah, but what’s so interesting is, you know, I’m sure if we paced through all the Max stuff in The L Word—

Riese: Yeah

Zeke: To catch up, then I watched the episodes of Glee with Coach Beiste, which I didn’t watch, I wasn’t a deep watcher of Glee.

Carly: Yeah…

Zeke: And it’s like they watched The L Word, and they decided to not talk to any real trans guys….

Riese: Oh no…

Zeke: And just mapped all the same, like, testosterone rage, and everything…

Carly: Wowww, I didn’t watch those episodes — I watched early Glee and then kind of fell off, like, I’m not the audience for this show, I’m too old. But like, I honestly didn’t realize that that’s what happened with the character until I saw that part in Disclosure, and I was like, wait, what?

Riese: Oh really?

Carly: I just completely stopped paying attention to Glee, then I saw that and was like, “Whoa!” And to just know that they just retreaded all the exact same bad decisions that The L Word made many years prior is so disappointing.

Riese: And with this cis lesbian actress playing the part. But yeah, I recapped Glee, so I had to watch all that. And honestly, it felt like they wanted to have a trans guy, like they wanted to check that box and say they had done that. It didn’t feel like they had any interest in actually telling a trans story, they just wanted to be a show that had a trans character, a trans man character. That’s how it felt.

Carly: Yeah, yeah.

Riese: And so they did a really bad job!

Carly: Womp womp.

Zeke: But I will say this, as icky as I felt about — and continue to feel — about Max, my boyfriend got invited to go to the premier of the new L Word on like, a Tuesday night. He was so not into it, and I was like, “no motherfucker, we are going. This show played a pivotal role in my life and we are putting on our pants and we are going!”

Carly: Yep! That was a fun party! That premiere was actually pretty fun. I had a good time.

Zeke: Yeah it was good — we didn’t end up going to the afterparty, but, you know, I’m tight with Leo Sheng and Brian Michael Smith and I wanted to support them.

Carly: Yeah!

Riese: Yeah!

Carly: Yeah, we love Leo and Brian.

Zeke: And it was cool that Dana was there, and everybody cheered!

Riese: Yeah!

Carly: That was — yes — there was actual applause when people realized that she was there.

Riese: She’s just always around, you know?

Carly: She’s just lurking.

Riese: Ilene Chaiken wakes up everyday and is like, “Oh, I messed up with that.”

Carly: Yeah!

Riese: Did you have any favorite characters when you were watching it?

Zeke: Ooh……. well….. I mean, here’s the thing. For me….. the ultimate……

Riese: Which transphobe did you like the best?

Carly: Seriously!

Riese: Which one really spoke to you?

Zeke: For me, you can date it to pre-Max. So before Max transitioned, I feel like, Carmen and Shane fucking in the DJ booth is maybe my favorite L Word character.

Riese: My favorite song, “Carmen and Shane Fucking” by EZ Girl.

Carly: Which is the score to that scene.

Riese: Uh huh

Carly: Um, I love that that is a character, perfect, I totally get it. Makes sense.

Zeke: Yeah, and… I, you know, I enjoyed Jane Lynch’s character, the big brassy lawyer lady.

Riese: Yeah, she’s funny.

Zeke: And I actually wrote in my notes for this episode, “I forgot she was a character” but Dawn Denbo is maybe my favorite character name.

Riese: Such a good villain!

Carly: Dawn Denbo and her lover Cindi. They have some really great stuff coming up in this episode. I love them so much, they are the most ridiculous, and the story behind it is even Better.

Zeke: I know my favorite — I know someone who was very not transphobic and very supportive of Max – Alan Cumming, Billie Blaikie or whatever!

Carly: Yes! Yes!

Zeke: Because when I was 12 years old, I saw Alan Cumming in Cabaret on Broadway, and I mark that night as my sexual awakening.

Riese: Yeah, I fucking love that show.

Zeke: Like I felt things that I never felt before and didn’t know it.

Carly: Amazing

Zeke: And then to see him being so into getting fucked by a trans guy, still, I’m like, ugh, Alan Cumming, one day, you and I….

Carly: Ugh, god. we love Alan Cumming so much!

Riese: Woo!

Carly: Alright. Today’s episode is 505, it’s called, “Lookin’ At You, Kid” and it was written and directed by Angela Robinson, who we love.

Riese: Yay!

Carly: She’s amazing, we love her so much. And it originally aired February 3, 2008.

Riese: Wow.

Zeke: Yeah.

Riese: That means we probably watched it together.

Carly: Yeah, we probably did. Should we get into it?

Riese: Yeah, let’s do it!

Zeke: Let’s do it!

Carly: Let’s get into it!

Riese: It’s the table read!

Carly: Very exciting. It’s the table reading for the movie and the whole cast of weirdly named, not exactly the cast of The L Word is gathered — it’s the most meta thing that could happen. They go around the table and they introduce themselves, so this is also our time where we get to see who has been cast to play each of our beloved characters.

Zeke: And we see that, even in lesbian fantasy world, where there could be two rival lesbian bars, and there are no lesbian bars in Los Angeles, but there are two in this.

Carly: There are two!

Zeke: And we have a lesbian woman who wrote and is directing the script, and a bisexual woman who is executive producing, and still in that context they decide to cast mostly straight people and whitewash the hell out of the cast.

Carly: Yep! They sure did!

Riese: And not just — Shane is very, you know, she’s farthest on the masculine scale of the lesbians of The L Word, but not that far in terms of the world at large or whatever—

Zeke: Sure, sure

Riese: For Shaun, they cast just like, another white skinny femme lesbian!

Carly: Just like, a lady?

Riese: So Kit, played by Cat, is still black, but they made Bette white.

Carly: Yeah…

Zeke: Yes, which we address later in the episode

Carly: Yeah

Zeke: But it’s also like — why? Why did you decide to—

Riese: Why?!

Zeke: Like you’re not even making an attempt to fictionalize the names or anything!

Carly: No!

Zeke: So it’s very clear who is supposed to be who, and why not cast a woman of color?

Riese: Right!

Carly: Well that is a great question!

Riese: Yeah, why not?

Carly: And also, Tina, who is in love with Bette, is the producer of the film!

Riese: Yeah, she was in the room making those decisions!

Zeke: And is also the mother of Bette’s child!

Riese: Yes! There are two other — I just like to note about this cast — one is that Patricia Velasquez is playing Begoña, who is playing “the predator,” Marina — and she is gay.

Actress at a table reading for Lez Girls saying "I'm Begonia, playing the predator."

Carly: Yes. She came out—

Riese: But she came out a few years ago, yeah, but she was like secretly dating Sandra Bernhard for a series of years, which is interesting.

Carly: That’s interesting

Riese: And she wrote a book. And the other thing is that the girl who plays Alice, for some reason, looks like she should have a backwards hat and be in The Sandlot and be like, “I want to play with the boys!” And I was like, this is a really badly cast.

Carly: This is terrible casting.

Zeke: And again, this is the first I’m watching The L Word in a very long time. And we open by panning across the table, and the very last person it lands on is, “I’m Jennifer Schecter, the writer and director…” and I was just like, ugh, barf.

Carly: Yeah, super barf.

Zeke: Like I had such a visceral reaction.

Riese: She was… she almost seemed earnest at the end — like she was earnestly feeling good about it.

Carly: Yeah, I mean, maybe. I think she’s just earnestly feeling good about herself, really, more than anything.

Riese: Yeah

Carly: All of these people—

Riese: So far, this movie sucks.

Carly: All these people seem completely insufferable, yeah.

Riese: Yeah, the dude sucks. “Happily representing the dudes!”

Carly: Oh god, that guy.

Riese: And then, Nikki with her sunglasses, I’m like, what happened? Did she just, what happened that day?

Nikki: Don’t think I’m a bitch because I’m wearing my sunglasses inside, I just got my pupils dilated, which is weird. But, um, anyway, I’m not being weird, I just have to wear them.

Carly: So weird. I like how she didn’t just say, “I went to the eye doctor” or something.

Riese: Yeah, she’s like, “I’m not a snob…” The rumor is that Nikki was semi-based on Lindsay Lohan.

Zeke: Oh! I can see that, that makes sense.

Riese: I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I just said it on a podcast so it’s true now.

Carly: That totally makes sense, yeah.

Zeke: Yeah

Carly: I see that, I see it, I for sure see it.

Zeke: But then after the table read, we get to “Talking, laughing, loving, breathing, fighting, fucking, farting, burping.”

Riese: How do you feel about the theme song?

Carly: Do you love this theme song so much?

Zeke: I do! I mean, it’s like a hate-love sort of thing.

Carly: Yeah.

Zeke: But I remember the first time I saw the new theme song, because it’s different than they did the first season, and I was so embarrassed, but in a way that I had sexual feelings I was afraid to admit, you know? It was so, like, bold and ballsy and dykey, and I think it made me feel very scared, but now in a way that I very much appreciate.

Riese: I was just like, “ugh.”

Zeke: I was sad when I watched Generation Q and they had a completely new theme song.

Riese: I know!

Zeke: I was like, I think you should have just stuck with the old one.

Riese: I wanted them to have a new song but also really bad, like I wanted them to have a new really bad song that everyone hated.

Carly: Like bad in a different way.

Zeke: I mean it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t classic L Word bad.

Riese: Right, that’s true. So… then we cut to The Planet, where Bette and Tina run into each other, and it’s kind of awkward, and they need to talk but they haven’t talked. So despite sharing an actual human child, they apparently haven’t spoken in some time.

Carly: Yeah, Bette claims Tina’s been avoiding her, and she wants to talk, and they just can’t get their schedules to line up, you know?

Zeke: They just can’t get in sync!

Riese: They’re just both so busy!

Carly: They can’t! They can’t do it.

Riese: They can’t! Why can’t they do it tomorrow night, Carly?

Carly: Well they can’t do it tomorrow night, because we get some great exposition about how there’s going to be a party. Jenny is throwing a party for the cast of Lez Girls and we don’t know this yet, but also the cast of The L Word has been invited to the party.

Riese: Yes! it’s a double cast party.

Carly: It’s a doppelgänger pot brownie party, which sounds like a good theme for a party.

Riese: Yeah, so — and this is a recurring theme on The L Word, first or second scene, you have to announce—

Carly: —whatever party is happening in the episode. There’s always, like, a party.

Zeke: It’s like an episode of Real Housewives.

Carly: Yeah, basically! It honestly is the same formula of Housewives or Gossip Girl. Every episode of Gossip Girl, there was always, like, a ball or some sort of party.

Riese: Yeah, The OC was like that too.

Carly: Yeah. It’s great, I personally love it. So then we go to Alice’s.

Riese: Alice thinks Parker Posey should have played her, and I don’t disagree.

Zeke: Yeah, that’s a good self-casting.

Alice watching television on her couch

Carly: I also thought that was a good self-casting. Alice is going on about this cast party, and I just really feel like Tasha has way Better things to do and she says—

Zeke: Yeah, she’s in the middle of fighting a discharge, right?

Riese: Yeah!

Carly: She says she has a strategy session with Captain Beech who, by the way, I just realized, plays — the actor who plays Captain Beech plays Patrick’s dad on Schitt’s Creek, which I completely didn’t realize.

Riese: Oh yeah!

Carly: He’s Patrick’s dad on Schitt’s Creek, which I love.

Riese: I watched that yesterday! So Tasha’s wearing a gay tank top and she’s gonna wear it to her strategy meeting, so, I don’t know about that. And Darrel Bruer Basketball Fame—

Carly: Basketball game, Darrel Bruer…

Riese: Yeah, Darrel Basketball Game Bruer. he — there’s a guy in the NBA, he came out, and Darrel Bruer, he doesn’t care for it.

Zeke: John Amaechi. He actually spoke at my college, I went and saw him speak—

Riese: Oh wait, it was a real person?

Carly: I remember when he came out.

Zeke: John Amaechi is the actual — yeah, he was the first gay guy to come out in one of the major sports leagues in the United States. though he himself is British.

Carly: Oh, I didn’t know he was British.

Riese: Huh.

Carly: So, the announcement is made on our favorite news channel, News Live.

Riese: Yeah, News Live.

Carly: And it’s Darrel Bruer being interviewed after a game saying a lot of really shitty homophobic things about John Amaechi, and Alice is outraged. Oh is she outraged.

Riese: And so is Tasha. Tasha is very mad also.

Zeke: Yes. You know what is so interesting to me is, like, a lot of The L Word holds up just because it’s L Word trash, and so it’s just universally applicable. But then, you get these timestamps of where we were in the gay rights movement—

Carly: Yeah!

Zeke: And we’re like, oh my god, remember when people cared if gay people were in sports lorckerrooms? Now we just care about trans people in locker rooms. We don’t care about the gays!

Riese: We’ve moved on to bigger and Better things.

Carly: Yeah. Now we just care about trans people in bathrooms. We don’t care about basketball players.

Zeke: I know, what a quaint little struggle, that was.

Carly: What a little trip down memory lane.

Riese: Tasha’s like, I wish we could out his hypocritical ass. but she’s obviously, I think, speaking generally, not as in, I literally wish we could do that, she’s just kind of expressing her frustration.

Carly: Who among us has not said things out loud, like, “I wish this!” or, “I want to kill this person!”

Riese: Exactly.

Carly: I mean, in the privacy of our own homes, who gives a shit.

Riese: In the privacy of our own homes, yeah.

Zeke: Exactly.

Carly: Unfortunately, Alice doesn’t know about that thing.

Riese: Yeah, so we’ll get back to that in a minute.

Carly: Yeah, put a pin in that.

Riese: First we’re going to go to SheBar, which has a very bad designer. I don’t like their logo, and I don’t like their layout.

Carly: Everything about it is gross. Also, it’s daytime, and they’re open?

Riese: It’s daytime.

Carly: Question mark?

Zeke: They aren’t supposed to be, they’re not supposed to be infringing on the coffee territory!

Carly: Nope, they specifically said they would not be infringing upon the coffee territory in the last episode!

Zeke: And now they have a coffee drive-through.

Carly: Which was Kit’s idea! And a grand idea, might I add. A grand, grand idea.

Riese: A “grande” idea, if you will.

(everybody dies laughing and has to come back from the dead)

Carly: Ohhh! Kit Porter invented coffee shop drive-throughs.

Riese: That’s true. And yeah, they’re packed. They’re bustling.

Carly: It seems like, in this universe, gay people don’t go to Starbucks, they only go to these two coffee shops.

Riese: Right. And that’s…

Carly: Which is incredible.

Riese: Yeah. I think we would.

Zeke: I know, in Generation Q, we’re in Silver Lake, Los Feliz. But in the original L Word, do we know what neighborhood we’re supposed to be in?

Riese: We’re in West Hollywood. We are very much in West Hollywood. Like Bette and Tina’s house, and I guess Shenny’s house, is technically like two blocks away from me, I think. 3 or 4 blocks away from me. I live in West Hollywood.

Carly: Riese is very much in West Hollywood.

Riese: And The Planet is based on—

Carly: Urth Cafe

Riese: Urth Cafe.

Zeke: Oh, like down on Melrose?

Riese: Yeah.

Zeke: That’s like not queer territory at all, that’s like bougie Beverly Hills territory.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: Yeah…

Carly: So that doesn’t really make sense, but—

Zeke: I’m learning so much about the history of The L Word today!

Carly: We’re really an educational podcast.

Riese: (Singing) I know way too much about this show. So Shane’s just cruising, just cruising around, pulls up in her Jeep.

Carly: She’s cruising in her Jeep.

Riese: Pulls up in her Jeep. Cindi’s wearing a little denim romper. I think it’s cute.

Carly: It’s pretty cute.

Zeke: Mhmm.

Riese: And then Cindi leans over and names every pastry to ever exist.

Cindi: Plus we have so many other delicacies to offer.
Shane: Really?
Cindi: Really.
Shane: Like what?
Cindi: Tarts, pie, muffins…
Shane: Mhmmm…
Cindi: Lady fingers… I could go on.

Carly: And like, I get that she’s flirting, but watching this earlier today, I hadn’t had lunch yet, so I was just like, oh my god, I just want pastries.

Riese: Yeah. Eventually she gets to lady fingers.

Carly: That took it too far. That was ridiculous.

Lover Cindi talks about pastries while leaning into Shane's car window

Riese: I’m like, eclairs was enough. you should have stopped at donuts, ok? Goddammit. She did not mention pear polenta tart, though, so The Planet still has that.

Carly: That’s good.

Riese: It’s copyrighted to their name.

Carly: That’s because they haven’t been to The Planet yet. Once Dawn Denbo goes to The Planet, she’s gonna know about the pear polenta tart that costs 8 million dollars, and she’s gonna make her own and she’s gonna have it cost 7 million dollars.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Just slightly undercutting The Planet, and she’s gonna take all their tart business.

Riese: And she’s gonna start filming a podcast in her bar… restaurant.

Carly: I miss the good old days when bars were only open at night and coffee shops were separate buildings.

Riese: So Cindi invites Shane over in the afternoon.

Carly: Little afternoon delight? Anybody?

Riese: Little afternoon delight, if you will. So yeah, Shane’s gonna do that, she’s into it. She’s definitely assuming that Dawn is also involved in the invite.

Carly: Yes. And Shane has completely thrown her newfound celibacy in the trash. That’s gone. That lasted for—

Riese: Yeah, that’s over.

Carly: 5 days?

Riese: Her mind is muddled now. She’s never going to see Shay again!

Carly: She’ll never be able to clean her closet and throw out her lowrise jeans.

Riese: She’s cancelling her gym membership. She’s throwing the jeans back into the closet.

Carly: She’s like, I’m here to cancel my gym membership, and they’re like, you signed the year contract. And she’s like, I’ll set this place on fire like I did to WAX.

Riese: Yeah. Then we cut to, I guess like, the clothes closet?

Carly: Ok, this was super confusing.

Riese: Walk-in closet?

Carly: It felt like it was supposed to be a wardrobe fitting for the movie, but like, the costume designer for the film wasn’t there? Like it was just Jenny, Nikki, and Adele? So it was very odd, but whatever.

Riese: Nikki’s basically giving her whole romantic history.

Zeke: My favorite was the deep cut literary reference that no one without a Master’s degree in queer English literature would understand.

Riese: Yeah. Jenny gets real into it.

Carly: Yeah, yeah.

Riese: My favorite was—

Nikki: Jimmy was a boy, you know, not a b-o-y boy but a b-o-i boi.

Nikki trying on a black dress in a room filled with costumes, looking in the mirror

Zeke: Yeah, that was like, we’re getting to very classic Jenny Schecter things, we’re getting the deep-cut literary reference, and we’re getting some casual hostility to trans masculine people.

Carly: Yep!

Riese: It’s a real one-two punch.

Carly: It’s the Jenny way.

Riese: It’s the Jenny way.

Zeke: Classic Jenny.

Riese: So Jenny explains the Zvengali to her, and tries to get Nikki to be more midwestern, and also says—

Jenny: Don’t listen to her, she wears mom jeans with camel toe.

Riese: Which, by the way, is cool now.

Carly: Yep, that’s true.

Zeke: Fashion of the future.

Riese: Yeah, she was ahead of her time, Adele.

Carly: Yeah, she really was. Real trendsetter, that Adele.

Riese: Sneaky little Adele. And Jenny’s kind of bored, but kind of charmed. Kind of, it’s hard to tell.

Carly: Yeah, and she’s kind of flirting with Nikki, and kind of doesn’t care, and is like, “What’s going on, oooh.”

Riese: Nikki definitely has the aura who assumes everyone wants to have sex with her all the time.

Carly: For sure.

Riese: And therefore also wants to listen to all her stories.

Carly: Yeah, and none of them were interesting.

Riese: Yeah. And then we go to Shenny’s…

Carly: We go to Shenny’s, where Shane is whipping up a batch of pot brownies.

Riese: I have a lot of questions about this scene.

Zeke: Which I’m like, wasn’t — weren’t there legal pot stores here in LA at that point?

Riese: No…

Carly: No, not yet.

Zeke: Not yet? Oh.

[editor’s note: actually there were legal pot stores in CA for medicinal marijuna already]

Riese: I mean, we’ll get into the later part of the scene, but at the very beginning part of the scene, where Adele comes in and says she was gonna go and pick up cakes, and Shane is like, no you don’t have to, I’m making weed brownies.

Zeke: Yeah, pick up cakes from Sweet Lady Jane.

Riese: I feel like they should have a non-weed option….

Zeke: Yeah, because cakes from Sweet Lady Jane are very different from pot brownies.

Riese: You can’t just have pot brownies as your only pastry. I mean, Cindi just wants to have 20 of them.

Zeke: Right, because then you consume too many pot brownies.

Carly: Right, and what about the people who don’t want to eat pot brownies? I mean I don’t know who those people are, but I’m sure they exist.

Zeke: Yeah.

Carly: I assume…

Zeke: Well you don’t know the dosage, you want to be very careful, right?

Carly: That is very true!

Zeke: We don’t know what else, there could be Fentanyl in there, you don’t know.

Carly: That’s not good.

Riese: I had pot brownies at a Thanksgiving once. I made them, and by 3 o’clock, four people were asleep in my office. So Adele says that she grew up near a pot farm, and Max is like, “Really? I thought you said that your dad was a traveling salesman?” Which, first of all, what? A traveling salesman? She really said her dad was a traveling salesman? Is this, like, 1956? He sold vacuum cleaners and toothpicks door to door?

Carly: Wait, quick pause, Robin’s dad actually was a salesman that travelled around.

Riese: Really? What did he sell? Toothbrushes?

Carly: I don’t remember.

Riese: Bibles?

Carly: I don’t think it was Bibles.

Max eyes Adele suspiciously

Riese: So then Alice shows up and they’re like, talking about Adele, like “Do you like Adele?”

Carly: Alice and Shane think that Adele is cute.

Riese: Yeah, the answer to “Do you like Adele?” was, “Oh, I think she’s pretty hot,” like, no one asked if you like how Adele looks, this is a TV show, everyone’s hot. Do you like Adele as a person?

Carly: Right, you’re all actors. But they don’t really know her very well, but Max is in full inspector gadget mode.

Riese: Right. As he should be, because he’s right.

Carly: He is absolutely right.

Riese: And he’s like, “She’s not really who she pretends to be.” And then!!!! Alice says, “You’re one to talk.”

Zeke: Ughhhhh!

Carly: Ughhhhh!

Zeke: She’s just so mean to him! I’m like, why have him in this scene. like he’s only in this scene to be the butt of the joke, right?

Carly: Yeah.

Zeke: Like that’s the only reason, and I’m like, why don’t you just write him off, nobody liked him at the time.

Riese: Let him go!

Carly: Let him go!

Riese: Let him be free!

Zeke: Yeah, he’s just there to be a punching bag. You know — look — in a weird way, The L Word captures the authenticity of the trans experience, but not because they intend to. Just like the idea that a trans guy would hang around these people who are just so mean to him.

Carly: So shitty.

Zeke: All of the time.

Riese: So mean.

Zeke: And he doesn’t feel like he can leave. That’s true. And I, you know, it’s a reason why a lot of trans people get stuck in a lot of toxic relationships, both romantic and just platonic relationships. It was just, it was really hard and cringey to watch. I was like, ugh, Max, get some self respect and get the fuck out of there. Like, Max, run.

Riese: Yeah. Because he kind of just shrugs, you know.

Zeke: Yeah, he just shrugs it off.

Riese: He’s like, yeah, good point.

Zeke: And then Alice is like, I need a favor. And he’s like, okay!

Riese: Right, right! Yeah!

Carly: Yeah, because he’s her employee, and she’s the worst boss to him! She’s so horrible to him, especially this season, when he’s fully working for her full-time.

Riese: Yeah. Awful.

Carly: Insane.

Riese: So, after that, now we’re all in a bad mood, and Alice goes to her — well I don’t know — Max’s edit bay, or whatever.

Carly: Who knows where they are. But Alice has a major project.

Riese: A major project.

Zeke: A major project. She needs to upload a video to YouTube.

Carly: I need you to access the FTP and hack into the mainframe. and get this podcast video out there.

Computer screen showing the video Alice is going to post on OurChart

Riese: Yeah. They’re gonna out Darrel Bruer using footage that Alice took at a party, for which she signed an NDA and where everybody was supposed to keep it a secret who was at the party. But Alice filmed the party, and now she wants to put it on the internet.

Carly: I would also just like to say that she shot that while she was dancing with Tasha on a dark dance floor on a flip phone. That footage that she shot—

Zeke: A Motorolla Razr.

Carly: Like, come on. That footage that’s in the video is supposed to look bad, but it’s a thousand times — like what she shot it on her flip phone was probably not usable.

Riese: No.

Carly: When I think about the angle of which she was holding it, and how shitty cell phone videos were in 2007 and 2008… but, whatever Alice.

Zeke: That was definitely early iPhone footage, but iPhone wasn’t out then.

Carly: Sure wasn’t.

Riese: No it wasn’t. So when she’s watching it, and watching Darrel Bruer’s — the statements he made about gay people, she’s just a hundred percent on board. She’s a hundred percent, no question, thinks she’s doing the right thing.

Carly: She has zero doubt in her mind that she’s—

Riese: Zero doubt.

Carly: —in any way ethically being a monster person.

Riese: And I’m like, what the fuck are you doing? I’m like, yes this is a bad guy or whatever, but like—

Zeke: Well, as someone who has been publicly outed…

Riese: Yeah, what was your take on this?

Zeke: Well, I feel like the rules for outing are: you don’t out other queer people who are not there in their process, the exception being politicians and other public figures who use their platform to hurt the movement.

Riese: Yeah.

Zeke: Like, I feel like that is the one very clear well-defined exception, and that dude fell within the exception, you know? And… yeah. Then it’s fine to out him.

Carly: I mean… he’s a hypocrite, you know?

Riese: Yeah, he is a hypocrite. But I feel like she signed an NDA at that party…

Carly: She is absolutely opening herself up to an actual lawsuit by doing that.

Zeke: Whether that’s a smart legal decision is a different question, than the ethics of her move.

Carly: For sure, for sure.

Riese: Yeah. I think the other thing is that where Tasha is right now in her process of her case, and the fact that her being seen with Alice is a big part of their case against Tasha, that this probably wasn’t a great move…

Carly: Maybe she shouldn’t draw that much attention to herself, maybe, right now, by posting this as like — and it’s not like Alice made a thing and anonymously put it on the internet where there was no way to trace it back to her. She put her face and name in it. She’s on camera.

Zeke: Yeah she did some very smart branding…

Carly: Excellent branding.

Zeke: That’s why she will ultimately get a talk show ten years in the future!

Carly: That’s a really good point!

Riese: Yeah, you’re right!

Carly: Yeah. She is smart. She is savvy, I will give her that.

Riese: She is savvy, that’s true.

Carly: I wish that she maybe had a little bit of reservation or thought about it, but whatever.

Zeke: Yeah, and I guess that’s… the legal reservation and whether or not it was right considering, you know, that she and Tasha are in a relationship, and Tasha is fighting a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell violation or what have you. Those are the reservations that I have. I still think it was ok to do it, solely in the context of, is it ok to out that person?

Riese: Mhmm, yeah. So then we go to Dawn and Cindi’s…

Zeke: And Shane, try as she might, she tries to resist Cindi, she’s like, no, we gotta call and ask Dawn. Ask Dawn to come.

Riese: Where’s Dawn…??

Zeke: But Shane can’t resist the hot naked chick!

Carly: Cindi is just fully nude in heels. Good for her.

Riese: Yeah. Also, the whole mansion is covered with big photos and paintings of Dawn and Cindi.

Carly: Ugh. I love the art on their walls the most. It’s so good.

Shane in Dawn and Cindi's, standing in a room that contains three pictures of Dawn + Cindy. CIndi walks towards her, naked and in heels.

Riese: Shane puts up a bigger fight to this than she ever has to anything, I think.

Zeke: Yep.

Riese: It’s just like, 45 seconds, almost.

Carly: That’s her longest fight of trying to not have sex with someone, ever, in recorded history.

Zeke: But Shane really tried really hard.

Carly: She really tried!

Riese: Yeah, she did! She said no, she re-buttoned a button on her shirt at one point.

Carly: She fully re-buttoned that one button.

Zeke: She tried multiple times to get Dawn on the phone.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Uh huh.

Zeke: And Cindi was not having it.

Carly: Not having it. There was definitely some weird L Word consent stuff happening in this scene, once again.

Riese: Uh huh, yeah, once again!!

Carly: Where I was just like, eeeek. Like probably…

Riese: She really pushes it.

Carly: Yeah, like probably watching it in 2008, I was like this is hot, this is how people negotiate these things. And now watching it I’m like, fully kind of grossed out by it. But the thing that really grossed me out is when they do start hooking up and Shane fully has her boots on the white couch. I was like, are you out of your fucking mind? Dawn’s going to kill you for two reasons.

Zeke: I have a question.

Carly: Yes.

Zeke: Because I was never an adult lesbian. I was a collegiate lesbian for a short period of time.

Riese: This is exactly what it’s like, yeah.

Zeke: Well, this is my question, because this feels reminiscent of things that actually happen amongst gay men, which is where there will be a married gay couple, and they only hook up together. But then one wants to hook up solo — like that is a thing that I have heard happens many a time. You know, is this realistic for — not realistic — but do you think there is authenticity in this representation of lesbian relationships? Does this happen?

Riese: I feel like…. it happened…. to me….?

Carly: Narratively, and for the characters, it totally feels right. Like you’re like, of course this is what’s going to happen now.

Riese: Yeah, because it’s all about weird manipulative power games and all this other stuff. It turns out to be like that.

Carly: And a cool West Hollywood turf war.

Riese: Back to The Planet?

Carly: Yes. So Alice is here to tell Kit some terrible news, which is that SheBar is doing breakfast, is doing coffee, and stole her brand new idea that she invented of having a drive-through coffee window.

Riese: Where you drive, and there’s a window…

Carly: You drive through it…

Riese: And then they give you the coffee through the window…

Carly: And they’re like, ok, here’s your coffee…

Riese: And you’re like, can I have a straw? And then they’re like, ok. Like that.

Carly: It’s very similar to what you just described.

Riese: Also, coffee. She’s doing coffee, which is also kind of a Planet thing, so…

Carly: It is. Kit’s pissed, and rightly so.

Riese: Kit is mad.

Carly: Kit also needs to learn how to not tell great ideas to people who she just met, who are clearly crazy people, who are going to steal all her ideas. Like, Dawn Denbo just comes across as a monster person even if you have just met her, like a cartoon villain. So, don’t tell her your cool idea of what you’re gonna do, don’t trust her, you just met her!

Riese: Then Max calls Alice and is like, turn on the TV!

Carly: She turns on the news, and it’s not News Live, this is a different news channel.

Riese: Oh it is?

Carly: Yeah, I checked.

Zeke: It’s like NNL.

Carly: Yeah, it’s like an afternoon—

Zeke: It’s like New News Live.

Riese: Ohhh, it’s like for the younger generation.

Carly: It’s like hip news. And wouldn’t you know it, but her little video podcast made quite a splash! Darrel Bruer is live on the news apologizing, standing with his family, saying he’s taking some time away to be with his family, respect our privacy at this time.

Riese: Yeah, just like Kellyanne Conway today.

Carly: Yeah. Just like that.

Riese: And I think you also get the feeling here that Alice did not really have a full grasp on how famous he is.

Carly: She did not. She is seeming quite panicked at this moment.

Riese: She’s like, oh wow.

Carly: She’s kind of realizing some stuff that she didn’t really think about previously.

Riese: Yeah. I love Kit being like—

Kit: I can’t believe that Darrel Bruer is gay!

Riese: Kit knows.

Carly: Oh, I love Kit.

Riese: But Alice is also really excited to be on television! 500 thousand hits in 2 hours. Wow! So many! So Alice is a star now. Then we go to Shaolin Studios.

Carly: Yeah. We are in the production office. Things are getting ready, we are in pre-production, people are walking around with a sense of purpose. And you know what Jenny wants? She really wants us to take a minute and talk about how Sounder 2 needs to be in the film.

Riese: Uh huh. I agree.

Jenny and Niki presenting Sounder II to Aaron and Tina, suggesting the dog should be in the film

Carly: Tina’s literally like, she’s speaking to a child when she is talking to Jenny. She’s like, “So there’s this thing in films where the dogs that you see on screen are professional working actor dogs, and they are trained.” And Jenny’s like, “No, Sounder said he’s ready. He’s ready to be on camera.” I was like, I mean if he said he’s ready, I don’t know…

Riese: Right. So they’re not excited about that, but Tina and Aaron are excited that Adele has made Nikki and Jenny be… friends.

Carly: Best friends!

Riese: Best best friends. She saved the picture.

Carly: BFFs.

Riese: And then Tina pulls her aside for a little sidebar…

Carly: And she’s like, “we really appreciate what you did.” Oh my god, the way she phrases this stuff, it’s like how many times have you been in some sort of work environment and someone in a position of power has spoken to you in this voice and you’re like, am I — are you asking me to do something that’s like, kind of fucked up? Or outside the scope of my job, or weird?

Zeke: Yeah, it’s like, when’s the other shoe gonna drop.

Carly: Yeah.

Zeke: You don’t just pull an assistant aside to be like, you did a really good job, we’re paying attention — like it’s not —

Carly: Never.

Zeke: Ulterior motive.

Carly: And she really just wants Adele to spy on Jenny. And then Adele’s like, “oh do you want me to spy on Jenny?” And she’s like, “no I don’t want you to spy on Jenny.” Even though she just asked her to spy on Jenny.

Riese: Yeah she just definitely just asked her to spy on Jenny.

Carly: She’s like, “just give me a little heads up whenever something happens.” I’m like, welp, this does not bode well. Then we see Alice leaving a voicemail for Tasha. She cannot get in touch with Tasha, she really needs to talk to Tasha, because guess what? She’s been invited to be on the news!

Riese: I wonder which channel!

Carly: It’s not our — what is our news channel? News Live. It’s not on News Live, I don’t think.

Zeke: But it’s on New News Live.

Carly: New News Live, it’s the new one.

Riese: Oh it’s New News Live?

Carly: Yeah, it’s one channel above.

Riese: New news. Yeah, ok.

Zeke: Well next we have Bette calling Tina to talk about Jodi.

Carly: It’s the flimsiest excuse for a phone call. I just, “I might have to go out of town in a few weeks and I just want to make sure you can watch Angie.” She’s like, “what the fuck phone call is this?”

Zeke: Yeah, and also, who calls their triple-time ex to get emotional comfort with a problem with their current relationship?

Carly: Bette Porter, that’s who.

Riese: Bette Porter, Bette Porter, yeah.

Zeke: And I feel like Tina is rightfully like, “no, I’m not going to have this conversation.”

Carly: Yeah! I love Tina in this scene.

Riese: Yeah, this is the season I like Tina.

Carly: Yeah, I know, me too! It’s so weird.

Riese: And also, because Bette is like, “I feel like Jodi is going to mess up with this meeting about the art that is controversial” with, what’s her name?

Carly: Lonnie Shipman!

Riese: Good old Lonnie Shipman again! Always that Lonni, she’s always playing with soap guns or hating the soap guns. And Tina’s basically like, “stop micromanaging Jodi, she will rise or fall on her own terms.”

Carly: She’s like, “let her speak for herself.”

Riese: Let her be herself.

Carly: She’s capable, you can’t fix everybody. And then Bette literally says—

Bette: So you’re saying I should stay out of it?

Carly: Yes, Bette, did you completely miss everything she just said? Like, Bette, your listening skills might need some improvement.

Riese: A little tuning.

Carly: Just some feedback from me to you. Little boop boop.

Zeke: Maybe take an improv class.

Carly: Or get a therapist, either way. Or both, I would say both. I love when Tina gets off the phone with her and just rolls her eyes so hard. She’s just like, what the fuck? And that’s a good question, what the fuck?

Riese: I feel like when Tina is working, she really feels herself.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: And in turn I feel her.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: I suppose the other seasons when I felt—

Carly: When she was terrible

Riese: —upset at her, all the time.

Carly: So we go back to Shenny’s. Shane is doing Jenny’s hair for the party. The party is at their house.

Riese: Shane is lifting Jenny’s hair up then pushing it back down, like this. Just putting it up, putting it down.

Carly: That’s how you do hair.

Riese: For free, I think. That’s a free blow out from Shane.

Carly: She’s just kind of blowing on her hair… So Max and Adele are setting up for the party, and Adele is right out front, kind of just outside of earshot, but still in the shot visually? And Max is like, “hey how’s things going with Adele?” She’s like — is Jenny eating a cake, also?

Riese: Yeah. She’s tasting — cheesecake tasting.

Carly: Yeah, so she’s like, oh I love—

Zeke: But wait, I thought they didn’t get the cakes?

Carly: They must have gotten the cakes?

Riese: Oh yeah, you’re right!

Zeke: They must have gone — you know what, they must have gotten the cakes from Sweet Lady Jane’s, you can’t resist it.

Carly: So Max is like, “hey, so I totally did this background check on Adele, which I’m like—

Riese: This is me, by the way, I do this.

Carly: A computer search, this is you and your computer searches.

Riese: Yeah, I’d be like, “sooooooooooo…”

Carly: “I did a quick Goog and…”

Riese: “I have a few papers for you and some court records if you want to go over them with me?” I would do this a hundred percent, a hundred percent.

Carly: Max is like, poking holes in her story, things she has said about herself are not lining up.

Riese: As he should!

Carly: Yeah!

Zeke: But everyone else’s overwhelming hatred for everything Max does causes them also to not listen to anything that he says. And not only that, they pull such a Real Housewives move of calling her over.

Carly: Yes! Oh my god.

Riese: I forgot that they did that.

Zeke: And it’s so embarrassing.

Carly: Yeah, I had forgotten about that too. I was like, this is upsetting. And you are absolutely right, totally out of a Housewives playbook.

Zeke: And it’s like, why is his purpose there just to be flagellated?

Carly: He’s just getting treated like shit! Oh god.

Jenny and Shane's house, Shane is doing Jenny's hair, Jenny is screaming, Max has his back to the camera, and Adele is coming onto the scene

Riese: And then they have her talk about her trauma or whatever, so that everyone feels bad, including Max.

Zeke: Right, she creates an even more heart wrenching story.

Riese: Which, by the way, is straight out of the scammer playbook!

Carly: Truly.

Riese: Distract you with a more — I mean, I am a fucking expert and—

Carly: You are, you are an expert on scammers.

Riese: Which is why I know all the background checking materials, but yeah, that’s — you can’t really ask her questions, because they bring up something else that is so horrible that you can’t… what do you do?

Carly: Well and she’s basically crying, and now everyone hates Max even more, so that’s how that goes. Great job.

Riese: Right, but also — god that was such a fucking bitch move. And I forgot that they did that, and as they were doing it I was like, are you kidding? What the fuck? What’s the point? Now Adele is Jenny’s assistant, Jenny lives with Max, and now Adele is going to be—

Carly: —weird to Max!

Riese: Weird to Max forever.

Carly: Because she knows that he’s on to her.

Zeke: And Adele was like minorly nice to Max.

Carly: Yeah! She at least wasn’t outwardly mean.

Zeke: She would at least say, “Hi Max!” in a decently pleasant tone.

Carly: She at least said hello to him, which is more than we can say for anybody else.

Riese: Uh huh, yeah. Oh my god.

Carly: Ok, so now Alice is on TV, and the show is called Hard Line, and it’s one of those cable news talking heads situations.

Riese: So it’s like Hardball but lines. Like Deadline meets Hardball. Hard Line on the not new news though.

Carly: On the, not New News—

Riese: Sports news?

Carly: Sports channel?

Zeke: I think it’s on New News Live.

Riese: Ok, New News Live.

Carly: And the host man accuses her of seeking notoriety by filming Darrel Bruer and posting the footage on her website. And he says that she violated his privacy, and he uses the phrase “world wide web” in a sentence, which I loved. It really dated this episode, in addition to the flip phones.

Riese: He also calls it “the net.”

Carly: The net! “You’re an internet journalist and you didn’t realize the power of the net?” And I was like, you mean the Sandra Bullock movie? That was a great movie!

Zeke: Well I also — something I didn’t believe is that Alice would go in there unprepared to defend her actions.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah.

Zeke: I’m like, Alice would know exactly what she was gonna say right off the bat.

Carly: And she kind of fumbles through it a little bit, but then finally—

Zeke: Finally finds her footing.

Carly: Finds her footing, kind of goes off. Then, by the end of it, the guy’s like, “well she’s got a good point! Ok!” And I was like, ok! That’s all it took.

Riese: Yeah. And now they got more live stories coverage on New News Live, so something’s coming in. Maybe there’s a party tonight, I don’t know.

Carly: This just in: lesbians are gonna be partying with straight people who will become lesbians by the end of the party.

Riese: Yeah, the cast of The L Word meets the cast of Lez Girls this evening at Jenny’s house, everyone! There will be weed brownies, and a few slices of cake.

Carly: Just a few. Jenny tasted all the cake.

Zeke: My favorite is that next we get to see Jodi’s first major appearance in the episode. And I don’t know if you have discussed Marlee Matlin’s history on The Celebrity Apprentice?

Riese: We have not!

Carly: We have not.

Riese: I didn’t know she was on The Celebrity Apprentice. Although I’ve actually never seen it.

Zeke: Marlee Matlin — before Trump was President, The Celebrity Apprentice was great, because you had a bunch of C-list celebrities desperate for attention. You had Donald Trump who was a nobody pretending to be a somebody. And it was all fun — it was the same thing we see now, but it was fun in the context of reality television. It is not fun in the context of the White House.

Carly: Sure isn’t!

Zeke: But yes, I used to love to watch it with my mom. So Marlee Matlin was on Season 11 and she should have won. She was robbed at the end. So she was a finalist, it was her and John Rich, who was a country star, like a white cis straight dude country star. Then the final challenge, it wasn’t about raising money, which is usually what the challenges were about. But this challenge was putting on a good event. And hands down, Marlee put on a better event. But John Rich had a couple buddies write some big checks, so Trump picked John Rich to win, instead of Marlee Matlin.

Carly: Damn!

Zeke: Because he just changed the rules so that the white guy could win, instead of the woman with disabilities, you know? Anyway, Marlee Matlin was great on The Celebrity Apprentice. If that peaks your interest at all, you should go back and watch it.

Riese: Marlee Matlin was also in So You Think You Can Dance?

Zeke: Yeah. So Marlee Matlin, when she does reality television, or when she does an interview, she has her own personal translator. And I meant to look up his name, but I didn’t, but it’s different than — they’ll hire an actor to be her translator in a scripted thing. But her translator became a — he’s a really cute little gay guy, and he became a star after Celebrity Apprentice.

Carly: Oh my god, I love that.

Riese: Really?!

Zeke: Yeah.

Riese: Apparently her translator — Tom’s character was based on him.

Zeke: Yes, yes.

Carly: Oh I love that. That’s fun.

Zeke: Yeah.

Carly: I love Marlee Matlin trivia.

Zeke: Anyway. Season 11 Celebrity Apprentice runner-up.

Carly: Oh my goodness.

Riese: So, Bette wants to skip the party, she wants to stay in with Jodi and reconnect…

Zeke: And fuuuck!

Carly: Yeah, “reconnect.”

Riese: Because she’s afraid if she sees Tina, she’s gonna lose her mind, I think is the subtext here.

Carly: And she still hates Jenny.

Riese: Jodi loves to party.

Carly: I love Jodi.

Riese: Bette is always trying to get out of parties. and Jodi is always like, I’m excited about the party, I want to dance at the party, we’re going to the motherfucking party, and then we can connect after the party.

Carly: Yep. Good for Jodi. Anytime she doesn’t let Bette be in control of things is great. Because Bette is very controlling.

Riese: Mhmm. Yeah. Also the party is next door, so.

Carly: It’s literally next door, so.

Riese: They could just…

Carly: Just pop over, then pop back.

Zeke: And the party’s gonna end up in their backyard, right?

Carly: Well, she doesn’t know that yet!

Riese: Yeah. But it is, so… if you don’t go to the party, they’ll bring the party to you. You know, lesbians.

Carly: You can’t escape this party, basically.

Riese: No, no. Well…

Carly: Time for the party.

Riese: Then it’s time for the party! Nikki brings in a bottle of alcohol and says, “let’s get this party started!”

Carly: Wow. So Shane’s chatting with Shaun, the actress that will be playing Shaun.

Riese: Ugh, Camille. She’s not gay.

Zeke: She’s not gay. I love the subtext of this scene in which Shane is like, “yeah I’m gonna fuck you in approximately 71 minutes. So you’re going to be straight for a little bit over an hour, but no longer.”

Carly: She’s like, “I’m not gay, I have a boyfriend.” And Shane’s like, “yeah, ok.”

Cast party, Shane talking to the actress playing Shaun, who is insisting that she isn't gay. The actress is femme and straight in a white button down shirt with long brown hair.

Zeke: Shane’s like, “alright, sure.”

Riese: And again, I’m like, why did you hire this bitch?

Carly: “I just play gay… gay for pay.”

Riese: Hire… what? Gay for pay. Isn’t that a term from porn, anyways?

Zeke: Yes.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yes. Anyways, so I hated her.

Carly: I hated her too. And then Jenny—

Riese: I hated her even though she has a cute little nose.

Carly: Then Bette and Jodi arrive, and Jenny makes this very loud big deal of saying hi to them. What was that? Was that just Jenny being obnoxious?

Riese: Jenny was just full-on. Oh we even forgot to say before when she says the thing when she’s eating the cake, and she’s like, “I don’t need to hear this shit.” That was funny.

Carly: Yeah, that was funny.

Riese: That was a weird Jenny moment. Tina and Bette are gazing at each other across the room with lust.

Carly: Bette is eyeing her like a shark across the party. It’s a lot. And then Alice meets Alysse—

Riese: Alysse!

Carly: And then, Alice is like, “You’re…”

Zeke: She is thoroughly unimpressed.

Carly: Well she had Parker Posey in mind. I mean that is, you can’t go any better than Parker Posey. She’s a legend, so if you’re thinking you’re going to be played by Parker Posey, then you’re going to be disappointed no matter who it is. And then she’s like, “I got some ideas, maybe we talk about some ideas?” Which I think is so funny and would never—

Riese: Right.

Carly: Well, it would only happen if they were making a biopic, if they were making a, “I am playing the role of this real life person in the film.” And then you would want to meet them and maybe talk to them if they were alive. But this is supposed to be fiction, so the fact that they’re all like, “Oh I want to talk to you about me playing you.”

Zeke: Oh right, because clearly they know that it’s very much that they’re playing real people, right? Because then Bette gets introduced to — whoever is playing her, and is like, “Tina, she’s white!”

Carly: Yeah. This was amazing, actually.

Riese: When she first meets her, Bette’s face just… phew falls.

Carly: Well first she just thinks — she doesn’t realize what’s happening first, she kind of gets trapped a little bit in that moment. She’s like, “oh I love your work” to this actress. And I’m like, oh I guess she’s supposed to be a person in the world, whatever.

Zeke: Sure.

Riese: But she’s like, “oh I have questions for you. I’m working on my why’s.”

Carly: And then Bette’s like, “wait, the fuck?” And she’s like, “Oh she’s playing Bev.” And then Bette’s like, then her face just like… oof. That is brutal.

Riese: And the actress just keeps talking.

Carly: She does not shut up.

Riese: And she is like, “Why does she sabotage every relationship? Why does she ruin everything? Why does she cheat with the plumber?” Honestly making the carpenter the plumber is Jenny’s… phew.

Riese: So then Bette does the speech that Lauren will put in:

Carly: Yeah.

Bette: Does she seriously think that Jenny’s idiotic drivel is reflective of me and my, life at all? I can’t answer your fucking “whys?” you know why? Because it’s not me, it’s not me. And apart from anything else, I am frankly… fucking flabbergasted. I am flabbergasted that she cast such a white actress. She’s white, ok? Was Mary fucking Poppins not available? And really, what the fuck can she possibly know about my life? What can she know?

Carly: Which, good for her.

Riese: Yeah, good for her. And when Bette walks away, the actress is like, “Is she Black?”

Carly: Oh my god.

Riese: Yikes!

Bette speaking to Tina about the woman who was cast to play "Bev"

Carly: Like, Tina, you could have maybe prevented this.

Riese: Yeah! And Bette looks at Tina like… and it’s true! What the fuck, Tina? You were in the room where it happened.

Zeke: But also to take it a level above, is like, why did the people who were writing The L Word want to tell this story?

Carly: Yeah!

Zeke: Because it’s not like studio executives forced them to whitewash and straight wash the cast. That’s who they picked, theoretically.

Carly: Right.

Zeke: You know? So like, there is this story to be told about how things get made more palatable for, you know, a midwestern audience or whatever. But that’s not the commentary they’re giving.

Carly: No.

Zeke: It’s just like, “oh we put straight white people in these roles of queer people of color.”

Carly: It’s just very confusing.

Zeke: Because you think about Hollywood, what’s-his-face, Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood, which is also in fantasyland, but reimagines a world in which a Hollywood would be better — and you know, be braver and bolder about queer stuff and race and gender.

Riese: Mhmm.

Zeke: And I’m just like, what is the thought behind not imagining the world as you want it to be?

Riese: Yeah, I mean part of it is that it’s Ilene Chaiken defending her choice to cast her show with mostly white cis straight women.

Zeke: Yeah.

Riese: You know? Like, she did it, so she wants — and she says, that’s just how you do a show, that’s just how you make a show. And so, when she’s gonna make a show within her show, she’s gonna make it the same way because that’s obviously the only way that you can do it.

Carly: There’s no other way.

Riese: There’s no other way, yeah.

Zeke: And you have to make it less diverse than it was the first time.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: Yeah, absolutely.

Carly: Bette wants to leave, and she goes to find Jodi to be like, “we’re leaving.”

Zeke: And Jodi’s chilling with a straight girl.

Carly: Jodi’s talking to one of the other straight lady actors in this film or whatever. And Bette flips out on her and accuses her of flirting with her. And she’s just — Bette is not having it. If you take for a moment, put yourself in Bette’s shoes, she didn’t even want to go to this party in the first place.

Riese: No, no she wanted to stay at home and reconnect. This is a bad, this is a really bad look for Bette.

Carly: Super bad, yeah.

Riese: She’s being terrible to Jodi. But again, Jodi’s not taking it, which is—

Carly: Jodi’s like, “Whatever, leave.”

Jodi and Bette fighting, Jodi explaining that she was talking to a straight actress about lesbian sex

Riese: Which I love for them. She’s like, “I’m gonna stay.”

Carly: Yeah, “bye!” So Bette leaves, and while she’s outside, making the very long trip next door to her house, Tina pops out—

Riese: Yeah, it’s quite a trek, it’s kind of like going to Grandmother’s house through the woods.

Carly: Exactly. Then suddenly Tina’s there, and they have a little talk and Tina apologizes, for what happened with the conversation with the actress or whatever. But I love that she didn’t apologize for knowingly casting a white person to play her — I mean, there are so many things that could have been brought up here but weren’t.

Riese: Especially because there’s this whole history of Tina wanting to not deal with the fact that she isn’t white, even in their real relationship, you know?

Carly: Yep. And so then they talk about how the kiss the other night was a mistake, and it’s never going to happen again, which we all know is a lie. And Bette asks Tina if she’s sorry that it happened and Tina’s like, “yes.” And then Bette doesn’t say anything, because she is clearly not sorry it happened.

Zeke: Yeah, this was sad for me. I was like, oh, Bette’s having a rough day.

Carly: Yeah, it’s a rough go of it for Bette.

Riese: Yeah, this felt really honest, though.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: It’s like, Bette is the one in a relationship, but she still just needs Tina to say that she wanted that as badly as she did.

Carly: Mhm, yeah.

Zeke: Because we know that Tina wanted it too.

Carly: Yeah. And so Tina asks her if she’s in love with Jodi. And Bette says, “yes I am” after she takes a roughly 45-minute pause, which is how you know—

Zeke: It does take up half the episode, though.

Carly: Half the episode is that pause.

Zeke: Hemming and hawing and scratching of the head, and the chin.

Carly: And she’s like “uhhhhhh.” She does that for 4 minutes, that sound. So Bette goes home.

Riese: And then Bette goes home, with tears in her eyes, which is not convincing to any of us.

Carly: No. So then—

Riese: And it’s hard because all of us at home are in love with Jodi, and it’s like why can’t…you know? It’s just the power of Bette and Tina.

Carly: Yeah. But then Tina’s being cool all of a sudden, so now I’m conflicted. I’m like, now I like Tina all of a sudden, so I’m like, I don’t know, because Jodi’s amazing.

Riese: Although Tina’s a terrible caster.

Carly: Tina’s not a very good casting director or an executive, clearly. I just really think that Jodi can do so much better, but we’ll get to that.

Zeke: Dawn Denbo!

Carly: Yes!

Zeke: She shows up and crashes the party!

Carly: Oh my god.

Riese: What would Dawn Denbo be doing now? I think she would still be a party promoter.

Carly: Yeah, but she would really be going through it with COVID. She would be hosting Zoom parties.

Riese: She would be in deep despair.

Zeke: Dawn Denbo would go all in on some sort of lesbian Coachella type situation.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yes.

Zeke: Thinking like, okay, like the new Dinah Shore, but it goes bust, like it’s sort of a lesbian Fyre Fest.

Carly: Oh my god, lesbian Fyre Fest.

Zeke: She runs out of money and people don’t buy tickets.

Carly: Can you imagine how funny that would be?!

Riese: She has so much drama with her partner that she doesn’t actually get anything done that needs to get done.

Carly: Yeah.

Zeke: But it’s not so much of a shit show because all of the lesbians who do show up are very capable.

Carly: Exactly.

Zeke: And they build boats to get themselves off the island.

Carly: They’re like, we actually could build houses, we don’t even need these shit tents.

Riese: Yeah, it’s like Survivor in that way.

Carly: So this is where the party gets great.

Riese: Yes, I really love this scene, but the number one feeling I have throughout all of it is that I miss my friends!

Carly: Yes! Oh, watching this now in this world that we live in was…

Riese: I really do.

Carly: It was really depressing.

Riese: I was looking at my notes and I was like, why do I have “god I want to see my friends at the party” as a note? What was I talking about? And then I was like, oh I’m talking about myself.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: I want to see my friends at the party.

Zeke: I want to see my friends, I want to get nude and run into my neighbor’s pool.

Carly: I want to eat pot brownies and sing and dance around with my friends and be stupid.

Riese: I want to dance…

Carly: Ugh, I found myself being almost sad for part of this scene?

Riese: I was sad. I was like, I want to kiss someone terrible in the bathroom, I want to dance on the table, I want to eat way more pot brownies than any human being should ever eat, as they were all doing.

Carly: They were eating the whole tray apiece!

Riese: Yeah. But anyway, getting ahead of myself, but it just really made me miss — especially because this was my favorite song to dance to!

Carly: Oh the Jackson 5 song?

Riese: Yeah, I love it.

Carly: It’s a good song. It’s a very good song. It starts with Shane and Alice and they’re eating pot brownies and they have this whole bit that felt very improvised, where they were like, “What if the brownies were all gay? And they were all like, ‘you’re hot’ and they were all like fucking each other?” And I just thought that was—

Riese: Because Camille walks by and Shane is like, “you want a brownie?” And she’s like—

Shane: They’re not gay, I promise!
Alice: Oh my god, what if they were gay?! What if the brownies were gay?!
Shane: They’re all fucking each other!

Shane and Alice sitting on the kitchen counter eating brownies, telling someone that the brownies aren't gay

Carly: I thought that part was adorable. And then we get a full party montage where everyone is high and drunk, and having a great time, and Jackson 5 is playing, and they’re singing and dancing, and they play the entire song — and that is a long song.

Riese: Yeah! And then Tina gets up there, she is just like young free Tina.

Carly: Yeah, Tina’s letting loose.

Riese: Yeah, and so it’s like, Shane and Alice and Tina are on the table and dancing. Jodi is just like, dancing for her life. Jenny and Nikki are flirty and dance-y and then they like — she jumps from something, I guess?

Carly: Oh yeah, Jenny jumps into Nikki’s arms at one point. And I was like, is this some stunt work? Was she even jumping off anything, or just the ground?

Riese: And everybody’s having such a good cute time.

Carly: Just having a great carefree time.

Riese: I love it, and I’m so jealous.

Carly: In this scene I wrote, “I would not be surprised if Bette called the cops.” Which, I wrote that note while I was watching this scene, and then she literally does that 10 minutes later.

Riese: I was like, Bette Porter.

Carly: Yeah, we’ll get to that. So, guess who’s here? It’s everyone’s favorite: Dawn Denbo and her love Cindi.

Zeke: Denbo!

Carly: It’s Denbo time. I wish she kicked the door down and shouted “It’s Denbo time!” every time she went somewhere. Oh man, she is pissed.

Dawn Denbo: Hey Shane! Yeah, hey, how you doing?
Shane: Hey, Cindi!
Dawn: Oh, Cindi, no. I’m fucking Dawn Denbow, and this is my lover Cindi.
Shane: Oh, that’s Cindi!
Dawn: I’m talking to you. I’m telling you, you’ve gone and messed with the wrong — don’t look at her! You messed with the wrong bitch, bitch! You fucking come into my house and fuck my beautiful girlfriend without even the courtesy of inviting me?!
Shane: Cindi, you said it was ok!
Cindi: Let’s just go, let’s just go.
Dawn: You know what? Stop, seriously, because I’m this close, seriously.
Shane: You said it was fine, you said it was—
Dawn: What the fuck? Wait, you expect me to believe that my baby—
Shane: Tell her!
Dawn: No no no, what do you think, I’m an idiot? Does it look like I was born yesterday? Oh motherfucker, ok. That’s funny, no that is. You know what I’m gonna do, just for you? You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna fucking ruin you, ok? And every one of your smug ass motherfucking friends. And you! I don’t even know you, but you’re going down too! How about that?
Jenny: Me?
Dawn: Yeah, yeah. And your stupid ass fucking Planet? It’s done, alright. It’s all done. Yeah, go ahead, be a smart ass, let me tell you one more thing. Keep those skinny fucking hands of yours to yourself, alright? It’s on, alright? It’s fucking on! Cindi!
Cindi: I’m so sorry.
Dawn: Cindi! Cindi!
Party goer: Turn the music back on!
Alice: Who was that?!
Shane: Those are the two girls who own SheBar!

Dawn and Cindi crashing the party, "Dawn saying, "you messed with the wrong bitch, bitch."

Riese: It’s so funny — like it’s funny when she’s like, “And this is my lover Cindi!” And I think, is it Shane or Alice or Tina who’s like, “Ohh, that’s Cindi!”

Carly: She’s like, she just comes in and is screaming, then just unplugs the speakers, and so everyone’s still standing on tables, but they’re all looking at her. It’s so funny.

Riese: Yes! Oh my god!

Carly: It’s just the most hilarious dialogue. I love every word that comes out of her mouth. “Don’t look at her!” when Shane looks at Cindi.

Riese: Yeah, yeah! And everyone’s just giggling.

Zeke: Oh, it’s fucking on!

Riese: It’s so cute, it’s so funny. So do you think that this was orchestrated?

Zeke: Oh, for Cindi to entice Shane into a sexual encounter, just to have a cause for war? Like this is Dawn Denbo’s weapons of mass destruction to invade Iraq?

Riese: Uh huh.

Carly: Yes.

Zeke: I think it’s possible. I don’t know that that would be very smart writing, and if we’re talking statistically, then that probably was not what was in the writers’ heads.

Carly: That’s fair.

Zeke: It’s more that, I would just say, we’re playing the game of “Shane can’t resist a naked girl who throws herself at her.”

Carly: Yeah.

Zeke: That would be my guess, right? Because Shane was supposed to be celibate, and now Shane gets in trouble again, because she’s fucking the ladies!

Riese: Falls into the vaginas.

Carly: Okay, so, Jenny and Nikki are standing in the hallway or whatever. And I guess they’re in line for the bathroom in Jenny’s own house?

Riese: Yeah, I was like, girl it’s your own house!

Carly: Don’t you have another bathroom?

Zeke: But if it’s a party, and there’s only one bathroom, then… you know.

Riese: Yeah, yeah.

Zeke: They’re workshopping scenes.

Niki covering her face while Jenny is trying to workshop the scene

Carly: Yeah, they decided to workshop this scene because Nikki — she’s talking about the scene that we all remember from the pilot, where Jenny meets Marina, and they’re at the party, and she follows her in the bathroom and they make out. And so, Nikki doesn’t get the scene.

Riese: Yeah, Nikki’s never read a book, so she’s like, “what?”

Carly: She’s truly confused by everyone’s behavior in this scene. And Jenny’s like, we’re gonna workshop the scene in the hallway.

Riese: Yeah, be serious.

Carly: And so, of course — yes, that was very funny — they wind up in the bathroom together making out.

Jenny: Ok so like, you’re sitting across from this woman and she’s like, the most alluring, intoxicating woman of your whole life. She’s like, talking about fucking silver water, and you’re just going insane. And your heart is in your throat. And then you remember that you have this man named Jim… who likes to swim.

Zeke: He likes to swim.

Carly: He likes to swim.

Riese: So yeah. Then they go into the bathroom and then they make out.

Carly: And then they run into Jenny’s bedroom, but the door doesn’t lock, and so they go into the closet.

Riese: Yeah.

Zeke: Which they leave ajar.

Riese: Just a tad ajar, as you do.

Carly: As you would only do on television.

Riese: Right, or while you’re in school, you’re in boarding school and you have to leave it a crack open. The first time I ever kissed a girl, it was at boarding school in the closet.

Carly: Wow!

Zeke: What boarding school did you go to?

Riese: Interlochen Arts Academy?

Zeke: Oh, very nice, very nice.

Riese: Yeah.

Zeke: I have a question about Jenny and — what’s the name of the woman who’s playing her?

Riese: Nikki.

Zeke: Jenny and Nikki — do we feel like now, in this era where we understand more about how power and sex are tied in Hollywood—

Riese: Uh huh.

Zeke: Do we feel like Nikki is genuinely interested in Jenny? Or do you think she feels like she has to capitulate to Jenny’s advances because Jenny is the writer and director?

Riese: I think it’s a fuzzy situation where you can’t tell — because she does seem enchanted with Jenny in a way, but because she wrote this story, and she wrote the script, and she’s the director. But also, she’s the director.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: I was thinking about that during this, I was like, this is…

Carly: I was like, yikes, there’s a lot here!

Riese: Dicey!

Carly: There’s a lot of stuff going on.

Riese: And it does end up being dicey

Zeke: Yeah, at the time, I don’t think anyone thought anything of it. But I was like, oh! If you were making this now, there would be a whole different conversation happening around it.

Carly: Absolutely, yeah.

Riese: Yeah, they would have to go to HR.

Carly: Yeah. I think Tina’s HR and she hired a white lady to play Bette, so she can’t be trusted.

Zeke: Yeah. Oh man, imagine dealing with the twitter reaction when that deadline article comes out!

Carly: And then Bette gets to do an op-ed.

Zeke: So we’ve got fuckies in the closet.

Carly: Fucking in the closet.

Zeke: And then we’ve got nakies in the pool.

Carly: Yep.

Riese: Yeah, that was so cute! When they all go out to the pool, and Shane’s like, “I used to fuck in this pool!” And Tina’s like, “this used to be my pool!”

Shane holds Tina as they jump into the pool

Carly: It’s so cute, they’re all adorable. Everyone jumps in the pool and then literally Bette actually calls the cops.

Riese: Calls the cops! Bette Porter!

Carly: Bette Porter!

Riese: What are you doing?

Carly: I did not remember that she called the cops, but watching the episode I was like, she’s totally gonna call the cops.

Riese: I know, that does not hold up. I’ll tell you what, that does not hold up for one second.

Zeke: Yeah, the idea that the Black woman would call the cops on all the white people.

Carly: Absolutely not.

Riese: Oh my god. So, right, but also all of them being in the pool was another moment where I thought about how much I miss my friends. And also, an ongoing theme on this show is that I wish I had a pool, and I would specifically like Ilene Chaiken, who owes me, to invite me to her pool.

Zeke: Well, the house that my boo and I are in the midst of buying does have a pool, so…

Carly: Well, we’re on our way!

Zeke: So you can come have a pool party with us, when we take possession of the house in November.

Carly: A socially distant pool party where we all wear masks and just dip our feet in.

Zeke: We are all just in scuba gear, right? We are breathing our own air system.

Riese: We’re going to Zeke’s pool.

Carly: Alright, fine, we’re inviting ourselves over.

Zeke: Yeah, please.

Riese: We’re coming to your pool.

Zeke: Just tell me what you drink and eat ahead of time so I can host appropriately!

Carly: Oh my god, ok. So Bette, for real, calls the cops, but the noise is coming from her yard, also. That’s the funniest part, she has not figured out that they’re in the pool!

Bette calling the fucking cops

Riese: It’s coming from inside the house!

Carly: Yeah, how does she not know that? She doesn’t hear splashing?

Riese: Yeah they’ll be like, “whose pool is this?”

Carly: She’ll be like, “aw fuck, never mind.”

Riese: She just should have taken a gun outside and been like—

Bette: Tinaaaaa!

Carly: So Alice goes inside the house to get another pot brownie, and Tasha is here, Tasha is not happy.

Riese: Alice was like, “I tried to call you to see if it was alright.” And Tasha’s like, “how could it be alright?”

Carly: Alice is like, “I did it for you!” And she’s like, “what?!”

Riese: Yeah. Alice is like, “I can out whoever I want!” So I think that this is not going to go well for them. This fight is not going to go well for them.

Carly: It seems like they’re in very very very different places in their lives, and that despite how they do love each other and are so cute together, that perhaps they might not be right for each other right now, perhaps. Perhaps.

Riese: Mhmm. Yeah you definitely get the feeling that both of them have a lot pent up that they haven’t shared with each other.

Carly: Oh yeah, for sure.

Riese: About their frustrations.

Carly: Yeah. I like that Alice ends her argument with like, “I can out whoever I want, and do whatever I want, because I live in the United States of America.” And I was like, wowww, you are so high right now. That is a high person argument. “I live in America…”

Riese: U S of A, oh boy…

Alice and Tasha fighting

Carly: So remember before, when we said they left the closet door open? Ajar, if you will?

Riese: Mhmm.

Carly: Well, Adele is cleaning up some bottles and Solo cups in the house, and wouldn’t you know…

Riese: That’s how I imagine Adele.

Carly: She stumbles upon this whole closet situation. Also, the captions said, “soft moaning.” So Adele heard some soft moaning and she went to investigate.

Riese: I love a soft moan.

Carly: Soft moan.

Zeke: Of course. And then she stands there like a creepy creeperson, watching. She pulls out a bag of Cheetos and is just stuffing them in her face.

Carly: Popcorn… yeah.

Riese: Yeah, she orders a pizza.

Zeke: She drops her pants and starts flicking the bean…. I was like, L Word, this is where you jumped the shark.

Carly: Alright, so then…

Riese: But also, I was like, is this Jenny’s room now? I thought her room used to be all pink with all those pictures.

Carly: It was pink! I was also wondering, whose room is this, when they first walk in it? But then in the closet there’s Jenny’s shoes in there. So I was like, oh it is Jenny’s room.

Riese: Yeah, that’s the same closet she was in last time trying on outfits for Shane.

Carly: But I was like, her room used to be completely pink. The walls were painted pink.

Riese: Yeah, with all those boob pictures.

Carly: Well maybe when she sold her script and is getting all the money for directing — you know how, when you’re sharing a house, whoever has the biggest room pays the most? Since she has more money, she’s living in the biggest room, because yeah, she can pay more rent.

Carly: Honestly, that would track for sure, yeah.

Riese: I would expect her, though, to have her own bathroom.

Zeke: You would think, right?

Carly: Look, I don’t know what to tell you, you know? I don’t know.

Riese: Well I liked Jenny’s old room better, I’m just gonna say it.

Carly: Ok, well that’s fair. That’s fair, and I hear you, and I’m holding space for that.

Riese: Well… something terrible has happened.

Carly: Something really terrible has happened.

Riese: Zeke’s phone died.

Carly: Zeke’s phone died. And so, we’re going to, at his request, finish this without him. We only have one scene left, so we’re going to be brave and do it.

Riese: I’m sad.

Carly: But we are very sad.

Riese: So it’s with regret that we continue this recap of this episode.

Carly: Without our dear friend Zeke.

Riese: Without our dear friend Zeke who, as you heard earlier, is having a pool party.

Carly: And we are invited.

Riese: We’re invited.

Carly: I mean, Riese is invited and I am just gonna also happen to show up.

Riese: Yeah. No we’re both invited!

Carly: We’re both invited.

Riese: Jodi finds Tina, who is wasted.

Carly: Oh my god, she is out of her mind.

Riese: Wasted.

Carly: She is, like, leaning in through the open door of her car to get her phone, or something? I was very confused by what she was doing when Jodi found her. But the point is she can’t drive.

Riese: Right, and for some reason Jodi doesn’t want her to call a cab.

Carly: Well she can barely operate her phone to call a cab, so that’s fair. And Jodi’s like, come on, just come in and sleep on the sofa. And Jodi’s so sweet and wonderful and genuinely great in all of this.

Riese: You know what else I noticed about this scene, Carly? How did Jodi know what Tina was saying? It was dark, she was drunk, she was mumbling…

Carly: Maybe context clues?

Riese: Once they get into the apartment, she’s often not even facing her, her mouth. I mean, it just reminds me of what we talked about when we had Lianna on the show about how they really portray a deaf person’s ability to read lips at a magical level, which is unrealistic and sets really weird expectations.

Carly: Yeah, that’s right, it’s a really good point.

Riese: Yeah, I think I’ve started to notice it a lot, which I obviously didn’t the first time I was watching this. But I noticed it a lot — so yeah, so Jodi takes Tina inside to Bette’s house, that used to be Bette and Tina’s house.

Carly: It used to be her house also. And she has this moment where you can tell where she’s like, “oh my god, I have to get out of here, I don’t want to be here, I cannot sleep on the couch in the house I used to live in.”

Riese: She’s like, “does she know I used to live here?”

Carly: Oh Tina. And then Jodi’s like, “alright, you should at least drink some water first.” And then Bette gets up.

Riese: Bette looks like she’s going to have an aneurism.

Carly: Yes, she does. Bette looks like she is so confused by what she’s seeing, that it’s as if it’s not real. Do you think that in that moment Bette was like, “oh I fell asleep and this is a bad dream?”

Riese: Yeah, or like, “I was dreaming about Tina and now Tina’s here but Tina’s with Jodi.” It would be a weird dream that she would have.

Carly: That’s what her face looks like.

Riese: Her veins are popping up.

Carly: She looks incredulous, and so confused, and upset too? It’s just so many emotions. I mean, great acting.

Riese: Great acting, yeah. I mean it’s also like, Jodi’s such a decent person and is so trusting of Bette that she’s like, “it doesn’t matter that Tina’s your ex, we’re gonna take care of her, she’s our friend.” Which is fine, lesbians are like that a lot, you know?

Carly: Always, yes.

Riese: But obviously Bette cannot handle having both of them in the same frame.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Or Tina on the couch she probably helped pick out.

Carly: Probably — well honestly, knowing Bette, probably not.

Riese: Bette was probably a house decor cop, I guess.

Carly: She was like, “oh I already picked out a couch, it’s being upholstered and will be delivered in 3 to 6 weeks.” and Tina was like, “okaaay, I guess my couch ideas are out the window,” and throws her whole HD Buttercup catalogue right in the recycling bin.

Riese: That is perfect.

Carly: I’m picturing it in my head! Exactly.

Riese: Oh boy, so Jodi gets her some bedding.

Carly: Yeah, she puts the blanket on her, is gonna get her a pillow, and Jodi is so sweet to Tina, and is so sweet to Bette too, who left her at the party and was a dick to her. And I’m just like, this is the moment for real where I’m like, oh my god, Jodi, you can do so much better than all of this shit, get the fuck out of here.

Riese: Right, yeah.

Carly: Bette does not appreciate you.

Riese: Also, she said before that she is normally in poly relationships, but it seems like she’s in a monogamous relationship because that’s what Bette wants, and that doesn’t seem like it’s working out really well.

Carly: It doesn’t.

Riese: You know?

Carly: Maybe they should try being in a poly relationship with Tina! Wouldn’t that be interesting as fuck?

Riese: Yeah, then there could be another whole love triangle thing.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: You know? God, I can never imagine Jodi looking at Tina and being like, slowly just starting to fall asleep, probably.

Carly: Absolutely. They could not be any less compatible. She’s like, “oh sorry I zoned out, were you talking?”

Riese: I was thinking about drywall.

Carly: It’s more interesting than you.

Riese: Yeah. And that’s the episode!

Carly: That’s the episode!

Riese: I loved it!

Carly: This is a pretty great episode. We get the beginnings of starting to see what’s going on with Adele. Jenny is full bananas, tyrant at this point, just really taking on a whole new character, and a whole new persona. We got the adorable house party, and the pot brownies.

Riese: Yeah, which is one of my favorite scenes.

Carly: Such a great scene.

Riese: In the history of The L Word. I feel like it’s the most joyous friendship scene ever.

Carly: It’s so cute. They all look like they’re really having fun. I wonder if they really got fucked up? Or if they were just acting. I mean, usually you are not fucked up on set…

Riese: Probably…

Carly: But like, maybe they did, and they didn’t tell anybody.

Riese: But also, the friendships just feel so authentic in that scene.

Carly: Yeah. It also feels authentically queer, too.

Riese: Yeah, definitely.

Carly: Like that house party, despite it being full of these weird straight actresses who had no idea what they had gotten themselves into, there was something very relatable about that party.

Riese: Yeah, there was.

Carly: It just felt authentic, and god it made me miss hanging out with friends and having parties and being silly together.

Riese: Yeah, yeah.

Carly: There’s something so special — I mean, even if we were recording this episode and there was not a pandemic that had kept us in our homes for 6 months, I think there’s a lovely thing to talk about here, just like queer joy and queer togetherness and queer community — and occasionally the show gets that so right, and it’s so wonderful to see, because we don’t usually. And then there’s a lot more representation, but these kinds of moments, these really authentic community moments are still rare!

Riese: Yeah, because we rarely see a whole community on TV or even in movies, like it’s always a few characters.

Carly: And this is not a whole community obviously, these are rich white cis lesbians in West Hollywood, in fictional West Hollywood, but it’s just — I don’t know.

Riese: But they still are, I mean, their jobs are still similar to the jobs our friends have.

Carly: Totally.

Riese: I mean, we’re not as rich as they are.

Carly: Yet!

Riese: Yeah, yet. Any minute now.

Carly: Just all the money that I ordered will show up.

Riese: Yeah, all the money — it’s been delayed, I guess, a few years, but one day!

Carly: Well I ordered it with the U.S. Postal Service…

Riese: One day, I’ll have a savings account .

Carly: Savings account, that’s hilarious. But then watching this at this particular moment in our lives…

Riese: It’s just so sad.

Carly: It was very sad.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: I didn’t expect it to make me feel sad.

Riese: Yeah, and it’s like the party that we used to talk about all the time, Gay Ass, that we would go to. I don’t know, there’s something very specific about when you’re in a room of queer people, dancing to both the songs that weren’t made for you, and the songs that definitely were for you—

Carly: Uh huh…

Riese: I don’t know…

Carly: There’s just those songs. like everyone knows that like—

Riese: This is one of them!

Carly: This is one of them. And also, I would say when you are in a group of queer people, and you hear the opening bass line to “Dancing on My Own,” the “dun nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh”

Riese: Yes! Uh huh!

Carly: I just got chills, seriously, because I haven’t left my house in so long. But that feeling of being in a group of people when the song comes on, and everyone feels it? And there’s something about when it’s a group of queer people, it’s just the most magical thing. I’m in a crowd and I’m annoyed and it’s past my bedtime — I don’t care about that anymore.

Riese: And I’m already getting a headache from drinking alcohol.

Carly: Exactly. Like, I’m not high enough for this…

Riese: Yeah.
Carly: You’re just like, fuck it.

Riese: “I Want to Dance with Somebody” too, is another one—

Carly: Oh god, that one. It’s all the greatest hits from the A-Camp dance, really.

Riese: It is!

Carly: There were songs that I played every single dance — I had to, because they were our songs.

Riese: Yeah, yep. God… I miss the world. It’s going to be a long time—

Carly: It’s going to be a long time before we do anything like that, yeah.

Riese: It’s so sad.

Carly: I know. I didn’t think I cared about that stuff, because for such a long time, I was like, I’m old, I don’t want to go anywhere.

Riese: Yeah…

Carly: But like, in recent years, I’ve gone to Gay Astrology, and I’ve had really good times there. And then I’ve also had nights where I’m like, why did I leave my house? I just want to go home, because I’m an old cranky person. But now, I’m like, I want to be out in a bar, in a club with all my friends, screaming along to whatever is playing, and we’re sweaty and bumping into each other, it’s great.

Riese: I feel like there’s a lot of experiences where, as you’re having them, you’re like, I don’t want to take this for granted. Like you’re at college, like — people who really love their school, and they really feel like — you know what I mean? But they really found home there, and they found their community or whatever. And you know it will be over, you don’t want to take it for granted, you know. You’re in a new relationship and are like, “don’t take this new energy for granted.” Or even having money for a minute, you’re like, “don’t take this for granted, it might not last.” But the experience — you’ve never been to a club or gone to a dance party, and thought, “don’t take this for granted, it’s never going to happen again.”

Carly: No, never.

Riese: No, of course I took it for granted!

Carly: Of course I did! I was usually like, I don’t want to goooo.

Riese: I know, I was like, I don’t know if I really want to go… I mean, every other time it was terrible!

Carly: Right!

Riese: Terrible!

Carly: Yeah!

Riese: Horrible!

Carly: But then, the one time it would be like—

Riese: But every other time, it was great.

Carly: Magical.

Riese: Yeah, and that’s what kept you coming back.

Carly: Yep.

Riese: Oh man, and Dawn Denbow coming in was funny.

Carly: Oh, it’s even funnier now, just with the passage of time. So this is a great episode, we love this episode.

Riese: Yeah we love this episode so much.

Carly: It was so wonderful having Zeke here with us, sad he couldn’t finish the episode with us!

Riese: I know, me too!

Carly: I’m going to do his plugs real quick for him.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: His Twitter and Instagram handle is @zekerchief.

Riese: That’s cute!

Carly: Like handkerchief, but it’s Zeke. And, he’s wonderful and you should follow him. And also, a reminder that he is in the Disclosure documentary, which we have talked about a lot, and it’s on Netflix, and if you haven’t seen it, you should see it.

Riese: You must.

Carly: And if you have seen it, you should rewatch it, because it’s great. Just give it another look-see. Another little play on the old Netflix.

Riese: Mhmm. He also wrote — because I was looking into the Survivor thing yesterday, because I don’t watch Survivor, so I wasn’t super familiar with it. And he had a really nice essay in The Hollywood Reporter about the whole experience that you should Google and read.

Carly: Oh, amazing.

Riese: It’s really good.

Carly: Zeke’s great.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Zeke, thank you for joining us today!

Riese: Zeke, thank you so much!

Carly: You’re wonderful.

Riese: We miss you already, we’re so excited for the pool!

Carly: Can’t wait for the pool party, we’re really looking forward to it. Thank you so much for listening to To L and Back. You can find us on social media over on Instagram and Twitter. We are @tolandback. You can also email us at: [email protected]. And don’t forget, we have a hotline! You can give us a call and leave a message, it’s 971-217-6130. We’ve also got merch, which you can find at store.autostraddle.com. There’s stickers, there’s shirts, including a Bette Porter 2020 shirt, which is pretty excellent. Our theme song is by Be Steadwell, our logo is by Carra Sykes. And this podcast was produced, edited, and mixed by Lauren Klein. You can find me on social, I am @carlytron. Riese is @autowin. Autostraddle is @autostraddle. And of course, Autostraddle.com, the reason why we are all here today.

Riese: Autostraddle.com!

Carly: Alright, and finally, it’s time for our L words. This is the segment of the show where we end things by simultaneously shouting out a random L word. Usually these have little to no relevance to anything we just recapped. Ok, Riese, you ready?

Riese: Ok. One, two, three: Lollipop

Carly: LA Sparks — what did you say?
Riese: Lollipop, it’s a candy that they give you in children’s movies.

Carly: Oh, that’s fun! I’ve never heard of that before.

Riese: Yeah. There was a ship called The Good Ship Lollipop, and lollipops are named after it.

Carly: Oh!

Riese: Because that’s the ship that invented it. The ship invented lollipops.

Carly: Wait really?

Riese: No.

Carly: You could have said yes, and I would be like, “did you guys know that?!” And I would have had a full misinformation campaign I was going out with. I said LA Sparks, my favorite WNBA team, just continuing on Season 5 of The L Word, me talking about the WNBA every episode. They’re playing really great! And Candace Parker is absolutely an MVP conversation, and I feel like people aren’t talking about The Sparks enough. Everyone’s talking about Seattle, which is fine, Seattle’s very good. Oh, Zeke texted me, “hey just got the power back!” Thank you for listening to another installment of To L and Back.

Riese: Thank you for listening.

Carly: We love you!

Riese: we love you!

Carly: Yayyy!

Riese: Even though we don’t know you.

Carly: We don’t know you, but if you’re listening to this, we love you. Ok, bye!

Riese: Bye!

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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 3182 articles for us.


  1. Honestly I don’t know, bette’s white-passing, has a ton of class privilege and is very controlling, I’m not sure she wouldn’t call the cops, like it’s pretty in character… (speaking as a white passing person… personally i would not call the cops… but i would also not be the dean of a university…like bette lives in a certain world…).

    As to “you’ve never been to a club or gone to a dance party, and thought, “don’t take this for granted, it’s never going to happen again.””, FIY, most disabled people didn’t take social gatherings for granted, long before covid.

    Thanks for the transcriptions!!

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