“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 506: Lights! Camera! Action! With Lauren Ashley Smith

I hope you set your alarm for 4:30 AM like Adele because LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION “Lez Girls” starts shooting first thing tomorrow and we’ve got Emmy nominated writer/producer of “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” Lauren Ashley Smith, here in the studio to discuss the stir fry Bette left on the stove to go have sex with Tina, Jenny’s unprofessionalism, Dawn Denbo’s ongoing reign of terror, Adele’s mall madness makeover, Jodi’s robe, Phyllis’ sexy pool party, hot tea as foreplay and why any of these people still have jobs. Fun will be had by all!!!

The usual:

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!

Carly: And I’m Carly!

Riese: And this is—

Carly and Riese: To L and Back!

Carly: No one can see them, but I do arms every time I say To L and Back, I do something with my arms.

Riese: To L and Back!

Carly: I do some sort of arm gesture, every single time! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve now noticed and now I hate it.

Riese: No, because I’m self-absorbed at that moment.

Carly: Is your FaceTime just your own face? And then no one else’s face?

Riese: No, it’s just your faces. I don’t want to see myself. I can’t see my face. I’m little, I’m in the corner.

Carly: Okay.

Riese: But I mean I’m thinking — I’m in my own head about To L and Back, you know?

Carly: You’re thinking about how you want to say it.

Riese: Actually, no. I want to take that back because I was like, why don’t I notice that? And the reason is that — I think the reason is that you say it so far after I say it on my end.

Carly: Oh, because of the delay.

Riese: That I’m like looking at my notes by then, yeah.

Carly: Ok, well… good to know, I guess.

Riese: I don’t know.

Carly: Good to see you as well, Riese!

Riese: Listen, I’ve noticed it every time, I just don’t want Carly to feel creeped out by my constant observation of her arm movements, because that’s weird!

Carly: Well this one is off to a great start, as per usual.

Riese: Yeah, we’re killing it already, it’s a Friday night.

Carly: It’s a Friday night, this is when we record podcasts in 2020 because we can’t go anywhere! That’s hilarious, me thinking that I would actually be somewhere… but now after having had to be home for so long, all I want to do is go somewhere.

Riese: I would go anywhere.

Carly: I’m gonna stop turning down invitations to things, for real.

Riese: Yeah?

Carly: I’m gonna try, I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it. Today’s a really exciting episode! What an exciting time for everyone involved!

Riese: It’s time for the cinema — we’re gonna see cinema get made.

Carly: We’re gonna see the cinema, the meta of a television show about the making of a film.

Riese: Yes!

Carly: The film of which is about the television show. It’s layers, there’s layers here.

Riese: Yeah, like a seven layer cake, which they probably sell at SheBar, because they have every pastry in the world at SheBar.

Carly: Well, yeah, well, they’re trying to run Kit out of business, and that’s how they’re gonna do it, with pastries.

Riese: It’s not gonna work.

Carly: No, I agree it’s not going to work. Before we get any further, into episode 506, which will be what we will be discussing today, we need to introduce our very special guest.

Riese: Yayyy!

Carly: Our guest today is a writer, she’s a comedian, she is definitely one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. And she’s also an Emmy nominee! Hello and welcome to the show, Lauren Ashley Smith!

Lauren: Hello! Hi!

Carly: Oh my god, hi, this is so exciting.

Lauren: I’m so excited to be here! I am excited to talk about The L Word, I’m just, I’m thrilled.

Carly: That warms my cold dead heart.

Riese: So what are you gonna win your Emmy for?

Carly: For The L Word?

Riese: Yeah, tell the people at home what your Emmy is gonna come from. Is it for The L Word?

Lauren: Yes, I did create The L Word under a different name, yeah, so.

Carly: Oh my god, that’s so cool.

Lauren: Pretty prolific, yeah.

Riese: Yeah, so it’s like a delayed Emmy? Because now the secret’s out.

Lauren: Yeah they were like, ohhhh, yes yes yes.

Riese: Right.

Carly: Incredible.

Riese: That’s cool!

Carly: No one’s ever done that before!

Lauren: No, it’s new.

Riese: It’s pretty special.

Carly: That’s amazing. So, ok, tell our listeners a little about you!

Lauren: I am a writer, I’m the head writer and executive producer of A Black Lady Sketch Show on HBO.

Riese: Which we love.

Lauren: Oh thanks!

Carly: Oh my god, so much.

Lauren: I lived in New York for a long time, I recently moved to Los Angeles to do the show. And you know, my wife moved here at the end of 2019, so most of what she’s seen of Los Angeles has been inside the house.

Carly: Oh no! Oh god, I hadn’t put that together, oh that sucks.

Lauren: Yeah, she moved here at the end of October, and then of course the holidays we were gone. And then in March her job was like — even in February — they were like, this Covid thing might… we’re gonna just have people start working from home. So she was working from home for, like, four weeks before we all had to start. So she’s really been inside.

Carly: She’s been very inside!

Lauren: Yeah.

Carly: Damn.

Riese: Well being inside here is probably better than being inside in New York.

Lauren: Yeah, totally, I feel very lucky that we’re — we have more space here, the weather is nice, and we have a little bit of outdoor space, it’s been nice.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah, that’s definitely better. Ok, so the first question we love to ask our guests is: what is your L Word origin story. What are the circumstances in your life upon which you first watched the show?

Lauren: I first became aware of the show through some friends — like I think I truly realized in my early early 20s, even probably when I was 19, like, I think I might be a little bit queer or gay, so I truly just started googling like “lesbian” and came to—

Carly: Yes, same.

Lauren: I was like, well, what is lesbian? I don’t know. And then I found The L Word pretty much, and it was — I definitely did not have Showtime or anything, I didn’t have any premium channels on my cable. And so I would download, or like illegally watch, the episodes on some — I think it was called TV links dot com or something. And you could — people would rip and stream the episodes, so I just remember — because I didn’t really have a big social life — my friends and I had gotten into it. And so I would just watch The L Word. And I think I started late, so I had enough to catch up to. And then I started going to watch parties at a place called Cattyshack, I think they used to call it.

Carly: Ohhh yes! We are familiar with Cattyshack.

Riese: We are familiar with the Shack of Cattys.

Carly: We are familiar with watching The L Word in a bar where you can’t really hear any of the dialogue but you’re with everyone you’ve ever met in your entire life.

Lauren: Exactly.

Riese: Mhmm.

Carly: Oh my god. What was your impression of the show? Did you have any favorite characters, anything like that?

Lauren: I really loved Bette and I loved Tasha. I just love, I love Bette’s career-driven vibe, and I just found her to be the most relatable to me, which is probably not a good reflection of how I see myself? But yeah, I just really liked it, and I had also been like — at that time I had never been to Los Angeles, I don’t think, so it helped shape — it was really my first — maybe that and Entourage were the only ways that I understood what LA was like, it shaped my expectations of the city in a huge way.

Carly: Ugh, and then you got there and saw what it was actually like.

Riese: Yeah, yeah. And you’re like, “yeah…”

Carly: Like, “Oh, just sitting in our cars all the time, cool.” Today we will be discussing episode 506, entitled “Lights! Camera! Action!” That is three exclamation points, one after each word. It made me think of “love, valor, compassion,” the title with the punctuation, anyway. Written and directed by Ilene Chaiken.

Riese: Oh it’s written and directed by Ilene Chaiken?

Carly: It sure was!

Riese: Interesting.

Carly: Yeah, our fave.

Riese: So that’s the reason it’s called this, is because they’re filming a film.

Lauren: Oh my god, whoa.

Riese: And that’s what you say when you’re filming a film, every time, right?

Carly: Always, always. I’m—

Riese: You’re like, “Lights, camera, action!” Then everyone’s like, everyone starts actioning.

Carly: That’s how it is, as a person who has been on a set, I can tell you that that is—

Riese: A person with film set experience, yeah.

Carly: A person of set experience, yes. Um, I’m excited that we have another person of set experience here, we have Lauren.

Riese: An Emmy-nominated—

Lauren: And you know what I will say, I have not watched this — I think it was interesting to watch it because I certainly watched it before I was ever on a set, like a film set—

Carly: Me too!

Lauren: And then I haven’t watched it in a while, so seeing it with new eyes, I have some thoughts

Carly: Excellent, I also have some thoughts, and I am so excited for us to discuss our thoughts. This episode originally aired February 10, 2008. Wow.

Riese: So we probably saw it together.

Carly: Alright, should we get into it?

Riese: Yeah, let’s get into it! So we open with peeing… we open with — we’re on a film set that kind of looks like a theater, like a dark theater set. And someone is pretending to pee. And she says, “Are you gonna shoot the pee stream?” I think is the first line.

Carly: It’s a great opening to anything.

Riese: Yeah, uh huh. It’s Nina.

Carly: Right, yes. Nina, not to be confused with Tina.

Lauren: Never. Never confuse the two.

Riese: No no. So they’re just rehearsing—

Carly: Yeah, they’re rehearsing this scene and it is terribly painful to watch.

Riese: Mhmm. It’s Bev and Nina, it’s a recreation of the first scene from the Pilot, except worse, which is saying a lot.

Carly: It is saying a lot.

Riese: You know what I mean? Bev comes in, because Nina is ovulating. But she gives her a kiss, like a gross man tries to kiss you on the cheek and you’re like, you recoil, it was kind of like that. And Jenny is like, “Wow, you guys are terrible.”

Jenny: Ok, so you’re going to look at her, and you’re going to take her, and you’re going to throw her up against the sink — bam! And you’re gonna look at her with passion! And then you — don’t worry, I won’t kiss you — you’re gonna take her, and you’re gonna kiss her with tongue. And then I want you to reach down, and then I want you to finger fuck her and give her the best fucking orgasm ever. Go for it.
Bev: Oh, you mean with my hand?
Jenny: Yeah, unless you have some other apparati that I don’t know about.
Bev: How exciting, you’re ovulating!
Nina: I’m ovulating!
Bev: Let’s make a baby.
Jenny: Passion! That’s ok, ok, wow, it looks like you guys are sort of doing a dance.
Bev: You want to see my hand?
Jenny: I’d like to, it might be nice for it to look like you’re actually giving her pleasure rather than moving furniture.

Jenny instructs her actors on set about how they should finger fuck better. The actresses playing Bev and Nina are on set, Nina is holding a pregnancy test.

Carly: I mean, wow. You could never know that Jenny is a first-time director. What a horrible, horrible director!

Lauren: It was so uncomfortable, I was like, this is a violation of so many—

Carly: So many things.

Lauren: So many standards, and also rules, that I just was so immediately uncomfortable with the dynamic between her, Adele, the actors — all of it was just so awkward.

Carly: It was so awful.

Riese: It was also like, why did they hire straight actors?

Carly: Yeah. The cast — I’m still angry about how they cast Lez Girls, and I’m still very angry that Jenny gets to direct it. She should barely have written it, but whatever.

Riese: Wouldn’t they have had to do a chemistry read, Bev and Nina?

Lauren: Yes.

Carly: If I were directing a feature, and I was casting said feature, it would be very important to make sure that your leads, who are supposed to be married, have a lot of great chemistry together.

Lauren: I will say, I think it was actually very smart and interesting for them to have Bev and Nina —to have these characters be played by these straight women. Because that to me was the commentary that they were trying to make in the episode — of like how, you know, the business is a business ultimately, and like — I thought that that was like, as crazy as it drove me, I was like, I mean it makes sense.

Carly: Yeah. It’s such a very common thing that happens in film and television, and has been going on for such a long time. And people are still doing it!

Riese: But the best part is that The L Word did it!

Carly: Yes, yes it did.

Riese: You know? Because I was like, is this a parody of your actual rehearsals, or not? You know? I was just curious about that.

Carly: Jennifer Beals is straight.

Riese: But then Jenny says she’s gonna get them a lesbian sex coach, so that will be nice.

Lauren: You know what was weird about that cold open was that — because again, I’ve seen this many times, but the way that she said it, it made it seem like it was teeing it up for us to see it later in the episode. And it never came back, but it really did seem like, oh, I’m absolutely going to see the promise of that, you know, it come to fruition. And it didn’t, I was so surprised by that.

Riese: Yeah, it made me think of Susie Bray and I was like, they’re gonna have some 90’s sexpert come in here and be like, “Alright ladies…” Like in her scarf, you know? But they didn’t do that.

Carly: Like a scarf and those cat eye glasses.

Riese: Yeah, uh huh.

Carly: Definitely.

Riese: Yeah, smells like hummus and bagels.

Carly: I was just like, please get an intimacy coordinator. And then she said lesbian sex coach, and I was like, ok, yeah, close, I guess? That’s better than what you’re doing right now, which is being so mean to your actors!

Lauren: And inappropriate!

Carly: I was like, oh my god! I guess in the story of Jenny and her descent into mania or whatever is happening to her in this season, it’s like, that’s funny?

Lauren: It set the table for sure.

Carly: For sure.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: But watching it when it just started playing it, and I was watching it, and now I haven’t seen this in like 10 years, and so I’m watching it and I’m like, I’ve been in this business, I’ve been on sets now. And now I’m like, oh my god! Like, horrified. Horrified. I just think that everyone should be fired. That’s my takeaway from the cold open, is just fire everyone.

Riese: Wow. Speaking of fires, Shane’s trying to put one out, when she goes to SheBar.

Carly: What a segue!

Riese: Yeah?

Carly: Yeah, that was good.

Riese: She goes to SheBar to apologize and to make things nice, so that Dawn and Cindi won’t try to ruin The Planet and everything that we’ve all worked for for all of these years. But Dawn is not gonna go down easy. She wants Jenny to film her film at SheBar.

Carly: Yes, which she tells Shane, which is helpful in some way, I guess?

Lauren: I wrote down in my notes about this, I said that the ask is oversized and also too little. I just was like, it’s too big of an ask, but also reach higher, like—

Carly: Yes, absolutely.

Lauren: It just felt not thought out on Dawn Denbo’s part.

Carly: Well, you know, Dawn Denbo strikes me as someone who is a bit impulsive and doesn’t necessarily put a lot of thought into her big plans.

Riese: She says that they are gonna play The Planet, $50,000 a day. And she calls it “that wannabe peach pit of a shit hole,” which I appreciated because whenever they do night concerts, we call it The Planet After Dark, and that’s because of the Peach Pit After Dark on Beverly Hills 90210.

Carly: She also wants them to use SheBar as the location and also to call it SheBar.

Lauren: Call it SheBar.

Dawn Denbo and her Lover Cindi are leaning on the railing at SheBar telling shane that they want their bar to be in the movie

Carly: Like, change the script away from Pluto Cafe, which is the worst name for a cafe ever.

Riese: Yeah, that’s the Tomorrowland Cafe.

Lauren: It stands to reason — again, going through the point of Dawn being impulsive — it’s like, Dawn knows enough to know about the benefit of using a place’s location, but not enough to know that you can’t use the actual name of the place. And you would think if she knew that it was the Pluto Cafe in the script — because she somehow, which we’ll get to it, got the script to the movie, and read it. But she thinks, “Okay, they weren’t even calling it The Planet, but let’s have them call it SheBar.” It’s not gonna fly.

Carly: There’s so many leaps in logic there.

Lauren: Yeah.

Riese: Wait, why can you not use the name, is that like a movie rule?

Lauren: Well it’s like, the way that Jenny changed Bette to Bev and Tina to Nina and all that stuff to make it not just fully her ripping their lives off.

Carly: “Fictional…”

Lauren: Fictional. Generally on TV and in films, depending on the type of place, if a place actually exists and it’s a work of fiction, you can’t use the exact name. So if you wanna like, you know, have a movie that is about somebody who goes to get Subway sandwiches, it’s gonna be a tough ask to make it actually Subway in the movie.

Riese: Interesting…

Carly: So this is not the best plan of revenge.

Riese: No.

Carly: That I’ve ever seen.

Riese: Also Cindi’s just still trying to get it.

Cindi: Shane! Shane!
Shane: What?
Cindi: Call me.

Carly: Bless her heart, lover Cindi.

Lauren: Cindi has no subtlety, not a subtle bone in her body.

Riese: No.

Carly: She does not. Wait, where did Dawn get a 50k-a-day information, also.

Lauren: That’s what I wanted to know!

Carly: Because like, I get that someone gives her the sides for an audition, which we learn later, like that’s one thing. But like how do you get the location, like a one, a single location budget line?

Riese: She’s really mean.

Carly: Just by being mean?

Riese: She probably just went and was really mean to someone.

Carly: And it’s just learned.

Riese: Yeah, she got some — the person in charge of the budget — she got the person in charge of the budget to go to her house, have her girlfriend seduce her, got made at that person—

Carly: She seduced the line producer.

Riese: And then — yeah, seduce the line producer, and then she said, “I’m gonna tell Entertainment Tonight if you don’t give me the budget.” And the person’s married, so she’s like, “Okay fine, I’ll give you the budget because I don’t want you to blow my life up.”

Lauren: Solid plan. And the line producer is like, a very famous line producer.

Riese: Right, uh huh, right.

Lauren: That Entertainment Tonight would of course want that intel.

Riese: Big news, exactly, big news. Line producer, lover Cindi. Absolutely, yeah. It’s time for sadness.

Carly: Okay, now it’s very sad. Everything that is happening right now is really sad. Alice is packing a bag, but it’s not her bag, it’s Tasha’s bag.

Lauren: Can I ask you something? Is this a common practice, like, for someone to pack up the other person’s stuff? I’ve seen a box, but like a roller bag, is that a thing? Because I’m truly wondering, I have not experienced it.

Carly: My guess was that that was Tasha’s luggage that was there for some reason?

Lauren: Tasha said “I’m gonna give it back to you.”

Riese: But she said it wasn’t, yeah.

Carly: Oh!

Riese: Because I think that’s a move. That move is, “I’m gonna pack it in my suitcase so then I get to see you at least one more time.”

Carly: Oh shit, ok, that part went completely over my head and I’m really glad we’re discussing it now. Oh my god, yeah, usually it’s a box, or I don’t know, a trash bag?

Riese: Yeah, or like, pack a Target bag…

Carly: Target bag, yeah! A reusable shopper.

Lauren: She packed her up an away bag, and was like, “I need it back by my next weekend trip.”

Riese: Yeah, “this cost 700 dollars, please return, thank you.”

Carly: “This is from the Tumi store.”

Riese: So Tasha shows up, and it’s really sad. Alice apologizes first for fucking up her life. And Tasha was like, “I was already gay, so it’s fine.”

Carly: But also Alice definitely fucked up her life.

Lauren: 100 percent.

Tasha says to Alice "I was gay long before I ever met you"

Carly: She respected zero point zero zero of Tasha’s boundaries with regards to her career and her level of out-ness, and this is what happens. This is — like not entirely Alice’s fault, but she had a very major hand in what happened.

Lauren: She was definitely at the wheel for a lot of it.

Carly: Yes.

Riese: Yeah, she was at the wheel of the car that she drove into the army base to have a lover’s quarrel.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: Which is not allowed, you know? It’s not allowed.

Carly: Just right into the base.

Lauren: When I see someone behaving like that, I’m like, wow they really need a volunteer opportunity. They need something to take up their time.

Riese: Go to Big Brothers Big Sisters, a community garden…

Lauren: Someone who was being of service to this world doesn’t have the time to roll up on the base in that fashion.

Riese: Red Cross… Habitat for Humanity.

Carly: I was just going to say that she needs a therapist, but that’s good, I feel like she does need a place to put all this extra energy.

Riese: Yeah.

Lauren: Yeah.

Riese: Well luckily she’s got a call, she’s gonna audition to replace Rosie O’Donnell on The View.

Carly: Or whatever The L Word version of it is, it’s basically The View.

Riese: Yeah it’s called The Look.

Carly: I wish there was a show called The Look.

Riese: And for some reason Alice isn’t excited about it. And this felt to me — I mean this would be way too deep for Ilene Chaiken, she doesn’t get this complicated — but it almost felt to me like Alice was trying to appease, or like trying to appeal to Tasha, by being like, “Yeah, I don’t want to be out and proud on TV,” thinking that Tasha would think, like, “Oh yeah, maybe we are more in common.”

Carly: I totally thought that too, yeah.

Riese: Oh okay. So this is what she’s doing. But then Tasha’s like, “What? Why would you turn that down?”

Carly: Yeah, because, like, duh.

Riese: Yeah. it’s a big opportunity.

Carly: She knows her well enough to know that of course she should do it, and of course she’s gonna be excited about it and whatever. Anyway, that didn’t work and Tasha leaves.

Riese: But we all know they’re gonna get back together, so it’s like, whatever.

Carly: Yeah, which is good because not having Tasha on the show is bad.

Lauren: It is bad.

Carly: We need her here.

Lauren: We need Tasha on the show.

Carly: We need her, we need her bone structure…

Lauren: Mhmmm.

Carly: And her face…

Lauren: Yep.

Carly: Her voice, her whole presence.

Riese: Her laugh…

Lauren: All of it.

Riese: Her arms…

Carly: Her arms, her motorcycle…

Riese: Her leather jacket, her motorcycle…

Carly: It’s very important that we have Tasha around. So Alice, hurry this shit up. Get her back.

Riese: Don’t worry, she’ll be back in the next episode.

Carly: Oh good.

Lauren: Thank goodness.

Riese: Then we cut — and as soon as you see the pan, and you see the tofu or whatever the fuck, the chicken, you see the vegetables in the pan, the bell peppers in the pan, you know exactly where this is going…

Carly: Yep.

Riese: You know that this is the legendary stir-fry sex scene! Starring Bette and Tina, who are soulmates, who are meant to be together forever. And this is one of the top Bette and Tina sex scenes of all time, according to the experts on the TiBette forums.

Carly: Wow.

Lauren: And let me tell you… I watched this with my wife, and we were both so scandalized and absolutely freaked out by the scene for some reason. It just felt so uncomfortable. And this is something we’ve watched hundreds of times together, we love this show, love celebrating the show. But for whatever reason, that scene hit us so wrong and I was like, I need this to be over ASAP.

Riese: It was pretty long…

Carly: It is very long, that is the first thing I will say.

Riese: But that was great for all the Bette and Tina fans at home.

Carly: It is the longest scene.

Riese: Tina comes over very thirsty. Kit has taken Angie to Disneyland, and then there’s a part where Tina’s like—

Tina: Bette… turn around.

Riese: But like, she’s just standing there.

Carly: They’re just in the kitchen, it’s not that big of a kitchen.

Riese: Like, Bette already knows that she’s there.

Carly: It’s not like Diane Keaton’s kitchen. It’s Bette’s kitchen, it’s a normal size kitchen.

Lauren: Their eyes did so much acting in this scene.

Carly: Oh, yeah.

Lauren: There’s, like, so much discussion in the eyes.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: If I tell someone to turn around, or someone tells me to turn around, I want to turn around and they are wearing a clown wig — or like they made — like they have food all over their face—

Carly: That’s fun.

Riese: Like turn around, there you are, just where you were 10 seconds ago when I just saw you.

Lauren: I know you’re there.

Riese: I know you’re there! Yeah, I was just there, where you were.

Carly: I’m making this stir fry, what are you doing?

Riese: Exactly. And Tina’s like, “I know you don’t want to hurt Jodi…” And then they just go for it.

Carly: They really go for it.

Riese: The stir fry is still on the stove!

Carly: I wrote that down! That’s a problem. That’s a real problem.

Riese: Boiling water is boiling on the stove.

Carly: That’s not good. You should not leave things on the stove when you’re doing other things, especially sex.

Lauren: Also, not to get super nit-picky, but just like, I feel like I’m watching this as a much older wiser person than I was before—

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah.

Lauren: And I don’t have children, but I have never heard any of my friends who are parents talk about making stir fry for their toddlers. Like that’s not something that hits a toddler’s palette in the way — they’re making spaghetti. Like, you know, I don’t see a lot of people doing prep cooking, like chopping bell peppers and sautéing onions for children who have just returned from Disneyland.

Carly: For a toddler.

Lauren: But that is very Bette, though. It is very Bette, but that struck me as odd.

Carly: It is extremely Bette, but it is also very odd.

Riese: Like she has Angie’s puzzles made by, like, world-renowned contemporary artists, you know? And she’s like, “My baby’s eating stir fry, except not today, because it’s all gonna burn. Her whole kitchen would be on fire!

Carly: Also she’s coming from Disneyland! I certainly hope Kit got her all sorts of delicious treats at Disneyland!

Riese: Yeah, she better have gotten a corndog.

Carly: Don’t go to Disneyland and not have all those treats. That’s half of why you go there.

Lauren: She’s, like, sweating her ass off and coming home to a nice salty stir fry, she’s going to be so dehydrated.

Carly: Oh my god, who doesn’t love a nice hot, piping hot bowl of stir fry when you’ve been out in the sun all day?!

Riese: And all the water is gone, because she’s basically gonna let it boil into vapor while they’re having sexuals on the bed. And Tina is — she basically does — she tops Bette, and she does to Bette what Brenda did to her in their sex scene.

Carly: Look at Tina learning! Tina’s learning!

Tina on top of Bette in bed, saying "spread your legs"

Riese: Yeah, Tina’s like, “I learned a new sex thing!” You know?

Carly: She’s like, “I’m different from the last time we did this. Look at me!”

Riese: Yeah, which is honestly real, but also everyone had nice lingerie, which they kept on.

Carly: I thought their outfits in this scene were so dumb. And I was really happy when they took them off.

Riese: Removed them.

Carly: And then they had really pretty lingerie and I was like, great. Could we talk about the music?

Riese: Ohhh…

Carly: It was bad, that’s all I have to say. They probably should have checked…

Riese: That might have fed into your discomfort with this scene.

Lauren: It definitely did.

Riese: Yeah, it was like, sort of like a music festival, just like at a Sheraton, lesbian music festival-type vibe — which is fine, I love lesbian folk rock music, it’s my favorite genre. But I don’t want to have sex to like, a third-tier lesbian folk rock musician, like…

Carly: It was like a local version of Lilith Fair, yeah.

Riese: Yeah, yeah. And it was very bad sex music.

Carly: It was, yes, very bad. It did not set the mood by any means.

Riese: Right. It was like — like a masseuse might have it playing if you’re going in — and she’s like, sort of like a, like she does oils also, you know? And that’s her music.

Carly: Oh, like, essential oils?

Riese: Yeah, she also does essential oils, you know.

Carly: So now we cut to this super fun location scout. At first I was like—

Riese: This is meta, obviously.

Carly: Oh my god, the most meta scene ever. I was like, why is Jenny wearing rain boots? And then I realized she’s supposed to be in Vancouver.

Lauren: Mhmm.

Riese: I loved her outfit, it was terrible and I loved it. Everything wrong with it was right.

Carly: Yeah. So she starts screaming about how Vancouver does not pass as LA.

Jenny: Vancouver doesn’t pass as LA! And I’m not gonna shoot here in this waterlogged provincial little city. And it was a complete waste of my time to come here when I should have been back in LA prepping for my first day of shooting on Monday, alright?

Carly: Very funny, and just incredible. It made, this scene made me miss going on location scouting.

Lauren: So this is where I’m getting to my thoughts, which is that I felt very validated by how accurate the production stuff looked, like the van—

Carly: The van!

Lauren: Like all of it was very accurate. And I rarely — like I feel like I’m very much a stickler for how Black church is shown on TV, and I think a lot of people get it wrong in movies and TV a lot, like it just never is quite right. And I feel like Hollywood is that way too. And this, I felt like it was very accurate, and I was shocked.

Carly: I was like, I’ve been in that van.

Lauren: Yeah, and I’m sure my pre-set self was like, they couldn’t even get a fancy car to make this look like an actual director—

Carly: Totally.

Lauren: But now I know, you don’t drive around in a freaking Lincoln Town Car to location scout.

Carly: You do not, you all pile into two giant vans.

Riese: And then, like, the location scout person, I don’t know who that—

Carly: The private location manager.

Riese: She stands up to Jenny better than anyone has, before or since.

Carly: Jenny’s being entirely abusive, like this is… horrible.

Lauren: One hundred percent.

Carly: This is not okay. I was horrified watching this.

Riese: And she throws her phone.

Lauren: And gives her a double middle finger, like not even one, but two dancing ones.

Carly: Two.

Lauren: Like, oh my god.

Carly: Not one, but two. They’re two-for-one right now, Jenny middle fingers.

Jenny gives two middle fingers to the person sitting in the van

Riese: And we also see that Adele is scheming.

Lauren: Mhmm.

Carly: Yes.

Lauren: “I took the liberty…”

Riese: Yeah, she took the liberty, that’s where it starts, it starts with taking the liberty.

Carly: That’s where it starts, and then it just spirals out of control.

Riese: And then before you know it…

Carly: So Jenny is still trying to quit smoking, she’s still on the Nicorette gum, saw that here.

Riese: Mhmm.

Carly: And then she just gets a text from William.

Riese: Uh huh.

Carly: Replying to Adele’s fake text. And he’s like, we just secured financing, of course we’re shooting in LA, see you on set Monday morning. I’m like, wait what? Like, you’re… so, okay, your location manager and your director, at least, probably more, are in Vancouver on this scene.

Lauren: Mhmm.

Carly: How are you shooting on Monday? I’m assuming this is the weekend, or like a Friday or something.

Lauren: It’s a Saturday, she says, “I’m working on Saturday, and so are you.”

Carly: “And so are you,” yes. So… how? what?

Lauren: Well, I think, rather than it being any kind of inaccuracy, it speaks to the lack of talent and ability of the director, Jennifer Schecter.

Carly: I love that. Because you are right, because that’s true, you can pull a shoot together in a very short period of time. I’m sure you have seen huge massive productions come together in an amount of time that seems wildly inappropriate. Jenny is just really really really bad at this.

Lauren: She’s a horrible director.

Carly: It’s painful to watch someone be so bad at directing. It hurts me in my soul in a very serious way. I realize she is a fictional character.

Riese: Jenny’s so excited that now they can film in LA that she wants to go to the mall!

Carly: She wants to give Adele a makeover!

Riese: They’re gonna go to the mall!

Carly: And she’s suddenly very nice to the location manager, and she’s like, “Take us where all the like hit Vancouverites shop,” or whatever the fuck she said.

Riese: Yeah. And they do go to — that’s a mall in Vancouver, they sure go to it.

Carly: They sure did.

Lauren: It’s a beautiful mall, it’s a huge mall.

Carly: It’s a huge mall.

Riese: It is a beautiful mall, yeah.

Carly: So we go to Phyllis’s office, remember Phyllis? And Joyce is here, remember Joyce?

Riese: Uh huh.

Carly: And this is actually pretty — this is a great Joyce moment, because Phyllis called her, she wants advice on the case, her pending divorce with Leonard. And Joyce, she’s ready. She comes in with a stack of documents. She is pitching herself.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: She is like, “Let’s do this, we’re gonna counter sue, I’m not here to give you recommendation, I am here to be your lawyer.” And I was like, well Joyce, you make a very strong argument.

Lauren: Joyce said, “I’m not gonna let my heartbreak get in the way of this bag of money.”

Carly: You know, there’s one thing that Joyce loves more than the ladies, it’s making money. So then we have an incredible Vancouver shopping montage.

Lauren: Mhmm.

Riese: I love a shopping montage.

Carly: I love a shopping montage so much. My criticism for this one is that it’s not really fast paced enough to be a proper fashion montage, but I did enjoy it, but that would be my criticism.

Riese: And there weren’t enough outfits. We didn’t get to see enough outfits. Like I wanted to see the shopper get the outfits. Outfit, outfit, outfit. We saw like what? Two dresses?

Carly: A little bit of dialogue, outfit, outfit, outfit.

Riese: Yeah.

Lauren: I felt like the scene — like we were on one accord, because just as I was like, how much is Jenny making on this movie? She said it’s coming out of the wardrobe budget. It was the second I had the thought, because I was like, there’s no way. And then the dialogue filled in the blank for me immediately, and it was perfect.

Carly: Also, taking the wardrobe budget and using it on your assistant, like are you crazy?

Lauren: Like… what are you doing?! Ugh!

Carly: This is why first-time directors don’t get to direct things! It’s Jennifer Schecter’s fault!

Riese: She also leaves the mall in new boots of her own. She enters in red boots and she leaves in black boots, so Jenny also did a little bit of her own shopping.

Carly: You can’t come to Vancouver and not buy some boots!

Riese: Yeah, you can’t.

Lauren: Can I ask you a question?

Carly: Yes.

Lauren: Do you all think that Adele’s original intention was for the David Yurman jewel to be hers, and then when she saw Jenny wasn’t going for it, she pivoted to Nikki Stevens, or it was a manipulative move at the outset?

Carly: That is a good question.

Riese: I thought it was a manipulative move at the outset, because Adele is shipping Jenny and Nikki so hard for some reason.

Lauren: Mmm, mhmm.

Riese: But also it could have been a quick change!

Carly: I know, it’s so hard to read her because she’s such a scammer.

Riese: Unreadable.

Lauren: I couldn’t figure it out.

Carly: Yeah, I definitely think that either is just as likely.

Riese: So they have a personal shopper, she tries on a billion things, Jenny says—

Jenny: The applique on the back of your jeans was declared an abomination by the Geneva Convention. You gotta burn them after we buy these.

Riese: It was kind of funny, and we find out that Adele’s the only one who knows about Jenny and Nikki, and—

Carly: And she’s gonna be real discrete with that information!

Riese: She says everyone always falls in love with the director, which isn’t true.

Carly: No, that is not true.

Riese: I don’t think… I don’t think that’s true.

Carly: It’s not.

Riese: So if you’re the director, don’t assume that everyone’s in love with you, ok?

Carly: I do assume that everyone is in love with me when I am on set, but that’s my own shit, I don’t think it’s a rule.

Riese: And, again, here we have a weird thing with the glasses that Adele’s wearing, they were not cool at the time, but now they’re really cool.

Carly: Yeah!

Lauren: Mhmm.

Riese: So when they took off her glasses, I was like, put them back on!

Carly: Put those back on!

Riese: You look cooler with the glasses!

Carly: Those are such cute glasses.

A makeup artist (not in the shot) does Adele's makeup while Adele says "I mean, everybody always falls in love with the director"

Riese: What are you doing? Put them back on. Anyway, they buy a bazillion things.

Lauren: They buy so many things!

Carly: They buy everything in the store.

Riese: Yeah, they buy everything, they walk out like Pretty Woman with a million bags, you know?

Carly: All the bags, yeah.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Oh, it was great.

Riese: Speaking of bags… speaking of…

Carly: Are you really trying to segue from a hilarious shopping montage into Alice sobbing? Because I don’t know if there’s a way to do it…

Riese: I can’t do it! I can’t do it.

Carly: If anyone can do it, you can do it, but…

Riese: I can’t do it. I can’t do it.

Carly: I don’t know if there’s a way.

Lauren: I found a way!

Carly: Oh my god, what?! Tell us!

Riese: Ok, good!

Lauren: So the bags that they’re carrying out, they went the extra mile and put the beautiful tissue paper coming out of the top…

Carly: Yes!

Lauren: Speaking of tissue paper…

Carly and Riese: [Audibly gasp]

Lauren: We cut to Alice sobbing in bed.

Riese: With a box of tissues!

Carly: See, that’s… Emmy worthy.

Riese: Bravo. That’s… yeah… I think you’re gonna win. You’re gonna win the Emmy.

Carly: That’s how you write a segue! So this whole scene is just Alice sobbing, that’s the scene.

Lauren: It’s just Alice getting — to her credit, that heartbreak, that real heartbreak sob was like, I felt it. I was like, I feel you.

Carly: Yeah. I was just like, good job Leisha Hailey. Great acting. But this scene is just her sobbing.

Lauren: It’s just her sobbing, just so we know where she is emotionally, just to check in.

Riese: Bad, she’s low.

Carly: She’s still not doing good.

Riese: On a scale of 1 to 10, she is not well.

Carly: No, unwell.

Riese: Over at Tina’s, Tina wants pancakes. But they’re out of milk! I don’t think you need milk to make pancakes…

Carly: Depends on the recipe.

Lauren: Yeah.

Riese: But you could adjust it.

Carly: Yes, you could.

Riese: She just wants an excuse to call Mama B and ask her to meet them at The Planet for pancakes. But Bette can’t go, because she’s with Jodi, her actual girlfriend.

Carly: Jodi’s wearing the comfiest looking robe.

Lauren: The fluffiest robe I’ve ever seen!

Carly: I was like, this is a spa hotel robe. What spa or hotel did you steal this robe from, Jodi?

Lauren: Bette’s house has amazing amenities.

Carly: Ugh, the amenities at Bette’s house are lush.

Riese: It does. I mean, the pool, for starts.

Carly: Yes, the pool that the neighbors can just jump in any time they want, that’s fun.

Riese: Anytime they want to.

Carly: Where does Tina live now? Have we ever established where she is living?

Riese: It doesn’t matter.

Lauren: I was like, is this a corporate hotel, like what is happening?

Carly: I was like, where is she?

Riese: I couldn’t tell if it was her house?

Lauren: Where is this?

Carly: Where is she?

Riese: So this is probably where she has been living since she left Bette for Henry.

Carly: But this isn’t the same shitty weird apartment that Bette got her when she was pregnant, this is a different place, because it doesn’t look the same.

Riese: Right because they got back together, so she moved back in with Bette, and now she’s moving out to a different place. But I don’t think — just like Tina doesn’t have parents, she doesn’t have an address. Tina is just like, she’s a vehicle for Bette.

Carly: Tina might not have a social security number…

Riese: She doesn’t have a social security number for sure.

Lauren: Tina seems like a ghost that just, like, appears.

Carly: She is maybe a grifter, we’re not sure.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: It’s possible.

Riese: If I was Bette, and Jodi came in in that robe, I would want to stick my arms around, like underneath her arms—

Lauren: Like inside the robe.

Riese: You know what I mean? And then — yeah, inside the robe, I would go like that, and then I would be like, oh you’re so cozy! Which, it wouldn’t be sexual, it would just be fun.

Carly: Yeah, and then Jodi could say something cute, like, “Get in my robe,” and then like, it would be a reference to Hustleres, even though that movie hadn’t come out yet.

Riese: Right, right, like foreshadowing.

Carly: Right.

Riese: Foreshadowing.

Carly: Yeah, a 12 year foreshadowing to a great film.

Jodi in a fluffy robe asks Bette, in a white shirt looking down, if she wants to go see some art

Riese: As usual, this terrible fucking relationship — Jodi once again would like to go out, be amongst the people, enjoy life. Bette would like to — I guess she’s mad at herself because she’s dating Jodi but in love with Tina still. And she cheated on Jodi, so she wants to somehow make Jodi feel as bad as she feels, and make Jodi really confused, because she’s not actually telling the truth about her feelings, she doesn’t really want to sit in the garden and read the paper. Like Jodi, first of all, she wants to go to The Planet. And Bette’s like, “Well, why don’t you go to The Planet and be on another podcast?” Which, come on.

Lauren: The word “podcast” shook me to my core, because I was like, what year is this? When did podcasts start? And the way they said it, they said it like it was a new word.

Carly: Yes, they did.

Lauren: They were like a podcast. And I was like, oh, this is a new concept.

Riese: And, by the way, it’s not a podcast.

Carly: It’s a video show.

Riese: It’s a video show that they call a podcast.

Carly: Seriously, it’s Alice on camera at The Planet interviewing people in the middle of the day, their busiest time of day, doing an interview.

Lauren: Stop it!

Carly: For video, but calling it a podcast.

Riese: Podcast, it’s all blasphemy.

Lauren: It took me out of my seat, when I heard the word podcast.

Carly: Well they said it like they had never heard it before.

Lauren: Yeah they were like, “a… pod…cast.”

Riese: Yeah, like someone’s parent would be like, “Oh you and your little… blog,” you know?

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: “You and your little podcast with Alice.”

Carly: Yeah, the line about the podcast was so weird.

Riese: But it’s not even the worst thing she does or says in this conversation.

Carly: No, but also, like, what happened on the podcast that upset her? She was talking about her sex life?

Riese: I think it was Jodi saying that she topped Bette the night before. The whole thing was bad.

Carly: This whole scene was just Bette full of self-loathing, and being confused, and just making Jodi feel horrible. It was hard to watch. I was just watching it and was just like, Jodi, run! Get the fuck out of there!

Lauren: It was so emotionally unkind.

Riese: Yes!

Lauren: Because it just gave Jodi a sense of generalized discomfort with the dynamic, but without any kind of specifics as to what was going wrong.

Riese: Mhmm.

Carly: Yep.

Riese: Which is the worst thing you can do to a person.

Carly: Yeah, it’s terrible!

Riese: It is! Like, cheating is bad, but the emotional terrorism that you put around the cheating is the part that really ends up hurting, and also fucking with you and the way you think about yourself and your life for the rest of your life.

Carly: You ok, Riese?

Riese: Yeah. Sometimes you end up insane forever, you know?

Lauren: Some people…

Riese: Some people…

Carly: Hypothetically…

Riese: Some people do, yeah. But it was actually honestly very realistic in that regard. Like it was—

Lauren: I agree!

Riese: It was a very realistic, sort of emotionally abusive situation circling around somebody cheating and trying to make you feel like you’re the one who did something wrong.

Carly: Right.

Riese: About something, you know?

Carly: Yeah.

Lauren: It was maddening to watch.

Carly: Yeah, it really was.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: And Jodi is just like, in love with her, and like, “Let’s do something together, let’s go to the beach, I don’t know, what do you want to do?” She’s trying to make Bette feel better. I was like, ugh.

Lauren: And it was like, the only thing that will make her feel better is if you go.

Riese: Yeah! Go!

Carly: Just leave! Oh shit, so we go to The Planet because, you know what, Tina really really wanted to go to The Planet anyway, because she was out of milk and that’s what you do.

Riese: She wanted pancakes and so did Alice and Shane.

Carly: So now Tina and Angie and Shane and Alice are having breakfast at The Planet.

Riese: And Tina’s wearing… a shirt.

Carly: Which shirt was she wearing? I don’t even remember.

Lauren: Is it the blue one?

Riese: It’s like a black — like a tank top, sort of like this — but with a bow tie, a white bow tie.

Lauren: Oh, right… yes.

Carly: Ok, that was…

Lauren: You know, I kinda liked it…

Riese: Oh my god, explain that.

Lauren: I would not be able to pull it off, I’m gonna tell you that right now. A higher neckline doesn’t work for me. When I was like 15 my mom told me you really need to only be in a v-neck, and that really stayed with me.

Riese: Wow!

Lauren: So that neckline is not compatible with me, but I didn’t mind it.

Riese: Interesting.

Carly: I thought it was fine on her and it was not the most offensive shirt she wore in the episode.

Lauren: Agree.

Carly: The stir fry scene shirt was much worse, I thought.

Riese: Yeah. Everyone’s going to Phyllis’s tonight for the party!

Carly: But what party? They didn’t tell us what the party is for. We never know why this party is happening. There’s always a reason for the party!

Riese: It’s like an OWL party.

Carly: A what?

Riese: Older Wiser Lesbians?

Carly: Ohh.

Lauren: Ohh. You know what I think? Because I had the same thought, I think that our shelter-in-place brains are… the chemistry has changed that we’re like, ok but what was the specific purpose for a party?

Carly: For leaving…

Lauren: Because you don’t just throw a party, like there has to be very much a lot of planning. I think she literally would just — just like the same way that they’re always together, she just threw a party like it really was a propos of nothing.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah, you’re right. My brain is worms and has no idea why people leave the house.

Lauren: Right! Because I was like, what is this party for? What is the occasion?

Carly: I was like, is it her birthday? No one’s saying happy birthday, what is this? Because—

Lauren: Oh it’s just to hang out.

Carly: Because Joyce threw her a coming out party a few episodes ago, and so I was like—

Riese: Right, now she’s having the same party again, but without Joyce.

Carly: It totally is! And it’s at her house, that’s the difference. She’s like, it’s a coming in party, I’m coming back in to my house, but everyone’s invited, but not Joyce.

Lauren: But not Joyce.

Carly: Sorry, Joyce.

Riese: And then fucking Bette has changed her clothes.

Carly: Oh my god.

Riese: And she got her phone and is calling Tina and would like to know if she would still like to meet at the fucking Planet.

Carly: She has gotten rid of her girlfriend, made her feel terrible, has changed into a cute little outfit, done her makeup, and is now ready, and she’s like, “Oh my god, like, let’s go to The Planet!”

Riese: And also Jodi would have totally found out!

Lauren: Right!

Carly: It’s a public place!

Riese: Yeah, and they’re constantly filming podcasts in there!

Carly: Yeah!

Lauren: The thing that really rubs me the wrong way about Tina and Bette is their…

Carly: Everything.

Lauren: I feel like if — let’s say Jodi found out that Bette went to get pancakes with Tina at The Planet, they would be like, “Oh, well, we wanted to spend time with Angie.” Like they were absolutely using the daughter as an excuse. It’s like, “Should we call Mama B and tell her we ran out of milk?” It’s like, should you not be bringing your toddler into your absolute shenanigans with your ex?

Carly: Oh my god, they’re totally using her!

Lauren: Mhmm. Can the child be a child?!

Riese: No, she’s going to be stuck in their shenanigans for the rest of her life!

Carly: Poor Angelica. She just wants someone to rescue her from their craziness!

Riese: She does! Well, and then poor little Angie sees that there are rats on the floor, which she thinks are puppies.

Carly: So many rats.

Angie: Puppies!
Tina: Bette, I’m gonna have to call you back.
Alice: Those aren’t freaking puppies!

Riese: Because, obviously, Dawn Denbo found some rats and put them in The Planet so that The Planet would fail their health inspection. And Kit is like, “Oh my god.”

Carly: Can I just say — I’m angry that we were robbed of a scene where Dawn Denbo is—

Riese: Dawn Denbo harvesting rats.

Carly: Is skulking around with a cage of rats and opens the thing and is like, “Go, be free!” Like… that would have been amazing!

Lauren: Agreed! I just really need to see her lifting the door on a cage.

Carly: The latch, yeah. Like, ugh, god, that would have been so funny! And then she probably would have done a villain laugh because she’s just like a cartoon character.

Riese: Yeah, exactly. But then we would have had less time to go to the gun range, and see every person who’s at the gun range, like 75 people. We know eventually we’re gonna get to Kit, and five years later we get to Kit, and guess what she’s doing at the gun range? Shooting her gun.

Carly: Has anyone ever filmed a scene at a gun range that did not open with the tracking shot that goes behind every single person that’s at the gun range, and lands on the person we’re here to see?

Riese: No.

Lauren: I’ve never — I feel like it’s a law that you have to do it that way.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: I think it is a law…

Riese: Yeah, it’s part of the second amendment. You have a right to bear arms, but if you’re doing it in a film, you have to have this scroll shot first.

Carly: Yeah, incredible.

Riese: It’s also — it’s implied that it’s related to what just happened, but is she gonna like, shoot the rats?

Carly: Shoot the rats, yeah.

Lauren: I was like, is Kit gonna kill Dawn?

Riese: Right, like, what’s the… what’s the connection?

Carly: Yeah, I love that she’s with the inspector. He’s like, “You’re getting shut down.” And she’s sad. Shane comes in, Shane’s like, “I’ve got a theory,” and then it just cuts to the gun range.

Riese: Uh huh.

Carly: Like narratively, this doesn’t actually make any sense. Like, we know what’s going on, but the way this is stitched together is very confusing. I hope she shoots all the rats! I’m kidding, I don’t want to advocate for rat violence.

Lauren: I stand with the rat community… and…

Riese: I think rats are gross.

Lauren: I’m gonna speak up for them because they can’t speak up for themselves.

Carly: In the way that the Lorax spoke for the trees, yeah.

Lauren: Exactly.

Carly: Yes yes, of course.

Riese: Then we go to Phyllis’s big, big party.

Carly: She got 400,000 tea lights and they’re floating in the pool. There was a shot of many many tea lights, and different color little holders, floating in the pool — so, so many that later, when people were jumping in the pool, I was worried.

Lauren: It looked very scary. Like it was too much pyro for people to also be swimming.

Carly: Yeah, they were very cavalier about it too.

Riese: Are you sure it wasn’t just the reflection of Bette’s shirt in the water?

Carly: I mean I guess it’s possible.

Riese: Because she was wearing — it was like a shirt, but then it looked like she had sort of like a baby carrier over it that was all gold sequins. And it wasn’t a baby carrier, it was part of the shirt somehow.

Carly: It was complicated.

Riese: But I honestly don’t understand…

Lauren: That shirt was cold-blooded for 2005 though. I was like, I have shirts like that, I had shirts like that, that shirt…

Riese: 2008!

Lauren: That shirt is speaking my language in 2005!

Carly: There’s moments in the fashion on this show where I’m like, that’s so hideous, and it’s absolutely what I was wearing at the time. It’s too accurate, and I’m feeling personally attacked.

Riese: Jodi’s not here, so Bette and Tina are gonna get out of there.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Ladies…

Lauren: Do you know what I was stunned by? The way that they portrayed women over 35—

Carly: Oh my god.

Lauren: It was like—

Riese: Doing a cha cha line around the pool!

Lauren: I was like, oh my god! These women are like, they are raking them over the coals with this portrayal. It was so funny, it was truly written so perfectly because it was so funny. But I was like, oh my god, when I was 19, 20 watching this I was like, look at those old losers or whatever.

Carly: Now I’m watching it like, I am those women.

Riese: Yeah, yeah that’s me. And I’m doing, unfortunately, the same things I did at parties when I was 25, so there’s no need for them to scale up in this manner.

Lauren: Oh my god.

Riese: Like they’re excited about possibly Phyllis getting on the diving board, taking her shirt off, and everyone is excited for her to take her bra off? That’s what people are excited about.

Carly: Yes, everyone’s excited, but then her daughter Molly shows up and starts freaking out.

Riese: Yeah. You don’t get to see Cybill Shepherd’s boobs or whatever — her salary was, for that show, I don’t think. I was like, there’s no way, we’re not going to see Cybill Shepherd’s boobs.

Carly: No, no way. They didn’t have Cybill Shepherd topless money.

Riese: No, no. Yeah, but then Molly shows up, her daughter in real life and on this show.

Molly is confused, standing at her mother's party in a white v-neck not sure what's going on. The caption reads "Cheering and whooping continue"

Carly: Indeed, and she’s yelling at her mother.

Molly: Mother!

Carly: Like, “Mother, what are you doing?”

Lauren: Which is a fair question!

Riese: Yeah, it is a fair question!

Lauren: If you did not hear the doorbell ringing off the freaking hinges…

Carly: Exactly.

Lauren: When all 200 people at the party showed up, like she came out like, “What is all this?” As if there was any way she didn’t know a party was already happening.

Carly: Like the only way she would not have known was if she wasn’t home all day, and just arrived at that moment, which I guess is possible.

Riese: I think she did.

Carly: Ok.

Riese: She just came home from college.

Carly: Because I just thought she was home, and so she would have known definitely that there was a party.

Riese: Right. No, that’s when she arrived. She arrived home from where she was.

Carly: Whatever college USA.

Riese: Straights… straightsville….

Lauren: So why would Phyllis plan that party for the day her daughter was coming home from college?

Riese: That’s a good question!

Carly: That’s a great question. And… and maybe if we knew why the party was being thrown we could be able to, you know, fill in those blanks, but we don’t know why there’s a party happening.

Riese: Speaking of things that are inappropriate… we go to Tina’s, where Tina is pulling the classic seduction move of a hot pot of tea, a plate of 17,000 lemons…

Carly: The most lemons — more lemons than you would need for two people.

Riese: And some mugs — yeah, I mean it’s like, that’s pretty much right out of the playbook. You want to seduce a woman… hot tea.

Carly: Hot tea, 12 lemons.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Sliced.

Riese: Yeah, they’re gonna sit at a little table, and they don’t know what to do with their feelings.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: She adores Jodi but it just doesn’t compare to what it’s like to make love to a paper plate named Tina. And then we cut to Bette and Tina having sex! Again!

Carly: Wait, I want to say one thing! I really like that camera move! Where it transitioned from them at the table to them in bed! That was awesome!

Lauren: It was so good! It was so, so good! I was like, oh y’all did that!

Carly: And I, like, made a sound. I was like “oh!”

Lauren: It was so slick, it was so cool. And it wasn’t — it was so slick but it wasn’t too self-referential. Like it wasn’t too proud of itself that it took you out of the scene. It just was so artful. I was like, okay, I love that.

Carly: It was… very well done.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: And it was like a flex without being like, “it’s a flex!” You know?

Lauren: Exactly.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Which is perfect. So, good job Ilene Chaiken, good job.

Bette and Tina having sex

Riese: Was it Feist that they were listening to?

Carly: Oh, I was not paying attention, shit.

Riese: It was Feist-y, whatever it was, it sounded like it could have been Feist, and it was a better song than they had earlier.

Carly: Yeah, the stir fry scene had bad music, but this was better.

Riese: Yeah. Have they ever had sex twice in one episode before? They’re really into it. They really are attracted to each other.

Carly: Good for them.

Riese: Good for them! They are having sex they enjoy, they miss each other.

Carly: I’m mad at them for being terrible cheating terrible people, but good for them, I guess.

Lauren: My summation of them in this moment, I just wrote, “Bette is a mess but Tina is a drip.” I just… I was like…

Carly: That is so accurate.

Lauren: I don’t root for them because they’re both so burdensome as human beings, but I just was like—

Carly: They’re exhausting.

Lauren: Ugh, I guess.

Carly: Yeah, like I guess this is happening.

Riese: I do feel like at the time I was like, this is exciting. Like when I watched it the first time, I was like, this is an exciting storyline, like it’s an exciting storyline.

Lauren: Totally.

Riese: Like it’s exciting. Bette’s cheating with Tina, are they gonna get back together? And it was exciting! It is an exciting storyline, it’s just hard now to watch it and be like, wow, Bette is really…

Carly: Yeah, now in my advanced age, it’s far more annoying to watch, where I’m just like, what are you doing?!

Riese: But it’s still a little titillating.

Carly: Yeah, how dare they.

Riese: They fall asleep, Bette leaves at 4am. Tina’s like, “Jodi would be so devastated.” Which I feel like is not her line, that should be Bette’s line, and then Tina’s like, “We have to both take the time to figure out what each of us want” or whatever. Which is good for Tina to be like, “We have to figure out for ourselves,” but also like, that’s great for Jodi to kind of be in the sidecar while they’re doing that.

Carly: Yeah no, that’s super fun for her to just be along for the ride, but not really there, and not actually knowing what’s going on.

Lauren: That’s fair to her as a person, for sure.

Carly: Mhmm. It’s respectful, and treating her with such dignity and respect.

Lauren: Mhmm, that deserves, yeah.

Carly: Exactly. So, guess what? It’s the first day of filming.

Lauren: Oh man!

Riese: In Los Angeles, California!

Carly: Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Lauren: You know what you love when you work in TV and film, is when the director hasn’t met anyone on the crew until the day they show up to set.

Carly: Oh my god…

Riese: And then they got mad at the guy for not knowing who she was?

Carly: Ok, one thing I will say, I have walked onto a set before where I was the director, and like a PA didn’t — like pointed me in a different direction and I was like, “Oh.” But I wasn’t an asshole about it.

Lauren: Right.

Carly: I was just like, I just walked away, found the producers, the people I did know. And I was just like, I’m here. But that has absolutely happened to me before.

Lauren: Oh I’m sure!

Carly: So that part I was like, mmm, cute.

Lauren: It was! I mean, again, they really are knocking it out of the park with getting so many of those dynamics correct, because I imagine that a lot of the people who work on that show have been in that position where it’s like, people thought they were background actors — anything that didn’t, you know, give any indication that they were a creator or writer or whatever. So I love that they included that.

Carly: Yeah. So Adele is teaching Jenny how to be a director basically? Which is just terribly upsetting, again, I’m still angry that Jenny got this job 12 years ago — and yes, I know she is a fictional character. And then there’s that moment where Jenny’s like, “How do you know all of this, you’ve never been on a set before?” And then Adele is like, “Oh, I was here at 4:30 for the load-in, so I familiarized myself with everything.” And I was like, I mean that might be true, but I also think that what is actually probably true is that Adele is being a schemer.

Lauren: Yeah, she is.

Riese: Yeah, I think she was there at 4:30, but I also think she’s been on film sets before.

Carly: Yes.

Lauren: Yes.

Riese: And I don’t think her dad was a traveling salesman.

Carly: Oh, okay. Bold stance.

Riese: Speaking of people who are unprofessional and inappropriate: we go to Phyllis’s office for — Phyllis is terrible at her job.

Carly: She never seems to be doing her job. I mean, I don’t know how to be a vice chancellor.

Riese: She is acting like a child!

Carly: But she’s never doing her job.

Lauren: She is a horrible manager.

Carly: Yeah, a very bad manager.

Riese: She has got Bette and Jodi in her office, which they assume that they’re there to talk about this scandal with the soap gun and Jodi’s student.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: But no, they’re there because Phyllis would like Jodi and Bette to show Molly that lesbians—

Carly: Are normal people.

Riese: Are normal people, and that they’re not promiscuous and debauched lesbians who take their bras off, which is perfect because again, Bette has never taken her bra off, so she would be —

Carly: Exactly, she’s the right person for this. You know that there’s no chance of that happening.

Lauren: Yeah.

Riese: This is a really inappropriate ask of your employees.

Lauren: Hugely inappropriate.

Carly: Hugely! Wildly inappropriate, and then she just casually switches back to talking about, like, “Anyway the board’s out for blood.” I was like, what the fuck?

Phyllis in her office, caption reads "A promiscuous, debauched lesbian"

Riese: Yeah. She’s like, oh right, and that thing too, huh.

Lauren: One of you will lose your job, so! Where are you gonna take her?

Carly: So do you guys want to take Molly maybe to The Planet? What about SheBar?

Riese: And so Molly is there, she shows up.

Carly: Dressed like a lesbian.

Lauren: Dressed like a court stenographer lesbian!

Carly: She’s like, “Yeah, I know shorthand.”

Riese: Yeah, I’m here to — oh, this is, ok, sorry. And Jodi says that she will resign.

Carly: Yeah she’s like, “It’s fine, I love this student’s piece. I thought it was brilliant, but it’s jeopardizing your job, and it’s ok because I have you.” Ugh.

Riese: Ughh!

Lauren: That made me yell out loud, because I was like, don’t, Jodi! Don’t, no!

Carly: I was like, nooooo.

Riese: That was bad.

Carly: Ugh, yeah. We go back to set where we are already an hour and a half behind. This is realistic. You are almost always an hour and a half behind, all the time, especially on day one and especially in the morning. That’s just very real. So Nikki’s not here.

Riese: She’s in her costume and she’s been to hair and makeup, so.

Carly: She’s refusing to come to set maybe?

Lauren: I think she was, yeah. She was refusing to come to set, and she didn’t want to hold the sprig.

Carly: Right, right. So then Jenny is — again, I think we should all point out that Jenny has never directed before, and her assistant was telling her where craft service was 90 minutes ago. So you know, it’s very bad, she’s not good, she doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Lauren: She doesn’t even know how to say action.

Carly: She doesn’t.

Riese: It’s like this: lights, camera, action!

Lauren: It’s in the name of the episode!

Carly: Helloooo!

Riese: It’s in the name of the episode!

Carly: Duh!

Riese: Nikki’s line here is funny, though, about the plant.

Jenny: Ok, so, you’re going to be sniffing this.
Nikki: Yeah, I don’t know why I would be holding that. I mean it’s stupid.
Jenny: Because, um, Nina gave it to you out back, by the pool, and we just rehearsed it, so.
Nikki: Yeah I know, but who walks around with a plant for no reason? I mean why would I still be carrying it around?

Carly: Nikki’s line about the plant was great, apart from where she uses the r word, that was not great.

Lauren: Yeah…

Riese: Oh yeah, that was a little bit later, wasn’t it?

Carly: I was like, oh, remember 12 years ago when people said that on television? Fuck!

Lauren: My word. Another word that truly sent a chill up and down my spine simultaneously both ways.

Riese: Uh huh.

Carly: I, like, recoiled from the television.

Lauren: I was like, oh no!

Riese: But this was the world, you know? This was the world. Nikki doesn’t want to carry a plant for no reason.

Carly: I agree. What’s the motivation for holding the plant? Jenny is having a problem directing Nikki. Nikki is not receiving Jenny’s direction. There’s clearly a conflict here. And so Nikki storms off the set to her trailer. Jenny comes in, Nikki is sulking. And Nikki’s like, “We hooked up, and now you’re just treating me like some random actress, like you don’t even know me!” And she hates the necklace, she doesn’t care about the necklace.

Lauren: The stupid necklace, ugh.

Carly: Ugh, the David Yurman necklace. And Jenny kisses her in an attempt to get her to, you know, warm up or whatever. And then we realize that Nikki’s mic’d.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah…

Riese: I just want to say real fast that before, right before she storms off set, there’s a great little exchange where she says the line wrong and then Jenny’s like, “You’re saying the line wrong, you have to remember that she’s from the midwest, she’s naive, she’s never met a lesbian before.” And then Nikki says:

Nikki: I mean, everyone knows that lezzies are having babies all over the place, Jenny.
Jenny: Right, but the character in my script has just arrived to LA, she’s from the midwest, she’s naive, she’s never met a lesbian before.
Nikki: She’s never met a lesbian before? What about Ellen and Portia? I mean, did she not have a TV?

Riese: Like, I can think of two lesbians…

Carly: I just named them.

Riese: That was weird.

Carly: Does she know about Joyce Wischnia?

Riese: Ellen, Portia? Come on. Joyce Wischnia, the lawyer? Anyway.

Carly: The famous lawyer.

Riese: Back to where we were.

Carly: Nikki’s mic — they start going at it, and again, Nikki is very much mic’d. So we cut back to set, where we see our sound mixer, who’s got his headphones on. He’s like, “What? What? Hello? What is happening?” And you know a bunch of people have context on that set, so we got — Tina’s got headphones, Aaron’s got headphones. Adele — why does Adele have — I mean, ok, sure, Adele’s got headphones.

Riese: Schemer.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: She just schemed her way into those headphones.

Carly: So now they all know what’s going on, and it’s horrifying.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Everyone’s reactions…

Lauren: Everyone’s impulse was to continue listening and not to say, “Oh wow, this is absolutely none of my business, and deeply inappropriate, let me remove the headphones from my ears.” That was shocking.

Carly: Yeah, they were just like, “Mhmm, yeah.”

Set of Lez Girls, Tina has her headphones on and can hear Jenny moaning "Oh Fuck" on

Riese: Couldn’t they have turned off her mic, or whatever?

Carly: Yes! That’s usually what—

Lauren: They could have closed her mic, yes.

Carly: That is what you’re supposed to do, though she did storm off set in a hurry, I guess? Maybe? But the protocol is, when we are not shooting, the mics are not on.

Riese: Well, William’s here.

Carly: Well good, William has arrived.

Riese: For an asparagus omelette. And Adele introduces himself to William and says that Jenny’s sleeping with Nikki, and then she weaves this weird little tale?

Carly: Oh my god, Adele the scammer.

Lauren: To her credit, she is quick on her feet.

Riese: She is!

Carly: She is! She really is! All scammers are, though.

Riese: Mhmm. That’s true. She is a scammer. So Adele says that Nikki was lukewarm on the film, suddenly, and that Jenny convinced her to be in it by becoming her lover. Which is — and that’s great because that’s — first of all, definitely that’s permanent, making someone your lover, they’re in the film for life.

Carly: Absolutely.

Riese: You know? That’s like a solid…

Carly: You’re shooting the film for life, you’re together for life, everything’s fine for life.

Lauren: Collaborators for life, for life.

Riese: Yeah, and as a solution, becoming someone’s lover is always number one.

Carly: Always.

Lauren: Because it’s not volatile, it’s very stable.

Carly: Yes, exactly.

Riese: Yes, exactly.

Lauren: There’s no emotions involved, it’s purely transactional.

Carly: Zero.

Riese: It’s free!

Lauren: It’s truly fool proof.

Carly: Absolutely, it’s the best plan always.

Riese: Yeah, and so somehow he’s sort of like, okay with it?

Carly: Yeah no, he is absolutely like, Adele fixed it. Like she created a situation and fixed it in a second. And then Aaron and Jenny and Tina show up and Aaron is so mad. He is so mad, you guys.

Riese: Aaron is always mad.

Carly: He’s always mad about something.

Riese: That’s what happens.

Lauren: Jenny’s baby voice…

Carly: Oh my god, I left my body.

William: Oh there she is!
Jenny: I miss you!
William: Come give your daddy a hug!
Jenny: [Baby voice] He’s being so mean to me!
William: Mean? Don’t be mean to my baby!
Aaron: Ok…
William: That’s the watch!
Jenny: I’m wearing it! I love it!
William: That’s the watch I got for you!
Jenny: Yeah!
William: Oh, you are really something else! That little Nikki Stevens — her movie hasn’t even opened yet, and already she’s out of control!
Jenny: Well, she’s a bit fragile!
William: Well if there’s anyone who can take a fragile person, and glue them back together, that would be you.

Lauren: I was like, she has to die today. Oh my god, oh my god.

Riese: When a man refers to himself in third person as a daddy, I don’t care for that.

William points at Tina and Aaron and says "don't be mean to my baby!"

Carly: I’m not a big fan of that.

Lauren: I hated it.

Carly: “Don’t be mean to my baby,” oh my god.

Lauren: And she was like, “Wah.”

Carly: Yeah, she was, like, throwing a temper tantrum. Can you imagine being Tina in this moment, truly?

Lauren: But you know what? Again, I was like, honestly, Jenny’s a smart one. She knows how to right the ship, as absolutely abhorrent as she is, she played that one absolutely correctly. I wanted to absolutely drop kick her when she started doing it, but I was like, I have to respect the effort.

Carly: It worked!

Riese: Yeah, it worked!

Carly: Yeah. So we go back to set.

Riese: Sp they’re off to a great start.

Carly: Oh yeah, this film. Day one of the film is going great.

Lauren: No problems.

Riese: And also that means everyone on set is like, “Oh this is a good, this is a professional set, and there’s no weird power dynamics or anything.”

Carly: Nothing weird is happening.

Riese: We don’t all have to tiptoe around Nikki because we’re worried about what it will do to our relationship to Jenny. It’s totally fine.

Carly: Exactly!

Riese: Everything’s absolutely 100% fine.

Carly: Everyone is like, “This is super chill and there are no issues on this set. Very professional, 10 out of 10, would show up tomorrow.” So we go back to set, where Alice is hosting her podcast from set. I just… I just…

Lauren: Can I just point out that Shane, the hair stylist to the stars, the group’s on-hand hair stylist is doing finishing touches on Alice’s ponytail.

Carly: Yep!

Riese: Yeah!

Carly: Did the ponytail need finishing touches?

Lauren: I don’t think it did.

Carly: I don’t think it did either!

Lauren: But that just shows Shane’s level of commitment as their friend and a stylist.

Riese: No fly-aways.

Carly: Exactly, she’s a perfectionist.

Lauren: She said no style — there’s no such thing as a small hairstyle.

Carly: Exactly. She rolled up with her roller bag suitcase with all of her gear, and just adjusted the ponytail.

Lauren: Gave it a little flick.

Carly: So, Alice is crying, but trying to pull it together because Max is going to film her for the video podcast.

Lauren: Mhmm.

Carly: And they’re here because it’s the first day of filming the big gay film, and they’re going to apparently interview Nikki. This really strikes me as one of those moments where you just show up thinking that that’s what’s going to happen, but you did not clear that with anybody ahead of time.

Riese: Yeah. I’m like, you’re not going to interview Nikki, they’re already running an hour and a half behind, and then she had to love her, like have love—

Carly: Yeah, now we’re two hours behind.

Alice broadcasting from the set of Lez Girls, it's clear that she has been crying

Riese: You know what I just realized?

Carly: What?

Riese: I think this is the first episode we’ve had since 301 where nobody said anything mean to Max?

Carly: Oh, that’s good! Oh my god, you’re right. I bet they cut out something where Alice was like, “Fuck you, Max.”

Riese: I’m sure they cut something out, yeah.

Carly: Or like, something transphobic.

Lauren: Wow, Max really takes a real tough beating in many ways.

Carly: Yeah.

Lauren: So I’m glad he’s getting a bit of a respite here.

Riese: A respite.

Carly: This is the one episode where no one’s mean to him.

Riese: This is his small, mini holiday, this one episode.

Carly: We don’t know, he might have had other stuff to do, and Alice might have been like, “Get your camera, we’re going to set!” And he might have been like, “But I’m working on the truck!” Remember that one time we saw him working on a car? Maybe he was doing that.

Riese: Yeah. I noticed that when he was wearing the cute little jumpsuit, like the coverall thing.

Carly: That was a cute jumpsuit, yeah.

Riese: I like that.

Carly: So now there’s a group of neighbors that are trying to shut down the film. So…

Riese: You can’t do that, right?

Carly: Well… ok.

Riese: They have permits!

Carly: Well yes, they have permits. But also, I don’t know if it’s a requirement everywhere, or if it’s just in certain cities. Because I know that in like, Pasadena, there’s a lot of extra rules and things like that, so I don’t know neighborhood to neighborhood if it’s different. But not only do you have to get permits, but you also have to canvass the neighborhood and tell everyone what’s coming. So they would have been notified already.

Riese: Really?

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: But in New York, I would just go outside and they would be filming Law and Order.

Carly: Well, it’s different in every state and every city, there’s different rules. And I don’t know if it’s all of LA, but I know in like — because I’ve filmed up in Pasadena or Altadena and it was a very intense neighborhood situation where our producing team had to go house to house and get everyone to be ok with us being there, even though we had permits and had payed for the fucking permits, which are ridiculously expensive.

Lauren: Wow.

Carly: But there’s always people that are like, “You’re trying to film!” Like, “Fuck you!” There’s always going to be that.

Riese: Oh so this is normal?

Carly: Kind of… yeah.

Lauren: It depends on the situation, yeah, but it’s not uncommon.

Carly: It’s not like it wouldn’t happen.

Riese: Interesting.

Lauren: It was definitely uncommon for Dawn Denbo, someone who does not live in the neighborhood, to have rallied the troops.

Police officer and Alice listening to Dawn Denbo complain

Riese: Yeah, and she’s like, “I’m upset about the lesbian representation in this film!” And they’re like, “You don’t even live here!”

Carly: “She doesn’t even go here!” So Dawn Denbo hates the script. Finally something that Dawn Denbo and I agree on.

Riese: So, Alice comes over, and Shane and Max, and they’re like, oh god, this is just Dawn Denbo, she’s just stirring up shit because she hates us.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Alice is like—

Alice: You’re a rat fuck!

Lauren: Which, solid burn!

Carly: Sick burn, Alice!

Riese: Yeah, Shane is like, “Hi Cindi.”

Carly: Yeah, and then she’s like—

Riese: And Dawn is like, “Don’t talk to my girlfriend.”

Carly: Don’t talk to my girlfriend. The Dawn Denbo recurring Shane “don’t talk to my girlfriend” bit, I laugh every time.

Lauren: I love it, it’s a great runner.

Riese: Yeah, I love it.

Lauren: It’s so funny.

Carly: It’s great. And then William shows up in his limo and he’s like, “We’ll just pay them off!” Ok!

Lauren: My question was, wasn’t he already there? Or is that how they transported him from—

Riese: No, because when they said there’s a problem over there, they’re like, we gotta get into the limo. They said they had to get into the limo.

Carly: Yeah, I think that instead of walking, or like a golf cart, he went in his limo to go from catering to set, which is incredible.

Lauren: That cracked me up.

Carly: So we go to the hair and makeup trailer, which is empty, which I find quite hard to believe in the middle of production. That would not be empty, but whatever. And Shane is finally cutting Adele’s hair.

Riese: Adele knows exactly what she wants.

Carly: She describes Jenny’s haircut to Shane, who cuts Jenny’s hair. And then Shane’s like, “Oh, so like Jenny’s hair?”

Lauren: And she’s like, “No…”

Carly: “I don’t think — did I say that? I don’t think I said that…”

Lauren: “No… I said I want my hair like Jenny’s.”

Carly: Exactly. “It’s ‘the Adele’ because it’s on my head.”

Lauren: “Because it’s on my head.”

Riese: It’s called the Adele, yeah. And Shane’s like, “Ok… yikes, but…”

Carly: Yeah, Shane is a little bit like, “Yikes, but ok.” This is like the time when they all went to the recording studio with Kit, where literally every single member of the cast had to show up, which is insane.

Lauren: I wrote in my notes, “the lack of professionalism jumped out.” I was like, who has all of their friends on set like this?

Carly: Also, they all hate Jenny!

Riese: They’re not even her friends!

Lauren: They hate Jenny, and they also don’t like how they’re being portrayed in this movie, why are they allowed?

Carly: And yet here they are.

Riese: Well, they’re there for Tina.

Carly: Well, it’s because of Tina. So Kit and Bette are coming to set, and Kit—

Riese: Talking about guns.

Carly: —is talking about how she’s thinking of getting a gun, and Bette is like “No.” And I’m like, oh don’t tell Bette, but she already — didn’t she already buy the gun?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: We saw her buy the gun.

Riese: She bought the gun last episode.

Carly: Last episode, yeah.

Riese: Or no, 2 episodes ago.

Carly: Because you don’t have to have a gun, you can just go to the gun range and use a gun that’s there, I’m assuming?

Lauren: Yeah, a gun they provide, yeah. It’s not B-Y-O gun.

Carly: BYOG

Riese: She bought a gun in the episode where it was Shelli, 504. 504?

Carly: Yes, so she bought the gun.

Riese: Right. Tina’s excited to show Bette and Kit around the set. And then she also tells Bette that Jenny is fucking the star — or should I say, she’s fucking herself.

Tina and Bette on set together watching everybody

Lauren: In more ways than one!

Carly: Exactly! So then Max notices that Jenny’s hair is currently on Adele’s head.

Riese: Uh huh. Yeah.

Lauren: And Adele gives Max the same answer which is, “Uhhhhh.”

Riese: “Uhhhh, no, I think it’s my hair.”

Carly: “It’s mine.”

Riese: She’s like, “It was Shane’s idea, she insisted.”

Carly: “Yeah. I was kind of uncomfortable with it, but Shane, Shane really made me do it.”

Lauren: Right, which…

Riese: I love that Max is still on the case. Jenny has been terrible to Max. Everyone is horrible.

Carly: Max’s storyline in this season doesn’t exist. Like, his storyline is figuring out what’s going on with Adele now.

Riese: Which is much better than it was last season.

Carly: He’s like The Hardy Boys, Max, like—

Riese: He’s on the case, he’s on the Adele case, even though last episode Jenny tried to humiliate him by telling Adele that he had done a background check on her. Max is not letting up.

Carly: That was so horrible.

Riese: Max is not letting up. And he’s like, “That’s Jenny’s hair,” and Adele’s like, “No, it’s Shane’s idea.” And then when they’re sitting with Kit and Alice, they’re like, “Hey, Adele has Jenny’s hair,” and Shane’s like, “Yeah, she insisted on getting the Jenny haircut,” and Max is like, “That’s not what she told me…” Hmmmm.

Carly: Mmmm… interesting. I also want to point out that Alice is wearing one of those little iPod shuffles clipped to her shirt, and I had that exact same iPod shuffle, and I loved that thing! That was great for the gym. That was optimal for the gym.

Lauren: It looked very light and looked like it could go with you anywhere.

Carly: It weighed nothing! It had a clip built into it, you just clip it somewhere. It was amazing, I loved that thing.

Riese: I know. I had a Nano.

Carly: Oh yeah, I did too. I just liked that little one. Yeah, so that’s… that’s kind of it, right?

Riese: Well, but Bette says that she thinks the film will be great because Tina’s producing it, but Tina has no power or control over anything, so.

Carly: No, she seems to have zero control over anything that is happening.

Lauren: But a solid try from Bette to earn some points!

Carly: Yeah, she was…

Lauren: She was reaching!

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: I am curious about how Helen is going to be a part of the plot of this film, because she wasn’t in Season One, and this film seems to be about Season One.

Carly: I just can’t get over that all Jenny did was take the “a” off the end of her name.

Riese: But also Bev — like is that, a name?

Carly: It is, but it sounds like—

Lauren: It sounds like a different person.

Carly: Yeah, like Bette Porter would never be named Bev, that just doesn’t seem right. Like Nina instead of Tina, I can buy that.

Lauren: It’s ok.

Carly: Yeah, it’s fine. Alysse instead of Alice, right, that’s just silly.

Lauren: It’s not the same.

Riese: No.

Carly: It’s not.

Riese: They should have named her like, Starmite, or something.

Carly: Whoa! That’s cool!

Riese: Or like Unicorn Princess or something like that.

Carly: Oh my god, those would be memorable names.

Riese: Like Sapphire, yeah.

Carly: Just the Steven Universe names.

Riese: Yeah, yeah.

Carly: I change Bette’s name to Thor.

Riese: Mickey Mouse! Yeah, she should have changed Tina’s name to Donald Duck, and she should have changed Shane’s name to Pluto, and made Shane the owner of the Pluto Cafe.

Lauren: Mmm, now you’re thinking.

Carly: That’s smart, that’s smart.

Riese: But co-owner with Kat.

Carly: Kat.

Riese: Is that it?

Carly: Yeah, that was the episode!

Riese: That’s the episode!

Carly: Ok, what did we think? Do we like this episode? Thoughts? Thoughts from the group?

Riese: Ummm.

Lauren: I like it! I appreciate how it didn’t — it gave us just enough of the development of the Adele storyline without parsing it out for too long. I personally liked it, I felt like it did a lot of plot advancement work, and it was quite funny.

Carly: Yes, it was very entertaining. I love the meta — I love a thing that’s about making a show or making a film.

Lauren: Same!

Carly: I just get into that so much, so I enjoyed watching the 12 different layers of meta-ness of their film set. I thought that was fun. Yeah, I thought it was a funny episode. We got to watch Bette try to make a stir fry and clearly set the house on fire.

Riese: Yeah, burn down her kitchen.

Carly: So, that’s cool.

Riese: That’s a tragedy. Arson, arson, always with that one.

Carly: Arson, always, yeah. Bette loves arson.

Riese: This is the sixth episode, so this is the middle of the season.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: And they are putting a lot in motion in this episode, but in a way that’s not overbearing.

Carly: Yeah, it feels like a midpoint.

Lauren: And things get so bad on that set, that this is just — knowing what I know, this is a great place for it to start. They are telling you out of the gate, this movie is going to go very poorly.

Carly: It’s going to be a disaster. They kind of reintroduced Molly, which is good, because they haven’t really made a big deal out of it yet, which is nice. They’re kind of slowly introducing her, which I feel like sometimes this show gets a little intense when they introduce a character, and it becomes like, this character is suddenly the center of the universe. But I like that Molly… it’s like a roll out, there’s like a Molly roll out, which I appreciate.

Riese: Yeah. There was a part that I forgot about, where Shane says Molly was cute, so that’s how we know they’re gonna bang.

Lauren: Oh, that’s right, yes.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yes, good to know.

Riese: And yeah, I thought that it was funny, they took a lot of — I’d say half the storylines are funny, and then one of the storylines is sex.

Carly: Cheating sex.

Riese: And then one of them is Alice crying.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: There were good sex scenes.

Carly: There was no Tasha, except for when Tasha left, and that was unfortunate.

Lauren: Which is a loss.

Carly: Yeah, a huge loss.

Lauren: That definitely takes some points away for me.

Carly: Definitely.

Riese: Mhmm. That’s true.

Carly: We need Tasha back ASAP.

Riese: So yes, we all liked it!

Carly: We liked it! It was a good episode!

Riese: And what a nice little — we got a teeny break from transphobia for one week.

Carly: Yeah, no transphobia this week!

Riese: No transphobia for one week. That was a little gift.

Carly: Good for this show. Good for us. It was nice for us.

Riese: It was nice for us.

Lauren: What a nice treat.

Carly: Oh my god, Lauren, thank you so much for being here with us today. This was so awesome!

Riese: Thank you so much for being here with us today, Lauren!

Carly: Thank you so much!

Lauren: My pleasure!

Riese: You future Emmy winner.

Carly: Where can people find you on the Internet etcetera? Anything you want to plug, etcetera etcetera?

Lauren: You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @mslas. And I co-host a podcast with my sisters on Radio Andy SiriusXM, Channel 102 on Fridays, it’s a pop culture show called “Smith Sisters Live,” so people can listen to that.

Carly: Is your whole family just incredibly funny? Are your parents really funny too?

Lauren: They’re very funny!

Carly: Because you and your sisters are so funny!

Lauren: My parents are funnier than us by a long shot.

Carly: Funnier?! Oh my god. I can’t really fathom that. That’s a lot.

Lauren: They’re very entertaining.

Carly: That’s incredible. Ugh, I love that.

Riese: My mom’s not funny. My mom is gay.

Carly: Her mom’s gay. That’s funny how I made it sound like it was an insult, but it was just the truth.

Riese: It is true. My mom is gay. She is, yeah.

Carly: 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 we are all here today.

Riese: Autostraddle dot com!

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

Riese: Ok. One, two, three… lumens.

Carly: Layshia Clarendon.

Lauren: Lemon.

Carly: Ok, wait, Lauren what did you say?

Lauren: Lemon, because I’m drinking lemon water.

Carly: Nice.

Riese: I thought you were gonna say lemons because of all the lemons that were on the plate that Tina brought out to her with her little tea party.

Lauren: That too, that as well.

Carly: Yes. Riese what was yours?

Riese: It was a tea party, but then it became a T party, because it became a party for Tina in her pants.

Carly: Wow!

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: That’s… impressive. What was your L word, I didn’t hear what you said.

Riese: Lumens!

Carly: Lumens, like the store?!

Riese: Yeah, because of the mall, I was thinking about getting a deal!

Lauren: Love it.

Riese: Gotta go get a deal at Lumens.

Carly: I can’t say Lumens and not start talking like my grandmother! I said Layshia Clarendon, because once again I am—

Riese: Carly’s been doing SponCon for the WNBA.

Carly: Yes, I was not asked to do this, but all my L words for Season 5 are related to the WNBA.

Lauren: Love it!

Carly: Layshia Clarendon plays for the New York Liberty. New York Liberty was also one of my L words.

Lauren: Love it.

Carly: And they are the first nonbinary player in the WNBA. They use all pronouns! And I was watching a game a few weeks ago, and one of the commentators, who I believe is a straight man, referred to them as they/them, and I thought that was so cool. I had never heard any live sports being called, calling someone they or them. It was really cool. And Layshia’s also part of the WNBA player’s association, and their social justice council, and has been so outspoken this season and, like with all the other leaders in the WNBA — and just like, oh the WNBA is amazing. Sorry, I’m just like talking about them all the time, but I can’t help it. I just love it. I love it so much.

Lauren: How could you not?

Carly: Ugh, so good. Alright, thank you all for listening! We’ll see you next week!

Riese: Thanks guys! See you at the Emmy’s!

Carly: See you at the CableACE Awards, where we will be honored for best video podcast.

Riese: Uh huh. Best vid-podcast.

Carly: Vodcast.

Riese: Vidcast.

Carly: Vid… Vidcon.

Riese: I think I’m gonna order a pizza.

Carly: That’s awesome! Byeee!

Riese: Byeeee!

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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 3211 articles for us.


  1. You described Dawn Denbo releasing rats into The Planet so well I’m honestly convinced I watched that scene happen. Also “pear polenta tart” is an anagram for “to reap planet: rat” which is what I assume Dawn Denbo called her plan.

  2. If I am correct, the famous stir-fry-I-don’t-want-to-hurt-Jodi-sex-scene between Bette and Tina that begins in the kitchen is accompanied, in a nice bit of punctuation, by Joan Armatrading’s Love and Affection.
    “Third-tier Lesbian Folk artist”? Really?

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