“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 606: Lactose Intolerant with John Bellamy!

Well folks, we’re finally here: episode 606, Lactose Intolerant. Educator, artist, writer and self-described “Professional Black Transgender Person” John Bellamy (who taught an entire class about The L Word and I got to be a guest speaker!) joins us for this wild ride of an episode which includes a Willy Wonka themed baby shower for a very unhappy Max, Kelly and Bette shaking it but not baking it, Tina using a phone in New York, Tasha and Alice boning while Jamie’s in the shower and Jenny getting Shane a photo studio to develop the one photograph she has taken in her life!! It’s really bad you guys, oompa loompa loompa-dee-do.

The usual:

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!

Carly: And I’m Carly!

Riese: And this is—

Carly and Riese: To L and Back!

Riese: A podcast.

Carly: That you’re listening to right now.

Riese: Yeah, and we’re recording it right now, so I’m going to listen to it later.

Carly: But these are actually two different completely different times. When you think about it, what is time? It’s like time doesn’t exist and I think that that’s something really important—

Riese: Yeah, it’s a flat circle.

Carly: … to our lives currently and also to this show that was made many years ago.

Riese: Yeah, this is a show about time.

Carly: This is a show that has decided to air this episode in the past and now we have to talk about it. We had to watch it, and now we have to talk about it. This … Oh my God.

Riese: Yeah, so everyone give us a big round of applause.

Carly: Yeah, first of all, we’re all really brave.

Riese: I’m patting myself on the back.

Carly: I’m not but, because there’s some self loathing mixed into that. But we’re really brave to have made it this far and then had to sit through this episode. Wow, what an hour of television.

Riese: What an hour.

Carly: What an hour.

Riese: Carly, we are not alone.

Carly: We are not alone. Emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and also physically because we have a very special guest today.

Riese: We sure do. Would you like to introduce yourself, very special guest?

John: Hi, I’m John. Sometimes folks call me Donnie. It just depends on when you met me in time, speaking of time.

Carly: Oh, a theme.

Riese: Right, yeah.

John: I always know when someone met me in life, depends on which name they use. So I’m like, you knew me in undergrad. Got it. But I’m John, I am a professional Black transgender person. I just renewed my papers the other day. They sent them out at the end of Black History Month for everyone.

Riese: Oh wow, that’s so cute!

John: I don’t know if they do that in the Jewish community, but that’s what they do for Black folks.

Riese: No, I haven’t been certified.

John: Right.

Riese: I have my Bat Mitzvah certificate.

Carly: But I didn’t even have a bat mitzvah, so I’m really … I’m just—

Riese: Right.

John: You’re just like a Nomad out here, basically.

Carly: Yeah, I’m really, just gone rogue.

John: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah, tell us about you!

John: I usually spend my time selling my labor as an assistant professor of gender studies. That’s what I do to pay bills, but I think of myself as an artist and a writer. So I’m trying to get back to that. But I teach gender studies, I teach stuff on trans issues, feminist praxis, and I taught an entire class on The L Word that Riese came and talked to last semester. So that was kind of fun.

Riese: Yeah, I did. It was really fun.

John: I am that professor who made up a class about The L Word, because—

Carly: That’s amazing.

John: It was an entire semester of trying to explain to them that gay marriage hasn’t always been around, because they were literally born in 2001.

Riese: Wow.

Carly: Wow.

Riese: Oh my God.

John: Yeah. So yeah, that’s me and I just write a lot and I’m trying to quietly leave my job so I can go do something else.

Riese: So you don’t want to keep teaching L Word class?

John: If I have to teach, that’s the good thing to teach, I’m sure. If you have to be at a small liberal arts college in upstate New York, you might as well teach about The L Word and get paid for it.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah.

John: But that’s me, I just teach and write and try to figure out … I’m in my Saturn returns, so I’m trying to figure out my life and where it is.

Riese: Oh yeah, of course. Totally. That — speaking of time.

John: Your late twenties are hard, so.

Carly: Definitely.

Riese: So what is your L Word origin story?

John: I’m going to age myself in a different way. But I remember sneaking to Hollywood Video when I was 11 and my mom wasn’t paying attention so that I could rent The L Word on the low. And I went up to the checkout counter and the dude was like, “I heard this is just like Sex and the City. You’re going to love this.” I don’t think he’s ever watched The L Word. I was like, you love it, and he’s telling me this. So I was like okay dude, just fucking hurry up. So I remember sneaking and watching the first season and then I found out about thelwordonline.com and I would go and see the recaps at the public library because we were super poor and I didn’t have internet at home. And then when the second season came out that’s what I would do, my one hour a day that I got at the public library I would go and read the recaps and try to put the screenshots together with the words.

Carly: Oh my god.

John: And then later as I got older, I think in high school we got cable and it came with six months of free Showtime. So I got to watch season three and I saw Dana die. And I was 14 and Dana died and I was so crestfallen. So I was super young. I’m one of those weird people — it changed my life. I’m still teaching classes about it. So it’s one of those.

Riese: Yeah.

John: But yeah, I was a kid and I was just obsessed with it and the playing a podcast and the forum. They’ve got all this stuff online. Now as an adult I’m just like, that probably was weird to have me lurking around as a teenager. But I’m from Southern Illinois and I didn’t know any queer people there. So it was a life changer.

Riese: Right.

John: It’s super problematic now, but I have this weird affinity for it that I can’t get over. Which I think is most people’s relationship to the show.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah, that’s definitely ours.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Obviously as here we still are, in addition to writing recaps for The L Word online, I just seem to not be able to get enough speaking about this show. But I thought I knew it by heart from all the recapping. I didn’t. Now I know it by heart.

Carly: Oh yeah.

John: Yeah, that’s my L Word story. Obsessed but kind of hate it.

Carly: That tracks.

Riese: Who’s your favorite character?

John: Jenny, I’m 1000% Jenny apologist.

Riese: Yes!

Carly: Oh God. Oh no, I got to leave.

John: I was just thinking last night that I don’t know if—

Riese: Although that is bad now. Look at season six, it goes out the window. She’s just bad.

John: I don’t know if I love Jenny or if I just have a lot of respect for Mia Kirshner. The lines are really — it gets really blurry for me.

Riese: Emmy for Mia.

Carly: Emmy for Mia.

John: Yeah, so I was just like, wow she is just leaning into this. I feel like, in a different time, people will respect Mia Kirshner the way that they do Jodie Comer for playing Villanelle. You have to just lean into that nonsense in a way. I don’t know if we respected Mia Kirshner enough.

Carly: We definitely didn’t, when this aired.

Riese: We definitely didn’t because she never got an Emmy, and every year there’s another award ceremony for the Emmy’s and every year they don’t give her an Emmy for The L Word.

John: I think maybe the SAG union might do something for her.

Carly: Yeah, they need to do a special… yeah.

John: Anyway, I love Jenny. I’m a Jenny apologist.

Carly: She definitely took material that was ridiculous and found a way to elevate it, despite everything.

John: Could you imagine being on set and getting those scripts and they’re like, and now you spit your gum out. Yeah, so I don’t know if I just love Mia Kirshner or if I love Jenny. But, I stand for her.

Riese: Fair.

John: I got a lot of weird vibes with students about Jenny because they all hated her.

Riese: Right. I remember that from your class.

John: And they’re making valid points, I can’t actually mark them down but my defensiveness is coming into it.

Carly: Like, “Actually, if you think about it this way.”

John: No seriously, and just like really if you think about heteronormativity and how Tim treated her.

Riese: I respect this point, but I also don’t.

John: Yeah.

Riese: Should we introduce the ep?

Carly: Okay, here we go. This is Episode 6.06.

Riese: The moment we’ve all been waiting for.

Carly: The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The title we’ve been waiting for for years. This whole podcast has been leading up to this title, Episode 6.06, Lactose Intolerant.

Riese: Lactose Intolerant.

John: Which is just racist. Most of the country and the world is lactose intolerant. Yeah, I was just like, I feel already the violence based on this.

Carly: This is just … Oh God, it’s only downhill from here. This was written by Elizabeth Ziff, AKA EZGirl.

Riese: Oh God.

Carly: And directed by John Stockwell who has directed some episodes in the past. As far as we know he is a straight cis white man.

Riese: Great.

Carly: This originally aired February 22, 2009. So, are we ready to go on this journey together, friends?

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, we’re ready.

Carly: All right. Listeners at home, here we go.

Riese: Imagine you’re a person, you’re a normal person, you’re sitting at home, you turn on the TV, you’re watching a TV show about lesbians and you hear, “Oompa loompa—”

John: “Doompety doo.”

Riese: … “doompety doo”.

Carly: You might be asking yourself, did I accidentally change the channel? Did I sit on the remote?

Riese: I hope so.

Carly: I hope so too. No, you didn’t.

Carly: They paid whatever they had to pay to get this song for this episode.

John: Elizabeth Ziff fought for this. You know she fought for this.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah, Elizabeth Ziff fought for this.

Carly: Her and Betty were in there and they’re like, “If we have to do a cover of Oompa Loompa, we will.”

Riese: And they were like, “Okay no, we won’t do that”.

John: They’re like, “Mia take over. Lead the chorus on this.”

Carly: Oh my God. Also the whole time I was like, none of them can sing? It just felt so—

John: All these lyrics, also.

Carly: Also that!

John: Were the lyrics written into the script? Or does it just say, “Sing Oompa Loompa song”?

Carly: My guess is that the lyrics were in the script because no one knows all the lyrics to the song. And this goes on for a while. They do a full verse, a full chorus. This goes on for minutes.

Riese: So the idea is that Jenny’s throwing Max a baby shower.

Carly: Right.

Riese: And apparently Max is a big fan of Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and therefore, that’s the theme that Jenny has chosen for this event. And her whole house has been decorated.

Carly: It looks like Jojo Siwa’s bedroom.

John: Do they even like Max enough to throw him a party?

Riese: I think we’re going to get to that aren’t we?

Jenny and Max at the Willy Wonka themed baby shower

Carly: That’s, honestly the most ridiculous thing that I heard was that they actually cared enough to throw him a horrible party, even though it was again, a horrible, horrible party.

John: They don’t know this human well enough to be a part of this very private, vulnerable moment of a life coming into the world.

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: This week’s, “I want to kill Jenny!” situation is that Dylan and Helena show up, they’re all giddy, they’ve been making sweet love in the silence for days, presumably. And they come in and Jenny’s like, “Oh my God”.

Jenny: You passed the test with flying colors. I’m so happy for you!

Riese: And just keeps telling about this stupid test thing that they did in the plot to watch her, and of course Dylan is horrified by this — however, just as a side note, it would be completely legitimate for them to want to test Dylan. She literally ruined … The test was stupid and it was all very silly, and I understand her being whatever about it. But also if you sue someone for sexual harassment that you got on video as entrapment, and then you want to get back into their lives, I think your friends are allowed to have—

Carly: Some misgivings or some apprehension there, maybe. Like a little.

John: Could you imagine you and Dylan just got done cunnaling-ing together, you’re in bed, the California sun is basking on you. And then you turn to Dylan and you’re like, “We have to get up so we can go to Max’s Willy Wonka baby shower.” That’s the thing you interrupt with.

Carly: You’re like, “actually I heard it’s Wonka themed. Wow, so a bunch of adults are holding an event for an adult that’s Wonka themed? Yes.

John: And how did she explain this to her lover that she just got back with… this is what we must spend our day doing?

Carly: I think Dylan is so desperate to stay in Helena’s good graces that she was like, “I will literally do whatever. I won’t ask any questions.” Because I think if she had asked one question this may be the one.

John: This literally was the party of “bring everyone who doesn’t belong.” Because they bring Jamie and Tasha’s like, “Max won’t care.” And I’m like, Tasha doesn’t know Max well enough to know what he would care about.

Carly: Yeah!

Riese: Yeah, no one knows. No one knows.

John: She literally gives a stank face.

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: So Helena says …

Helena: I’m going to fucking kill you girlfriend!

Riese: Then we have the theme song. We get back in, Jenny is putting Max on a throne that she has built for him and offering him milk and cookies.

Carly: He’s dressed in the finest Wonka drag we could find. It’s just—

John: That paisley shirt.

Carly: … incredible.

Riese: I know, the paisley shirt with that blazer. I’m like, come on you guys! Let this man wear one cute outfit. One!

John: No, that would be kind. You’re asking too much, Riese.

Carly: Yeah exactly.

Riese: Apparently they picked out their own clothes for the first season they were in, in season three. But then after that they didn’t, which you might notice there’s a distinct shift after that first season where they’re no longer—

John: That explains a lot.

Carly: Yeah that does.

Riese: Yeah. And Helena’s freaking out and Kit’s like, “You know what you should do? You should call her.”

Carly: As if she hadn’t thought of that.

Riese: And Helena’s like, “Great idea!”

Carly: Yeah, I thought that was really funny.

John: It’s ingenious and I won’t stand for this Kit slander.

Carly: Kit is a genius. Kit is a genius. We know this.

Riese: What was she working on prior to the idea of the call?

John: She was running down the street.

Riese: Oh running down the street.

John: Lighting off smoke signals.

Riese: Yeah, screaming.

Carly: Screaming, “Dylan!”

John: Right.

Riese: And just, once again, Bette Porter, her sleeves — is there any mercy? Can the woman wear normal sleeves at all in this season of television? It’s like a shirt and then it’s like a mini garbage bag that starts right below … Did you catch this outfit? The shirt?

Carly: I was so preoccupied with how no one was talking to or about Max that I couldn’t even notice what Bette was wearing, actually.

John: No, I’m sorry, Carly. At one point they were just in a circle on the other side. The couch was a divider, they couldn’t go near Max or they would catch the pregnant or something.

Carly: Yeah, it’s like Max got the throne and the weird outfit and they were like, “Great. You sit over there, we’re going to go back to talking about all of our interpersonal drama because we’re a group of friends and you’re not part of it.” It was so weird. And then suddenly they’re like, “Oh right, Max is here.”

John: Riese, you know what? Bette went to make those sleeves after Max got there. That’s what it was.

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: Oh yeah.

Carly: Oh my God, you’re right.

Riese: She was inspired.

Carly: Oh my God, you’re so right. She was like, “I’m so inspired.”

John: Or the butterfly came and did it. One of the two.

Riese: Yeah, it was probably the butterfly effect.

Carly: I think we should really consider, once again that perhaps this shirt had regular sleeves, and once again, the proximity—

Riese: It was altered by the butterfly.

Carly: …to the butterfly shirt.

Riese: Exactly.

Carly: Exactly. It just flapped it’s little terrible wings, and then suddenly Bette put the shirt on and was like, “These sleeves are different.” But she couldn’t be bothered because she was just so distracted by the contractor, that we’re going to get into, who is not a real person.

Riese: Yeah, can’t wait for that.

John: My 7th grade Earth Sciences teacher.

Carly: Definitely a gym teacher I had in middle school.

Riese: So they’re playing this game, they play this game with the measuring tape where they’re measuring the belly or whatever and guessing. And the cute thing about this is that Shane goes up to Max holding the measuring tape and Shane’s like—

Shane: I’m sorry Max.

Riese: … and then does it half heartedly. Shane’s just like, ‘I’m really sorry that this is happening to you. I’m sorry that this event is what it is. I’m sorry that I have to do this right now to please my girlfriend. I’m just sorry.” And then Shane won.

Carly: I’ve always had this problem with baby showers, in that I don’t understand them. I understand wanting to celebrate that someone’s pregnant and showering them with gifts that they will need for their baby. I do not understand the actual event because there’s games, and none of the games make sense. Most of them are weird and gross in some regard. Like, the chocolate thing I think is vile.

Riese: Yeah, that was disgusting and I don’t want to talk about it.

Carly: I don’t either. That’s all I will say on the subject. But, I’ve never understood baby showers already. So coming into this, I was like, what planet is this taking place on?

John: Not this one.

Carly: No, definitely not.

John: My favorite part is that everyone plays as an individual and Bette and Tina play as one.

Riese: Yeah they do, they’re merged.

Carly: They’re trying to really drive home that they are a couple for real now.

John: They’re a “we” the entire time. No other couple does this.

Riese: Yes!

Carly: Nope.

Riese: This was fan service

John: But Bette and Tina become one item. That’s the only thing I notice about the baby shower.

Carly: That’s fair, and also all the other couples are in a weird place. Tasha and Alice can’t admit how they feel about Jamie, Shane doesn’t know what to do with Jenny, and Dylan just left. Are there any other couples? That’s it.

John: Yeah, Kit’s there chilling.

Carly: Yeah, Kit’s just there.

Riese: And Kit’s there. And so we get some exposition about Tom, because they’re like, “Max, Tom’s such an asshole. How dare he do this?” And Max says that Tom changed his phone number.

Carly: Both.

Riese: I have two comments.

Carly: Two. Two phone numbers.

Riese: First of all … What? We have been given nothing. This is not just like, “Oh you broke up.” This is hardcore terrible, terrible sociopathic behavior and they’re acting like he’s just a bad boyfriend. Two, he legally is going to be in this baby’s life. He can’t just walk away from it and change his number. He is going to owe this baby money.

John: Like Joe Biden owes us money.

Carly: Exactly. That baby’s going to be like, “Pay up. $1,400 please.”

John: Could you imagine changing both of your phone numbers?

Carly: I’m like, are we talking about a landline? Are we talking about a cell phone and a landline?

John: I’ve had the same number since 5th grade. Who puts in that much labor to change their fucking phone number?

Carly: Did he move also? Is he still in LA? Is he hanging out with Jodi? Where’s Jodi?

Riese: I’m like, right, you both live in West Hollywood, you work for Jodi, you’re never going to see Max again?

John: Well Carly University is shut down right now, so we can’t go there.

Carly: Carly University is shut down because Bette doesn’t work there anymore and where is Phyllis?

Riese: Bette left and the school evaporated into the air.

Carly: Which is a real shame because it is named after me.

Riese: So Shane and Jamie are smoking weed in the kitchen and Jamie’s talking about how Alice really loves Shane, and she’s just upset about the Jenny stuff. And then Jenny comes in like a narc, she makes them stop smoking weed, she’s like, “Max is upset about it” blah, blah, blah, blah. And again, I hate this direction for Jenny and she comes up and sits, she sits next to Shane and says, “Oh I got you a present,” blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

Carly: She looks like she’s about to cry, but is smiling and just making a lot of eye contact. Everything about this is very upsetting to me.

Riese: Yeah.

John: I wrote down “Jenny has anxious attachment style.”

Riese: Yes.

Carly: 1000%.

John: She’s just like, “I just love you.” And she’s just freaking out because Jamie embarrassed her.

Riese: Yeah.

John: And I just felt so bad, I wanted her to get some therapy.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: The existence of Jamie has turned everyone’s brains inside out. No one knows how to function around Jamie.

John: We’ve never had an Asian on the show.

Carly: Yeah, they’re like, “Whoa, what is this?”

Riese: Right, this is the first queer Asian person any of them have ever met, which is a big deal.

Carly: The way the show writes Jamie’s character in these episodes is like she has this magical insight into everything that no one else seems to be able to notice. And on the one hand, it’s like yeah, sometimes when a new person enters a group they bring a different perspective and they can see things that everyone else was too entrenched to see. On the other hand I’m like, is she a magical creature?

Riese: Yeah, like that trope.

John: She’s Yoda 2.0 from Westworld.

Carly: Oh my God.

John: They took Shane from season two, put her in Jamie, shipped her to the lot, now we’re at the baby shower.

Carly: Holy shit.

John: Yeah, you’re welcome. This is insider knowledge that I’ve never told anybody else.

Riese: Wow, wow.

Carly: My brain just—

Riese: Exclusive.

Carly: … blew up. That was—

John: That’s what it is. I literally was like, she’s the smart one now.

Carly: She’s a Westworld. It makes so much sense. I knew that Westworld and The L Word were in the same cinematic universe. I’ve known this.

John: Well because they had to test the robots first. So they just put them in all these other shows when the shows started getting bad.

Carly: Oh my God, and that explains why Jenny’s personality is constantly shifting because they’re just rewriting her programing, aren’t they?

Riese: Yeah, they are.

John: Her and Helena.

Riese: Yeah, and also she has trauma and no one cares, which is also like Westworld.

Carly: Very much. Very much.

Riese: Then they’re opening up presents, and there’s a little part where they hold up a onesie that has a devil picture on it and Alice goes, “Oh, it looks like Jenny.”

Carly: That was the only part of this episode where I was happy for a fraction of a second.

Riese: And then Bette and Tina obviously bought Max an $800 stroller, probably.

Carly: The transformers of strollers that turns into a bunch of other things.

Riese: Yeah, I thought it was funny. I thought it was cute when they were presenting the stroller and being like, “And here’s an informational DVD.”

Carly: Bette read the whole manual and I was like yes, because she is a Taurus because I also read the manual.

John: She literally, Tina goes, “It’s light.” That was my favorite part.

Riese: That was such a good—

John: I was hoping that Laurel Holloman improvised that line. For whatever reason, she was just like, “It’s light.” And I was like, that matters because—

Carly: Let’s say she did. I think she did.

Riese: Yeah.

John: I want to give Laurel Holloman credit.

Riese: Yeah, and I also feel like Max has clearly done no research on anything related to babies, because if someone gave me that stroller at my baby shower, I would be like, holy shit. I have the world’s fanciest stroller. You just saved me the $200 I would have spent on a much worse stroller. Now I have a better stroller.

Bette and Tina presenting the stroller

Carly: The vibe is that like Max is very unprepared because he is very overwhelmed because he doesn’t want any of this to happen and it’s all happening very quickly, and his boyfriend just left and changed both of his phone numbers and he’s being misgendered left and right at this fucking baby shower.

Riese: Right, suddenly no one knows his gender anymore? Like everyone suddenly … Even Kit says “she” at one point, and Kit is his buddy.

Carly: Yeah.

John: Didn’t him and Tom go to classes, though, together?

Riese: Yeah.

John: I just remembered that as you were talking.

Carly: 100%.

John: I was like no, he’s been prepping for this in some capacity.

Riese: The feeling I got was that once Tom left, it broke him and he stopped doing—

John: He didn’t have a cis man in his life so his brain didn’t work anymore.

Carly: That’s what it is.

John: Got you.

Riese: What is going well for Max right now? Literally nothing. And then so everyone’s talking about birth and how he’s going to have his birth or whatever. The funny part about this is, if you just pay attention to Mia Kirshner through the whole scene, she wants Max to open up the present that she got him so badly. She’s like, “Can you open the present? Can you open the present?” Everyone’s talking, she’s like, “Open it. Open it.”

Carly: She’s putting it in front of his face like, “Look at the present!”

John: Actually though, if I was experiencing transphobia and someone offered me the opportunity to open a present instead, I’d open the present.

Riese: Yeah, but then the trick would be the present was just a vehicle for additional transphobia.

John: Oh yeah right, I forgot it was a fucking breast pump!

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Then everyone’s like, “Well actually Max, you’re being really selfish for the baby if you don’t breastfeed.” And then he looks like he’s going to have a panic attack, and then he does.

John: They literally say, “No, trans person, listen to me. I know better than you.”

Riese: You know what’s interesting, though? So we had Thomas Beatie on our show — I guess it would be two episodes at this point, two episodes ago — and so I was reading about him and his pregnancies and stuff, and his wife breastfed the baby that he gave birth to. Somehow you can get the hormones from being around a newborn and you can be able to breastfeed.

John: Also, not to go into the kink world of kink worlds, but we know people that can induce lactation all the time and they’re not pregnant. There are ways to breastfeed a baby that doesn’t involve Max’s chest.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah, there’s ways to do it. Anyway, then Alice gives a speech, this is also funny. The thing is, the essential element of this baby shower is so problematic and so upsetting, the way Max is being treated is so problematic. But at the same time, this is a comedy forum for some of these actresses in a very weird way, because Alice gives this whole speech that delves into basically her talking about herself.

Carly: And then it turns anti-Jenny, also.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Basically like, “I can’t wait to see your baby turn out to be not Jenny,” is basically the basis of her speech.

Alice giving a baby shower toast that ends with "that this child will not grow up to be a thief"

Riese: Yeah, paying no attention to the fact that Max is dying inside.

Carly: Max is starting to sweat, he looks pale, he is looking for an exit, he’s starting to take off his jacket. He’s like, “Get me the fuck out of here.”

John: And Alice is just going on about whether or not you should circumcise your baby.

Riese: Yeah right, she’s like, “You have to make these questions.” And then he starts to basically have a panic attack and he collapses on the floor and then begs Bette and Tina to take his baby.

Carly: And then everyone shouts various pills.

John: Lexapro is not fast acting!

Carly: No, Lexapro is a daily thing you take and it builds up in your system.

John: All of us are like, “That one’s not going to do anything.”

Carly: That’s incorrect. You’re going to want a Xanax or an Ativan.

John: Like give him some Klonopin or something.

Riese: Klonopin.

John: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah exactly. Yeah, you can’t just give someone a Lexapro.

Carly: That’s nothing, that’s like giving them a piece of candy. What’s that going to do?

Riese: Yeah. Give him a Lexapro, maybe he’ll feel better in three months.

John: Also I felt so bad for Max because it’s just like, you must be so desperate to think Bette and Tina of their relationship that you want to give your newborn over to.

Riese: But also why won’t they take it? If Max doesn’t want it, I think they should take it because first of all Daniela Sea is hot, Tom is also hot. It’s going to be—

Carly: Like a hot baby.

Riese: It’s going to be a hot baby.

John: I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they wanted a biracial child that reflects their family and then blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m going to try to be generous and not say it’s—

Riese: That’s true, you’re right.

John: Right.

Riese: You’re right.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: Yeah, that makes sense.

John: I’m going to try.

Riese: But also, does he know that other people could adopt his baby?

John: No.

Carly: No he doesn’t.

John: This is why he only has them as friends, he doesn’t actually know other people exist.

Carly: I think they’ve been holding him hostage in the garage, in the shed and he doesn’t know that there’s a world outside.

Riese: Yeah, he still lives in a tool shed with no bathroom. So morning sickness, peeing all the time, all of that just has to take place in the backyard.

John: Season six is a documentary about Stockholm Syndrome.

Carly: 1000%.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: And then we see … I couldn’t tell how much time had passed, but then we see Max in the bathroom and he’s fully topless. The show is just so—

Riese: Obsessed!

Carly: … determined and yes, obsessed with his body, determined to make him uncomfortable in his body at all times.

John: Can I talk about this for a second?

Carly: Please.

Riese: Yeah.

John: Okay. Next month I’ll have been on T for literally a decade. Literally a fucking decade. I have never seen any trans person that was trans masculine that had an entire beard, but the rest of their body was a slick as a fucking seal. He’s as smooth as his unborn child. He didn’t have any hair on his knuckles. There’s no hair anywhere else on his body.

Carly: It’s just that beard.

John: I was like, how? Does Max go get waxed from the neck down and then that hair gets put on his face? That’s how he has such a thick beard?

Carly: Yeah.

John: I’m sorry, I’ve never seen any human that was on T that didn’t have some kind of body hair, even if it was super fine.

Carly: Yeah.

John: I was mesmerized.

Carly: The beard is the most mesmerizing thing. That fucking beard.

John: That’s my expert opinion as someone who studies testosterone. I’ve just never seen that. I’ve never seen that before.

Carly: Right, because this is a work of science fiction.

Riese: It is.

John: It’s Westworld again. That’s what I’m saying, I can’t believe … I was, how does he have that much facial hair and not a lick of body hair?

Carly: If the show really wanted to be cute about this, next episode the beard should be fully back in. He shaved it, it completely grew back in right away.

Riese: Right, even though he’s not on testosterone anymore because he had to go off it to not hurt the baby or whatever.

John: Well I was going to say, that’s the thing, if you get to a certain point depending on your genetic makeup, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you can stop T and you can continue to grow facial hair. It doesn’t get as thick for sure, but it’ll start coming back and whatnot. You’ll have a nice little five o’clock shadow. But they just didn’t take any time to do basic Googling and it just … Now as an adult I can’t believe that I thought Max was the trans dude to look up at.

Riese: Oh my God.

John: I’m embarrassed for my younger self.

Riese: He was the trans dude, period. He was it, the one.

John: So thank you all for letting me go on that rant about his body hair, because it bothered me.

Carly: No, we need to talk about this body hair.

Riese: This is important. This is the insight that we require. But good news for everybody, especially the makeup department, because this is going to save them at least 45 seconds a day that they stopped putting that beard on poorly, is that he is now shaving off the beard, which I did feel like was the show being like, well now he’s accepting this femininity and getting rid of his facial hair to embrace it. I felt like that was their angle there because that’s their obsession.

Carly: Yeah, I feel like this was the show’s, like—

John: “You too can de-transition if you try hard enough.”

Carly: Yeah absolutely, that’s what it felt like. They were like, “Ha ha, we won.”

Riese: “We made him back into a woman.”

Carly: Yeah, that’s what it felt like. It was very …

John: You all don’t know your ovaries make your gender?

Riese: I wasn’t aware of that but I am aware of it now and I feel really empowered.

Carly: Well I’m confused because I believe I do have ovaries, but I have a complete lack of gender.

Riese: That’s really weird.

Carly: So what am I doing?

Riese: I don’t know, ask Jenny maybe.

Carly: I’ll ask Jenny.

Riese: Then we go to—

Carly: Our favorite person, it’s Joyce! She’s back.

Riese: Joyce fucking Wischnia.

John: On a Blackberry.

Carly: On a Blackberry, she’s meeting with Bette and Tina about the adoption and she is texting Phyllis how bored she is on her Blackberry.

Riese: That was funny.

Carly: That was funny. And Joyce is barely listening and just wants to talk about how she’s engaged to Phyllis and that Gavin Newsom is going to officiate.

Joyce's phone, texting Phyllis that she's bored to death

Riese: And then she’s like, “The adoption should be fine.” And then they mention Nevada and she’s like oh, and she pulls out her Nevada pamphlet that was sitting on her desk and is like—

Carly: She pulls out her lawyer cheat sheet book.

Riese: Oh, gay people can’t adopt a baby in Nevada. So you’re going to have to get her to LA to give birth here in LA.

John: Because there’s no pregnant people in California that—

Carly: Zero, there are zero. They don’t exist.

John: They weren’t just at a baby shower where someone offered to give them a child in the state of California.

Carly: They literally have a child offered to them in a few months that is here and they could adopt, and everyone would be happy. And instead they’re like, “Maybe we have to fly this girl, or have to drive out from Nevada. I think that’s what we have to do.”

Riese: Why are they going to Nevada in the first place? Max aside, there’s plenty of people who are pregnant who don’t want … Adoption, foster care, there’s plenty of people who are having babies they don’t want to raise.

John: I think you’re being pretty rational about this.

Riese: But it seems like the whole Nevada device exists to get Marci to LA for some reason, but since I only watched this season once in order to recap it and never rewatched it because it’s such a shit show and not until today I don’t remember what happens with that but—

Carly: I also don’t.

John: I don’t want to spoil you but I will say this: I feel like it’s just there to be preachy. So I taught this class on The L Word, and again, these students could not fathom that even, however long ago, in 2009 or whatever, you couldn’t just adopt wherever you wanted. It just felt so heavy handed to me that they just wanted to, “We know Barack Obama’s been elected, but just a reminder things are still shitty.” And I’m just like, it’s two episodes left. Where are going with this?

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah, you’re right. Because also it’s the same, when they went to Nevada—

Carly: They’re like, “Nevada’s bad.”

Riese: Yeah. And when they went there it was her parents were homophobic, so it was this whole, “it’s still terrible out there and we’re still fighting for our rights” or whatever.

John: Also they’re racist which is why she’s giving up the baby, because it’s half Black and she doesn’t want her parents to know.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah, they’re like, luckily here in LA we’re all very tolerant. For example, meet our first queer Asian friend, her name is Jamie. She’s magical.

John: We got rid of Cathy so we could bring in Jamie.

Carly: Riese, that was such a good segue, once again.

Riese: So, the throuple. Speaking of Jamie, the throuple is returning from their workout. They’re sweaty, they’re pumped. Tasha, again, happier than she’s ever been in the whole series. Jamie’s going to go home and shower. “Don’t go home and shower!

Carly: “That’s going to take forever!”

Riese: “You should just shower here!” And so she changes in the bathroom and Tasha sees her taking her clothes off. Oh my God, are we going to watch Jamie take a shower? We are. And then Tasha gets on top of Alice and they start fucking. And I loved it! This is the one part of this episode that I was like, this is hot. I was into it.

John: Okay, I have another question because I just have so many questions this entire episode.

Carly: For sure.

John: What about her panties? Did Jamie just go commando after the shower? I don’t think she put on her post workout underwear again, right?

Riese: Maybe she did.

John: I had so many questions about what clothes did Tasha give her.

Riese: A FREE CITY t-shirt.

John: Yeah, okay we know that, $300 t-shirt.

Carly: I assume Alice’s closet is only FREE CITY t-shirts.

John: Maybe she has new underwear with tags on them that she has for when guests need to shower?

Carly: “We love having our friends shower here. We just keep a whole cabinet full of brand new underwear for you.”

John: Like toothbrushes under the sink.

Carly: Toothbrushes and underwear, yeah.

John: I just wondered. I was like, Jamie needs fresh bloomers. I am concerned about here nether region and what she was going to do when she left. That’s all I kept thinking about.

Carly: I’m an obnoxiously particular person about this kind of stuff. This bothered me so much that they were like, “Just shower here,” because if that was my friends, I’d be like, “I’m leaving. I’ll see you later.”

John: Peer pressure — “You will bathe, and you will do it here.”

Carly: I was like, don’t bully me. Don’t bully me into showering at your home. I don’t want to shower at your home. I have my products at home, I have to shower at home.

John: And my other question, what are the acoustics of this apartment?

Carly: That’s a great question.

Riese: Okay, that was a little bit … She’s in the shower and she can hear them having sex.

Carly: No.

Riese: The bathroom is here and then the kitchen is between the bathroom and the living room, and then we have the whole entrance of the living room and then we have the couch. There’s no universe in which she’s hearing them have sex.

John: Jenny didn’t hear Alice and Shane blowing on balloons and her telling her to break up with her in the same living room, but Jamie heard them softly moaning via her shower. I just want to know who’s in the sound department at The L Word, I’m just wondering.

Riese: No one.

Carly: It just seems a little unrealistic.

John: Yeah, my disbelief has to be suspended.

Jamie just got out of the shower and is listening to "muffled moans from the other room"

Riese: My complaint was that — so Jamie gets out of the shower and she can still hear them having sex and she just waits in the hallway while compulsively pulling her hair back into a ponytail and then letting it go and pulling it back and putting it in and letting it go, which kind of reminded me of me because I’m always fiddling with my hair. But I thought that Jamie — because again I forgot this episode — I thought Jamie was going to start masturbating in the hallway and I was really excited about it, but she didn’t.

Carly: Then I thought she was going to masturbate when she sat on the couch when they went into the shower together, then she didn’t and I was like, this show is really disappointing.

Riese: Yeah, where’s the shower/masturbating representation in this show? It’s not there.

John: Jamie totally masturbated though when they went in the shower together. If you go back and look at her face when she sits down on the couch—

Riese: Oh yeah, you’re right.

John: … when they just got done fucking, she is so sedated and happy. She throws her arm up and she’s just basking in their post sex vibe. She did—

Riese: Yeah, you’re right.

John: It’s in there, Riese.

Riese: Yeah.

John: They just didn’t put it on film.

Carly: I hope so, because that’s—

Riese: And why not?!

Carly: Yeah, why not?

Riese: Okay, then we go back to Bettina’s.

Carly: Oh God. So here we have a new character.

Riese: I want to die. I quit. I quit the podcast.

Carly: You know how we’re always talking about how there’s no butch representation on this show?

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Carly: There still isn’t, because this is not a real person. This is the contractor, her name is Weezie and she is the butchest looking person that’s ever stepped foot on the show.

Riese: Straight out of my mom’s potlucks.

Bette & Tina's butch construction worker is doing something with a chainsaw and talking about "massaging the boys"

Carly: Oh my God, I love that. And she is aggressively heterosexual. So much so that she sexually harasses the guy on her crew that’s standing right next to her.

Weezie: Actually we’re ahead of the game ladies. I guess my guys do more than just look good.
Bette: Actually I just wanted to give you the heads up that we’re expecting a house guest for about a month or so. So it is critical.
Weezie: Oh, so I might have to do some massaging of the boys. That’ll get them to pull in some extra hours. Just one of the perks of the job I guess.
Bette: Can I — Weezie, actually I wanted to talk to you about the master bath. There was supposed to be a wraparound deck.
Weezie: Oh yeah, I changed that. It’s not going to happen. But don’t worry, I talked to the architect. He’s a handsome fellow. I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for leaving crumbs.

Carly: What the fuck?

Riese: She is so thirsty, she talks about liking men. Heterosexuals are pretty into themselves, but she talks about liking men—

Carly: Oh man. This was just … I don’t even have words. I guess they thought this was funny.

Riese: What’s the point of this?

Carly: Yeah, what is the point of this? Also, Weezie is only credited for this episode so we don’t even get her in future episodes. Truly what is the point of this?

John: She literally looks like my 7th grade earth sciences teacher though. That’s the thing though, if this show was set in the Midwest, I would have believed that Weezie could have been straight. I know a lot of women that look like that and they have three children and they help their husband on the farm.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: She definitely had the energy of my middle school gym teacher who was of course a lesbian.

John: So they were being subversive Carly.

Carly: The show is so subversive.

Riese: I know they really were. This was such a subversive episode. They were really just like lampshading everything. And there’s also exposition here about Marci coming to stay, and there’s also … I felt like it was Tina and Bette are joking about Weezie, Woozie bat or whatever her name is together.

Bette: Okay, I am so confused. Are you confused?
Tina: Oh, I’m very confused.
Bette: She’s a dyke right?
Tina: I don’t know.
Bette: She doesn’t know she’s a dyke.
Tina: That’s because she’s a yikes.
Bette: Yikes. He’s a handsome fellow.
Tina: Oh shit. That’s mean. That’s mean.
Bette: That’s crazy.
Tina: She’s doing a good job.
Bette: She’s awesome.

Riese: And that was supposed to be cute because of this Bette and Tina love each other fan service they were getting this season.

Carly: Yep.

Bette and Tina talking about their construction worker saying "she doesn't know she's a dyke"

Riese: Which is great for people that are really into that, which is most people. So I’m going to pretend like I am too. It was good. It’s sweet to see a couple that actually is functioning.

John: To be mean to other people. A couple that teases together stays together.

Carly: Right, that’s a big rule.

Riese: That’s something to bond over, is hating the same people.

John: She said that in the elevator.

Riese: Right, she did. She said, “We hate the same people.” They just want to talk shit about Jenny together and make fun of this Woozie bat.

Carly: Woozie bat.

Riese: Speaking of unexpected things, it’s a surprise for Shenny.

Carly: Why are women on this show always surprising Shane with stores? Cherie Jaffe got her a salon. These are expensive things, you have to enter in a lease for at least 12 months.

John: It’s LA. I don’t live there but I heard y’all’s real estate is ridiculous.

Carly: It is!

Riese: It’s pretty expensive. It’s pretty expensive.

John: Even in 2009.

Carly: A West Hollywood store front on a busy street, are you crazy?

John: Just to make art? She’s not even doing anything in there, I don’t feel like.

Carly: She’s never taken a photo. She said she was into photography, she took a photo.

Riese: Robin had to share her studio with three other people.

Carly: Yeah, she did. And she had been a photographer for over a decade.

Riese: Like a professional photographer.

Carly: A professional photographer.

John: How much money did Jenny get for this book and this movie?

Carly: Oh the movie she got half a million dollars, for the new movie, the movie that she just sold. But they wouldn’t have paid that entirely out to her yet.

Riese: No, that would be … Yeah. Shane’s like, “I haven’t even been taking that many pictures, Jen”, and I’m like yeah, exactly. Also at the end of the day, she’s an — ”amateur photographer” is generous. She’s a professional hair stylist, though. So if you were going to buy her a storefront, I know it would be repetitive because Cheri Jaffe did the same thing, but if I was to buy her a storefront, I would probably err on the side of hair salon.

Carly: I would not purchase real estate for anyone. That’s just me.

John: Well you all are not interested … Carly you need to learn to—

Riese: We don’t know what love is.

John: Right, you need to love bomb like Scientology teaches us, and buy people storefronts so they know you care.

Riese: Buy Robin a store.

Carly: Nope, that is not my love language.

Riese: Buy her a Subway. Buy her a Subway sandwich. Get into it.

Carly: Buy her a Subway franchise.

Riese: Yeah, buy her a Subway franchise. That is love. Then we go to Bettina’s where, exposition, Tina is going to New York for some meetings relating to this movie that she wants to get off the ground. For some reason Woozie bat is still here at night, it’s nighttime.

John: Everyone’s just creeping in this episode. Like Jamie’s creeping—

Riese: Right, everyone’s creeping.

John: Jenny’s creeping, Weezie’s creeping. I was like, there’s so much creeping happening right now.

Carly: But Bette doesn’t know she’s still there. Bette’s like, “Why are you here? Go home.”

Riese: That’s her house.

Carly: You should know at all times the number of people in your home.

John: Well Bette was busy checking her IM messages earlier, so she didn’t know that Weezie was still there.

Bette: IM me okay? Don’t forget.

Carly: That killed me. “IM me, don’t forget.” Isn’t IM’s what got you guys in trouble last time?

John: Yeah, seriously.

Carly: Yes.

John: Did anyone notice Weezie’s rat tail moving?

Carly: Oh I did.

John: Like ever other second in this scene.

Carly: That rat tail was at least a foot long. It was glorious.

John: One moment it’s on the shoulder, one moment it’s up high. I was like who edited this? The continuity is horrible.

Carly: So Weezie thinks that Tina and Bette are sisters, and is incredibly nosy and incorrect.

Riese: And she doesn’t seem to even know what lesbians are, and this is someone who undoubtedly has been read as a lesbian prior to this moment.

Carly: At least once before.

Riese: One would think. She is going to go to the art opening because she hears it’s …

Weezie: A great place to meet the fellows, and I am looking. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Bette: See you tomorrow.

Riese: Nails on a chalkboard.

John: What heterosexual told her, “I know where to meet other heterosexuals”?

Carly: Yeah, it’s an art gallery in West Hollywood.

Riese: Yeah, owned by a famous lesbian.

Carly: In West Hollywood, California. Perfect.

Riese: Yeah, star of the Jodi Lerner art piece, “I Love You,” or whatever the fuck that—

Carly: Unwitting star who did not—

Riese: Unwitting, yeah.

John: Oh God.

Carly: God. We go to our favorite night club, Hit Club.

Riese: Porter Peabody’s Pleasure Palace.

Carly: Porter Peabody’s Pleasure Palace. Helena is drinking heavily. Kit tries to get her to stop and go home and Helena yells at her and it’s a whole thing and Sunset Boulevard is DJ’ing because he’s the only DJ that ever can work at this club and is watching this happen.

Riese: Yeah, his outfit is great though. He’s doing like a Madonna—

Carly: Like a Madonna.

Riese: … Desperately Seeking Susan.

Carly: Exactly.

John: His outfit’s amazing, but his makeup is anti-Blackness.

Carly: Makeup is very bad.

Riese: Tell us more.

John: I felt my ancestors be offended for everyone who’s ever lived because of what they did to his face.

Riese: This is the same makeup they always have him in every time.

Carly: It’s bad.

John: It’s so bad that I’m like, literally, this is violent. This is a form of anti-Blackness.

Riese: Yes.

John: I’m claiming that right now.

Riese: It’s always blue eye shadow right? It’s like straight up blue eye shadow every time, which is like—

John: That and purple lipstick. Like, stop it.

Riese: No, that’s horrible.

Carly: This is what happens when you don’t just hire an actual drag queen to play a drag queen because then the drag queen would do her own makeup and she’d look amazing, because that’s what she does.

Riese: Yep.

John: This is also what happens when you don’t have people on set who know how to handle Black skin that’s darker than Jennifer Beals.

Carly: Right. We see it in the makeup, we see it in the lighting.

Riese: The lighting! Oh God the lighting.

John: Between Kit and Tasha, it’s just like, come on now.

Carly: It’s a mess. It’s an absolute mess.

John: Sunset’s makeup, I felt so bad for her.

Carly: Yeah, so Sunset Boulevard thinks that Helena and Kit are in love and should be together, and Kit is like, “No”, and as she’s talking about how she is straight she’s feeling up his biceps and getting really into it, and I thought that was… okay. Sure.

John: The sexual harassment on this show knows no bounds.

Riese: I know.

Carly: It’s just never ending.

Riese: And it’s going to get so much worse in this very episode.

Carly: And then Helena gets in a fight with some lesbians.

Riese: Also this word play of him thinking Kit and Helena are together thing, this has been going on since episode two and it’s over. It’s not funny anymore, it’s also not possible at this point that these linguistic misinterpretations would still be happening to the point where he still thinks they’re together. This is stupid. It’s not funny. Can we find a new joke?

Carly: It’s like, we’ve done this eight times now.

Riese: Speaking of new jokes, now we go to the art gallery. I don’t like Kelly.

John: Left.

Carly: No.

John: That’s all I remember from this scene.

Carly: Kelly is awful.

John: She gives such good lighting direction though. Left.

Carly: Left.

Riese: Left.

John: That’s all she said. Left.

Kelly: Left.

Riese: To the left.

Carly: She checks out Bette while she’s up on the ladder.

Riese: Left. There were two things about this that were realistic. One, that they ask if any celebs are coming and they’re like, “Did you call Niki Stevens?” Because that’s such an LA thing where you have connections to maybe two legitimately famous people, and you’re always trying to make them come to your event. And it’s always the same people over and over, and Niki is the most famous person they know, most mainstream famous person they know. So they’re like, let’s get Niki Stevens in here. And then the other thing is that on the phone Tina’s like, “No one in New York seems to care about the mystery of the Lez Girls negative.” And it’s like yeah, neither do we.

Carly: No one in LA cares either.

Riese: Right. It was like, oh, that annoying plot line. There’s so many other annoying plot lines, it’s hard to keep track of all of them.

Carly: It briefly became like a New York tourism moment. They were like, “We love New York.” I’m starting to see what you saw in this place. Also, Tina’s been to New York before. What the fuck is this?

Riese: Come on.

Carly: She’s acting like she’s never been there. What? Okay, whatever. Then Kelly is super rude to Bette talking about oysters and is trying to drive a wedge.

Carly: Yeah, she makes her get off the phone.

Riese: Because of the oysters.

Bette: So what’s the crisis?
Kelly: Okay, we’re getting all these last minute RSVPs, and I’m just concerned because I don’t think we’re going to have enough oysters.
Bette: Are you kidding me?
Kelly: No, we’re expecting 200—
Bette: No, no, no, I mean you got me off the phone with Tina to talk to me about oysters?

John: It’s a legit thing. I’ve had students email me saying they can’t come to class because they didn’t have enough oysters for the day, so I get it.

Carly: Okay, okay fine. Maybe it is realistic.

John: There’s precedent.

Riese: It isn’t a real issue, then. I did appreciate that Bette did not let her get away with it. She was like, “Really? You got me off the phone with Tina to ask me about oysters? Really?” And she’s like, “I don’t think Tina’s being very supportive.” And Bette’s like, “Yes she is.” Go fall down a flight of stairs and die because I hate your character.

Riese: Yeah, someone kill Kelly, or Woozie. There are so many other people I want to see murdered. Or Tom, apparently, since he changed … Who does that?

John: In 2009, I know it was years ago but nobody was changing their number like that, even back then.

Riese: No. Two numbers?!

Carly: Not a landline, I’ll tell ya.

John: We moved houses so many times and kept the same number my entire childhood.

Roese: Yeah, I’ve had the same number since 2004? Since 2004.

John: That’s what I’m saying like who … Anyway, I’m not over that part yet.

Riese: Because I’m never letting go of my 917. I consider it to be a valuable artifact.

Carly: Same, I treasure my 917 number.

Riese: Yeah. Anyway, I don’t know if you know this, but Jamie’s really cool.

Carly: Jamie is so cool and she has a dog, and I think that the fact that there are … We talk about this, there’s no dogs.

Riese: Our first dog.

Carly: No dogs on this show. The only time we see dogs is when they’re Jenny’s dogs and I’m just worried about them. So this was really nice to see a dog whose name is Bubba and he’s a bulldog and he’s Jamie’s dog, and I was just really happy to see a dog that was not in danger of being murdered by Jenny. I was like, then we should just follow the dog and see what the dog does the next scene.

John: Spin off.

Riese: Yeah, and it’ll be like Lassie except then also there will be a death at the end. So Jamie’s apartment is super hip and super cool, and we love it.

Carly: Just like Jamie.

Riese: And then there’s a picture of Jamie’s dad and brothers in cop uniforms and Tasha’s like, “This is your family?” Blah, blah.

Carly: I didn’t even take any notes on any of that so I don’t even know what was happening.

John: I just put, “Tasha’s so moral LOL. She keeps looking away.”

Riese: That’s what she does. She does, she’s always like—

John: I was like, what are you doing? You’re so scared—

Carly: So modest.

Riese: I know.

John: The only thing about that scene is she’s just like, “I can’t believe it. I’m such a good person.”

Carly: Look away, look away.

John: Yeah.

Riese: Tasha’s been to a locker room with Kelly McGillis. She’s seen naked people before.

John: Well that was different, it was for the military.

Riese: Oh right.

Carly: That was at Army and this is with Alice is here. This is police. This is police and also we’re off the clock, and Alice is here.

Riese: That’s true.

John: You can objectify on the government’s dime, not on your own.

Riese: Exactly.

John: That’s actually how feminism works.

Riese: That’s true. You’re right, you’re right.

John: Yeah.

Carly: That is true.

Riese: Feminism 101.

Carly: Yep.

Riese: Feminism 101.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: We all know it. We all love it.

Carly: We all know it.

Riese: Speaking of things we don’t know and don’t love, we are going to go back to the Porter … Where’s Kelly! Kelly is completely out of her goddamn gourde. Some dude’s talking about art, no one gives a shit, Helena wants to get a bunch of drinks, Sunset’s in there in his street clothes just looking like a normal person. He’s not in drag, he’s just dressed in his normal clothes. And Kit calls him a sleaze ball.

Carly: Okay, so this is confusing on multiple levels. They do spend a lot of time together, and it’s well lit in here because it’s daytime so maybe that’s making it so that she doesn’t know who he is. But also at the same time, he’s acting as if she should know who he is, and like sometimes out of drag, you don’t know. The lighting’s different, he’s not in drag. I don’t know. Why would he not just say, “It’s me.”

John: That would require good writing.

Sunset tells Kit "wow those are two lovely art dealers" at the art gallery

Carly: Oh, you’re right. You know what? You’re right. Did you guys think that that photographer had never taken a photograph before?

John: I literally wrote, “Why are we watching them take pictures?”

Carly: That photographer was like … in a way that I was like, I don’t think that’s how this works.

John: I feel like that’s why Kelly was like, “Back up, boo.”

Carly: Yeah.

John: Keep your robe closed, you’re not doing this right. They hadn’t hired Robin yet.

Riese: Yeah, they should have hired Robin like they did for Gen Q.

Carly: Maybe that was why they … Because when they asked Robin to be on it they were like, “We really need somebody that knows how to operate a camera so that it doesn’t look ridiculous.” And I wonder if that was in direct response to this scene. I think yes.

Riese: I think so, yes.

John: Drama works like that. It’ll come back up later.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: Everything comes back around. So Shane and Jenny are being … They have a moment that’s cute. Maybe this is even their last cute moment, I don’t even know. But they’re being jokey and cute about oysters.

Jenny: I don’t know how you can eat those things?
Shane: You don’t like them?
Jenny: I don’t like them because it reminds me of a guy coming in your mouth. I’m just saying.

Riese: But Shane eats them anyway and Jenny says that they make — Kelly and Bette make a beautiful couple. Everybody is like incorrect about this.

Carly: Yeah, this is so weird.

John: They’re both tall.

Riese: And then Niki Stevens, Niki Stevens shows up in—

Carly: She just said they’re both tall.

Riese: Yeah, they’re both tall, right? And Niki Stevens shows up in this fancy car or whatever, and she gets out. All the paparazzi is there and also there are a bunch of people with Niki Stevens headshots for her to sign.

Carly: Everyone got the media alert that Niki Stevens was coming to the opening of this incredible gay gallery, and they all gathered outside with their glossy headshots waiting for her to autograph them.

John: You can actually just do that anywhere you go. Every time I enter campus I actually demand that there’s a group of students waiting with my headshot.

Riese: Right.

John: It’s just a thing.

Carly: Yeah, it’s just nice.

Riese: It’s responsible, also, just carry some headshots around with you. You never know what celebrity is going to walk out of a car outside of an art gallery.

Carly: Just keep a bunch in your pocket, in your car.

John: I always have a shot of Dolly Parton on me at all times.

Carly: Because you never know.

John: It’s Dolly.

Riese: You never know.

John: Yeah, did anyone else think that the painting that Jenny and Shane were looking at looked like Paris Hilton and her friend?

Jenny and Shane in front of a painting of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton

Carly: 1000%.

Riese: It was Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, and I didn’t know who the other person was. But right? It was.

John: Yeah, I was just like, is that Nicole, her younger sister?

Riese: Oh.

John: What’s Paris Hilton’s little sister’s name? Nicky?

Carly: Nicky.

John: Oh yeah, yeah so it is Nicole, but Nicky whatever. But yeah, I was like, “That’s Paris, Nicky, and someone else.” Like Paris and friend.

Carly: Yeah, so also I just want to say that I love that, kind of what you were saying before, but I love that everyone on this show just uses Niki now. They’re like, we need a famous person. We need attention. We need someone to do something ridiculous, call Niki.

Riese: Yeah, and she does that. But she does it because she wants to fuck Shane. That’s why she does it. She wants to be near Shane. And also I did think it was funny — that picture was funny because Niki is based on Lindsay Lohan, kind of. So I was like, that’s an interesting circle thing. So Niki comes up and is like—

Niki: What up, sexy Shane?

shot of Shane as Nikki says "what up, sexy Shane?"

Riese: And in that moment I never wanted to have sex ever again.

Carly: I left my body briefly.

John: Did you become celibate?

Riese: Yeah, I did. My soul left my body and it’s just over there sitting in a vacuum. And then Niki’s like, “Let’s get out of here.” And then—

Carly: Shane’s like, “Cool, do you have a car? Let’s go.”

Riese: What?

Carly: What the fuck is happening?

Riese: Jenny’s still there.

Carly: How big is this gallery that you can sneak off?

John: That’s what I was going to say. She looked around, like, for Jenny and in that moment I knew Shane actually wasn’t a Taurus.

Carly: Oh no, Shane is absolutely not a Taurus.

John: And she’s just like, “Okay I don’t see Jenny, let’s get the fuck out of here.” And I was like, what is going on? Again, the acoustics, now Jenny can hear, magically.

Riese: Right. And also it’s rude to leave the show and you just arrived, but also does Shane really think, “Oh, I’m going to get away with leaving Jenny Schecter”? Not even normal Jenny, but this season six insane Jenny?

Carly: Inspector Schecter.

Riese: At a gallery. There’s only … That was good. There’s only one thing that can come out of this, which is Jenny aggressively trying to find her. There’s no other outcome.

Carly: Of course. No one else in the group likes her right now, so it’s not like anyone’s going to entertain her.

John: Also, not that we fully care about Bette’s feelings, but she’s kind of being a bad friend to Bette as well.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yes she is. She is.

John: You’re here for a gallery opening that she worked hard on and you just deuced out so you could have sex with Niki. Again, she’s definitely not a Taurus.

Carly: No she is not. A lot of questionable things are happening right here.

Riese: If I was Shane, which I’m not, I would be like no, you should stay because it makes Bette look bad to have the celebrity, because everyone will know that Niki left, and it just looks bad that the celebrity came and then immediately left. I would be like, no we need to stay like another 15 minutes or so, so that Bette gets her PR push for this and then we can go do this thing that doesn’t make any sense.

Carly: Right.

Riese: So then Sunset, who does yet — he doesn’t have a non-drag name yet I guess, again he goes to Kit and he’s says to her the exact same thing that a few episodes ago Kit said—

Kit: Shopping at Gelson’s for groceries when this straight up brother comes up to me. No bling, no attitude, and he says to me, you are one beautiful woman and I would just love to wake up with your arms and legs wrapped around me.

Riese: So he delivers the exact speech that she said; however, they are at an art gallery. They are not—

Carly: They’re not at a Gelson’s.

Riese: And so she throws a glass of wine on him. Or I guess it wasn’t wine, water.

John: Did y’all notice that woman in the background? Like that extra—

Riese: No.

Carly: No.

John: She got paid a — whatever, a couple hundred for that because the look of just utter shock when Kit — literally, Carly, kind of your face. That lady was — have y’all seen the reaction gifs of Oprah finding out that royal family’s racist?

Riese: Yes.

John: That lady was like, I’m going to inspire Oprah 10 years earlier right now and she just gave the best … I couldn’t take the scene seriously because of the lady in the background so obsessed. Go look at that lady’s face because she was just—

Riese: I absolutely will.

Carly: Oh my God.

John: She’s never seen Black people act like that in public, and she just—

Riese: She’s like, “Not here in front of the art.”

John: It was like, not in front of “Paris and Friends,” oil on canvas in 2009.

Carly: 2009.

John: It was the best part of … That’s when I felt joy. That’s when actually … I was like, that lady’s acting. She’s getting her fucking sidecar Goddamn it.

Carly: Good for her. Oh my God. I have to go back and look.

Riese: Me too.

Carly: So then we have another moment where somebody’s saying that Bette and Kelly are a couple, and it’s Alice and Tasha and Jamie are watching them and Jamie is going on about how they’re acting like a couple and …

Riese: “They’re such a power couple.”

Carly: And Jenny interrupts and she’s like, “Where’s Shane?” And they’re like, “We don’t know where Shane is. We’re kind of dealing with our own weird vibe right now.” And then she walks away and Jamie, who is again some sort of genius observant person—

John: She’s a counselor. That’s what counselors do, Carly.

Riese: That’s true, she’s a counselor. They counsel.

John: Like Dr. Phil.

Carly: She’s counseling.

Riese: Yeah exactly, Dr. Phil can’t help it, neither can Jamie.

Carly: Okay, that’s fair. And she says that Jenny is very damaged and that that’s what scares her about having kids. And I was like, yes Jenny scares me about the idea of having kids too. This fictional character.

John: Could you imagine seeing Jenny, and then being like, I was going to do this thing with my uterus, but now, not sure.

Carly: Then I saw this girl walking around being crazy and I decided maybe I shouldn’t.

Riese: That’s probably why Max doesn’t want his baby because he lived with Jenny and everyday he’s like, do I really want a child who’s going to grow into this? Or alternately I could have a Shane.

John: Both are examples of the importance of parenting in your formal years.

Carly: And both are examples of why therapy is great.

John: Literally.

Riese: Speaking of parenting, we’ve been waiting for now a few seasons, for Tasha to reveal any information about her life. And now we’re going to get it because Jamie and Tasha are bonding about their families. And they have a lot in common, they share some experiences, Alice looks vaguely annoyed but also intrigued, and we get a lot of exposition, this is episode 6.06. So we have two more episodes left in this program, and this is the beginning.

Carly: This is like an info dump about Tasha’s life.

John: Yeah, that’s what Black people deserve on screen.

Riese: Yeah, they should just be one thing. You’re Army and then you’re police.

John: Because if Black bodies aren’t being used for the nations say, what good do we have with them?

Riese: That’s a really good point.

Carly: That’s all they could come up with. That was all they could come up with. Alice is … I really thought that Alice is like, “This is all new information to me,” was ridiculous. And I wonder, has Alice never asked Tasha about any of this? Because that feels believable.

John: She’s so self-centered and they’re so good at sexing with each other that I can have the formula of all of that together, you would never care that she was from Virginia or whatever Tasha’s backstory is.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: And Tasha’s kind of like a person who is not gregarious and doesn’t love to share and is kind of closed off. And so it’s not like she’s ever going to bring any of this up on her own, but like Jamie is able to bring this out in her because they share these experiences and also because Jamie gives a shit. Alice has never tried to engage Tasha in any kind of meaningful conversation that wasn’t about her.

John: Or the military.

Riese: Or the military, yeah.

Carly: Or Army.

Riese: Yeah, or Army, or now the police.

Carly: Army or police.

John: I want her to show up on season two of Gen Q.

Carly: I know.

Riese: Yes.

Carly: That is a character I want to come back more than probably anybody else.

Riese: And I would love for her not to be a cop.

John: Oh my God, how great would that be, she’s actually like a community organizer.

Riese: Yes.

John: She comes on Alice’s show to talk about the moment, my ex is here. I’m just saying, give Rose Rollins some work, it’s again, what we deserve, dammit.

Riese: Yeah, it sure is. It’s also weird because when Alice says, “Why didn’t you tell me any of that ever?” And Tasha’s like, “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” Like, yes it does? Your entire family backstory — that’s such a weird — again, there’s this emptiness that they have when they approach this character. That’s such a weird thing to say. It doesn’t matter? My entire family and upbringing — I never mentioned it to you because it doesn’t matter? No, the proper response is some explanation, or it’s, “you never asked.” But it doesn’t matter? Your past and your family always matter.

John: I didn’t think Alice would bring it up in front of Jamie right then and there either.

Riese: Right.

Carly: I know.

John: It’s like a private conversation that you should have as a couple.

Carly: But then again none of these characters have good boundaries.

John: Touché.

Carly: Generally it’s just Jenny and Alice that have horrible boundaries.

John: Well, they already went to the counselor dude, right? What is his name?

Riese: Dan Foxworthy, the only therapist in LA.

Carly: He is terrible at his job.

Riese: Now they have a new counselor, it’s Jamie.

John: Yeah, Jamie is going to be a couple’s counselor.

Riese: Yeah, she’s like a sex surrogate.

John: Hashtag it’s time to puke on Molly again.

Carly: Oh my God. This is … I just did not remember any of what is about to happen. First of all, this scene, I know it’s a darkroom, but it’s so fucking dark.

Riese: It’s so fucking dark.

Carly: You can’t see anything that’s fucking happening.

John: Did you see when they randomly lit just Shane’s eyes and she was like—

Carly: Yes!

John: … this weird color on her face from nowhere.

Carly: Oh my God.

John: It was the oddest scene I’ve ever seen on this show.

Carly: It also made me think of high art.

John: All of … high art, 2.0, and I don’t see them enough to be gesturing in kindness. It just feels very like—

Riese: Right, her first, I would say, and only scene she’s had so far of her being a photographer was directly modeled off high art when she took these pictures of Molly. And so first of all, Shane’s taking Niki to the photography studio that Jenny bought her, which is just like when Scott was writing love notes to his other girlfriend on the laptop that I got him in 2003. Anyway—

Carly: Anyway, we’re back to our favorite trope, lesbians developing photos together.

Riese: That’s what’s funny is we know that Shane took one photo. We saw her take it, we saw her take that one photo of Molly.

Carly: The one.

Riese: Unless they try to prove to us that Shane has taken any other photos since that day, they don’t. They’re just like yep, here’s the one picture.

Carly: The one.

Riese: The one picture that you took and now you’re developing it.

Carly: Oh God, all I wrote is, “This is dumb.”

Riese: Is she going to have a gallery show and it’s just going to be called “Molly in Bed That One Time”?

John: It’s going to be called “Letter to a Lover.”

Riese: Oh, yeah, that’s a good one, yeah.

Carly: That’s a really good title.

John: And like early Maroon 5 is going to play in the background, and “She Will Be Loved” will just play on a loop.

Riese: Oh my God, no, no, no, no, no don’t summon it. Don’t summon it.

John: Riese, I see you looking off in the distance.

Riese: Don’t summon it. Don’t summon it. I hate it.

John: And that’s what it’s going to be. That’s literally it, it’s just going to be all of her photos of Molly.

Carly: This whole scene I was just like, but they had digital cameras in 2009.

John: They had iPhones back then.

Riese: Yeah. There’s something so old school, as Niki might say.

Carly: Oh God, it’s just that trope of lesbians developing film together in a darkroom. It’s just all the time. I think that’s what people think lesbians are always doing.

John: Who said, who got together and was like, that’s the thing that lesbians do?

Carly: You know what’s hot always? Women developing photographs in a—

John: I thought you were going to dark rooms because of the ventilation.

Carly: There’s chemicals, bad ventilation, poor lighting. It’s sexy.

Riese: Yeah exactly. A darkroom is kind of sexy though.

John: Yeah, no, seriously. Everything about this episode triggered me in a weird way because they’re in there and Molly — not Molly, what’s her name? Niki’s like, “You’ll have to shoot me sometime.” And I was like no, you shouldn’t say that anymore. We shouldn’t talk about shooting people, like seeing her in the café with all those people. I was like, why are they so close to her? I didn’t realize how much just watching this made me viscerally aware that we’re not in that time period anymore.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah. You could photograph her sometime.

John: Something, something. But even just the verbiage just sounds like, that’s weird.

Riese: I think that would be good because no one’s ever photographed Niki probably.

Carly: She’s never been photographed before.

Riese: Yeah, and also Jenny would love that.

Carly: And she just wants to know what that would be like.

Riese: I just can’t, and I know I obviously have baggage, but I just really can’t believe that she is taking … You can’t cheat on someone in a piece of property that was purchased for you by that person.

Carly: The same day that they gave the piece of property to you.

Riese: Right.

Carly: She gave it to her that morning I think. It’s brand new.

Riese: And the thing is, it’s fine for Shane to be unhappy, but you have to break up.

John: Well that’s the thing, I feel like Shane doesn’t, she doesn’t have any emotional maturity to handle this situation.

Carly: Right. Also the writing is so over the top with Jenny’s character right now that it seems … and I feel like they want her to feel trapped, but it’s so cartoonish.

Riese: Right.

John: Yeah, it’s almost like Jenny’s love bombing her and then Shane feels like she can’t get out of it in some weird way.

Carly: Like she’s stuck in it, yeah. And now she’s given her this extravagant gift so now she feels even more stuck in it. When she gives her the studio she’s like, “I don’t deserve this,” is what she says. And she hasn’t even made out with Niki yet at that point.

Riese: Yeah, but she’s correct.

Carly: But she already knows she’s about to.

Riese: Right, she does because as soon as Niki came in she kept looking at her. Obviously she’s objectively hot, but she’s just sort of boring hot to me. So the idea that Shane would be so taken with Niki that she can’t help herself. But whatever, it’s a television show.

John: And Jenny has anxious attachments though, then Shane has anxious avoidant.

Riese: She does.

John: When she gets in, then she doesn’t want it anymore, and so I was just like, that has to be what’s going on is she has this attention, someone who kind of loved her even if it’s in a weird, wonky way and Shane’s like #nothankyou.

Carly: She #nothankyou so much that she #pukes.

Riese: Yeah, then she barfs. As aforementioned, barfs on Molly again.

John: Yeah, literally.

Carly: Can’t stop puking.

John: That’s also how I respond when anyone vomits. I’m just like, here’s a napkin and I’m—

Carly: I would have just left the room. I would have been like, nope.

Riese: So they can’t keep making out because she’s barfing. We go to Bettina’s, there’s some sort of uncomfortable transaction with the babysitter where Bette tries to underpay the babysitter or something.

John: The anti-Blackness. Give this Black woman what she fucking earned.

Riese: Yes.

Carly: Oh my God.

John: I was like, what are you doing Bette? Give her her money! What’s wrong with you?

Carly: Also, what was the point of writing that scene. Why is this here?

Riese: Exactly. What was the point?

Carly: What’s the point of this?

Riese: What was the point?

John: To show that Bette is cheap? I don’t know.

Carly: It doesn’t make any sense!

John: Y’all can’t see it, but all of our hands are in the air cartoonishly like we’re emojis.

Carly: Yeah, we’re all doing fully cartoony question mark faces.

John: I don’t know, I just was happy that Black woman got her money. I was just thinking for her I hope she also got a tip.

Riese: Yeah, and also it’s very rare that The L Word actually plays a Black actress to do anything. They did that, they did that. And that’s great.

Carly: They did that.

Riese: They did that. They did that. Hopefully she was paid her full amount as well as Bette paying her her full amount. Then, Kelly shows up like a complete psychopath who’s—

Carly: Invites herself in.

John: No boundaries.

Riese: How can Bette even stand to spend time with this person? She’s insufferable.

John: I asked that question. Who is this Bette that shows up when Kelly’s around?

Carly: It’s college Bette, it’s the college Bette that was into her I guess.

Riese: Is college Bette an idiot?

Carly: Maybe. We were all idiots in college weren’t we? I don’t want to speak for everybody. I was an idiot in college.

John: This person has an MFA from Yale. They’ve had this storied career, but Kelly Wentworth is the kryptonite?

Carly: Like what? Her? It’s very her?

Riese: Yes, her?

John: #no.

Riese: Okay. And Elizabeth Berkley is such a throwback, I guess? But I don’t really understand what the … I understand you want Lucy Lawless in it, that’s a throwback that makes sense. But what is the point of Elizabeth? Showgirls, I guess?

John: Aren’t her and Jennifer Beals really good friends in real life?

Carly: Yeah, they’re really good friends.

Riese: Are they?

John: And that’s why she was on the show.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Beals are friends?

Carly: Yes.

Riese: Oh wow. Marlee Matlin is also good friends with Jennifer Beals. So she just gets … yeah.

Carly: So Kelly and her lack of boundaries are here. She wants to continue celebrating, and then this is intercut with Jenny and Shane stuff. So first Jenny’s trying to call Shane and goes to voicemail, but then Shane beeps in and Jenny goes to see Shane at the photo studio and Shane is, like, dying.

Riese: I feel like everything in this whole later half of the episode was just to remind me of terrible relationships I’ve been in.

Carly: Wait, same.

Riese: Really?

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: My notes here is, “it’s so dark?”

Carly: Yeah, super dark. We can’t see shit. The gist is Shane is sick and keeps puking and Jenny’s petting her hair and taking care of her and Shane feels very, very bad. And then we cut across the way to Bette and Kelly are drunk, and Kelly is desperate to get Bette to kiss her and Bette’s like, “No.” And she’s like, “I’m cashing in on a little rain check.” And Bette’s like, “No, I really love Tina. Please stop doing this. Why are you doing this?” And so she goes in for the kiss and Bette has to push her away, and then she spills a champagne glass on the floor, it shatters, which leads to the only thing I actually remembered from this episode, which is at the very end which is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.

Riese: I remember watching this with you distinctly because you were like, iPhones don’t shoot video. Because at that time there was—

Carly: Because they didn’t at that time.

Riese: They didn’t at that time, but you were one of the only people I knew who had an iPhone and you were like, “That’s not accurate.”

Carly: I’m an early adaptor, what can I say.

Riese: Yeah. But also just to remind you slightly, there was a “shake it don’t bake it” incident where the two women were saying the words “shake it don’t bake it,” and dancing.

Bette and Kelly: Shake it, don’t bake, shake it, don’t bake it.

Riese: And this was some college throwback and I felt—

Carly: I blocked that all out.

Riese: My soul left my body during that part. That was awful. And then we get to this part, which is absurd, which is that Jenny really thinks that Bette cleaning something up on the floor looks like her going down on Kelly in full clothes.

John: Like, what in theory, again all this creeping in this episode, Jenny’s doing more creeping.

Carly: So much creeping.

John: But hypothetically if I was watching this, I’ll just throw myself out there. If I was being this fucking nosy, I’d stay to the end. I feel like Jenny would have seen her stand up with shards of glass in her hair.

Carly: With shards of glass, probably bleeding.

John: You just got a little, 15 seconds, all right I’m out.

Carly: You’re like, I’m out.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: I got all the evidence I need.

Riese: Yeah, cut.

John: I want to take your thumbnail, that’s it and I’m out of here. I didn’t get that, that we were supposed to believe that she did all of this creeping. Somehow the first generation iPhone, that doesn’t record video — but even if it did, it’s not like those lenses were good enough to zoom across four layers of window?!

Riese: And no one would trust an image taken from that far away by this first gen iPhone.

John: Well Kit doesn’t know how to send text messages.

Riese: That’s true.

Carly: That is true. And then Jenny takes the video and she goes-

Jenny: Oh, Bette.

Carly: What?

Riese: But yet there’s no oh Shane, and Shane’s in there. Thank you for taking care of me. Okay. So yeah, my conclusion, I think this is probably one of my least favorite situations of their series is this hootenanny with Jenny capturing Bette cheating through this … It’s so stupid, and I don’t even know how they came up with this. They were like, how do we make it seem … Oh I know, she’s cleaning up a glass on the floor and Jenny sees this all through—

Carly: This is all such a reach.

John: So convoluted, yeah.

Riese: Right, and then they’re like, what if phones shot video? They had the idea.

Carly: You know what? The L Word pushed technology forward. This episode made Apple and other phone manufacturers say, “What if they shot video?

John: Steve Jobs was still around right?

Riese: Yeah, he was still alive. They shot this in 2008.

John: Yeah, so he was sitting in Cali, watching The L Word like those Californians would do at the time and he was like on his tech guy and he was like, we have to innovate. Jenny Schecter’s ahead of us. Let’s do it.

Riese: Right.

Carly: Inspector Schecter.

Riese: Oh boy.

Carly: I’m really proud of that.

John: No, you should be.

Riese: I know, that was good. That was good. That was really good.

John: That’s the only way that it works is … I don’t know anything else to say about it. It’s just so terrible.

Carly: Is this the worst episode of this show?

John: It’s tied with 6.08.

Riese: Yeah, I would say that.

Carly: Ooh yes, that’s fair.

John: It’s tied with—

Riese: 6.08 is the worst episode, full stop of any show that’s ever been shot in the history of television, but this one, I did like the Alice and Tasha, Jamie sexuals.

John: The woman in the background when Sunny got the drink thrown in his face made it okay.

Riese: Yeah, I have to go back and see that then maybe I’ll change my mind.

John: She acted her ass off, dammit. I want to know her name.

Carly: Good for her.

John: Did we see The Planet at all in this episode, or are we just always a Hit club now?

Carly: I don’t think we were at the Planet at all.

Riese: Yeah, last episode was entirely in The Planet. From pretty much start to finish.

Carly: This one was at the house, at Bette and Tina’s, and at Shenny’s, and at Hit Club and the gallery.

Riese: The gallery.

John: I felt like there was not a lot of episodes where we don’t have The Planet.

Carly: Yeah, that is weird.

Riese: Yeah, that is weird.

Riese: They also had Tina in fake New York. That was cute.

John: She held that phone really awkwardly too.

Riese: I know, she did.

Carly: She’s never used a phone before.

Riese: No.

Carly: She’s like, “This is how they use phones in New York!”

John: It’s like, “I press down here, I put it down and I don’t touch it.”

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Hello, New York?

John: I’m like, you guys are so awkward!

Carly: Hello?

John: Exactly. She’s a new Westworld robot who hasn’t figured out her phalanges yet.

Riese: Oh my God.

John: It was horrible minus the random things that people unintentionally did to make it livable.

Riese: Right. Also by the way, I think of this as like a big Max episode because the baby shower was just such a horrifying moment in human history. But that’s it.

John: He never shows back up again. He has that and then he makes the rest of his body silky clean by getting rid of his beard, and that’s it.

Riese: Yeah, that’s it.

Carly: That was so weird that the show was so Max-heavy up top, and then forgot he existed immediately after the baby shower. That was so weird. Also not, because it’s the show. It’s exactly what the show does, but it was also very weird.

Riese: Well guys, I think, so—

Carly: We did it!

Riese: … the census is that we hated the episode.

John: Yeah.

Carly: Yep. It seemed like everyone involved in this episode hated this episode, for sure.

Riese: Yeah, everyone was upset, we were upset, they were upset. Shane had an upset stomach.

Carly: Nice, very nice.

Riese: Tried to undercut the babysitter, shake it don’t bake it. The end.

Carly: Very bad. Not good. Not good at all. And nobody in New York cares about the negatives for the film.

Riese: Just like me. Well, what a sad time for television. I guess the next episode’s going to be good and then the next episode’s going to be bad.

John: This was so much fun. I really appreciate y’all.

Carly: Thank you so much for being here. This was so much fun.

John: Also yeah, I just think y’all are the bees knees, so yeah, I just wanted to tell you.

Carly: You are wonderful. This was so fun. This was like, you made this episode tolerable, and not just tolerable but this was fun and I’ve been dreading this for years. I have to tell you.

Riese: Yeah, honestly you killed it.

John: Oh my God. No, I appreciate that.

Riese: We did fine.

Carly: This was so wonderful. Do you want to plug anything? Social media, anything like that?

John: So I am a part of an artist collective that a lot of things got started during the pandemic and we’re trying to get off the ground this summer hopefully. But you can go to The Pink Eye Institute, just like the disease of your eye, thepinkeyeinstitute.com.

Riese: Great disease.

John: The landing page. But it has all of our social media and stuff. We don’t have any posts, but it’s my goal to see how many followers I can get with no content. That’s like my personal mission right now. So yeah, folks that thought I was even a bit funny—

Carly: I love that.

John: Go out, go follow the pages, it’s The Pink Eye Institute and you can find me on Instagram @drjohnboochie, just like coochie with a B, because I’m a trans guy. I have a boochie. I feel like gay guys took that, and I feel like trans guys—

Riese: They did take that, didn’t they?

John: … actually have the boy coochie. You can find me @drjohnboochie. J-O-H-N and then boochie. But yeah, we’re hoping to get some stuff off the ground. We’re working on a podcast called Gender Studies 101 and it’s where a bunch of me and professors get together and we basically give you a gender studies 101 class, but in a podcast form because higher ed is expensive and it’s violent and folks need to know intersectionality without going to college. So, working on that, and that’ll be out this summer.

Carly: Nice, sounds really interesting.

Riese: That’s awesome.

John: And then I have a satirical web series called Lars’ Lessons where he teaches you how to be a real man. But anyway, those are coming this summer. So, I’m really excited.

Carly: Yay. That’s exciting.

John: That’s what I do. I’m just chilling.

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 to [email protected]. And don’t forget, we have a hotline. You can give us a call, 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: Audostraddle.com.

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

Riese: Okay. One, two, three.

John: Loathing.

Riese: Liberal arts.

Carly: Liz Cambage. Okay wait, Riese what’d you say?

Riese: I said “liberal arts” because I was thinking about academia.

Carly: Okay, I love that. John, you said—

John: I said “loathing” because it’s how I feel about this episode.

Carly: Brilliant. I said Liz Cambage, who’s a WNBA player for the Las Vegas Aces, and just yesterday or today she officially re-signed her deal. And so she is officially back in Vegas playing on this team that is going to dominate this season and I can’t wait to watch. Thank you all for listening!

Riese: Thanks guys!

Carly: We’ll be back in two weeks!

Riese: Did you like the voice I did?

Carly: That was unbelievable.

Riese: That was me on helium.

Carly: Um, okay bye!

Riese: Bye!

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

Riese has written 3199 articles for us.


  1. “In a different time, people will respect Mia Kirshner the way that they do Jodie Comer for playing Villanelle.”

    ^Yes! Felt that. I gotta say, this podcast has turn me into a Jenny apologist as well. #emmyforMia

  2. I’ve been waiting for this one ever since I got stuck in quarantine with only my l-word season 6 dvds…

    So gratifying to finally hear everyone’s awesome opinions on the terrible things happening in this episode.

    Great podcast! :)

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