“To L and Back” Gen Q Podcast Episode 206: Love Shack

There are few things I love more in this world than a karaoke night. This dates back to college when I stumbled into a karaoke night during an ill-advised Wednesday night out before finals week, and found a KJ playing saxophone while a regular named Rapper John performed “Gangnam Style.” And (sadly, devastatingly) there is nothing that seems more ill-advised right now, in the middle of the ongoing pandemic, than being in a sweaty room full of strangers who are yelling their faces off to “Mr. Brightside.” But luckily for all of us, there is no Covid in the world of The L Word and so there is nothing stressful about being at a bar, singing karaoke – except of course, for all the drama that could ensue.

And ensue it does! Eyes are made across the bar, fights are had, drinks are sent. Big romantic gestures are made, and it cannot be said enough that, through it all, Gigi wears an absolutely absurd sweater. What a gift

SHOW NOTES

  • Riese’s recap for Episode 206: Love Shack
  • There are only 21 lesbian bars left, and Drew went to two of them this very summer! Check out the Lesbian Bar Project!
  • Leisha Haley was in The Murmurs and Uh Huh Her.
  • She also was in a movie called All Over Me, and that movie was in the TV Team’s Top 10 Coming of Age Lesbian or Bisexual Films list, and Riese’s Top 10 LGBTQ movies list
  • More than one person in this episode could benefit from this advice on how to end something casual
  • For fun, as a treat, please read Kayla’s speculation on which songs everyone in The L Word would sing at karaoke
  • And for another treat, her essay on the power of weekly karaoke nights
  • What’s everyone’s favorite karaoke song? I always go for “Man, I Feel Like a Woman”

Drew: Hi, I’m Drew!

Analyssa: I’m Analyssa!

Riese: And I’m Riese.

Drew: And this is—

Drew, Analyssa, and Riese: To L and Back: Generation Q!

Riese: Oh my God. We did it!

Drew: We did it all at the same time, because this is such a special episode. We are all sitting in the same room for the first time in so long.

Analyssa: A momentous occasion.

Riese: And this is exciting for most of us, and for all of you at home, but it’s mostly exciting for Carol.

Drew: Carol’s sitting in my lap right now.

Analyssa: Carol loves having friends.

Riese: Carol is so excited.

Drew: I was, as I’ve maybe talked about, I was in Cincinnati for most of the summer, and then I was in New York, and then I was in Toronto, and then I was in Philly, and that was first. I don’t know, I was traveling around. And then I drove from New York to LA with a couple of friends and got in yesterday. And I’m so happy to be back in LA. I do want to shout out a couple of people who I met at a lesbian bar in Denver: Darren, Shar, Jasmine, Sophia, it was so nice meeting you all. And I wish that LA had a bar like that. It’s pretty wild that more cities don’t have lesbian bars and that there’s only 21 that exists according to—

Analyssa: Is it 21 now? I thought it was… The last number I knew was 26.

Drew: According to the Lesbian Bar Project, it’s 21.

Riese: I thought it was five.

Drew: No, it’s 21. I mean, so the one in Columbus was the other one I went to — Columbus, Ohio, and that’s also a pizza place.

Riese: Which one is that? Is that Slammers?

Drew: That’s Slammers.

Riese: That’s convenient.

Drew: Yeah. So it’s a pizza place/lesbian bar. I didn’t get to really enjoy that one as much because we got there right as it was closing. So we sort of got to go in, see it, and then they were like, “We’re not serving you a drink.” And we’re like, “That’s cool. We came in at closing.”

Analyssa: I lived in Columbus for two weeks and I did not go to Slammers, but I wanted to. Maybe if I lived there for three weeks, I would have made it.

Drew: It’s okay.

Riese: So speaking of lesbian bars.

Drew: Should we get into this episode?

Riese: Yes, let’s do it! There’s so much to talk about.

Drew: So this is Gen Q episode 206. It is directed by Katrelle N. Kindred, who’s directed episodes of Good Trouble and The Chi, as well as some shorts. It is written by Marja-Lewis Ryan, who you know, and it’s also written by Lisa Quintela, who — this is her first TV writing job, but previously was an entertainment and culture writer for Entertainment Weekly, among other places. And also she has a BFA from Tisch, so I do feel like this person and I have a lot in common, and that’s exciting to me as someone who someday would love to write for Generation Q. The other person who wrote on this episode was Julia Hannafin. And this is also her first TV writing job and is otherwise a fiction writer. This is pretty common where new or staff writers will have their first credit on an episode with the show runner. That’s sort of a pretty normal first episode credit situation.

Riese: So that’s how it’ll be for me when…

Drew: Yes, when you’re also writing. We’ll be the two — it’ll be the two of us and Marja writing the Christmas episode.

Analyssa: In many ways, Riese is like the showrunner of this podcast, and Drew and I originally were like staff writers.

Drew: Yeah, exactly.

Riese: Yeah, it was kind of like that.

Analyssa: Now we keep getting episodes. We’ve really been crushing.

Drew: Look at us. Oh, and this episode’s called “Love Shack,” which we know why, because—

Riese: Yeah. That’s what they sang at karaoke.

Drew: Well, I was going to say—

Riese: Sorry, spoiler.

Drew: I was going to say we’re going to get there, but yeah.

Riese: Everyone already knows.

Drew: That’s true.

Riese: They’ve already seen it.

Drew: Yes. That’s true. Great. Should we get into the episode?

Riese: Let’s get into it.

Analyssa: Let’s do it.

Drew: I’m just so happy. I’m so happy to be doing this episode. This is — I’m just going to start up at the top, and I know we should save this for the end, but I think this is my favorite episode of The L Word, definitely Generation Q, top three ever.

Riese: Wow!

Analyssa: Wow. Big.

Drew: I don’t know. I’m a big fan. I don’t know. I have not talked to Riese or Analyssa about it at all. So I don’t know if we’re on the same page, but this is the energy I’m bringing into this.

Riese: I did text you guys, “Oh, I love this episode,” after I saw it. And that was three weeks before you guys saw it.

Analyssa: Yeah. I also loved it, but I think potentially Drew was just excited to be watching it in the land where it’s set, of Los Angeles.

Drew: That’s true. I am really excited to be back in LA.

Analyssa: And you know who’s also excited about being in LA is The L Word: Generation Q, because they started this episode with the longest “We’re in LA,” and not just we’re in LA, but we’re in Sunset Junction. We’re on the east side. This is not the WeHo of the original L word. Also the saga cell, the 30 second at the beginning tells you what happened on the last episode, felt eternal. That’s not really about the recap, but I was just like—

Drew: There’s a lot to cap. We cover all the storylines this episode, so we really had to like…

Riese: Well, except Angie.

Drew: Oh, that’s true.

Analyssa: Yeah. Well, because it was a party at a bar. She’s under age.

Riese: That’s a good point. She couldn’t, God, you’re so smart.

Drew: So, we start with Micah and Dani on a run together, very LA activity.

Analyssa: Not relatable to me, but—

Drew: I mean me neither, but.

Analyssa: In theory, I guess.

Drew: In theory, an LA activity. Do you? You don’t run?

Riese: No.

Drew: None of us are runners here.

Analyssa: Not with friends, especially.

Riese: Yeah, because that would be embarrassing for me because my running is like a speedy walk.

Drew: Got it.

Riese: Yeah. I’m like a mall walker when I run, you know?

Drew: So Dani is talking about getting a dog. It’s just a really nice friendship moment with the two of them. I think it’s something we’ve been asking for for a while, is actually getting to see the dynamic of their friendship, and it’s so fun to see. And it’s just light and it’s fun. And then Micah reveals his secret.

Riese: Which is that he had sex with a woman.

Drew: And?

Riese: And it turns out we were wrong. He was not supposed to be bisexual from the start. That was just something we made up in our heads.

Analyssa: That was just what I believed because he had had sex with Dani, so I don’t know.

Riese: Yeah, he had dated Dani. So I was like, he’s bi, but he’s just dating men because that’s usually what happens with trans men on TV shows.

Drew: Yes. It’s true.

Riese: But I guess he’s not, but now he is.

Analyssa: But now he is.

Riese: Which is great.

Analyssa: And he does reveal to Dani that it’s Sophie’s sister, Maribel. And she has a very funny reaction.

Drew: She’s like, “Was she better than me?” Which is just — it’s so fun.

Riese: It’s cute.

Drew: I just love this whole scene.

Riese: Then he discloses, and I also love this episode, but he discloses that they have not spoken in a week. What? I’m sorry, in what universe? They used to text every day. They have sex and then radio silence for a week?

Analyssa: From both of them?

Drew: Okay. This is my justification of this.

Riese: Oh God. I can’t wait. I can’t wait because there’s no—

Drew: Now I’m in full justification mode because I liked this episode. So now it’s a thing I like. So my interpretation of it, I assume that they texted like right afterwards. Right?

Riese: Ok. So you’re writing, you’re writing it. You’re writing this.

Drew: And then, like, five days pass. Micah would say, “We have not talked for a week.” Like I just feel like my emotional friends would be like, “Oh my God, this person hasn’t talked to me. After we had sex, they’ve been gone for weeks.” And it’s like, “Weeks? How long has it been?” And they’re like, “Six days.” You know? So I think that was my interpretation of it. The L Word isn’t great with time. Look, it’s still The L Word.

Riese: Sophie says later she hasn’t seen Finley in a week. So are they on the same exaggeration schedule?

Drew: I don’t know. I think maybe it could be like a five day, six day situation.

Riese: I just want to say that, if you have sex with your really close friend, who you’ve had a crush on, somebody who we’re talk to all the time—

Analyssa: Someone you call every day, who you call in mild emergencies.

Riese: Who you call in mild emergencies, which just means you had to talk to Bette Porter that day, then — and they don’t talk for a week? I would be dying. I would be completely dead at this point. I would not be on a run. I would be in my bed. I would be—

Analyssa: I was just about to say, I wouldn’t bring this up to Dani as a third point in the thing. So I had sex with a woman. It’s Maribel. She hasn’t texted me. I would have gone into this run being like, “We need to fucking talk.” And as soon as Dani started talking to me about how she’s using her dad’s evil empire to do good in the world, I would have been like, “I have something I need to talk about actually.”

Drew: That is fair. That is fair. I think they just don’t take time very seriously on The L Word, is part of it. And also, no, of course I’d be crazy, but what I got from this—

Riese: Yeah, you’re right. And later their interactions are totally normal and make complete sense. So I think once we get to that.

Drew: I have complaints. It’s not a perfect episode of television. It’s just, I love it so much.

Riese: Yeah, I do. I love it, too.

Drew: So the other thing I love is that — is Dani saying that she has a pseudo sexual friendship with Gigi.

Riese: Yes, perfect.

Drew: That is such a great description of so many things. I just love it so much. And then Micah is saying that they trauma-bonded. It just, everything felt so gay and so real, the way that they were talking about these things. Like, yeah, some of the timing and specifics are a little bit like what? But, it all just felt so gay and real. I was like, “Is this my favorite scene the show’s ever done?” I’m in a great mood today, if you can’t tell. And I just, I was so excited.

Riese: Drew is thriving today!

Drew: I’m in a really good mood, but anyways, we cut to the credits.

Analyssa: Okay. One more thing I want you to say about this scene though, is that it does feel extremely gay even down to the fact that Dani and Micah seem to have forgotten that there are other bars in Los Angeles that they can go to. They’re like, “We must go to Dana’s, and it’s our right.” And like, sure, you must. And it is your right. You should be able to take up space where your ex goes. But also Dani is like, “I could punch Finley. I don’t know where it’ll go.” You could just go to Akbar or any other—

Drew: But in this world of The L Word,, Dana’s—

Riese: This podcast is sponsored by Akbar.

Drew: I love Akbar.

Analyssa: I’ve never been to Akbar.

Riese: I’ve been there once.

Analyssa: Isn’t that where Dani and Sophie met?

Drew: Yes, it is.

Analyssa: So that was a bad example of, she could go somewhere else.

Riese: White Castle, it’s right there on the corner.

Analyssa: So true.

Drew: Okay. So the reason why we know that karaoke is at Dana’s is because Alice says it to Sophie, is like, “See you there.” And Sophie mentions that she hasn’t talked to Finley in a week. Also, we should talk about the fact that Alice is in a bubble.

Analyssa: A massive inflatable hamster ball.

Riese: Yeah. I mean, sure. Of course. But I’ll also — another thing is that Alice said that she might ask Tom to go, and Sophie just talked to her like it was completely normal. I was ready for like, “Oh, oh, you’re going to ask a man?” But she was just like, “Oh, cool. When are you going to ask him?” And I was like, wow, this is…

Drew: It’s growth. It’s great.

Riese: Wild.

Analyssa: Not The L Word of yore.

Riese: Right. Well, it’s still, I mean…

Drew: We’ll get there. So then we go to Dana’s, right?

Analyssa: Yeah. And Tess and Finley are setting up for karaoke night, and Tess is like, “Finley, invite Brit,” who is the person that Finley was having sex with last episode.

Drew: And is it the first character on the show that uses they/them pronouns?

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: Which is exciting. We don’t actually get to spend any time with them.

Analyssa: I guess it must be exciting for them living their life outside the world of The L Word, because they don’t come back.

Riese: It felt like a little clip of, “This is how you can just use they/them pronouns in conversation.” Like a little educational clip for everyone at home to see.

Drew: Something that is wild is that Tess keeps thanking Finley for coming in. And it’s like, you’re having a karaoke night. She’s your employee. She’s your one employee. We do learn that — it’s so silly.

Riese: No one has done worse at their job ever than Finley on this evening.

Analyssa: Unbelievable.

Riese: They have other employees though.

Drew: Yes, they do. We see that. And then Sophie’s there, chaos.

Riese: Alice texted Tom, “thinking of you” when everyone at the table is like…

Sophie: Oh, honey.
Alice: Really? Is that bad? Okay. It’s bad.
Maribel: It’s just so…
Alice: What? Boring? Pathetic? Plain?
Shane: Basic.
Alice: Oh God. Okay.
Sophie: Oh shit. She is here.

Drew: Yeah. Shane tells Sophie no drama.

Analyssa: Shane forgets that she runs a dyke bar, and she’s like, “No one cause drama tonight.”

Riese: I’m like, “Oh, go shove it.”

Analyssa: You’re having a big event at the gay bar? There’s going to be drama.

Drew: I do think that it’s fair of Shane, in part, because she’s like, “I need my star employee, Sarah Finley.”

Riese: To be on top of her game tonight!

Drew: And then I really liked that Alice called Shane a Nana for… That was cute.

Alice: You’re like a nana. No drama.
Shane: Do you want that in your bar?
Alice: No, no, no, no. I totally get it.

Analyssa: I also love that Bette comes in singing.

Alice: Hey!
Bette: [Singing] Hi hi hi!
Alice: Oh!
Bette: I did my vocal warmups in the car.

Analyssa: That was so crazy.

Riese: It was wild. I was like, who are you?

Analyssa: Just some fun for the folks at home.

Riese: Just a little fun for Bette.

Drew: Getting ready for karaoke.

Analyssa: She’s been doing her vocal warmups in the car.

Drew: Yes. And Alice mentions that she’s also trying to bone someone who she works with. It’s just, again, we’re just getting like fun friendship stuff, bonding over inappropriate workplace dynamics. I mean, for Alice, she’s no longer working with Tom as an editor, so I think that is perfectly fine in my book.

Riese: Or in her book.

Analyssa: Nice. Bette is always actively pursuing artists, both on a romantic and professional level. It’s very rare that she’s just doing one version.

Drew: Yeah. There was some discourse in the comments of our post from last week about how Bette is an abusive monster. And I just want to say that… yeah, pretty much. I mean, she’s hot and she’s fun to watch and it’s a soap opera, so I let a lot go. But, yeah, I don’t think anyone thinks that Bette Porter makes great choices overall in her life of this show. The commenter was like, “If this person was a man…” Honestly, if she was a real person and still exactly the same otherwise, she’d be a nightmare and I wouldn’t associate with her. Watching her on a television show, I’m in love with her, and she can do anything she wants.

Analyssa: And sometimes Jennifer Beals comes in singing to us, and you’re like, yeah, let’s go.

Riese: Yeah. Also wearing… I liked her outfit. I like it when people pull off sneakers with suit wear, and they mention that she is not… Shane’s like, “Who are you chasing? I know it’s not Gigi.” So everyone kind of knows that, that has fizzled.

Drew: Yeah. Oh, I just want to note that even at this point in watching the episode, I wrote down, “Is this the best episode ever?”

Riese: Drew, it’s so premature!

Analyssa: Drew loved this. Nothing has happened yet.

Drew: I’m just so happy because this is what I want, I just want them being friends and being gay and being funny and being decently written.

Riese: Then we have a highly erotic—

Analyssa: I was going to say, this is for Riese.

Riese: Cord play, because I fucking love — those moments of that, “are our hands going to touch for a second.” It drives me bananas. So that’s between Sophia and Finley because Sophie’s trying to help her with the cords, because of course Finley doesn’t know how to do anything. And then, Sophie just asks if she’s avoiding her, and Finley’s like, “Nope,” even though she obviously is, and then they sort of linger. So it’s clear that there’s some tension there. There’s some erotic and romantic tension there. There’s something in the air tonight.

Analyssa: Something is happening.

Riese: It’s there.

Drew: Tess walks up, and Finley says that she didn’t wear deodorant.

Riese: Oh yeah. Finley goes into the back to talk to Tess. And she said she didn’t wear deodorant. And that is confusing to me as is why she has a jacket on if she’s hot and also why she has in fact two jackets on if she’s hot.

Drew: Very chaotic energy, as usual.

Riese: And also one is zipped up just this far. It drove me nuts the whole time. Other than that, I love the episode.

Drew: And then Cherie calls Tess. Then back with Bette, Alice and Shane, Shane tells Bette and Alice about Cherie.

Riese: Also when Finley’s back there with Tess, Tess is like, “You should tell Sophie to stop hitting on you if it makes you feel bad.” And Finley’s like, “Oh, okay. I definitely will. Okay. I definitely won’t.” And I was good, good, because by the way, like now I’ve seen this episode, honestly, five times, maybe more than that. But at the — in this moment, when I was watching it for the first time, I was like, Finley’s going to call Brit at any moment. And this is — all of my dreams are going to be dashed. I was very tense, but luckily they didn’t do that.

Analyssa: The one thing I do want to say about what Tess tells Finley is that at first, she gives really good advice, which is to talk to her. And then she gives really bad advice, which is tell her to back off. Why do we have to go in so confrontational? Just say, talk to her actually. That might be the best place to start. Chat about what you both are feeling.

Drew: Tess is dating Cherie Jaffe, so the choice is being made.

Riese: Not for long! So Shane tells her friends that Cherie stopped by. She says nothing happened. They’re both like, “Oh my gosh, Cherie Jaffe?” And I would just like everyone to know it’s Cherie Peroni now. I feel like everyone forgot about season three. She’s been divorced since 2006.

Drew: I know that. But, they didn’t know her as Cherie Peroni. And so would you think that there’s still people… I, when I tell stories about people I went to middle school with who on Facebook I now know are married, I don’t use their new names. I’m like blah, blah, blah, blah.

Analyssa: Well, and the real estate that Cherie Jaffe as Cherie Jaffe probably occupied in their conversations in 2005 is, that’s always going to be Cherie fucking Jaffe to Bette and Alice.

Riese: Absolutely, yeah. And they don’t believe Shane that nothing happened, which is common, I guess. But there’s still that sense that something happened. And then this is when Bette says that there was no connection with Gigi because it wasn’t a meeting of the minds.

Analyssa: They’re so rude about Gigi, these three.

Riese: They are so mean to her!

Analyssa: But I also think that they’re just jaded. They’re just kind of over being at a gay party and doing this stuff with like ex’s of ex’s, and that’s like kind of the sense too, but yeah, Bette is mean about Gigi, and I didn’t like it.

Drew: For sure, Bette is really… And then Bette and Alice complain about Gigi talking about her feelings, which I did think was really funny. I really liked the fact that these people don’t know how to communicate, and this person who does know communicate, they cannot handle being in that. I mean, that’s what happened with Jodi, too. When Jodi came into their lives, it was—

Riese: Everyone was like, “Ugh.”

Drew: It was like, “Who’s this person?

Riese: “Who wants to know what’s happening? That’s so weird.” Yeah, they prefer a submissive Tina. Everyone wanted a Tina. So, Sophie says to Maribel that Finley’s avoiding her for sure. And, then as they look, then they look up and we all see Dani, Gigi, and Micah enter the arena and Gigi is wearing—

Analyssa: The sleeves, a neck of a turtleneck, that’s crucial. My roommate’s dad — remember when those magic scarfs were sort of a big deal? They were a tube of fabric and you can just make them into a sweater, basically, like Y2K type stuff. And like, little Bolero sweaters were kind of a big deal. He used to call them “sweassories,” like sweater accessories, like they’re not a real sweater.

Drew: Wow.

Analyssa: This, I looked at this and I was like, “That’s a sweassory.”

Riese: Yeah, this is a next-level sweassory.

Analyssa: This is the canonical sweassory in my mind.

Riese: And it’s like, she is there to have a normal night. And I don’t know how anyone who’s there could speak to her and not think, “What happened?”

Analyssa: Every single time—

Riese: Drew’s about to say that it’s her favorite outfit she’s ever seen.

Drew: No, no I am not going to do that, I am not going to do that. What I was going to say is that I really enjoy when hot people wear bad fashion, because I love to be like, “Oh, you are hot enough that you can—”

Riese: That’s true. If I wore that it would be over, over.

Analyssa: I wouldn’t even leave the house. I’d put that on and I’d be like, “Wait, no”

Drew: Gigi walks in in that and I would be like, “That is weird. And also, wow, you still somehow look hot. I’m really impressed by you.” I do think that it’s something that that top tier of hot people can do and I think they should continue to do it because no one else is going to buy those clothes.

Riese: Yeah, yeah.

Analyssa: Every time I took notes about what Gigi was doing in one of these scenes, I talked about a different part, like, “Gigi and her turtleneck are sitting by the stage. Gigi’s balloon sleeves have walked over.”

Riese: Oh my God. Dani looks amazing. She looks like, “You cheated on me and now I’m here.”

Analyssa: There’s a lot of cleavage on display; they really came to show out, which again—

Riese: They came to fly.

Analyssa: This is what it feels like to go to a gay party after a recent breakup, in my experience. Okay, so having seen Micah with her own two eyeballs, Maribel is moved to spill to Sophie because they’re all walking over—

Riese: Or just Micah’s walking over.

Analyssa: Oh yeah.

Riese: Because Gigi takes Dani to the bar and shoots a little glance at Bette and Bette shoots a little glance at her, the “I ghosted you” glance. Bette’s look is, “I ghosted you and I’m not sorry.” And why?

Analyssa: Bette’s glance just says, “Yep.” So then I couldn’t even begin to try to recount this conversation because it’s the most unhinged thing I’ve ever experienced.

Riese: It’s really funny.

Analyssa: But it is very funny. Everyone is really awkward and weird.

Sophie: Micah, you’re here.
Micah: Hi. Yeah, I’m here.
Sophie: Wow, this is just great, this is great, this is just so great.
Micah: Are you being weird? Do you know something?
Sophie: Oh.
Micah: Okay.
Finley: Hi.
Micah: Hi. Hi. Hello, yes. Hi. Okay.
Finley: Let me know if you guys need anything.
Sophie: Well, no, we’re good thank you so much, though. Thank you for asking.
Micah: Okay so, I actually need something, I need you to be nice to Dani tonight.
Finley: Dani’s here.
Micah: She is, yeah, yeah. And could she just have a nice night out? We can all try and be civilized?
Finley: Is she going to punch me in the face again? Be honest.
Micah: She hasn’t been able to rule that out.
Finley: Copy.
Micah: But you’re going to be nice to her, right?
Finley:Yeah, God yeah, of course.
Sophie: Yeah, same.
Micah: Just not, not too nice.
Sophie: Okay, I get it. Everybody’s going to be normal because there’s nothing to be weird about with any of us, right?
Micah: Right.
Sophie: Yeah.
Finley: Right.
Sophie: Yeah.

Riese: And then Sophie pretends to take a phone call on her hand so she can leave them alone to talk. And I do not understand what transpires next.

Drew: Okay, Maribel says that she’s just been busy with work. I think it’s played to be like she’s clearly not been busy with work. She’s clearly being awkward and it clearly makes no sense and she clearly ghosted. That was all, that was my read of the scene.

Riese: But then later she’s upset.

Drew: Well, we’ll get to that. But I think at this moment in time, I’m like, “Oh, she clearly wasn’t just busy with work.” I mean, we all get busy with work, but you’re not busy with work for a whole week after you have sex with your friend.

Riese: Right, so I thought from this scene, for some reason, she’s not interested, which did not make sense to me at all, I didn’t know why she wasn’t interested. I was like, “Did they have really bad sex?” It seemed fine to me.

Analyssa: I kind of kept thinking it was really bad. I was like, “Oh, she doesn’t know how to let Micah down easy.”

Drew: I do agree that the way that this eventually gets handled, that it is the thing about the episode that I think is the most, “Eh.” It doesn’t totally work for me, but I can justify it. But at this point in time, I’m just really happy because Micah and Maribel are having awkward, sort of poorly-written L Word drama and that is sort of what I’ve just been asking for for both of these characters. The fact that we’re getting that there’s all this chaos happening and it’s the same sort of chaos with these two, as opposed to it being like, “Oh, we haven’t talked because when Maribel and I were having sex, we did something with my genitals that I felt bad.” It’s the first time on the show that we’re just — Micah’s part of the drama and in the same space, not with Jose and off somewhere else. It’s like Micah’s at the bar, Micah’s in the drama space and it’s all part of it. And I just think I was so excited about that, that I justified some of the, “Eh.”

Analyssa: Well, it was also at this moment that I was like, “Oh, we’re going to be in the bar the whole episode.” I guess I should have realized that. But something that I simply cannot justify, here’s the thing I’m maddest about in this episode: Bette, Alice, and Shane are going to do a karaoke song and they’ve made a whole to do about how they never sing, and they don’t want to sing, and they don’t know which parts and, “Oh my God, what song has Alice picked?” And they’re grumble, grumble, grumble about it. And then these bitches sing with harmonies.

Riese: Yeah, they kill it.

Analyssa: They have rehearsed. I’m sorry, you cannot tell me that these three people have not rehearsed this number.

Riese: I don’t think they have.

Analyssa: They have. Riese?

Alice: Yeah, you’re in the middle.
Bette: The middle?
Shane: All right, what are we singing?
Alice: You’re the brown hair. You’re the guy.
Shane: Why am I the guy? I’m always the guy.
Bette: Oh my God!
Shane: Oh fuck, seriously?
Bette: Okay, okay, okay.
Alice: Okay.
Shane: I’m the guy?
Bette: Yeah.
Alice: Yes, yes, yes. Ready?
Shane: [Singing] If you see a faded side at the side of the road that says fifteen miles to the—
Alice: [Singing] Love shack! Love shack, yeah yeah!
Bette: I’m headin’ down the Atlanta highway.
Alice and Bette: [Singing] Looking for the love getaway, headed for the love getaway.

Riese: Okay, so first of all, Alice was in The Murmurs and she was in Uh Huh Her, so she’s a professional singer and performer.

Drew: Well, Leisha Hailey was.

Analyssa: Well, not Alice.

Riese: Well, okay, whatever.

Drew: Yes, I was watching and I was like, “Oh, it’s so fun to see Leisha Hailey performing.”

Riese: Yeah, because she’s so good!

Analyssa: I’m not mad that they performed, I’m thrilled that they performed. I wish that they would just be honest as characters. Alice, Bette, and Shane would just be honest and say—

Riese: Come clean about your rehearsal.

Analyssa: “Sometimes we rehearse. Alice makes us fucking rehearse this in Bette’s basement and it’s embarrassing, but we do it.”

Riese: They don’t even rehearse in Glee and they just go.

Drew: I know we want to ignore season six, but we should say that, based on the dance competition, I think it’s clear that these are people who would rehearse and who would whatever.

Analyssa: And I just think, “Own that.” They’re all so like, “Ugh, this is such a silly thing. I can’t believe — Okay. Here’s my routine.” And instead you could just be like, “Yeah, we love karaoke. Let’s just do this one song that we kill every single time.”

Riese: And they killed it.

Analyssa: And they killed it.

Riese: This — it was such joy.

Drew: Yes it was, but I also in keeping with talking about Leisha Haley’s musical performances, I would also just like to mention All Over Me and that she plays a musician in it, it’s an incredible movie, and she has pink hair, and is really cool in it.

Riese: Yeah, it’s a great film. I love it.

Drew: You should watch it. Anyways, yes, they kill “Love Shack.”

Analyssa: So while they’re performing “Love Shack,” everybody gets to make meaningful eye contact with someone or look at somebody longingly.

Riese: They’re not playing the music while they’re filming the dancers in the audience.

Analyssa: No, certainly not.

Riese: When they pan to the crowd, and Finley — no one has ever been happier than they are watching “Love Shack,” which actually makes sense because I was delighted watching them do “Love Shack.” When they put the clip, finally, on YouTube, I’m going to watch it probably five more times. It was so good, it was so cute, it was so fun.

Analyssa: It was really fun.

Riese: But we also get a little dialogue here with Gigi. She says like, “It’s weird how the ego kicks in even when you know you’re not right for someone.” Which I related to strongly, when you know you’re not right for someone, but you still get upset if they don’t like you. And then she asks about Dani.

Drew: That’s interesting, for some reason I didn’t catch that as being about Bette. I thought she was talking to — That makes total sense, that’s really interesting. I missed that line.

Analyssa: And now Tom is here.

Drew: Yes. Oh, Shane makes eye contact with Tess. There is just a lot of eye contact happening.

Analyssa: Bette’s looking at Gigi and Dani. Sophie and Finley are looking at each other. Shane’s watching Tess. No one’s watching Alice, but luckily Tom is here.

Drew: And then Tom arrives and then Bette — it’s interesting to see the way the show hasn’t changed, because Bette’s kind of biphobic.

Riese: She’s like, “I don’t want to think or imagine that” or something.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Oh yeah, I forgot about that. They’re like, “Oh, that’s the guy that Alice wants to…”

Riese: We are seeing, I guess, on television, the things that people say to their best friends that no one else hears, right?

Drew: No, I’m not complaining about it, I thought it was actually interesting to have in contrast with Sophie’s reaction earlier where it wasn’t even like, “Oh, you’re dating a guy.” But she was just like, “Oh my God! Tell me more.” And with Bette, Bette’s still like, “Ugh, I don’t want to have to see that.” It checks out with Bette’s character, it’s all real.

Riese: After Henry.

Drew: You know? #notallmenareHenry.

Riese: I know. I love Tom. And then Bette sees Dani.

Drew: Yes, this is interesting.

Riese: And is thrilled. Honestly, there were moments of this where Bette reminded me of me where normally I’m really bad at talking to literally anybody and then maybe I have one drink and kill it at karaoke, and suddenly I’m like, “I can hang with the kids.”

Analyssa: You’re like, Queen of the bar.

Riese: But only for like 10 minutes, because I’m going to go to an art show and wish I hadn’t had a drink at all.

Analyssa: They miss each other, they’re very excited to see each other. I thought this was about Bette being weird about Dani spending time with Gigi, like it was kind of a power play, but I’m sure there’s some real stuff here. Anyway, Dani tells Bette that she’s working on something for them to work on together. I was like, “Okay?”

Drew: Is it a threesome?

Riese: Yes.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Riese: Is daddy’s company going to sponsor a Black Lives Matter art show?

Analyssa: 100% that’s where it’s going.

Drew: This is really bold — because Gigi and Bette are technically still together.

Riese: Are they?

Drew: I think so because later Dani mentioned something about, “Does everyone cheat?” Because she’s like, “Should I have sex with Gigi?” And so I think as far as she knows, they’re still together — or clearly it’s falling apart — but they’re still together. And she goes up to her former boss who is dating the person who she’s trying to have sex with and is like, “I’m working on a project for us.” It’s bold. I mean, it was hot, but it’s bold.

Riese: There are so many Dani-Bette shippers. I noticed the comments on Showtime’s Instagram, everyone’s always like “Dani and Bette, Dani and Bette!” And I’m like, “I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.”

Drew: No, it’s also the opposite. I mean, maybe they’ll hook up at some point, but—

Riese: I would love that, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Drew: I don’t think it actually would work very well because I think Dani falls into that exact spot that sort of Gigi does where Dani has less power than Bette, but she’s also not at all a pushover. And so Bette needs someone who either is more powerful than her, like Pippa or Jodi — but also Jodi didn’t work, so we’ll see how it happens with Pippa — or she needs someone who’s really submissive to her. Dani’s exactly the kind of person who she shouldn’t date, but they can have sex.

Riese: So true, yeah, sex is always an option.

Analyssa: Speaking of sex, but not actually really, Shane goes back to the office where everybody has sex at Dana’s.

Riese: The sex room.

Analyssa: The sex room, the sex office.

Riese: The Sexoff. That failed, sorry. Sorry to everyone who’s listening.

Drew: The Sexffice?

Riese: The Sexoffice?

Drew: That sounds like “the orifice.”

Analyssa: Sexoffice sounds like “orifice.”.

Drew: Okay, anyway.

Riese: Sexoffice sounds like a political perspective.

Analyssa: Sexfice might work.

Riese: Like fascist, but you’re also sexy, like a sexy fascist.

Drew: Oh Lord.

Analyssa: Tess reveals that Cherie has dumped her.

Riese: And she blames Shane.

Analyssa: She blames Shane, she’s like, “Something has happened. You did something.”

Riese: And Shane’s like, “I didn’t.”

Analyssa: She’s like, “No, me? I’m just a little cat.”

Riese: “Just a country girl”

Analyssa: But okay, Tess says:

Tess: She said it was messy so she was going to take herself out of the mix.

Analyssa: Which is so clearly code for “Shane told Cherie that she has feelings for Tess.” Tess, you’re smart. I’ve watched you run this bar single-handedly. I know that you can read into this, but she doesn’t, she’s just like ready to be mad at Shane.

Drew: Can I also say something on the record?

Analyssa: Please do. The record is open.

Drew: Someone cannot break up with you who started dating you a week ago. It’s not a breakup. I just want to say, if anyone listening dates me ever.

Riese: Anyone dates anyone ever.

Drew: Anyone ever. I’m saying this for selfish reasons, but I guess for the sake of the world, take this out to your other relationships that don’t involve me.

Riese: Yeah, you’re helping everybody right now, Drew.

Drew: I love to be—

Riese: Of service.

Drew: Yeah. A breakup is when you’re in a relationship and then it ends. A breakup is not when you’re starting up a fling with someone or “I’ve hooked up with someone a couple of times,” or even have gone on some really good dates. It can be disappointing. It can be super disappointing when you have something that feels like it’s new, and fresh, and fun, and happy. Sometimes those are even harder than breakups because you have someone on such a pedestal. And it’s not saying that those things aren’t hard or you don’t deserve to mourn them or to have feelings about them. Sometimes you’re still hung up on someone where you have a brief fling with for a really long time because of whatever they represented to you or et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But if you met someone at a bar a week and a half ago, is it?

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: I guess if you spent every second together, there’ll be something. But has she? No, she’s been at work, we’ve seen her. So it’s not a breakup. She didn’t break up with her.

Riese: It ended.

Drew: She just ended it.

Riese: It ended.

Drew: So it drives me nuts. The amount of times that I’ve had to break up with people who I’ve hooked up with twice, it’s like, Jesus Christ.

Riese: Yeah. I think that her perspective on this relationship has been a little bit confusing from the start. They met at a party, she flirted with Shane, they made out in the back room, then she broke up with her. This is not reality.

Analyssa: Back at the bar, Gigi’s sweater is making eyes at Bette to have a conversation.

Riese: Bette is a cold, cold—

Drew: This is brutal.

Analyssa: This was brutal.

Riese: A cold icicle in the butthole from Bette Porter.

Analyssa: That might be fun for some people, though.

Riese: Oh, actually, yeah, it is. It’s nice. If it’s really hot out, to put ice in someone’s butthole.

Analyssa: I feel like this was just cold icicle through the heart muscle which is always unpleasant, I think.

Riese: Maybe she’s already cold and then she puts her cold icicle in her butt.

Analyssa: I do love that Gigi forces Bette to have this conversation, keeps pressing. And what Gigi doesn’t know is that Bette loves to talk about core values.

Gigi: What went so wrong with us, Bette?
Bette: You really want to talk about this?
Gigi: Yeah. I do.
Bette: Now? Do you? Now.
Gigi: Yeah.
Bette: Okay. I think we both know that we’re not right for each other.
Gigi: I’m curious about your perspective.
Bette: I think I need more.
Gigi: Do you really think there’s someone out there who checks all your boxes, Bette?
Bette: As a matter of fact, I know there is. Goodnight, Gigi.
Gigi: Goodnight.

Analyssa: It’s just so mean.

Riese:It’s so mean.

Drew: It’s so mean.

Analyssa: It’s so dismissive for no reason.

Riese: What?

Drew: Can I say something else on the record for the community?

Riese: Yeah, sure.

Drew: It’s so easy when you’re ending something — which, this is maybe a breakup, I’m still going to call it an ending something — honesty is good, communication is good, but being mean when you are the person who’s ending something is so unnecessary. Someone doesn’t need to actually know what your issues are with them. Because they know that you don’t want to date them and unless it’s something abusive that you want to take on and share and say, but if you think someone isn’t smart enough for you, which is basically what Bette is saying, or cultured enough or whatever, you simply do not need to say that. You can just say, “I just don’t feel it.” You can say, “We don’t have the right chemistry.”

Analyssa: “There is just not a spark.”

Riese: Right. You can have Drew write out for you what you should say to somebody and then you can copy it from your text message and then send it to the person, if you want to. I’m saying hypothetically.

Drew: Hypothetically. I’ve definitely never done that for Riese.

Riese: Hypothetically a person could do that.

Drew: I just think that there’s a way to be honest and clear without insulting someone, because at the end of the day, there’s not an intelligence difference. There’s not even necessarily a culture gap, it is Bette’s taste. The things that Bette values.

Riese: Exactly, it’s Bette’s taste.

Drew: The way that Bette views intelligence. And so that is not actually a value judgment on Gigi at all. And the fact that Bette is so myopic that she would think, “Oh, because I like art and I like to talk about things this way.” Also Bette’s friends don’t know anything about art, so does Bette want to talk about how Alice and Shane are stupid? It’s just so — it’s so mean, and especially when Gigi is being vulnerable to be like, “What happened with us?” And also first, she starts by being like, “We could be fucking in the bathroom.” She takes a swing and it’s just so, so mean to reject someone and then to do this to them. I don’t know. It just was, it just felt so, so cruel.

Riese: It was so cruel.

Drew: And then Gigi’s like, “Do you really think you’re going to find somebody who checks all your boxes?”

Riese: And she’s like, “As a matter of fact, I know I can.” This is how you treat someone who has deeply wronged you, who has cheated on you. Because you date people and it just doesn’t work.

Drew: Yeah, all the time.

Riese: Everyone I’ve dated I still think are great people and many of them I’m friends with because they’re awesome. It just wasn’t there.

Analyssa: Gigi’s only crime is being hot and slightly different than Bette. Okay, cool. I don’t know.

Riese: It’s so mean. And also, especially because Bette went over there. After Pippa, in the last episode, she was texting her, wanting Gigi to come over and do it. Bette kept it going. I think Gigi was not reaching out anymore.

Analyssa: If I’m Gigi and Bette has texted me three times in the last week to come hook up because of unknown reasons and then goes, “I think I can find someone more than you.” Excuse me?

Riese: Can you? Because you called me three times this very week.

Analyssa: The evidence strongly suggests otherwise.

Riese: Strongly suggests otherwise.

Analyssa: I don’t know.

Riese: I’ve never seen Gigi reach out to Bette, ever.

Drew: No.

Analyssa: No, not once.

Riese: Gigi’s already walked out of her house. Bette’s the one who’s called her and was silenced, called her and got a no.

Drew: I think we can, as a podcast and as a community, come to the conclusion that Gigi is better than Bette.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: I think, yeah, a classic “for us as lesbians.”

Riese: Absolutely. For us as lesbians… holy shit.

Analyssa: Okay. Anyway, Alice is flirting with Tom at the other end of the bar. The only thing about this is—

Riese: He doesn’t get it.

Analyssa: He does not understand it. He calls her his friend. Everyone on this television show should remove the word “friend” from their vocabulary. It’s only caused problems.

Drew: It felt very realistic to me that this cis straight man who’s very outside the queer community would have this sort of cultural biphobia of being — it’s not malicious, but it is just being like, “Oh, you’re a very famous queer woman. You’re not interested in me.” And that felt really real to me.

Analyssa: Just a couple of chaotic things — Sorry, do you have another thought?

Drew: No, I just was going to say that I think Donald Faison is a really great addition to our lesbian show.

Riese: He’s cute.

Analyssa: I love it, he’s so fun.

Riese: He’s so fun. Now I follow him on Insta.

Drew: Well, that’s nice.

Riese: I might watch Scrubs.

Analyssa: I kind of want to watch Scrubs. I think it’d be fun.

Drew: Zach Braff sucks.

Riese: I know, the problem is Zach Braff.

Analyssa: I know. There are a couple of chaotic things going on at Dana’s that I would like to point out. Number one is everyone is having a conversation at normal human volume while, quote unquote, karaoke is happening. Unrealistic.

Riese: No karaoke.

Analyssa: Number two — yeah, there’s actually no karaoke happening. And there’s a dance floor, which means that this is the weirdest karaoke. They were like, “We’re going to do four songs of karaoke throughout the night. And in between there will be a big dance floor situation.”

Riese: Are we supposed to believe that karaoke is happening? Because the songs in the background were familiar karaoke songs, but I was like, “It sounds like the original.”

Analyssa: Yeah. Am I just to assume that no one’s signed up to sing karaoke?

Drew: Maybe they’re having a really hard time getting people to sing.

Riese: But then Shane said it was a hit.

Analyssa: I’ve just never been to a karaoke bar party, et cetera where the activity is karaoke, but also the dance floor is popping.

Riese: Honestly, this episode cost $15. At the end of the episode, when they showed the people who were the extra actors they had to credit, there were two people.

Drew: It is very hard to do this kind of episode. It is cheaper, but it is also, organizationally, very hard. There were extras, and wrangling those people. And the fact that they didn’t want to add in other people to sing poorly in the background. I’m okay with that.

Riese: I was ready for a drunk lesbian crying and singing.

Drew: That’s true, that could have been like a comedic—

Analyssa: I’m just saying that for all the realism about what it feels like to go to a gay bar, or a gay party—

Drew: Yeah, that’s fair.

Analyssa: There’s not a lot of realism about what it feels like to be at karaoke night event.

Drew: That’s very fair, that’s very fair.

Analyssa: And as a karaoke booster, that’s what I’m here for.

Drew: Yes, I really appreciate you taking on that important role.

Riese: So Dani sits with Gigi.

Analyssa: But first Micah and Dani debrief the Maribel thing.

Riese: Oh okay.

Analyssa: Briefly. And he’s like, “This is what happened. She was really weird. She hates me. I’m going to die alone.”

Drew: Yeah, she said that she had to solve the crisis at the border before they could—

Analyssa: Right. Then Dani’s like, “Well, there’s a guy over there. Go flirt with him, he’s been checking you out all night.” So Micah goes off to do that.

Riese: Do you think this is what lesbians think it’s like to be a gay man? Because this happens to Micah at every bar. They’re always like, “That guy’s been checking you out all night.”

Analyssa: Honestly, I have… Not to be like, “I have gay men friends,” but I do. And I do feel like this happens to them way more frequently than it does to me.

Drew: Yeah, for sure.

Analyssa: And that’s rude because both of them are extremely partnered and guess who’s not? Me. So if anyone wants to check me out at a bar, let me know. Anyway, then—

Drew: Okay this is good.

Analyssa: So Michael goes to flirt with a boy and he’s immediately replaced by Gigi’s sweassory. The turtleneck is up to her chin. I can’t, the profile, it’s so much worse.

Riese: It’s threatening to swallow her head.

Analyssa: It got bigger every time.

Drew: Yeah, it did.

Analyssa: It’s closer and closer to her ears. Okay.

Drew: Sophie sends a drink, which is the first thing Sophie does tonight that made me go, “No.”

Analyssa: Everyone at this bar deserves at least a timeout. Yeah they should all get locked into the Sex Office by themselves for just like half an hour. Everyone is making insane choices.

Riese: Yeah. And also like she already has a drink and also they’re all martini glasses. And I, like Tess, called on Shane earlier tonight and was wrong, but I’m going to call on this show and I’m going to be right. And the thing I’m right about is martini glasses. You can’t just walk around with a martini glass.

Drew: It’s very hard.

Analyssa: Okay. Shane is trying to call Tess because Tess has left and the bar’s immediately crumbling without her. We see no evidence to that, but I just have to believe that that’s true. Hilariously, Tess’s voicemail says, “If you have reached my voicemail, try Dana’s instead.” Which is just a funny detail.

Riese: Yeah, I’m going to make that my voicemail.

Drew: “Try autostraddle.com” instead.

Riese: No, I’m going to say, “Try Dana’s.”

Drew: Oh, that’s good. And Finley is outside practicing her speech to Sophie.

Finley: Hi. Okay, I’m just going to say it again. I love you. I think I’ve always loved you and be with me. Fuck.

Drew: And Shane is just like, “Babe, you got to do your job. We need you.” And then Finley says that she fed the rats already?

Riese: That’s so funny.

Drew: This made me laugh. This is sort of like the last episode with, or two episodes ago. And when it was like, “Oh, Dani took the—'”

Analyssa: The red pepper?

Drew: … the red pepper, I’m like, “This is nonsense, but it made me laugh. So I will accept it.”

Analyssa: And Shane just stands there, “Why did we hire this person?” And again, I agree.

Riese: But also Finley’s little fake speech made me laugh too. When she mentions, she’s like, “Be with me!”

Analyssa: Yeah, she’s going through it. Our girl.

Drew: Speaking of incredible art, like this television episode. We, for the first time in a while, leave and go to Pippa’s student’s art show.

Riese: Right. Pippa who is both in seclusion and teaching at a major university.

Analyssa: Yes. No one’s been able to find her for decades.

Riese: Except for students who are enrolled in her course.

Analyssa: Pippa is like — as she has previously — is like calling Bette out on her shit. She says that it’s kind of inappropriate that she’s here. And Bette is sort of like, “Yeah, I agree.”

Drew: Yeah. But no, Bette’s like, “I’m here for your student who I heard was an early Basquiat.”

Riese: Basquiat, I know.

Drew: Which the show loves to make—

Riese: I was like, “Ugh.”

Drew: The show loves to make references to incredibly famous artists that, I’m like, “I think that Bette would make a little bit.” And sometimes they have niche-er people, but I’m just like. Which it’s also like, “Okay, Bette we know why you’re there, but that’s okay.”

Riese: Yes. I mean, she sticks to her story.

Analyssa: She does.

Riese: She’s committed.

Drew: She sure looks at those students’ art.

Analyssa: She walks around looking at the art without Pippa.

Riese: The new Basquiat, Basquiat Jr. in 30 years, Bette is going to find them in Topanga Canyon and be like, “I was at your first show.”

Drew: She’s going to be like, “Can you stop hitting on me?”

Analyssa: She literally says that later and I was like, “Bette loves to tell someone, ‘I was at your first show.’”

Riese: Yeah. She’s going to be going to the Ohio State Fair and going to the arts section for the 4H competitions — which, by the way, is where you can just see the most amazing art you’ve ever seen in your life. I love State Fair art competitions.

Analyssa: I’ve never been to a state fair art competition.

Riese: Oh really?

Analyssa: But I do love state fairs so let’s talk about that after.

Riese: Okay.

Analyssa: Okay. So back at Dana’s.

Drew: Yeah, this is the unhinged… Okay.

Analyssa: Oh yeah.

Drew: So Micah’s talking to that guy.

Riese: Mirabell just zooms over and is like.

Maribel: Was I an experiment to you?
Micah: What?
Maribel: Just to see what it would be like to sleep with a woman?

Drew: Yeah. We should clarify that — because at first I was like, “Oh, is she talking about disability?” And then it was like, no, she’s just talking about Micah hooking up with a woman. Which I think when the first season of Gen Q, part of being frustrated… I really want it to have nuanced, interesting discussions that reflect my queer community. And I think in the… Whatever, there was a whole pandemic, I think I’ve just been like, “This is a soap opera. It’s created by a cis abled white woman, and that is going to influence it.” And there are obviously, there’s a writer’s room filled with a lot of other people, but there aren’t a lot of trans people, as far as I know, there are no disabled people. I don’t know that for sure. But I was happy that that was the route it went. But I don’t understand why this is her reaction.

Riese: I’m so confused.

Analyssa: This fight doesn’t make any sense.

Riese: Because he’s like, “What?” He’s like, “Wait, you just shot me down.” And she was like, “Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t enthusiastic enough for you.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?”

Analyssa: You genuinely said no.

Riese: You genuinely shot him down pretty hard. Not Bette-hard, but hard.

Drew: The reason why this might… Where I landed with this was, Maribel has issues, the way that a lot of the characters have issues and clearly there’s a lot of trust stuff going on. Nothing she’s doing here is any more unhinged than stuff that the other characters have done. It doesn’t—

Riese: I guess, because until now she’s been written as so confident.

Drew: Yeah. But I think we also saw that she said that she had a date with a guy who wasn’t good enough for her. She also, her reaction to Micah. I still have an issue with this scene, but her reaction to Micah. I don’t know why they’re writing her character this way, but it is consistent with the way she reacted when Micah was complaining about Nat and his job. There is something that, I don’t know, certain conflicts that she doesn’t seem to know how to deal with. Or she does turn on him pretty quickly. Which again, I don’t know why that’s how they’re writing her, but it is starting to feel consistent with her character. And I am interested to see sort of like, as it develops to see if it gets justified for me. But this specific moment was the one that made me go most, “Huh?”

Riese: This was the scene that annoyed me the most of the episode.

Analyssa: I agree.

Riese: It’s also funny because they’re apparently… Sophie and her parents, her mom and her grandma are so great. And they were like, “What is wrong with our daughters?”

Analyssa: “They’re always flying off the handle.”

Drew: Maribel also says that this doesn’t feel like Love and Basketball. Which one, obviously wanting your life to be like your favorite romantic movie is not healthy. But two, Love and Basketball is very messy. It takes like—

Riese: Oh really?

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: I don’t remember it.

Analyssa: I’ve never seen it.

Drew: [Gasps]

Analyssa: I did write ”Love and Basketball ref, did Drew write this?”

Drew: Oh my God, one of my favorite movies of all time.

Riese: I thought it was obviously, and it obviously is a movie they watched together. I thought she was saying that to sort of bring it back down to Earth and then Micah would laugh. But that’s not what happens.

Drew: Oh, okay. But that’s interesting.

Riese: But that’s what I thought. Because that feels like something I would do if there was an awkward thing. I’d be like, “Well, this is nothing like it was on The L Word.” And then someone will be like, “Okay, we’re being silly.”

Drew: No, but maybe that was what she was trying to say, was like, this isn’t Love and Basketball. We can be clear with each other instead of having a complicated years-long—

Riese: Oh I didn’t get that.

Drew: Because the way Love and Basketball— it’s split into four quarters. And each quarter is also a period of their lives and romance. And there’s a lot of back and forth, and a lot of complication. So maybe she was being like, “I a little bit reject you and so you go off and have this whole other romance that’s going to take up all these years of time.” But it is an unreasonable reaction.

Analyssa: I think the way that she said it is, “This is nothing like my favorite romantic movie, Love and Basketball.”

Drew: That was also my initial information. But it doesn’t really make sense in the context of the movie, Love and Basketball.

Analyssa: Right.

Drew: But maybe that wasn’t—

Analyssa: Something else that doesn’t make sense is the thing that Sophie and Dani are doing. Which I would like to point out is exactly what I said they would end up doing. Which is this weird in-between thing of we’re friends, but we’re kind of flirting.

Riese: But I kind of hate you.

Analyssa: Dani makes a joke about when she got left at the altar.

Riese: She says that twice in this episode and then Sophie leaves… because we didn’t see it.

Analyssa: Oh right.

Riese: Is she being literal? Did Sophie walk out after that happened?

Drew: I don’t know. I would say that it — I would qualify, even if she didn’t.

Riese: Because I feel like Rachel left Barry at the altar, Shane left Carmen at the altar.

Analyssa: Yeah right. But maybe it’s just the easiest shorthand. There’s not—

Riese: Oh my God.

Analyssa: There’s not a shorthand for saying, “Does this drink make up for you leaving me at the altar?” is easier than saying, “Does this drink make up for the fact that you cheated on me, and then the person you cheated on me with stormed our wedding, and then made a scene at our wedding, and then you left? In a hat, of all things?”

Drew: I really really liked this because it was, Dani was both… They were trying to be friendly, the two of them, but then it was clear that Dani couldn’t help but let her resentments bubble up, which clearly — so it’s like presented in this joking way and it’s like, ah, it’s not.

Analyssa: But it also has a flirty edge to it because they’ve had sex recently. So then they kind of are laughing and touching. And of course Finley sees this, she goes back to the Sex Office to chug a beer. And just an aside, this is not the fastest way to get drunk if the thing that you want is to get drunk.

Riese: Yeah, do a shot.

Analyssa: You’re at a bar. As a sober person I don’t need to encourage Finley to drink more. But I don’t think she’s drinking super well if what her aim is, is to get drunk.

Riese: Yeah. Because she’s just going to feel bloated, but I guess she’s used to drinking a lot of beer.

Analyssa: And she’s just going to burp. It’s not going to feel like anything. And what it shows is that she wants to feel better for having seen Dani and Sophie. And the way to do that is like two back-to-back tequila shots. Not to be like, “Ha, ha I used to be a drunk.” But yeah.

Riese: But yeah, that’s actually just accurate information that you’re sharing with us.

Analyssa: Anyway. They’re in the Sex Office, but they’re not having sex, they’re having fights.

Sophie: Hey, I don’t know what you think you saw out there but that was just.
Finley: Nothing I was just coming out to tell you to not hit on me and then you were hitting on her. So it kind of just cancels the other thing out. Like physics or whatever.
Sophie: Okay. But Dani and I, we’re… I’m just trying.
Finley: It’s none of my business. Okay?
Sophie: We’re done. Okay?
Finley: You can talk to whoever you want. Okay. We’re just friends. Right?
Sophie: Is that what you want?
Finley: Is that a joke? Of course that’s not what I want. I think I’ve been pretty clear about that.
Sophie: All right. Well, you’re fucking someone else the other day. I fucking heard you.
Finley: You know that’s not real.
Sophie: So loud.
Finley: Sophie, God you make it… I’m trying to get over you and you make it fucking impossible.
Sophie: How? How do I do that?
Finley: You asked me to stay so I stayed. Right? Then you asked for space so I gave you space. And anytime I’m near you, I feel something. And it’s like, just, do you feel it? Do you feel it? Or am I fucking crazy?
Sophie: Yes, okay? You’re not crazy.
Finley: Then what the fuck dude?
Sophie: This is, this is hard. This is so fucking hard.

Riese: So it seems as though Sophie has her feelings that she’s still hesitating to take the plunge with Finley.

Analyssa: And Riese I think you’ve been saying this the whole time. She’s like:

Sophie: Nobody thinks that we should be together.

Analyssa: I just want to say she only has two friends. So I don’t know who “everybody” is.

Drew: The whole lesbian community of Los Angeles is talking about it.

Analyssa:I’ve heard no one else’s opinion on this, except Dani who got heartbroken and people who-—

Riese: Her sister.

Analyssa: … And her sister, I guess. But people who Sophie or Finley are telling their side to, and they are reacting to it. No one has an opinion that’s like, “Well, this just wouldn’t work.” Anyway. Whatever.

Riese: Yeah, and Finley’s obviously really sad and it’s just like.

Finley: You’re never going to choose me are you?

Riese: I don’t know, it felt really real and sad.

Drew: I also think that some of it is Sophie. Sophie was with Dani, who is now a CEO and very much had that energy. And I think Sophie in saying, “No one thinks we should be together.” I think that’s also her way of communicating that she has an insecurity about, “People are going to judge me for dating a lesbian labrador retriever.”

Riese: Who doesn’t have her life together, who is a mess on several levels.

Analyssa: It’s a big change in—

Riese: Yeah. But what she doesn’t realize is that no one cares about anyone about themselves.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: At all.

Drew: It’s interesting though this paralleled with Bette and Gigi’s break up. In the sense that like this dynamic of superiority and of cultural cachet of relationships. I don’t know. I just — it’s so interesting to me this idea of… I think it’s fine to like, want to date someone who has similar interests to you or similar ambitions or whatever. But it’s interesting the way that it keeps being framed as this very central issue. Which I don’t know, maybe it is for people, but.

Riese: I think it is.

Analyssa: So then Sophie sees Alice. And I didn’t write it down, but I wrote, “Finally, someone gives her good advice.” So good on Alice.

Alice: You okay?
Sophie: Yeah, I’ve been better. You?
Alice: Well, the whole Tom thing is kind of backfiring.
Sophie: Really? I mean, he’s here.
Alice: Yeah. He said we were great friends, that’s okay. I’d make the first move usually, but the possibility for rejection is like something I can handle right now.
Sophie: Well, you can’t be scared forever.
Alice: I think one more night of crippling fear is okay.
Sophie: Not for me, I don’t think.
Alice: No?
Sophie: No. Finley’s not that bad.
Alice: I know that. I love her.
Sophie: Yeah, so do I.

Riese: But I think honestly, all she needs is Alice’s endorsement.

Analyssa: She needs someone’s endorsement. She needs someone to be like, “Yes, Finley is good. You can do that.” Finley is crying to Shane, in a new surprise, tiny back room of the bar. I don’t think I’ve seen this space before. And Shane is comforting Finley. I think Shane is very good.

Riese: Yeah he’s like, “If you guys like each other, what’s the problem?” You know? And then—

Drew: The question we’re all asking.

Analyssa: Great point.

Riese: Right. And she’s like, “Well, I think maybe I fucked it up. Maybe she’s the one and I fucked it up.” And then she’s like, “Ugh and our song is playing.”

Analyssa: Very cute.

Finley: Oh my God.
Sophie: [Singing] Here comes the rush before we touch, come a little closer.
Shane: Well that doesn’t look over to me.
Finley: No, no it doesn’t. Holy shit.
Shane: I got to go somewhere so you’re going to lock up tonight. Okay?
Finley: Yeah, yeah boss. Of course.
Shane: Go get her.
Sophie: [Singing] It’s not just all physical. I’m the type who won’t get oh so critical. So let’s make things physical.

Drew: Riese, do you want to just take this away?

Analyssa: You tell us about this scene, Riese.

Riese: Okay. Well then she’s like… And then Shane’s like, “Oh, it’s your song.” And then Finley realizes, “Oh my God, it’s Sophie singing.” And first of all, as advertised Rosanny is an amazing singer.

Analyssa: Yeah. Come through, Julliard.

Riese: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. But she goes out there and Sophie’s singing “Closer.” And before we talk about how sweet it is, we should also talk about how completely inappropriate it is.

Analyssa: Unbelievable.

Riese: Absolutely unhinged. Dani is right there.

Analyssa: They’re all looking in each other’s eyeballs. Sophie is not just singing her and Finley’s song. She’s singing it to Finely.

Riese: To Finley. She, then—

Drew: She says.

Analyssa: And then she—

Riese: Finley.

Analyssa: She puts Finley’s name into the song.

Riese: She adds commentary to the song, which is when Dani loses it. When she’s like.

Sophie: [Singing] All you’re thinking lately — and this is true — is getting underneath me.
Finley: Oh shit.

Analyssa: Yeah. And Dani rightfully storms out. And of course, Gigi and her turtleneck follow, because Gigi loves nothing more than a crisis.

Drew: This is so evil.

Analyssa: It is unbelievably…

Drew: I like… It’s funny because I think people are really quick to be mad at Sophie this season. And I’m not, still, I just find this… I’m like, wow, this is so… I will say this is like a classic of rom coms. Right?

Riese: It is, yeah.

Drew: A classic of the genre is a big grand gesture because these are the people who we care about and this is the relationship we care about. And it’s actually, if you take a step back and look at the action that happens, like interrupting a wedding.

Riese: Boarding a plane full of people that are trying to fly somewhere.

Drew: These are all actions that are actually… It’s why grand, romantic gestures are actually not very romantic usually in my opinion. I don’t really like them. But I think small, personal, romantic gestures are usually better. But I’m not judging Sophie. I’m not, I’m not judging the writer’s room. I’m simply getting glee from the evilness on display and how I know that it’s not actually that bad because Dani’s just going to go fuck Gigi. And so she really wins

Analyssa: Right. Genuinely, their minds. The other thing about this scene is that, and Drew’s point just now that it makes me think of is that TikTok I sent you guys, that’s like Sophie is the Jenny of Gen Q. Sophie is the Bette of The L Word: Gen Q. I wouldn’t map them like this.

Drew: No, no.

Analyssa: But if we’re mapping them like this.

Drew: Right, right.

Riese: There’s no Jenny…

Analyssa: There’s no anyone.

Drew: But I know, I very much agree with what you’re saying.

Analyssa: There’s especially no Jenny. And there is especially, potentially two Bettes. And I know that everybody says Dani is similar to Bette.

Riese: But she’s not. Dani is so righteous.

Analyssa: In the actions that Sophie has taken, there’s some Bette Porter there. Anyway.

Drew: Yeah, I think the same way that Finley is Shane, which she’s not, but I think Sophie would be that’s… If you have to pick someone to be Sophie in the original, I think you’re right.

Riese: But it’s also, I think a pre — because obviously this relation, they’re bros. Their number one activity prior to all of this romance was getting wasted together and riding bikes to the bar. This is going to be a chaotic couple and I can relate to that. I’ve been that chaotic couple and it’s really funny. It’s fun. It’s going to be fun.

Analyssa: It’s going to be fun.

Riese: But, so, aside from the fact that this is completely evil and fucked up to do to Dani. Sophie at least doesn’t say Finley’s name until Dani’s gone. But also where she inserted Finley’s name just, was cringe to me.

Analyssa: I agree, it was really cringey.

Riese: It was so weird. And everyone was cheering for them, obviously.

Drew: Finley’s friend.

Riese: Thank God Dani was gone by that point.

Analyssa: Finley cries.

Riese: Holy fuck.

Analyssa: Sophie cries.

Riese: Yeah, they’re both crying.

Analyssa: It’s sweet and also a secondhand embarrassment. Like the whole time I was like, “Oh God, I like this for you two. But I wish I didn’t have to watch it.” Rosanny Zayas, not only a great voice, but really good annunciation. Someone is classically trained, baby.

Riese: And Finley has the look on her face, I don’t think anyone’s ever done anything for her before, ever in her life.

Analyssa: I mean, I don’t think she’s ever been in a situation where anyone, where she cared deeply about someone and they care deeply about her. It’s never been that.

Riese: I don’t think anyone’s ever given her any gestures of any kind.

Analyssa: No.

Riese: And she’s thrilled by it really.

Analyssa: One thing about, while this song is happening is that Alice is not standing anywhere near Tom. Which is so weird. If you invited someone to a bar—

Riese: He went to go meet ladies for her.

Analyssa: I forgot about that. I was like, ‘Why would you not be standing next to him?” Anyway, Sophie’s rendition of “Closer” inspires her to go walk over to Tom. Great, good.

Drew: I love that. Okay. So then Dani’s outside, tells Gigi she isn’t fine. Obviously. Dani says that these are supposed to be her people. And Gigi’s like, “They still are.” Which is true?

Riese: Is it?

Drew: I think it is true. I still do think that ultimately… Dani knows Bette like Sophie knows Alice. There’s no reason why, eventually… whatever.

Analyssa: I do want to say that the way that Dani freaks out makes it sound like she was having a bad time the whole time. And maybe she was and we didn’t see that. But if I were Dani and I had just stormed out while “Closer” was being sung by my ex and Dani walks for the entirety of this performance by the way. I would be mad that Sophie did that. This is a recurring theme with me and Dani where she gets mad about something. And I’m like, “Yes.” And then the thing she’s mad about is different than what I thought she would be mad about. Which is like, Sophie embarrassed the hell out of her just now. But instead it’s sort of this thing of, I can’t believe I can’t even go to this bar with my people. Which is like, they’re similar, they’re related, but it’s not the thing I would have been super mad about then.

Riese: She’s in a really shitty position because everyone else lives together and they all work with each other. She doesn’t live with any of them. She doesn’t work with any of them, and so she’s on the outside. And so she was clearly the wronged party. I think what is hard for her is that she doesn’t realize to the degree to which no one is thinking about her or caring. That everyone is fine to just go on with their lives.

Drew: They’re all having their own dramas.

Riese: But she feels, and I understand, I’ve been on both sides of this. And it’s like, I understand that she feels like everyone’s thinking about her and talking about her, but she’s wrong. But I know why she feels that way. But also Sophie doing that, I feel like is a very much this trying to make her feel like… And I don’t think Sophie did it on purpose. I don’t think she thought for one fucking second that Dani was in the room and that it would be inappropriate. But like it does, it’s a pretty… But that has a way to make someone feel unwelcome.

Analyssa: And that has its own stink to it. Right? That Sophie would do that without thinking about Dani is like a whole different thing. If it were a Bette thing, where Sophie went up and pointedly sang a song about how Dani was horrible and Finley … You know what I mean? That would be different.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: I think Sophie was aware about Dani. I think it was a pointed thing, in the sense of being like, she’s trying to communicate to Finley that, “Dani’s here and I’m going to say in front of Dani that I like you.” Which in her brain—

Analyssa: I wish she hadn’t.

Drew: Yeah. I think in her brain, she’s like, “I have to prove something because Finley is hurt.” And it’s like, “Yeah, but what about … ”

Riese: Oh yeah, that’s true.

Drew: Because I think she has this idea of Dani, that Dani can’t get hurt. Because Dani has a certain energy. I don’t know, it’s interesting to watch this, where Sophie takes on this caring role of being like, “I need to make sure … ” One, she wants to win Finley’s heart, but she also is like, “I want to comfort Finley.”

Analyssa: Also, this is Bette/Tina/Jodi stuff, don’t you think? A little bit?

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Dani asks Gigi to get out of there, very excited to see where that goes. Then we go back and Finley’s dancing.

Riese: I know, and Finley’s so happy.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: And they’re so cute.

Analyssa: It’s very cute.

Drew: Micah looks sad.

Analyssa: Micah is a little bit sad and leaves. And then Alice makes her big play to Tom, which I thought was really cute.

Riese: It was.

Analyssa: It was like …

Alice: Do you want to dance with me?
Tom: Yeah? Trying to make somebody jealous? Your wingman is here, let’s do it.
Alice: Hey.
Tom: Hey.
Alice: I want to dance with you.
Tom: Yeah, of course. Yeah.
Alice: Not as friends.
Tom: Oh, shit. Yeah.
Alice: Yeah?
Tom: Yeah, really?
Alice: What do you think?
Tom: Yeah, absolutely.
Alice: Want to do it?
Tom: Yeah.
Alice: Okay.
Tom: I just didn’t think that you…
Alice: Look. Well, now you know what I think.
Tom: Okay. I’m excited.
Alice: You don’t have to talk.
Tom: I’m going to shut the fuck up.

Riese: Okay!

Analyssa: This hot, Hollywood … He was already overwhelmed by how the sets were … There’s just a lot of stuff about Leisha Hailey, and Alice, that would be like, “Um… Me?”

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: Leisha Hailey has so much chemistry with everyone.

Analyssa: She … Yeah.

Drew: That’s really one of her skills.

Analyssa: It’s great.

Riese: Yeah. And he’s like, “Yeah.” It was so cute.

Analyssa: He was like, “Yeah.” And they’re all dancing to a song that would not be played at this bar, I think. But I’m happy for them.

Riese: I wonder who’s singing it for karaoke?

Analyssa: Yeah. Whose karaoke song choice was this? We once again leave Dana’s, because Shane is going to Tess’s. Everyone’s getting a big gesture moment.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: Everyone’s getting their time to shine.

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Analyssa: So Shane is going to Tess’s, and Tess is still mad.

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Analyssa: And is like, “What did you tell Cherie? Why did you… What happened here? You’ve ruined something for me.” Again, something very small, just in this grand scheme of things. But it’s fine.

Riese: Yeah. Well, yeah, Shane wants to confess what she told Cherie, a little bit of what she told Cherie, which is basically to back off.

Analyssa: Because Tess is too good of a person for Cherie’s games, basically.

Drew: Yeah. She’s protective of her.

Analyssa: Yes. And she’s protective of her, she says, because she cares a lot about Tess.

Drew: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Analyssa: And then Tess is like, “Now hold on, what else did you say? Now I can tell that there’s something different happening here. What else did you say?” And Shane doesn’t tell her.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: No.

Analyssa: And they don’t kiss, which I thought they might, in the doorway.

Riese: There’s that charged …

Analyssa: They get really close.

Riese: Yeah. And also, Tess is wearing a great robe.

Analyssa: Yes.

Riese: Which I don’t feel like Shane even commented on.

Analyssa: Yeah, not enough attention paid to the robe.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: And then—

Drew: Speaking of people who feel like they’re about to kiss, Bette is with Pippa and they’re bonding over one of Pippa’s students.

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Analyssa: The baby Basquiat?

Drew: Yes. And it’s really … I love this, I love when Bette talks about art, it’s really the best look on her. It’s hot. And then Bette makes another play for signing her, and Pippa eventually says that it would be hard to pass up a real offer. I’m a little bit confused about this.

Riese: What is she talking about?

Analyssa: I was going to say, I don’t think any of us know enough about what’s going on. I couldn’t even comment on if this is correct or not.

Drew: Yeah. My understanding was that she was saying, “I don’t want to sign with the gallery. If you want to, through the gallery, have something that is focusing on just me… ” I don’t know. I’m trying.

Riese: Because she already told her, she already said she would do that.

Drew: Yeah, I’m trying really hard, but I don’t really actually understand how the galleries work.

Analyssa: I thought that Bette had already promised Pippa a gallery show.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: I don’t know enough about galleries to understand, but basically Pippa is like, “Do this thing for me, and then I might be enticed.” And Bette’s like, “Bet, okay.”

Riese: All right.

Drew: And if…

Riese: Drew, are artists represented by galleries?

Drew: I don’t know.

Riese: Is she saying, “Don’t just be my agent, book me show”?

Drew: I don’t know.

Analyssa: Maybe?

Drew: If you understand this and are in the art world, please email us at tolandbackcast.com.

Analyssa: Call the hotline.

Drew: No—

Riese: Is that it?

Drew: What is the—

Analyssa: Lauren will tell you the info at the end of the pod. Call the hotline, send us an email.

Drew: Tolandbackcast@gmail.com, that’s what it is, that’s why I was—

Analyssa: What did you say?

Drew: I said, “tolandbackcast.com.”

Analyssa: That’s definitely not right. Okay. I thought we were going to get a sex montage, but we’re not.

Drew: Nope, just…

Analyssa: We’re just going to get Alice doing sexuals with this man.

Drew: Yeah. Tom and Alice have sex. And what I was talking about previously with Tom, I think I wish that this straight sex scene didn’t feel so different. It feels so much like, “This is what it’s like to have sex with a straight man.”

Riese: Oh, really?

Drew: That’s how … It didn’t feel that way to you?

Riese: No.

Drew: Oh, okay. Because I was just thinking about the way that the “straight” sex scenes in Vita are, and how they’re just as weird and nuanced and interesting. And I think I wanted a little bit of that. I know that Tom has been framed as being vanilla, so maybe it’s just what makes sense.

Analyssa: I was going to say, I thought it was just, he’s fumbly, but it seems like they like each other and are having a fun time.

Riese: Yeah. I don’t know how much not-vanilla sex we have on the show, even from the queers.

Drew: Well, it’s not even about vanilla, it’s not even about being kinky as much as it’s… We didn’t see Donald Faison’s tongue around Leisha Hailey’s finger or anything.

Riese: Oh, right.

Drew: I’m just saying little moments that are… The show is very, it’s not very kink-heavy, but it’s very heavy with showing… It’s very tongue-heavy, honestly. It’s just very…

Riese: It’s very — it follows kisses.

Drew: Yeah. And it’s very specific. And I think—

Riese: Yeah, that’s true.

Drew: But I should get, because he’s fumbling, it fits his character. I think I just was like, “I’ll be interested as they continue to have sex, if we get any sort of… ” I don’t know, to see how they’re framed and shot. It’s just framed as, I think a little bit maybe Alice being like, “Oh, Alice has been off having all this queer sex, and she missed having this straight sex.” And it’s just, again, that’s not… I don’t think the experience of most bisexual people have like, “Oh, now that you’re having sex with a cis straight man, the sex has to be radically different.” I don’t know. I guess I’m not… I guess I shouldn’t talk, because I’ve never had sex with a cis straight man, but I just… I know it can be radically different. I just think that, at this point in her life, don’t you think Alice has things that she’s into and knows how she wants to be touched? And all these—

Riese: I think I would be like, “Oh, this is going to be really simple.” I would be like, “Okay.”

Analyssa: Great, here we go.

Riese: 100% I would be right where Alice is. I’d just be like, “Oh, it’s there, and we’re going to do this. You’re going to lift me up, you’re going to put me… This is so simple. And now we’re done!”

Analyssa: The rules of it are, from my experience, whence I was doing it…

Riese: Pretty simple.

Analyssa: Really straightforward.

Riese: Straightforward, very straightforward effort.

Analyssa: They don’t have to be always, which I think is Drew’s point.

Drew: Yeah, that’s all I’m saying.

Analyssa: It could be different.

Riese: Yeah. But it really never is, until you are really with somebody.

Analyssa: I was going to say, you’ve got to get really deep in there.

Drew: But also, to be fair… Yeah, I know.

Riese: I think that’s what’s exciting about queer sex, is that there isn’t anything straightforward.

Drew: Right.

Riese: And so previously, from even your first time with someone, there’s a lot of figuring out what you guys want to do together. Whereas with straight men, it’s pretty… Straight cis men, pretty straightforward.

Drew: Yeah, that makes sense. Maribel’s watching Love and Basketball, and so is Micah, but not together.

Analyssa: Shane and Tess are on Shane’s porch talking about the karaoke. And Shane is mad at Alice, sort of lovingly, but still is like, “Alice will never take no for an answer.” And I just… This is what I wanted to say earlier, when we were talking about whether they were good people or not. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Shane say one nice thing about Alice on this television program.

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Riese: Oh.

Analyssa: At least not in the new iteration.

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Analyssa: She’s always like, “That was Alice’s fault.” Or “Alice is just like that.”

Riese: Well she’s like, “Alice gets on these things.” Was that bad, necessarily?

Analyssa: It’s not really bad, I guess. It’s just this weird, I don’t know… I think that what it’s aiming for is like, “We have this very long lived in friendship. I know the most annoying things about her and I still love her.” And I think it does succeed, but I wish that one time Shane would be like, again, “We did the karaoke thing that Alice makes us rehearse, and it was fun.” That’s all, I don’t think it’s that hard.

Drew: It’s really the karaoke thing for you.

Riese: You want rehearsal content.

Analyssa: I want rehearsal content. I want Shane to be acknowledging that they crushed at karaoke.

Drew: Totally.

Analyssa: And it was all because of Alice’s preparations.

Riese: That’s true.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Justice for Alice being a freak. Okay.

Drew: Shane asks Tess to sing, it’s cute. Tess doesn’t sing, but it’s still cute.

Analyssa: And then, Sophie and Finley are home. They’re stumbling through the house, they’re making out. They do not have a conversation about whose bed they’re going to go to, which I was like, “That seems doomed.” And then I was kind of right.

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Riese: Well, why would they go to Finley’s? It would be like if you guys had sex in your little tool shed.

Drew: Oh, yeah.

Analyssa: Does she live in a …

Riese: She’s in the back room.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: But crucially, the reason to not have sex in Sophie’s bed is because it used to be Sophie’s and Dani’s, which is what Finley brings up.

Riese: Yeah. But she’s right, they have to get over that.

Drew: Wait. But Dani took the red pepper, but not the bed?

Analyssa: Maybe she was so offended by Sophie having sex ever, that she was like, “I can’t have this bed that we had sex in.” I buy that.

Drew: No, I believe that she didn’t use the bed. I just would imagine that she would have taken the bed and thrown it in the trash.

Analyssa: Right. The way that she did all of the other furniture, which is what we discussed that last time, and then I got silenced. Anyway…

Riese: They are so excited to finally be doing it. And they also have a lot to catch up on, for example.

Analyssa: There’s a lot of apologies flying back and forth.

Riese: Yeah. We also get some clips from the trailer, that we’ve been waiting for. The “I’m scared” the “I’m not going to be so scared anymore, it’s you and me.”

Drew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Riese: And also, she says that she was going to go to Kansas City with Finley, which Finley… Obviously that was not even remotely on her radar, because also Sophie really wasn’t invited to Kansas.

Drew: Yeah. She was like, “Oh right. When you ran to the airport, at the end of the first season.”

Analyssa: “When I was sitting on the plane and then you ran to the airport and I had no idea? Got it.”

Riese: Right. Yeah, that backstory was for us, and I appreciated it. Because I did feel like that’s where she was going.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Riese: And not just because we did a whole diagram of the entire airport, ourselves, on a map with string.

Analyssa: Do you think that she… We don’t need to get into this, but I just want to say, that… We don’t need to get into this, but I just do want to say that, as a person of Kansas City experience, tickets from Los Angeles to Kansas City are not cheap.

Riese: Right.

Analyssa: So if she was planning on going to Kansas City, did she buy a ticket? How far did we get in the planning to go?

Riese: Maybe she bought a ticket?

Analyssa: You would probably fly Southwest, which is a totally different terminal of LAX, than wherever Dani was flying, for Hawaiian airlines. I’m just saying.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: I know that they’re not writing for the audience of me, who is the LA lesbian of Kansas City experience, but they could be.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: They could have asked me, I could have told them a whole bunch of stuff about this.

Riese: Yeah. They could have just DM’d you about it.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Anyway.

Drew: Then, we go to Gigi and Dani.

Analyssa: The oddest button of all time, in my opinion.

Drew: Eating ice cream. Oh, I was obsessed with this, as we’ve established. They’re eating ice cream, they’re talking, and then…

Analyssa: Gigi says…

Gigi: They’ve changed.
Dani: What?
Gigi: I told you I’d let you know if my feelings for you changed, and they have. They’ve changed.

Analyssa: As though anyone would have any context for what that means.

Drew: This is incredible. It’s incredible, I love it.

Analyssa: And Dani’s like—

Riese: Didn’t you know immediately?

Analyssa: No!

Riese: Did you?

Drew: Yeah, but—

Riese: I for sure did.

Drew: Yes. But I get why Dani would be like, “What?” I get what Dani was thinking—

Analyssa: Yeah, as a human person.

Drew: But I knew what she meant.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: That is so unhinged to me.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: And then she goes, “But I think it’s a game.” Because then Dani goes… And then she said, I also want to throw in that Gigi says that, “They’ve changed.” And then seductively licks her ice cream cone. I do want that-

Riese: She has sex with her spoon. It’s far more kinky than what Alice and Tom were doing.

Drew: Yes, very much. And then, Dani’s like, “What’s changed?” She’s like, “My feelings.” And then she walks away and Dani looks overwhelmed and I was obsessed. I loved it. I love Gigi.

Analyssa: Dani is stunned in a way that I was like, “That I liked. Great work there.”

Riese: Gigi is a little bit crazy though, yeah?

Analyssa: She is kind of crazy.

Drew: Oh, yeah. But that is an asset, not a…

Analyssa: No one on this show is “normal.” Angie.

Riese: I feel like the most level-headed person on this show is Shane.

Drew: Yeah, it’s really interesting.

Analyssa: Which is such a…

Drew: But this is such a fucking Shane thing to do, this fuckboy thing to do, where you present yourself as being so level-headed but your actions continuously are shitty.

Analyssa: But this season, I don’t think her actions have been shitty.

Riese: Yeah, who has she hooked up with?

Analyssa: Last season for sure.

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: Oh, and she does say to Tess…

Drew: Yeah, I guess that’s true. I don’t really blame her for the whole thing with Lena waithe.

Analyssa: She is like — Oh right. I forgot about that.

Drew: I don’t really blame her for that, the writing was just bad.

Riese: Yeah, that was a terribly written — Everything about that was fucked up.

Analyssa: Everything was bad in that. She does apologize to, or not apologize, but she’s like “Tess, I know that I screwed you over by having sex with your girlfriend.”

Riese: Yeah.

Analyssa: So that’s nice too, there’s—

Riese: But were they even girlfriends? Maybe they just met the weekend before.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: And Tess was like, “Lena broke up with me because of you.” And Shane was like…

Analyssa: “I didn’t know you guys were together.”

Riese: Because Lena was like, “We broke up.” That’s what Lena told Shane.

Analyssa: Right.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: But it still wasn’t okay.

Drew: Yeah. Well, and that’s the episode.

Analyssa:

Drew: Oh.

Analyssa: Oh, you guys.

Drew: Did we like it?!

Riese: Let’s start with Drew.

Drew: I loved it so much. I just… I know it’s not perfect. I know there’s still some things here and there that I’m like “Hmm.”

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: But I just — I had so much fun watching it. And the things that usually bother me about the show weren’t really present, and so many things I wanted were there, so many things I wanted — Even though the Micah/Maribel stuff felt a little weird, it’s so what I wanted for this character since episode one.

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Drew: And I’m just like — There’s just so much fun stuff. And everyone was hot, and it was chaotic. And I miss Gay Astrology and I miss those sorts of nights. And yeah, I really loved it. Now, who knows, revisiting it, if I will keep it up in that top tier of L Word episodes, but I really would be surprised if it wasn’t my favorite episode of Gen Q, at least up until this point. Who knows, maybe they’re just going to hit a stride and everything’s going to be great?

Riese: I guess it probably is my favorite episode. What was my favorite before this? Oh, the one where they had the threesome.

Drew: Yeah.

Analyssa: Oh yeah, that’s a good one.

Drew: We love a party.

Analyssa: Which is the thing — I also really loved this episode, and I think the thing that is most fun for The L Word. And I think in the original, this happens too, but less around big events, is having everyone connected over one thing.

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Analyssa: I’m thinking of the text tree of The L Word, when things ripple through the cast, that is always fun. And that’s sort of what this felt like.

Riese: Yeah. And I think they’ve really set up more ongoing romantic storylines that involve existing characters, than I think ever before.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: They’ve really just put everyone into the cesspool, there’s no outside.

Analyssa: Right. It’s not—

Drew: Just Tom.

Riese: Yeah, Tom is the only interloper.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Everyone else was there all along. And everybody has feelings about all of these relationships.

Drew: Yeah, it’s really fun.

Riese: Having Gigi date both Bette and Dani? Bold. And I salute it.

Drew: Yeah, it’s really bold. I really love it. I love Gigi so much.

Analyssa: And she’s dated Nat and hooked up with Alice.

Riese: Right.

Drew: Gigi, I love you.

Riese: Yeah. I can’t wait until we find out what happened to the rest of her shirt.

Analyssa: Do you think in the next episode she’s going to be wearing just the—

Riese: A dickey.

Analyssa: Cleavage down to tucked in, that’s it?

Riese: Yeah, it’s going to be just the—

Analyssa: I guess that’s like a strapless top, but sweater version.

Riese: Yeah. Which I think is very cool for Fall.

Drew: Yes.

Riese: How’d you guys feel about the development of Sophie and Finley’s relationship?

Drew: Other than it being pure evil, how it was done, I’m excited that they’re together. I like them together. I’m excited that that’s where we’re moving towards.

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Drew: You’re excited.

Riese: Oh, I’m just curious, because you let me talk about that scene, so I—

Analyssa: Oh, I love a karaoke scene as a romantic gesture, like in Gilmore Girls.

Riese: Do you think that Sophie and Alice should start a band?

Analyssa: Yeah.

Drew: Yes. Very much so.

Riese: I think so too.

Analyssa: That could be a fun after-work activity for them.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah. Because Alice obviously has free time.

Analyssa: Maybe that should be their next segment.

Riese: Oh yeah.

Drew: Oh.

Riese: “Let’s start a band.”

Analyssa: Instead of historical lesbians, it’s like—

Riese: Everyday queer heroes.

Drew: I wonder if Alice ever sings on her show.

Riese: Oh yeah, she should.

Analyssa: That’s interesting, she should.

Riese: Rosie would sing on her show. Ellen danced.

Analyssa: If the writers of the Alice show are listening to this, we have some pitches.

Riese: Yeah, we have some ideas for segments.

Lauren: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of To L and Back Generation Q! One of two podcasts brought to you by Autostraddle.com. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @tolandback. You can also email us at tolandbackcast@gmail.com. Don’t forget, we also have a hotline! Yes, it still exists! Give us a call, leave us a message, or just give us a piece of your mind! You can reach us at 971-217-6130! We also have merch! Head over to store.autostraddle.com. There are “Bette Porter For President” t-shirts, there are To L and Back stickers, and lots of other simply iconic Autostraddle merchandise. Our theme song is by the talented Be Steadwell. Our brand new To L and Back: Generation Q logo is by the incredible Jacqi Ko! Jacqi is so, so talented and you should definitely go check out her work, I’ve linked her website and socials in the show notes! And definitely let us know if you want us to make stickers of the new logo, because I think those would look pretty sick! This episode was produced, edited and mixed by me, Lauren Klein, you can find me on Instagram @laurentaylorklein and on Twitter @ltklein. You can follow Drew everywhere @draw_gregory. That’s “Drew” in the present tense. You can follow Analyssa on Instragram @analocaa, with two As, and on Twitter @analoca_, with one A and an underscore. And you can follow our in-house L Word savant and living legend, Riese Bernard, everywhere @autowin. Autostraddle is @autostraddle. And of course, the reason we are all here… Autostraddle.com. Okay. So sticking with the trend of last week with our now full-of-intention L words, we are going to end this episode with an L word that describes what we thought of this episode. So Drew, Riese, Analyssa, what are your L words?

Drew: Mine is really more of a phrase, but it’s “Let’s do this.” Because the energy that I want… I’m like, I love this episode. And now you’re doing things the way I want them. And let’s just keep this rolling. Obviously, every episode won’t be a fun karaoke episode, but some of the ways that things are improving in the way that the writing is and the storylines, et cetera. Let’s just keep going. Let’s just make The L Word this fun soap opera that we can scream about, and enjoy these beautiful evil characters.

Analyssa: Mine is “Lady Gaga” because I think that’s a great karaoke choice.

Riese: That’s a good thing. Mine is, “Lactose intolerant.”

Drew: You do that one a lot.

Analyssa: I was going to say, I think you’ve that one already.

Riese: What? Huh? No.

Drew: You could say “Landslide,” another great karaoke choice.

Riese: This is the first time I’ve said “Lactose intolerant.”

Analyssa: Great.

Drew: Oh, “Landslide.”

Analyssa: You can say “lactose intolerant” and for this episode, it’s because Dani and Gigi are eating ice cream.

Drew: Are you intolerant to Gigi being hot with an ice cream?

Riese: No, I think everyone should make love to a plastic spoon at least once in their lifetime.

Drew: Yeah. It really does it for me. I feel like some people—

Riese: Okay, I’ll say, “Lavender” because that’s a pretentious flavor of ice cream that probably Gigi would order.

Drew: Yeah. I see that.

Analyssa: Yeah.

Drew: Yeah. Well, I’m going to go get some lavender ice cream, and hope that I run into Gigi.

Riese: That’s so cute, you guys.

Drew: Thanks.

Riese: I am going to love Carol.


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analyssa

Analyssa is a co-host of the To L and Back podcast: Gen Q edition. She lives in LA, works at a TV studio, and can often be found binge-watching an ABC drama from 2008. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or her social media of choice, Letterboxd.

Analyssa has written 14 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. This week’s podcast, like the GenQ episode itself, was so fun and lovely!
    A couple follow up thoughts:
    1) Riese, your shout-out to the Ohio State Fair kids’ art competition made me so happy! I grew up going there, and the 4H/crafting stuff, including the Ugliest Cake Contest, was always a highlight. Also the butter sculptures.
    2) I thiiink what Pippa is asking for is not just for Bette’s gallery to represent her, but a guarantee she’ll have solo shows, or connections to museums, or other high-profile exhibition opportunities. She doesn’t want Bette to just put her in touch with collectors, or stick her in group shows without as much access to the greater art world. Bette will probably somehow use Dani’s father’s money to accomplish this, if they can wrangle it.

  2. Hey,
    So I’ve noticed that there’s some art world confusion going on and while I am no longer a part of that world myself at the moment, I do have some experience working in galleries, so here’s my two cents about why Pippa was asking for “a real opportunity to show her work again”. Basically repressentation by a gallery doesn’t necersarly mean putting on a solo show for an artist. It might mean adding them to their online collection, sending their work to art fairs which are a bit more exclusive and less of an opportunity for the larger public to have access to work, or being a part of a group show or having private meetings with prospective clients. Some galleries are opened to the public just during the opening, where if you would like to see the show afterwards, it would require a call to the gallery for a private showing and so on. Galleries can also be focused more on showing art than selling it (which isn’t the case here since I assume Zakarian is based of the Gagosian gallery and they are more on the commercial side of things being one of the most successful galleries around right now). Galleries can also facilitate having shows outisde of their spaces, in museums or in alternative spaces).
    Also Pippa still teaching while not being a part of the exhibition circle isn’t that unusual. My former studio teacher previously hadn’t had his own show for 9 years before finally showing his work again, while still teaching generations of students at the local University. So, it might seem odd, but teaching art and being an artists are in fact two different jobs and they can indeed exist one without the other. I hope this clears the air a bit.

      • To echo Beatrice (and as someone who works in the art world), Zakarian is 100% an overt riff on Gagosian, down to the recent focus on heralding their representation of BIPOC artists. In the storyline with Pippa, I also get the sense that she’s resistant because she sees joining the gallery as something that helps their cache (as Isaac assembles his trendy line-up) but doesn’t *necessarily* tangibly benefit her or expose her work as much, or in the ways, that she might wish.

  3. The palpable excitement in the hosts’ voices made this episode that much better. I agree fully that when people refer to ending a casual relationship as a break-up, it’s so bizarre.

    Drew called Sophie singing to Finley evil (lol). I think it’s one of many odd writing choices that position her as awful and Dani as perpetually victimized. I mean, at least Dani could have left, Sophie sees her leave, and then she sings to Finley, but then Dani comes back at that exact moment.

    Agree that the Micahbel stuff was so poorly written. I can’t even invest in the drama because I don’t think the journey was developed enough. Also, have you all noticed that only bad things happen to Micah on this series? Like, can he get an upbeat storyline that stays upbeat, lol. (Also why doesn’t he have any trans friends? Whyyyy?)

  4. I too especially enjoyed this particular recap as it was satisfying to hear my own excitement mirrored by Drew, Riese, and Analyssa (thanks, all!). Regarding Sophie’s “evil” (ha) karaoke stunt: obviously it was hurtful and uncomfortable for Dani (and I cringed/laughed at the “and this is true” line followed by a perfectly enunciated “underneath me,” eek), but I agree with what was said that this scene was evidence of Sophie for the first time in awhile (maybe since the green room sex scene?) wasn’t weighing Dani or her reaction/response and was just focused on what she herself wanted, and on Finley. It was also a way of very publicly (and sort of making a scene) “choosing” Finley, harkening back to their fight. Also the only people at Dana’s who would have known what was unfolding were the core L Word characters, who were all at the wedding anyway, and would also all know immediately if/when Finley and Sophie get together, right? So it didn’t feel like a major public humiliation or explosive revelation (ala the wedding).

    One thing I really appreciated about this episode – and to a degree others this season – that didn’t really come up explicitly in the podcast or Riese’s (fabulous) recap are the ways in which the Gen Q characters look to the OG characters for advice, explicitly or indirectly, in ways that feel natural and real as they are all so interwoven now. But also that the rapport (I don’t want to call it advice, per se) goes both ways (eg., with Alice and Sophie in this episode, from their very first scene together).

    I think the writers do a nice job of writing distinct friendship dynamics among the OG, vs. between the Gen Q and OG cast. As always, the writing of friendship on this series often seems strongest, and if anything I think the Gen Q series is stronger in this regard than the OG, if only because of the more inclusive and diverse span of identities and ages and social contexts.

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