The L Word

Hi buddies! I’m popping in real quick to talk about The L Word: Generation Q and The Real L Word: Season 1. As you may know (if you are queer or queer adjacent), the Superbowl of Lesbianism was this past Sunday with the premier of The L Word: Generation Q. For those not in the know, this is a continuation of the original The L Word series that ended about ten years ago. THAT series was completely groundbreaking in so many ways because even though we’ve had increased lesbian (and definitely queer) representation on TV since then, we’ve had nothing solely dedicated to the lesbian community in a big way like The L Word was. I’ve tried to rewatch The L Word within the past few years and I’ve seen it so many times that I’ve made it unwatchable for myself. However, it was so formative for me and for other LGBTQ+ people who saw themselves in these characters. It’s honestly even one of the reasons we moved to LA. I mean, moving to LA was a goal that Kristyn and I both had separately for our whole lives and then became something we really wanted to do together. But still, The L Word became a big part of that.

The cool thing about The L Word: Generation Q is that instead of taking place in West Hollywood (like the original series did), it takes place in Silver Lake. Actually, we lived right there in Silver Lake at Sunset Junction. Literally, if you went down two blocks to Effie Street and made a left, our first apartment was on the right. Anyway, Silver Lake is a neighborhood on the East side of LA that is pretty LGBTQ+ and “bohemian”. It’s very residential and colorful with cute shops and coffee places. It’s gotten cooler even than when we lived there. I honestly loved living there and if we ever moved back, I’d look there first. There’s a lot of cool graffiti art around and everything smells like flowers. It used to be a little more grungy than it is now but that’s okay. It’s nice to see things continue to improve. Sorry, I really went on a side tangent about LA. This is all making me miss LA and want to move back there, blerg.

Anyway, The L Word: Generation Q was fine. I mean, I’m going to watch the shit out of every episode but so far, that’s my descriptor “fine”. This new series brings back three of the original characters and then fleshes it out with about five new characters. I’m not going to go into plotpoints or character details because that’s already been done handily by Autostraddle and Cameron Esposito in Vulture (and those should be your main sources for all things lesbionic). So this is just my opinion and my opinion is that it was very soapy. I mean, they jumped right into the deep end with period sex within the first three minutes of the series premiere and they made sure to pad the episode with people jumping each other’s bones. Great. Awesome. It’s nice to see different types of human sex portrayed on a screen and I’m for it. HOWEVER, there’s just something missing from this series so far. I think what’s missing is “fun”. I agreed with one review that it feels a little forced. There were a lot of “wink wink nudge nudge” dialogue referring to the series being gone for a while and now it’s back (har har) and I didn’t love that but again, it’s fine. I’m also not wild about the new “Generation Q” characters. There’s a character that gallops around like a puppy dog the entire episode. There’s a lesbian couple who ALREADY GOT ENGAGED AND HAD PERIOD SEX blerg. There’s a trans man who is actually the most likeable character so far (including the original cast members). There is Bette’s daughter who I don’t really feel like spending a lot of time with. There’s the one lesbian’s nefarious “Big Pharma” Dad. And oddly, there’s a lot of talking to Tina on the phone but no actual Tina. I’m gonna need to see Tina. This is bullshirt but I’ll keep watching it.

*Sidenote: I am GERDing right now. This is an unfortunate side effect of this damn surgery. Ugh.

Because we had to get Showtime in order to watch The L Word: Generation Q, we now also have access to everything in Showtime incluuuuuuuding…The Real L Word. Okay, you guys, I have some complicated feelings about this show. When The L Word ended, I was thrilled that they were coming out with The Real L Word which is a reality show produced by the same people who made The L Word about lesbians in LA. Since The L Word was such an integral part of the lesbian experience ten years ago (and still is), it was good to know that we’d have something to hold onto. Friends, this wasn’t it. I started watching this show when it came out; got a few episodes in and bailed. I’m not really a reality TV person to begin with but I kind of hated almost every person on this show. The ONLY people I liked were the really pretty chill one and her comedian girlfriend that has three kids. (Again, I’m not going to google names, etc because I just feel like going on about my own feelings about it.) There’s the “boring couple”, the annoying one who wears shades who “IS LA Fashion Week” (Mikey), braggart bully Rose (ugh), inconsiderate sexytimes one, and then the nice pretty one with the comedian girlfriend. The nice pretty one and the comedian girlfriend were NOT enough to sustain me and I signed off committed to never rewatching this show again. Until now.

Reader, I’ve become ensconced in Drag Race. I resisted it for the entirety of the show’s airing. I mean, I also started watching that when it started airing. Basically, The L Word stopped airing in around 2010, The Real L Word started airing in 2010, and I think Drag Race also started airing in 2010. There was a lot going on. Anyway, I couldn’t get into Drag Race either and swore it off until we went to DragCon NYC in September 2018. Well, that set us off on a Drag Race mission and we’re STILL not caught up yet. Oh we’re trying though. We’re currently watching Season 9 and have watched two seasons of All Stars. We’ve also watched all of Werq the World and UNHhhh and one million other things. We’re elbow deep in gay male culture. (Because let’s be serious; this IS all gay MALE culture. I know that plenty of people call it “gay culture” but women are a side element in this. It’s nice that it exists but there is a very limited lesbian representation here.)

SO after watching The L Word: Generation Q, I felt like it was silly not to give The Real L Word another chance. I’m six episodes of the first season in and I’m INTO IT. Frankly, I still am irked by a lot of the characters but time has made me soft and I have more compassion for them this time around. I’m enjoying seeing their lives. I even looked the people up and two of the couples featured on the show are STILL together. That’s pretty awesome.

Anyway, I’m going to keep power watching it and dreaming of going back to LA sometime soon!

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