Thursday, October 07, 2021

Pre-L: Last Call (210)

Well here we are standing together at the end. And while I hate to be that gal, boy-howdy was I right this season. Not just about Finley’s reckoning, but all the easily telegraphed couplings this year. Oh are two people suddenly spending a lot of time together on screen? Oh, yeah, they gonna smash.

Yes, “The L Word: Generation Q” is a much more consistent and competent show than the original. The first TLW has serious borderline personality disorder, and we are all dealing with our respective PTSDs from that era. The new TLW: GQ knows what it’s doing, which makes it less surprising in both a good and a bad way.

In the end I think the biggest difference from the original and the revival is where things are for LGBTQ+ people socially and politically. In 2004, when the original show debuted, George W. Bush was president and federal marriage equality and workplace non-discrimination were nowhere in sight. In the presidential election that year neither Bush nor Kerry supported full same-sex marriage. (Though at least Kerry was against a Constitutional amendment banning it, so uh, thanks?)

Now, 17 years have passed since the original debuted. That’s a whole high school senior’s lifetime ago. For those who can still remember that far back and beyond, being out and queer (though, honestly, we didn’t universally call it queer as a norm back then because it was still a no-no word that hadn’t been fully reclaimed) was still a pretty radical thing to be. And finding a community that understood that was a critical part of our success and survival.

Queers throughout time have relied on their chosen families for support and companionship against a world that until very, very recently (six years ago for marriage equality, one year ago for workplace non-discrimination) was consistently unabashedly hostile to our very existence.

Now, at least on its surface, being openly homophobic is frowned upon. And while coming out is still an undeniably major life event, many are able to approach it with less anxiety than before because of the acceptance and hard work of LGBTQ+ activists through history. These are all good things.

But that also means that bond that tied the first show together, that hunting for something that reflected our lives, isn’t as desperate. Each on screen representation meant more because we had so few to choose from. Like, I watched everything – and I mean everything – with gay women in it back then. Now, I can’t watch it all and don’t feel the urgent pull to either. Granted, we could always use more, better and more inclusive representation. Representation will forever matter. But I think it’s perhaps a sign of progress that maybe the new TLW is less a desperate communal touchstone than the old TLW.

At this point you’re probably thinking, I came here for the hot lesbian screencaps, not some rambling essay about the fairly recent olden days. What is this, one of those recipes that makes you read their life story before telling you how many eggs to use? Yes, yes it is. This is essentially my long-winded way of saying, “You’ve come a long way, lesbians!” Let’s see how they mess everything up here in the finale just to prove me wrong.

1) It’s my party and I’ll roll my eyes if I want to.

2) When New Shane doesn’t like when you bring up Old Shane.
3) Who wears the flannel in this house?
4) So many pussy bows on this show, like, we get it costume department – they’re LESBIANS.
5) I thought everyone knew the “If You’re Naked, Don’t Answer The Phone”-rule.
6) Like the lesbians and turkey baster jokes just write themselves at this point.
7) I mean that’s generally frowned upon in court, but as judge I’ll allow it.
8) The happy-ish couple.
9) Jesus, haven’t you heard of long-distance relationships? I hear all the TikTok Lesbians are doing them.
10) Is it wrong to yell “Fight! “Fight” Fight!?
11) I regret to inform you The Straights are at it again.
12) Either their relationship has terrible timing, or you believe in karma.
13) See, I told you that was some “Mommy? Sorry. Mommy? Sorry”-shit.
14) Choices. Choices.
Well, Showtime better renew them for a Season 3 right quick, or you’re gonna have just so many pissed off queer women. Desperate cultural touchstone or not.


backlash said...

I see you're just as immersed in tiktok as I am. haha

qow said...

how does she have access to the episodes? hahaha just curious

Carmen San Diego said...

Well, my prediction for this episode was that Bette and Tina would take Angie to the spend donor’s art exhibit at LACMA as a way for her to “meet” him through his art but based on these pictures I guess I was wrong?
Hoping that you’re willing to do a full review sometime next week, I’d love to hear your take on the season as a whole. Why do we have to spend so much time on Dani’s dad trial? There’s only 10 episodes, the cast is too large so cut some folks, please give Gigi some solo storylines…
You’re totally right about the desperate cultural touchstone here though but this is still “the lesbian show” and I want it renewed dammit! Get on it showtime!