Last week, Showtime aired the first episode of The L Word: Generation Q to much acclaim, introducing several new characters alongside the beloved Bette Porter, Shane McCutcheon, and Alice Pieszecki. Even though I only watched the original series about five years ago when I was in college, I was ecstatic about its return, especially given that there has never been a lesbian/queer ensemble show quite like it. Starting this week, I’ll be reviewing the episodes for Tagg and asking you about some of your favorite moments.
The show’s second episode, “Less is More,” built on the backstories of many of the main characters, filling out details about their pasts, while continuing to push the plot forward. The top of the episode flashes back to Nat and Alice’s first night together two years ago. But before they get a chance to do the dirty, Nat’s ex-wife Gigi screams from outside the house and hammers a nail into the front door with her wedding ring on it. I was so ready to hate Gigi and her guts, but later on in the episode, we find out that Gigi cheated on Nat and see the remorse in her eyes when she describes how worried she was about losing her family.
The difficulty of losing one’s family was definitely a huge theme within this episode. For example, when talking about her upcoming nuptials, Sophie tells Finley that she never saw what a good marriage looked like since her dad left when her sister was born. Finley responds and tells Sophie that her parents kicked her out of the home and sleep in separate beds. And when Dani tells her dad about her new job doing PR for Bette and her engagement to Sophie, her dad gets extremely upset, and angrily tells her, “That’s a lot for one morning.” Similarly, in a later scene, Bette tells a crowd of young people that her dad called her ex-wife her “friend” until the day he died.
Speaking of death, can we talk about that giant bombshell that dropped about Jenny Schecter? For those of you that didn’t watch the original series, the entire last season was dedicated to the mystery of who killed the notorious Jenny Schecter? And now more than ten years later, we finally have an answer. When Dani asks Bette if there is anything she has in her past that could cause trouble during the campaign, Bette reveals that a friend of hers died by suicide on her property when she drowned in a pool. And that person was, of course, Jenny Schecter. I’m glad the series decided to address the once unresolved story line, but 17 minutes into the second episode of the new show was much earlier than I expected. I definitely think they could have built it up better; but then again, season six was a ridiculous amount of build-up for no good reason other than pure drama.
Another critique I had about this episode was the development of Micah as a character. When it comes to transgender characters, The L Word franchise has a lot to make up for. The original series cast a cisgender woman to play the role of a transgender man and really failed when it gave the character a sensationzlied storyline about pregnancy, where the main characters constantly misgendered the character without correction. The franchise has certainly grown since then, and I appreciate the fact that there are several transgender actors on Generation Q. But Micah’s storyline still feels slightly reductive, since all we basically know about him is that he’s transgender. For example, when Micah goes out on a date with Jose and says that he has something important to tell him, Jose guesses he’s transgender. A later conversation between the two of them revolves almost exclusively around Micah’s transition. It’s not inherently bad to have these kinds of discussions, but when it’s almost all there is about a character, it feels very limiting.
But maybe The L Word will redeem itself and build his character into a fully formed human. Who knows? In the meantime, there are still plenty of unanswered questions and plot lines to chew on for next week, which frankly, I’m still not used to, since I binge-watched the original show. During this episode, Shane receives divorce papers in the mail, but why did she get divorced? After Sophie calls Dani out for taking a job without talking to her first, I want to know if the two of them will last as a couple. And after seeing Bette and the married woman she slept with reunite together on a bench at the end of the episode, I’m wondering if the two will give it another go. Tune in next week to find out!
Sexiest scene: Nat giving Alice a neck kiss in bed at the end of the episode
Most OMG moment: Jenny died by suicide
Best cultural reference: Judy Chicago, from Bette Porter
Funniest moment: Alice giving Nat’s son a Crock-Pot to throw up in (she tried)
How we know we’re (almost) in 2020: Postmates, Lena Waithe, and the dying lesbian bar
Who will sleep together next? I’m rooting for Shane and Lena, who met at a bar
Which couple are you rooting for? Alice and Nat, or Bette’s daughter Angie and her friend Jordi, if that’s a thing
Please let us know what you think in the comments!