‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Season 2, Episode 6: Cringe, the Musical

Sophie wants Finley to get a little closer, and we want this karaoke moment to end

“I ain’t singing no damn karaoke song, okay? This voice is reserved for the shower” —Sophie Suarez

To our patron saints Tegan and Sara: We are sorry. This week’s episode of The L Word: Generation Q was deeply chaotic, and yet our favourite L.A. lesbians still managed to find time to butcher a classic queer bop. At least we’ll always have “Love Shack.” Plus: Micah and Maribel miscommunicate, Dani and Gigi heat up and Alice and Tom get it on. Xtra‘s senior editor Erica Lenti and managing producer of video Chelle Turingan host.


Transcript

Erica [00:00:09] Welcome back to ‘Off the Chart.’ We have a lot of drama to process in episode six of season two ‘Gen Q.’

Chelle [00:00:18] This season, we’re once again watching ‘The L Word: Generation Q’ with you, bringing you our unfiltered take on the new series reboot every Tuesday, because we still can’t get enough of those L.A. lesbians. 

Erica [00:00:28] I’m Erica Lenti, senior editor at Xtra, and I would actually love to see a story arc in which Dani is a competitive eater. 

Chelle [00:00:37] I’d like to see that too. And I’m Chelle Turingan, managing producer at Xtra, and the music licensing budget this episode must have been huge! B-52s, Tegan and Sara, Sophie B. Hawkins. I’m loving it.

Erica [00:00:53] Truly wild. And that may be the nerdiest thing you’ve said on this podcast, but I will let it slide. 

Clip [00:00:58] I could just feel the air sucked out of the room when I walked in. We’re just friends. Right? Is that what you want? Is that a joke? Of course that’s not what I want. I think I’ve been pretty clear about that. 

Erica [00:01:09] This was a chaotic, nuts episode. So much was happening. Chelle, what did you take away from all of this? 

Chelle [00:01:17] Well, it seems like everyone is just jumping to conclusions. Sophie and Finley, Micah and Maribel, Dani and Gigi, Shane and Tess, Alice and Tom, all of these folks in their respective situationships are just making assumptions about how their crushes are feeling instead of just, you know, talking to each other about it.

Erica [00:01:39] Honestly, the theme from last episode that I pointed out was communication and nobody learned their lesson. So, sigh. OK, let’s recap, shall we? OK, so let’s start off this week with the lovely, maybe not so lovely Bette Porter. So it’s karaoke night at Dana’s. Everyone is there. Every lesbian in L.A. has shown up. Bette gets roped in by Alice and sort of Shane to do this very stellar rendition of the B-52s ‘Love Shack,’ which is great. And then everything goes downhill because Bette just like dumps Gigi in the bar and tells her she needed more from a partner. And then, of course, she ends the episode going to Piper Pascal’s student art show because where else would she go? Chelle, to start, obviously, let’s talk about that karaoke scene. I think you loved it. I loved it. What did you think? 

 

Chelle [00:02:35] Oh, my God. It was amazing. Fun fact: for those of you who are OG ‘L Word’ fans, the B-52s appeared in the original series of ‘The L Word’ where they performed at the planet. So that was a nice little throwback to see all of our favorite L.A. lesbians like, sing on stage was like, was a hoot. And and I have to say, and I don’t know if this is Jennifer Beals real voice, but damn, girl can sing. 

Erica [00:03:10] I love Leisha because she’s, of course, a musician in real life and she just fit the song so well, and Shane as like the dude from the B-52s was also super great. So I loved it. It was the least cringe karaoke scene in the episode, which we can talk about shortly. But let’s talk about Bette and Gigi. RIP, they’re done. My favourite ship of the show, now completely gone. We asked our viewers on Twitter and Instagram this past week, do you think Bette is going to stop sucking? And you’re all like, nah, she’s a Scorpio, which as a fellow Scorpio, I’m sorry, but I agreed with you. And so she really just did it in the bar. She just dumped her in the bar. 

Clip [00:03:58] Do you really think there’s someone out there who checks all your boxes Bette? As a matter of fact, I know there is. 

Chelle [00:04:03] I think it’s very interesting. We’ve said this in a couple of episodes now that Bette has just been acting particularly jerky this season. And I don’t know what that’s about. And we have certainly seen Bette screw up in the past. And you had mentioned last episode that, you know, like Bette always finds a way to redeem herself and then we love her again. But I’m still waiting for that moment to happen. And like again in this episode, the way that she breaks up with Gigi, like it was just so cold and heartless in the in the bar. It just it feels kind of out of character. And I don’t like what they’re doing with her. Like what do you think of this whole Bette bitchy mood? 

Erica [00:04:47] Yeah, I was like really taken aback. I mean, I wasn’t surprised that she dumped Gigi, but I was taken aback by her saying, like, I think you knew I needed more. Like, Gigi is incredibly accomplished. She’s like very quick witted. She’s beautiful. She’s like very independent. I just don’t get why Bette gets like this all the time with women who are finally, like a good match with her power and independence and all of that. Like Tina and her broke up when Tina started to work on films and started to do her own thing and wasn’t so tied to Bette. She cheats on Jodie with Tina. And we know that Jodie was sort of like the first person to really be a good match to Bette, as a good counterpart, to Bette’s sort of independent art boss vibe. And she’s doing it again with Gigi. And I don’t know if it’s that Bette truly wants someone who is subordinate to her in terms of career ambition or strong will. In many ways, Tina has always been kind of a doormat for Bette, and I feel like that’s what worked for her. It will be interesting if they go down the Pipper Pascal route, what will happen? Because we know that Pippa will not take any shit. And in many ways, Bette is sort of in the position of being more subordinate to Pippa, who is like doing her own thing. I don’t know if Bette would actually want that. I think that Bette likes to be the power top. So we’ll have to see. We’ll have to see. 

Erica [00:06:30] OK, next up, we have our favorite chaotic trio of the show, Finley, Sophie and Dani. So Sophie and Finley are hot and cold all night. There’s a lot of will they, won’t they? Until Finley hears her song ‘Closer’ by Tegan and Sara. And it’s Sophie singing her a love ballad in the karaoke scenario. It is…It is something. And then they end up together. Meanwhile, Dani is trying to reclaim her space at Dana’s. Of course, she shows up to the karaoke night because everybody is there that night and she is obviously really upset to see Sophie proclaiming her love on stage to the person who ruined their wedding and then leaves with Gigi. And Gigi tells Dani that her feelings have changed and we are left with that. OK, Chelle, we have to talk about the ‘Closer’ karaoke. I need to know what you thought about it before I jump in. What did you think? 

Chelle [00:07:35] Well, I mean, OK, let’s find some positives before we go in. I mean, kudos to the writers for throwing back to season one where, you know, at least they picked the Tegan and Sara ‘Closer’ song that they danced to when they had their little bro night. And like I always love a throwback, so I’ll give them that. But this storyline is just like, oh, I’m so over it. 

Clip [00:08:02] She is definitely avoiding me. Well, did you tell her how you feel? Well, no. Well, I will tell her that later, I don’t know, I’ll think about it. 

Chelle [00:08:12] To your point, Erica, last week, you were saying that, like, you know, it would be a shame if, like, if Sophie was some kind of savior to Finley’s storyline and that’s all she needed to redeem herself. Like, that’s, oh, God, that’s so basic. You know, they’re officially hooked up. Dani’s had a chance to see them. They’ve proclaimed their love at Dana’s. So I guess we’re going to spend the rest of the season seeing how they play that out. But I just don’t really care anymore. I’m just, I want these scenes to be over and like I want more air time to the other characters. I also think it’s really unfair of the writers to not explain Finley’s alcoholism. You know, we talked a lot in season one about how that was an issue for her. And, you know, what could that be about? You know, like could that have been rooted in some childhood trauma? Does have to do with her religious upbringing? And then all of that was so interesting in season one. And it’s all fallen to the wayside in season two for this lame ass love story. So I don’t know. I’ve been pretty honest about it Erica, how did you feel?

Erica [00:09:23]  Nah dude go off. Yeah, I think they’re doing an absolute disservice to two characters who could be incredibly interesting by sticking them together, really forcing them together, and that karaoke scene. Oh my God. I would literally evaporate if anybody ever did that. I, I know that Tom made a joke about, like, this shit not happening in straight bars. Like if I went to a lesbian bar and someone was doing that, I would like cringe myself to death. It was so horrendous. And it’s not because like, you know, I love Tegan and Sara. I’ve got a poster right there. I love them. I think Sophie had a great voice. I like Finley’s character. It was just a combo of all of it. I would absolutely die. I was so mortified on Finley’s behalf, but I guess she liked it because they hooked up at the end. It looks like they’re together, but I agree with you that I cannot wait to see this over. Yeah, let’s talk about Gigi who I vastly prefer to Sophie and Finley at this point. We’ve talked a bit about Dani and Gigi as a ship. I thought MIcah put it best when he was chatting with Dani early in the episode, when he said that Dani and Gigi hanging out and getting closer to each other was textbook trauma bonding, which like, true. And like, way to bring it into the lesbian community. Like, let’s talk about this more. I, I don’t know how I feel about them yet. I, I really love both characters individually and I don’t hate the thought of them together, but I’m just not sure if I feel the sparks still. How do you feel Chelle?

Chelle [00:11:06] Well, I kind of feel like I’m maybe on the same page with you. I want to point out that my issue with it is similar to the issue you initially had with Shane and Tess in that their age gap seems a little wide for me. I like it. And then I remember that Gigi has like two children and an ex-wife and that and that Dani hasn’t, you know, her only point of reference to relationships is Sophie. Like it seems that they are also in very different places. But then on the other hand, there’s things that I really like about the relationship, you know, the fact that they’re both Iranian and that they can speak Farsi to each other and that there’s like an unspoken understanding in that way. That’s lovely to see. And then you see this other thing. So it’s like I don’t really know how I feel about it yet. 

Erica [00:12:00] Yeah. And Dani is now like the interim CEO of like a pharmaceutical company, which just also seems far fetched and weird. So she’s got this weird, like, girl boss thing going on that I kind of hate. But you’re right. Like, I think age gaps are like, I don’t know, sometimes they can be concerning in like power dynamics. I think the weirder part is like, yeah, like Gigi has two children. Dani was just left at the altar, or like her marriage was completely in shambles because of her partner cheating, like they’re just in very different places. I think clearly Dani has a ton going on. Her dad’s in jail. She just, like, broke up her long term relationship. I don’t know that she needs to be flirting with something new at the moment. Maybe she just needs to get her act together and figure things out. And if Gigi is there and it happens organically, maybe? I don’t know how I feel about it. We’ll see. 

Chelle [00:13:01] I mean, I think I’d be OK with it if it’s just like a rebound. Even Gigi herself said that, like, you know, they were having their little flirty moment in in Dani’s new apartment. And she was saying, like, you know, I used to fall in love very easily when I was young your age. And now I kind of just go with the flow. I try to learn what I can from the partner I’m with and then let it run its course. So, you know, maybe they’ll have, like, a bit of a fling and it will have its season, you know, and then they’ll both go on to other things. And if that’s the case, then, like, I’m OK with it. 

Erica [00:13:39] Yeah, I’d be OK with that. OK, let’s talk about Alice now. So she has the feels for Tom. It’s official. She invites him to karaoke. He comes and he’s there first as like a wingman to Alice. And then Alice is like, no, I want you to be here as my counterpart. And then he finally gets the clue and they hook up at the end of the episode. Chelle, have you ever been so excited for a heterosexual couple on the show before? 

Chelle [00:14:10] I don’t think so. Listen, I think it’s really cute. You know, I love that in this reboot, ‘Gen Q’, that the writers and the show runners are really letting Alice explore her bisexual identity. I think that is something they did very poorly in the original series. And so it’s actually really nice, I think, to see, you know, Alice engage with a man. And like, as far as men go, Tom is really sweet. You know, Donald Faison is just adorable. I’ve said this many times. He’s he’s a little cutie. And like  his character, Tom, on the show has been really endearing. Right? And it’s not like it’s some random hook up with a guy, like we have seen their working relationship and their friendship, like, grow over several episodes. So I feel a little bit invested. So it’s like, it’s nice, it’s like a nice payoff, especially since she’s gone through the ringer with like Nat, and like them breaking up because of the polyamory. It’s just, like it’s just nice to see Alice have like a lovely moment. What did you think about it? 

Erica [00:15:14] Yeah, I totally agree. In terms of depictions of her bisexuality, I think we need to remember that the only time Alice has been with a man, “a man” I say with air quotes, because it’s a really complicated thing that we probably wouldn’t see in 2021, was Lisa in the original series, who was the male lesbian. The whole running joke was this idea that Alice wanted to have sex with a man who has a penis and Lisa didn’t want to use his penis with Alice. It’s likely that Lisa was like a trans person or gender fluid or non binary or something, and we just, we didn’t have the vocabulary on the air at the time to describe that. And so he was made the butt of the joke instead. But that was really Alice’s only relationship with someone who was male on the show. So it’s nice to see Alice, you know, expressing her bisexuality and having sexual and romantic relationships with both men and women. And I think that’s very validating. I don’t think the show has done it before and I like to see it. I’m sure there are plenty of lesbians who are like, I don’t want to see a man and a woman have sex on this show. I get enough of that elsewhere to which I say, you are watching the wrong show. I think ‘The L Word’ has proven that there are plenty of people who are part of the queer and trans spectrum who belong on the show. So that’s my feeling on it. 

Chelle [00:16:43] Absolutely. One hundred percent. 

Erica [00:16:45] OK, next up is Shane. So we were wrong. Shane did not sleep with Cherie Jaffe, which is a miracle of some kind. In fact, she asked Cherie to back off of Tess. And so in response, Cherie breaks up with Tess. Tess is pretty upset and Shane goes to explain herself, which leads to a nice, heartwarming moment on Tess’s porch. There’s a bit of a slow burn going on here with Tess and Shane. A lot of will they/won’t they. I know you are a big fan of the ship, Chelle. What did you make of this episode? 

Chelle [00:17:22] Well, I love a long game, Erica. 

Erica [00:17:25] You do. 

Chelle [00:17:26] And and Shane and Tess are playing the longest game perhaps we’ve ever seen on ‘The L Word.’ I love it. I love it. There’s no reason to rush into things. You mentioned in previous episodes of the podcast that like, oftentimes when we’re introduced to characters on this show, they meet and all of a sudden they’re hooked up. And so it’s actually really nice to see a slow burn for once. And it’s really nice to see Shane this way, like pining for a girl and like and trying to woo them, and taking it slow. I really think that the show is invested in letting people know that Shane has changed her ways, that she’s no longer this heartbreaking home wrecker as Cherie called her, and that, you know, she cares about people deeply. And, you know, she wants to be in romantic relationships and can see herself committed to a single person. Like what a lovely character development for Shane. So, like, I’m really loving this. 

Erica [00:18:33] Same, I’m just so glad that Cherie Jaffe is gone because I had no investment. She just smelled like trouble. But can we like, are we going to get any resolution on that thing with the poker game or was that just like nothing ?

Chelle [00:18:50] Why are you obsessed with the poker game?

Erica [00:18:54] Because Tess was like sexually harassed during a poker game and then took money from the man who sexually harassed her. Like, how can that not come back? I’m still waiting. They’re probably going to leave us with a cliffhanger, as they always do. 

Chelle [00:19:08] I mean, it’s still just episode six. We got four more episodes to see if they’ll do anything with that. But like last season, Erica, let’s assume that Sophie’s grandma is fine and move on. 

Erica [00:19:21] All right. And last up. But not least, certainly not least, Micah and Maribel. So apparently these two haven’t talked since they had sex in the last episode. They’re both at karaoke night at Dana’s, and Micah assumes that Maribel is like over it or being awkward or something. And he decides to go flirt with a very attractive man and she is not having any of that. She shuts that down immediately. Chelle, I’m loving this ship? Are you loving it as much as I am? 

Chelle [00:19:53] I am, of course I am. I love it very much. 

Clip [00:19:56] I got to tell you something, but you got to not freak out, OK? What’s up with the woman? Sorry, sorry. 

Chelle [00:20:02] I think this particular scene in Dana’s between the two of them is kind of weird. I was mentioning to you before we started recording that the writing was a little off this episode. But all that aside, I think their ship is very cute and I hope that the two of them will just get over their communication issues and hook up already because I’m loving it. 

Erica [00:20:26] Yeah, I mean, Micha’s a therapist. Like, can he figure out how to talk to Maribel? Well, I will say the best news out of all of this is that for once, viewers are actually loving the same things that we are, which doesn’t happen often. A majority of you agree that Micah and Maribel are adorable. And so I’m glad that we could all take off on this ship together. OK, it is time for our superlatives round. Each week we pick our favorite, sometimes least favorite moment from the episode. Chelle, what was your pick this week? 

Chelle [00:21:04] I mean, I think it’s a pretty obvious pick this time around. Betst karaoke performance, sorry, Sophie, was Bette and Alice and Shane singing the B-52s ‘Love Shack’ at Dana’s. Like, so amazing. But my honorable mention is going to go to best 90s callback, where we hear Sophie B. Hawkins’s ‘Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover’ in the background when Bette and Gigi are about to break up, I was like, oh, my God, this song is still a banger and holds up and I am so glad they figured out a way to put it in this episode. 

Erica [00:21:50] Certified Banger. 

Chelle [00:21:52] Certified Banger. Anyway, that was my pick. What was yours, Erica? 

Erica [00:21:56] OK, I’m sorry. I have another least favorite this week. I feel like I’m the Debbie Downer of the podcast, but we have to talk about this: worst outfit since Shane’s leather get up in the OG series. It’s Gigi’s sweater. 

Chelle [00:22:12] Oh, God. 

Erica [00:22:14] Is she hot? Is she cold? Why is she only wearing sleeves? Why is there a turtleneck? It’s so bad. Like, I don’t know why they put her in that. And then there was like the low cut tank. I was just very confused about the whole outfit. Like do better. Gigi’s so hot and they managed to make her look like such a dingus in that sweater. And in addition to our favorite picks, we have our top comment of the week from last week’s episode. Toya G on YouTube said, “Jordan Hull is such a great actress. My gosh”. And she also said, “I always look forward to these Tuesday recaps.” Thank you, Toya. And I think we both agree that Jordan Hull is carrying this cast. So, yeah, I totally agree with you. Top comment certified. 

Chelle [00:23:02] Now, those were our best picks from episode six, but we want to hear yours, so make sure you sound off in the comments below. 

Erica [00:23:10] That’s it for this episode. Tune in next week when we talk episode seven. And we obviously also talk about all of its inevitable hook ups. I’m sure there will be more. I’m Erica Lenti.

Erica [00:23:21] And I’m Chelle Turingan. ‘Off the Chart: Generation Q’ is produced by Chelle Turingan. Our technical producer is Lito Howse. Our executive producers is Rachel Giese, and our music is by KidKulit.

Erica [00:23:31] OK, if you are enjoying ‘Off the chart,’ do all the things, like comment and subscribe on YouTube. Leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts. We’re on Twitter @XtraMagazine. We’ll see you there. Until next time. Bye!

Chelle [00:23:45] Bye! 

Chelle [00:23:45] (Laughing) Damn! 

Erica [00:23:45] I thought you were gonna throw to me.

Chelle Turingan is a video journalist and filmmaker based in Toronto, ON. Their work has appeared in Maclean’sChatelaine, and Today’s Parent. They are also co-director / producer / editor of Xtra’s documentary film, Small Town Pride.

Erica Lenti

Erica Lenti is a deputy editor at Chatelaine and a former editor at Xtra.

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