‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Bridges the Gap Between Millennials and Gen Xers


There is often an underlying bitterness when someone calls someone “Boomer”. This is immediately taken as an insult; a rejection of their experience or their overall point of view. While it’s prevalent on social media, we’re also seeing it replicated in series like the reboot of “Saved by the Bell” and Netflix’s “Blockbuster,” a sitcom that makes fun of anyone over 30 anytime. her personality.

So when Showtime announced a few years ago that it was returning to the world of “The L Word,” its groundbreaking mid-to-late 2000s drama centered around lesbians in Los Angeles and reunited its OG cast with a young new cast, there was something to worry about.

On the one hand, the original series, as progressive as it remains in many ways, is very white. This also has an outdated portrayal of a transgender character. So the ability for the writers to have younger characters on “The L Word: Generation Q” hurl sarcastic remarks at their older counterparts or turn them into a few out-of-touch quacks (like “And just like that…” did) was very, very high.

But “The L Word: Generation Q,” helmed by showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan, never did any of that. It also has a fuller depiction of homosexuality.

Shane (Kate Moennig), his partner Tess (Jamie Clayton) and Alice (Leisha Hailey) in a scene from season 3 of “The L Word: Generation Q”

Now entering its wonderfully textured third season on Sunday, it gives its original characters ― played by Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig, Leisha Hailey and Laurel Holloman ― the grace to always be flawed and deeply human, to recognize their shortcomings and be open to learning.

And refreshingly, they have honest conversations and friendships with the millennial cohort, among those played by Rosanny Zayas, Arienne Mandi, Jacqueline Toboni and Leo Sheng. They even exchange advice; a simple, commonplace thing you’d expect in real life that’s almost completely missing on TV.

The second season provides one of the best examples of this. Finley (Toboni), a fun-loving young bar worker, struggles with alcohol abuse and her partner Sophie (Zayas) helps coordinate an intervention for her. Sophie brings together everyone who loves Finley, including Shane (Moennig), Alice (Hailey) and Micah (Sheng).

It’s not just the fact that this gathering represents a range of generations coming together for a common cause. It’s also a tough, sincere, and serious conversation that includes diverse voices, perspectives, and personalities.

Tess (Clayton), Shane (Moennig), Alice (Hailey), Micah (Leo Sheng) and Sophie (Zayas) form an intervention for Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) in season 2 of "The L word: Generation Q."
Tess (Clayton), Shane (Moennig), Alice (Hailey), Micah (Leo Sheng), and Sophie (Zayas) form an intervention for Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) in Season 2 of “The L Word: Generation Q.”

These characters don’t always agree and they all make mistakes, but there’s a respect between them that makes it easier for them to co-exist and root for each other.

The third season of “Generation Q”, even in the first four episodes made available to the press, has the same effect. We see it with the personal and professional friendship between Sophie and Alice, talk show colleagues who lean on each other when they need it most.

Like when Alice asks Sophie for advice on joining the dating world after cutting ties with her former partner Nat (Stephanie Allynne), opening the door to a very intriguing romantic possibility with a certain “Chasing Amy” star.

Or when Finley, fresh out of rehab and struggling to make amends, sits down for a one-on-one with Carrie (Rosie O’Donnell), Tina’s (Holloway) ex, who recently suffered of an alcohol relapse.

Shane (Moennig) and Finley (Toboni) let loose during an incredible moment on "The L word: Generation Q."
Shane (Moennig) and Finley (Toboni) let loose in an incredible moment on “The L Word: Generation Q.”

In a much-needed moment of release, Finley also has a pretty incredible water fight with bar owner Shane, who in many ways is his older and equally messy counterpart, while the two try to help Shane’s partner, Tess (Jamie Clayton), start a new business. (This scene is very funny and wild until Tess appears, understandably pissed off).

There are also recurring partners, a decidedly less Type-A Bette (Beals) and Tina, navigating the reality that their daughter Angie (Jordan Hull) is growing up and in college – and giving her own relationship advice. generation Z in which his mothers value themselves during a sweet moment.

Even before that, Shane, who can’t seem to help but make a mess of even his healthiest romantic relationships, is happy to sit down and help sort out some of Angie’s relationship issues.

As complicated as these unions sometimes become, there is a necessary reciprocity reflected. And it’s so infiltrated into this sequel’s DNA that you don’t even consider stepping back to truly admire it. It’s right there.

Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Sheng) face tough times "The L word: Generation Q."
Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Sheng) face tough times on “The L Word: Generation Q.”

But that’s not all “Generation Q” has to offer, although that’s certainly one of its virtues. Even with its very large cast of characters, none of them feel aggrieved. True to the essence of the original series, they all seek love, some semblance of life, and professional satisfaction in remarkably disparate and meaningful ways.

Micah and his girlfriend, Maribel (Jillian Mercado), are having an honest — and much needed — conversation about whether they can and should move forward with a baby after Maribel threw this at him ( and honestly, the public) last season.

Meanwhile, hella Type-A PR executive Dani (Mandi), Bette’s obvious counterpart who she also works with, tries to enter into a fragile relationship with real estate agent Gigi (Sepideh Moafi) which takes a very unexpected.

Dani (Arienne Mandi) and Gigi (Sepideh Moafi) try to make it work "The L word: Generation Q."
Dani (Arienne Mandi) and Gigi (Sepideh Moafi) try to make it work on “The L Word: Generation Q.”

While it makes sense in some ways that these characters coalesce in a show that has unflinchingly focused on the lives of queer people in the City of Angels, it’s still heartening to see people from all generations having conversations. with each other and not with each other.

And to watch these characters – including one from the OG series this season – unleash things every time we mess up and hurt another’s feelings. It’s the humanity and vulnerability of both parties that grounds these moments, because they’re not laced with wickedness.

They are characters who, yes, sometimes stealing someone else’s romantic partners (I may never get over Finley breaking up Dani and Sophie) and crushing their hearts or getting upset because they’re not doing what they’re really doing should do or say. But one of the things “The L Word: Generation Q” does is show their intentionality. And with that, their heart.




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