‘The L Word: Generation Q’ bridges the gap between millennials and generation X

There is often an implicit bitterness when a person calls someone a “Boomer.” It is immediately considered an insult; a rejection of your experience or general point of view. While this is prevalent on social media, we’re also seeing it replicated in series like Netflix’s “Saved By The Bell” reboot and “Blockbuster,” a sitcom that makes making fun of anyone over 30 all its life. personality.

So when Showtime announced a few years ago that he would be returning to the world of “The L Word,” his innovative Mid-to-late 2000s drama focused on lesbians in Los Angeles, and uniting its OG cast with a new young cast, there was plenty of reason to worry.

For one, the original series, as progressive as it remains in many ways, is very white. Also has an outdated portrayal of a transgender character. So, the potential for the writers to have the younger characters in “The L Word: Generation Q” throw snide remarks at their older counterparts or turn them into a couple of out-of-touch chatterboxes (like “And just like that…” did) was very, very tall.

But “The L Word: Generation Q,” directed by showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan, has never done any of that. It also has a fuller representation of what is queer.

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

As it enters its beautifully textured third season on Sunday, it gives its original characters — played by Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig, Leisha Hailey and Laurel Holloman — the grace to remain flawed and deeply human, to own up to their flaws and be open to to learn.

And refreshingly, they have honest conversations and friendships with millennials, among whom are played by Rosanny Zayas, Arienne Mandi, Jacqueline Toboni and Leo Sheng. They even trade tips; something simple and commonplace that you’d expect in real life that’s almost completely missing on TV.

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

It’s not just the fact that this gathering represents a spectrum of generations coming together for a shared cause. It’s also a difficult, candid, and serious conversation that includes multiple 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
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 is a respect between them that makes it easy for them to coexist and support each other.

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

Like when Alice asks Sophie for advice about re-entering the dating world after cutting ties with her on-and-off ex-partner Nat (Stephanie Allynne), opening the door for 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 heart-to-heart with Carrie (Rosie O’Donnell), Tina’s (Holloway) ex, who recently suffered a relapse to alcohol.

Shane (Moennig) and Finley (Toboni) unleash themselves during an incredible moment in
Shane (Moennig) and Finley (Toboni) cut loose during one hell of a moment in “The L Word: Generation Q.”

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

There are also recurring couples, a noticeably less Type A Bette (Beals) and Tina, navigating the reality that their daughter Angie (Jordan Hull) is all grown up and in college, offering her own Gen Z relationship advice in the that their moms find courage during a sweet moment.

Even before that, Shane, who can’t seem to help but mess up even his most healthy romantic relationships, is happy to sit down and help work out some of Angie’s relationship problems.

As complicated as these unions occasionally become, it reflects a necessary reciprocity. And he’s so ingrained in the DNA of this sequel series that you don’t even consider taking a step back to really admire him. It’s right there.

Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Sheng) face difficult times in
Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Sheng) face hard times in “The L Word: Generation Q.”

But that is not all that “Generation Q” has, although it is undoubtedly one of its virtues. Even with its large cast of characters, none of them feel ripped off. In keeping with the essence of the original series, they all search for love, a semblance of life, and professional fulfillment in remarkably different and meaningful ways.

Micah and his girlfriend, Maribel (Jillian Mercado), have an honest, and much-needed, conversation about whether they can and should go through with the idea of ​​having a baby after Maribel said this to him (and honestly, to the audience). ) Last season.

Meanwhile, Dani (Mandi), Hella’s A-type PR executive, Bette’s obvious counterpart with whom she also works, tries to strike up a fragile relationship with real estate agent Gigi (Sepideh Moafi) that takes a very unexpected turn.

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

While it makes sense in a way that these characters would come together on a show that has been unwaveringly focused on the lives of queer people in the City of Angels, it’s still heartening to see people of all generations having conversations with each other and not among them.

And watching these characters, including one from this season’s OG series, argue things over each time one screws up and hurts another’s feelings. It is the humanity and vulnerability of both parties that underpins those moments, because they are not full of evil.

These are characters that, yes, occasionally stealing another’s romantic partners (maybe I’ll never get over Finley’s breakup with Dani and Sophie) and crush their hearts or make the other nervous because they don’t do what they really should be doing or saying. But one of the things that “The L Word: Generation Q” does well is show its intentionality. And with that, his heart.

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