The L Word: Generation Q

'The L-Word: Generation Q'. (Showmax)
'The L-Word: Generation Q'. (Showmax)


Ten years after the previous events, the original group of friends is joined by new faces as they continue their journey through the trials of life and love in Los Angeles.


The thing with reboots, most of the time they don't feel as good as the original. Why? Because for most people who got to see the dawn of something fresh and new. It's like trying to catch lightning in a bottle; most of the time, it just doesn't work out.

That's why when I saw that The L Word was coming back, I was less keen. My trepidation had two prongs: first, the original left on somewhat bad terms (that look even worse in the rearview mirror) and secondly could this new show harness that same queer lightning that sparked so much change in the first season?

As Crispin Long wrote for The New Yorker last year: "Appearing in a vacuum of lesbian representation, it became, in the course of six seasons, a touchstone and a conversation starter. It remains, to this day, a staple of formulaic chitchat on queer Tinder dates. Since the time it aired, it's come under criticism for its copious insensitivities: its characters' carefree privilege, its tendency to tokenize people of colour, and, most infamously, its crass, misinformation-laden depiction of Max, a trans man played by a cis woman. "

You see, for those of you who didn't watch The L Word's first go-around, it was groundbreaking but also really problematic because I think it didn't understand the breadth and width of the community to which it became so important. Now Generation Q aims to atone for its ancestor's sins.

And I have to be honest with you, to me a non-binary, disabled queer person of colour, in a lot of ways it met its aims, but in a lot of ways, I feel it could have done better.

I enjoyed the way that there were more trans people and people of colour in front of the camera and behind the scenes, but I still obviously wish for more. For instance, we get to see a trans man's life in the form of Micah Lee as portrayed by the brilliant Leo Sheng, but why weren't there any trans women? Yes, I know Jamie Clayton plays Tess Van De Berg, but that doesn't mean the character is and it certainly is never unpacked.

I also wish there was more variety in the depiction of lesbians; I want butches and people who aren't a size ten. In essence, I want more of a good thing, and I want more diversity within it.

Saying that I know that I sound greedy but I have to ask how many varieties of white men have we seen depicted on TV? Countless right? From skinny ones, to sporty ones, to nerdy ones. I'm just asking to see queer people who are not one step away from being models who gym.

That being said, there are far more ways that I really enjoyed this show than found issue with it, because to be honest, I am hungry for any queer content from mainstream outlets. It might seem like there's a lot but, to be honest, from where I'm sitting, it just feels like we're always relegated to being the best friend or the sidekick. I know some of you might be listing examples of movies and shows right now, but the fact that our lists would overlap is a glaring indication that maybe we need more than just Love, Simon, Call Me By Your Name and a dozen more?

Some things I liked that I hope I see more of if the show comes back, is really diving deep into how queer people relate to their cis-het families and how sometimes they close parts of themselves off in a family setting that is meant to be safe. Also, with specific reference to hot priest, I want to see how religion fits into gay life and in terms of Alice's show how you need to fight for what you think is right in a world that has classified your life as other.

In closing, I want to answer the question most younger gays and straights of any age will ask: No you don't have to have seen the original series, but there are some callbacks that you will enjoy more if you have. Yes, all of these things do happen more often than you know, including messy love triangles. Watch the show, it's fun and silly but most importantly, really gay.