Alice, Shane and Bette from The L Word: Generation Q.
Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / ©Showtime / Courtesy: Everett Collection; Francesca Roh/Xtra
Pop Culture
4 min

The best and worst of ‘The L Word: Generation Q’

Bad haircuts, gay trousers, gratuitous side boob and more!

So much dyke drama, so little time. The L Word: Generation Q wrapped up its debut season last week, and we have a lot of processing to do: Will Sophie pick Dani or Finley? When was Jose planning to tell Micah about his husband? Is Bette Porter going to run for president next? And who will comprise our next throuple?

While we eagerly await the next season of The L Word: Generation Q, here are our picks for the bests and worsts of Season 1.

And for more superlatives, check out our bonus episode of Xtra’s L Word podcast, Off The Chart, in which we discuss Season 1 and our predictions for Season 2!

Best Friendship: Bette and Shane

Shane and Bette walk into a surprise party on The L Word Generation Q

Thank the gay gods that Showtime brought these two OGs back to the small screen! Bette and Shane have always been cut from the same cloth: They both struggle with commitment, both try to pack away their emotions for fear of the repercussions and both are apparently irresistible to any and all lesbians. And in Generation Q, they remain complementary. Bette supports Shane when she signs her divorce papers, while Shane comforts Bette when her mayoral campaign goes awry. But their best scene? Getting high together and subsequently stuffing asparagus in their mouths before Shane’s 40th surprise party. That’s real friendship.

Most Enduring Haircut: Shane McCutcheon

Shane shakes her head and smiles on The L Word Generation Q

I genuinely don’t understand how Shane still has the same haircut she did in 2004. I mean, I guess she grew her bangs out a little. But she’s a hairdresser! With, as Generation Q pointed out, a largely successful hair salon empire. It’s almost as unbelievable as Jenny and Shane’s entire relationship.

Nevertheless, congrats on your 15-year-old haircut, McCutcheon. Who says you can’t commit?

Best Gratuitous Display of Side Boob: Dani Nunez 

Dani sits in bed on The L Word Generation Q

Fan service! Fan service! Fan service!

Most Functional Couple on This Show Ever: Angie and Jordi

The L Word Generation Q Angie and Jordi kiss while Shane and Quiara cheer them on

Yes, it’s absolutely baffling that two teenagers could have a more functional relationship than any of the adult queers on this show, but here we are. Angie and Jordi are communicative, wholesome, cute and protect one another. When Jordi doesn’t have the support of her parents at the school play, Angie makes sure her entire chosen fam shows up with cameras at the ready. Jordi attends Bette’s appearance at the LGBTQ centre during her mayoral campaign. These two are OTP. Don’t fuck it up, showrunners.

Widest Leg in Power Lesbian Pants: Dani Nunez

Dani hands Bette her phone on The L Word Generation Q

I appreciate the writers’ subtle mirroring of Bette in Dani—they’re both overachievers looking for the best in people, and they are both deeply invested in the work they do. The cherry on top? Throwing Dani in some wickedly gay trousers.

Step aside, Bette Porter. There’s a new power dyke in town, and her name is Dani Nunez.

Most Useless Side Character: Lena

Tess tells Lena:

Viewers meet Lena for about three seconds before she tries to hump Shane. Then she drives her girlfriend, Tess, back to drinking when she fails to confess her affair. Then she disappears forever. And does anyone really care? Thanks for being a disaster, Lena. See you never 👋

Most Bette Porter outfit: Whatever this metallic getup was

Bette Porter ties her belt in The L Word Generation Q

Ties, wide sleeves, big buttons, a belt, billowy material: Very Bette Porter.

Worst Reveal: Kit is dead

Bette Porter says:

The L Word has never given Kit Porter a break. By contrast to her sister Bette, Kit, one of the few regular Black characters on the original series, was often portrayed as a tragic victim, and showrunners rarely gave her a happy ending. In the original run, Kit was cheated on, traumatized by anti-abortion activists and driven back to alcoholism. And in Generation Q, the trauma only worsens: We learn that Kit has died from a heroin overdose, which drives Bette to run for mayor. Kit Porter never gets justice, and the reveal of her death arguably makes for the worst plotline-for-the-sake-of-convenience on The L Word ever.

Best Song: Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon”

The music was pretty great this season, featuring songs from Lizzo, Janelle Monae, Billie Eilish and Shura. But the honour of Best Song goes to Le Tigre’s “Deceptacon” as Alice’s guest walk-out music. It’s a classic bop and an undeniable queer anthem.

Best Throwback: Dana’s

Shane, Alice and Bette take a selfie in front of the sign for Dana's in The L Word Generation Q

Remember when Ilene Chaiken killed Dana because she thought the tragic death of one of her most beloved characters would create the biggest shock value? And then she realized it was a terrible mistake? Yeah, I still can’t forgive her for that. But at least viewers can remember the good times with Dana, who is forever embodied in Shane’s new lesbian bar in the reboot. Thanks for nothing, Ilene.