Hello Kittens! Welcome back to the wonderful world of Ilene Chaiken. Have you missed the drama, backstabbing, cheating, and lots and lots of bieber-bians? Yeah, me neither, but here we go anyway! The Real L Word: Season 2 began this Sunday and left me with only one word (okay, we all know I can never leave things with only a single word, but I tried my best): Holy-crap-lesbians-are-freakin-crazy-but-I-love-this-crap-so-much! Got that? You’ll see why…
As with any show going into it’s second season, there have been and will continue to be many comparisons to the original, but I am going to leave that up to you ladies for the most part. I will be commenting on it a bit, but in general, I hope to focus independently on these women and their stories.
The opening credits seem to be an interesting mish-mash of an Urban Outfitters commercial, soft-core porn, and a cosmetics ad, but I like the vibe so far. We start, very appropriately with Whitney, who, as you may or may not know, was the Shane of the first season and our only (main) returning player. This scene also brings us the first of what I can only assume will be a myriad of hats worn this season. Whitney receives a voicemail from Sara (pronounced Sah-Dah), Whitney’s ex-girlfriend, who asks her to meet in order to clear the air between them.
Cut to an interview with Whitney in which she explains the “lesbian wheel” that is her life. With all the entering and exiting it sounds to me that the wheel is really a freeway where lots of multi-car pileups occur, or at least that’s been my experience. The ladies meet at a little outdoor café called “Grub” where some awkward conversation ensues about the fact that they should be able to spend time with each other without drama. Sure. That never ends badly. Whitney compares her desire and resulting resistance to hanging out with Sara to a heroin addict’s desire to shoot up. Um, what? Sara seems to think she knows what Whitney wants more than Whitney does, and I think we can all see where this is going.
On the East coast, Romi (Whitney’s “ex-ex-girlfriend”…seriously, Ilene?) is spending her 29th birthday in snowy Central Park with Kelsey, her current girlfriend. Romi has realized that, although she had thought she loved Whitney when they were seeing each other, what was really going on was more about “infatuation and lust”. Phew, she’s far less crazy than we all thought…for now, at least. Interspersed with her interview are also shots from last season of Romi and Whitney having sex, which just leaves me completely incapacitated and unable to decipher what the hell she’s even talking about. Alright, I’m back. Romi and Kelsey have taken control of the camera for a bit, but return it to the cameraman in the interest of progress. The girls take pictures overlooking the park and it’s just adorable. Romi tells us that the two have been living together for about 10 months at this point (huh? How soon after Whitney did these two actually get together?! Oh, U-Haul, how we love thee) and they have already been through lots of ups and downs, including a current dry-spell that is in its third week. Romi seems to think it’s funny, while Kelsey gets frustrated and shakes her head.
Further downtown, at a restaurant called “Yakiniku West,” Claire has gathered a group of friends for a going-away celebration, as she is about to move from New York to L.A. to start a “website about lesbian life”. Apparently Claire has never been to LezbeLib. Her girlfriend of a year and a half, Vivian, is not moving with her, so Claire begins to tell us about her ex-girlfriend (and first girlfriend ever), Francine, who lives in L.A. and who she hasn’t fully gotten over, but supposedly the feeling is mutual. We get to see some adorable pictures of the two of them, and it becomes evident that Vivian is not long for this relationship. One of Claire’s friends, Barb, voices her concerns about Claire moving so far away and to a place she’s unfamiliar with, so some of the other guests tease her about acting like a father-figure. Vivian calls Claire a “rice-chaser” and pulls her in for some kisses, leading to Claire’s interview about the fact that she has the perfect girlfriend, but she has to do this for herself. How many times have we heard that one, ladies?
Back in L.A. we get to meet the famous Francine, who is in the middle of a photo-shoot that she is modeling for. Francine tells the hair and makeup girls working on her that she and Claire were together for 3.5 years, have been broken up for 3, and that Claire will be staying with her while she’s in L.A. Both of the girls have the same reaction you’re all probably having right now: Mmm, oooh, ehhh. Francine says that she can’t be fully committed to a relationship because she still has feelings for Claire, and that Vivian can’t be happy about the situation, but she truly doesn’t know what will happen. Cut to Vivian’s interview in which she voices some concerns about Claire and Francine reuniting, and just some general worries about the uncertainty of it all. She also says this: “I love the shit out of her.” Hmm.
At the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center Sajdah is speaking with some of her coworkers (or volunteers, still not sure) about campaigning for equality and about successful strategies for doing so. She moved from D.C. to L.A. a few months prior, and works for “Vote for Equality,” a grassroots organization that travels to college campuses in order to inspire the students to help overturn Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state of California, blocking earlier legislation which legalized it, but not de-consecrating the marriages that had been performed in the interim. The organization also speaks with people who voted for Proposition 8 to better understand their motivations and, with any luck, change some minds and opinions along the way. Sajdah has only been out for a year, and is still gaining her bearings and trying to navigate L.A. lesbian life. Her mother seemed to think it was a phase (we’ve all been there at one time or another) but her mother has come around to the fact that she’s here, she’s queer, and the world had better get used to it.
Kacy and Cori are a couple that has been legally married for 2.5 years and are planning a pregnancy in the very near future. There are so many abbreviations and so many forms and just so many things that need to be taken account and it’s all so overwhelming that Cori says she needs a cigarette. Better quite before it’s baby time! They need to find a lawyer, a doctor, and a gay-friendly in-vitro center, which sounds like the beginning to a really bad joke. Cori also needs to quit smoking, and they need to buy a plane ticket for Brent, Cori’s friend who is donating sperm to the couple. The women want to be familiar with their donor and his lifestyle as opposed to anonymous donation. What about you, ladies? Anybody thinking of having kids choosing to go this way? Are you doing the opposite? Inquiring minds want to know!
Whitney has gotten a call from Sara, saying that there are some things she needs fixed around the house that she believes Whitney can help her out with. Raise your hand if you knew this was a set-up. Everyone? Very good. Whitney, though she knows better, goes over to “fix” things, knowing that she should not and does not want to be with Sara, but also that she can’t help herself. Sara’s light bulb needs changing, so instead of getting a chair or step stool, she boosts Whitney up by her crotch. Yeah, not a set-up at all. Once everything is hung up and Sara has had the chance to feed Whitney a cookie, there’s the awkward goodbye should-we-hug-or-handshake. Handshake wins out, and is followed by a swift exit by Whitney.
Back in NYC Rachel, billed as “Whitney’s original girlfriend” (what?) is organizing her closet with her gay husband in order to choose what to pack for L.A. She and Whitney date for 4.5 years (3 of which they spent living together) back when Whitney lived in New York, and they were a typical, committed lesbian couple, complete with dogs and discussions of marriage, until the fateful day when Whitney cheated and decided to move to L.A. Rachel has decided to move to L.A. because she’s tired of NYC and wants to make a start for herself on the west coast. Enter: Hana, “Sara’s ex-girlfriend”. So, wait, Sara’s ex and Whitney’s ex are friends and chitchatting about the two? Oy. This is going to get ugly. Just then, Rachel proves me right with this little gem:
Rachel: I know [Whitney] and I know that, no matter who she dates, I will always be the Mary, and they will always be the Rhoda.
Oh no she didn’t!
Alyssa (Whitney’s roommate) and Whitney are working on some special effects scariness for the New Zealand Red Cross. Whitney keeps getting texts from Sara and Alyssa chimes in with some advice, knowing that no one wants Sara and Whitney to be together. Apparently some people heard Sara say that basically she doesn’t want to be with Whitney, but that being on the show would be great exposure for her, proving that she’s a conniving little bitch. The girls change topic to Rachel, who is coming at 5ish (wait, is she going to be staying with them? Oh man, shit just got crazy) and Alyssa cautions Whitney against falling back into things with Rachel, but Whitney seems to think that it might be nice, at least for a little while. Stand by for turbulence.
In New York Claire is getting ready to leave and she and Vivian are both in tears. Claire says that she doesn’t want to hurt Vivian, but that she needs to do this for herself and that she still has a connection to Francine which just won’t go away.
Whitney is painting when Alyssa comes in to tell her that it’s time to pick up Rachel from the airport. Lesbo drama landing in 3…2…1… Alyssa loves Rachel and thinks she and Whitney would be great together, but I’m betting things won’t just go that smoothly. What do you think? Rachel arrives and there are hugs all around. Rachel thinks it’s inevitable that she and Whitney will get back together and, after learning that they will be living together in the same bedroom, I have no doubt, but I’m sure there will still be plenty of drama to go around.
In New York, Romi gets naked. Man, this girl just loves stripping down for the camera and I, for one, have no complaints. Though, was it necessary for the camera to be focused in on her crotch for that long? Really? Shower time is followed by makeup and getting ready for dinner and drinks with Romi’s friend Becky and her boyfriend. This is a big deal because it will be her friends’ first time meeting Kelsey, so Romi lays down some ground rules: no awkward questions, which Kelsey is apparently a fan of. Tonight should go swimmingly…
In L.A. Sajdah is skyping with a friend for comments on her outfit in preparation for her date tonight which is at an open-mic session with a girl she met on Match.com, Chanel. She’s nervous because she isn’t sure what to expect and she isn’t sure what Chanel is expecting either. Adorable. Sajdah then decides to give her mom a call to let her know that she’s met a girl and is on her way to a date with her. Hasn’t she been watching Grey’s Anatomy? Doesn’t she know what happens when lesbians talk on their phones in the car?! Sajdah’s mom tells her “if you’re happy, that’s all that matters” and our fears of the unaccepting mother storyline are allayed. She then tells her not to have sex. Yeah, right. Sajdah says that her mom is the best and that “it’s all her fault, because I want somebody just like her” which is sweet, but has the potential to turn creepy at the drop of a hat. Stay tuned. She meets up with her date outside the space, and the girl is gorgeous, charismatic, and has a take-charge attitude. I think this is what we’ll call a slam-dunk.
Elsewhere, in NYC, Romi and Kelsey meet up with Becky and David for drinks and dinner, and the two argue over kisses, making their friends very uncomfortable. Kelsey tries to get David to agree with her that the girls aren’t giving them enough attention, and makes the night even more awkward. Oy. Romi and Kelsey head off to the bathroom to continue the argument in private, but there seems to be no end in sight, in light of the fact that both are so needy.
In L.A. Kacy and Cori are headed to “Chi Chi LaRue” to buy a Hello Kitty vibrator. Yes, that’s at the top of every expectant parent’s list of priorities, naturally. The girls are looking for a toy that could help them simulate heterosexual conception, i.e. one that would allow one partner to squirt biological material (sperm) into the other. The sales clerk brings them what looks like a confusing turkey baster that, according to him, is typically used as a “butt douche”. Yup, that’s what I’d want to think of every time I looked at my child. The ladies ask if it would be possible to modify a toy to suit their needs, and the clerk recommends Home Depot, as if they hadn’t already been thinking it. They also discuss their heightened comfort level with the word “sperm” since they’ve been discussing it every single day, in addition to unabashedly demonstrating their ideas. The Hello Kitty vibrator is located, and the side that vibrates is her face. Wonderful, as I know I have always wanted a cartoon character to get me off…
Whitney, Rachel, Alyssa, and their friends are cooking dinner when Whitney steps outside to take a call from Sara who is, quite obviously, checking up on the situation with Rachel. The “magnetism” between them pisses Whitney off, since she knows that there’s an attraction and a draw, but also that she does not want to be with Sara, and so she decides to end the conversation and head inside for family dinner.
Kacy and Cori have gone out to dinner to talk about Brent and their plans. They agree that it’s an advantage that Brent doesn’t live extremely close, so he won’t want to be involved on a daily basis, but close enough that they can fly him out for special occasions and he can still be involved in the child’s life as “Uncle Brent” past what Kacy calls “the stuffing”, haha. Cori worries about her vagina’s recovery after childbirth and Kacy tells her that she will love it and her no matter what. Kacy delivers a mini-speech that ensures her place as the most stable lesbian ever to grace these cameras and the cuteness factor has just busted through the roof, sealed with a kiss.
Sajdah is at The Palms and is beyond impressed with the girl scene, but she’s only got eyes for Chanel, which is beyond adorable. The two dance and laugh and drink, making an instant connection. Chanel thinks that Sajdah is a player and is spinning some game, but Sajdah tries her best to convince the girl of her sincerity. More cute snuggles and end scene.
Francine is driving and telling us that she was running late, so didn’t have the chance to pick Claire up at the airport (this is already going so well) and so Claire’s parents had to do the job. Francine is excited but nervous, and Claire is at Francine’s place, pacing and drinking wine. The two hug hello and head outside for a smoke, where Claire tries to compliment Francine’s apartment, but Francine takes it as an insult. Women are crazy. Claire tries to establish a precedent of honesty, but Francine happens to be one of those prissy little bitches that tells people to explain themselves, but then incessantly talks over them and ignores whatever comes out of their mouths. *I apologize for the frustration I feel bubbling up right now which will probably explode at any second in rant-form. Francine does make a good point that Claire is being selfish in keeping Vivian as her girlfriend while moving out to L.A. to figure things out without her. Claire admits that part of the reason she moved is because she is “tire of wondering about” Francine and her feelings. There’s some more yelling about being mean and then Francine storms off, leaving Claire to light up another. How well this living arrangement is working out already!
Romi and Kelsey are out at a club dancing and making out before drunkenly hailing a cab and heading back to their hotel to have some alcohol-fueled conversation and sex. Kelsey wishes they had packed their strap-on, but Romi reassures her that she’s “fine without it”. Sweet? Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned and Romi falls asleep. Major buzzkill.
Whitney and Rachel are still up with Alyssa, but Rachel decides to take a shower and go to bed while Whitney leaves incognito with Sara. Although she says she feels badly about not telling Rachel she was leaving, Whitney still heads to Sara’s place to have sex with the girl no one likes. Wow, these sex scenes are definitely more graphic than they were last season. Again, not complaining. Whitney still clings to the heroin addict allusion, so I think we can already tell how well this is going to go.
Kacy and Cori are texting Brent about whether or not he’s still in for the plan, since he didn’t call them when he was supposed to have. Instead of manning up and actually calling them back, Brent just sends a text that reads, “Sorry, guys, I love you, but I think this is too much for me” meaning that the ladies are without a sperm donor exactly one month before Cori will be ovulating. Cori is extremely upset, but Kacy reassures her that everything will be okay and, if the previews for upcoming episodes are any indication, creative as well!
That’s it for this week, ladies. What did you think? Love it? Hate it? Still not over the whole Jenny Schechter nonsense? Inquiring minds want to know, so leave us some comments!