To understand the extent to which mainstream media depictions of the LGBTQ community have evolved over the past 15 years, you need only compare Showtime’s The L Word with early episodes of its upcoming sequel, The L Word: Generation Q. When it premiered in 2004, the show broke ground by virtue of its premise alone: queer women in Los Angeles live and love in high soap opera fashion. The cast was uniformly thin, long-haired, feminine and conventionally attractive. Aside from Jennifer Beals as Bette Porter and Pam Grier at the fringes of the plot as Bette’s straight half-sister Kit, it was also all white. Early storylines found Bette and her partner Tina navigating artificial insemination, a tennis star coming out of the closet and a wide-eyed L.A. newcomer cheating on her live-in boyfriend with a sophisticated female cafe owner.

It all seems very Lesbian 101—not to mention very tailored to the heterosexual male gaze—in contrast to what goes down within the first few minutes of Generation Q, which premieres Dec. 8. While the show does begin with one of those gratuitously long sex scenes for which The L Word was famous, this time the couple between the sheets is Latinx millennials Dani (Arienne Mandi) and Sophie (Rosanny Zayas). And it turns out Sophie is on her period. Their mononymous butch pal Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) bikes across town in a sports bra, baring hairy armpits and screaming “Time’s Up, jackass!” at a catcaller. We meet Dani and Sophie’s roommate Micah (Leo Sheng), a sweet academic who happens to be a trans man.

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