The L Word: Generation Q finished its inaugural run with the eighth and final episode of the season last night. And wow, what a lackluster and confusing time it’s been! What even was the point! I was left with many questions by the end, but the only one I care about getting an answer to is – CAN I GET RID OF MY SHOWTIME SUBSCRIPTION NOW?!
But I digress! The real reason we are all gathered here today is that there are a lot of really good (according to me) queer web series out there that kick The L Word: Generation Q’s ass, so let’s talk about them right now to fill that big L-shaped void in your heart! (“But Megan, why aren’t you going to talk about series-series, too?! OR FILMS?!” BECAUSE IT IS A MONDAY AND WE ALL HAVE WORK TO DO! WE ONLY HAVE TIME FOR SHORT QUEER THINGS NOT LONG QUEER THINGS! WE WILL EXPLORE LONG QUEER THINGS ON A MORE APPROPRIATELY POSITIONED WEEKDAY THAT IS SUITABLE FOR WEEKEND BINGE TIMES!)
Kicking things off in the Netherlands, it’s ANNE+ to the rescue! They FINALLY released English subtitles for the first season, meaning it’s no longer necessary to convince yourself that you speak Dutch when you actually definitely don’t (which is what I did when the series was first uploaded to YouTube) in order to watch. Anne’s Amsterdam adventures (wow, v. alliterative!) will continue with a second season in the spring, but for now, get caught up on all her dating highs ‘n lows; the meander wraps up super satisfyingly in the final episode // WE STAN(NE)! Scope it all right here.
Let’s stay in Europe for a little while, yeah? ‘Cause next up we’re headed to Belgium for La Théorie du Y, a series which is doing god’s work to undo bi erasure! Anna is at the helm of the plot as she navigates the trials and tribulations of identifying as a newly-out bisexual woman in Brussels, and helping her along the way are her best friends (Malik, a partially-closeted gay man) and Lucie (a straight but we still love her) // it’s charming and beautifully shot and I am HERE. FOR. IT. Watch S1 and S2 here.
There are about eight thousand iterations of SKAM across the globe, but the one I care about most is SKAM ES; set in Madrid, it follows the lives of a group of high schoolers, and it totally delivers on all the teenage drama you’d expect. AND last season it gave us CROANA, aka Cris y Joana, a fictional couple that I feel weird being emotionally invested in as a 32-year-old adult, but here we are! The “episodes” are just a bunch of little snippets in “real time” that are uploaded by Movistar on the (almost) daily during each season, the third of which just kicked off with Nora (another straight but we still love her) at the center of the story, but we still get little doses of Croana here and there // WORTH IT. Watch all of S2 (the official Croana season) here.
Before we leave Europe for North America, we majorly need to talk about Kontrola, because BOI-OI-OI-OI-OING. It’s a Polish series that started off as a short (VERY short) film, but due to the positive feedback, the filmmakers were able to secure funding for an expanded view of the featured couple. Basically it starts at the airport in the security line, which sounds very unsexy but OH MY GOD. Having to pat down your ex? Awkward but also real hot! So without giving away too much on that front, just fucking watch it because it’s CHEF’S KISS. Hit up creator Natasza Parzymies’ channel here to catch all the episodes so far.
Okay, now let’s cross ye olde pond to Canada! Before we abandon the foreign language vibes for good, let’s talk about an “oldie” but goodie – Féminin/Féminin (from Chloé Robichaud and Florence Gagnon) is one I’ve watched about a billion times over because I just never ever get sick of it. It’s from Montreal, so most of the dialogue is in Québécois, and it centers on a group of queer lady friends as they do dating and coming out and marriage and other life stuff and etc. My favorite episodes are 1. the one where the group’s only non-queer friend realizes that she actually might not be as straight as she previously thought, and 2. the one where a character (Léa) goes to great lengths trying to convince herself (and everyone else) that doesn’t want to settle down. BUT, 3. all of the storylines are v. strong in both visuals ‘n narrative, so 4. WATCH THEM!
Staying in Canada land but shifting over to a majority English dialogue, we’ve got a couple of good things to discuss! Let’s start with Barbelle, which is a personal mega-favorite! It’s about a wildly popular lesbian musical duo (think Tegan and Sara but not related, thank god) who WERE together but then ended their romantic relationship but are still contractually obligated to continue making music together until they’ve released another record. (You can probably imagine how that would be a nightmarish scenario, and how it would make for an excellent watch.) In addition to being witty and super fun, it’s also really beautifully shot and styled. (Seriously, the costuming is NEXT LEVEL.) Very, very good stuff. Watch S1 and S2 on YouTube now!
Also Canadian (and also one of the newest contributions to this list) is Gay Mean Girls, which is seriously incredible. Like, SUCH a good script and SO BEAUTIFULLY SHOT! It’s the brainchild of Heyishi Zhang, and it’s another one that started as a short film but then turned into a full-on web series with overwhelmingly positive feedback. The resulting episodes take a super well-executed (and very funny) look at what it’s like to try to figure yourself out in high school. 10/10 would recommend // catch all of S1 on the KindaTV platform!
Cruisin’ on down to USA town, I’m gonna vote we start on the topic of Queering! This is by far one of my favorite queer web series OF ALL TIME! The writing and acting are great, but it’s also pretty hard to fuck up the hilarity that inevitably ensues when your mother suddenly comes out to you and your queer friends as bisexual. Another one that’s v. beautifully shot, and 110% worthy of your time! Find S1 and S2 here.
I am also a really big fan of Strangers, which starts out set in LA but ends up being a bicoastal series by the second season. it’s about Isobel, a twenty-something struggling to pay the rent // navigate the whole “I just realized I’m queer” thing // figure out her purpose in life // etc. Lots of things to relate to – being broke, feeling unsure if you’re doing your life right, being met with skepticism or downright disdain when on a date with another woman you reveal you have dated and/or would still date men…all that great stuff! Good script and good acting (I especially love Meredith Hagner in this, who you might recognize from Search Party, plus there are cameos by Jemima Kirke, Breeda Wool, Leisha Hailey…the list goes on.) Binge S1 and S2 on Facebook.
And we can’t forget about Gal Pals! This is a gem of a web series. It’s definitely got some Broad City vibes (I was going to say “a gayer Broad City“, but let’s face it, Broad City is already pretty gay), which is great. In the series, Bee (one of the main characters) tries to figure out if straight Dylan (who she has a big ol’ lesbian crush on, and who she catfished on Tinder by pretending to be a dude, which is fucked up but also kind of the funniest) is actually straight or whether they’re more than gal pals. This is a v. relatable plot line. (Like, THE most relatable plot line.) Scope it all on YouTube now!
This is by no means an exhaustive list! Want me to cover more ground? (That’s a trick question, ’cause I probably will whether you care or not!) In the meantime, which queer web series do YOU think kick The L Word: Gen Q’s ass? TELL ME PLEASE AND THANK YOU! xx