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‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Bridges The Gap Between Millennials And Gen X

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There’s often a bitterness implied when a person calls someone “Boomer.” It’s immediately considered an insult; a dismissal of their experience or overall point of view. While this prevails on social media, we also see it replicated on series like the “Saved by the Bell” reboot and Netflix’s “Blockbuster,” a sitcom that makes mocking anyone above age 30 its entire personality.

So when Showtime announced a few years ago that it was returning to the world of “The L Word,” its groundbreaking mid- to late-2000s drama centered on lesbians in Los Angeles, and uniting its OG cast with a young new cast, there was plenty need to be concerned.

For one thing, the original series, as progressive as it remains in many ways, is very white. It also has an antiquated portrayal of a transgender character. So the potential for the writers to have the younger characters on “The L Word: Generation Q” throw snarky remarks at their older counterparts or transform them into a couple of out-of-touch quacks (like “And Just Like That…” did) was very, very high.

But “The L Word: Generation Q,” helmed by showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan, has never done any of that. It also has a fuller representation of queerness.

Shane (Kate Moennig), her partner Tess (Jamie Clayton) and Alice (Leisha Hailey) in a scene from season 3 of “The L Word: Generation Q”

Now entering its third wonderfully textured season on Sunday, it gives its original characters ― played by Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig, Leisha Hailey and Laurel Holloman ― the grace to still be flawed and deeply human, to acknowledge their shortcomings and be open to learning.

And refreshingly, they have honest conversations and friendships with the millennial cohort, among those played by Rosanny Zayas, Arienne Mandi, Jacqueline Toboni and Leo Sheng. They even exchange advice; a simple, common thing you’d expect in real life that is almost totally lacking on television.

The second season gives one of the best examples of that. Finley (Toboni), a fun-loving, young bar worker, is struggling with alcohol abuse and her partner Sophie (Zayas) helps coordinate an intervention for her. Sophie brings together everyone who loves Finley, including Shane (Moennig), Alice (Hailey) and Micah (Sheng).

It’s not just the fact that this gathering represents a spectrum of generations coming together for a shared cause. It’s also a difficult, heartfelt and earnest conversation that includes various voices, perspectives and personalities.

Tess (Clayton), Shane (Moennig), Alice (Hailey), Micah (Leo Sheng) and Sophie (Zayas) form an intervention for Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) in season 2 of "The L Word: Generation Q."
Tess (Clayton), Shane (Moennig), Alice (Hailey), Micah (Leo Sheng) and Sophie (Zayas) form an intervention for Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) in season 2 of “The L Word: Generation Q.”

These characters don’t always agree and they all make mistakes, but there’s respect between them that makes it easier for them to coexist and root for each other.

Season three of “Generation Q,” even in just the first four episodes made available to press, has that same effect. We see it with both the personal and professional friendship between Sophie and Alice, talk show colleagues who lean on each other when they need it most.

Like when Alice asks Sophie’s advice about rejoining the dating world after cutting ties with her on-again, off-again former partner Nat (Stephanie Allynne), opening the door for a very intriguing romantic possibility with a certain “Chasing Amy” star.

Or when Finley, fresh out of rehab and striving to make amends, sits down for a heart-to-heart with Carrie (Rosie O’Donnell), Tina’s (Holloway) ex, who recently suffered an alcohol relapse.

Shane (Moennig) and Finley (Toboni) let loose during an incredible moment on "The L Word: Generation Q."
Shane (Moennig) and Finley (Toboni) let loose during an incredible moment on “The L Word: Generation Q.”

In a moment of much-needed release, Finley also has a pretty incredible water fight with bar owner Shane, who in many ways is her older and just as messy counterpart, while the two try to help Shane’s partner, Tess (Jamie Clayton), set up a new business. (This scene is very funny and wild until Tess shows up, rightly pissed).

There’s also on-again partners, a noticeably less Type-A Bette (Beals) and Tina, navigating the reality that their daughter Angie (Jordan Hull) is all grown up and in college — and dishing out her own Gen Z relationship advice in which her moms find value during a sweet moment.

Even before then, Shane, who can’t seem to help but create disorder in even her healthiest romantic relationships, is happy to sit down and help unpack some of Angie’s relationship woes.

As complicated as these unions occasionally become, there’s a necessary mutuality reflected. And it’s so seeped into the DNA of this sequel series that you don’t even consider taking a step back to really admire it. It’s just there.

Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Sheng) face tough times on "The L Word: Generation Q."
Maribel (Jillian Mercado) and Micah (Sheng) face tough times on “The L Word: Generation Q.”

But that’s not all “Generation Q” has going for it, though it is certainly one of its virtues. Even with its extra large cast of characters, none of them feel shortchanged. Keeping with the essence of the original series, they’re all looking for love, some semblance of life and career satisfaction in remarkably disparate and significant ways.

Micah and his girlfriend, Maribel (Jillian Mercado), have an honest — and quite necessary — conversation about whether they can and should move forward with having a baby after Maribel sprang this on him (and honestly, the audience) last season.

Meanwhile, hella Type-A PR executive Dani (Mandi), Bette’s obvious counterpart with whom she also works, attempts to enter a fragile relationship with realtor Gigi (Sepideh Moafi) that takes a very unexpected turn.

Dani (Arienne Mandi) and Gigi (Sepideh Moafi) try to make it work on "The L Word: Generation Q."
Dani (Arienne Mandi) and Gigi (Sepideh Moafi) try to make it work on “The L Word: Generation Q.”

While it makes sense in some ways that these characters would coalesce on a show that has unflinchingly focused on the lives of queer people in the City of Angels, it’s still bracing to see people across generations actually have conversations with and not at each other.

And to watch these characters ― including one from the OG series this season ― hash things out whenever one does fuck up and hurts another’s feelings. It’s the humanity and vulnerability from both parties that grounds those moments, because they’re not laced with nastiness.

These are characters that, yes, occasionally steal another’s romantic partners (I may never get over Finley breaking up Dani and Sophie) and crush their hearts or get on each other’s nerves because they don’t do the thing they really should be doing or saying. But one of the things “The L Word: Generation Q” does get right is showing their intentionality. And with that, their heart.





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Watch Joe Biden Launch Groan-Worthy Joke At George Clooney In White House

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Biden first praised all the honorees as “an incredible group of people.”

“And we the people, we see character. We see Amal Clooney’s husband,” the president cracked.

The tease got laughs, including from the actor himself.

Clooney’s wife, Amal, is a prominent and accomplished human rights attorney.

The quip was a “version of one of Biden’s most well-worn gags,” Mediaite noted.

Biden got serious and praised the two-time Oscar winner for his activism on behalf of 9/11 victims’ families and refugees, and his support for survivors of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting and their work for gun reform.

“That’s character,” Biden said. “That’s George Clooney.”

Other honorees included singer Amy Grant, singer Gladys Knight, composer Tania Leon and the rock band U2.

The ceremony at the Kennedy Center was highlighted by a routine by Sacha Baron Cohen scorching former President Donald Trump and rapper-turned-vocal Hitler appreciator Ye (formerly known as Kanye West). There was also a public appearance by Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who was seriously injured in October by a hammer-wielding home invader.





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George Clooney, U2, Gladys Knight Among 2022 Kennedy Center Honorees

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A heartfelt Patti LaBelle praised her lifelong friend Gladys Knight. Sean Penn called U2 “four scrappy Dublin punks.” Ballet dancers performed for conductor and composer Tania León. Matt Damon playfully teased his friend George Clooney — a lot — while Sheryl Crow delivered a heartfelt rendition of “Baby Baby” to Amy Grant during Sunday’s Kennedy Center Honors.

Knight, Clooney, Grant, León and U2 were all celebrated at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which annually honors a select group of people for their artistic influences on American culture. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their respective spouses were in attendance, as were members the President’s Cabinet and Congress.

One audience member from the political world — Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — drew some attention. He is recovering from a brutal attack in the Pelosis’ San Francisco home in October. The couple received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Normally performers like U2 or Knight would be headlining such a show, but during the Kennedy Center event the honorees sit in the balcony and watch as their peers laud them and perform their works.

On the red carpet, Clooney, with his wife, Amal, beside him, joked that after seeing friends like Don Cheadle and Julia Roberts in attendance he was worried his tribute would be more of a “roast.” And it was a bit like that, though his friends and family showed obvious respect.

Roberts set the tone by coming out onstage with a dress emblazoned with photos of Clooney. After an introduction that alternated between funny and heartfelt she turned to a set designed to look like a smoky bar — the type Clooney might enjoy. The actor’s father, Nick Clooney, regaled the crowd with stories of a young George, including the time the 7-year-old — heartbroken over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 — gave his father all his toy guns.

Damon took the funny road, joking about how Clooney once stole then-President Bill Clinton’s stationery and wrote notes to fellow actors on it. Cheadle highlighted Clooney’s philanthropic work. But it was Clooney’s father who probably had the strongest praise, telling the crowd and his son, sitting in the balcony between León and U2′s Bono, “George’s best and most important work is still ahead of him.

Standing on a stage lit by a massive sign reading “Gladys,” LaBelle called Knight her “everything,” saying they had been friends for six decades and had seen each other through laughter and tears. “We do everything together,” LaBelle said. “I am honored to honor you tonight.”

Actor and hip-hop star LL Cool J said that whenever Knight sings she connects with people. “I once heard Gladys sing the ABCs and I thought I was in church,” he said.

Knight — usually with her backup singers, The Pips — has recorded dozens of albums with such classic hits as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The challenge of singing that classic in front of the woman who made it famous fell to country music superstar Garth Brooks, who is a Kennedy Center honoree in his own right. He cited Knight’s “roots in country music” before launching into the classic.

Each artist was introduced by a video compilation showing snippets of their lives. In Grant’s, her children talked about their mother’s influence on them. Crow talked about Grant’s influence on her when she was a young college student.

“Amy also taught me that it was possible to be funny, irreverent and Christian all at the same,” said Crow.

Five ballet dancers took to the stage to honor composer and conductor Tania León, who left Cuba as a refugee in 1967; her passport was stamped “Cancelado” when she left the country. The performers were from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which León helped found when she eventually made her way to New York City. She also instituted the Brooklyn Philharmonic Community Concert Series and in 2021 received the Pulitzer Prize for her work “Stride,” inspired by women’s rights champion Susan B. Anthony.

“How do I convey the extent of your musical genius?” asked actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith. Jazz pianist Jason Moran, singer Alicia Hall Moran and cellist Sterling Elliott played one of León’s creations, “Oh Yemanja.”

The last honoree of the night was U2. In a video taped Saturday, U2 guitarist The Edge noted that a group of four “Irish lads” were being honored for contributions to American culture and said there’s a bond between the group and America that can’t really be explained.

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder sang U2′s “Elevation” and “One.” Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen brought his alter ego Borat to the stage as part of the U2 tribute, pretending to mistake Biden for former President Donald Trump. Singers Brandi Carlile, Hozier and Jamala — from the U.S., Ireland and Ukraine, respectively — closed out the show with an emotional version of “Walk On.”

U2′s Bono is also known for his philanthropic work to eradicate poverty and to raise awareness about AIDS. Jamala, whose home country of Ukraine has been embroiled in nearly a year of bloody warfare after the Russian invasion, touched on that history of social activism as she introduced the night’s final song.

“It’s fitting that on the night meant to honor them they have once again used their platform to spread a message of peace. Honestly to be here in this bright warm hall this evening is really something extraordinary for me, when there is so much darkness in my home country Ukraine,” she said.

The honorees came to the theater from a White House reception where Biden praised them before a star-studded East Room crowd as an “exceptional group of artists.”

“Thank you for showing us the power of the arts and ‘We the People,’” Biden said.

AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Follow Santana on Twitter @ruskygal.





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Tattoo Removal Studio Offers Freebies To Regretful Kanye West Fans

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A London tattoo removal studio is offering free sessions to people who no longer want Kanye West inked on their bodies.

Naama Studios first posted the offer last month, saying it would remove tattoos of the rapper, who has changed his name to Ye, free of charge.

The business later shared videos of two happy clients who had taken advantage of the deal, promoted with the tagline “Yeezy come, Yeezy go.”

“When you have a tattoo inspired by someone you admire and they end up making headlines for all the wrong reasons…” the post read.

“We understand that tattoos can be triggering for some people and not everyone can afford to remove their tattoos,” the business told The Washington Post. According to the Post, several people had already started to process of getting Ye tattoos removed, and around ten more had reached out to Naama for consultations. The procedure reportedly costs up to 2000 pounds (roughly $2400).

Ye lost fans and placed his business empire in crisis after making a series of antisemitic and hateful statements in public since early October. He was repeatedly suspended from social media platforms and dropped by most of his professional partners.

On Thursday, he openly defended Adolf Hitler and Nazis during a trainwreck interview on Alex Jones’s Infowars show, accompanied by white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Later that day, he was suspended from Twitter for tweeting a swastika merged with the Star of David.





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Theo James Was Shocked By ‘Ginormous’ Prosthetic Penis Used For ‘The White Lotus’ NSFW Scene

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Actor Theo James has a massive…sense of humor when it comes to starring in nude scenes for HBO’s “The White Lotus.”

Appearing Friday on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” the actor — who went viral for a steamy scene in the second season premiere of the comedy-drama series — revealed that the fake “pee-pee” he wore for the NSFW scene in the show was “ginormous.”

The much-talked-about nude scene features James, who plays businessman Cameron Babcock, stripping completely naked to change into a swimsuit while Harper (Aubrey Plaza) watches in the bathroom.

“The truth of it was, you go into these scenes, and you have a conversation with the director and the producers and they go, ‘Okay, for this, we’re going to use a prosthetic,’” the 37-year-old recalled of the popular scene. “And you say, ‘Okay, that sounds good.’”

However, despite giving his input to makeup chief Rebecca Hickey about wanting to sport a more modest faux penis, things didn’t quite go according to plan.

“I said, ‘Honestly, I just want it not to be distracting,’” he told host Jimmy Fallon.

“It needs to be ‘Regular Joe.’ Because the scene, you know, it’s not about the pee pee; it’s about power play and sex. It’s about whether he did it deliberately or whether it was an accident and what that means. She says, ‘I got you. Yeah, I got you. Regular Joe.’” James continued.

To James’ surprise, “Regular Joe” was not what he received.

According to the British actor, when he arrived on set, Hickey approached him with a fake penis so outrageously large that it looked like she had “a hammer.”

“I mean, it’s bigger than that. It’s like she stole it off a donkey in the field. The thing is ginormous. And me and the director, Mike White, are sitting there going, ‘That’s… average, is it?’” he joked.

James then quipped that both he and White immediately ran off to call their “respective partners” to profusely apologize, like “I’m so sorry.”

“It was nine inches flat and about four inches wide. We were like, ‘What the hell is that?’” he added, laughing.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in October, James shared it “felt natural” to go sans clothes in front of the camera for the scene in the primetime Emmy-winning series.

He jokingly added, “It is in my contract that I’m not allowed to do anything without being completely naked.”

Just a month later, James told the outlet that audiences didn’t get a chance to see the initial scene they planned because it was “way too much,” so they “toned it [down].”

“The original derivation of it, it’s kind of full-frontal, if you know what I mean. We shot that and it felt too much, too aggressive,” he told Entertainment Weekly in November. “What we came to is a bit more opaque, and that’s exactly what Mike does so well. You’re never sure a hundred percent of the characters’ intentions.”

“The White Lotus” airs new episodes on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. on Sunday nights.





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Prince Harry Hits Out At ‘Baseless’ Story That Pits ‘Him Against His Country’

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Prince Harry is shutting down a recent report that accused him of telling a friend “Those Brits need to learn a lesson” ahead of the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey last year.

The global press secretary for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told HuffPost that “this is a baseless hit piece masquerading as journalism.’”

“This story is riddled with inaccuracies, not least of which is a quote erroneously attributed to Prince Harry,” the spokesperson said Sunday.

“To accuse a man who spent 10 years serving his country of wanting to teach that same country a lesson is not only an attempted distraction but an unfortunate and predictable tabloid strategy,” she added. “To pit him against his country is shameful and manipulative, especially when Prince Harry has never spoken ill of the British public.”

The Sun did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for further comment.

The story and response come on the heels of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s recent, three-day tour of Boston, where they were for the Earthshot Prize Awards.

As the tour nearly coincided with the release of Harry and Meghan Markle’s forthcoming Netflix docuseries, a palace source prior to the trip said the Prince and Princess of Wales wouldn’t “be distracted by other things.”

A trailer for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s six-part series with the streaming giant dropped on the second day of William and Kate’s royal tour, leading many to question the timing of its release.

In the teaser, a voice asks Harry, “Why did you want to make this documentary?”

“No one sees what happens behind closed doors,” the prince responds. “I had to do everything I could to protect my family.”

“When the stakes are this high, doesn’t it make sense to hear our story from us?” Meghan later adds in the clip.





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Kenan Thompson’s Herschel Walker Is Confident About His Erection On ‘SNL’

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He addressed Tennessee GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Cecily Strong) as “your Highness,” called Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell (James Austin Johnson) “Mr. McDonald,” and admitted there are still “so many” bad things about him people don’t know.

At the end of a long tale of bad things, “Walker” concludes: “Anyway, she didn’t want to keep it, so I drove her down to the Planned Parent Trap.”

When voting by mail was mentioned, “Walker” noted: “You gotta remember, they still gotta count votes by female.”

The Republican brain trust was so rattled they decided to lock Walker in a room — just for a few days.





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‘Weekend Update’s’ Colin Jost Knows The Password For Dinner With Trump At Mar-A-Lago

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“Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost skewered Kanye West on “Saturday Night Live” for his recent string of jaw-dropping antisemitic statements, and included a tip about a Mar-a-Lago password.

“You guys are not gonna believe this, but Alex Jones and Kanye West got together this week, and it didn’t go great,” Jost noted.

“Kanye West [now known as Ye] made antisemitic jokes, and said ‘I like Hitter,’ which is also the password he used to get into Mar-a-Lago,” where he had dinner with former President Trump last week, Jost quipped.

“At this point, I don’t think Kanye’s off his meds, so much as he’s immune to them,” Jost added. “We’re basically dealing with the omicron variant of Kanye,” complete with “the brain fog of long-haul Kanye,” he added.

“What I don’t understand about this Kanye stuff, is if Jews do control the media” — as Kanye insists — “then how are we still seeing a new interview with Kanye every day?” Jost asked.

Check it out below at the start of “Weekend Update.”


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