'The Real L Word' Is the Queer Adolescence I Never Had

Showtime’s canceled reality show gives me a sense of queer community that I don’t think I’ll ever experience in real life.

In the summer of 2010, Showtime premiered the pilot of The Real L Word, a reality spinoff of The L Word, which had ended the year before. I didn’t watch the spinoff at the time, but I was aware of it. Two years before, I’d binge-watched all of The L Word, streamed illegally, while I was studying abroad in Spain and essentially friendless. I was watching the show years too late to have any frenzied “Did you see last night’s episode??” conversations with anyone, so I went in search of recaps (and their many ensuing comments).

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