Tasha is perfect. Here we have Tasha looking at the sky, perfectly.
Here is Tasha smiling. Notice that when she smiles, the entire world turns on.
Here is Tasha holding a beer and having feelings. Notice how she does both of those things perfectly.
Dana! Remember when you were alive? That was so great. I’m so sorry Ilene murdered you.
Jennifer Beals is like the Queen of Deer transformed into a liquid-eyed, noble human woman. She looks great in suspenders and I didn’t even mind when she cheated on Tina, because Tina is a mealy-mouthed blob of nothing. Here is Bette holding an enormous glass of wine.
We are all Alice. No matter how much you might wish to be Marina or Shane or even Dana, if you are reading this article, you are Alice, and there is no shame in that. Alice is a damn delight.
Kit is played by Pam Grier. Are you Pam Grier? No. No, you are not.
Let us recite together: “Were I receptive to such a proposition, it would first require a full booty check. And were you to pass muster, baby I’d give it to you family-style.”
Can you explain to me what’s wrong with this picture?
Oh, Marina. In retrospect, perhaps you shouldn’t have instigated Jenny’s lesbian awakening. But you couldn’t possibly have known, I suppose, and she couldn’t possibly have resisted your velvet basement voice.
She proposed to Phyllis Kroll stark naked. She represented both Bette and Tina in every one of their court cases, often against one another, which I’m sure violates some sort of television lawyer code of ethics. She winked and made “chuh-CHUH” sounds with her teeth. She was perfect.
Ivan! We hardly knew ye and your garage of butch mechanics. Ivan! We will never understand why you gave Kit the keys to your apartment and then got mad at her for coming into your apartment. You two could have been so great together.
I don’t care what any of you say. She’s awful and I love her and I’m glad she ended up with Melissa Rivers.
Cherie Fucking Jaffe
Max, I — I’m so sorry. So sorry for what they did to you. For the mustache. For everything. You deserved better, Max.
He was Alan Cumming! He didn’t really belong! Nothing he did made much sense! But he’s Alan Cumming!
Made this exact face in every scene for about three seasons running. Bless you, Helena.
I don’t believe you burned down the skate shop, Paige.
A good person, but too adorable by half. Also got in between Dana and Alice, even if she didn’t exactly realize it at the time.
Leigh is the reason I continue to believe in my heart of hearts that Cobie Smulders cannot possibly be heterosexual, which is probably offensive and also reductive.
Oh, Papi. Part Tank Girl, part Bruno Mars, part mishmash of ethnic stereotypes and inexplicable character notes. “Papi don’t do breakfast.” Okay, Papi. You don’t have to have any breakfast.
WHY WOULD YOU TAKE HIM AWAY FROM SHANE, ILENE. SHE HAD ONE NICE THING. ONE NICE THING. Every season is just an exercise in beating Shane up to you, isn’t it?
I don’t know why they didn’t just call him Snoop Dogg, but it was great to have Snoop Dogg on this show.
WHY COULDN’T YOU LET SHANE KEEP HER. She was so sullen and vicious and wonderful. “I’m going to go gay for Shane, Mother.”
“She’s so…vibrant. Do you think she liked me.” More fun than twenty Shanes, and cute as a button.
Wonderful, until she wasn’t. Suffered from Angus-style derailment.
The inexplicably straight contractor!
Always ready to run into Bette’s office wearing a headset. Good lad, James.
If there had to be an unsolved murder mystery that took over the sixth season, I’m glad that Xena was the detective who led the investigation.
Riiiiiight up until Hazel.
Dawn Denbo and her Lover Cindi
THIS IS MY LOVER CINDI.
It’s closeted Fitz, and he yells at Jenny; I don’t know what more you want from a one-off character.
Tim! You put up with so much from Jenny. Somewhere in Lesbian TV Heaven, I hope there’s a Straight Guy Poolhouse set aside for you.
Poor Lacey. Too crazy for Boystown, too much of a boy for Crazytown. Nobody wants to date sad eyes, Lacey. (Also, Tammy, I am so sorry about your horrible divorce from Melissa Etheridge, she sounds like she’s being the worst and I hope you get all her money.)
“Who should Helena date now that Dylan’s betrayed her irrevocably?”
“How about a crypto-dominatrix who treats her like a servant and makes her have sex on piles of money?”
“Obviously that is what we are going to do now.”
An awful person, obviously, but no one could deliver a line this perfect without earning a few points:
“I’m sorry the evening turned out like this, but there’s something you have to understand. When I go away, Marina can do whatever she wants. As can I. But when I come back, I want my home the way I’ve left it. I hope that isn’t too much to ask.”
Her name was Stacey Merkin, and she was terrible. But she was still better than Jenny. I have a complex sorting algorithm when it comes to comparing other characters to Jenny: Did they ever kill a dog to try to steal someone else’s girlfriend?
KELLY GILLIS. And she sort of comes around, sort of, a little, at the end!
Hey, there’s Lisa! He…existed.
ABT: Anyone But Tina.
Terrible inasmuch as he was homophobic as pants, wonderful inasmuch the way he growled “Miss Kennard” at Tina was the best acting this show ever got.
The first mom to make a pass at Shane onscreen, but not the last. No, not the last.
You have to love that when Tina “went back to men,” she didn’t just go back to men, she went back to the straightest man in LA with a bunch of friends who had apparently never heard of lesbianism before. Obviously, he is with Tim now, in a better place.
I appreciate the obvious naming nod to All About Eve, and I appreciate that she made Jenny’s life harder. But the entire Lez Girls subplot needed to be four episodes, not two seasons.
I just remembered that she dated Lara too! Did everybody date Lara?
The only thing worse than Mark was Jenny’s bizarre decision at the end of their fight that if he was a “real man,” he’d stay in the house where he’d been secretly filming them in order to atone. Jenny. Jenny. Sweet pea. That’s not how atoning works. If someone secretly films you having sex, you don’t let them keep being your roommate.
It’s a testament to the enduring legacy of this show that I reflexively worried when I heard Jodie Foster had married Dylan’s real-life actress, Alex Hedison. “DON’T DO IT,” I thought. “SHE BROKE HELENA’S HEART.”
You don’t get to love Tasha, Jamie. YOU DON’T GET TO LOVE TASHA. YOU GO HOME AND YOU LOVE SOMEBODY ELSE.
How could you leave Max? How could anyone leave Max? How could you leave pregnant Max?
Remember that time Max was happy and in a relationship with someone who treated him well? Yeah, me neither.
Perhaps oddly, one of the best relationships I was ever in was with a girl who considered Jenny to be her favorite character on the entire show. I do not pretend to understand it, I merely add it as a relevant fact.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.