When the first season of The L Word: Generation Q premiered in 2019, audiences were introduced to a slew of characters new to the L Word universe, but none of them made quite the impact that Finley, played by Jacqueline Toboni, did right away. While she is absent for a large chunk of the Season 2 premiere, when Finley does finally reappear she does so in the most Finley way possible, once again leaving us all hanging off a cliff wondering what mess she’ll get into next.
In the fantastical version of Los Angeles displayed on Generation Q, Toboni’s Finley is as close to reality as the show gets. She is a woman-child teetering between living arrangements and picking up any odd work she can, all while trying to navigate her complex feelings for Sophie. Toboni spoke briefly with Jezebel about filming during the pandemic and why fans can’t help but love Finley, even if she’s a homewrecker. The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and also contains spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of Generation Q.
JEZEBEL: How excited are you for the new season?
Jacqueline Toboni: Oh, I’m so excited. You know how when you have to wait a long time for something... what’s the saying? Distance makes the heart grow fonder?
I feel like that’s how I feel about this, because previously, you know, we had the pandemic and then we ended up shooting during the pandemic and now we’re finally here. It’s happening and I’m so stoked.
Speaking of waiting, fans of the show have been waiting for months to see which plane Sophie chose to get on at the end of season one, and we finally found out. What do you think the reaction is going to be?
I think it’s going to be different than people expect. It’s a really smart way to go about it, just how everything comes to fruition by the end of the first episode. But I think people are going to be stoked. It’s like a fun old-school drama that’s so great to watch.
Yeah after I saw the first episode I was looking around and I just had no one to discuss my show feelings with. It was very dramatic and a good hook for the new season.
Oh, what was your reaction?
I had a feeling Finley would show up at some point but I thought it was going to be a little more dragged out than it was. So when she crashed the wedding I was like, holy shit, it’s happening now. Do you think Finley’s motivations behind showing up were genuine?
I mean, she doesn’t know that she’s showing up in the middle of this ceremony. She’s thinking that she got a call from Alice saying I miss you and Sophie misses you, come back it’ll be so cute. And then it’s like, oh God, I got to get to her before the wedding and try to have this moment. So I get there thinking I can just be like, you know you love me, don’t do this, then I walk and and it’s the wedding. But once you’ve made your mind up you can’t back down. And Finley is a shoot from the hip kind of character in general so she just makes the decision in that moment. But I think she definitely thinks that she’s doing the right thing.
Well, it seems like no matter what, the other characters forgive Finley and the audience loves her. What is it about her that appeals to everyone?
I think it’s that if you’re not a Finley, you know a Finley.
*Laughs obnoxiously loud*
Yeah, you see, you get it! I think people relate to that. And I think she’s a mess and that’s really fun to be around when you’re in your early 20s, but at some point, the other shoe has to drop.
Is Finley capable of experiencing consequences and developing from them or is she still not ready?
Well, I think if you [could] fully see the consequences of something that big, you probably wouldn’t do it. I don’t think she’s quite ready. I don’t think she knows the extent of what she did.
What’s the hardest thing to get right when playing this character?
She’s a little bit behind the eight-ball sometimes. She’s still in on the joke sort of, and she’s trying to make people see that. The most difficult thing for me is that, you know, she’s not dumb, but she does things for the entertainment of others. She’s self-deprecating and she has this huge sense of humor that comes from this darker place. So getting that balance, I find sometimes is difficult.
Other than Finley, who is your favorite character on the show?
Oh, no one’s asked me that before. Hmmm. Alice. If not for anything else then for those outfits. I’m obsessed.
Season 2 of The L Word: Generation Q premieres Sunday on Showtime, and is now streaming on the Showtime app.