“Rent Controlled” is the Liz Lemon-est web series you’ve ever seen


I spend a lot of time imagining what a lesbian version of Liz Lemon would be like (because I spend a lot of time feeling like Liz Lemon). But now I can high five a million angels and stop my wondering because Tello Films has recently debuted a new web series called Rent Controlled that brings my imaginings to life! Rent Controlled, which is available to Tello’s premium subscribers, tells the story of  an adorable, neurotic, sliiiiightly pathetic lesbian 20-something trying to get over her monster ex-girlfriend—who just happens to live in the same bedroom as her. Heather’s friends know she can do better. Heather’s landlords know she can do better. But Heather just isn’t sure. Like all of Tello’s offerings, Rent Controlled is written, acted, and directed by openly gay ladies, which means it’s full of winky lesbian in-jokes and truths that are so truthy they’ll make you cringe. Heather—played by Heather Dean, who also wrote the series—met her monster ex on AOL instant messenger, for example. Screen names: @BigLWordFan44 and @ButImACheerleader15. (“Oh my god, you’ve never seen a straight movie, have you?” her best friend asks her.) And their sex life has stalled because they’ve been spending their nights watching documentaries on sex. rent-controlled-1 But Rent Controlled isn’t just about learning to let go of a toxic relationship; it’s also about navigating the minefield of getting back out there while your ex-girlfriend gets it on with another girl right in front of your face. I’ve been writing about LGBTQ pop culture for a long time and one of my favorite things about Tello Films is that my heart and brain are always safe with them. Yes, lesbian/bi representation on TV is at an all-time high, but we’re still woefully marginalized, and even the shows that have the most accurate, three-dimensional portrayals of queer female characters can’t be trusted fully because the stories are shaped by so many people who don’t really care about diversity on television. But watching Rent Controlled gave me that wonderful feeling of being understood. It was written and directed and produced by people like me for people like me, people who are down here in the trenches trying to make visibility a reality. rent-controlled-2 In addition to Dean, Rent Controlled features gay lady directors Julie Keck and Jessica King, who have been responsible for some of the hands-down best lesbian content on the internet, ever (#Hashtag, The Throwaways, and Roomies). So, it has that going for it too. And it’s just really fucking funny. You can find Rent Controlled on the Tellofilms website.

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