There are more LGBTQ characters on television today than anyone could have imagined when the lesbian drama The L Word premiered in 2005, yet shows based on the lives of queer women have been few and far between. And even with more representation than ever before, only one show has a predominately gay cast, and that’s a reality show. While RuPaul’s Drag Race has unleashed jam-packed viewing parties and wild drag shows on gay bars across the globe, gone are the days of the weekly lesbian potluck, when women gathered around the TV to visit their fantasy world of a lesbian-filled Los Angeles — one where straight people were the side characters for once.
For the Ls in LGBTIQ, there has been a void. Mention The L Word and you get hit with a wave of nostalgia, or stories about how the series helped women come out, or how it changed their lives. It showed lesbians as they have never been seen before, powerful, confident, over-the-top and out there. Gay male fans used to joke that the women in The L Word were behaving like gay men in the 80s, having lots of uninhibited sex, taking copious amounts of drugs and generally having a gay old time. Lesbians were depicted as never before. The L Word has had a built-in and loyal fan-base (sometimes scarily so), and it has been one that has been sorely ignored for far too long, until now.
After much rumour, speculation, hints and wishful thinking over the past few years, it has finally been confirmed that The L Word is finally returning to the air. The original series, which ran for six seasons between 2004 and 2009, followed a core group of lesbian women as they navigated love, friendship, and everything else life in West Hollywood has to offer.
Although the original series ended with several fan favourites dead or in prison, three of the show’s original cast—Jennifer Beals (Bette), Katherine Moennig (Shane) and Leisha Hailey (Alice)—are all set to reprise their roles in the sequel. The trio will also serve as executive producers on the show, alongside The L Word out and proud creator Ilene Chaiken.
Catch up with all six seasons on Showmax.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, Showtime’s co-president of entertainment Gary Levine said:, “In this revival, Beals, Moennig, and Hailey will star on the series as their original characters alongside a new generation of self-possessed LGBTQIA characters experiencing love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success in L.A.” Fifteen years after the pilot aired, the cultural narrative around so many issues The L Word tackled has shifted, so the sequel will obviously be reflecting lesbian lives in America as they are today. “This revered show was both entertaining and impactful when it originally ran on Showtime, and we are confident that our new version will do that and more in 2019,” Levine added.
We can hardly wait to see what our cast of favourite power lesbians will be getting up to.
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