Anticipation ensued when the cast and crew of The L Word teased a potential reunion, and now, we finally know what they’ve been hiding. Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, the team from Showtime's groundbreaking queer drama gathered to celebrate its legacy, representation and share whether a revival is in the cards.
The L Word has remained unforgettable since its 2004 debut. Lasting six seasons, the show followed a close friend group of lesbians in Los Angeles. Not only did the characters receive deep and complex storylines, but for the first time, we were showed what positive representation of gay women looks like on-screen. The characters were successful, and their sexuality did not define them. The L Word had a strong impact on its audience and is still gaining fans to this day. The reunion shows that the actresses have taken that impact to heart.
The L Word Aimed To Prove How Much Representation Matters
The trailblazing series inspired viewers from the #LGBT community to come out to their family. Fan-favorite Dana Fairbanks's story was extremely well-received; the character was a rising tennis pro who feared that being outed as a lesbian would destroy her career. Over time, Dana found the courage to be out-and-proud which helped her become a stronger person. In an episode where Dana came out to her conservative parents, actress Erin Daniels recalls how viewers found that moment relatable:
"I had people coming up to me often saying 'I had the courage to sit my parents down and watch that episode and say hey, mom, that's me.' It was incredibly moving. It's one thing to be recognized for being on TV, but it's another thing to be recognized for being on television for portraying something that means so much to so many people."
Daniels wasn't the only cast member to receive love from fans. Jennifer Beals, who played art curator Bette Porter, mentioned that she received an outpouring of emotional letters on the impact of her character and the show overall. For the first time, women in the queer community were visible on TV; our stories and challenges were finally depicted and normalized.
A Revival Could Be More Important Than Ever
Aside from the current reboot trend in media, The L Word's cast and crew are open to creating something new that makes an impact. On a possible revival, co-creator Ilene Chaiken states:
"There’s certainly a chance. We talk about it all the time. When we went off the air in 2009, I think a lot of people thought, 'Okay, the baton is passed now, and there will be lots of shows that portray lesbian life.' There’s really nothing. It feels like maybe it should come back."
Today, we do have a few TV shows with inspiring lesbian characters such as Supergirl and Wynonna Earp. But Chaiken is right — we haven't had a strong, queer-centric show since The L Word concluded, and it's time to change that. The L Word's tremendous impact proves that shows featuring diverse #LGBTQ characters, especially women, can succeed, be powerful and radiate acceptance.
Mia Kirshner, who brought the divisive Jenny Schecter to life, expressed her thoughts on a revival:
"Another generation is beginning to watch the show, and there’s such a hole in terms of the landscape of what’s on television and what we’re capable of doing. There’s so many other stories to tell that it’s crazy that this show doesn’t exist."
The L Word was an outstanding example of the power of representation. It reminded us that queer stories are valid and deserve to be told. Not only is media created for entertainment, but also to broaden horizons and open peoples' eyes.
With a vast range of stories that could be told on an L Word reboot, the show would be just as relevant as it was in 2004, maybe even more so. But do we really want to see the irresistible Shane McCutcheon (Katherine Moennig) break more hearts? Yes, of course we do.
You can watch the entire L Word reunion special over at People/Entertainment Weekly Network.
Would you like to see The L Word get a reboot? Let us know in the comments!