The first trailer for The L Word sequel, Generation Q, was released last week, teasing its return to TV screens in December. Ten years after The L Word’s run ended, I expected to be cynical about its 2019 incarnation. Right now, in the world of entertainment, there are more planned comebacks than Fleetwood Mac have managed in their entire career. With mooted revivals of everything from The Matrix to Home Alone to Beverly Hills, 90210, you could read an issue of Empire magazine from the 1990s and assume it had come out last week.
Generation Q (I’m trying to get on board, but it still sounds breathlessly perky, like a kids’ cartoon or a supermarket clothing line) is all about the young people, as the title suggests, and appears to be far less glossy and polished than its elite older sibling. Of the three original characters returning to LA’s lesbian scene, every fan will have their favourite. Shane is back, as is her haircut, and Alice, too, but Jennifer Beals’s Bette promises to make the biggest splash.
Beals is an executive producer, but vitally will also reprise her role as alpha female Bette Porter, California’s answer to Swiss art curator and critic Hans Ulrich Obrist, who couldn’t resist booting the impressionists out of her gallery in favour of something modern, shocking and blasphemous, particularly if that enabled a flashback to a sexy, art-based hook-up from the past. In the new world, Bette is going straight to the top and is running to be mayor of Los Angeles.
The original L Word was campy and crass, as over the top as it was revolutionary. But I loved it for everything it was. It gave viewers six seasons that put mostly queer women front and centre. For the first time, those characters were not the subplot, but the main event. Even so, at first I wondered if Generation Q was necessary. Times have changed beyond comprehension in a decade; some of the storylines that seemed less worthy of remark then, such as Alice’s out-of-character transphobia, or Lisa the Lesbian Man, would incite an opinion mob in an instant.
The growth of streaming television has opened up a world of queer storylines on all sorts of shows. If there isn’t a same-sex kiss on a Netflix series you start to wonder if you’ve accidentally skipped an episode. And then the Generation Q trailer brought it all back, gave me butterflies and of course, as if it was ever in doubt, I will be glued to the whole thing.
Showtime has announced the official title of its highly anticipated sequel as The L Word: Generation Q, which will debut this fall. The network also released a new video allowing fans to relive their favorite moments from the original series, The L Word, which you can check out in the player below as well as a new Generation Q poster in the gallery!
Marja-Lewis Ryan (The Four-Faced Liar, 6 Balloons) serves as showrunner and is executive producing with original series creator Ilene Chaiken and original series stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey. Kristen Campo also serves as executive producer.
In this sequel, Beals, Moennig, and Hailey will resume their original roles alongside a new generation of diverse, self-possessed LGBTQIA characters experiencing love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success in L.A.
The series is slated to begin production on eight new episodes in Los Angeles this summer. The pilot is directed by Steph Green who also serves as executive producer on the episode.
The groundbreaking drama series originally ran on Showtime from 2004-2009. The L Word spawned a reality spinoff The Real L Word, as well as a pilot in 2008 for a spinoff called The Farm, which was set in a woman’s prison. The show was to be set around the character of Alice. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told the site, “The past few years have seen lesbian and queer women characters in television killed off in shockingly high numbers. It is refreshing and exciting to see GLAAD Media Award-winning The L Word returning to television where it can tell nuanced, entertaining, and beautiful stories of a largely underrepresented community.”
The L Word
This well known Showtime series follows the lives and loves of a small, close-knit group of lesbians living in Los Angeles as well as the friends and family members that either support or loathe them. The show was created by Michele Abbott, Ilene Chaiken and Kathy Greenberg. It is starring Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey and Laurel Holloman among others iconic figures.