TV series: “The L Word” is back on Sky Atlantic and Now TV
It took eleven long years, but finally the tv series The L Word She is back.
Conceived by Ilene Chaiken, Michele Abbott, and Kathy Greenberg and broadcast by Showtime in the United States for six seasons from 2004 to 2009, the television series has become a key reference point for the LGBT community worldwide.
For the first time, a TV series told the stories of gay, bisexual and transgender women with naturalness and courage, giving voice and visibility to thousands of women who had often been sidelined and had no television characters to identify with.
The series returns with a reboot entitled The L Word: Generation Q, which will be broadcast from 11 May on Sky Atlantic is NOW TV. In addition, on demand on Sky and streaming on NOW TV, it is also possible to retrieve all the seasons of the historical series.
They return from the original cast Kate Moennig in the part of Shane McCutcheon, Jennifer Beals in that of Bette Porter and Leisha Hailey in that of Alice Pieszecki, three of the most loved characters whose lives have changed radically in the meantime. We also find Laurel Holloman for two episodes in the part of Tina Kennard, the great love of Bette Porter and biological mother of their daughter Angelica, who is 16 years old in the new series. Shane has become an internationally renowned hairstylist who returns to Los Angeles after a long working spell in Europe. Bette has left her career in the world of galleries and art schools to run for mayor of Los Angeles and Alice finally has a TV show of her own, in which she interviews famous guests live asking uncomfortable but important questions. Next to them, a very talented young cast who gives life to an exciting series and reflects the changes that have taken place in the LGBT community in the last decade.
We interviewed Kate Moennig and talked about the importance of the series, also trying to understand why Shane is unforgettable. Heartbreaker by definition, the beautiful and damned with whom they all fall in love but none can capitulate. Shane has had a difficult life full of traumatic experiences that make her allergic to lasting relationships. One of the most famous quotes in the series is that “Every time Shane enters a club, there is always someone who ends up crying.” Yet Shane is beloved by the public, because beyond the historical fear of binding in love, she is a true friend on whom she can always rely. Under the hard peel, it hides a sensitive and tormented personality that breaches the heart of the beholder and makes it irresistible.
© Hilary B Gayle / SMPSP courtesy of SHOWTIME
The actress plays the part in such a natural way that we spontaneously ask ourselves how much of Shane there is in her and vice versa.
“It is a difficult question. For me, playing the part of Shane is like talking about an old friend. In the long run you become similar to the character you play but it is difficult to find the words to express how it feels to do it. It is a particular feeling and trying to describe it would steal its magic “. I remind you that although several attempts have been made on other TV shows over the years, no one has managed to undermine Shane. “There has never been another Shane and I don’t think there will ever be. Just like there will never be another Tony Soprano. They are such iconic characters that it becomes impossible to copy them. Shane is a fascinating mix of male and female sides. that give life to a complex but unique personality. Besides, why should a character be cloned? There are so many people in the world, each with special and unrepeatable characteristics. Let us be inspired by the beauty that surrounds us “.
(L-R) Jennifer Beals as Bette Porter, Katherine Moennig as Shane McCutcheon and Leisha Hailey as Alice Pieszeckie in THE L WORD: GENERATION Q, “Let’s Do It Again”. Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / SHOWTIME.
© Hilary Bronwyn Gayle
When it refers to Jennifer Beals is Leisha Hailey, Kate Moennig always talks about “family”. It is moving to see the photos taken together that the three actresses publish on Instagram and read their comments. They tell the story of a deep and true friendship, born on the set in 2004. What unites them and continues to strengthen their bond?
“We are three completely different people and this is what distinguishes our friendship. It is something organic, each of us contributes with his character to create a unique bond. We have worked hard to achieve the reboot of the series. Together with Ilene Chaiken we have tried for 10 years to restart The L Word and there were many obstacles to overcome, but we went on and it worked because we think the same way in life too. When we are together on the set something magical always happens, there is an imperceptible thread that connects us and I am really happy that the public has managed to understand it. Knowing special people who become friends for life should not be taken for granted when you work in this environment and I feel very lucky to have met them. “
In the role of Shane, Kate Moennig also helped to break down the wall of prejudices on gender bending and diversity issues. In an episode of the fourth series – shot in 2006 – Shane agrees to pose for an advertising campaign by Hugo Boss, wearing only a pair of men’s underpants. Those photos have inspired entire generations of designers and models – and still continue to be published on social media. She replies smiling, happy that he reminded her of that shooting.
“It is very true, at the time there was little talk of gender bending and gender diversity. Ilene Chaiken has always been ahead of the times and had the courage to face controversial issues when they were still taboo. Fortunately, then the company evolved.”
If asked to do a photo shoot today, would you accept it? “Why not, at least I’d think about it”.
Is there a designer you love in particular? “Hedi Slimane. I liked him from the beginning, I continued to follow him in the period from Saint Laurent up to the current one from Celine and I love everything he does. It has never been easy for me to find clothes that suit me, but the his creations are on me like a second skin. “ Hearing her talk about Slimane suddenly turns a light on my head, because Kate Moennig perfectly embodies the designer’s style. It is the synthesis of everything Slimane has always represented and would be the ideal model for him. But does Slimane know that Kate Moennig admires her work? “I never met him, so I really don’t think he knows”. I hope Slimane reads this interview, because seeing Kate Moennig in an advertising campaign or on the catwalk for Celine would be an absolute climax.
(L-R) Jennifer Beals as Bette Porter, Katherine Moennig as Shane McCutcheon and Leisha Hailey as Alice Pieszeckie in THE L WORD: GENERATION Q, “LA Times”. Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / SHOWTIME.
© Hilary B Gayle / SMPSP courtesy of SHOWTIME
From a social point of view, the LGBT community has achieved goals considered unthinkable compared to 2009. In what way The L Word: Generation Q reflects this evolution?
“The current world is completely different and the reboot of the series reflects the changes that have taken place in society.
Some characters got married or officially engaged, all of which were impossible in the years the original series was aired. Many taboos of that period have collapsed and you will see that Shane has also grown and made life choices that he would not have even considered eleven years ago “.
The same reasons why the new series has been successful all over the world and convinced the producers to decide to follow up on it. Kate Moennig confirms that the second part of The L Word: Generation Q this will be done, even if definitive dates have not yet been established due to the corona virus.
Whatever happens, what will remain of The L Word for years to come?
“The series was the first of its kind and will forever remain an indispensable reference for the LGBT community. It has inspired similar programs and will continue to do so. From a personal point of view, I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. This is what it makes a difference. “
Katherine Moennig as Shane McCutcheon in THE L WORD: GENERATION Q. Photo Credit: Kharen Hill / SHOWTIME.
© Kharen Hill courtesy of SHOWTIME