Sarah Shahi is set to return for Showtime’s upcoming The L Word sequel series!
Carmen de la Pica Morales for two seasons and was a fan favourite on the series.
“It was discussed [that] my involvement [would be] very heavily [that] I would be in it. I intend to keep it that way, and so does Showtime,”
Shahi played fan-favorite Carmen — a DJ and love interest for Moennig’s Shane — for two seasons.
“[The L Word] was my first big gig. And to be a part of that, I don’t think I ever really knew what I was stepping into until after and I started speaking with women and getting letters. Just the amount of information that was sent my way about how impactful it was, it put me on this thing where it’s like, everything I want to do from now on, I want it to have meaning and I want it to touch people. That was something I tried to do in Reverie and in Person of Interest and it’s something I’m going to do in City on a Hill. To be a part of that sisterhood was so momentous for me. I’m more than honored that I can go back and re-create it.”
Shahi also opened up about what she thinks Carmen is up to now.
“Whatever she’s doing, I feel like she’s definitely still pining away for Shane. For Shane, Carmen would be the one that got away. But I think that was a big game-changer for her. I’m not sure if she’s still DJing or not but definitely something in the music-art world.”
One thing that’s still to be determined is just how big of a role Shahi will have in the eight-episode revival. Showtime declined comment on Shahi’s involvement.
Playwright and screenwriter Marja-Lewis Ryan will serve as showrunner and executive produce alongside original series creator Ilene Chaiken.
Stars Jennifer Beals (Bette), Katherine Moennig (Shane) and Leisha Hailey (Alice) are also on board to exec produce and will reprise their roles from the original series while also introducing a new ensemble of self-possessed LGBTQIA characters experiencing love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success on the east side of Los Angeles.
The reboot, first announced in July 2017, arrives nearly 10 years after the original wrapped its six-season run. It is considered a sequel to the original. Lewis-Ryan was selected following an extensive search for a writer with ties to the LGBTQIA community to document how relationships, lives and experiences have evolved — as well as what has and hasn’t changed since the show launched in 2004. Other characters from the original series — which included fan-favorite Erin Daniels (Dana), Laurel Holloman (Tina), Mia Kirshner (Jenny), and Pam Grier (Kit) — may also appear in a potential new version.
According to recent reports, The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken is looking to reshape the show with a next generation crew.
However, this may also mean re-writing the shows history and ignoring the final season.
When speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Chaiken revealed that she would serve as executive producer for the sequel series along with original series stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey.
The three actresses would appear as their characters in the revival, and would help connect the dots – or The Chart – to a new group of women that the new series would focus on.
Showtime programming president Gary Levine told THR.
The new L Word will definitely deal with the new fluidity of sexuality; the gender differences in question. That’s not coming from me but everyone who comes in has a complete new canvas that absolutely speaks to the state of the world today and the younger generation. I have no doubt it will be incredibly relevant.”
Other actors from the original series like Erin Daniels (Dana), Laurel Holloman (Tina), Mia Kirshner (Jenny), Sarah Shahi (Carmen) and Pam Grier (Kit) may also appear in the new series.
We’re going to redefine The L Word with a new cast of characters but several of the originals will definitely be integral parts of it. It’s a generational thing and we’ll have both generations represented.”
As for the creative, Chaiken hinted that the revival may, like ABC’s upcoming Roseanne and NBC’s Will and Grace, ignore the final season that centred around a search for who killed Jenny.
“We might forget that last year ever happened.”
She also says she would also ignore the death of fan favorite Dana if she could, though she insists, “I don’t think we can.”
We’ve all learned a lot since then. We’ve been enlightened and the new version of the show will reflect how much more enlightened we are.”
Even though there’s been chatter about Showtime’s other series focused on the lives of LGBT characters, Queer As Folk, getting a revival, Levine says that there are currently no plans to bring back the show.
I feel like it really has been a giant gap in terms of lesbian series since The L Word went off the air. I don’t think there’s been quite as big a gap in terms of gay male characters and series in television. The L Word was a seminal series and there’s been nothing like it so maybe it’s time to try it anew. That’s why we’re pursuing it.”
Mia Kirshner: I had no idea until the table read. I had such complicated feelings about Jenny. I was really surprised, I just started to cry. I was really, deeply upset, because she had become a part of me, even though she drove me crazy, that character, and she was so wrong most of the time and so rude.
Jennifer Beals: So entertaining, though! I loooove Jenny.
Kirshner: But I was very, very upset because I had seven years of that character with these people who had become like my family.
Moennig: I just want to pretend that [season] 6 didn’t happen, and just cap it at five. The show wasn’t about that, so let’s cap that and end it at five, because the show wasn’t about a death. That wasn’t what this whole show was about.
Ilene Chaiken: I’m not sure that it was the best choice. I loved the stories we told, but to do a murder mystery maybe was off-topic for us. But it was a metaphor. Jenny brought us into this world. Jenny is going to take us out of this world. It never so much mattered to me, and I realized it matters to the fans. When you tell a story, you owe it to the fans, but to me, it was just a way to talk about this journey that we’ve all been on together and where we are now.
The L Word is one of those shows that most of my generation ended up finding late at night, in their room, by surprise. After all, when the show came out, Netflix wasn’t right on your computer or tablet yet – we had to make do with what we had.
For so many of us, this was the first image of lesbians we really saw before we came out (Buffy and Xena excluded, of course). Now that we’ve had some time to grow up, we have questions. So… Many…. Questions.
1. What is with Shane’s style in Seasons 1-2?
I get the whole rockstar vibe, but did she have to pick rockstars from the ‘70s? We had so many bigger fashion icons that she could have emulated from the music industry. Hell, even Elton John could have been a good look for her – so why did she look like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards?
2. And then, the rest of the seasons, too?
Okay, I’ll admit that I was sucked into the “Sexy Shane” idea for a few years… But I think it’s because she was shown as this Sex Goddess who dressed a bit like me. Albeit, the stuff never looked like that on me because I am substantially bigger than super-skinny Shane. But she basically looks unkempt throughout the whole series, and magically women fall for her like crazy. What’s up with that?
3. But really, what’s up with everyone’s style in the early seasons?
Considering how fashion-forward most of them ended up being in later seasons, it’s a little weird that everyone was so unfashionable in the first couple seasons. I mean, back then I wasn’t too terribly fashionable either, but I didn’t live in a posh neighborhood in LA – I lived in a little country town about forty minutes away from anything worth mentioning. Surely, these women had to have access to high-fashion outlets in Los Angeles.
4. Why are Bette and Tina friends with Shane?
They have literally nothing in common, and they wouldn’t even hang out if they weren’t neighbors, right? Even then, I’ve never been that cozy with random stranger neighbors… Especially those who were from obviously different socioeconomic statuses. Which brings us to…
5. How did Shane, Jenny, and that whole crew afford to live next door to Bette and Tina anyway?
I can tell you from personal experience, being a writer doesn’t pay too much – especially if you’re just kinda going your own way with it, like Jenny did. Shane is a hairdresser to the stars, but she barely ever goes to work and she keeps pissing off clients or getting in trouble with their significant others – how does she even still have a job? Right next door are rich-and-successful Bette and Tina, who have so much money saved up that Bette literally pays for an apartment for Tina as well as keeping up the bills at her own place… What?! How are these two houses even on the same street?!
6. What’s up with The Chart?
I get that this is a major plot point in the show, but how did this actually come about – and how did it grow so friggin’ big? Wouldn’t people want to maintain a little privacy in this part of their lives, especially those who were definitely in the closet about the whole thing? And the Papi hub suggested that people were literally updating their Chart status immediately after getting it on. This is rude, and no one would really keep up with something like this – especially someone as… Ahem… “Busy” as Papi.
7. Does anyone ever really go to work?
Not all of the characters even have jobs, and they’re rarely seen going to work – except Tina and Max, and of course anyone who works at The Planet, at least while they’re working there. Seriously – these people pay for their fancy houses and better fashion choices by barely ever going to work. I don’t buy it. I work 6-7 days a week and can barely afford my coffee addiction.
8. Why is Shane so irresistible?
I already touched on this one before, but really, what is it about Shane that has women entranced? I think maybe it’s a representation of what we all wish we could be… But that’s not realistic, of course. Shane would not have really been pulling in the babes, between her cursed reputation and completely disheveled appearance throughout the majority of the series.
9. Why did Bette and Tina end up together?
They were so wrong for each other, and not because Bette couldn’t keep her eyes on only Tina. Tina was a bit manipulative and controlling, and she was always in some type of pissy mood. Plus, what was with that whole cybersex thing – did we ever really believe it was just curiosity? Maybe this is my inner insecurities taking precedence – I had an ex who went looking for a piece of side action with a straight guy while we were together – but that would have been just as bad as cheating in my book. And those nicknames… Ugh. Gag.
10. Why do we feel so compelled to sing the stupid theme song?
Even if you’ve never actually sung along, you know every word – admit it. And you hate that song, but still, when you hear that intro, you start revving up and picturing the opening credits from your favorite season, no matter which season is actually on at the time.
11. How are there so many single women in LA?
Lesbians aren’t known for staying single, and any time a new lesbian enters their circle, she’s miraculously single. Most lesbians I know wouldn’t make a big move like that without their girlfriends… Anyway, I find it pretty hard to believe that many lesbians enter their world without a girlfriend. Look it over again – how many women come into the plot specifically to destroy a relationship? How is everyone just so OK with hooking up with someone else’s girlfriend?
12. Why did Ivan get mad at Kit?
Or, worded differently, why did he give her a key to his place if she wasn’t allowed to use it? Like, hello, she knows you’re transgender, and she adores you anyway – obviously it’s not her who’s making a big deal out of things and being awkward.
13. Why didn’t Jenny kick out Mr. Creepy like, yesterday?
As soon as I find out I’m being recorded without my knowledge, you’re going to be out of the picture – even if I willingly have sex with you on a regular basis. There is no way I would let someone who has shown a complete breach of personal space to continue living in my spare room. Not a chance. There’s no making up for that.
14. Why didn’t we see more Joyce and Phyllis?
They were probably the cutest couple on the show, and they were barely even on the show. I would have watched the hell out of a spin-off show. It’s not too late, ladies – please team up again and be awesome older crime fighting vigilante lesbian goddesses. Is that too much to ask for?
15. Why didn’t we get to see more of Helena in prison?
It might be one of the most overdone lesbian storylines ever, but we would all watch another lesbian women’s prison TV show – admit it. (I’d settle for a cameo on Orange is the New Black – oh please, can we have a crossover?!)
16. Who actually killed Jenny?
Rumors have been started a million times about this subject. Everyone has heard someone’s theories before, and made their own. Who do you think did it? Tell us in the comments!
(p.s. – I heard a rumor that Alice whispers she did it at the end of the final episode – but I haven’t verified this yet… Planning to dig up a recap for proof!)
I would love to revisit The L Word. We talk about it from time to time. I talk about it with some of my colleagues who were in the cast who would love to reboot it. I don’t know when.
I’m busy and most of them are too, but I do still think that it’s a viable world in which to tell stories, and those characters are still beloved as far as I can tell.”
While this is hardly a confirmation, it is exciting that Chaiken would be willing to revisit the show, and with such large fan base, a reboot would presumably be rather successful – right?!
The L Word first premiered in 2004 on Showtime, and revolved around a group of queer women living in West Hollywood – the twists and turns of the show and their love, personal, and professional lives made for some captivating and truthful television viewing.
Held a trailblazing show, this was the easily the first show to revolve completely around Queer women, unlike male-dominated LBGT shows like Queer as Folk, and Will And Grace.
While the majority of the principle characters identified as lesbian, The L Word also contained bisexual, transgender and straight characters. Additionally, a major character came out at Transgender, and the show chronicled their transition.
While Ilene Chaiken and the team behind The L Word would like to bring a reboot to their audience, it would be quite the feat to actually accomplish it.
Many of the people who helped make The L Word so great have gone on to busy entertainment careers.
The L Word actress Katherine Moennig is set to star in Lane 1974.
Lane 1974 will be directed by S.J. Chiro, and is based on Clane Hayward’s memoir, The Hypocrisy of Disco.
It follows a 13-year-old played by newcomer Sophia Mitri Schloss who attempts to live within the confines of her mother’s (Moennig) bizarrely rigid counter culture philosophies in a commune in Northern California.
Chiro, who grew up on two communes in the ‘70s, is making her directorial debut with the project.
Talking on casting Moennig, Chiro said
Katherine Moennig was the actress I immediately thought of to play Hallelujah. Working with her has been one of the great joys of my career. Kate is a sharp, incisive, and straightforward person, much like the woman she plays. She is able to bring incredible depth and humanity to a complicated role. I can’t wait for the world to see a very different side of Kate Moennig.”
As we all know Moennig is known for playing Shane McCutcheon in the The L Word, but she is currently starring on Showtime series Ray Donovan as Lena.
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