L Word creator Ilene Chaiken and writer of the new series, Marja-Lewis Ryan, have both done interviews this week, providing more insight into what we can expect from the new L Word, which debuts this year. Chaiken spoke to Trish Bendix for NBC News and Ryan was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter. Here are some excerpts from both interviews.
The show picks up ten years later in Silver Lake, a trendy, hipster area of LA, with a mix of new characters and three original characters – Shane, Bette and Alice.
Marja-Lewis: They are still the people that we all love. I do think that hopefully you'll see that there's growth and then we get to fill in the gaps. I really want to honor these characters and honor the original and honor the returning audience.
On How Much Screen Time Kate, Leisha And Jennifer Will Get
Marja-Lewis: There is an eight-episode order and I hope, if schedules allow, that they'll be in all episodes.
On Whether Bette And Tina Are Still Together
Marja-Lewis: Anything is possible. I haven't written the season yet.
On Sarah Shahi Returning As Carmen
Ilene: She did say it (that she would return) and I think we're all excited about that. Sarah has been such a great booster, supporter of the show always.
Screenshot Shane and Carmen in The L Word
On Rumors That Dead Characters Jenny And Dana Are Being Bought Back To Life
Marja-Lewis: No, I don't think so. I loved her, (Dana) too. I really did. That was horrible.
Ilene: I said to Marja, (33-year-old writer/director Marja-Lewis Ryan who is taking over writing the show) who is very respectful and collaborative, "Feel free to say it was a dream if you want to." But I just wanted her to know that I wasn't precious about any of it, so anything could happen, who knows?
Marja-Lewis: I hope the audience gives me the opportunity to prove my worth a bit because I think Jennifer, Kate and Leisha are the right three. And their lives will be intertwined with the new characters and it will unfold in an organic way.
On Maintaining The Show’s Famous Sexiness
Ilene: One of the things Marja and I connected over in the very beginning and one of the reasons it was clear that she was so right to do that show is that she and I really like telling stories about sex and making film about sex and portraying it and enjoying it and exploring it.
It's really important to me that the person who takes over this show shares my enjoyment of telling sexy stories about sex.
On Representation And Diversity On The New Show
Marja-Lewis: I will have more than one trans character and all trans characters will be played by trans actors.
Ilene: Marja is really keenly attuned to the issues of representation and inclusivity ...I think people will be gratified by how inclusive this show is.
On Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey And Kate Moennig As Executive Producers
Ilene: They're very, very smart and very collaborative. They are playing the roles of actor, executive producer exactly as they should.,, they're largely weighing in on their own characters but also offering thoughts and insight. They're proving to be a real asset and really great producing partners for us.
Marja-Lewis: They wanted to make sure that I had free will to let those characters grow up. The 10 years between the time we've last seen them and now have affected them. They wanted to let the stories unfold from there but also to stay true to their characters.
Screenshot Leisha Hailey and Jennifer Beals in the L Word
On How Different The New Show Will Look And Sound
Ilene: I recognize it as slightly different, because Marja has a different voice and point of view to me. But it feels like a beautiful continuation of the show and the world, and I'm sure that it will be all of that, and it might also offer something different as well.
Marja-Lewis: I want to find things that are uniquely L.A. but are super real. We don't all work in the entertainment industry. There's way more Latina representation because we're in L.A. In terms of socioeconomic classes, the original did a pretty good job where like I still have friends that sleep on people's couches, like Shane did. And I have friends who are adults. That's just true about our community — there are wanderers and drifters.
I don't want to be afraid of showing some of our messes. And there's a lot of former athletes in our community.
There's a lot of us out here that have these very interesting and very specific backgrounds that I think are important ways of informing characters and informing character choices. And the fact that I get to have such a big cast is nice.