The announcement that The L Word was greenlit to return to Showtime after a decade off the air was met with mixed response by fans. Years ago, young people like me were just excited that a show centering only queer women would even air on television — it seemed nearly inconceivable at the time. These feelings soon dissolved, as it became apparent the characters weren’t representative at all. Each week the show played out as a soap opera, chock full of cheating, heaps of emotional and mental instability, and probably the worst depiction of a trans person and trans narrative on an LGBTQ-written show. And yet I still watched religiously — what else was there?
Some of the original cast, Bette (Jennifer Beals), Alice (Leisha Hailey), and Shane (Katherine Moennig) are confirmed to return for the reboot, with others potentially making a comeback. It has me thinking about how starting over and completely recasting the show could help make it more representative of the queer community. While opinion of the show remains divided among its viewers, I think we can all acknowledge it failed to present nuanced characters of color (though hiring writers Lena Waithe and Roxane Gay who have each expressed interest, might help). Though the idea of a sequel brings back many — mostly painful — memories, I’ve reimagined what the show could be by dreaming up my own updated L Word cast.