The Full Wiki

The L Word: Map

  
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



The L Word is an American and Canadian co-production television drama series originally shown on Showtime portraying the lives of a group of lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their friends, family and lovers in the trendy Los Angeles-area city of West Hollywood, Californiamarker. The show ran from 2004 to 2009.

Main crew

The show was created by executive producer Ilene Chaiken (Barb Wire, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). Other executive producers include Steve Golin (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Larry Kennar (Barbershop). Besides Chaiken, writers of the show have included Guinevere Turner (Go Fish, American Psycho) and Rose Troche (Go Fish, Six Feet Under).

Production

The pilot episode premiered on January 18, 2004. The original five year run ended with the series finale's airing on March 8, 2009. Outside the US, the series is distributed by MGM Worldwide Television. The L Word was filmed in Vancouvermarker, British Columbiamarker, at Coast Mountain Films Studios, which was formerly known as Dufferin Gate Studios Vancouver. The studio was once owned by Dufferin Gate Productions, the sister company to Temple Street Productions, the Canadian producer of the U.S. version of Queer as Folk.

Characters

The main characters throughout the series, and the seasons in which they appeared and left:

Actor Role Seasons

(guest)
BeaJennifer Beals Bette Porter 1–6
HolLaurel Holloman Tina Kennard 1–6
HaiLeisha Hailey Alice Pieszecki 1–6
KirMia Kirshner Jenny Schecter 1–6
MoeKatherine Moennig Shane McCutcheon 1–6
GriPam Grier Kate "Kit" Porter 1–6
DanErin Daniels Dana Fairbanks 1–3 (4)
SheRachel Shelley Helena Peabody 2–6
GavJanina Gavankar Eva "Papi" Torres 4 (5) (6)
LivEric Lively Mark Wayland 2
LomKarina Lombard Marina Ferrer 1 (4) (6)
MabEric Mabius Tim Haspel 1 (2) (3) (6)
MatMarlee Matlin Jodi Lerner 4–6
RobDallas Roberts Angus Partridge 3–4 (6)
RolRose Rollins Tasha Williams 4–6
SeaDaniela Sea Moira/Max Sweeney 3–6
ShaSarah Shahi Carmen de la Pica Morales 2–3 (6)
SheCybill Shepherd Phyllis Kroll 4–6


Title

The original code-name for the project was Earthlings, a rarely used slang term for lesbians.

Contemporary use of the phrase "the L word" as an alias for lesbian dates to at least the 1981 play My Blue Heaven by Jane Chambers, in which a character stammers out: "You're really ...? The L-word? Lord God, I never met one before."

Historical use of "the L word" as code language can also be found in the sentence of a letter written by Daphne du Maurier to Ellen Doubleday: "By God and by Christ, if anyone should call that love by that unattractive word that begins with 'L', I'd tear their guts out." (Du Maurier, author of Rebecca and other works, was deeply conflicted about her attraction to and unrequited passion for Doubleday, as she would later be about her affair with Gertrude Lawrence.)

Season synopsis

Season 1

Season 1 premiered in the United Statesmarker on January 18, 2004, on Showtime and featured 13 episodes presenting several entwined storylines. Set in West Hollywoodmarker, the series first introduces Bette Porter and Tina Kennard, a couple with a seven-year relationship who want to have a child. Tina eventually becomes pregnant through artificial insemination but has a miscarriage during episode 1.09: Luck, next time. Later in the series, Bette develops an affair with Candace Jewell, which Tina learns of during the season finale.

The pilot introduced a coming out/love triangle storyline involving Tina and Bette’s neighbor, Tim Haspel, his new-in-town girlfriend, Jenny Schecter, and Marina Ferrer. Marina is part of Tina and Bette’s circle of friends, and owns the neighborhood café, The Planet, which serves as the group's hang-out and focal point for the show. The season also introduces Shane McCutcheon, an androgynous, highly-sexual hairstylist and serial heart-breaker; Alice Pieszecki, a girly, bisexual journalist looking for love in any way she can, and Dana Fairbanks, a professional tennis player who is still in the closet and torn between pursuing her career and finding love. In the first season, Dana falls for a sous chef named Lara Perkins whose sexuality is questioned by the group until Lara has an unexpected meeting with Dana in the locker room.

Season 2

Season 2 began airing on Showtime on February 20, 2005 and featured thirteen episodes. It starts by unveiling to the viewers a secret Tina is keeping from everyone: she successfully became impregnated after a second insemination. Tina begins seeing Helena, while Bette’s life is portrayed as a wreck, with alcohol abuse, problems with her job, the death of her father in episode 2.12:L'Chaim, and being fired during the season finale. Tina and Bette reconcile during the final episode. The character of Marina was written out of the show, and the Planet was bought by Kit Porter.

Introduced in the second season are Carmen de la Pica Morales, a confident DJ who becomes part of a love triangle with Shane and Jenny; Helena Peabody, the daughter of a wealthy supporter of the arts who later becomes Tina's love interest; and Mark Wayland, a documentary filmmaker who moves in with Shane and Jenny. Mark makes them part of his latest documentary by setting up hidden cameras in the house to videotape them. During episode 2.09: Late, Later, Latent, Jenny discovers Mark’s tapes and also discovers the truth about Carmen’s true love.

Season 2 introduces a developing affair between Alice and Dana, which becomes public in episode 2.07: Luminous. It also presents insights into Jenny’s past as an abused child in episode 2.11: Loud and Proud, and reveals episodes of self-mutilation that reach their climax in the season finale.

Season 3

Season 3 first aired on January 8, 2006, with 12 episodes. It begins six months after the birth of Tina and Bette's daughter, Angelica. New characters in this season include Moira Sweeney (a working class butch portrayed by Daniela Sea who is Jenny’s girlfriend for most of the season) and Angus Partridge (portrayed by Dallas Roberts, Angelica’s male nanny who later becomes Kit’s lover. Sweeney starts the process of transitioning from female to male, switching his name to Max. Erin Daniel's character Dana Fairbanks starts in a multi-episode storyline dealing with a breast cancer battle and culminating with her death.

Notable of this season is that each episode begins with a short pre-credits vignette of two individuals meeting romantically or sexually. As the season progresses, lines from Alice's chart (see below) connect one member of each vignette with a new individual in the next.

Helena's character storyline was switched from being Bette's rival into a new member of the circle of friends. Her story arc for the season involves the acquisition of a movie studio in which Tina later works, and which further derives a sexual harrasment lawsuit that triggers her mother to cut her off financially in the season finale. Sarah Shahi's character Carmen ends her appearance in the show in the finale.

Season 4

Showtime announced renewal of the series, in a February 2, 2006, press release:.
On the heels of a year highlighted by industry recognition and critical acclaim for its award-winning original programming including Weeds, Huff and Sleeper Cell, Showtime has ordered a fourth season of its hit drama series The L Word.


The season premiere of the fourth season, Legend in the Making, first aired on January 7, 2007. The filming of the season's twelve episodes began in Vancouver, on May 29, 2006..

New cast members for the show's fourth season included Academy-Award winner Marlee Matlin, three time Golden Globe winner Cybill Shepherd, Kristanna Loken,, Rose Rollins and Janina Gavankar. Karina Lombard reprised her role as Marina Ferrer for two episodes. Film and television star Annabella Sciorra guest-starred in several episodes as lesbian film director Kate Arden, chosen to direct the film version of Jenny's story Lez Girls.

Season 5

Showtime picked up a fifth season of The L Word for 12 episodes, touting the show as "a signature franchise among our viewers". Production began in Vancouver the summer of 2007 and ended in Los Angeles early November 2007. The fifth season premiered on January 6, 2008, with episode LGB Tease.

Eva "Papi" Torres (Janina Gavankar), and Dallas Roberts' male token character Angus Patridge were both written out. Clementine Ford, reprised her role as Phyllis Kroll's daughter and began a relationship with Shane McCutcheon. Malaya Rivera Drew and Kate French were cast as guest characters for this season. Malaya played Adele, a young fan of Jenny's work who gets hired as her personal assistant. Kate played Niki Stevens, an ambitious young actress who lands the lead role of Jenny's character, Jesse, in the movie production 'Lez Girls'. Elizabeth Keener joined the show as entrepreneur Dawn Denbo, who started a rival lesbian bar with her lover Cindi.

Season 6

Showtime confirmed a sixth and final season for The L Word. Unlike the show's previous seasons, it only lasted 8 episodes to conclude the show with 70 episodes in total. Studio executives commented on the longevity of the show, with the Showtime president of entertainment Robert Greenblatt saying that The L Word has "surpassed its niche as a gay show". The sixth season premiered on January 18, 2009 and ended its original run on March 8 of the same year. Producers and writers of The L Word took viewers' opinions regarding the final season’s episodes. The main story of the season is related to the death of Jennifer Schecter and the rest of the season is a flashback from that point.

Before airing the show, Creator Ilene Chaiken denied reports of socialite Paris Hilton guest starring on an interview on gaydarnation.com. Ilene Chaiken said in an interview with the New York Post Magazine that she had offered DJ Samantha Ronson a guest spot in Season 6 but Ronson declined as she was busy. In July 2008, it was confirmed that Elizabeth Berkley would star as Kelly Wentworth (née Freemont) in a multi-episode arc of the final season. Mei Melançon also made guest appearances for the last season as Jamie Chen, a counselor from the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Youth Center who befriends Alice and Tasha and becomes their third-wheel crush.

Interrogation tapes

Shortly after airing the final episode, Showtime began releasing short videos in which characters reveal secrets that weren't revealed during the course of the show. Each video showed the interrogation of one character with a new video being released each Monday after the final episode via the Showtime website. All episodes feature Lucy Lawless as Sgt. Marybeth Duffy and Sean Tyson as Det. Sean Holden who are investigating the death of Jenny Schecter.

Following the seven interrogation tapes, the same URL offered an interview with series creator Ilene Chaiken in two weekly installments. Chaiken discussed several aspects of the show's history and plotlines, but would only consent to reiterating that Alice went to jail for Jenny's murder while not necessarily being guilty of the crime.

Unaired spin-off series and film proposals

Series creator Ilene Chaiken wrote and produced a 20-minute presentation for a possible spin-off centering around women's prison in which Leisha Hailey's character Alice Pieszecki is detained. The Farm started shooting in December 2008, while the sixth and final season of The L Word premiered in January 2009. Famke Janssen, Melissa Leo and Laurie Metcalf were part of the cast.

Showtime's CEO Matthew Blank announced plans for the new show at the Television Critics Association press tour in July 2008. It was announced in April that Showtime declined to pick up The Farm as a series, which may leave the open-ended element of the series finale as permanently unresolved.

Chaiken has expressed interest in producing a film based on the series in an interview aired through The L Word's website, although according to her declarations, it probably would not emphasize any of the unresolved plot lines of the show and would simply continue the story of the characters' friendships. No official proposals or green-lighting related to an L Word film have been publicized.

Music

As of March 2008, The L Word has released five compilation CDs with the show's soundtrack. The music composer of the show is EZgirl. The music supervisor is Natasha Duprey.

All three of Leisha Hailey's bands have been referenced in the series. A song by The Murmurs, Hailey's first band, was used in a first season episode and included on that season's soundtrack. During the second season, the character Shane is sometimes seen wearing a t-shirt for Gush, Hailey's second band. Songs of Hailey's most recent band, Uh Huh Her, were featured during the show's fifth and sixth seasons; the character Tasha Williams is seen wearing an Uh Huh Her t-shirt during the sixth season.

The Chart

A small portion of The Chart, covering some of the relationships established along the series through Season 6.
Pink represents main female characters, blue represents main male characters, purple and green minor characters featured in the series (female and male respectively), and grey signifies characters that are only alluded to.
"The Chart" is a graph of the affairs that occur among Alice's friends and acquaintances; it is an undirected labeled graph in which nodes are labeled with people's names and the lines represent affairs or hookups.Originally, The L Word was to be based around a lesbian Kit Porter, and "The Chart" was tattooed on her back. When Kit Porter was changed into a straight character, The Chart was given to Alice instead.

The Chart is a recurrent element in the show's storylines, especially those related to its creator within the series. During Season 3, it also serves as a marginal storyline that advances through each episode and concludes in the season finale.

The Concept of the Chart was further exploited in Season Four. Within the series, the Chart evolves into a social network hosting profiles and provides the introduction for the character of Papi in Episode 4.01:Legend in the Making. At the same time, a real-world parallel project OurChart.com was launched. The website, which allowed registered members to create their own profiles and also hosted several blogs on the show, was fully operational until the launch of the Sixth Season, after which Ilene Chaiken announced through an online statement that OurChart.com had merged with Showtime's website.

Reception

The show's first season was "broadcast to critical acclaim and instant popularity"; as an article from The New York Times pointed out:
Before "The L Word," lesbian characters barely existed in television. Interested viewers had to search and second-guess, playing parlor games to suss out a character's sexuality. Cagney and Lacey? Jo on "Facts of Life"? Xena? Showtime's decision in January 2004 to air The L Word, which follows the lives of a group of fashionable Los Angeles lesbians, was akin to ending a drought with a monsoon. Women who had rarely seen themselves on the small screen were suddenly able to watch lesbian characters not only living complex, exciting lives, but also making love in restaurant bathrooms and in swimming pools. There was no tentative audience courtship. Instead there was sex, raw and unbridled in that my-goodness way that only cable allows.


But co-creator and executive producer Ilene Chaiken had some issues with the reaction:
I do want to move people on some deep level. But I won't take on the mantle of social responsibility. That's not compatible with entertainment. I rail against the idea that pop television is a political medium. I am political in my life. But I am making serialized melodrama. I'm not a cultural missionary.


While the show is seen as fulfilling lesbians' "obvious and modest representational need" or even the "ferocious desire not only to be seen in some literal sense... but to be seen with all the blood and angst and magic that you possess", the show has been criticized for various scenes which serve to "reify heteronormativity". The show has also been praised for its nuanced consideration (in the first season) of how and in what ways lesbians should stand up to the religious right, with the "Provocations" art show storyline being "a fictionalized version of what happened when Cincinnati's Contemporary Art Center booked a controversial exhibition of Mapplethorpe photographs in 1990".

Some critics find The L Word to be "a better written series than Queer as Folk and seems less exploitative", with relationships being more important than sex. Some reviewers (and fans) are put off by the theme song (introduced in the second season) and the "graceless, clunky dialogue".

Several shows have referenced the The L Word, including South of Nowhere's first season episode "Girls Guide to Dating"; According to Jim; the medical drama House; the first season finale of Weeds, Jon Stewart's The Daily Show (July 24, 2006); Chapelle's Show: The "Lost Episodes"; The Sopranos episode Live Free or Die; the US version of The Office; Gilmore Girls fourth season episode Scene in a Mall; G4's Attack of the Show skit Lesbionic Women; The Big Gay Sketch Show; The Simpsons episode You Kent Always Say What You Want; and Family Guy episode Brian Sings and Swings. Also, movies such as Puccini for Beginners and I Can't Think Straight have made mention of The L Word as to reference lesbians.

By the time the sixth and final season began, The New York Times was calling the show a "Sapphic Playboy fantasia" that has "shown little interest in variegating portrayals of gay experience. Instead it has seemed to work almost single-mindedly to counter the notion of lesbian bed death" and repeatedly remind the viewer of the "limits and tortures of monogamy" while "never align[ing] itself with the traditionalist ambitions [for same-sex marriage] of a large faction of the gay rights movement."

Awards

In 2005, Laurel Holloman won a Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her portrayal of Tina Kennard; the International Press Academy also nominated the show for a Satellite Award for Best Television Series – Drama. In the second season, Ossie Davis won a posthumous Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a drama series in recognition of his portrayal of the father of Bette and Kit Porter. The show received multiple nominations for GLAAD Media Awards and both Pam Grier and Jennifer Beals were repeatedly nominated for NAACP Image Awards. Jennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman also won an A-list award for sexiest television scene: the elevator scene.

In 2008 The L Word's companion website was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for Best Use of Commercial Advertising on Personal Computers.

International broadcasts





References

  1. Amy Cavanaugh, "An interview with Ilene Chaiken", Washington Blade, 2009-03-09.
  2. Daphne du Maurier: The Secret Life of the Renowned Storyteller, by Margaret Forster (1993).
  3. Five Times the Love! Lust! Laughs! Longing! SHOWTIME's THE L WORD(R) Returns for a Fifth Season
  4. OurChart. You're On It. | OurChart
  5. Showtime loyal to 'L Word' - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety
  6. Showtime will have last 'Word'
  7. Ilene Chaiken: L Word gaydarnation.com, 20 Jun 2008
  8. Must Samantha Ronson Be A Lesbian Role Model?NY Post Page Six Magazine Oct 5, 2008
  9. Exclusive: Elizabeth Berkley Utters 'The L Word' EW.com Jul 22, 2008 by Michael Ausiello
  10. http://www.sho.com/site/lword/interrogation.do
  11. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1288495/
  12. Elizabeth Jensen, "‘The L Word’ Spins Off Its Chart", NY Times, 2006-12-18.
  13. Pete Cashmore, "OurChart.com - The L-Word Launching Lesbian Social Network", Mashable, 2006-12-18.
  14. Ilene Chaiken, "A New Year A New OurChart", Showtime.
  15. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "Foreword: The Letter L." Reading the L Word, edited by Kim Akass and Janet McCabe. London: I. B. Tauris (2006): xix
  16. Dana Heller, "How Does a Lesbian Look? Stendhal's Syndrome and the L Word." Reading the L Word, edited by Kim Akass and Janet McCabe. London: I. B. Tauris (2006): 57
  17. Samuel A. Chambers, "Heteronormativity and The L Word: From Politics of Representation to a Politics of Norms" Reading the L Word, edited by Kim Akass and Janet McCabe. London: I. B. Tauris (2006): 91
  18. Margaret McFadden, ""We cannot afford to keep being so high-minded": Fighting the Religious Right on The L Word" The New Queer Aesthetic on Television: Essays on Recent Programming, edited by James R. Keller and Leslie Stratyner. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers (2006): 125
  19. Rob Owen, "TV Review: Lesbians in love" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette January 16, 2004
  20. Heather Havrilesky, " I Like to Watch" salon.com , January 14, 2007


External links




Embed code:






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message