'L' is for Let it Be

Our Web editor and resident Portage County "lifer" gives us her take on The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken's new reality series with the same name

Girls dating other girls might not be so uncommon. Or extraordinary. Lesbians can have the same triumphs and tragedies as heterosexual couples.

Is the The L Word's legacy about to take a nose dive as creator Ilene Chaiken is executive producing a new reality series with the same name.
Is the The L Word's legacy about to take a nose dive as creator Ilene Chaiken is executive producing a new reality series with the same name?

This message resonated with me when I turned on Showtime’s hit series, The L Word, for the first time. Let’s face it. I am a Portage County “lifer,” and being LGBT in a small town is not easy for a teenager. The L Word was more than a lesbian soap opera, but it gave me hope that I am not the only non-softball playing, stiletto-clad female in the LGBT community. A show finally told me there was no definition of what I should or should not be as an LGBT person.

Watching the L Word is like a rite of passage for many lesbians, and to say the show is popular within the lesbian demographic is a vast understatement. It wrapped its sixth and final season this year with a disappointing murder mystery that was never solved. Many faithful fans, such as myself, felt robbed that creator Ilene Chaiken did not wrap popular plots which were ongoing for the entire duration of the show. Did Bette and Tina finally stay together? Will Shane ever settle down or will she always be a “lady’s lady?”

Rumors leave Chaiken looking like a sellout because many believe she did not finish the show so that she would have room to create a spinoff show called The Farm. The Farm has not been picked up so no one knows who killed Jenny or why Chaiken even bothered to waste time on such an awful final season.

Now, according to TheAdvocate.com, Chaiken will executive produce a show called The L Word which will use the show’s title to promote a reality series about real lesbians who live in Los Angeles.

Chaiken should take a new creative direction and leave The L Word out of it. She had her chance for closure during the show’s final season and blew it. Making spinoffs to the show or creating different shows of the same title will not change her disappointment to fans.

The L Word is part of the lesbian subculture, and many thank Chaiken for daring to portray a side of LGBT females no one knows. This gratefulness we have for her past efforts does not mean she should stretch the franchise beyond its lifespan.

Chaiken killed The L Word when she killed Jenny Schecter. Leave it in the grave.

—Marchae Grair
Web Editor

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