The cast of “The L Word” were the ladies of the hour (actually, only for a half hour) during the show’s presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour Wednesday. Going into its sixth and final season, executive producer, writer and director Ilene Chaiken and several cast members, including Jennifer Beals, gave insights into the series, the fans and the upcoming season.
Showtime has promoted the new season by teasing the storyline of Jenny’s murder mystery. How did Chalken decide which character to kill off?
Chaiken: The trouble that Jenny got into over the years and the fact that she just provoked everyone… She is the character people love to hate and provoked rage, and it made it interesting to tell that story.
Would the outcome of the murder mystery play into the potential spinoff? (See Related: Showtime’s Bob Greenblatt Reveals Details on ‘L Word’ Spin-off)
Chaiken: It doesn’t lead into it directly. The two stand alone and separately. Should the spinoff move forward to series, then yes it will.
Will the murder mystery change the tone of the plot?
Chaiken: It’s not a dominant storyline. This season is about lives and characters and relationships. The tone hasn’t changed. [It’s still a] drama with some humor about life and love and career. The so-called murder mystery storyline will finally put a few things into place….We wanted to devote the last eight episodes to telling stories about these characters we know and love.
Guest stars in season six?
Lucy Lawless, Elizabeth Berkley
When did “The L Word” hit its stride?
Chaiken: We hit our stride in our sixth season. Hopefully we’ll go out on a high.
Jennifer Beals: With each actor you have a pride from a certain season. I was most proud of my work in the second season because I was given so many challenges. The sixth season I really like a lot where we’re trying to adopt a baby.
Pam Grier: We had great, superb guest stars, actors who came on our show to assist us. Every episode was an arc within arc, and the entire season was a wonderful arc. Out of it was so much information that we could continue exploring.
Favorite fan encounters
Beals told a story that literally moved her to tears about a 16 year-old girl who recently came out and told her the show helped save her life when she had contemplated suicide. “[It’s great to] give people any kind of encouragement to be their most authentic self.” “I have a weird disease where I cry in front of large crowds,” she joked.
Katherine Moennig: “The great thing about the show is the loyal fan base. Even when they’re discouraged about the storyline, they still stick in there. It’s the most profound moment when you get a letter that says how a live has changed. That’s the power of television. [I’m] lucky enough to be on show that can deliver a strong message.”