At Long Last: “The L Word” Season 4 Preview


This Sunday, nine months after the ladies of The L Word convened in Canada for Carmen and Shane’s aborted wedding, the Showtime drama returns for its fourth season with new loves, new rivals and new lives for almost everyone. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the opening theme song. Yep, love it or hate it, it’s still Betty.

Last season, Shane

left Carmen standing at the altar; Tina returned to the Isle of Man; and Bette,

not in her right mind since getting Heche’d, kidnapped their baby daughter,

Angelica. Jenny and Max saw their relationship de-evolved into exactly what

you’d expect when you put a man and a lesbian together, and Helena was introduced

to tough love when her mom cut her off from all that lovely money. Alice and

Lara dealt with Dana’s death by having hot grief sex, and Kit and Angus

were knocked back on their asses to learn that Kit was knocked up.

If you’ve been

praying for Carmen’s return, preferably while wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes

and a low-cut belly shirt, or for Dana to make recurring appearances to have

imaginary conversations (and sex) with Alice, be forewarned. Creator Ilene Chaiken

said in a recent interview with Go NYC magazine, “We know we have

a passionate audience. [But] we never tell a story based on what the audience


That said, here’s a preview of what’s to come, character by character. Don’t worry, the following contains very few spoilers.

(For the heavy-duty, spoilerific preview, go here for my Top 10 Season 4 Spoilers.)


After losing her cool for most of last season, Bette regains her alpha dyke

mien in her new job as dean of an art school. Cybill

Shepherd returns to episodic television, after a nine-year break since her

eponymous TV series Cybill, as Phyllis Kroll, Bette’s new boss.

“Heads Will Roll Kroll” may be the no-nonsense head of a university,

but she’s also a 50-something married woman who’s ready to uncover her

inner lesbian.

Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin also joins the cast as deaf artist Jodi Lerner, whom Bette brings in as an artist-in-residence. Jodi is as passionate about women as she is about art, and she quickly becomes attracted to Bette. (Who doesn’t?)

Alice –

Time heals all wounds, and Alice is poised to emerge from her state

of mourning and return to the business of being the quirky, funny Alice of Season

1. This season, that involves the expansion of her MySpace-like website based

on her white-board chart of all her friends’ hook-ups.

On said website, Alice discovers someone named Papi who actually has more hits than Shane, and Alice sets off on a mission to find her. Played by newcomer Janina Gavankar, Papi is the anti-Shane: a showy, swaggering, shamelessly competitive seducer of anything in a skirt. Papi’s posse includes another new character: Tasha Williams, played by Rose Rollins, who soon catches Alice’s eye.

Shane –

Despite a string of careers from trick-turning street kid to hairdresser

to Hollywood deal-maker and back to hairdresser, Shane has always remained “Shane”:

an unobtainable, love ’em and leave ’em cool cat who really needs to

eat more.

New to Shane’s world this season is Paige Sobel, a smokin’ hot single mom played by out bisexual actor Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3, BloodRayne), whom she meets at a back-to-school night. I know what you’re thinking: What is L.A.’s lesbian Lothario doing hanging out at a school? Will Shane find a new sense of family playing Xbox with Paige’s son? Or could it be she’s tapping into a new dating market, seeing as how she’s slept with every girl who ever passed within five blocks of The Planet?

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