Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (January 16, 2009)


Note: There are NO spoilers for the final season of The L Word revealed below except who is killed (which has already been revealed in Showtime’s promos). But if you want to skip this section, click here to go directly to the next section.


Ilene and co. talked about the sixth season of The L Word on a panel at the TCA Winter Press Tour earlier this week, which featured Jennifer Beals, Leisha

Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Katherine Moennig, Pam Grier

and Ilene

, and‘s Michael Jensen gave us the run-down.

Much of the information imparted during the panel confirmed information we already knew — that Lucy Lawless is guest-starring, for example — but Chaiken and the actors offered some interesting opinions about various aspects of the series, and provided some details around the decisions made on the show.

Here are some of the interesting excerpts from the panel:

On whether the murdery-mystery subplot of the final season reflects will be too different for viewers

Ilene Chaiken: I wouldn’t call it an overarching plot.

It’s one story among many, and by far not the dominant

storyline. It’s a story that gives us a framework for

the whole season, but the season is about these lives,

these characters, their relationships, life goes on.

And the tone of the show actually hasn’t changed. It’s

very much as it always has been, a drama with some humor

about life and love and career and everything in

between. And the so-called murder mystery storyline, I

think, will finally put a few things into place. More

than anything it gave us just another metaphor for our


On choosing which character to kill off in the sixth season

Ilene Chaiken: … we didn’t

say, “We’re going to kill someone. Who should we

kill?” We said, “What’s the story that we’re

going to tell this year?” And the decision to

tell that story came out of a lot of things, but

in part it was the stories that we’ve been

telling, and the trouble that Jenny’s gotten into

over the years, the fact that she’s just provoked

everyone to that point at one time or another, and

there’s no question.

And I couldn’t deny that all

of the dialogues that go on around the show, the

passionate viewer reactions, the online

conversations, the things that journalists and

fans say to me in the course of all of the events

that we do were probably resonating in there


Jenny has a lot of the

very devoted fans, people who love her and think

that she’s the best thing that ever was, and she

is the character people loved to hate, and she

provoked rage among lots and lots of people, and

it made it interesting to tell that story.

On Showtime’s decision to give away the identity of the murder victim in the promos

Ilene Chaiken: …the

way that the season is framed, we open the first episode

with flash forward and then we go back and begin

seamlessly telling our stories from where we left off at

the end of Season 5. And so I would venture that the

folks at Showtime who do the incredible job of promoting

our show felt that they weren’t giving anything away.

They were taking the opportunity to build interest off

of something that happens in the first 20 seconds of the


Jennifer Beals: Also I have to say that people tend to

find out online. The show has such an incredible

audience online that they all talk to one another and

somehow they know more than I do usually. A guy would

go to the boards to find out information from them

because they get footage in advance. They know so many

of the storylines in advance. It’s very hard to keep

things from them I think too.

On why The L Word has straight male viewers

Jennifer Beals: Well, it’s pretty obvious. (Laughter.)

God bless them. Hope they’re learning something.

Pam Grier: A lot of straight women have been

watching it, and it’s enhanced their libidos, you

know. I’ve been getting great comments about


On shooting most of the series in Vancouver, B.C.

Ilene Chaiken: I think when we

first started the show, we went to Canada because

that’s what was done. That was how Showtime made

television back then, and many other people did, as

well. I think that it was a blessing for us

because it was a rarefied situation. We were all

up there together. It’s like working in a

laboratory. You focus. You concentrate. You

become closer. You become collaborative in a way

that you wouldn’t if you were lost in the big city

and leading your lives.

Leisha Hailey: I think the fact that we

relocated up there — we really only

had each other. We didn’t know anyone else. So I

think that bonded us very quickly, and if we had

shot down here, we would have maybe never gotten

to know each other so well. I’m just going to

miss these guys (indicating the rest of the cast).

Kate Moennig: [Vancouver] is so

accessible in a way that [L.A.] isn’t. You can

ride your bike … you’re able to run your

errands by foot. It’s like, a small town

sensibility in a big city essentially. I’m going

to miss that because there’s a really cozy element

to that town that you don’t see everywhere.

Pam Grier: I live in Colorado. So coming

to Los Angeles and Hollywood and sharing the lives

with my colleagues was always exciting and being

in Vancouver is like a shore, an ocean — it’s

very much like Denver in Colorado except for it

has the sea, and we have the mountains. I just

thought that we could focus on other things … I would write, and on

the end here (indicating Ilene), she’s a conspirator.

She talked me into writing my memoirs — yeah.

Don’t even start — I’m going to need

therapy because of it.

CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE: fans, favorite seasons, and that “fin” cast photo.