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Shane and Alice in The L Word
The L Word (2004)

The L Word reboot is scrapped, with another L Word reboot in the works

RIP The L Word: Generation Q, hello The L Word: New York

Sad news from the lesbian film and TV desk this morning: our favourite talking, laughing, loving, breathing, fighting, fucking, crying lesbians are once again disappearing from our screens. It has been announced that The L Word: Generation Q is not being renewed for a fourth season, and so we will be saying goodbye to Shane, Alice, Bette and Tina and the new generation of messy gays. 

On the bright side, the spirit of the show may be carried on. According to Deadline, a different new reboot is in development with involvement from the original series creator lene Chaiken. Almost nothing is known about the potential new show or what stage of development it’s at, but we do know the working title is The L Word: New York so I feel confident in saying it would follow the way lesbians in New York City live and love.

The original L Word debuted in 2004 and was groundbreaking for its portrayal of on-screen lesbians, giving them space to be messy, multi-dimensional characters. It also failed to be representative of many queer experiences, however, and was particularly lacklustre when it came to lesbians of colour and trans characters. This was something the show aimed to correct when it was rebooted in 2019 with The L Word: Generation Q.

With the news of its cancellation, Generation Q joins an alarming number of queer programs that are being pulled from the air. This week a report from GLAAD found that there have already been 54 LGBTQ-inclusive series cancellations, which is resulting in the loss of 140 LGBTQ+ characters (almost a third of all queer characters) from our screens. 

The loss of Generation Q adds another 15 or so to this list, including iconic characters like Jennifer Beals’s Bette Porter and Kate Moennig’s Shane McCutcheon. Taking to Instagram, Moennig paid tribute to the show and her character. “Shane, it was an absolute pleasure to see you again. You will always mean more to me than just being a sex addict who doesn’t know anything about non-monogamy,” she wrote on her stories. “To the fans of the show, I love you all.”  

In better lesbian film news, Elliot Page’s queer cheerleading movie Backspot has begun shooting and Evan Rachel Wood has just joined the cast as professional cheer coach Eileen McNamara. Adding to the queer cheerleading canon – But I’m a Cheerleader, Santana and Brittany, Bring It On (if you count lesbian subtext) – Backspot revolves around “two young cheerleaders who are impressive members of their mid-level cheerleading squad until a professional coach gives them a chance to level up”.

Speaking to Variety, Jordan Smith, head of development and production at Page Boy Productions, said: “The importance of excellence in queer storytelling has never been more necessary and attracting a dream cast which includes the transcendent genius that is Evan Rachel Wood is a testament to the quality of the ‘Backspot’ production.

Other good news is that Bottoms, Emma Seligman’s lesbian fight club movie, premiered at SXSW this month to rave reviews (it was called “balls to the wall insane with a brilliant balance of emotion and pitch black humour” and “unabashed queerness, a fucking hilarious script, and a cast of star-making performances”). So that’s something to look forward to!

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