‘The L Word: Generation Q’ is a drama series about the lives of a group of lesbian and bisexual women from Los Angeles. The series is about the day-to-day life of the LGBTQ+ community, their dreams, the challenges they face, and how they express themselves in this world. It is created by Ilene Chaiken, Kathy Greenberg, and Michele Abbott and developed for television by Marja-Lewis Ryan. The series has received praise for its portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community, but the soap opera-ish plot lines have drawn a more divisive reception. However, is it all just a work of fiction, or does the story draw inspiration from real incidents and true stories? Let’s take a look into the matter together.
Is The L Word: Generation Q Based on a True Story?
No, ‘The L Word: Generation Q’ is not based on a true story. The series is based on an original idea from the show’s creators and serves as a continuation of their series titled ‘The L Word’ that aired from 2004 to 2009. To better understand the inspiration and themes of the sequel, let’s dive into the conceptualization of the original series.
The original is also a fictional story elevated by an ensemble of colorful characters that are very similar to people like you and us. However, the series does draw some inspiration from reality when it comes to the storyline of Marina and Jenny. Co-creator Ilene Chaiken (‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘) has revealed in an interview with EW that the storyline is based on her personal experiences, the heartbreak from her first romance with a woman in particular. “It was the same story. After that, I was a lesbian. I knew it. I didn’t use the word. I think it took some time to come to terms with even calling myself gay… I just simply started living as a lesbian. I wasn’t a particularly bold person, but I just didn’t know how to lie,” she said.
As far as the sequel series is concerned, showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan has said that as a fan of the original show, she felt compelled to continue the characters’ stories in a way that reflects the changes that have occurred in the real world since the original show went off the air. At the same time, she also wanted to portray a more authentic version of Los Angeles, the show’s central setting. Like her idol (Chaiken), Ryan also tapped into her personal experiences as a lesbian woman living in LA to develop characters and storylines for the new show.
Ryan revealed in an interview with THR that she tried to explore the theme of searching for a family because of her experiences as a gay kid. “As a gay kid, you’re missing something when you’re born into a heterosexual family. There is something that we long for, and that’s why the (original) show meant so much to me because I got to see what my family could look like,” she said. She also noted that the theme allowed her to craft a universal story.
Ultimately, ‘The L Word: Generation Q’ carries forward the spirit of the original series. The story might be fictional, but the experiences the characters go through are based on the real experiences of the show’s creative team and make the narrative emotionally resonant. It connects with its audience by telling LGBTQ+ stories and issues that are timely and relatable.
Read More: Where Is The L Word: Generation Q Filmed?