Jennifer Beals Says the 2016 Election Ignited the L Word Reboot

I asked Beals if the press tour she’s on right now differs from that of 10 years ago—as in are she, her co-stars, and Chaiken being well-received by media? Or have they faced challenges? She believes it’s the culture, more broadly, that’s changed. “What’s different is that people are more attuned to these conversations and ready to have these conversations,” she said. “Back then, people didn’t quite even have the vocabulary to have the conversation. You know, when language is changing, when language is trying to keep up with the reality of experience, it’s a tectonic shift in the way we think, and the way we see each other, and the way we see ourselves. So, I think the conversations are different now.”

In Generation Q, Bette Porter is campaigning to be the first out lesbian mayor of Los Angeles—a fitting job for her and a fitting mayor in the cinematic universe of The L Word (and let’s be real, probably IRL too). In the pilot alone, Bette makes a series of inspiring speeches that made me remember just how special and important Ms. Porter was in the aughts, and how important Beals’s voice remains as a bullheaded ally of the LGBTQ+ community. When I asked Jennifer if she misses anything about the original show, she channeled Bette and set me straight.

“I don’t. I try to move forward. I try not to hold on,” she said. “Holding on will just lead you to nostalgia, and we don’t have time for nostalgia. We’re living in a time that requires all of us to be intensely present, because what’s interesting about these conversations about gender and sexual identity is that they also pertain to how we are on the planet, and how we are treating the planet. Both things require us to shift the paradigm, and shift absolute consciousness, and shift entire systems.”

What she said next is truly a mantra I’ll be carrying into 2020: “Holding onto the past? We don’t have time for that. I don’t have time to be nostalgic.”

The L Word: Generation Q premieres this Sunday, December 8 at 10 P.M. ET on Showtime.

Jill Gutowitz is a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @jillboard.

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