There’s no question the initial run of The L Word (2004-2009) was as innovative as it could get in the TV land at the time. However, arguments could be made the show failed to age well.
Intending to touch the diverse issues of queer women, the Showtime drama managed to barely scratch the surface during their original run. The entire plot followed a pretty narrow neighborhood that failed to tap the real-world complexities surrounding racial and transgender discrimination faced by the queer community.
Watch: The L Word: Generation Q (2019) Official Trailer | SHOWTIME
The New Cast of ‘The L Word’ Reveal What the Original Series Meant to Them
During the TCA Press Tour in Beverly Hills, AV Club sat down with the new cast of Generation Q, where they elaborately talked about what the show meant to them.
Zayas and Toboni talk about how they perceived the series growing up
Rosanny Zayas (Sophie Suarez) began by revealing she first saw the show during her school late at night at Showtime. She thought it was revolutionary to see those women in those relationships and how they connected in the way they handled race, love, and their careers and every aspect of their lives, which always felt so real. “Like you watch it, and you’re like ‘Wow! I have gone through that.'”
Zayas continued, “Even being young there’s some aspect of it where you’re like, okay that’s something you would see it, and you’d say wow that’s actually something I’ve been confronted with. I didn’t realize until now that like wow that actually happened to me or that’s a real thing so it was really nice to see that across from you.”
Jacqueline Toboni (Sarah Finley), meanwhile, revealed the original series meant so much to her growing up, especially during her high school days. She even encouraged people to watch the show, but the actress believed it’s a personal choice, so it was fine if someone was not interested.
Leo Sheng provides insight into his character
The openly transgender actor Leo Sheng is playing the role of Micah Lee in the series. Here’s what he had to say about his character:
Micah is in his 20s and he is unprofessional and confident, but not like in an over arrogant way. I think I’m really excited because I think often times although they reflect a lot of realities for trans people, a lot of stories about trans folks are very very sad and we’re slowly shifting away from that and I’m really excited.
The actor continued, “Mike, as a confident guy, he very deeply cares about the people in his life, and he’s resilient, and he’s kind of still learning about life too.”
Rosanny Zayas sheds light on her character and the comfort she’s been finding working on the show
Rosanny provides her perspective of her character named Sophie Suarez.
Sophie is a TV producer at this show who has a beautiful girlfriend Danny. She’s definitely someone who puts other people ahead of herself with a big old heart.
The actress adds, “She loves the people around her, she takes care of them, and she’s trustworthy. She’s that girl you want around, you know, she’s got your back.”
Drifting away from the character, Zayas revealed her delight at working in the show. “Being able to come up to the writers and be like, you know, just like it’s so relatable. I come up to these women, and I’m like, ‘Oh man like I can talk to you about anything.’ They’re so easy to talk to, and it’s just like it just feels so close.”
Jacqueline Toboni on her character and the pressure the show is under
Jacqueline Toboni is playing the role of Sarah Finley. Here’s what she had to say about her character.
Finley is the person that comes into work on Monday and it’s like you will not believe what happened to me this weekend and gets herself in the craziest situations.
Jacqueline added, “I think Finley is a little bit more on the approachable in the sense that it’s not aspirational necessarily, but I think a lot of people will see themselves in Finley.”
Toboni further claimed, they’re making leaps not just in the storylines that are being told but definitely the way they’re going about it. “There are trans actors playing cis characters, and I think that’s groundbreaking in itself, and I think we can use a little bit more of that.”
Jacqueline Toboni is portraying the character of Sarah Finley in The L Word: Generation Q.
The actress revealed she was a little scared before she met everyone, but they exceeded her expectations by being wonderful. She added, “There are moments that you just want to pinch yourself. I saw Shane (Katherine Moennig) and Alice (Leisha Hailey), I saw them in a scene together, and I like started crying.”
Jacqueline, meanwhile, was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming, incredible, and generous the entire cast and crew were.
Watch: The L Word: Generation Q | s01e01 | Opening Scene
Speaking of pressure she and the show are under, the actress said – “No, I don’t feel a lot of pressure. I’m just like doing the best I can doing my work and supporting my fellow actors. But you’re right; the show is under a microscope, and that’s what it should be.”
The 27-year-old continued, “We’re progressive, let’s do it like we are breaking boundaries, so if you want to hold this to it, that’s okay.”
Sheng is excited for trans people to get included in Queer Spaces
Leo Sheng expressed his delight at the opportunities transgender people have been receiving.
I think there are a lot of conversations especially on where trans folks fit into career spaces. When we tell LGBT you know transgender is a gender whereas LGB are orientations and they’re related but they are not the same thing.
Sheng reckons this is a great way to be inclusive and kind of exploring the different types of relationships within the community. The actor revealed he’s excited to see more trans folks included in queer spaces.
Check out: The L Word Generation Q | Dani Proposes To Sophie 1×01
Sheng continued, “Something we talk about a lot is how do we make this an authentic person without necessarily saying this applies to everybody. This is just one experience with a Chinese trans man. There are many identities going on there and how do we create something relatable and genuine.”
The actor concluded, “Not saying all trans men do this nor all Chinese trans men do this. It’s a singular story, but I do know a lot of people will be looking at that. So, it’s a little scary, but it’s also really exciting and very humbling.”