Fans of The L Word and The Real L Word, rejoice: Showtime is now considering a L Word-style documentary.
The L Word lasted six seaons, from 2004 until 2009, and The Real L Word: Los Angeles, a much-criticized reality TV knockoff, was on the air from 2009 until 2012. As quoted by the Hollywood Reporter, the Television Critics Association press tour yesterday, Showtime’s president of entertainment said the channel is still invested in "exploring L Word culture — lesbian culture in places not New York, L.A. — where the subculture is not so defined and it’s not so easy. I think we’re likely to make a documentary that will feel like a Real L Word documentary."
Fans of the L Word franchise will probably be excited about this news, but what I’m pondering is how, if at all, a documentary will be different from reality TV — which, as we all know, is scripted and therefore more than a little bit fake. These days, there are "documentaries" and then there are documentaries. Beyoncé claims to be putting out a "documentary" about herself, but it might be more appropriate to call a documentary one does about oneself to be an "hour-long video selfie." Documentaries should show outside editorial judgment, leading you to believe the storyteller is presenting an unbiased narrative. (Cough "Catfish" cough.) Actual documentaries like Girl Model or The Queen Of Versailles have some distance between the artist and the subject, which perhaps why so many of them result in lawsuits.
How much of a "documentary" Showtime’s L Word documentary will actually be remains to be seen. But for all the fans who stood by the franchise in both the scripted and "reality" version, it would be sweet for Showtime to present a truly realistic onscreen representation of lesbians and how they love.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.