July 18, 2012 3:23pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Real L Word's' Ilene Chaiken: Season 3 is About Growing Up (Exclusive Video)
Showtime'sThe Real L Word is growing up this season.
When Season 3 lesbian docuseries premiered last week, reformed chick magnet Whitney was ring shopping to propose to her on-again, off-again partner Sara and couple Kacy and Cori are four months pregnant.
They're themes that series co-creator Ilene Chaiken said are indicative of the show's transition into adulthood that comes after building up two seasons worth of trust.
"This year is about growing up," she told The Hollywood Reporter at the show's Season 3 premiere party this week at Revolver in West Hollywood. "I'm far less fixated on whether there's sex in the show because I trust everybody to be honest and I trust the stories to really be interesting and to carry the day."
After kicking things up with a racier second season, Chaiken notes she's less concerned with bedroom antics of Whitney and company this year as the show transitions into something more adult. "I know it's still a sexy show and I know that the women on the show are sexy, interesting and smart -- all the things I want my daughters to be," she says.
"It's The L Word growing up as the people involved in the show for a number of years are growing up. I've talked to Whitney about the fact that she's growing up in front of the camera and it's thrilling and gratifying [to see]."
Part of that transition includes continuing to take on issues that stretch outside the clubs -- including looking at gay marriage and the struggles same-sex couples face when it comes to expanding their family.
"I don't think we ever set out to be political, our lives are political," Chiaken says. "We have to take on all of those political issues simply in order to live our lives. … It's not just the lesbian story about girls who party but it's important to be talking about the fact that we are all of these things: mothers, wives, family members, trying to have children and struggling with all of the same issues that straight couples struggle with."
In addition, this season will take on the East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry as the show extends beyond its West Hollywood hub -- a growth Chaiken is excited to see explored as she continues to hope that the series will grow to other cities across the country.
"When I first pitched the idea, I said I hope that we can do The Real L Word: New York, Chicago, Cincinnati," she notes. "Part of the message is we're everywhere. New York is the obvious counterpoint to L.A. and there's always been that tension; it's not just among lesbians. All of us who live out here have felt it. It's fun and interesting to say, 'Are we really different? Let's see.'"
Beyond Real L Word, Chiaken is busy developing female-fronted projects after her last effort, CBS' Quean, was shut down after rumblings that it was too similar to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (Chaiken rejects that notion.)
Check out an exclusive scene from this week's episode, above, in which Whitney plots a big surprise for Sara. The Real L Word airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Showtime.