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Diehard fans of Showtime’s The L Word can look forward to seeing at least one long-awaited reunion.
Fan-favorite Sarah Shahi will indeed be part of the newly announced L Word sequel, the actress told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. The actress was on hand to support City on a Hill, the forthcoming Kevin Bacon Showtime drama in which she recurs.
“It was discussed [that] my involvement [would be] very heavily [that] I would be in it. I intend to keep it that way, and so does Showtime,” Shahi told THR.
One thing that’s still to be determined is just how big of a role Shahi will have in the eight-episode revival. Showtime declined comment on Shahi’s involvement.
“[The L Word] was my first big gig. And to be a part of that, I don’t think I ever really knew what I was stepping into until after and I started speaking with women and getting letters,” Shahi said. “Just the amount of information that was sent my way about how impactful it was, it put me on this thing where it’s like, everything I want to do from now on, I want it to have meaning and I want it to touch people. That was something I tried to do in Reverie and in Person of Interest and it’s something I’m going to do in City on a Hill. To be a part of that sisterhood was so momentous for me. I’m more than honored that I can go back and re-create it.”
Shahi played fan-favorite Carmen — a DJ and love interest for Moennig’s Shane — for two seasons. To hear the actress tell it, it’s that central relationship that she hopes will be in the spotlight for the revival, scheduled to air this year.
“Whatever she’s doing, I feel like she’s definitely still pining away for Shane,” she said. “For Shane, Carmen would be the one that got away. But I think that was a big game-changer for her. I’m not sure if she’s still DJing or not but definitely something in the music-art world.”
Playwright and screenwriter Marja-Lewis Ryan serves as showrunner and exec produces alongside original series creator Ilene Chaiken. Beals (Bette), Moennig and Hailey will reprise their roles from the original series while also introducing a new ensemble of self-possessed LGBTQIA characters experiencing love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success on the east side of L.A.
The reboot, first announced in July 2017, arrives nearly 10 years after the original wrapped its six-season run. It is considered a sequel to the original. Lewis-Ryan was selected following an extensive search for a writer with ties to the LGBTQIA community to document how relationships, lives and experiences have evolved — as well as what has and hasn’t changed since the show launched in 2004. Other characters from the original series — which included fan-favorite Erin Daniels (Dana), Laurel Holloman (Tina), Mia Kirshner (Jenny), and Pam Grier (Kit) — may also appear in a potential new version.
Shahi recalled the conversation with her former co-stars last year that got her to return to the Showtime series, which kickstarted her career. When asked what their pitch was, Shahi said it was simple: “[They said] ‘The L Word is coming back! Carmen de la Pica Morales is a fan favorite. You only did two seasons, but you were in everyone’s lives forever.'”
In terms of larger themes to expect from the Showtime revival, Shahi — who has yet to read the script — acknowledged that the LGBTQIA community and TV landscape have both changed considerably since the original series run.
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Michael K. Williams