When the fifth season of Showtime's The L Word comes to a tumultuous close Sunday night at 9 pm/ET, many fans will be left lingering. Here, the show's groundbreaking creator, writer and producer, Ilene Chaiken, dishes on why the next (and final) season will be worth the wait, describes her appreciation of the stiletto and discusses the fine art of cable sex scenes.
TVGuide.com: Now that Season 5 is coming to a close, what can we look forward to in the sixth and final season of The L Word?
Ilene Chaiken: I can tell you that all of the core cast who are remaining at the end of Season 5 are coming back. I can't tell you if Carmen is coming back or if I can find some crazy way to bring Dana back, the things fans ask for. I just know that we are going to try to do a great final season that is full of drama yet somehow celebratory.
TVGuide.com: Considering the dearth of Sapphic programming on television, what happens when The L Word takes its final bow?
Chaiken: I am writing a movie that I am planning to direct. I would hope that I will be able to make that movie when I wrap the next season [of The L Word]. And I do have another show in development with Showtime as well.
TVGuide.com: Many shows struggle with gay and lesbian sex scenes, if they can show them at all. How do you feel The L Word weighs in on the accuracy scale?
Chaiken: There obviously are limits to how explicit we can be or how explicit we want to be. There's a line that gets drawn. But I've made an effort to represent as many kinds of sex and sexual encounters and proclivities as I think exist in the world, and not just in the world of lesbians. I'm interested in stories about sex and sexuality and I think that it's the biggest human story. On the show, I try to make every sex scene a story unto itself.
TVGuide.com: How so? Walk us through it.
Chaiken: We are very explicit when we plan a sex scene about what's going on. When we plan those scenes, I spend a lot of time talking to the actresses and directors, some of whom are gay and some of whom are not, about what is actually happening here. And they tend to want to know more. And I've occasionally had an actress who is straight say to me, "I don't get it."
TVGuide.com: Was that reflected in the scene this season where Jenny (Mia Kirshner) decides to hire a lesbian sex therapist for the cast of her film?
Chaiken: Absolutely. Yes.
TVGuide.com: You once commented on how pleased you were with the show's impact and strong following among women. Can you elaborate?
Chaiken: That's still the case — and more than anything I glory in that, that we are telling stories for women and about women and that all women feel represented by the show in ways that they didn't feel were represented on mainstream television.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of mainstream, when you wrote Barb Wire, did you envision it as a vehicle for a leather-clad Pamela Anderson?
Chaiken: I love that it has a cult following. I absolutely didn't write it for Pamela Anderson. I had a whole different kind of movie in mind. But it's a genre that I really like.
TVGuide.com: That came through with one of the opening scenes of The L Word this season, with the Charlie's Angel's spoof! Tell us how you really feel about hot women running around in stilettos, pointing guns.
Chaiken: I love chicks and action. It's thrilling to do that and I definitely would make more movies like that. I'm not sure they would all be wearing stilettos. But we had so much fun shooting that scene. I can't tell you how much we laughed that night.
TVGuide.com: Let's do some thought association. Say the first thing that comes to your mind. Ready? Turkish oil wrestling.
Chaiken: [Laughs] The word that comes to mind is the word FYKE. We've really run with this Turkish wrestling thing and we are doing a series of events and an online TV show called FYKE. [See OurChart.com.] It's been ongoing. And we've got a lot of girls in oil.
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