A few minutes into episode one of The L Word, it’s easy to forget there’s anything extraordinary about it: a group of impossibly attractive friends in perfect mid-2000s fashion sit around in a trendy coffee shop all day; a wealthy couple work through their struggles to conceive; a young ingenue moves to LA, and blinded by the bright lights of the big city starts to question her long-term relationship when she meets a seductive stranger.
Of course, The L Word isn’t ordinary, and even watching it today – 15 years after it first premiered, in a time when the LGBT+ community has more visibility than ever before – it still feels unusual to see a television show which revolves around queer women.
Being the main cultural touchstone for an entire community of people across the western world, with a vast diversity of backgrounds, experiences and identities, is a tough cross to bear at the best of times, but The L Word in particular has not aged gracefully.
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