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l word – opening theme

“The L Word,” created by Ilene Chaiken, aired on Showtime from 2004 to 2009. Set in West Hollywood, a prominent gay community in Los Angeles, the show traces the fictional lives and loves of middle class, hip and trendy lesbians in the contemporary age. This opening sequence blends animation and live action footage to introduce the characters, all set to an upbeat song. The sequence starts with a woman waking up naked in her bed, and moves through images of the women going about their day, riding a motorcycle, jumping rope, singing on stage, tanning by the pool, shooting a video, talking on the phone, etc. It intersperses these images with figures of the women posing for the camera, and more intimate images of women kissing or interlacing fingers.


Pay attention to both the visuals and lyrics of this opening theme. How does this opening theme portray the lives of the lesbian women featured? What assumptions does it make about their interests, appearance, socio-economic status or other features of their identity?

Based on what you see in this clip, what do you think might the impact of this show be on public perceptions of lesbian women? What about the impact of this show on lesbian women viewers? Consider both positive and negative repercussions.

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