Ilene Chaiken redefines 'L Word'

"These girls are too pretty!"

"Where are the lesbians who look like me?"

"Where are the butches? This isn't realistic!"

These are the kind of questions lesbian viewers shot at producer Ilene Chaiken once "The L Word" had its debut on Showtime five years ago, and has been renewed for a sixth and final season. The explicit primetime show has always mined the stories of everyday lesbian life, but some people didn't find it so very everyday in the beginning.

Chaiken always defended her show's depiction of lesbians. "We seek to entertain just as much as any other show does," she says. "I wanted to make a television show about lesbians with the same values that are brought to any other really good TV show, which is to say, my characters are a little prettier."

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