Vp Issue 8: "Now It’s Our Party: Profile, Ilene Chaiken"
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the opening credits will vary next season. “In the first season, they had a very, very specific pattern,” says Chaiken, “and we’ve opened them up a little bit this season.
They still work in much the same way, but sometimes they’re less abstract than they were in the first season.” Many of the openings in the first season showed events from a character’s past that were then explained in the action of the episode. For example, one showed a woman posing for a sexually charged nude photo shoot. Later in the episode, one of the characters meets a high-society philanthropist who has recently added the same photo to her collection. The random acts have been based on the premise of the chart that Alice (Leisha Hailey), the bisexual journalist, created to show the sexual connections of the women in her community. “The premise of Alice’s chart,” says Chaiken, “was the interconnectedness of us all, and particularly among lesbians – the fact that our circle is somewhat more proscribed and, therefore, the connections between us are closer.
The connections among us, and so the random acts, were all about how anybody who has ever slept with anybody can be linked into our universe of sexual connections.” With characters and exposition behind them, the extraordinary team behind the phenomenon is poised to bring the second season to darker, more complex, and more water-cooler-worthy levels. This year The L Word season finale will be written, directed, and produced by Chaiken, who has yet to add the role of director to her long list of achievements. There are some new and old faces on the roster of high-profile actors, writers, and directors. Guinevere Turner (Go Fish) is a writer and story editor; A.M. Homes, author of The Safety of Objects a collection of short stories, is a new staff writer; directors Rose Troche (Go Fish) and Lisa Cholodenko (High Art) continue their work this season; and actors Sandra Bernhard and Camryn Manheim (The Practice) will appear as characters on the show.
The band BETTY has written a new theme song and band member Elizabeth Ziff is the program’s new composer. For Chaiken, the creative process comes down to the adage of “Write what you know.” It should be no surprise that Chaiken, who wrote the show’s pilot and writes most episodes, creates characters who are amalgams of people in her social