These Throwback Photos of ‘The L Word’ Cast Will Rocket You Right Back to 2005

Close your eyes and think about the mid-to-late 2000s. Can you smell the unwashed leather wrist cuff? Can you taste the Caramel Macchiato? Can you hear the Kinnie Star and the Stars and The Be Good Tanyas, the Tegan & Sara? Most of all, do you feel a little Shane today?

Let’s take a journey back in time to the beginning of time — the original L Word. 


Pre-Premiere Press Tour – Winter 2003

Prior to the show’s premiere in February of 2004, the cast participated in a flurry of press events. This included a scarf-forward “preview luncheon” at the then-very-buzzy Blue Fin restaurant in New York City’s infamous Times Square, attended by the whole cast and their flatirons:

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER & U.S. TABS OUT) Cast members Jennifer Beals, Pam Grier, Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Karina Lombard, Eric Mabius, Katherine Moennig and Executive Producer Ilene Chaiken at a preview luncheon for Showtime's new original series "The L Word" at Blue Fin October 23, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Cast members Jennifer Beals, Pam Grier, Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Karina Lombard, Eric Mabius, Katherine Moennig and Executive Producer Ilene Chaiken at a preview luncheon for Showtime’s new original series “The L Word” at Blue Fin October 23, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Several cast members attended the Power Up Premiere Gala in Los Angeles that November (Power Up was a non-profit focused on increasing visibility for lesbians in the arts and media). Most importantly is that Laurel Holloman wore this hat and also A DRESS OVER JEANS, which is peak mid-aughts fashion!

2003 – Laurel Holloman and Mia Kirshner at the 3rd Annual POWER UP Premiere Gala at The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)

They also turned up Showtime’s 2003 TCA Presentation. Erin Daniels is basically wearing a Dana Fairbanks sundress, Eric Mabius is ready for his 8th grade graduation, and Mia Kirshner continues her commitment to several statement necklaces at once.

Cast of "The L Word" at the 2003 Showtime TCA Presentation (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)

(Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)

Why were they using Cryptkeeper font for this panel:

Jennifer Beals, Laurel Holloman, Pam Grier, Mia Kirshner, and Ilene Chaiken, executive producer of "The L Word" at the 2003 Showtime TCA Presentation (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)

(Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)


L Word Season One Premiere Event at LACMA – January 2004

Attendees of the Season One Premiere event at the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art included Christian Slater, Melissa Etheridge and her then-wife Tammy Lynn Micheals (who played Shane’s stalker, Lacey, in Season One) and actress Joely Fisher (she’d been part of the main cast of Ellen). Also present were Season One guest stars Kelly Lynch (Ivan), Devon Gummersal (Lisa), Guinevere Turner (Gabby Devoux) and Anne Archer (Lenore).

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 6: (L to R) Actors Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig, Erin Daniels and Laurel Holloman attend the premiere screening of "The L Word" at the LACMA on January 6, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. The original series "The L Word" airs exclusively on the Showtime Network on January 18, 2004. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – JANUARY 6: (L to R) Actors Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig, Erin Daniels and Laurel Holloman attend the premiere screening of “The L Word” at the LACMA on January 6, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 6: (L to R) Actors Leisha Hailey, Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier attend the premiere screening of "The L Word" at the LACMA on January 6, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. The original series "The L Word" airs exclusively on the Showtime Network on January 18, 2004. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images).

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images).

Tammy Lynn Michaels and Melissa Etheridge during Showtime Presents The Premiere Screening Of "The L Word" at Bing Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

(Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

Big family pic here, lots of colors, weird tension with Karina Lombard, Mia is cold in her very Jenny doily dress:

Cast Of The L Word during Showtime Presents The Premiere Screening Of "The L Word" at Bing Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

(Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)


15th Annual GLAAD Media Awards – March 2004

The entire cast of The L Word presented the award for Outstanding Television Journalism at the 15th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Mia is giving a little Winona Ryder energy here.

The cast of "The L-Word" presents the Outstanding Television Journalism Award (Photo by J. Sciulli/WireImage for GLAAD)

(Photo by J. Sciulli/WireImage for GLAAD)

The cast of "The L-Word" presents the Outstanding Television Journalism Award (Photo by J. Sciulli/WireImage for GLAAD)

(Photo by J. Sciulli/WireImage for GLAAD)


L Word Season One DVD Release Party – January 2005

Leisha’s tie / sweater-vest situation here is timeless.

Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, and Sarah Shahi during Castmembers From Showtime's "The L Word" Sign Copies of The First Season DVD at FYE, Rockefeller Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)


Season Two Premiere Parties – February 2005

Attendees to Season Two screening and premiere parties in New York and Los Angeles included of course the cast as well as Season Two actors Eric Lively, Camryn Manheim, Anne Ramsey (who also appeared in Season One) and Sandra Bernhard. Other assorted celebrities in attendance: Rosie O’Donnell and her then-wife, Kelly, Hank Azaria, Wilson Cruz, Julie Benz and Tammy Townsend.

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 8: (L-R) Actress/comedian Rosie O'Donnell, Erin Daniels, Katherine Moennig, Leisha Hailey and Sarah Shahi attend Showtime's "The L Word" second season premiere in Chelsea February 8, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

Actress/comedian Rosie O’Donnell, Erin Daniels, Katherine Moennig, Leisha Hailey and Sarah Shahi attend Showtime’s “The L Word” second season premiere in Chelsea February 8, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 8: (L-R) Actresses Sandra Bernhard, Erin Daniels, and Katherine Moennig share a laugh before Showtime's "The L Word" second season premiere in Chelsea February 8, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

(Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 8: Jennifer Beals and Sarah Shahi attend Showtime presents "the L word" second season screening & after-party at Chelsea West Theater on February 8, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Chance Yeh /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

(Photo by Chance Yeh /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Hank Azaria, Chairman and CEO of Showtime Matt Blank, Laurel Holloman, and Rachel Shelley (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)

Hank Azaria, Chairman and CEO of Showtime Matt Blank, Laurel Holloman, and Rachel Shelley (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)

Kate wearing the white tank top with a black tie for the Los Angeles premiere is iconic. Also we wore a lot of necklaces at once back then. The premiere in Los Angeles was followed by a party at The Abbey that included a “dessert buffet” and servers dressed in pink serving pink beverages.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) Actress' Rachel Shelly, Laurel Holloman, Leisha Hailey, Katherine Moennig, Sarah Shahi, Erin Daniels and Mia Kirshner attend Showtime's "The L-World" second season premiere at The Directors Guild of America on February 16, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) Actress’ Rachel Shelly, Laurel Holloman, Leisha Hailey, Katherine Moennig, Sarah Shahi, Erin Daniels and Mia Kirshner attend Showtime’s “The L-World” second season premiere at The Directors Guild of America on February 16, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

Your Gay Moms:

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) Actress Jennifer Beals and actress Laurel Holloman attend Showtime's "The L-World" second season premiere at The Directors Guild of America on February 16, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

At a Queer as Folk / L Word joint premiere party in San Francisco. I feel like the Mandee on the Upper West Side sold knockoffs of everything in this picture and I bought all of them including the hat.

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 7: Katherine Moennig, Leisha Hailey, Jennifer Beals and Kelly Lynch arrive at the premiere of Queer as Folk and The L Word at the Castro Theater April 7, 2004 in San Francisco, California (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)


L Word Season Three Premiere Party – 2006

The “most 2006 outfit award” goes to Alexandra Heddison!!! The long sparkly double-layer cami with the flare jeans you love to see it!!

Alexandra Hedison, Laurel Holloman, Ilene Chaiken, Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey and Katherine Moennig (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Everyone talking to a man:

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 8: (L-R) Showtimes Manager of Talent Relations Kirk Ryder talks with actress Katherine Moennig, Creator and Executive Producer Ilene Chaiken, Larel Holloman and Erin Daniels during "The L Word" season three premiere after party January 8, 2006 at Club Avalon in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

(L-R) Showtimes Manager of Talent Relations Kirk Ryder talks with actress Katherine Moennig, Creator and Executive Producer Ilene Chaiken, Larel Holloman and Erin Daniels during “The L Word” season three premiere after party January 8, 2006 at Club Avalon in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)


L Word Adjacent Promotional Events – 2006

The General Motors Annual Celebrity Fashion Show in 2006 was a real snapshot of the era — attendees and models included Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria, Carmen Electra, Jeremy Piven, Nick Lachey, Anna Kournikova, Jenna Elfman, Jamie Foxx, Sarah Chalke, Daisy Fuentes… and of course, high femme icons Alexandra Heddison, Kate Moennig and Erin Daniels.

Alexandra Hedison, Katherine Moennig and Erin Daniels (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

(Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

Starting in late 2005, Showtime was exploring all kinds of merchandising options for the program and one of them was this since-forgotten perfume, launched at Fred Segal. This particular party was STAR-STUDDED with absolute abandon — first of all, Stormy Daniels was an honored guest. Secondly Ashley Tisdale, bisexual actress Bai Ling, lesbian host of the quickly-forgotten Queer Eye For the Straight Girl program Honey Labrador, Pheobe Price on crutches, and guest stars Dana Delaney and Camryn Manheim all turned up.

Katherine Moennig and Mia Kirshner (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)

(Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)

This is my favorite photo sequence of all time:

"The L Word" cast members during Launch of "L Eau de Parfum" Inspired by Showtime's "The L Word" - Arrivals at Apothia at Fred Segal Melrose in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

"The L Word" cast members during Launch of "L Eau de Parfum" Inspired by Showtime's "The L Word" - Arrivals at Apothia at Fred Segal Melrose in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

There was this girl who made videos about The L Word who then wrote a whole book about it and they had a launch party at Virgin Megastore. I love Daniel’s t-shirt:

NEW YORK - MARCH 8: Actresses Daniela Sea (L) and Laurel Holloman (R) of Showtime Network's "L Word" attend a book signing of "The L Word: Welcome to Our Planet" at the Virgin Mega Store Times Square March 8, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)


Season Five Premiere Party – January 2008

I think Paris Hilton came to this party. Everyone is having an amazing and chaotic time. Big fedora energy.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 6: (L-R) Actors Marlee Matlin, Katherine Moenning and Laurel Holloman attend the season 5 premiere party for "The L Word" at The Factory on January 6, 2008 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 6: (L-R) Actors Rose Rollins, Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig and Rachel Shelley attend the season 5 premiere party for "The L Word" at The Factory on January 6, 2008 in West Hollywood, California.

(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 6: Katherine Moennig and Rose Rollins attend The L Word Season 5 Premiere Party at Ultra Suede on January 6, 2008 in West Hollywood, CA. (Photo by BRIAN LINDENSMITH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

(Photo by BRIAN LINDENSMITH/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

You know when it’s like, five drinks deep into the party and your friend is like “okay everybody get together for a group pic!” and everyone is like “please no” and maybe like three people are into it and everybody else either wants to go back to the bar or go home? Anyhow, that’s this photo:

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 06: The cast and executives of "The L Word" attend the season 5 premiere party for "The L Word" at The Factory on January 6, 2008 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)


Season Six Farewell Party – January 2009

As we stumble forward into the 2010s,

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 03: Creator Ilene Chaiken, Katherine Moennig and Kate French at Showtime's 'L Word' Farewell party on March 03, 2009 at Cafe La Boheme in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio/Wireimage)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 03: Creator Ilene Chaiken, Katherine Moennig and Kate French at Showtime’s ‘L Word’ (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio/Wireimage)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 03: Daniela Sea and Marlee Matlin at Showtime's 'L Word' Farewell party on March 03, 2009 at Cafe La Boheme in West Hollywood, California.

(Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio/Wireimage)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 03: Actors Laurel Holloman (L) and Rose Rollins arrive at Showtime's farewell party for "The L Word" at Cafe La Boheme on March 3, 2009 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)


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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3212 articles for us.

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