These days you can’t swing a cat on television without hitting a scattered LGBT character or two on just about any given night. Sundays give us The Good Wife’s bisexual Kalinda while Revenge has bisexual Nolan and Shameless has a gay son. Modern Family and The New Normal offer up gay dads while freshman series Go On and Chicago Fire feature full-on lesbian characters in those ensembles. And of course, there are tried-and-true, beloved lesbian and gay characters on Glee, Grey’s Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars.
But then there are the shows that should so obviously feature LGBT characters that the omission of them becomes a distraction. For instance, how can an excellent, Emmy-worthy series about a fairly liberal family set in the Bay area be completely devoid of gay characters? It’s like that feeling one gets watching the now classic Fried Green Tomatoes and knowing that Mary Stuart Masterson’s and Mary Louise Parker’s characters were totally getting in to the “secret sauce” with each other at the Whistle Stop Café, even if Hollywood tells us otherwise. The omission just becomes annoying and blatant.
That got us thinking that there are plenty of shows that could use queer characters. Since this is SheWired, we’re positing that the following shows could use a lesbian character (s). And since The L Word’s Shane (Kate Moennig) is pretty much the most recognizable lesbian character of all time, we thought we’d inject her in the following shows just to see what it might look like.
Here are the 10 shows we can't believe don't have gay characters.
10. The Vampire Diaries:
The CW could take a cue from ABC Family with its continual line-up of LGBT characters on shows like Pretty Little Liars, Secret Life of The American Teen and Greek and the upcoming The Fosters. And The Vampire Diaries could also take a page out of True Blood’s script. All those gorgeous vamps and not one sexy gay lady vampire among them? Where are the lesbian vampire queens, and bisexual slayers?
9. Once Upon a Time:
What’s a fairy tale without a few fairies? In a world rife with fairies, princesses, evil queens and enchanted forests, you’d think there’d be a gay character among the bunch on Once Upon a Time. While a Mulan/Sleeping Beauty Sapphic pairing would be the ideal, we’d settle for a handsome andro fairytale Prince who looks uncannily like Shane from the L Word to sweep anyone of these women off of their feet.
8. Two Broke Girls:
Two twenty-something women living in the lesbian enclave that is Williamsburg, Brooklyn -- shouldn’t there be at least one laconic lesbian cook at the diner who smolders behind the line while occasionally flirting and trading barbs with Max and Caroline?
ABC Family gets gold stars for its outstanding LGBT representation, but since it missed the LGBT boat with its gymnastics series Stick It, we thought there’s plenty of opportunity to inject a lesbian ballerina or instructor into its sophomore series Bunheads!
6. Breaking Bad:
We used this argument with Two Broke Girls, but sometimes it really is about location. Walter and Skylar White live in Albuquerque. There’s got to be at least one new-agey lesbian willing to help launder meth money through her turquoise/crystal shop right?
5. Parks and Recreation:
Sure, April’s ex-boyfriend Derek had a boyfriend on Parks and Recreation’s first two seasons, but the NBC comedy is halfway through it’s fifth season and the LGBTs in Pawnee are too far between. With Amy Poehler at the helm of one of the whip-smartest comedies on TV, there’s got to be room for a lesbian in the Parks Department. We’d love to see Rashida Jones interminably single Ann fall for a lady, but we’d stand for a lesbian softball commissioner to go toe-to-toe with Councilwoman Knope over grass on the field.
4. Law and Order: SVU:
Fourteen seasons of Law & Order: SVU and not a gay D.A. or detective among them. Of course, Finn’s (Ice-T) son is gay, but he’s a rarely recurring character. On a show that’s long held lesbian appeal, thanks in large part to Mariska Hargitay’s take-no-prisoners Olivia Benson, who also happens to own a wardrobe loaded with suit jackets, handcuffs and tight tops, it’s time for a lesbian main character. The original Law & Order had a lesbian D.A. Why not trot one out on SVU for the tail end of its 14th season?
3. The Walking Dead:
Michonne (Danai Gurira) sliced her way in to Walking Dead lore at the end of the season 2 finale, waving her Katana samurai sword, with two armless, jawless zombies in shackles, a perfectly toned body, and a kick ass mentality. She arrived on the scene just in time to save series regular Andrea (Laurie Holden) from imminent death. Together the two ladies set off to find safety from the undead.
Straight in the comics, but wonderfully butch in the TV series, week after week during season 3, fans of Michonne watch the tension between her and Andrea, hoping that they will seal the deal. But, no worries, even if Andrea and Michonne don’t hook up, there could be a lady love in Michonne’s future!
Meet the Braverman’s, a totally liberal family living in Berkeley – some of whom work in The Haight—and there’s not a queer character in the bunch. Parenthood, an excellent, Emmy-worthy series, was our inspiration for a list of shows that could use gay characters. In an otherwise near-perfect series it’s just a glaring omission. Shouldn’t Lauren Graham’s artsy Sarah be having cocktails with her gay lady friends on a Friday night? Or, better yet, isn’t it time for Sarah’s super-cool daughter Amber (the adorable Mae Whitman, who played gay in Scott Pilgrim v. The World) to explore her sexuality a little with a hot nerdy lesbian bookstore owner? Amber could be bisexual, right?
1. Rizzoli and Isles
For obvious reasons, Rizzoli and Isles is our number one pick for a show that could use a lesbian character. There’s no disputing Rizzoli and Isles’ appeal with the ladies, so why don’t the powers that be just give over to what the fans really want? If making the show’s lesbian shippers’ dreams come true with a full-on fling between Angie Harmon’s Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander’s Isles is simply out of the question, can’t they at least introduce a cool lesbian informant who becomes Rizzoli’s new bestie that makes Isles jealous? We’re just spitballing here, but there’s got to be a way!
Thanks to Leslie Dobbins for her input.