I Want My Gay TV!
This past television season audiences were left with what can only be called "The Hollywood Rainbow Massacre," because a multitude of shows with LGBT characters faced the ratings axe - which is akin to slaughtering unicorns in my book.
Those that did not survive last season's chopping block were "The New Normal," "Partners," "Happy Endings," "Go On," "Malibu Country," "Smash," "Don't Trust The B----," "Southland," "90210" and "Emily Owens, M.D."
Along with these cancellations went the happy depictions of gays as expectant parents ("The New Normal"), the straight/gay dichotomy ("Partners"), just a regular example of being gay ("Happy Endings"), lesbian Lily Tomlin on prime time ("Malibu Country") and a Marilyn Monroe-musical ("Smash"); filled with gay writers, singers, dancers, composers and manipulative production assistants - imagine that!
Marriage is now recognized as legal for us in part due to the medium, as indicated by a survey conducted by The Hollywood Reporter in November of last year. It showed that gay television characters helped to sway voters to the historically-unprecedented support we now enjoy. We'll label it "The Cam Effect," if you will, because we all know everybody loves Eric Stonestreet's character on "Modern Family."
So what does the upcoming Fall TV season hold for "our kind," in the wake of what was a record-breaking season for gays on the tube you might ask?
Class of 2013
There are two confirmed lesbians on the summer show "Mistresses." Sally (Victoria Mussett) and Alex (Shannyn Sossamon) who will be with us until the end of September and possibly into a second season.
NBC's "Sean Saves The World" features Sean Hayes, the former Jack McFarland and "Will & Grace" standout. It may have to live up to the title, being one of the only new kids in an otherwise empty gayborhood block this year. Better represent mister-sister!
The openly gay actor will portray the single dad of a 14-year-old daughter named Ellie (Samantha Isler), with a difficult new boss named Max, as played by "Reno 911"'s Lt. Dangle (Thomas Lennon). I wonder if his casual Friday outfit will consist of a pair of short-shorts? And as any self-effacing gay must have a gal pal, look for his former Smash co-star Megan Hilty to fill that role.
The show's casting that elicited a gigantic gay gasp from me, is the inclusion of everyone's favorite "Mel's Diner" new girl in town Linda Lavin, formerly of Alice, as Sean's mother. Who knows? Maybe his former co-stars Megan Mullally, Debra Messing or Eric McCormack will drop by. If not it will be "Just Jack!"
ABC’s "Super Fun Night" has one presumed-to-be-a-lesbian character, in the guise of Marika (Lauren Ash), described as having an athletic streak and a "big interest" in her female friends.
Nope, she sounds totally straight... maybe on opposites day! The writers reportedly plan to flesh out her tendencies and make her a full-fledged lesbian.
The sitcom stars "Bridesmaids" and "Pitch Perfect" scene-stealer Rebel Wilson as Kimmie, a lawyer with a new penchant for going out-on-the-town, instead of her usual Friday night practice of staying in and singing songs from "Wicked." Both sound like a gay old time, if you ask me.
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" on Fox not only features the a-dork-able Andy Samberg, but it also adds something new to the LGBT landscape. Andre Braugher will portray an openly gay police captain, and his love life will be explored on the show. Sounds like a case of cops and throbbers just waiting to happen.
Look for frequent "Chelsea Lately" substitute and round-table regular for Ms. Handler, Ross Matthews (if you’re nasty) to helm his very own chat show called "Hello Ross." The E! Network show will tackle all things pop culture, with both celebrities and fans chiming in on the subject matter.
There will be a "new half" joining the cast of "Two and a Half Men," as they add a bisexual character in the form of Amber Tamblyn. She will be introduced as Jenny, the long-lost illegitimate daughter of the late Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen), a literal chip off the old block in the "lovin’ the ladies" department.
It’s no surprise that a young Carrie Bradshaw (Anna Sophia Robb) would end up having been a fruit fly in high school. On "The Carrie Diaries," Walt (Brandon Dooling) is her G.B.F.
Speaking of the teen set, "The Middle"’s Brad (Brock Ciarlelli) will continue to skirt the fact that he’s a happy homosexual. Let’s look at the "Friend’s of Dorothy" signs that point down the gay Yellow Brick Road. You’re flamboyant, love theater, enjoy tap-dancing and are on the high school wrestling team. Check and mate... where you hidin’ those ruby slippers, girl?
Our community is certainly no stranger to drama with a capital "D." "Revenge"’s Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann), went bisexual last year and ended up in jail during last season’s cliffhanger (and no, not because he was confused) and will still be "inside" when the show returns. Mann recently teased that his character may go through a "slutty phase," Hmm, wonder if they means he has a stockpile of soap to drop in the prison showers...
NBC’s sophomore drama "Chicago Fire" is not only resplendent with easy-on-the-eyes smokin’ firefighters (I’m talkin’ to you, Taylor Kinney), it also features lesbian paramedic, Leslie Shay (Lauren German) and her ex-girlfriend Clarice (Sheri Appleby).
"Downton Abbey" has become a staple amongst LGBT viewers, so it’s not surprising that the series features Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier), a gay valet with a penchant for blackmail. During season four, he is single and ready to mingle. A blast from his past will appear whom he "grooms" to do his bidding.
On the comedy flip-side is our most venerable power bottom... err... power couple, Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) who will more-than-likely tie the knot this season on Modern Family.
Resident gaysian guidance counselor Mr. Wolfe (Rex Lee) on "Suburgatory" is reportedly being reduced to a possible guest-star-status for the third season. No word whether or not the same fate will befall his boyfriend Chef Alan (Evan Arnold).
While there may not be a wealth of new gays on TV this season, there are other shows that definitely have a certain gay curb appeal.
Keep an eye out for NBC’s "Growing Up Fisher," starring Jenna Elfman who replaced Parker Posey, "About A Boy," and "Dracula," starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the titular bloodsucker. ’Nuff said.
CBS’ "Hostages" stars everyone’s favorite former wallflower Toni Collette and hottie Dylan McDermott.
Just remember, kiddo, gay is where you find it.