Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (June 13, 2008)

Out actor Jane Lynch (The L Word, Best in Show) has been cast in the ABC comedy pilot Never Better. Based on the BBC series of the same name, the American version stars Damon Wayans as a recovering alcoholic "who’s trying to do right by his family" (according to ABC); Lynch plays his "no-nonsense" AA sponsor, and Nicole Ari Parker (Soul Food, Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love) plays his wife.

Photo credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Very little else has been released about the show, which is in consideration for a mid-season slot on ABC, so I can’t tell you much about Lynch’s character, Linda, but I can tell you that the BBC series (which aired earlier this year in the U.K.) didn’t do so well. It already looks like it’s going to have a much different feel in the U.S., though, since it now has an African-American family at its center and a wise-cracking Christopher Guest vet on board.

And you know what they say: a Wayans brother + Jane Lynch + jokes about alocholics = bizarro land comedy gold. Right? Anybody?

There may not be any lesbian/bi characters on TV right now, but there are plenty of swingers … who I guess are technically bisexual, right? Well, you can judge for yourself on CBS’ new summer series Swingtown, which follows the shenanigans in a ritzy Chicago suburb in 1976 (complete with mustaches, polyester, and music by David Bowie).

Last week’s premiere episode already included a ménage à trois, one orgy and a foursome (not to mention cocaine and quaaludes) — which has led to protests from the conservative American Family Association and the Parents Television Council. (Duh.)

Left to right: Lana Parilla, Jack Davenport, Molly Parker, Grant Show

Photo credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

If the show sounds way too racy to be on CBS (the network of stodgy police procedurals), the actuality is a lot tamer. It was originally pitched to HBO, but the series was reworked for broadcast standards, and though it’s obvious the folks involved are having some adventurous sexual experiences, little of it is shown.

The series begins when Susan and Bruce Miller (Molly Parker and Jack Davenport) move a few blocks to a more upscale neighborhood, where they quickly discover that their neighbors, Tom and Trina Decker (Grant Show and Lana Parilla), really like to share. Meeting Tom and Trina makes Susan’s worldview open up, and the two wives are at the heart of the spouse swapping. Though no purely lesbionic action has happened yet, the first episode made it clear (to me, anyway) that Trina has an eye for the ladies as much as the gentlemen.

Left to right: Parker, Parilla, Miriam Shor

Photo credit: Michael Yarish/CBS

Upcoming episodes tackle the rift between Susan and her former neighbor and best friend, Janet (Miriam Shor), who is so scandalized by the swinging that she retreats to furiously scrubbing her kitchen. I think she doth protest too much, if you know what I mean.

No word yet on whether any of the characters on the show will encounter 1970s lesbian-feminism. I know my fingers are crossed!

— by Malinda Lo

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