Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (November 10, 2006)

IF IT WALKS LIKE A DYKE DUCK, AND LOOKS LIKE A DUCK…
So is Law and Order: Criminal Intent's Det. Maggie Wheeler a lesbian? "I honestly don't know, they haven't told me", said Julianne Nicholson, the actress who plays her, when I ran into her and husband Jonathan Cake (Six Degrees) last weekend in New York. But Julianne was definitely open to the idea – and so was Jonathan, who joked, "if they haven't told you anything, then it's up to you, right? So let's just decide right now that she's gay". Yeah, I liked him right away.

Maggie Wheeler

Nicholson, who previously starred in Ally McBeal and the short-lived L&O spin-off Conviction, definitely plays a lesbian in the engaging upcoming movie Puccini For Beginners, where she provokes Saved's Elizabeth Reaser into facing her true feelings (and Gretchen Moll into overacting, but I'll save that for the movie review).

BUT SHE ISN'T WORRIED ABOUT OPRAH COMING AFTER HER?
PlanetOut just posted Jenny Stewart's great interview with Tina Fey in which Fey talks about whether she's considering bringing Stephanie March's lesbian character back to 30 Rock ("I definitely could see her coming back at some point"), whether she'd sleep with Gayle King or Ellen (Gayle, because "I don't need Portia de Rossi coming after me"), and why she has so many lesbian fans ("Maybe it's because…they can tell that I actually know some lesbians, and that it's clear that I'm like, not afraid of them?").

THE MOTHER OF ALL COMING OUT SCENES
All hell breaks loose on South of Nowhere tonight when Spencer's mom walks in on her and Ashley in a compromising position. Nevermind Paula: this means viewers actually get to see Spencer and Ashley in a compromising position, albeit very briefly. There's no doubt that this series has been groundbreaking in its frank portrayal of teen sexuality, but creator Tom Lynch's queer street cred is being seriously undermined by the increasingly obvious (and lame) disparity between Spencer and Ashley's quick kisses and teasing gazes and the show's straight teen couples routinely make out in public and shag in bathroom stalls. As one AfterEllen.com reader summed it up, "I don’t need porn, but some snuggling and open-mouth kissing would be nice."

To be fair, even the straight couples on this show tend to be a lot more talk than action on camera, but c'mon, Powers That Be: a little more same-sex kissing isn't going to make the Religious Right hate this show any more than they already do.

BUT THEY'LL MENTION BRITNEY'S 2-YEAR MARRIAGE TO K-FED AD NASEUM
An AfterEllen.com reader (thanks Jen!) tipped me off that six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer Florence Klotz died last week at the age of 86, six years after the death of her partner of 30+ years, stage manager and producer Ruth Mitchell (who worked on many of the shows she costume designed for). Not surprisingly, almost none of the media coverage of Klotz' death mentioned Mitchell; here's one that did.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
We have a date for the fourth season premiere of The L Word: January 7th.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Men in Trees were both picked up for full seasons this week, so there will continue to be at least two openly queer women on TV this season (Sarah Paulson and Anne Heche, respectively).

NBC is streaming Passions online for free. Now you can watch schlock on your TV and your computer!

Here TV has renewed Dante's Cove for a third season.

We had such a crush of traffic to our new blog this week – clearly, one should never underestimate lesbian interest in Jodie Foster! – that we had to move the blog to a new server so it wouldn't take the whole site down with it (it's all fixed now). Besides the news about Jodie, other popular topics on the blog this week include Lena Headey's new TV role, Toyota's lesbian car ad, the lack of good movies about female athletes, and why there are so few women listed in a new "out gay celebrities" slideshow.

This weekend I'm off to L.A. for Power Up's annual lesbians-in-entertainment gala, where I'll be the least famous person in the room and probably misidentified in photos as Cherry Jones's girlfriend Sarah Paulson, because we're both blond-ish and have the same first name. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

That's it for this week! Check back next Friday for a new installment of Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. or read past installments here.

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