This week, TVSquad.com published a list of its top 10 gay television characters, and only two of them are women — unless you also count the strange inclusion of “much of the cast of The Real World: Brooklyn or “most of the people on the Bravo network.” (I don’t.)
To be completely predictable, the list includes Shane from The L Word.
Wow, what a stretch. “What’s that show that has a ton of lesbians on it? Isn’t there one that everyone wants to do it with? Yeah, her!” OK, I may be being a bit harsh. I was certain there was a much better reason for Shane, above all other more-developed characters (i.e. Alice) on TLW being included. Then I read TVSquad’s reasoning:
…Shane, the take-no-prisoners gal who’s slept with just about everyone in town. Shane is gritty and dark, and looks pretty much the way non-lesbians would expect a lesbian to look. Shane is a lesbian and proud of it, and if you don’t like it, well, she just doesn’t care.
Somewhat redeeming itself, TVSquad put Dr. Arizona Robbins of Grey’s Anatomy on their list. Jessica Capshaw‘s pediatrician character wouldn’t be the obvious choice (I mean, there’s just no competing with Sara Ramirez, right?), but she’s been queer longer than Callie, so maybe that’s why she gets the gay nod.
These two lesbian characters are certainly not bad starts for a list, but there must be way more fictional gay ladies on TV to choose from, right? Sure, The L Word ended. We couldn’t “Save Spashley” on South of Nowhere; Palex split on Degrassi, so Alex left and Paige went back to guys (shocking!); but, there has to be plenty of great queer female characters available, you’d think.
You know, there’s some on Guiding Light, All My Children, Exes & Ohs, Nip/Tuck — but then there’s that whole argument on if they’re actually “good” characters. (See what Nip/Tuck does to that list?)
I’m stumped. Sure, lesbians pop up in small roles or brief appearances here and there (usually in some cringe-worthy storyline, no less), but the fact is there really aren’t that many major gay female characters these days, especially not on American television. No wonder TVSquad only included two in their top 10 list. But then why did they announce the list by saying “there are more gay and lesbian characters on TV right now than ever before”?
Maybe someday we’ll read a top 20 list and 50 percent will be women! Crazy! We can dream, right? That’s why we’ll always have our own list.