“Wonderfalls” Lesbian Republican and Her Bisexual Girlfriend

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Sharon introduces Beth to her mother

Although the pilot of the new Fox series Wonderfalls kicked off on March 12 with the myth of the

Maid of the Mist, the show features two other figures that are often

considered a myth by both lesbians and TV execs alike: the lesbian

Republican, and the bisexual woman.

Wonderfalls

is a dramedy revolving around Jaye (Caroline Dhavernas), a recent

college graduate who is now back in her hometown of Niagara Falls,

living in a trailer and working at a souvenir shop, when inanimate

objects suddenly start telling her to do things and effectively turn

her into “Fate’s bitch.” She also has a full-time job antagonizing her

respectable WASPY family — including her older sister Sharon (Katie

Finneran
), a Republican immigration attorney whose permanently-single

status is a constant source of frustration to their mother.

In the pilot, Jaye

set Sharon up on a blind date with a UPS delivery man, Thomas (Gabriel

Hogan
). During dinner, when Thomas won’t accept Sharon’s polite

dismissal that he’s just not her type, Sharon finally tells Thomas

she’s a lesbian. Thomas repeats this information to Jaye just before he

develops an allergic reaction to his food and has to be rushed to the

hospital by Jaye and Sharon.

“What was that crack about you being a

lesbian?” Jaye asks Sharon on the car on the way there. “I mean, it’s

not that horribly surprising, but are you?” “What do you mean, it’s not

horribly surprising?” Sharon asks defensively, to which Jaye points out

“You drive an SUV.”

Later

at the hospital, Thomas’ ex-wife Beth (Kari Matchett) comes to see him,

and meets Sharon. “Are you his girlfriend?” she asks. Mesmerized,

Sharon blurts out “I don’t have a girlfriend,” and Beth smiles

knowingly, then leans over to wipe the ink off Sharon’s cheek in

slow-motion.

A few minutes later, we see Sharon and Beth gazing at each

other over Thomas’ hospital bed, until finally Beth offers to give

Sharon a ride and they go off together.

The fourth episode (“Pink Flamingo”) airing this Thursday, April 1, at 9pm, is about Jaye’s efforts to

take down an old high-school rival, Gretchen, per the instructions of

the talking chicken in Gretchen’s hairclip, but it also picks up again

on the relationship between

Sharon and Beth, as Sharon’s closetedness derails their attempts to get

together.

The episode includes a funny scene in which Sharon introduces

Beth to her mother as the woman with whom she carpools, and a truly

hilarious one in which Beth’s father sleep-walks in on Beth and Sharon

making out in the living room.

Complicating

matters is that Sharon discovers in this episode that Beth is “not

exclusively” gay” (that’s TV talk for “bisexual”). “Does it bother you

that I’ve had sex with a man?” Beth asks Sharon, and Sharon stops to

consider this. She then asks, “Will you again?” to which Beth responds

“I don’t know.”

Sharon is obviously uncomfortable with this answer, and

raises the issue again in Episode 8 (“Safety Canary”), when her attempt

to make Beth choose between chunky versus smooth peanut butter quickly

escalates into a different conversation altogether and leaves both

women unhappy — until a walk in the woods looking for a pair of lost

birds makes Sharon reconsider her position.

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