Last weekend I spent an otherwise worthless day marathoning my favorite Hulu addition: Burning Love. Regular E! viewers might already be familiar with Burning Love, but I didn’t discover the gem until this month, when the entire first season was added to Hulu. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a lesbian character in the Bachelor spoof.
Ken Marino (Party Down) stars as Mark Orlando, a studly if startling vacant fire-fighter in search of Mrs. Orlando. Carly (played by established comedian Janet Varney) is a statuesque blonde and WNBA coach (ding ding!) who seems bemused to find herself a top candidate for Mark Orlando’s Mrs. Right. As the season progresses, Carly becomes increasingly smitten with another candidate and increasingly horrified by Mark’s ardor. As a comedic character, Carly’s lesbo traits are often over the top cliche- but stereotypes are often based in reality. Here are five of Carly’s gayest moments from Season 1 of Burning Love.
1. Bewildered indifference at each “hose” ceremony
At the end of each ceremony, Mary hands out hoses. Instead of roses. Because he’s a firefighter, get it? While the other contestants are thrilled to be kept in the running for Mark’s itsy bitsy heart, Carly is just startled. Then annoyed. Then desperate for an escape, any escape. I know the feeling. When I was “straight,” I would compete for male attention because it was a status symbol, or at the very least validation. Once I actually got it, I was shocked and then irritated by male companionship and sexuality. I just wanted to go back and hang out with my friends. Maybe snuggle a little. Watch Netflix and spoon with that pretty sorority girl. Normal stuff. Which brings us to:
2. BFFing the hottest girl
“Carly’s the closest friend I have in the house. I mean that by distance because she’s always really close to me.” — Tamara
There are a lot of hotties in the Burning Love mansion, but Tamara (played by stunner Deanna Russo) is arguably the most beautiful. Carly almost immediately kindles a close friendship with Tamara, and shows the fellow competitor far more interest and affection than Mark. Again, I relate. From elementary school to college, I formed friendships when the prettiest girls in school. Intense, close, all I wanna do is hang out with you friendships with homecoming queen, prom queen, sorority president, you get the picture. Our friendships were purely platonic, and I was strangely content with being the hot girl’s sidekick. After all, when she’s around, what guy is going to bother me?
Alas, deep down I (like Carly) knew that my beautiful biffle felt somehow less for me than I did for her. This was obvious when I lavished gifts, affection, and sweet sentiment onto a grateful but non reciprocating friend. Which brings us to:
3. Hand-feeding Tamara a romantic breakfast in bed.
“Sometimes my fingers are still tired when I wake up and I feel like I need someone to feed me.” — Carly
Oh, Carly. Raise your hand if you’ve made—in hindsight—extravagant gestures of love and affection towards a particularly attractive friend. Don’t lie. In episode 5, Tamara awakens to Carly bringing her breakfast in bed, accompanied by song and snuggles. Carly’s anxious stream of consciousness rambling is often hysterically suggestive of homosexuality, but in this scene Carly really out gays herself. “Wake up wake up,” Carly croons with a suggestive grin, gently placing a tray laden with crepes and fresh fruit by Tamara’s dazed head.
Carly’s smile widens with anticipation.
Carly proceeds to feed Tamara, then happily snuggle into her “best friend’s” side. This demonstration of physical affection brings us to:
4. Finding any excuse to touch Tamara
“That pillow fight was filled with sexual tension. Friend my ass, more like Carly should move to Seattle because they have fish markets and she loves the smell of fish.” — Fellow contestant Titi.
First off, vaginas don’t smell or taste like fish. Whatever douchbag bro perpetuated that notion clearly just wanted an excuse not to reciprocate oral sex, so he shamed lady bits by equating them to seafood. As a lesbian who does not eat seafood (HA HA HA YES SO FUNNY) I’m always super annoyed by lesbo-fish jokes.
Anyway, back to Carly’s not so latent homosexuality. After sufficiently bonding with Tamara, Carly uses any reason to touch her crush. When a playful pillow fight/wrestling match breaks out, Carly happily pins Tamara into the couch, then rests her head on Tamara’s bosom with an expression of unbridled glee. I still love sexy play fights and laying on top of girls. Any sort of girl bosom is the most comfortable head rest in the world. Fact. Men… not so much. Which brings us to:
5. Feigning prudishness to avoid hooking up with Mark
“I know what goes on in the boom boom room, and I guess my response would be: you cannot make me do that in a million years. I don’t think Mark thinks of it as losing a couple teeth… but that’s what would happen if we were in there. Shit would go sour. Fast.” — Carly
On the season finale of Burning Love, Mark invites Carly to spend a night in “the boom boom room,” an overnight date in a hotel room modeled off The Bachelor’s “fantasy suite.” Boom boom room is a far more accurate description. Basically it’s where the bachelor and the finalists have a chance to bang before Mark Orlando gives out his finale hose plus an engagement ring. Carly uses an excuse lesbians have used for centuries (I imagine) to avoid the peen: virtue.
Mark leans in for a kiss, Carly coughs. Both make side comments and it’s crystal clear that Mark Orlando and Carly are on two very different pages.
You can watch the first season of Burning Love on Hulu now! Do you relate to Carly? Or do the lesbian stereotypes overshadow the clever satire?