We just lost another lesbian on TV, as agent June Stahl was killed on Sons of Anarchy. At this point, we should be used to these terrible losses, and the weird ways TV writers choose to rid of them. Trips or moves to Paris seem to be a popular option, and a little less offensive than other choices. So what are some of the worst lesbian character exits? We’ve got strong opinions.
Heather Hogan: Even though Josh Schwartz makes some of my very favorite, never-miss TV, I have to rest the blame for a Very Bad Thing squarely on his shoulders. And that thing is the modern Sweeps Lesbian/Bisexual.
Back in ’04, Schwartz had the grand idea to let The O.C.‘s Marissa Cooper dabble in lesbianery during Sweeps week, and holy Phantom Planet, did the Parents Television Council ever lose their minds. (And holy Brody did that ever result in ratings.)
Marissa (Mischa Barton) was one side of the equation, and Alex (Olivia Wilde) was the the other. Alex was aloof and cool and charming when she first entered the Seth Cohen sphere of indie rock. Then she started messing around with Marissa — something that was never going to last because duh: Marissa + Ryan 4EVA — and as soon as Schwartz had his Nielsen scores, he strangled her with the Psycho Bisexual Trope. You know the one: Bisexuals will do anything, so they’ll do anything.
And now we can’t make it through a Sweeps week without some bogus girl-on-girl titillation. I just really wish Olivia Wilde had been able to recover from that role. It’s like Olivia who, you know? She could have had a real career in movies and on TV, maybe even landed at the top of some straight dudes and lesbian women’s hot lists. Alas.
Alley Hector: While House MD Doctor Remy Hadley, aka Number 13, was not a flash in the pan character her bisexuality was. Open and honest about her orientation the show nevertheless portrayed her relationship with male doctor and colleague Dr. Eric Foreman as nuanced and real, while her only scenes with women were fleeting and vapid.
The subject was often discussed with thought and candor, however, so her recent leave of absence from the show took away an important perspective not only on sexuality but also gender. She was the only woman on the team so head of the hospital Dr. Lisa Cuddy insists that House hire another woman as soon as possible. Not only does he take forever to do so but when Cuddy finally steps in and makes a decision the replacement shows not a hint of alternative sexuality.
When she left she did so under the pretenses that she was undergoing a clinical trial in order to treat her impending onset of Huntington’s disease, but we quickly discover that is not the case. We haven’t yet figured out where she is going but if you look at her former reckless behavior it stands to reason she will be enjoying earthly pleasures and taking big risks wherever she is. This could mean anything from brothels to skydiving, but it is bound to be something interesting, as Thirteen has never been a delicate flower, despite the fact that her fine motor skills may already be deteriorating.
My best guess, however, is that she’s been recruited by the CIA to go undercover as a Victoria’s Secret underwear model to uncover an underground uranium smuggling trade hidden in padded bras.