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.
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."
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
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
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.
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.