If you thought the real tragedy of The Great Gatsby was that Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker could never admit they were in lesbians with each other, if your favorite true love pairing on Downton Abbey was between Sybil Crawley and under house maid Gwen Dawson, if your dream ending for Chicago is Velma and Roxie locked in a Sapphic embrace, have I got some good news for you: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, an Australian crime drama set in the 20s, is the TV show you’ve been waiting for.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries follows unflappable flapper Phryne Fisher as she sleuths her way through Melbourne, solving crimes and refusing to bend to any of that 1920s patriarchal ideology. Phryne is a socially progressive feminist through and through. Labor disputes by exploited female factory workers? She’s got that. Backlash for doctors performing illegal abortions? She’s got that too. A lesbian best friend who looks positively dashing in her three-piece suits? Yep, she’s also got that. Phryne Fisher has no time for oppressive social conventions, and all the time in the world to pursue justice for women who don’t know how to pursue it for themselves.
But let’s talk about that lesbian BFF, shall we? Dr. Elizabeth Macmillan (“Mac,” to Phryne) is a women’s hospital doctor who has known Phyrne for practically her whole life, and is also the only person Phyrne will listen to when things get tough. Mac came out to Phyrne in the 10th episode of season one, “The Death of Miss Adventure,” when her girlfriend was killed in a factory accident. In a heartbreaking scene, Mac explains how she went to her girlfriend’s funeral and her girlfriend’s mother thanked Mac for being such a good doctor to her daughter. Crying, Mac says, “I was so much more to her than that.” Rather than calling her attraction to women “unnatural” like other people in their social circle or chastising her best friend for waiting so long to tell her she’s a lesbian, Phryne just hugs Mac close, because she loves her and knowing she’s gay doesn’t change anything.
Also, seriously, will you get a load of how dapper she is?
And as an added bonus, lesbian actress Miriam Margolyes (Professor Pomona Sprout, if you please) plays Phyrne’s Aunt Prudence, and is also a member of the board of directors at the hospital where Mac works.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is in the middle of its 17-episode second season in Australia, but the full first season is now available in Netflix here in the States! Have you checked it out? Will you?