Thursday, March 25, 2010

TV Lesbians

Not having done a hell of a lot with their dizzy gay male couple, Desperate Housewives has now introduced a lesbian couple -- sort of. It all started when one of the housewives discovered that her late ex-husband had left her a topless bar that he owned. She convinced one of the strippers to seek a different line of work, and this gal moved in with Katherine [Dana Delaney, pictured] who lived across the street from housewife one. Katherine had supposedly been strictly heterosexual to that point. In fact, she had a nervous breakdown when the man she lived with went back to his ex-wife (the same housewife one] and re-married her. Meanwhile her new roommate -- the ex-stripper -- confided in her that she was a "card-carrying" lesbian. The ex-stripper was a sexy, very feminine gal -- the kind guys call a "babe" -- and it's interesting that they resisted making her a typical TV bisexual [more on that later]. Katherine, who might more accurately be called a bisexual (although this was not suggested and the term was never used), couldn't deny her attraction to the ex-stripper, and the two not only went to bed together but more or less became a couple. This in spite of the fact that Katherine tired to convince the other gal -- and herself -- that she was really totally heterosexual. In the most recent episode Katherine decided that she wanted to pursue a relationship with the ex-stripper, but hated having her neighbors knowing all about them -- so they are apparently going to move out of the neighborhood [and perhaps leave the show?]

We all know that it's not that unusual for people to come to grips with their homosexuality as they approach middle-age or later [Katherine is 40], so I wasn't necessarily bothered by that factor. I'm not certain why a "card carrying" fully accepting lesbian would necessarily want to pursue a relationship with someone who is still clearly full of internalized homophobia. Of course, Katherine -- while not a "babe" like the ex-stripper as such -- is quite attractive, and has a lot of love to give. In any case, neither woman is stereotypically butch and I guess that's a plus. Now if only they could work on those two silly gay guys.

On a show called Melrose Place -- a new version of the old series -- there is a character named Ella. In all the press releases and write ups on the show it was mentioned that Ella is "bisexual." She's a typical TV bisexual in that she has no LGBT identity of any kind, is seen making out passionately with a couple of women, but is only shown in bed with guys. Recently she tried having a relationship with a guy named Jonah, but she found it too smothering. Maybe because she prefers women? The show simply won't deal with it. They had an openly gay guy who was Ella's boss -- and who was written out as soon as Heather Locklear rejoined the cast so that she could become Ella's boss -- but the word bisexual has never been used, and neither Ella nor her friends ever talk about it. It's as if the people behind the series said "We'll make Ella 'bisexual' to be contemporary, and maybe straight guys will tune in to see this babe making out with chicks. But she'll never be, like, a dyke."

If Melrose Place really wanted to be hip, it would have made Ella a "card-carrying" lesbian who perhaps interacted with men for career reasons [not that she doesn't do that] but for now she's just a cartoon bisexual -- or maybe not even that as they haven't shown her flirting or kissing another gal in months.

Sheesh. The shows I have to sit through just to monitor gay images!

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