In My 10 Favorite TV Shows, various members of the Autostraddle TV crew will tell you about the TV shows dearest to our hearts, EVEN those that don’t have lesbian / bisexual / queer female characters. Today, Bailey shares their feelings!
Who would have thought this would be the hardest thing for me to write for Autostraddle? When I started the list I felt so sure, but every time I came back the shows were dancing against each other fighting for 2-10 spots. I was naive to think this list wouldn’t define me, but after a tally (you read that right) the results arrived. Really gay and quite British. Fucking sake.
Dramatic, violent and silly, Vis a Vis was a blow to Macarena who enters prison a sweet and naive straight woman of the middle class. She starts off on the wrong foot with Zulema, a tough girl from the prison. Saray is Zulema’s staunch friend and side kick. Rizo is Saray’s ex-girlfriend and Macarena is the woman Rizo is now about to court. It’s a hot mess full of acting and wonderful chemistry that makes Bad Girls feel like they’ve crashed straight into Orange Is the New Black.
9. Sugar rush
Well ahead of its time in 2005, Sugar Rush was set in the dark but sunny unofficial gay capital of Brighton. We follow Locked-in Teen Kim who has a huge lesbian crush on her new best friend Sugar. Before The L Word and pre-gay Bailey I was never able to put my finger on why I loved this show so much (jk jk) but I always appreciated Channel Four for bringing me drama for teenagers and hard-hitting screenwriting.
Seasons three and four (let’s ignore Fire) really hit a gay nerve for me. Every week I would invite a buddy over to my college room to watch the latest episode of Cook, Effy, Pandora, Thomas, JJ, Katie and Freddie, The Fun Sponge. I was the kid who ran naomily.com, wrote fan fiction and shared icons that people could use on their Livejournals. I will never forget the fandom of Naomi and Emily; green shoes and buttons, a pig t-shirt and a real Skins party in the old Bristol fire station – that was it.
7. Being Erica
Erica is 30 when she is assigned to a time traveling therapist. For every regret or resentment she has, she can go back in time and do it differently. What I love about this series is that it covers so many themes throughout four seasons applying them to Erica’s growth. She learns to set limits, to express herself, to ask for what she wants and to take risks. There’s also this gay episode called “Everything She Wants”, with Anna Silk from Lost Girls.
Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope may have spent almost seven seasons deciding between the president and a hunk in the US Navy / NSA, but what got me watching were the power combinations and the moments. ” It is managed “. I never really decided if OLITZ was OTP, but I know for sure everyone on that damn show was terrible in one way or another. What secrets and lies! No one was safe.
This comedy about five characters doing community service, suddenly struck by their own individual superpowers, was a hit from the start. However, when I reflect on Misfits, it is really the relationship that evolved between Alisha and Simon that I remember so well. You never would have thought they would even look each other deep in the eye, even in a situation like the Paradox written in season three.
4. The Handmaid’s Tale
Samira Wiley Moira and Alexis Bledel’s Emily honestly outdo the feminist white woman trying to find her little bubba Hannah in the dystopian society storyline. The Handmaid’s Tale is dark and has many eerie parallels to today – Atwood herself has said that everything that happens in The Handmaid’s Tale has happened in one way or another.
The relationship between Amanita and Nomi was one of the healthiest; real relationship goals in 2015. I found things to love about every character on this show; Sun’s strength for example, Lito’s humor. Sense8 was revolutionary not only in the way it was filmed in different countries, but because it was the first TV show I had seen where trans writers wrote a trans role for a trans actress.
Every character in this high school is toxic AF and the actors do a great job portraying him. Addiction, sex, body positivity, and heartbreak are pretty hard to the head with a nail in the first season of Euphoria and I can’t wait to see what the second season brings. Zendaya’s portrayal of Rue, as well as her best friend / sweetheart Jules, played by Hunter Schafer, was raw – so reminding me of the UK shows I grew up with (Sugar Rush, Skins, Misfits) and it’s in the beauty of why I love her.
ER was a mad rush. No show has ever quite lived up to it. Abby’s struggle with alcoholism and Sam’s escape from her abusive ex-husband were two stories that hit home. I was way too young to watch this show, but I remember sneaking downstairs at night to watch the new episodes through the cracks in the door, while my mom was chatting on the phone. I remember after FRIENDS aired, I quietly watched from the passage as Lucy and Carter were stabbed by a patient. I begged my mother to let me stay up the following year just so I could find out what had happened to them. I felt unequivocally invested in these characters from day one in passing through my childhood home watching their lives unfold.
Shows that almost made the list: America’s Next Top Model, Black Mirror, Buffy, Catfish, Charmed (original), Dead Like Me, How To Get Away With Murder, Lost, Orphan Black, The Walking Dead, Younger.