Hollywood: I Want My Gay TV
By Tim Parks
This past TV season audiences were left with The Hollywood Rainbow Massacre, which is akin to killing a unicorn, when a multitude of shows with LGBT characters faced the ratings axe.
Those that did not survive the chopping block were The New Normal, Partners, Happy Endings, Go On, Malibu Country, Smash, Don’t Trust The B—-, Southland, 90210, Smash and Emily Owens, M.D.
With these cancellations went depictions of gays as expecting parents (The New Normal), the straight/gay dichotomy (Partners), a regular example of being gay (Happy Endings), Lily Tomlin on prime time (Malibu Country) and a musical based on Marilyn Monroe (Smash); well, four out of five ain’t bad.
And, it’s a good thing that marriage for us is now recognized as legal, seeing as a survey conducted by The Hollywood Reporter in November of last year showed that gay TV characters actually swayed some voters to the historically unprecedented support of gay marriage. Call it “The Cam Effect,” if you will, because everyone loves Eric Stonestreet on Modern Family.
So what does the upcoming Fall TV season hold for “our kind” in this wake of these exits in what was a record breaking season for gays on the tube?
Class of 2013
NBC’s Sean Saves The World features former Jack McFarland and Will & Grace standout Sean Hayes. It may have to live up to its title, as far as being one of the only new kids on an otherwise empty gayborhood block this year. Represent mister sister!
The openly gay actor will be a single dad with a 14-year-old daughter Ellie (Samantha Isler) and a difficult new boss Max, played by Reno 911’s Lt. Dangle (Thomas Lennon). I wonder if his casual Friday outfit will consist of a pair of short shorts? And as any self-effacing gay has to have a gal pal, look for his former Smash co-star Megan Hilty in that role.
But, the casting that made me do a gay gasp was the inclusion of everyone’s favorite new girl in town Linda Lavin, formerly of Mel’s Diner on Alice, as Sean’s mother.
Who knows, maybe his former co-stars Megan Mullally, Debra Messing and Eric McCormack will drop by? If not it will be Just Jack.
ABC’s Super Fun Night has one presumed to be a lesbian character, in the guise of Marika (Lauren Ash) who is described as having an athletic streak and a big interest in her female friends. Nope, she sounds totally straight…on opposite day! The writers will reportedly flesh out her tendencies and make her a full-fledged lesbian.
The sitcom stars Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect scene stealer Rebel Wilson as Kimmie a lawyer with a penchant going out on the town, instead of her usual Friday night practice of staying in and singing songs from Wicked. Both sound like a gay ole time, if you ask me.
There are two confirmed lesbians on the summer show Mistresses. Sally (Victoria Mussett) and Alex (Shannyn Sossamon) will be with us until the end of September and possibly into a second season.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Fox not only features the adorkable Andy Samberg, but it also has something new to the LGBT TV landscape. Andre Braugher will portray an openly gay police captain and his love life will be explored on the show. Sounds like a case of cops and throbbers waiting to happen.
Look for frequent Chelsea Lately round table regular, and substitute for Ms. Handler if you’re nasty, Ross Matthews to helm his very own chat show called Hello Ross. The E! show will be tackling all-things pop culture with both celebrities and fans chiming in on the subject matter.
There will be a new half joining the cast of Two and a Half Men, as they are adding a bisexual character. Amber Tamblyn will be introduced as Jenny, the long lost illegitimate daughter of the late Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen), who is a chip off the old block in the loving the ladies department.
It’s no surprise that young Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb) would have become a fruit fly in high school on The Carrie Diaries with her having a gay friend Walt (Brandon Dooling).
Speaking of the teen set, The Middle’s Brad (Brock Ciarlelli) will continue to skirt the fact that he’s a gay homosexual. Let’s look at the signs that point down the Yellow Brick Road, young friend of Dorothy – you’re flamboyant, love theater, enjoy tap dancing and are on the high school wrestling team.
Meanwhile at TV’s gayest learning institute, McKinley High, will not only be dealing with the loss of Finn (Cory Montheith), but some other familiar faces will not be returning to Glee, including bisexual Cheerio Brittany S. Pierce (Heather Morris). Boo and that accompanying sound you hear is me turning off my TV for the fifth season, even if the show will still showcase and showtune Kurt (Chris Colfer), Blaine (Darren Criss), Santana (Naya Rivera) and Unique (Alex Newell). Look for Adam Lambert to drop by this season as a guest star.
Our community is certainly no stranger to drama with a capital D. Revenge‘s Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann), who went bisexual last year and ended up in jail during the season’s cliffhanger, will still be there when the show returns. The actor recently teased that his character may go through a “slutty phase,” let’s just hope he has a stockpile of soap to drop for the prison showers.
Another soapy ABC drama Scandal features a President whose having an affair and also employs a Gay Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry), no wonder the show has that title, a politician partaking in sexual shenanigans…shocking!
The Good Wife is a virtual cornucopia of diversity with the three, count ’em three, representations of the rainbow; there’s bisexual Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi), lesbian Lana Delaney (Jill Flint) and Y Chromosome gay Owen Cavanaugh (Dallas Roberts).
Grey’s Anatomy literal resident lesbian doctors Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), will be dealing of the aftereffects of last season’s drama caused by Arizona’s infidelity and how Callie will deal with it in the professional workplace. Here’s a hint, she’s none too pleased and will voice her displeasure at the hospital about how she feels.
NBC’s sophomore drama, Chicago Fire, is not only has easy-on-the-eyes firefighters (I’m talking to you, Taylor Kinney), but it also features lesbian paramedic Leslie Shay (Lauren German) and her ex-girlfriend Clarice (Sheri Appleby).
Downton Abbey has become a staple among gay viewers, so it’s not surprising that the series features Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier), the valet with a penchant for blackmail. During season 4, he will be single and ready to mingle with a new person from his past, who he will groom to do his bidding.
Over on the flip side are comedy’s most venerable power bottoms, err power couple, Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) who will more than likely tie the knot this season on Modern Family. Suburgatory’s resident gaysian guidance counselor Mr. Wolfe (Rex Lee) is reportedly being reduced to a possible guest star status for the third season, there isn’t any word if the same fate will befall his boyfriend Chef Alan (Evan Arnold).
The World Wide Interweb
Whatever This Is features Dylan Marron as Ari, a hasn’t-figured-it-all-out variety of gay in the Kickstarter funded web series. He and his friend Sam (Hunter Canning) are lowly production assistants on a Real Housewives-esque type show. Sounds like he has some things figured out, as I hear the gays love those shows.
So while there may not be a wealth of new gays on TV this season, there are some other shows that definitely have a certain gay curb appeal.
Keep an eye out for NBC’s About A Boy, Growing Up Fisher starring Parker Posey and Dracula stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the titular bloodsucker, ‘nuff said. CBS’ Hostages stars everyone’s favorite former wallflower Toni Collette and hottie Dylan McDermott. And just remember kids, gay is where you find it.