July 25, 2013
I burned through every episode of Orange Is the New Black in 48 hours. I'm giddy on Mondays to watch The Fosters. I've even endured another summer of The Killing. Under the Dome, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars — look around, friends! This is a great summer for lesbians on TV.
We're at a point now where tokenism or generic representation isn't enough. What's special about this summer is the range of lesbian characters we're seeing on TV: from super femme to super butch, Kinsey sixes and Kinsey ones, monogamous and non-monogamous, young and old. Orange Is the New Black is the new high-water mark for shows with prominent lesbian characters. (The L Word was the former standard bearer). There's the kooky-funky poor little rich girl Nicky (Natasha Lyonne), the sultry drug queenpin who used to rock pinup-style bumper bangs (Laura Prepon), the unpredictably poetic Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba), and the megabutch Big Boo (Lea DeLaria). The Killing, despite its myriad other flaws, also introduced a rarely seen lesbian type: the gutter punk baby butch Bullet (Bex Taylor-Klaus). Sadly, Bullet was killed on last week's episode, but that does not diminish her impact as a character and as a presence on TV! We saw her face homophobia, transphobia (even though she wasn't trans, her style was perhaps gender non-conforming), sexual assault, and constant marginalization — and then she was murdered by a serial killer.