I have always had a rather unhealthy obsession with TV lesbian couples. And by unhealthy I mean when I get addicted to a particular lesbian couple on a show, even though they are not major characters, I would watch and re-watch clips that only feature my
lesbian favorite couple. I would frequent fan sites that are created for that couple, read all the fanfiction and even download music that is used during their scenes and is associated with them.
And, judging from the gazillion fan sites and Youtube channels dedicated to specific TV lesbian couples, I am not the only one. By no means am I suggesting that lesbians are the only people who will be obsessed with certain fictional characters on a TV show or movie or even in literature. After all, ever since the dawn of entertainment and culture, there have always been people who have a hard time separating reality from fiction (hello stalkers!).
But I’d like to think there is something more to my obsession with lesbian couples on television. The most obvious reason being that “good” fictional lesbian couples are a rarity on TV, especially mainstream TV. Let’s face it. More often than not lesbian/bisexual characters are merely used as pawns and stunts in the Nielsen ratings battle between different networks. Some female characters that have been portrayed as straight will suddenly have a lesbian fling and/or experiment in same-sex smooches during sweeps months, hence the term “sweeps lesbianism“. It is hard to find a TV lesbian couple with a well-developed, realistic and romantic storyline from them meeting for the first time, dealing/struggling with their feelings for one another to falling in love without catering to sensationalism.
What about The L Word, you may ask, that was a show dedicated ENTIRELY to queer women? Although I did watch The L Word pretty religiously like any good lesbian did, I was never obsessed with it partly because
the show was not very good due to factors like lack of character consistency and pretentious direction of my personal taste and partly because, call me crazy, I prefer to see a fictional lesbian couple set amongst and treated like any other couples on a more mainstream TV show whose demographic is not blatantly queer women.
Maybe I have a subconscious need to be accepted by mainstream society. Maybe I feel more identified with lesbian characters who do not just exist in a “mostly lesbian” world. Maybe I am just difficult. For whatever reason I find myself propelled to seek out fictional TV lesbian/bisexual couples who are sometimes not even major characters on the show.
Apart from the oldest (Xena and Gabrielle) and the newest (Santana and Brittany) famous TV lesbian coupling, here are my other personal obsessions:
Willow and Tara–Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Their relationship practically shaped my lesbian existence. The show has received much praises for how the relationship was developed despite the tragic ending.
Pepa and Silvia–Los Hombres de Paco
When I first stumbled upon the Youtube channel that featured compilation clips of Pepa the cop and Silvia the forensic inspector on the famous Spanish show, I watched them all (over 50) in one day. As for the ending, I cried, A LOT. If you don’t have anything to do for the next two days, begin your “Pepsi experience” now.
Emily and Naomi–Skins
I have yet to watch the US version of this popular UK show that follows a group of teenagers with very controversial plotlines like sex and drug abuse. The relationship between Emily and Naomi in the second generation of the show is one of the most realistic portrayal of lesbian/bisexual teens I have ever seen.
Jessica and Alex–Mistresses
Jessica, one of the four main characters on the show, is a commitment-phobe who finds herself falling in love for the first time and with
Olivia Dunham a woman. Their relationship is sweet, albeit a short one.
I am sure I am missing some other good ones. Do you have a favorite TV couple?