Tuesday, March 15, 2016

All Our Happy Endings

There’s a reason all fairy tales end “…and they lived happily ever after.” The search for happiness – however we define that – is one of our most basic, fundamental drives. We therefore crave to see that happiness reflected in the stories we watch and read. Now that we’ve all collectively grieved and gotten really, really angry (and, in turn, turned that anger into something good) at out latest thwarted happy ending (RIP, Lexa, may we meet again on “Fear the Walking Dead”), it’s good to take stock of where we are.

Is every show that kills off an LGBT character terrible and irredeemably bad? Of course not. People die. Straight people and gay people and every single person who has been on Earth, is on Earth and will be on Earth will die – eventually. But, it does seem we’ve gotten an unfair shake, particularly on TV (hello, 135 characters and counting), when it comes to the Bury Your Gays trope. And I believe that’s because of the very nature of television shows. Unlike film, TV plays the long game. And, unlike film, TV often starts without a clear story ending in sight.

So today over at AfterEllen today in an effort to make myself feel better (and also a little worse) about our current television predicament by counting down all the shows that gave its gay lady couples a happy ending. I found 16. Over the course of TV history that is 16 shows, out of all the shows that have aired over all of the decades, where two gay ladies got to ride off into the sunset together. Yeah, I know, that’s not a ton of shows.

Those 16 shows gave us 18 happy endings for gay lady couples (two shows gave us two couples each, and it should not surprise you those shows focused on queer women). So, when you do the math, that makes for 36 happy lesbian or bisexual characters – total.

So please pop on over to AfterEllen later today and give it a look. Let me know who I left out. Lord knows each happy, non-dead lesbian character counts.

p.s. That’s only counting serialized live-action, English-language TV shows. Kudos, of course, go out to all the great foreign-language programs that have given its queer women happy endings.


Anonymous said...

I know you work there so maybe I'm asking a bit much, but you honestly support what Trish Bendix did yesterday?

Just to be clear, the problem was not the subject, it was the timing.

Adam said...

I got your point and I admire you! proud gay here ;)

Carmen SanDiego said...

Man people are really really mad. Don't worry DS, I'll bring some aloe for those flame wars
Us kittens got your back!