10 TV Shows With LGBTQ Laughs and No Sappy Love Stories

I am very bad at giving advice, but I am very good at suggesting the exact TV show you should be watching. Recently several people in my life have gone through breakups and are interested in watching: 1) gays on TV, that will 2) make them laugh, but 3) without any ooey-gooey love stories. Even just two years ago this would not have been possible! But now it is! And here is a list that will keep your heart safe from feelings!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Rosa Diaz stands in front of a scribbled drawing trying to explain bisexuality

Rosa Diaz is my favorite kind of character — a crunchy shell with a gooey caramel center — and she shines in Brooklyn Nine-Nine as a bisexual badass who is kind of terrible at love and kind of awesome at everything else. There’s a very small, mostly off-screen arc with Cameron Esposito as Rosa’s love interest, but there’s no real weight behind it and the various payoffs are some of the funniest moments on the show.

Derry Girls

Clare smiles at her friends

Derry Girls is one of those shows that makes me double-over with wheeze-laughter every time I watch it (and I’ve watched it a lot!), especially the episode where the gang tries to figure out whomst among them is the wee lesbian.

Fresh Off the Boat

Nicole holds a softball bat

Nicole is a supporting character on Fresh Off the Boat and her coming out story and on-screen lesbian shenanigans don’t happen until the final two seasons, but every episode she’s featured in is full of so much gay 90s nostalgia, and everything about her story is handled with wit and grace. Plus, there’s no love in sight, just one spectacularly failed date.

Girls 5EVA

The Girls5Eva group performs on stage

Even if Paula Pell didn’t play a bad-at-love lesbian in this series, it’d be worth your time. It has flown under the radar, but it’s one of the best things happening on TV this year. It’s smart and hilarious and completely absurd — and while there’s mentions of sapphic romance, there’s nothing here that’ll threaten your heartstrings.

Go On

The cast of Go On in a group hug

NBC’s short-lived comedy about a grief support group is actually perfect for breakups, especially because Julie White’s Anne is a deadpan lesbian who has lost her wife and is learning to live and love again without letting go of her misanthropy.

Russian Doll

Lizzy and Maxine stand in the kitchen in Russian Doll

Izzy is absolutely terrible at love but absolutely the best at being a friend. There’s no gay swooning here, I swear.

A Black Lady Sketch Show

I’ll let A Black Lady Sketch Show speak for itself. Consistently one of the quirkiest, most culturally incisive shows on TV, with standout cast of Black comedic actors and guest stars.


Catherine and Marjorie stand together in Veep

So technically, Catherine does fall in love with Marjorie and come out and get together with her, but it’s absolutely not a love story because it’s not really about them because everything on Veep is about Selina Meyer. There’s nothing sappy on this series and that’s a promise. It’s brutally funny.

Survivor’s Remorse

M-Chuck sits on the couch with her brother

M-Chuck remains one of the most important and under-appreciated lesbian characters in TV history. Her storylines on Survivor’s Remorse do pack an emotional punch, especially in later seasons, but she never stops being hilarious, and her sexy hijinks never fully involve her heart (or yours).

Are You The One?

The cast of Are You The One in swimwear

This may be a dating show, but it won’t hurt your queer feelings in any way. It is full of bombastic attempts at connection and complete trainwrecks, and you’ll probably come away from it feeling a lot better about your chances at romantic bliss.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1719 articles for us.


    • Hmmm…Fresh Off the Boat was loosely based off the life of chef Eddie Huang. He actually got pissed that the show wasn’t a reflection of his childhood and quit his involvement. He actually trashes the show.

      If anything, having Nahnatchka Khan as EP probably helped the lesbian storyline. Though she is Iranian and not Taiwanese or Asian, so not sure how well she captured that aspect of response to queerness within Asian community.

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