A Gay Girl’s Guide To Fall 2013 Television

It’s been a delightful summer for fans of girl-on-girl television: we had returning lezzers on Pretty Little Liars and True Blood, brand-new lezzers on The Fosters, a lesbian clone on Orphan Black, a gay extravaganza on Orange is the New Black and bit parts for queer characters on The Killing, Ray Donovan and Mistresses. Unfortunately, the fall television landscape pales in comparison when it comes to lady-lovers.

We’ve got a lot of lady-fronted projects, though, although whether or not they’ll be any good remains to be seen.

Fall 2013 Television: Here’s What’s Going On


The Good Wife

CBS, 9:00 PM
Premieres September 29th


It’s The Good Wife’s fifth season, and everybody’s wondering what’ll happen next for Alicia and Cary’s plan to ditch Lockhart/Gardner and start their own firm. Others are wondering what’ll happen next for Kalinda w/r/t making out with girls — and there’s good news on that front! Juliet Rylance is joining the Season Five cast as Kalinda’s new love interest Holly, “a whip-smart Assistant State’s Attorney who shares a past with Kalinda.” Also of interest to women who love bossy women: Stockard Channing will reprise her role as Alicia’s Mom.


NEW! The Masters of Sex

Showtime, 10:00 PM
premieres September 29th


It’s the story of a lovely lady who was associated with a very lovely man, and the two of them decided to start doing human sexuality research, and that’s how they became The Masters of Sex! Based on the true story of sex research pioneers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, this show stars Lizzy Caplan as Virginia, “a club singer-turned-orgasm-expert.” History! Sex! Women’s sexuality! Feminism!


Our Verdict: Lizzy Caplan, women’s history, and sex research? We’re in.

NEW! The Witches of East End

Lifetime, Sundays, 10 PM
premieres October 6th


Based on the books by Melissa de la Cruz (I assumed it was based on The Witches of Eastwick, but I guess I’m behind the times), The Washington Post gives this lady-laden program a “C,” describing it as “it’s almost as if “True Blood” tried to conceive a demon baby with “Bunheads.” Seems about right.

Our Verdict: Will almost definitely be terrible.


NEW! Mom

CBS, 9:30 PM
premieres September 23


We’re supposed to be really pumped about this show, because it stars Anna Faris, and Anna Faris is a lady. It also features Alison Janey, and we all love Alison Janey. But every time that laugh track elbows its way into my earspace, I ask myself, “is this show really for me? Or is it for people who aren’t total bitches and therefore can tolerate laugh tracks?”

The premise is that Anna Faris’s character, Christy, is a newly-sober single mom of two, and her mother (played by Janey) is a recovering alcoholic, and Christy is dating her boss at the restaurant where she waits tables. Also her teenage daughter is rebellious. The New York Times admits that Mom is both “wittier and sweeter” than the new FOX show Dads (a Seth McFarlane production that follows two Dads who move in with their sons) as well as “genuinely provocative.” Why is this show so much better than Dads? “Moms behaving badly aren’t a new thing, but on a prime time show, it still feels a little transgressive. Men who act like boys, on the other hand, are so familiar that they’re almost retro.” There you have it.


Our Verdict: This really could go either way.

NEW! Hostages

CBS, 10:00 PM
premieres September 30


This show seems expensive. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and billed as a “high-octane suspense drama,” it’s on my radar ’cause Toni Collette is involved, playing a “premiere surgeon thrust into a chilling political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage by rogue FBI Agent Duncan Carlisle.” The L.A. Times marks the show as CBS’s bid to do drama like cable does drama, with “dark, character-driven entertainment,” quoting executive producer, writer and director Jeffrey Nachmanoff describing the show as “Downton Abbey meets 24.”


Our Verdict: Expect a carefully constructed television program that will grab you whether you want it to or not. Much like a hostage-taker! Hahahahaha.


NEW! Lucky 7

ABC, 10:00 PM
premieres September 24th


Seven co-workers at a Queens gas station play the lottery every week and then one day they win and then their lives turn upside-down! If you’ve been missing sweet sweet Vera Burr from Bomb Girls, you’ll be excited to reunite with actress Anastasia Phillips in Lucky 7 — she plays single Mom Leanne Maxwell. The Washington Post says “it’s basically a caper disguised as a drama, and we could use a caper on prime-time TV.” Isiah Witlock Jr. from The Wire also stars.


Our Verdict: Initial reviews are relatively strong, and it could be a nice break from the procedurals and high-concept thrillers clogging up most major network’s hour-long drama slots.

Chicago Fire

NBC, 10:00 PM
Premieres September 24th


Chicago Fire, a fantastic program about, I assume, fires in Chicago, should be on your to-watch list because there’s a lesbian character named Leslie Shay. Yup. That’s all I got.

NEW! Ravenswood

ABC Family, 8:00 PM
premieres October 29th


Caleb, Hannah’s lesbian boyfriend from Pretty Little Liars, heads up the ensemble of this new PLL spin-off, which revolves around “the curse that plagues the town of Ravenswood.” If it’s anything like Rosewood, I imagine that curse is that the victims of said curse learn absolutely nothing from their mistakes and also never go to class.  Also starring is tall drink of water Britne Oldford, who you may recognize from the failed US edition of Skins or the second season of American Horror Story.

Our Verdict: Will probably be more of the same, but we’ll give it a chance.

NEW! Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

ABC, 8:00 PM
premieres September 24th


“Leave it to Joss Whedon to co-create a smarter superhero drama, one that geeks out over conventions as often as it skewers them,” says Entertainment Weekly. “Look it’s Ming-Na Wen in tight black leather!”, says us. No but seriously, this Avengers spin-off is definitely one of the fall’s most eagerly-anticipated offerings.

Our Verdict: Watch it.

The Mindy Project

Fox, 9:30 PM
Premieres September 17th

haircut courtesy of phresh cutz

alternative lifestyle haircut courtesy of phresh cutz

Season Two of this honestly quite funny little program returns with cast members Anders Holm, Chris Messina and Chloe Sevigny joining guest stars James Franco and um, Kris Humphries? Glenn Howerton of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia will be joining the cast as Mindy’s new love interest.

Next: Thursday night’s jam-packed with goodies (and Glee), Rebel Wilson makes her American prime-time debut and American Horror Story has a lot in store for Season Three.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3199 articles for us.


  1. i don’t even care that they are shamelessly trying to rip off mad men aesthetics and failing


    also brett dier, who played ye olde questionable love interest for gladys and spoiled corbett child on bomb girls, is in ravenswood. i know this because i still follow all the bomb girls cast twitter and he uses his like that goofy 16 year old boy you thought would make a safe beard in high school.

  2. Well I’ll watch Masters of Sex and Lucky 7 (for Anastasia Philips) and anything moderately interesting that involves lesbians.

    Seed is funny. There were a few jokes about the lesbian couple that I thought missed the mark but overall I recommend it.

  3. If Ravenswood is “more of the same” that’ll be a good thing in my book. More lesbian/bi characters than you can shake a stick at! Hope they have some gay guys too.

    I don’t know where you got the fantastic show rec for Chicago Fire. It’s only so-so in my book. And Leslie Shay has tons of potential but really, she was terribly under used and had a mind numbingly stupid storyline for the last part of the season.



    • Yeah, Chicago Fire is horrible and I really only watch it because I enjoy complaining about it and watching things combust. I enjoy the rescue scenarios but hate every. single. plotline. Also the only time Leslie Shay is on screen outside of work is when she’s wearing see-through pajamas and reiterating the fact that this show was written exclusively for and by men.

  4. Ahem. WHERE IS LOST GIRL?? I’m definitely chomping at the bit for November to get here omg, All aboard the Doccubus love-train.

    Also, I haven’t watched Glee since like, 2009 but I have such a HUGE LADYCRUSH on Demi and so I will definitely be watching this season. For Demi.

    I’m also a little scaredy-cat when it came to watching American Horror Story which my girlfriend and housemates adore, but I actually might watch this season! Witches ftw! (if it’s not too scary. *cowers*)

    The Mindy Project is adorable and I love it and I need to watch more of it.

    • aw, i only did shows with september and october premieres! but i’m really excited for Lost Girl as well!

    • Coydingo, we’re on a fight because there is no way Doccubus is better than valccubus. NO WAY. VALCCUBUS 4 LYFE.

      • Omg Valkubus <3 <3 <3
        Dani, I think we all can resolve this fight with…VALKUDOCCUBUS.

        It's the beeeeest of both worlds….!

    • honestly this year’s offerings are the least innovative i’ve seen in a while, and that’s saying A LOT.

  5. I am so unbelievably excited for American Horror Story! I enjoyed last season but it was so much I had to take a break halfway through so I’m happy they say this season is going to be more fun and lighter.

    • I’m a horror fanatic, but last season overwhelmed me in spots. I thought it was good and all, but it was a bit much at times.

        • Yes. While last season was truly terrifying/overwhelming/dark/gross, I have high hopes that this season is going to involve a lot of me wanting to join A-Coven.

          All those fabulously deviant ladies in black? Not scary. Just awesome.

        • My wife and I just finished season 1 on Netflix and she was grossed out/scared by that so I’m guessing I should watch season 2 alone. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. A lot of the shows look like a good premise for a movie but not a tv show, right? Like Lucky 7, Super Fun Night and Masters of Sex.

  7. I’m so excited for Shield! I have been waiting for so long for this. (okay not that long but still) I also highly recommend Elementary when it comes back on for season two. Lucy Liu plays a fierce version modern version of John Watson named Joan and she steals the show. Plus there is a trans character played by an actual trans person. (She only had one appearance, but will be back this season)

  8. The second season of ‘Arrow’ premiers on Wednesday, October 9. I’m kind of excited for it! I liked it way more than I thought I would, and it’s actually on the cusp of moving from a guilty pleasure to a regular pleasure for me. Plus, I just found out Bex Taylor-Klaus (who played the adorable baby dyke Bullet on ‘The Killing’) is going to be guest starring.

        • Well, damn. I’m so torn! Bex is awesome and I want to see more of her, but whitewashing is so gross and angry-making.

          *shakes fist at ‘Arrow’ PTBs for not giving me both a properly cast Asian character and Bex in another part*

  9. Agents of Shield is about the only new show I’m looking forward to this year, it’s a lackluster line up. I’ll check out Super Fun Night but after that Defamer article I don’t have much hope for it. At least Good Wife and Scandal and Elementary and Parks and Rec will be back.

  10. So that trailer for Super Fun Night was really frustrating and a bit angering. Mind, the entire premise puts me off anyway. – lol a bunch of not-conventionally-attractive women always stay in because they can’t get laid – just isn’t a fun premise for me. And then only venture out to get laid…WTF!

    And then pretty much every single joke in that trailer rests on the fact that Rebel Wilson is fat. ‘omg lol, Rebel Wilson’s character tried to seduce her way into a club but of course that didn’t work cuz she’s fat.’ and ‘omg lol Rebel Wilson is nude with ridiculous underwear on.’

    Actually, to be honest, I’m not a huge Rebel Wilson fan. I know she bills herself as not caring about her weight…but to me, making a whole bunch of fat jokes about yourself is the exact opposite of ‘not caring.’

  11. I just want us to make a pact to never start watching 2 and a half men even if the entire cast consists of lesbians at some point.

    Parks & Rec! Also Lost Girl?

  12. Will I be tuning in to watch the implosion of Calzona’s marriage once and for all on Grey’s Anatomy? Why, yes I will. Because I am a glutton for punishment and we are ten seasons in and I am going to finish it GODDAMN IT.

  13. I managed not to watch Glee at all in Season 4 and I thought I was free with them breaking up Brittana but ugh… Santana getting a Demi Lovato girlfriend and the fact that the premiere is a Beatles episode might draw me back in. DAMN IT RYAN MURPHY! At the very least, I’m gonna have to see that Beatles thing just to know if it’s a trainwreck or not.

    (Don’t they realize they’re playing with fire with this though? C’mon, us Beatlemaniacs are STILL fiercely divided over Across the Universe…)

    That show with Lizzy Caplan sounds right up my alley, though. PLEASE LET THIS BE A HISTORICAL DRAMA THAT ACTUALLY IS BOTH GOOD AND GETS ENOUGH OF AN AUDIENCE TO STAY ON AIR. I need something during the fall when I’m waiting for Mad Men and trying to resist the temptation to watch Downton Abbey illegally (I never succeed…)

    • I’m in the same exact boat w/r/t Glee, and my plan is to read recaps and then Youtube/Hulu the scenes/episodes with Demi Lovato.

  14. Eagerly awaiting the first season of that sex show so I can create a supercut video of every time Lizzy Caplan says orgasm. #noshame #finalcutho

    • Yeeeessss. I have had the biggest crush on Lizzy Caplan since the very first time I ever saw Lizzy Caplan. Like even many years ago when I thought I was straight I still totally acknowledged that I wanted to sleep with her.

  15. 1. I love nashville
    2. Ss excited to see SMG on a screen again, regardless of how uninterested I am in this show
    3. kerry washington

    that’s about all.

  16. I will always watch Grey’s Anatomy. Always. (even though reports indicate Sandra Oh is leaving…)

    I will probably hate-watch Glee for a few episodes and then just read Riese’s recaps and laugh/rage/cry.

  17. I got a good laugh out of Sean Hayes’ white-person-in-an-infomercial moment when the daughter asks him about his sex life.

  18. Ayyyy the glorification of Masters and Johnson is going to make me break out in hives. In reality they didn’t do anything groundbreaking, used their research to strengthen the institution of marriage, and had AWFUL unscientific inaccurate methods.

  19. There were whispers that one of the main characters (not Rebel) from Super Fun Night might discover she’s queer?

    Everyone should watch BROOKLYN 99. Premieres tonight. So many people of color (even a gay one!) and Chelsea Peretti. It’s from Dan Goor and Michael Schur (creators or Parks and Rec).

    • After suffering through Dads (which was truly fucking terrible, yet I did not change the channel…) I was pleasantly surprised with Brooklyn 99. I was definitely expecting hot boots lady to be gay, not the captain. All in all I thought it was a pretty cute show.

    • I just watched Brooklyn 99… I haven’t genuinely laughed so much at a tv show in a long time. I love that actor who plays the new Captain, I even watched that Navy (?) hiding on an island show last season because of him.

    • I liked Brooklyn 99 a lot, but I found it really irritating that the two female detectives seemed to mainly be there for the male characters to lust after. I was enjoying the chemistry between the two leads until they brought out the old “if he wins the bet, she has to go on a date with him.” Hoping they move away from that in the future.

  20. My take aways from this were:
    1) Anna Faris is old enough to have a teenage daughter? Fuuuuuuuuu-
    2) Sofia Vergara is the executive producer of the Texas show? weird. I REALLY love Six though, so maybe I’ll watch like, an episode.

    I’m looking forward to Revenge. It’s so ridiculous but I really love Emily VanCamp’s face, and she outed herself as Amanda!

    • Oh man Revenge is usually so lovely and cheesy fun, plus fantastic bisexual representation with Nolan, but occasionally they make serious missteps? It feels like all the writers are great and educated except for one weirdo who was in charge of Takada and the Regina/Charlotte storyline… super problematic. That being said, I am so excited for next season!

      • Yeah the Takada story line was weird and confusing… perhaps they’ll clean it up this season?

        I hated the Charlotte storyline ugh, like what was the point? To make rich lesbians look like insane closeted assholes?

        I love Nolan, even though he’s currently a bit busy for a love life being accused of being a terrorist and all, I hope his bisexuality comes into play again.

        • I just feel like the whole character of Takada is one giant stereotype, which is weird since the other people of color on the show are generally well-rounded and developed. And man that Charlotte storyline was so annoying! Mostly because every character just conflated Regina being into Charlotte with Regina being crazy and manipulative.

          Nolan is so great! For a while I was wondering if he was going to hook up with Jack. I mean, I secretly want Nolan and Emily to be together… we’ll see.

  21. How can you not mention the last season of How I Met Your Mother. NPH is excellent as always, Cobie Smulders is just adorable, and who can forget Alyson, Jason, and Josh who add their own charm and brilliance.

  22. You guys, I want to start watching American Horror Story SO BADLY, especially this season because who can turn down “strong feminist themes” and an all-girl witch school, but I normally avoid horror like the plague because I really value my sleep. Is it hardcore horror, or just creepy and unsettling? More importantly, will I be able to sleep after watching?

    • season two is pretty hardcore (in my opinion and I watch a ton of movies and run a horror blog) but season one is really mild.

      I feel like if you handle season one really well then most likely you will be able to go on and watch season two but it will be more unsettling.

      I’m not going to lie, in season two I had to pause it a few times and gather myself. I had to pull myself out of the narrative because it was overwhelming.

  23. Pitch for new fall TV show:

    Slam poet falls for cat lady. One of them is a superhero, but it’s not really clear who.

    Hijinks ensue.

  24. There’s not much I’m interested in this season. Definitely going to check out Agents of Shield because Joss Whedon. Also will probably give Hostages a try because of Toni Collette. I missed Sleepy Hollow last night but I heard good things about it (no queer characters that I know of, but does have a black female lead). And I’ll watch Ravenswood because I’m sure it’ll cross over with PLL.

    Other than that, I’m one of those people who still watches both Glee and Grey’s Anatomy. I will see those two through to the bitter end.

    • I am here to strongly encourage everyone to watch Sleepy Hollow! In terms of representation, three of the five main-ish characters in the first episode are PoC, and the main character is a badass woman of color. In terms of storyline, it’s all supernatural-y drama with a healthy dose of snark and is just super fun.

      It’s like Supernatural but without being, y’know, hella problematic. So there’s that. PSA over.

      • Oo. See I really like Supernatural despite it being hella problematic…so if I can get a Supernatural buzz without having to feel guilty about it, I’ll be a cat with cream! :D

  25. One question: Do I need to have seen the previous seasons of American Horror Story to watch this new one? I’ve only seen about 3 episodes of the first season.

  26. Honestly stopped functioning after I read “Lizzy Caplan.”

    I just realized I have a type, and it’s mean brunettes.

  27. Chicago Fire is an excellent show, but my opinion may be clouded by how gorgeous Monica Raymund is.

    I hate Glee so very much, but omg…cannot wait to hate-watch for Santana with Demi.

    And finally, I maintain that Grey’s got good again and I’ll watch til it’s dying day.

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