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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
NEW! Super Fun Night
ABC, 9:30 PM
premieres October 2nd
This show, about three nerdy friends who stay in every Friday night who are inspired to switch it up and venture out into the big bad world when Wilson’s character develops a crush on her co-worker, has been given a coveted time slot after Modern Family. It’s exciting to have a sitcom with a not-svelte lead, and Rebel Wilson automatically wins everything, but Defamer’s not optimistic, lamenting that “ABC network development employees are openly discussing throughout the industry how bad the dailies are coming in” and threatening that the show is most likely to “undo all the love you previously had for Rebel Wilson.” IMPOSSIBLE.
Our Verdict: pleasebegood pleasebegood pleasebegood
American Horror Story: Coven
premieres October 9th
The third season of American Horror Story will once again star lesbian actress Sarah Paulson and the legendary Jessica Lange, and executive producer Tim Minear claims that this season will have “very strong feminist themes” and “a big theme of oppressed minorities” as well as “a lighter tone.” Furthermore, he testified that “the fun quotient is higher this year, and we’re embracing a sort of velocity and fun with the series this year. I think it might be a little more welcoming to an audience.”
As usual, there will be a lot of time-hops within its with-focused New Orleans setting, this time mainly focused on the 1970’s and the 1830s.
Lange will play witch royalty Fiona, Sarah Paulson plays her daughter Cordelia, Angela Bassett has been cast as the New Orleans’ leading Voodoo Queen and Kathy Bates will star as socialite/serial killer Madame Delphine LaLaurie. Coredelia is the headmistress of Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, which Entertainment Weekly describes as “like an all-girls Hogwarts… a safe haven for young witches since 1868.” Gabourey Sidibe, Jamie Brewer, Taissa Farmiga and Emma Roberts are featured as the school’s four remaining students, and Farmiga’s character Zoe apparently can kill people with her vagina!
The rest of the cast includes returning actors Frances Conoroy, Evan Peters, Alexandra Breckenridge, Dennis O’Hare and Lily Rabe.
ABC, 9:00 PM
This season, Mitch and Cam might stop bickering and being bitchy and manipulative towards each other long enough to get married! Yay! No but really I like this show and am eagerly anticipating its hour-long premiere.
Fox, Thursday, 9:00 PM
premieres September 26th
Despite the recent tragic death of young star Cory Monteith, Glee is forging forwards this fall with its fifth season, set to debut September 26th with an epic two-hour Beatles-themed premiere. There’s a lot to be excited about — notably, the introduction of Demi Lovato as a love interest for lesbian heartthrob Santana Lopez — and a lot to fear, now that a show notorious for its clumsy “issue episodes” intends to incorporate Monteith’s death into its story for its October 10th Finn Hudson tribute episode. (Plus you can’t help but wonder how emotionally heart-wrenching filming has been for Lea and Monteith’s other friends in the cast.) Regardless, you’ll definitely want to stock up on kleenex for Rachel Berry’s rendition of “Yesterday” in the premiere.
Season Five Teaser:
Season Five Promo:
ABC, Thursday 9:00 PM
premieres September 26th
Which mediocre show you used to love and now don’t really like but still watch because Lesbians will you be watching Thursday nights at 9PM?!
NEW! The Crazy Ones
CBS, Thursdays, 9:00 PM
premieres September 26th
I don’t hate this show so far, which stars Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an ad exec at an agency owned by her father, played by the great Robin Williams. Plus, it appears that Kelly Clarkson shows up for at least the first episode. It feels funny and fresh and light-hearted — but the fact that it’s scheduled right before Two and a Half Men worries me considerably.
Our verdict: I’d totally watch this if it was on Mondays, but there’s so much good shit happening Thursday nights it’s unlikely this one will be on our to-do list.
NEW! Welcome to the Family
NBC, Thursdays, 8:30 PM
premieres October 3rd
In this new sitcom, Mike O’Malley (you know him as Burt Hummel) and Mary McCormack (you know her as being fierce and looking hot with a holster) star as Caroline and Dan, the parents of a wild teenage daughter (played by Ella Rae Peck) who just got knocked up by her valedictorian teenage boyfriend, Junior. Caroline and Dan immediately clash with Junior’s Dad Chuey (played by Ricardo Chavira) and Mom Lisette (played by Justina Machado, a.k.a, Rico’s wife from Six Feet Under). The Washington Post has predicted that it will be this season’s “quickest and most punitive cancellation.” The jokes mostly fall flat and are mostly delivered as unnecessarily cruel snark between near-strangers, relying on lazy stereotypes about race relations and teen pregnancy. Anyhow, the pilot’s already up on Hulu for you to decide for yourself!
Our Verdict: No thanks.
NEW! Sean Saves the World
NBC, Thursdays, 9:00 PM
premieres October 3rd
Stars Sean Hayes as a single gay Dad and the gay guy from Reno 911 as his boss! It seems not bad and also immensely better than The New Normal. Obviously if this show flops, it will be treated as the ultimate evidence that gay doesn’t pay on prime-time television, which’ll be fun for the whole family. Scheduling this sucker opposite Glee seems like a death wish, but then again who still watches Glee. (me)
Our Verdict: Will watch it on Hulu the next day while washing dishes, probably.
ABC, 10:00 PM
premieres October 3rd
Creator Shonda Rhimes has said of the premiere, “We’re going to dive into a lot of things at the beginning of Season 3. The first episode, much like all of our other episodes, does that thing where you think the show is going to be about this and then they answer something very quickly and then they move onto something else.” Unfortuantely that’s about all I can tell you, because I’m like five episodes away from finishing up Season Two and cannot risk spoiling myself in the name of writing this description.
Parks & Recreation
NBC, 8:00 PM
Premieres September 26th
Season Six’s premiere will see Leslie and her crew taking a trip to London for her to receive a woman-in-government award, where she’ll meet a bunch of ladies who will make her feel shitty about how mean everybody is to her in Pawnee. Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany is set to guest star in two episodes!
This show will see the reunion of two very tall Cylons with great bone structure! Yup, that’s right, the actors behind Caprica Six and Samuel Anders are in the ensemble cast of this program, which’s yet to release a premiere date but has concocted this trailer to get your hopes up:
This is the only new show with a lesbian character, as far as I can tell, and it’s not actually even a new show — it’s a Canadian comedy The CW has picked up for the 2013-2014 season. According to The Toronto Star: “The show stars Adam Korson as bachelor bartender and sperm donor who becomes an overnight father and begins relationship with the families of three of his children: a laid-back lesbian couple with a 9-year-old son, an upper-class family with a rebellious teenage daughter and a neurotically hopeful single mother-to-be.” As of yet there are exactly zero hints about when this show will cross the border into our hearts, but in the mean time, any Canadians have an opinion about it?
What are you looking forward to watching this fall? Do any of you love Nashville as much as my girlfriend does? Let’s talk it out.