Apple TV+’s Best TV Shows With Queer Characters

Apple TV+ is a streaming service still building its identity and they’re still best-known for Ted Lasso and The Morning Show. They only release a few new programs every month, and nearly everything they produce has a high production value and a strong visual imprint. There’s a lot of high-concept sci-fi, sprawling international casts and big-name actors. You won’t find any teen soaps or mainstream drama, but they love to send people into space or underground.

As the smallest player in the streaming space; Apple TV+’s offerings are not quite robust yet when it comes to lesbian, bisexual and trans women and nonbinary people, but there is still a lot there for LGBTQ+ TV shows on Apple TV — like Acapulco, Dickinson, Mythic Quest, Bad Sisters, For All Mankind and The Afterparty. 

Due to the relatively small number of shows on the platform, pretty much every show with a queer woman in it is on this list, because there are so few! So… one of the shows included on this list received an absolute pan from our reviewer, that there are at least three queer characters accounted for by the below list whose storylines could be easily described through the lens of “queer character tropes we hate.” But one thing is for sure: someone spent a lot of money on these shows!!!!! Good luck out there!


Acapulco

Year: 2021-
Length: 2 Seasons, 20 Episodes

two teenage girls in the 80s

Our winning narrator Maximo (Enrique Arrizon) is coming-of-age as the newest employee of Los Colinas in the 1980s, a bustling resort in the titular Mexican beach town that has an uneasy relationship with its locals. Charming and visually delightful, Acapulco wins you over with its big beating heart, easily shifting between English and Spanish throughout. Maximo’s rebellious sister, Sara (Regina Reynoso), falls in love with her (thankfully also queer) best friend and the two are challenged by their homophobic families in their quest to be happy together.


The Afterparty

Year: 2022 – 2023
Length: 2 Seasons, 18 Episodes

Anna Konkle in a beige leather jumpsuit and orange beret holds a pair of binoculars up to her face.

A stylized and clever whodunit stacked with comedic talent, Season Two of The Afterparty is where things get really queer. Weirdo tech titan groom Edgar is murdered the night of his wedding, and the guests all point fingers at each other — amongst them is Hannah (Anna Konkle), Edgar’s adopted sister, who had an affair with his bride Grace (played by queer actor Poppy Liu). Each character gets an episode produced in a specific cinematic style, and Hannah’s is especially excellent. As Kayla writes,  “The Wes Andersonification of her sprawling queer romance is apt for who she is, and it makes for a comedic episode, yes, but also a very immersive and occasionally strikingly earnest one.”

Read Kayla’s piece about The Afterparty’s Season Two finale and its serving up of a Sapphic Wes Anderson Spoof.


Bad Sisters

Year: 2022 –
Length: One season, 10 Episodes

Bad Sisters all sitting at the table staring at the camera

Wry and warm and funny and rich; this Irish series co-starring and co-created by Sharon Hogan finds four sisters trying desperately to off John Paul the insufferable, abusive gutter-scum husband of the fifth. Sarah Greene is Bibi Garvey, the second-youngest sister and a married lesbian who lost her right eye in a car crash in a tale as dark as it is warm. Although we sadly didn’t write a standalone review of its first season, that was not for a lack of love: Bad Sisters easily made our list of the Best TV Shows of 2022, where it was described as a “MASTERPIECE in television.”


The Big Door Prize

Year: 2022 –
Length: One season, 10 Episodes

The Big Door Prize

This project from the EP of Schitt’s Creek is based on a book in which a small town grocery is suddenly gifted with a machine, Morpho, that is seemingly able to predict the “Life Potential” of its users. Dusty (Chris O’Dowd) and Cass (Gabrielle Dennis) and their daughter are the central family in this tale, but Heather writes that “The Big Door Prize succeeds because it opens up the entire town for viewers, with each new episode focusing on a different character and the card they received from the MORPHO.” Amongst them is Izzy, Cass’s lesbian mother.

Read Heather’s “The Big Door Prize” Features a Middle Age Lesbian Mommi and Existential Promise.


The Buccaneers

Year: 2023
Length: One Season, 8 Episodes

Mia Threapleton and Josie Totah in "The Buccaneers," now streaming on Apple TV+.

Queer trans actress Josie Totah is Mabel Elmsworth, a lesbian in a group of noveau riche daughters of prominent American families in the1870s who travel to London to find husbands. After an immediate culture clash there are also balls and kissing in the rain and telegrams. Based on an unfinished Edith Wharton novella, Drew lamented that it ultimately “fails to capture Wharton’s voice and, more disastrously, fails to find a voice of its own.”

Read Drew’s pan of The Buccaneers: Apple TV+’s “The Buccaneers” Ruins Edith Wharton and Fails History.


Dickinson

Year: 2019-2021
Length: 3 Seasons, 30 Episodes

Screenshot from Dickinson: Emily and Sue press their foreheads together

“Let’s take everything we thought we knew about Emily Dickinson, tear it up, wave the lens of a teen comedy over it and see what crazy hijinks we get up to,” writes Sally of this delightfully queer, inventive, three-season series that’s amongst the best Apple TV has to offer our people.

Read Apple TV’s “Dickinson” Is an Angsty, Gay, Absurd Delight and “Dickinson” Season 2 Is an Ode to Emily and Sue.


For All Mankind

Year: 2019 –
Length: 4 Seasons, 35 Episodes

Female astronaut walking through a spacey type place

This re-imagining of American history in which “the global space race had never ended” opens in 1969 with the Soviet Union beating the U.S. to the moon, devastating NASA and the national mood. When the Soviets one-up themselves by sending a woman into space, NASA does its own diversity push, making room for astronauts like Jodi Balfour’s Ellen Waverly, a closeted lesbian. Every season of this vivid alternate world opens with a time jump, first to the 1980s, then the 1990s (Balfour’s last) before Season 4 makes it to the 2000s.

Read Valerie’s review: For All Mankind’s Lesbian Love Story Is Literally Flung Out of Space.


Invasion

Year: 2021 –
Length: 2 Seasons, 20 Episodes

a space worker on her headset while a space launch is happening

Somehow one of two TV shows to send an astronaut into space who is having a secret lesbian affair with someone on the ground team for her mission, Invasion follows five people on different sides of the world gradually coming to grips with an experiencing the impact of a mysterious convergence of events causing death and destruction everywhere. (It’s Because Aliens, but it takes an entire season for them to officially reveal to the viewer what the show description already spoiled for all of us.) Queer scientist Mitsuki (Shiori Kutsuna) is a captivating and complex character that makes the whole thing worth watching.


The Last Thing He Told Me

Year: 2023
Length: One Season, 7 Episodes

Aisha Tyler and Jennifer Garner as Jules and Hannah in The Last Thing He Told Me

Based on a thriller one might enjoy reading on a long flight, The Last Thing He Told Me stars Jennifer Garner as Hannah, a woman desperately seeking her just-disappeared husband and uncovering lots of little secrets in the process (as well as a surprisingly intimate relationship with her stepdaughter, Bailey). Aisha Tyler is Jules Nichols, Hannah’s lesbian journalist best friend who helps Hannah in her search for the truth!

Read Valerie’s review: Aisha Tyler Plays Gay Again in “The Last Thing He Told Me”.


Little Voice

Year: 2020
Length: One Season, 9 Episodes

two women hug each other in a basement bar

Sara Bareills wrote original music for this incredibly earnest and lighthearted series about Bess, young woman looking for love and writing songs in a very sanitized New York City. Her roommate, Prisha (Shalini Bathina) has a heartwarming little gay storyline.


Loot

Year: 2022 – present
Length: 1 Season, 10 episodes

Hot people in fancy clothes

Maya Rudolph stars as Molly, a woman who becomes the third-wealthiest woman in the United Sates after earning an $87 million dollar divorce settlement from her cheating tech billionaire husband. She elects to re-engage with the world and the charitable foundation she’d long neglected with the help of her team — including trans actress Michaela Jaé Rodriguez as Sofia Salinas and beloved gay comic/actor Joel Kim Booster as Nicholas.


Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Year: 2023 –
Length: 1 Season, 10 episodes

Three young people standing in a garden shocked

In this Monsterverse TV series, Anna Sawai is Cate Randa, a middle school science teacher in San Francisco and a lesbian who, while looking for her missing father Hiroshi, finds her half-brother and learns of her father’s involvement in Monarch, a covert organization tracking Godzilla. They travel with her brother’s ex, May, a hacker played by queer actor Kiersey Clemons — who eventually in my opinion develops some sexual tension with May! The show hops between two timelines; the past timeline tells the story of Cate’s grandparents, scientists involved with Monarch’s earliest development. Lee Shaw (Kurt Russel) appears in both timelines as a close ally to the Randa family.


The Morning Show

Year: 2019 – present
Length: 3 seasons, 30 episodes

Laura and Bradley sit on the couch having an intense conversation

Oh, The Morning Show — a big headliner for Apple TV overstuffed with marquee names like Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, anchored by talent like Greta Lee, Holland Taylor and Karen Pittman. The Morning Show takes viewers behind the scenes of a major TV network’s signature early AM news program and its anchors and its scandals. In Season Two, noted terrible person Julianna Margulies joins the cast as a lesbian love interest for Reese Witherspoon’s bisexual feminist whippersnapper anchor, Bradley Jackson.


Mythic Quest

Year: 2020 – present
Length: 3 Seasons, 30 Episodes

Mythic Quest: Dana and Rachel take a cute selfie

Valerie described this show set in the quirky office of a video game development company producing a popular fantasy MMO as “funny and heartfelt and goofy, and really just exactly the kind of binge I needed in these stressful times.” In addition to having some great queer female characters and a satisfying romantic storyline, “it uses humor to shine a light on things like the lack of women in game development roles and the struggles female gamers face from toxic fandoms, all without MAKING light of them.”

Read Valerie’s review of Mythic Quest’s Queer Season 2 Storyline/a>, which got her “gamer girl high score.”


Pinecone & Pony

Year: 2022 – present
Length: 2 Seasons, 16 Episodes

Gladys and Wren sit on the bed with some soup and cookies.

Pinecone and her pony face trolls, giants, dragons and a dangerous rope bridge in this animated series that Heather Hogan called “the most wholesome queer TV show I have ever seen!” Heather specifically loved the relationship between Gladys and Wren (Wren’s a nonbinary character played by nonbinary actor Ser Anzoategui), “one of the few queer couples I can think of, in all TV history, where both characters are POC, both are older, and both are fat.”

Read Heather’s Apple TV+’s “Pinecone & Pony” Season 2 Is Wholesome Queer Content.


Severance

Year: 2022 – present
Length: One Season, 9 Episodes

four office workers gripping each other

This show does not have any queer female characters BUT, it has one of the most charming gay male storylines I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness, and it’s one of the best television shows I’ve ever seen. Adam Scott is Mark S., an employee of Lumon Industries who has agreed to a “severance” program in which his non-work memories don’t exist within his working mind. Amongst his fellow employees is Irving Baliff (John Turtoro), who loves rules and develops a connection with Optics and Design head Burt (Christopher Walken). Queer actor Jen Tullock is Devon, Mark’s pregnant sister.


Ted Lasso

Year: 2020 – 2023
Length: 3 Seasons, 34 Episodes

Keely and Jack on a mini-golfing outing

The comedy that put Apple TV on the map, Ted Lasso’s first season was a nearly perfect production about an American football coach going through a tough time with a positive attitude hired to take over an English soccer team. Keely (Juno Temple), who enters the season as the girlfriend of hot-headed legend Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) and eventually becomes its marketing manager, is bisexual, and in the third season she gets a little (and ultimately lacking) storyline with venture capitalist Jack Danvers (Jodi Balfour).

Read Heather’s first post about Ted Lasso confirming Keely’s bisexuality, and its Jane Austen Catastrophe and Riese’s review of its overall lesbian storyline.


Truth Be Told

Year: 2021 – 2023
Length: 3 Seasons, 28 Episodes

Two women and a young girl stand outside their car, looking concerned

A pretty formulaic thriller helmed by Ocatvia Spencer, who plays an Oakland journalist who restarts a true crime podcast that made her famous to investigate a1999 murder case of a local professor. It’s Season Three when things finally get gay — Poppy works with a lesbian high school principal, played by Gabrielle Union, to investigate the disappearances of several young black girls. It doesn’t end well, but also, Gabrielle Union is playing a lesbian.

Read weekly recaps of “Truth Be Told” on our Boobs on Your Tube column.


Visible: Out on Television

Year: 2020
Length: 5-part miniseries

This docuseries is clearly incredibly relevant to our interests here, but it’s also very good! Combining archival footage with interviews of LGBTQ+ TV actors, writers and directors, Visible: Out on Television is narrated by Janet Mock, Margaret Cho, Asia Kate Dillon, Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Waithe.

Read Heather’s review: “Visible: Out on Television” Is a Must-See Docuseries on the History of LGBTQ Representation on TV

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Riese

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 3150 articles for us.

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