The 25 Best TV Shows of 2023 with Lesbian, Queer and Trans Characters

I’ve never been more at a loss to describe the year in LGBTQ+ television than I am in 2023. Due in part to the intolerable pay inequity and corporate profit-hoarding that led to lengthy SAG and WGA strikes, many of the year’s television projects were delayed or under-promoted — we had about 40-60 less shows to vote on this year than we typically do, since I began creating this specific iteration of a best-shows end-of-year list in 2019. In fact, the year’s most unifying lesbian television cultural moment isn’t on this list at all, because it was a reality show: Netflix’s The Ultimatum: Queer Love. The other two most widely-watched queer-inclusive shows of this year can be found in the top two of this list.

It was another year of rampant cancellations (including future seasons of community touchstones The L Word: Generation Q and A League of Their Own) and television industry trends overall have made us very jaded about the chances we’ll ever get more than one or two seasons of any gay show. Only seven shows on this list have been renewed for another season at press time, or around 27%. In fact, many of this year’s most buzzy queer-inclusive television events were Limited Series that never aimed for more than a single trip around the sun, like Class of ’09, Dead Ringers, Swarm, The Other Black Girl and Daisy Jones & The Six

Still, the breadth of options in terms of genre, identities and storytellers was rich in 2023. We had a few delightful surprises in 2023: the ridiculously queer final season of Riverdale, new quirky queer-focused dramedies like Such Brave Girls and Everything Now, haunting and gay-as-fuck Poe adaptation The Fall of the House of Usher and the surprisingly LGBTQ+ debut of XO Kitty. Video-game adaptation The Last of Us was exactly as good as we’d hoped it would be, and Deadloch came straight from Australia into our hearts. We also said goodbye to Top TV List mainstays like Sex Education, Reservation Dogs and A Black Lady Sketch Show. A lot of the lesbian-inclusive shows we talked about the most in 2023 were shows we mostly complained about; like The Morning Show, And Just Like That and Ted Lasso. Yet we lived to watch another day!

So now, here you have it: the best TV shows with lesbian, queer, bisexual women and/or trans characters of 2023, according to our TV Team of me, Carmen, Kayla, Drew, Nic, Natalie and Valerie.


25. The Horror of Dolores Roach (tie)

Prime Video // Season One
Cancelled

dolores roach looking at some sheets of cookies

“We deserve more weird shit on television. And I’m not talking about just anything weird that’s thrown against the way for weirdness sake. No, we deserve finely crafted, well-tuned, thought out big swings — and no one took bigger swings this year than The Horror of Dolores Roach. A barely adjusted adaptation of Sweeney Todd that takes the famed “demon barber of Fleet Street,” known for slicing his client’s throats and baking them into pies, and sets it a story about the prison industrial complex, recidivism, and gentrification.. all centered on a bisexual Puerto Rican woman in Washington Heights? There is no way that should have worked. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in writing about television, it is to never count Justina Machado out. As Dolores Roach, Machado soars in the madness.

Aaron Mark’s tense, hilarious, stressful, and sometimes manic (said lovingly!) scripts draw parallels between 19th century London and 21st century New York that I never saw coming. And did I mention that queer favorite Michelle Badillo was also in the writers room? Layering on all of these threads, The Horror of Dolores Roach is first and foremost always a Latine story, and the elegant attention to the racial and cultural complexities inherent to that story honestly floored me. What a tremendous swing! It’s too bad that Dolores Roach ended in a blood bath of its own, being cancelled along with two other queer Latine shows (With Love, Shelter) all on the same day.” — Carmen Phillips


25. Fellow Travelers (tie)

Paramount+ Showtime // Limited Series

(L-R): Keara Graves as Miss Addison, Matt Bomer as Hawkins "Hawk" Fuller and Erin Neufer as Mary in FELLOW TRAVELERS, "Your Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/SHOWTIME.

Ben Mark Holzberg/SHOWTIME.

“The territory tread by Fellow Travelers is, in pieces, not unfamiliar for those of us who’ve watched every LGBTQ+ historical television program and movie ever, who’ve seen a queer community light candles and light up the night after the death of Harvey Milk countless times, who’ve woven through myriad hospital wards filled with dying men and homophobic nurses, who’ve seen multiple actors take on Roy Cohn in all his disgusting ambition. I tuned in to Fellow Travelers because I’d heard it had a Stormé Delarverie — an iconic butch lesbian performer and civil rights icon who’s a far more rare appearance in the cannon. Unfortunately, her character was woefully underused. Outside of the story of Marcus, a Black journalist played be Jelani Alladin, I’m not sure that Fellow Travelers had many new things to say at all. Yet I stuck around and loved every minute, compelled and drawn in to a series packed with nuanced performances and characters torn between political, personal, spiritual and romantic urges. Fellow Travelers deftly avoids sentimentality, but evoked so much of it, like all the best tortured love stories do. I love our history, and all the flawed, terrible, beautiful struggling people who found themselves in its pages.” — Riese


24. A Murder at the End of the World

FX/Hulu // Limited Series

A Murder at the End of the World: A close up of Emma Corin with pink hair cloaked in shadows glancing to the side.

Emma Corin in A Murder at the End of the World

“Since her breakout indie Another Earth in 2011, Brit Marling has been excavating genres. She understands what makes the average entry work and then pulls the usual beats to new terrain. Taking on true crime and murder mysteries, Marling and frequent collaborator Zal Batmanglij have made possibly their boldest and most accomplished work in this seven episode series.

With a stellar cast led by Emma Corrin, Harris Dickinson, and Marling herself, the show has all the intrigue of the genre it’s destroying. It works on the surface; works even better underneath. The twists and turns of the story are motivated by character while also questioning the entire charade of a murder mystery. Why are we so attached to tales of individual killing when mass murder is enacted by the powerful every day? Maybe as a society we’re scared of the wrong things and the wrong people.

There’s no way to talk about the brilliance of this show without revealing its many twists. This is a work that understands artists don’t have to choose between exciting storytelling and a sharp eye on our world.” — Drew Gregory


23. Harley Quinn

Max // Season Four
Renewed
Last Year: #13

Harley and Ivy lay together in bed in Harley Quinn season 4

“Some shows have a great gay season, pat themselves on the back, then pull back. Not Harley Quinn! This year’s fourth season was as wacky and gay as ever, with Harley joining the Bat Fam and Ivy being the She-EO of The Legion of Doom, the duo has to try to find a work-life balance so they can be their best selves while also keeping their relationship healthy. Things are bonkers all season long but one thing remains true: Harley and Ivy are deeply in love.” — Valerie Anne


22. Daisy Jones & The Six

Prime Video // Limited Series

Simone and her girlfriend talking in Daisy Jones and the Six

“It’s hard to explain why Daisy Jones & The Six works. On paper, perhaps, it shouldn’t. Adapted from a best-selling novel of the same name, Daisy Jones has an almost artificial sheen to it — the equivalent of buying a “vintage style” band shirt from a fast fashion store online instead of an actual vintage one found in the basement of a dusty thrift store. By which I mean, it’s (obviously) fake because it’s a television show, but also it feels fake, which should be breaking a cardinal rule about how historical television should work. And yet!

Tucked underneath that haze is one of the best Black queer loves stories last year. Beneath everything that feels fake, is a beating heartbeat of love and Disco that gives nod to a still under-discussed, but very real, core branch of Black queer history. And that’s worthy of pushing past its faults… because it matters. (Also, Daisy Jones & The Six is a really fun time! There’s a reason those fast fashion t-shirts are so popular.)” — Carmen


21. Harlan Coben’s Shelter

Prime Video // Season One
Cancelled

Missy Pyle and Constance Zimmer sit next to each other on a roof.

“Harlan Coben’s Shelter sadly joined the graveyard of canceled queer TV shows quite literally one week after I finally binge watched the series. I came for the group of offbeat teens I would end up wanting to Protec, and stayed for the surprising queer adult storyline featuring faves Missi Pyle and Constance Zimmer. At times the show’s core mystery of “what the heck is up with the Bat Lady and all these missing kids?” was a bit convoluted and overstuffed, and the side sex trafficking plot was frustratingly weak; but it’s the characters that kept me coming back for more. Ema’s (Abby Corrigan) gay panic over the possibility of her crush Whitney actually reciprocating her feelings felt real and authentic to the high school experience. And over in adult land, we were treated to a rare burgeoning queer relationship between two grown ass women that gave me the same giddy hope as if they were their teenage selves, who we meet via a series of flashbacks. The relationship between Shira and Hannah could have been played for queer shock value, but after their kiss, we instead got to see them peel back the layers of feelings lingering since high school. I don’t know what Prime Video has against the three queer shows they canceled in one fell swoop, but Aunt Shira and Hannah deserved better!” — Nic


20. Top Boy

Netflix // Season Three
Final Season
Last Year: Didn’t Rank

Top Boy

“Over the course of its three seasons on Netflix, Top Boy had one of the best lesbian slow burns that we’ve seen in ages. Traditionally when we’re discussing “slow burns” in queer television, we are talking about romance. What makes Top Boy stand out from the class — ironically, coming out on “top” — is that Jasmine Jobson’s Jaqueline “Jaq” Lawrence’s character development largely happens away from her romantic entanglements. That’s not to say that her relationship with Becks (Adwoa Aboah) isn’t warm and full, it absolutely is. But it’s Jaq’s relationship with her sister, Lauren (Saffron Hocking), that becomes her most defining. It’s watching Jaq move from a tertiary character in Top Boy’s first season to the key of its unraveling in the third that makes Jobson’s work impossible to turn away from.

Top Boy is one of the best crafted, tightly wound, crime dramas that I’ve seen in easily a decade. It’s nearly a cliche for a television critic to point to a show and say “it’s like The Wire” because we all hold The Wire in such high esteem. So I know how this will sound! But honestly, Top Boy is the closest I’ve come to a show that even breaches The Wire’s airspace. It’s that damn good.” — Carmen


19. Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies

Paramount+ // Season One
Cancelled

the pink ladies stand in the hallway

“Set in the saddle-shoe-laden, sock-hop-having, shiny musical version of the 50s from the movie Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies employs similar themes of teen drama and relationship angst but with more people of color and queer people. The queer people in question are Cynthia (who wants nothing more than to be a T-Bird) and Lydia (theater queen bee…basically if Sharpay had any chill whatsoever) and they are cute as all heck.” — Valerie


18. Dead Ringers

Prime Video // Limited Series

Rachel Weisz in a lab coat as Beverly Mantle looks at Rachel Weisz in a lab coat as Elliot Mantle. Or is it the other way around?

“This TV adaptation of one of David Cronenberg’s best films harnesses so much of what makes the original equal parts disturbing, erotic, and delirious but also expands the text to be even more exploratory of reproductive justice and experimental science. But most of all, it acts as a perfect vehicle for the ultra talented and alluring Rachel Weisz, who gets to deliver not one but two great performances as the central twin doctors with a fucked up codependent relationship and a tendency to swap identities. She brings specificity and distinction to each role, charming and unsettling all at once.” — Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya


17. Ginny & Georgia

Netflix // Season Two
Renewed for Season Three

Silver ties up Max's corset, which is gay

“The second season of Ginny & Georgia is just as stressful and funny and fast-paced and dark and emotional as the first. The show is brilliantly acted, with a cast that pulls out all the stops to explore tumultuous teenage emotions and complicated parent/child relationships. Our resident lesbian Max is a rainbow ball of chaos, fighting with her friends, pining for her ex, and failing to see the cute costume girl flirting with her, being hilariously Max all the while.” — Valerie


16. The Afterparty

Apple TV+ // Season Two
Cancelled
Last Year: Didn’t Rank

the cast of the afterparty in their wedding attire

The Afterparty proved its gimmicky premise isn’t too limiting by delivering a second round of mini parodies parroting various film styles. In fact, season two improves upon the first by leaning less into the copaganda and more into queerness, the Wes Anderson-spoofing episode centering new gay character Hannah easily a standout in the season of silly spoofs. Poppy Liu was a highlight in two very different queer series this year — Dead Ringers and The Afterparty — and their comedic chemistry with weirdo Anna Konkle makes for a surprisingly sweet subplot in a fun murder mystery.” — Kayla


15. Survival of the Thickest

Netflix // Season One
Not Yet Renewed or Cancelled

Mavis at queer Prom iwth Peppermint

“Survival of the Thickest is the kind of show that I quite simply love to love. It’s a pinnacle of what I consider to be “happy place television” — and before you mock me for bringing joy for pure joy’s sake into the conversation, may I remind you that each of us have our own version of happy TV, it’s likely what brought us to loving television in the first place. For some its sci-fi or genre shows, for others its horny bodice-ripping historical dramas, soap operas. The thing that allows you to sit mindlessly at the end of a day with your bra off (if you wear one). I grew up with a steady stream of 00s rom-coms and Carrie Bradshaw teetering on high heels down Madison Avenue, so watching Michelle Buteau create and star in one of the best romantic comedies that I’ve seen on TV in years, a celebration of “big titties and freckles” that seamlessly pulls of being both nostalgic and an entirely fresh take on the genre? With queer talent like E.R. Fightmaster in the writers room and Peppermint on screen?? I wish that Survival of the Thickest had given Tasha Smith’s Marley, Buteau’s bisexual best friend, more screen time. But as a whole it’s hard not to give Michelle Buteau her due, she repped for the big girls this year and I raise my cosmo to her.” — Carmen


14. Everything Now

Netflix // Season One
Not Yet Renewed or Cancelled

group of teenage friends atop each other

“One of the more complex and empathetic depictions of an eating disorder I’ve seen on television, Everything Now succeeds at making its protagonist Mia neither victim nor villain, complicating her actions at every turn. It’s a show about the way we hurt people we care about, the way we keep showing up for people we care about even when they’ve hurt us. There’s a fun little queer love triangle at its heart, too, but I’m especially interested in the familial dynamics and friend group in this frankly underrated show.” — Kayla


13. Riverdale

The CW // Season Seven
Final Season
Last Year: Didn’t Rank

Cheryl and Toni stand wearing red in Riverdale

Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“Riverdale is a unique long-running teen soap in the sense that I genuinely believe its best seasons are its first and its last. The series often, especially in its later seasons, blew things up and reinvented itself (sometimes literally, with bombs), but season seven does that most strikingly, sending its characters back in time as well as in age for what at first blush looks like a redo of season one’s simple high school drama dressed up in 50s drag but actually turns out to be a surprisingly of-the-moment exploration of the ways society attempts to stifle teen expression and sexuality. It is, of course, also just full of absurdity, musical numbers, and over-the-top plotting, but it’s pure camp, a bold and borderline experimental show that’s easy to mock but actually quite unlike anything else in its genre.” — Kayla


12. Heartstopper

Netflix // Season Two
Renewed for Season Three
Last Year: #12

Darcy and Tara have a sweet conversation in Heartstopper season 2

“What can I say about the wholesome splendor of Netflix’s Heartstopper other than “I CAN’T STOP SMILING HOW ARE THEY ALL SO CUTE?!” Season 1 was one of the queerest things I had ever seen in my whole life, and somehow in season 2, they managed to out-queer themselves by spending even more time with the supporting cast, including a beautiful storyline wherein Isaac discovers his asexuality. Our couples are still as happy and in love as they were last season, but with some added relationship growing pains. Charlie is determined to help Nick’s coming out to be less traumatic than his own, while Tara and Darcy grapple with how to verbally express their feelings for one another. And while Elle and Tao finally explore and name their feelings for each other, Elle also finds new comfort in two trans friends at the new art school she’ll be attending. The thing about Heartstopper is that it’s probably too idealistic and sweet and gentle for some people, and that’s okay! Sometimes it’s nice to live in a space where queerness isn’t constantly under attack; where it can be cheesy and saccharine. Plus, if needing Olivia Colman’s gentle and understanding parenting and unconditional love for her child in my life is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” — Nic


11. A Black Lady Sketch Show

Max // Season Four
Cancelled
Last Year: #5

black lady sketch show

“A few weeks ago when Adele’s picture from The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Women In Entertainment” issue surfaced on the internet, writer/podcaster/Autostraddle contributor Jon Paul joked, “It’s giving Dr. Haddassah Olayinka Ali-Youngman, Pre-PhD.” A Black Lady Sketch Show star and creator Robin Thede channeled her infamous character and shot back, “SEE, SEE, SEE… the ONLY Adele I recognize is Adele Givens! THIS Adele is just GIVENS us cultural appropriation!” The brief exchange made me double over with laughter and miss ABLSS anew.

The show wrapped up its four season run this year but it remained at its creative peak. It continued to integrate queer characters into sketches, without making their sexuality or gender presentation the point or the punchline. But while I’m remiss that we won’t get another chapter of classic sketches like Courtroom Kiki or the Coral Reefs Gang, the true legacy of ABLSS lies in the number of black women it gave space to…women who will, no doubt, continue to keep us laughing.” — Natalie


10. Such Brave Girls

Hulu // Season One
Not Yet Renewed or Cancelled

two skeptical girls in their early 20s in "Such Brave Girls"

“Gross-out comedy at its finest, Such Brave Girls mines unlikely material for laugh-out-loud comedy. Its characters are all either self-absorbed or self-destructive or a combination of the two, all afflicted with anxiety, obsession, and insecurity. This dysfunctional family of two sisters and a single mother are delightful to watch, even as they’re tearing each other down or making life harder for themselves. Watching it feels like getting punched in the mouth.” — Kayla


9. Poker Face

Peacock // Season One
Renewed for Season Two

two older women telling a story, animated facial expressions

“Charlie Cale has a gift (or a curse, depending on your vantage point): she can tell when someone is lying. But when her gift runs afoul of some gangsters — she implicates them in the murder of her best friend — she’s forced to hit the road in her Plymouth Barracuda, keeping distance between herself and those who want her dead. Along the way, Charlie stops to earn some money or get some food and unwittingly finds herself enmeshed in a local murder mystery. In anyone else’s hands, this show might be another basic procedural with its case of the week, but Rian Johnson reinvents the genre and Natasha Lyonne awes as the enigmatic Charlie.

But what makes Poker Face truly special are the rotating cast of guest stars. From Hong Chau as a queer long-haul trucker to Cherry Jones as a movie producer turned serial killer, it’s a veritable Murderers’ Row of talent. Each episode is tightly crafted, never allowing the case of the week ensembles to distract from Charlie’s quest to unspool the lies she’s been told.” — Natalie


8. XO Kitty

Netflix // Season One
Renewed for Season Two

xo kitty

“XO, Kitty is a story about a girl who travels across the world, in part, for a boy. She — that is, the titular Kitty Song Covey — is seeking the fairytale ending to her “against all odds” love story with the boy she met while on vacation. You’re forgiven if you by-passed XO, Kitty thinking it was all about the straights.

But what Kitty actually finds in Korea isn’t an affirmation of love as she’s always known it: she finds that love can just as easily be the thing you never, ever expected. Yuri starts off as the show’s antagonist, the person standing between Kitty that that fairytale ending that she imagined. But slowly, Yuri’s character deepens and Kitty’s feelings for her grow along with it. The crush is unanticipated and overwhelming, in the way that first crushes always are, and it is a delight to watch.” — Natalie


7. Minx

Starz // Season Two
Not Yet Renewed or Cancelled
Last Year: #17

the cast of minx dressed in their 70s clothes

“Thank the lord that Starz rescued the second season of this smart show about a second-wave feminist go-getter’s adventure into making a porn mag for women, because the sophomore season is when everyone in the ensemble can get their time to shine. Minx is just so sexy and funny and so is Shelly, who’s grappling with what she really wants, sexually and career-wise and with her family, as she reaches a mid-life crossroads at a very different place than she anticipated. Jessica Lowe’s Bambi remains one of television’s sharpest uncut gems, and her friendship with gay photographer Richie is so real and heartwarming. A magazine’s founder might have a vision but she’s nothing without the big personalities who sign on for the ride, in reality or in the stories we tell about it.” — Riese


6. Deadloch

Prime Video // Season One
Not Yet Renewed or Cancelled

Eddie, Dulcie and Abby from Deadloch on the rocks

“Stories that showcase queer community in all its messy fullness — the rocky marriages and the idealized ones, the exes, the old hurts and the shared joys, the weird little group activities — tend to take place in prison, in high school or in a major queer urban hub (Los Angeles, New York, London). But Deadloch is just a small, sleepy town on the coast of Tasmania where everybody knows everybody else and, for no particular reason, there are so many lesbians. So there’s that, but there’s also a genuinely intriguing murder mystery tearing through the town, delightful, self-referential, smart humor and characters that worm their way right into your heart. One of the year’s most delightful surprises.” — Riese


5. Sex Education

Netflix // Season Four
FInal Season
Last Year: #6

three queer teens wearing loud clothes

“To me, the loveliest aspect of television as a medium is how an audience can grow alongside a work. Each season, checking back in with characters and a world with new personal change.

When the first season of Sex Education came out, I was two years into transitioning, going through a breakup, and exploring my queer and feminine sexuality for the first time. Laurie Nunn’s artful, tender show acted as a guide, a reminder that sex was important and a reassurance that it wasn’t. There’s no judgment in her world, just characters working to be better and working to better understand their bodies and desires.

It’s now almost five years later and the show’s final season was a worthy end. As I grew into myself, so did the show, pushing itself to be even more inclusive and to take more formal risks. Sex isn’t about perfection — it’s about experimentation, pleasure, and connection. The show’s final — admittedly a tad overstuffed — season encapsulates this truth. Season one may have been perfect, but season four lets itself be imperfect. That’s an even greater achievement for a show. It’s an even greater achievement for any of us.” — Drew


4. Reservation Dogs

FX/Hulu // Season Three
Final Season
Last Year: #6

Reservation Dogs - a group of young native american teens walking

“In its final season, Reservation Dogs pivots from being a story primarily about four indigenuous teenagers to one about the community in which they inhabit. The show recalls the past that haunts them — episode three’s focus on the horror of Native boarding schools is a standout — and begins to imagine a future with Elora, Bear, Willie Jack and Cheese carrying on the traditions. As it has for its entire run, Reservation Dogs volleys between happiness and sadness, grief and gratitude, and seriousness and humor to outstanding effect.

For my money, it’ll go down as one of the greatest shows, not just of 2023, but of all time.” — Natalie


3. The Last Of Us

HBO Max // Season One
Renewed For Season Two
Last Year: Didn’t Air

The Last of Us: Ellie and Riley are on a mall carousel, Ellie is looking wistfully up at Riley, who looks lost in thought.

“When you’re lost in the darkness, look for the light.” It’s a phrase used by the Fireflies, a resistance organization in the post-apocalyptic world of The Last of Us, to recruit others to their cause. In a weird way, it also happens to represent how I made it through 2023. “The light” can be so many things; literal brightness, people who make us feel safe, or even media that reminds us that we’re not alone. For me, this show will always be that last thing.

I’ve written many many words on this here website about  TLOU, and it’s no secret that the combination of the video game and TV series results in one of my favorite stories of all time. It’s one of hope, family, love, and at times…desperation. Sure, it’s also about a zombie apocalypse, but that almost feels secondary to the humanness of it all. And at the core is the relationship between Joel and Ellie, and their journey from essentially co-workers to family (in a good way, not the way corporations say it). The first season of the show also gave us the beautiful sweeping love story of Bill and Frank, a couple whose depth was impossible to portray in the video game, that changed strawberries for me forever (IYKYK). Throughout Joel and Ellie’s journey we learn about the people and circumstances that informed who they are as individuals; including Ellie’s best friend and crush, Riley, in a flashback episode that makes me cry every single time I watch it.

To be able to exist at the same time as this story is told feels like a dream and a privilege. And knowing what I know about Part II of the game, season 2 is about to get a whole lot gayer.” — Nic


2. The Fall of the House of Usher

Netflix // Limited Series

the cast of the fall of the house of usher

“The latest Mike Flanagan joint is like if Edgar Allen Poe wrote Succession, with writing like poetry and acting to blow your socks off and so. many. queer. characters. It’s almost like Mike Flanagan is trying to one-up his own self with how many queer characters he can add to his shows. We’ve got queer people making mistakes, queer people behaving badly, queer people being mysterious, just, all the queer people, and all the feelings.” — Valerie


1. Yellowjackets

Showtime // Season Two
Renewed For Season Three
Last Year: Didn’t Air

Adult Van and Adult Taissa sit next to each other and look into each other's eyes.

“It was a tough feat to follow up its near perfect first season that had everyone buzzing, but Yellowjackets managed to avoid a sophomore slump, even if its second season was a bit more divisive among fans than its first. As someone doing super detailed recaps and close readings of the show every week, I found it just as meaty :wink: this year, and some aspects of the show even grew in surprising ways. In season two, the performances from the younger, lesser known actors were truly just as strong as those of the more experienced talent, with Sophie Nélisse in particular becoming a highlight of the incredibly stacked cast. Meeting Adult Van was a highly anticipated moment that did not disappoint, and the series continued to prove the most compelling mysteries are the ones that can’t really be solved.” — Kayla

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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 3223 articles for us.

The TV Team

The Autostraddle TV Team is made up of Riese Bernard, Carmen Phillips, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Valerie Anne, Natalie, Drew Burnett Gregory, and Nic. Follow them on Twitter!

The TV has written 232 articles for us.

13 Comments

  1. In my opinion, Our Flag Means Death has the best queer representation on TV. I wish Autostraddle covered it more. TBH, the shift toward covering more horror and self-serious dramatic shows has made me read Autostraddle a lot less over the last few months. I am sure it’s someone’s cup of tea, just not mine.

    • If you’ve been reading Autostraddle less lately, it’s possible you missed our coverage of the second season of Our Flag Means Death (it happens!) — but Nic did some really great work with it! We did a standalone review and covered the full season with Friday recaps in our Boobs on Your Tube column, the same as we do the majority of the shows we cover: https://www.autostraddle.com/tag/our-flag-means-death/

      I’m definitely also not a horror person, so I feel you on it not being your cup of tea! The truth is that we work with what television is producing, and for sure Hollywood’s been on a horror bent of late (my going theory is that is has something to do with the pandemic, though I haven’t been able to put a finger on it). Hopefully there are some other shows on this list, the majority of which are not horror, that catch your eye or maybe can become a favorite alongside OFMD. Anyway, wasn’t Minnie Driver so much fun this season? Loved her.

  2. Don’t remember if it came out this year or not but I also want to highly recommend watching queer actress T’Nia Miller on The Peripheral on Amazon Prime. The role isn’t a queer one(though there are other queer characters in it)— but she is an absolutely terrifying villain.

  3. BBC’s Vigil Series 2 dropped last week. It stars Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie who play a couple of police officers who also are in a relationship with each other. The actors have delightful chemistry and their characters and their relationship are well portrayed in my opinion.

    • I’m not sure we even have an airdate yet for Vigil‘s new series here in the States yet which is why it wasn’t included on this year’s list. It will be eligible for inclusion next year.

      I do have a question about your thoughts on Amy and Kirsten’s relationship. I’ve seen similar things expressed by fans of the show elsewhere and I’m wondering why you find their chemistry delightful and their relationship well portrayed.

      Which isn’t to say that I don’t find them to be a cute couple — they are and, of course the actresses are top notch — but they’re afforded so little screentime together that I don’t walk away with strong feelings about the pair. This season, it felt like they spent more time on the phone than in each other’s company.

      • I mean to each their own but personally speaking, I don’t need a couple to be front and centre for them make an impact. I rather like that Amy and Kirsten are seamlessly and effortlessly part of the narrative; no muss, no fuss. Their interactions, albeit brief and limited, feed the storylines (S1) and round out the storylines (S2) in a manner that feels organic and natural. It’s especially astounding that there is a queer relationship featured in this suspense/thriller/action genre that traditionally has been sort of geared towards the straight lads.

        I think it’s a testament to the writing, the director, and the actors that they’ve managed to make this couple shine in what handful of scenes they were given. The audience doesn’t need to be spoon-fed every morsel of their interactions for us to connect with them. Besides, their relationship in Vigil, which is a police procedural, isn’t supposed to be the main focus but they still managed to have an impact anyway. I rather appreciate the no nonsense, somewhat realistic approach to this ship.

    • I was also a bit disappointed to not see Willow included. I’m missing it a lot right now–though at least there’s a resurgence of Willow content on my Tumblr feed–and it was definitely near or at the top of my list this year. (Though I appreciate that many other shows I love were included here, I wonder if it suffered from being split over the end of 2022 and the start of 2023? *le sigh*)

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