Over the weekend, the Television Critics Association wrapped its winter press tour, the biannual event where broadcast TV networks roll out the commercials and trot out the casts for their upcoming shows, and send in the big bosses to answer questions about why there still aren’t more queer people, women people, and people of color people on television. Sometimes, though, the networks do have a gay thing to give and this time it was NBC unleashing a trailer for its new Ellen Degeneres-produced lesbian sitcom, One Big Happy, a thing Riese told you about a whole year ago!
Let’s watch and discuss.
So what we have here — in case your eyeballs and ears aren’t working or you are in class/at work and can’t watch this video — is the story of a lesbian named Lizzy (played by Elisha Cuthbert) who decides to have a baby with her straight best friend named Luke (played by Nick Zano) who meets the love of his life named Prudence (played by Kelly Brook) after Lizzy is already pregnant. And together they become One Big Happy (Family). So, like, season one of Friends meets season seven of Will & Grace, but written by and based on the life of hilarious lesbian lady Liz Feldman.
I agree, I agree. The premise is kind of ’90s trope-y and the show is super duper white, but isn’t there a very real part of you that wants to put this video in a time machine and travel back to 1997 when Ellen came out in real life and on her sitcom, and the Religious Right kept calling her “Ellen Degenerate,” and Republicans even boycotted pencils because that’s what she used to write her homosexual show? And now she’s America’s sweetheart, introducing a new lesbian sitcom without introducing herself because the whole world knows who she is (and adores her), and she says we’re going to love it because there’s a lesbian in it? Don’t you just want to hop out of a time machine, waggling your phone around and show Ellen where she landed?
It’d just a nice full-circle It Gets Better moment, you know? And also you could be like, “You should start watching Ally McBeal, Ellen. You’re gonna f*cking love Ally McBeal.”
At TCA, Ellen told the One Big Happy panel:
“It’s a very funny show — it just happens to have a lesbian character on it. What’s going to be great about this show is [the characters are] people you’ll love and watch, and you won’t think twice about any of it being ‘weird.’ It’s obviously a more accepting world that we live in, for the most part … But I don’t focus on that. I just look at it as a funny show.”
She also said by 2030, we’ll be ready for a broadcast TV show with all gay main characters and a token straight person. (I guess she doesn’t watch Pretty Little Liars?) The show lands on March 17th on NBC and the tagline is: “Gay mom. Straight dad. New wife.”
Oh, and you’ll be happy to hear Lizzy gets pregnant without actually having sex with Luke. Now if she makes it through the first season alive and gets herself a lady-love interest to kiss with an open mouth, we’ll be blowing those queer TV tropes right out of the water.
Thoughts/feelings/hopes/dreams about One Big Happy? I’m excited! But let’s talk it out, like we do.