Games TV

#20GayTeen: The 18 Best Queer TV Episodes of the Year

by Lester Fabian Brathwaite

3h in the past

2018 was a banner yr for queer tv based mostly not solely on illustration, however the sheer high quality of that illustration. Queer audiences had any quantity of decisions in style (comedy, drama, animation, sci-fi, horror, and so on.) and in platforms (Netlix is coming for all the wigs and the awards) that explored the whole rainbow of of identities with out feeling pressured or contrived. Whereas the world might have felt prefer it was falling aside, tv was maintaining it collectively, making us snicker, cry, assume, yell, sing, dance, and pose-pose-pose! [Warning: there are spoilers ahead—so many spoilers—so proceed at your own risk.]

  1. Sense8 – “Amor Vincit Omnia” (S02E12)

    Lana Wachowski’s massive, messy, lovely, sprawling sci-fi collection did its greatest to wrap up its spider’s net of plotlines in the two-hour collection finale, which solely occurred as a result of followers referred to as for Netflix to offer the canceled present one final probability at elaborate struggle sequences and much more elaborate pansexual orgies. The ultimate picture—of a cum-stained rainbow strap-on dildo—proved each whimsical and poignant, and a becoming finish to this formidable present that wore its proudly queer coronary heart on its sleeve.

  2. The Simpsons – “Werking Mom” (S30E07)

    The bloom fell off The Simpsons rose about 20 seasons in the past, however the animated establishment can nonetheless tickle and titillate. Placing the tit again in titillate this season, RuPaul and Drag Race alum Raja helped Marge get her groove again for the umpteenth time in the drag queen-dominated world of tupperware gross sales. Homer even will get in on the motion, proving he’s come a great distance from wanting his beer chilly, his TV loud, and his homosexuals flaaaaaaming.

  3. GLOW – “Rosalie” (S02E09)

    After sharing a dance sequence throughout the earlier episode—an excellent recreation of a 1980s GLOW broadcast—romance blossoms between the latest beautiful woman of wrestling Yolanda (Shakira Barrera), an out and outspoken stripper, and her roommate, the extra reserved Arthie (Sunita Mani), who’s simply starting to return into her sexuality. Simply as the two determine to proceed dwelling collectively, Bash learns that his greatest pal (and perhaps extra) Florian has died from AIDS problems, which sends Bash spiraling.

  4. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – “Witch Academy” (S01E04)

    Melissa Joan Hart’s Sabrina Spellman was a healthful teen, who had extra in widespread with Bewitched’s Samantha Stephens than, say, Devil. Netflix’s adaptation, nevertheless, is darker, sexier, and an entire lot gayer—Caroline Rhea’s Aunt Hilda however—that includes a number of queer characters and storylines, from Sabrina’s (Kiernan Shipka) gender nonconforming pal Susie (Lachlan Watson) being bullied to her pansexual cousin Ambrose (Probability Perdomo) discovering some supernatural love. Ambrose, who’s forbidden from leaving the Spellman residence, should astral challenge so as to meet his future beau and fellow warlock, Luke (Darren Mann). However the longer he stays out of his physique, the higher the probability he gained’t have the ability to return to it, including additional strain to the already annoying enterprise of a primary date.

  5. Schitt’s Creek – “Open Mic” (S04E06)

    Whereas Catherine O’Hara continues to ship maybe the greatest comedic efficiency on tv as erstwhile daytime TV actress Moira Rose, this season noticed her son David (Daniel Levy) taking his first trepidatious steps in the direction of love together with his enterprise associate Patrick (Noah Reid). Although the storyline received a bit too twee at occasions, seeing Patrick serenade David, guitar and all, to “You’re Simply the Best” in entrance of the titular city throughout an open mic night time struck simply the proper chord.

  6. Loopy Ex-Girlfriend – “I’m So Happy for You” (S04E05)

    One of the greatest and queerest exhibits on TV, Loopy Ex-GF goes out with a bang in its remaining season, doing what it does greatest: subverting rom-com tropes with catchy, extremely witty musical numbers. Actually everybody’s favourite couple, Darryl (Pete Gardner) and White Josh (David Hull), are damaged up and now comfortably associates—maybe too comfortably, as Darryl realizes that their friendship could also be retaining Josh from correctly shifting on. In the meantime, the complete forged pines away for these two cuckoo youngsters to get again collectively, which another present would gladly make occur, however love isn’t straightforward, neat, or easy and Loopy Ex-Girlfriend relishes in its problem, its messiness, and its complexities.

  7. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – “Kimmy and the Beest!” (S04E05)

    In the event you really feel like having amusing as previous as time, simply watch Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) yelling at a bunch of youngsters he’s directing in the off-brand and off-off-off-Broadway faculty manufacturing of Beaudy an’ the Beest. Inevitably, Titus will get carried away making an attempt to stay out his personal failed faculty musical goals since “theater was considered gay…by the Mississippi Board of Education.” However when he finally ends up sabotaging Hudson (Juwan Crawley), principally a youthful model of himself, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) tries to get him to see the errors of his methods earlier than the curtain rises.

  8. One Day at a Time – “Homecoming” (S02E11)

    The second season of this little sitcom that would options queer teen Elena’s (Isabella Gomez) first relationship when she couples up with nonbinary homeschool scholar Syd (Sheridan Pierce). After Syd delivers a delightfully geeky promposal to the homecoming dance set to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” that name-checks the whole lot from bell hooks to Drag Race, Elena tries to impress Syd with all the pals she doesn’t have. Fortunately, they’re each very uncool they usually bond over their shared awkwardness, in the grand custom of so many queer youngsters earlier than and after them.

  9. Brooklyn 9-9 – “Game Night” (S05E10)

    Detective Rosa Diaz, identical to her real-life counterpart Stephanie Beatriz, got here out as bisexual this season, which threatened to be this advantageous sitcom’s ultimate earlier than NBC swooped in and saved it. Good factor, too, since Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez was launched as Det. Diaz’s potential love curiosity in the season finale. However this episode makes the record as a result of the often intensely personal Rosa not solely comes out to the relaxation of the 9-9, however to her mother and father (Danny Trejo and Olga Meridez) as properly, corralling Jake (Andy Samberg) into the course of—minimize to some basic sitcom shenanigans and Jake pretending to be Rosa’s boyfriend. However even when the fact and Rosa come out, her mother and father have a tough time accepting her, in contrast to the 9-9, who present up at her door to reinstate the weekly household recreation night time her mother and father had beforehand canceled.

  10. BoJack Horseman – “Planned Obsolescence” (S05E03)

    The coming-out episode is a cornerstone for a lot of a queer character, however BoJack turns the trope on its ear when the asexual Todd (Aaron Paul) meets his asexual girlfriend Yolanda’s (Natalie Morales) very sexually open household, who insist on the couple making love of their residence. Minimize to some basic sitcom shenanigans—keep in mind these basic sitcoms that had grandma’s prized lube assortment spilling throughout the place?—earlier than Yolanda is pressured to return out as asexual. Yolanda’s household is cool together with her admission and each she and Todd understand that their sneaking round was pointless, however, extra importantly, Todd realizes that they shouldn’t be collectively simply because they’re each asexual since that’s the solely factor they’ve in widespread.

  11. Will & Grace – “Who’s Sorry Now?” (S10E04)

    In its seminal 2000 episode “Lows in the Mid-Eighties,” Will & Grace has a flashback to Thanksgiving 1985 when Will (Eric McCormack) was pressured to return out to his then-girlfriend Grace (Debra Messing). This season touched on that historical past, with Will realizing that Grace by no means apologizes for something as a result of she nonetheless blames him for breaking her coronary heart. Again in the homosexual, Will had despatched her an extended letter that Grace by no means bothered to open. When she does lastly learn it, she’s devastated that she wasn’t there for Will, prompting one of the most satisfying punchlines in the present’s rebooted format. A weepy Grace, lastly able to apologize to Will 30 years later, takes his palms in hers and says, as sincerely as attainable: “You were right. It is why I never say I’m sorry. So I’m going to say it now. [pause] Doesn’t it feel good?” You recognize what does really feel good? That 20 years after it first premiered, Will & Grace can nonetheless mine wealthy emotional territory, and comedic gold, out of its characters.

  12. Vida – “Episode 3” (S01E03)

    Emma Hernandez (Mishel Prada) could also be one of my favourite new characters on TV: A troublesome-as-nails businesswoman with an enviable wardrobe who shouldn’t be afraid to land in jail for throwing arms in the streets. She’s making an attempt to work by means of the dying of her mom, Vida, whom she’s simply discovered was married to a lady. This complicates issues for Emma, who nonetheless resents her mom for sending her away as a toddler for her personal burgeoning queer sexuality. Episode three opens with one of the extra graphic intercourse scenes I’ve seen on cable tv, as Emma hooks up with a nonbinary paramour she is fast to go away, lest anybody be in peril of catching emotions—Emma’s already in denial over her emotions for a love curiosity from her previous. Emma confides in her estranged hipster sister Lyn (Melissa Barrera), who’s, unsurprisingly, supportive of how Emma identifies, however what makes this episode really exceptional is the means it offers with grief—notably, the grief Eddy (Ser Anzoategui) experiences over Vida. A lot of queer tv is about youth and coming-out—it’s refreshing, if not heartbreaking, to see a storyline about dealing with the dying of a companion and studying to stay with out them.

  13. Killing Eve – “God, I’m Tired” (S01E08)

    Sandra Oh deserved the plaudits she acquired for the BBC America thriller developed by Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Although billed as a drama, Killing Eve felt extra like a darkish comedy, with an off-kilter humor that outlined Fleabag and belies some of Eve’s extra violent moments. The present facilities on the relationship between Oh’s Eve Polastri, an MI5 officer with a wierd affinity for serial killers, and Jodie Comer’s Villanelle, a psychopathic murderer who turns into obsessive about Eve. Moderately, Villanelle and Eve develop into obsessive about one another. Villanelle is clearly queer—she’s received a factor for brunettes with voluminous hair so Eve could be very a lot her sort (truthfully, Sandra Oh’s hair alone deserves all the awards)—however the present resists utilizing her queerness as a weapon towards Eve to seduce and corrupt her. What develops is an fascinating recreation of cat and mouse whereby Eve, who’s ostensibly straight, is each predator and prey. In the season finale, Eve lastly manages to outwit Villanelle, or at the least so it appears, as the two ladies curl into one another’s our bodies, admitting their mutual attraction…just for Eve to make use of the intimacy to stab Villanelle in the stomach. Was all of it a rouse, or does Eve really have emotions for the murderer? Properly, Villanelle escapes earlier than Eve can reply these questions for herself, leaving us all breathlessly ready for season two subsequent yr.

  14. Massive Mouth – “Guy Town” (S02E07)

    Huge Mouth’s resident imply homosexual Matthew (Andrew Rannells) meets his match in the catty and kimono’d older kween (famous legend Harvey Fierstein) dwelling in Man City, a sad-sack bachelor group with a however catchy theme music. The two change some of the most withering burns to return out of tv in 2018, together with this gem from Matthew: “I’m sorry, but I don’t want a flyer for your cabaret show. I’m busy at noon on a Thursday.” However a meme was born with the retort: “Listen, Baby Billy Eichner, being young, gay, and mean is not a personality.” This “gay duel” leads Matthew, who heretofore was solely used for colour commentary, to do some introspection and he decides to attempt to be much less imply, which in flip results in him making out with budding bisexual Jay (Jason Matzoukas) later in the season.

  15. It’s All the time Sunny in Philadelphia – “Mac Finds His Pride” (S13E10)

    The demented offspring of Seinfeld, It’s All the time Sunny ended on an unprecedented dramatic observe on this episode that lastly provides Mac (Rob McElhenney) some closure together with his father (Gregory Scott Cummins). Via an elaborate dance sequence, Mac relates his conflicting emotions about his religion and sexuality, offering some shocking character progress together with the pleasure of Mac’s newly ripped physique getting used for extra than simply jokes and/or eye sweet.

  16. Pricey White Individuals – “Chapter III” (S02E03)

    Lionel (DeRon Horton) tries to get in the place he matches in throughout Delight Night time at Winchester College, in an episode that adeptly depicts the hopelessness and awkwardness of looking for group, and a date, as a younger homosexual in school, whereas exploring the myriad methods by which queerness manifests itself in a tutorial setting. All through his night, his crush Silvio (D.J. Blickenstaff) leads him via a number of circles of homosexual hell, replete with Actual Housewives references Lionel doesn’t get: he meets the literati gays, the place he will get rejected by a fellow black kween who, it seems, just isn’t “into other black guys,” then debates the shades of sexual racism; then he meets the trio of woke black kweens (Tre Corridor, Todrick Corridor, and Child Fury) who hang around with HBIC Sam White (Logan Brown) and like her, are each fierce and intimidating AF; lastly, amongst the musical kweens, he meets a kindred spirit in Wesley (Rudy Martinez), they usually bond over being marginalized by the group they name their very own. The night time ends with Lionel lastly getting over his crush on Silvio (which is for the greatest contemplating who he discovers Silvio actually is) and discovering that the door closing on Silvio led to a window opening on a romance with Wesley.

  17. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story – “A Random Killing” (S01E03)

    In fact, almost any episode might’ve made it onto this listing, however the third episode (apart from being maybe the greatest general) was the first to completely and most artfully reveal what—and who—the restricted collection was really about. Judith Mild runs away with the episode as Marilyn Miglin whose husband, Lee (Mike Farrell) is brutally murdered by Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss). Refusing to consider the fact about her husband, that he lived a double life as a gay, she insists his homicide was random—although the true random killing takes place later when Cunanan murders an harmless caretaker to steal his pick-up truck. The entire thesis of this version of ACS is based on Cunanan with the ability to get away with these murders as a result of his victims have been homosexual males—and subsequently of little consequence—however through the use of Gianni Versace (Édgar Ramirez) as an entrypoint, Ryan Murphy and co. have been capable of paint an image of the causes and penalties of homophobia and what it meant, and what it continues to imply, to be queer in America.

  18. Pose – “Mother of the Year” (S01E08)

    Every thing about Pose felt triumphant. From a forged full of breakout performances, to its historic degree of queer illustration each in entrance of and behind the digital camera, to its near-perfect selection in music episode to episode—however its important triumph was the lack of tragedy. Too typically when discussing the lives of trans and queer people of shade, the media focuses on the tragedy, as if dwelling is nothing however a tragic, empty prelude to an inevitably early and violent demise. However Pose confirmed these lives with unflinching type, wit, and panache and, not for nothing, with a price range to match. I’m assured Elektra Abundance’s (Dominique Jackson) wardrobe should have been the downpayment on a home. A pleasant home. “Mother of the Year” in all probability isn’t even the greatest episode of Pose—episode two, “Access,” and episode three, “Giving and Receiving,” instantly come to thoughts, whereas Billy Porter and Mj Rodriguez belting “Home” at one another in episode six, “Love Is the Message,” was a spotlight of my 2018, and certainly, life—nevertheless it greatest encapsulates the present’s humor, its pathos, its giddy sense of pleasure, and sure, its spirit of triumph greater than some other.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is a Brooklyn-based author, editor, bon vivant and all-around sassbag. He is previously Senior Editor of Out Journal and is presently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat

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