I'm over the tragic lesbian trope in my television
*warning: this contains Last Tango, Grey’s Anatomy, & The Fosters spoilers*
If you listened to our podcast about last week’s episode (x), you’ll have heard that Evangeline and I had a lot of opinions about where the Kate accident could go and what could happen.
We knew Kate was going to be hurt, we knew the baby was going to be born, and we knew that Caroline would be put in a situation where she will be caring for the baby on her own - hopefully for a short period of time. What else do we know now? Well we know, from tonight’s episode, that Kate was unconscious and the doctors are operating and trying to save her life after she was hit by a car. We know that Nina Sosanya’s listed for episode four. And we know that the episode ended with Caroline letting out a blood-curdling cry after speaking to a doctor.
I watched tonight’s episode with trepidation. As soon as Caroline called William I had tears at my eyes. By the time we got to her calling Gillian I was crying. At the end of the episode I was sobbing. It ended and everyone tried consoling me, but I just sort of sat there silent for a few minutes. And my sadness quickly turned to anger.
I’m angry that this show, which I love because it has gone against the grain and shown that audiences will watch shows about older people. It had these fantastic, original story lines where you have an elderly couple falling in love, and middle-aged women still trying to find themselves. It hit subjects that aren’t always addressed, but are still really relevant and make for great television. The writing was fresh, brilliant, and I grew to really trust that.
I’m angry that this show that had said writing and fantastic character development…has become another cliché. I know most of you know this by now, and if you hadn’t figured from the podcasts or just knowing me, I am a lesbian. I came out when I was 15 and even before I officially came out, I knew for years. And I can honestly say that I’ve been consuming - or at least searching for - lesbian media since I was probably about 13 or so. Basically, The L Word was really all I had…and let me tell you something, the internet in 2004 was not the same as it is in 2015…finding this shit on the internet was HARD. Even with TLW, it was on Showtime, which meant you had to pay for it, so it wasn’t available to everyone. And that show had loads of imperfections, one of the major ones being that a lot of it is geared and set up to be consumed by males. It had all the appeal of lesbian porn, with all the fetishes, and the streotypes, and ugh… I could write another essay on TLW, so I’ll stop now. (I mean, I still love-hate that show, don’t get me wrong, but it was SO problematic…) So this was a problematic show, that also wasn’t really accessible to the masses.