You know, queer representation on TV is hard enough. A gay character as the focus of a show? Why would we want that when we can have gay characters play bit-parts among all the shows on TV?1
Shows are rated based on how gay they are, how good they are, and if they’ve gotten the ax from their network this year. That last one is an automatic F. And, as a note, we’re talking network TV only here.
Will and Grace (NBC) A-
Will and Grace came back to our TVs, offering a very 90s take on gay life. The show eventually gained its sea legs and is coming back next year. Highlights here include the Nick Offerman episode and the emotional farewell to Rosario.
Modern Family (ABC) C+
This show is long in the tooth. Mitch and Cam are great and all, but why aren’t any of the younger generation even a little gay? Or at least have a gay friend or two? I don’t get it.
How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) B
I only watch this show in steamy gifs online involving Connor. That’s a lie. His relationship with Oliver is pretty cute sometimes. And, their handling of the HIV was great to see on TV.
Instinct (CBS) B
Alan Cumming’s Dylan Reinhart on Instinct the first openly gay lead character in a CBS crime show. The network for old people finally made one. It has alright odds at coming back for a second go-round, too.4
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox) F [Canceled]
The captain is gay, Rosa is bi, but the show got the ax from Fox.
UPDATE: NBC has picked up Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but the F is still for Fox.
Champions (NBC) F
This show was mediocre but from some great people. The gay son was played by a great talent. It’s more than likely dead at NBC.2
Rise (NBC) C-
They swapped out the closeted identity of the main character in order for more of a mass appeal. It is about high school theatre, though. So, there’s plenty of gay-adjacent material here. Like Glee but not. And, it’s a toss-up for renewal (at best) anyway.2
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) D
Grey’s is old as it is. And, with their last prominent gay character leaving at the end of this season, it’s barely even gay-adjacent anymore.
Fresh off the Boat (ABC) B+
Fresh has a decent chance of renewal3, and I hope that pans out. A lesbian best friend character is nice to see for once. And, the way the show portrays the grandma and Evan is pure camp.
Riverdale (CW) B+
Kevin is around, and even gets some steamy scenes of his own. The show is still very much about Archie and his mysteries, though.
The Entire CW/DC Comics Slate B+
Look, Legends of Tomorrow is the best at this probably. They all make an effort to have queer people in all of their shows and that’s nothing to thumb your nose at. The CW is basically just a Netflix summer binge factory now anyway.
Grade By Network
Gay Shows I Don’t Watch But Should
- 9-1-1 has a gay firefighter, I think.
- The Grey’s spinoff also has a gay firefighter, I think.
- Star didn’t grab me so I stopped watching but I hear the lesbian/bi story is nice.
- I still don’t know why I don’t watch Empire.