As GLAAD reminds us every fall, there are too few recurring gay characters on the broadcast networks, though there are of course some: Brothers & Sisters and Desperate Housewives, both from gay creators, have long had supporting characters who were out-and-proud, and The Simpsons (Smithers and Patty), Family Guy (effete Stewie) and American Dad (Roger and the newcasting couple) are reliable for a little camp. But this last week or so, the mainstream gay factor really ratcheted up. And that during the college basketball playoffs that preempted a lot of scripted programming.
Several weeks ago, Desperate Housewives introduced its first serious gay storyline featuring one of the housewives, as previously crazed hetero stalker Dana Delany got involved with a lesbian stripper. For a while, it seemed like the writers might pass it off as a fling — an ill-advised midlife romp. Instead, they have handled it maturely and realistically (well, for that show) as Delany’s character sorts through the complexity of her feelings. This week also introduced a new character, played by gay actor John Barrowman (Torchwood). Gotta like that.
But last week also had a prominent gay-bashing plot on Law & Order with gay actor Cheyenne Jackson; the return of Flash Forward with its lesbian character; gay ane lesbian contestants on The Amazing Race; and even a long same-sex kiss between Principal Skinner and Groundskeeper Willy on The Simpsons. And I for one like it.