Culture

September 23, 2011

My Lesbo is an Alien: NBC Picks Up “My Best Friend is a Lesbo”

my friend is a lesbo

When I first heard the title of NBC’s latest stab at the progressive sitcom genre My Best Friend is a Lesbo, I flashed back to Sci-fi titles of my youth: My Step-mom is an Alien. My Teacher is an Alien. Right off the bat, what a way to make a clear reference to science fiction and establish the wacky otherness of being a lesbian. All whilst avoiding using the term “lesbian” and opting for it’s slightly juvenille and silly nickname. It’s better than Will & Grace’s original moniker, House of Homos. Although honestly I never watched Will & Grace, but I’d have tuned in every night to watch House of Homos.

A thought popped into my mind yesterday: is adding a dimension of science fiction, even just in the title, just NBC’s lazy way to make chronic gayness more palpable to a network audience?

Even if not intentionally, the title’s homage to sci-fi concepts of the other being placed in a comical situation with the normals is obvious. Is this ALF (Alternative Lifeform!) for sexual orientation? Science fiction has been an accessible medium for writers, studios and networks to use as an acceptable way to explore topics and issues not yet deemed appropriate for the mainstream. Fantastical elements and a story set in a too-far-off time or universe make it impossible for the mainstream to refuse the product; it’s a way to discuss topical issues out of the dangerous, topical context.

Rolling less than acceptable ideas like overthrowing governments and open and happy homosexuality in with magic, spaceships and time travel makes it easier to ignore the very reality of those former elements, and therefore more palpable to variety-phobic midwesterners. Science fiction has been used by authors George Orwell and Margaret Atwood, and television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly in addition to an infinite number of comic series.  So perhaps the title is a quick grab at some of that science fiction piece of mind in an effort to avoid the most concerted efforts of conservative media watchdogs and parent groups.

As I’ve said before, complete and sexually functioning gay characters are sorely lacking on network television. So the possibility of a fully fleshed-out-and-functioning dyke serving as a protagonist on a new sitcom, especially considering there’s a possibility that this dyke might have a close, platonic bond with a similarly whole straight chick is appealing. I’m completely down with the concept, and very curious how far the network will be willing to probe its dick down the conservative, fundementalist throat of the midwest while pissing at the threat of those rotting, jagged teeth. My guess is not far; in all likelihood we aren’t going to see any boundary pushing or narrative risks to explore a gay character and her friendship with a straight character. And I think that’s why the title makes me uneasy; if this show was going to break barriers and signal a new era of gay media wholeness, it would be different. But the wacky and zany image this title places on gayness as a character trait is concerning.

My prediction: this sitcom will come, and maybe it will be a huge hit and maybe it really will signal the beginning of a new era of gay normallcy in mainstream media. But they will change the title. America is more than ready for wacky gay characters; but I’m not confident in the culture’s ability to accept a wacky gay title.

The semi-autobiographical comedy, My Best Friend is A Lesbo, is based on the real-life friendship of writers and longtime roommates Sascha Rothchild and Randi Barnes (pictured above) and has been picked up by NBC.



About the Author

Kristi
Kristi
|Sex & Relationships Writer| I am a 20-something straight divorcee with a dirty mind and a loud mouth. I work for a non-profit organization that can appreciate my mad writing and policy development skills despite my outrageous TMI outbursts. I'm a feminist, a mother, a techno-phile, an avid and shameless sex blogger. I'm most often seen having sex or hunched over a computer, writing about sex. Or eating...I like eating.




 
 

 
431965436_640

An Open Letter to Travis Mathews

  *Dear reader, this is an open letter to filmmaker Travis Mathews. Its intent it to initiate discussion as well as introduce you to the important work of this amazing filmmaker. Dear Travis, First of all, please let me...
by Kyle
1

 
 
wallwomen1784

Recharge your Karma by Recharging your Body!

Organize a fundraising event in your Yoga studio community to support Yoga therapy and women’s health in Bhopal, India   On December 3rd 1984, at 10 minutes past midnight, a Union Carbide pesticide plant, operating under...
by Melanie
2

 
 
Coll2011-010 ACT UP/Los Angeles records

World AIDS Day: Are We Not Angry or United Enough Anymore?

What do you know about AIDS? Last week I had the privilege of watching what ended up being one of the most profoundly moving and eye opening documentaries that I have ever seen. The film, United in Anger: a History of ACT UP do...
by Caitlin
0

 

 
Art
day_without_art_World_AIDS_Day

World Aids Day: A Day With(out) Art

Today, and for the week leading up to World AIDS Day, art shows, galleries, and artists partner with grassroots AIDS service organizations to help raise funds and awareness of the AIDS pandemic. Since 1981 AIDS has resulted in ...
by Sarah
0

 
 
Art
Screen shot 2012-11-29 at 11.39.06 AM

But Things Are Changing: AIDS Action Now! Launches Second Poster/Virus Campaign

AIDS Action Now! launched their second Poster/Virus Campaign at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto last night with an after party at Cold Tea in Kensington Market, featuring DJ’s Like the Wolf and Mama Knows. The Poster/Vi...
by Ian
0

 
 
Art
Bealltainn

Apparition of the Wild: Jamie Ross Exhibits at SKOL in Montreal

An exciting new exhibit in Montreal opens this week, breaking new ground for queer artists and exploring in experimental ways how homosocial lives are lived on lands older than time. On Friday November 30th, SKOL will be hostin...
by Ian
0

 

 
Screen shot 2012-11-09 at 9.35.43 PM

It Get’s Gayer! Huge Gay Wins In The Gayest U.S. Election Ever

As I was struggling to stay awake early Wednesday morning, I was moved by the euphoric crowd of supporters on the blue-hued stage in Chicago and the eloquent and masterfully punctuated speech of the newly re-elected POTUS: R...
by Saturn
2

 
 
thegaily-halloween-archetypes

Halloween Costume Stereotypes – Which One Are You?

The Halloween Dilemna: either you’re the type to scope out the Halloween parties you (or your better connected friends) have been invited to, or you’re the type who opts to stay in, convinced that it’s because you want to...
by Caitlin
3

 
 
t&s

Tegan & Sara Are Ready To Dance: ‘Closer’ and ‘I’m Not Your Hero’ VIDEOS

Any chance to write about these two – I’ll take it. My listening relationship with Tegan and Sara began along with the insatiable need that teenage girls have for empowering emotional girl voices on constant loop on their i...
by Caitlin
3

 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *