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5 Popular Shows That Needed a Strong Bisexual Character

5 Popular Shows That Needed a Strong Bisexual Character

5 Popular Shows That Needed a Strong Bisexual Character
McKennaMagazine

Right now, there are more bi characters on TV than ever before. It's exciting but when you realize how few bisexuals are on TV, it's incredibly sad. I can only name a dozen bi characters, but I could probably rattle off lots of gay/lesbian characters.

While it's important to look back and see how far we've come, it can also be fun to go back and think about what could have been. How would some of our favorite shows have looked if they had a bi protagonist? For the most part, any given show would have been unaffected, or benefited from a bisexual character.

Here are shows that I look back on with fond memories — none of which had a bisexual character — that would have gained something from a prominent bisexual character.

1. White Collar (2009-2014)

The character: Neal Caffrey

Why he should have been bi: Throughout the show, Caffrey, as a con man extraordinaire, uses numerous skills to stop crime with FBI partner Peter Burke, including forgery, lock-picking, safe-cracking, and, of course, his stunning good looks.

His good looks and charm are discussed by men and women alike, but he only ever uses these traits to woo women. He seduces the gallery worker to gain access to the art. He distracts the banker to get to the cash. He flirts with the girlfriend to get to the criminal boyfriend.

So why stop at women? So many of Peter and Neal's cases would have been easier if Caffrey would have done the same things with men. While the manipulative bisexual is a tired, overused trope on television, I can't deny it's fun to think about how with Neal stunning criminals of all genders, there's nobody the team couldn't catch.

2. Friends (1994-2004)

The character: Phoebe

Why he should have been bi: Yes, the idea of having one of the Central Perk six being bi is one that people will argue with me about for being "unrealistic for its time." Every person I've suggested this to has told me the same thing: "McKenna, you have to think about how in its time..."

The thing is, though, one of the main six was often insinuated to be a little more fluid in their sexuality — Phoebe. She comments on Monica's breasts, she's shown contemplating asking guest star Denise Richard's character out, and she had no problem at all kissing Rachel to see "what all of the fuss was about."

Phoebe was already portrayed as, let's say, the least straight one in the group; I tend to think it would have been a great move to canonize her fluidity, as opposed to use it as a joke or as a way to emphasize her eccentricity.

3. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

The character: Sookie

Why she should have been bi: If only for the sake of representation. The show, as far ahead of its time as it was, had virtually no LGBT representation of any kind. There were a few characters that were a bit ambiguous, (Michel immediately comes to mind) but none that were out and proud.

Recently the show's creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, revealed to The Huffington Post that beloved side(ish) character Sookie was originally supposed to be gay, but the network wouldn't approve of it:

"Things were different back then. The networks were very different in how permissive they would allow you to be. So, Sookie was originally supposed to be gay, but that was a non-starter at that time."

However, she went on to say that during the time the show was airing, attitudes began to change, and LGBT characters were more accepted: 

"It changed so quickly. By the time 'Gilmore' had been on a year or two, that shit was starting to drop right and left. But by that point, Sookie was in a relationship."

So then perhaps the idea of having Sookie identify as gay was out, but it seems to me there may have been another option. Just throwing that out there.

4. Psych (2006-2014)

The character: Gus

Why he should have been bi: As an avid fan of the show for many years, one of my favorite running gags was Gus trying to flirt. When it comes to romance, Gus is awkward, trying too hard to be cool and striking out with go-to pick up line: "Did you hear about Pluto? That's messed up, right?"

Thinking about Gus trying to flirt with men is hilarious to me. He'd still try too hard to be cool, still go too far trying to prove his masculinity, and still do that creepy smirk and deep laugh combo. But making him bi opens up even more possibilities for hilarity. Just picture him awkwardly try to touch a guy's biceps, and you'll get where I'm coming from.

5.  The West Wing (1999-2006)

The character: Literally anyone, though my top picks would be Josh Lyman or CJ Cregg.

Why they should have been bi: Talk about a show that was ahead of its time. Creator Aaron Sorkin accurately predicted so many real life events that I remain convinced he is some kind of low-level wizard. With all of the foresight and visionary thinking, there was still a pretty serious lack of LGBT characters, especially in the main cast. 

While the show was very deliberate in having a pro-LGBT stance, with everyone in the White House being supporting LGBT people and their interests, it was from an outsider's perspective. Nobody in the administration was able to be invested for their own sake.

Granted, I ship CJ and Danny, Josh and Donna, and even Josh and Amy too much to hope for either of them to be gay. So how about they hop on the field and play for my team?

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Mckenna Ferguson

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll