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SheWired's Top 10 Best Lesbian Scripted TV Moments of 2009

SheWired's Top 10 Best Lesbian Scripted TV Moments of 2009

We kick off our nostalgic homage to the best lesbian moments of 2009 with a look at the small sceen –scripted. Reality TV is next! See why Kate Moennig, Eliza Dushku, Swoosie Kurtz, Blythe Danner, Elizbeth Perkins, Tamara Braun, Eden Riegel, Evan Rachel Wood, Jane Lynch, Sara Ramirez, Jessica Capshaw and more all made this list!

It’s the time of the year – and the decade for that matter—when everyone takes personal or public inventory of the past. To commemorate 2009, SheWired has compiled a series of Ten Best lists, which we will run up to New Years’ Eve. Plus, look out for our special look back at the best of all-things lesbian of the past decade coming soon. We kick off our nostalgic homage with a look at the best lesbian moments on the small sceen –scripted. Reality TV is next!

Scripted television continued to expand its reach this past year to include more lesbian-oriented story lines. While some of them may have been stunt casting — think Heroes — and others are simply recurring — has anyone seen Janis on FlashForward? — there’s no better time to reflect on the  year that was than to examine the hits of the season. So go for a stroll with SheWired as we take a look back at 2009’s best scripted TV programming.

10. FlashForward, Three Rivers and Dollhouse

I know. A tie for 10th place? Seriously? Yep. Between the recent cancellations of Three Rivers and Dollhouse, and the "yep, she's gay" story line on FlashForward that seems to have vanished much like the ratings on the ABC rookie drama, each show counts here for a third. But that doesn't discredit the newest entry into primetime's lesbian characters any less. Christine Woods' fearless FBI Agent Janis Hawk, despite her reoccurring appearances, is a welcome and much-needed addition to primetime. Hopefully we'll see more of Agent Hawk in 2010, but for now we'll settle for her being out when she's off-duty. With Kate Moennig's CBS medical drama put on the shelf for good, there's no telling if the remaining episodes will ever see the light of day — except maybe on DVD. And Eliza Dushku, we'll see a little bit more of you in January when Dollhouse ends its run on Fox, but we're optimistic you and your sexy leather pants will find a new home — and hopefully a new network.

FlashForward clip:

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9. Nurse Jackie

Let’s start with something everyone can agree on with this show: Edie Falco's hair on the first-year Showtime series is wicked gay. But that'd not why Jackie makes our list. Jackie is written by out lesbians Linda Wallem and Liz Bixius and despite not having any regular lesbian characters on the show, they introduced us to possibly the two coolest lesbian parents on TV: Dr. Fitch Cooper (Peter Facinelli)'s moms Swoosie Kurtz and Blythe Danner. Coop may in fact be the first character with lesbian moms on TV and although they didn't stick around the show long, they made a lasting impression.

8. Stargate Universe

Ming-Na, who played a fierce doctor on NBC's ER, made history this year when her Dr. Camile Wray became the first Asian-American lesbian series regular on television on Syfy's Stargate Universe. As Dr. Wray spends the bulk of her time an International Oversight Member with the guys aboard the ship Destiny, she has a partner back home in Sharon — to be played by Reiko Aylesworth (24). Despite the show chartering into a no-no territory for lesbians with Wray having a fling with a man, we can only hope that Ming-Na eventually sees stars — and fireworks — with Aylesworth soon.

SGU clip:

7. Weeds

The dramedy where the kids are the parents to the misbehaving adults had pot-dealing wannabe Celia Hodes following in her out daughter's footsteps with a brief lesbian affair of her very own. When Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins) responds to the advances of her You’re Pretty cosmetics mentor Raylene (Jamie Denbo), it made for great TV. But what truly made the fifth season of Showtime’s Weeds truly memorable were the incredibly awkward mother-daughter questioning about strap-ons and kissing girls. While young Isabelle (Allie Grant) is truly mortified, she winds up being the character to watch as Season 6 approaches for the drug kingpin in training.

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6. All My Children

While primetime has embraced lesbian story lines — and even stunt casting — daytime TV isn’t far behind, and some may say even ahead of the curve when it comes to gay and lesbian arcs. Nowhere was this more apparent than on ABC’s long-running All My Children when Bianca (Eden Riegel) wed girlfriend Reese (Tamara Braun). The first same-sex wedding in daytime TV history may have experienced complications, but the run-up to the Valentine’s wedding was just what LGBT viewers needed to see in the months after anti-gay legislation like Prop. 8 nearly swept November’s elections.

5. True Blood

We’ve only gotten a small taste of Evan Rachel Wood’s lesbian vampire queen, but considering the show is steered by out writer-director Alan Ball, we know there certainly will be more to come from the hit HBO drama. Ball and company have dropped hints about Eric’s henchwoman Pam and we already know Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) cousin Hadley (Lindsey Haun) is romantically linked to Queen Sophie Anne. Considering how hot the hetero sex is on the show, it’s just a matter of time until HBO catches up with Showtime’s lead in the lesbian sex department.

True Blood clip:

4. Prayers for Bobby

Of all the shows on this list, none tugged at heartstrings more than Lifetime’s made for TV movie, Prayers for Bobby. Landing an Emmy nomination for lead Sigourney Weaver in the lead actress in a miniseries or movie category, Weaver changed hearts and minds nationwide with her turn as a homophobic mother who comes around after her gay son commits suicide and it made for some of the best TV of the season despite its limited run.

Prayers for Bobby clip: 

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3. Glee

Out lesbian Jane Lynch pushes every button as the outlandish coach of the cheerleading team on Fox’s musical hit Glee. And while the show doesn’t feature a lesbian story line, Kurt (Chris Colfer) gives us a heavy dose of gay as the mega-soprano with a crush on Finn (Cory Monteith). Lea Michele’s overzealous Rachel is amazing to listen to and one can only hope the upcoming all-Madonna episode finds a way to let Lynch take center stage — with a microphone.

2. Grey’s Anatomy

Ranking consistently as one of primetime TV’s highest-rated shows of the year, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy’s Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) bring lesbian story lines into millions of homes every week. When the two docs professed their love for one another, it was a genuine “awww” moment that could only be celebrated. Their relationship is refreshing to see advance — albeit with limited on-screen affection — in the wake of the sudden departure of Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith).

1. The L Word

While the end of the groundbreaking lesbian drama seems like it was months ago, its impact on the TV landscape will never be forgotten. We know nutbag Jenny Schecter stole Lez Girls, broke Shane of her womanizing ways and generally made everyone’s lives hell. But we’ll never know who really killed her on the Showtime hit. But we’ve come to grips with that and bottled up all that hostility to unleash on Ilene Chaiken if she fails with The Real L Word: Los Angeles We’ll live, love and learn again, but will always have a soft spot for Bette, Tina, Alice, Shane and maybe even Jenny.

L Word clip:

What’s your vote? What was your favorite scripted TV series this year? 

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Lesley Goldberg