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12 Reasons Television's LGBT Women Crushed It in 2014

12 Reasons Television's LGBT Women Crushed It in 2014

12 Reasons Television's LGBT Women Crushed It in 2014

From Litchfield to Gotham, LGBT characters were everywhere on TV this year.

Photo: still of Orphan Black

For all its ups and downs, this year has truly been stellar for LGBT representation on television. In several ways, 2014 raised the bar and our interests as dozens of shows gave us powerful queer female leads, realistic explorations of sexuality, and lots of romantic surprise relationships that totally changed the game. From Netflix to TV's most major networks, these characters and their actors are grabbing not only our attention, but that of critics and awards shows as their talent, dedication, and important messages are more and more widely recognized. After a year like this, we can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for us! (Warning: Light spoilers lurk ahead!)

 

 

1. Orange is the New Black comes back: Countless TV shows have suffered from sophomore slumps, but Orange is the New Black returned arguably better than ever. This action/sex packed season introduced us to new characters, new backstories, and new ways to pull at our heart strings. With Alex not entirely in the picture this season, we got to get to know some other inmates better. Poussey might win the fan-fave award this season, and her adorable then suddenly tragic backstory was one of the show's most memorable moments. Oh, and remember how awesome it was to get to know Miss Rosa better? We also learned all about Morello and the truth behind Christopher, and we were faced with the villainous Vee, a new inmate who challenged Red, tore Poussey and Taystee apart, and drove Crazy Eyes into further insanity. We definitely watched as Big Boo and Nichols faced off in an epic sex competition and, of course, learned that every perfect relationship also involves pizza. Season 2 was a crazy ride (sometimes literally), and now with Alex returning to Litchfield in season 3, it can only get better from here!

2. The Fosters makes us weep weekly: Our favorite ABC family certainly had a rough season this year. From house fires to miscarriages to custody battles, the poor Adams/ Fosters have faced trial after trial, but their love for each other remains stronger than ever. Of course, the lingering issue of just how much Brandon and Callie love each other continues to be front and center, but no matter what happens with them, our favorite couple will always be Stef and Lena. The two have their fair share of disagreements but watching them resolve their differences and connect back together again (often with adorable cuddles) makes their relationship all that more real and engaging. The Fosters is relentlessly dramatic and packed with intense issues, but at the center of it all is a family who loves and cares for each other, and that’s exactly what we want to watch each week. And until the show returns on January 19th, at least we have Teri Polo and Sherri Saum's adorable Twitter accounts!

 

 

3. Kate McKinnon owns Saturday Night Live: Who doesn’t love Kate McKinnon? No one? Exactly. Sure, she’s the only nonfictional person on this list, but how dare we celebrate lesbians on TV without shouting out at SNL’s MVP. Throughout this hit-or-miss season, she’s never let us down with hermesmerizingly unusual characters, Justin Bieber impersonations, and killer ability to jam on a sick beat. As long as Kate’s there, we’ll be tuning in to SNL...or at least watching the best-of clips the next day.

 

 

4. Orphan Black gets even more clonetastic: Undoubtedly, Tatiana Maslany is Queen of Television. This season, she tackled even more clones, dove into even more complicated mysteries, and got closer and closer to answering the question: 'Why are there so many Tatiana Maslanys?!' Well, we’re certainly not complaining (if anything, we’re exulting), and this season was a total treat. Our fave OB couple Cosima and Delphine suffered a few setbacks but reunited as sexily as possible. Sadly, they’ve now been torn apart again by Rachel (who may or may not be alive...), but with Lost Girl's Ksenia Solo on set for season three as a new love interest for Cosima, we're not too upset about a romantic change-up. And really, now that Project Castor and the Man Clones are on the horizon, Cophine may not be the first thing on everyone’s minds. Or, you know, it totally is.

 

 

5. Pretty Little Liars totally ships Paily: Pretty Little Liars is about as intense as it gets for ABC Family. After 5 seasons, these girls are still being taunted by the very ambitious and elaborate A (only a truly dedicated stalker works that hard hanging ominious Christmas lights). It’s hard to trust anyone on this show, and even after they die they can still come back to haunt you (if they’re even really dead at all). But through all the twists and turns and make outs with long-time crushes who are also potentially super-evil blonde ice queens, one thing we can always count on is Paily. Yep, as of the Christmas episode Paige and Emily are back together and more adorable than ever. We're pretty sure 2015 will bring much more on-again-off-again for the troubled duo, but we'll cherish their 'on' moments for a lifetime (or at least a hiatus). Now, because we can, let's take a moment to reflect on how adorable Paige was in Santa lingerie.

 

 

6. SuperGays swoop on to Arrow and Gotham: We’re really starting to feel the women power on superhero TV shows, and we’re loving every second of it. On Arrow, Sara Lance and Nyssa Al Ghul turned out to be much more than just fellow League of Assassin members, and their passionate reunion made shippers out of all of us. Of course, it didn’t particularly end well, but it was nice while it lasted! Gotham also pulled a ‘Surprise! These badass women are a thang!’  when it was revealed that Jim Gordon’s fiancé Barbara Kean was previously in a relationship with Major Crimes Division Officer Renee Montoya. Next year we’re even getting the female-helmed super-series Agent Carter, starring Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, the role she played in the Captain America films. Here's to a 2015 filled with kick-ass Superladies!

 

 

7. Amy stops Faking It and finds something real: Amy spent a season making doe eyes at best friend and fake girlfriend Karma, declared her love, was rejected, and drunkenly slept with Karma's boyfriend. It seems we weren't the only ones who felt it was time for some joy in Amy's life as this season she met Reagan, the gorgeous waitress and DJ who only had eyes for her. This adorable new couple got hot and heavy as Amy came to grips with one aspect of her sexuality. Even some territorial jealousy and learning the whole story of Karmy wasn't enough to put Reagan off her new girlfriend, and we think she has excellent taste.

 

 

8. Rachel Brosnahan plays queer on Manhattan and House of Cards: We commend Rachel Brosnahan for her gay-play double duty this year. First, she costarred on House of Cards as the “addictive" former prostitute Rachel Posner, whose love affair with a woman took a tragic and violent turn when her stalker Stamper got involved. She then played a very different role on WGN’s Manhattan as the wife of one of the main physics working on the Manhattan Project who begins the find new love and happiness in neighbor and fellow housewife Elodie. Manhattan - which takes place in 1943 in the small, secretive town of Los Alamos, New Mexico - featured many explosive plot twists, but nothing more engaging than Abby and Elodie’s love affair. They went as far as planning to escape together, but those dreams were destroyed when betrayal tore them apart. Here’s hoping for a season two reunion!

 

 

9. Jane the Virgin drives us all a little crazy: The CW's delightfully silly freshman series features a gynecologist who is anything but virginal. When Dr. Luisa walked in on her wife with another woman she responded as anyone would: by returning to work in such a state of shock that she mixed up patients due for a pap smear (Jane) and insemination (not Jane). Luisa turns to Rose, her lawyer ex, for help after her little mix up and the pair rekindle their steamy affair. Did we mention that Rose is now Luisa's stepmother? Or that the semen in question belonged to Luisa's brother who once shared an intimately chaste night with Jane? The relationships in Jane the Virgin are a hot mess and in Luisa and Rose's case the emphasis is definitely on hot. At least it was until Luisa's decision to come clean about their dirty times led to Rose having her committed.

 

 

10. Lost Girl's Lauren levels up for the last season: Last year saw Bo's friend, lover and doctor have some adventures of her own. Lauren even defeated the head of the dark fae Evony, through the two things she does best: science and sex. Now, heading into the last season of the Canadian sci fi hit Lauren is still making eyes at Bo but also has her own successful life. In a show where any pairing is possible – this season Bo has already pulled a Jane the Virgin and hooked up with her stepmother, the actual mythological Persephone, in the underworld – we still hope that Doccubus is end-game. After five years of on-again back-to-having-sex-with-fae-for-healing-off-again we think Lauren and Bo belong together, but not before some of the show's trademark sexiness. We wouldn't mind if Tamsin was involved too. Like Bo, we remain flexible.

 


11. Transparent: This year, Transparent snuck up on us all via Amazon.com and became one of the most talked-about and beloved new shows of the season. Directed and produced by Jill Soloway, Transparent stars Jeffery Tambor as Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman who finally decides to reveal her identity to her grown children. Her children have their own secrets too, including Sarah, who's currently married to a man but sleeping with her ex-girlfriend Tammy, who is currently married to Barb. The cast itself also features several LGBT actors, including lesbian comedian Tig Notaro as Barb, bisexual actress/musician Carrie Brownstein as Syd, and transgender actress Alexandra Billings as Maura's mentor Davina The emotional, deeply realistic and beautifully acted season won its viewers over and got the show a much-deserved second season as well as two Golden Globe nominations for Best TV Series (Comedy or Musical) and Best Actor for Jeffery Tambor. Transparent's unique exploration of gender identity and family relationships is something the TV world rarely gets to see so honestly portrayed, and we can't wait for what season 2 will bring.

 

 

12. The Comeback: It’s been 9 years since The Comeback - starring Lisa Kudrow as a desperate sitcom star trying to revive her career - debuted on HBO and ran for one glorious season. However, in an ironic turn of fate, this year The Comeback finally returned, along with our favorite character Jane (Laura Silverman). In the first season, Jane - the producer of Valerie’s attempt at a reality show - purposefully stays quiet and away from the action. In the latest season, however, we get a glimpse into her personal life when Valerie's crew visit her remote farm to ask her to return to shoot some behind-the-scenes footage for Valerie's newest project. Turns out that during the hiatus she's made some strides and won an Oscar with her ex-partner for directing a short documentary about Jewish lesbians in the Holocaust, which shouldn't surprise anyone since Jane herself is a Jewish lesbian. However, despite her previous success Jane's now a defeatist stoner with a bleak life view and a documentary about Taiwanese Boat Women no one wants to see. Now, we love having The Comeback back on our TVs, but hey, if we also got a spin off of Jane producing lesbian documentaries, we’d totally watch that. Just saying.

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