Tag Archives: Lesbian TV Show

It’s a Myth That Lesbians Always Get Killed Off, Says ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ Writer

Ask a group of queer, pop culture conscious women and they will tell you that the biggest trope to affect lesbians (after the ‘lesbians sleeps with a man’ trope) is that TV lesbians always seem to get killed off. It’s so regularly witnessed in the media that TV Tropes has dedicated an entire page to it, having dubbed it ‘Dead Lesbian Syndrome’. TV Tropes also notes that LGBTQ people are at a higher risk of suicide. However, many of the cases of dead lesbians that we see on television aren’t because the characters took their own lives and instead are down to common killers such as [SPOILER] Naomi Campbell in Skins who died of cancer.

Dead Lesbian Syndrome is one of the reasons why queer women instruct each other not to get suckered into a show based on its lesbian characters because they will most likely be bumped off in the name of a ‘hard-hitting emotional storyline’ or just because the show’s creator wants to further someone else’s character progression. It’s incredibly unfortunate that that needs to be said but given how often it occurs (American Horror Story, Pretty Little Liars and The L Word have all taken part in the trope) it probably makes sense.

The latest show to join the Dead Lesbian Syndrome Squad is Last Tango in Halifax. In an episode that aired just a few weeks ago, the show dramatically killed off pregnant lesbian Kate not long after she’d married her partner Caroline. Unaware of the trope but now suffering the backlash is Last Tango in Halifax writer Sally Wainwright who has now said the following to DIVA Magazine:

“I think that’s a myth! People get killed off all the time. I got an email from Russell T Davis the day after saying, “I once killed off a gay character and everyone was really upset.” I got an email from another friend saying, “Oh Sally, what have you done? There are few enough lesbians as it is!” I don’t think it’s…I don’t think people think, “I’ve got a lesbian character, I better kill her off.”

It was a really big decision and it was a decision that…I’m still not entirely sure I made the right decision over but… [pauses]. I implore people to see what happens next and see why we did make that decision. When you see what happens next, I think we did make the right decision. It becomes increasingly emotional, the performances with the people left behind become increasingly magnetic and extraordinary, actually.”

Sally Wainwright

Wainwright also confirmed that it was for storyline purposes, “It was a narrative decision, it was a storyline decision”, which perhaps adds further insult to injury.

One problem that queer women have with the Dead Lesbian Trope is that it’s a case of ‘why us?’ Every TV viewer accepts that death is an inevitable storyline that’s going to crop up because that’s life, that’s what happens and that’s what TV shows are attempting to portray (albeit in an overly dramatized way) but it’s unfortunate that the victim of those deaths more often than not is a queer woman.

Many would also argue that using the Dead Lesbian Trope is ineffective because it’s just that – a trope. Tropes are eye-rolling, seen it all before things; they lose their emotional gravitas when you’ve used them over and over again. It’s like a fairy tale that always ends in ‘and then they lived happily ever after’ except we aren’t children anymore, there are no happily ever afters for TV lesbians and the fact that they keep getting killed off hurts LGBT representation.

Ellen DeGeneres Says Her New Comedy on NBC Is Not a Show About Lesbians (Even Though it Features One)

Ellen DeGeneres has a new comedy coming to NBC called One Big Family. However, her role is not in front of the camera, but behind the scene where she is the executive producing.


The show stars Elisha Cuthbert as Lizzy, a lesbian who agrees to get pregnant and start a family with her straight male best friend Luke (Nick Zano), right before he falls in love with and marries a British girl named Prudence (Kelly Brook).

OBH_GO_1920x1080 (1)

However despite featuring a lesbian, Ellen says the goal of the show was to make people laugh, not break new ground on TV with another lesbian show.

“It just happens to be a very funny show. It happens to have a lesbian character in it. It’s not like I formed a production company and said, ‘Bring me all your lesbian scripts.’ I’m not just going to be a lesbian machine that just turns out stuff.”

Ellen DeGeneres

DeGeneres, who made TV history in 1997 when her character came out on the ABC comedy Ellen added:

“That’s all I wanted to do was put out really funny material [that’s] smart and thought-provoking. If this is thought-provoking and helps people open their minds a little bit and see a multiracial couple, to see a lesbian character and to see a guy who is her best friend that has a relationship, that’s a whole other story…

They’re just going to be people that you love and watch and don’t think twice about any of it being weird. It’s just friendship or family or whatever that is. I think friendship is obvious, but family is not so obvious. Family changes all the time.”

Ellen DeGeneres

Ground Breaking Australian Coming of Age LGBT Teen Drama Could Becoming Soon

Australian’s are on verge of seeing a new groundbreaking television drama on the TV screens.

The planned TV series ‘Subject to Change’, focuses on the lives of high-school students. However, what sets this project apart from others, is that its central characters identify as either gay, lesbian or bisexual.


The pilot episode of of the show was filmed in Sydney last month and is currently in post production. The producers are planning worldwide film festival release next year. Creator/director Daniel Mercieca said ‘Subject to Change’ comes at an important time for Australia’s TV landscape, which is at a “turning point”.

“The arrival of streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Presto means Australians will be able to watch the quality TV they want to watch – when and where they want to watch – not just the ‘safe’ programs

Subject to Change has strongest appeal with a young adult demographic (15-35) yet still can find an emotional connection with all viewers, in a similar way to Puberty Blues. It is relatable, realistic and gritty.”

Daniel Mercieca

Star of the show, Maryann Wright said the series had international potential and said off the back of the trailer alone she had been contacted by overseas teens coming to terms with their own sexuality.

“It’s a coming-of-age show, no matter what sexuality you are. At 16 you’re figuring out who you are, what type of person you want to become

With this project there is a mix of characters but the focus is on LGBT characters which exist in every school. The show is bringing a normalcy that already exists in society to the TV screen. It doesn’t try to legitimate, it illuminates and it’s a long time coming.”

Maryann Wright


James Ritchie added that traditionally gay characters had occupied a niche onscreen presence, such as “funny sidekick”, but rarely as central figures.

“In the past, it has been difficult to see these kinds of characters portrayed without stereotype. To have this project where they are not seen as novelties but instead as true and deep and meaningful characters makes our job a lot easier.”

James Ritchie

Glow Worm Films, the production house responsible for the pilot, remain in negotiation to bring a fully-fledged series to

For more information visit: subjecttochange.com.au

Why Rent Controlled Is The Funniest Web Series You’ll Watch in 2014

As queer adult women there are experiences that many of us share: we all have that ex we can’t get over, that crush we know we shouldn’t have and there’s that one straight girl we know to avoid for the fear of falling a little bit in love with her. Yet these experiences aren’t reflected in the many shows about adults finding their way in the world.

Lena Dunham‘s HBO series girls was hailed as ‘the show’ for women in their 20s, but the show is too white (despite being based in New York City) for us to buy into. Friends is funny but having started in the 90s it’s about as inclusive as a group of grumpy old men and Sex and the City is so heterosexual that it borders on offensive. So it is a struggle to find shows that represent us and entertain us which is why we should be looking away from our TVs and at the web instead.

One show that takes the best bits of Girls, SatC and Friends (with the queerness of The L Word thrown in) is Rent Controlled, a new web series from tello Films.

Rent Controlled introduces us to the fabulous (yet hapless and pathetic) Heather Dean. A queer woman of colour, she’s got limited funds, schoolwork to keep on top of and she’s dating with a woman named Jennifer who doesn’t love Heather as much as Jennifer loves herself. Relatable so far? You bet it is; so when the two inevitably break up and Heather’s heart cracks into a thousand tiny and adorable pieces you only feel for her even more.

Not that the heartbreak is completely ‘wring your heart out’ though, or really sad at all. The seven episode season mostly focuses on Heather navigating her living situation (her and Jennifer share a room in a house belonged to a couple named Ted and Carla), picking herself up and dusting herself off with the help of Kyle and Lauren (her best friends) all in hilarious fashion.

There’s misinformed daytime drinking, night time underage drinking, and dealing with the outcomes of having drunk too much. Along with the alcohol there’s also awkwardness, make-outs, first dates, new friendships, bad dancing and, in the best description of an episode ever, Rent Controlled also features tello’s “first ever lesbian dance mob”.

The development of Heather is also a fantastic reason to watch. As mentioned, you really do feel for her (even though episodes are around seven minutes long) simply because you’ve been there, done that and can either find the humour in your adult mishaps or you’re looking for a bit of hope.

No matter where you fall on that scale, Rent Controlled is a great pick me up and is one of those binge watch-y type of shows (like OITNB on Netflix) that you’ll want to marathon and then watch all over again just to relive the giggles. Head over to the Tello Film’s website to find out how to watch it.

Must Watch, Lost Girl Season 5 Promo Finally Out

While the announcement of Lost Girl’s end has come as a shock for its many fans, for those who have been watching the Canada-made series since its introduction in 2010, it’s not a completely bad thing either.

In the past four series Lost Girl has prided itself on unbridled sexuality, queer identity and sheer ass-kicking power from both the guys and the girls.

Sexualities in the show aren’t labelled – Bo is seen as bisexual as she feeds off of sexual energy to heal herself and she takes both male and female lovers, most notably the human doctor, Dr. Lauren Lewis and shape-shifting wolf, Dyson, but neither the character nor the show ever says ‘gay’ or ‘bisexual’ to describe themselves or anyone else.

It’s that in part that’s made it such a hit but admittedly, even with the popular Bo/Dyson/Lauren love triangle at its core and each episode weaving a tale of supernatural intrigue, the love for Lost Girl has waned a little.



Season 1 was a popular introduction to the somewhat Buffy-esque show and it aired in 13 episodes, but in Season 2 there were 22 episodes and by Season 3 of Lost Girl came around, the show had lost a showrunner (series creator Michelle Lovretta) and the long season seen previously had seen Lost Girl lose a bit of its sheen. Emily Andras was showrunner for Season 3 and 4 but for many fans the plot seemed to grate or bore depending on their attention span. So it’s good that Season 5 will be the end then and it too has another new showrunner, with Andras leaving recently. When it airs the first of its final episodes this December we’ll be able to give a good send off to an iconic piece of queer media.

Lost Girl Faewell – Weirdest Moments

Watch the Trailer for Season 3 of the Hit Australian Web Series ‘Starting From Now’

Another Season 3 trailer for the hit web series ‘Starting From Now’, which will be with us November 18th. Both season 1 & 2 have been a massive internet hit with more than 3 million views.

Actors, Bianca Bradey, Sarah de Possesse, Rosie Lourde, Lauren Orrell and Linda Grasso are still with show, and writer / director, Julie Kalceff, remains at the helm of the production.




Get Ready, Season 3 of ‘Starting From Now’ will be with us November 18th

Thats right, Season 3 of the hit web series ‘Starting From Now’ will be with us November 18th, and here is a teaser to get you ready…


The drama started with a love triangle, but now the show has reached a whole new level of excitement, with betrayal in mix and heartbreak tearing relationships apart.

So what can we expect from Season 3? After two successful seasons, writer and director of’ ‘Starting From Now’, Julie Kalceff has hinted there will be new locations and maybe some new faces this season “…it’s definitely shifting up a gear”.

Watch season 1 & 2 here at KitschMix.TV


What to Expect From MTV’s Faking It Season 2

MTV’s half hour drama/comedy had a bit of a rocky start. As one of few shows to feature a queer female lead, Faking It focused on two characters, Amy, who was in love with her best friend, Karma. Many people liked the show but it weaved a complicated web in its portrayal of queer women.

The girls, in the very first episode, are actually forced into pretending that they are dating when a (queer, male) classmate outs them at a party. Hardly the most progressive way of portraying a ‘coming out story’ is it? And then, to make matters so much worse, the series ended with Amy being rejected by Karma only to drunkenly sleep with Karma’s male love interest. And all all happened in just 8 episodes.

Faking It season 2 looks to correct some of these issues though, so read on below to find out the scoop before the new series airs.

First thing’s first, the fallout from that hook-up with Liam? Yeah, we can expect that to be huge. Judging by the promo for the second season above it doesn’t deter Karma from pursuing him but it will likely cause a rift between the two besties. And, although there might me a great helping of angst between Karma and Amy, we shouldn’t expect a blissful, lady-loving reunion as ‘Karmy’ won’t be canon just yet.

Instead, Amy will get a new girlfriend! Not much is known about the character just yet other than her name (Deacon) and that she’ll be a “hip, edgy lesbian with a rebellious streak”. Could that end up being a little tropey? Have we not seen the hip, edgy lesbian persona portrayed on PLL (Paige McCullers) and The L Word (Shane et. al)? Arguably yes, but if Amy gets a chance of love that’s not the sometimes confusing, sometimes heart-wrenching and awful to watch romance with Karma, then Amy’s new lady love sounds alright by us.

Meanwhile, we can expect a huge, whopping bombshell to be dropped by Amy’s step-sister, Lauren. Or, rather, we can expect her to be unceremoniously outed as intersex. Again, outing is not ok and Faking It really needs to stop doing this but the fact that they are addressing the rarely touched upon topic of intersex people is nothing short of massive. The last intersex television character was a girl named Amy on the cancelled TV show Freaks and Geeks in 2000 so Lauren’s story is a Very Big Deal. There’s hope for Faking It to deal with her storyline in a nuanced way and not mishandle it so we’ll see how it does over the next set of episodes.

Furthermore, we can also expect cameos by Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox who plays a drama teacher while girl band Fifth Harmony will be starring as “an all-girl band with an edge who cover pop music’s most memorable boy band songs”.

Faking It season two premieres on September 23rd on MTV.


Lost Girl Season 5 Will Be Its Last, Cast and Crew Announces

As it stands, the figures for LGBTQ characters in our media are improving. Across shows like Pretty Little Liars and The Fosters, we can see queer, female characters of various races whilst shows like Elementary and Orange is the New Black both feature trans women of colour in minor and recurring roles (respectively). This a long way away from The L Word’s insistence on mostly white faces and occasional transphobia while even Glee has gotten it wrong with its gay, male creator managing to offend queer ladies rather than understand queer female identities.

It’s also a 180 degree turn from ‘sweeps bisexuals’ in which characters (usually female) got same gender lovers for one episode before the love interests were sacrilegiously thrown aside and never mentioned again, all for the sake of slightly boosted ratings. Lost Girl never did that though, its protagonist Bo being a bold, bisexual beacon for us all to turn to. But now, as we gear up to its fifth season Lost Girl’s upcoming run of episodes will be its last.

While the announcement of Lost Girl’s end has come as a shock for its many fans, for those who have been watching the Canada-made series since its introduction in 2010, it’s not a completely bad thing either.

In the past four series Lost Girl has prided itself on unbridled sexuality, queer identity and sheer ass-kicking power from both the guys and the girls. Sexualities in the show aren’t labelled – Bo is seen as bisexual as she feeds off of sexual energy to heal herself and she takes both male and female lovers, most notably the human doctor, Dr. Lauren Lewis and shape-shifting wolf, Dyson, but neither the character nor the show ever says ‘gay’ or ‘bisexual’ to describe themselves or anyone else.

It’s that in part that’s made it such a hit but admittedly, even with the popular Bo/Dyson/Lauren love triangle at its core and each episode weaving a tale of supernatural intrigue, the love for Lost Girl has waned a little.

Season 1 was a popular introduction to the somewhat Buffy-esque show and it aired in 13 episodes, but in Season 2 there were 22 episodes and by Season 3 of Lost Girl came around, the show had lost a showrunner (series creator Michelle Lovretta) and the long season seen previously had seen Lost Girl lose a bit of its sheen. Emily Andras was showrunner for Season 3 and 4 but for many fans the plot seemed to grate or bore depending on their attention span. So it’s good that Season 5 will be the end then and it too has another new showrunner, with Andras leaving recently. When it airs the first of its final episodes this December we’ll be able to give a good send off to an iconic piece of queer media.

A New Season and New Face – Laverne Cox to Join MTV’s Lesbian Comedy ‘Faking It’

Laverne Cox, the actress best known for playing transgender inmate Sophia Burset on Orange is the New Black, has signed up to the second season of comedy Faking It.

Faking It is based on two best friends in high school,

Faking It, is about two teen girls – Amy (Rita Volk) and Karma (Katie Stevens), who pretend to be a lesbian couple in order to become more popular, only for one of the girls to realise that she has genuine romantic feelings.

The show attracted some controversy when it first aired earlier this year, over its portrayal of gay characters. However, the shows creator Carter Covington says that it might sound like a wild premise, but it’s actually based on many calls he fielded when he worked as a crisis counselor for the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention hotline for LGTBQ youth.

“For the young people today, this show is not going to be controversial. I genuinely think it’s going to feel like, an exaggerated version, of course, but very much based in the world they live in now. Kids these days don’t see the world through the eyes that I did when I was kid, but the core things stay the same: Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do I want the world to see me? Those things are only accentuated with social media.”

Says Covington.

According to Entertainment Weekly, in an episode set to air later this year, Cox will play drama teacher Margot, described as “demanding, intense, and full of herself” and “a big fish in a small pond”.

Watch New L Word Trailer – L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin

This Friday night, L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin premieres on Showtime, and here is a first look at what to expect from the 90 minute documentary from Ilene Chaiken and Magical Elves, who also produced The Real L Word.

This new documentary journeys deep into Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church, but who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community. A white mother willing to accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man. A couple grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning. And a former life-long lesbian struggles to “pray the gay away,” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.

What Does Glee’s Final Season Mean for LGBT Characters on TV?

Flashback to early 2009 and you’d be met with a time before Lady Gaga covers by Broadway stalwarts were the pinnacle of the weekday TV line-up and before cheesy renditions of every middle-aged white American father’s favourite song, Don’t Stop Believing’, was used as the only means of justifying a character’s progression.

But then Summer 2009 rolled around and brought the pilot episode of Glee with it, hitting TV viewers with the force of a ton of bricks with all of the subtlety of those aforementioned building blocks dressed in a sequinned leotard performing a Madonna song because damn, Glee really can’t get enough of its blonde, Italian female pop icons.

Over the course of the instantly ordered 12 episodes that followed (television network FOX deeming the initial episode’s popularity that strong) Glee introduced a canon gay man and some only slightly trophy lesbian subtext so with an army strong fanbase being built up over the remainder of the season, the face of television would never be the same again.

Then season 2 of Glee crept in, still with the same lack of subtlety and still with the emotional force that would rip your heart to shreds like a lover with a vengeance before singing it back together with equally as painful (yet beautiful) covers of songs that fit the situation just right (look to season 2’s ‘Rumors’ episode – specifically the scene where Santana serenades Brittany with Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Songbird’ – for both).

Then over the course of that season and the ones that have thus far followed it brought with it a confusing collection of behaviours that were as far from the progressive attitude that it had helped usher in as Glee’s setting of Lima, Ohio are from the Hollywood lot in which Glee is filmed.

A really brief amount of example scenes are; a scene suggested that the struggles of a disabled female teen mom were any less valid than white, able bodied gay man, any scene that involved ‘Finchel’ the emotionally abusive coupling of Finn and Rachel, a scene where Finn actually drags Quinn (the aforementioned disabled teen) out of her wheelchair to prove a point.

Every scene in which Brittany and Santana were denied an on-screen kiss (they had to wait three entire seasons) and one key moment where fans of Brittany and Santana were ridiculed using in character dialogue. Did any of those things fill viewers with the titular glee? I should hope not.

In truth, Glee is a show that viewers have been waiting to get cancelled. With Ryan Murphy’s singing and dancing brainchild haemorrhaging viewers from the end of season 2, failing to stop the rot thanks to its reliance of both casual and overt racism, sexism, lesbiphobia and transphobia to boot, the stats show that too.

To answer the question I posed in the headline: that may as well have been rhetoric, because frankly, it really doesn’t matter. Yes, we’ll see an arbitrary numbers drop in the amount of LGBT characters because of those that Glee had offered us but the gaps will be filled by other, much better shows (see: The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars, Lost Girl, Orange is the New Black etc.) that take more care with presenting queer identities.

What Glee eventually became leading up to its sixth and final season was never like the incredibly progressive bubble that society tells us that we’re in and much like the ‘modern and accepting’ year of 2014, what we actually got was a progressive veneer and a promise that the world loves non-white, able-bodied, non-heterosexual identities when the prejudice still festers – itchy and infected – under the surface.

We shouldn’t have to settle for drive-through burgers of grease and gristle when the progressive prime steak is always going to be better; not now and not ever. So to answer my own question once again; I don’t care. Just give me something else to add to the pile of TV shows that delight me more than Glee ever did because God-knows this showtune hardened writer could use them.

Boooooo – The Season Finale of ‘Starting From Now’

Here it is the final of Starting From Now – the lesbian web series that follows the increasingly tangled lives of four gay women in inner-city Sydney.

If you love the show as much as we do, be sure to get be hind the team who produce it. They have launched a crowd funding campaign in order to make Season 3. You can check out the list of rewards at this link: https://dana.io/starting-from-now

S2 E6 | Synopsis: Darcy has a decision to make.

New Episode of the Australian Hit ‘Starting From Now’

Watch episode 5 of the lesbian web series ‘Starting From Now’. The series is the brainchild of multi-award winning writer/director, Julie Kalceff, and stars Sarah de Possesse, Rosie Lourde, Lauren Orrell, Bianca Bradey, and Linda Grasso.

Steph feels as though she’s losing Darcy and makes one final bid to win her back.

Starting From Now S02 E05

Its Here Episode 4 of Season 2’s Starting From Now

Starting From Now, is the exciting lesbian web series from Common Language Films, that follows the increasingly tangled lives of four lesbians in Sydney. The series is the brainchild of multi-award winning writer/director, Julie Kalceff; the show stars Sarah de Possesse, Rosie Lourde, Lauren Orrell, Bianca Bradey, and Linda Grasso.

S2 E3 | Synopsis

Kristen decides to take control and it’s Steph who pays the price.

Critics Choice Television Awards Shows Support to the LGBTQ TV Community

Last Thursday, America’s Critics Choice Television Awards showed plenty of support to the LGBTQ TV community, as several of the top awards went to queer-centric shows and out actors.

Orange Is the New Black, the Netflix series won Best Comedy Series, Best Supporting Actress In a Comedy Series for Kate Mulgrew, who plays “Red,” and Best Guest Performer In a Comedy Series for Uzo Abuda. Abuda, who plays “Crazy Eyes,” was up-graded to series regular on season 2 of the series, which debuted on June 6.

Other LGBTQ winners included Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons. Bomer took home the prize for Best Supporting Actor In a Movie or Mini-series for The Normal Heart. The HBO film also won Best Movie. Parsons won Best Actor In a Comedy Series, a prize he lost to Louis CK last year.

Archer, Orphan Black, Scandal, and American Horror Story: Coven also took home prizes during the ceremony.

Watch Lesbian Web Series Starting From Now, Ep03 of Season 2

From Common Language Films, Starting From Now is the hottest lesbian web series set in Australia. The show stars Sarah de Possesse, Rosie Lourde, Lauren Orrell, Bianca Bradey, and Linda Grasso.

S2 E3 | Synopsis

After being out all night, Kristen finally arrives home. Darcy treads carefully as the tension mounts between them.

Your Next Addition of Hit Lesbian Web Series ‘Starting From Now’ – S2 E2

If you haven’t seen the lesbian web series from Australia, then you’re missing out. Starting From Now! is now in season 2, and the drama is in fall swing.

From Common Language Films, the show stars Sarah de Possesse, Rosie Lourde, Lauren Orrell, Bianca Bradey, and Linda Grasso.

S2 E2 | Synopsis

Steph sees the party as a chance to talk to Darcy. But when Kristen sees them alone, she finally realizes what’s been going on.

Jodie Foster, Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, and Robin Wright talk “Women Ruling TV” at Netflix panel

“Women Ruling TV” was hosted by Netflix, and for the event they pulled together an impressive panel of stars and directors, to talk about their experiences in television. Jodie Foster, Taylor Schilling and Kate Mulgrew (from Orange is the New Black), Robin Wright (representing “House of Cards”) and Jehane Noujaim (director of “The Square”) answered questions.

For a full breakdown of the event read IndieWire’s recap.

“When I blend a comedy and drama, as a director, I have to have something quirky. I read the book and I called my agent and was like I need to be a part of that.”

Jodie Foster.




Interview with SCISSR Creator Lauren Augarten

Tom Sykes: You’ve made a pilot for a drama series called SCISSR about the trials and tribulations of four lesbians living in New York City. How did you come up with the idea?

Lauren Augarten: I came out later in life and there wasn’t a lot of lesbian TV or film I could identify with at the time, apart from The L Word. In other shows, the characters were in their thirties and lived these charmed lives. I couldn’t relate to this, as a twenty something living in Brooklyn struggling to make ends meet.

I wanted to create something that reflected my community and that’s how SCISSR happened. I invented some characters but wasn’t sure how to connect them. Then Taylor Blakin – the actress who plays my best friend in the show – told me she had joined an online community of women and they all decided to meet up in real life. That inspired me to write about an iPhone app that would bring together my characters.

TS: What are your hopes for the pilot? Where would you like it to lead?

LA: The pilot we’ve made is for a web series and it’s nine minutes long. I’ve now written a half hour pilot which we’re pitching to networks in the hope they’ll produce a full-length TV show. If the networks aren’t ready for that then I’ll produce the rest of the web series myself.

TS: What advantages would an online show have over a TV show?

LA: When you work on the web you don’t have a network telling you what you can and can’t do. It doesn’t matter whether the actor is unknown or not, you can cast whoever you want to. My first job as a sixteen-year-old was assisting a casting director in Sydney. That experience has really informed my approach to acting and film-making – I think casting is vital to a successful production.

You get to pick your own team as well – director, cinematographer, editor etc. You have to be really lucky to be in that position when you’re employed by a network. That world is so much more business-oriented and you are answerable all kinds of people.

The downside of making a web series is that you have to do so much for yourself. Right now I’m not only writing the show but managing the publicity, while trying to hold down my day job. I’m working from six in the morning till midnight almost every day!

TS: Is your day job related to film-making?

LA: Yes. I’ve just moved to LA and am evaluating scripts for a couple of production companies. I’m also doing some acting.

I come from Australia originally and moved to New York to attend acting school. When I graduated I didn’t like the auditions I was getting. They were all essentially for a “hot brunette woman in her twenties, surprisingly intelligent”. I quickly got sick of roles like that!

I started volunteering at production companies. I’ve worked in almost every department imaginable and that wide experience has really helped with making SCISSR .

TS: You have promoted yourself widely through social media. What impact is it having?

LA: A web PR firm gave me advice about writing press releases and approaching the media. SCISSR  now has 20,000 views and only 2 dislikes. I’ve been surprised at quite how positive the response has been. I didn’t think any of the lesbian media would be interested, but they have been. Later on I’m doing a live web-chat with the Huffington Post, a major news website.

I think my team has to take the credit for the success. At the time, some of them were based in Philadelphia, and during filming they all moved into my apartment in Brooklyn. We were like one big family!

TS: You’ve talked before about the lack of lesbian characters in popular film and TV. How can greater lesbian visibility in the media benefit society?

LA: I think there are two different phenomena: shows that are made for mainstream audiences that contain stereotypical lesbian characters (the ultra-femme or the ultra-butch, for example). They don’t necessarily show the full spectrum of people who identify as lesbians. Then you have shows that are aimed exclusively at lesbian audiences – a great example being Lip Service.

There hasn’t been a show yet that has covered both of these bases. I see SCISSR as a series about lesbians that can be enjoyed by lesbians and straight people because its cast of characters also include gay men, straight men and straight women.

My aim is to show this world that I know and am a part of. I’m not trying to reflect every lesbian in the universe, but the more voices out there from different walks of life, the better.

TS: You’ve said that ‘living in New York as a twenty-something is a daily struggle, sexuality aside’. New York is a very tolerant and diverse city, but is there still prejudice towards LGBT people there and if so is this an issue how does SCISSR tackle it?

LA: I want to tell stories, not to make some overarching statement about lesbianism. If there are prejudices within those stories, then yes we will tackle them.

For the most part New York is such a fantastic place. For the most part NY and LA LGBTs aren’t made to feel different or afraid.

Having said that, I do get sick of certain myths about my community. The mainstream media can overtly sexualise lesbianism, and telling stories about more than just this aspect of being gay is important to me. We tried to deal with this in the opening scene of SCISSR where these straight guys want to go into a lesbian bar. Of course they’re welcome to come in and have a look but it becomes problematic when they turn it into a raunchy, “how hot is this?” experience. I mean, none of the women in there are being intimate for their benefit!

A more diverse array of lesbians in the media helps mainstream society to become more tolerant. It’s always great when you see something on TV that you identify with. My aim with SCISSR is to try to tell my own story and the stories of the people around me in a way that is entertaining, realistic and honest.

Watch SCISSR: Pilot

Need to Fill Your Sunday – Then Watch Episodes 1-5 of the ‘The Better Half’

The Better Half  is a lesbian web series that follows real life lesbian couple (Lindsay Hicks and Amy Jackson Lewis) through the day to day hurdles that come with making a relationship work.

Created by Leyla Perez and her girlfriend Christine Ng, the series serves up original content and attempts to debunk stereotypes about lesbian relationships. While it pokes fun at the cliches about lesbian relationships, it strikes a refreshing balance between that comedic lightness and the more poignant things that come with the ups and downs of any relationship.

Episodes 1

Episodes 2

Episodes 3

Episodes 4

Episodes 5

Save the Date – New Mississippi L Word Documentry due August

The Showtime announced Wednesday that it will debut L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, a documentary from series creator Ilene Chaiken, in August. The L Word Mississippi will be a 90-minute documentary that unites Chaiken with Real L Word executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz’s Magical Elves.

Directed by Emmy nominee Lauren Lazin, the new show will explore the daily struggles of a group of Southern lesbians. Chaiken and the Elves will visit Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community; a white mother who would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man; a couple who grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning; and a former life-long lesbian who struggles to “pray the gay away” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.

After The Real L Word was canceled last year, Showtime said they weren’t completely done with the L Word brand and that, instead, they’d put together a documentary about identifying as lesbian in a small town community.

“I’ve been talking a lot with Dan, Jane and Ilene about exploring L Word culture – lesbian culture in places not New York, L.A. – where the subculture is not so defined and it’s not so easy. I think we’re likely to make a documentary that will feel like a Real L Word documentary,”

David Nevins, Showtime Entertainment President

L Word Mississippi will premiere Aug. 8 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. The news comes a day after Showtime announced it would air the entire series runs of Queer as Folk and The L Word to celebrate Gay Pride Month in June. Chaiken, meanwhile, will segue from showrunning ABC’s The Black Box to Fox’s hip-hop drama Empire.

From a press release:

What is life like for lesbians living outside more progressive metropolitan areas in America today where gay women endure hardships, bigotry, bullying, sexism and racism while trying to live among their predominantly straight neighbors? Chaiken and the Elves journey deep into Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen such women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church, but who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community. A white mother would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man. A couple grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning. And a former life-long lesbian struggles to “pray the gay away,” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.

…Against the backdrop of the burgeoning gender and marriage equality debate, L WORD MISSISSIPPI: HATE THE SIN spotlights those loving, living, working, parenting and forcing change from within places where entrenched, conservative values have resisted the progress the LGBTQ community has worked hard to achieve elsewhere.

How The Internet Is Responsible For Media’s Best LGBT Characters

To the average viewer, TV’s biggest problem is somewhat clear. To the hardcore number crunchers and critics, the same problem is glaringly obvious. From the paid-for TV depths of HBO to the (mostly) North American watched but globally appreciated programming of ABC Family, the television shows that we know and love fail from an almighty lack of representation. LGBT characters of colour or LGBT characters of all ethnicities who don’t end up sidelined in C or B plots are as hard to find as a needle in a haystack. Meanwhile, butch-presenting LGBT characters are about as hard to find as a needle in a haystack that’s been spray-painted a metallic shade of grey. Even the beacon of queer representation and hope, The L Word, did a pretty poor job as we looked at in our recent post-L Word feature but despite LGBT diversity being this much of a rarity even in 2014, we do have one place to turn to that regularly gets it right: the Internet.

The biggest expander increasing the gap between ‘representation of every part of the queer community’ and ‘white, femme-presenting queer ladies’ that we see on television is money, which is generally a factor anytime anyone wants to do anything, naturally. As to avoid alienating straight, white, male viewers who TV execs imagine would want to avoid the sorts of faces that they see every day, a more acceptable, conventionally attractive norm has developed meaning that the butch presenting, non-white minorities have been left out. Yes, those who control what we see on television (and in films, by extension) have managed to marginalise identities within the LGBT community, which is a community already ostracised from the cool kids’ party for many years previous.

That’s why the Internet is such a huge opportunity and playground as it gives creators the chance to display all of the things that are never shown on TV. There are fewer risks involved here, there are no fickle viewers to pander to, there are no advertisers to appease by leaving out people whom they don’t think will help to sell their products. On the Internet everything diverse goes, including the people who are making it.

The Peculiar Kind

Take The Peculiar Kind, for instance. A web series and documentary, The Peculiar Kind covers various topics including queer representation and how people of colour are presented in the media by going to the outlandish extreme of letting queer women of colour voice their opinions. It’s something that has made plenty of people ask why young and diverse queer people of colour haven’t been the forefront of a show (in this way) before and it’s a damn good question to ask. It can generally be answered by ‘because TV networks won’t give them a chance’ but the fact that The Architects (the duo behind the project which is made of by two incredibly talent queer ladies of colour) have just taken the initiative is a huge stride forward.

Dyke Central

Dyke Central is another (albeit scripted) web series which Florencia Manóvil, the writer, director and producer of the series says that the team behind it created as they were “frustrated by the lack of representation of queer people of colour in the media”. The show is dramatic and funny as it takes on the lives of Alex and Gin, two butch roommates just living their lives and trying to navigate their relationships and friendships and day to day happenings. It’s the sort of show in which the plot itself isn’t very remarkable – you could imagine it being broadcast on your TV – but its characters identify as such that most networks would be unlikely to give this one a chance.


Furthermore, web series like Lesbros, which features a straight guy and a gay girl in humorous situations aren’t really much of a deviation off of the beaten track but it is still refreshing to watch. Not all queer women are going to have a friendship circle of exclusively queer friends (The L Word was far too hopeful in that respect) and similar to Dyke Central, Lesbros is a prospect that audiences would no doubt love if a network gave it a chance.

There are far more quality offerings that the ones above (if you have any favourites please share them in the comments below!) and the queer focused web series and documentaries may be funny, dramatic, serious, fictional and everything in between, but despite the differences of the shows, one thing’s for sure and that’s that those who watch the shows are all the more thankful for their existence, network support or not.

Second Season of Lesbian Web Series, Starting From Now, Announced

Common Language Films have confirmed that a second season of their increasingly popular lesbian web series, Starting From Now, is currently in production and due for release from the 3rd of June 2014.

Starting From Now – Season Teaser

Actors, Bianca Bradey, Sarah de Possesse, Rosie Lourde, Lauren Orrell and Linda Grasso are all returning to the show, with writer and director, Julie Kalceff, remaining at the helm of the production.  Whilst not much is being given away about the plot at this point, Kalceff has indicated that the series will follow on from the Season 1, Ep 6 climax

This news follows the highly successful release of the first season, which has attracted over 150 000 views in 4 weeks across different platforms.

For more information visit www.startingfromnowtv.com

Watch Season 1

UK More Open to LGBT Characters in books, says Mortal Instruments Writer

Cassandra Clare, the bestselling author of the Mortal Instruments series of novels, has said that UK readers are more tolerant of LGBT characters in books. Ms Clare’s books for young adults have been blacklisted by American libraries for featuring gay characters.

‘There have been times when my books have been taken out of classes or libraries and that’s always a distressing feeling,’ she said to The Bookseller. ‘It certainly does happen in the US and when parents raise concerns about content they usually mean gay, lesbian and bisexual characters.’

However, she has never experienced such resistance in the UK and she believes that, overall, British readers are more welcoming and tolerant of sexual minority characters.

Ms Clare, who was born in Iran but is a US citizen, called for more gay and lesbian characters in books aimed at younger people. ‘You want teenagers who are gay, lesbian, bi or questioning to access books with characters like them in them.’

She went on to discuss how positive the feedback from her readers has been with regard to her decision to include LGBT characters in her stories.

The filming of Ms Clare’s six-book Mortal Instruments sequence began in 2012.

Image source

4 Lesbians, 12 Relationships, 1 App = New Lesbian Series SCISSR

The pilot episode of the lesbian web series SCISSR was released the end of April and KitschMix is loving it.

Co Created by Lauren Augarten and Katie Scoones, the synopsis is simple and something we can all (at some point in our life) relate too: Aviva, Corey, Emily and Niamh are four twenty-something lesbians from very different backgrounds.  Aviva (Lauren Augarten) has just come out and is hoping to connect with the other lesbians online, while Corey (Paulina Singer) has just gone through a traumatic breakup and is ready to swear off women altogether and Emily (Kelly Sebastian) is constantly looking for the next best thing. Navigating life and love in Brooklyn is easy for none of them, but when they meet through an iPhone app, the girls realize they have much more in common than they originally thought.

This series is new, but looks promising and full of adventure starts.

I can count on my right hand the television shows in both my country of birth (Australia) and country of residence (US) that are about, or even feature, lesbian women. And those shows (or, lez be honest, one show) that do, have received criticism from the LGBTQ community for not showing enough diversity.

We want to establish a more realistic world, where gay women come in a multitude of colors, shapes and sizes. Where sexuality is simply a part of our characters, it is not their entire personality. 

If there is one thing I know, it’s that living in New York as a twenty-something year old, trying to figure out who you are and how you want to impact the world, is a daily struggle, sexuality aside. For me, it’s made so much easier by the community of people I have around me, egging me on as we tread that path together. With SCISSR, we want to give young lesbian women that community, in a realistic, relatable and entertaining way.  


For more information visit – www.facebook.com/scissrwebseries / www.scissrwebseries.tumblr.com

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How TV Culture and Lesbian Visibility Have Changed After The L Word

In short, The L Word wasn’t perfect. In retrospect, the Ilene Chaiken created show was an amalgamated mess of tropes (a bisexual suddenly ‘choosing a side’), problematic story lines (the entirety of Max’s transition story) and faces that were, for the most part, too femme, too white and too conventionally attractive to be a direct reflection of the viewers that were watching it.

When we look back on it now it’s easy to say that The L Word is flawed – it had its problems (with every episode of season 6 being a problem in itself) – but at the time it was the single television program focused around gay lives and gay issues, with other shows either choosing not to address them or sidelining them in favour of something which they deemed more ‘straight viewer friendly’. Always the subplot, never the focus. The L Word was also a stepping stone for the gay characters that we see today too and that is perhaps one of the biggest things that the seminal show has done for queer women.

For one, The L Word is a pillar and bastion of hope for the lives that many young queer women wish they could lead. Granted, not everyone wants to be cheated on by their partner when they’re some months pregnant, nor do they want to be shunned by their homophobic son, nor do they want to lose their male fiancée by having a secret affair with a female barista (or maybe they do, there’s no judgement from me) but in general, the myriad of relationships, the generally quite welcoming tone and the many out and proud women that made up Alice, Bette, Tina and Shane’s friendship circle is something that many ladies aspire to – minus the drama, of course. In fact, the show is for many people the thing that eases them into becoming accepting of themselves, allowing them to be more confident because of the wide, gay world that can be on offer to them if they come out and not just by discussing their female love interests over coffee in a tight night friendship group.

Showtime’s airing of the show was very much one of support. It was a brave decision, perhaps a raunchy one if you want to categorise the depiction of sex and relationships in the show but it wasn’t one that was taken as though The L Word was anything but their flagship program. The L Word was popular and successful and it’s one that saw 17 cast members and behind the scenes producers and writers (including Erin Daniels who played Dana, Rachel Shelley who played Helena and Sarah Shahi who played Carmen) to agree in the April edition of DIVA Magazine that they would love to be part of an L Word movie or maybe a seventh series of the show. The way in which Showtime pioneered The L Word was the best example of a network taking gay culture in its stride, showing that more diverse casts of characters are supported by a majority of straight and queer viewers alike and it’s thankfully something that many other television networks have taken on too.

Admittedly, despite The L Word’s efforts, TV representation of queer women is still stuck in one place – femme. Almost every instance of recent presentation of queer ladies falls into the category, just look at Pretty Little Liars’ Emily Fields and the love interests she’s had over the course of 4 seasons; Emily herself may be a lesbian with a penchant for biker boots and hoodies but at the end of the day her formal attire of choice is still a dress and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! It’s even admirable that Paige McCullers (Emily’s current girlfriend) likes to wear tuxedos and tanks and probably wouldn’t be caught dead in anything sleeveless or above the knee (unless shorts or swimsuits count) but when almost all of TVs regular queer ladies, Brittany and Santana on Glee, Bo and Lauren on Lost Girl the ladies of the pirate-themed drama Black Sails just to name a few, all have hair that falls well below their shoulders and the only example of a queer, butch woman is Orange is the New Black’s Big Boo, questions have to be asked why the full spectrum of queer presentation isn’t at least a bit more supported because God knows the queer world would like to see a true reflection of itself on TV screens.

That being said, many of The L Word’s wrongs are being righted by the current generation of television shows, particularly in terms of queer women of colour. Papi and her magic circles were laughable, not for her hilarious quips but because her Hispanic background was treated in the most stereotypical of ways, so too was Carmen’s in the way in which the dynamics of her disapproving family worked. In one of the most egregious cases of how The L Word messed up, Alice feeling like the only white face amongst black soldier Tasha’s friend group was actually used as a plot point. However with Lost Girl, Glee, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars and so on, non-white queer identifying faces are faring better than they ever were before – even if the shows they’re on (I’m mostly talking about Glee here) don’t always get it right.

Not only this but together, the sea of non-straight, fictional faces is making a large splash in the grander scheme of things with actual science supporting the fact that by knowing a gay person you are twice as likely to support gay rights. Even better is the fact that ‘knowing a gay person’ sometimes just means ‘seeing a gay character on TV’.

The fact of the matter is that the more queer characters on TV, the more support for the rights of queer people there is because people will have seen the struggles of queer people first hand – even if they are dramatised for a television storyline. So while The L Word may not have been the sturdiest pillar to build queer visibility on, it was one of the first and most important building blocks and for that many of us are eternally grateful.


Lesbian Web Series – Starting From Now – Episode 6

Watch episode 6 (and the final episode) of the lesbian web series ‘Starting From Now’. The series is the brainchild of multi-award winning writer/director, Julie Kalceff, and stars Sarah de Possesse, Rosie Lourde, Lauren Orrell, Bianca Bradey, and Linda Grasso.

Episode 6 – Synopsis

After hitting rock bottom, Steph knows she has to make some changes and she’s going to, starting from now. She does everything right and it looks as though, finally, she’s getting her life back on track. But for how long

Watch Episode 6

Lesbian Web Series – Starting From Now – Episode 5

Episode 5 of the lesbian web series ‘Starting From Now’. This exciting web-series is part of a new wave of media content driven by women and other traditionally marginalised film makers to fill the diversity gap left by mainstream film and television.

Episode 5 – Synopsis

Steph realizes the best thing for everyone is for her to move out. She finds a place of her own and tries to make amends for past wrongs.

Watch Episode 5

What to Expect From Pretty Little Liars Season 5

Wow, that Pretty Little Liars season 4 finale was a bit of a shocker wasn’t it? If you haven’t seen the episode and have no idea what happens in any of the surprising end of season scenes, then look away because this post is about to get spoilerific to the highest degree.

Right, now onwards for those of us who know just how PLL season 4 ended. Not only were Allison DiLaurentis’ (Sasha Pieterse) plans for safety scuppered by a gun, a goon and giant gap between buildings, but part time fan favourite and part time antagonist Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) was also shot, leading to a dramatic scene on a rooftop where Aria (Lucy Hale) held her long-time love interest in her arms as he lay there with a bullet lodged in his gut. It’s unclear what will become of Mr. Fitz the seducer of teens (he was dated both Allison and Aria, after all) and teacher of English but he could hold the key to one of the show’s biggest mysteries – just who is A? If you remember, one of the last things ol’ Fitzy proclaimed at the end of last season was that he knew who the mysterious, hooded figure was. Interesting indeed.

This is info we could be privy to in the Pretty Little Liars season 5 premiere with S5’s first episode being PLL’s 100th overall and is being written by show runner Marlene King and directed by longstanding director, Norman Buckley, as a result. According to King herself, “There will be a big reveal: One of our mysteries that we’ve had for a long time on the show will be revealed in the 100th,” also saying that “We hope that it’s emotionally epic for us.” While it’s unclear just what that ‘emotional epic’ will entail, we do have some idea of who, if not what, will be on camera.

For a start, Hanna’s ex-boyfriend, Caleb (played by Tyler Blackburn), will make a return to the show after PLL’s supernatural spin-off, Ravenswood, was cancelled and he’ll be featured in the Pretty Little Liars season 5 premiere likely looking to shake things up between Hanna and her new mechanic love interest. Other Hanna related scenes include one between Hanna and Spencer that King tweeted she had written. In turn, Noel Kahn and Lucas Gottesman (played by Brant Daugherty and Brendan Robinson) will also make a return at some point in the season.

But a big question on everyone’s lips or at least those of LGBT viewers is just what will become of Emily Fields’ love life? The penultimate episode of Pretty Little Liars season 4 saw a dramatic scene between Emily and girlfriend Paige as Emily told her that she couldn’t trust her anymore as a result of Paige dobbing Allison’s ‘alive and well’ status in to the cops. It wasn’t completely clear if the couple are donezo (is anything on this show?) but we do know that a new love interest could be right around the corner for our teenage swimmer as she meets new character Sydney Driscoll (played by Chloe Bridges) who is both a newcomer to the show and to the Rosewood swim team, with the two girls reportedly becoming friends. Or maybe we’ll see the feelings between Emily and her first love, Allison rekindled as these four separate photos from Norman Buckley’s Twitter seem to suggest that Allison will be featured heavily in the show’s season premiere.

While it all seems very exciting for the future of one of television’s most intriguing shows, we won’t know more until new teasers and promos are released, so we’ll keep you posted until the run up of the Pretty Little Liars season 5 premiere in June.