So it's fully expected that tomorrow's Emmy nominations will be a very gay affair. "The Normal Heart" will surely rake up nods in the double digits, and though it's slightly more of a question mark, "Orange is the New Black" is poised to do very well too. Add that to potential nominations for "Modern Family," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Masters of Sex," and sizeable chunk of the acting nominations could be for folks playing LGBT characters (the best supporting actor in a comedy category could end up with 3 or 4 alone). And while that is all well and good, there's a handful of shows with lead LGBT characters that are likely to be pretty much ignored by Emmy voters. They collectively represent what has really becoming one of the most interesting moments ever for queer folks on television, and here's hoping we at least get used to seeing all 4 -- each in their first season -- for a long to come:
I have to admit, I wasn't exactly excited for this show when we heard its premise: Two straight girls fake being lesbians to become more popular at high school? In the hands of MTV, God only knew where something like that could go. But the show -- which finished its first season a few weeks ago -- was impressively way more complicated than that and got better with every episode. Set at a progressive high school in Austin, Texas, "Faking It" is by no means perfect, but probably as insightful as it gets when it comes to portraying LGBT youth on television. It sort of feels like a more melancholic, more transgressive, and certainly much more gay version of the cult WB series "Popular." And that's a major compliment, though one I can't imagine Emmy voters will second (not to mention a lot of its episodes fell outside the eligibility period, so it's technically barely possible to begin with).
It was a slow build, but over a way-too-short season of eight episodes, the San Francisco-set series that looks at the lives of a trio of gay men and their friends and lovers developed into one of the most layered, contemporary and interesting shows on television by season's end -- surviving a mountain of expectation to find a second season in the process (thank god!). There's almost no way the Emmys are going to go for it, but here's to it building even further on its potential in season two to become just too much for them to deny a year from now… But come on, at least given Lauren Weedman and/or Scott Bakula a guest star nom?
Please Like Me
If you have not heard of "Please Like Me," you should immediately find a way to watch it's first season (as soon as you're done reading this article, at least). The Australian import -- picked up for US release on Pivot -- is a half-hour comedy-drama based on the autobiographical stand-up of 26-year-old gay Aussie comedian Josh Thomas. It's hilarious and heartfelt and complex... Enough so that the first season gained something of a cult following, and the second (premiering next month) should be an event as far as I'm concerned. It's probably more likely the other five shows I've mentioned will all be nominated than Emmy voters doing exactly what this show's title suggests, but at least you can be better than them by going and liking it yourself.
Whatever happens tomorrow, go watch these 4 shows! They collectively have like two dozen episodes between them, so it's really just a weekend!