BiMediaWatch summertime special 2018

Summertime Streaming

All4 added all six seasons of Community to its offer at the end of July. The show has a regular bisexual character, Dean Pelton, who is somehow in charge of the adult education college. He might be a little too Rocky Horror for viewers seeking stereotype-breaking depictions of bi people but he clearly lives his life expressing his gender and sexuality to the full, which works for me.

American beauty pageant show Insatiable on Netflix has a whole heap of LGBT representation, mostly in the form of fairly messed-up people. The show is a dark satire with a lot of exploring sexuality. Maybe it’s too dark for some viewers as there has been kickback against it online from viewers who don’t seem to get that whole style of storytelling – this is a show that doesn’t love its characters.

Spoilers ahoy – there is a great piece of dialogue between two men who have just started dating about sexuality, labels and choices about coming out or staying in the closet:

“Ever since I told you I just wanna be honest, I wanna let it all out.” “No! No! Keep it in!”“I thought what (our wives) don’t know can’t hurt’em” “I was wrong! And I don’t wanna keep making things worse. I gotta come clean – about me, about us…”“Whoa! About us?” “I wanna be a couple, I’m tired of being in the closet.”“Well I’m not. This is all new to me – it didn’t even occur to me that I was bisexual.” “Gay”“Er, I’m pretty sure gay men don’t enjoy having sex with women, which I do.” “I do too. They’re like pillows filled with marshmallows…”“They are soft, aren’t they?” “Wait – so you are bisexual?”“No. It’s not how I identify. I’m gay, emotionally, and I’m pretty sure you are too.” “Don’t tell me what I am.”“Fine. I’m sorry”.
They’re not the only ones working it out. “I don’t think that I’m into girls… but I do think that I’m into Patty,” ponders Nonnie to her (male) date.
We have a fleeting meeting with a trans model, and happily out people involved in the local LGBT+ support centre, but they are the exception here. Most of the queers we meet in the show, and indeed most of the the cishetero people, are flailing around sorting their heads out and doing stupid things along the way.

Coronation Street has got itself a bisexual character and arguably another bit of bi-shaming along the way – and even the old will the bisexual “pick a man or a woman” thing.
Paula Martin (Stirling Gallacher), a schoolfriend of Sally, arrived as a new character on the show as a lawyer helping her old friend to fight fraud allegations.
That’s not really enough drama for a new soap character though, and in an episode at the start of September Paula comes out as bisexual to – and kisses – Sally’s daughter Sophie… all while Sally has been trying to set up Sophie with Paula’s daughter Isla.
Ah, the old trope that queers will try and seduce your children, with a bit of the old insatiable bisexual cliché for good measure.
Sophie seems to be interested, but will Paula gamble on a relationship with her friend’s daughter that could mess up a professional relationship too? If they do what will happen when – because this is soap land and secrets never stay that way – Sally finds out? And what of Paula’s date with Kevin…
Writing it all out just makes me think of the introductions to 80s spoof show Soap.

Autumn Prospects

In up and coming telly, Netflix have given the green light to a third season of Drew Barrymore zombie show Santa Clarita Diet due in 2019.
The Good Place comes back for a third season too, but it’s due (in the US at least) much sooner, some time in September 2018. Maybe it’ll be streaming by the time you read this.
Channel 4 have said long-trailed series The Bisexual starring Appropriate Behaviour start Desiree Akhavan will air this autumn. They say in their press release that it is a
“new comedy drama which promises a raw, funny and unapologetic take on the ‘last taboo’ – bisexuality – and the prejudices, shame and comic misconceptions that surround it”
I’m not sure bisexuality is the last taboo, but you have to big these things up in advertising I suppose.
Plotwise it’s the story of New Yorker Leila (Desiree Akhavan) in London on a ‘break’ from her 10-year relationship with girlfriend and business partner Sadie. Moving out of their shared flat but still faced with seeing her ex every day at work, Leila ends up renting a room from novelist Gabe (Brian Gleeson).
Leila begins sleeping with men but struggles to come out as bisexual to her gay friends, and finds an unlikely wingman in the form of Gabe. He helps her navigate a new life dating men and women.
Meanwhile E!TV offer us the Bisexual version of Big Brother, reality dating series The Bi Life. Indeed it’s being fronted by Celebrity Big Brother 2018 winner, Shane Jenek (also known as Courtney Act).
Shane says: “It’s high time there was a dating show for the large number of young people today, like me, who are attracted to more than one gender. In 2018 we know that sexuality is fluid and sharing the stories and experiences, the laughter and the love making, of young bi people is so important. So get ready to see the true stories of bisexual singles, who are the largest part of the LGBTQ+ community, but the least known.”
The show promises the “first UK broadcast series to focus exclusively on bisexual dating” which will see a group of bisexual or questioning British singletons sent on an adventure to find love with each other abroad.
The 10 episode run starts in October and the hour-long episodes will be set against the cosmopolitan backdrop of Barcelona.
The cast will live together, party together and help each other navigate the rocky road of bisexual+ dating as they observe and feedback on each other’s experiences.
It’s either going to be brilliant or awful. I can’t wait…