Since I completely forgot to have a post ready for Day 7, like a fool, I’m going to talk about two different shows.
I’m gonna be honest, Netflix doesn’t have the best track record with shows featuring LGBTQ+ characters. Two of my favorite shows were both canceled. The fact that they featured prominent queer characters made the blow that much worse. Whether it was intentional or not, it hurt. I really hope that the trend doesn’t continue.
First, I’m going to talk about the show Netflix hasn’t canceled (yet) and hope that if you have a subscription that you check it out because it’s really good.
If you haven’t heard about Special, I don’t blame you. Netflix chooses which shows and movies to feature and I heard about Special from Twitter. Even then, I didn’t know much about the show until I looked it up. I even heard about it from my mom. Y’all don’t even realize how rare that is.
But let me give you a summary of this show. It stars Ryan O’Connell who has cerebral palsy and is starting an internship as a blogger. He’s also gay. It’s semi-autobiographical and to me, that makes it great. Here’s a gay, disabled man who gets to tell his story the way he wants and gets a mainstream platform to do so.
The episodes are short, about 15ish minutes, and there aren’t many so binging this show won’t take up a lot of time. It’s worth it, trust me. The side characters are fun too, such as Ryan’s best friend at his job and his mother who is trying to have a life while taking care of Ryan.
If low viewership is the reason why other queer Netflix shows were canceled then I hope this show doesn’t become the third victim of this trend.
The second show I’m going to talk about is a reboot of an old sitcom with way more diversity. You may have heard of it…
For me, this cancelation by Netflix hurt. A lot. There were so many campaigns on Twitter that were trying to make sure this show got renewed. Hell, the creator and actors are still trying to save the show.
In the most popular sitcoms, if any male character is a tiny bit effeminate they are the punchline of a joke. I’m fucking talking about you, Friends. After a while, you get fucking tired of being the butt of all the jokes. The reason I loved One Day at a Time, was the laughter was never malicious.
This show is about a Cuban-American family and I loved that. A divorced mother who had been in the military is dealing with PTSD, and trying to raise her two kids while her mother sleeps in her living room. I know that sounds kind of dark, but they deal with it well. When shows aren’t afraid to get real, even if they are a sitcom, I appreciate that.
And of course, the daughter Elena is a lesbian.
She also has a nonbinary love interest and that’s a big fucking deal. I’m pretty sure we can count on one hand the amount of nonbinary characters on TV and I hope that changes and is normalized like it was on One Day at a Time. Despite Elena being openly proud of being a lesbian, not everyone accepts her. Her mom struggles with it and her dad is not okay with it at all, but she doesn’t change who she is.
I miss this show so much and if it gets saved then I will be over the moon. However, I hope that TV networks take a look at this show and start setting examples of how sitcoms should be.
Rita Moreno is also funny as fuck.