First Kill. (L to R) Imani Lewis as Calliope, Sarah Catherine Hook as Juliette in episode 106 of First Kill.

Streaming Platforms Just Won’t Give Shows Prominently Featuring Lesbians a Chance

Queer women deserve bingeable content, damn it!

When it comes to modern era of bingeing shows and movies, we as audiences have been able to see more diverse actors and writers take center stage to tell their own stories. With shows like Sex Education and Euphoria, we’ve seen gay, trans, Black, and POC characters become overnight sensations and fan favorites. However, though we’ve seen significant progress in our media, a terrible trend seems to be emerging throughout streaming platforms, and that trend is the cancellation of shows that feature main lesbian characters.

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Now, it may seem like an exaggeration when I say that a ton of shows with queer women leads are being axed left, right, and center, but it’s not. TikTok user marenlees made a slideshow highlighting just a fraction of the shows we’ve lost over the past few years, and it’s honestly heartbreaking. From Sci-Fi adventures to teen dramas to supernatural love stories, no genre is safe from being cut by a platform if one of their main characters is a queer woman.

First Kill, a Netflix original show about a female teen vampire falling in love with a female teen vampire hunter, was canceled after one season. I Am Not Okay With This, another Netflix original that followed a teenage girl as she develops psychic abilities and fell in love with her female best friend, was axed after one season. The Wilds, an Amazon Prime Video Original show that showcases a group of teenage girls whose plane crashed en route to Hawaii, was canceled after two seasons and the list goes on and on and on.

Even when a queer women-led show gets the chance to wrap up their own stories, it still feels like they’re getting the short end of the stick. A League of Their Own, another Amazon Prime Video Original show that’s a reboot of the 1992 film about a women’s baseball team, had their second season cut down to only four episodes to wrap up their story, which is such a slap to the face of all of their fans. The show was an instant hit amongst viewers, and with Amazon Prime Video having millions of dollars behind their shows, it makes no sense that this underdog show couldn’t get a full season to fully flesh out the stories of its characters.

Eve and Villanelle embrace in Killing Eve season 3.
Killing Eve

It’s not impossible to give shows like the ones mentioned above a real shot to stand on their own two feet. Shows like Killing Eve and The L Word had queer women as their lead characters and were wildly successful, both with audiences and ratings. Queer women don’t always have to be to be side characters like in Heartstopper or Andor. We offer so much more if we’re given the chance to actually be people and not just afterthoughts.

This is why I appreciate The CW, as bananas as that may sound, since they’ve been delivering poor quality shows for years. But, the one thing I can say that they do right is that they let their queer women characters be people and help lead their respective shows. Take Riverdale and Supergirl for instance; both shows feature queer women lead characters who are complicated, messy, smart, and so much fun to watch.

For Riverdale, the relationship between Cheryl Blossom and Toni Topaz, as wild as it was, still had a lot of great moments and was at the forefront of the show after season 2. In Supergirl, Kara Danvers’ sister, Alex, had a beautiful storyline where she came out as a lesbian and found love with another main character on the show, and even when that first relationship didn’t work out, Alex managed to find love with another queer woman lead character. The show ended with the two being married with a child.

The CW has proved that shows with queer women leads don’t need to be canceled at the drop of a hat; they need to be given a chance to grow and attract their own audience, and the audience will come because queer women are dying for representation. So, to all streaming platform executives, please do better. Queer women are here and ready to support the shows that speak to our experiences. Or, you know, keep ignoring a huge part of your market. It’s your choice.

(featured image: Brian Douglas/Netflix)

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Kayla Harrington
Kayla Harrington (she/her) is a staff writer who has been working in digital media since 2017, starting at Mashable before moving to BuzzFeed and now here at The Mary Sue. She specializes in Marvel (Wanda Maximoff did nothing wrong!), pop culture, and politics. When she's not writing or lurking on TikTok, you can find Kayla reading the many unread books on her shelves or cuddling with one of her four pets. She's also a world class chef (according to her wife) and loves to try any recipe she can find.