Today is my birthday and instead of some deep dive into the meaning and lessons we can learn from stats and ratings and hidden suggestions, I decided to go into why I love what I love.
If you go to my profile here, you can see a list of shows that I love. This was a sneaky feature we added two years ago, to better explain to everyone what kind of fans run this site. So here are my favourite shows.
I try to keep the ‘shows I love’ to under 7, just for readability, but there are a lot of shows there that I love and either add and remove, or just don’t add for … reasons. If the show is a ‘Show We Love’ then it’s absolutely one I love, but there are also some extras that need a hat-tip.
- Veronica Mars
I do love Veronica Mars very much, and I delighted in the mystery of the revived series. The original series has so much to love, with a tough girl trying to be a person when no one wants her to, except her totally awesome dad.
However in retrospect, there’s a lot problematic about the show. First of all the queer rep on the show is pretty mediocre, even for the time. Secondly, the show leans heavily on sexual assault as motive. Third, the reboot really just … ended badly. I don’t even ship Logan and Veronica, and I was left snarling. Why can’t Veronica be happy!?
- Doctor Who
The important thing to remember here is that this is a kid’s show. It’s not meant to be super deep like a night-time drama (though I question if they’re deep…). The Doctor is weird and fun and saves the day. Sometimes they don’t save everyone, but the Doctor always tries. The Doctor is clever and kind and sometimes, yes, mean, but the Doctor is a good person at heart. Hearts. Both of them.
Above all else, Doctor Who is fun. I mean, who doesn’t love farting demons and waving at fat?
- Schitt’s Creek
If this show was a little more queer lady, I’m sure it would bump someone off the list. Now, for a show with an over the top campy lead, David Rose, you might think it was queer for laughs. Spoiler alert? The laughs aren’t about sexuality. And it gave us the world’s best explanation about pansexuality ever:
For David Rose alone, I love this show.
- Rookie Blue
If you take away the last season, I love this show. The four season long story of one of the secondary main’s, Gail Peck, resonated with me. She was mean and grumpy and didn’t like people. And then she had everything go wrong (kidnapping, nearly loosing her job, terrible parents, a distant boyfriend) in a short year. It culminated with her cheating on her boyfriend, facing down her kidnapper, and then literally the next episode meeting a quirky pathologist who changed her life.
Rookie Blue is on really all my lists, and I will forever head-cannon that Gail and Holly get back together.
- The Young Riders
It’s not a show that’s on the site. But this show was something I was obsessed with. I lived in the woods at the time, didn’t get most TV stations unless the weather was perfect, and we didn’t have the internet except for a dial up modem I could use a couple hours a day. And what did I do? I looked up TV Guide recaps of this show because I had a massive crush on Yvonne Suhor.
She died of cancer in 2018. Not terribly long before that, I’d tweeted about how she was one of the women I had massive crushes on growing up. To my surprise, her family saw the tweet and let her know! She was flattered. And less than six months later she died and I was heartbroken. I posted about her passing, and found out later that her family quoted from it at her funeral service.
So since this is my birthday post, I get to say that Young Riders will forever be an honourable mention to ‘Shows I Love’ because of Yvonne.
My Favourite Shows
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer
From that same era as Veronica Mars, we have the pinnacle of kick-ass powerful woman. By which I mean Willow Rosenberg. Our wee little Jewish lesbian witch goes from awkward loser to super-powered hero over the seasons, and were it not for the death of Tara, I’d rank this higher.
But… like JK Rowling, Joss Whedon’s personal problems leak over and he burns a lot of what he touches. Don’t dig too deeply into the underlying concepts of Dollhouse or his treatment of female stars. You don’t want to know. Better to sit back and remember that this show did a lot for representation. I mean, they did have a lesbian main character. That says a lot about the time period.
My unyielding love for Vida (and believe me, I love it like crazy town) is so complicated. I love it, I get mad at it, I cheer for everyone and yell at everyone. Without question, Tanya Saracho is one of the best storytellers and creators on the planet. The show also tends to rend my heart on a regular basis. I want to love Emma, but she is so hurt all the time…
There’s one episode left this week, and all I ask is Tanya not destroy me. But I’m pretty sure she will, and I’ll love her for it.
Like everyone else, Ruby Rose was not my first (or even tenth) pick for the indomitable Kate Kane. By the time the first season ended, I loved her in the role and I’m going to miss her.
Batwoman edges out Legends of Tomorrow (and it’s a close call) because I love the comics. So much. I re-read them semi-regularly, and I just delight in the depth and heroism. Batman was always my go-to guy to pretend to be when we played Supers (I made my grandmother be ‘Robin’, I was a weird kid) and having Batwoman be a lesbian just made it perfect for me.
When I saw the preview of Batwoman at SDCC last year, I was so happy I cried a little. It was nearly everything I’d wanted in a CW version of Batwoman, and I hope that they keep that going next season.
- She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Look. I love a kid’s show. A lot. My lock screen right now is this:
This simple kid’s show built on the steps of Legend of Korra and Steven Universe, delivering a 300k slow burn childhood friends to enemies to friends again to lovers whose magic kiss saves the freakin’ universe! The whole plot turned out to be two useless, disaster lesbians who can’t just tell each other they loved each other all the time.
And then it subverted pretty much every single trope. Children sacrificing themselves to save the world? Nope! It was the parents, every single time. The adults (eventually) took the burden and blame for the universe, and we got a happy ending.
- Xena: Warrior Princess
Even if we never get to see the reboot (and Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s script is online for you to read whenever you want), this show will always have a place in my heart. I remember the wee hours of the morning, seeing it show up on syndication, and suddenly I thought “Wait, this is the hero series with two women!?” I’d never gotten that before. I always had to pick one dude to ‘be’ when I was a kid, running around the playground (Han Solo, FTW), or be the one (yes one) female character (even Wonder Woman, who did not fascinate me as such as Batman).
From classic tropes like “Xena has a doppelgänger” to episodes like “A Day in the Life” (“Hower’s mine! She’s yours.”), the show hit that crazy wild groove of a wild New Greeceland warrior princess and her partner (not sidekick) the Battling Bard of Potedeia. For a just-coming-out lesbian, it gave me hope that TV would get better and better.
And you know what? It totally did.
- One Day at a Time
There was a period of time where, when I was depressed, I watched one of three movies over and over. Today, when I’m sad or just need a happy place, I rewatch this series.
I don’t know how to explain how much it means for me, but it’s finally a sitcom that I can watch and laugh with. I don’t feel like anyone’s being laughed at more or less than anyone else. They all have their moments where they’re the butt of the joke, but those jokes all come from a place of love. Sure we laugh at Elena’s lack of style, but we also mock Alex’s obsession with it. Penelope’s frugality is funny and tragic.
The show is pathos yet mingled with the classic comedy of the Golden Age of Radio. Basically? It’s funny and serious and perfect in every day. Also? I’m just a bit in love with Justina Machado and Gloria Calderon-Kellet. Like Victor, I have a type.
When this show gets back to taping before a live audience, I will be there to watch and cheer them on.
Why do you love what you love? Have a shout in the comments!