Back in the day, a major sitcom doing a gay episode was a big deal. A proper gay episode would get headlines, but it would get the attention of two young guys who were still figuring things out — sexuality-wise and culture-wise. Gayest Episode Ever has screenwriter Glen Lakin and stay-at-home journalist Drew Mackie going through the great and not-so-great gay episodes of sitcoms past.
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It’s rare for an episode to be this entertaining and educational at the same time. I’m not even gay, but the show made me think critically about the media I consume. I think it’s terrific for fiction writers too.
Exploring LGBT representation in 20th century pop culture is an awesome idea! Who doesn't want to reminisce about all the (largely terrible) "very special episodes" from 1980s sitcoms that we watched hoping for a glimpse at a sympathetic gay character? Ha ha, maybe just me. And maybe my expectations were too high. The two hosts do a play-by-play breakdown of episodes of classic TV that feature LGBT content. But then, that's it! I wish they would talk more about what was going on outside of TV, or how the episode in question made (or failed to make) a difference to public conversation, or how this terrible level of representation affected people at the time. There is a bit of that, but mostly it's just a recap show. I will continue to hold my breath for the perfect 1980s LGBT TV history show.
For those interested in either television history or lgbtq+ history (or both!), this podcast is a fantastic journey into the past. Glen and Drew review episodes of classic sitcoms that featured gay plots of themes, to show how media treatment of queer people has shifted and changed over the decades. Thoroughly researched and often quite funny. Come for the in depth analysis, but stay for the ongoing antics of Thurman the Dog.