It's been a while, but Lists are Hot -eurOut's column for all those who love lists, whether it's making them or just reading them – is back. This time my column is all about European LesBian TV couples.
Even though we might complain a lot about lesBian visibility on television, we cannot ignore the fact that over the past year we have seen quite a number of girl-girl couples on TV shows across Europe. Granted, some countries do a better job than others.
In a perfect world, every European country would show an abundance of lesBian couples on television the way Spain has done (we'll just ignore the fact that they are also very good at making these storylines end). Perhaps things will improve in 2010.
Still, I did manage to make a selection of 10 lesBian couples that could be seen on your European TV screen. This list is in order, starting with number 10 and working our way down to number 1, but the selection is totally random (in other words, based on my own personal preference).
10. Sarah and Lydia on Hollyoaks (UK)
At number 10 we find a lesBian couple I never really liked much. There is so much wrong with this couple and their storyline, I do not even know where to start. I think my main problem with Sarah and Lydia on Hollyoaks is that they had absolutely no chemistry. Their whole supposed love affair seemed contrived and I could never quite get into it.
If that wasn't bad enough, the writers decided to end the storyline by having them break up; Lydia then turned into a psycho stalking ex-girlfriend who ended up killing Sarah by sabotaging her parachute. Does it surprise you when I tell you Sarah isn't the only TV lesBian on this list that ended up dead?
9. Marina and Esther on Terapia d'Urgenza (Italy)
Next we go to Italy where we find Marina and Esther on hospital drama Terapia d'Urgenza. As you may recall, Terapia d'Urgenza is like the Italian version of the Spanish show Hospital Central (more about that one later). Or as I usually think of it, the watered down more boring version.
No offense to anyone who's really into this show and the storyline, but whereas the relationship between the two women in Spain has evolved and shows a lesbian relationship in all its forms, on Terapia d'Urgenza they seem to be stuck in tired and old relationship and coming out problems. When the ladies finally got to share a kiss on screen last year, it was a huge deal in Italy.
8. Eva and Monkie on Van Jonge Leu en Oale Groond (the Netherlands)
the Netherlands' only lesBian TV couple this year could be found on a regional show called Van Jonge Leu en Oale Groond. This soap situated in the East of the Netherlands – complete with regional dialect – actually did a pretty good job of portraying a lesBian relationship. Eva and Monkie fell for each other in Season 3 of the show, but problems like coming out and ex-husbands stood in the way of their happiness.
In the fourth season, the couple only had their problems normal for any soap, but besides that they seemed to be rather happy and very affectionate. Especially the latter is important, because we want lesBian couples portrayed in exactly the same way as straight couples on the same show.
7. Arlet and Dani on Infidels (Spain)
Our first (of many) lesBian couples on Spanish television are Arlet and Dani from Catalonian show Infidels. During the course of this year's debut season, we saw Arlet dumping her boyfriend to start a relationship with a woman. At first there was the usual confusion and drama that always seems to accompany such a transition, but surprisingly fast the two girls were allowed to just be happy and in love.
Of course, they did have some 'set backs', as Arlet's ex-boyfriend ended up dying and Dani got drunk and accidently proposed to Arlet. But all in all they seemed to be relatively stable and happy for most of the season.
6. Kelly and Garance on La Vie est a Nous (France)
I never quite understood most of the storylines on French soap La Vie est a Nous. They did not really make much sense to me, but that didn't really matter because it was all worth it just to get a glimpse of Kelly. I thought Kelly was very pretty and I felt bad for her about her troubled relationships.
It didn't really help matters that the writers ended up resorting to awful tired storylines about wanting babies and looking for sperm. However, when I think about La Vie est a Nous, I always think of how hot Kelly and Garance were together. Don't believe me? Check out the clip I've watched way too often Cooking with Garance.
5. Dani and Sofia on Cuestión de Sexo (Spain)
I really liked Dani and Sofia on Spanish show Cuestión de Sexo, simply because they were so cute together. Also, for a lesBian couple on a soap they had a relatively easy ride. Sure, there was the part where Sofia wasn't sure about her sexuality and if she was ready to come out, especially to her parents, but things all worked out in the end.
Or more accurately, the show got cancelled before they ever had the chance to either look for sperm together or kill each other. But I'd like to think that even if they show had continued, they would've kept showing these girls in a positive light.
4. Maca and Esther on Hospital Central (Spain)
There's more that Spanish television has to offer, as we can see with my next choice. Maca and Esther have been together on Hospital Central for a while now, and even though they have seen more than their fair share of (relationship) problems – crazy stalking exes, coming out issues, memory loss, to name just a few things – they are also one of the few long term couples on television that are portrayed in a rather 'normal' light.
They were shown getting married last year, and it is always emphasized how much of a family they and their kids are. Unfortunately even this storyline is coming to an end, as both actress have announced to leave the show next season.
3. Carla and Stella on Verbotene Liebe (Germany)
A lesBian couple that has already left the show are Carla and Stella on German soap Verbotene Liebe. These two are different from most other lesBian couples on television. Sure, they had their usual problems (work and family getting in the way, figuring out if they were really right for each other), but they didn't go baby crazy and hunt for sperm.
More importantly, they were allowed to leave the show happy and in love. Even though it was sad to see them go, I like the idea of there sometimes being a happily ever after.
2. Emily and Naomi on Skins (UK)
One of the two couples that really stood out for me this year were Emily and Naomi on British teen series Skins. Unlike most teen dramas, Skins did not just let Emily and Naomi experiment, but they allowed for their storyline to blossom into a full blown relationship.
That relationship was full of ups and downs this season– lots of breaking up, insecurity, and crying, but eventually they realised they were in love and wanted to be together. I thought their portrayal of being a teenager in love with a girl for the very first time was very realistic and recognizable. I can't wait to see what will happen with these two in Season 4 which starts airing around February 2010.
1. Pepa and Silvia on Los Hombres de Paco (Spain)
My favourite European Lesbian TV couple of 2009 has to be Pepa and Silvia on Spanish police drama Los Hombres de Paco. This show must be one of the weirdest and craziest TV series I have ever seen, but amidst all the madness the one constant was Pepa and Silvia and their love for one another.
Obviously, they had lots of problems – including breaking up, Pepa cheating on Silvia with some dude, baby wishes and the inevitable interrupting by some guy almost every time they made out. Besides all these things, they were a delight to watch.
I thought they were very hot together (their love scenes are some of the steamiest same-sex scenes I've seen on television) and I found them very convincing as two women deeply in love. It still hurts to think of the gruesome and bloody way the writers decided to kill off Silvia on her wedding day.
Normally I don't mind a bit of drama or gore, but watching Pepa with her hands up in Silvia's stomach, while Silvia spent 45 minutes slowly dying was a bit much, even for me. I only hope that they at least let Pepa mourn the death of her lover for some part of the next season.
So what do you think? Do you agree with the order in which I placed these couples? Are there lesBian TV couples missing that you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comments. Also, feel free to leave suggestions for future Lists are Hot columns.
Read previous columns here.
This post was first published on eurOut.