secret history of television

Secret History of TV: ‘Lesbian Kiss Episodes’ Were So, So Terrible

Back in the heady, go-go days of the 1990s and early 2000s, a profoundly irritating phenomenon emerged on American television: the so-called “lesbian-kiss episode.” There’s nothing wrong with two women kissing, of course, but these episodes were hardly progressive. In them, an otherwise-heterosexual female series regular would lock lips with some random lesbian or bisexual character who had just been introduced … and that random character would disappear almost immediately after the episode aired. In this week’s installment of “Vulture’s Secret History of Television,” we revisit the irritating rise and overdue fall of the lesbian-kiss episode.

Tune in every Wednesday for more episodes, and check out our past looks at Cousin Oliver Syndrome, bottle episodes, and crossovers!

‘Lesbian Kiss Episodes’ Were So, So Terrible