Happy Bisexuality Visibility Day! It is, of course, no secret that there are plenty of Bs in the LGBTQ TV landscape—from Jodie Comer’s murderous Villanelle on Killing Eve to Kit Connor’s adorable teen jock on Heartstopper. But some of our favorite depictions of bisexual characters happen to be in slightly less known series, some of which may have gotten less attention over the years. Here are three excellent examples to start today and binge over the weekend.
This 2018 British comedy from American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post) was around for just one amusing and challenging six-episode season. Akhavan stars as Leila, a woman who breaks up with her girlfriend (and business partner) of ten years, and begins, after a lifetime of identifying as a lesbian, to consider whether she might actually have been bisexual the whole time.
It’s certainly tricky territory, but Akhavan, who identifies as bisexual in real life, creates a clever social comedy out of Leila’s awkward journey, set pretty much entirely in a sapphic London milieu. Leila is a difficult character, but she’s also spikily charming, quick with the one-liners and deadpan observations about the absurdity of her predicament—coming out to her mostly queer circle of friends.
The Bisexual is in many ways reminiscent of Fleabag: The story of a difficult woman who you’re not entirely sure you should be rooting for, despite having a blast in her presence and in the presence of the delightful cast of characters surrounding her.
Streaming on Hulu.
Halt and Catch Fire
AMC’s drama about the advent of personal computers and the internet in the 80s and early 90s is probably one of the greatest shows of the past decade that almost no one watched when it was on the air, and at its center is a charismatic, morally ambiguous, devastatingly sexy bisexual played by recently minted Instagram heartthrob Lee Pace.
Kind of a riff on the Don Draper archetype, Pace’s Joe MacMillan is an entrepreneur always looking for the next big innovation he can take advantage of. And while Joe’s bisexuality isn’t exactly central to the show’s narrative arch—his primary, volatile relationship in the show is with programming prodigy Cameron Howe, played by the phenomenal Mackenzie Davis—it’s also not incidental, or played for shock value. Much of the series takes place in the 80s, after all, and Joe doesn’t go untouched by the AIDS epidemic. Pace is, as always, a pleasure to watch in this smart, scrappy drama.
Streaming on AMC+.
Any troglodyte who says that comedy has to be offensive to be funny should be directed to this hilarious, biting, and big-hearted animated series. This is not to say that Big Mouth won’t offend certain delicate senilities; it’s about puberty after all! But what may at first glance seem like a raunchy, juvenile oddity is actually a super progressive and inclusive show, depicting a broad range of sexualities.
Take Jay (voiced by Jason Mantzoukas). Initially portrayed as an oversexed, pillow-humping weirdo, like Big Mouth itself, there’s more to the character than you may think at first. He ultimately comes out as bisexual, gleefully embracing his sexuality and developing genuinely affectionate, emotionally honest relationships with both cis male and cis female characters—and…pillows—throughout the series. The crass jokes abound, but Jay’s sexuality, and his acceptance of it, isn’t one of them.
Streaming on Netflix.