Welcome to Queerty’s Looking Back 2017, an ongoing series featuring the best and brightest in queer entertainment that you may or may not have missed. Check back with us every day until New Years 2018 for a spotlight on all things entertaining magnificently queer.
Cutest Couple: Hugh & Paul, Star Trek: Discovery
In 2017, the future suddenly looked a whole lot gayer. And it was about damn time.
Star Trek had long provided an idealized vision of the future, one where race, gender, religion or nationality, but one from which queer folk had gone mysteriously absent. Fans, none the less, overlooked the omission, hoping that the producers were not trying to make some comment about a future devoid of gayness.
2017 finally corrected the issue, by debuting Paul Staments, the caustic ship’s chief engineer, and Dr. Hugh Culber, chief medical officer of the Discovery. As played by Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz, respectively, Hugh and Paul mark the first out-gay characters in Trek canon. Sorry, but Sulu’s awkward “gay” hug in Star Trek Beyond does not count.
Unlike the gay hug, which seemed forced and ambiguous so as to both please queer fans feeling left out of Trek’s utopia, yet not offend any homophobes in the audience, Hugh and Paul have one of the most adorable relationships on television. The tender Hugh helps soften the bitchy demeanor of Paul, and when Paul gives some romantic advice to another crew member, the light in Rapp’s eyes says more than any dialgoue ever could.
Oh, and the scene of the two brushing their teeth together ranks as one of the most adorable, and ironically sexy scenes in the history of Star Trek.
Star Trek: Discovery has finally boldly gone where no Trek had gone before…and the show is all the better for it. We can’t wait to see more of the irresistible chemistry between Rapp and Cruz in future Discovery adventures next year.
Star Trek: Discovery streams on CBS All Access.