Thought Ugly Betty was the gayest non-gay show on television? Or even Spartacus: Blood & Sand? Then you didn’t see last night’s premiere of United States of Tara.
It’s easy to draw similarities between Ugly Betty‘s Justin and Tara‘s Marshall: Both are lean, well-dressed, book-smart high schoolers figuring out their sexuality. But on last night’s second premiere of Tara (tell us you saw it!), we see Marshall, played by the actor Keir Gilchrist, surrounded by a whole new crop of gays that Justin never interacted with. We’re introduced to the gay neighbors; the “gayble” (gay table) at school, complete with the flaming twink set that’s already feuding with the powers that be over whether there should be a gay-oriented “sweetheart” day; and what appears to be the most bizarre lesbian relationship we’ve ever seen: Tara, who is female, has an alter personality named Buck, who is male, and he is about to start a romance with a female bartender.
As we say goodbye to One Life to Live‘s Kish, and just as we were losing faith in any new complexities in television’s gay characters, it’s encouraging to see a whole new menu emerge in Tara. Now all television needs is the anti-Justin and anti-Marshall: The confident gay jock who isn’t picked on by classmates.