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Pop: Queer that it's taking so long for new girls


Gillian Anderson in The Fall.

Gillian Anderson in The Fall.

Gillian Anderson in The Fall.

Post Breaking Bad it's easy to talk about the "golden age of TV" and how the quality of the big, glossy award-winning US dramas outdoes many movies. What TV really excels at, however, is offering different representations of characters.

2013 was important for being a year that saw female lead films like Gravity and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire prove to be box office hits and dispel (ridiculous) notions that a woman at the front of a film will alienate male viewers.

Thankfully the TV world is slowly changing ideas about how to portray both female and LGBT characters. Critically acclaimed dramas like The Good Wife, soapy hits like Scandal and Revenge and blockbuster fare like New Girl show that a broader range of female stories are being told. And that's before we even get into the attention around comedy hit Girls.

Closer to home, the recent fuss around the passing of Hayley on Coronation Street is a reminder of how the soap has integrated a transgender character in a way that moved past clichés and showed that stories about LGBT people can have an impact.

Gillian Anderson's subtle yet scene-stealing performance in The Fall shows that a complex female character can work in a serious crime drama without resorting to tired tropes. Orange Is The New Black is a revelation with complex stories and great performances.

As gay drama Looking arrives, it's a reminder of how few gay-centric shows still exist and how much more needs to be done. There is hope – progress is slow in TV land, but it is happening.

Irish Independent