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Looking For the Most Iconic Lesbian TV Shows? We Got You Covered

Robyn Exton

Mar 15, 2024

Looking For the Most Iconic Lesbian TV Shows? We Got You Covered

Representation matters in the LGBTQ+ community. So I’m always excited to see queer people in movies and shows. And while there have been a few shows in the past with lesbian characters — or the token gay sidekick — we need more!

Fortunately, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Max are finally figuring out that there is a huge audience of queer people who want to see their lives represented.

If you’re looking for some of the best lesbian shows on TV, we have you covered! Here’s a list of some of the best tv shows with lesbian couples and lesbian characters you can stream today.

The best lesbian TV dramas

Get ready to embark on a journey through some of the most compelling TV dramas featuring sapphic storytelling and queer narratives. From groundbreaking classics to modern gems, these shows have captivated audiences with their rich characters, intricate plotlines, and exploration of love, identity, and acceptance. Today, we’ll be diving into the worlds of:

  1. “The L Word” (2004-2009)
  2. “Gentleman Jack” (2019-2022)
  3. “Black Mirror” (2011–2019)
  4. “Gypsy” (2017)
  5. “Easy” (2016–2019)
  6. “Atypical” (2017–2021)
  7. “Wynonna Earp” (2016–2021)

These shows offer a unique and compelling perspective on lesbian characters and relationships, contributing to the rich tapestry of LGBTQ+ representation on television. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be immersed in the captivating worlds of these remarkable TV dramas.

The L Word (2004-2009)

Source: Vanity Fair

“The L Word” is an electrifying and trailblazing television series that shook up the entertainment industry by boldly portraying lesbian characters and relationships. Featuring a dynamic cast of characters, including the fierce and successful art gallery owner Bette Porter, the charismatic and commitment-phobic hairstylist Shane McCutcheon, and the witty and insightful journalist Alice Pieszecki, the show takes you on a thrilling and emotional rollercoaster ride exploring the complexities of love, friendship, and identity within the LGBTQ+ community.

With its candid and groundbreaking portrayal of diverse characters and their experiences, “The L Word” has become a pivotal cultural touchstone for the LGBTQ+ community, offering representation and validation for viewers worldwide. The show’s notable storylines include explorations of coming out, same-sex parenting, infidelity, and the intersectionality of race and sexuality, all contributing to the show’s lasting impact and relevance.

Get ready to be swept away by the captivating world of “The L Word” and join the millions of fans whom this iconic and groundbreaking series has inspired!

You can stream it for free on PlutoTV.

Gentleman Jack (2019-2022)

Source: HBO

Are you ready to be transported to 19th-century Yorkshire and experience a captivating tale of love, ambition, and self-discovery? Soon, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the fascinating life of Anne Lister, a trailblazing landowner and lesbian whose story will leave you spellbound.

In the upcoming historical drama “Gentleman Jack,” we’ll follow Anne’s unconventional lifestyle and her romantic relationships with women, particularly her courtship of Ann Walker. Suranne Jones delivers a powerhouse performance as Anne, portraying her with intelligence, wit, and unapologetic confidence. The show is sure to receive widespread acclaim for its portrayal of queer characters and lesbian storylines, earning praise for its historical accuracy and nuanced depiction of Anne’s life.

Get ready to be swept away by this remarkable journey as “Gentleman Jack” streams on Max

You won’t want to miss the chance to explore the vibrant world of 19th-century Yorkshire and witness Anne Lister’s indomitable spirit firsthand.

Black Mirror (2011–2019)

Source: LezWatch.TV

If you’re a fan of The Twilight Zone, then Black Mirror is for you. Each episode in this emmy-winning series is a stand-alone drama with a unique cast of characters. Black Mirror is set in a near-future dystopia and uses technology to explore social issues. Looking for the lesbians? Check out Season 3, Episode 4 “San Junipero.” 

This highly acclaimed instalment is ranked among the top of all the Black Mirror episodes. It’s a lesbian fan favorite that received critical acclaim with numerous nominations and awards including two Primetime Emmys + two BAFTA Television Craft Awards.

Check out the creepy Black Mirror trailer.

Gypsy (2017)

Source: LezWatch.TV

Gypsy has star power with Academy Award-nominee Naomi Watts starring in this psychological thriller. Jean is a therapist in New York, living what appears to be an average hetero life with her husband and child in their home in Connecticut. 

But Jean is more than what she seems. In her secret life as Diane, she uses the personal information shared by her therapy clients to get involved with the people in their lives. And you guessed it — she gets involved in a lesbian romance

You can watch the trailer for Gypsy here.

Easy (2016–2019)

Source: LezWatch.TV

While not an exclusively queer show, Easy is an anthology that explores romance and modern culture. Most of the couples are hetero. But a fun lesbian storyline between Jo and Chase makes this worth the watch. Some lesbian romances are worth going vegan for…  

And yes, there is a couple looking for their unicorn. Spoiler alert: they didn’t find their unicorn on the HER App.😉

Want to watch the trailer for Easy? Click here.

Atypical (2017–2021)

Source: LezWatch.TV

Sam is a teenager on the autism spectrum who is looking for love. But before he’s ready to date, he needs to become more independent. And his journey towards independence sets his whole family on the road to self-growth.

This series explores the theme of what it means to be “normal” when none of us really are.

Looking for the lesbians? Keep a close eye on Sam’s sister Casey. After she gets recruited onto the track team, she develops an intense friendship with Izzie (the track team captain). Spoiler alert: they don’t stay just friends.

Casey is unapologetically authentic. Throughout the run of the show, this mixed-race character also comes out as non-binary and reveals that she struggles with a mental illness called dermatophagia.

You can find the trailer for Atypical here.

Wynonna Earp (2016–2021)

Source: Den of Geek

Get ready for an adrenaline-fueled ride with “Wynonna Earp”! Wyatt Earp’s fearless descendant, Wynonna, inherits not only his famous gun, Peacemaker but also his legendary legacy as a demon hunter. With a mix of wit, grit, and sheer badassery, Wynonna battles demons and other supernatural entities alongside her team in the US Marshall’s special unit, known as the Monster Squad. 

Originally airing on the SyFy network, this gripping series spans 49 action-packed episodes, each packed with twists, turns, and heart-stopping confrontations. But hold onto your hats because the real excitement begins in season two when the lesbian plotline ignites, setting the stage for a thrilling and heartfelt queer romance that continues to sizzle until the very end. 

Join Wynonna as she faces down evil and navigates the complexities of love and loyalty in a world where danger lurks around every corner. 

You can stream “Wynonna Earp” on Netflix today! Just one warning… prepare to be hooked on its pulse-pounding blend of supernatural thrills and LGBTQ+ representation!

Lesbian romance TV shows we can’t stop binge-watching

Indulge in the captivating world of lesbian romance with these binge-worthy TV shows that will keep you glued to the screen. From heartwarming connections to thrilling supernatural tales, these series offer diverse love stories that resonate with viewers. Get ready to immerse yourself in:

  1. “Trinkets” (2019–2020)
  2. “The Haunting of Bly Manor” (2020)
  3. “Sense 8” (2015–2018)
  4. “Sex Education” (2019–)
  5. “Feel Good” (2020–2021)

Each of these shows brings its own unique twist to the lesbian romance genre, showcasing the depth, complexity, and beauty of queer relationships. So grab your popcorn, settle in, and prepare to be swept away by the irresistible allure of these binge-worthy TV dramas.

Feel Good (2020–2021)

Source: Variety

Follow Mae, a rising talent in the stand-up comedy circuit and her budding romance with George, a woman who has so far identified as straight. This sweet story touches on toxic family relationships, drug addiction, and attachment issues. Starring Mae Martin, this is a nearly autobiographical story of digging through emotional baggage and finding love.

Check out the Feel Good Trailer.

Trinkets (2019–2020)

Source: Variety

Based on screenwriter Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith’s YA novel, Trinkets centers around the unlikely friendship of three high school girls who meet at a Shoplifters Anonymous meeting. While keeping their friendship a secret at school, Elodie (Brianna Hildebrand), Moe (Kiana Madeira), and Tabitha (Quintessa Swindell) develop a deep bond and help each other to navigate life’s challenges.

One of the joys of this show is getting to tag along on Elodie’s journey as an introverted lesbian looking for love, with her two straight friends cheering her on.

Check out the Trinkets trailer.

The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)

Source: LezWatch.TV

This nine-episode miniseries takes you to 1980’s England, where you meet American nanny Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti), who has been hired to care for the orphaned Flora and Miles after the tragic death of their au pair.

This is a ghost story and a queer love story all in one. As you discover the dark secrets of Bly Manor, you’re also treated to a wlw romance between the bisexual Dani and Jamie, the groundskeeper for Bly Manor.

You can watch the trailer for The Haunting of Bly Manor here.

Sense 8 (2015–2018)

Source: The Atlantic

If you’re looking for a mind-bending science fiction drama, Sense8 might be just the thing. With 2 seasons + a movie wrap-up, Sense8 follows eight strangers from all over the world who inexplicably become emotionally and mentally linked becoming “sensates”.

Must-watch lesbian representation comes in the form of a relationship between Amanita — one of the sensates — and her supportive, super cool (but traumatized) girlfriend Nomi. This show is worth the watch just to see the fiercely loyal romantic relationship between transgender Nomi and biracial Amanita.

Queer sci-fi? Count me in!

Featuring an action-adventure team like Nomi Marks and Amanita Caplan, a pair of sapphic revolutionaries who bring a dorky San Fran-dyke glow to the concept of “ride or die.” The duo’s plotline alone makes a compelling reason to give Sense8 a close read. Nomi is a traumatized white transgender woman who walks the walk on radical justice work; in her youth, she used her family’s privilege to prevent “Bug” from going to jail for hacking the Pentagon, and as we learn in season two, one of her “hacktivist” projects was producing fake I.D.s for trans people in need. Amanita, for her part, is a fearless queer biracial black cis woman (from an adorable polyamorous family) with a fierce love of Nancy Drew novels, costuming, and Nomi — the kind of love that will thoroughly fuck anyone up who gets in its way, whether that someone is a TERF spouting transmisogyny at Pride or a predatory doctor who needs his waiting room burned down.

Watch the Sense8 trailer here.

Sex Education (2019–)

Source: Cosmopolitan

The stunningly hot Gillian Anderson plays a sex therapist. Need we say more?

Having a sex therapist for a mom, Otis Milburn has managed to become an accidental expert on the subject. He joins forces with Maeve, the wicked smart bad girl, to start up a secret sex therapy clinic to help high school students with their sexual problems.

Sadly, Gillian Anderson’s character is straight. But you can look to Lily and Ola for a charming lesbian romance that develops in the midst of teen awkwardness and uncertainty.

Lily, portrayed as quirky and eccentric, finds herself drawn to Ola, who exudes a quiet confidence and warmth. As they navigate the complexities of adolescence together, their bond deepens, blossoming into a tender and heartfelt romance.

Their storyline explores themes of self-discovery, acceptance, and the exhilarating journey of falling in love for the first time. Despite facing the typical trials and tribulations of teenage life, Lily and Ola’s connection remains steadfast, serving as a beacon of hope and resilience in the tumultuous landscape of high school. Their portrayal reflects the importance of representation and validation for LGBTQ+ youth, showcasing the beauty and authenticity of sapphic love in all its forms.

You’ll definitely be rooting for these two!

Here’s the Sex Education Trailer.

The importance of sapphic storytelling

The cultural impact of television shows featuring sapphic storytelling and a queer narrative cannot be overstated. These shows have played a crucial role in broadening representation and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, offering nuanced portrayals of lesbian characters and relationships that resonate with audiences worldwide. From groundbreaking series like “The L Word” to more recent offerings like “Gentleman Jack” and “Wynonna Earp,” these shows have not only entertained viewers but also sparked meaningful conversations about identity, love, and acceptance.

“The L Word” is a pioneering force in LGBTQ+ representation, boldly exploring the lives of a diverse group of lesbians in Los Angeles. Through its candid depiction of love, heartbreak, and friendship, the show became a cultural touchstone for the queer community, paving the way for future series to delve deeper into sapphic storytelling. Its impact reverberates today, with its characters and storylines continuing to inspire and resonate with audiences.

Similarly, “Gentleman Jack” captivated viewers with its portrayal of Anne Lister, a 19th-century landowner and lesbian whose unapologetic pursuit of love and ambition defied societal norms. The show’s exploration of Anne’s relationships, particularly her courtship of Ann Walker, provided a rich and nuanced portrayal of queer romance in a historical context. “Gentleman Jack” sheds light on Anne Lister’s remarkable life and highlights the struggles and triumphs of LGBTQ+ individuals throughout history.

“Wynonna Earp” brought sapphic storytelling into the realm of supernatural drama, weaving a compelling queer narrative into its action-packed plotlines. Including a lesbian plotline added depth and diversity to the series, showcasing the complexities of love and identity amidst the chaos of demon hunting. Incorporating LGBTQ+ representation into its narrative, “Wynonna Earp” entertained audiences, challenged stereotypes, and fostered greater acceptance and understanding.

The evolution of sapphic representation in the media

The journey of lesbian representation in media has been remarkable, characterized by significant progress and transformative moments. From being relegated to the sidelines and portrayed through stereotypes to occupying leading roles in diverse narratives, lesbian characters have come a long way. The emergence of queer literature played a crucial role in this evolution, providing a platform for authentic representation and diverse experiences to be heard.

While challenges and gaps still exist, the progress made in recent years is a testament to the resilience and strength of the LGBTQ+ community.

If you’re looking to explore the best lesbian movies and learn a little more about how the film industry has evolved, we also did a deep dive into that! Check out our article on the best lesbian movies for a comprehensive exploration of cinematic excellence and cultural significance.

Let us continue to celebrate and uplift the richness and complexity of sapphic romance and work towards a future where all voices are heard and represented.

These shows have played a crucial role in shaping perceptions and attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals and relationships, contributing to a profound cultural shift.

By prioritizing authentic representation and compelling storytelling, they have helped to dismantle stereotypes and foster greater acceptance and understanding. By offering diverse lesbian narratives on television, these shows have provided a platform for sapphic stories to be celebrated, ensuring that queer voices are heard and LGBTQ+ experiences are validated.

In doing so, they have entertained audiences and served as catalysts for progress within the LGBTQ+ movement, driving toward a more inclusive and equitable society.

We hope you enjoy these lesbian TV shows! Do you have a favorite we didn’t include? Let us know. Tag us on Instagram @hersocialapp. And if you’re ready for lesbian movie night, check out our favorite lesbian movies.

Robyn Exton

Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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