This year has been the bloodiest year in history for queer female characters on TV. The body count is around twenty and it’s only July. Apparently someone in Hollywood declared open season on queer ladies and all the showrunners just started shooting. Much has already been written about the crisis of queer representation in the media and the “Bury Your Gays” trope. Much work still needs to be done to educate people about this harmful trope. Today I would like to focus on the positive. The following are my five favorite living lesbian/bi TV couples and why I ship them. They are all either still together or they have the possibility of being reunited. So lets celebrate these couples that are still all alive and ship them. Everyone join hands and sing along with me to the tune of the Simple Minds hit Alive and Kicking, “Alive and shipping, stay until your love is … ”
Spoiler alert: Yup, there will be spoilers.
WayHaught on Wynonna Earp
The Ship: Waverly Earp and Officer Haught (Nicole)
Played by: Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell
Wynonna Earp can best be described as a modern day supernatural western. Wynonna Earp is cursed to fight demon revenants of the men that their great great grandfather, the famous gunslinger Wyatt Earp, killed years back. Her younger sister, Waverly, helps out any way she can. The show is chock full of strong women who kick ass. Plus it has queer ladies.
Waverly Earp works as a bartender at the local watering hole, Shorty’s, where Wyatt Earp once drank. She charms the town with her smile and wave. Waverly catches the eye of newcomer, Officer Nicole Haught. Nicole is tall, charming and as confident as her hair is red. She carries a gun but the deadliest weapons she wields are her dimples. They could make any girl swoon and Waverly does, along with the entire queer fandom. WayHaught wins my award for the best new ship to set sail this year. They are everything you could want in a ship, sweet, loving, passionate and of course, alive. Needless to say since it is a show about demons danger lurks in every corner. But Officer Haught is smart enough to wear a bulletproof vest when things get dicey. (Other show’s writers please take notes.) The actresses who portray the couple, Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Katherine Barrell are as adorable with each other off screen as on, adding authenticity to their portrayal of the relationship.
As an added bonus the show’s cast and creator Emily Andras, of Lost Girl fame, have been intensely involved with social media and actively interact with the fans. They live tweet during the shows and share fan art on Twitter. The show’s fandom is pretty hilareous and talented too.
WayHaught survived season 1. In a recent interview with AfterEllen, showrunner Emily Andras promised if there is a season 2, WayHaught will be in it. And in Emily Andras we trust.
Update 7/24/16 : Syfy has renewed Wynonna Earp for Season 2!! So ship ship ship away!
Cophine on Orphan Black
The ship: Cosima Niehaus and Dr. Delphine Cormier
Played by: Tatiana Maslany and Evelyne Brochu
Orphan Black is a show about clones. Lots and lots of clones all played brilliantly by Tatiana Maslany. So brilliantly in fact that she has been nomintated for two Emmys and won numerous other awards for her portrayal of the clone sisters. The clones and their extended families are always fighting for answers about their past and freedom from their creators.
Cosima and Delphine share a love of science, puppies and each other. The brainiac dream team’s relationship has been a roller coaster of emotions. But together they have battled the clone sickness that threatens to kill Cosima and most of the other clones. Delphine caught a bullet at the end of last season and remained missing for most of Season 4. We were left to wonder about the fate of our favorite French puppy, ah, I mean doctor. In the ninth episode Clone Clubbers breathed a collective sigh of relief. Delphine had been saved by the evil mastermind behind Neolution and shipped off to remote island to live in a yurt, where remarkably she still had access to an unlimited amount of hair product.
There was much speculation about the return of Delphine since Evelyne Brochu landed a starring role in X Company. So props to the creators Graeme Mason and John Fawcett for managing to work with Evelyne Brochu’s filming schedule and keep her alive in Orphan Black. It’s not such an impossible task afterall. Some other showrunners who will remain nameless … *cough* Jason Rothenberg *cough* … could take a lesson from them. X Company was renewed for a third season so Evelyne’s time on Orphan Black may be limited again this season, but at least the chance for a happy ending remains. Especially since Cosima discovered the cure for her clone sickness.
Vauseman on Orange is the New Black
The Ship: Alex Vause and Piper Chapman
Played by: Laura Prepon and Taylor Schilling
Orange is the New Black gives viewers a look inside life in a women’s prison and it’s not pretty. Litchfield Prison is described by one inmate as, “Just like the Four Seasons only horrible.” The dark comedy just seems to get darker every season. The show reveals character stories prior to incarceration along with how their time has affected them. Overall the series boasts a fair amount of queer representation.
One of the central pairings in the show is Alex Vause and Piper Chapman or Vauseman. Alex and Piper’s relationship is consistently turbulent throughout the four seasons of OITNB. They are not exactly the poster children for relationship role models. They snitch on each other to the police, have affairs and break up. But something always brings them back together like conspire to cover up a murder. Piper sums up their relationship in one scene when she says, “We’re doomed to be together.” Somehow the two manage to find some sliver of happiness together in the midst of dismal environment. As of the last episode of Season 4 the two are together again and both alive. (Sadly, the same cannot be said for another queer character on the show. )
Paily on Pretty Little Liars
The Ship: Paige McCullers and Emily Fields
Played by: Lindsey Shaw and Shay Mitchell
Pretty Little Liars follows the lives of four (and sometimes five) friends who are stalked and terrorized by the mysterious “A”. The show is full of relationship drama, questionable decision making and of course a lot of lies that usually create more problems then they solve. Pretty Little Liars is the kind of show you watch because you love the characters, not because the plot lines make any sense.
Emily ( Shay Mitchell ) represents the gay contingent of the quartet. Emily’s swim nemesis Paige morphed from a homophobic psycho to an awesome girlfriend. The pair boasted one of the more stable relationships on the show, until Paige moved to California. The show has time leaped over 5 years this season. Apparently the future might be bright for the couple. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lindsey Shaw who plays Paige, will return to the final season of Pretty Little Liars. Whether Emily and Paige will be reunited in season 7 remains to be seen. IMDB has Shaw returning in August in an episode titled Exes and OMGs. But it doesn’t list her in any episodes after that. I am going to hold out hope that her return will be more than just old ships passing in the night.
Stena on The Fosters
The Ship: Stef and Lena Adams Foster
Played by: Teri Polo and Sherri Saum
The Fosters tells the story of a biracial lesbian couple raising a mixed family of biological, adopted and foster children. The Fosters recently had it’s season 4 premiere.
Stef and Lena’s relationship on The Fosters has been full of challenges. Parenting a brood of five teenage kids will create plenty of drama. Stef was shot. She lived. Lena and her boss kissed. The marriage survived it. What is nice about the show and their relationship is that it’s realistic. Or as realistic as anything on television can be. They don’t live in a fairy tale land. Stef and Lena fight and make up. They argue about how to raise the kids, have issues with their own parents and stress over money issues. Their relationship, much like in the real world has stresses and strains. Both characters are flawed each in their own way. But their ship is strong and they manage to weather the storms. The one thing that never waivers is the love for each other and their children.