7 Things: Subtext Couples – The Rejects

So, that incredibly long essay about subtext and slashy goodness was actually leading somewhere.

In honor of Valentine’s Day – yes, I am that much of a sap – this week’s seven things shall focus on something that has become very dear to my own heart. Femslash couples and the girl-girl subtext that flows through mainstream television shows and movies.

This list shall include no canon couples. In fact, I don’t think I could come up with seven great canon couples if I tried.

Be forewarned. There will be spoilers in these posts, both in written and video form. Starting right below. So, proceed with caution.

Before we get started on my top seven femslash couples, I would like to share with you those couples who didn’t quite make the cut. These were the ones vying for the last few spots at the end, but that were finally marked off.

And the title of this post is misleading. These femslash couples are far from rejects.

5 – Sara & Maria (Bandidas)

They fight, they thieve, they fight again. Then, they stop fighting. Their dueling make out session with Quentin looks more like they’re using a middleman to make out with each other. And, in the end, they literally ride off into the sunset together.

4 – Darlene & Alice (Brokedown Palace)

They fight over a guy. Of course. Then, they get nabbed by the Po Po after said guy sets them up – heed the warning, straight girls – and imprisoned in horrific conditions. They fight some more, break up a little and get back together. It’s really all sorts of simmering subtext. Until the end… when Alice gets down on her knees and begs for Darlene’s release.

That is love.

3 – Alicia & Kalinda (The Good Wife)

In some ways, a lot of Alicia and Kalinda’s subtext is one-sided. Kalinda is constantly at Alicia’s service, went to rescue her kid, and the only time we’ve ever seen her truly emotional was after their break-up scene.

Of course, it was Alicia who wanted to know Kalinda more, even asking point-blank if Kalinda was gay and then pressing when Kalinda hedged her response. And Kalinda’s reply of “What does it matter?” may as well have been “Why? What happens if you know that I am?”

The tell-all in their relationship, though, was when Kalinda felt bad after sleeping with someone who was married, when she realized that she didn’t want to hurt anyone else the way that she’d hurt Alicia.

Alicia changed her.

I am about 90-percent convinced that Kalinda is in love with Alicia in the eyes of the show’s writers. And, even if it’s unrequited, it’s real.

2 – Theo & Nell (The Haunting)

Bisexual Theo was pretty open with her sexuality with everyone. She was intensely flirty. She was so flirty with Nell, though, that it was damn near maintext.

Of course, seeing as this was a big-budget Hollywood flicker, it remained just sub enough for popular culture. There are bouts of cuddling – okay, perhaps more accurately, joint cowering – and two only-kinda chaste kisses. Then, just when you think that the straight people are going to get away with thinking that it was all just very friendly, Theo is basically like, ‘Come on, Nell. We’ll run away together.’

As a movie, The Haunting is hardly great. The subtext, however, is brilliant.

1 – Regina & Emma (Once Upon a Time)

Damn have they gotten super subtexty super quickly. Along with some of the other incredibly subtexty moments I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying this year, Regina and Emma have nearly broken my subtext meter. If things between them continue in this manner, I suspect they won’t be left off my next top seven list.

First of all, they couldn’t conceivably look hotter together. When they’re just standing next to each, it’s like, “Yes, that is a couple.”

Secondly, the fighting is SO sexual tension. I mean, seven episodes in and the mayor and the deputy get into a physical fight? Any excuse to touch, right ladies?

Then, there is the ultimate in obviousness.

They share a kid.

You don’t get much more blatant subtext than that.

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2 Comments

  1. Since I promised šŸ™‚
    I think it’s an incredibly fascinating subject to which I paid too little attention for the longest time. To me, subtext meant Xena. I wasn’t really into the setting. Besides, books always came first, and I had just discovered lesbian mysteries. I did wish though that one of those detectives would come to TV even though I was aware the chances were slim. When you know what show happened, it was like a dream come true. I’ve said that often, and I haven’t shut up about it in, well, years, but I think the relevance is so obvious. In the ‘It Gets Better’ vid from the SFPD it says that 2.9% of all characters are gay; I thought it might be even less. And when you look at the lesbian movies out there, a lot of them do not make for light entertainment even though they might be good movies. Clearly, we often lack choices.
    Of course, Lindsay and Cindy would have never been a couple outside of fanfiction, but Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft did well making all the viewers happy until… well, you were there.
    I agree very much on your thoughts re: Alicia/Kalinda. I remember somebody commented on the sexy scenes Kalinda had with Kelli Giddish’s character “Why do they always have to put in these (gay) scenes?”Because 2.9% is by no means ‘always’, and EVERY OTHER scene is for you. Also, there was this guy a few years ago who said he didn’t mind WMC being cancelled because ‘it was for women and gay men’. It will take a lot more well-rounded LGBT characters and subtexty hotness before some people realize they are not a default person. Until then, we celebrate WMC Day, among other things, write and hope for the best…

    1. It is a fascinating subject, and it’s interesting that gay subtext can be inserted into a show for humor purposes and no one minds, but if people begin to think for one second that a main character on one of their favorite shows might actually go for it, it becomes such a horrific threat to them.

      Take House and Wilson on House, for instance. I don’t know if you watch that show at all, but we watched it up through last season.

      House and Wilson have one of the most subtexty relationships on television and they are blatant about it. It’s obvious, of course, that they are friends, but the subtext that they have often goes maintext, and I actually really enjoy the ways in which they have used the intimacy between their characters to create an intensely subtexty friendship. If certain fans of the show, though, had an iota of belief that they might actually move forward in that manner with the House and Wilson characters, then the subtexty banter that has been a staple of the show since season one would no longer be acceptable.

      The problem with a certain part of the straight population is that they don’t see gay as different. They see themselves as right and gay as wrong, their churches reaffirm this belief, and they take comfort in this belief because it makes them feel superior to a group of people. People hate this truth, but ignorance is linked with intelligence, and, unfortunately, there are a hell of a lot more idiots in the world than geniuses.

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