Last week, “The Good Wife” and “Grey’s Anatomy” aired two of the most bisexual TV episodes ever shown. On “The Good Wife”, in an episode entitled “Shiny Objects”, Kalinda slept with both Cary and a stunningly beautiful FBI agent, Lana Delaney. Kalinda is nothing if not a workaholic. Even the people she is sleeping with are connected to work: Cary is her colleague turned friend, turned friend-with-benefits, now also her boss and Lana is someone she was pumping for information on a case, who complained that she only sees Kalinda when she needs something. So Kalinda flirted with her to get the evidence she needed. And wound up in bed with her. Twice. In this episode, every time Kalinda and a partner are in the throes of passion, they are interrupted with news about a case, so she is working, even while having sex.
On “Grey’s Anatomy” in the recent episode “Bend and Break”, Callie finally used the ‘B’ word. In fact, she went on a bisexual rant, saying,
“So I’m bisexual! So what? It’s a thing, and it’s real. I mean, it’s called LGBTQ for a reason. There’s a ‘B’ in there and it doesn’t mean badass. Okay, it kinda does, but it also means bi.”
This rant was refreshing since most bisexual characters on TV, film and literature never actually use the ‘B’ word; a phenomenon which people in the bi community have complained about as unrealistic, especially on a modern day show about doctors.
Unfortunately, after Arizona put her through a month of separation…again, she realizes she wants to break up. Interestingly, since Callie’s best buddy, next door neighbor, father of their baby and co-parent Mark died, there was nothing to distinguish them from a lesbian couple, until this episode. Since Callie affirmed her bisexuality in this episode, this could telegraph that the writers plan a move to her sleeping with men again.
In case you haven’t been watching this show since the beginning, Callie (a doctor) was once in love with and married to George (another doctor) and then after George left her for another woman (doctor), she started sleeping with Mark (also a doctor), in a casual friends-with-benefits relationship. When she started falling for a woman, Erica Hahn (a doctor) she was still sleeping with Mark and compared sex with both, concluding that both kinds of sex were equally good. Then, Erica broke up with Callie for being bisexual and not gay, then left town. Rumors were that ABC thought the actress playing Erica (Brooke Smith) wasn’t hot enough for a relationship with Callie. Although it could also have been that the character’s abrasive personality wasn’t sweet enough for a long-term romance. After Callie’s flirtation with a hot chick (a doctor) who turned out to be a hot mess, enter Arizona (also a doctor.) Callie and Arizona became the perfect couple and Mark got bumped back to friend status. But then Arizona got funding to do a research program in Africa and left town. So Callie wound up back in the arms of friends-with-benefits Mark and got accidentally pregnant. Then Arizona decided to come back to Seattle be with Callie. After the shock wears off, they get back together, plan to raise the baby as theirs and Mark gets bumped to non-sexual co-parent. So they are all three raising the baby together, living right across the hall from each other and always bickering about parenting decisions. Some very bisexual storylines, without ever using the ‘B’ word. So now that the ‘B’ word has been said, this show has finally raised its bi visibility profile and come into the modern age where people really do use the words ‘bisexual’ and ‘bi’ and the phrase ‘LGBTQ’ in conversation, especially when they are sleeping with people of more than one gender. And especially when they are doctors.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights on ABC. The Good Wife airs Sunday nights on CBS.