With less than a month to go before the third-season premiere of Netflix's hot-and-heavy prison drama
Orange Is the New Black, we thought we'd stoke excitement by recalling other shows that proudly featured glorious same-sex kissing, as OITNB is prone to do. In the beginning, it wasn't just a ploy for ratings or titillation, it was a rebellious and dangerous act.
Clip: L. A. LAW - 2/7/1991 - "He's a Crowd" - the "lesbian kiss" scenewww.youtube.com
History was made in 1991 when
L.A. Law actors Amanda Donohoe and Michele Greene locked lips in network television's first lesbian kiss. It was not uncommon for the Emmy-winning drama to push boundaries of traditional television, but this was really a daring move. (skip to 26:40)
Roseanne embraced controversy, including numerous gay-inclusive moments. In a 1994 episode, Roseanne shared a kiss with Mariel Hemingway, who played a lesbian stripper at a local gay bar. In a sign of the times, ABC prefaced the show with a parental guidance disclaimer.
Dawson's Creek became the first network television show to air a passionate male-male kiss when actors Kerr Smith and Adam Kaufman wrestled tongues. "The truth is TV is a business of ratings," the episode's director, James Whitmore, said of the kiss. "If you've got something exciting that's going to happen on TV, everybody tunes in and watches it."
On a 1999 episode of dramedy
Ally McBeal, actresses Calista Flockhart and Lucy Liu shared a romantic moment after their dinner together. Although this was not the first lesbian kiss on the show, it was the first not done to thwart creepy men hitting on Ally.
Xena: Warrior Princess
During the 1990s and 2000s, viewers excitedly watched actresses Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Renee O'Connor (Gabrielle) lock lips on several occasions, all while wondering if these two were gay or not. In an interview, Lucy Lawless
stated Xena was "definitely gay."
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This satirical show was one of the first mainstream programs to portray an ongoing lesbian relationship. Although the pairing between Willow and Tara was no secret, the first kiss between the couple
was not aired until the fifth season due to restrictions from the WB network.
The Fosters | Season 2, Episode 18: Jude And Connor Kiss | Freeformwww.youtube.com
Same-sex kissing on
The Fosters is not out of the ordinary, considering the show is about a lesbian couple and their teenage foster kids. However, a recent episode made headlines for featuring TV's youngest gay kiss in history: It occurred between teenage characters Jude and Connor.
Will & Grace
Will & Grace had audiences cheering during a 2000 episode when Will and Jack locked lips. In the episode, Jack tunes in excitedly to see two male characters from his favorite show kiss and make history. When the camera pulls away from the couple and you don't see the kiss, Jack and Will head to the network to protest and smooch each other.
In 1997, short-lived ABC drama
Relativitysparked controversy when it aired a kiss between female character Rhonda (Lisa Edelstein) and another woman. While the kiss represents only a small part of the story, the writer of the episode, Jan Oxenberg, who is a lesbian, said watching the kiss evoked tears.
Ellen DeGeneres made history by coming out in both real life and on her sitcom,
Ellen, in 1997. Prior to that, Ellen's character made out with numerous dudes, but she finally got to lock lips with ladies in the show's final season. It was only natural!
Friends was never shy about LGBT storylines, (Chandler's father was transgender, Ross's ex-wife Susan was a lesbian), but when Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and her old sorority sister Melissa (Winona Ryder) locked lips, viewers were more shocked by the famous pairing than by the fact that it was two women doing it.
Party of Five
On this popular drama, Julia Salinger (Neve Campbell) planted one on character Perry Marks (Olivia D'Abo) during a short-lived 1999 storyline. Although Julia was kissing a woman, executive producer John Romano
made it clear that Campbell's character was not a lesbian.
All My Children
In 2003, daytime television saw its first lesbian kiss on ABC's
All My Children. The soap opera aired a kiss between Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Lena (Olga Sosnovska). The media quickly picked up the story and rumors of a lesbian sex scene made the rounds. "A relationship will develop between Bianca and Lena," said a network spokesperson, "however, at this time, there are no plans for explicit love-making scenes on-screen."
Brothers & Sisters
In the first season of ABC drama
Brothers & Sisters, gay character Kevin (Matthew Rhys) locked lips with Scotty (Luke Macfarlane) in 2006. Although this was not the first gay kiss on network television, Kevin was one of the few major gay characters on TV at that time.
It wasn't that long ago -- just 2010 -- that a
Facebook campaign was launched calling on the creators of Modern Family to let same-sex couple Mitch and Cam share a kiss on screen. All of the show's other couples seemed to have no problem with kisses. Then it happened, in an episode about how Mitch hates PDA. The kiss actually comes only as part of the background of the scene. With that over with, now there have been plenty of kisses since and a same-sex wedding, too.
Days of Our Lives
Although late to the party, NBC's
Days of Our Lives aired its first gay kiss in 2012, between Will (Chandler Massey) and Neil (Jesse Kristofferson). Even though Days didn't lead the pack, it still was applauded for including a gay storyline.
In its six seasons, Ryan Murphy's
Glee unabashedly embraced LGBT storylines. But the love story between Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss) may be the most memorable. The couple's first kiss was passionate; no peck for these two.
We have to give it to
Glee; its creators didn't settle for one same-sex storyline, they crafted two. Kurt and Blaine found each other, but so did two of the school's most popular girls, cheerleaders Brittany and Santana.
Justin, the young nephew of this show's protagonist, was always effeminate. But
Ugly Betty's writers boldly confirmed that Justin was playing for our team in 2010 when he made out with one of his costars in a school play.
OK, it was just a fantasy/dream sequence on a series that was becoming increasingly silly, but
True Blood's pairing of Jason Stackhouse and Eric the Vampire was one of the sexiest same-sex scenes in TV history. Leave it to HBO to go there.
As the bisexual Captain Jack Harkness on the BBC's
Doctor Who and its spinoff Torchwood, out actor John Barrowman got to make out with plenty of guys. But the episode where he comes out features quite the romantic snog.
This Showtime drama paired two of its male leads, Reeve Carney and Josh Hartnett, for a surprise, absinthe-soaked make-out session. They're clothed first and then, whoops, there goes the shirts! The blase reaction shows how far we've come.
The Good Wife
Kalinda (Parminder Nagra) is the bisexual femme fatale of this gripping CBS drama. Smart and determined, Kalinda became a poster girl for lesbians and bi women everywhere, especially after this super hot kiss between her and an FBI agent she's goading for information early in the series.
As the HBO dramedy centered on gay men, it had no shortage of same-sex kissing, but the kiss between protagonist Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and Kevin (Russell Tovey) had the extra forbidden air -- Kevin was not only partnered, he was Patrick's boss.
Orange is the New Black
We couldn't have this list and not feature the impetus for it! There are many lovely lesbian kisses on this show, but how about when Piper (Taylor Schilling) finally gives in to her attraction to Alex, the no-good ex who helped land her in jail.