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CW Doesn't Want To Be Your Punchline Anymore, Develops Show Around A Transgender Character

By Joanna Robinson | Trade News | September 13, 2013 | Comments ()


Yes, that’s right, the home of fifth string superheroes and teenage soap operas is developing a, well, a teenage soap opera. But this teenage soap opera focuses on a transgender teen. Written by playwright Kyle Jarrow (“A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant”), the “raw, quirky family drama” ZE would feature a FTM lead whose family and community are thrown into upheaval because of his life change. So what’s the big deal? Well, if this project gets the green-light, it will be the first series with a trans lead character. And let’s take a look at how many primetime shows even feature trans characters these days:

Degrassi: Point of fact, they just killed off their trans character, Adam Torres (played by Jordan Todosey).

Glee: Actually one of the better characters on the show, Alex Newell plays Wade Adams (aka Unique), who is transgender. Ryan Murphy was an early champion of transgender characters (Nip/Tuck), but usually handles Unique with all the subtlety of a 70s after school special.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Brittany Daniel’s Carmen hasn’t been seen since 2010.

South Park: Mr. Garrison. I guess. For a time.

Orange is the New Black: Sophia Burset (portrayed by Laverne Cox) is the best I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t until the episode that focused on her transition (“Lesbian Request Denied”) that I fell in love completely with this show. So make this your mold, CW. And good luck living up to it.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Allyn O

    Small Town Security has an actual trans person. Sure the show doesn't always portray him in the best light, but it has a general David Lynchian vibe to it anyway.

  • In what world is Superman a fifth string superhero?

  • JoannaRobinson

    Fret not, I meant Green Arrow.

  • Sara Habein

    Hopefully this will be a great show in addition to being groundbreaking.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Look at her, holy crap she's gorgeous. At the risk of sounding really ignorant (again), have you noticed how MtF are usually more er... visually appealing than FtM?

  • UnderTheDark

    I think that perception may have more to do with how women portray themselves, vs how men portray themselves. Women are expected to keep themselves up to a certain level of polish and attractiveness (especially in the public eye), and this definitely still applies to transwomen! I've known several FtM who have made it a point over the years to downplay their "visual appeal" to avoid the wrong sort of attention.

  • Adam C

    Elementary's Ms. Hudson isn't listed.

  • DataAngel

    She was awesome for such a short amount of screentime. I hope she's on a lot more in season 2.

  • nachosanchez

    They're just trolling the Parents Television Council at this point, and I love it.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Sons of Anarchy got there first!!

  • JoannaRobinson


  • Sara_Tonin00

    Fuck, yeah! Go Kyle! I saw some of his super early work at Dixon Place. I never managed to catch Scientology Pageant, but nice to see someone with a unique style getting some mainstream success.

  • Ian Fay

    In fairness to Glee, EVERYTHING on Glee is handled with the subtlety of a Michael Bay movie, so it's not really a knock specifically against Unique.

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