Summertime: the season of beach days, bike rides, picnics and ice cream. Okay, we’re not going to lie. While we love that vitamin D, summer gives us collegiettes ample free time that we don’t have during the school year, and what better way to spend that free time than snuggled up under your comforter (with air conditioning), spooning a family-sized bag of popcorn while watching endless episodes of television? For those of you looking to conquer a new series this summer, check out these seven Netflix hits filled with lots of LGBTQ+ love.
1. Orange is the New Black
It was probably the first show that came to mind when you saw this article. Orange is the New Black is so good, you’ll be cuffed to your laptop.
Set in a women’s penitentiary in upstate New York, this show follows upper-class Manhattanhite Piper Chapman after she is put behind bars for assisting her former girlfriend (played by Laura Prepon, who stole our adolescent hearts on That ‘70s Show) with a drug money transport a decade earlier. Supplemented by the personalities of the other inmates, this cohort of female convicts creates some serious drama, crazy surprises and twisted love stories. With a near-permanent spot in the “most popular” section on Netflix, a killer cast and an abundance of lesbian lust, OITNB was meant for bingeing.
Just because high school is behind you doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy watching fictional characters suffer through those four years of life.
Glee centers on a high school glee club comprised of several students that deal with a slew of issues all teens encounter in their pre-college years. Confronting sexuality is one of the show’s primary themes, with multiple homosexual characters struggling with their identities in the context of their families, school and social lives. Relatable, humorous and always reliable for a great sing-along (you know you want to), Glee will have you steeped in the guilty pleasure of its adolescent drama—and thanking god you’ll never have to be a freshman again.
3. The L Word
If the title wasn’t a tip-off, this TV-series squeezes a vast supply of lesbian drama into six short seasons, which you’ll find yourself clicking through in record time.
A recent college-grad, protagonist Jenny moves from Chicago to LA to live with her boyfriend. Ironically, while this move that’s supposed to bring her physically closer to her current SO ends up prompting her to question her sexual orientation. She becomes involved with a group of lesbian women, whose friendships, passions and unique characters shape the plot of the series. The show combines Gossip Girl-like wealth and beauty together with drama rivaling that of Desperate Housewives. Indulge in this addiction—you’ll emerge wishing (and probably thinking) these girls were your best friends.
4. Lost Girl
For those looking to completely detach from reality in their Netflix expeditions, you’ll want to spend five seasons in another world with Lost Girl, a supernatural and sex-filled series that’s guaranteed to keep you clicking that next episode button.
The bisexual main character Bo is a Succubus, a demon in a human body that literally feeds off the sexual energy of both human beings and Fae, creatures of the world from which she was created. However, adopted by humans, she doesn’t realize her superpowers until she accidentally kills her high school boyfriend while swiping her v-card (talk about a scary first time). It’s kind of like twilight, but with sex instead of blood and brings a whole new meaning to #thirsty. If you think your fantasies are wild, turn on Lost Girl for some sickeningly seductive surprises.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If you ladies are looking for a great throwback featuring a main character who *literally* slays, this childhood television staple was way ahead of the vampire trend and is sure to keep you up at night––because you won’t be able to turn it off.
High school student Buffy Summers lives a double life, but she’s no Hannah Montana--unless you would consider “The Best of Both Worlds” being an inescapable fate to fight forces of darkness. A serious lady-boss, Buffy combats a series of superhuman villains with her tight cohort of friends.
Buffy was ahead of its time in terms of not only its teen-vampire content, but also its expression of homosexuality. In the middle of the series, one of the main characters (no names because like, spoilers) realizes she is gay; however, her path to embracing her sexual preferences is portrayed in an incredibly positive light, revolutionary in a decade where depictions of homosexuality in entertainment often come with backlash. Good luck, and we’ll see you in 144 episodes.
6. The Fosters
Open up your laptop and settle into modern suburbia with The Fosters, a TV show that proves there really is no “typical” family unit.
The Fosters follows lesbian partners Stef and Lena as they raise a biological son, adopted twins and two foster children in San Diego. With a complex arrangement of familial ties, the characters encounter a variety of obstacles in their their daily lives unlike those in any other show of its kind. Using a groundbreaking framework to capture classic themes of love and family, The Fosters will let you lapse into a nurturing Netflix binge.
7. Pretty Little Liars
Though Netflix marathons can take you into some crazy late nights, this time you might want to keep the lights on. So log on, but grab your favorite stuffed animal as protection (because you know you still have one).
Pretty Little Liars tells the story of four former friends who went separate ways after the disappearance of the fifth (and leading) member of their clique, Alison. Brought together by anonymous threats about their past secrets, the girls endure a thrilling and terrifying series of events while trying to discover who is torturing them about their past as well as their present. For one of the girls, Emily, the source of this tormenting often relates to her homosexuality, whose passions and relationships are used against her. With a constant stream of surprises, scandals, suspicions and blackmail, you will be way too eager to know what’s next to take your eyes off the screen.
Next time your summer plans get rained on or you just don’t feel like changing out of your pjs for 72 hours, log on to Netflix and take on a binge-watching challenge. With this selection of addictive series, you’ll be sure to find a hefty dose of queer motifs without having to search for your remote control. Keep clicking, collegiettes!