Season nine of All Saints has got Scarlett seriously depressed, so she’s making herself feel better by watching earlier seasons. And she came across something she can’t believe she missed, even in the days before she become a Hathor-subscribing feminist, it was such an obvious example in how to write a good female-female friendship.
Seasons five-eight showed the friendship between two women, Terri (Georgie Parker) and Charlotte (Tammy Macintosh). Charlotte was an open lesbian, but there was never anything between them. No one-sided longing. No hints of UST. They were just mates, one of whom happened to date people of the other’s gender. And even though Charlotte was naturally flirtatious and frankly sexual, the only sexual interest she ever showed in Terri was making sure she looked hot for a date.
Because both women were main characters, their friendship was one of the most heavily-featured relationships of the show. When Terri’s husband dies, Charlotte is there to grieve with her. When Terri is bullied into going out on a date, Charlotte is there to make sure she looks sexy – and doesn’t back out. When Charlotte miscarries the baby she conceives in a drunken one-night stand with Terri’s boyfriend, Terri swallows her pride and shares her own pain of miscarriage. When Charlotte’s ex-husband Vincent is driving her batty, Terri’s there to confide in. And through all this, there’s nothing to suggest anything but deep and platonic love.
Given that so many writers – TV writers in particular – have trouble writing close female relationships when both women are straight, let alone one is a lesbian, I thought this was phenomenally open-minded. I’ve seen several storylines over the years where the whole point of a same-sex friendship where one is gay is to create UST. But AS is the only one I can think of where they really were nothing more then mates, and it had occurred to no-one (except maybe the slash community) that they should get together.
Whatever happened to those writers? I want them to come back and fix up the mess the current crew have made with Charlotte’s sexuality.