Screen: ABC; Photo: MTV

Battle Of The Faux Lesbians

Which show's sapph-phonies 'come out' ahead -- Trophy Wife or Faking It?

Which did it first?

Faking It premiered two weeks ago; Trophy Wife's fake-lesbian plotline was the A-plot last night.

Winner: Faking It.

Which pair has a better reason for the deception?

Ooh, here's where my generational bias may come into play! Amy and Karma, the fakers of Faking It, decide not to correct those who've mistaken them for lesbians because their bold rejection of heteronormativity has made them popular for the first time at their very progressive high school. Jackie, of Trophy Wife, who faked her own coming out in high school for a similar reason, is not only committing to it as an adult at her twenty-year reunion but bringing her very hot "wife" Kate not just to conform to Jackie's original lie but to make herself look good to her former antagonists. So my task is to decide whether it's more important to seem cool in high school or to rub romantic success in jerks' faces later in life? Hmmmmmmmmm.

Winner: Since I'm thirty-nine, I kind of have to say Trophy Wife!

Which couple has most to lose if they're discovered?

Amy and Karma have not only put themselves on the map as Hester's first out lesbian couple -- they just won Homecoming Queens last week. And Karma's whole angle on trying to seduce Liam is to present him with the supposed challenge of seducing a lesbian. AND since Amy is starting to be pretty sure she's actually gay, the longer she keeps that fact from Karma, the dumber Karma's going to feel when the truth actually comes out, so to speak, as it seems like it inevitably must.

Jackie and Kate, on the other hand, aren't even LUGs (Lesbians Until Graduation); they're just lesbians for one night. Jackie went to high school a fairly long car ride from where she now lives and apparently hasn't friended any of her old classmates on Facebook if they don't already know she's been married to a man. So if anyone were to overhear their plotting, it wouldn't be a very big deal.

Winner: Faking It.

Which pair does a better job putting it over?

It would seem as though the ladies of Faking It would have this one in the (utilitarian messenger) bag, since at this point everyone at school has seen them kissing on each other. But the latest episode also finds Karma getting caught macking on Liam at school! Sloppy! True, it's easier for Kate to remain fake-faithful to Jackie since Kate's husband is in another county when all this goes down, so to speak, but at least Kate doesn't spurn Jackie's confused advances where anyone can see.

Winner: Trophy Wife.

Which is probably less offensive to actual lesbians?

While pro-gay sentiment in this country has come a long way since I was in high school in another century, one of our own barely-out-of-high-school contributors, Alex Zeidel, disputes Faking It's portrayal of universal gay acceptance, so while I don't know any sixteen-year-old lesbians, I can imagine some of them in less enlightened corners of this country watching Faking It and being infuriated by the fairy tale it's trying to peddle. And even though Kate has to shove Jackie away every time she comes in for a kiss -- which I choose to believe is more so that she doesn't do anything remotely like cheating on Peter than that she's gay-panicky about Jackie -- I have to think that there aren't a lot of lesbians who'd get mad at the sight of Kate slow dancing with Jackie in THAT DRESS.

Winner: Trophy Wife.

Verdict

Sorry, Faking It! I know your whole premise is that your lead characters are faux lesbians, but look at the math: the older ladies have got you beat.

Winner: Trophy Wife.

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