|Get this: Monday's Ally McBeal featured one of the most passionate same-sex kisses in TV history, and no one pitched a fit about it.|
Why not? After all, when two women kissed on Roseanne and Ellen, conservative media watchdogs were up in arms. But when Ally McBeal's Georgia (Courtney Thorne-Smith) kissed Ally (Calista Flockhart) to help her convince an unwanted suitor she was gay, the network received nary a phone call and only one piece of e-mail about the episode — and it was a positive one, says a Fox spokesman.
"I think it's a lot of factors, but I think the main one was that it was two women playing," observes Scott Seomin, entertainment media director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "If it's a demonstration rather than a display of one's sexual orientation, it's fine."
Mark Honig, executive director of the Parents Television Council, which would normally decry such activity, concurs. "There was definitely no political agenda attached to this, which was a complete opposite with Ellen and Roseanne," he tells Dish.
Honig chalks the whole thing up to a viewership grab. "It just seemed unusual that they would choose a woman to turn off this guy," he says. "They could have chosen another man. I think they really did it for shock value and for ratings during sweeps. There were other ways of portraying to that gentleman that Ally was not interested."
Seomin, for his part, cheers the length and intensity of the liplock. "It was a good kiss," he says. "I would rate it as an A-plus kiss as far as the genuineness of it." — Michael Peck