Over the past year, one of the most daring, progressive, racially diverse, and consistently well-written dramas has been living right under our noses -- on The CW. And last night, "The 100" took things one giant step forward by doing what many other shows of its ilk (and even on its very network) would almost surely balk at: it revealed that its female lead, who was until recently dating a man, is bisexual.
Now, before you jump in and note that this has been done before -- Marissa Cooper was bisexual on "The OC," after all, and Emily is gay on "Pretty Little Liars" -- know that it's "The 100"'s excellent handling of Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Lexa's (Alycia Debnam-Carey) 20-second-plus kiss that made it stand out from the crowd.
Because not only was their moment together well-earned and believable, but it was treated as no big deal. Both ladies carry the impossibly heavy burden of being the leaders of their respective tribes, and have always seemed to really, really like each other -- so, before the heat of battle, why wouldn't these two beautiful, kindred people give it a go? They live in a post-apocalyptic universe where humanity's hatred and intolerance has already quite literally destroyed planet Earth, so if Clarke and/or Alexa had spent any time at all fretting the implications of their LGBT status, it wouldn't have been believable.
"In #The100, they don’t label themselves," producer Jason Rothenberg wrote on Twitter. "If Clarke’s attracted to someone, gender isn’t a factor. Some things improve post-apocalypse. Clarke is a bisexual character. Remember that in this society, no one’s worried about it. They’re worried about spears to the chest."
Pretty crazy when a society that includes acid fog, bone marrow theft, literal skull helmets, and "floating" has a better grip on sexual politics than our own, right? But this freedom to paint a more complex universe less grounded in reality has always been a part of what makes sci-fi so fun, and "The 100" is currently one of the best works of sci-fi in popular media.
So go ahead and lick your wounds, Bellarke fans -- and just be glad to be part of a television show that celebrates love, diversity, and sexuality without judgment. We need more like it.