I had the pleasure of watching an advanced screening of Hulu’s newest series, launching October 10th in the UK, follows the trials and tribulations of Leila (Desiree Akhavan), who has spent most of the last decade in a serious relationship with a woman, and who struggles with her bisexuality. Bisexuals fall into a marginalized group, and a treated as though they don’t exist by both the LGBTQI+ community and heterosexuals alike.
In the first episode, Leila’s long-time spouse, Sadie, asks Leila to marry her during an interview about their shared company’s success. Leila declines the proposal, and asks for some space to find herself. During this break, Sadie (Maxine Peake) goes on thinking that Leila had left her, and Leila explores her attraction to the opposite gender by moving into a flat with a male roommate, Gabe (Brian Gleeson). Leila soon discovers that being an out bisexual means rejection from intimacy from some men, who find it too strange to date a woman who has only been with women before. At the same time, her close-knit group of friends (all lesbians) reject the concept of bisexuality, referring to bisexuals as “sexplorers” and selfish people. During both flashbacks and present day conversations, Leila has frequently chickened out of coming out to her lesbian friends, because of the constant criticism they show to bisexuals. Leila even goes so far as to take pot shots at bisexuals, as well, saying things like “Bisexuality is a myth; it was created by ad executives to sell flavored vodka.”
The show has the sort of dry, awkward humor that one can expect from British TV, while at the same time tugging at the heart strings as the drama unfolds when Leila’s life hits the fan. Each and every character has a flush and vibrant backstory that’s honestly refreshing in today’s TV world. Even people you think at first are cookie cutter, end up being rich with history after only a few episodes.
I think that this show would speak volumes to people in the bisexual community, and hopefully open the eyes of those who don’t find themselves in that world. Either way, it’s definitely worth a watch.