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Lesbians Continue to Process the Lesbian Representation of The Haunting of Bly Manor

Some heady lesbian representation
THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) VICTORIA PEDRETTI as DANI and AMELIA EVE as JAMIE in episode 106 of THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020

(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD, sort of.)

We have to talk about The Haunting of Bly Manor. While AfterEllen has a review up on our thoughts, the lesbian and bi community had oh so much to say about the Netflix original. Don’t worry, we’re going to walk you through all the different lesbian responses to Bly Manor. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Haven’s heard of the new lesbian horror show? Let’s recap.

The Haunting of Bly Manor aka Bly Manor as it’s more affectionately known is about a governess who is hired to look after a man’s nephew and niece in their countryside home. After she begins her nannying position, she notices some rather ~spooky~ things happening in the home. Bly Manor follows last year’s Netflix original, The Haunting of Hill House, and features a lesbian love interest in Dani and Jamie. What more could you ask for, really?

As you can imagine, the lesbian community had many, many thoughts on the new series. The chemistry between Dani and Jamie throughout the show is extremely palpable and fires up our gay little hearts. The memes are endless, so we wanted to show you some of our favorite reactions, memes, responses, and more.

First, let’s check in with the infamous lesbian couple, Rose and Rosie. Rose and Rosie recently released a YouTube video on their channel reacting (and spoiling) to Dani and Jamie. They begin the video saying they had never seen Hill House, but are watching it now after loving Bly Manor so much. The couple raves about how Dani and Jamie’s relationship was tastefully done, in contrast with a lot of lesbian romances in other media that can be rather cheesy. Overall, Rose and Rosie seemed to really enjoy Bly Manor, despite it being scarier than their usual interests.

Jumping from YouTube over to Twitter, you can imagine just how many tweets, memes and the like have been coming about Bly Manor, specifically pertaining to Dani and Jamie. Here are a few of our favorites:

The gays telling everyone about Bly manor pic.twitter.com/uaDUrFGChC

— Carly (@KxllxngEve) October 29, 2020

lesbians when they finish bly manor https://t.co/il6sj31iWu

— joanna (@jennasmanning) October 29, 2020

No more “do you listen to girl in red” , it’s “do you watch Bly Manor for the love story” pic.twitter.com/tSlpxuFmGj

— €rit 🌈bly manor/ damie (@waaykeen) October 29, 2020

However, despite everyone seemingly adoring Bly Manor, many are upset with the show’s ending. So much so, that some even believed the ending sours the entire relationship between Jamie and Dani, resulting in Netflix trying hard for representation and falling short once again.

In an article with Buzzfeed, writer Shannon Keating says that the ending of Bly Manor nearly botches the entire series.

“Perhaps, in more deft hands, this storyline could be a transgressive investigation of the ways in which women, and particularly mothers, are forced to carry terrible burdens, as well as, perhaps, provocative commentary on femme identity, queerness, and found family (all this trouble started with a bunch of pretty clothes, after all, and Dani, with her ‘90s-chic jeans, rocks a great blowout),” Keating writes. “But with all of these themes smushed together and spit out in a sometimes-great but mostly meandering series, Bly doesn’t have anything interesting to say about any of them. And it does Dani — and mothers, and just women, in general — a disservice.”

To Keating’s point, the show seems to unravel at the end because of all the overlapping themes. Netflix often takes projects and tries to pack in as much as they can into a short series, which can result in doing the characters rather dirty. In an effort to be as progressive as possible, for women, mothers, and lesbians, Bly Manor packs in a lot of different topics all rolled into one relationship. It is a lot for the characters to carry, for sure, and an abrupt ending has left many unsatisfied.

Beyond that, many fans of the show were upset specifically by the ending; not because they believed it was botched, rather because it was extremely unexpected, making everyone emotional.

No one fucking warned me that the ending of Haunting of Bly Manor would make me sob uncontrollably & I feel betrayed by all of you

— Justine Dahl (@DahlJustine) October 22, 2020

“No one f-cking warned me that the ending of Haunting of Bly Manor would make me sob uncontrollably and I feel betrayed by all of you,” Twitter user Justine Dahl said.

what am i supposed to take from the ending of the haunting of bly manor??? what was that??? im so sad what

— sarah (@heavenbrat) October 29, 2020

the ending of bly manor…. LET THE LESBIANS BE HAPPY 😭

— coochie mane 🧪 (@lsdcuredme) October 26, 2020

Many people were upset by the ending of Bly Manor, which begs the question: will the media ever let lesbians have a happy ending? Why must everything always fall apart, not work out, leaving the lesbians unhappy? Is this internalized homophobia within the media and Netflix specials, or is it just a dramatic ending that is the cherry on top for the horror genre? Much to think about.

idk how anyone can watch bly manor, see the story of how these two met, got married and had 13 years together and think they weren’t good rep?? i’ve never seen a w|w love story be told so beautifully on tv. even if their ending was tragic, it was still beautiful pic.twitter.com/ZIT6C5qnMF

— gigi 🍭 (@danversluthvr) October 28, 2020

In contrast, there are also people who loved the ending and appreciated Dani and Jamie’s relationship for what it was.

“I don’t know how anyone can watch Bly Manor, see the story of how these two met, got married and had 13 years together and think they weren’t [a] good representation,” Twitter user Gigi said. “I’ve never seen a w|w [women love women] love story be told so beautifully on tv. Even if their ending was tragic, it was still beautiful.”

If you haven’t seen the show, you definitely have to check it out and form your own opinions. It seems as though the lesbian community agrees that Dani and Jamie are adorable AF, and if horror is your bag the show is certainly worth watching. Be mindful that the ending may leave you a little upset, as that’s where the reactions to the show seem to split.

the ending of the haunting of bly manor is so beautiful pic.twitter.com/F48wDcsYMS

— sawhorese ronan (@Iaddybird) October 22, 2020

The Haunting of Bly Manor is now streaming on Netflix.

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One Comment

  1. The greatest love stories often end in tragedies – like Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet – so why should lesbians be exempt from that motif? And anyone who’s read Wuthering Heights and has researched Emily Bronte knows damn well that Heathcliff was based on Emily Bronte.

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