Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (May 30, 2008)

Whatcha gonna do when American television comes for you? The acclaimed British women’s prison drama Bad Girls is coming to the United States. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Alan Ball, the creator of Six Feet Under and the upcoming vampire series True Blood, is developing an American version of the long-running lesbian favorite for premium cable channel HBO.

The adaptation is being written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl) and Raelle Tucker (Supernatural). Both work on Ball’s other series, True Blood, and will executive produce along with Eileen Gallagher, the series’ original co-creator and head of its production company, Shed Productions.

The company had previously sold the American rights to Bad Girls to FX. But neither party was happy with the pilot script, which was deemed “really gritty and unpleasant.” Gallagher told the Guardian that the new HBO version would be “very glossy” and have more of the feel of the show’s first few seasons, when “it was a drama where we were highlighting issues of women in prisons.”

At this point, I know you’re all hoping that it will feel like the show’s first few seasons in two very specific ways: Helen and Nikki. I fear the mere mention of actresses other than Simone Lahbib and Mandana Jones to portray the star-crossed lovebirds is apt to cause a minor riot among avid Bad Girls fans. But we have to gird ourselves for the inevitable, ladies. And while there is no official word yet on any lesbian story line, come on — it’s about a women’s prison. They go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

Now, I have a small confession: I haven’t watched Bad Girls. Hey, hey! Stop throwing things.

I know this makes me a very bad girl, or more precisely, a very bad gay girl. It’s not that I’m not interested, and it’s not that I haven’t been told by — oh, I don’t know — every lesbian on the planet that I am missing out. I just came to it late and haven’t found the time to catch up. Look, I watched the good stuff. (Thank you random people with copious free time for all those fan videos. That’s a fun way to spend an evening, I tell you.)

Bad Girls aired for eight seasons on ITV, ending its run in 2006. The Guardian said HBO executives hope to have the American Bad Girls pilot completed by Thanksgiving.

Women in prison are a hot commodity on TV right now. Fox is currently developing a spin-off to Prison Break set in a female prison. Two shows about women in prison on American TV come fall? Man, if that doesn’t drastically increase number of the lesbian/bisexual women characters on prime-time television, then someone simply isn’t trying hard enough.

Logo (’s parent company, represent!) is currently airing the fourth season of Bad Girls. So I guess I really don’t have an excuse to not watch anymore. Plus, I’ve got to catch up before it comes stateside, so we can all collectively complain rejoice about how American TV has ruined improved the show.

“I had a gay kid say to me the other day, ‘Men and women on death row can marry people on the outside. They’re allowed to get married. And gays want the same rights as people on death row.’ I thought that was pretty good thinking … It’s just an interesting thing that gays don’t have the same rights as people on death row.”
— Bisexual gossip columnist Liz Smith during a joint blog post with actress Candice Bergen and newswoman Lesley Stahl on their website,

by Dorothy Snarker