It's about time some of these characters had their time to shine!
These days, it almost seems like everything on TV is basically the same lineup as it was 30 years ago, but in the form of a reboot, remake, or reunion. On the one hand, it lacks some originality. But on the other, it gives some of the movies and TV shows that deserved a little LGBQT+ representation the chance to explore that in the current day and age, where there might not have been the space to do so before.
Here's a look at 12 reboots and/or remakes that explore queer representation in a way their original run didn't allow for.
When the beloved '90s cartoon series Rugrats rebooted in 2021, the creators delivered some LGBTQ+ love when they made Phil and Lil’s mom, Betty, queer. Fans had some thoughts about the change, with most of us already recognizing her as the gay icon she is. We're just happy she finally got her time to shine!
A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own is an iconic '90s movie about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and considering the time it was released, the original filmmakers missed out on some prime LGBTQ+ storytelling (especially since they had Rosie O’Donnell.) Fortunately, the TV reboot is “euphoriacally, unapologetically gay,” as it should be, and is also referred to as the “lesbian baseball show.”
The new and improved Gossip Girl is extremely queer, so much so that producer and showrunner of the reboot Joshua Sefran (who also happened to work on the original) tweeted a response to a user asking about how much queer representation is on the show, to which he said, “Well, considering we have many queer characters, a lot?”
That 90's Show
This one is a sort of hit-or-miss with the LGBTQ+ representation. We missed out on a gay Fez storyline in That 70’s Show, and in return, That 90’s Show has some queer representation. Although welcomed, the “representation” part had viewers remembering that Ozzie, who’s an out-and-proud gay teen on the show, likely wouldn’t have been able to be as out and as proud as he is on the show in the 1990’s Wisconsin setting where it takes place. That said, we’re still all for the representation either way.
Let’s face it, we all knew Velma was a lesbian a long, long time ago. I literally learned the word “thespian” because she called herself one and I thought she called herself a lesbian and had to look it up. Although HBO’s Velma reboot was a little divisive (the IMDb rating for the show at the time of this writing is 1.6/10, ouch), the show runners at least gave us a lesbian storyline with Velma, and we promise it’s better than the haters would have you believe.
Pretty Little Liars
When HBO takes on a show that was once a little more PG-rated, you know things are going to get a little spicier (see: Velma). The HBO Max reboot of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin has plenty of queer representation and is just as crazy and bloody as its original predecessor.
Netflix rebooted the Australian series Heartbreak High in 2022, based on the original 1994 TV series that garnered quite a following. The show is full of queer characters and even has some representation of autistic characters, as well. As of May 2023, the second season was renewed.
Paramount+ has been delivering with the Nickelodeon reboots, and the reinvention of iCarly is high among the list. The updated show offers plenty of queer representation, including Carly’s new roommate, Harper, who claims she has relationships with “cute guys, hot girls, and ridiculous gorgeous non-binary lawyers.”
Saved by the Bell
Peacock took the reins on rebooting the classing NBC sitcom Saved by the Bell, and they did so by both highlighting the cheesiness of the original show and queered it up a little while they were at it. Some of the original characters are still around, like Zack Morris who has become California’s governor, but the focus on the new cast of high schoolers includes trans representation in the likes of Lexi (played by trans actress Josie Totah).
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
I will admit, when Netflix first announced the reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in 2017, I didn’t really expect what they delivered when they said it would be a little darker and different. That said, I, and so many others, am totally here for Ambrose, Sabrina’s pansexual British cousin who just makes the show so, so sexy.
One Day At a Time
Okay, it really hurt to lose this one. But, One Day at a Time was an amazing show that offered so much needed representation between Latinx and queer storylines. The show featured some of the best queer representation during its time on the air and really explored gender identity in a fresh and beautiful way.
Interview With the Vampire
Thank the gay gods for this, halleloo! The original Interview with the Vampire film should have featured some hot gay sex between Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise as Louie and Lestat, especially since Anne Rice confirmed the two were a couple. AMC's new television, however, honored that relationship and gave us some hot vamp-on-vamp action between the two iconic characters. That, and it's really just a damn good show.
This one technically isn’t a reboot, but instead is a spin-off of the Toy Story film series that also technically doesn’t actually take place in the same fictional universe as them, but rather as a film that some of the characters have seen. That said, it stillcreated quite the controversy when it featured a lesbian kiss between two characters, and deserves a spot as a honorable mention.