Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Lesbian TV Show
Short Take: Out lesbian Ellen Richmond (Ellen DeGeneres) moves back to her home town and works as a guidance couselor in her old high school.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2001
Duration: 31 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director:
Writer:
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Gaffigan, Emily Rutherfurd, Martin Mull, Cloris Leachman, Kerri Kenney, Diane Delano

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Ellen Show

No, not ‘Ellen,’ the groundbreaking sitcom that saw both Ellen DeGeneres and her character come out amidst a roar of media attention. Not her current Emmy award winning talk show, ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’ In 2001, Ellen came back to tv with a short-lived sitcom on CBS. Although canceled before it hit its stride, the dvd set includes the unaired episodes.

When her LA dotcom goes bust, Ellen Richmond (DeGeneres) decides to move back to her hometown for the simpler life. She lives with her scatterbrained mother (Cloris Leachman) and sister (Emily Rutherfurd, ‘Coupling’) and lands a job at her old high school as the guidance counselor.

What’s significant is that she is out as a lesbian at home and at work and even mentions an old girlfriend or two … and it’s not a big deal. No coming out crises, no homophobic drama – this is a television show with a character who happens to be a lesbian. It’s actually a show with two lesbians. Principal Munn (Martin Mull) even tries to set Ellen up with Bunny (Diane Delano), the school’s gym teacher.

Guest appearances from Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore and Maureen McCormick are treats in later episodes. The first few shows suffer from a bad laugh track, but the quality improves over time. Nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. (AB)