Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The second series of Wizards vs Aliens concluded yesterday with somewhat of a surprise - and I'm not referring to wizards winning an all out war with the aliens. No, the big surprise, for many, was that Benny has come out as gay to his best friend Tom Clarke. There's no denying that the relevant scene was very sensitively written and acted; though, as it happens, the word "gay" was never actually spoken.

Tom tells Benny that they need to save the world in order that Benny can go on his very first date. They win the war, and save the world. So the big question becomes whether or not we'll see any more of Benny. Will we ever see him go on his first date?

That was the last episode of the current series, and no decision has yet been made about the commissioning of a third series.

Benny coming out as gay might seem like groundbreaking children's television but, surprising as it may seem to those unfamiliar with Newsround Blog, gay characters first appeared on kids' TV more than twenty years ago. And although Benny has yet to go on his gay date, kids actually saw teens coming out and dating in the past, before programmes like Byker Grove and Grange Hill were axed.

The reality, then, is that children's TV has just recently been playing catch-up, and there's no guarantee that it'll continue to do so. There is no room for complacency. Furthermore, lesbians have been even more poorly represented on TV than their male counterparts.

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