It’s the kiss that’s on everyone’s lips this week. After a season of teenage angst and longing, tonight’s season finale of “Dawson’s Creek” (8 p.m. EDT/PDT, WB) features the first passionate homosexual kiss between two men to ever take place on primetime television. In the episode, titled “True Love,” Jack McPhee (Kerr Smith), who came out last season after briefly dating Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), shares an onscreen kiss with friend-turned-boyfriend Ethan (Adam Kauffman).
No less than the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has branded the smooch “historic.” And while the kiss between Jack and Ethan might indeed be primetimes’s first romantic kiss between two men, it’s hardly the first gay kiss on the tube.
Herein are some examples of primetime television’s gay and lesbian smooches:
“Melrose Place”: On May 18, 1994, Matt (Doug Savant) shares a kiss near the pool with guest-star boyfriend Rob (Ty Miller) — except you don’t see anything because a threatened advertiser boycott goads Fox into cutting away from the liplock.
“Relativity”: On Jan. 11, 1997, on this short-lived ABC drama, a lesbian couple caresses, nuzzles and goes for some passionate, open-mouthed kissing.
“Ellen”: After coming out in the spring of 1997, Ellen Morgan (Ellen DeGeneres) and friends go on to smooch up a storm — both for romantic and comedic purposes — including a liplock between Ellen and best friend Paige (Joely Fisher).
“Party of Five”: In 1999, college student Julia Salinger (Neve Campbell) engages in a short-lived lesbian affair with a professor (Olivia D’Abo) after the breakup with her abusive boyfriend.
“Will & Grace”: In an episode this season on the NBC sitcom, Will (Eric McCormack) liplocks with his best friend Jack (Sean Hayes) while “The Today Show’s” Al Roker and the rest of the New York crowd and TV audience look on. The scene, though somewhat of a political statement since it is a kiss on the lips between two gay men, is played primarily for laughs.
Awww, young gay love!