Let me begin with a health fact: Kissing burns 6.4 calories per minute. While the international pop-culture shows have a fair share of such ‘healthy’ moments, our Indian entertainment space is slowly warming up to the idea of including a same-sex lip lock. This uptick will not only enhance queer visibility; it will expand the discourse around queer dating, love and relationships through a wider reach these shows can generate. The sight of two: men, women, womxn- sharing a kiss- on-screen will reinforce the idea that love cannot be boxed within the paradigm of gender. Try, if you can. Love, which is the most beautiful emotion of all, is expansive and exhaustive in its scope- and hence, needs to be celebrated in all its colors.
After Rose, Chocolate, Teddy, Propose, Hug day, it’s the turn of the Kiss day and, what’s a better day than today, to celebrate the most dazzling same-sex kisses in popular culture. So read on and try not to sigh…
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Released last year, barely a month before the pandemic induced lockdown, SMZS is the story of a gay couple: Kartik and Aman (essayed by Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar). It is the story (rather a love story) of their struggles, acceptance and finding a happily-ever-after.
The critically acclaimed movie features a smooch between the two leads. In a wedding sequence song Gabru, Jitendra kisses Ayushmann with the guests in full attendance. That ‘empowering’ kiss becomes a driving tool in taking the story ahead with its overtone of rebelling against society’s definition of love and self-acceptance.
Side Note: The movie is a sequel to Shubh Mangal Saavdhan which was based on the plot of erectile dysfunction. It featured Ayushmann Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar as leads.
Made in Heaven
This Amazon Prime series features a tender kiss between Karan and Nawab (played by Arjun Mathur and Vikrant Massey). Hailed as one of the noteworthy scenes of the series, the kiss was a part of the larger gentle moment, these two ex-lovers share. For the characters, it was a closure long due, whereas for the audience, it was a moment that brought out the nuances of relationship between Karan and Nawab.
Side Note: The series has been renewed for a second season
Finding Prince Charming
This gay reality show featured thirteen contestants vying for the attention of Robert Sepulveda Jr, the show’s resident Prince Charming. Modeled on the lines of The Bachelor (but, for LGBT), it had a black tie ceremony instead of a rose ceremony, as a part of the elimination process. The show had ample swoon worthy moments to convert a romance skeptic to a romance fanatic.
Side Note: Its German version, Prince Charming’s Season 3 (slated to go live this year) will have lesbian suitors.
Riverdale, the teenage drama, on Netflix has its own share of same-sex kisses. The show, in fact, features a host of non- heterosexual characters among the principal cast- there is Cheryl Blossom, who is in a steady relationship with Toni Topaz; a closeted Moose Mason (probably, a bisexual); and the openly gay Kevin Keller (known to the gang as Kev).
The show has time and again featured frequent lip locks between Kev and Moose, Cheryl and Toni. Considering the heavy queer fan base the show enjoys, Riverdale in one of the episodes, featured Archie Andrews (played by K J Apa) indulging in a brief man on man moment.
Not to mention, one of the show’s trifectas, Betty Cooper aka Lili Reinhart came out as a bi-sexual, last year.
Side Note: The gang is all graduated from Riverdale High. Expect a time jump in the upcoming episodes.
Grey’s Anatomy, one of the long-est running and wildly popular medical drama has nailed the anatomy of a queer kiss. The show introduced first-ever same-sex kiss between Schmitt and Nico in 2018, and since then there has been no looking back. The show has had lot of queer love story arcs, and hence lots of kisses to back up the story track. We say, bring them on!
Side Note: The ongoing season of the show addresses the pandemic throwing a spotlight on the herculean efforts of the frontline workers- their professional and personal struggles in order to keep the virus at bay.
Okay, this one has an award worthy kiss. One of the landmark movie to have released during the recent times, Love, Simon won the Best Kiss Award at MTV Movie & TV Awards. The Ferris wheel kiss made it to the movie after twenty plus takes; and is one of the magically shot kisses against the glittering backdrop of city line. Its actor, Keiyan Lonsdale, while accepting the award remarked, “I just want to say to every kid: You can live your dreams and wear dresses.”
Side Note: The movie is based on a book by the same name.
Will & Grace
An entertaining show with a cult fan base, W&G follows the lives-cum-misadventures of Will and Grace, besties turned roommates. In it’s one of the episodes, Acting Out, the show featured a same sex kiss that was filmed in the real streets of New York. Watch it if you have not already.
P.S.: Our favorite character IS Karen, hands down.
Side Note: The show’s title is inspired from a book.
Romil & Jugal
A rarity among Indian shows, Romil & Jugal features two gay leads that fight against all the odds to prove the validity of their love. Billed as Romeo and Juliet with a twist, its promotional poster features two men, about to initiate a kiss. At the risk of disclosing a spoiler, the show ends on a happy note. We so want Season 2!
Side Note: The show was intended to be released as a movie