Now that the initial shock and awe surrounding 90210‘s upcoming lesbian love story has worn off (it has, right?), it’s time to get down to business — the business of interrogating showrunner Rebecca Sinclair about the origin of the Gia-Adrianna romance, how it’ll differ from the dozens of cliché-ridden Sapphic story arcs that preceded it on primetime, and which member of the show’s male population is most likely to follow Adrianna out of the closet.
Where did the idea for the Gia-Adrianna story come from?
REBECCA SINCLAIR: There’s been a real void in the 90210 universe in terms of gay and bisexual characters, so it was always my intention to find the right way to tell a modern story about being a non-straight — or non-entirely straight — teenager. It’s crazy that we don’t have any stories about that.
Lesbian flings have become something of a cliché on primetime soaps. How will this one be different?
SINCLAIR: This isn’t a fling. We’re coming at this [relationship] from a genuine place and not going, ‘Let’s do a titillating story that will grab some promotion.’ This is a real aspect of teenager life that’s interesting
SINCLAIR: Adrianna is, by nature, a dramatic person whose identity is not completely solid. She’s still very much in the process of figuring out show she is.
What role does her breakup with Navid play in her attraction to Gia?
SINCLAIR: The breakup certainly shook her up and made her sort of more open to the possibilities of what will make her happy. But this isn’t a direct rebound like, “Oh, I’m going to go be with a girl now.”
How does the flirtation start?
SINCLAIR: It starts from Gia’s side. She becomes Adrianna’s friend through AA. And then she develops a crush on her, and Adrianna is initially freaked out. But then she starts to question her own feelings.
How do her friends react?
SINCLAIR: Naomi, predictably, has some outrageous opinions. She thinks the best thing about fooling around with another girl is how much guys would love it. And Silver, being more sophisticated, is like, “What’s the big deal? If you like somebody and you feel attracted to them, what is holding you back?” But once we get past the “gayness” of it all, it’s really just a story about two people connecting. I don’t think it all has to be about gender politics. Frankly, it’d be great if everyone on the show was bisexual. It would provide [lots] of interesting combinations.
After the Gia-Adrianna romance ends — assuming it will eventually end — will you continue to maintain a gay and lesbian presence on the show?
SINCLAIR: I would love to. I would love to have a gay guy [on the show]. It’s a huge part of what high school is. I feel like the objective, aside from any political or social proselytizing, is to make as many interesting relationships as possible. I would very much like to have multiple gay relationships on the show.
Of the male characters you currently have on the show, who do you think is most likely to follow Adrianna’s lead?
SINCLAIR: [Laughs] I don’t know if there’s anyone in particular. There has been some internal debate about this. I feel like as we dig into the show and hopefully make it more specific and unique and interesting, we would get into the real stuff that goes on from both the guys’ and girls’ perspective.
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Desmond/The CW