Yay, A Lesbian on Memphis Beat!

The TNT series has a lezzie cop on patrol.


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By now, fans of My Name is Earl have tuned into star Jason Lee's new show, Memphis Beat on TNT, and since it also stars DJ Qualls and Alfre Woodard (the latter as the boss, police lieutenant Tanya Rice), lesbians have been watching, too. But gay gals may have another reason to watch the quirky drama about a Memphis police detective slash musician and his offbeat band of brothers (and, er, sisters) in blue.

On this week's episode, "Don't Be So Cruel," Lee (as cop Dwight) is searching for a missing groom and a female reporter when he runs into one of Memphis' great undercover cops: Sgt. Birdie Thorpe, played by M. Denise Lee. You might recognize Denise Lee (no relation to Jason) as the nurse in The Last Exorcism (a recent treatise on conservative theology in the guise of a horror flick) or as the counselor on Mad Money. But on Memphis Beat, Denise Lee is clearly a big ol' dyke. The legendary cop is at the station shooting the breeze with the boys (regaling them with tales of her latest 6-month sting) when Lt. Rice is introduced. Sgt. Birdie doesn't mince words in telling Rice how good she looks, inferring what she could, ahem, do with a body like that.While that garners her a stern lecture on sexual harassment and insubordination,the lady is hot and overall, it's just nice to see lesbian of color police detective back on screen (it's been too long since we said goodbye to Shakima Greggs on HBO's The Wire.) Here's hoping we see more of Sgt. Birdie Thorpe, and when we do, she isn't saddled with one of those tiresome sperm-donor-baby-mama-lesbian-bed-death storylines so popular on primetime.

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