Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Sharon (Mariel Hemingway) - Roseanne
This was an important moment in television. At the time, there was no L-Word, and two girls kissing was still a very controversial thing. Roseanne has her faults, to be sure, but standing up to the network to get this episode on the air is something to be proud of.
Ally (Calista Flockhart) and Ling (Lucy Liu) - Ally McBeal
This one strikes me as somewhat the opposite of the Roseanne kiss. There was much less statement, and much more ratings grabbing sensationalism in this lip-lock. In that regard, it worked very well. Of course, the gang over at Ally McBeal had plenty of practice. Along with Ling, Ally also kissed Georgia (Courtney Thorne-Smith) and Elaine (Jane Krokowski). But if I have to pick one, it's Ling every time. And yes, I was an Ally McBeal fan.
Michael Scott (Steve Carell) puts it all in perspective at the end of this episode when he describes why an office needs both men and women to be present:
"You need to have that crazy sexual tension to keep things interesting."
How did we get to this prophetic (for Michael, anyway) statement? It begins with his boss (and unrequited love interest) Jan showing up at the Scranton office of Dunder Mifflin to conduct a "Women in the Workplace" roundtable and gathers all the ladies in the conference room to discuss their lives and how it relates to their careers, and vice versa.
Michael is threatened by the fact all the "Ally McBeal" women are gathered together and thinks they're talking about him. Jan throws him out of the room, so Michael decides to gather all the male office staff down in the "bowels of the office" aka the warehouse, which is run by foreman Darrell, who is not thrilled with what is going on. In addition, let's not forget that Pam's fiance Roy works there too, and Kevin mentions to Jim that he wonders if Roy has caught wind of Jim's previous/ongoing crush on her.
attempts to forge some male bonding and togetherness that although there are white collar and blue collar workers in the
same place, he says he is "collar blind." However, the warehouse guys can't hide their obvious contempt for
Michael, especially as he drives forklifts into inventory and ends up making a huge mess. Meanwhile, Roy and Jim make
small talk and Roy brings up the aforementioned crush. He says he's cool with Jim because all of that took place years
ago, so they move on.
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