Nickelodeon has been rather skimpy in the gay subtext department for the past few years, after the glory days of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Fairly Oddparents, and Drake and Josh. Other than the obvious bisexual Spencer, ICarly tended to prefer homophobia to subtext, and the aggressively gay-friendly cast of Victorious was mostly silenced on screen.
So I wasn't hopeful about the new Nickelodeon teencom Sam & Cat (2013-).
It sends cynical, streetwise Sam Puckett of ICarly (Jeannette McCurdy, left) from Seattle to Los Angeles (presumably she has broken up with Carly). She meets the upbeat, naive Cat of Victorious (Ariana Grande).
They become roommates in a fabulous apartment, which they finance through an after-school babysitting service (I'd like to see their rate schedule.) Their interaction is heavily physical, and Sam all but states that she finds Cat hot. Oh, wait, she says that.
Did I mention that Sam is pushy, aggressive, masculine, and favors jeans and leather (seen here off-camera with costar Cameron Ocasio), while Cat is soft, passive-aggressive, feminine, and favors pastel dresses? It's a little unusual for lesbian couples to have such a blatant butch-femme configuration nowadays, but not unheard-of.
I can't think of anything else producer Dan Schneider could do to make it any clearer that they are a lesbian couple. Maybe have them watch gay-themed tv or movies.
Oh, wait: their favorite tv show: What a Drag, about a family of crossdressers.
Maybe keep them from the standard teencom convention of expressing heterosexual interest every five seconds.
He does that, too: they express no heterosexual interest.
On the masculine side, next-door-neighbor Dice (Cameron Ocasio, left), a 12-year old operator, manages a mixed-martial artist named Goomer (Zoran Korach, center). They also have an aggressively physical interaction.
Ordinarily I wouldn't count a bond between a 12-year old and an adult as a gay subtext, but Goomer is a big kid, effectively younger than Dice (he requires a babysitter when Dice goes out of town). It's hinted that he suffers from brain damage from his fighting career.
Unconventional, but arguably a gay-subtext couple.
Dice and Goomer don't express any heterosexual interest, either, at least in the nine episodes to date.
That could all change in Episode #10, but for now, Sam & Cat is the gayest show on children's tv.