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With the arrival of I Kissed a Boy, BBC Three made (long-awaited) queer history and “logistical difficulty” became a ridiculous (but ironically iconic) phrase of the past. Fronted by Dannii “MOTHER!” Minogue and narrated by Bad Education star Layton Williams, the eight-episode series memorably became the first-ever UK dating show with an all-gay cast. While some were concerned over whether the LGBTQ+ experience would be handled with care, I Kissed a Boy ultimately won overwhelming praise from viewers and critics and a spin-off, starring queer women, was immediately greenlit. In celebration of this gloriously gay series – and in anticipation of the ‘loud and proud’ reunion (give us the drama now) – we’re examining what we loved and didn’t love about I Kissed a Boy (mostly the former). 

Didn’t love: The duration

Let’s get the con out of the way. I Kissed a Boy ran for eight episodes – not including the upcoming reunion – and it was too! damn! short! Of course, we understand the reason behind the duration: it’s a new show – an LGBTQ+ show at that – and could have flopped, hard. But, now that we know the show is a bonafide hit with queer audiences, we’d love the second season to run a bit longer so we have more time to fall in love with the cast. Not Love Island long, of course – queer people simply do not have the time – but we wouldn’t be too mad with an additional eight or so episodes. It would give Dannii more opportunities to slay us with her fierce ensembles, too. Emphasis on fierce, because she’s never looked more “mother!”

Didn’t love: The lack of opportunity to explore other matches

Introducing new boys as the series progressed helped bring some drama to the masseria, but very little structure allowing everyone to explore if there could be a better match for them meant the same guy kept getting those opportunities. We’re looking at you, Ben. If we’d had a speed-dating mechanism so everyone got a chance to have some alone time with a new boy, or even a day where the couples had to partner-swap for a challenge would’ve offered a moment for those looking for love to explore all possible matches on the show.

Love: The cast

Thankfully, I Kissed a Boy didn’t follow the same, tired approach as other shows in the same genre by casting models slash wannabe brand ambassadors for [insert clothing line/beauty brand here]. Diversity and inclusivity mattered here, with a variety of body types, experiences and ethnic backgrounds represented via the cast, which consisted of queer men from all corners of the UK. Basically, it wasn’t a swarm of white Muscle Mary’s from London. In an interview with GAY TIMES, Dannii said this was “so important” from the start: “The community isn’t one type of person and I think there needs to be visibility of different people. Not just body types, but background and religions and attitudes and personalities. It’s an eye-opener.” 

Love: Queer joy

While I Kissed a Boy didn’t shy away from exploring the adversities faced by the contestants, from Josh revealing his Mormon upbringing to Matty opening up about his internalised homophobia, a majority of the episodes focused on unequivocal queer (male) joy. Over the course of eight episodes, the cast perfectly captured what it means to be a queer man in the UK in 2023 with non-trauma-related conversations around Grindr and dating, bottoming, topping and fetishes. On what she learned from hosting the series, Dannii told us: “Body count was a big conversation and how quickly a dick pic comes up. I was shocked!” More of this on season two please. 

Love: Music

Lady Gaga’s non-single Boys Boys Boys receiving its spotlight in the final episode sealed it for us: I Kissed a Boy is the best soundtrack-ed show of all time. Of! All! Time! With bangers from Jessie Ware, Carly Rae Jepsen, Cheryl, Rihanna, The Pussycat Dolls, Shura, Dua Lipa and more, BBC Three needs to bestow a substantial raise to the queer pop music tart in charge. Oh, and whoever came up with the (very obvious) idea of Dannii making her entrance to I Begin to Wonder, one of the most underrated dance smashers of all time: well done. 


Dannii Minogue could not have been more perfect for this. Not only is she an excellent host slash “Cupid”, but more importantly, she has been a genuine ally to the LGBTQ+ community for decades (fun fact: she was one of the first-ever performers at G.A.Y) – and it showed through her engaging conversations with the boys and, again, her aesthetic self-awareness. She knew we’d expect glamour, and she gave it to us every single time! Also, she came out of pop retirement for the gays with the official theme tune, We Could Be The One, with 100% of the profits being donated to Switchboard, a national LGBTQ+ helpline that has been running for more than 49 years. There’s ‘ally’ and then there’s Dannii Minogue levels of ally.

I Kissed a Boy is now streaming on BBC iPlayer.