At first I was doubtful about people pretending to be gay, but the fact that one of the main characters discovers that she really is a lesbian - and that she is still played as an attractive, likable, multi-faceted character - makes it okay to me. Though the directors don't throw all stereotypes out the door, they don't completely adhere to them either, and that's refreshing. Most of the supporting characters have real depth and end up being a little different than you'd expect - I especially like the way Shane is played with a nice balance of flamboyant and cool, and the fact that Lauren isn't all evil. I also really like a straight white guy being best friends with a gay guy and not having any problem with it. You don't see that too often in real life - let alone on TV. Seeing the liberal Utopia of Austin is fun, and doesn't strike me as too far from the truth in some areas of our country - I live in in California.
I like how this show is made to attract straight viewers as well as gay ones. I think that is a big step in the right direction, and a sign of the changes occurring in the attitudes of the younger generation. Love it!
Now for the criticisms: It's true that there is a distinct lack of non-white faces on the show, as well as a lack of class representation. That's a shame. So is the fact that everyone is so skinny and perfect looking - except for Lauren's stereotypical sidekicks: the Asian Girl and the Fat Girl. That illicites a big sigh from me, and is the only thing unbelievable about the show. Karma and Amy do not look like social outcasts. Hollywood just doesn't seem to be anywhere near ready to change attitudes about body image, and this show doesn't do anything to disrupt white middle-class hegemony. Maybe some day.