Boobs on Your Tube: If This Is How All American Honors Black Women, They Can Keep It

Welcome back to Boobs on Your Tube! In its Season 13 finale, Drag Race crowned the rightful (and correct! if you ask us) queen. And speaking of Drag Race, Willam was a guest on To L and Back! For All Mankind’s lesbian love story is literally flung out of space. Also, Mary Lambert made her musical movie debut in Arlo the Alligator Boy. On this week’s Red Table Talk, Willow Smith opened up about being poly. Supergirl took it all the way back to 2009 for a flashback with a teen Alex and Kara to remember. Home Economics sure does have a lesbian couple and is full of family hijinks to laugh your evening away. And Kayla STILL can’t believe that anyone on Battlestar Galactica was ever straight!

Over in the land of film, Drew and Riese discussed all of this year’s Best Picture Oscar contenders and Heather made you a list of the 25 Best Films for all your First Date needs. We love you! Have a great weekend.

Notes from the TV Team: 

+ Janet Mock. That’s all I have to say. — Carmen

+ On Black Lightning, Anissa got a new Thunder suit (coincidentally in the colors of the new Painkiller spin-off, just saying) and also her powers gave out just in time for her to seemingly get hit by a car? Do I believe Anissa is going to end up killed by this car? No. But the show ended on a cliffhanger so I suppose can’t make any promises, just in case. — Carmen

+ Did we really make it through a whole season of The Circle with no lady gays? What a disappointment after last season’s bisexual chaos. Based on the chatter in Autostraddle’s Circle Chat, we’re Team Trevor heading into next week’s finale. Who’s your favorite? — Natalie


9-1-1 409: “Blindsided”

Written by Natalie

Though they're still hurting over Nia's departure, Hen, Karen and their son, Denny, prepare to welcome new foster children into their family, this week on "9-1-1."

The night before Hen and Karen’s foster daughter, Nia, is slated to be returned to her biological mother, it’s their son, Denny, who ends up climbing in their bed. He admits that he doesn’t want Nia to go but Karen reminds him that this was always the plan. She admits that it’ll hurt them but it’s the best thing for Nia. But the impending departure has Denny worried about his own future: because Karen and Hen aren’t his “real moms,” will they have to give him back too? Hen clarifies: they are his real mothers and no one is ever taking him away from them, ever.

The next day, the social worker arrives to get Nia and she shares a tearful good-bye with her foster family. Denny gives her his blanket to remember him by and she — adorably — names her stuffed unicorn after her big brother. She gives hugs and kisses to Karen and Hen… and seems blissfully unaware that this time, she’s leaving and not coming back. Once Nia’s gone, Karen admits that they never realized how hard it’d be to give Nia back. The social worker acknowledges that the reaction is common among foster parents and, sometimes, it dissaudes them from ever taking in another child. Karen seems open to fostering again but Hen, promptly, shuts it down: She never wants to do this again.

Later, Hen’s mom finds her daughter sulking in Nia’s old room. Hen confesses she misses Nia and is particularly heartbroken to know that while she’ll remember the loss of this child she loved as if she was her own, Nia probably won’t remember her in a year. Toni admits that Nia might not be able to recall specifics, she’ll remember how life with Hen and Karen made her feel and that’s indelible. Hen collapses against her mother in tears.

But Hen’s not the only one impacted by Nia’s departure: Karen breaks all the rules and hires a private investigator to find Nia’s biological mother. Just like Hen, she needed reassurance that Nia was going to be safe and she gets it. Learning about Nia’s home life — and how they created the space for that to happen — only makes Karen more invested in the idea and she admits she wants to foster again. Hen acknowledges that it’ll hurt everytime they have to return their foster children to their biological parents but she knows that they can handle it.

Later, they talk to Denny and he agrees… and before long, the family welcomes two new foster kids.


All American 311: “The Bigger Picture”

Written by Natalie

Preach and Coop share words before she performs a spoken word piece at the vigil for Tamika Pratt, this week on All American.

When we catch up with Coop this week, she’s studying for her upcoming GED test with Layla. Unfortunately, though, Layla’s mind is elsewhere — she’s frustrated that she didn’t see the signs of Olivia’s struggles to stay sober — and she advises Coop to find a new study partner. She finds the right person for the job back in Crenshaw: Preach. He’s reluctant at first but relents when Coop offers to pay him to for his time. Their first tutoring session doesn’t go well: Preach is annoyed that Coop’s distracted by Spencer’s recruitment, even though they aren’t friends anymore, while Coop’s frustrated that Preach can’t explain comparative government to her in a way that she can understand.

Coop ducks out of the tutoring session early to attend the flower vigil for Tamika Pratt, a local girl killed by police officers and still awaiting justice. Attendance at the rally is sparse because “the cries of injustice around black women’s murders are always so much quieter” but the crowd commits to giving Tamika her flowers. Olivia’s there — despite the fact that her mother’s office is overseeing the potential prosecution — and so are Kia, Coop, Preach and Spencer and his family.

“My beautiful black women, these flowers are also for you,” Tamika’s cousin says from the stage. “They’re here to say we love you, we see you, and we will always protect you.”

The words echo the sentiment of All American‘s showrunner and, personally, I was dismayed that they believe that the best way to honor black women was to give them flowers at a memorial for a black woman you created solely to have the police kill her. Everyone’s doing their BLM/police brutality stories this season and almost every one I’ve seen has been bad — except for last week’s Station 19 — but this? This is a whole new level of terrible. How do you honor black women by killing more of them? How is this anything besides exploiting our pain and trauma?

Coop delivers a spoken word piece at the vigil and later, when she’s back at Slauson Cafe, she puts one lesson to work. Unwilling to let the last thing shared between her and Spencer be anger, she creates a video to remind him of the dream he had when he first picked up a football. She sends it to Spencer and it convinces him to stay true to who he is, no matter what the college scouts want.

But because this show hates me, it doesn’t end on that sweet note: instead, we get to watch as Olivia steals the footage of Tamika Pratt’s death from her mother’s laptop and posts it for the world to see. And, because this show doesn’t know who its audience is — or, worse, does and doesn’t care about them — it forces us to hear the sounds of Tamika Pratt being murdered by the police.

If this is how All American honors black women, they can keep it.


New Amsterdam 309: “Disconnected”

Written by Natalie

This week on New Amsterdam, Lauren and her new roommate, Leyla, hold hands before their new shared tree.

Bloom: Is it real?
Leyla: Very much so.
Me: I don’t think they’re talking about a tree!

Alright, I’m finally ready to call it: there are gay happenings on New Amsterdam.

I was waivering for a bit because, as with All Rise, there’s already another gay on the canvas and I wasn’t sure that the show was bold enough to add another queer character. But this week’s episode ended with hand holding… and there’s no getting around that… that’s gay. Consider this a reward for every queer woman who started watching New Amsterdam because of our undying love for Amanita Caplan Freema Agyeman.

(It me. I’m that queer woman.)

But let’s back up and see how we got to the hand-holding: Leyla, a DriveTime driver, shows up in Lauren Bloom’s Emergency Department when she drops off a patient. Leyla diagnoses the injury but Bloom dismisses her suggestion and ushers her out. Later, Leyla returns with the patient’s wallet, only to witness her going into respiratory distress. Leyla calls out for help but when no one comes, she springs into action. She performs an emergency needle decompression and draws Lauren’s ire for endangering the life of her patient. Leyla urges Lauren to test for Wilson’s disease but all Dr. Bloom wants to do is get Leyla out of her ED.

But, of course, Leyla is right in the end and a chastened Lauren tracks her down to apologize. Leyla confesses that she was a pediatric attending in Pakistan but now she’s a DriveTime driver living in her car. Desperate to repay Leyla for saving her patient’s life, Lauren offers her use of the hospital’s showers. Later, she invites Leyla to sleep on a cot in a hospital supply closet. Eventually, of course, Leyla’s discovered and Lauren rushes to her defense.

“Leyla had nothing to do with this, okay? She selflessly brought a patient in, and when I heard that she had no place to stay, I let her use the closet. I mean, we’re in the business of helping people, right?” Bloom asks, doing her best impersonation of Max. She admits that she’d do it again because Leyla’s an incredible person, who has a right to be cranky because she’s driving around frat boys instead of practicing medicine. Bloom refuses to let the hospital press charges against Leyla. Unbeknownst to Lauren, of course, Leyla has already denied even knowing her and told the hospital’s administrator that she found the closet on her own. Oops.

With the hospital out as a place for Leyla to stay or shower, she retreats back to her car. Lauren won’t have it though and insists Leyla come stay with her instead. The two become roommates and settle into their new routine. Leyla’s surprised by Bloom’s spartan life but Lauren assures her it’s unintentional. She’s barely home, afterall. So while Lauren’s a work, Leyla decides to add some intentionality to the space with a plant… only that plant turns out to be a tree. A very big, very live, tree.

“I’m not really good with living things,” Bloom confesses as she stares at the plant overtaking her dining room.

“I disagree,” Leyla answers, slipping her hand into Lauren’s.

Even if I could pretend that two women holding hands isn’t always gay (which I can’t because it is), the look that flashes on Bloom’s face — a moment of bisexual panic followed by acceptance and relaxation — is unmistakable. It’s gay!


Top Chef: Portland 1805: “Meet You at the Drive-In”

Written by Natalie

Maria prepares Sonoran hot dogs, from scratch, for this week's Drive-In themed challenge.

I was a bit worried about the fate of our gay cheftestant, Maria Mazon, this week on Top Chef: Portland. After finishing in the middle of the pack through most of the early challenges (and thus ensuring that she doesn’t receive any feedback from the judges), Maria has a crisis of confidence this week. She starts to doubt whether or not she’s good enough to be here… and that results in a tearful conversation with her wife and son back in Arizona. If you’ve ever watched any reality competition before, you know those conversations of are usually the precursor to being sent home, but not this time!

Maria plots an ambitious dish for the elimination challenge: a Sonoran hot dog. When she explains that she’s making her own sausage from scratch and baking her own buns, I think she’s tackling way too much and it’s going to get her sent home. Somehow, she pulls it off… and while she doesn’t get the outright win (much to my dismay), she does get the validation from the judges she needed to remind her that she deserves to be here. Go Maria!


Nancy Drew 213: “The Beacon of Moonstone Island”

Written by Valerie Anne

Odette in George's Body sits on the couch next to Bess, both of them purposefully not looking at each other while smiling coyly.

I shipped Emily and Maya for years after Maya was “dead” so I’m okay with shipping Bess and a ghost!!!

George wakes up this week to find that Odette has had another busy night, hiding all of George’s hoodies and buying her younger sisters a parakeet. And then when she gets to work, George finds that Odette has reorganized her whole office, too. George is furious and has a conversation with the ghost in the mirror about boundaries but Odette just wanted to help.

Bess comes in to apologize again, about not telling her about the flirtations, about the letters…and George doesn’t want to talk about it, but she DOES get an idea, and decides to hide Odette’s letter from the Englishwoman to teach her a lesson on meddling.

After helping a girl become untethered from fire spirits that plagued her, George gets an idea to sever Odette from her life so she’ll stop meddling, and Odette has little sympathy for her. George doesn’t know what it’s like to have her life meddled with, not like Odette does. Odette pleads with George to not ruin or hide the letter from Mary; it’s all she has left of the only joy she had in life. Eventually, George and Odette reach an understanding. Odette agrees to let George and the Drew Crew try to see if they can maybe find Mary’s ghost to see if maybe Odette has a reason to become untethered to George, and George will let Odette drive for a while during the day as long as she doesn’t mess with her job…or her clothes.

Odette’s first stop is to go see Bess. She promises she won’t cross the boundaries Bess set, and apologizes for almost doing just that, and asks Bess if they can at least still be friends. They decide to Netflix and Chill, but things are decidedly not chill when their fingers brush against each other when they both go for some popcorn and they both react like they’ve been electrocuted.

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The Autostraddle TV Team is made up of Riese Bernard, Carmen Phillips, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Valerie Anne, Natalie, Drew Gregory, and Heather Hogan. Follow them on Twitter!

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10 Comments

  1. You’re definitely not the only queer woman who started watching New Amsterdam because of Freema Agyeman. ;) Though for me, it’s less because of Amanita Caplan (though she‘s really great), but because of Martha Jones, who will always be my favorite Doctor Who companion.

    • As the daughter of a nerdy black man who caught Canadian airings of Doctor Who as a child growing up in Detroit, Martha Jones has always meant the world to me (and I still believe to be a generally underappreciated companion). My mom and I lovingly call this show Five Doctors (as apparently there are only five doctors working in this giant public New York hospital?) and while Freema Agyeman and the shows belief in humanity are still my two favorite things about it (and pull me through some of the cornier and ham fisted moments), I am VERY ready to spend more time with Leyla and finally watch Bloom get a storyline about joy.

  2. Well I started New Amsterdam because of my love of Doctor Who and I definitely kept watching for Lauren Bloom and her leather jacket, on the first episode I knew she was gay, then she had an affair with a male doctor and that was fine it just meant that she was bisexual.
    I was rooting for her and Sharpe but then things got really messy and now I can’t wait to see where the show goes with Leyla.
    Also, how come there aren’t a ton of Sharpe/Bloom fanfiction out there?

    • I definitely felt this way when I saw them setting this up, but with the information we’ve been given about Leyla(registered doctor, etc)I feel like she might be a new cast addition? But maybe next season. Also, the slow burn with her and Lauren would be a bit of a waste if this falls flat. But you’re right, relationships—even marriages—don’t tend to last long on this show, so really we’ll have to wait and see!

      • I hope you’re right about Leyla becoming a new cast member. That is the direction I thought they were going when they first introduced her. I wasn’t sold on the coupling until the pineapple pizza scene.

        And I really hope I’m wrong about it being a short-lived relationship. It’s just that the show goes through couplings in the blink of an eye. I’ve never watched a show that breaks up couples so quickly.

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