This week in TV included one of my (Heather) personal favorite things: Natalie going off-script of her normal recap and ranking things! This week it’s Good Trouble’s karaoke performances. Also in the wide world of queer recaps, Drew brought you Drag Race and Kayla brought you the Killing Eve finale. We’re down to our final round of voting in Autostraddle March Madness. And Heather wrote about Owl House’s most recent queer episode. Rae from The Ultimatum came out as bisexual. And, finally, some news about the next season of Gen Q! (Watch that post; we’re going to update the heck out of it leading into season three.) Oh, and there’s movie news too. Kristen Stewart is starring in a gay bodybuilding movie??? And also there’s a new lesbian cheerleader movie named BOTTOMS in the works???? What brave new world, etc.!
Notes from the TV Team:
+ Technically there was no new Grey’s Anatomy this week, but in its place ABC ran the 14-year-old double episode where Callie comes out to herself for the first time and kisses Erica Hahn in the parking lot (of eventual No Return). I was riveted!!! Even though I’ve seen it more times than I can count, watching it on a Thursday night with commercials felt very much like the first time. SARA RAMIREZ IS SUCH A TALENT! Sorry, had to scream about it a little. — Carmen
+ On Home Economics, Sarah and Denise tried to pretend to be someone their sperm donor would be impressed by instead of being themselves (I hate this plot, I want ONE sperm donor plot on television that I don’t hate, is that too much to ask for?), but ultimately they realized that if they had to be someone they weren’t, then maybe this sperm donor wasn’t for them! CORRECT. The much funnier Denise plot involved her taking boudoir photos of Marina, so I’d point you in that direction for a laugh. — Carmen
+ NCIS: Hawai’i returns on Monday and it looks like Lucy might seek some spiritual assistance to help her get over her break-up with Kate. According to TV Line, it’ll be part of a shift towards an increased focus on the couple: “last three episodes of the season really lean into the Kate/Lucy storyline, as the exes will be forced to face their feelings for each other — as well as face the risk of losing each other.” Who knew that I’d ever be this excited about NCIS? — Natalie
All American 414: “Changes”
Written by Natalie
Despite their break-up last week, Coop and Patience are still living together — and running into each other, awkwardly, in the bathroom — at the Baker mansion. Things between Patience and Layla are only slightly less awkward after their fight. Olivia tries her best to address the tension in the house (with blueberry scones!) but everyone comes up with a reason to make themselves scarce. Coop’s reason for leaving is actually legit, though: it’s her first day at her pre-trial diversion program.
Coop’s new gig is doing clean-up at a local retirement home. She tries to make friends with a resident but all Mrs. Morita wants to do is sit back and watch her soaps so she turns the volume up to drown out Coop’s interruption. Later, she’s called back to the house where Olivia’s saging out all the negative energy. Layla insists that everything’s fine between them but Olivia knows better: she’s hosting a game night tomorrow and makes their attendance mandatory. Everyone insists that they’ve already got other plans and Olivia muses if she should start charging rent. The threat pays off: everyone agrees to participate in game night. But later, when Olivia realizes that no one else is taking her concerns about the way their friend group is splintering seriously, she releases them from their obligation.
After a shift at the retirement home, Coop returns home and finds herself sampling Mrs. Morita’s favorite soap, General Hospital, and unwittingly gets hooked. When Patience clocks her watching, the two have a friendly exchange and Coop’s proud that they could find their way back to being friends. The pronouncement feels a little too fast for Patience but she nods in affirmation. It’s Mrs. Morita that compels Coop to rethink how she’s moving…she encourages the Willow Woods aide to just sit with the uncomfortable and don’t be in such a rush to fix things. Later, Coop gathers the housemates (and Spencer) and shares her new revelation with them.
Coop explains: “Change is uncomfortable. Growth is uncomfortable. Hell, adulting is uncomfortable…our instinct is to rush and try to fix it but it’s part of our journey…for all of us. So we have to learn to sit in the uncomfortable — me included — and trust that our family is strong enough to weather it.”
A Million Little Things 415: “Fingers Crossed”
Written by Natalie
Throughout A Million Little Things‘ run, Gary Mendez (James Roday Rodriguez), has been the heart of the friend group…and this week, the group rallies around Gary as he awaits results for from a biopsy. To distract him — and make him feel as normal as possible — the group gathers for game night at Gina and Rome’s place. Eddie calls to give Katherine the heads up that he’ll be bringing his new girlfriend, Anna, and Katherine returns the favor by telling him that she’s bringing Greta.
“Aww, my sister’s coming?” Eddie jokes, continuing the rouse from the hospital visit. Greta overhears and joins the conversation, falling into an easy rapport with her “big bro” Eddie. Greta and Eddie make the same jokes and delight in frustrating Katherine…and, in case it wasn’t abundantly clear, the show underline it: Katherine has a type. Katherine admits hasn’t told her other friends about Greta and, instead, just plans to show up with her new girlfriend on her arm and yell “surprise, I’m gay now!” Usually, this is not a storyline that I’d support but I suppose as distractions from a potential cancer diagnosis go, this works.
Greta charms everyone at game night, of course…everyone’s enamored by her and her great hair. But, as the night progresses, the thing that becomes obvious is Katherine’s lingering connection to Eddie: she brings the Italian soda he likes, they share stories from when they were together and their shared understanding of each other leads to them killing it at game night. Their easy rapport only adds to Anna’s nervousness and she drinks way more than she should. Eventually, she crashes into Eddie, spilling her wine all over him and sending her glass crashing to the floor. As Eddie changes into one of Rome’s shirts, Katherine laments how much Anna’s been drinking and how it could impact Eddie’s hard-won sobriety. Eddie takes umbrage at their interference and reminds her that his life is not really her business.
The next day, Katherine recounts what happened with Eddie and, surprisingly, Greta takes Eddie’s side. After years of taking care of Eddie, Greta points out, Katherine’s reluctant to let go of her role as his caretaker. It’s an experience that Greta’s familiar with, as her ex continued to reach out after their split to ensure that Greta was taking her meds (sounds like Greta has a type too!). Greta encourages Katherine to give Eddie space to prove to Katherine and himself that he’s, genuinely, in a good place.
Top Chef: Houston 1907: “Swallow the Competition”
Written by Natalie
Top Chef has been on the air for 19 seasons. That means, for 267 episodes (so far), someone’s been tasked with developing 200+ quickfire and elimination challenges. With the exception of Restaurant Wars (next week!!), the challenges can’t repeat themselves…so every elimination has to be something we’ve never seen before. And not only can Top Chef not replicate its own challenges, it has to avoid the challenges showcased on one of the gazillion spin-offs the show has spawned. I mention that to say: I think Top Chef is running out of ideas.
It doesn’t start out that way, though: the quickfire challenge showcases the flavors of Nigeria…which, unbeknownst to me, has a large footprint in the Houston area. The cheftestants have to create a dish to serve with one of three swallows. This is a cool challenge — Buddha Lo wins the challenge and immunity — where everyone’s challenged to break out of their usual routines and where everyone walks away having learned something. That’s not true of the elimination challenge, though…which, in explicably, draws inspiration from the forthcoming movie, Jurassic World Dominion. See what I mean? I think they’re just out of ideas.
The cheftestants are tasked with making a dish (as part of a progressive meal) inspired by one of three dinosaurs that roam the Earth in the latest iteration of the Jurassic franchise. Ashleigh gets partnered with Luke and Damarr and her dish should be inspired by the quetzalcoatlus, a pterosaur from the Cretaceous period. Fearing a repeat of last week — where food didn’t connect to the inspiration — Ashleigh goes very literal with the challenge but ends up making under-seasoned, “flabby” chicken wings. Lucky for her, the watermelon salad she topped her chicken with went over well and likely spared her from elimination.
Jo also drew the quetzalcoatlus and had a good idea: stuffed quail with glazed carrots. It’s a simple dish and if you’re going to make a simple dish, at this stage of the game, it needs to be technically perfect…and Jo’s wasn’t. Jo’s team gets dubbed the worst of the day and because Buddha has immunity, the judges are left to decide between Jo and Jae. Tom actually fights to save Jo — he really hated Jae’s dish — but our beloved queer cheftestant has to pack her knives and go.
And sadly, Jo doesn’t get the redemption she’s seeking in Last Chance Kitchen…the Austin chef’s run in the competition is officially over
Charmed 405: “Sisterhood of the Traveling Sandwich”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, the Charmed Ones have to deal with a man who has found himself lost in the depths of magical reddit, locked on to conspiracy theories and drinking in the vitriol spreading throughout the magic community, all because he blames the Charmed Ones for losing his job at the Spa they exploded saving everyone’s life.
Meanwhile, Mel is learning to time travel sandwiches when she runs into Ruby, who she finds out is now dating Swan. She awkwardly excuses herself and heads home, where Maggie tells her about the Tallyman’s spy-der she found in the manor. They decide to go find Harry so the trio goes to the
gayfae bar, where they immediately get yelled at when Mel touches Roxy’s dead wife’s perfume without asking.
Before they can ask more questions, the conspiracy theorist bursts in looking for them.
Mel uses her time travel powers to send Maggie and Kaela back in time, but accidentally sends them to 1926, where they meet Roxy’s wife, Lady C aka Camellia aka the bar’s namesake. While back in time they notice the bar used to be a haven for Black magical folks, and bond over having confusing connections to the people who raised them vs the people who created them.
Back in the present day, Mel and Roxy become…close while trying to figure out how to stop the conspiracy theory and his deadly magic gems, and Roxy almost gets herself killed by her traitor bartender. Eventually they get a message from the past and Mel is able to bring Maggie and Kaela back, and they bring back Egyption Nightshade, which neutralizes the crystals.
Roxy thanks Mel and gives her Camellia’s perfume, and FINE I SHIP IT. The sister watch the haters’ videos online and decide to start going public with their good deeds so people can see what they sacrifice, how hard they work, and that they are trying to save the magical community, not put them in danger.
Mel goes to see Ruby because now she sees the light at the end of the tunnel re: her own heartbreak, and it smells a little like blue camellias.
Back at the manor, the Charmed Ones use a magic 23-and-me picture frame to learn about Kaela’s lineage, and are surprised to learn that they don’t recognize either of the people the canvas reveals to be Kaela’s birth parents. Dun dun dun!
Legacies 415:”Everything That Can Be Lost May Also Be Found””
Written by Valerie Anne
After getting herself knocked out last week, this week Hope finds herself astral projecting all the way to New Orleans, where she runs into Rebekah, to her chagrin and my delight. She can see Hope’s humanity flickering, and implores her to embrace it, but Hope’s not in the mood for a family reunion. She’s SOL though because Rebekah is having a funeral for Klaus, and her attendance is mandatory.
Also in attendance is Aunt Freya, who’s heart is breaking that she maybe had a hand in making Hope like this. Her and Keelin named their child after Klaus, she knows there was good in him, just like she knows there’s good in Hope.
The parade of people there trying to help keeps going, with Marcel showing up, then Uncle Kol. They ask her to help them decide where to spread her father’s ashes, and she says that she thinks he’d want to be with her, at the home he built for her, and they agree. They say they love her “always and forever” and I burst into tears because The Originals really cut me that deep.
That phrase also triggers something in Hope, and her humanity manifests behind her once again. This time, Hope wrestles with her humanity quite literally, until finally her humanity wins and takes back control of her body. But when she wakes up in the school’s basement, Inhuman Hope is now the one lurking like a devil on Hope’s shoulder.
While this was all happening, Lizzie and Aurora were making the whole gods situation worse, which ended in Aurora being kidnapped, Lizzie being back at the school with Jen, and Ben opening one of the sarcophagi.
Has Senorita89 gotten on your radar yet? Good show, queer plot line with beloved actor Barbara Lopez from Juliantina fame.
So Charmed has a lot of damage to repair from seasons 2-3. Season 4 being run by people who clearly don’t hate the show helps a lot but they were still left with a lot of leftover garbage. And they’ve been handling that garbage in several different ways.
For example Safe Space, the joke that’s never been funny. They can’t just get rid of it because it’s where the Bunker is located so they’ve been doing their best to downplay or ignore it by having the five heroes hang out at the Blue Camellia now and in the few times it’s shown up they’ve been very careful to never say its name. Like at no point in her introduction to the show have they ever had Kaela ask any questions about it.
Relatedly you have the Magic Store. You know, the one Mel’s one minute girlfriend Kat gave to her and then Mel proceeded to never run the damn thing. Well here we are in season four and now Ruby’s using the space as a Youth Center with no mention of what it used to be. Not that I blame for this one, there’s no real way to explain this without making Mel look bad.
Which brings me to Swan. Swan is the living embodiment of Safe Space, she existed to be sneered at by the main characters and to make sure that you knew that Safe Space was a joke and who it was aimed at. Because of that I figured that they would just quietly rid of the character. But no, much to my surprise she showed up here in this particular episode and she’s dating Ruby now apparently. An odd choice but they do seem to have toned her down by 300% so hey, maybe this character can be salvaged.
There’s a lot more than this of course but at least they’re trying to fix things instead of just steam rolling over them.
You may want to re-read the Grey’s Anatomy paragraph. There are a few missed words and typos.
I just re-read it and it’s now typo free, so thank you to whomever on our staff fixed it and thanks to you for bringing to our attention.
i also love hope’s three queer aunties (freya, keelin, and rebekah) and hope’s mother, noted bicon, hayley marshall.