Boobs on Your Tube: “All American” and “Charmed” Are All About That Lesbian Love

Hello and welcome back to Boobs on Your Tube; we are all very sleepy today because we stayed up late last night having a little fit about How to Get Away With Murder. However, the week in TV wasn’t completely about having our hearts ripped from our chest and stomped on. I mean, yes, Supergirl was very sad. But Grace and Frankie is back and wonderful!  And Kayla’s going to make your heart hammer out of your chest with some thoughts on what (not) to watch on TV after you’ve been cheated on. Good Trouble‘s surprising us, and we’re only two episodes away from a guest appearance by Stef and Lena! Anissa Pierce continues to be the best big sister ever on Black Lightning. And Riverdale is a wild as ever. Also, Kate Moennig guest starred on a really, really excellent queer episode of grown-ish.

Valerie Anne would like you to know that there’s nothing gay worth writing about yet, but Legacies is back.

Natalie would like you to know that she has a full standalone piece coming at you on Monday about this week’s How to Get Away With Murder. 😭

Here’s what else!


All American 110: “m.A.A.d. city”

Written by Natalie

In today’s Los Angeles, if a kid like Shawn Scott gets killed, there’s about a 50-50 chance that his murderer will not be arrested… not tried, not imprisoned, just arrested. In other cities, the numbers are worse: in Buffalo, 61% of homicides go without arrest; in New Orleans, it’s 65%, in Chicago, it’s a mind-blogging 74%. Those abysmal clearance rates only proliferate more violence: with no faith that they’ll see justice for the death of their own Shawn Scotts, people seek revenge, armed with the knowledge that they’ll probably never get arrested for their crime either.

I mention all this because, as a reflection of what might actually happen in the wake of gang member’s murder in South Los Angeles in today’s society, the storyline on All American is fairly accurate. It’s an unflinching representation of a broken down system that treats violence within or between gangs as a victimless crime. But what makes All American storyline so difficult to swallow, at least for me, is Coop’s capriciousness about the whole thing – as if she’ll be able to dip her toe in gang life, get revenge for Shawn and walk away, having done nothing and having lost nothing. Getting out isn’t easy; if it were, Shawn would still be alive.

Still battered and bruised from being jumped in to Tyrone’s crew, Coop happens upon Spencer playing basketball with his brother in the park. She explains her reason for siding with Tyrone: she wants to infiltrate the crew, earn their trust and, ultimately, have them take Tyrone out. It’s not just about avenging Shawn’s death, Coop claims; it’s about making the community safer. Spencer is indignant — “Have you lost your damn mind?” he asks, speaking for all of us — and asks if Patience knows about her plan. Coop’s silence speaks volumes and Spencer urges his best friend to reconsider. With no better option, Coop sticks to her plan and begs Spence to keep his distance.

Later, Coop’s dropping off some money to Tyrone when he notices that it’s $100 short, much to his chagrin. Coop tosses in $100 of her own money to cover the shortage and Tyrone wonders if she’s repaying the debt with his money. Coop assures him she’s not that dumb and that explanation seems good enough for Tyrone, who turns his ire towards Malik. After tossing out a transphobic slur at Coop, Tyrone pistolwhips Malik and invites Coop to get her shots in too. She does, reluctantly, just in time for Patience to spot her actions from across the park.

“What the hell was that?!” Patience repeats, as she tries to square what she’s witnessed with the person she’s grown to love. Coop tries to offer a weak defense of her actions but Patience is not having it. She’s done. They’re done. It’s over.

After a near gunfight between Tyrone’s crew and a group of OGs, a not-so-subtle threat from Tyrone and a dire warning from one of the OGs to Spencer, Coop finally acknowledges that her plan is crazy but, at this point, she doesn’t have much of a choice except to follow through with it. She promises to be smarter this time (I’m skeptical) and makes Spencer promise to spend less time worried about her and more time focused on his future. As the two friends embrace, Spencer reminds Coop that she’s not alone. To prove it, he works with Coop to bring her and Patience back together. Over a candle-lit dinner featuring all of Patience’s favorite foods and a little Janelle Monáe (natch) to set the mood, Coop explains everything that’s been going on.

“Why didn’t you tell me the truth sooner?” Patience asks.

“I just figured the less you knew about my plan for Ty, the better,” Coop explains. “Just trying to protect the people I love, that’s all.”

The word slips out of Coop’s mouth unintentionally but Patience catches it: Coop loves her. Surprisingly, Patience doesn’t rush to say it back; instead, she promises that she’ll stay beside Coop through all that comes, reminding Coop of who she is and helping her find the way back to the light. Then this happens:

And this:

And also, this:

And this too:

I don’t want to overlook the things about Coop’s storyline that I find bothersome. At the same time, I don’t want it to overshadow this moment in the show which was both revolutionary and revelatory. Showcases of intimacy between two women are still rare on broadcast television and, even rarer, intimacy between two women of color, and rarer still, intimacy between two black women. The fact that we got to see two black women — one of whom is masculine of center — is groundbreaking.

One of my great frustrations about television — and I talked about this just last week in our TV Team roundtable — is how differently sex scenes for gay and straight couples are treated. Straight couples get long montages, set to smooth R&B, while gay couples get “blink and you missed it” intimacy. It happens so often most people barely notice it. Unwittingly, it gets internalized by queer people as if there’s something scandalous about our love. That doesn’t happen with All American.

When Spencer sleeps with Leila for the first time in “Homecoming,” tension is broken with a kiss and the smooth R&B (Wesley Stromberg and Alek Fin’s “What’s Forever For”) hums in the background while the passion escalates between them. And do you know what happens on All American when Coop and Patience make love for the first time? THE SAME DAMN THING. Coop and Patience get to kiss, undress and have their intimacy showcased over some romantic music (“I’d Never Give You Pain” by Kat Nestel), just like Spencer and Leila did.

If anything, Coop and Patience’s scene is longer (yes, I timed it) and reflective of the connection that’s been built between Patience and Coop since they crossed paths at choir rehearsal. It’s so, so good and All American‘s treatment of Coop and Patience’s sex scene should be a model for every other show.


Charmed 110: “Keep Calm and Harry On”

Written by Carmen

There you are! Mel Vera! I missed that face!

When we last left Charmed, Harry, the sisters’ Whitelighter had been zonked in to Tartarus, a prison where you get psychologically tortured by reliving the worst moments of your life and your greatest fears over and over again. The Elders have declined to help. Running out of options, Mel turns to Jada and the S’Arcana. We haven’t had much time to talk about the Sisters of Arcana yet so let’s take a pause:

The Sisters of Arcana (or S’Arcana for short) are a group of dope rebel witches who reject the rules of the Elders and use unsanctioned magic when necessary to protect those who are most vulnerable. Long ago, they were founded by an Elder who went against the strict laws of witchcraft and took matters into her own hands (there’s a part of me that thinks this lost Elder is related to the Charmed Ones somehow, but I don’t have any proof). The S’Arcana mounted an insurrection agains the Elders decades ago. It was believed that the S’Arcana were defeated, but nah – they just went underground to start wearing lots of heavy eyeliner, get gay haircuts, and borrow wardrobe choices from the 1990s and The Craft. Sexy, sexy Jada is one of their leaders and she definitely flirts with Mel for fun. All caught up? Good. Now we can proceed.

Jada and the S’Arcana saved one of their own from Tartarus not too long ago, so she points Mel in the direction of a demon named Dante who, basically, guards the gates to hell. There’s a lot of plot twists, because of course there are, but Jada’s intel ultimately checks out and helps the Charmed Ones bring Harry home safely. Mel invites Jada out for drinks to celebrate (wink wink, nudge nudge).

At the bar, Mel gives Jada a turquoise hell-flame as a thank you present for helping the sisters save Harry. They get talking about trust. Jada does that thing where the girl you like flicks her eyelashes at you and lowers her vocal range and you think to yourself, “Is she into me right now??” My dear reader Jada is so into Mel Vera right now AND SHE KISSES HER RIGHT ON THE LIPS!! Literal light blue magic sparks between them.

Sha-la-la-la Kiss the girl.

At first Mel’s a little surprised, so Jada jumps right into an apology – assuming she misread the situation. Except Jada didn’t misread the situation at all AND MEL KISSES JADA BACK TWICE AS LONG AND AS HARD!!! If you didn’t know that Jada was a player before, now’s your chance, because her voice goes all husky as she asks Mel, “Do you wanna get out of here?” The wide-eyed look on Mel’s face as she nods yes! Ugh! Some things are simply perfect, and Melonie Diaz’s facial work in that scene is one of those things.

Jada’s hot. Smoking hot. If Mel wants to finally act on the mutual growing attraction between them, I’m not mad about it in the least. The S’Arcana still haven’t been brought into the manifold of the show’s plots, which is unfortunate because these women are badass. I’m already a thousand times more invested in them than I am in whatever plot is happening with the demon and his half-demon son who looks like every boy I ever ignored in high school and college. This is a show about witches! I do not care what the whiny white boy thinks. Sorry, not sorry.

Yep. It’s even creepier in HD.

You know who else is invested in the S’Arcana? NIKO HAMADA!!! My girl is BAAAACK! And she is wielding the video camera on her iPhone around like she knows how to use it! She films Mel and Jada’s make-out session at the bar, looking extra suspicious in the corner. Now Niko doesn’t remember Mel because of magic, but she is a cop and I’m curious to find out who she’s trailing – is it Mel or Jada? Honestly, whatever happens next, it looks like we’re boarding the train for a lesbian love triangle and I am so here for it!! Let’s go!



Quick Hits

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 411: “I’m Almost Over You”

Coincidentally, I’m almost over this show. But Beth made another appearance so I’m here to tell you about it. Beth and Valencia went to Paula’s game night and there was this weird side-bit where Valencia scaring the poop out of Hector is about her being jealous that people liked him? It felt weird and out of character, but it gave Beth a whole line, so I’ll allow it. I suppose. — Valerie Anne

Siren 201: “The Arrival”

Siren is back and so is the chemistry between Ryn and Maddie! Ben is still feeling mopey about having the siren song in his head but Maddie is still perfect and the way she asked Ben if he was okay vs the way she asks Ryn if she’s okay is palpably different JUST SAYING. I’m hoping they continue to explore the polyamory, but only if Ben gets his act together. Also, a half dozen more mermaids have washed up, and I have a feeling they’ll all be sexually fluid. I’m still not entirely sure if Ryn’s understanding of the word “sister” is correct but one of the new mermaids is the mermaid Donna’s daughter, so she’s either Ryn’s niece or stepdaughter, it’s anyone’s guess. Either way, they touched hands when they saw each other, and before I realized they might be related, I was hoping they would kiss. I guess I’m just #hornyformermaids. — Valerie Anne

Coronation Street

This week, Bhavna Limbachia confirmed news reports that Rana is leaving the Cobbles sometime this year. I don’t begrudge her decision: at the end of the day, Bhavna is an actress and if she wants to find other arenas in which to grow her craft, I’m happy for her. Even if she’s not on our screens everyday, she’s clearly been impacted by the role — she remains a patron of the Naz and Matt Foundation — and her advocacy will no doubt continue.

That said, her video didn’t address the rumors that Rana will leave Coronation Street in a bodybag, having died in the arms of her would-be wife, Kate, on their wedding day. I sincerely hope they change course on this. You can’t be, sincerely, engaged with your LGBT audience if you think the proper ending to this love story is to add another body to the “Bury Your Gays” count. — Natalie

Top Chef

I forgot to mention this in last week’s Boobs Tube, but Lena Waithe was on Top Chef last Thursday night and not only did she and Padma look so good standing up there together judging everyone, she also charmed the chefs so much they were glowing from her praise. (And cowering from her gentle disapproval.) The person she named as the winner of the Quickfire Challenge actually rushed to give her a hug, which I’ve never seen happen on this show before. — Heather

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

The TV has written 69 articles for us.

25 Comments

  1. It looks like they named Batwoman’s love interest.

    Megan Tandy will play Sophie Moore. After graduating from military academy, Sophie rose through the ranks to become a high-level private security agent and one of Gotham’s staunchest protectors. Despite her bite and regimented outlook, Sophie has a soft side, illuminated by Kate Kane’s return.

  2. I’m so excited about Charmed!! Please, Charmed writers, give us more S’Arcana, Jada, Niko and fewer (or no) white men!! I guess some portion of the viewing audience is invested in the white men?? Idk who they are tho

    Also, does anyone have any idea how likely it is the show will get renewed for a second season? Let’s speculate wildly 🙂

    • I want more of Charmed because of Mel, Jada, and Niko and SO sick of that damn white boy. He’s so bland and still gets so much focus.

      The S’Arcana are so underused right now, but the writers could do so much more with them. I will be so mad if the S’Arcana are indeed evil because they’re a bunch of WOC are demonized by a bunch of white people.

      Am I the only one that would be fine with Mel getting with Niko or Jada, maybe both?

      • Yes, same, I will be mad if the S’Arcana are actually evil. I don’t think that is where the writers are going. Hopefully.

        I would be happy with a Mel, Niko, Jada triad! Or whatever can keep all 3 of the characters around and get rid of as much white-men-screentime as possible. 🙂

  3. Charmed is just that show. And in that scene, there were three lesbians in that scene, all women of color and all fully fleshed out characters.
    Also TWO WITCHES AND A COP.
    I will definitely watch a lesbian spinoff with that title 🙂

    Also I’m here for the lesbian love triangle. Like seriously, when last did we ever have a lesbian love triangle involving main characters? I’m so here for this drama. It’s what we deserve.

  4. Charmed 😍

    Have some of you heard about the pairing Juliantina? They are the softest pair! And the fact that is coming from a Mexican soap is amazing!(Amar a muerte)

    They hit all the boxes for the cutest softest relationship! And the actresses are so soooo supportive and gorgeous 😍

  5. I saw the Top Chef episode with Lena Waite! I was hoping it would be mentioned here. And I kind of think that one of the contestants this season may be bi+? She mentioned several times being distracted by how “banging hot” Padma is, so I was thinking she might be gay and then she mentioned her husband. So maybe she’s queer/bi+ (or maybe she’s straight and just comfortable talking about hot women.)

  6. Dare we say CW is getting better at shows that feature lesbians? I know folks were traumatized in the past but I’m really feeling Charmed, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow and I might have to watch All American too. 👀 I really hope Charmed gets renewed but you guys are the only people I see talk about it :(.

    • I agree. GLAAD actually did a whole like training thing with the CW TV teams after some of their past missteps and I think it’s showing. There are more queer characters, especially qpoc, and they’re more fully realized and also they’re alive. There’s still a long way to go, of course, but I find their very deliberate and visible progress really encouraging!

  7. Thank you for the great write up for All American. Folks are still sleeping on this show and it’s so great. Coop and Patience are so good and all their scenes these week gave me all the feels.
    I was so exited that Mel and Jada FINALLY kissed I fist pumped while watching, haha. So interested, like you, to know just what Niko is doing and why since she doesn’t have her memory of Mel anymore.
    Also, HTGAWM #spoilers- The One. I’ll forever spiral over Annalise and Eve but I am also so here for Annalise and Tegan. That crush is now exposed.

  8. I knew Niko would be back!! I never lost hope (okay maybe a little bit after the last two episodes but whatever). So now I’m super conflicted because Jax’s has grown on me and she and the S’Arcana are super badass, but…. Niko and Mel also had amazing chemistry and the ANGST she’s probably go through is going to be soo good. Can’t wait for next episode.

    I also saw someone in the comments mentioning Juliantina. And let me just say: YES. After they kissed their story just kept getting better (in terms of quality and screen time), so I highly recommend everyone go look up their videos on YouTube. Also, I cannot stress enough how much this means to Mexican television. It’s literally making history and I’m so glad young queer girls in my country get to have this.

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