Boobs on Your Tube: “All American” Continues to Change the Game for Black Lesbian Representation on TV

Friends, we have come to the end of 2018 for Boobs on Your Tube! Our TV Team has written almost 300 TV posts this year, and we couldn’t be prouder, and now we’re going to take a few weeks to recharge and catch-up on the shows we’ve been individually missing and prepare for an even better 2019! We do still have a few things in the pipeline: next week, a list of the best LGBT episodes of 2018 and a look back at our most popular TV posts of the year. Also, you’ll still catch Heather and Riese doing the Pop Culture Fix and we’ll cover any very exciting breaking news.

This week, Riese published a list of the best LGBT TV shows of 2018. Kayla recapped the legitimately bonkers Riverdale mid-season finale. Carmen recapped another Jennifer/Khalil-heavy Black Lightning. And Valerie — holy cats, y’all — recapped the entire Elseworlds SuperFlarrow crossover AND Legends of Tomorrow in three days. A masterful feat done by a true professional, do not attempt at home.

Here’s everything else that closed out 2018.


Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 408: “I’m Not the Person I Used to Be”

Written by Valerie Anne

In this week’s episode, Valencia was paired up with Heather, hands-down my favorite character on this show. It’s Valencia’s high school reunion, and it’s being held at Heather’s bar (and run by Heather’s husband) so Heather is there, too. Heather susses out that there’s someone at the reunion, an ex, that Valencia doesn’t want to run into. She assumes it was a girl, the first girl Valencia ever loved; during all these guesses Valencia is just giving her “shut up eyes” but Heather is thirsty for drama so she runs with it. Heather bops around the reunion pointing at girls and trying to guess who it is, even calling one fine, until Valencia agrees to tell her the story to shut her up. She tells the tale of the time she cheating on Josh with her chem lab partner, thinking she was in love, offering an ultimatum tucked into a varsity jacket: meet me under the bleachers or we’ll go our separate ways forever. Valencia is careful to use gender-neutral pronouns throughout, but Heather answers with an excited demand to be shown the woman in question.

Heather’s husband Hector pulls out a lost and found box he’s held onto from their senior year, and Valencia realizes that her letter never got delivered.

“What if my bootleg copies of The L Word are in that box?!”

The person she wrote the note to wasn’t a woman after all, it was Father Brah. Heather gives Valencia props for using her sexual fluidity as a red herring, but Valencia rightfully points out that she did no such thing, Heather just made assumptions.

Valencia insists she’s in love with Beth, but there’s definitely a moment where it seemed like if Father Brah had ripped off his collar and quit being a priest right then and there, Valencia would have run off with him. But in the end they decide their moment has passed; but at least they had this moment of closure.

The good news is, Valencia will be with us, as the characters kept cheekily saying, “until the end of the series…of holidays” which of course ends with Valentine’s Day, because Rebecca Bunch is a love addict and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have a feeling Beth won’t be around much, but then again I kind of thought Valencia’s sexuality would never be mentioned again and here we are with Heather saying it out loud, so who knows.


All American 108: “Homecoming”

Written by Natalie

Friends

Spencer returns home from the dance to find Coop waiting for him on the front steps. She’s angling to get herself and Shawn out of the gang but, so far, all she’s managed to do is draw Tyrone’s ire. Spencer drapes his arm over her shoulder and promises that he’ll never leave her behind. Coop leans into her best friend’s embrace and assures him that she knows. The next morning, Coop urges Shawn to hold onto his dreams and not give up his new gig at the production company. Tyrone’s threats have made Shawn more cynical and he brushes off Coop’s concerns.

“That’s the problem with you and your boy Spencer,” Shawn says. “You think life’s like some damn fairy tale — like we all got some chance at greatness — but that’s not how the world work for the rest of us.”

Coop remains optimistic that Shawn’s world can change if he holds onto his dreams but, just as she gets the words out of her mouth, Tyrone comes knocking. Shawn invites his boss inside and Tyrone delivers a toy to Shawn’s daughter, Maya…in that nice, but menacing way that TV villains do. As Tyrone hands Maya the toy, he says, “You like kittens? All little girls like kittens, right?” and then, after turning towards Coop, he adds, “Ain’t that right?” I’m not sure what the show intended with that line; I suspect it was meant to be another one of Tyrone’s homophobic taunts, but I got stuck on the double entendre and just laughed hysterically.

Kittens

The shooting at the barbershop has brought a lot of heat the gang’s way so Tyrone’s shutting things down until things cool off. Before he leaves, Tyrone threatens Coop again — if she and Shawn aren’t loyal to him, he’ll come after them — and the threat is enough to send Coop running to Beverly Hills for help. She and Spencer loop Coach Baker’s wife, Laura, a local attorney, in on Tyrone’s threats and she advises Coop to share what she knows about Tyrone’s operation with the police. Unfortunately, Coop doesn’t know enough to justify a deal with the district attorney but Shawn does so Coop and Spencer head back to Crenshaw, hoping to convince him.

You can imagine how that conversation went. Snitches get stitches, Shawn reminds them, so he’s not ratting Tyrone out; he’ll find his own way out. And, for a second, it looks like he’s found it: he gives Tyrone every dollar he’s saved to buy his way out and returns to his apartment elated. Shawn calls Coop and thanks for her faith in him. He’s as happy as we’ve ever seen him…giddy at the possibility of starting a new life with his daughter in Louisiana. And so, of course, right at that moment, a rival gang member pulls up and fires two shots in his chest…payback for the gunfire at the barbershop…the gunshots echoing in Coop’s ears.

Grieving

Coop retreats to Spencer’s place, her t-shirt stained with Shawn’s blood, and mourns her friend. Her chosen family — Spencer, his mother and Patience — are all there to comfort her in her grief. The next day, Patience and Coop visit the makeshift memorial that’s sprung up where Shawn died and pay their respects. Patience concedes that while she knows the moment is hard, she’s relieved that Coop will finally be out of this life. But Coop’s not ready to let go yet and, when Tyrone and his crew roll up to the memorial, Coop greets them like she’s one of them…because she is now.

All American returns with new episodes on Jan. 16 on the CW.


Quick Hits

Charmed 109: “Jingle Hell”

This isn’t gay, but I couldn’t let the week pass without letting you know: THE VERA SISTERS DRINK COQUITO ON CHRISTMAS EVE JUST LIKE THE PUERTO RICANS THAT THEY ARE!!! Was the mention of the beverage, largely relegated to a recurring joke, worth an all caps write up? YES, IT WAS.

Eggnog is fine and all, but Coquito is life. That kind of specificity towards Puerto Rican culture, as opposed to broad or generic “Latinx culture,” is rarely seen on screen. Much like the Puerto Rican flag that hangs in the background of Mel’s bedroom, it’s subtle but a big fucking deal. Other Puerto Rican Christmas staples mentioned in this week’s episode: fried plantains and a pilón (similar to a mortar and pestle, used by Maggie in the photo above), a tool used in traditional Puerto Rican cooking.

PS: Jada is still hot, in case you were wondering. And according to one of our Straddlers with an eye towards Aleyse Shannon’s Instagram account, this week the actress confirmed that she’s also queer in real life. Valerie Anne, an internet sleuth after my own heart, independently confirmed this information from the post in question and screen capped it for you, just in case you are as internet inept as I am! — Carmen


Critical Role Campaign Two: Mighty Nein

Since this is the last Boob Tube of the year, I just wanted to remind everyone that Beau is still queer af on Critical Role this campaign. She hasn’t gotten with any more ladies since the last time we spoke, but Travis has been rolling for Yasha while Ashley Johnson is gone and he has been adding some fun flirting flair, and Beau is always down for that. It’s clear everyone is very supportive of this slow-burn potential relationship and it makes my heart happy how unapologetically queer this nerdy little show can be. — Valerie Anne


The Young and the Restless

Last week, Y&R wrapped its week with Tessa getting kidnapped, just as she’s leaving to meet Mariah. Of course, three of Genoa City’s Big Little Liars — Victoria, Nikki and Sharon — are behind it. They put a black bag over Tessa’s head and drag her out into the Wisconsin wilderness. They’re convinced that Tessa’s behind moving JT’s body, the fire at the Newman stables and framing Victor for his murder but a frantic Tessa assures them that she’s not. Once she’s managed to convince them, they drop her alongside the road and leave her to find her own way home. A traumatized and frigid Tessa calls Mariah for help and she rushes to her rescue. As she comforts tearful and remorseful Tessa, Mariah realizes how much she loves her and begs Tessa to stay, “The thing is, I need your face, I need you and I know that now, so you can’t go, okay? And I’m not going to leave.”

Later in the week, Tessa’s trauma lingers and Mariah does her best to convince her what happened to her wasn’t her fault. Mariah pushes for more answers about what happened but Tessa refuses. As is her wont, Mariah keeps pushing until Tessa spills the truth: it wasn’t just Victoria and Nikki involved in kidnapping, Mariah’s mother was involved too. Mariah’s shocked — her mother is a social worker who counsels battered women for a living — and she’s not prepared to just let it go, despite Tessa’s insistence.

Mariah confronts her mother about traumatizing her girlfriend and Sharon is unapologetic. She reminds Mariah that, by blackmailing the Big Little Liars, Tessa brought the suspicion on herself. Mariah reminds her mother that she’s the one that actually killed someone and covered it up so maybe she shouldn’t throw so many stones from her glass house. Mariah begs Sharon to leave Tessa alone but she refuses; Sharon wants Tessa out of Mariah’s life and she’s determined to make it happen. First stop? The GCAC, where, after a conversation with Tessa, she ruins the songstress’ chances at a job there.

As much as I enjoyed hearing Mariah reaffirm her love for Tessa this week, Sharon’s characterization is so far askew that it made watching this week’s episodes really difficult. The writers have made her into Nikki Newman, essentially, and it just didn’t work for me. — Natalie


Coronation Street

This week on the Cobbles, Kate and Robert head to the fertility clinic to see if it’s even possible to bring their baby making plan to fruition. Despite the warning from Imran, Kate keeps her fertility test and the subsequent counseling from Rana. But when the counselor says that their partners will need to know about the insemination for the process to move forward, Kate knows the time has come to fill Rana and her cousin (Robert’s fiancée) in on the plan.

Robert doesn’t even get the chance to tell Michelle about the insemination plan, as she announces to him that she’s reconsidered the possibility of having a child with him. He rushes over to the Medical Centre to stop Kate from telling Rana; now that Michelle’s open to the possibility, Robert wants to take the chance with her. Kate’s heartbroken over Robert’s revelation and when Rana discovers her crying, Kate reveals her ill-conceived plan and Robert’s decision to back out. Rana’s flabbergasted but Kate insists that they work together to convince Robert that their plan is still the best option. Rana refuses to help Kate deprive Michelle of the opportunity to have a child. She chastises Kate for trying to plan out everyone else’s lives without their consent and walks out on her fiancée.

Rana heads to the Rovers for a drink, shooting Robert a mean glare across the bar. Alya shows up and and offers to be a friendly ear for her former best friend and sister-in-law. After hearing the story, Alya suggests that perhaps the reason she’s never been keen on having a child is because, deep down, she knew she wasn’t with the right person. Rana’s skeptical and doubts that she could even consider it, now that the trust between her and Kate is gone. — Natalie


Camping 106: Birthday Party (Part 2)

Well, what I wrote in my review of the Camping pilot came very true in the final episode of the series: Harry was the only good thing about the show. So much so that when Orvis had to leave her and return home to his terrible parents, he tells her that he loves her more than anyone. This after Kathryn shows up high in the middle of the night and tries to scurry him away, but Harry manages to coax her to sleep by telling her the saddest story about how her first love died and every day for ten year she woke up thinking her broken heart was going to kill her too, but it never did. She survived. People survive. It’s what they do. In the end, it’s not just Orvis who realizes Harry is the best. Jandice sleeps with her and decides to stay. — Heather


Sally4Ever: Episode 4

For Christmas this year I’m giving you the gift of not telling you what happened on Episode 4 of Sally4Ever, and for Christmas this year I’m giving myself the gift of not watching another episode. (If you really must know — and I’m warning you, you really better want to know — here you go.)  — Heather

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!

The TV has written 91 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. Important boobs on your tubes update in terms of my tv guilty pleasure -Neighbours(Australian and soap that is huge in the UK). One of the characters has fallen in love with her brother’s fiancé and I am very into this storyline (the show has been doing much better with diversity lately, but this is the first time they are exploring a wlw relationship with two regular characters)

    • After this post I made a big mistake… I binged the last 3 months of Neighbours and am now super invested into Elly and Chloe! I am simultaneously super thankful you turned me onto it and at the same time highly depressed because I fear they might not have Chloe and Elly end up together.
      I guess I am extra fearful also, because of how GH and TYATR have treated their queer women.
      Anyways, thanks for the tip, all these feelings are good to feel.

  2. Eeeee I am so honored to be mentioned in the Charmed section! I hope Jada will be around a lot in the second half of the season (which starts on January 20th, for those wondering).

    Plotwise, I am hoping where the writers are going with the Sarcana is that they are activist witches (who are also primarily women of color, it seems) who the (primarily white) Elders do not like because of their radicalness and disrespect for the limited system and traditions. The word “terrorists” is super loaded and I assume/hope this is where the writers are going with this plot. I hope they will go deep into it and unpack it because I think it could make for some very nuanced and rich storytelling.

    • I really want Jada and Mel to just kiss already. I’m hoping Jada will be at least sorta central to the plot so we see more of her.

      I also hope the writers make clear that the Sarcana aren’t terrorists because it feels like they’re very clearly commenting on white feminism. This would be much more interesting to me than Maggie’s white bread boyfriend whose name I don’t know.

  3. Oh! I knew Aleyse Shannon was gay way before she made that comment.

    Check out this instagram post of hers from last year and look at the picture, caption and hashtag. That’s some lesbianism right there.

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