Boob(s on Your) Tube: “American Horror Story” Returns to Supernatural Form, Provides Many Women in Many Suits

It has been a very exciting week for the Autostraddle TV Team. We announced the winners of our Gay Emmys after tallying the votes of ten thousand readers! So many of the people who won were as hyped as if they’d scored a real Emmy!

We didn’t write a Boobs on Your Tube last week because there was no queer TV because we were in that weird lull between seasons, but we have published some stellar TV and movie content these last two weeks. Heather wrote an essay about Jenny Schecter, Don Draper, and the sexist critique of anti-heroes for our Bad Behavior issue. Riese reviewed season two of Harlots (and the co-creator of Harlots loved it). Andrea Long Chu published a poignant, heartbreaking essay about Willow and Tara, specifically about their relationship in “Hush.” Valerie Anne recapped Wynonna Earp 307 and 308. And Heather wrote about Lifetime’s new stalker show, You, in which Shay Mitchell plays lesbian socialite Peach Salinger; crafted a newbie’s gentle guide to Doctor Who; swooned over the series finale of Adventure Time; and reviewed Colette, which she loved.

Fall TV is on its way back! In addition to what we wrote about below, Riese would like you to know that The Purge got even gayer (and features AzMarie doing pull-ups in a sports bra) and The Sinner is also gay (but someone definitely died). And Carmen and Valerie want you to know that Supergirl released a deleted Sanvers break-up scene that you should WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!


American Horror Story: Apocalypse 801: “The End”

Written by Valerie Anne

The first episode of the new installment of American Horror Story is about as gay as I expected. That is to say, there was a gay male couple, a coded gay male hairdresser, and then a lot of women in suits. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, I’ll give you a rundown of the premise of this series, called Apocalypse. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what they meant by that, but it turns out it starts out more like Cult in that it preys on a terrifyingly possible future: World War III. The US released nuclear missiles so clearly bombs were sent back. LA was the target, but I believe we’re to understand that the entire country, save a few “Outposts” of either very rich or specifically chosen humans, has been obliterated. One of those chosen few is a teenage boy, who is collected by some secret agents, one of which is Lesley Fera aka Mama Hastings IN A SUIT.

Shouldn’t be a surprise since she comes from Rosewood, Lesbian Capital of the World.

Sarah Paulson plays Wilhemina Venable (best name ever??), the smartly dressed, old-fashioned leader of the Outpost who seems to be using it more for her own sadistic pleasure than actually helping keep humanity from blinking out of existence. At Wilhemina’s right hand is Miriam, aka Kathy Bates doing an astounding Lea DeLaria impression.

I was very tired when I watched this and 100% thought it was Lea DeLaria the entire time.

It’s unclear if Wilhemina and Miriam are supposed to be a romantic thing, but they’re definitely in cahoots, and play dress-up together (in purple, the color of the elites in the Outpost). Some funny moments include when they thought the stew they were eating was made of their recently-shot friend and his boyfriend shouted, “The stew is Stu!” and just everything Mary Cherry does. (Sorry, Leslie Grossman, but you’ll always be Mary Cherry to me.)

One thing I already like about this season more than Cult is that by the end there was definitely something supernatural going on. Cult was a caricature of reality and it was uncomfortable to watch, but this year seems to be living up to its promise to going back to the Coven/Murder House glory days.


Coronation Street

Written by Natalie

For as long as audiences have known Sophie Webster — and that’s been a long time — one thing has always been true: her mother, Sally, always thinks she knows what’s best for Sophie. And so, Sally being Sally, when she discovers that her lawyer’s daughter is a lesbian, she tries to play matchmaker. It works, though not in the way Sally intended; instead of making a love connection between the daughters, something sparks between Sophie and Sally’s lawyer, Paula.

Later Paula stops by to see Sophie and the two get to know each other over a few glasses of wine. Paula endears herself with her candor — given how her relationship with Kate played out, it’s unsurprising that Sophie would be drawn to that — and her faith in Sophie and soon enough, they’re making out on Sally’s couch. They split apart just as Sally arrives and she invites her lawyer to stay for dinner. Sophie and Paula flirt slyly through the dinner party and make plans to get together later, while Sally plots to set Paula up with Sophie’s dad, Kevin.

Eventually, Paula agrees to go out with Kevin to disabuse him of his crush and to mollify Sally. She lets him down gently before making plans to rendezvous with his daughter later.


Emmerdale

Written by Natalie

I know I usually stick to covering just one British soap but, after this week’s episodes, I thought it was time I gave everyone a heads up on Vanessa (played by out actress, Michelle Hardwick) and Charity on Emmerdale. The antagonistic pair drunkenly hooked up last year and, eventually, that translated into a real relationship.

Back in April, Charity confessed to Vanessa about the abuse — emotional, sexual and physical abuse — she’d suffered as a teenager at the hands of local policeman, Mark Bails. Charity thought she’d buried memories of what she’d suffered until Bails turns up in town again: the public face of a campaign to aid sex workers. That’s how they’d met when she was 14 — she’d taken to sex work after being kicked out of her home and Bails was the officer that’d arrested her, multiple times — and Charity refuses to let him gain access to more girls. It’s a long and winding road but Bails is tried for his crimes and, eventually, faces his punishment. But justice isn’t the comfort that Charity thought it’d be: Bails’ conviction cements his status as a criminal while also permanently tagging Charity as a victim.

The whole storyline (which you can watch in its entirety on Youtube) has been difficult to watch, particularly this week as Charity testified about the horrors perpetuated against her, but the performances have been brilliant. Emma Atkins (Charity) should collect all the awards for her performance this week…so, so good.


General Hospital

Written by Natalie

Last summer, Kristina drafted her heretofore straight BFF, Valerie, to be her wingwoman at a “Ladies Night” event at the local watering hole. They draw the attention of Kristina’s former professor and paramour, Parker Forsyth, who’d unceremoniously dumped Kristina after bedding her the year prior. Once Valerie gets the backstory, she pulls Kristina into a deep kiss, hoping to make Parker regret her decision. The kiss was supposed to be a prelude to a love triangle but, thanks to some short-sighted showrunners, it never materialized.

I didn’t know what to expect when Valerie and Kristina crossed paths in Port Charles again last week…but as they got reacquainted at the bar where Kristina now works, there was some definite flirting going on. I liked their chemistry last year so I’m interested to see what develops between the pair. Another thing I liked? Kristina rushing back into a gas-filled bar to recover some evidence that’d implicate her grandfather in the sabotage. That seems like a weird thing to celebrate, I know, but I like the idea of Kristina being pulled closer into her father’s illicit world.

Imagine Kristina falling in love with a newly minted detective (Valerie) while also realizing that she’s really, really good at being a criminal? It’d be so great. Fingers crossed that her actions this week were just the first step.


The Young & the Restless

Written by Natalie

Can I be honest? I’m probably not supposed to say this as a TV critic but: I have absolutely no idea what the writers at Y&R are doing with Tessa…though, it’s entirely possible the writers don’t know what they’re doing with Tessa either so at least I’m in good company.

Tessa’s been back in Genoa City for a few weeks and, in addition to reconnecting with her lady love, she’s hoping to make some money to pay back the guys who helped smuggle her fugitive sister across the border to Canada. She takes a job at the coffee house to earn some money and is hustling to get more…but no one else — not Devon, not Sharon and not even Mariah — is convinced of the imminent threat that Tessa claims she’s under. She’s offered them no proof but her word. Tessa assures Mariah that she’d never lie to her — though she has, several times — because she loves her. The use of the L-Word is enough to mollify Mariah who seems to forget all about the fight they’ve been having.

Left to handle the coffee shop on her own, Tessa’s attacked, obstensibly by the guys to whom she owes all this money. This is the second time she’s been accosted by off-screen foes and both times, she was mid-conversation: first with Mariah and now with Sharon. They leave her battered and bruised but she refuses to go to the hospital when Sharon finds her. She also refuses to call the police, fearing that her sister might be in trouble, and erases the coffee house’s security tapes.

This just isn’t very good storytelling. Careening Tessa from one shady situation to the next is not character development; we’re not learning anything new about Tessa and her character’s not being further integrated into the canvas when every threat to her exists off-screen. Tessa telling Mariah she loved her should’ve been a special moment for this new couple but, instead, it just rang hollow. At any rate, there’s so much opportunity to tell a really good story with Tessa, given everything else that’s happening on the canvas, but instead we get Tessa vs. the Invisible Extortionists. Dreadful.


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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 28 articles for us.