Hey, hey, it’s your Boobs Tube! What a week, eh? First the news that The L Word is coming back, then the really encouraging Emmy Award nominations (more on that below, from Carmen), and to cap it all off, Mey ranked all 101 Disney movies by lesbianism. Also, Valerie Anne recapped Orphan Black and Wynonna Earp. Riese made a list of 33 lesbian and bisexual TV shows and movies you can watch on Amazon Prime. Laura Mandanas went on a heckin’ impressive scientific deep dive to discover whether or not a lesbian is getting poisoned on this season’s Game of Thrones. And I reviewed my new favorite show, The Bold Type.
Lucy Hallowell won’t be back to recap The Fosters this season. She’s got too many other writing assignments on her plate and also the rapid-fire drama and lack of mamas in the last few seasons really bummed her out. So I’ll be covering that in Boobs Tube starting next week.
Here’s what else happened this week!
Written by Riese
This new VH1 series, apparently inspired by Star Jones’ The View expose/memoir, stars Vanessa Williams as Maxine, the host of The View-esque Lunch Hour television program. Despite the noted lack of Rosie O’Donnell, Daytime Divas does pull off impressive feats of LGBTQ representation. Intern Zita from Faking It / Sydney from Pretty Little Liars / Apparently Her Real Name Is Chloe Bridges plays “Kibby,” a character very clearly based on Lindsay Lohan. Kibby is a bisexual child star with a shitty Mom who’s always hitting her up for cash. She’s got many publicized rehab stints and endured many drunk driving escapades and is freshly sober with the help of her mentor, Maxine. Unfortunately, her girlfriend only lasts two episodes, and since their breakup her romantic interests have mostly been men. I realize this is realistic and true to a bisexual character, but I am selfish and want every woman on TV to date other women, even the straight ones!
HOWEVER she is not the only queer part of this show, my friends! Fiona Gubelmann (who you may recognize from One Day At A Time) plays Heather, a Conservative Christian Character very clearly based on Elisabeth Hassleback. Her marriage has hit a rough patch, and at the center of this rough patch is an ongoing conflict with her husband over their child’s desired gender presentation/identity. Their child, who was assigned male and the name “Brad Jr” at birth, insists on wearing “girl clothes” and going by the name Ella. Heather is trying to be accepting, and lets Ella wear what she wants to wear at home, but her douchebag husband is furious and thinks this abomination can be fixed by making Ella play baseball and do other manly things. It’s a really interesting storyline that so far hasn’t been super-offensive.
Also look out for Empire’s Tasha Smith as a lesbian lifestyle guru and noted Broadway gay Norm Lewis as Maxine’s doorman/lover.
Janet Mock will be guesting on next Tuesday’s episode and I CAN’T WAIT. Objectively, this show is definitely terrible, but subjectively, I fucking love it.
Written by Carmen Phillips (CP!)
While there was a lot to celebrate in terms of on-camera diversity in this week’s Emmy nominations, we can’t lose track of the fact that there remains a gender gap in directing and writing nominations. Queen Sugar got a shout out this week in a New York Magazine article addressing this unfortunate trend. Since our last recap, the last three episodes have all been directed by out women, two of whom are women of color, all of whom come with serious indie film cred. Aurora Guerro is a queer Chicana who wrote and directed 2012’s Mosquita y Mari, Maryam Keshavarz is the bisexual Iranian director of 2011’s Circumstance, and out director Amanda Marsalis gave us 2014’s Echo Park.
In fact, the continued queer women prowess behind Queen Sugar was honored just this month at the Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival, OutFest. I’ve said it before, but I truly believe that this is how the nature of storytelling and media production is going to change, by finding greater opportunities behind, and not just in front, of the camera.
OK, so much has been happening for the Bordelons!
Aunt Vi and Charley are both suffering some professional and personal turmoil. The show has danced around Vi’s bouts with depression before, and it’s awe-inspiring to watch Hollywood as he literally gets in her bed with her when she can’t find the strength to get out of it herself, supporting and encouraging her through those dark depths. Charley is also getting some help, with the professional assistance of a therapist. Discussing mental health in the black community is still incredibly taboo in many circles. That can be particularly true for black women, who are often socialized to play into the stereotype of an impenetrable “Strong Black Woman.” I waited far too long to get the help I needed in part because of the stigma attached to asking for it. With both Vi and Charley, Queen Sugar is working to normalize these conversations and the potential ripple effect of that cannot be understated.
Speaking of mental and emotional health, Micah is still reeling from the aftermath of his arrest. Things come to ahead when he mistakenly elbows Blue in the face (Blue had jumped from behind to “surprise” his big cousin; Micah’s still jumpy and reacts on instinct). Later, Ralph Angel cautions his nephew that being locked up works to strip away every piece of humanity. And so, it’s their responsibility to show that they haven’t been broken. That they can still love and care. This is the longest Ralph Angel has ever spoken about his incarceration, and you can tell that it breaks through for Micah.
Darla, who lost her job and is under an incredible amount of pressure, does something unspeakably awful and selfish. She takes Kenya, Blue’s very best friend, and throws her out in the trash. Why? Because Darla felt irrationally jealous of her son’s love for his doll. She almost immediately recognizes her mistake, and Ralph Angel searching in a New Orleans dumpster for Kenya before it is too late.
While looking for Kenya, Ralph Angel gets stopped by the police. He realizes that he recognizers one of the officers, an old school friend with whom he has long been getting in and out of mischief. The officer, who goes by ‘Tione, is played by out trans actor Brian Michael. Once the two are alone reminiscing, Ralph Angel admits that one of the reasons he is supportive of Blue’s love for Kenya is that he remembers how hard it was for ‘Tione growing up. ‘Tione in turn takes the moment to thank Ralph Angel, not only for supporting him in school when they were both children, but for never outing him when the cross paths as both adults.
Finally, let’s talk about our girl Nova. Nova has a new love interest, Dr. Robert DuBois, the Stanford trained epidemiologist currently working at the Center for American Progress (henceforth known as The Good Doctor, because it entertains me). Nova and the Good Doctor don’t hit it off right from the start, but they pretty quickly find mutual interest, and I won’t lie to you: his cute nerd game is strong. Despite their building chemistry, Nova ends up leaving early from their latest date. Her sister needs her.
Nova and Charley haven’t had as much time alone together in the first few episodes as I wish they had; their relationship is one of my core favorites of the series. But, all that changes when Nova comes to Charley after a panicked phone call. Together in Charley’s new apartment, Nova begins preparing a cleansing ceremony. She takes incense, a lit candle, and a feather as she walks the parameters of the apartment. Afterwards, the sisters sit cross-legged on the floor and open up take out containers. They laugh, gossip, and console each other. There’s strength and love between them in the air. Sisterhood. Family.
Written by Natalie (Pecola!)
Two episodes into its first season, and just two days after the Trump administration rescinded Obama-era guidelines on transgender bathroom use, CBS pulled Doubt from its winter schedule, effectively canceling the low-rated show. But the network has plucked the show’s remaining episodes from the dustbin and is burning them off this summer. I’m going to try to convince myself that CBS is just doing a smart thing — I mean, they already paid for the season, they might as well air it — and that it’s purely coincidental that CBS’s most diverse show reappeared on its schedule as the network deals with its own diversity issues.
So why recap a cancelled show? Because there should be some record of its existence. There should be some place on the internet that recognized that there was a black trans woman on a legal show — not as the victim or the defendant, but as a lawyer seeking justice for others. There should be a place that celebrated a trans woman of color — possibly, maybe, probably — falling in love and being loved on national TV so — possibly, maybe, probably — other trans women can imagine that possibility for themselves. It should be noted, somewhere, that three trans women — Laverne Cox, Jen Richards and Angelica Ross — sat together, talking relationships, as girlfriends are wont to do, on national TV, as if it were a normal thing, because it is.
Cameron Wirth (Cox) is an Ivy League educated lawyer who works at a boutique New York City law firm called Isaiah Roth & Associates. Roth’s reputation is the stuff of legends — Cameron’s father’s admiration of Roth’s defense of the Black Panthers is what drew her to his firm. She joined the firm at 26, the same year she transitioned, and while she strives to be every bit the social justice warrior Roth was, she’s determined to do it while being her authentic self.
When we meet her again in episode three, she and her colleague, Tiffany (Dreama Walker), are preparing for the Voir Dire Process, hoping to find jurors who will be sympathetic to their case. Their client in this case is Mary (Lisa Ann Walter), a psychic accused of grand larceny for scamming Floriel Martinez (Wilson Cruz) out of $65,000.
While making their way to the courtroom, Cameron and Tiffany run into an old study partner of Cameron’s from Yale, Peter Garrett (Ben Lawson), who’s just moved to the city from Baltimore. He flirts a bit — noting how great she looks and how he’s no longer the scrawny kid he was in law school — but Cameron doesn’t respond. Undeterred, he asks her out for coffee and she says, “That’d be nice,” in such a way that’s both polite and unequivocal in her commitment to definitely not go out to coffee with him. Then, surprising absolutely no one who’s ever watched TV before, Peter turns out to be the new district attorney prosecuting Cameron’s case.
Later, when Peter springs up to tell Cameron that he’s added a last-second witness, he tries to shoot his shot again. This time, though, Cameron’s a lot less subtle: “Peter, that’s really nice, but I don’t date people like you. I don’t date men who put people in cages for a living.”
Ultimately, Mary’s found guilty of larceny and fortune telling and afterwards, Peter finds Cameron sitting on a bench in the park. He continues to flirt — in a way that’s more charming than creepy — and Cameron starts to soften a bit. When he asks her out for the third time, she replies, “It depends on whether you’re going to recommend jail time for Mary.” When he responds that he’ll offer two to six years, she simply says, “Wrong answer” and walks away. This time, though, she leaves with a bright smile, so you know that this is only the beginning for those two.
Peter reappears in episode four (“Clean Burn”), sitting in the back of the courtroom as Cameron finishes delivering her closing argument in a case. They engage in what, I suppose, counts as flirty banter among lawyers — debating whether Cameron’s closing was emotionally manipulative or if the facts of the case were against her — before Peter tries again to invite Cameron out.
“Look, it’s obvious we have two very different viewpoints. That’s good. Maybe it’d be productive for us to sit down, discuss these issues over drinks,” he suggests. “Not a date. I’m just trying to open an honest dialogue between prosecutor and defense attorney. And maybe like…10% a date.”
Cameron shoots him a wry smile and agrees to the 10%. Later, though, she has some second thoughts and so she does what every girl does when worried about a potential date: calls her girlfriends. EXCEPT…this time, those girlfriends are two other trans women (Angelica Ross and Jen Richards) and, suddenly, a conversation between three friends feels monumental.
This scene gave me my entire LIFE!!! I remember filming this with @Lavernecox & @SmartAssJen thinking how REAL this scene felt! #DoubtCBS pic.twitter.com/FqkKkDIrHc
— Angelica Ross (@angelicaross) July 9, 2017
Later, it’s Cameron who’s observing Peter’s closing arguments before she confronts him outside the courtroom. She hits him with the questions and emotions that have been simmering all day: “Am I some object of fascination for you? It’s just boring to answer all the questions and work through all the feelings and wonder and worry if you’re going to be okay, or panic, or just want to be friends because when push comes to shove, you don’t have what it takes to really date me.”
To his credit, Peter is unfazed and, for the moment, his honesty and humor disarm Cameron. But, ultimately, she ends up standing him up — he’s already at the restaurant when she texts — opting to meet her secretive pro athlete boyfriend (aka MVP) at his place instead. What she has with MVP might not be perfect nor public, but he’s known and facing it is a lot less scary than facing the unknown with Peter.
When the two meet again, the air between them is ripe with tension — Cameron’s taken a harassment case involving a freshman at Hudson University, Tess Pratt (Molly Kunz) who was raped by her RA and is now walking around campus with a billboard and flyers, warning people about her rapist. After the University and the police failed to intercede, Tess donned the billboard to help her regain some semblance of control. Peter’s the district attorney who declined to file charges in the case. He believes Tess’ story but can’t waste taxpayers’ money on a case where a conviction seems unlikely. That said, he passes along an anonymous tip his office got: the name of another student raped by that same RA. Cameron thanks him for the information and apologizes for standing him up.
Nick (Kobi Libii), a first year associate who’s helping Cameron with Tess’ case, convinces the other student, Sophia Armstrong (Juliette Goglia), to come forward. Her testimony leads to their rapist’s subsequent arrest and, thanks to a call from Peter, the dismissal of the harassment charges and Tess’ reinstatement at Hudson University.
After Cameron offers her thanks, Peter says something that makes it clear that he’s spent a long time pondering why she stood him up. He goes back to what she said the second time he asked her out—” I don’t date men who put people in cages for a living”—and addresses those concerns fully.
“Believe it or not, I don’t take pleasure in sending people to prison,” he says. “Locking somebody away doesn’t undo any damage. The victim’s still suffering, if they’re lucky enough to have survived. The defendant’s life is wasted, and the defendant’s family is punished for something that they didn’t do. Nothing good happens.”
That’s not what kept Cameron away from the restaurant that night but it’s enough of a signal to Cameron that he’s serious about what’s going on between them.
Eight episodes remain in Doubt‘s first and only season and, despite my misgivings about the show more broadly (and there are many), Doubt is worth watching because Cameron Wirth’s storyline is one they get very, very right.
Written by Heather
Here’s what you missed on Younger: Josh broke up with Liza because she cheated on him and then Maggie fell for straight girl and told Josh about it and then Josh slept with the straight girl who came to Maggie and Liza’s apartment later wearing Josh’s leather jacket that Maggie had returned the day before so Liza didn’t have to see him. What a tangled web of Williamsburgery! If you’re thinking the common denominator in all these problems is Josh, reader, I agree with you. Josh is fine, whatever. He’s nice. He obviously really loves (loved?) Liza. His weird banjo band does sound pretty authentic to my southern ears. But I can’t stay mad at Liza and so I shall continue to blame Josh for everyone’s problems.
The other person who can’t stay mad at Liza is Kelsey. I’d been worried their fight was going to drag on all season long, and that Kelsey was going to end up having sex with Josh, but that did not happen! The other thing I thought, halfway into this week’s episode, was that Kelsey was going to be forced to play nice with Liza because Liza was going to get a job offer to run a New Adult imprint at a different publishing house. The second thing did happen, but what made Kelsey move past her anger and go to bat for Liza’s promotion at Millennial was love.
When Liza and Kelsey returned to civilization after a weekend in the wilds at a publisher’s retreat, Liza’s phone went berserk with messages from her daughter and her daughter’s roommate. Her daughter’s appendix had ruptured and she didn’t go to the hospital because she didn’t have enough money for the copay. Kelsey took in Liza’s pain and worry and watched her FaceTime her daughter in the hospital and listened to her get real about money and how she never could count on her ex-husband for anything. With that perspective, she marched into Charles’ office the next morning and said to take the money out of her paycheck to give Liza a raise and a promotion. (Charles said he’d find the money, not to worry about it.)
Now that they’re all made up I can focus on yelling at Maggie that she’s got way too much experience in this world to get her heart broken by a straight girl! If only I could text her Erin’s eight chill tips for moving on!
Anyone watching the new season of Janet King?
Yes. Not quite up to date, but almost there. Liking this season better than the last one.
Thank you Lucy Hallowell for all your years of service to The Fosters. Your recaps were often better than the episodes. I will miss them, I will miss your insights on the mom’s relationships and I will miss you.
I blame Brandon for this. Brandon is the worst.
Yes! Surely this is Brandon’s fault. Hope Lucy has the time and opportunity to write something else for AS soon!
Thank you! Last season was such a deep bummer for me that it felt like a chore to recap and 2017 is such a shitburger in the U.S. I couldn’t take it anymore.
Hopefully they get back to what made the show great, but I’m not holding my breath.
Queen Sugar is so much better than anything I watch. A lot of wisdom in this week’s episode that I needed to hear.
Carmen, I also really enjoyed the scenes with Charley and Nova this week. You know this already, but their relationship was what first attracted me to the show, and I really loved how Nova knew Charley needed her, didn’t take offence to Charley jumping down her throat about Micah, and how Charley immediately apologized, knowing she was overreacting and taking out her fear for Micah on Nova. This was such a nice counterweight to their awful fight in season one, and I hope we get more of them together.
I’m also loving Nova’s new love interest. He seems like such a genuinely good person and I feel like he’s gonna be good for her. I loved his line at the end “that was hard for you, wasn’t it?” god that scene was cute! Obviously, I would love to see Nova with another female love interest, but I like that they’re making her bisexuality so clear, and if she’s gotta be with a man, he seems like a MUCH better choice than Calvin, or her slew of one night stands.
Are Queen Sugar recaps gonna be a standard part of Boobs on Your Tube from now on, or are stand alone recaps still gonna be a thing? Either way I’m happy, whichever works for you, I’m just glad you’re recapping the show, I’m just wondering.
I hadn’t even thought about that season 1 parrellel about the fight between Nova and Charley (and both fights being about Micah)- but you are SO RIGHT. I think time helps, and that the longer Charley stays back in town, the more comfortable they are around each other, the more their relationship tips towards compassion. Fingers crossed!
I agree about Nova’s love interest. LOL, it seems like the general consensus is “fine, if her new LI is gonna be a guy, then he’ll do”. Which, I have to say, is still a considerable step up from Calvin (though I agree with@pecola downthread that his showing up in New Orleans “randomly” did make me the teeniest but unsettled.)
Oh, and yes, QS recaps will be apart of Boobs Tube moving forward. Plus, this gives me a chance to write alongside Natalie– which is SO AWESOME.
BTW, Hiiiiiiiiii Alison!!!! Sorry I was late to the comment section this week! I had a crazy weekend that included my computer completely breaking and having to have its entire hard drive erased :( But things are better now, and I’m glad to be catching up with all of you!
Wait is Norm Lewis out/gay?
hello no one asked me to endorse these shows but please watch Daytime Divas and Queen Sugar because I’m not caught up on the latter BUT the former has been my obsession for at least three days and I can’t stop thinking about it (also the lead from DCOM’s Gotta Kick It Up! is on there and she is just as fun to watch now as she was then, but that just might be the baby lesbian in me in awe that she is still so gorgeous) and I’m only on the first season of Queen Sugar because it is a lot but sO GOOD and please yes watch so much that AS recommends cause it’s a good time for all 99% of the time and the other 1% the show ruined it tbh
Younger: Why is it either or? You don’t want to mad at Liza so you’re going to be mad at Josh? Josh didn’t do anything wrong. And we all understand Liza’s reasoning for doing what she did. I wouldn’t mind if Josh got together with Kelsey and Liza finally took that next step with Charles, they seem better suited for each other that way.
As for Caitlin, why after the 4th or 5th call to her mother, she didn’t call Maggie? At the very least to find out why her mother wasn’t picking up, right?
I think it’s a bit shit to say that it’s usual for women to be the exception for bisexual women?
Clearly what Heather meant was that it’s realistic for bisexual characters to also be dating men. And clearly she would rather all the female characters only dated other women. The only thing that isn’t clear here is what exactly your problem is.
If that’s what she (Riese, I believe, rather than Heather?) meant, it’s not what she said. It was in the context of saying how her romantic entanglement with a woman lasted a grand total of two episodes. When “oh bisexual women are just gonna go back to men” is a fucking enormous and damaging trope, to go, oh, that’s basically how it is really though, is not 100% okay. It’s utterly absurd to claim that it’s totally clear that that’s not what was meant.
A few thoughts on where we are with the Bordelons…
I’ve never been much of a fan of Charley’s but when she took responsibility for the rifle being in the house–knowing that the Boudreauxes were likely behind the officer’s visit–I gained a bit more respect for her. I loved seeing her debate with Remy over where she and Micah should live…and the expectations that come with achieving wealth in the black community. That’s such a fraught conversation, especially when you come from a rural community.
Nova remains a favorite because…well, you know…but I wish there was more to her storyline this season. It’s great to see her finding connections and negotiating her anxieties about love, but I want something else. I want something more substantial on the journalism front or a deeper connection to what’s going on at the farm or mill.
Which isn’t to suggest that I mind the Good Doctor, I don’t–though just randomly showing up in New Orleans was kinda creepy–but now we’ve got two men on this show, Remy and this doctor, who are kinda perfect, and Hollywood, who’s damn near close. Where are all the crappy dudes?
Oh, wait…there is Davis…who’s getting way too much screen time for my taste. Everything about him just feels smarmy to me–even when he’s candid with Micah–and I dread having to watch him trying to pursue that singer that showed up at the H4H build.
I’m a big fan of Darla’s storyline this season. It’s scary–it feels like she’s teetering on the razor’s edge, one step away from losing her sobriety–and Bianca Lawson’s done a great job on making the audience feel that instability. And, sadly, the thing that appears most likely to send her over that edge is her relationship with Ralph Angel. For all the goodness we’ve seen in him–becoming the farmer his father wanted him to be and his unrelenting support of Blue–he doesn’t recognize how the pressure he’s putting on Darla (which I suspect will only get worse now that she’s working for Charlie) could ultimately doom her.
And then there’s RA…whose every move feels fraught…like the threat of returning to prison hangs over his head all the time. You get the sense that he wants the farm (and his relationship with Darla) to work because, at the very least, he’ll be able to sequester himself from the threats to his freedom. They’ve touched briefly on the resentment that Ralph Angel carries towards his sisters for not supporting him while in prison and I hope we see more of that, as the Bordelon children, confront their father’s true wishes.
NATALIE!!!!!! Yesssssss to all of this!!! I was recapping three episodes at once this go round, so I had to cut a lot out, but you touched on Every One of my points that were in an earlier draft of this recap. Now that we are all caught up and I’ll be going more one episode at a time, I have a feeling we will be able to get more into a lot of this in detail.
For now I’ll just second your points about Nova (we need a deeper storyline for her this year, especially coming off of her interesting plots last year, this feels a bit like treading water), Darla (GO BIANCA LAWSON!!!! Goooooo!!!!! Even though Darla shattered my heart when she threw out Blue’s doll, I give Lawson I lot of credit for really selling Darla’s pathos behind the decision), and RA (I am in constant fear that this season ends with Ra in jail or Darla back in drugs, or both.)
Anyway, #TeamBlueForever. And see you next week!
Heather thank you for that recap of Doubt which looks really good, but a previous Autostraddle article led me to believe the word ‘girlfriend’ had been recalled for platonic friendships!
Ack, I meant Natalie rather than Heather
I am so thankful that the fight between Liza and Jelsey seems to have come to a truce. Hillary duff was nailing the mean girl routine, but the tension between them was breaking me. I care 4,000x more about their break up than I did about Josh and Liza (I have no interest in Josh at all, even after 4 seasons, sorry not sorry.)
Maggie continues to make my heart go aflutter!! Gosh. I love that actress so much, even though I constantly forget her name, and I’m happy to see Maggie have a little more screen time thus far this season.
The Bold Type:
HEATHER HOGAN YOU DID IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! I started watching last night on a whim after your enthusiastic recommendation, and oh my goodness am I glad I did! It’s everything you said it would be!
Basically, the show feels as if Devil Wears Prada and The Babysitters Club Movie had a baby, which is the same as saying it touches all of my purest happy places.
Thank you for putting it on my radar!
My biggest guilty pleasure of summer. Diva Gay Camp at it upmost finest. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a binge rec. I haven’t seen the Janet Mock episode yet, but I’ll be caught up before Friday. And I can’t wait!
“So why recap a cancelled show? Because there should be some record of its existence. There should be some place on the internet that recognized that there was a black trans woman on a legal show — not as the victim or the defendant, but as a lawyer seeking justice for others. There should be a place that celebrated a trans woman of color — possibly, maybe, probably — falling in love and being loved on national TV so — possibly, maybe, probably — other trans women can imagine that possibility for themselves. It should be noted, somewhere, that three trans women — Laverne Cox, Jen Richards and Angelica Ross — sat together, talking relationships, as girlfriends are wont to do, on national TV, as if it were a normal thing, because it is.”
APPLAUSE. APPLAUSE. APPLAUSE.
Natalie, if I could print this paragraph out and frame it– I would. Yes, girl, yes. Thank you for saying it and naming it and speaking truth to power.
(Y’all- I can’t even tell you how many times I rewound and rewatched that scene with Laverne, Angelica, and Jenn Richards. I then clapped my hands over my mouth and squeezed with glee every single time. This is the kind of pop culture that I want speaking back at me. I want for all of us to have a chance to be out there, smiling and laughing and gossiping and having lunch. We all deserve to be seen.)
(ALSO ALSO, shameless plug on behalf of Angelica Ross and Jenn Richards, but if you enjoy romantic comedies and want to watch an excellent, very gay, one about trans women living in LA, please watch HerStory: http://www.herstoryshow.com/season-1/ Jenn and Angelica really did the damn thing on that one. And I am so happy for their continued success.)