Happy Tuesday, apple pies! I’m sorry this week’s Boob(s On Your) Tube is a day later than usual. It was quite a week in the world of queer TV. Before we get started, I ran down all the lesbian TV shows that were renewed and cancelled last week on Broadcast Network Bloodbath Day. And Riese wants you to know Orange Is the New Black has released another trailer and some new promo photos.
Now, onto the Boobs!
Jane the Virgin
Mondays on The CW at 9:00 p.m.
Luisa is back for the penultimate episode of Jane the Virgin‘s first season for just a minute. The Michael-Jane-Rafael love triangle zigs back in Michael’s direction, and so Rafael is feeling pretty heartbroken about it. At the end of the day, he confides to Luisa (and Juicy Jordan!) that he’s still in love with Jane and only broke up with her because he was trying to be chivalrous. It’s actually a really funny sight gag, the way it happens. The scenes with Luisa are filmed like she and Rafael are having an intimate conversation, and then JJ wanders into the frame and throws down some truths because she’s been listening in the whole time. And then she makes out with his sister. JJ and Luisa tell Rafael to suck up his pride and tell Jane how he feels. He agrees that’s what he should do.
Last night was the season one finale and (SPOILER ALERT!) Sin Rostro went on a kidnapping spree!
Here’s What Happened Live in Slack:
Gabby: HEATHER THEY STOLE JANES BABY I AM SCREAMING
Heather: I KNOW IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND THEN WHAT THE FFFFFFFFF
I actually really did shout.
Gabby: AY ME TOO + LAURA
but so so good like what a good telenovela twist
Heather: i know! i shouted and jumped up, and then i laughed and laughed. seals the deal on being tied with empire for my favorite new show of the season!
Gabby: yes totally like 100% ok i feel better now. you calmed my spirit.
Heather: i am so glad you had an all caps reaction! i felt unhinged for a minute!
Gabby: heather what the fuck!! (this is laura)
Heather: laura, hey!
Gabby: what if sin rostro is foxier than before?
Heather: how could that even be possible?!
Gabby: why does she want a baby?
Look, if you didn’t watch this show in real-time, catch up over the summer, okay? Trust me and Gabby and Laura on this.
Wednesdays on The CW at 8:00 p.m.
Remember last week when I told you about how Ra’s al Ghul decided to marry off his lesbian daughter, Nyssa, to the show’s hero, Oliver? Well, that is exactly what happens.
Early in the episode, Oliver is forced to break character and start revealing to people that he’s not brainwashed because his entire team gets captured and shackled and stashed away in Nanda Parbat, so he needs to assure everyone that he’s going to take care of everything and free them. Luckily, his sidekicks are all really good at being heroes, so they’re able to scheme and plot and fight for themselves. All of them except Nyssa, whose agency is completely stripped from her by both the writers and her dad. Ra’s does insist on the marriage between Oliver and her, which: fine. Totally believable al Ghul bullshit. And it’s not like Nyssa is going to fall in love with him. (She better not f*cking fall in love with him.) But unlike the other characters in the episode, she is completely impotent in fighting back against the League of Assassins, even though she grew up in the building where they’re all being held and has known the weaknesses of these baddies her whole entire life.
I hope she kills the hell out of Ra’s in the finale.
Tuesdays on TVLand at 10:00 p.m.
Younger is light on Maggie this week. She hangs out with Liza and Kelsey in a Brooklyn pub to watch Liza’s boyfriend play a washboard in his band. And then Maggie shows up later to give her blessing to Liza’s plan to raise $1,800 for her daughter’s tuition by selling her used panties on Craigslist. Maggie says she’s been around the block of the panty-trading world, and they don’t call the box seats at Lilith Fair “box seats” for nothin’. Mostly the episode focused on Liza’s relationship with Josh and how he’s getting suspicious that she keeps sneaking around and taking weird phone calls in the mornings and the middle of the night. She comes clean and says it’s because of her panty-selling business, and that’s true. But also: She has an ex-husband in New Jersey, and a daughter in college in India. She does’t reveal that, though, because it’s only season one.
Newlyweds: The First Year
Tuesdays on Bravo at 10:00 p.m.
Sam and Laura went back to the baby doctor this week, I think because Bravo is absolutely obsessed with making sure there are some common themes between all these couples. But the main event was a reading Laura did where she talked about how she spent two years without an ear and how it affected her self-esteem and physical health. Here’s a clip from the episode.
And BuzzFeed published the whole piece. It’s really good. Sam and Laura’s mom were so sweet and supportive when she was reading it. It warmed my heart.
Monday on NBC at 9:00 p.m.
There is no love left in my heart for Gotham. None at all. After completely abandoning Renee Montoya in the middle of year, the show closes out its freshman season by turning Barbara Kean into a Bisexual Psychopath. On the outside, it appears that Barbara has unwittingly fallen into a relationship with The Ogre, who brainwashes her into requesting that he kill her parents — but in an eye-rolling twist of the cliched trope knife, it turns out Barbara is the one who killed her parents. She confesses this to Jim’s new girlfriend while pulling a cleaver on her and trying to stab her to death. The episode ends with Babs getting conked on the head and presumably checked into Arkham Asylum.
You will never convince me that the loss of Renee Montoya, the only queer character of color in Marvel or DC’s cinematic universes, and the sociopathic spiral of Barbara isn’t direct capitulation to straight white fanboy culture. The outcry when Barbara and Renee got together — when the bisexual woman chose a Latina lesbian over fanboy Mary Sue/future Commissioner Gordon — was swift and ferocious and supremely gross. Of all the things I’ve written about in my seven years of professional blogging, I have never experienced the kind of hate that was hurled my way for being vocally supportive of Renee.
So yeah, Gotham, I’m done with you unless you answer my anger with The Question. And in a major way.
Bold and the Beautiful
Weekdays on CBS
Welp, I am absolutely done writing about Bold and the Beautiful‘s trans storyline. This is the last week I’m going to watch it or talk about it because CBS doesn’t deserve the ratings of even one person. These writers have had plenty of time to understand how harmful and hurtful their writing is to the trans community, but they haven’t changed their course or tone even a little bit. On Friday, the show opened with this scene.
Maya: I will tell Rick when I’m ready.
Brooke: You will tell him today.
Maya: Yes. If Rick proposes, I will tell him today.
Brooke: This has gone on long enough. Rick needs to know the truth. He deserves to know who he’s proposing to. That Maya used to be … Myron.
Later on, Maya’s sister outs Maya to one of her co-workers like this: “Her real name is Myron. She’s transgender. She’s my brother, not my sister.” And so that co-worker says it’s time to get the PR machine going because “A scandal like this, you can’t even imagine.”
These are the same problems I wrote about on week one of this storyline: Using Maya’s birth name is an act of violence. Repeatedly referring to her as Nicole’s brother is an act of violence. Perpetuating the very false stereotype that trans women are conniving and duplicitous with their romantic partners is an act of violence. Treating the fact of a trans person coming out as scandalous is an act of violence. Even the coverage of this storyline on the soap blogs is horrible. They’re referring to Maya in headlines as “Myron” now. Black trans women suffer more violence than anyone in the queer community, and this kind of storytelling is reckless and destructive. I feel like I’m contributing to the problem by watching it and writing about it, so I’m going to stop.
Thursdays on ABC at 8:00 p.m.
Due to a death in her family, Jenn was unable to recap last week’s Grey’s Anatomy. There is nothing gay to report about the episode. Callie and Arizona are in it for a couple of minutes each, mostly just doing the kind of doctor things you do when a tunnel collapses during a morning commute. However, Heather Matarazzo plays a pregnant patient whose soon-to-be husband is trapped under the rubble. It’s a rough hour for her. She arrives yelling about how someone needs to dig out her boyfriend so they can get married, nearly loses her baby, doesn’t lose her baby, overhears some stupid new asshole interns talking about her soon-to-be-husband being trapped under his car under the tunnel with no feasible extraction plan to keep him alive, has a panic attack, gets paralyzed when one of the stupid new asshole interns takes off her neck brace because she can’t breathe (because they caused her to have a panic attack!), gets un-paralyzed, and goes into labor. Also her boyfriend is maybe saved. That part isn’t clear.
I’m talking about this for three reasons: 1) Heather Matarazzo is a lesbian lady, who 2) also played Stacy Merkin on The L Word, which means 3) I have a reason to link to this clip.
Law & Order: SVU
Wednesdays on NBC at 9:00 p.m.
Samira Wiley guest starred on last week’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as a woman named Michelle who came forward after 17 years to disavow the testimony she gave that sent her father to prison for rape and incest. The episode is based on the true story of Chaneya Kelly. It is heavy and moving and terrible and wonderful, and Samira just crushes it from every angle. You should watch. You’re going to cry.
The Good Wife
Sundays on CBS at 9:00 p.m.
Just a couple of years ago Kalinda Sharma was one of the most exciting, nuanced queer women on broadcast television. This week, she left The Good Wife forever, after several seasons of poorly written, out-of-character storylines that frankly derailed the entire show. No one knows what went on behind the scenes, but the heart of The Good Wife‘s first two seasons was the relationship between Kalinda and Alicia. Archie Panjabi and Julianna Margulies didn’t share the screen together in the last 56 episodes of the show. It’s obviously something that bothered Panjabi a whole lot, if only because cutting off her character’s access to the main protagonist severely limited the scope and range of Kalinda’s storylines.
Entertainment Weekly flat out asked her why Kalinda and Alicia stopped interacting, and she said, “I think that’s a question you need to ask the producers.” And when they asked her if she was happy with the way Kalinda was written off the show, she said, “Honestly speaking, I would’ve liked something that would have featured Kalinda a little more, but they have restrictions and I respect that. They did do a degree of justice to her in the last episode.”
The producers promised one last scene between Alicia and Kalinda before it was all said and done, and they gave us one — kind of. I had joked that Panjabi and Margulies would film their interaction with CGI trickery, but after watching the finale, I think that’s exactly what happened. And I’m not the only one. As soon as I finished the episode, I went on a Twitter dig to see if anyone else thought Kalinda and Alicia’s final scene was a split screen. Vox did. And Indiewire too. Like what is Alicia even looking at the whole time?
Panjabi is right that Kalinda did have a small triumph in her final exit, in the sense that she rejected a powerful alliance and left on her own terms, all sunglasses and swagger. I wish I could say I’ll miss her, but the writers and producers have watered her down so much, she’s unrecognizable. She was never going to rebound from that. I’m just glad Panjabi has already signed on to headline a new show where she can showcase her considerable talents.
Wednesdays on The CW at 9:00 p.m.
So. Women in Refrigerators. You know it, right? That superhero trope where a woman gets beaten, raped, mutilated, murdered, whatever to advance the plot of a male hero through the power of manpain? That’s exactly what Supernatural did to Charlie last week.
Sam ropes Charlie into helping him crack a codex that will hopefully rid Dean of the Mark of Cain. She bounces from Dean and Sam’s high security HQ to work out the codex in a seedy motel, and at the end of the episode, Sam and Dean find her murdered in a bathtub. And that’s it. A beloved fan favorite. One of the only women on the entire show.
Definitely the only queer woman in the show’s history. (Rachel just reminded me there was another queer woman in the early seasons of this show … who also died.) No build-up, no scuffle, not even a death scene. Just a lifeless body in a bloody bathtub like a comic book from 1964.
And here’s what’s nuts: At a panel last week, executive producer Robbie Thompson said he begged the CW not to make them kill of Charlie. He said he texted, emailed, called, tried to set up in-person meetings, but to no avail. And another executive producer, Jim Michaels, said the same thing at a con in London. The decision to fridge Charlie came from the top.
This on the same week as Nyssa marrying Oliver. Keepin’ it classy, CW!
Cancelled on Fox
Fox pulled the plug on Weird Loners last week, but at least they aired the final episode of the six-ep first season, because in it, the gang spent a whole lot of time at Truck Stop and Zara revealed that she’s bisexual. It’s a cute episode even though the premise is kind of Kissing Jessica Stein-y. Zara’s ex-girlfriend is also bisexual, and so both Stosh and Caryn (who has decided to be gay because she’s not having luck dating men) go after her. It doesn’t work out for either of them. Stosh because he’s a narcissistic asshole. And Caryn because she’s straight. But, in true Truck Stop fashion, it is Zara who ends up making out with her ex at the end of the episode. No one is heartbroken and ladies kiss and everyone wins.
In the B-story, Eric is mistaken for a gay woman, and accidentally joins the Truck Stop’s lesbian dart league. I thought about being offended by it, but it was pretty funny.
Wednesdays on ABC at 9:30 p.m.
Raven-Symone guest starred as Dre’s lesbian sister on last week’s Black-ish, and Gabby has some thoughts on how the episode landed with her as a queer person of color.
I don’t make it a point to watch Black-ish; it’s funny as hell but I can’t get over Dre’s self-centeredness. It’s this ever-present thing that just makes me roll my eyes like is this what it’s really like to deal with men? Every sitcom dude suffers from the same myopia.
But, I’m really here to talk about Raven-Symone as his sister Rhonda and how this episode focused on her in the closet but still under the hood lesbianism. Dre explains how his family has a very polite don’t ask, don’t tell policy and the point is portrayed in a bunch of super funny running gags, like how his oldest son, Dre Jr., has absolutely no gaydar. Like had no idea Aunt Rhonda, Raven-Symone, is a lesbian even though she lives with her “mechanic roommate” in a one-bedroom and they have a cat name Kitty Lange. Drum roll snare.
I can’t speak about any family other than my own but let’s just say that these jokes really hit home. In my family, the abuelas and titis have refered to my girlfriends as mis amigas aka my friends. Always friends. Never novia which is girlfriend or esposa which is wife. It’s always la amiga de *insert your name here*. And it’s not like they don’t know what’s really good between me and whoever, it’s just easier to politely say friend so you don’t have to say dyke. So I really felt that joke on this show.
Also, twenty-three minutes isn’t enough time to tackle anything too in-depth but I appreciated how they covered Biblical condemnation and gay marriage in that amount of time. My family’s Christian too and my mom definitely had her struggles with scripture that considered my budding gayness an abomination. She didn’t flip the switch into loving and accepting me in twenty-three minutes but through communication and lots of tears/hugs, things definitely evolved. Despite Dre’s fixation on himself as the savior of all things, Rhonda and her Mom found their way to each other and made peace and wedding plans.
Maybe the portrayal of a Black mom coming to terms with their child’s sexuality on Black-ish wasn’t as nuanced as Kim Wayans excellent performance as the mother in Pariah but damn, Black-ish did its best. For what it is – a sitcom- and its time limitations, the episode and its stereotypes flowed with the vibe of the show and dealt with issues that have historically plagued many ethnic communities.
So I’m with it. This entire episode is worth a watch.
Black-ish has been renewed for a second season with a promise of more Raven!
Whew! That’s a lot! Let’s talk about your thoughts/feelings on the week in queer TV.