Boob(s) On Your Tube: Fall TV Ends With a Whimper, Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant are Accidental Lesbians on SNL

I think we can officially call a wrap on fall TV. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions these last few months, huh? We lost Sara Lance on Arrow (but we’re getting her back). We lost Charlie on Supernatural (but we’re probably getting her back too). The show I was most excited about (Gotham) let me down in a major way, and the show I was most skeptical about (Jane the Virgin) became my favorite new series of the whole season. None of the sitcoms with leading lesbian/bi characters (One Big Happy, Marry Me, Weird Loners) survived. Kalinda departed from The Good Wife with a scrap of fire in tact. Recurring characters Haddie and Crickett from Parenthood and Hart of Dixie rode off into the sunset with their shows. Santana and Brittany from Glee did, too, but at least they were married!

ABC Family’s summer programming starts in just two weeks, which means Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, and Chasing Life will be back. Plus, other lesbian summer favorites like Faking It, Defiance, Rookie Blue, Under the Dome, and ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.

MTV’s Scream is supposed to feature a lesbian character, also!

Next Monday, I’ll post a preview of all the queer TV coming up this summer, but first, let’s see these last few shows across the finish line.


Jane the Virgin

Mondays on The CW at 9:00 p.m.

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Her name’s Renee Montoya and honestly you could use the extra security.

Jane the Virgin wrapped up a brilliant freshman season last Monday night. I cannot say enough good things about this show. Luisa is only in the finale for a second, as a sounding board for Rafael to decide he wants to sell his father’s business/hotel so he can be the father his baby deserves. Usually, I’d be like, “Well, the queer characters was in a little less than half the episodes and one of the major season-long plots is a straight love triangle, so this isn’t really essential viewing,” but Jane the Virgin is a thing I have never seen on TV before and I think it’s worth all your time. It features so many different (and different kinds) of relationships between well-rounded Latina characters. It gives almost as much weight to Jane’s career as it does to her family life and romantic life. It’s also just really fun to watch. The pace is breathless, the plot is sometimes high level telenovela bonkers, and the emotional punches almost always land.

In the last moments of the finale, notorious crime lord/Luisa’s former stepmom-lover Sin Rostro kidnaps Jane’s brand new baby, so it seems like next season is going to land at full throttle, just like this one. I can’t wait.


 

Arrow

Wednesdays on The CW at 8:00 p.m.

Arrow -- "My Name is Oliver Queen" -- Image AR323B_0329b -- Pictured: Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul -- Photo: Liane Hentscher/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Straight married but still breathing, sugar!

There are two Arrow things we need to talk about.

One: Nyssa survived the finale and didn’t consummate her marriage to Oliver and didn’t fall in love with him and it seems very likely that she’s going to be a big factor in season four.

Oliver finally reveals that he’s been faking his brainwashing this whole time, and of course it’s in an airplane like a million miles in the sky when he finally comes clean. The ensuing scuffle finally sees Nyssa get her groove back, and also it sees the plane get busted. So Ra’s takes the only parachute (again, of course) and dips out, leaving Oliver and Nyssa to crash land the thing. They do. And they survive. And they spend the rest of the episode trying to track down Ra’s so they can take their revenge on him. In the end, it’s Oliver who kills him (and then, amazingly, it is Felicity who saves Oliver in the A.T.O.M. (fake Iron Man) suit.) Shockingly, it’s a very girl powered finale. Laurel kicks some asses too.

Nyssa is pissed because she doesn’t get to kill her father, and then doubly pissed when Merlyn — the guy responsible for Sara’s death — takes over the League and forces her to bow before him. But there’s something about her face before she bends her knee that says Merlyn will be at the end of one of her arrows before it’s all said and done.

Two: Sara’s alive! Caity Lotz is returning as White Canary in the CW’s latest Arrow tie-in, Legends of Tomorrow. Apparently, there’s big crossover potential here. Katie Cassidy is coming over full time and Nyssa will be able to move between shows at the writers’ leisure. Here’s a trailer:

https://youtu.be/4MubNoWQiSc

That? Is the power of lesbian fandom.


 

Younger

Tuesdays on TVLand at 10:00 p.m.

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Want me to set up a Boobr profile for you?

This week’s Younger features Maggie in the role of Grown-Up Best Friend, offering Liza a moment’s respite from the world where her boyfriend’s bedroom doesn’t have a door and her career duties involve babysitting her boss’ love interest’s kids while he heads out to some black tie book awards. I’d love it if Younger could find a way to incorporate Maggie into the story as more than a time-out pep-talker, but it’s tricky because three of the four main characters all work for the same publishing company, and so much of the show is (awesomely) career-focused. Watching it is a fun way to spend 22 minutes a week, though, and a queer character on TV Land is still a big dang deal.


 

Newlyweds: The First Year

Tuesdays on Bravo at 10:00 p.m.

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(That Pomeranian’s face, though!)

Last week was the last episode of Newlyweds: The First Year, and Sam and Laura spent the entire episode celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary at the place where they got married, only with their adorable puppies this time. Honestly, their parts of the episode were so gay and wonderful and a thousand times better than the other couples’ baby stuff. They just lounged around on the dock and in a hammock and talked about how much they love each other, how much they’ve grown since they met in college, how they’ll be together forever. Also: skinny dipping. They were so unlike what I was expecting, and I mean that in the best possible way. Just a couple of lesbians who adore each other and want to be happy. If The Real L Word had been like this, I wouldn’t have cancelled Showtime five minutes into the first episode.


 

Grey’s Anatomy

Thursdays on ABC at 8:00 p.m.

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I don’t know who Jenny Schecter is but she said she’d rather be waterboarded than ever see her again.

As I mentioned last week, Jenn had a death in her family and she’s still busy taking care of everyone, so she won’t be able to recap the season 11 finale of Grey’s Anatomy. That’s okay, though, because there wasn’t any queer stuff to write about. The time jump between Derek’s death and these last two episodes is going to make things interesting in terms of Arizona told Callie’s story in season 12. It’s been over a year. What we’ve seen these last two weeks is that they can work together like grown-ups now. They make a good team again. And they can tease each other about dating/sleeping with the interns in a playful way without any underlying passive aggressiveness. Maybe they really do need to grow apart to grow back together. Shonda said to trust the journey, whatever that means. I just want them to be okay!


 

Lost Girl

Thursdays on Syfy at 10:00 p.m.

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Threesome, Ontario, here we come!

On last week’s Syfy showing of Lost Girl, it was Bo’s birthday!

Tamsin gives her a stuffed cat that is supposed to bring her good luck, and it does. But also, it starts turning her into a literal cat. Bo laps up a martini with her tongue, falls in a hole and lands on all fours, the whole thing. Bo and Lauren and Tamsin team up to find the missing Oracles, which seems like a fun road trip, but basically is just Lauren and Tamsin having a pissing contest for Bo’s affection. In the end, Bo does find the Oracles. They’re blind now, which is sinister, and all of Lauren’s crushed elevator patients are coming back to life. After the adventure, Tamsin gives Bo the birthday gift of wrapping her naked self up in a red bow for sexytime scissor shenanigans. They do the deed and then Bo confesses to Tamsin that her dad is Hades and she was born in hell. Just your standard succubus pillow talk, nbd, whatever.


 

The Returned

Mondays on A&E

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Hello bluebirds, it’s me Riese. Rumor has it that there’s this new show The Returned on A&E with some lesbian characters in it or something? Well, the rumors are true: The Returned has two lesbian characters in its ensemble, Julie and Nikki, and their sexual orientation is, as it so often seems to be these days, a minor fact of their existence, presented without much fanfare. It’s honestly quite rare to have an ensemble cast with two queer females and zero queer men, so hurrah!

The cast of The Returned also includes the following notable humans: Billy Chenoweth from Six Feet Under, Jesús and Maryann from True Blood, Sara Ryan from “Breaking the Girls,” Tyrol and Helena Cain from Battlestar, Commander Shumway from The 100, Catherine Rothberg from The L Word and — as of the most recent episode — Myka Bering from Warehouse 13! What a star-studded event for passionate watchers of queer-ish television.

The Returned is an adaptation of a French series by the same name, produced by the same guy who did Lost. It’s about a small town where terrible shit happens way too often, resulting in myriad untimely deaths. However, NOW THE DEAD ARE RETURNING. It’s captivating and dynamic storytelling with a stellar cast (although it lacks racial diversity in a major way), and is enormously better than last year’s ABC flop, Resurrection, which had a similar premise but quickly spun off the rails. The worst thing about this show is that the A&E app is the worst app I’ve ever used in my life and watching one episode on it takes about three hours, a ceremony which’ll include at least 45 Geico commercials and several slow-mo Benihana ads. Another cool thing this app does is that commercials will interrupt mid-scene without warning, and then play half a commercial, and then return to the scene? Furthermore, the closed captions show up about five minutes after they’re spoken onscreen, which is a bit disorienting. For example:

Just as I always dreamed my wedding day would be

Just as I always dreamed my wedding day would be

Sandrine Holt (The L Word) plays Dr. Julie Han and Agnes Brucker (Breaking the Girls) plays Deputy Nikki Banks. They’re lesbian lovers but it’s unclear how serious their off-and-on relationship is. We learn that Julie survived an (attempted?) homicide some years back when she left a party early (Nikki stayed behind) and was attacked on her way home. In the first episode of The Returned, Julie takes in “Victor,” a small boy who was murdered during a home invasion 29 years ago and continues returning to the town to get taken in by another innocent well-meaning woman, at which point he proceeds to pursue his hobbies of “looking creepy,” causing bus crashes, and making people kill themselves. Nikki suspects something is up with “Victor” and is slowly uncovering the details of his history in this town, but Julie refuses to accept his awfulness until he tries to murder Nikki. I actually thought he’d succeeded until this episode when Julie gets rid of Victor and picks Nikki up at the hospital. BLESS US ALL, THE LESBIAN IS NOT DEAD. Although, on this show, being dead isn’t necessarily the end of your story, anyhow!

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Meanwhile, Hellen Goddard (Michelle Forbes) is scheming and Rowan marries Tommy, even though I think Tommy is the worst. Also in this week’s episode, journalist Kara Pine (played by Joanne Kelly) rolls into town in a pick-up truck and a tank top, looking to do a story on the returning dead, a phenomenon which’s not, she says, isolated to this town. I think it must be an artifact!


 

Saturday Night Live

Saturdays on NBC at 11:30 p.m.

On a dicey episode of SNL hosted by Louis C.K., Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant played a couple in a sketch about the forgotten TV gem Whoops I Married a Lesbian. It hilarious and depressing. You’ll see why.


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+ Fan Fiction Friday: 15 “Warehouse 13” Bering and Wells Stories to Honor Endless Wonder
Do you smell apples? I smell apples.


See you next week, strawberry milkshakes!

 

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Heather has written 725 articles for us.

43 Comments

      • I’ve only read an early version of the script, but probably pretty bloody. If I remember correctly, a bunch of characters are introduced in the pilot, which means a lot of them will probably end up very messily dead. I’ll keep you updated!

        (Also I’m finally getting around to watching the fall trailers, and LESBIAN OF COLOR ON GRANDFATHERED. I CANNOT WAIIIIIIIIIIT.)

  1. Regarding Grey’s Anatomy, given the time jumps of the last few episodes I’m confused at exactly how much time has actually past. Callie and Arizona broke up quite early in the season and the Derek episodes spanded a year’s time. They also said the next episode that Meredith had been given bereavement from work for a few months. So I’m thinking Callie and Arizona have been broken up for nearly 2 years in show time by this point.

    Hopefully, next season will be about bringing Calzona back together again considering the writers nearly destroyed just about all of the couples this season. What else is there to do? MerDer is dead for good. Japril looks to be a goner. I refuse to talk about Amelia and Owen anymore. You know how I feel about them. And was anybody all that invested in Richard’s relationship with Jackson’s mother? Calzona is the last big couple the show really has and I would hate for them to be done for good as well. Hopefully, season 12 is the last anyway and they can start the process of wrapping up everybody’s storylines.

    • I cannot believe that every single couple on the show got their own moments in the finale and the episodes leading up to it EXCEPT Calzona. Maybe I just need to have more faith, but the last few episodes makes me think they are well and truly over. They worked together on Heather Matarazzo for to episodes, and yet, nothing. No longing glances, no conversations about their feelings. Nothing. Nothing even when Callie brought up the new intern, and Amelia was talking about work-cest. I want to believe, but at this point, I think they are well and truly over. I just hope they both get decent storylines next year, because Arizona’s has had basically nothing to do since Dr. Geena Davis left.

      PS Heather, please tell Jenn we are sorry for her loss, and we miss her recaps!

        • I just wanted to jump into this thread to add my condolences to Jenn!

          I know we’ve only “internet” known her for a short time- but you Hogans seem like the sweetest Gryffindors of people. And I’m so sorry for her loss! I’ve missed her recaps dearly, but I hope that she and her (your) family are taking solace and care in each other. And that everyone is doing as well as can be expected during this tough time.

          (Also, I definitely haven’t yet given up hope on Calzona! The show ends with them together. I’m just not sure how long it’s going to take. Also also, I really love that Autostraddle added Grey’s recaps to their repertoire, now it’s like I never have to leave this website, haha. Looking forward to coming back to these recaps in the fall!)

          Once again, my love to Jenn!

  2. I binged most of “The Returned” last weekend and am a bit disappointed:
    The show set up such a great atmosphere and some quality emotional and underlying conflict only to drift off into cheap horror land a la creepy kid and the malevolent ghost.
    I was super pleased to see that the Ladies got full equal treatment in regards to showing affection, however!
    And I am not going to lie, I’ll keep watching for Jo Kelly.
    The show is on netflix Germany,btw., if tampering with your ip seems preferable to untimely subtitles.
    P.S.: “Lost Girl”. I was so distracted by the cursed cat looking like Sabrina’s Salem, I didn’t even see the Tamsin thing coming. How does one wrap oneself into an impeccable bow anyways? I can’t even giftwrap books right..

  3. I still want to marry the hell out of Sutton Foster.
    And the friendship of Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon is my favorite thing about SNL since The Queens (Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler) so cruelly left me. Dyke & Fats is still one of my fave SNL sketches.

  4. Every episode I ask myself why I keep watching this show, and then something like Tamsin naked wrapped in a bow happens. That’s it, that’s the answer.

    Now excuse me, but I have to go back and cry some more about Mad Men ending forever.

  5. Hey Heather/Autostraddle! There’s currently a new lesbian themed soap from the Philippines, it’s called “The Rich Man’s Daughter”. It’s gaining worldwide fans! 🙂 Do check it out.

  6. Seriously Heather, you need to speak to TPTB about us not being able to edit our posts. After fully reading your article there is so much more I want to add to me post, BUT CAN’T. I can’t even edit it for grammatical or spelling purposes.

  7. But how relevant was that sketch though, for taking place in the 50’s? A bunch of dudes writing a topic they know nothing about? That’s Glee! That’s Once Upon A Time (except without even canon lesbians! Time’s moving backwards)!

  8. Has anyone watched both the French and US Returned, and can say whether it’s worth bothering with the latter?

    The original was probably my fave show of last year, but not sure there’s anything to gain from the remake other than this new possibility of catching up with how Myka’s hair is doing.

    Also, if the dead-faced girl from Breaking the Girls is the lesbian, I’m not convinced. I thought she was major contributor to the terribleness of that film.

    • I watched the first episode of the American version and it seemed to be a poor shot for shot remake. I was shocked and dismayed. I’d have watched it for the lesbian representation of it had been more of a reimagining.

    • I was aching for the French original without having even seen it, but it’s a quick watch, just ten eps.
      Myka’ s hair should have gotten its own spin off. They could’ve called that “Defiance” as well.
      *siiiigh*

  9. Have you heard anything about Charlie actually coming back on Supernatural? I haven’t watched the episode where she died, or the next one, and I’m considering finally dropping the show entirely if she’s for real dead (and I’m disappointed to do that, as I’ve seen every single episode from the very beginning).

  10. I’m so excited for Legends of Tomorrow! I am hoping TV-land continues this trend of strong female hero-types. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well the DCU has been representing women (Gotham notwithstanding). We even get Sara back!! Does the dead lesbian trope still count if they come back from the dead?

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