We’re home from A-Camp and these are the Boobs on Your Tubes! Even at camp, we managed to post some cool TV stuff! Carmen made a list of Kate McKinnon’s best sketches. Kristin and Riese released two episodes of To L and Back (109 and 110). The L Word: Gen Q rolled out some information about new characters and baby Angelica returning as (hopefully a goth punk) teen. Heather reviewed Tales of the City and lost her goddamn mind over the Gentleman Jack finale (this is Heather; I can say that about myself). Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness came out as non-binary and Drew wrote beautifully about it. Nel caught you up on Pose. Carmen shared her heart about Vida’s gay vaquero episode. And Riese and Natalie compiled your 2019 summer TV list!
Here’s what else!
In the Dark 110: “Bait and Switch”
Written by Valerie Anne
Y’all I think I have to stop reporting to you about In the Dark. Their queer storyline is a damn mess. Some parts are good and some parts are not… Like the fact that Jess and Vanessa are people of color and Jess isn’t a size 00 are positives. The fact that Jess being queer is not a thing for her best friend/roommate is great. I had chalked the comment Vanessa made about Jess being “like a real lesbian” because she never slept with a man up to the fact that Vanessa isn’t well-versed in queer culture since Jess is the first girl she dated. But then Jess being the first girl she’s dated has become SUCH a thing.
Vanessa not identifying as queer but just “in love with Jess” is unfortunate but also unfortunately a thing I’ve encountered in real life. Jess cheating on her because of it was not ideal but just messy enough of a storyline to fit into this show. But then these last two episodes…when Jess and Vanessa were processing their feelings and comforting each other while actively breaking up, I was like, “Ha, surely a queer woman was involved in writing this.” But then Jess called Felix a girl for drinking a mai tai? And then Jess got drunk and high and tried to sleep with Felix, only stopping when she saw his penis. Which is transphobic and highly unnecessary.
There are SO MANY WAYS they could have done the gay panic regret moment besides literally just seeing a penis. Especially because she’s an adult so the “ew penis!” thing isn’t even age appropriate, and also because we’ve seen her wield a dildo so we know she knows what one looks like. It’s just lazy and dumb and, as I may have mentioned, transphobic. So now I’m not sure any queer people are involved at all. I’m sure I could look it up but I’m just angry so it’s probably better I don’t anyway. I’ll probably keep watching and pop back in here to let you know how things shake out at the end of the season and if the representation got any better but I don’t have very high hopes for it anymore. Which sucks, because I liked Jess a lot.
grown-ish 213: “You Decide”
Written by Natalie
Can I tell you, dear Reader, that my TV relationship with Shane McCutcheon is very fraught? She was the center of my friends’ L Word viewing universe but, for me, she wasn’t a character to whom I had any real emotional attachment. But then we developed a kinship over a shared love of Carmen de la Pica Morales and, through the transitive property of shipping (that’s a thing, right?), I developed an attachment to Shane too… which imploded alongside that relationship. Thankfully, by the end of The L Word, I’d worked through my issues with Shane McCutcheon and I felt like we ended in a good place.
(Is it because I think Shane killed Jenny? Maybe… but that’s besides the point…)
I mention that, all to say, that, on the (relative) eve of the return of The L Word universe to our television screens, grown-ish is working overtime to ensure that whatever good feelings I had for Shane McCutcheon are dead. Let’s recap.
When we last checked in with Nomi Segal, she’d come out to her parents and, shortly thereafter, shown up at the door of her gender studies professor Paige Hewson Shane, looking to start up a new relationship. But when she finds another woman there, Nomi realizes that her relationship with Shane isn’t what she thought it was and leaves dejected. Nomi makes her way back to her apartment and finds everyone wrapped up in Zoey’s latest drama…which allows her pain to avoid detection, for the most part.
“I mean, you can’t just, like, play with people’s emotions, then suddenly expect them to forgive you. Why don’t people understand that?” Nomi asks, as she responds to Shane’s texts, asking for them to meet with an emphatic no. Eventually, though, Nomi gives in to Shane’s request and leaves her friends at the bar to resolve the situation.
When Shane greets her on the porch, Nomi tries to be tough — a mask to cover up how hurt she is — by refusing to go inside, but she softens immediately when Shane apologizes and then melts when Shane admits has feelings for her former student. Once inside, Nomi asks where they go from here and Shane reminds her that she’s no longer her professor.
“As much as I’m gonna miss your charged debates about everything,” Shane confesses, “I got to say, I’d rather have this.”
Then Nomi closes the space between them and cements their new relationship with a kiss.
Claws 301: “Just the Tip”
Written by Natalie
Sometimes when you break up with someone, you need something to cement that break-up. You need a sense of closure on that chapter of your life so that you can move on and find someone else. What’s the easiest — and, let’s be honest, worst — way to achieve that closure? Break-up sex…and that’s what we got this week on Claws, break-up sex, “Palmghetto” style.
Quiet Ann’s working out at a boxing gym when Arlene approaches. It’s not the first time they’ve seen each other: when Ann shows up to check on Virginia’s condition — recall, she jumped in front of a bullet that was meant for Desna — Arlene says hello but Ann is dismissive. Still unable to pull any words from Ann, Arlene invites her to step in the ring with her. With the crowd cheering them on, Ann and Arlene hash out their relationship woes as they exchange hooks and uppercuts. Eventually, the pair eschew the niceties of boxing and just start brawling with each other on the mat. Oh, Claws, never change.
Once they’re separated, Ann retreats to the locker room but the fight follows her inside. Thankfully, this one’s just verbal though it’s loud enough to send everyone else in the locker room scurrying away. Arlene’s upset that Ann refuses to return any of her calls but Ann insists she’s not going to cross this bridge again. Ann’s reaction is completely understandable — last season, she thought she had a real shot at happiness with Arlene and, instead, she was lied to and betrayed — and she’s not ready to expose herself to that pain again. But Arlene’s not prepared to take no for an answer and throws Ann against a set of lockers, pinning her between her arms. Arlene shoots Ann a wry smile before leaning in and kissing her…and, though it takes a few seconds, Ann eventually returns the kiss with ferocity.
Later, Arlene strolls out of the gym with a post-sex swagger, while Ann rinses the taste of Arlene out of her mouth. Arlene’s seemingly convinced that this is the rekindling of their relationship but Ann kills that dream, quickly, telling her ex, “That was just a drive-by. Get in, get off, get out.” I’m a little shocked that Ann’s moved on from her feelings so quickly — it’s never been her strong suit — but she puts on her shades and leaves Arlene standing alone, in disbelief.
Later, Ann meets up with the crew and Desna hatches another plan for all of them to level up, using the casino that she’s recently inherited. Given how badly the rest of Desna’s plans have turned out, everyone’s understandably reluctant but these women are each other’s ride or dies so, ultimately, they’re all in.
And then, in true Claws fashion, it ends with full-on dance number to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind.” Have I mentioned how much I missed this show?
— Claws (@ClawsTNT) June 11, 2019
Burden of Truth 201-202: “Salesman, Cheats and Liars” and “The Rabbit Hole”
Written by Natalie
Like last summer, the CW has brought Canadian product, Burden of Truth, to American screens for a summer run. When season two picks up, Joanna Hanley’s moved to Winnipeg, taken a job at a high powered law firm and changed her last name to Chang. Also in Winnipeg? Luna and Molly, the adorable baby gays from Season One. Luna’s fresh off her first year in college and comes to Winnipeg to spend the summer with her girlfriend, who’s living off her $2M settlement and receiving treatment for her condition.
Things between the girls aren’t as seamless as they once were, though…the distance and the change in circumstances has created a rift between the pair, even if neither of them is at a point yet where they can admit that to each other. When Luna arrives in Winnipeg, she gets a job as a waitress as a local diner. Her first day at work is interrupted by news from Millwood: her mother lets her know that David Hanley won’t face charges for the statutory rape of her mother. Luna’s stunned: isn’t her existence proof enough that David Hanley committed a crime? She fumes to Molly and on Joanna’s voicemail.
“I don’t get it, my mom’s birth certificate says she was underage. Guys like David get off with nothing, but not this time,” Luna promises. “I don’t know how, but he’s gonna pay for what he did. He’s gonna get what’s coming to him.”
Molly tries to take her out to a club to distract her and, in part, to introduce Luna to the life Molly’s been living while she was away at school, but Luna’s not interested and tries to make her way home on her own. When she stumbles into a bad part of Winnipeg, Luna’s approached by Bear Clan Patrol, a real-life group that patrols the streets to keep Indigenous People safe, and they offer to escort her home. Perhaps wishing that the Bear Clan had been around to protect her mother, Luna volunteers to join the group…and she’s so excited about the orientation, she rushes to tell….not Molly. Instead of talking to her girlfriend, Luna talks to Taylor, one of the other girls’ from the Matheson Steele lawsuit, who also made her way to Winnipeg. Luna admits that her relationship with Molly has changed and she’s not sure if moving in together was the right decision.
Meanwhile, back in Millwood, Luna’s mother, Gerrilyn, shares her daughter’s anger over David Hanley’s ability to escape facing consequences for his actions. She decides to sell her house to bankroll a civil case against David and recruits Billy Crawford, the other successful lawyer from the Matheson Steel case, to help her.
Queen Sugar 401: “Pleasure is Black”
Written by Carmen
This is mostly just a quick notice that Queen Sugar is back, and the Television Making Gods have finally heard our numerous pleas – because this year Nova is finally going to remember she’s pansexual! For real this time! We are going to meet one of her past girlfriends (and former college professor, in a trope I’m less than excited about). And she’s going to be played by none other than Cree Summer!! That’s Freddie Brooks from A Different World for all my black sitcom fans and/or early 90s TV watchers!!
Rutina Wesley, in supremely gay move, shaved the sides of her hair during the hiatus between seasons. Thankfully Queen Sugar decided to incorporate the cut into the new season, much to the delight of my eyes because I’m a gay girl who appreciates beauty when I see it.
Also, Nova is releasing her book the year and it’s chopped full of some really offensive family secrets that I pretty sure Nova has no business telling. Memes be damned, not all tea is meant to be spilled. Natalie’s already dubbed Nova’s Season Four as “the black Jenny Schecter” and to be real – that sounds about right (cue eye roll). I guess we’ll all find out what happens from here.
The Bold Type 309-310: “Final Push” and “Breaking Through the Noise”
Written by Carmen
Welp. Kat lost her campaign for city council. Maybe I should’ve seen it coming, winning would’ve meant that Kat would have to leave Scarlet and I don’t see The Bold Type letting that happen, but it still caught me by surprise.
Ultimately though, the election takes a backseat to Kat’s personal life. She’s made the surprisingly mature decision to come clean to Tia about her lingering feelings for Adena. Tia takes it in stride – after all, she and Kat were already taking their relationship slowly, and she believes that there’s a real connection between them. She’s willing to bet on their future, even if it means first waiting out Kat’s past.
For her part, Adena has very little interest in only being with Kat part-way. She doesn’t want to pressure Kat into making a decision, but she also knows that for them to work, they have to both be committed. (It feels important in my job as Very Serious TV CriticTM for me to tell you that she also eats Kat out in her kitchen during broad daylight, just for good measure. Hahahaha, but seriously – I will never ever stop applauding this show for its straightforward depiction of queer sex, especially in relationship to Kat’s straight counterparts. That’s no small feat, and it should be recognized and called out every time.)
Look, I’m a fan of Kat and Adena. I also love the introduction of Tia this year, and I hope we don’t lose complete track of her character moving forward. However, I ultimately think it’s important that we get to see Kat grow and become her own independent person. I’m glad that in the end she decided to pick neither of her girlfriends, and instead step out on her own.
The Bold Type’s third season has been about Kat finding her voice. It’s a rarity to have such dedicated time to character growth for a queer woman on television, and almost unfathomable for a queer woman of color. Let Kat find herself for herself. Let us live that vicariously through her. There will always be time for girls, later.
And with Adena taking the job as Scarlet’s in-house photographer next year, there’s going to be much more time. (Assuming there’s a Scarlet at all of course. The finale ends with a cliffhanger about the publication’s future. Uh-oh.)