Welcome back, Boobs Tubers! This week, we got two entire interviews about The L Word: The New Class — one with Ilene Chaiken and one with new showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan. Heather got you up to speed with the lesbian queens on The Dragon Prince and had a lovely chat with Russian Doll‘s Rebecca Henderson. Natalie recapped Alice’s perpetual lack of boundaries with her ex-girlfriend and Mariana’s first threesome on Good Trouble. Carmen reviewed Lena Waithe’s Boomerang. And Valerie spent some time in National City on Valentine’s Day with Supergirl’s queers.
A breaking/developing story a lot of y’all are probably interested in: Deadline is reporting that the fourth season of Wynonna Earp is stalled due to complicated financial shenanigans, but IDW (the comic book publisher of the series) has responded to that reporting to vaguely say they’re committed to telling more Wynonna stories. Stay tuned!
Also a friendly reminder that if you don’t watch One Day at a Time as much as you can in the next few days, and it gets cancelled, you are dead to us!
They made clear that they love the show, love how it serves underrepresented audiences, love its heart & humor, but…we need more viewers. They'll decide soon.
I wish I felt more confident
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Tell friends to watch! pic.twitter.com/bkbqxp0qDC
— Gloria Calderón Kellett (@everythingloria) February 20, 2019
Here’s what else happened this week.
grown-ish 209: “Body Count”
Written by Natalie
There’s a moment, in the opening episode of One Day at Time‘s new season — which you’ve totally watched already, right? — when Stephanie Beatriz’s Pilar explains the coming out process to her cousin. First, she says, there’s the initial realization: “Oh, no, I might be gay.” Then comes that personal acceptance: “Oh, I’m gay.” But after that, “It’s like, gay, gay, gay! Rainbow underwear!”
When we met Nomi Segal, she was firmly in Stage Two. Sure, she was out to her friends and spent her nights hooking up with girls and guys, but it was never that serious… and intentionally so. If it was never that serious, no one would catch feelings and there’d be no expectation of a commitment and if there was no expectation of commitment, there’d never be a reason to tell her parents she was anything other than the daughter they’ve always known. But Nomi’s grown tired of a lack of seriousness and is looking to move up to the rainbow underwear stage.
“It made my life easier when I started living openly and honestly, so maybe you start there and just see how the rest of the stuff falls into place,” Professor Shane McCutcheon Paige Hewson suggested to Nomi and, this week, Nomi took her professor’s advice and dove headfirst into Cal U’s queer community, starting with queer performance art at Titanium. When Aaron declines to go along, Nomi reminds him that no one invited him. She drops a few gender studies buzzwords and it’s clear that Nomi’s been worshipping at the altar of Professor Hewson. Nomi doesn’t deny it, she’s her gay guru, her gayru.
Nomi’s first foray into queer culture starts out well enough: upon entry, she’s offered a pronoun pin from a cute baby gaysian and takes a seat at the bar. A girl takes the stage, looking like she might star as Alyson Hannigan’s character, Michelle Flaherty, in a forthcoming American Pie reboot, and says she’s going to share her coming out story via song. And by sharing, she apparently means yelling… yelling very loudly while holding a flute. It’s bad, it’s so, so bad. I’m less bothered by how bad it is — I mean, it’s queer performance art on a college campus — than I am about the fact that the only people in the room who seem to recognize it’s bad are Nomi and the baby gaysian. I refuse to believe that an entire crowd of queers would just accept this girl with a flute screaming at them and calling it a song… not in the age of Lizzo, no ma’am.
Realizing that this might not be for her, Nomi makes a quick exit and heads back to her apartment to rethink this whole “embrace queer culture” thing. Professor Hewson texts Nomi to ask how the day went. It strikes me as a little weird that a professor would text their student like this but I brush it off; after all, my gayru and I were exchanging messages all of the time. Nomi shares her frustrations over not being able to connect with queer culture and wishes there was some sort of crash course she could take. And that’s where we go from, “Aww, this is cute. Nomi connecting with her gender studies professor” to “Oh no, DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!”
Professor Hewson volunteers to introduce Nomi to queer culture next week and then sends her a link to Halsey’s “Without Me.” Let’s take a look at those lyrics, shall we?
I said I’d catch you if you fall
And if they laugh, then fuck ’em all
And then I got you off your knees
Put you right back on your feet
Just so you can take advantage of me
And just in case that didn’t make her intentions enough, Professor Hewson invites Nomi to take their discussion offline. An actual phone conversation? In 2019? I think a “u up?” text would’ve been more subtle.
Oh, Shane… some things never change…
How to Get Away With Murder 514: “Make Me the Enemy”
Written by Natalie
Most people think I stopped watching Pretty Little Liars because they killed Maya (#TeamEMaya forever, though) but, honestly, that’s not it. I gave PLL up for the same reason I’ve dropped Manifest from my regular viewing: I don’t like a perpetual mystery. If I’m investing in a mystery, I want the mystery to be solved at some point… and I want to see progress towards that in each episode. But somewhere along the line, writers — perhaps fearful that nothing exists on the other side of a completed mystery — stopped trying to solve the mysteries they penned and became more invested in prolonging it, by whatever ridiculously implausible means necessary.
Which brings us back to HTGAWM, a show that does that very thing every single season. It’s more contained than PLL or Manifest — HTGAWM‘s mysteries usually don’t extend beyond a season — but no less maddening. Ronald Miller? False flag. Governor Kerry Weaver? False flag. Emmett Crawford? False flag. Actual apparent murderer? Laurel’s brother that we didn’t even know existed until the final minutes of the penultimate episode of the fifth season. And, now, just like we do every season, we’ll have a jam packed season finale that tries to tie all these threads together in some nonsensical way that is, nonetheless, beautifully shot and skillfully acted. Yay us!
But, I digress — back to “Make Me the Enemy.”
Annalise calls over her new BFF, Tegan, to review the evidence that Governor Kerry Weaver gave her; she wants to know if she should believe the governor or if she should trust Emmett. Annalise points out that they don’t really know Emmett at all and Tegan reminds her that they don’t really know the governor either. But then we get to the real source of Annalise’s distrust: she’d invited Emmett into her world — welcomed him to her apartment and introduced him to her mother — and she takes his possible betrayal as a personal affront.
“I almost kissed him,” Annalise admits and, for a brief moment, a look of disappointment flashes on Tegan’s face. It’s long enough for Annalise to catch it, though, and she, seemingly, makes an apology for her behavior, “You had already left. I wasn’t even drunk. I just…I needed something. He was there.”
Tegan advises Annalise to use Emmett’s attraction to get information out of him and, though reluctant, Annalise puts on her fiercest red lipstick and asks Emmett for a chance to finish what they started after Christmas dinner. Emmett’s reluctant but Annalise hits him with a bit of reverse psychology — “you can’t stop being this firm’s good little boy” — before leaving his office and it doesn’t take long before Emmett runs back, asking for another chance.
Tegan has her own meeting with Emmett where he confronts her about the “Jane Doe” e-mail and, of course, she denies it. He seems to buy her explanation and quickly pivots to offering her his job: he’s thinking about leaving C&G to run for DA. Tegan runs back to Annalise to share the news. Later, Annalise circles back to Tegan’s office before her date with Emmett…only now, Tegan advises Annalise not to go. She had her own IT expert hack Emmett’s phone records and what she found corroborates the information that the governor gave Annalise.
“You trust your I.T. guy?” Annalise asks.
“I.T. woman,” Tegan corrects. “And yes. She’s my ex, and she’s a genius.”
“Then why’s she your ex?”
Listen, we all know that Tegan has a crush on Annalise. We’ve know this for a while but this and the earlier near apology feel a bit like flirting from Annalise, doesn’t it? I keep trying to let go of this ship but Pete Nowalk keeps trying to suck me back in.
The dinner that follows is, predictably, terrible, but it tees Viola Davis up to do that thing that only Viola Davis can do…the thing that keeps HTGAWM as must-see TV for me, despite the quasi-queerbaiting and ludicrous storylines. Enduring false flags seems like a small price to pay to see Viola Davis do this.
The pair argue over dinner. Emmett oozes every bit of his white privilege. He accuses her of attacking him, even though her voice isn’t raised and she’s just an equal participant in their argument. He says Annalise should “appreciate being with a man who calls you out on your crap.” How Annalise refrains from throwing her water in his face at that moment, I don’t know, but she does get up and walk out.
Emmett shows up the next day at Annalise’s apartment and he remains insufferable. He knows what Annalise and Tegan have been up to — thanks to a bug planted in Tegan’s office — and he denies having any role in Nate Sr.’s murder. I don’t care if he didn’t murder anybody, this dude is a creep and I need Annalise Keating to stay far, far away from him. But he keeps going after Annalise and she reads him FOR FILTH.
“You let fear control your whole life fear of losing status, losing face,” she says. “You [are] hiding behind your white boy privilege. You’d rather sit behind a desk than to actually make a choice that would cost you something. So of course I’m gonna believe that you killed Nate Senior, anything to hold on to every pathetic crumb you think is your birthright! But you know what? Game over! The world doesn’t belong to you and your good old boys anymore.”
BANG! That’s what attacking looks like, asshole.
Written by Valerie Anne
Oh hello, I’m here to talk to you about the Umbrella Academy. There will be some mild spoilers afoot so if that’s not the kind of thing you’re into keep scrolling please!
I’ll be honest with you, Heather asked me to write a full stand-alone review of this show, and while I enjoyed it well enough to finish it in one weekend, I wasn’t sure it warranted a full review. It didn’t have any (openly/obviously) queer women, though it did have a queer man. It wasn’t overly feministy, though Ellen Page, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Mary J. Blige, Jordan Claire Robbins (and one other woman I don’t want to spoil for you in case you love her like I do so you can get the joyful surprise I experienced) did amazing work. That said, I did enjoy it; the concept was wild, and it had a very comic booky feel. I had some mild issues with their approach to when they would conveniently use/forget the sibling bond between seven children raised together from birth, but to be fair these children were also emotionally and physically abused and neglected.
The show overall explored the effects of these various traumas, the aftereffects of growing up special and then fading out of the limelight. Also, the cycle of abuse, addiction, mental illness, complicated family dynamics, and time travel. You know, the usual stuff.
One thing I do want to call out is that Ellen Page, despite the only relationship of hers mentioned being with a man, was delivering some really strong soft butch energy and wore some great (read: gay) outfits.
Plus she danced like the precious little dork she is in one of the best scenes of the whole show.
Overall, I do recommend checking it out if you’re into grittier stories about people with powers – this is not your Supergirl story of hope or even your Runaways more-dusty-than-gritty dark tale. It’s more in line with something like The Magicians, with characters that are constantly making you yell WHAT ARE YOU DOING at your screen but in a fun way? It’s also funny when it’s not breaking your heart, and clever when it’s not stressing you out. And I cannot overstate enough how amazing Ellen Page is. And I had never seen Emmy Raver-Lampman in anything, but I’m in love now.
High Maintenance 305: Payday
Hey are you in the mood to see Margaret Cho have ten different kinds of kinky sex with her hot girlfriend? Do you wanna see a scene of lesbian and queer people hanging out that is actually set in Ginger’s, and it’s super diverse and beautiful and I love our community and being queer and all the weird ways we have relationships? I don’t know if that last part was a question or what. I hope that y’all are watching this show I have told you to watch 100 times. I also once again must point out that I hate weed humor and weed movies but this show is nothing like those jokes.
High Maintenance so deftly spotlights and lovingly skewers its ephemeral weekly characters, interrogating some non-traditional aspect of a relationship and how it bumps up against the inevitable arrival of our star, the weed delivery guy. This week’s reflected, again, a showrunner who actually knows the community she’s writing about, and the weird intersections of love, sex and commerce in relationships that resist hegemonic structures, often leading us into unfamiliar landscapes we have to navigate without maps, with nobody but each other to tell us we’re going in the right direction. — Riese
Broad City 505: Artsy Fartsy
Ilana has been in love with Abbi and highly interested in having sex with her since inception — she’s mad when she learns Abbi hooked up with a girl in college, she’s frequently proposing future life situations to her that essentially sound like lesbian relationships. This week, Ilana was confronted with a turning point in her relationship with Lincoln and Abbi facing a similar moment regarding her relationship with herself. When negotiating their “contract” for the ensuing year — including items like how non-monogamous they could be (Ilana had pictures of specific girls, including Abbi, in her portfolio!), how many rom-coms Ilana would watch to please Lincoln — Ilana learns that Lincoln’s long term goals include moving to Maryland to start a dental practice with his brother and having children, which’s something she can’t fathom being interested in for over a decade and maybe possible never at all. Ilana then does what any self-respecting queer woman does following an unexpected breakup — she gets VERY stoked about her Single Ladies Future with her BFF and all the work and life goals she can conquer as an Independent Woman.
But Abbi’s been on her own journey all episode, catching up with an insufferable friend from art school and attempting to both cater and attend a MOMA opening in a scene reminiscent of her attempt to attend a date with Trey AND dinner with Ilana’s family a few seasons back. After meeting an artist she’s obsessed with, Abbi faints, which lands her in the hospital under the care of Professional Lesbian Cameo Artist Clea Duvall. There’s a spark that takes Abbi by surprise and eventually, as she later relays to Ilana, she realizes that the only reason she wasn’t asking Leslie out was ‘cause she was a woman, but why should that matter? And so she did, and so they’re going on a date, and then Ilana is both supportive and clearly struggling inside while making really fantastic facial expressions. I cannot wait to see where this goes and I love that now BOTH stars of this groundbreaking show are queer Jews! Yay! — Riese
Brooklyn Nine-Nine 607: “The Honeypot”
Legacies 111: “We’re Gonna Need a Spotlight”
This week’s monster was a UNICORN so no one was particularly worried about it, but it turns out the unicorn was just a cute carrier for a possession slug that makes everyone act like they’re drunk. Josie came back to school from her vacation intending to avoid Penelope, but after she gets the slug in her brain, she marches right up to her ex-girlfriend and says she’s done being good and asks her to ditch the talent show with her.
Penelope had given Josie a note but Josie didn’t read it so Penelope recaps it for her in the form of a kiss. Josie, even drunk on slug juice, knows she should never get back together with Penelope, but doesn’t mind if they keep kissing for now.
The thing with being drunk on slug juice, though, is that eventually you become that girl in the bar who is suddenly obsessed with everyone doing a shot even though no one else cares about the shots and she won’t stop SHOUTING ABOUT IT except instead of shots it’s the Urn. Luckily before they can get the urn, Lizzie intervenes, gets Josie unpossessed, and hugs her sister, still feeling some residual bonding feelings from the alternate reality where she killed her sister.
Lizzie even turns over the witches’ talent show performance to her twin and Josie sings a song about stepping out of the shadows and into the light while Penelope and Lizzie watch on proudly from their position as backup dancers.
It’s very sweet and cute and I like this silly show very much. I want some Josie/Penelope flashbacks though, I want to see how their relationship went down the first time around to know if I really should be rooting for them to figure it out or not. — Valerie Anne
Siren 205: “Primal Instincts”
Siren opens the night of our trio’s little makeout sesh. The three of them are doing this
cute little triple spoon/mermaid-in-the-middle kind of snuggle.
There are soft, sleepy touches and hand caresses as they come to. Ryn says she likes waking up between Maddie and Ben and wonders why they stopped after kissing. Maddie says they’re following Ryn’s pace, but Ryn is ready for more. They have to give her sort of a sex talk because I guess mermaids only have sex for mating and it mostly involves beating the mermen up. But Maddie explains that on land they have sex for pleasure and some people call it “making love” – so Ryn tells them she wants to make love with Ben and Maddie.
Ben and Maddie seem to approve this plan, though it’ll have to wait for a future episodes because their horde of rogue mermaids is causing more mischief. — Valerie Anne
S.W.A.T. 216: “Pride”
As I mentioned in my last review of S.W.A.T., this show isn’t your typical CBS procedural; it takes the same formula that CBS viewers are used to and injects it with some progressive substance. It addresses series issues like gun control, race, police corruption, gender and sexuality in ways that you wouldn’t expect from a CBS procedural. In last night’s episode, the show continued that tradition: telling the story of a rapid right-wing radio listener who attacks a Los Angeles Pride event. It starts with a Charlottesville-like hit-and-run and then, instead waiting until his community is attacked again, an local LGBT and guns rights activist holds the radio host and his staff hostage. The team’s able to end the hostage standoff with no injuries and, eventually, take in the domestic terrorist and his band of minions who were looking to attack the Pride parade.
Throughout the episode, Chris is torn: she understands her role as a member of LAPD SWAT but, as a member of the LGBT community herself, she can relate to the activists’ pain at hearing folks spew hate. I wish they’d taken the opportunity to pair Chris with Hondo during this operation because a lot of what she externalizes in “Pride” — namely being part of a community that feels unprotected by the police force — mirrors what he’s been grappling with all season long. — Natalie
Charmed. 112: “You’re Dead to Me”
Here we are, it’s 2019 and Mel Vera is definitely back on her bullshit. You know how if she spends time, any time at all, with Niko then the whole world could potentially fall apart or blow up to smithereens or something like that? On the count of that spell Mel put Niko under back in the fall? Great, then you’re all caught up. Guess what Mel is doing anyway? SPENDING TIME WITH NIKO!!
The slippery slope starts with an ill-advised Instagram binge and ends with Mel agreeing to meet Niko for coffee (the universe helped us along by having Niko pick their first date spot for the clandestine meeting, though of course Niko doesn’t remember any of this). The whole time Niko goes on and on: “Wow Mel! How did you guess my coffee order?” and “Wow! Doesn’t this feel like déjà vu?” Because of course it feels like déjà vu — they have done all of this before!
Be careful about playing with fire, Mel. You’re about to get burned. — Carmen