Friends, fall TV starts in earnest next week and you know what that means: VIOLA DAVIS. In the meantime, did you read our Emmys live blog? Did you check out our list of 10 bisexual TV characters who thwarted tropes and won your heart? Did you also see Ellen scare the the pants off Sarah Paulson? This Boob(s On Your) Tube was written entirely by Riese because she loves you and doesn’t want you to have to think about TV alone in your bedroom with no one to talk to in this weird week between summer and fall.
I love you too. Happy Equinox!
Broad City Episode 402: “Twaining Day”
Written by Riese
The first few minutes of this week’s episode of Broad City included two queer situations: firstly, Wanda Sykes as Abbi’s new boss. Secondly, Ilana waking up in bed with somebody who is not a cis male! Ilana wakes up, looks at her hookup with admiration, steals some toiletries and a baked potato, leaves a post-it note on her forehead thanking her for the “bang hang,” and the episode plows gamely forward. I love how nonchalant the show is about Ilana’s sexuality — she’s just out to have a good time, yannow?
American Horror Story Episode #703: “Neighbors From Hell”
Written by Riese
Remember that episode of Criminal Minds where the unsub got info from a psychologist about his clients’ phobias and then designed intense murder situations around said phobias? I think Ryan Murphy does. I just wanted to throw that out there.
Trump’s invocation of a “both sides” rhetoric in the least “both sides” issue of all time have made narratives that even slightly approach that concept immediately repulsive. AHS couldn’t have predicted that, but there it is. Every episode makes it more and more clear — this is gonna be a “lunatics on both sides” story, and nope there’s no social message! Ally shot and killed Pedro last week because fear turns us into our enemies, I guess? The threads of the seasons’ underlying mystery are making themselves more apparent, and are intriguing for their own sakes, like any good mystery is. But the murder of a brown person by a white person like we saw last week can’t be part of a standard-issue horror story, not today, not this year. I’d like to believe all these threads will come together to make a point, but I’m not.
If you’re removed enough from the grit of the current moment, or lack a deep soul-beating obsession with the negative portrayal of lesbians on television as hysterically politically correct, perhaps this is entertaining, seeing the present’s two most purely polarized political archetypes blown up like this and pitted against each other. This season isn’t about Trump’s America, it’s inspired by the characters inside it moreso than the world that inspired them — but it occurs in a world that looks way too much like Trump’s America for me to just sit back and feel entertained.
This week we witnessed Ally become a very loose cannon, a special snowflake too enchanted by her own whiteness to see anything at all, including her own reality. But the truly twisted nature of this soft-serve character development is that although Ally’s ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that there’s a conspiracy against her and she’s got minimal evidence to back this up but still feels completely confident hurling said accusations with threats, fists and mania, abandoning both reason and actual human beings in perilous situations to deliver her diatribes and accusations — she’s clearly correct! Everybody definitely is in some kind of cahoots with each other and out to get her! It’s true!
Another couple is mudered this week by the scrawny kids in giant monster masks. They’re nailed into coffins, specifically, immediately following a therapy session with Dr. Rudy, who uses exposure therapy to cure patients of phobias. This patient, of course, is afraid of small confined spaces ’cause her Daddy used to lock her in the cabinet like Harry Potter. Her husband is thrilled that she’s had a breakthrough but his thrills become CHILLS real fast ’cause like I just said, they get murdered.
Speaking of murder, the racist Office Samuels isn’t charging Ally for Pedro’s murder ’cause apparently Michigan is one of the 25 U.S. states with Stand-Your-Ground laws, a thing I didn’t know despite uh, living in Michigan. She was clearly just defending her family! So now the white liberal is protected by racist laws and Ivy seems cool with the explanation for some reason I don’t understand ’cause I’m not familiar with paper plate psychology. Ally’s shaken, worried about having scarred Oz for life, and also confused why nobody’s acknowledging her assertion that her agitation was influenced by the volume of killer clowns chilling in her house.
Protesters have set up outside The Butchery on Main, the Mayfair-Richards’ restaurant, wearing pussy hats, calling Ally “a lesbian George Zimmerman” and demanding her prosecution, replete with IMMIGRANTS WELCOME HERE signs. This drives Ali bananas ’cause she is — surprise! — “the least racist person you will ever meet.” The least racist! “Do you understand the specific pain of someone like me being accused of that?” she asks her psychiatrist. But Ally’s got one ally (GET IT?) — Kai Anderson, who’s in the shadows all episode long.
Kai says Ally’s brave for protecting herself and her family, and promises to “take care of the mob” for her. Which he, somehow, does… when her car is surrounded by too many protesting bodies to drive through, he shows up and parts the crowd like the Red Sea for her gas-guzzling chariot to blow through. How? Why? Ryan Murphy does not ask these questions, my friend. “These are my people!” Ally insists when defending her decision to go reason with the protesters, which she never gets a chance to do ’cause she starts yelling at them about blocking her SUV before she can, you know, “start a dialogue.”
Harrison and Meadow stop by wearing sombreros to express their disgust with Ally for her racist murder and poke fun at social justice theatrics. “How does it feel to exercise your white privilege and execute people of color with impunity?” Harrison snarls as Ally tears up. “You saw a beautiful brown face and immediately thought ‘home invader’,” snaps Meadow. When Ally tells them they’re insane and have to leave, Harrison shoves Taco Bell coupons through the bars and tells her to “wallow in your white appropriation of Hispanic Culture.” Harrison and Meadow want her out of the neighborhood, but Ally says she was here first. “Yeah, tell that to the Native Americans,” says Meadow.
But we know Harrison and Meadow aren’t on Pedro’s side — they videotaped the post-urine-attack attack to get the migrant workers picked up by ICE, and in this episode we see them meeting with Kai, pinky-swearing their allegiance to his cause and sharing their secrets and getting seduced by his dogma. Like Meadow’s afraid of never being touched again and Harrison’s big regret is marrying his fag hag, and now that you mention it he kinda wouldn’t mind if she died.
There’s also this black truck ambling down their street every night like a clumsy behind-the-scenes tour of Universal Studios, spraying a mysterious green gas that leaves a bunch of dead crows in Ally and Ivy’s yard. The city insists they didn’t send it, and Ally’s the only one worried about the toxic fumes.
Somebody places an ad on craigslist, with Ally and Ivy’s address in it, “searching for a stud with stamina to satisfy two horny lesbians. Caucasians preferred. Latin Lovers need not apply,” in order to ensure a steady flow of perverts to their homestead. Winter, because she’s the worst babysitter, lets in the first guy to show up, leading Ally and Ivy to discover something far scarier than clowns in their living room — a naked white man holding his penis asking for his blow job.
Winter, because she’s the worst babysitter, somehow lets Harrison and Meadow gift Oz a pet guinea pig, Mr. Guinea. Ally’s upset because dander and also “cisnormative pet names,” and knows Harrisdow are just doing this to fuck with her so she’s gonna call em and tell them what’s what!
Ivy’s job in this episode is to button the top button, let her wife make bad decisions, and tote Oz around on the bad decision journeys to ensure a negative response to the inevitable lesbian parenting study he’ll be a part of one day.
When Ally calls the Hairmeadows, they’re watching the teevee with Detective Samuels, who Harrison is obviously fucking. “That boy needs a man in his life,” Harrison says to Ally regarding the overgrown rat they’ve donated to Oz. “He’s drowning in white privilege and estrogen over there. It’s fine to have two moms, but at least get a Manny.” Meadow swipes the phone from her husband, who’s catching fuck-me eyes from Detective Samuels now that estrogen’s been brought up. “Hello Lez, I think you’re a horrible racist,” she says, hanging up.
There’s a little moment of respite at the Butchery on Main After Hours, where Ally and Oz taste-test Ivy’s new ice cream flavors, Oz apologizes for telling Ally he wanted her to be gone from his life foreveer, and everybody hugs and laughs. But once they get home there’s a red smilie face on the door, and oh my g-d where’s mister guinea oh cool he’s in the microwave welp and now he’s dead!
So now Ally’s gotta run across the street and threaten to kill Harrison and Meadow! Ivy brings Oz along and then yells at Ally for losing her shit in front of Oz.
Ivy: “I have been sensitive to your fears, I have dealt with the mental imbalances, I even tolerated the fact that you voted for Jill FUCKING Stein instead of Hillary-”
Ally: “I thought we weren’t gonna bring that up —”
Ivy: “But this is now affecting our child. That I will not tolerate.”
THEN THEN oh my gosh THEN! Their child, somehow, is on his laptop literally watching a video of last week’s bathtub scene with Ally and Winter on some website that, I don’t know, posts … HD videos of other people’s bathrooms taken without their consent?
Sure, it looks sketchy to Ivy, and a conversation must be had. But from just a glance at what is essentially a screenshot, Ivy certainly would ask for the whole story without concluding, as she does, and despite having seen multiple close-ups of Winter’s dagger nails, that Winter was finger-fucking Ally in the bathtub? Certainly the bigger issue is that somebody’s got a camera in their bathroom and is putting videos from said bathroom on the internet? Certainly it’s also concerning that Oz knew about the video and was watching it? Certainly whoever did so did so precisely to inspire the response Ivy is now delivering? Nope. And now Ivy’s had it, and wants Ally out of her life. “You cheated! You ruined our family!” Ivy yells. Before we can get too deep into this, there’s something going down across the street.
Sirens are wailing, Harrison’s screaming in the yard in a bloodied wifebeater. All signs suggest that Meadow’s been murdered. Ally, logically, tells Oz to wait on the stoop of their murder neighborhood while she runs after Ivy who is running across the street to get the scoop. But of course Oz finds his way over to the Harrimeadows and is staring at the bloodied walls. This kid is so fucked.