Boobs on Your Tube: Oh Hey Now “Manifest” Got Gay in Its Second Season!

We are making it through the week, which to be honest — you already know — is in and of itself a bit of a feat. We hope reading about some TV helps give you the joy and distraction we all need this weekend. The Autostraddle TV Team is send you, our readers, all our love!

It was [decade old spoiler alert!] Dana’s funeral on the OG L Word this week and Riese and Carly covered it. 😭😭 Alex started her new job on Supergirl. Natalie and Carmen got together to discuss Lena Waithe’s new TV series Twenties and where we’re going with black queer representation on television. Ava and Sara put on cowboy outfits and have a lovers’ quarrel on this week’s Legends of Tomorrow. Kayla’s Riverdale recap this week is a masterful work of wakadoo language that only Kayla can provide, if you know what we mean. We updated our complete 82 Queer TV Shows You Can to Stream on Netflix list just in time for your “staying indoors” needs. Speaking of Netflix, the network released their poster art for the new Babysitters Club remake and wow do we have a lot of feelings about that!

Notes from the TV Team: 

+ Nancy Drew wasn’t gay enough to write home about this week but WHEW y’all it’s still so fucking GOOD. There were two twists this week; one was like “yeah okay that was one of my theories anyway” and the other was like “I’M SORRY WHAT?!” I love that spooky show so much. — Valerie Anne

Twenties joined Boomerang this week in debuting Lena Waithe’s full hour television line-up on BET! That’s an accomplishment for any young producer, let alone a queer black woman, so definitely my applause to Lena this week. On Twenties Hattie realized how difficult it is to focus as a writer, and made what I’m pretty sure is going to be a terrible decision about her love life (getting back with Lorraine, who left her homeless in the street last week after she got evicted). On Boomerang Tia got to recreate one of my favorite movies, Spike Lee’s School Daze, which is something I loved a lot and Natalie didn’t, so your milage may vary. Still, I’m glad to have both my girls together on the same night! — Carmen

Maya, a blonde women, and Carina. a brunette, in bed.

Graciously taken right before the ugly cry really got going.

+ There wasn’t A LOT of Maya on this week’s Station 19, but after working a crisis involving a truck hammering through a motorcycle club that leaves almost everyone in that friend group for dead, she has a terrible realization: For her fire family, she is the truck. By taking Captain, she’s run through her everyone and destroyed their relationships. I don’t know guys, I have a lot of respect for self-awareness and this confession from Maya really endeared me to her! And OK, having Carina there to hold her while she cried certainly didn’t hurt. They make one damn attractive couple. — Carmen


Legacies 214: “There’s a Place Where the Lost Things Go”

Written by Valerie Anne

This week, Legacies returned with a really fun episode (and not only because it was Landon-less) that opened with Josie crawling to Jade’s bedside and kissing her.

Jade and Josie kiss in the shadows

Mooooood lighting for my new ship!!

But then she’s interrupted by Dark Josie, and realizes it was a dream… though her feet are still covered in mud as if she really did go outside to find Jade. And we find out that Jade had a very similar dream…

Later, as Professor Emma’s attempt at immersion therapy, our favorite supernatural teens went into a fantasy simulation where they found themselves in a 20s noir murder mystery.

In the simulation, Lizzie is a famous actress and Josie is her publicist, MG is a PI and Hope manages a speakeasy. It’s all so perfect; until someone starts killing them all off. When they’re killed in the simulation, they wake up, and after it’s revealed that Josie and Jade are exes in this world, and Jade is killed, she wakes up and says it wasn’t news to her that she has “the hots for” Josie.

When they all eventually get out of the game, Dark Josie takes over and takes off, setting the school on fire on her way out. It’s going to be hard to stop a villain that you can’t kill because your loved one is still somewhere inside, so I hope everyone has their best yellow crayon stories ready.


Manifest Season 2 Catch Up

Written by Valerie Anne

Okay so I’ll confess, I sort of low-key quit Manifest. The second season got a few episodes in before I even realized it was back and I couldn’t find the motivation to catch up…that is, until someone slid into my DMs and told me “a main character” was revealed as queer. They blessedly didn’t tell me who, so my mystery solving quest made catching up even more exciting.

I had three potential suspects on my list for a solid six episodes! We had Michaela, the cop, who got assigned a new partner played by Niko from Charmed and was told “don’t sleep with this one.” She also said she had “a buzz cut and a nose ring” when she was a teenager. Suspect two was Olive, played by Nicole from Fresh Off the Boat, who met another girl who liked her jacket and who taught her how to put pink streaks in her hair and got her to join a cult after knowing her for three minutes. Third, we had Saanvi, the doctor who talked a lot about the person she was supposed to be on the flight with who never showed up, a person named Alex, who she didn’t use pronouns for in the entire first season and the first half of this season.

For a while it was truly anyone’s game, but then Michaela started sleeping with a guy who accidentally shot her, and Olive started dating a boy arguably too old for her…and sure enough, Saanvi’s Alex was revealed to be a woman. She bailed on Saanvi because she wasn’t ready to leave her husband for what she was afraid would be a fling. Saanvi eventually tries to convince her to give it another shot by kissing her by the river.

Saanvi kisses Alex

I mean, I should have known as soon as they said the name “Alex” if we’re being honest.

Though it turns out she did this because of impulse control issues she has from a science experiment she’s doing to herself, and also she didn’t remember doing it after because of side effects from said experiment. Either way, Alex isn’t ready to commit to Saanvi, but we’ll see if she changes her mind as Saanvi’s life becomes more obviously in danger.


Batwoman 213: “Grinning From Ear to Ear”

Written by Heather

Batwoman in her superhero gear looks at Sophie, her ex-girlfriend. They are standing outside at night.

This week’s Batwoman finally gave me what I’ve been wanting all season: a Sophie Moore-centric episode that started filling in her character outside of her relationship with Kate and Batwoman.For the first 12 episodes of this season, we’ve gotten glimpses of who Sophie is. She’s a powerful woman who is really into other powerful women, but she’s also scared and ashamed of her desires. She also cannot help herself in going after a forbidden smooch! She loves justice. She loves order. And she’s most used to following orders. She’s a black queer woman who’s managed to survive in some notoriously white supremacist and patriarchal institutions and she’s done so by working twice as hard and being twice as good as every other person around her.

“Grinning From Ear to Ear” picks up right after Sophie’s kiss with Batwoman and she’s giddy with it. She even goes to The Hold Up and brags to Mary about it (Mary who now knows Kate and Batwoman are the same person, by the way). And Kate’s ecstatic too! She gushes to Luke! Luke is quick to warn Kate that this is the kind of shit that drove Bruce over the edge — the hiding, the lying, the people he got close to getting hurt. Kate hears him, but she doesn’t hear him.

But the real obstacle to Sophie’s happiness this week is her mom, who, it turns out, is every bit as homophobic as Sophie said she was. She arrives in Gotham to try to get Sophie back together with her husband and finds out that not only has that ship sailed, but Sophie’s questioning the whole police state thing and she’s now a Batwoman sympathizer. After chatting with Batwoman about the sexiness of the mask, Sophie tries to tell her mom the truth, but her mom is absolutely adamant that she’s not going to have a gay daughter. It’s so heartbreaking and it shines a new light on all of Sophie’s actions, past and present.

I’ll have a standalone piece for you after Sunday night’s new episode!


All American 216: “Decisions”

Written by Natalie

Coop and Spencer sit outside at night.

All American wrapped up its second season this week and, for Coop, the episode ended up being a microcosm of the show’s treatment of her character this season. She’s a new artist, on a new label, trying to find make her way in the music industry. She’s a former gang member who maintains her ties to that life through her friendships. She’s Spencer’s best friend, she’s Patience’s girl… and, disappointingly, she disappears from stories in which she should play a pivotal role. And, of course, she’s always, always facing some looming danger. It’s Season 2 in a nutshell for Coop and it brings a disappointing end to disappointing season.

While everyone else is huddled at Spencer’s house working on a way to thwart the school superintendent’s plans to turn South Crenshaw into a magnet school to promote gentrification, Coop visits Preach at the LA County Jail. She’s been visiting him nearly every day and Preach is tired of Coop putting her life on hold for him. He threatens to remove her from his approved visitors’ list and pushes her to move on. It’s her time to shine, he points out, leaving Coop in disbelief.

Back in Crenshaw, Coop joins the neighborhood in protesting the changes at South Crenshaw: first as part of sit-in that’s thwarted by police and then at a rally at Slauson Cafe. She’s a part of the crowd as Spencer buys South Crenshaw one more year before the magnet takeover: he’s coming home…and promises to use all his skills to bring the school another state championship. But the celebration over Spencer and Coop’s reunion will have to wait, as Layla’s arranged an indie tour — one that parallels the tour that Patience is on — for her this summer.

Spencer and his family won’t be the only thing waiting for Coop to return from her tour, though: Tyrone’s older sister, Mo, is back in Crenshaw and seems intent on avenging her brother’s death.


The Bold Type 408: “Stardust”

Written by Carmen

Kat and Adena work together on a laptop in the Scarlet Magazine offices.

To be honest, when I heard that The Bold Type was doing a “very special episode” dedicated to tackling conversion therapy, I’m pretty sure my reaction was just one step shy of throwing a tantrum on the floor. Given the show’s less than stellar track record of late, I had VERY little faith that they could tackle this topic well at all.

Conversation therapy is still legal in over 30 states in this country, and has been supported in the past by none other than our current Vice President, but somehow talking about it on TV can run the chance of sounding dated or out-of-touch. There are so many “hot button” queer issues that take our attention. I’m not saying that The Bold Type fully successfully updated a well-worn topic for 2020, but I do think they didn’t… embarrass themselves or actively make me hate any of the characters? Which is in-and-of-itself a step up.

Adena approaches Jacqueline because she wants to use the photography of a young man named Travis, who recently died by suicide because he was sent to conversion therapy, for the website. She rightfully thinks that not enough attention is paid on the issue the issue that still is actively harming LGBT kids and teens; of course Jacqueline agrees. Unfortunately, the legal department does not. They fear that using Travis’ images might invite legal action from his parents. Jacqueline’s sorry to have to turn Adena away, but luckily Adena doesn’t give up and turns to Kat.

Kat (a Gemini with the full name Katrina by the way, lots of new Kat info this episode!) initially turns Adena down, because she’s still hurt from Adena’s wild and crazy biphobia from last week (in an episode I’d like to pretend never happened). Once Kat finds out Travis’ story, she calls her ex-girlfriend and agrees to work with her on the project. Kat remembers a collage that she and Adena saw on their travels, artwork where the identifying parts of an image would be able to be obscured, but it would still feel personal, and together they adapt the format to work for Travis.

While they’re working, Kat marvels at her own privilege — coming out was so easy for her, she almost took it for granted. Adena wanted that for Kat, more than anything. You see, Adena’s coming out wasn’t nearly as “easy.” Her father sent her to conversion therapy. If her mother hadn’t intervened and saved her, she very well could’ve ended up like Travis. This fight was personal.

Jacqueline approves the new imagery, impressed that Kadena trusted their gut instead of being discouraged by lawyers. Somehow though, legal STILL won’t approve the new photos. We don’t know why exactly yet, but with Kat on it, I’m sure we will — and soon.


Black Lightning 316: “The Book of War: Chapter Three: Liberation”

Written by Carmen

Anissa Pierce and Grace Choi get into a superhero fight.
I think I jinxed us. I’ve been celebrating Black Lightning for weeks now. I’ve delighted in it, even! I thought the worst was behind us! That the production team had finally learned their lesson! I was actually anxiously looking forward to this week’s episode!!

Then Jamilah Olsen became the latest queer woman to be added to the dead lesbians list.

Jamilah was shot dead on camera while doing her job, reporting breaking news. Her death was senseless. What was the point of bringing her back, just to brutally kill her and have us watch her bleed? I will never understand it. I’m also of the believe that the CW specifically has lost their right to ever kill a queer woman on screen ever again (Lexa you’re gone, but never forgotten). And I can go my whole life without ever seen black women shot and killed, thanks. Yes, the Markovian War was always going to have a high body count, they had been warning us about this for months — but the death toll of women-to-men in Monday’s episode was a whomping 4-to-1!!! You’ve GOT to be kidding me with this shit! Jamilah, Dr. Jace, ASA Officer Sara Grey are first on the list.

Last? My beloved Lady Eve, who faced her second death in her run on the show. Her first death, of course, kept her off-screen for nearly two years, while I personally suffered through man after man being resurrected without so much as a blink (how many times have we seen Lala come back to life? Kahlil?). Technically Lady Eve didn’t die on camera, though wow Jill Scott was almost swoon-worthy even with a mouth full of blood. I’m hoping she made it out alive — she did seem to get the message out to Lala about saving Freeland somehow after all — and if she is dead, I hope Black Lightning uses their reputation for death not being permanent in her favor much quicker this time than they have previously. But until then, goodnight my sweet.

We also have Grace Choi. My beautiful Grace Choi. To be honest, when Gravedigger used his mind control powers to convince Grace to kill Anissa, I was ready for it! I sat up on my couch, even. As has been previously documented, I love a good #ThunderGrace fight. But this time went too far. After Grace’s transformations level up her body strength and Anissa can’t shake her, she’s forced to throw Grace into the ceiling of the ASA bunker. When Grace comes back down to ground, she’s unconscious.

After saving the day, Anissa somehow manages to get her fiancée home safely, but still she won’t wake up. Lynn tells her daughter that there’s nothing to be done, Grace is in a coma. She will need around the clock professional care. Anissa weeps over Grace’s body — but me? My heart is COLD.

The Autostraddle TV Team is made up of Riese Bernard, Carmen Phillips, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Valerie Anne, Natalie, Drew Gregory, and Heather Hogan. Follow them on Twitter!

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5 Comments

  1. – Did Lizzie hear Josie moaning, or does she just know when her sister has a sexy dream?
    – I disliked the fact that even though he wasn’t there, Hope’s story revolved around Landon.
    – But the lesson that she learned in the simulation may be the beginning of the end for Handon. #FreeHope
    – And all of that Hizzie. I’ve noticed that “Legacies” seems to be putting Hope and Lizzie together a lot this season.

  2. If they don’t commit to Chantal being a regular as Grace on Black Lightning I will give this show up next season. I refuse to watch shows that have mostly horrible queer representation because that’s worse than having no queer characters on your show.

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