It’s Boob(s On Your) Tube time! Boob(s On Your) Tube time! The bits and bobs of queer TV, the gays who aren’t dead yet! Welcome back, friends. I sang those first two sentences in my head; I hope you did too. So, hey, TV is back! I confess I haven’t kept up with it so far this year as much I did over the past eight years because that was the luxury of living under President Obama: Strides forward for queer visibility and the peace of mind to actually enjoy watching television. But I’m getting caught back up and I miss you and I want to talk to you about ladies kissing ladies.
I hope you’re enjoying Valerie Anne’s Supergirl recaps, Lucy Hallowell’s The Fosters recaps, and also I hope your ready for The Good Fight recaps, which will be coming at you on Monday from the pen of your girl Dorothy Snarker. (She’ll also be recapping The Handmaid’s Tale for us this April.)
Next week in Boob(s On Your) Tube, Valerie is going to get us caught up on Black Sails and Legends of Tomorrow, two shows with queer ladies who aren’t doing explicitly queer stuff right now, but that doesn’t make ’em straight. And next week on Autostraddle dot com, Mey Rude is going to write about the three(!) trans women on primetime TV right now — Laverne Cox on Doubt, Jenn Richards on Nashville, and Amiyah Scott on Star — and talk about what that visibility means for trans women, especially in this scary political climate.
In the meantime, here’s what I’m getting all caught up on.
I don’t remember when I got invested in Pippy and TMI but I was like a caged tiger prowling around after Pippy grabbed TMI’s hand and pushed her up against the wall of the elevator in the midseason premiere of Rosewood. It happened because they were both a little shaken up about a hostage situation earlier in the day (and also because they’re still so totally in love) and while TMI was a little shocked by the lucky turn of events, she sure didn’t think twice about rolling with it.
Okay, and then they didn’t even talk to each other about it for like five episodes! They exchanged glances every time someone said the word “secret” or “elephant in the room” (a phrase that always works its way into conversations organically in a morgue), but it wasn’t until Rosie barged up in Pippy’s apartment in the middle of the night in this week’s episode that we actually got to see what the heck these two have been up to.
What they have been up to is: doin’ it. Pippy tries to play it cool like, “I don’t know why you’d show up here asking for information TMI has.” And Rosie’s like, “Well, I called her three times and she didn’t answer and so please don’t make me go get her out of your bedroom.” At which point TMI comes zooming out of there with a cardigan wrapped around her, looking hella sheepish. Pippy just looks annoyed. There was wine! And music! And potentially role play (I honestly don’t know what TMI is wearing).
All I want for them is more screentime. All I want for you is to watch it for yourself.
How refreshing was it that when Grey’s Anatomy returned for the first time since the election, it brought with it an episode that centered on all women and women’s issues and there was nary a man in sight? You’d never have convinced me before that week that I wanted a Jo-anchored episode, but Bailey and Arizona mellowed her out just right. In fact, Arizona Robbins has had major screentime all the way around this back half of the season. It’s a welcome relief, even though the “unicorns and rainbows shooting out of her ass” still don’t fill the Callie-shaped hole in my heart.
It looks like Arizona and Minnick are going to be a thing. Last night, despite Arizona’s protests, Minnick let Edwards perform a surgery on a nine-year-old and even though it should have been routine, they lost him on the operating table. Edwards was devastated; she went to Weber and asked if she killed him and Weber hugged her up real tight and said sometimes things happen in surgery that even the most senior staffers don’t foresee. Arizona and Minnick didn’t catch this either and they were there the whole time.
Arizona’s main thing is that Minnick didn’t prepare Edwards for this possible outcome, but Minnick lets down her guard for a second and says it’s because she’s never lost anyone in the OR. This kid was her first. Arizona is shocked and softened and she says Minnick could have friends at Seattle Grace Mercy West hospital if she actually wanted them. There’s some light flirting between them the whole time. It’s not bad. It’s not Callie and Penny. But also: it’s not Callie.
How to Get Away With Murder
Can you believe we get to watch Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson act off each other on our TVs in our living rooms and not in an Oscar-nominated film we drove to the theater and paid $15 to see? I said this in our year-end TV round-up and I fully believe it: If there were more Annalise Keatings in the world, there would be no President Trump. A Black bisexual woman who absolutely cannot be shaken down to a single descriptor, given the latitude and depth usually reserved for white dudes on AMC, brought to life by someone as talented as Viola Davis. This should be every network, every night. The world would truly be a completely different place if writers actually explored the complicated motivations of humanity with characters who aren’t white men.
There’s nothing gay happening this season so far, but I can’t not talk about Viola Davis. She has gone from fully depressed and defeated in prison to reclaiming her rightful place on her Slytherin throne and I have felt every single bit of it right along with her. “We’re Not Good People” is the best name of any episode in this entire series. It’s true, but the truth is so much bigger than that. None of the Keating gang are good people, Annalise included, but there’s goodness inside all of them. Annalise suffered sexual abuse as a child, did you know that? Her mother has dementia, did you know that? Her dad is too hard on her and Nate is too soft on her and Eve is the only one who really gets her (maybe Bonnie, too, but Bonnie’s got her own shit to work out), and sometimes you’ve just got to survive.
The last few episodes of this show are as good as the first few episodes of season one, when the show was looking into the characters as much as it was zigging and zagging through time. My hopes are high.
I’m going to try to watch Star and Imposters by next week. Tell me what’s good on your TV.
psst….Brown Girls premiered online this week and I’m astonished that Autostraddle hasn’t written up on it yet! *scuttles away*
Where can we find it?
IT’S BAAAAAAAAACK!!! IT’S BAAAAAAAACK!!!
Oh, how much I have missed you guys and these shows!
(I’m busy at the moment, but will be back with my full comments on all three shows later this weekend)
PS: Hope you are holding up ok Heather! Thinking of you and I know you are fighting the good, loving fight!
I’M SO EXCIIIIIIIITED!
PS hi @c-p, so happy to talk more Shondaland with you!
Just a small thing: Minnick didn’t say that she has never lost anyone but that she has never lost a child before because she only operates on adults. (I think.)
!!!! Boobs on Your Tube is my fave!!!!
JtV is SO GOOD this season but SO BAD with Luisa but i guess hope springs eternal!
Call the Midwife returned in January and continues to be more and more feminist. Patsy and Delia’s story is hopeful and nuanced and lovely AND I COULD TALK ABOUT PHYLLIS CRANE’S SUPPORT FOR HER LESBIANS ALL DAY
(I am so excited for the Good Fight- hoping it erases the blahhh of the last couple years of TGW)
Pippy’s apartment looks like it belongs in a cheap 70’s romcom.
Wow, that scene…I assume their role play is pun-based and TMI is wearing Pippy’s Long Stockings?
Brilliant!!! … you win the interwebz! :D
Aww you’re so sweet, thank you! Don’t worry, I will share the spoils of victory
Yay Boobs on Your Tube is back!!
Regarding Greys… I don’t know how I feel about Minnick, haven’t made up my mind about her yet.
Ughhh me too. I think she was actually MORE likeable before this episode. Like, I can deal with someone who’s a bad ass and also great at their job, but this? This was not bad ass. This was stupid and pathetic and dangerous and just really, really cruel to poor Stephanie. Like, I think this episode was supposed to humanize her for us and make us sympathize with her more instead of just seeing her the way Richard and co. do as an invading enemy, but this? This did not make me sympathize with her at all.
It backfired for me too
Also also also, very excited for Dorothy Snarker’s Autostraddle debut.
My two favorite online presences coming together as one. It will be glorious
Unfortunately there are so few shows that have any meaningful lesbian/bi women relationships going on at the moment. In addition to those mentioned above,
Call the Midwife – Patsy is current away in Hong Kong
Mary Kills People – Teased a relationship between Mary’s daughter and the father’s girlfriend’s daughter but that hasn’t gone anywhere and reads as abusive to me.
DC Legends of Tomorrow – While a great show, Sarah doesn’t really get an opportunity to date people much.
Jane the Virgin – Returns after a 3-year time jump with no sign of Luisa or Rose after they have already been missing for most of the season.
Lucifer – Despite teasing Maze/Linda they remain just friends and barely in the show most episodes.
No Tomorrow – After their wedding Kareema’s wife vanished from the show completely.
Riverdale – Queerbaiting trailer and no lesbian/bi characters.
The 100 – Well let’s not go there, but it’s obvious which way they are heading.
Vikings – Very disappointing relationship between Lagertha and Astrid where the cut their sex scene from US/Canada and then Astrid and her son hook up???
Black Sails – Very little between Max/Elenor or Max/Anne so far, but I’m not going to condemn that one until I see how it ends.
Neighbours – Least convincing bisexual character on TV in my opinion and her new love interest seems to be a needy lesbian with a psycho ex.
The Walking Dead- had one Tara centric episode where she finds an all women settlement but also in same episode finds out her girlfriend is dead.
I did not know that. I stopped watching after that King Ezequiel episode but now I will look up the Tara one.
“Riverdale” – While that kiss is queerbaiting, Betty and Veronica’s relationship has gone to Kara/Lena levels of greatness. It gets even better because Cheryl is trying to horn in on their relationship.
I want Callie back but that’s looking that isn’t looking like it’s gonna happen. So I really want to go for it with Arizona and Eliza, I mean I’ve liked ships before that were replacements of other ships, but I just don’t see the chemistry between them. Like last year the writers put their fingers in their ears and went la la la la when everyone said Callie and toast Penny have less than 0 chemistry and they are doing the same with Arizona and Eliza. And it’s not like I can’t see Arizona with someone other than Callie because last season they had an episode with this firefighter with a burned butt (played by Nikki DeLoach) and in just that episode and their brief scenes I thought they had MAJOR chemistry.
Where are the tidbits on other shows with the lesbians? I thought someone said there was a couple on Santa Clarita Diet (though I haven’t watched it).
Good call on the firefighter with the burned butt. I had forgotten…
And honestly I didn’t even remember her name was Eliza
The couple on Santa Clarita Diet were minor characters but they don’t get eaten and have 3 or 4 scenes together where they seem to be growing closer.
They need to bring that firefighter back! Super cute and like 100 times more chemistry with Arizona. I think they’re just really fixated on workplace relationships, even though a lot of these pairs are falling flat (I’m looking at you, Owen and Amelia).
So true, they have their minds set on it and nothing is going to change it. Owen and Amelia are the worst, I never saw any chemistry with them AT ALL. That brief scene that Alex and Amelia had when she had her freak out had more chemistry. I also think Alex and Jo needs to call it quits too, they are just toxic for each other. Actually no one on this show has any good chemistry anymore.
Wanted to also add about the “workplace relationship” thing. Not every relationship has to be happening in the hospital. Richard was married to Adele and they had their marital moments in and outside the hospital. And the firefighter or anyone doesn’t have to be a series regular to be in a relationship with a main character or they don’t necessarily need to be a doctor, they can be a firefighter or a paramedic (like Matthew) or a nurse or an administrator who works for the hospital or the board. So many options than just the doctor pool that they refuse to explore.
Word. So uninvested in Alex and Jo, and honestly baffled as to why they spent years breaking me down into adoring this straight white dude (who’s character matured so much, but also relatively slowly) just to pair him with one of the least interesting residents they’ve ever written, and then set him back as a character to create relationship drama, but okay. I guess.
I would love to see some of the doctors date outside the hospital, but idk if it’ll happen anytime soon.
So on board with bringing back the firefighter and ditching the Arizona/Minnick thing. I’m still trying to figure out if I like Minnick as a character/person before I can even wrap my brain around them as a couple. Mostly it’s so weird to me that Arizona is the one being pursued rather than doing the pursuing. It’s seems so OOC for her. And after this episode Minnick just seems like a terrible doctor, and that’s so not her type. Arizona does not fuck with people who are not at least half as badass as she is. At the moment, Minnick just does not seem good enough for her. Like, c’mon, would Arizona EVER be interested in someone who put a kid’s life in danger?!
You’re right about Arizona not being interested in someone who puts a kids life in danger
Minnick is recycled, she has the same traits as Alana Cahill the character that Constance Zimmer played when Pegasus took over. She was a doctor but started teaching/administration instead. And if I remember correctly whenever Richard asked her to join him on a case she would always find an excuse not to and then when she had no choice because she was roped into helping in an elevator she freaked out afterward.
But back to Minnick, I’ve seen and liked Marika in a few other things Brothers and Sisters is probably the most recent she’s done since taking a break to have Scott Foley’s babies and she wasn’t that bad of an actress as she seems to be overacting here. I just don’t get it, you hear kids take a mothers beauty but did these kids steal their mothers acting talent?
Unless this whole Arizona/Eliza set up is just a ruse and the real hook up for Arizona will be with Leah again. I mean nobody liked Leah before but if we dislike someone even more Leah would look like a cake walk.
I like Leah. Never disliked her and never got why everyone else hated her
Leah wasn’t bad she was just misused as just another excuse to keep Calzona apart for a little while longer and that caused most of the hate towards her.
Ohhhh you’re totally right about the Alana Cahill comparison, I hadn’t noticed that!
And I don’t think she’s a bad actress, I’ve actually never seen her in anything before, I just think her style doesn’t suit this show at ALL. I’ve said this on a few BoyT before, but I just think she plays Minnick like she’s in a different genre of a show than everyone else. Could be just new kid syndrome, but it’s been a few episodes now and it hasn’t gone away for me.
Interesting that she’s married to Scott Foley, didn’t know that. Shonda really does like to keep it in the family :)
yeah maybe that’s what it is she’s acting like bopping in making changes, doing that flirty thing with Arizona (which I didn’t mind) but then everything around her is like “This is war, battle lines are drawn”…and she’s probably like, what the heck did I walk into?
And yeah, I don’t want to call nepotism but Shonda needed someone to take on this role and my guess is Shonda knew that if the role was successful she could keep her on because the ensemble is big and the role wouldn’t keep her away from her kids, or if it failed they would just say thanks for stepping in and be done with it or if it was kind of successful because they are in the Shondaland family they would keep her dangling bringing her back every now and then because Shonda knows she doesn’t really seek out other work because Marika’s more concentrated on raising kids rather than acting now.
I think they’re pushing the Arizona/Eliza screen time way too much to be a ruse. The actual most ideal situation (if we must recycle former love interests) would be to track down Hilarie Burton and resurrect Lauren, who I would’ve really liked, if not for that whole ruining my faves thing.
Remember when Arizona was super forward, approaching freshly jilted Callie in a bathroom and offering to pursue her as soon as she was ready? Good times. Eliza can’t out-Arizona Arizona with a gaggle of resident groupies and the stubborn confidence of a mediocre white man.
Brown Girls premiered this week with seven episodes centering on a pair of best friends who are both women of color (one of whom is queer, and her queerness is important in her story line [in the good way, like we get to see her queerness and celebrate it without her character being completely relegated to it]). There are also queer minor characters featured, and there are people of color everywhere.
Long story short, I ugly laughed so hard I woke my roommate at 1 am. Watch on Vimeo.
So, a quick question: does anyone here watch The Real O’Neals? I’m curious whether or not there was some context to the biphobic comments that Sara Ramirez objected to or were they as heinous as described?
Jane the Virgin: I had never seen Jane the Virgin when I watched Gina Rodriguez collect the Golden Globe for the title character in 2015. She gave that amazing speech and I was instantly enamored…and I ran to Netflix to binge watch the first season. I fell in love with the show immediately and I’ve loved it ever since…
…but, boy, are they really testing that love.
It’s not even the killing of Michael that bothers me…it’s the three year jump. I understand why a time jump was necessary–comedy and grief aren’t a good mix–but three years feels like too much. I don’t recognize Petra or Rafael (or his new girlfriend, Lyla Garrity)…and I don’t understand why Xo is still with Frankie Vargas or why Rogelio’s relationship with Darci didn’t work out. And where the hell is Luisa…and how did she go three years without being bothered that she’s dating Michael’s murderer? Will Rose ever be held accountable for her actions? I don’t know how they explain all of that and move the “present day” stories ahead.
Also? I’m really remiss that a show that one of the few shows on television that showcases Latinx culture, can’t respond directly to the changing political climate in this country.
Thankfully, I’m still enamored by Gina Rodriguez (who has been killing it) so I’ll keep watching.
Grey’s Anatomy: Earlier today, during lunch, I caught an old episode of Grey’s that featured the opening of the Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic. Izzie’d spent $8M of her inheritance to build the clinic and the lone patient, on opening day, was a girl who needed to learn about sex and menstruation.
Izzie helped her, begrudgingly, but ran off when a more exciting trauma presented itself, but Bailey…she stayed there and she comforted the girl and gave one of her patented talks. And when the day was over, Bailey thought–because she helped that one girl–that the $8M was money well spent.
It struck me, as I watched, that, in the new episodes, that Bailey was gone. The Bailey that was the heart of the hospital is gone…and it’s ruined the show. Grey’s needs its heart back.
A few other thoughts:
1. I really didn’t need more reason to dislike April but they sure gave it to me this week. You don’t get to claim you’re the only one acting professional after arguing with a patient about who’s nicest.
2. Relatedly: can they please bring back Mara Keaton to pair with Avery? They had great chemistry and I want to keep him as far away from April as I possibly can.
3. Speaking of chemistry, I’m told Dr. Minnick and Arizona have it. I haven’t actually seen it for myself but…hey…what do I know?! Besides, this is TV, if there are two lesbians in a room, they have to be boning.
4. Are we going to hear about the Board ever again? No one wants to mention that Bailey, effectively, suspended her boss when she sent Meredith home?
The head writer Jennie Snyder Urman said in an interview that they’re going to take a bit of creative license, so that even though the storyline and characters have jumped ahead 3 years, the show is still going to exist in the present time as far as current events, etc. go.
I was actually glad that they chose a 3-year time gap, because as someone who has lost a close family member in a sudden and traumatic way, that felt realistic to me for having had enough time pass that they can keep the light-hearted tone of the show. Any less than that would be moving on way too fast. I do wish, however, that they had devoted maybe just one episode to dealing with the immediate fallout of Michael’s death. The two minutes or so that they gave it at the start of the last episode seemed a bit too offhand.
Yeah, it’s Meredith’s hospital. Kinda.
@pecola I agree with you 100% about Bailey. What happened to her since she became Chief, it’s so weird! Remember when Richard was her mentor and literally taught her everything she knows?
Re: April, I read a review at the AV Club which compared April to Trump. It was not flattering, and also not inaccurate.
Regarding the Real O’Neals. I don’t know the whole story but yes apparently there was a tasteless biphobic joke or something to that effect. I didn’t like that show from the jump, last year the lead kid made some remarks too on social media, he seems to think he’s some kind of important because he’s on a show (that nobody I know watches) but I don’t even know the kids name.
The Real O’Neals “joke” was really just a painful and inaccurate biphobic myth we’ve been trying to bust for, like, eternity. A real kick in the perineum to see on t.v. (still)!
HTGAWM and Viola Davis never disappoint.
And as a few others already mentioned, “Call the Midwife” is back and as emotionally and endearing as ever.
The second season of “You, Me, Her” premiered on Valentine’s Day and I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet but the promos looked hilarious and I did like the first season.
Holding off on Jane the Virgin at the moment, until news reach me that Louisa is alive and well and maybe has a scene or two.
Other than that I’ve been immensely enjoying Valerie Anne’s “Supergirl” recaps, I’m excited for “The Good Fight” (now that I now that none other than Dorothy Snarker will be recapping even more so than before) and still hoping for something queer to happen on Lucifer (preferably between Linda and Maze). Or on Suits for that matter. Same goes for a few other good but currently still entirely “straight white protagonist” centered shows I’m watching.
I’ve got to say that aside from the above mentioned exceptions the winter/early spring tv landscape is leaving me a bit unimpressed/bored.
I am SO excited for The Good Fight! I literally can’t believe I’m going to pay CBS six dollars a month, but I have been really looking forward to the premiere.
It was a good premiere, wasn’t it? Let’s see what the first season brings. :)
So excited for Mei’s upcoming article! I’ve been wanting to read something like that.
I liked the 1st episode of Star–ridiculous and over-the-top but fun and highly invested in its female characters, black and white, trans and cis. I couldn’t quite tell whether the two transwomen were going to be treated well, though, or played off each other in negative ways (a “good” trans woman who passes and “bad” one who doesn’t, or something like that). But I’m a fan of Ryan Destiny ever since seeing her in the queer-themed A Girl Like Grace.
And does anyone know anything about the trans character in Emerald City? I gather this is actually a legacy from the original books (which I never read), but I have heard some confusing and contradictory things about whether it’s positive representation, and as a sf/fantasy fan I’m curious.
I don’t know that much about Emerald City the show, but there was a lovely reference to the character in the original books in O Human Star a few weeks ago: http://ohumanstar.com/comic/chapter-6-page-10/ (spoilers for the general plotline)
I read the books as a kid and then grew up and realized how macabre and problematic some of the storylines are…but Baum created such in interesting world in Oz.
I’ve been reticent to watch Imposters because the trailer seemed to showcase the worst stereotypes about bisexuals…but Heather shouldn’t be made to suffer alone so I’ll check out the first three episodes as well and report back next week.
How to Get Away With Murder: There’s a scene in last week’s episode (“It’s War”) where Bonnie’s talking to the DAs and Atwood says, “there are bodies piling up around this woman and you think she deserves justice?”
It’s a sentiment that we hear repeatedly on the show…from Atwood, from Nate, from Connor, from Laurel…and it obscures the reality: Annalise hasn’t actually killed anyone. She isn’t perfect–far from it–but there’s something taxing about watching this black woman repeatedly suffer for the sins of others.
I don’t know if Minute Maid Mao would be president if there were more Annalise Keatings on TV, as Heather suggests, but I think that if society had fewer Connors, et. al.–folks willing to blame others for the messes they made–Cheetos Satan definitely would not be president.
Doubt: A few thoughts, after having watched the pilot last week:
1. This show was created by Tony Phelan and Joan Rater, both alums of Shondaland…and because, I guess, they’re all out of ideas, they basically said, “what if Izzie Stevens were a lawyer instead?” Overly involved with
patientsclients? Check. Inappropriate romantic relationship with a patientclient? Check. Tense relationship with her mother? Check.
It’s Isobel Stevens, Esq., basically. I hope Shonda’s getting a check for this.
2. For years now, CBS has been hounded by television critics for the network’s lack of diversity and each year, CBS responded with a promise to do better, only to return the next year, with a slate of shows featuring all white, predominantly male, leads. Last summer, in an attempt to deflect criticism over the six(!!) new CBS shows featuring white male leads, the CBS President pointed to its midseason premieres, Training Day and Doubt which feature diverse sidekicks (basically).
I thought about this as I watched the pilot because Dulé Hill delivered a standout performance–which isn’t a surprise given his resume–and yet, I imagine there was never a thought to rework the pilot to build the show around him. Instead, let’s stick a blonde lady in the lead role and call it diversity.