Boob(s On Your) Tube: “Scream,” “Hannibal” and “Complications” Are All About That Bad Blood

Space clams, hello! Welcome to Boob(s On Your) Tube, your weekly round-up of queer lady TV! A lot of bloody things happened last week; let’s relive them!


Complications

Thursdays on USA at 9:00 p.m.

COMPLICATIONS -- "Outbreak" Episode 104 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jason O'Mara as Dr. John Ellison, Jessica Szohr as Gretchen Polk -- (Photo by: Bob Mahoney/USA Network)

What? I’m so sure you’ve never hit anyone in the face with like a toaster.

Okay, this show is bonkers, y’all. Remember in last week’s pilot when Gretchen convinced that one patient to lie about her symptoms so she could stay in the hospital and get away from her abusive boyfriend? Well, this week Gretchen goes to the house of the abusive boyfriend to get the woman’s stuff, and it does not go as planned. Or maybe it does. I honestly do not know what Gretchen is thinking ever.

The abusive boyfriend pulls a gun, for starters, so Gretchen smacks him in the head with a waffle iron and then later on she ties him up so tight with an extension cord that his hands almost fall off. She dips out then, for a minute, to go meet up with her friend who is helping her scam Medicare and make an extra buck. He tries to ignore her, but that’s a big mistake because she smashes her way into his house through a window and destroys his laptop by throwing it into a fish tank. She goes back to the house where the abusive boyfriend is tied up, and he escapes. So she gets into a car chase with him, runs him off the road, and very seriously considers leaving him there to die! John the Batman tells her she has to save his life because of the hippocratic oath or whatever, so she doesn’t let him die, but that doesn’t mean that she hasn’t killed before and won’t kill again next week.

At the end of the day, Gretchen goes home and sweetly snuggles with her girlfriend.

She is like if Lisbeth Salander and Kate Kane had an angry little baby who grew up to be a healthcare worker inside a Walt Whitman poem hijacked by Flannery O’Connor. She’s too much, she’s not enough. She’s wonderful. And also horrible. But mostly wonderful.


Defiance

Fridays on Syfy at 8:00 p.m.

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Fuck me. This better not cause another power outage and interrupt my Xena marathon.

Doc Yewll only made the briefest of appearances on Friday night’s Defiance. She didn’t even say any words. There are no other queer shenanigans to report. But I want to show you her five seconds on-screen because it so Doc Yewll. She walks outside and finds the entire town in a state of hysteria because the St. Louis arch has exploded and is raining down around their ears, right, and the people are just running and screeching and body parts are flying everywhere, and Yewll’s face is so unmoved. So unimpressed. Like her main emotion when she sees that the town’s symbol of strength and unity and freedom is crashing to the ground in the form of a billion tons of steel is just pure annoyance. Like she’s trying to watch someone’s grandma use the self-checkout at Kroger. I love her so much.


The Fosters

Mondays on ABC Family at 8:00 p.m.

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I think we should give Brandon to Mike and keep AJ, tbh.

The Fosters nearly gave me a heart attack last week.

It starts out all cute and zoo-y like every episode, but there’s only one shower this time because of how the ceiling in the kitchen exploded last week and the bathtub fell on top of the stove or whatever tragedy. Fine, NBD. A day in the life, honestly. Okay, but then Stef goes out with one of her buddies to a gay bar that night and guess who they see while they’re drinking and talking about Pretty Little Liars like all lesbians do at cocktail hour? Oh, it’s Monty. Principal Monty. She’s at a gay bar on a gay date, and Stef’s friend, Jenna, wants the hook-up.

What follows is the second most awkward lesbian dinner party after the one when Bette called Jenny’s movie a mastubatory opus on The L Word. Stef invites Jenna, and begs Lena to invite Monty, so she does. Jenna stares at Monty the whole time with love eyes and Monty stares at Lena with love eyes and Lena’s eyes dart around wildly making contact with nothing. After dinner, it’s all, “Did you know she was gay?” And, “Do you think she’d be into dating women?” And, “How would you say she fares on a scale of one to ten in terms of surprise kisses?” And Lena doesn’t tell Stef anything! Doesn’t tell her about the kiss in the finale! Just lets the conversation sliiiide on by.

It was at that point that I almost threw up — but my nausea was not yet complete!

The next day at school Monty goes, “Do you not want me to date your friend Jenna?” And Lena goes, “I don’t want you to date anybody.”

And that fucking sentiment hangs in the air long enough to slaughter ten thousand lesbian hearts, and then Lena finally clarifies that if Monty isn’t dating women, she isn’t gay, which means Lena doesn’t have to tell Stef about the kiss. It’s really upside-down logic, the kind you expect from Stef.

Monty is going to date women, though, because Lena woke up the sleeping homosexual inside her, which is apparently Lena’s spiritual gift.


Clipped

Tuesdays on TBS at 10:00 p.m.

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You wanna be where everybody knows your favorite Sam Adams seasonal.

Clipped‘s second episode continued to color in the lines of its characters while toning down their improvised Bostonian accents in a major way — both of which things were very good decisions. Diona Reasonover‘s Charmaine Eskowitz didn’t have much to do this week. The main story revolved around 25-year-old Danni and A.J. giving up on their dreams of becoming a singer/professional baseball player, and Charmaine stepping in to tell them to stop their navel-gazing whining and start living their lives. She also spent some time flirting with a dude in a bar, so it looks like she’s going to be bisexual. I actually can’t even remember the last time we had a bisexual black woman on TV. I guess Maya St. Germain on Pretty Little Liars, maybe? Here’s hoping Charmaine doesn’t have any fake cousins.

For real, though, y’all? Are you watching this? I think you should be watching this. There are never queer leading characters on sitcoms! Watch this!


Hannibal

Thursdays on NBC at 10:00 p.m.

Lesbian lady Margot made her first season three appearance on Hannibal this week and exchanged meaningful glances with Alana. What I know about these two is what Stacy tells me about these two, between saying, “Don’t look over here at my laptop!” while she’s watching the show, due to all the gore. For example, Margot lives with her psychotic brother and owns a lot of horses. She is gay and slept with a man last year and when queer women told showrunner Bryan Fuller why that’s a problem, he Ryan Murphy-ed it, and trolled them grossly.

Okay, but this year, Margot is going to have a female love interest. Perhaps it will be Alana. Fuller’s #LoveWins tweet from Friday (pictured above) seems mean if it’s not going to Alana. What I know about Alana is she’s mad. Like really mad. So mad! I know it because the whole time Stacy was watching this week’s episode, she kept being like, “You mad, Alana? You mad?” And then she’d look at me and be like, “Alana is mad.”

So Alana came to Margot’s house and Margot was wearing her horse gear and they looked each other up and down like dessert.

… which is probably not a good metaphor for this show. I’m sorry.


Rookie Blue

Thursdays on ABC at 10 p.m.

rblue601

Don’t worry, Netflix swooped in and saved the day. We will get a sixty-seventh season of Degrassi!

Everyone’s favorite Canadian police procedural has arrived back on American TV, and with it lesbian officer Gail Peck, who broke my heart into one hundred thousand pieces last year when she had to let her girlfriend, Holly, go (to stupid California). Gail only had a few moments on screen in the summer premiere, mostly to just set up her storyline for the season, which is going to be: adopting a glorious Canadian baby who will grow up to be a hockey-playing lesbian or a bisexual succubus, like all the best Canadians. She has to make a video for the adoption agency. I hope the video lasts an entire episode and involves outtakes of Gail dancing around in her underwear singing Pat Benatar into a hairbrush.


Scream

Tuesdays on MTV at 10:00 p.m.

MTV’s serialized Scream remake, in which Bex Taylor-Klaus plays a queer lady, lands tomorrow night. We can watch the first eight minutes of it right now, though. Or, well, you can. I can’t. Why is there so much damn bloody TV this summer?


Team TV coverage you may have missed

+ Orange Is the New Black Episode 304 Recap: Butch Please, Life’s A Butch, Etc.
“Yes, I’ve been ousted from Internet retirement by the sweet harkening of a fellow bulldyke on TV. And truly, I was not disappointed.”

+ Orange Is the New Black Episode 303 Recap: The Double Reverse Jinx Strategy
Poussey and Taystee hold a funeral to honor the books martyred in the Conflagration of Three Days Ago. Piper and Alex have more hate sex. And Nicky self-destructs.


I’ve got a full-on glorious season three Orphan Black roundtable coming at you tomorrow. We’re talking queer themes, feminist themes, and that goddamn death that I’m still not over.

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 837 articles for us.

44 Comments

  1. i love how hannibal never bothered to develop any female characters who weren’t margot verger or dr bedelia dumaurier (as though that was a real name) and now that it’s time to give margot a love interest they’re just like ‘ehh, is there anybody still alive from last season? oh, this one’s fine.’

    anyway i love you margot verger, i hope you’re the only person still alive at the end of this (suddenly very, very bad) show.

  2. I might have acquired the OB Season 1 DVD for the sole reason to be able to literally shove that show into people’s faces instead of just kindly recommending it.
    However, I must confess:
    As much as a particular death injured me, I almost would not wish it reversed or invalidated due to its perfect execution.
    Sorry, that pun was not intended.
    Can’t wait for the roundtable tomorrow!

  3. ok this thing with lena not telling stef is SO FUCKING PAINFUL. like, there’s a small piece of me that wants to like this storyline because i feel like finally we are sort of seeing a flawed side of lena other than her just being the Feelings Mom, but also this sucks and is stressful and annoying.

    • The longer Lena goes without telling her, the worse it’s going to get! I’ve seen Pretty Little Liars; I know what’s what when lesbians don’t tell the truth! Somebody’s going to get stabbed by a magical parrot on top of a lighthouse and buried alive!

      For real, though, this is obviously going to come out at the worst possible time in the worst possible way. This week, I thought Callie was going to overhear them talking. Like why else would Monty have been like, “Yeah, come by my office tomorrow afternoon” about the work study thing, and then Lena was there the next afternoon and they were talking about the kiss. Callie, of all the children, doesn’t need anymore emotional damage!

      • So so worried about Stef and Lena. So worried. When this show first started the actors and writers were like “We would never have them cheat on each other because we know that has been done to death with lesbian characters before”. Oh how the tables have turned. I really hope this doesn’t any farther than it already has. Even the kissing alone is enough to have Stef flip her shit over. And it definitely is going to come out at the worst possible time.

        • Done to death, sure. I’m not interested in a portrayal of some perfect lesbian relationship, though. That’s not real life. My hope is that ultimately we’ll get to see them work through this serious shit going on in their relationship – though my obvious fear here is that Lena has been through the surprise kiss with a previously-married-to-a-man. Monty is hot, but Steph is amazing and loves her so much!

  4. Sigh. Everyone gives Hannibal such a hard time but it’s really not that bad. Bryan Fuller did troll mightily but I think the changes to Alana’s character are a massive improvement. I don’t have an issue with Margot and Alana being paired off (since the male and female characters seems to be getting this treatment). I find the entire show’s politics to be extremely complicated- it seems now that NBC hasn’t renewed it that Bryan Fuller actually does intend the “bromance” between Hannibal and Will to go full homo. I guess it remains to be seen pending a pick up by a streaming service.

    My opinion: I am not offended by the fact that Margot slept with Will since she had a reason that made sense in her storyline. On the other hand, when I was younger and less secure in my own identity I think I would have seen it very differently, so I can sympathize with people who found it problematic since it clearly was in some ways. What I do wish is that Bryan Fuller had kept his mouth shut after. It made him look like a royal asshat and I feel like he is maybe not actually the worst person irl since he seems to have taken (some) of the criticism constructively.

    Tl;dr: I like Hannibal. I don’t think the third season is bad and even if it is then it’s still better than 90% of what’s on TV right now. More people should have watched this show.

      • I hope so! It seems like the production company is aiming to get Amazon Video on board since they already had a streaming contract with them.

        Issues aside, I’d like to see if he actually does cement the relationship between Hannibal and Will. That would be a fairly radical thing to do- I always assumed that he was holding back because of the potential backlash of making Hannibal queer from both GLBTQ and hetero viewers…Maybe the world is ready for that though? It’s tricky. I always wonder what things happen in shows that are more due to restrictions the network has placed than creator desires. Hard to tell here.

    • It’s actually really condescending to say that the women who have a problem with the storyline of a lesbian sleeping with a man are really just insecure in their own sexual identity – unlike you, obviously. I’m also wondering why anyone would regret it when an asshole reveals himself as such, but I guess you know him to be a good man irl.

      • I’m really sorry if I offended you. I see that it did come across that way and it wasn’t intended. I don’t think it says anything about anyone one way or another if they found the scene problematic. It’s totally legitimate to feel that way and I get it. I was really just talking from my own experience, that I was once not as comfortable with myself and it would have been highly disturbing to me at that point in my life, and didn’t mean to imply anything about anyone else.

        I don’t know Bryan Fuller personally and have no investment in changing how other people see him. I was pointing out that some things have improved, likely in response to the criticism. I find it regrettable that people have beliefs that lead them to be assholes, certainly.

  5. So, not lesbians, but has anyone seen The Prancing Elites Project? It’s a reality show about a j-setting group from Mobile. It goes FAR deeper than I could’ve ever hoped…the group is composed of black gay men and one black trans woman (you are kind of led to believe for most of the series that she’s just a very feminine gay guy but she explicitly states it on like episode 8 or something like that, and for the most part they use the correct pronouns). SO DEEP. HIV diagnoses and hate crimes and the KKK and racism and homophobia and transphobia/transmisogyny and domestic violence and oh my dear lord it’s amazing.

      • Oxygen. I’ve never seen it because I don’t get that channel, but a lot of my friends seem to be into it.

        Also, Janet Mock interviewed someone from that show (whoever is HIV positive- can’t remember their name right now) on her internet show “So Popular” a few weeks back.

      • Yes, Oxygen! It really is impossible not to love. Granted, I’m a big, BIG fan of reality television. I think it’s COMPLETELY unethical, but I still gulp it up.
        The Prancing Elites Project is beautiful. It’s like Dance Moms…but then wham! HIV diagnosis! And then something really funny happens and then WHAM! They encounter the KKK!
        Seriously. It does not gloss over things, whether that be HIV/AIDS or gender fluidity or family acceptance or racism or transmisogyny or hate crimes or domestic violence. Adrian is my absolute favorite.
        My favorite moment, though, is when Tim and Adrian go to a lingerie store and the itty bitty elderly lady who runs the place is just fan-fucking-tastic about it. She said, “Everybody deserves to feel pretty.” I cried.
        Why more people aren’t talking about it is beyond me. It takes reality television to a whole other level.

    • I absolutely love the Prancing Elites! I caught an ep thinking it’d be more reality TV show nonsense, but it was great. Fun, serious, heartbreaking at times, just a great 30 minutes of TV.

  6. Here’s a movie moment that maybe didn’t mean anything but I’m choosing to believe that EVERYONE IS GAY so I’m sharing it with yall:

    In Pixar’s Inside Out, as Riley (the “main character” whose emotional life we’re exploring) is growing up, somewhere in her brain pops up an “imaginary boyfriend generator.” He’s clearly a cliche–his main line is “I would DIE for Riley!” uttered with extreme teenboy angst. But at some point he also says “I live in Canada.” Pleaaaase tell me that’s a reference to AvenueQ’s “my girlfriend who lives in Canada” aka he’s a beard and she’s totally gay! It would make me very happy. Did I mention she plays hockey and kind of looks like Riese?!

    The mostly straight people I watched the movie with were not nearly as amused as I was in that moment.

  7. Granted, I was probably going to like any show that featured Jessica Szohr as a lesbian but I’ve been surprised how much I like Complications. Jason O’Mara’s a lot easier to stomach than Dan Humphrey was–even if he is a little overly moralistic for someone whose hands are so dirty.

    Gretchen reminds me bit of Kalinda Sharma, but with a layer of messiness that complicates everything. We only got a small glimpse of her home life so I’ll hope we’ll get more of that in future episodes. I’m particularly interested to know if her girlfriend is complicit in Gretchen’s schemes.

    And while I know that Dr. O’Neil’s discomfort at seeing Gretchen in the locker room is probably more of a function of that character being so straight-laced, I’m going to pretend that she has a little crush and seeing Gretchen in a state of undress flustered her.

    My favorite new series of the summer, though, is unREAL (Lifetime) which about the production of a Bachelor-like reality show. Imagine Jenn Pozner’s searing critique of reality television, Reality Bites Back, turned into a show…that’s what unREAL is.

    Last night’s episode featured a gay storyline that I won’t spoil but that I’d certainly recommend.

  8. Will there no longer be stand-alone recaps of The Fosters? I’ve been looking for them and haven’t seen any, and now a little mini-recap in here? I looked forward to those so much. ._.

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