Welcome back to Boobs On Your Tube! Have you been following along with the first 24 hours of basketball March Madness? Well, we’ve got some good news for you: Thanks to Natalie’s relentless passion and hard work, we’re rolling out Autostraddle March Madness for you again this year! This very Monday, in fact, and we want to give you a sneak peak at the theme so you can start prepping your fandoms!
Yes! It’s best coming out! Get ready!
This week, Mackenzie McDade joined us to write two pieces: One on the “Black Girl Magic” episode of Queer Eye and one on Hulu’s new series, Shrill. Carmen recapped a disappointing finale of Black Lightning. Natalie recapped a solid but troubling Stef and Lena-centric episode of Good Trouble. Valerie Anne recapped ALEX DANVERS’ NEW GIRLFRIEND. And Kayla made a plea for all lesbian breakups on TV to be told in song and dance. Heather told you about Cameron Esposito’s surprise appearance on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, unpacked some facts about Gentleman Jack, and got hyped for Ellen Page and Lauren Morelli’s Tales of the City.
Some reminders from the TV Team:
+ The Fight for Wynonna is still on. — Valerie Anne
PS. Natalie and I feel some type of way about the lack of Patterson/Zapata interaction this season.
— Valerie Anne
+ #SAVEODAAT. Also? Some TV Returns that might be revelant to your interests: Jane the Virgin (CW, 3/27), Abby’s (NBC, 3/28) — Natalie
Here’s what else!
Legacies 115: “I’ll Tell You A Story”
Written by Valerie Anne
It’s been one episode and I already miss Penelope, mostly because her leaving has left Josie re-evaluating her life and looking so, SO sad. She’s taking Penelope’s parting advice and looking into this mysterious thing called The Merge but is finding that all the books that should have information about it has those specific pages ripped out.
Meanwhile, Lizzie is desperate to win her sister’s affections back, so she’s having Hope help her make a pie. Hope gives Lizzie a book about the Gemini Coven she got from Alaric’s office that she thinks will help win Josie’s favor.
But when Lizzie brings Josie the pie and the book, Josie isn’t having it. Lizzie concedes that she could live if they had separate rooms, but Josie knows it goes deeper than that. “We should have our own lives, we should be our own people.”
This sends Lizzie into a spiral and she’s on the bring of an Episode when Hope finds her and calms for, at least for now. Hope goes to talk to Josie, but Josie isn’t going to step in and save her sister this time. She says Lizzie isn’t taking her meds and thinks that letting her crash and burn is the only way she’ll learn. Hope is a little alarmed at this new take Josie has and leaves her be.
Josie goes to her room to get some things but Lizzie is there and is tired of playing nice. She yells that Josie was just as much a part of their toxic relationship and they both throw spells at each other at the same time. Surprising both of them, Josie’s spell ends up being stronger and sending Lizzie flying back.
Josie apologizes and runs away, leaving Lizzie knocked down and shook.
Hope calls her Aunt Freya (who I believe is the queer witch from The Originals?) and learns about The Merge, and, rightfully horrified, goes to Alaric and demands he tell the twins. So he does, and here’s what The Merge is: on their 22nd birthday, the twins will have to fight, and one will absorb the other, and only the strongest one will survive. Alaric explains that that’s why their mother is always traveling, because she’s trying to find a way to stop The Merge, but Josie knows this is a curse on their line and things don’t look great for them.
By the end of the episode, Hope has figured out that Landon (who we learn is a phoenix born of a mudman and related to the creepy Triad guy in whatever way mudpeople are related) has been kidnapped and she decides she’s going to “go all Wonder Woman” and assemble her Super Squad (aka the twins, MG, and Kaleb) to save him. Which I guess is how we’ll spend our season finale next week!
All American 116: “Championships”
Written by Natalie
Last month, when the CW presented at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, All American wasn’t among the shows the network greenlit for another season. The network’s executives hope that the move to Netflix later this month will help build the show’s fanbase and justify a second season. I hope they get it. At its best, All American was responsible some of the best queer representation on television. Its willingness to center so much of the show around a black, masculine-of-center lesbian was truly unprecedented and, given what’s happened this week with Young MA, the necessity of telling those stories — and educating the audience on the experiences of MOC women — could not be more apparent. And All American was the rare show to give equal time and weight to initimacy between straight and gay couples. If “Championships” is the last we see of Tamia “Coop” Cooper, it’ll be a real loss.
As someone who really wants there to be a second season of All American, I found this episode wanting: it felt like a series finale, not a season finale. The episode kicks off at Spencer’s house, with Coop having a family meeting with Laura Baker about what to do about Tyrone. Her chosen family’s there — Grace and Spencer — but, much to my surprise, so is her actual family: both of Coop’s parents, Reggie and Janelle Cooper. I wish Patience had been there too…not only would it have created more tension but maybe I wouldn’t have spent the whole episode yelling “Where’s Patience, Coop?” at my television like I was watching season one of The Wire. Tyrone’s a person of interest in the attempted murder of Preach and while the LAPD’s on the lookout for him, he’s still out there…posing a real threat to Coop’s safety. Grace invites Coop back to stay at her house but she declines, promising to be careful on her own. Then Coop’s mom interjects: she wants her daughter to move back home.
“What happened to me no longer being welcome?” Coop asks, surprised by the invitation.
“Well, whatever our differences, we can’t work them out if you’re not alive,” her mom answers. I mean, true, but damn.
Later, Coop regroups with some other members in the gang and lays out a plan to get Tyrone. Malik’s not thrilled by Coop calling all the shots so she invites him to come up with a better plan. He can’t, of course, but still questions whether or not she can handle the heat that might be coming her way. If Tyrone comes, Coop promises she’ll be ready and she pulls out a snub nose revolver to re-emphasize the point. When Malik rolls stops by the apartment, as Coop and Spencer are packing up her apartment, he reveals that he’s heard from Tyrone: the dethroned gang leader has left town and is laying low in San Luis Obispo. Once things die down, Tyrone wants Malik to bring him some money. Coop takes in all the information and then leaves to cheer Spencer on in the championship game.
During the closing minutes of the game, Coop gets a text from Malik saying that Tyrone’s peeked his head out of the hole earlier than expected. He wants his money now and she texts back that they finally have an opportunity to get payback for Preach and Shawn. She let’s Malik know that she’ll meet up with him after she hits the bathroom…a reference so ridiculously out of place in the situation that what’s coming feels obvious. Coop’s checking herself in the mirror when Tyrone comes into the bathroom and points a gun in her direction.
“You thought you were smarter than me, huh? Guess you put faith in the wrong people,” Tyrone says snidely. “You was always weak. Now that’s why you’re all alone.”
But, it turns out, Coop’s not alone: just after Tyrone admits his role in everything and cocks his gun, two LAPD officers spring out and arrest him. It was a trap all along…Coop knew that Malik was disloyal she used that to trap Tyrone. While the story wraps up a little too tidily for my tastes, the one thing I appreciated about this week’s episode — and the one thing that’s been missing from this entire storyline, honestly — is that it finally treated Coop like she understood how to play the game.
Post Game Notes
+ If All American gets renewed— and, again, I really hope they do — they’ve really got to do something about the way they shoot these football games. “Championship”‘s scenes were almost offensive. I’m willing to ignore the fact that Spencer came right back into the game after his helmet came off on the field (that’s a penalty!), but it was raining when Spencer’s team stepped off the bus yet, somehow, the field managed to stay perfectly dry?! Plus, WHO PLAYS A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP ON ONE OF THE COMPETITOR’S FIELDS? No one, that’s who.
+ It’s hard to imagine that there’s something gayer than Coop on this show but the relationship between Olivia and Layla? HELLA GAY. I ship it.
The Good Fight 302: “The One Inspired by Roy Cohn”
Written by Natalie
Last summer, I wrote this about an episode of Ackley Bridge:
You know how sometimes you want a thing so much and then that thing comes and, technically, it is what you wanted but also it’s not at all what you wanted? Like that time I wished for more diversity in the US Senate and then Harold Ford announced he was thinking about challenging Kristen Gillibrand in the primary? You’re like, “yes!” but also: “noooooooooo”.
That’s exactly the way I felt this week while watching The Good Fight. It was “yes, finally, Maia gets a storyline!” followed almost immediately by “oh, God, no…not this.”
This week, Michael Sheen joined The Good Fight as Roland Blum and he and Maia are forced to join forces to represent a pair of co-defendants. As the title suggests, he’s inspired by Roy Cohn who, if you don’t know, was the original Donald Trump. Blum is as loud and obnoxious as you’d expect, given the inspiration, and is just as committed to winning without regard to truth as our current president. In small doses, I might be able to find Bloom tolerable but here, on this show this show that’s been a refuge from the gaslighting, his presence is an anvil and now they’ve firmly fixed that anvil around Maia’s neck.
Blum comes into court, with his over-the-top theatrics, and accuses the prosecutor of being the real murderer, much to Maia’s consternation. Her client’s fate is inextricably tied to his so she tries to make the partnership work. When she shows up at his office, a gaudly decorated hotel room, to talk strategy, Blum strips off his pants, snorts some pills and then starts dispensing advice on their role as lawyers. While Maia’s committed to creating a coherent narrative, based on evidence, for the jury, Blum’s interested in creating the best story, facts be damned.
“You don’t get it. Who said anything about evidence?” Blum retorts. “We base the evidence on the story. We prove what helps us, we disprove what hurts us. Whoever tells the best story goes home with cash and prizes.”
He hands her fetanyl lollipop and tells her to suck on it before court so she doesn’t look like a teacher’s aide. She spots the picture of Blum with Roy Cohn and Roger Stone and he uses the opportunity to frame himself as Cohn’s living legacy. While she’s able to resist his drug pushing, the next day at court, Maia plays along with Blum’s courtroom theatrics, in an effort to curry favor with the jury. The next time that they’re in court, Blum’s theatrics continue: first with tossing Maia’s trial notes out of the window, then by calling a rebuttal witness to lie about prosecutor’s connection to a would-be murderer. When Maia threatens to tell the judge that Blum’s suborning perjury, Blum threatens her right back. For a moment, Maia backs down but then she comes back strong — using Blum’s own tactics against him — and gets a mistrial. While it feels like a temporary reprieve, the judge is committed to retrying the case and forcing Blum and Maia to continue to work together. UGH.
I came to The Good Fight late. Still smarting over what the Kings did to Kalinda Sharma — one of my favorite TV characters of all time — I refused to watch the show’s first season on principle but then they added Audra McDonald to the cast and I was powerless to resist any longer. I quickly fell in love with the show and its smart, incisive writing and standout performances, despite the queer storylines languishing on the canvas. But now, it feels like Maia’s falling into the same trap that befell my beloved Kalinda: after the revelations about the Rindell family and her father’s subsequent capture and imprisonment, it doesn’t seem like the Kings know what to do with Maia…much like they didn’t know what to do with Kalinda after her affair with Peter was uncovered. I do not like the way that this is going, not at all.
PS: Every episode of The Good Fight this season features these wonderful, educational animated shorts, scored by Jonathan “JoCo” Coulton. CBS is posting them, seemingly, a week after the episode airs so here’s last week’s short: NDA. It’s worth watching even if you don’t watch the show (but you should!).
Charmed 115: Switches & Stones
Written by Carmen
I know that I say this every week and probably am becoming a bit of a broken record at this point, but seriously – I. Cannot. Get. Over. How. Good. This. Show. Is.
Charmed found itself as quirky and delightful (and at times, serious) as ever in what’s arguably its most feminist outing to date. The minute I found out that our demon of the week was going to be Medusa – or as Macy aptly calls her, “The Patron Saint of Slut Shaming” – I knew we were in for something special. THEN, just when I thought my feminist pop culture nerd heart couldn’t explode any more – the episode’s advertised “Freaky Friday” twist, in which Mel and Maggie switched bodies, came with a reference to both the Lindsay Lohan AND Jodie Foster takes on the family film classic!! (Side Note: Has anyone else noticed that the two leads of one of the most famous family movies of all time both grew up to be queer? Three leads if you count Gaby Hoffman’s lesser known take on the movie as an ABC TGIF television special in the 90s. All I’m saying is, there’s something going on there. Hmmmm.)
Before the body switch occurs, Jada and Mel go on a hot date to… Ireland? Well, specifically they’re macheting their way through the mythical Irish Isle of Hy-Bresal in search of this magical relic that will help the Keeper, that weakened S’Arcana sister rescued from Tartarus earlier in the season, regain her strength. Some enchanted weeds start to grow around Jada and Mel saves her life and it’s all very action packed and romantic, awwwww.
Feeling all warm and cozy from having her life saved by her girlfriend (again! this is like the second or fourth time!), Jada decides to keep pushing with that whole vulnerability and trust thing growing between them. After swearing her to secrecy from her sisters, Jada tells Mel the true identity of the Keeper: Fiona, Charity’s long lost and presumed dead sister! If you remember, Charity (one of The Elders) once had a sister named Fiona who was also in love with Harry, the Charmed Ones’ Whitelighter. But then Fiona got in good with the S’Arcana, betraying her sister and The Elders and everything that they held dear. Then she died.
Or so we thought.
Later, Maggie posing as Mel (we’re now deep into “Freaky Friday” territory here) learns from Jada that The Elders had Fiona banished. Well, first they tried to kill her, but it turned out that she was immortal. Then they banished her and never told Harry or Charity the truth. Maggie is heartbroken, because she’s finally starting to see The Elders through her sister’s eyes. They don’t trust powerful women that they can’t control. Instead, as Jada says with a shudder, they punish them.
Of course this is a PERFECT parallel to the episode’s main plot, wherein Macy learns the truth behind Medusa’s mythology: According to Charmed, Medusa was once a witch. After being raped by Poseidon, the other Gods turned her into a monster in order to cover his tracks. She was thrown away, and the powerful man who violated her was left unpunished. It’s disgusting and enraging, but mostly it’s a sad story that we know all too well.
Macy finds kinship in Medusa, who now moonlights by showing up on college campuses and turning rape culture standard-bearer frat boys into stone. The eldest Charmed One becomes the first person in millennia to offer to look the “demon” in her eyes. She wants Medusa to know that she really sees her, and not the monster that those men turned her into. It does the trick perfectly and dammit, despite being a “silly little show” about witchcraft and monsters I’ll tell you the truth – I was definitely left more than a little misty-eyed. As women, sometimes we really are our sisters’ keepers.
PS: Did I forget to tell you that the “Freaky Friday” bit came with two of my favorite one liners of the whole season? Maggie meets up with Jada (in Mel’s body), Jada compliments her “more femme look” (ha!), before kissing her (Ha!), and then all dazed from the power of Jada’s lip lock, Maggie goes …. “I’m starting to see what she [meaning, her sister] umm, I mean I see in you!” (HAAA!)
My second favorite moment? When Maggie’s boyfriend mistakes Mel for her sister and tries to go in for the make out, she pulls away disgusted and calls him “a cliché of a straight white male.” Right away he knows which Vera he’s talking to. 😍
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 414: “I’m Finding My Bliss”
This week Valencia thought Beth was going to propose to her, and when she instead proposed they invest in some property, Valencia was pissed. She performed in a variety show that highlighted how awful some old-school Broadway “classics” are, and in her song played a woman who was kidnapped and forced to marry a pirate and has been stockholm-syndromed into thinking she’s okay with the situation but she’s not paying attention to the words, she’s just trying to make a point to Beth while wearing her wedding dress costume. In the end, Valencia tells Beth that she’s not going back to New York with her without an engagement ring on her finger. Which feels a little dramatic but then again, it’s Valencia were talking about here. — Valerie Anne
Roswell, New Mexico 109: “Songs About Texas”
I just wanted to let you know I’m a little sad that in the same episode, Liz touched Maria’s arms gently and called her “babe” can said Maria’s her own hero and Maria SANG ALANIS MORISSETTE…Maria also slept with Michael. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love a good angsty hate-fuck, but I felt lead on. I was really hoping Maria harbored feelings for Rosa she was going to project onto Liz. But I guess that was always a lost cause since Liz and Max are fated or whatever. The silver lining is that this means Michael’s bisexual, so that’s fun at least, to have more bisexual boy rep. — Valerie Anne
Arrow 716: “Star City 2040”
Confession: I don’t watch Arrow anymore. I lost interest and fell behind and was originally planning on catching up, but then I found out Arrow was ending after eight more episodes in its eighth season therefore won’t be a part of future crossovers, and I lost all motivation to catch up. I was only watching for Felicity at this point, and it was hard to see her be painfully underused. Laurel was great but she wasn’t OUR Laurel, yaknow? But then I heard Nyssa al Ghul was in this most recent episode! And at first I was going to make up a fanfic version fo why she was back and what she did but as I was reading a wiki entry about it, I saw that at 20 seconds, it marked Oliver Queen’s shortest screentime to date and I was curious enough to watch at least her scenes. It turns out Nyssa al Ghul trained Oliver and Felicity’s daughter Mia to be a badass, the same way she trained Sara Lance.
I heard whisperings that Mia Smoak might get her own spinoff show as Blackstar and based on the clips from this episode alone, it seems way more up my alley than Arrow has been of late. — Valerie Anne
Grey’s Anatomy 1518: “Add It Up”
A cute quick thing that happened last night on Grey’s is that The Chief (by which I mean, Dr. Webber. For me, The Chief will always be Dr. Webber) had his first non-binary patient. He stumbled over pronouns a bit, but with some persistent help from Jackson and Hellmouth he got on the right path. I appreciated the show demonstrating that even “older folks” can learn and adjust. Pronouns ultimately just aren’t that hard. Especially when it comes to respecting someone else’s humanity. Way to drive the point home, Grey’s. — Carmen