Boobs on Your Tube: Shay Mitchell Joins the Dead Lesbian Society, XOXO Gossip Girl

What a week for TV! The Charmed reboot finally dropped, and Carmen reviewed it for you! HBO’s remake of the British series Camping arrived and Heather was mostly underwhelmed by it. Haunting of Hill House became everyone’s binge, and Rachel feels you. (Rachel also ranked 27 X-Files monsters by gayness!) Supergirl returned (and returned to its roots), and Valerie Anne celebrated. Black Lightning was gay as all heck this week, and Carmen was there for it. And Riverdale is getting wackier and horrorier than ever, and you know Kayla’s all about it. Here’s what else!


God Friended Me 103: “Heavenly Taco Truck”

Written by Carmen

Hello! Welcome to the team! My name is Carmen and I’ll be your tour guide.

I guess it’s time for me to come out of the closet. I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this.

You see, I am a lover of very corny television. TV where every problem can be solved in 30 minutes to an hour, where people hug and cry about how much they love each other. They are my secret, guilty pleasure shows. Though I would never watch it now for very obvious reasons, I grew up on 7th Heaven. I grew up on Full House (I still it watch often, along with its reboot on Netflix, Candace Cameron’s conservative Christianity be damned). Some of my most peaceful memories as a child are watching Touched By An Angel in my grandmother’s apartment. I’m an incredibly corny person, but I didn’t want y’all to know that.

When God Friended Me premiered this fall, it was right up my guilty pleasure alley. Miles Finer is a atheist who hosts a podcast about his atheism. He was mysteriously friended on Facebook by God – yes, I know this sounds ridiculous, but thanks in no small part to the chemistry of the cast, it comes across as mostly sweet – and God sends him on mini-missions to help people. Every week Miles gets a new Facebook clue, solves the case, helps a person in need, and we all go home feeling better about humanity. That’s the thing, for a show that’s about “God,” it’s really about us. God Friended Me is about our ability to do good and make the world a little easier for just one person at a time. If you’re cringing right now – I understand, but there’s something in that message that warms me.

Miles is also the son a well-known Harlem minister (the minister dad is played by Scandal’s Joe Morton, so let’s call him “Minister Papa Pope”). Miles and his dad don’t get along, but I guess you could’ve figured that out from the context. Miles’ sister, Ali, is their mediator. She’s a bartender who’s finishing her PhD in psychology. She’s also gay and has just moved in with her girlfriend, which is why we are gathered here today.

Sometimes love means pushing past the hard place.

Ali has a close relationship with her father, but there are some things that they just don’t talk about. Her girlfriend, Deanna, is one of them. It’s not that Minister Papa Pope doesn’t know his daughter is gay. She came out years ago. Yes, it was awkward for a while, but they found each other again. Now things have been smooth. He asks her “how is it [her relationship] going”, she says “good” and then they move on. It’s easy. She doesn’t want to rock the boat of easy, you know? But Deanna knows that keeping this secret is no way to move forward, so she pushes Ali to be brave. Tonight. At dinner with her father and brother. NOW.

That night, Ali breaks the news bluntly, in a single gasp, before physically bracing herself. She holds her breath, counting the seconds before her father completely looses it down the Christian Hate tunnel. Here’s the thing…. he doesn’t. Actually, he’s hurt. He thought that they had the kind of relationship where they could talk about anything. Instead, his daughter moved in with her girlfriend WEEKS AGO and didn’t tell him. She was scared of him. That’s a lot to take in.

Miles, also at the dinner, visits his father later. He never talks to his dad one-on-one if he can help it, but this is for his little sister. He tells Minister Papa Pope that sometimes that whole “minister” thing is hard for his kids to overcome. If he wants an open relationship, he has to come down off the pulpit every once and while.

So – get the Kleenex ready – Minister Papa Pope goes to Deanna’s apartment, housewarming gift in hand.

I bet you Papa Pope never bought President Fitz a brand new pasta strainer. Black Lesbians – 1, Straight White Men – 0

He stumbles over his words, embarrassed and worried that he’s overstepping, but Deanna gives him a big bear hug. He’s family. He’s welcome anytime. She leaves him alone with Ali to reconnect. Papa Pope confesses to his new tv daughter that he has no idea what he’s doing. He always thought that Ali and Miles’ mom would take care of these emotional bits, but she died and now no one’s there to light the way. Anyway, he didn’t think he had anything to contribute to the gay parts of Ali’s life. That’s not because he didn’t love her, you know? It’s because he’s old and a minister and what could his daughter possibly find useful in that?

What could she find useful in it? He’s her father. His love is all she needs.

More hugs. More tears.

Home Is Where The Hug Is.

I can’t help it. I love this show.


9-1-1 205: “Awful People”

Written by Natalie

When we last checked in with Henrietta “Hen” Wilson, she’d come perilously close to being another entry on our Bury Your Gays list. Thankfully, she escaped relatively unscathed and with a new dog named Paisley. Given a new lease on life, Hen and her family — her wife, Karen, their son, Denny, and Paisley — spend the afternoon in the park with Athena’s ex-husband, Michael, and his son. Hen looks as content as we’ve ever seen her which, of course, means that the rug is about to be pulled out from under her.

Karen and Hen are setting the table for their picnic lunch, as Michael laments how easily Athena’s new boyfriend, Bobby, has connected with his family. Karen reassures Michael that, regardless of what Bobby brings to the table, he’s still the kids’ father. Meanwhile, the boys are playing catch with Paisley, when a stranger approaches and cradles the pup in her arms. Except, it’s not a stranger at all — at least not to Karen and Hen who come rushing over — it’s Eva, Hen’s ex-wife and Denny’s birth mother. The couple rushes the boys back to the picnic table and confronts Eva.

Karen reminds Eva that she’s not Denny’s real mother because she signed away all her rights when he was born. Eva readily acknowledges that fact, but then points across the street to a six-foot tall loophole: Denny’s biological father, Nathaniel, who Eva always claimed she never knew and who never signed away any of his rights. She promises that the next time they cross paths, it’ll be in court.

Days later, Karen gets the confirmation that she’s been dreading: Nathaniel is definitely Denny’s biological father. She chastises Hen for bringing Eva back into their lives and threatening their family once again. Once Karen storms out, Denny comes in trying to figure out why his mom is so upset; he wonders if it’s his fault for talking to strangers at the park, but Hen assures him it’s not.

“Can you fix the bad thing like you fix people at work?” Denny asks in that cute and innocent way that kids do. I expect Hen to respond with some platitude to placate him in that way parents do — something optimistic but with just enough wiggle room that when/if things go bad, it’s not really a lie — but, nope. Instead, she says, “Yeah. Don’t you worry, little man. Mama’s gonna fix everything.”

Well, now I’m worried.

Hen tracks down Eva at the local liquor store and watches as she scores some drugs in the parking lot. Cool, I think, she’s going to call the cops and get Eva busted for possession. That would’ve made sense, but I forgot that this is Ryan Murphy’s world that we’re in and things never happen that cleanly there. Instead, Hen follows Eva home and, after taking a call from an apologetic Karen, goes up to her apartment and bangs on the door. She arrives just in time to hear Eva collapse on the floor, having overdosed on whatever it was she just bought. Hen kicks in the door and checks Eva’s pulse. She reaches for her phone to call for help, as Eva chokes on her own vomit, but Hen hesitates. She knows her life would be easier if Eva died and, for a minute, Hen considers walking out to leave her there.

Of course, our hero turns back. She calls 9-1-1 and waits as the paramedics administer naloxone to bring her ex back to life. Eva’s convinced this means Hen loves her, but Hen just stuck around long enough to tell Eva that her parole officer will be waiting for her at the hospital. Eva’s heading back to prison, and while part of me is glad to see this plot device put to bed, I’m a bit remiss that 9-1-1 didn’t do more with this character. She may have been a hot, hot mess, but Hen once loved her. There had to be something redeemable about her and I wish they’d shown more of that.

The issue with Denny’s biological father resolves itself neatly — turns out, Nathaniel’s not a bad guy and is willing to follow Hen and Karen’s lead about visitation with Denny — and I’m left to wonder what crazy twist Ryan Murphy will involve Nathaniel next.


All American 102: “99 Problems”

Written by Natalie

Spencer James met Tamia “Coop” Cooper on the first day of Little League. They were just six years old. Her hair tucked into her baseball cap, no one even knew Coop was a girl. She struck Spence — already the most gifted athlete in the neighborhood — out three times that day (or just twice, if he’s telling the story). When everyone discovered there was a girl beneath that cap, they told Coop she had to go play in the girls’ league. Everyone, that is, except Spencer James. He protested, refusing to play without Coop — “if she go, I go” — and because they needed him, Coop got to stay.

Spence and Coop’s friendship began that day on the baseball diamond and while they’ve both changed a lot since then, the fundamental dynamics of their friendship have remained the same: Coop gets to be who she wants to be —  the girl playing baseball on a boys’ team or a soft stud flirting with the local gangbanger’s girlfriend — and Spence protects her. The day that Spencer James decides to leave Crenshaw, that protection is gone and Coop has to find a way to survive without it.

When Coop encourages Spencer to take advantage of the opportunity that awaits him in Beverly Hills, she knows what she’s giving up, even if he doesn’t. On a midweek visit to Crenshaw, Spence spots Coop getting out of the aforementioned local gangbanger’s car. Spence jumps back into the role he’s always had in Coop’s life and warns Shawn to stay away from Coop, his house and his family. For a moment, Coop lets herself believe that it’s possible — that even with Spence gone, she can still move through the world as herself without any protection — but Shawn is quick to remind her that she needs him now.

At this point, I can’t help but wonder: needs him for what? At least thus far in All American, the only real threat to Coop’s safety has been Shawn. Is she supposed to join his crew so he won’t beat her up? When Coop opts not to roll with his crew, he seems disappointed but not threatening. Are there other folks out there threatening Coop and, if so, who are they and why haven’t we seen them? While I hate the thought of seeing Coop imperiled, the stakes to the decision she’s forced to make don’t seem real right now. Show, not tell, All American; show, not tell.

Spencer’s shown Shawn exactly how to press his buttons and so, of course, the first chance he gets, that’s exactly what Shawn does. He buys Spencer’s little brother a comic book and the moment Spence finds out, he tracks Shawn down at the playground. Spencer talks a bit too much trash and Shawn socks him in the ribs. Before Spence can fight back, someone pulls a gun out, forcing Spence to back down. When Coop shows up, she promises to roll with Shawn’s crew if they just fall back and Shawn acquiesces. The evidence of how much the dynamics of Coop’s friendship with Spencer have changed is laid bare: now she has to protect him and his future. He resists her protection, but Coop knows this is just how it has to be now, “You cannot save the world, Spencer. You got to save yourself.”

As promised, Coop shows up to hang with Shawn’s crew. He asks her to deliver a package to an apartment. She’s older now, her face weathered by the stresses of life, but I imagine the Coop that steps out of Shawn’s car — with a red baseball jersey and a matching red snapback, pulled low — looks very much like the six year old that met Spence that day at Little League. Only this time, she’s signing up for a far more dangerous lifetime commitment.

Turns out, though, that the package that Shawn has Coop deliver only had food in it – a delivery for the grandmother of one of Shawn’s crew that’s doing a bid upstate. The show settles into a narrative about Coop’s flirtation with gang life that makes far more sense than the protection angle they’ve espoused for 1.5 episodes now: Coop can finally link up with a crew that, no matter what, will never leave her behind. With Spencer gone and knowing the threat that coming out might pose at home, it makes sense that Coop would be drawn to a new family. I wish the show had started with this story.

When Spence and Coop reconnect, he lets her know he’s worried about her.

“You don’t need to be. You need to stop worrying about everybody else,” Coop tells him, as they rock gently on the playground swings. “I got it handled, for real this time, but you got to trust me.”

He does, even if he shouldn’t, and they settle back into the easy rapport that they’ve been building for most of their lives.


How to Get Away With Murder 504: “It’s Her Kid”

Written by Natalie

Tegan’s face lights up when she spots Annalise across the dance floor and she rushes over to greet her future girlfriend colleague. Annalise’s nerves hit as Tegan approaches; this is stupid, she says, backing away. Annalise retreats to the bar to take in all the scenery — and, of course, to reflect on the Bonnie bomb Nate dropped in her lap earlier — until Tegan struts over, intent on getting her scissoring partner co-worker on the dance floor.

“You didn’t drag your ass down here to be wallpaper,” Tegan says. “Get out of your head and in your body.”

Sometimes I wonder if Tegan knows that Annalise is queer or vice versa. I keep thinking they must not know. There’s no reason to believe that Michaela’s told Annalise about Tegan and Annalise kept her relationship with Eve so secretive, it feels like I imagined it most days. Besides, surely, if they both knew the other was queer, they would’ve boned by now, right? But, after Annalise beams at Tegan at the bar and Tegan tells Annalise to “get out of your head and in your body,” there cannot be a single shred of doubt in either of their heads about the other one’s intentions. This is happening, people. It’s only a matter of time.

That is, of course, unless Michaela plays spoiler. She wakes up at home with monster hangover and Laurel climbing into her bed to offer her electrolytes (this is a thing that straight girls do, right?). Laurel asks Michaela what happened. She admits she was drinking excessively to try and get over Tegan. That’s not me playing with words or injecting some fanfiction into my recaps, Michaela literally says, “I drank to get over her.” Pete Nowalk is not fuckin’ around with subtext.

The Keating 4 arrive at Caplan & Gold later that morning and there’s a huge display of cheeseburger and fries awaiting the interns. It looks like heaven to a hungover Michaela who rushes to the table and inhales a burger. The firm is hosting the CEO of Ruthie’s Burgers today and Michaela — who worked at a Ruthie’s Burgers when she was a teenager — volunteers to assist, despite the fact that the franchise is facing a boycott for violations of their employees’ civil rights. When the CEO arrives at C&G, she’s thrilled to discover that a former employee has overcome the odds and Michaela takes the opportunity to butter up the CEO. Tegan rolls her eyes and Emmett goes to introduce Ruth Stephenson to their Supreme Court-winning attorney, Annalise Keating. The interaction seems innocent at first but then it goes ALL THE WAY WRONG.

After noting that Annalise is even lovelier in person than on the news, Ruth notes that her hair is different than the last time she saw her… and, as she wonders aloud if Annalise’s hair is real, she reaches out to touch it. SHE REACHES OUT TO TOUCH ANNALISE’S HAIR. It happens so fast on screen, but at home, I’m screaming “NOOOOOOO!” at my TV like it’s playing in slow motion.

“What the hell are you doing?!” Annalise asks, as she ducks out of Ruth’s reach. Ruth apologizes and assures Annalise she meant it as a compliment, but AK is, rightly, having absolutely none of that. She responds gruffly and retreats to her office. Poor Tegan has to work so hard to stifle her laughter as she ushers the CEO off for coffee. Me too, Tegan, me too.

With the partnership between C&G and Ruthie’s seeming even less likely now, Michaela swoops in with an idea to blackmail Ruth. Michaela remembers how the chain forced their employees to violate labor laws by clocking out for break and thinks the threat of a class action will be enough to bring Ruth’s business to the firm. Tegan’s reticient — there’s no proof of any of these violations — and Michaela pledges to get some before the final meeting with the CEO tomorrow.

Ultimately, Tegan doesn’t need her help. She secures Ruthie’s business, making her the African-American face of the business’ new legal team — and, literally, throws all the work that Michaela stayed up the whole night doing in the trash. Tegan was testing Michaela to see if she’d do the real work necessary to build a case.

“Does this mean you don’t hate me anymore?” the still thirsty Michaela asks as Tegan walks past.

“Yesterday, I hated you at 10. Today, you’re an 8.”

Michaela is elated! She beams, in much the same way Annalise did at the bar. Her quest to get back in Tegan’s favor, by any means necessary, is just beginning.

Also, in case you missed it, this episode was awash in purple, intentionally so, for #SpiritDay.


You 106: “Amour Fou”

Written by Heather

Well, Peach Salinger did not die of overdosing. Neither did she die of getting smashed in the head by a rock. Unfortunately, reader, she did die. It was by her own gun! At the hands of Gossip Girl himself, Dan Humphrey! I didn’t want to be right about it, but I also didn’t see a way around it, on account of You being both the least Googlable and most problematic show of 2018. It happened thus:

Peach is recovering from Dan walloping her in the head with Beck at her side. She, of course, does not look like she has nearly died twice within the week. She looks like Shay Mitchell, only more aggrieved. She knows Dan did this shit to her, just like she knows he stole her book, just like she knows he’s stolen her laptop, just like she knows he’s stalking Beck. She’s using her near-death experience to do something about that last thing, keeping Beck with her for healing purposes and sending Dan away when he has the gall to arrive with well wishes. “Male energy in my healing space just isn’t optimal,” she correctly proclaims.

Dan decides basically right then he’s gotta kill her some more. Well, actually, it seems like maybe he’s just 75 percent convinced he’s got to murder her another time, but then she’s getting ready to whisk Beck upstate and away to Paris for some recovery and also some lesbianism, and then he decides she’s just gotta die. He tries to tell Beck that Peach is in love with her and manipulating her and etc. but she doesn’t believe him. He gets so mad! Like he wants her to be good at sussing out stalkers?

While Dan is inexplicably dressing in the clothes he saved from the dead body of Artisanal Soda Jerk Chad and driving to do his homicide, Peach decides she’s gonna make a play for Beck. For starters, there’s MDMA.

That’s it. That’s the plan. MDMA. They get high and Peach kisses Beck and Beck’s like, “Whoa, Dan Humphrey totally said you’re gay for me, but I didn’t believe him!” She bounces to an entirely different room of Peach’s upstate mansion to dance alone in the dark, but not before Peach rightly calls Dan “trash” and then hilariously tells Beck to go “slum it with the proletariat.” Then she fucks the MDMA guy. Sad.

During this adequate sexual encounter, Dan leaves his DNA literally all over Peach’s house, including in the form of his own pee. Oh, also his blood. He got into a little car accident because of a deer. Anyway, at some point he slips into a hallucination about his ex-girlfriend due to the blood loss or some pain medication or I don’t even know — and wakes up to Peach beating the devil out of him. He’s like, “You’re a stalker.” And she’s like, “You’re a stalker!” He tells her to go to Paris, she tells him to go fuck himself. They wrestle with Peach’s gun and Peach gets killed for real.

Joe, of course, frames it as a suicide. (Well, “frames.” His jar of piss is still in the house.)

I didn’t really care for this show, but I do hope Shay Mitchell plays a bitchy lesbian again soon!


Quick Hits

The Purge 107: “Lovely Dark and Deep“

We ended last week’s episode on a cliffhanger where Lil Santon, apparently not dead after all, showed up on Rick and Jenna’s door, begging for her life. Can you believe it, Potato Sack Rick actually tries to take his time deciding whether or not to let her in? Of course you can believe it. BECAUSE HE IS THE WORST.

He eventually relents, but – surprise twist! – Lila isn’t the only person let in that night. Jenna and Rick’s neighbor, Ross, also slides right on through. You see, Ross is the kind of person who takes advantage of Purge Night to settle small, petty shit. It’s not about institutional racism or sexism or any other higher purpose for him. He’s pissed because Rick and Jenna sometimes park in front of his house. Why? Because “in this country, you can’t make your neighbor move. But you can Purge.” Wow. Whatever you say, buddy.

Anyway, Ross dies, so ultimately he isn’t relevant to anything. While the crew murders their potential murderer, Jenna decides that she can’t live in this house anymore. Fair enough, if you ask me. Meanwhile, Rick keeps pulling apart Lila’s grand escape tale from the Stanton mansion. In the end, the threesome make a pact to wait out the rest of the Purge Night together in safety. Both Rick and Lila take one of sleeping Jenna’s hands, Jenna ultimately rests her head on Lila’s shoulder, while he seethes with jealousy. Their tension isn’t over, but for now there’s at least an (uncomfortable) ceasefire.

PS: Jane murdered her sexual assaulter, Trump bro, boss. It was glorious. I think she’s going to feel bad about it later, but I sure as hell don’t. – Carmen

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

The TV has written 51 articles for us.

19 Comments

  1. I was pleasantly surprised by Miles’ sister being, and what’s more, the girlfriend is Britne Oldford. I’ve loved her since “Ravenswood”, and I’m glad that she’s getting work. Hopefully it’s steady work. But I have to say, there’s one thing that’s REALLY bringing me down about the show. The pilot was great, with the way that they wrapped the storylines back around to have them interconnected. I love that Byzantine plotting stuff. I liked the chemistry that the two leads had, but I didn’t want them together. For one, I wanted Violet Beane to be gay, and two, I was afraid that they wouldn’t be able to pull off a romance between the two leads and I was right. The writers are using one of the romance plot devices that I hate the most: instead of having the two organically come together based on chemistry between the leads, they’re having everyone around them hint at how the two are in love. I hope they stop that, or I’m going to have to stop watching.

  2. I never watched You,for obvious reasons, but i hope every single role/character Shay Mitchell will play for the rest of her career will be a lesbian. I can’t imagine heterosexuality when i think of Shay Mitchell. They don’t go together in my mind.

  3. “Luke Cage” got canceled today, “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders” was already canceled, so now I’m worried about “Jessica Jones”. I’m fairly certain that we’ll get season three as it’s almost or already done shooting. I just want Trishica to become canon before they close it down.

  4. I hate that I got so invested in Jenna/Lila, ugh. I can’t imagine how this could possibly end in any way I like. (I’m hoping for a complete plot twist that would somehow unable it, but….)

    I so badly want to believe Lila is sincere. Or at least not the bad guy. I don’t doubt her love for Jenna but everything else is a bit shady. Last week I thought Lila could possibly be a part of the Resistance but after this week’s episode it doesn’t seem so likely. Unless she’s really playing it.

    Also, if the Stanton parents are dead, doesn’t that mean that Lila has now inherited all the money? Should give Rick enough of a reason to be extra nice to her.

    • I can’t see anything bad about Lila, other that she may be planning to kill Rick to get Lila, but who cares^^ Seriously though, I don’t really see anything shady about Lila’s story and I really hope she and Jenna end up together without Rick, because he gets more annoying every episode.

  5. HTGAWM is doubling down on Michaela and Tegan in my opinion. Michaela is starting to sound more and more like an ex-lover.

    I love Tegan and Annaliese in scenes together. Both women are so dynamic that it’s hard to choose who to focus on. I think they have great work chemistry and fight chemistry but I haven’t seen enough of them in quieter/intimate scenes to make me think they have sexual chemistry. I also think it’s possible they have no idea of each other’s queerness. But I also could see Annaliese knowing about Tegan’s because she tends to research people she’s up against.

    So henceforward I’m choosing to view Tegan and Michaela’s dynamic through the lens of a Dom-Sub because the thirst is strong with Michaela.

  6. I am here for whatever completely misguided Annalise/Tegan hook up situation HTGAWM wants to throw at us. Because I feel like it’s going to happen.

    I am also here for Michaela’s sexual awakening in the form of her first crush on a completely unattainable woman. It’s like the queer-girl-crushes-on-straight-girl trope turned on its head and I LOVE IT.

  7. In reference to God Friended Me, Corny is not the word I can use.

    I’m sorry, as an Atheist myself, I can’t watch some show with what I’m sure is a badly portrayed atheist, being contacted by a supposed supernatural being. It feels really insulting, because mainstream TV being what it is, I’m certain that the end of the show isn’t going to be him happy and relieved that he figured out who was tricking him, and how there never was anything supernatural going on in the first place.

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