Boob(s On Your) Tube: Shondaland Is Back And More Traumatic Than Ever

When I got my start writing for AfterEllen in the summer of 2008, we held all of our lesbian and bisexual pop culture news for our Friday column, Best.Lesbian.Week.Ever, and we wrote about non-gay things lesbians liked to talk about five or six times a day on our blog. Every writer produced a single story for our weekly column; it was a scramble every week to try to come up with something. The intense panic I felt on Thursday afternoons if only five lesbian/bi pop culture stories had surfaced and I hadn’t claimed one yet would practically have me breathing into a paper bag. Everything was news! Everything! Every celebrity who breathed the word “lesbian,” every time two women brushed their lips together on sweeps week. I will never in all my life forget the way my heart almost banged its way out of my chest when I stood in line at Kroger to buy Ellen and Portia’s wedding issue of People. Lesbians, in love, on the cover of a popular entertainment magazine! I cried so hard on the way home, I had to pull my car over.

The landscape of queer pop culture (and the internet) has shifted so drastically since then that the methods of 2008 are almost unrecognizable. News moves a hundred times as fast, is delivered through social media platforms more than anything else, and gay people are everywhere.

One of the most dramatic things I’ve ever watched is the evolution of queer women on TV over the last eight years. When I started writing about queer pop culture, there wasn’t a single lesbian or bisexual woman on broadcast network TV, and certainly there were no trans women. Now, it seems like queer women on TV are everywhere. On broadcast TV and network TV, on talkshows and reality shows. Shows that portray us well are nominated for all kinds of prestigious awards. And celebrities are out and about in real life, coming out on Instagram like it’s no big deal and kissing their wives and girlfriends all over the place.

It’s not just TV that has changed. When Television Without Pity closed its doors in 2014, it signaled the end of a culture of recapping that basically birthed the modern day internet. I remember thinking at the time that if a website backed by NBCUniversal couldn’t sustain play-by-play, scene-by-scene, exhaustive recaps written by some of the most skilled and celebrated TV writers the internet had ever seen, what hope did anyone else have? The way we write and talk about TV — not just “we” as in “queer women,” but “we” as in “the internet at large” — has changed almost as much as TV itself over the last several years. TWoP writers had a week to write a full recap of the shows they covered. A week. Can you even imagine?

What I’m building to is this: I have watched and written about a lot of really good queer TV over the past year. But I have also spent hundreds of hours watching and writing about TV that, in total, probably added up to about half an hour’s worth of quality queer content. Yeah, there were over 150 lesbian, bisexual and trans women on TV in 2015 — but only a fraction of those characters were written into engaging, feel-it-in-your-guts stories. We’re making solid strides, numerically. But in terms of quality, we’ve still got mountains to move. We need more leading queer women; we need more queer women of color; we need more three-dimensional trans women; we need more nuanced portrayals of queer couples; we need our sweeping, breathtaking, long-game Pam and Jim; and our short-game laughs-a-lot Cam and Mitchell.

And so we’ve decided that we’re no longer going to adhere to that old recapping model we inherited. We’re not going to write about every thing every character ever does, as long as she hinted at having a crush on another woman at some point in her life. We’re going to usher in the dawn of a new age of writing about queer women on TV.

We’re going write smart, exciting, critical analysis of queer things on TV. And we’re going to expand our coverage to engage in smart dialogue about feminist things on TV too. I can’t tell you how it pains me that I’ve spent ten hours watching Rosewood for five minutes of good gay stuff, instead of writing four awesome articles about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Person of Interest, and Supergirl. Feminist TV is about to have its day. So, going forward, you can expect to see at least one really solid, really timely, really informed TV piece per week on this website. And we’re going to write fun stuff that’ll make you giggle too!

I will be recapping Pretty Little Liars through the end of season six (and that will be the end of it, if the show doesn’t pull out of the nose-dive it’s in with Emily’s storylines), and I’ll continue recapping The Fosters. Riese will recap Faking It. And collectively we’re going to dig into Orange Is the New Black in a new way this summer. Boob(s On Your) Tube will hit our site on Tuesdays and Fridays; instead of covering everything every week, however, we’ll only be covering shows that have proven they have substantial queer content and are dedicated to being good and real with their queer audiences. We love our shows with queer guest stars, don’t get me wrong, but there are better ways for us to write about them. Shows with minimal queer content will be relegated to short round-ups in the final Boob(s On Your) Tube column of the month.

Our goal is to stop adding to the noise and getting distracted by the status quo, and to move the conversation forward so that we can move the culture forward. We’re not rewarding half-assed effort, dubious storytelling, or shows that are obviously just checking that “diversity” box. Queer TV’s getting good, we’re going to make it even better.


Grey’s Anatomy

Thursdays on ABC at 8:00 p.m.

Written by Aja

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Well, it could be worse. I could be a lesbian living in Rosewood.

Meredith’s hair looks incredible. Better even than the night of the awful horrible unspeakable dinner party. You almost don’t notice the fading, still angry wound at her throat as she’s standing in front of a room full of residents, cadaver beneath her gloved hands. It isn’t just her eyes that are alert, it’s her entire body, her face; the kind of intensity most people would squirm away from. As she questions them, she narrates to the viewers at home:

“The female voice is scientifically proven to be more difficult for a male brain to register. What does this mean? It means, in this world, where men are bigger, stronger, faster, if you’re not ready to fight, the silence will kill you.”

And then we’re somewhere else, a horrific car accident with an overturned big rig has turned Karev’s carpool route into a parking lot. When a handful of fire engines and ambulances speed past, Grey and Pierce are out of the car and rushing toward the scene, with Karev shouting, “This is a bad idea” as he joins them. Seconds later they emerge from ambulances with broken patients at the entrance of Grey-Sloan Memorial. You almost miss it, but there are more terrible screams and cracking bones than usual in the ER, but it’s critical. Grey’s working on a patient in Trauma 1 with a handful of others; he’s an affable, middle-aged guy in town with his wife and kids to visit his sister, caught in the accident on the way to the Space Needle. He’s cracking corny dad jokes while they clean him up and wait for neuro, but a seizure takes him mid-sentence. After it passes, Grey moves quickly between performing tests on him, now unconscious, and making updates to his chart. Gradually the trauma room empties as the others go about their tasks, and they’re alone. Something’s off again, even though doctors are alone in rooms with patients all the time — the ambient noise never sounds like this at Grey-Sloan, but right now it’s terrifying.

The patient comes to while Grey’s back is turned, he’s silent and confused, and a temporary but violent fugue state overtakes him as she tries to calm him and guide him back to the hospital bed. It all happens seemingly in a vacuum; the room is surrounded by dozens of people who can’t hear the melee above the roar of a bustling ER, and while the ordinariness of a woman being assaulted by a man is chilling, the context is what sucks the air out of your lungs in this scene. It’s Meredith, whom we love, a woman who despite her faults and weaknesses is not ever helpless or not strong (or alone, for that matter), a woman devoted to saving lives, and she’s on the brink of having hers extinguished by a stranger in an act of senseless brutality. Only seconds ago they were doctor and patient, trading the warm and knowing smiles of doting parents, and suddenly we’re watching a scene unfold in which a white woman is viciously attacked by a black man twice her size.

Everything is unbearable when we return to Trauma 1. The patient is seizing on the floor a few feet behind Grey, who is beaten, unable to hear or move, whimpering on the floor. I feel actual anguish crumpling my brain into a ball and drop-kicking it off a cliff, it’s seriously too much, the dissonance of the scene with reality. Penny finds her, and in the next beat every surgeon is working over her, trying to assess her condition. Karev winces back tears with his hands on his friend. Webber is in expert crisis mode. Shepherd drops by thinking she’s just responding to a page and promptly slides down a wall to the floor in a state of shock, catatonic and broken while they slice Meredith open to drain her collapsed lung, her limbs dislocated and fractured, her brain concussed, her dislocated jaw cracked open.

(I’m weeping uncontrollably at this point and can’t get a hold of myself, so my wife makes me take a walk.)

Meredith lives. Her hearing is still lost so we, as the audience, lose ours as well. We see her self-medicate through a long and bruised recovery, her jaw wired shut, multiple casts, more surgery. She can’t hear them but she can see them all fighting around her; they argue about how to treat her, Amelia’s guilt sends her flying back into addiction, Webber plays gatekeeper and Karev keeps vigil by her side, day and night. Eventually, they take her PCA away. When Penny finally offers her a mirror, Meredith signals instead for her chart, which proves too grim for her to bear.

We find out her hearing’s returned when the silence turns to her sobbing. She improves steadily but too slowly; the patient who attacked her has already been released and wants to reach out to her, a visit from the kids is disastrous — they’re terrified when they see their mom’s mouth wired shut and Karev and Arizona reluctantly whisk them away. Desperate to be near her children again, Mere suffers a severe panic attack alone and clawing at her own chest, unable to breathe. When Penny once again finds her in distress, she takes the risk of cutting off Meredith’s wires right then and there, infuriating Avery. In what I hope is a pivotal moment in her arc, Penny roars back at him in defense of the call she’s made, in defense of her patient, and he backs off. After six weeks, Meredith is still bedridden and in a fixed rage.

On a sunny day, Webber wheels her into the light to speak of forgiveness and letting go. Mute, immobile, hurting, unable to run off again, she’s consumed with anger and despair and her own helpless needing, about all of it, everything: the attack, yes, but also Derek, Penny, Amelia, the acute misery of knowing you cannot protect your children from all pain and suffering, the relentless gift and indignity of life from a thousand shattered angles. She at last agrees to meet with the patient and his family; her wires come off and she can speak again.Amelia is 30 days sober and the two are reconciled; Meredith’s casts are removed and she is able to stand again. And after taking a moment to confront the horror of Trauma 1, Grey goes home again. She sends Karev back to Jo and holds her babies close in a messy, sun-filled pile of books and blankets on the couch, and leaves us with this:

“Don’t let fear keep you quiet. You have a voice, so use it. Speak up. Raise your hands, shout your answers, make yourself heard. Whatever it takes, just find your voice and when you do, fill the damn silence.”


How to Get Away With Murder

Thursdays on ABC at 10:00 p.m.

Written by Sadie

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What Would Slytherin Dumbledore Do?

It’s that time again, time to almost kind of sort of get away with murder. This week brought to you by feverdreams! Seriously, there is a good portion of this episode that may or may not have even occurred, so I’ll just get into it. Two weeks have passed since the incident in the mansion; Annalise is sleeping off her gunshot wound when a distraught woman who heard about how much of a badass Annalise was knocks on her door and basically shoves a baby into her arms. Annalise, being a recent gunshot victim and busy full-time attorney, declines to accept the responsibility of a child but the woman insists and runs away.

Annalise calls Bonnie to come and get the baby so she can finish her work. She hands them off to Bonnie and we see that i’’s just a clump of blankets. Womp womp! It was all a feverdream, or drug-induced hallucination, or perhaps Annalise stepped into a Pensieve without knowing it, it’s hard to tell. Bonnie decides to drug Annalise further in order to stop hearing about the baby and get back to whatever shady scheme she’ll be involved in later in the season

Meanwhile the rest of the team is business as usual, dealing with the aftermath of the event at the mansion. Asher is still obsessed with finding out what happened to his dad. Michaela tries some of her smoothest talking yet but fails because almost no one’s falling for any of the team’s BS anymore. And Annalise’s 911 call is thrown out of court, forcing her to testify.

At this point in the show it’s impossible to tell who is on who’s side and what the ultimate endgame is, but Annalise convinces the brother who then convinces his sister to take the heat and face a smaller punishment.

A not-all-together there Annalise stumbles her way into court and begins to do what she does best: manipulate everyone around her. It’s unclear whether or not it’s intentional but she fumbles over her words, appearing to almost lose the case and manages to get all of her testimony thrown out.

The sister then confesses to everything and it seems that we are done with these psudo-incestual lovers, at least for now.

Annalise comes home to find Wes laying in her bed, with a bottle of pills, contemplating taking his own life. Wes confronts Annalise and then comes at her, so she threatens him with a statue, which we all know in this universe is a pretty common weapon, so you know she means business.

Now we see ten years earlier: Annalise is pregnant and meets that same distraught woman from before. She is with her son, Wes or Christoph. So who’s baby was the women trying to give away? was it Annalise’s? Where is it now? How is Eve connected? Did Eve and Annalise decide to have a baby together (please be the case!)? Did any of this episode actually happen at all? Will we find out next week? Probably not.


The 100

Thursdays on The CW at 9:00 p.m.

Written by Karly

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Is she a woman or a warrior?!

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Every day, she’s both.

The next day after Fealty Night, Lexa and Clarke are back in the ceremony room with all the other ambassadors sitting in their respective seats. Guards bring in the Ice Queen who looks at Clarke with absolute disgust. Titus wants to sentence the Queen to death immediately, but before he can, the Queen calls a Vote of No Confidence. When, in these hundreds years of surviving and building that giant tower did they learn Robert’s Rules of Order? One by one all the ambassadors vote. Except Clarke. If the vote is not unanimous, that means Lexa is safe. But the Queen challenges Lexa to a champion’s duel to the death. Her champion is her son Roan, who is inexplicably out of jail again, but Lexa won’t pick a champion: she will fight Roan herself. Clarke is rightfully horrified.

Lexa has some confidence and swagger we haven’t seen before. If she wins, everything is safe. If she loses, one of her Nightblood padawans will take her place. We find out that nightblood literally means their blood is dark as night, and that’s how Grounders know they’ve been marked to be trained for commandership.

Lexa has prepared for both outcomes, but she definitely thinks she’ll win. She’s hurt Clarke doesn’t have the same faith. But Clarke doesn’t understand not being afraid of death. So she pleads with Lexa to find another way, pleads with Titus to convince her, pleads with Roan to defy his mother, and eventually tries to assassinate the queen herself. “For her people” she says, yeah okay. Even though Lexa had one of her padawans, the best fighter from last week’s episode, promise to protect the 13th clan. Sure, Clarke.

Eventually, Clarke runs out of ideas. Lexa knows her, and knows she just wants to fix everything. But she can’t fix this. Lexa has to go through with it, and have faith that everything will go according to fate. Clarke refuses and refuses to watch her die. Lexa goes out on the battlefield and she and Roan take their swords. It’s an intense battle but Lexa is savage. She is not going to let this prince take her seat. It looks for a second that she might lose and Clarke, who showed after all, looks crazy worried “for her people.” Lexa knocks Roan down, but throws a spear through the Ice Queen. She says “The queen is dead, long live the King.” This is our Heda and I swear fealty a thousand times.

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Would you be my Valentine … for as long as we both shall live?

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That night, Lexa goes to Clarke’s bedroom and they’re both wearing really floaty nightgowns. Why do I have a tummy ache? You can see Lexa’s long legs and tattoos and I don’t know how Clarke can concentrate on wrapping a bandage around Lexa’s hand. Ahem. Lexa wants to thank Clarke (yeah she does) for having her back. Clarke repeats she did it for her people. But I think Lexa knows the truth because she smiles a little before saying good night to her “ambassador” and leaving. Lexa will earn a place back in Clarke’s heart, even if it takes a while. She can already see it happening.

In the dark ages of television there were only straight couples. Each show had one, and this couple would have “book-end” scenes. They start the action in the beginning and then sum up and recover from the action at the end. It’s still like this today.

For three episodes in a row, Lexa and Clarke have had a book-end scene. Never have I felt that a queer relationship has been given so much respect and importance in a mainstream show. This is our Book End Couple. It’s going to be a slow-burn, and I have been waiting for it for a really long time.

On another note, Arkadia is going through some shit. Pike and his Farm Station henchpeople won’t stop blaming grounders for the Ice Nation attack on Mount Weather. Pike quickly recruits a grieving Bellamy to his cause and they plan to murder a Grounder army Lexa sent to protect them. Strike them first before they strike, Pike says. Lincoln and Octavia could leave, but Lincoln wants to be the example of a “good Grounder.” Unfortunately, no one backs him up.

Kane and Abby stop the attack, but Pike has stirred up so much anti-Grounder fury that he is elected Chancellor instead of Kane. His first order of business is to destroy Lexa’s grounder army. I’m mostly disappointed and infuriated with Bellamy. He’s spent more time on the ground, he saw what Finn did, and he was literally patting Lincoln on the back weeks ago. But in the absence of true leadership (like Clarke for instance), Bellamy will follow anyone talking loud enough. And Pike yells a lot.

Lastly, Jasper has reached Peak Insufferability. Even Monty decided he wasn’t going to put up with this shit anymore. So hopefully Jasper gets it together. We finally meet Miller’s boyfriend for a second and he’s super cute. Let’s hope Miller and his boyfriend aren’t on Pike’s side, because I don’t think Heda and her Ambassador will put up with Pike for long.


New Boob(s On Your) Tube Schedule (For Now)

TUESDAYS

Jane the Virgin (airs Monday)
Scream (airs Wednesday, returns Apr. 20)
Younger (airs Thursday)
Top Chef (airs Thursday)

FRIDAYS

How to Get Away With Murder (airs Thursday, written by Sadie)
Grey’s Anatomy (airs Thursday, written by Aja)
The 100 (airs Thursday, written by Karly)
Empire (airs Wednesday, returns March 30, written by Carolyn W.)

ONCE A MONTH

Once Upon a Time* (airs Sunday, written by Kaelyn)
Black Sails* (airs Sunday)
The Walking Dead* (airs Sunday)
Vampire Diaries* (airs Thursday)
Grandfathered* (airs Tuesdays)
Arrow* (airs Thursday)
Legends of Tomorrow* (airs Thursday)
Code Black* (airs Wednesday)
Broad City* (airs Wednesday, written by Riese)

* When there’s queer stuff.

If a show introduces a new queer characters, I’ll write about it in the first Boobs Tube after it airs, toss it in the monthly column, and if it proves to be good quality representation, it can have a weekly spot. It’s a new day, y’all. Get excited!

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer 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 954 articles for us.

79 Comments

  1. Hooray! Thanks for helping separate the wheat from the chaff and driving us toward a new dawn of television. *crosses everything that TV exec type people take notice of what is important moving forward*
    P.S. Wholeheartedly agree with nosedive analogy and response. Such a damn shame. Ah well, we’ll always have Christmas 2014.

  2. This post is just SO GOOD it is going to require 4 separate comments from me.

    #1. Heather, THANK YOU. Seriously, thank you. And thank you to the entire Autostraddle team for caring so much and for putting in so much hard work to give these things to us. I miss TWoP every damn day, but you guys are literally doing the Lord’s work. I am SO EXCITED for everything that this column is becoming.

  3. #2 Aja, that was BEAUTIFUL. I was really unhappy with the episode, just because it felt so UNNECESSARY to hurt Meredith so badly yet again, the girl has been through ENOUGH (not to mention Amelia, and the poor children, my god). With the dramatic music, and lack thereof, and the not being able to hear, and the crying, god, it was the worst parts of the emotional manipulation Grey’s Anatomy is so good at. But your recap made it so much better.

  4. #3 Sadie, I’m glad that you were also unable to make heads or tails of this episode. I hope next week clarifies a few things, because this week was kind of just a lot of rehash of the winter finale (which, tbh, I really needed because I totally forgot what had happened). I really like Laurle being totally boss and seemingly taking over as the new Bonnie. And puppy not being so puppyish anymore! It’s a much better look for him, honestly.

  5. I was making strangled guinea pig noises when Lexa walked out of that door instead of uh, staying.
    The way the scene was shot, the nightgowns, the bandaging, I felt like someone had read a few fanfictions and tongue in cheek punk’d us lovingly by having Lexa leave.
    Dear TV producers out there:
    Teasing your Lesbian audience: That’s how it’s done.
    Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli sleeping over,etc.etc:Nope.
    P.S.: My heart broke a little bit (very much) when Lexa made sure that Aden would still protect Clarke’s people.
    P.P.S.: Star Wars wasn’t out when that ep was shot, therefore, a woman physically overpowering a man in a fight, Lexa did it first.
    P.P.P.S: Just how rad was that Game of Thrones meets graffitied urban concrete setup for that fight scene?
    Great episode.

    • I keep kinda comparing the show with Game of Thrones in my head (like the intro kinda looks similar with the startegic locations) and all I keep thinking is “holy crap this show is awesome ! Look at all these great, nuanced, never naked women! And no rape! It’s like we can have it all!”.

      • One of the reasons I quit Game of Thrones after one season, was because of the way it treated women, it was really upsetting to watch.
        This show,The 100, seems to be the contrary, it’s still gory sometimes and it still kills off lead characters on occasion, but when it does, it’s not for shock value but to illustrate the harsh world they threw their characters into and how hard survival is.
        As for the ladies:One hardly knows which kickass character to pine for anymore!
        Abby, Raven, Octavia, even Gina’s five minutes of screen time were epic.
        And all of them are in such meaningful and developable relationship to one another, just take Octavia and Indra. Who didn’t fistpump at their interaction last episode?

    • I argued with my best friend for a solid 30 minutes about whether peak Lexa attractiveness was Lexa with two swords, or Lexa in that nightgown. We both argued both sides. It was impossible to come to a conclusion.

      • This argument might necessitate a repeated viewing of said scenes to form a viable opinion.*cough*
        But seriously that nightgown, though. I always thought Lexa would be more of a baggy T-Shirt/boxers kind of gal.
        Juxtaposing those two outfits/sides of the Commander in the same episode was very well done,too.
        Indeed.

  6. #4 The 100 just gahhhhhhhhh! Great recap as ever, Karly! There is so much to talk about here! Re: Clexa, I was actually kind of happy they didn’t kiss or have sex in that final scene – they really, truly are the slow burn will-they-or-won’t-they, fight-or-fuck, principle couple of every other show and I love it so damn much.

    Re: Bellamy and Pike, just, ugh. I totally understand why Pike and those from Farm Station act and think the way they do, but Bellamy whyyyyyy? Someone on tumblr compared Pike to Trump, and I just think that comparison is so perfect. But I also understand why the Arkers follow Pike. Abby and Kane having been negotiating for peace, yeah, but they’ve done it so SECRETIVELY. Like, none of the other Arkers know what happened at Polis, they don’t know what Lexa did or said, Abby and Kane initially don’t tell them that a Grounder army is coming to protect them. If they want the Arkers to make peace with the Grounders, they have to be more transparent.

    Finally, re: Jasper. I really don’t understand the hate. His best friends murdered the first girl he ever loved, and all the people who helped him when he was most desperate. Obviously that’s going to fuck him up a bit. He hasn’t murdered a village full of people yet, he’s just developed a bit of a drinking problem. Cut him some slack! This week it did seem like he’d hit rock bottom though, so hopefully he’ll get back to being himself again very soon.

    GOD. Thursdays are a very rough day for gay tv watching! So many feelingsssssss.

    • Yeah Bellamy was the worst this episode like wtf. Stop being a little shit okay?

      I also wonder whether they should have just paused the elections ?… Like elections are never good when everyone is scared obviously. I hope Pike fucks up in a way that doesn’t kill everybody because Desmond (he’ll forever be Desmond from LOST to me) is a good leader.

    • I’m sick of Jasper’s man-pain because there’s a consistent tendency for the guys on The 100 to be externally destructive and recklessly irresponsible whenever they suffer. Raven watched the only boy she’s ever loved be killed by the girl he left her for, but she didn’t sabotage the Ark or shirk her responsibility by roaring “NOBODY UNDERSTANDS MY PAIN AND THEREFORE MUST SUFFER LIKE I DO”. I’m so done with men taking out their pain on other people, so even though I sympathize that Jasper’s loss isn’t legitimized by the others on the show, I was cheering on Monty last night during their argument.

      • “there’s a consistent tendency for the guys on The 100 to be externally destructive and recklessly irresponsible whenever they suffer”

        I don’t disagree with this at all. Finn, Jaha, Murphy, and now Bellamy, all had awful reactions to their personal tragedies. But like I said, Jasper has yet to murder a village full of people. I don’t think we can equate him to Finn, not yet at least. Sure, he’s not nearly as strong as Raven (or Clarke, or Lexa, or Abby, or Anya, or Maya, or any of the incredible female characters on this show who’ve overcome suffering to become true heroes and leaders) but other than that one fist fight, he’s not really taking his man pain out on other people, is he? He’s being more self-destructive than outwardly violent. The only time his destructiveness has turned outward is when his friends try to help him – when Bellamy made him come with them on the jeep ride, when Monty followed him to the drop ship, etc. If he ends up committing a mass murder like Finn did (and like Bellamy will probably do next week) you can absolutely say I told you so, but until he actually hurts someone other than himself, I’m leaning to the side of “everyone grieves in different ways, let’s cut him some slack for a few episodes at least”. But obviously, YMMV.

        • The only reason he hasn’t been more destructive is because he hasn’t been in any positions where he would have access to that kind of destructive power, ya know? He did end up getting the Azgeda scouts killed in the first episode because of his recklessness, because he hasn’t been put in any responsibilities where he could do more damage.

          I think Kane is the only man in power who hasn’t lashed out for his losses…

  7. Over/under on how many outfits Lexa tried on before casually walking over to Clarke’s room?

    On the same vein, if anyone happens to know a place where one could buy that sexy, silky nighty ballgown, help a sister out!

    Raven was my ride or die crush for the last couple seasons, but Lexa with two swords and then in that final scene with those back tattoos and smiling! That’s a hard thing to say no to. I honestly don’t know how Clarke did it. I’ve never had that much self control in my entire life.

  8. 1) Heather I had SHIVERS okay, SHIVERS. I’m so excited by what you guys are going to bring. It’s already so so good but like it’s gonna be even better now ? Wow.

    2) I’m caught up on THE 100 YOU GUYS why did I wait so long YOU WERE ALL RIGHT IT’S SO GOOD. The writing is so excellent. When Lexa killed the Ice Queen instead my mind exploded and I thought “Of course this makes the best sense in terms of strategy it is so smart of her they truly wrote a great warrior commander” and like all the women are strong but aren’t “strong female character” you know and I was thinking how they’ve been writing them on the exact same level as men and so you could pretty much gender swap everyone and it would still be very very consistent (but please don’t gender swap everyone please).

    I’m so happy with this show, like clearly SCI FI is our saviour (between PoI, Orphan Black and this) what a time to be alive I say.

  9. I’m seeing subtext/chemistry gifsets of a yummy-looking pair called “Princess Rover” from the Shannara series? Can anyone give me the down-low? Is it the second coming of Kahra?

    (I’ve also heard that there’s a queer character on Z-Nation, but not necessarily queer content. She definitely has a boyfriend in the first two eps I watched. They also said that the show was racially diverse, and most of the white dudes get killed off, and that was fairly true of the eps I saw.)

    • Basically there’s an elf princess and a Rover girl, someone who makes a living waylaying or tricking travels and stealing their stuff. Together with a half elf boy and the last (probably not actually the last) remaining person who can do magic, they are on a mission to stop the demons from escaping their holding and taking over. One night, they end up at a castle. Rover Girl and elf princess are in a giant pool sized bath together. Elf Princess teases rover girl about rovers jumping into the bed of any man they meet. Rover girl makes direct eye contact,says not just guys, swishes her way over to elf princesses side of the pool and presses up against her and rover girl dares her with “What? afraid you’ll like it?”. Then plot stuff happens, and later on elf princess kisses half elf boy.

      It honestly seemed a little “oooh aren’t we so daring” to me, especially since it’s implied that both elf princess and rover girl have a crush on half elf boy, but it’s a whole new world. Maybe it’ll be something! The show itself is kind of fun but not well written, at all. So if you like real cheesy fantasy take a stab at it, but if not, it’s probably not worth the time.

  10. You say emily’s storylines are taking a nose dive as if they were ever good. I’m not sure how much of it is the writers fault or shay mitchells limited acting abilities. Probably both.

    I’m glad you arent going to recap shows just because of what box it fills. Even if its well intentioned if its poorly written/acted i dont want to watch it.

  11. Awesome Heather! I like this plan. :)

    What I really loved about this episode of The 100 was how they let Lexa be BADASS! All episode long we the audience and Clarke and Titus were really scared for her but got to prove how awesome she is and the show runners made it clear she deserved her status. She didn’t win because she was lucky. No one watching the show can doubt her abilities now.

    Contrast Lexa with Nyssa from Arrow. On paper they’re very similar. Both trained from childhood to be warriors. But Nyssa constantly gets nerfed getting beaten by men who have been warriors for far shorter periods of time. It’s gross.

  12. I’m so excited and wholeheartedly supportive about the decisions for recapping the shows!

    Also, it looks like I’m going to have my slow-burn canon femme couple with Clexa, and oh god, I never ever thought I’d see the day when I’d be obsessively shipping a canon couple that is central to the storyline and respectfully crafted. I never thought we’d get past the Brittana-treatment, at least not so quickly.

    Karly – definitely adopting “Book-End couple” into my vocabulary.

  13. I loved what you said about the “bookend” couple, coming together at the end to process their day. I didn’t think anything a recapper said could make me ship it more, but I was wrong :)

    I thought the bandage scene was super interesting and layered as well — the set up was so sex scene tropey (the amount of candles whenever Clarke & Lexa are alone together never fails to amuse me) but the “Do you ever talk about anything other than your own death?” and Lexa’s almost-amusement at Clarke’s getting flustered and saying goodnight definitely felt like gently poking fun at the fandom while building tension for what I’m sure will be a pretty epic sex scene. The writers are having fun with this, you can tell.

    But it’s not just teasing — I’m loving the opportunity to see Clarke softening to Lexa slowly. The significance of the ambassadors “doing what they thought was right for their people” and Lexa’s understanding of the betrayal got really real for Clarke, and though she’s not quite there yet with Lexa I felt like she was startled by how close she was to getting there.

    I’m stoked for the next few episodes, and though I’m bummed that they’re throwing Bellamy under the bus to prop up the dumb Pike storyline I think it is going to lead to some fascinating dynamics for Clarke & Lexa.

  14. Someone with probably PSTD has reached Peak Insufferability….
    That sounds like some macho get your clit out of the sand and quit whining bullshit I swear I’ve heard somewhere before.
    Not here surely?

    • They all have PTSD though. Jasper is handling it, or not handling it in the worst way possible by endangering other people’s lives, being verbally cruel to Monty, being completely blind to anyone else’s emotions/pain other than his own. Obviously there are reasons he’s acting terribly, but he’s still acting terribly and thoughtlessly.

  15. considering that clarke was about to break down when she thought she was watching roan slice and dice lexa, i was really hoping for at the minimum a kiss. but whats truly infuriating is the bellamy/pike coup. lexa nearly died fighting for her position and i think it wont matter because i cant imagine her keeping her seat after the massacre. and lastly, i think bellamy should defer all his decisions to Octavia, he can be a dangerous idiot sometimes.

  16. I HATED this week’s Grey’s so much. Watching the “scary black man” scene play out was almost unbearable. Did no one think about how that would look? Did they just not care? It seems like such a thoughtless, unnecessary repetition of a certain kind of representation and, ugh.

    Beyond that, it also felt like a lazy way to smooth out some storylines. What was Amelia up to in the time between that scene where she’s at the bar and the time Mer gets beat up? How are Hunt and that one guy doing? Has Arizona met anyone yet? It’s like there were all these stories going on and then the show didn’t know what to do with them, so it more or less cut them all off by creating a new trauma as the story. (And I know there were some hints at various things, but I don’t want hints – I want some buckled down commitment to working through these things).

    • I also wondered why they had to pick a large black actor for the scene. It definitely was reminiscent of racist stereotypes. My wife and I (both of whom have black fathers) were uncomfortable and “joked” about Meredith being freaked out around the black doctors around her right afterwards. Definitely hard to overlook the racial aspect because of the old symbols. :-(

  17. I’m so excited for the new plan for these articles!

    Also love what was said about how clexa are a “bookend” couple – I’d been trying to put my finger on what made me feel so strongly that they were getting the main-ship treatment – this was it.

  18. It looks like General Hospital really is going with a coming out storyline for the Kristina character. I don’t know how you guys would cover it since it’s a soap. Maybe in your monthly column?

    Anyway, so this week Kristina’s parents figure out she must be hiding something because she is back in town with a whole bunch of excuses as to why she can’t go back to school. She comes up with a lie that her parents seem to take her word for. Her sister Molly however has figured out her secret. Molly confronts Kristina and tells her that she’s gay and that she can talk to her about it. Kristina freaks out goes with the “No, YOU ARE GAY!!!!” line of defense. Molly sees through it and tells her she needs to talk to someone. That someone ends up being her gay step-brother Lucas and his boyfriend. She asks them how they knew they were gay and if people have an obligation to “come out”. They both give her very different answers.

    Here are Kristina’s scenes pertaining to this storyline so you don’t have watch whole episodes:

  19. – oh TWoP, I still miss your Amazing Race recaps…
    – new format sounds great, I would love to read about Kimmy Schmidt and Supergirl!
    – more than anything I’m glad we are still gonna have recaps for The Fosters. Do not mess with Stef and Lena or I’ll go all mama bear

  20. rly love the new format plans, they sound great!

    I’m excited if only because it means I won’t end up watching/getting invested in a garbage show just because two girls looked at each other for like…0.7 seconds

  21. Heather, I can thank you enough for this decision to change the format of Boobs because just like we left behind the times of subtext it’s also time to stop collecting crumbs and playing the queer-baiting game.

    So, I’m not gonna make it to the end of the season if this keeps up. Are you trying to kill me, Jason Rothenberg?

    I’ve noticed around several places that reviewed this show that a bunch of people, I’m 100% sure that those were Bellarke shippers, were kinda mad about the way Bellamy was portrayed in this episode, the idea that he couldn’t go “all-Finn” about the Grounders because his character had developed, for the better, since season one. I can partially agree with this because his change of heart was a little rush, but I don’t think that going from moron in the 1st. degree to moron in the 2nd. degree can be considered character development, he’s still a moron.

    Jeez, Alycia Debnam-Carey was totally underused on Fear the Walking Dead. I really hope the producers kill her character and she can stay full-time on The 100 (I’m still a bit scared with the fact that she’s listed as a guest character in the show).

    This whole Clexa-killing-a-bunch-of-lesbians-of-a-heart-attack slow burn is amazing. Eventually I will want a little kiss and of course to take a closer look at that tattoo on Lexa’s back, but for now the eye-fucking totally works for me.

    PD: if Donald Trump (sorry, my bad, I mean Pike) hurts Indra I’m coming to get you and there will be hell to pay.

    • I want Lexa to stay on the show forever and ever, but I am preparing myself for the worst because, apparently, Alycia hasn’t been around while they were filming past a certain episode. Not going into more details. I truly want to believe that Jason Rothenberg will do better than this, especially with the Clexa developments.

  22. I’m excited to hear about the upcoming changes to how Autostraddle covers queer women on TV. It seems like a necessary shift from just celebrating quantity to really embracing and rewarding quality. Hopefully TV scribes, who’ve relished the coverage AS offers, look at this change as a challenge and rise to the occasion.

    Grey’s Anatomy: It’s hard to watch Meredith Grey suffer after all she’s been through, but, man…that was a great episode. All credit goes to Denzel Washington (yes, that Denzel) for taking a story that Grey’s has done before and making it all feel brand new. His direction was superb and Ellen Pompeo impressed me immensely.

    Other random GA thoughts:
    1. I’d seen the previews for the midseason premiere so I knew what was going to happen but when Lou came onscreen, all I could think was “please don’t let it be the black guy.” Then, once the beating started, I covered my eyes…partly because it was more brutal than I’d anticipated, but also because I know how harmful that trope is. If this were anyone else’s show but Shonda’s, I probably would’ve changed the channel.

    2. When Arizona and Alex brought the kids in the room and Zola was too scare to approach her battered mother, my heart just shattered. Ellen Pompeo calling for “Zo Zo” through her wired jaw was almost too much to take.

    3. I realize that I’m in the minority here, but I don’t really mind Penny. Is she the most interesting character on the canvas? No, but I’m pretty sure that was the point…she was meant to offer us reflections of Meredith, Amelia and Callie. Now, though, I think the writers are starting to build Penny as a unique character…and I’m excited to see where that goes.

    4. Since Derek died, I’ve read lots of comments and tweets about how Meredith and Alex ought to get together now. Frankly, it made me what to throw up in my mouth a little bit. I kept thinking, “don’t these people remember the sheer awfulness that was Izzie and George?”

    But then this episode happened and I get it now.

    How to Get Away With Murder: Watching HTGAWM when everyone’s “normal” is hard enough. Everyone on this show, sans Oliver, is a damned liar, so you never really know if what you’re seeing is the truth. Add hallucinogens and it’s cause for me yell, “I don’t know what’s going on?!” at my television screen a few dozen times during the episode.

    Did Annalise know what she was doing when she was on the witness stand? It seemed like it when she was talking to the pretty eyed Hapstall kid but then she was having flashbacks during that scene. Was the scene at the end with Wes real? Bonnie told her she couldn’t go upstairs because of her stitches. And where’d those drugs come from…didn’t Frank have them, last we saw them? And was Annalise really pregnant in that flashback meeting with Wes’ mother? She didn’t look pregnant in the interrogation room with Eve.

    Whatever the case, Viola Davis kilt it, as she is wont to do. This was an episode, like much of the first season, where the team just gave Davis the floor and ler her do her thing…and it’s hard to argue with brilliance being showcased.

    That said, I was surprised and, perhaps, a little disappointed that Eve didn’t show up in this episode…even as a passing mention. Are we to believe that Nate, who knows, at the very least, that Annalise and Eve are more than friends, didn’t bother to call Eve when Annalise was shot? Even when he thought Annalise wanted to die and he knew he couldn’t be there for her? It seemed like a glaring omission to me…but maybe that’s just my shipper heart talking.

    • Yeah, Arizona and Alex should have prepared the kids for Meredith’s appearance, explained to them that she is healing and looks worse to wear but is still your mom. It’s hard to blame little children but I was thinking “dammit Zola give your mother a hug”
      And I also on team “Penny is ok”

    • I feel like they glossed over a lot– not only someone potentially calling Eve, but did no one call Annalise’s mom either? Especially since they were in contact only a few days before the shooting, and she was willing to come take care of Annalise last time. I wish we had gotten more of the immediate aftermath.

  23. This week’s episode of The 100, I just – it’s so wonderful to see those two interacting. During the fight, Clarke looking on, alternating between being worried and relieved, and how she looked absolutely devastated when it looked like Roan was gonna kill Lexa. And then the bedchamber scene. I kept tearing up during most of their scenes, I just love how their story is being told so far. <3

  24. I don’t even watch The 100 but if they kill Lexa I will be outraged, these updates have gotten me too invested in their relationship and I swear I can feel her death coming – is this some kind of conditioning from TV?

  25. The 100 might not be my favorite all around show (in fact there are a lot of aspects that I CANNOT stand) but I can’t remember ever being treated to this level of queer canon queer relationship. Every scene they’re in feel like a personalized love letter just to me and I am so in love with them.

    Like, it’s so consistent that I can’t believe what we’ve lived through before this. This isn’t stolen glances that us queer women pick up on but no one else seems to notice, or blazing chemistry that’s ignored by the writers/creators.

    Their scenes are so explicitly intimate it’s DELIGHTFUL to watch. The bedroom scenes in the last couple episodes have been all soft light and candles and gazing into each other’s eyes. Not to mention the wardrobe choices for this last episode: bare feet, hair down, soft flowy night gowns, exposed skin, clean faces. Every single choice highlights the softness and vulnerability and there is literally no way to read the scene a different way. Not like the “if you squint your eyes and tilt your head and ignore the man in the room this is a very intimate scene between these two minor characters!” These are major players! Whose storyline is getting major air time! Every time it would cut back to Polis I would be so surprised and delighted that we were getting ANOTHER scene! I’m so used to waiting weeks and weeks for any tiny move forward in queer storylines, if those storylines weren’t just dropped all together.

    That being said I’m afraid I’m getting my hopes up because I’ve been hurt so many times before by either bad writing or cancellations or dropped storylines because a guest actor moves on to shows that will hire them full time. The hope I have lays in the very vocal support of the relationship by basically everyone involved so fingers crossed that it survives.

    • I’m willing to trust this like 99% I think. Just because they had her sleep with another woman to reaffirm her bisexuality, and the creator insisted on it being v. important that it was with another woman, that her first kiss with Lexa wasn’t just a fluke or queer baiting. They’ve really set it up as the main ship of the show, and it feels like the writers are really listening to the queer fandom.

      Also they’re really setting it up for a slow burn and it might be weeks before they kiss again but if it’s done this well, I’m going to enjoy every single minute of it.

      • I LOVE that it’s a slow burn! I feel like we never get to experience that the way hetero viewers do with their couples because showrunners and writers just want to throw in the sweeps week kiss and fizzle it out over a couple episodes or else the show will get cancelled before anything can happen or the storyline just get’s dropped for whatever reason, but it’s never felt this planned out before. It feels like the momentum is truly on our side for once, which is new and exciting!

  26. New recapping plan sounds great and makes an important statement. Excited to read all your thoughts and analysis of the shows!
    Also tumblr gifs of clarke and lexa over the last few eps finally broke me into watching the 100 and I’m already so invested it’s ridiculous.

  27. 1. What a battle! Lexa! It was all about Clarke for me but that’s changing fast.
    2. I like Bellamy and found his development not quite believable.
    3. I was cheering, when Monty delivered his speech. Jasper needed to hear that.
    4. More Abby, please :) And where’s Raven?

  28. When Clarke said “This is not just about my people”, I cheered. For her, and for their history, that was as much of a statement as Lexa’s vow to Clarke last episode. Also got a kick out of Titus already being resigned to the Clexa of it all.

    As to a previous comment that Lexa will lose her position if the Skykru fight her army, it seems a bit more of a layered issue to me. Clarke was the one to bow to Lexa, and Kane got the brand, and neither of them betrayed her. But, unlike the other tribes, the Sky People have an easily changeable elected leader. If Lexa wants stability, either this has to change or Wanheda has to take control of her people again. I wonder what Clarke will do. Are these really “her people” in the same sense that they were in season 2? Could she decide to march against them with Lexa to take control? What choice does she have? Aside from the 100, her authority over the Ark people was always due to her being the liaison with the Grounders, and a lot of people wouldn’t care if she now returned by herself to try and talk peace.

  29. “Our goal is to stop adding to the noise and getting distracted by the status quo, and to move the conversation forward so that we can move the culture forward.”

    As always, you all are brilliant<3

    I stopped watching Grey's years ago, now I'm regretting that decision.
    But im definitely about to start watching The 100… right now.

  30. “And we’re going to expand our coverage to engage in smart dialogue about feminist things on TV too.”

    If the new editorial policy means we get to delve into the good, and bad, of shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Broad City more then I’m all for it!

    Also, on board with moving away from the shows that are just playing around the edges with representation of Queer women (that aren’t otherwise very women centric). I don’t want to waste my time on those – just give me the good stuff.

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