What’s that you spy with your greedy little TV eyes? Why, yes! Yes, it is! An installment of Boob(s On Your) Tube, the gay TV column that gets killed and revived more often than a white man on a sci-fi TV show! There are so many reasons this column is hard to keep up with, including the fact that almost all the queer characters are on binge-able streaming shows these days. But with the help of some of Autostraddle’s best and most dedicated TV writers I’m determined to make this damn thing work!
In case you’ve missed it this summer, I recapped the deeply disappointing end of Pretty Little Liars. Valerie Anne continues to brilliantly recap Wynonna Earp and Orphan Black. Our team joined together to slog through season five of Orange Is the New Black. Faith even recapped every single episode of Sense8 (and will be doing the two-hour series finale, too!). We’ve also done standalone reviews of almost too many things to count: Claws, Brown Girls, Queen Sugar, Naomi Watts’ new show, Danger and Eggs, Master of None, Anne of Green Gables, 13 Reasons Why, Loud House, Dear White People, and the Handmaid’s Tale.
Riese is almost done writing a review of the first season of Hulu’s Harlots and Faith is working on a review for the first season of GLOW.
Boob(s On Your) Tube hasn’t been regular, but we’ve been working hard to bring you the best and most fun and most activist-minded TV coverage on the great wide internet!
The most thrilling thing I want to tell you about is that two Boob(s On Your) Tube regulars have joined our TV writing team! If you’ve ever read this column, you know that Pecola and CP have always provided funny, sharp commentary about all of our favorite shows, and now they’re doing it professionally. I have known Pecola on the internet for years and years. Her wisdom has shown me the light in a dozen different ways since my earliest days at AfterEllen and it is an absolute honor to be working alongside her. I’ve only started to know CP and already she has infused my life with such a warmth with her open-hearted criticism I feel like I am stating to enjoy television again. CP is Carmen Phillips. Pecola is Natalie. My heart is very happy writing this paragraph.
So other than all that, below is what we haven’t talked about yet this summer on teevee.
Written by Valerie Anne
Have you been watching Stitchers? I’ve been watching Stitchers. I’ll confess I started watching Stitchers because Allison Scagliotti was in it and I live in a pretty constant state of missing Warehouse 13, and you know what, that turned out to be a perfectly valid reason to watch this show. Her character, Camille, provides a similar snarky energy as Claudia did, but now with more maturity and confidence.
In the first season, there was a line that piqued my interest during a conversation between Camille and her then-boyfriend about her not mentioning a guy she dated. She shrugs it off, saying it didn’t matter much, they didn’t even date that long; as if to prove the point, she mentions that she dated his sister longer.
It was a well-placed line, that honestly even if they never followed up on it, didn’t feel manipulative or too much like a punchline. It was more to show that Camille is who she is, no apologies, and she has depths we don’t quite know about yet. But, we’re in luck, because not only are they following up with it, they’re doing it in style.
This season on Stitchers, there’s a new Medical Examiner in town, who happens to also be a DJ and also into Camille and also a very attractive woman. Her name is Amanda and she’s played by Anna Akana and I love her.
The first time they kissed was a lustful response to some capital ‘e’ Emotions Camille was feeling and for a minute I worried the ME was just an outlet for distraction, but in a following episode, we see the two of them sitting on the couch, SINGING TO EACH OTHER. Camille plays the guitar and sings for Amanda, admitting she doesn’t usually do that for anyone. The two of them share cute kisses on the couch, and later even rip each other’s clothes off as they tumble down the hallway in the middle of a everyone-is-having-sex montage.
In this week’s episode, Camille is still playing coy with her coworkers, admitting she’s seeing someone new (describing their night together as a “hard R” as opposed to Kirsten’s PG night), but it isn’t until about halfway through the episode when she gives up the gig and decides she can’t contain how giddy her new gal makes her. She even goes on a double-date with her ex-boyfriend/coworker and his new girlfriend who happens to also be Camille’s roommate’s estranged half-sister (it’s…complicated).
On that date, Camille’s ex pulls Amanda aside to warn her not to hurt Camille, but Amanda doesn’t bat a perfect eyelash before threatening him nine ways to Sunday if he doesn’t cut that out right now. Amanda can fend for herself, is what I’m saying. Camille and Amanda are part of the crux of the episode, which I won’t spoil for you, but I will say that the conversation they have at the end of the episode gives me more hope than I originally anticipated having for this queer little relationship.
What I’m saying is, it seems like they’re taking this storyline seriously and the bisexual revolution continues apace.
Last summer I was convinced that me and my friend Nic were literally the only two people on earth watching Younger, but when the fifth season premiered last week it trended on Twitter (my favorite irony since Younger is aimed at 30-somethings who, according to the show itself, are irredeemably bamboozled by the World Wide Web) and then this week it trended again. In fact, the season five premiere was the highest-rated episode of the show to date. Which is good! Because I want more! It’s so ridiculous but also very fun and so far this season, the best it’s ever been.
One reason for that is Liza’s relationship with Kelsey, which has kind of become the emotional anchor of the entire show. At the end of season four, Liza came out to Kelsey as not-a-millennial. She also broke up with Josh. So now Josh and Kelsey are both mourning Liza, but the relationship where all the pathos is aimed is the one between two women. Liza kicks off “Post Truth” — an episode where Kristin Chenoweth plays “a one-woman reality-distortion field,” so Kellyanne Conway, basically — by telling Kelsey that the most important people in her life are her daughter, Maggie, and Kelsey. She tries to explain, tries to talk it out, tries to force Kelsey to listen, but Kelsey feels deeply betrayed and can’t let it go. She helps Liza walk back a blackmailed story about her real age from an Entertainment Weekly writer, but she insists it’s for the business, not because she loves Liza.
When they’re not making sad moon-eyes at each other, they’re bickering like ex-girlfriends: “You really have no idea what a meme is; I can’t believe I’ve been so blind!”
Maggie tries to help Liza navigate her breakup with Josh and her friend-breakup with Kelsey. First up: A new route to the L train. “Never face a painful situation when you can just skulk around it,” Maggie insists. But! In a welcome change of pace, Liza’s drama doesn’t push out the chance for Maggie to have her own storyline. When a barista compliments Maggie’s art and then gives her five free coffee card punches — “fifth one’s free!” — Maggie assumes she’s being hit on with euphemisms and symbolism. The barista’s name is Montana and Maggie invites her over to “look at some art” by which she means “scissor” but by which Montana actually means “look at some art.” They laugh when Maggie makes a move and Montana insists she’s straight. “It’s fine; some of my best friends are straight,” Maggie insists.
They’re for absolute sure going to fall in love.
The Bold Type
I was just going to toss a blurb in here about The Bold Type when I heard there was a lesbian subplot in the pilot episode, and also the main character is played by Katie “Karma Ashcroft” Stevens, but then I watched the pilot episode this afternoon and have decided it deserves a full review. I’ve been really down on Freeform because I can’t help but blame it for part of Pretty Little Liars‘ dive-bomb into heteronormative oblivion, but when I step back and examine the information inside my noggin, I’m looking at The Fosters, Stitchers, and now The Bold Type and realizing Freeform is still the queerest non-streaming TV network around and I’m just going to have to exercise my Paige McCullers-style garbage can vendetta elsewhere.
Here’s what I’ll say about The Bold Type: It’s on the nose with its Feminism 101, but the overtness is welcome. This show is aimed at teens and young college students. There is a queer subplot in the pilot, one that involves a lesbian Muslim photographer and potentially a romantic connection with one of the main characters. And it focuses on lots of different kinds of female relationships, including a refreshing one between a badass lady editor in chief and Karma Ashcroft. Maybe you could watch it this weekend and we can talk about it on Monday?
Natalie’s going to share some thoughts with us about the final episodes of Laverne Cox’s Doubt and get us caught up with Claws, Carmen’s going to keep us in the loop on Queen Sugar, The Fosters is returning, and so is Game of Thrones. Yara Greyjoy’s making out with some woman who’s not Daenerys in the trailer.
Yay for the return of The Fosters but wait, does that mean that Game of Thrones is going to be covered by Autostraddle? Because that would be two of my favorite things together in one place. If you were to add steak frites too I would be in heaven
I sometimes think I live in a cave… Never seen Game of Thrones… Is it basically like a really bloody Dungeons and Dragons with an insane amount of sex?
I don’t know Dungeons and Dragons but I only recently got into Game of Thrones because I thought it was just violence and sex. Yes, there’s a lot of that(though not as much sex as I thought) but the story and the characters are very well developed so I’d say it’s worth it (I also think you have to watch at least 3 episodes to really make your opinion – I got stuck for a while after watching just the first one)
Oh my god, that’s Ellaria Sand about to kiss Yara Greyjoy and I don’t know whether to faint from excitement or fear she might slit Yara’s throat.
Yara Greyjoy was flirting with Dany last season. She is the Shane of Westeros
I recently binged all of Younger and I think it’s brilliant. I really wish they had done more with Lauren/Maggie, but I could get on board with this new potential couple.
Just a point of note this most recent season is its fourth! Younger has been renewed for a fifth season already though.
Gah! Thank you, I’ll correct that right away!
YAY, Boobs on your Tube! I’m so excited! I’m also excited that CP really did get to start recapping “Queen Sugar” because in the comment thread for needing someone to recap Queen Sugar, CP really wanted it, and then when the article came out, I said, “Oh. CP didn’t get to recap it,” but now I know that she did it!
I’m also TOTALLY going to go watch “The Bold Type,” as I just finished watching “Stitchers,” and HOLY COW I really do love Freeform.
Also, I’m super excited for Natalie to cover “Doubt” because I HAVE SOME FEELINGS.
Oh my goodness! THANK YOU :)
Double thumbs up!
Once I’m through with “Gypsy” (thanks for that one, Heather, now I feel like I need therapy for being so glued to that damn show) and “Glow”, I’ll finally watch “Queen Sugar”.
The Defenders finally comes out on August 18th, btw., and I can’t wait for Jessica Jones’ reappearance.
Haha! Needing a therapist because of that show but also being afraid to ever even look at a therapist because of that show!
I was thinking about going back to therapy but now I’m afraid that my therapist will tell me to give her my phone before pretending to be my ex.
Yeah, I’m also watching Gypsy
*passes the bourbon. on the rocks.*
Hi, just wanted to say that I always enjoy this column, regardless of frequency/irregular schedule. Like, when there isn’t an installment for a while I don’t mind because you all have so much good content (in general and TV-related), and then when there IS an installment, I’m like, “Oh yay! I love this column!” So thank you, Heather!
is anna akana queer??
No, but she did make a whole video about how it was 100% not cheating on her boyfriend when she makes out with her (girl) friends because chicks don’t count
Ahhhhh!! We’re back up and running! So excited to be talking teevee with all of you!
It’s great that there is so much content it can’t be all recapped. There are a lot of great Spanish and foreign shows with queer content that I watch.
Younger is my jam (much like watching Nicole work is Waverly’s jam) *click click, finger guns*.
I liked Liza and Josh and I like Liza and Charles and want to see them get together. But Josh isn’t a bad guy and I would like to see him happy and I am down for him and Kelsey together. I always thought that was a great progression. I understand Kelsey’s anger toward Liza but I hope it doesn’t go on too long, cause really what harm did Liza cause? The barista and Maggie, hmmm in the preview it showed Josh flirting with her so I don’t know. And it also seemed like Montana was flirting with Maggie for a come up much like Colin did with Kelsey.
The Bold Type, As much as I love me some Aisha Dee from Chasing Life, I am the opposite and disliked Karma Ashcroft too much to give this show a chance.
Claudia from Warehouse 13 was one of my first major babyqueer crushes, so I have been waiting a loooong time for Allison Scagliotti to get an on-screen girlfriend. I’m glad it happened, and this storyline seems to be done well!
Also I’m a bit retroactively disappointed in myself for not sticking with Stitchers throughout–guess I’ll have to catch up.
Ooh, I haven’t even heard of Younger, but it sounds right up my alley.
Great stuff as always – just a little question – I haven’t noticed anyone talking about The Originals on AutoStraddle and the Freelin relationship was amazing this season, perhaps if it continues next season you’ll add it in :)
Also, if you haven’t been watching Killjoys this year, a character that was assumed dead last season returned in episode 2 of this season and it seems she has a type.