Well, this year’s straight white Emmys were boring as all heck, huh? We live-blogged it, but only our rage was keeping us awake. It wasn’t all sleep-inducing teevee this week, though! Valerie Anne recapped Wynonna Earp. Heather wrote about Wanda Sykes and Issa Rae’s lesbian couple on this season of BoJack Horseman. She also ranked the outfits Carol Danvers wore in the new Captain Marvel trailer by lesbianism. Kayla reviewed the year’s top Mommi murder mystery, A Simple Favor. And our TV team published something we’ve been fantasizing about for a long time: a list of shows that need to MAKE IT GAY, YOU COWARDS.
Here’s what else!
The Purge: Episodes 1 – 3
Written by Carmen
Ah, The Purge. A horror blockbuster franchise that’s creeped into our pop culture landscape over the last five years and become so ubiquitous that even without seeing a single movie, you already know the general premise. One night a year, on Purge night, all crime is legal for a 12 hour period. Yes, all crime.
Over the course of three movies, the bloody thrillers have gradually proven to be a not-so-subtle political commentary about race and class disparities in the United States. In the near future, a political party known as the New Founding Fathers of America have assumed control of our government (in the movies, they wear a lot of Trump MAGA styled paraphernalia, in case you miss the point – wink wink). The NFFA proudly spout patriotic catchphrases and cheer about a thriving economy as proof that they’ve saved America from itself. One of the cornerstones of their political philosophy is an annual Purge. The dominant rhetoric is that allowing free crime for one night releases a “pressure valve,” bringing down crime rates the rest of the year. Underneath this thin rhetoric, the NFFA are using the Purge to genocide people of color and the American working class, slowly leaving the country free of “undesirables” for the rich white people remaining.
Now that we’re caught up on the mythos, we can talk about why we are really gathered here today: THE. GAY.
The television series takes place after the Purge has been around for roughly a decade. We’re following three storylines of people as they “make it through” their Purge night. For the sake of time, I’m going to rank these storylines as follows:
1. Miguel, a veteran, is looking for his sister Penelope, who’s joined a cult that believes sacrificing yourself on Purge night is a holy honor: NOT AT ALL GAY (still, it provides crucial racial commentary that I think you should be aware of)
2. Jane’s a black stockbroker. She’s hired Bracka for the Purge (played by AzMarie Livingston, most famous for her time on America’s Next Top Model and most famous in my mind for being Raven Symoné’s ex-girlfriend – I’m sorry) to assassinate her racist, sexist, asshole Trump-like bro of a boss: MEDIUM GAY (AzMarie hasn’t had much to do yet. She looks cute and does pull ups. That’s fine by me. I’ve watched the pull up scene at least a dozen times in the last two weeks alone.)
3. Jenna and Rick are well meaning white liberals attending an NFFA fundraiser on Purge night. They’re hoping to persuade an old, conservative, incredibly rich, NFFA donor to fund their mixed use/ low-income housing project. The couple runs into Lila, who definitely used to be their third in a poly relationship gone wrong! Did I mention that Lila is that old rich white guy’s daughter? And she’s still in love with Jenna? D-R-A-M-A: HIGH KEY GAY
OK. Let’s talk about the love triangle.
First of all, if Rick dies in the Purge so Jenna and Lila can finally live out their love, I wouldn’t miss him. He’s… bland. Sack of Potatoes Rick. That’s what I shall call him! Lila definitely left their triad because she loved Jenna and Jenna still loved Rick. She has some kind of revenge plot planned for dear old Sack of Potatoes, and it definitely involves her rich father, but the details remain blurred. Lila and Jenna talk to each other in whispered hush tones, in shadowed hallways, and it’s all very hot. Also… they like to make out a lot? Too bad Jenna’s pregnant (presumably with Rick’s baby), but we can work with it.
Here’s some parting notes that I, as a hardcore scaredy cat, would want to know before jumping in: It’s not as bloody as the movies (much to the whining complaints of fanboys online), but there is still medium bloodshed. I watch it in the daytime hours with no problems, but couldn’t watch it night. For context, I love the Scream movies – as long as I watch them while the sun’s out – and I hate all the Saws. I’ve seen (and loved!) American Horror Story: Coven, but that was almost too much for me to handle. You absolutely can watch this without having seen any of the movies! The social commentary isn’t subtle, but still leaves you enough to chew on if you’re into that sort of thing. AND GIRLS HAVE KISSED EVERY EPISODE!!
Ok, my loves! Go forth and… maybe don’t murder each other? XOXO.
You 102: “The Last Nice Guy in New York”
Written by Heather Hogan
When I reviewed You‘s pilot episode, I explicitly told you not to watch it and I stand by that; there’s nothing but heartbreak here. However, if you are the kind of person who can keep yourself from becoming emotionally invested in fictional lesbians and are hanging around to get to that one scene from the show trailer where Shay Mitchell comes creeping out of her house in some lingerie holding a gun, may the goddesses bless your ministry.
This week on You, Dan Humphrey continued to torture the artisanal soda shop guy/Beck’s activity partner who is locked in a cage in his basement. Surely you know I hate Dan Humphrey and but also I hate artisanal soda shop guy, so it did bring me a small amount of pleasure every time Dan tweeted from Soda Shop’s Twitter, purposefully misspelling things and using the wrong version of “you’re.” But that’s not all this motherfucker is up to. He stalks Beck to a dinner she’s having with her professor, and when he gets handsy with her, he swoops in and saves the day. She, in turn, invites him to Peach’s party. What kind of party? The one she throws for herself on the anniversary of her parents’ divorce, obviously.
Beck ditches Dan at the party, so he wanders into Peach’s library. It’s like the one from Beauty and the Beast, only downsized for a Manhattan apartment, full of all these old books that probably came from JD Salinger himself (look, she doesn’t want to talk about the Salinger thing!). She calls him Joseph, he calls her Peaches, and then, in 30 seconds, she proceeds to interrogate him with more intellectual curiosity and suspicion than Emily Fields managed in 27 seasons of Pretty Little Liars. She’s also finally does the thing no NYC TV show ever does, which is, like, “So you met at this bookstore in the village and then you saved her on the train tracks in Greenpoint and then you just happened to be in the UWS when her professor started groping her? That’s, like, a lot of traveling in a city where most people only leave their block to go to work.” He knows she knows. She doesn’t know he knows she knows; nor does she know about the glass cage where he keeps his foes.
Peach? Longer for this world than most of Emily’s girlfriends, but not by much.
Atypical Season Two
Written by Heather Hogan
Thank you to everyone who suggested Atypical to us! I watched both seasons this week and really enjoyed it! For the uninitiated, Atypical is about a teenage boy named Sam who’s on the autistic spectrum, and his family. One of those family members is his younger sister, Casey, who plays mostly a supporting role in season one. However, in season two she moves to a new school and starts getting her own storylines, one of which is queer!
Casey is played by real life queer person Brigette Lundy-Paine, and in season two she starts attending a private school where she engages in a tale as old as time. That tale is: Izzie, the girl she tries to befriend bullies her — but only because she likes her (likes her, likes her), which becomes fully apparent when they almost press their mouthes against each others mouths but are interrupted. GAY! It sounds kind of trite, but it’s not. There’s actually something really deep and authentic about their connection and the way their story unfolds. It gets you in your guts. In the very last episode, they don’t kiss. But they do hold hands. (It’s more powerful than it sounds.)
Lundy-Paine told Vulture:
I think Casey’s incredibly confused. She’s just turned 16. She’s very focused on school — she didn’t even want a boyfriend. But I think that her friendship with Izzie has awoken something in her. She’s been put so much out of her comfort zone that she’s able to feel these new feelings without judgment. I think it’s terrifying her, but she does feel something so intense for Izzie. I hope that it goes on in season three. She’s been awoken, as we might say, to her young queer youth. I don’t even think she’s thinking like, Oh my God, I’m gay. I think she’s like, This is really different and something about this makes me feel whole.
She thinks Casey’s sexuality will be really explored if the show gets a third season!
Mariah returned from a work trip this week only to have her girlfriend recoil when Mariah greeted her with a hug. When asked about her reaction, Tessa makes up some excuses — she was startled, she injured herself at work — before finally admitting that she was attacked by the people to whom she owes money. Mariah’s ready to empty her savings account to eliminate this threat but Tessa won’t hear of it. Instead, she asks Mariah to help her find a better job so she repay the debt and, of course, Mariah being the best girlfriend ever, she does just that. By that evening, Mariah’s hooked Tessa up with gig at her future step-father’s new venture and even shows up on her first night at work, to keep an understandably anxious Tessa company.
I still don’t understand what Y&R‘s doing with Tessa but I thought this week’s scenes really underscored why Mariah’s so willing to believe her. The girl’s blinded by love.
“You give me so much,” Mariah assures Tessa. “You make me happy, you make me laugh and you make me feel loved which means more to me than anything.”
Also? I need for Camryn Grimes to wear that shade of lipstick forever and always. — Natalie
Killjoys 309: “The Kids are Alright”
Our darling Delle Seyah Kendry was back in this episode, if only for a moment. And the episode ended with the triumphant return of our other Green Queen, Aneela. And this was some Tatiana Maslany shit: Dutch downed some green so Aneela could come through it and into her body and Hannah John-Kamen was LYING ON THE FLOOR and you could see the shift between the two identical-only-in-looks characters. It was truly astounding, and I have a feeling we’re in for quite the ride in the finale. (Just kidding I’ve already seen the screener I KNOW we’re in for quite the ride in the finale.) — Valerie Anne
The First 1 – 4
Last Friday Hulu dropped the entire 10 episode season of Sean Penn’s new show The First, which is about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars. When I heard Sean Penn’s name, I pretty much opted out immediately! Then I found out that LisaGay Hamilton — who I’ve loved since The Practice way back in the ‘90s! – was playing a black queer astronaut, so I agreed to give it a shot. I’m only about halfway through now, and sadly so far she doesn’t have much going on! Her character, Kayla Price, really picks up around episode three, but she’s a bit in stasis. She was removed from her leadership position to be replaced by Sean Penn’s veteran astronaut Tom Hagerty. So, rightfully, she thus far spends a lot of time complaining to her wife how powerful white men are The WorstTM.
Oh, and guess who’s playing her wife? Tracie Thoms!! In her third queer role this year! Take a bow! It’s heartbreakingly rare to see two black women in love on television, so I’m rooting for this pairing to work out. We’ll finish catching up next week! — Carmen
Paula Martin came back to Coronation Street to defend her old classmate, Sally Metcalfe, against some spurious fraud charges, but instead she’s found herself enamored with Sally’s youngest daughter, Sophie. When she’s not hooking up with Sophie, she’s yawning and drinking copious amounts of coffee to get through legal strategy sessions with Sally…but this week she gets caught.
After a midday hook-up with Sophie, Paula’s straightening her clothes when Sally shows up unexpectedly. Paula tries to cover up her tryst with Sophie by suggesting that she’d been busy with Kevin but that lie unravels quickly when Kevin walks through the door. When Sophie emerges from upstairs, Sally starts to put the pieces together and chastises Paula for carrying on with her daughter, instead of focusing on her case. Sophie rightly points out that Sally was fine with Paula’s commitment to the case until she found it was Sophie she was carrying on with and not Kevin. Sally leaves in a huff.
Convinced that she can handle things better on her own, Sally fires Paula and then commits one self-defeating move after another, landing her in prison. There, she quickly draws the ire of her cellmate and gets beaten up when she won’t hand over her phone credits. She tearfully calls Sophie — who’s shouldering a lot of the blame for her mother’s circumstance — to ask for her to recruit Paula back to her side.
Of course, Paula agrees to come back to Sally’s legal team and she also assures Sophie that, despite what’s happened, she’s not ready to let go of the special thing they’ve found. I don’t know how long this will last but for now I’m kind of loving it…Sophie deserves someone who cares about her and won’t let her sacrifice her happiness for everyone else’s comfort. You go, Sophie Webster! — Natalie
You isn’t great but for some reason it keeps pulling me in so I’m sticking with it. But then again I pretty much have bad taste in TV so maybe that’s why.
On Breaking Bad, Walter White killed Lydia (Aka Laura Fraser aka Cat from Lip Service) by poisoning the Stevia she religiously puts in her coffee. Now, Dan Humphrey is poisoning Artisanal Soda Shop guy with the Stevia in his coffee order on You.
Stevia needs to put someone in charge of their product placement because I’m already convinced that anyone that offers me stevia is trying to poison me.
Is that how Putin does it?
I watched Atypical after seeing some spoilers and wowww
First of all, I can’t believe they took so long to make Casey explicitly queer, because those outfits are anything but straight.
She and Izzie are super cute and I can’t believe they made a handholding scene so freaking tense, jesus.
However I do hope that Casey doesn’t end up cheating next season because the boyfriend is actually nice. Actually, I hope we get a third season because I’d be heartbroken if we don’t.
dan humphrey LOOKS so creepy, doesn’t he? how does nobody notice that he looks one blue hoodie and a cold british winter away from jamie dornan in season one of “the fall”? i wish peach would kill him before he kills her but we all know the chances of that are slim to none.
carmen your Purge recap was a delight i’m so glad i made you watch it!!!!
OMG, that’s exactly who he reminds me of in this show!
Riese, You were right – I came for AzMarie in a sports bra, and stayed for the whole entire murder show!
I’m so used to knowing that a show is queer before I watch it, but I had no idea about Atypical and it was such a delight to watch it happen. My wife and I were like, “no, it can’t be, we would already know from Autostraddle!” While watching I was kinda pissed at the show, for playing with our emotions like that, sure they they were stringing us along. But it did happen and it was so great! I like Casey and Izzie and their chemistry is on fire.
Don’t forget the Emmy that Merritt Wever won(her second in her acting career) for the lesbian character in Godless. And, Alex Borstein won an Emmy for her lesbian character in The Marvelous Mrs. Mazel. Both women so deserved their award!
ABSOLUTELY!!!! We cheered real hard for both of them. And we covered their wins in the live-blog that’s linked in the intro to this very article!
Personally I loved Alex Borstein’s work in Mrs. Mazel :)