Boobs on Your Tube: ICYMI, “Cruel Summer” Was 90s Hot and You’re about to Be Furiously Obsessed with It

Welcome back to Boobs on Your Tube! it was was bat bikes an U-hauls on Batwoman. On Legends of Tomorrow, there was an engagement fitting of legends. Brazilian show now out on Amazon Prime September Mornings is tender, challenging, and should make trans musician Liniker an international superstar. And Natalie made you a list of the 11 queerest episodes of HGTV! If you’re an A+ member, this weekend Kayla is going to be hanging out on our A+ pop up Discord server to host a movie watchalong of Booksmart, and you definitely don’t want to miss it. If you aren’t an A+ member, we are currently hosting a membership drive and for as little as $4 a month you can help keep our website alive, so there’s never been a better time!

Con Todo, Netflix’s home for Latinx storytelling, is honoring Pride this weekend with a four-part video digital documentary series Visions of Us that unpacks and gives space to groundbreaking moments in the history of queer and trans Latinx television and film. And Carmen consulted on it! And that’s not all!

Carmen and Autostraddle former Senior Editor Yvonne are both interiewed in the first episode, which is about Latinx lesbians, and you can watch it right here!

Notes from the TV Team: 

+ A few weeks back, the CW debuted its newest show, The Republic of Sarah about a small town in New Hampshire that declares its independence — and puts the high school history teacher in charge — to avoid being wiped out by a mining company. It’s an odd premise, admittedly, but somehow it works for me. We’re keeping our eye on Amy (AKA AJ), the roommate of the show’s titular character, who between shifts as a police officer is having an affair with the former mayor’s wife. — Natalie

+ Margaret Cho stars in the film Good On Paper as Margot, a super hot and amazing bar owner and best friend of Iliza Shlesinger who wrote the film based on a moment in her life. The movie in my opinion, was incredible. I have always been a fan of Shlesinger, shes one of the very few white girl comedians who stays in her fucking lane and manages to make me laugh every single time. She called on Cho (who is a friend) to play the role as basically a favor to her, again to me that shows her knowing her spot and respecting folks. Margaret is hilarious in the movie, with witty dialogue, a bit of physical comedy and what feels like an improved moment or two. And yes! She is queer in it — seen on a date with one hottie and playing the long game with another in such a hot way that I kinda was wishing for some post credit action. — Shelli

+ On Clea Duvall’s cartoon Housebroken, a cat named Chico voiced by Sam Richardson had babies. Of course when I realized what was happening I braced myself in fear of transphobic jokes, but being animals and not particularly concerned with the gender binary, no one seems all that fazed by it. It’s unclear how Chico got pregnant, but beyond being surprised it wasn’t just a tummy ache, his biggest concern was that everyone saw his “gobbler” when the kittens came out. Also I think the cat called The Grey One and the fish with the RBG statuette in her bowl are pansexual. Is this show actually just weird dreams I have? Can anyone confirm it’s real? — Valerie Anne

+ In the Dark is back. In a flash forward scene it looked suspiciously like the lesbian character, Jess, might be in mortal danger soon so we have that to look forward to I guess… Frankly I’m glad Humberly moved on to gayer pastures and is no longer on this show. — Valerie Anne


Cruel Summer Season 1

Written by Valerie Anne

Cruel Summer: Mallory and Kate in the roller rink

Roller skating is gay, that’s just a fact.

ICYMI, Cruel Summer was a hot hot Freeform show that went for ten maddening episodes and I don’t know about you but I was FURIOUS about how invested in this show I was. How DARE Freeform suck me in with a Big Little Lies style mystery but with Pretty Little Liars level of teen drama. I love a mystery I can’t solve (looking at you, Mare of Easttown, whose crime I solved three episodes before Kate Winslet) and every episode had twists and turns galore, right down to the very last frame.

Perhaps the biggest twist of all was that the sapphic vibes I was getting off one of the main characters, Kate Wallis, and her new best friend Mallory, actually came to fruition. There was an established gay guy character early in the season, so I thought, “Ah, the boys have this one!” Because it’s rare that shows let queer men and queer women exist in the same show. I thought the obsession awkward nerd Jeanette Turner has with popular girl Kate Wallis was the closest we were going to get to the queer teen experience. “Do I want to be her or be with her?”

So when Kate and Mallory were having sleepovers, or when Mallory rented out an entire skating rink and lit it with bisexual lighting just to make Kate smile, I thought I was just dreaming. I joked with my friends about how gay it all was, thinking the queerness wouldn’t leave our DMs. That maybe it would be revealed that Mallory liked Kate but that Kate would either not return the feelings or worse, react poorly to them. But then! In the finale! Just as I was about to send another OKAY EVEN THEIR OUTFITS ARE GAY message, Kate Wallis smiles a bright smile and moved in for a kiss. Mallory was about as surprised as I was, and it was a very cute and lovely almost-ending to this stressful series. (There is one more scene after that. iykyk.)

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I hope the second season of Cruel Summer is a different mystery with different teens set across different summers. But if they do pick up where they left off, I hope we get to see Kate and Mallory as cute 90s girlfriends for at least a little while.


Betty 202: “Blue is the Warmest Threesome”

Written by Drew

Honeybear skates down the street smiling with her hands in her pocket

Should every television episode open with a threesome? Points have been made.

Honeybear and Ash are kissing and then a mystery hand appears by Ash’s head. Owner of the mystery hand? Hot bartender Victoria, of course. Victoria kisses Ash and Honeybear pulls back looking a little left out and uncomfortable. But then Victoria starts kissing her and tells her to lay on her back. I think every successful threesome needs a director to make sure nobody feels left out and Victoria has taken charge. (I guess non-film people might just call this a top but whatever.) Now Honeybear is the focus and seems to be at least a tad more enthusiastic.

Afterward she rides on her skateboard with a giant grin on her face. Emmalyn’s “#FreeTitties” plays on the soundtrack and Honeybear opens her shirt for the world.

It’s not clear if Honeybear is all that enthused about Ash’s suggestion they hook up with Victoria again. But what is clear is for the first time in her life Honeybear is feeling desired. Even when a skater boy hits on her later on a ferry, she seems fascinated by the attention. That’s where we leave her story, but I’m excited to see where this newfound confidence takes her.

Never lacking in confidence is Kirt who continues her mission to turn all her guy friends into decent human beings. Her suggestions range from don’t send dick pics — well, usually don’t — to maybe shower every once in a while. Kirt is on a quest and everyone is on a journey. May their journeys have plenty more friendship, gayness, and skating.


Genera+ion 112: “The High Priestess” and 113: “There’s Something About Hamburger Mary’s”

Written by Drew

Greta stares off devastated

My new favorite show is back* with two more episodes and the queer teen chaos continues to delight.

Our first episode focuses on Arianna which is nice considering her absence from the first three of this half season, but does mean less time spent on our queer girls. Except part of her storyline is feeling left out when Delilah and Naomi decide to start a throuple with Cooper? Which they don’t seem to think is gay but is so obviously gay?? Anyway, this was a sweet episode and the final moments with her and her dads made me tear up because nothing makes me more emotional than people showing up for their loved ones in the subtle and precise ways that person needs!!

Onward to the gay shit. The second episode revolves around a fundraiser at Hamburger Mary’s that Ana is hosting to raise money for an organization that does queer teen suicide prevention. This is one of Genera+ion’s non-linear episodes and while early in the season it felt like a bit of a gimmick I’ve started to love the shifting perspective. All the pieces of this show are really clicking!

Beyond the fun of having a bunch of drag queen guest stars (including Gi-Gi-Gi-Gigi Goode!), this event also provides an explosion of drama for all our teens. And, as you may recall, Riley now works at Hamburger Mary’s so obviously she’s included. We learn that she’s now living with Ana which truly touches my heart so deeply. Buuuut then Lucia shows up so that closeness with Greta’s aunt is still not equaling closeness with Greta.

During the show Lucia asks Greta if she’s being weird because Riley is there or if she’s not even gay. When Greta doesn’t respond, she leaves. Good for you, Lucia. You deserve better than being a supporting character in our story.

This moment — and Ana’s sweet speech about getting to care for Greta — seems to inspire Greta to FINALLY talk to Riley. She tells Riley that she doesn’t know what’s going on with her but that night they hooked up her problem wasn’t that she didn’t like Riley. Finally communication BUT NOPE. Enter some boy. Not just some boy. Aquarium boy. Back to whisk Riley away. Devastating.

I’m starting to think Greta is homoromantic and asexual or somewhere on the ace spectrum. This might not be where they’re going with her but I hope they are because of how rare it is to have an ace character and because of how well the show has handled other aspects of sexuality. Of course, we’ll never learn if this is where they’re going if Greta and Riley don’t COMMUNICATE. These kids are killing me.

*Okay I know I’m being hyperbolic and this probably is not my actual favorite show. But it really is getting better and better and I love it a lot.


The Chi 405: “The Spook Who Sat By The Door”

Written by Natalie

A rare moment of calm between Dre and Nina this week on "The Chi."

For the last few weeks, The Chi has been ramping up towards big developments for Dre, Nina and Imani and this week, things took another step forward. With the 60644 legend, Da Brat, making her first guest appearance next week — I love how this show persists in making itself gayer each and every season — I thought I’d provide a more in-depth update.

Since finding out about her cancer diagnosis, Dre has been Jada’s rock and this week, Jada asks her for one more favor: to serve as the executor of her will. Dre agrees but asks for a favor in return. She asks Jada to tell Nina where she’s really been spending her time so Nina doesn’t think she’s running around with some random chick from Instagram (I laughed. IYKYK.). The secrets are stressing both Dre and Nina out but Jada asks for more time…more time to interact with people without their pity. Dre, begrudgingly, accepts.

When she gets home, Dre walks right into the tension. Nina’s still worried about Keisha’s plan for a home birth and she takes her frustration out on Dre. The pair argue about Dre going to the gym without Nina so Dre apologizes and invites her wife to share a shower. The shower eases the tension between the two momentarily but when Dre’s wrapped up in her phone, Nina’s suspicions are reignited. Later, when Jada joins Dre and Nina for Keisha’s home birth, Dre dotes over her

Meanwhile, over at Imani’s, Trig’s friend and houseguest, Shaad, is getting ready for his first post-prison job interview. As he’s slipping on his freshly pressed shirt, Imani offers him a tie to go with it. He admits that he doesn’t know how to tie a tie so Imani volunteers to help. But as she steps closer to him, he recoils and she tosses the tie at him and leaves. Later she insists that Trig get Shaad out of their house. Imani explains, “he clocked my T and he don’t like it. Period. But what he ain’t gon’ do is live in my house and eat my food and treat me like shit.”

Shaad’s interview doesn’t go well and he opts to commiserate with Trig about it over drinks. While at the bar, Shaad recounts how he and Trig met: he took the fall for a crime he and Trig committed together. Given their history, Shaad’s irate when Trig tells him he has to move out soon and he directs all his ire at Imani. He spews transphobia and Trig stands firm in defense of his woman. He wants Shaad out of the house by the weekend.

(Can I tell you how mad I am at the casting department that they chose to make Jason Weaver of all people into a transphobe? Michael Jackson from the The Jacksons movie? Young Simba from The Lion King? It feels like an affront to the culture to make me hate Jason Weaver.)


The Bold Type 505: “Don’t Turn Away”

Written by Natalie

Kat and Adena meet for coffee to discuss the next steps in launching their magazine, this week on "The Bold Type."

After quitting her job at the Belle, Kat wastes no time throwing herself into transforming her “Don’t Turn Away” hashtag into something more. She meets with Adena to brainstorm ideas, including bringing in new creatives and reaching out to venture capitalists to fund their efforts. And while Kat finds some VCs responsive to her pitch, they want more details before they make an investment so she meets Adena for coffee to plan out their next steps. Adena recommends that they work on the pitch doc at Kat’s place. It’s a weird choice, given that three girls are sharing a one bedroom apartment, but I suppose if you want to avoid falling into bed with your ex, it’s the better option.

They run into Jacqueline in the Safford and she assumes that Adena and Kat are back together. Kat awkwardly corrects her that they’re just working on a project together — a new magazine in fact — and Jacqueline notes how impressed she was with the original installation. The editor extends herself to Kat, volunteering to provide advice and guidance, and it’s the closest the Jacqueline of season five has felt to the Jacqueline of season one since this season began. Kat presumes that Jacqueline was only being polite but Adena pushes her to seek out the editor’s perspective on how to build a magazine.

Kat takes Jacqueline up on her offer and pitches her idea for “Don’t Turn Away.” She wants to create an interactive magazine that merges storytelling and activism. Jacqueline’s receptive to Kat’s idea but instead of giving her advice on how to pitch the idea elsewhere, she extends an offer: bring #DontTurnAway to Scarlet. Jacqueline pitches that Kat turn #DontTurnAway into the magazine’s newest vertical, complete with a budget, marketing infrastructure and access to a pre-made readership.

Kat doesn’t say yes right away. She rushes over to Adena’s to talk over Jacqueline’s offer and Adena calls her out on inability to commit and her fear of losing control (are we still talking about the magazine?). She recommends that Kat finds a way to commit and still make it her own. Kat takes the advice to heart and returns to Jacqueline with a counteroffer that allows her to maintain creative control and the ability to hire the formerly incarcerated. Jacqueline agrees to the terms and Kat agrees to make Scarlet the new home for #DontTurnAway. Kat rushes out of the meeting to celebrate with her best friends.

Afterwards, she heads over to share the news with Adena. They embrace and celebrate the number of people that they’ll be able to help. As they hug, Adena relishes the closeness and Kat admits that she couldn’t do it without Adena. They pull apart, strip down and fall into bed. Though there’s still one more episode to go, it’s clear that Kadena are endgame…which is what so many fans said they wanted…but I can’t imagine any ‘shipper being satisfied with that rushed and uninspiring end.


Kim’s Convenience 510: “Who’s Pranking Who?”

Written by Shelli

Kim’s Convenience debuted its fifth and final season on Netflix last week. The series ended abruptly and over the past few weeks, many members of the cast have come out to talk about the ways they were mistreated on the show. From being severely underpaid in comparison to how popular the show was, to the overtly racist storylines the Asian Canadian actors were forced to play out.

The abrupt ending may be the reasoning behind the quick intro and wrap up to the character Janet, played by Andrea Bang, and her queerness. In Episode 10 of the final season she shares a kiss and conversation around sexual fluidity with Tamson, played by Melissa Cultraro, who she seemed to have some sort of relationship with while she was traveling abroad. Nothing else comes of it for the rest of the season, it isn’t bought back up in any way shape or form and we’re kind of expected to just forget about it. I personally felt that at the start of the season they were hinting at it, and then when it happened and quickly vanished I was def left disappointed.


Charmed 315: “Schrodinger’s Future”

Written by Valerie Anne

Charmed: Ruby and Mel snuggle on an outdoor bench

I really hope the lack of Ruby/Mel scenes before now was pandemic related and they’ll ramp it up from here.

In this episode, Mel is still pregnant and being squirrely with Ruby, despite her being very supportive of her girlfriend’s surprise magical pregnancy. Being tasked with keeping this baby safe, Mel stays behind when her sisters go to the future to try to stop whatever bleakness sent Future!Mel back with the baby in the first place.

When they get to the future, while most of the world looks pretty devastated and terrible, they do find one shiny light in the dark, and that’s Goth Future Abigael. She is very attractive and very surprised to see Maggie very alive. She tells them about the Whispering Evil, a plague that infected everyone and brought out the worst in them. She was part of the Resistance with Mel (because she is GOOD despite what Macy keeps insisting) but she doesn’t know where Mel is now. Abi tries to protect the sisters from an infected person with magic but gets fried to a crisp.

They soon see the culprit: Future Macy, who looks like she just touched some Goo in Purgatory and she’s out for blood. She chases our Macy and Maggie through post-apocalyptic streets until they finally find their way back to the past/their present.

While they were on those adventures, Ruby and Mel decided to pull an Alex Danvers/Kelly Olsen and exchange “I love yous” despite very limited screen time together, and they realize that for some reason, presumably to do with the baby, they can touch now. So they lean on each other, literally and metaphorically, and Ruby tells Mel she’s in it for the long haul.


Legacies 316: “Fate’s a Bitch, Isn’t It?”

Written by Valerie Anne

Legacies: Finch holds Josie's hands supportively.

I feel bad for how many times I shouted at Josie to kiss Hope before she got back to the school to find Finch waiting for her because Finch is also very cute and good for Josie! I SHIP THEM ALL. I AM TRASH.

In this here season finale, Hope is being sulky with the twins and thinks that Clark might be the answer to the problems, but also doesn’t think the twins will go with her plan despite the entire vision quest they went on to learn they should be working together. So she ditches the twins at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. And like, I know Hope can take care of herself but the twins need at least one (1) other magical creature or object near them for their magic to work properly so they’re more defenseless than her! She shouldn’t leave them!

Eh hem anyway. Finch is so happy to see Josie when she gets back, then surprised when Josie wants her first move to be hiding magical objects from Ethan, who Lizzie has decided to give a tour to. Josie confesses to all the things she’s done to Ethan and how she doesn’t want him to get hurt again, but Finch takes her hand and says that she doesn’t want any more secrets between them. It’s very cute and sweet.

Overarching plot wise, we learned that the Landon who has been adventuring with Cleo is actually Malavore in Landon’s body and when that switch happened is anyone’s guess because no one cares. I wish this meant once we vanquished Malavore we’d be rid of Landon for good but they seem to really be leaning into Hope and Landon’s ‘written in the stars’ situation which is tired and boring but fine I guess.

Hope eventually apologizes to the twins for ditching them and breaking their sacred panda bond, so she promises that she gets it now, that they’re stronger together, and says she’ll never leave them again. Panda promise.


Motherland: Fort Salem 201: “Of the Blood”

Written by Valerie Anne

Motherland Fort Salem: scylla and raelle's mom

Just a little fire play with my girlfriend’s mom, nothing to see here.

Hey, the witches are back! Tally is young again and the girls are reunited and they got into war college! And they all lived happily ever after, amen! Okay fine things are a little more complicated than that. Tally’s post-bitty bond with the headmistress seems a bit worrisome, the Spree is still out burning faces and faking names. But the thing is, there’s a new enemy afoot, one that seems to be out for the Fort Salem gals AND the Spree alike that may have something to do with the new girl whose voice can quite literally melt glass. (Anyone else concerned that we found out that someone stole dead witch vocal chords and now we have a mysterious singing witch on our hands?) We might have an enemy of my enemy situation on our hands, which hopefully will reunite our wlw (witches love witches) pairing, Raelle and Scylla. Right now Scylla is working with Raelle’s mother, who I’m 90% sure Raelle thinks is dead, so I look forward to the drama that will arise if and when these two groups meet up again.

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

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10 Comments

  1. Regarding Genera+ion 112: I also think that Greta is somewhere on the ace spectrum, ever since that almost-sex makeout scene with Riley. I do hope that she is a homoromantic ace, simply because that’s so rare on TV but maybe I’m simply projecting – but who knows with HBO these days, so I’m open for surprises. I’m glad tho that finally someone agrees with my suspicion re: Greta being on the ace spectrum. But yeah, also: USE YOUR WORDS, KIDS.

    Regarding Motherland: Fort Salem 201: I forgot how good and also how fast-paced this show is! I admit, Tally as a Biddy was…interesting? But I’m also glad she’s back as her younger self. And I really liked the “what haven’t you done?” scene with Anacostia. Also, they already introduced so much new plot and the stakes are already so high, I’m pretty pretty excited! So many good and intriguing characters, such an interesting plot, can’t wait!

    Also, funny story, but apparently they managed to screen S02E03 in Canada instead of S02E01 :D

    • I third Great being on the ace spectrum, though only this episode did that become my prevaling thought when previously I wasn’t quite sure what the writers were going for and thought they might be trying to allude to internalized homophobia/shame or some sort of sexual trauma if it wasnt her being ace.

      • I realize I am one month late to this, but I just binged Cruel Summer in two evenings. Whew it was good. And! A queer surprise! This is the second show I watched (the first being She-ra) where I thought, they are not going to go where I think they’re going. And they did! They went there! And it was great. As someone who perpetually wants to live in 1994, this was the perfect show.

  2. Small correction: Someone accidentally wrote Season 2 instead of Season 1 for Cruel Summer.

    Genera+ions was great this week (and not as depressing as last week).
    Motherland Fort Salem felt like a setup episode, which is to say it wasn’t bad but it didn’t give us anything really and more so built the groundwork for things to come.

    Bold Type:
    Kat and Adena getting back together is great, but because they chose to end the series with a 6 episode season, everything feels a bit rushed, also I still can’t believe that Jane is the one supposed to take over, there have to be atleast 10 people at that magazine that have more experience and seniority, I just don’t get what makes her qualified to be the boss.

    Kim’s Convenience:
    I was really disappointed that they just dropped Janet’s queerness completely after that episode. And that the spinoff focuses on Shannon, the one white person in the cast, feels like a choice.

    Legacies:
    We shall all be trash together!

    As for the rest, they are all on my immediate catch up list, but between watching Elite Season 4 and real world things I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
    Are we getting something for Elite Season 4? because that whole situation was a mess, but very interesting.

    • @avasommer I joked in the TV Team’s slack channel that “my Bold Type recap might be ‘Jane Sloan is terrible’ over and over again.”

      I do not understand how anyone could believe that Jane’s qualified to lead a magazine. Not only is she too inexperience but also: she’s terrible at her current job. I’m supposed to be impressed by her taking responsibility? Okay, but when does she get held accountable for screwing up in the first place? She was editor-for-the-day and her solution to a top ad buyer for the magazine was to shift all his money to the online edition? How do you sustain a physical magazine that way? And are there no upper management people at Scarlet? No Deputy editors or Managing Editors…does Scarlet operate in a way that is fundamentally different than every other major publication in the world?!

      It is absolutely maddening to watch this storyline play out.

  3. “This might be an unpopular opinion, but I hope the second season of Cruel Summer is a different mystery with different teens set across different summers.”

    Not unpopular with me! I feel like the story’s over (and frankly they botched the ending — all the big twists and explanations were wildly implausible for about 50 different reasons, which was a shame for a show that had seemed so precise up till those last sloppy 30 minutes), I look forward to a new set of characters. But it better stay in the 90s! Or at least SOME past decade.

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