Happy Friday and CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MEMBERS OF SAG-AFTRA ON THE SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION OF THEIR STRIKE to all who celebrate!! 🎉 Once the terms of the deal are made public, we’re going to have some in-depth reporting on the success for both the actors and the writers. But for now, just sending our love to the people who make the stories that we love! Congratulations, we hope this is start of a lot more fair deals to come.
Yes, it’s already November, but listen here: Kayla cannot stop thinking about the House of Usher’s scariest moment, from a lesser known (and extremely wild!) Edgar Allan Poe story. Nic reviewed Hulu’s new series Black Cake (more on that below in this week’s round up), which is telling a beautifully complex story of family, identity, and secrets. Meanwhile, Drew would like you to know that Apple+’s The Buccaneers, ugh… ruins Edith Wharton and fails history. The Morning Show wrapped its third season in a tornado of chaos, and Christina did not miss a beat. Rap Sh!t returns for its second season, and the girlies may still be struggling to break into the music industry, but Natalie is vibing with it. And season three of Upload on Prime Video gives us a deliciously evil queer character.
Turns out that Chrishell Stause delighted in this Lifetime lesbian thriller about a pregnancy cult (what a sentence!). Speaking of Chrishell, Anya recapped the top 15 gayest moments in the latest season of Selling Sunset for you. Tessa Thompson zoomed in as Valkyrie just under the wire of Captain Marvel’s final trailer before the movie release this weekend (are you planning to go?). And if your movie tastes are a little more niche than Marvel, Drew made you this outstanding quiz that you should take immediately, Which Obscure Lesbian Movie Should You Watch?
Then the senior editors got together to ask What Makes a Sexy Lesbian Screenshot — a little conversation that’s somehow both horny and smart, two of the best things:
Riese is in the midst of cleaning up and revamping all of our streaming guides, so get in here to learn what’s good and gay: 25 Best LGBT TV Shows on Peacock and Hulu’s 27 Original TV Shows With Lesbian and Bisexual Women Characters.
And here’s what else!
Doom Patrol Episode 412: “Done Patrol”
Written by Valerie Anne
I’m SO sad this was the series finale, but it was a lovely sendoff to our ragtag team of barely capable superheroes.
We open with the Doom Patrol stuck between an Immortus and a zombie butt place. Jane realizes she has the powers of all of her alters, so she fights with Flit’s teleportation, Flaming Katy’s fireballs, Silver Tongue’s knife words.
Things are starting to look dire, until Dr. Wu shows up with her butt boyfriend and they start performing Shipoopi. The Butts can’t resist a musical number, so they sing along and stop attacking. Immortus also can’t resist a musical number, but wants it to be HER musical number, so she leads the butts in her song about Cloverton and the Doom Patrol sneaks out. Their singing sucks the theater into the time stream and Cloverton is safe again.
The team goes home and Larry makes pancakes and they celebrate their victory. Larry points out that they didn’t actually do much, the problems (which they caused) sort of accidentally solved themselves, but they celebrate anyway. Rita is happy they’re all together, Cyborg shows off his metal tattoos, and they all remark on Jane’s new powers. Cyborg asks what they should call her now that she’s merged, and she says the only word she can think of is Kaleidoscope, so Cyborg suggests they call her Kay. Her first name, and her last. (I’ll call her Kay now, too.)
Immortus shows up, but not to fight. She had a thousand-year music career, so she thanks them by returning their longevity. They take it eagerly, but when Rouge runs to give Rita hers, it’s too late, Rita is gone. They want to get her back, but Rita’s ghost appears and says it’s time to let her go. The Doom Patrol is over, and they need to go their separate ways, work on themselves before they try to save others.
They have a funeral, and it’s cute and imperfect and funny; classic them. Everyone goes inside to watch a Rita Farr movie together, while Rita goes into the afterlife to be reunited with the love of her beforelife.
They all fall asleep on the couch, but Kay wakes and catches Cliff sneaking off to Florida. Kay says she’s going to sublet a place and paint, and he calls her boring, since she has all these powers. But she wants to chill and be open to what’s next.
Cliff does go see his daughter, her wife, and his grandson. He sees Rory’s life play out through a crystal Immortus gave him, and then Cliff turns off forever.
The Doom Patrol house gets packed up and everyone starts to move out. Vic starts teaching, Larry finds his boyfriend, Rouge torches the Ant Farm. Kay is looking for her perfect sublet when the Doom Alarm goes off. She stomps off to stop it and runs into Casey, who says she heard the house was empty and came back to get the spaceship, but eventually admits she actually was hoping to find Kay there. Kay smiles and gets an idea. “What do you say, Captain, got room for one more?”
Casey’s face lights up, and Kay’s in return. So off they go into space together. They adopt a kitten, because gay. Happier than she’s been in a long time, Kay kisses Casey, and Casey kisses her back, and it’s beautiful.
I’ll miss the Doom Patrol very much, but I’m so glad we got two queer happy endings in the series finale.
Black Cake Episode 104: “Mrs. Bennett”
Written by Nic
This week’s episode of Black Cake spends most of its time giving us insight into what transpired that fateful Thanksgiving causing Benny to cut out her family for eight years. I wish I could say that this episode helped me to understand Benny’s actions, but instead I was left feeling irritated by her decision-making and frustrated by the lack of nuance applied to complex conversations.
In a series of flashbacks, we see Benny in bed with her girlfriend Joanie, where she admits that she’s afraid to come out to her family because she feels pressure to live up to the image her parents have for their first-generation American daughter. Joanie understandably tells Benny that she isn’t going to pressure her, but she also doesn’t want to go back to hiding who she is.
Cut to that Thanksgiving, and color me shocked when I realized that Benny actually brought Joanie along and the Bennett family was perfectly warm and inviting at first. After cordial conversation at dinner, things take a turn for the awkward when Bert asks his daughter if she has any culinary apprenticeships lined up for after she graduates. Benny reveals that she dropped out of culinary school in favor of working in a cafe to get real-world experience. This enrages Bert, as he’s been the one footing the bill every time Benny decides to pursue a new creative interest. Benny feels attacked and judged and like no one in her family understands her need to express herself through her art. Bert continues to berate Benny, bringing up her failures and her sexuality and how she can’t “just pick one thing and stick with it.” It’s a low blow and all Benny hears is that her father does not accept her. She storms out, Joanie follows her in an attempt to comfort Benny, but Benny blames Joanie for pushing her to come out and breaks up with her on the spot.
We then meet Steve, the man who in the present day is saved in Benny’s phone as “STEVE DO NOT ANSWER.” He takes an interest in her and her art and seemingly appreciates her in a way that she’s been longing for. Turns out, Steve is a textbook abuser, isolating Benny from everyone in her life, attempting to control her appearance, and getting physically violent after she doesn’t introduce him to Joanie in a chance meeting. She eventually forgives him, but when she learns her father died two years after their Thanksgiving fight, Steve assaults Benny when she insists she wants to go to the funeral. He screams that he is her family, not them. It’s awful and heartbreaking to watch, and gives context to Benny’s disappearance from her family.
Benny did go to the funeral, but she stayed in the car so her family wouldn’t see her bruises. In the present, she tells Byron that it’s because she was afraid they would judge her again and she was afraid of another rejection. Byron tells her they would have taken her in, because she’s their family.
This episode lacked a clearer illustration of the fact that multiple things being able to be true. Benny deserved unconditional support and love from her family AND it’s understandable that her parents were upset about her hiding that she dropped out. It’s awful that Bert weaponized Benny’s sexuality in their argument AND with time and conversation, Bert could have come to understand his daughter better. Benny does have so many layers, but unfortunately we’re left with a fairly shallow and irritating characterization that does not do Adrienne Warren’s incredibly emotional performance justice.