Hello, ’tis I, Valerie Anne, taking over the Pop Culture Fix this week! But like… in a fun substitute teacher kind of way, not in a rude “coworker talking over me when I was supposed to be the one leading this meeting” kind of way.
+ Gentleman Jack was canceled by HBO. [decidedly-not-jaunty music] Sadly, no more Anne and Ann shenanigans, no more pig murders, no more sunken pits. And, most devestatingly, no more Heather Hogan recaps of the show. *Theoretically* the BBC could still save Gentleman Jack? (“It’s not illegal!”) So maybe hold onto your top hats a little longer…
+ We got some first looks of Rosie O’Donnell as her iconic character Doris in the League of Their Own TV show and whew does she look dapper!
+ Only Murders in the Building has been renewed for a third season, and considering that usually is the opposite what happens in the wake of introducing main character queerness, I am delighted by this news.
+ Unfortunately, known racist Lea Michele will be replacing queer cutie Beanie Feldstein in Funny Girl on Broadway
+ I don’t know if Florence Pugh is queer but I’m including this here and if I need a good reason it’s because Aubrey Plaza approved in the comments, but Florence Pugh wrote a great caption about her see-through dress on Instagram.
What’s funny is the only context I saw people talking about it was my queer friends and I sharing it around like “holy shit look how stunning she looks” and not one single critique was given…
+ And speaking of Aubrey Plaza, here’s a trailer for her upcoming movie, Emily the Criminal
+ Reservation Dogs dropped a Season 2 trailer.
+ Zendaya told Vogue Italia that she was supposed to direct an episode of Euphoria last season but time didn’t allow it, so she hopes to direct an episode next season
+ One idea I have is that Seth MacFarlane just…stop but maybe that’s just me and you WANT to read his thoughts on continuing to write trans storylines in The Orville despite having majorly fucked it up in the past.
+ Harley Quinn dropped another, longer trailer for Season 3, this one opening with Harley saying, “Hello ladies, gentlemen, theys and gays,” and I will never get tired of hearing Harley call Poison Ivy her girlfriend.
I’ve found the single gender /trans storyline on the Orville interesting /good, and was happy that this latest episode happened because **spoilers**
it gave the kid bodily autonomy, and that kid was supported by the crew and one parent. The earlier episode where they change the kid’s gender to male since they are a male – gendered species and being female is seen as a birth defect was a difficult one. Klyden underwent the procedure themself, and in addition to the difficulty socially in their society and wanting your kid to be “normal”, Klyden has ton of internalized transphobia, which really comes out in this latest episode. It’s heartbreaking for their kid, knowing they were both born female, and Klyden leaves Bortus because of his support of their kid. They are definitely not easy episodes to watch, but seem realistic as to social and interpersonal pressures around gender, bodily autonomy and ‘the natural’. Though I can see this being triggering to transfolks and understand wanting to not watch as a result.
Now I am not trans (though I would say I am a more masc leaning woman so maybe I fall under that broad umbrella), so I would like to see what transfolks think of this storyline, when I can’t really think of other TV sci fi has dealt with it as in depth as this. Trek has trans/non-binary folks now but get just… are. Which is great! But it side steps the social difficulty that is reality for most /all transfolks. Especially here having a parent being very against it to the point of leaving their kid and spouse.
Now I will say it feels a little… For lack of a better term ‘white saviour’ish. Seth’s captain and the female first officer Topa looks up to, and Bortus as a union officer obviously has internalized some of its ideals, and they are (fortunately of course) seen as ‘right’. I also don’t like the falling back on alien races being weird /backward when humans are also awful, and there are limited POC in the human cast (and even then, seemingly only black folks with no further diversity) and the only same sex couple was Bortus/Klyden, which seems like a cop out considering they are a monogendered species.
So definitely imperfect, but I’ve been surprised at the quality of writing, especially since I can’t stand Family Guy. Last week’s episode about dealing with time travel was really poignant and brought up issues of how much do you do your duty to lay low when you’re stranded out of time? Should the time line be maintained at any cost? Surprisingly thoughtful stuff.
Being nitpicky here, but I’d argue Klyden doesn’t have internalised transphobia- he has internalised intersexphobia. Being born female and living as male isn’t so much being trans contextually as having an ‘abnormal’ anatomical sex reassigned to a ‘normal’ one. Topa definitely is trans, but Klyden isn’t- he identifies with the gender he was assigned.
I think framing it this way is important. A lot of people have read the Topa storyline as a detransition storyline, especially in very transphobic ways (“showing the danger of transitioning kids” etc), when she’s (if anything) transfeminine and choosing to transition.
I’m both intersex and trans, and I do think the Orville has good intentions, and I actually like how this storyline has played out! However, I think the earlier episode was very messy, and while they’ve ‘course-corrected’ now, it’s still left space for people to interpret it in really transphobic ways. And like, to an extent transphobic people are always going to interpret things through that lens (and there very much is an issue with some of the Orville fanbase treating it as the ‘anti-woke’ Star Trek alternative, which doesn’t help), but I think the messiness can lend weight to that interpretation.
Oh no, no more Gentleman Jack! But even worse, no more Gentleman Jack episode recaps by Heather Hogan!
I’m sick about Gentleman Jack
HBO totally abandoned Gentleman Jack this season. They barely promoted it and they apparently didn’t send screeners to reviewers cause this season has less than half the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes that the first season had. I was so excited for it to come back this year and I expected it to build on the buzz of last season and finally get the attention it deserved but it just never happened and I’m really angry about it.
Oh shit that sucks, I’m seeing it from Europe and was so surprised since the BBC have done so much with it, including a documentary!
What proof is there that Lea Michelle is racist? I haven’t known her to be racist.
It has been well-documented by her former co-stars. There is a link above, but here’s another one: https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/samantha-ware-glee-lea-michele-interview-black-actress-hollywood-1234631015/
I recommend Googling to read more about it. Many of her former coworkers have spoken up about this over the past few years.
I remember this. That article isn’t enough for me to deem someone a racist. She might have treated a person poorly that happened to be black, but we don’t know her motivations nor the motivations of the other person/people. I don’t assume that a person doesn’t like me because I’m black. There can be other factors. Maybe the title was meant to be sensational. It worked. It feels reckless. Your platform has weight. Im a black woman. I was triggered as soon as I read it and immediately empathized with Lea. Trump is a known racist. Lea was an accused racist who we never truly heard from because the internet deemed her a villain. It happened during a rough time in our country. I get it. Maybe she was a jerk. Maybe she wasn’t a nice person then. People grow. We don’t know her and it feels negligent to base a person’s whole existence on the voice of a few. I would hate for someone to do that to me. Actually people have, and it doesn’t feel great.
Did you read just the one article or did you Google all the various claims against her? One claim is one thing but many claims against her not just on Glee is enough to make any sane person see that she is who the victims of her bigotry and racism say she is. As a black woman (so you claim) you excusing her behavior as having a bad day/month/year when she caused real hurt to marginalized people, a people you claim to be part of, is some type of cognitive dissonance that I can’t wrap my mind around. Where is your empathy for the people she hurt? What about how brave those people are for risking their careers and reputations by coming forward especially given how Hollywood treats black people who they feel will rock the boat with their views? Those who came forward and those who backed up others claims aren’t huge stars and speaking out especially against how production did nothing to stop it can easily blacklist them yet they did it anyway. That is brave and what should trigger you is that they had to do it in the first place. But what Lea has done is what so many like her have done or at least what others have painted her and others like her as since the beginning of time is that she’s pretty and talented so she cannot be racist and therefore must be the victim.
This message was brought to you by a black woman in corporate America who deals with Lea Micheles far more than I should and even sadder those who make excuses for them which allows them to skirt any real consequences to their actions.
“As a black woman (so you claim)”
Mods, is it really OK to write “so you claim” as a response on AS? How are we supposed to have honest dialogue here—to tell our own individual truths—when someone can come along to cast doubt on your self-expressed identity [I know that “as a woman (so you claim)” said in response to a self-ID’d transwomen would never be allowed here, nor should it!]
a) Pugh looks AMAZING and I love that dress
and b) when Rachel Bloom is RIGHT THERE???
I feel.. totally fine about the GJ cancellation, except insofar as we don’t get to see Heather write about it anymore. A loss for us all.
HEATHER HOGAN GJ FAN FICTION WHEN
Lol HBO waited until Pride to renew Our Flag Means Death and waited to immediately after to cancel Gentleman Jack.
Typical corporate bullshit.