Well! What a week! Welcome back to Boobs on Your Tube. Ryan’s Kryptonite wound is OUT OF CONTROL on Batwoman (and there’s lots of dyke drama, too!). Valerie declared Dickinson Season Two “an ode to Emily and Sue.” Good Trouble explored racism in comedy from the eyes of Alice attending the CBTV diversity workshop. (That episode also guest starred Rhea Butcher, who also was on this week’s To L and Back! See what we did there?) Would you like to read a touching personal essay about The Owl House’s Luz and Amity capturing the queer experience of a surprise first crush? We bet you would! Also, Netflix’s Ginny & Georgia presents a refreshingly typical teen dating story.
Heather found Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar to be a bananapants brain vacation and she thinks you deserve it. Shelli and Dani watched The United States vs. Billie Holiday and spent a lot of time thinking about the legacies of Black trauma on screen, and the twin legacy of Black queer erasure, and how both come to bear on the film, you should give absolutely give it a read!
It’s now officially March, and you know what that means! What’s New and Gay and Streaming on HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon?
Notes from the TV Team:
+ Pose’s third season (deputing this May) will be it’s last. No, I am not ready to talk about it. — Carmen
Black Lightning 404: “The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Four: A Light in the Darkness”
Written by Carmen
So Grace woke up, and then Anissa and Grace got married, and now we are on our way back home. Where Anissa and Grace fight… over whether or not Grace can move her things (including her prized comic book collection!!) into Anissa’s apartment? Which felt more like the kind of fight you have six months into a relationship and not after your married, but hey! I suppose that’s what happens when your gay on Black Lightning and the writers are always trying to fit your relationship milestones in around everyone else.
Ok, I realize I sound snarky, so let me follow that up by saying that initial fight leads to one of Black Lightning’s most romantic moments to date: Anissa buying a pristine, still in plastic, copy of Grace’s favorite issue of The Outsiders and wrapping it as a present to give her wife. If you’ll remember, Grace was reading that same issue when she and Anissa first met — all the way back in episode three of the very first season of Black Lightning, which is both a REALLY touching throwback, and a surprisingly refreshing piece of continuity on a show that’s often struggled to find some. I loved everything about it! And of course, as always, Chantal Thuy and Nafessa William sell what the writers don’t give them, Anissa and Grace remain so well loved and electric, despite whatever holes in the plot.
Their romantic moment is broken up by news of ~super villain nonsense involving Tobias Whale and Lala, which sends both Pierce sisters and Grace onto the scene. Grace complains that Anissa made her wear a hoodie “as a disguise” when as a shape shifter she can always be her own disguise. With that she changes her hair red, her eyes green, and puts on a very dope Mortal Kombat style outfit, officially naming herself “Wylde” — a reclamation of Shay Li Wylde, Grace’s birth name.
It maybe took four years in the making, but Grace Choi is finally OFFFICIALLY a superhero, cute name and all. And let me tell you from that upside down roundhouse kick she gave? It certainly was worth it.
9-1-1 407: “There Goes The Neighborhood”
Written by Natalie
With Hen busy with work and school, Karen’s been left to wrangle the two Wilson kids and she’s at her wits end. Recognizing how stressed her wife is, Hen puts down her Gross Anatomy book and volunteers to get the kids ready for bed. But before they can pick out the bedtime story, the family’s interrupted by a knock at the door: It’s Grammy! Much to Hen and Karen’s dismay, Hen’s mother, Toni, has decided to move from Las Vegas to Los Angeles — in the middle of a pandemic — and find a place in the neighborhood.
At work, Hen laments her mother’s arrival. She admits that the pair have a good relationship when there’s distance separating them but, in-person, Toni tends move in and crush everything in her path. Chimney and Bobby urge Hen to look at the bright side — her mom will be around to help with Denny and Nia — but Hen’s unconvinced: Toni is not the helping type. Later, though, Hen quietly admits to Athena that it’s been nice having her mother back in town. But no sooner than the words are out of her mouth does Hen overhear her mother questioning whether Hen should be going back to school at her age. The words echo a lifetime of her mother’s doubt that Hen’s had to deal with and she’s tired of it.
The next day, while Karen and the kids are at the park, they spot Grammy sleeping, not in her “cute little Airbnb,” but in her car. Upon hearing the news, Hen tracks down her mother who confirms that she’s been living in her car after losing her job (as a blackjack dealer) and being evicted. She kept the truth from Hen because she feared her daughter’s judgment. Hen scoffs at the notion: Her mother’s always been the judgmental one. Hen reminds her mom that she just said Hen was too old for med school. Grammy assures her daughter that’s not what she meant.
She applauds Hen’s determination, admitting that she’s always been jealous of her drive. She adds, “I look at the amazing life you’ve made for yourself and I’m in awe. You’ve built something, Henrietta, and I…I just don’t want you to lose it.”
At the root of it, Toni doesn’t want her daughter to end up like her but Hen promises that she’ll be okay because her mother made her a fighter. It’s clearly just the start of the conversations mother and daughter need to have but they’ll have plenty of time for that now that Grammy’s moving in.
It’s worth noting that the role of Hen’s mom, Toni, is played by the legendary out comedienne, Marsha Warfield. Best known for playing Rosalind “Roz” Russell on Night Court, Warfield was giving us black butch realness on television before most of us even knew what that was. Also? Given how Marsha Warfield’s own mother kept her closeted for most of her life, seeing her play the mother to a gay butch daughter has particular resonance. A great bit of a casting!
All American 307: “Roll the Dice”
Written by Natalie
Throughout All American‘s third season, the specter of the gang’s summer sojourn to Las Vegas has loomed large. Something happened there — something momentous for nearly every character on the canvas — but we’ve never known what until now. The episode revisits that weekend in Vegas… the weekend when everything started to change for Patience.
Knowing how much it means to his daughter, JP Keating rolls out the red carpet for Spencer, Jordan, Simone and JJ’s visit to Vegas. He secures a lavish suite for the crew and even sets up a private gaming room for them to enjoy. Coop jokes that she might have signed with the wrong Keating but Layla reminds her that she’s the Keating that secured Coop a sold-out stop in Las Vegas. Besides, Patience chimes in, it’s not like JP’s putting his own artists up in lavish suites.
In the gaming room, Patience’s frustration at being under JP’s thumb starts to show. Coop urges her to talk to JP about playing her own songs but Patience dismisses the conversation and just tries to have fun. Later, at the roulette table, Coop and Spencer catch up after their first ever summer apart. They fall into an easy rapport, the way old friends do, and it’s almost enough to make you forget the way their friendship has fallen apart. The pair joke about Layla and Coop getting closer on tour and Coop taking Spencer’s girl which… I mean… clearly someone’s been reading my All American fan fic.
The next day, Coop and Patience revisit the topic of Patience’s unhappiness and Coop urges her to talk to JP. Recounting some advice Patience gave her, Coop encourages Patience to be upfront with JP and find someone who accepts her for the artist that she is. Patience takes her girlfriend’s advice and plays her new song for JP. He loves the song and immediately shifts into producer mode, giving Patience notes to improve it. But as Patience is working on it, Lil’ Jewel bursts in singing Patience’s praises; she loves the song Patience wrote and is slated to head into the studio ASAP lay the track down for her new album. When Patience goes to confront JP, she spots him making out with Lil’ Jewel — the very married Lil’ Jewel — in the hallway.
Hurt, confused and frustrated, Patience sheds a few tears but wipes them away before Coop can see. She’s so happy for Coop’s success and she doesn’t want anything to tarnish the celebration. But because everything that happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, the reverberations from this summer trip still linger… and they’re about to impact Coop and Patience in a big way.
S.W.A.T. 410: “Buried”
Written by Natalie
I wasn’t thrilled about S.W.A.T.‘s decision to kill off Erika Rogers, especially at the hands of a white supremacist. I liked the friendship she’d built with Chris and the support they gave each other as the lone women in SWAT. I liked her rapport with Hondo and how she could challenge him on race and on work in a way no one else could. But if you’re going to kill a compelling character like Erika, at least make the fallout worth watching….and so far S.W.A.T. hasn’t done that. But, maybe (hopefully), the show finally starts to turn the corner this week.
Chris stops by the locker-room at SWAT HQ to collect some things before her session with Dr. Hughes. She lingers by Erika’s old locker, removing the nameplate and placing it in her own. When Deacon asks how she’s doing, she just says she’s tired…in addition to her session with Hughes to get approved to return to duty, her final interview for the Tactical Leadership Institute is today and she was up late studying. Chris was always invested in winning the TLI competition but with Erika’s death, the opportunity to be in a place where everything doesn’t remind her of her loss is something she desperately needs. Deacon encourages her to make the interview about how she’ll best represent SWAT.
And, of course, Chris does just that.
Remembering Erika, Chris gets a little emotional, but she tells Commander Hicks, “Erika always reminded me that we had to be the proof that women can be SWAT…I want to win this thing on merit because that’s what’ll inspire other female cops to raise the bar for themselves in their own way, which makes the entire department stronger.” After the interview, she chastises herself for getting emotional but her performance is enough to win over Hicks and win the TLI competition.
Once the winner’s announced, Chris pulls Street aside to chastise him over the way he’s handling his relationship with his girlfriend, Molly. Chris urges him to let go of the pipe dream he has of them being together and to figure out his relationship without involving her. Tan interrupts to invite them both to celebrate the TLI results but Chris declines the offer and opts for a night alone. Except…she doesn’t spend it alone at all. Chris wakes up later, amid a sea of empty beer bottles and next to a guy whose name she doesn’t care to know.
Finally, we get some fallout.
grown-ish 315: “Over My Head”
Written by Natalie
Here’s what we know about Phil, the one-night stand that, nine months later, made Nomi Segal into a mother: his last name’s McGinnis, he’s from San Jose, he’s a Comm major at UC-Berkeley, he loves playing ultimate frisbee and he likes margaritas. Now — 14 months after that fateful night — Phil slips into Nomi’s DMs to let her know he’s back in town and wants to meet up… and Nomi’s forced to decide (again) whether to tell him about the adorable baby girl he fathered.
With Zoey on the road with Joey Bada$$ and the twins off at Olympic trials, Nomi’s left with only Ana to confide in. This never goes well. Ana urges Nomi to meet up with Phil and find out what kind of person he is but she resists. Nomi invites Ana to go on a date with Phil and get whatever she needs to feel fulfilled; after that, though, Nomi never wants to talk about Phil ever again.
“Just so we’re clear, this isn’t for my validation or my entertainment. This is for your daughter, because whether or not you want to know, someday she will and it would be nice if someone had those answers,” Ana explains. Yeah, you can definitely tell she grew up Catholic because she’s a master of shaming.
After his meeting with Ana goes horribly awry, Phil and Nomi finally do connect. Since Nomi can’t remember, he tells her about what happened prior to them hooking up 14 months ago. I think the show intends this to be cute — it’s her Sixteen Candles moment — but all I could think was, “she was so drunk that she can’t remember any of this and yet her slept with her anyway? That’s not romantic, that’s rapey.” Nomi’s so touched by the “romantic” gestures that she can’t remember that instead of telling him about his daughter, she gives into Paul’s kiss and they hook up again. Fingers crossed that the birth control works this time.
When she returns home, Nomi relays the night’s events to Luna’s babysitter, Luca. He encourages her to not to continue to meet up with Phil if she’s going to continue to keep this secret and Nomi agrees. But later, when she’s settling in to read to Luna, she discovers a thoughtful note from her dad about his experience raising her and Nomi reconsiders. She meets up with Phil at Titanium, apologizes for keeping the truth from him and introduces him to his daughter, Luna.
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