Boobs on Your Tube: In Its Season Finale, iCarly Proves It’s Not Your Mama’s Nickelodeon (Thank Goodness)

Hello, it’s the last Friday in August (sobbbbbb cryyyyyy) and welcome back to Boobs on Your Tube! To start us off, you miss our podcast recap of last week’s L Word? Speaking of Showtime, Work in Progress came back last weekend and reaffirmed that mentally ill queer dykes are enough. Did you hear that SUPERGIRL IS BACK for its final set of episodes (and once again we say, sobbbbbb cryyyyyy). On Legends of Tomorrow, Ava and Sara try to figure out what game Bishop’s playing. This week Heather dedicated her late summer catch up binge to Kevin Can F*ck Himself and has completely sold it to us thusly: What happens when a piss-baby man-child inside a traditional family sitcom has a wife who lives in another show entirely? And Malika is exploring her queerness in an episode of Good Trouble that’s also a return to form!


iCarly 113: “iReturn to Webicon”

Written by Valerie Anne

Screenshot from iCarly: Harper and Double Dutch kissing like the beautiful gays they are

Not your mama’s Nickelodeon. Thank goodness.

This week on iCarly, the gang goes to what they think will be a camping con but ends up being a bit of a disaster. There’s only one treehouse they all have to cram into, and then a storm hits, sending them all careening into someone’s arms. Carly finds herself going toward her ex-boyfriend instead of her current boyfriend, and Harper finds herself entwined with her pop star boss, Double Dutch. After this experience, and after some reflection with Carly about how her passion for the job seems to be a little more than a love for fashion, she tells Double Dutch that she has feelings for her. She says, “And I think you feel it too,” and to my surprise, Dutch agrees. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t even considered this pairing, and didn’t see it coming, but also it’s a sitcom so I’m not going to over-analyze it. They decide to put their feelings aside because of the nature of their job but that lasts for approximately 10 seconds before they give in and kiss. You love to see it.

Based on the cliffhanger ending between Carly and her beaus, I think that might have been the season finale, but luckily there’s a second season in our future so we’ll get to see how this story unfolds. Since I loved the original series when I was younger (fine I was 20 but it was before I was out so I it feels young to me in retrospect) and I’ve grown up to be extremely gay, it was very validating to watch this show also grow up and be extremely gay. Plus, Paramount said, “If we’re going to do this let’s DO THIS” and had a Black bisexual character played by a bisexual actress fall for a queer Chinese-American character played by a queer actress. I could not be more delighted by how delighted I was for this reboot and look forward to the next season!


The Ms. Pat Show: Season 1

Written by Natalie

A crass joke from her mother finally compels Ashley to come out.

BET is a risk adverse network. Every now and then, they’ll push the boundaries but if things don’t work right away, the network retreats to safe banality of another Tyler Perry production. Still, though, you relish the moments where BET is willing to step forward and take a risk, investing in something completely original. They did it with Lena Waithe’s Twenties and now they’re doing it with The Ms. Pat Show. And like Twenties, The Ms. Pat Show is loosely autobiographical, centered on an unlikely protagonist and took a long and winding road before ending up on BET’s streaming service, BET+.

The show centers around the life of Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams who upends her burgeoning comedy career to move from Atlanta to suburban Indianapolis. But The Ms. Pat Show isn’t just another “fish out of water” story: it’s the story of a survivor of abuse, attempted murder and gun violence, a former drug dealer and felon, who reforms her life via the comedy stage… only now she has to find a stage in the conservative Midwest. The show doesn’t hide from Pat’s past — in fact, it often puts it front and center — and, admittedly, it’s a little disconcerting: laughing feels wrong but also so right.

By the show’s third episode, Pat’s eldest daughter, Ashley (played by Boomerang‘s Brittany Inge), returns home to celebrate her mother’s birthday. The relationship between Pat and her firstborn feels tenuous: loving but also scarred by Ashley’s front-row seat to Pat’s worst moments. An errant lesbian joke during dinner compels Ashley to finally come out and Pat does not take the news well. But while their fight starts out as being about Ashley’s sexuality, it morphs into being about all the ways Pat failed to support her daughter. The pair make amends eventually but The Ms. Pat Show doesn’t pull punches about how messy that evolution can be.

Admittedly, Ashley isn’t a prominent part of The Ms. Pat Show‘s first season but she is one of the more compelling parts: her relationship with Pat and the fact that she’s successfully navigated her way out of perilous circumstances — seemingly on her own — seems ripe for future storytelling. I’ll be watching… though with a lot of uncertainty about whether I should be laughing or not.


American Horror Story 1001: “Cape Fear” and 1002: “Pale”

Written by Drew

Sarah Paulson as TB Karen wearing an old beanie and big coat looks scared.

American Horror Story is back with the first two episodes of its two-part season. That’s right it’s a double feature — the first six episodes about mermaids and the last four about aliens. Given the diminishing returns often found in the show’s longer seasons, this concept seems readymade for success. Then again that’s what I’d hoped for its spin-off.

Far from the disaster of American Horror Stories, the first two episodes of Red Tide are competent (thank God) — but not exactly imaginative. It begins as a sort of The Shining: Provincetown and trickles into The Descent: Sand before landing on Limitless: Vampires. It’s the show’s whole thing to riff on other things, so the lack of originality isn’t inherently a problem. I guess I’m just disappointed that the riff is “beach” instead of, I don’t know, “super gay.”

But there are some real joys in these first episodes, so let’s talk about the things that are gay. Not the butch hostess in the town’s only restaurant — I’m talking about all the straight people. While he’s certainly included plenty of explicitly queer characters in his work — to varying degrees of success — sometimes it feels like Ryan Murphy is at his gayest when working in a sandbox of heteros. Unconcerned with respectability, he leans into his faggotry and gives us big budget camp of a bygone era.

So is Sarah Paulson’s character gay? No. But she does play someone named TB Karen who chews more scenery than the rest of the cast chews people. Paulson discussing art with drug addict Macaulay Culkin feels gay in the same way that Evan Peters and Frances Conroy duetting “Islands in the Stream” feels gay in the same way that Lily Rabe screaming “THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND MINIMALISM!!!” feels gay. It’s absurd and a whole lot of fun.

I’m not that interested in Finn Wittrock’s lead or the focus on the depths creative people will go for success. (There’s a thread of thematic interest in the way these rich artists are using drug addicts and sex workers, but I don’t trust Ryan to get too deep with that.) But I am interested in watching Billie Lourd play a tattoo artist/dentist who gives people vampire teeth. And I’m definitely interested in whenever Angelica Ross shows up as a character known only as The Chemist.

American Horror Story could be a great show. But I’ll settle for fun.


Motherland: Fort Salem 210: “Revolution, Part 1”

Written by Valerie Anne

Screenshot from Motherland: Fort Salem of lesbian witches Raelle and Scylla kissing

“We’re gonna run, nothing can stop us. Even the night that falls all around us.”

Phew this finale was INTENSE. When our unit found themselves face to face with a witch-plague-laced Penelope and I realized what they were going to have to do I knew we were in for a tough one. Tally is having the optimism and hope worn down with the more she sees (or Sees) but she’s also getting braver and stronger. And it was beautiful to watch Abigail not even hesitate before being at her girls’ sides, and working magic with Raelle, despite how fiercely independent she was in the beginning. Growth!

Also, at one point in this final battle, Alder is struck down. She returns to her roots (like literally starts to look like Groot) and starts to die and all the girls say goodbye to her and it’s a lovely scene. And my heart does break for the women who will miss her, it does. But I have a hot take: Alder is the Snape of this story. She was a terrible leader, constantly abusing her power, using her magic to manipulate everyone from teenage girls to the actual President, asking young girls to give up their entire life to serve her just to preserve her control (and her cheekbones)…she was awful! Fun to watch, amazingly written and acted, a great character, but a bad person. Her dying heroically doesn’t make her a hero. So, RIP(?) but I’m not about to just forget all the things she did and I hope Tally won’t either.

Okay on to the gay stuff. Raelle and Scylla had a really sweet phone call and as the chaos descends around them, they exchange “I love you”s and it’s genuinely so fucking sweet. The fact that they were on landlines too? Delicious. When the girls are accused of murdering Penelope just because they could and not because HER OWN FATHER sacrificed her to further his literal witch hunt, they are arrested. But Scylla gets some fellow ex-Spree and Dodgers and breaks them all out of their prison transport.

Raelle and Scylla decide they never want to be apart again and they share a kiss that feels like a breath of relief. For a moment, everything is peaceful, even though they know full well their story could be about to mirror Bonnie and Clyde’s.

Motherland: Fort Salem was renewed for a third and final season, and I, for one, am ready for Witches on the Run.

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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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5 Comments

  1. – I 100% agree with you about Alder, and that’s why it blows my mind as to why people hate on Nicte. Nicte had very legitimate reasons, even with the Camarilla popping up, to want Alder dead.
    – Here at the end of the season:





  2. A mom here feeling very attacked (and also happy for the youngins).
    I’ll have you know that Nickelodeon was also very gay in my time, too—at least in my head. Pretty sure Brad was one of my roots. Clarissa was out there ignoring the male gaze. And I think I even saw the beginnings of a mean femme top in rugrats’ Angelica.

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