Better Together: Calvin & Hobbes, Tegan & Sara, Rihanna & Ellen… Lesbians & Reality TV?

THE REAL L WORD: Ilene Chaiken speaks to Emmy Magazine about a new genre of reality television which blurs the lines between fact and fiction:

“When The L Word ended, I received so much feedback from fans who wanted more,” she says, “and, really, the show could have gone on and on. Doing the reality show is a logical continuation of the storytelling and a fresh way to circle back to it seamlessly without taking a year off.”

“Chaiken is upbeat about the franchise, which follows the lives of lesbians. ‘There’s nothing else on television that tells these stories and continues to shatter stereotypes. We can delve into issues that we could only scratch the surface on in the scripted show.'”

Honestly that’s our least favorite genre of television show!! Perhaps that’s ultimately what irritates us most about this decision: we’d prefer Lesbian Survivor or Lesbian Primetime Medical Drama or really just about any other form of television — Lesbian Hollywood Squares! Lesbian Wheel of Fortune! Lesbian Afternoon Soap Opera! Lesbian Sitcom! — over a Hillsy staged reality “docusoap.” (@emmys)

CATCHER IN THE RYE: My Adventues Answering J.D. Salinger’s Mail: “Now, his address and his phone number are in the Rolodex on your desk,” [my boss at Harold-Ober literary agency] Phyllis explained. “People are going to call and ask for his number. You think it won’t happen, but it will.” She paused to light another cigarette. “Grad students. Reporters. Just … people. They may try to trick you or manipulate you. They may give you some song-and-dance routine.” She laughed a throaty laugh, then fixed me sharply in her pale blue eyes. “But you can never, ever give out that address. Or that phone number. NEVER. OK?” I nodded and gave her my most professional smile. “Because it’s happened before,” she told me. “I’ve had assistants who just don’t understand.” (@slate)

GIRLTRASH: Be an extra in the movie Girltrash! Angela Robinson, Rose Rollins, Mandy Musgrave, Michelle Lombardo, Clementine Ford HAVE I DROPPED ENOUGH NAMES FOR YOU YET. This is happening Wednesday & Thursday only so get to it! (@yourdailylesbianmoment)

V FOR VENDWHATTA?: Natalie Portman was ”terrified’ about having to kiss Mila Kunis in their new movie ‘Black Swan’ and worried their steamy encounter would overshadow the whole film. (@contact music)

RIHANNA: Rihanna visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show and performed her hit “Hard” and it was hot! (@bgg)

CALVIN AND HOBBES: Via ONTD, best blog evah, we found these Cleveland Plain-Dealer pieces on Calvin & Hobbes! Bill Watterson retired the strip 15 years ago and lives now in Cleveland Ohio, right in the heartland of America. Our Calvin & Hobbes love was well documented in Taylor’s first Technostraddle Open Thread, so you can imagine our delight to read 15 Years Later, Fans Still Pine for Calvin & Hobbes and this interview with Bill Watterson. Then you should probs go get The Complete Calvin and Hobbes for your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. (@clevelandplaindealer)

TEGAN & SARA: Tegan & Sara will be touring Australia! This is gigantic news that will change the world, especially for our Music Editor who lives in Australia! The twins will play the continent, country and island in May, with tickets going on sale on February 12th. I hope they pack lots of books for the flight, it’s super long.(@defamer)

Want more Tegan & Sara? Perfect, ’cause they hosted NewNowNext music on Sunday night and we got video to prove it!


YOUNG HOLLYWOOD: Vanity Fair’s Young Hollywood Issue comes out this month, starring a bunch of hot chicks like Kristen Stewart, the girl from Mean Girls/Jennifer’s Body, and frequent lesbian-playing actress Evan Rachel Wood! It’s a bunch of pretty skinny white girls! Yah! Go Vanity Fair! [Ed. note: to clarify, we’re kidding. Obvs there is nothing yay about this homogenous romp through the prairies of the Caucasian hinterlands.]

Here’s the behind-the-scenes video from the shoot by Annie Lebowitz.

GAGA: Lady Gaga declined to participate in the “We are the World” singalong, and most of the Jezebel commenters seem to think that’s ok for a lot of reasons like “I’d do the same thing. These charity sing-alongs are incredibly tacky.” We think it’s okay too. She’s done a lot for Haiti and no one should feel obligated to participate in a singalong that will immortalize their bad haircuts for centuries like what happened the first time. (@jezebel)

ANITA BRYANT: US television network HBO is developing a biopic of Anita Bryant, the campaigner who warned gays were recruiting children. (@pinknewsuk)

OSCARS: The Oscar nominations were announced. I imagine if you’re interested in this sort of thing, it’s likely you’ve already looked it up by now, and have some feelings about it, which you’re welcome to share here. My only question, based on not seeing any movies this year but reading about a lot of movies, is why was Avatar nominated for Best Picture? That’s all. We all know Taylor Swift is probs gonna win anyhow.

SKINS: AfterEllen’s Great LezBritan column interviews Kathryn Prescott and Lily Loveless from Skins. (@aterellen)

NICOLE PACENT: SheWired talks to Anyone But Me’s Nicole Pacent (our cute Robin Roemer pictures!) (@shewired)

VOGUE: Have you seen Paris is Burning? Why the fuck not? In any event, Willi Ninja (the name might sound familiar — Benny Ninja often guests on America’s Next Top Model) is featured for Black History month. (@blackgaygossip)

Good news! You can watch it right now! Let’s begin:

COMEDY?: John Stewart will appear on The O’Reilly Factor in a two-part interview to air Wednesday and Thursday nights on Fox. I am so conflicted! (@ew)

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3223 articles for us.


  1. listening to ifc talk is like listening to a robot who is only programmed to know how to say “tell stories” and “storytelling.”

  2. I’m wondering about the frequent use of the “royal we” (or in this case; our) on the site. Have your brains been dating for so long that their atoms have started to form covalent bondings? Or are some of you secretly members of the group of inbreeds otherwise known as the European Royalties?

    On a lighter note, Natalie Portman just broke my heart.

  3. I am more than a little crushed to learn that Natalie Portman was “terrified” about kissing a girl. Sigh. I expected better from her.

    • I think the terror had nothing to do with the actual kiss. I’m sure she (and we) all know by now that the girl-on-girl kiss in movies is being used as a selling point to market movies to men (and some lesbians?). I don’t know what the movie is about, but she is pretty respectable and probably wants the kiss, which must have deeper purpose, to come across as a necessary part of the movie and not an add-on for gratuitous sexual content.

    • I know right? Fascinating. My literary agent’s husband actually worked at the same agency and she had told me how people were always hounding Salinger and how important he remained to the agency despite not publishing in so many years. That article is probs my favorite thing I’ve read all week about him, though my favorite book reviewer Sam Anderson also pays an excellent tribute in this week’s New York Magazine: Social Salinger.

  4. I will buy that Calvin and Hobbes stamp. Lots of them, actually. My son will probably want to paper his room with them and I’d be okay with that.

  5. More cute pics by Robin Roemer? Yes, please!

    Do we really need the Oscars? Can’t they just give Meryl Streep and Mo’nique every award ever and be done with it? Or are they seriously going to channel the Hollywood hard on over 3D into going all TaySwift with Avatar and giving it all the goods? Yes, yes they are.

  6. Whatever, Natalie Portman. See if YOU get invited to be in my LESBIAN KISSING fantasy tonight.

  7. Ahhh! It’s my three favorite ladies from La-La land.

    And Paris is Burning is such an important movie to me. Guys, you really have to see it. I’ve seen it several times, including once screened on the pier in the village. It’s important because it’s give you so much insight to the vogue and ball community, and where it came from. It also gives some perspective on the black gay community, for those who don’t see a lot of that. I just love that movie. It’s FIERCE.

  8. “Honestly that’s our least favorite genre of television show!!” – why?

    on another note, avatar is going to win everything, probvs even the categories it’s not nominated for.

  9. This makes me feel a lot of pressure to make the most of the Australian Tegan & Sara experience.

    I love it when my all-time favourite website (@autostraddle) links to my second all-time favourite website (@defamer australia), it warms my heart.

    • i met this girl from australia last week, which totally killed my theory that australia is not a real place, but a fantastic imaginary land that exists only in the collective imagination of the rest of the world. anyways, she told me that she’s seen t&s live 3 TIMES!

      apparently they go there like once a year, she said.
      can you tell them they should come to mexico, if you see them?
      we’re nice people. we have gay marriage. and quesadillas.

      • Tegan & Sara do seem to travel to Australia a lot, it’s true. They know The Secret.

        I will pass on your message about Mexico. Who in their right mind would pass up a good quesadilla.

      • i like this theory about Australia. probs, i’d prefer to be imaginary. then i wouldn’t have to write this stupid reflection.

  10. I love that Willie Ninja is being recognized, it’s due time. The ballroom scene and vogueing is very monumental to a lot of young black and latino youths and its about time that someone of stature gets their respect.

    P.S. It’s Benny Ninja that makes appearances on ANTM. Willie Ninja has been at rest for some years now.

    Also I hope that comment on the “WHITES ONLY” Vanity Fair shoot was sarcasm. I love Kristen Stewart as much as any other lesbian but c’mon, that cover is completely washed-out and discriminatory.

    • oh god, i don’t think anyone would say WHITES ONLY genuinely, would they? Yes, it’s fully sarcastic. That cover is ridiculous! Seriously, that cover is the whitest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Like there is not a single ethnicity represented up there besides Caucasian, or a single body type besides “very skinny.” I’m actually shocked that they managed to publish that cover without a single editorial assistant being like, um, ‘hey you guys, if this is Young Hollywood, we’re in trouble.’

  11. I’m seriously looking at spending $600-$800NZD to fly to Australia to see them. For serious. One part of me is like WTF am I thinking spending that much money..the other half is going well duh, you’ll be seeing T&S LIVE. SO much $$.

    • It is a lot of money. But on the other hand you get to see Tegan & Sara and also hang out in Australia.

      • Mega amount of $$ but I have friends I’ll be going with and they’ve offered me somewhere to stay so major outlay is the flights. I would love to see more of Aussie for sure..and it’s unlikely they’ll jump the ditch any time soon either! *plants money tree* :)

  12. This is one of my fav fixes ever! Maybe cuz I’m tipsayyy but maybe because of Calvin & Hobbes and Tegan & Sara in Australia and Rihanna on Ellen and Great Oscar nominees and Skins and John Stewart on O’REILLY (?!?!?!) and I guess I could go on forever but what I really just wanna say is I love you Autostraddle THANKSS pal!!!! xoxo gossip girl

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