Boobs on Your Tube: Night Court Rights a Historic Sitcom Injustice, Brings Roz Back for Her Gay Happy Ending

It’s Friday, which is the end of another week but also this week is Beyoncé Day! Congratulations to all who partake! We are still celebrating Autostraddle March Madness and today you can vote for 32 different beloved queer teens on television from across literal decades, until one is reigns supreme!! Speaking of reigning supreme, Morphine continues as this year’s lip sync assassin on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Have you ever wondered how many “types” of women there might be? According to Girls5eva’s resident lesbian Gloria, there are at precisely 178 of them, and Kayla did the hero’s work of screencapping and copying down 26 women types from Gloria’s masterdoc. And is Euphoria ever going to see the light of day? Because Season Three seems to be fighting for its life, and Drew is here to recap that struggle for you.

Black queer icon Marsha Warfield made a triumphant return as Roz on Night Court (more on that below), and she graced Sai with an interview lookback at her historic career. Top Chef’s Kristen Kish has Nic hungry AND thirsty. Ahem. Kayla rounded up 12 pretty good lesbian shows that we’re pretty sure you haven’t seen yet. Carmen would like to ask if you’ve ever Rocky Horror’d Rent? Because she think you would enjoy that. Stef wrote a deep dive on Love Lies Bleeding and the history of female bodybuilding that reveals society’s fear of “monstrous” women (it’s a must read!). Did you hear that A Simple Favor 2 is confirmed to start filming this spring!?!? In honor of the release of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, here’s a look at why classic Godzilla movies have such a big queer fanbase.

And here’s what else!

Notes from the TV Team: 

+ Natalie Morales made her debut on Grey’s Anatomy last night and technically we don’t know if Dr. Beltran (her character) is gay, and technically we don’t know that she’s Amelia’s new love interest for sure just yet. But did you catch that chemistry?? That spark? Also! Arizona Robbins, doctor supreme of all lesbians, makes her long-awaited return next week!! — Carmen

+ Is it me or is the whole Kat + Susanna thing on The Way Home extremely gay? What did Kat mean when she said “a woman like you” belongs in her time?? A GAY woman?!?! Evidence Susanna is gay: a) she’s a witch, b) she doesn’t want to marry any man, c) she loves to walk arm in arm with Kat and also hold her hands lovingly a lot, d) she reads Jane Austen, e) she’s constantly saying gay shit like “Our echoes have always been around you,” and Kat is often responding with gay shit like “you are magic.” I don’t think either of them realize it but THEY’RE IN LOVE, YOUR HONOR. Why is Dyson Kris Holden-Ried constantly getting in the way of my wlw ships!!! — Valerie Anne

+ Food Network has their final eight chefs for the Tournament of Champions and, much to my chagrin, there is but one chefbian among them! Last year’s Cinderella story, Britt Rescigno, advanced to the third round of the competition this week, beating Chopped judge and NYC restaurateur Marc Murphy. I loved Rescigno’s moxie in deciding to re-spin to get a “sexier” draw from the Randomizer. It was a big risk but the chefbian took home the 84-80 win.

Unfortunately, though, Tiffani Faison wasn’t as fortunate, falling 81-79, to another Chopped judge, Amanda Freitag. At the root of Faison’s loss, I think, was a disagreement on what constitutes a “guilty pleasure.” Faison went the rich and decadent route — a rice bowl with sliced duck breast, fried banana pepper salad and roasted banana peppers — while Freitag went a more traditional route with a duck burger and chips. After losing the match, the former champion seemed a bit indignant over having lost to a burger and assured the audience that she would not be back for TOC 6. I hope she’ll reconsider. Can Britt Rescigno get avenge the loss for the gays by taking Amanda Freitag out in the Elite 8? I’ll be watching and report back. — Natalie

+ grown-ish returned this week to start its march towards the show’s series finale. The show lost my interest a while back but the prospect of a return to Cal U for the OG crew, including Nomi, will probably convince me to finish the series. — Natalie

+ Heads up: All American returns on Monday, April 1 with new episodes! Fingers crossed that Patience survived that stabbing. — Natalie


Night Court (The Reboot) Episodes 202: “The Roz Affair” &  213 “The Best Dan”

Written by Carmen

Marsha Warfield's Roz kisses her wife at her wedding in the Night Court season two finale.

Until this week, I had never given Night Court much thought. I mean, I knew the gay basics (which is different than knowing the straight basics, because I assume “straight basics” involves knowing the plot). And by gay basics, I mean I knew Marsha Warfield. I knew that she’d created a beloved character out of Night Court’s bailiff, Roz Russell. I knew that TV watching gays of the ‘80s and ‘90s not only correctly clocked Warfield as gay (Warfield chose not to be public about her sexuality at the time due a promise she made to her mother), and that many had headcanoned Roz as a lesbian as well. But like so many beloved queer TV icons in history, subtext had to suffice for what main text could not provide.

With that history in mind, I jumped at it when Sa’iyda pitched an interview with Marsha in honor of her return to the Night Court reboot’s second season finale for Roz’s lesbian wedding earlier this week. The reboot purposefully corrected one of gay TV’s historic injustices, finally not only confirming the character’s sexuality for fans, but giving her the happy ending she deserved. After after reading Sa’iyda’s outstanding profile (if you haven’t yet, give yourself that treat), I curiously decided to put on Night Court for myself.

To my surprise, I was delighted!

It turns out that Night Court mostly makes sense even if you’ve never seen it! If you’re interested in Roz’s storyline specifically, I recommend starting with the second episode of Season Two, in which Roz gets arrested for punching a bouncer at her bachelorette party and gets sprung from jail by her night court buds. Having moved on from being a bailiff, Roz now works as a private investigator, which is (ahem) how she met her fiancée, who was at the time cheating on her girlfriend. And then started cheating on her girlfriend with Roz.

Now obviously! This can lead to some insecurities in a relationship! Have you ever heard the phrase, “how you get ‘em is how you’ll lose ‘em”? Right. Luckily all of that works out with some pretty by-the-book sitcom high jinks and a heartfelt speech about the importance of love and trust that ends with Roz inviting her pals to the wedding. Which brings us to the finale!

In this week’s Season Two finale (and yes, you can skip right ahead to it. Again, like many sitcoms of the golden days, Night Court is simply not hard to follow! Which I mean as extremely complimentary!) — Roz is back, and she has lost her wedding venue. Of course that means she’s going to have her wedding at the courthouse! Because that’s how these sitcoms work!

There’s a solid B plot where someone is trying to sabotage the wedding and the Night Court crew has to solve a whodunnit, but what I was most struck by was the last five minutes, when Roz finally gets the girl. I got misty eyed watching her wedding! And again, I have never seen this show before!!! I think that pretty much says it all. There’s a reason Marsha Warfield is a legend, and the joy and warmth she has as Roz leans in to her wife for their first kiss is just!!!! Whew.

When I was done with my two-episode experiment, I wondered if I’d watch the rebooted Night Court again and the answer was… a very strong Maybe! If Roz guest stars again, that Maybe would be a Sure Thing. Marsha Warfield is every bit as wonderful and effortless in her deadpan humor as the gay TV comedy nerds had promised, and it was a joy to see her shine. Overall, Night Court went down pleasantly with my dinner and a few good laughs. I miss Classic TVTM and if you’re in a similar boat, I’d strongly recommend a watch!


NCIS: Hawai’i Episode 305: “Serve and Protect”

Written by Natalie

After a challenging assignment, Kate and Lucy reunite in the bullpen.

After a March Madness sized hiatus, NCIS: Hawai’i returned this week with, much to my surprise, another Kacy-centric episode.

Tatyana Sokolov, the heir to her late father’s private military firm, is on the island to participate in an upcoming de-escalation peace conference. Her presence isn’t welcome so NCIS is tasked with protecting the asset while she’s in town. It’s a frustrating assignment for Lucy who takes umbrage at the mere idea of Sokolov being at a peace summit. But just when Lucy thought she was out — free and able to go home and binge bad TV (hey, she’s just like us!) — the State Department pulls her back in: Tatyana has specifically requested Lucy to be her point agent while she’s on island.

The next morning, Lucy arrives and Tatyana is less than hospitable. Her bristly nature leads Lucy to respond in kind and the agent questions why Sokolov is at the peace summit in the first place. Tatyana’s taken aback by Lucy’s distaste for her family given how alike their families are. I gasped — the audacity! — and even Lucy’s a little stunned to hear her family’s name brought up. Tatyana expounds: their families are both powerful and wealthy, her family’s wealth financed by war, Lucy’s financed by oil.

Lucy insists that she has nothing to do with her family’s business but Tatyana presses the issue further. She notes that child taking over the Tara family business isn’t the eldest son and wonders if he’s having some personal problems. The agent tenses beneath the weight of the accusation but doesn’t respond. Tatyana notices it, though, and uses it to make her point: she doesn’t like being associated with her family’s business any more than Lucy does. But their shared family histories isn’t the only reason that Tatyana wants Lucy on her detail: she wants to defect.

While they await word from the State Department, Tatyana has to go on with her day as normal, a prospect doesn’t thrill Lucy. Kate tries to get some insight into why Lucy’s so bothered by Tatyana — “she’s an assignment, you don’t have to be friends with her,” Kate insists — and Lucy recounts what Tatyana said about them being alike. She admits to being unnerved by Tatyana’s research into her past, particularly as it relates to her brothers. Kate understands that: Lucy’s closed off about her family even with her. Lucy insists that there’s nothing to tell.

“Nothing’s wrong, everything’s fine,” Lucy says… and in my head, I’m picturing that meme of the dog in the burning room.

When Lucy gets word that Tatyana is really in town to broker an arms deal, she doesn’t know what to think about her but she insists their convoy turn back. But instead, their humvee comes under attack and Lucy, Tatyana and one of her bodyguards narrowly escape the crash site. They delve deeper into the jungle to escape an incoming militia group. Lucy suggests that they get to the highest spot they can and hope help arrives before the militia that’s chasing them does. Their progress is stymied, though: first by an injury to Tatyana’s leg and then by her bodyguard who turns against them. Thankfully, Lucy’s able to neutralize that threat and Tennant and Sam arrive just in time to help take down the others.

By the end, Tatyana and Lucy have achieved mutual respect and admiration. Tatyana is allowed to defect and Lucy returns to Kate’s arms. Lucy notes that the Sokolovs make her family look like the Waltons but, still… as soon as Kate wonders if she’ll ever meet them, Lucy quickly changes the subject. Kate doesn’t press the issue but I can’t help but wonder what’s next. This is the second episode referencing Lucy’s estranged family this season… there’s no way this season ends without us meeting, at least, one of Lucy’s brothers, right?


Top Chef: Wisconsin Episode 2102: “Living the High Life”

Written by Natalie

TOP CHEF -- "Living the High Life" Episode 2102 -- Pictured: Rasika Venkatesa -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo)

Did you read Nic’s piece yesterday on Kristen Kish’s debut as the new host of Top Chef? If you haven’t you absolutely should because we all need space to swoon over Kristen and this is more recap and less salivating.

Okay, well, maybe there’ll be a little salivating… I’m only human after all.

But this season’s Top Chef is worth recapping because, in addition, to its new queer host, the show also has, based on a cursory Instagram examination, one chefbian among its contestants. Originally from Chennai, India, Rasika Venkatesa fell in love with cooking in her grandmother’s kitchen. But what began in her family’s kitchen shows up on Top Chef this season with a Michelin star pedigree.

Rasika joins a game that’s changed a little bit: quickfires no longer offer immunity for elimination challenges, they’re simply opportunities for the chefs to take home some cash. Immunity is now a prize (along with cash) for the chef that does the best job in the elimination challenge. The first episode jumps right to the elimination challenge and Rasika is tasked with creating a stuffed pasta dish. The judges loved the flavors of Rasika’s keema-stuffed kozhukattai with kurma but were skeptical about it actually being a pasta dish. Still, it’s enough to keep her in the contest.

Top Chef’s second episode focuses on Wisconsin’s second greatest export: beer (the first one will be featured next week). In the quickfire challenge, Kristen places a $5k bounty on the best dish made from hops. Rasika uses two types of hops to make a green chermoula crab salad and watermelon ponzu. Kristen and guest judge, Joe Flamm, seem to like the dish but it doesn’t get her the win.

For the elimination challenge, the cheftestants are challenge to transform bar snacks into an elevated fine dining dish. It’s clear that Rasika comes up with an idea right away, as she calls dibs on pretzels and insists on making a dessert. She pitches a barley pretzel cake with a honey mustard sabayon and everyone just acquiesces, too busy worried about their own dishes to realize how crazy that sounds (it wasn’t just me, right?). It felt like Michael Voltaggio-level creativity… and I mean that in the best way possible.

Just before service, Rasika’s pretzel granita (?!) hasn’t set and she makes use of the liquid nitrogen… even though she’s never used it before. It feels like a recipe for disaster, but she pulls it off! Not only does she get her food on the plate but the judges love it and Rasika gets the win. Immunity plus $10k! What a fitting start to the Kristen Kish era of Top Chef.

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Carmen Phillips

Carmen Phillips is Autostraddle's former editor in chief. She began at Autostraddle in 2017 as a freelance team writer and worked her way up through the company, eventually becoming the EIC from 2021-2024. A Black Puerto Rican feminist writer with a PhD in American Studies from New York University, Carmen specializes in writing about Blackness, race, queerness, politics, culture, and the many ways we find community and connection with each other.  During her time at Autostraddle, Carmen focused on pop culture, TV and film reviews, criticism, interviews, and news analysis. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. And there were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. To reach out, you can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram, or her website.

Carmen has written 716 articles for us.

Natalie

A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 409 articles for us.

4 Comments

  1. I have watched all of Renegade Nell, and not only is Louisa Harland amazing as a backwater, rough-and-tumble highwaywoman, but the show is also queer. And both Nell and Lady Wilmot in those outfits!

  2. I would bet that Amelia and Beltran end up doing an enemies to lovers situation. Mostly because they spent this episode and the last talking about how she had given up on love.

    Also I’m surprised at the no mention of Station 19 this week given the plot of the episode was centered around Pride

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