Pop Culture Fix: NBC Sitcom To Feature Jane Lynch As Womanizing Divorce Attorney Not Named Joyce Wischnia and Other Stories

Welcome to the pop culture fix, a weekly look at which fixes are in, why, and how.

One Big Happy turned out to be a flop, so NBC is aiming slightly lower with Relatively Happy, a more accurate description of the current lesbian mindscape. This multi-camera sitcom will feature Jane Lynch as Bobbi Martin, “a fast-living, Scotch-drinking, three-piece-suit–wearing, womanizing divorce attorney who is Henry’s boss, mentor and “father” figure.” Like other noted castings these days — such as Carrie Ann Moss as Jeri Hogarth in Jessica Jones and Aubrey Plaza as Lenny in Legion — the role of Bobbi was originally written for a man, but producers Max Mutchnick and Jeff Astrof changed their minds about that after determining that a woman was the “best person for the job.” Kinda seems like writers are most eager to gender-flip a character into a lesbian when they can describe her as a “womanizer,” yeah? Anyhow, the story is centered on an adult brother and sister who end up co-habitating after one suffers a big loss, thus forcing the previously distant siblings to become each other’s best friends and wingmen in this dark sad world of love, loss and work.  Also, I just was on Jane Lynch’s IMDB page and why didn’t anybody tell me she’s playing Janet Reno in an upcoming project about the Unabomber?

+ As you may or may not know, I do my very best to avoid writing about things that might happen in the far-away future, rather than things that definitely are happening in the present or near-future. But when Gina Rodriguez expresses interest in playing America Chavez, the legendary comic book character now written by our very own Gabby Rivera — well, I have to tell you that!

+ Here’s a cool interview With Nabila Hossain of “Brown Girls”:

There’s another thing about this show, it has confidence and doesn’t apologize and just jumps in. The idea that this character is queer, not a lesbian, how did that feel playing a character that was queer?

It felt the same as if I’m a girl who likes a person but I’m not sure if I want to be with them. My experience in performance and community has been so heavy that my respect for love and passion is so strong. If you are battling the idea of loving someone and not loving them, you are the only person who is allowed to feel and be connected to what you love.

And that’s what I felt with Leila and that’s the experience I drew from — I’ve been in this situation where I liked someone but wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue something with them but had all these feelings and was trying to work through and gain acceptance from my family. That’s what I was channeling. Being queer or harnessing that identity is no different than the harnessing of love and fear of acceptance for who you love.

+ Welp, it’s 2017! And there’s never been a better time to ask Charlize Theron how it felt to kiss — wait for it — ANOTHER HUMAN FEMALE !!!! — for a movie. Good news: Charlize found her lesbian kiss from Atomic Blonde, much like the ten billion others she has engaged in throughout her career, to be “easy,” because Sofia Boutella is “gorgeous.”

+ Indian filmmaker Shonali Bose, who made the queer film “Margarita With a Straw,” is developing a TV series for Paramount based on a novel called “The Windfall,” about “an Indian couple in Delhi who are suddenly catapulted from their humble middle class origins into massive wealth.”

+ Did you read Karly’s interview with out actresses Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman? There’s still time! Also, check out Natasha’s speech at the Canadian Screen Awards here: This Actress Gave A Speech Reminding Everyone Why Queer Representation Matters.

+ Newsweek looks back on ‘When We Rise’ and The (Sorta) Long History of Queer TV Movies. If you liked that, you’ll really love this thing that I wrote for Autostraddle dot com: When After School Specials Made Gay People Seem Not-So-Special.

+ Tegan & Sara want to see more lesbians in pop music, according to new interview with Q magazine. They’d like to see some diversity too, though. Here’s Sara:

“It’s great to see Kristen Stewart, St. Vincent and Cara Delevingne but they all work in the same world. They’re all very beautiful, they’re all white, they all fit a certain kind of femme identity. Women of colour who are lesbians? Forget about it. Trans guys and women of colour? Forget about it.”

+ At South By Southwest, the Grand Jury Award in the narrative feature competition has gone to Ana Asensio’s Most Beautiful Island, a psychological thriller about undocumented female immigrants in New York.


+ The Advocate looks at 22 LGBT TV Shows Killed by Low Ratings

New ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’ Tackles the Ides of Trump

12 TV lesbian kisses that shocked Britain from the Brookie smooch to Buffy

+ The 25 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood:

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com 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 3200 articles for us.


  1. All the out celebs that T&S mentioned are bisexual or sexually fluid, too…and at least on my Facebook there was a huge turf war between bisexuals and lesbians over Kristen Stewart before she clarified her sexuality. I definitely agree that we need lots more lesbian representation–I can’t really name many lesbian celebs under 35, honestly, or actually under like 45, which is depressing as a 24 y/o lesbian. And yessssss more lesbians of color dear god. Lesbians of color EVERYWHERE all the time.

    • Yup, that’s an important point — most celebs who come out these days don’t use the word “lesbian” (yes I am meticulously tracking data on this topic, obviously) and more often than not don’t use any label-y words at all. Which is fine but it would be really nice to see more people openly identifying as such!

      • I saw a T&S interview where Sara talks about how she hates the word lesbian because it takes her back to being at school and seeing the word included on a list of mental illnesses, so she always associated it with an affliction. So that’s why she uses the word queer. Which, I kind of get – I call myself gay partly because, growing up, being called a lesbian was the most vicious and salacious taunt you could receive. It stays with you I think.

  2. This seems like an appropriate place to scream about Patsy and Delia’s kiss on Call the Midwife. IT WAS GOOD I AM DEAD AND RISEN AGAIN PRAISE LESBIAN JESUS

  3. As idiotic as “how was it kissing X” questions are, I hate it when celebrities respond that it was easy because “X is so hot”. It’s not DIFFICULT to kiss someone you’re not at all attracted to. Trust me, I’ve done it, and I was definitely no kissing pro at the time.

      • I suppose actors should stay clear of answers like “a lot like doing my job” if they don’t want a reputation for being sour. :p

        There are always ways of softening your response with chatty blabber, though.

        “You know, I haven’t thought about it much. This line of work requires many different forms of intimate physical contact, which I feel Y about because Z. X is an excellent actor and great to work with. Our characters had great chemistry and I think that comes off on the screen when they kiss.”

        • I think the problem with those long answers is that then the press pulls three words from it in some combination you accidentally made and misquotes you for eternity. Like there’s no good way to handle that stuff, I feel like.

          • It’s not so much a problem with long answers, I feel, as a universal problem with being in the spotlight. It doesn’t matter how many words you say, someone, somewhere is going to use only two of them, in a completely different context, to get a trashy magazine headline. If you’re a certain type of famous, it’s generous of them to even quote you out of context, instead of just citing an anonymous source who allegedly knows a celebrity’s hairdresser who speculated that they might have relationship trouble based on their split ends.

            I think a well thought out “longer” answer gives fewer chances to be misquoted for the sexy effect, and looks a hell of a lot better in interview videos, than the “oh, yeah, it was easy because they’re so yummy, haha” responses that are so common in press junket interviews and on talk shows.

    • The question is invasive and inappropriate. Why not give a jokey answer to get the torturous moment over?

  4. Didn’t Charlize Theron kiss Christina Ricci in Monster like a million years ago? Or did that not count because they were done up all grungey?

    • charlize theron has kissed women for money in charity auctions
      also kissed Penélope Cruz in ‘head in the clouds’
      also in monster
      also probably in real life
      also probably in other movies i can’t think of here

  5. Never been too interested in comics but if anything could change that it would be Gina Rodriguez playing America Chavez!!

  6. I would be very upset if Gina Rodriguez, whom I love, were to play America Chavez. She’s a fantastic actor, but she’s skinny and America has never been drawn as skinny. The same can be said for the actress cast as Gert Yorkes in the Hulu Runaways TV show.

    However, there’s no real risk of Gina Rodriguez nabbing that part anyway since as far as I’m aware there are no plans to do a show or movie with America in it.

    • This is kinda why I was super bummed when I found out that itty-bitty twenty-something Brie Larson (Larsen? idk) had been cast as Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers should be much older, much taller, and much more muscular. And Katee Sackhoff exists.

      Who would you cast as America Chavez?

      • I can’t see anyone but a young newcomer in the role. Hollywood has a shortage of young women who are America’s body type. The closest actor to America’s size that I can think of is Dascha Polanco, but of course she’s too old for the role (and I’m not a huge fan of hers anyway). I think young new talent is the best approach.

    • Fair point. I’m just excited by the prospect of Gina Rodriguez playing a queer character. :)

      • Holy shit. Gina, queer brown girls, and Shonali Bose all in one post. I was not ready for this.

    • but she was in the body of a white man though, right? it was another weird magical episode that they’re doing now…

      • Yeah – I actually love how experimental she’s gotten in the past year or so since getting comfortable on Hulu. The single mom thing was not something she could have gotten away with on Fox. And the Groundhog Day one was a touch too weird for a network too, I think.

        Anyway, as kind of cowardly as it was to show Mindy sleep with a girl only when she turns into a white man for a day, I still kind of think this means Mindy is bisexual, because she was still herself on the inside!

    • As a man though. Not that it makes it uninteresting, but it feels like she only did it because she was a man in that episode.

  7. ‘ …“It’s great to see Kristen Stewart, St. Vincent and Cara Delevingne but they all work in the same world. They’re all very beautiful, they’re all white, they all fit a certain kind of femme identity. Women of colour who are lesbians? Forget about it. Trans guys and women of colour? Forget about it.” …’
    What? No love for butch lesbians either … hell, we don’t even get a mention.

    • I’m pretty sure that “they all fit a certain kind of femme identity” implicitly includes us among people they’d like to see represented…

  8. Hey Riese, Jane Lynch is playing Janet Reno…see now someone told you :). It was announced maybe in January or February but actually I thought it was a biopic of her life not in a movie about the Unabomber. Oh and it was just announced (like last week) that she would be on the Good Fight for an arc or something, Hello Joyce Wichnia again.

  9. “fast-living, Scotch-drinking, three-piece-suit–wearing, womanizing divorce attorney”


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