Pop Culture Fix: The “But I’m a Cheerleader” Cast Is Making Two New Movies, Lesiha Hailey Is Back On The Teeveee

Happy Wednesday, spicy pickle chips; you have made it to the middle of the week and another installment of the Pop Culture Fix!


Fade Away and Radiate

My inability to adhere to Riese’s paradigm of Not Caring About The Future really kicked me in the shins this week w/r/t the world’s most important princess — Xena the Warrior one. One day it was like, “Lucy Lawless says she wants to see Xena on TV again,” which: yeah, of course, she’s been saying that for years. And the next day it was all, “NBC is rebooting Xena.” That was a much bigger deal. A huge one. I was so hyped! And then the next day, Lucy Lawless had to be like, “Actually, calm down, not really.”

I mean, FINE. It’s better that when this thing happens, it doesn’t happen with NBC. They’re terrible at lesbians.

+ Sarah Shahi is coming back to Person of Interest for a multi-episode arc, so pass around the chakram and gird your Root/Shaw loins, kittens.

+ This Friday is the Zoie Palmer/Ruby Rose showdown on Syfy’s new show, Dark Matter.

+ Leisha Hailey’s Chasing Life episode is next Monday. She’s playing the crazy ex-girlfriend of Margo, the new film club sponsor/Brenna’s new love interest.

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Man, remember when Alice was going to be in prison for murdering Jenny on that The L Word spin-off? Aren’t you glad we got Orange Is the New Black instead?

Bojack Horseman returned to Netflix for its second season on Friday, and lesbian director Kelsey Jannings, who is most famous for her critically acclaimed indie drama Women Who Love Women Who Love Recycling, is back for a bigger role in season two. She’s directing BoJack’s Secretariat film. (New facts: She does the crossword in Sharpie, she makes a thousand dollars a minute.)

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+ DC is prepping a new Batman animated movie called Batman: Bad Blood, and apparently Batwoman is going to be in it! And Yvonne Strahovski (who I remember lovingly from Chuck and you remember scornfully from Dexter) will voice her and her alter-ego, Kate Kane!

+ Vulture is shaking down the the history of Lesbian Kiss Episodes in their “Secrets of TV” column this week. There’s a video. It is of kissing.


Movies Is Magic

I’m going to say some words to you. Jamie Babbit. Natasha Lyonne. Clea Duvall. Aubrey Plaza. Judy Greer. It sounds like But I’m a Cheerleader, except for even better, right? Let’s hope so! What it really is is Babbit’s new film, Addicted to Fresno, in which Aubrey Plaza and Natasha Lyonne play gal pals. Here’s the first trailer. (It’s mildly NSFW.)

Here is a photo for your eyeballs.

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But wait! There’s more! Clea DuVall is making her directorial debut this year in a film that hasn’t been named yet, and guess who’s in it? Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey! It’s two But I’m a Cheerleader reunions in a single year. Also, Alia Shawkat is in it. I expect to hear news of Ellen Page teaming up with Lyonne any day now.

+ Amy Schuemer’s Trainwreck crushed the Box Office last weekend, launching Schuemer to A-List status and proving once again that women like to spend money at the movies. My favorite review of the movie is from The Atlantic because they say the word “ladyjerk” like a hundred times.

Amy of the movie is, like the Amy of standup and sketch, confident and insecure and knowing and confused and hilarious and sweet and vulgar and singular and symbolic and sorry and not sorry. But she is also, maybe even more meaningfully, kind of a jerk.

+ Badass angel-human Emma Thompson continues to speak out against Hollywood’s sexism. She says its even worse now than when she first started her career.

I don’t think there’s any appreciable improvement, and I think that, for women, the question of how they are supposed to look is worse than it was even when I was young. So no, I am not impressed, at all. I think it’s still completely shit, actually … When I was younger, I really did think we were on our way to a better world. And when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women, and I find that very disturbing and sad.

+ The trailer for Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur is here, so get ready to cry until your eyeballs are out of water.


Professional Queers Being Professional (And Queer)

+ Ellen’s got a new clothes line for kids. It’s pretty adorable.

+ Lea Delaria has some feelings about bangable presidents.

+ Miley Cyrus is going to host the VMAs, since she’s been banned from performing at them. Probably she will use the opportunity to raise awareness for trans issues like she has been doing a whole lot lately.

+ My sister’s new novella, Complementary and Acute, is out and it’s free and it’s about lesbians in boarding school. I’m telling you about it here because she is queer and she is my sister and #nepotism.

+ Tig Notaro went on a bender with Jimmy Fallon and he totally forgot about it!

+ Laverne Cox keeps graciously answering everyone’s questions about Caitlyn Jenner. This week, James Cordon’s:

My experience as a black transgender woman who was working-class and struggling to make it in New York City is completely different from Caitlyn’s very public experience … just thinking about the paparazzi life she has, I don’t want that life. Diverse representation is important.

Here’s the video:


Also.Also.Also.

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I love you; have a good Wednesday!

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 883 articles for us.

67 Comments

  1. Heather, a while ago you posted that Person of Interest Fan Fiction Friday, and I asked the Straddleverse if I should watch that show and the answer was a resounding YES. Since then, I have become OBSESSED. I marathoned all four season, have rewatched multiple episodes, read about a kajillion fanfics, and scoured Youtube top to bottom for any and all interviews with Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker about POI. Finally having it confirmed that Shaw is coming back just makes the wait for January even more interminable.

    • ALLISON. Yes,the same thing happened to me. I was not watching not watching not watching and then things really reached fever pitch and the internet coaxed me into it, and I was hooked IMMEDIATELY AND FORVER. Seems like Shahi and Amy Acker are huge Root and Shaw shippers.

      • I wasn’t hooked immediately. The first half of season 1 was quite a slog, actually, because I really, REALLY hate procedurals. But then episode 9 of season focused on Carter, and then the show really started filling in Finch and Reese’s backstories and the mythology behind The Machine, and THEN I got hooked. After Shaw/Root, my favourite thing about this show is the mythology. I think season 5 is going to be the best season yet, because the shorter season means fewer Number-of-the Week filler episodes, and more fast-paced plot-driven episodes. Gahhhhh I can’t wait!

  2. We love you right back, Heather. I can’t decide whether I’m more grateful for the kitten pic or for the Addicted to Fresno trailer. Or the Laverne Cox clip. Or the POI news. Ah, hell, I’ll just be grateful for the whole, shining, glorious gift that is this post.

  3. I agree with that Vulture article that the Lesbian Kiss Episodes trope was terrible and irritating, but I’ll be forever thankful to the OC and the Marissa and Alex three episodes arc. I think their kiss was the first one I ever so on television (the first I remember at least) and it made me realize things. Like that I wanted to kiss Alex just as much as I wanted to kiss Seth Cohen and that that could be a real thing.
    Maybe I just should be thankful for Oliva Wilde face, though.

    Aaaanyway, I just downloaded your sister’s novella. Lesbians in boarding school was all you needed to say.

    Sarah Shahi back on PoI, YAAAASSSS

    • omg alex and marissa provided me with a similar awakening

      and then i got stuck on “but WHERE does one even MEET other LESBIANS?” for the next ten years and thus regressed slightly

    • Ugh it took me awhile longer to *realize* things but oh man do I remember watching those episodes (with my sorority sisters in our house? a decidedly not-homoerotic-setting, nope nope nope) and having FEELINGS that I couldn’t explain and definitely did not want to think/talk about.

      Olivia Wilde, yes.

    • I had SO MANY FEELINGS about Alex and Marissa. I actually stopped watching the show around my mom because I didn’t want her to see how invested I was in that particular storyline. So I got all weird and secretive about watching the OC. I was super closeted/ in denial back then and didn’t want my mom “to get the wrong idea”. LOL

      In hindsight it seems pretty obvious that the show never intended to take their relationship seriously and it is was all a shameless publicity stunt. Still I’ll probably always have a soft spot for Alex/Marissa.

  4. I thought “Women Who Love Women Who Love Recycling” was a real movie and spent like 15 minutes trying to google it before I stumbled upon more Bojack Horseman references and realized it’s not real. That being said, I WOULD TOTALLY WATCH THAT.

  5. I CANNOT WAIT FOR ADDICTED TO FRESNO! I knew there had to be a good reason that Natasha Lyonne was stolen from us so abruptly in OITNB. And Clea Duval as the owner of a sex shop!? YAAASSSS

  6. So much of this news is so so exciting! Just wanna fist pump on this train

    Also, speaking of trains, I saw Trainwreck last night and it is awesome. Best surprise? Tilda Swinton playing Amy’s boss

  7. Addicted to Fresno looks like everything I’ve ever wanted in a movie. Nikki is dating April, Kitty from Arrested Development is her neurotic sex-addicted sister, there are dildos everywhere, Fred Armisen is there… do I even need to go on??? My body is ready.

    • All of this yes!! I always get excited when Kitty is in anything, which happens often awesomely enough. Everything about this movie looks like the best thing and I want it in my eyes now.

  8. I feel like what really made the “Addicted to Fresno” preview too perfect was the Sleater-Kinney song addition. I’ve been waiting for the day Aubrey Plaza played a lesbian and THAT DAY HAS ARRIVED. A queermo dream come true tbh

  9. I feel kinda weird about Delaria’s interview. To me some of her words seem objectifying and make me pretty uncomfortable… But I’m also a person who is practically incapable of calling a woman “hot” for fear of being disrespectful, so. I don’t know how much of my reaction is feminism and how much is internalized homophobia/discomfort with overt sexuality. I suppose different people may place the line between “expressing sexuality” and “objectification” in different places… I’m interested to know how others feel about this!

    • I totally wrestle with the question of “how much woman-on-woman objectification is good/empowering/acceptable?”

      So then I looked up “objectify” and Merriam-Webster says it’s “to treat as an object.”

      So maybe an obvious difference between objectification and attraction/admiration would be like, “I’d hit that” versus “ooh she’s gorgeous.”

      Or, talking directly to someone, where would the line be? I’ve told girls “you’re really cute” or “I have a crush on you” (alcohol may have been contributing to my bravery), and I think it’s ok to say that, but where would the line be? I would never say “you’re hot” to a girl I liked, because it sounds more aggressive to me (‘cute’ somehow signals more of an invitation and less of a command?). But I would say “she’s hot” to a friend about someone we saw. That doesn’t feel aggressive/particularly objectifying to me, but it might to another person?

      Clearly, my thoughts on this are very complicated. I try to just feel it out based on what I felt comfortable with guys expressing to me when I was dating men. But then there’s the other element you talk about, which is the internalized homophobia part, and that’s like a whole other story. I’ve had straight friends joke about my having a crush on them, for instance (when I didn’t), and I have been very (overly) quick to assure them that I am not attracted to feminine women like them. But when I am saying “lol don’t worry, I’m more into soft butch girls” and explaining what that is, although it’s true of my dating preferences, some part of me is going “why are you working so hard to basically say ‘no homo’ to this girl? It’s wrong. You shouldn’t have to do this.”

      These are really two different (connected) issues and I am also really interested to hear people’s thoughts!

      • Like reading this now I realize that “you’re cute” is so much less threatening to me than “you’re hot” because it’s kind of infantilizing/desexualizing. And maybe that’s fine because you don’t want to escalate right to the overtly sexual when telling a new person you find them attractive?

        But there is also that element of the desexualization of women in general and queer women in particular, invalidating their sexual power (straight ‘lesbian’ porn with bored women, or when people ask ‘what do lesbians even DO in bed?) as though there would be nothing TO do), and that’s not something I want to play into either…

        Basically there are too many damn factors and movements and history in my head and it all makes me want to take a nap! 🙂

        • This is super interesting. Thanks for processing this all so openly, it has given me a lot to think about and examine within myself. Society is weird, people are weird, oy with the poodles already.

        • Thanks for sharing your thoughts — I agree with a lot of what you say, especially about too many factors and needing a nap! Since posting my original comment I’ve been thinking a LOT about the gender dynamics of objectification in various directions and how they are affected by the Patriarchy, and how women doing it to women is similar to or different from women doing it to men or men doing it to women.

          But ultimately, maybe it’s not so complicated. After all, honesty and respect aren’t mutually incompatible! I tend to prioritize the latter almost exclusively, but I’m realizing now that it’s ok for me to give equal (though not greater!) weight to the actually-expressing-one’s-desires side of it.

          I’m definitely going to keep pondering/overthinking this…

  10. In like the most immature hissy fit way possible it bothers me that the dinosaur and the kid are both male. The “unlikely brothers” narrative has been done so much already. It looks like a beautiful film but if they had just changed the genders slightly then they could have avoided an old cliche.

    • Yeah I had a similar reaction, like oh look ANOTHER movie about male bonding with no female leads. *sigh* It will probably be adorable because Pixar, and also dinosaur! Yay! But darn it, why can’t we have nice things too?

      • (Without seeing the preview) I wonder how gendered the dinosaurs will be? I remember watching The Land Before Time (and also Bambi) and just kind of assuming/thinking of most of the characters as girls because their child voices sounded the same as mine, and I just assumed that characters I identified with were my own gender… 🙂

  11. …it’s Amy SCHUmer…not SCHUEmer…
    I stared HARD at Tilda Swinton throughout that whole movie and I still can’t figure out how that’s her. SHE LOOKS JUST SO DIFFERENT. Like a completely different human being unrelated to Tilda Swinton in every way.

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