Pop Culture Fix: ABC Family History, Interest In The Return of “Person of Interest,” Also Ellen Page

Guess who saw Carol this week with Heather Hogan and Rachel Kincaid? THIS GIRL. YUP. I’d like to apologize in advance that many of today’s stories fall into I Don’t Care About The Future territory, but you know, I did my best with the news I had.



The long, strange history of ABC Family I MEAN FREEFORM. Which, by the way, despite its hip new name, will still be airing The 700 Club.

“This name-change marks a decisive effort to finally shed the neoconservative Christian ethos that has dogged the channel’s branding, however mildly, since Fox bought the network from Pat Robertson in 1998.”

If you caught Pretty Little Liars last night, you probably noticed all their brand-new promos, which have a vague Skins-ish aura to them.

+ What the hell is going on with Person of Interest when is Season Five starting will there be a Season Six somebody level with us. (Guess who plowed through Seasons One through Three of Person of Interest this winter and is well into Season Four? ME.)

+ Taraji P. Henson on homophobia leveled at Empire: “We ignore that. That’s nonsense and that’s fear.”

+ The censorship of Steven Universe undermines the UK Cartoon Network’s LGBT Progress.

+ Canada has greenlit an Anne of Green Gables adaptation from a Breaking Bad writer.

+ Precious Davis will be the first transgender bride on “Say Yes To The Dress” this week.

+ “How Jane Lynch makes pop culture’s nastiest villains some of the most likable characters on TV.”

+ Well, this sounds good: Herlock: An All-Female Sherlock Parody With A Karaoke-Induced Mind Palace

Jewy, queer, daring and political: Season Two of Transparent



+ “Now, as we look at a future in which Carol might somehow get swept under the Academy’s rug, we are faced with a few questions: is Carol too good? Is Carol’s beauty too effortless? Was it so expertly crafted it seems ‘easy?’ Are the performances too natural? Or, all of that aside, is it simply that, in 2016, we’ve reached a crossroads in how lesbian relationships are viewed onscreen.”

+ I didn’t know that The Dorian Awards, chosen by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Film Critics Association, even existed, but they do! Kinda snubbed Freeheld on Best Picture though, imho.

The Seven Stages of Watching Carol

Carol: The Adaptation the Lesbian Community Deserves

Movie Cinema Screens

+ Netlfix has picked up worldwide streaming rights for Allison Janney and Ellen Page‘s “Tallulah,” written and directed by Sian Heder, although theatrical release details are still up in the air. Variery reports that “The story of a young drifter (Ellen Page) who takes a baby from a negligent mother was expected to be one of the hot titles at this year’s festival.” This will be Ellen Page and Allison Janney’s second baby-related film together!

+ The New York Times talks to the cast of that O.J Simpson movie I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT even though Ryan Murphy is involved. This cast includes Sarah Paulson, who is involved in pretty much everything awesome these days, including Holland Taylor.

+ Not Just Priscilla: A Brief History of Queer Cinema in Australia

A walking tour of Tangerine.

Famous People Are More Important Than Other People

+ Vogue suggests that anybody looking to “rock a classic blazer with cool-girl style” look to Ruby Rose for inspiration.

+ Eileen Myles is the only good pundit in America

+ Mary Lambert talks about her faith and sexuality

+ Apparently some people took time out to be offended by Jennifer Lawrence‘s “slutty power lesbian” comments. (We did not)

+ “In real life Jackie Mabley was a proud and defiantly out butch black lesbian woman, at a time when the very concept of such a person would probably not have computed even to people who worked with her on a day-to-day basis.”

Also These Things:

+ “At its heart, “Love in Public” seeks to create a supportive space for femme and queer people of color — one that occupies a digital form for now, but that the team hopes will one day become a public space that facilitates physical projects for the benefit of marginalized communities.”

+ The Lesbian Vampire: A (Fairly) Brief Retrospective

+ 8 Trans Tropes We Need To Retire in 2016

+ Crushing on dapper women. It happens.

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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 3202 articles for us.


  1. Speaking of The Lesbian Vampire: A (Fairly) Brief Retrospective, is there any news on whether Carmilla will have a Season 3?

  2. Maybe coming from another person, the “slutty power lesbian” comment wouldn’t have been a big deal, but considering Jennifer Lawrence’s history of making flip comments about LGBTQ people, I wanted to tell her to just shut up. Or am I supposed to be glad that at least she didn’t use any slurs, like the time she referred to herself as “dykey”?

    What made it even more annoying is that she claimed that finding her comments offensive was offensive in and of itself. That’s dumb. Even if you don’t have a problem with her “power lesbian” comment, I hope people can at least recognize how utterly stupid her follow-up was. It’s like when people say that you’re racist if you call something else racist. Y’all can miss me with that bullshit.

    • Also, I liked Carol. Honestly. I don’t know if I consider it the best gay/lesbian movie everrrrr, but I enjoyed it. I’ve been defending it against people who called it boring. I really liked Rooney Mara’s performance, which apparently has been getting some mixed reviews in some corners. I think the movie’s restraint in terms of character performances made sense and seemed to align with 1950s repression. Etc.

      BUT I’m also sort of cringing at how a lot of media has been acting like the movie represents and is for all lesbians everywhere, that it’s the lesbian movie for all of us that we all deserve, etc. Because one thing I have noticed about the movie is that it is very, very white. And I am very, very not-white. The lesbian movie that I deserve is one that shows people who look like me. Saving Face spoke more to me on a personal level than Carol did.

    • Julie, I think you and I alone are the only ones who don’t think what Jennifer said is cute. And yes she does have a history of making flip comments in relation to the LGBT community. I have already covered how much I hate straight women throwing around the word dykey on another article.

      I get why some people might have found Carol boring. I think they might have been anticipating a different kind of movie tbh. It was definitely slow-moving in the beginning I’ll give you that but by the end there is no way you aren’t emotionally invested in the fates of the characters. And Cate and Rooney’s performances are quite good. That said I’m not entirely convinced that Carol not getting any awards and Freeheld not even getting nominations is entirely rooted in people “just not liking those movies”.

      • “That said I’m not entirely convinced that Carol not getting any awards and Freeheld not even getting nominations is entirely rooted in people “just not liking those movies”.”

        Oh, definitely. I feel the same way re: Crash winning over Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture, although at least Brokeback won a slew of other awards. It’ll be interesting to see what the Brutally Honest Oscar Ballots have to say.

      • Speaking of expecting a different kind of movie, many of the audience members at the showing of Carol I went to didn’t even seem to realize it was f/f romance at all. LOL QUE.

    • I’ve asked before but I’ll ask again, when does POI get worth watching because 3/4 through season 1 it’s still kind of a dood-fest and I feel like I’m watching a boring version of White Collar…but I want to give Root and Shaw a chance! So remind me, again, when do I start watching?

        • Short answer? Season 1 finale.

          Long answer? Season one, in general, is just a lot of white dudes shooting stuff, and it’s so procedural you want to scream, but all that backstory really is necessary to understand the later seasons (especially the stuff with Stanton and Snow and China! I know it’s boring now, but trust me!) and it sort of all comes to a head in the finale. The REALLY good stuff starts midway through season 2. I would really advise NOT jumping ahead, just because in order to appreciate RootxShaw, you need to understand Root, and to understand Root, you need to understand the Machine and how it works.

        • real talk i did eventually skip a huge chunk of episodes to go straight to Root’s first episode (which I think just featured a young Root)

      • Allow me to help you out: The grrrl power starts at 2×16.
        Allison is right, though,the show gets better and the clues littered throughout the first couple of seasons are what really puts the fore in forethought.
        If you’re as impatient as me, starting at 2×16, when the girls start showing up,watching the next couple of seasons and then circling back to the beginning, would work as well, although a lot of the twists of the first and second season will be given away.
        This is a show that evolves into something entirely different, it is a white dude procedural at the beginning, but then it changes and you won’t notice at first.
        Whatever you do: I hope you have fun!

      • It’s totally okay to cherry pick your way through (pick the lady-focused episodes) your first time watching. By the time you finish with S4, you should be emotionally invested enough that the rewatch of even the dudeliest bits of S1 become rather devastating.

        Watch anything with Zoe Morgan (Paige Turco) in it, watch anything with a Carter focus, and watch anything with Kara Stanton (Annie Parisse) in it.

        For the most ruthless skipping, start at the S1 finale, like Allison said.

        • Thanks everyone! I’ve suffered through enough to know what the machine does and been introduced to the (still faceless) Root, so I think I will jump ahead to the season 1 finale now :-D

          • You won’t miss anything important, but I think AG is right, and by the time you finish season 4, you’re going to actually WANT to go back to see what you missed in those episodes. That is how good the latter seasons are. Enjoy!

      • Someone gave me this link on Twitter for POI catchup (shout out if you’re here!): https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=D3E8119EE99D529C!423&cid=d3e8119ee99d529c&app=Word

        Which has been working for me. It’s a cleaning/knitting show. Also, though, I’m not opposed to the dudes necessarily. I really like Michael Emerson & Enrico Colantoni, and I flailed out of my chair when Leslie Odom Jr and his perfect face showed up for an 8 episode arc. Aaron Burr, sir!

        • Samira Wiley even has a bit part in one of the (unfortunately most manpain-est) episodes of S1! It was an episode I skipped first time through, so I flipped out when she showed up on rewatch. New York and its smaller acting pool, man.

  3. PERSON OF INTEREST IS SO GREAT. I also just powered through it and I didn’t mean to get this invested BUT IT HAPPENED.

  4. Riese, I’m so proud of you for watching Person of Interest. Just WAIT until you finish season four! I really need CBS to stop dicking us around and set a premiere date already. Enough is enough.

    I’m so excited about Tallulah!! Ellen’s been posting about it on Instagram for the last year or so, and I’ve kept waiting to hear anything about a release, but nothing until now. So glad it’ll be accessible on Netflix!

  5. I do consider Muriel’s Wedding (1994) one of the queerest movies ever made in Australia and not because I was shipping Muriel and Rhonda. I was a very troubled 14/15 year old girl (let’s just say that a very sharp blade was involve) and that movie spoke to my soul: just be yourself, be fucking honest with yourself, it’s the only way you’re gonna be happy.

    • Muriel’s Wedding is one of my fav all time films. I didn’t really ship Muriel and Rhonda (but can see why many would) but instead was just so happy to see female friendship and self discovery at the heart of the film – and marriage/boyfriends the peripheral. Them heading off in the car together at the end was so wonderful.

      On that Not Just Priscilla list, I feel aggrieved that Love and Other Catastrophes was not included. Rahda Mitchell *sigh*.

  6. I don’t know if I should be horrified or happy about that Anne of Green Gables news. I don’t think I can accept anyone but Megan Follows as my bosom friend.

  7. I saw Carol about a month ago, and ever since I’ve been trying to work out why I feel so indifferent about it.

    At first I thought it was because the BBFC consumer advice at the start promised “infrequent strong sex” and totally failed to deliver on the strong.

    Then I thought it was because I was diverting all my critical energy to working out whether Rooney Mara had ever smiled in a film.

    But just now I realised it’s because I’ve watched so many Terrible Lesbian Films that my brain cannot reconcile a film this polished with its sapphic subject matter. There is an unsurmountable level of cognative dissonance.

    If someone could do a cut with a faux-Ani acoustic backing track, CGI some high-waisted jeans onto Care Blanchett and have them both die in a fire, then I might be able to get into it. But really I’m just too broken to appreciate it.

  8. Dangit I can’t figure out how to comment on the Heroes and Heartbreakers dapper crushing story. But they’ve got Frieda Kahlo’s head on Patty Smith’s dapper body o’er there.

    Otherwise, carry on with the pocket squares.

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