Happy Holidays and welcome to the last “Boobs On Your Tube” of the year! Unless something very dramatic and exciting happens next week that we immediately need to cover, you’ll find us back here on this same beat in 2020! Last week we took Thanksgiving off and so much happened. Let’s recap:
Carmen reviewed The L Word: Generation Q and admitted she’s nervous to say out loud how much she liked it. (Riese will be covering Gen Q for us with FULL LENGTH recaps! Starting this Sunday with the sequel series’ premiere!! BE HERE TO GET IT HOT OFF THE PRESS!) Speaking Generation Q — how about Generation Exes? Kayla interviewed 9 chaotic queer humans who plan on watching the reboot series with their ex, talk about bravery! Heather ranked the 25 Most Egregious Acts of Queerbaiting on TV, which was a damn fun and good time had by all. Sally called that new Dickenson series an absurd delight! Over at Supergirl, the race to save Lena Luther from herself is ON and Valerie’s got it covered. In Riverdale (also the name of the series Riverdale) Gina Torres is playing a hot therapist there to fix the teens’ lives, which is basically Kayla’s dream come true. And Drew previewed Showtime’s new series Work in Progress which she found to be a hilarious triumph.
The Team released our Annual Favorite and Least Favorite Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans TV Characters of 2019, which we are very proud of if we do say so ourselves. Carmen and Natalie spent the last month researching over 400+ queer and trans women of color television characters and they presented their findings for you in this one-of-a-kind, groundbreaking deep dive list on The Top 100 Queer and Trans Women of Color Television Characters in TV History!!
There have two entire episodes of To L and Back since we last saw each other. And did you hear that Bette Porter is running for Mayor of Los Angeles? Results come in on Sunday! Get your popcorn ready!
Notes from the TV Team:
+ Critical Role has been hella gay lately, with Beau admitting who she has a crush on, plus the return of Ashley Johnson’s queer fallen angel. I don’t want to give away any more than that in case anyone is, understandably, a bit behind on this 5-hour-a-week adventure, but I will just encourage you to catch up if you can! — Valerie Anne
+ While we were on hiatus last week on Black Lightning Anissa had to make the difficult choice to send Grace Choi away to South Freeland via that mutant Underground Railroad. Anissa had yet regained her powers from Khalil/Painkiller’s poison and Grace couldn’t her own under control with all the stress going on around them. The ASA was starting to do door-to-door checks and this was the best thing for her safety. Watching the part was absolutely gut wrenching! (Though I did enjoy watching Grace shape shift into a leopard and eat an ASA agent — Take that fake ICE.) This week on Black Lightning, Anissa regained her powers and we finally got to see Jamiliah, our other resident queer girl, do her thing as the reporter for the resistance. Next week is the Crisis on Infinite Earths!!! And in 2020 I will be well rested and we can talk about this show with renewed energy and excitement! Sincerely I CANNOT WAIT! — Carmen
All American 208: “Life Goes On”
Written by Natalie
There’s something amiss on All American this season.
As Carmen noted when she named Tamia “Coop” Cooper one of her least favorite characters of 2019, “I don’t know what happened in All American‘s writing room between Seasons One and Two, but the sidelining of Coop from being a central character of the series, rivaling on co-lead, to a nearly D List background player is absolutely egregious and appalling.” And while I thought the most egregious thing the show could do to its masculine of center lesbian character is just not feature her — as All American has done twice this season — I learned this week that it wasn’t.
From the very first episode, the thing that has always grounded All American, as it straddles itself between the glamour of Beverly Hills and grittiness of Crenshaw, is the friendship between Coop and Spencer. They’re not just friends, their characters told us in Season One, they’re family. And yet, over the last two weeks when Spencer’s facing one of the hardest personal challenges of his young life — the death of his father, Corey — and when he needs family around him more than ever, Coop is missing. She’s not there as her family discover Corey’s cancer diagnosis or when her family takes a roadtrip to reconcile with him. And, most egregiously, when her family lays their father/ex-husband to rest, Coop’s not there either. I thought the worst thing All American could do is sideline Coop’s storyline; it’s not. This week showed us that worst thing this show could do is forget where its heart has always been.
That said, Coop does get a storyline all her own this week: She’s finally produced enough music to create a mixtape and Preach sets up a release party at a local cafe. But when he tells her to make sure that Patience is there to perform “You Don’t Ask”, Coop’s weary. Spencer calls her out on “forgetting” to tell Patience about J.P’s interest in her and Coop’s reluctance to share the limelight but she swears she just wants the focus to be on her music. On the night of the show, Coop tells Patience that she’s going to perform the original version of the song and Patience — who heard about J.P’s interest in her from Layla, not Coop — wonders if Coop kept the information from her intentionally. Coop weakly defends herself by pointing out that singing is just Patience’s hobby but music has always been her dream… and that response, rightly, leaves Patience feeling some kinda way.
When it’s time to perform, Coop offers a public apology: admitting that she was a bad girlfriend and that she’d been jealous. But Coop insists it wasn’t just worried about losing her dream of being a musician, she was worried about losing her dream girl. It’s all very, very cute, they reconcile as they perform, and the release party is a big success. Before Coop can spend too much time on Cloud 9, her world is upended by the return of Tyrone, the gangbanger she thought she put behind bars.
Nancy Drew 108: “The Path of Shadows”
Written by Valerie Anne
We open this week’s episode at the hospital waiting to hear Ace’s fate after his car accident, and Lisbeth is there by Bess’s side despite Nancy’s inherent distrust in her. (Nancy distrusts everyone but I like that she feels a bit protective of our sweet Bess.)
Lisbeth gives Bess a little kiss goodbye and it seems their relationship is progressing nicely. Until later, when Bess has to confront her about how involved with the Hudson family she really is – is she just their driver, or does she help them with their dirty work? To get these answers, Bess starts by snuggling up to her.
But then she lets Lisbeth know that she has questions. Bess uses Elle-Woods-style skills to call Lisbeth out for a faked Instagram account and inconsistent timeline that doesn’t go back further than five years. Caught, Lisbeth admits that she’s not just Hudson’s driver but not for the reasons they think. She’s an undercover cop. (Though she swears her feelings for Bess are real.)
She’s wary of staying undercover now that this ragtag bunch of gumshoes made her, but in the end they convince her that they can be an asset to her and she ensures her cover by punching Nancy in the face supposedly in defense of the Hudsons, perhaps enjoying it a little too much because of all the snark Nancy has thrown her way. I love this silly spooky show so much and I look forward to see how this is all going to blow up in someone’s face eventually.
Legacies 207: “It Will All Be Painfully Clear Soon Enough”
Written by Valerie Anne
I really thought Hope and Josie were going to me one of my wild crackships for the rest of eternity but the last two episodes have made me dare to hope that someday these two powerful witches could actually date, especially now that it seems like Landon will be out of their way for a little while. At the end of this week’s episode, we got a rare quiet moment between them, where they apologized for hurting each other, and Hope asked if Josie would be okay with her staying at the Salvatore School. Hope admits that she misses it. She misses being a regular teenager. She misses the SuperSquad. She misses Josie.
Hope, who feels as fiercely as her mother but guards those feelings ferociously like her father. Hope, who spent days, if not weeks, pretending to be the new kid in town because she thought everyone was better off without her and didn’t think her own hurt feelings mattered enough to ruin it. Hope, who had a crush on Josie when they were 14 but only just mentioned it now. Hope opens up to Josie in a way she has a hard time opening up, and it’s beautiful and heartbreaking to watch. Josie considers her carefully as she talks; because the thing is, people don’t often let Josie make decisions like this. They don’t take HER feelings into consideration as much as they should, because she’s usually the one who is catering to someone else’s feelings. But Hope is willing to upend her ENTIRE LIFE if Josie says so, just to save her some pain. While Josie fights back tears and takes Hope in, the song croons about not wanting to forget. “How could I blackout you?” Appropriate, given Hope’s recent journey of being unknown. In the end, they hug, and it’s decided Hope will stay. Josie misses Hope, too. And Landon is leaving, so they are both sharing a specific pain; they need each other. They were two points of a love triangle, but when the third point disappears, they find themselves on a straight line toward each other.
9-1-1 309-310: “Fallout” and “Christmas Spirit”
Written by Natalie
I’d hoped that 9-1-1 would extend the fallout from the previous episode’s deadly accident for a few episodes like they did with Bobby or Buck’s suspensions — giving Aisha Hinds even more of a vehicle to show off her acting chops — but when 9-1-1 picks back up, the decision on fault gets solved almost right away. The accident wasn’t Hen’s fault: She pushed the button and she had a green light but there was an issue with a circuit board relay that kept Evelyn’s light green too. It was no one’s fault, it was all just a horrible fluke accident. But just because it’s not Hen’s fault doesn’t mean that she doesn’t still carry the guilt of what happened that day.
“I’m the one that drove into her,” Hen tells her Captain. “You can show me a million pieces of paper that that that says it’s not my fault, but it’s still gonna feel like it is.”
For her part, Hen’s wife, Karen, has been great: putting aside her grief about the failure of their IVF treatment and focusing her energy of helping her wife deal with her guilt. Karen schedules a weekend getaway with Hen at a wellness spa and Hen hopes the time away from everything will clarify whether she can do this job again or if she even wants to. But before she and Karen can even checked in at the spa, clarification comes: this time in the form of Stacey, the life coach whose collapse mid-session provoked Hen to seek a career as a first responder. She was Hen’s first save.
Hen doesn’t want to acknowledge this moment of serendipity. She doesn’t believe in it…if she did, there’d be a reason that Evelyn died that day and she walked away without a scratch. She chastises herself for not remembering that she pushed button but Karen gently reminds her that the moment is only significant in hindsight. But for Hen, not remembering whether she pressed that button is making her doubt her instincts…and with that doubt, there’s no way that she can do the job.
But later, during dinner with Stacey, Hen is reminded of what her work means to the people she has saved. For Stacey, Hen’s instincts have meant that she got to see her daughter get married and welcome her first grandchild. The message gets through to Hen — she goes back to work at Station 118 — but it also gets through to Karen who commits to living in the moment and being grateful for what she has. She puts that commitment in to practice, joining the station’s other families at a special Christmas dinner and inviting kids from a local foster home, including one whose mother Hen helped save earlier, to join them for a real Christmas celebration. Then a light bulb goes off and Hen asks if Karen would consider…but before she can even get the words out, Karen says that they’ve got an appointment with social worker just after the new year.