Boobs on Your Tube: Alycia Debnam-Carey’s Best Friend Is Queer in “Saint X”

Well I hope the lesbians among us have enjoyed being seen this week, and that you, like me, are excited to go back to our lives of invisible crime now that Lesbian Visibility Week is over. Jewel heists, here I come! But first, please do enjoy this list of 20 TV moments that changed lesbian visibility forever.

Lots of Yellowjackets shenanigans this week. Christina Grace wondered how she could make these Yellowjackets happy. Kayla gave us some Antler Queen theories. And Liz Hewson announced that they won’t be submitting to the Emmys because of the gendered categories. Also! Pink Ladies business! Carmen reviewed the new series, Rise of the Pink Ladies. And Drew spoke to Ari Notartomaso about their role on the show. Natalie wrote about Stef and Lena’s return to Good Trouble this week. Heather wrote about the Disney+ docu-series, Matildas: The World at Our Feet. Drew had some ideas for Rachel Weisz’s next career moves. And Sai reviewed the new Judy Blume documentary.

Notes from the TV Team:

+ I’ve got something coming at you tomorrow morning about this week’s Ted Lasso! — Heather


Saint X Episode 101-103

Written by Valerie Anne

Saint X: Alycia Debnam-Carey as Emily talking to her best friend Sunita on a bench

“I’ve just always felt I was mean to be a leader. A commander, even. I can’t explain it.”

One thing about me is that all you have to do to get me to watch a show I otherwise wasn’t interested in is tell me an actress I like is in it. Which is how I came to watch Saint X starring Alycia Debnam-Carey. And I’m here to report back on my findings.

Saint X is about a young woman, Emily Thomas (ADC), who moves to a Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn about 15 years after her older sister died on a Caribbean island while their family was on vacation. The island authorities ruled it an accident, but the Thomas family remained convinced it was an unsolved murder. In fact, they’re pretty sure they know exactly which of the resort employees were involved, even though as we watch the events of the past unfold, I have at least three (white) suspects that are higher on my list than them.

Alycia Debman-Carey isn’t the only draw for queer folks: Emily’s best friend is a gay woman named Sunita. So far she’s mostly there to express concerns about Emily spiraling out about her sister, retriggered by seeing a man named Gogo that her and Sunita are 100% convinced murdered her sister. Emily and Sunita have been friends at least since college, and seem to work together at a job about…bears? Emily decides to torment Gogo and Sunita decides to help her; if you can’t stop ’em, join ’em, I guess.

Here is truth #1: It’s not the best-written show on television. It’s a little bit of a White Lotus dupe, if I’m being honest. There are some lines that made it clear to me before I knew for sure that it’s an adaptation of a book. (For example, when Emily got in Gogo’s cab, she later told Sunita, “There he was driving a cab like nothing happened,” as if she wasn’t also in a cab like nothing happened.) There also were some scenes and moments that made me say, “Hm, I wonder if this story was made by a straight white woman.” And it was; the author of the book and the credited creator of the show. Though, to their credit, there are some Black executive producers, including Dee Rees and… :checks notes: Drake? And from my quick scan of the Wikipedia their writing staff isn’t 100% white either so. That’s reassuring.

Truth #2: I’m probably going to watch this whole show. Dropping the first three episodes was smart, because I’m not sure I would have picked it back up with a week between the first two episodes, but after 3, even though it’s not entirely my jam, I’m intrigued enough by the mystery that I feel compelled to stay until it’s solved.


Survivor 4409 “Under the Wing of a Dragon”

Written by Anya!

The contestants of Survivor season 44 sit around at camp

Camp Counselor Carolyn

This episode starts with an element of Survivor we don’t get to see much of with the shortened season (26 days instead of 39) — pure, unadulterated socializing. The tribemates have a day off, and everyone is just chilling (except Danny, who seems to only have time for searching for idols — I think this will ultimately hurt him!).

In some ways, nothing much happens during this time off — but in other ways, I think this just might determine the outcome of the rest of the show. Simply put, this is Carolyn’s social hour. She’s making everyone laugh and bond just by being herself. She tells them about her past, her sobriety, her family, and after opening up, asks the group, “Who here has felt like the weird kid?” and everyone audibly responds!

Carolyn is out here healing the group, inspiring Frannie to embrace her inner weirdo, and being her whole self.

All with a secret idol in her pocket. That no one knows about. Come on, that’s how you win.

After social hour, we head to the challenge — it’s also pouring rain so this whole thing truly feels like torture. I’m gonna cut to the chase here — four people sit out to earn the tribe rice, and the rest compete. It comes down to, you guessed it, Frannie and Danny. And guess who freaking pulls it off again, despite her whole body shaking? FRANNIE!!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — she’s a challenge beast. Also, I hate to admit how much I enjoy seeing Danny come in second once again, losing first to Lauren and then to Frannie. Sorry Danny, maybe you should’ve focused on aligning with the gals instead of day-dreaming about your bro alliance!

There’s a lot of mishegas back at camp that bleeds into Tribal council — this group is chaotic and they know it. Danny, Heidi and Kane all get votes on them — and Kane ends up going home (with Jaime’s fake idol, which kills me, personally). I felt pretty neutral about Kane this whole time, but I am obsessed with his closer: “Enjoy your rice, you b******!”


Fantasy Island Episode 211: “Peaches & the Jilted Bride”

Written by Valerie Anne

Fantasy Island: Ruby and Isla press their hands together while standing shoulder-deep in the ocean

“I know what you are.” “Say it. Out loud. Say it!”

The Guest of the Week is Laura, who was left at the altar because of her overbearing parents. I will not be going into detail about it even though it was cute because there are gay shenanigans to discuss. Laura was played by Jessy Schram, who looks like if Brittany Snow and Anna Camp had a baby, and Kyla Pratt played Peaches, Laura’s childhood imaginary friend come to life.

Elena finds Ruby on a lounge chair on the beach, where she fell asleep waiting for Isla. Ruby asks Elena for insight and Elena says if someone shows you who they are, you should believe them, but Ruby feels unsatisfied with that response. Elena decides to throw a dinner party for Ruby to cheer her up, and Ruby muses about Peaches and says she’s glad Elena is her wingman. Elena’s face looks pained because she knows she’s been the exact opposite of a wingman.

Later that day, Ruby finds herself by the sea again, but this time Isla does appear. Isla says she’s not supposed to be here, but that she loves Ruby. They embrace, and end up spending the night together, reunited at last. Isla admits Elena told her to stay away, because her people have a complicated history with the Rourkes. Ruby asks Isla who, or what, she really is, and Isla just says, “I think you already know.”

Ruby confronts Elena about lying, and says she doesn’t care that her girlfriend is a mermaid. Elena points out she’s more of a siren, and that she’s dangerous. Elena says Ruby can’t trust Isla, but Ruby feels like Elena is the one she can’t trust.

Ruby and Isla float in the ocean, and Isla asks Ruby to stay with her…forever. To become…like her. Isla kisses Ruby to sweeten the deal, but says Ruby has to be the one to decide.

After talking to Javier, Elena realizes she can’t make decisions for other people and apologizes to Ruby. Ruby appreciates it, but doesn’t fully forgive her; Ruby tells her Isla asked her to become a mermaid, and while Elena makes it clear she hates this decision, she promises not to interfere.

Elena tries to change the subject and asks Ruby about her and Mel’s wedding. It takes Ruby a minute to remember who Mel even is, which she brushes off as she wanders away, but Elena looks increasingly concerned.


The Power Episode 106: “The Baptism”

Written by Valerie Anne

The new non-binary character on The Power smiles at Eve

Hello, new friend! Welcome to the cult!

This week lesbian gangster Roxy meets up with some girls in an alley, and charges them 20 quid for a lesson; at first the price seems steep, but soon they’re using lightning fists to spar and they realize it’s worth it.

She’s still living with her father, despite her stepmother hating it, and her dad tells her that he might put her in the will, and sends her out on a job with her oldest half-brother to test her. Her brother tells her to let him do the talking, but Roxy uses her powers to threaten a guy who owes her dad money, zapping the pool he’s in, not enough to kill him, just enough to make him shit himself; she’s willing to weaponize her powers, but it has to be on her terms.

Meanwhile, Eve watches the news about the guy who died in front of Margot and Jos, and about UrbanDox. The voice in her head says that maybe she can have influence like that, so she teaches one of her girls how to channel her anger to use her powers better. Only one of our baby gays is really around this time, pleased to be cured of her seizure disorder, but a new non-binary teen is added to the group. While the group is at the beach, Eve realizes that while her friends are in the water, she can use her powers to control them, so she performs a public baptism, allowing some of the other girls to record it, to help spread the word of her new religion. Because there’s “never been a god for girls like us,” and I guess Eve is ready to be that god, or at least the vessel for one.

Tatiana has a weirdly sexual moment with her hairstylist, but it wasn’t cute or fun. She dresses the girl up as her and they dance around and for a while it seems innocent enough, albeit dark; a woman who is tired of her identity being this fake persona she’s been forced to wear since she was a teenager ‘trades places’ with a hairdresser. Things take a turn when the hairdresser asks her to help get her brother out of jail; Tatiana then pins the other woman to the bed and kisses her awkwardly. It’s gross and bad.

But Tatiana’s luck is perhaps about to change since her sister is free from sex trafficking, and has had her baby, and is being interviewed by Tunde, who is going to help her see her sister again.

Last up is Jos, who is understandably a little traumatized from watching a man light himself on fire. She’s losing control of her spark so she watches YouTube tutorials of Roxy teaching how to channel the spark while sparring. As she gains some release from this, Jos’s boyfriend shows up, using his spark to light up a string of Christmas bulbs in the shape of a heart. He says they’re in this together, and they make up…but Jos’s UrbanDox-obsessed brother recorded her boyfriend using his spark, so I’m sure that won’t end well.


All American 517: “Mask Off”

Written by Natalie

All American: Patience bites her bottom lip as her interviewer (off-screen) throws shade at her old sound. She's done up: wearing a black leather jacket and matching bustier with a white shirt under it.

Since performing at the quinceañera, Patience has been struggling with reconciling OG Patience — the indie, bohemian songstress — with Patience 2.0, the glitzy, glamorous version that’s won her so many fans. But everytime she talks about embracing her past self, about walking away from what she’s achieved, Patience convinces herself that she sounds ridiculous. She presses on with a half-hearted embrace of Patience 2.0 as she prepares for an interview about her upcoming tour.

Thanks to some last minute re-scheduling, Layla leaves the interview wrangling to Skye…who, honestly, I thought this show had forgotten they hired as the social media manager. She shows up, before the interview, with salads for her and Patience and the songstress asks about Coop. Reluctant to get Coop’s ex involved in their complicated relationship, Skye is scant on details but admits that they are taking a break. She quickly pivots back to preparing for the interview.

But, ultimately, interview only reaffirms Patience’s discomfort. The interviewer touts how Patience’s promotional make-up tutorials and IG filters have got her fans feeling more confident about themselves. She assures him that the next phase will be bigger and flashier because “that’s what Patience 2.0 is all about.” The interviewer celebrates Patience dropping the “girl next door” persona and embracing her new-found edge. It all hits wrong for Patience who laments afterwards that she’s not a fan of this new version of herself.

“It just doesn’t feel right projecting this message that people need to change themselves to feel better…I just want people to know their true identities are equally as fierce and I can’t do that if I’m not even being me,” Patience concedes.

Skye asks Patience to reimagine her hit song, “Fire and Ice,” with an acoustic guitar and, as she strums, Patience starts to fill up with the light she’s been missing. She calls Layla to pitch this new idea — Fire and Ice, unplugged — and seeing how happy her friend is, Layla embraces the idea wholeheartedly. Left alone, Patience thanks Skye for the idea and Skye thanks Patience for reminding her to always fight for herself. But then, Skye misreads the moment and leans in and kisses her. Patience immediately pulls back, questions Skye and leaves before she can offer a response.

Unfortunately for them both, this kiss likely won’t remain a secret for long: Patience’s stan/stalker, Miko, remotely recorded the entire incident.


A Million Little Things 512: “Tough Stuff”

Written by Natalie

 A Million Little Things: Katherine hugs Gary as he prepares to head to Mexico for an experimental cancer treatment. No one knows if he'll make it back so they're saying goodbye to him, both literally and figuratively. Gary has his back to the camera, wearing a olive green toboggan and matching coat. Katherine is wearing a grey coat.

As a general rule, I hate baby storylines for queer characters. It’s not that I hate the idea of queer characters on television becoming parents or that I secretly don’t like children. Neither of those things are true. But the reality is that, historically, baby storylines have been used as a way to sideline queer characters. It’s a way to avoid showing intimacy between queer characters. Also? Baby storylines feel like the lowest of low-hanging fruit, the refuge of writers who — after telling a love story — can’t think of another idea. So, I hate baby storylines. I hated it on Station 19 and a big part of me hates on A Million Little Things.

I hate that Greta gets a call, out of the blue, from her ex-wife, Julia, to tell her about frozen eggs that we’d never heard of until this point. We’ve never seen Greta express any interest in having kids. Surely, if the writers were genuinely interested in telling that story (and they clearly aren’t) they could’ve mentioned it when Greta was anxious about stepping up as Theo’s guardian. I hate that Katherine is surprised by this revelation about Greta’s frozen eggs…as if they wouldn’t have had a conversation about having kids just like any straight couple would (in fact, I’d submit that queer people are more likely to have that conversation because of the hurdles they’ll face). And, of course, I hate that this is the storyline they pivot to almost immediately after Greta and Katherine get married. Yes, there’s a time jump (just as there was on Station 19) but still, I hate it.

But when Katherine settles next to Greta on the couch, to talk about the frozen embryoes she never knew about, I’m not surprised by how the conversation goes. And, perhaps more importantly, I don’t entirely hate it.

Greta explains that she’d frozen her eggs ten years ago but never made use of them because Julia had been nervous about Greta passing on her bipolar disorder to their child. Reflecting on how difficult it’d been to manage her condition, Greta had come to agree…and so she put the thought of motherhood and those eggs out of her mind. And while Katherine leaves the decision about having a child to Greta, she assures her wife that any kid would be lucky to have a mother like her. Katherine notes that if her child did inherit her bipolar, she’d have Greta there to help them so they wouldn’t have to struggle. She adds, “if [motherhood] is something that you wanted, I want that for you too.”

I don’t entirely hate it because this entire storyline, however convoluted it is, happens against the backdrop of Katherine’s best friend — everyone’s best friend, really — Gary dying. His cancer has returned and, though Gary fights as hard as he can and does everything he could possibly do, death seems imminent. Katherine actually helps Gary prepare his last will and testament and he asks her to keep it secret from the group. Much of the episode is spent with everyone trying to say their goodbyes to the guy that’s kept this friend group together through a sheer force of will. It’s heartbreaking.

So, I’m not thrilled about this miraculous baby storyline but, also, I get it: a little bit of joy in the midst of a whole lotta heartbreak.

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 573 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.

2 Comments

  1. “Elena points out she’s more of a siren, and that she’s dangerous. Elena says Ruby can’t trust Isla, but Ruby feels like Elena is the one she can’t trust.” I enjoy your short stories like this one since they have a good vibe. Continue to share more in the future!
    Besides, you and follow me and play a lot of games on getaway shootout. Check it out now.

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