It’s Friday, and we guess you know what that means! Boobs on Your Tube! This Sunday will be the Pose series finale but before we get crying over that, Angel and Papi got married in a wedding full of Abundance(TM). Natalie laid out what The Bold Type is getting fatally wrong in its final season. Drew argues that Clarice is proving there is no such thing as a “progressive” police procedural. An almost decade later, and Valerie STILL can’t believe that they did Sweet Marley Rose so dirty on Glee! Heather went on a quest to find the Top 10 best fictional bests who started some shit. And Drew found the second season of Feel Good (now on Netflix) to be simply remarkable as it confronts trauma and messy queer romance.
Of course the biggest television news this week as all things L Word! And have you completely covered:
- There was a special edition of To L and Back: The Interrogation Tapes Episode (and a live recording of the ill-fated L Word spin off, The Farm)
- Speaking of the original L Word, Drew did a deep dive interview with Daniela Sea that’s gone viral for all the best reasons. So if you missed that this week. now is your chance
- Then Gen Q come bursting through the door! First with an official season 2 premiere date (August 6th)
- And then with note one — but TWO! — teaser trailers. We analyzed both, because of course we did.
It’s the start of a new month and that means Riese has Everything That’s New and Gay and Streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and HBO Max
Notes from the TV Team:
+ The Chi is two episodes into its fourth season on Showtime. There hasn’t been much storyline for Nina and Dre or Imani thus far but it feels like the groundwork is being laid for them to play bigger roles as the season goes on. — Natalie
+ Shelli wants you to know about Cynthia Erivo’s gay new music video which I feel like can be TV-adjacent, if we let ourselves believe it! (It’s… really gay) — Carmen
Station 19 416: “Forever and Ever, Amen”
Written by Carmen
I see no reason to hold onto to this any longer: As promised, Maya and Carina get married. They both look stunning, Vic’s family’s pierogi restaurant (newly rebuilt from the riot fires) makes a gorgeous location, it is simple and sweet and gay and I loved it. It also had me think back to Callie and Arizona’s wedding — probably because we get a Grey’s style “you’re my person” reference — and what a massive big deal it was? Do you remember that? Over 10 million people watched live! Not including DVR or streaming numbers. There was an entire press lead up to the event! That was 10 years ago this Spring. It’s funny how much has changed, so quickly. Now two women getting married in a Shondaland drama can just be simple and honestly, I think that’s amazing.
Ok! Enough with trips down memory line, let’s get to the plot! First and foremost Maya cannot decide what to wear. Is she a dress bride or a suit bride? She says the decision will define her forever which was some unintentional commentary on the forced nature of socialized gender binaries, if you ask me. But Andy realizes that the real reason Maya is hyper fixated on her wedding outfit is that she hasn’t come out yet to her parents and, even though that relationship is abusive and difficult, Maya doesn’t want to start her marriage in secret. (To her credit, Carina also figured this out! It’s just that Andy has best friend energy on her side.)
With some gentle pushing, Andy takes Maya to her parents home on the way to the ceremony. Her father opens the door, and Maya doesn’t even take a breath before launching into my favorite Maya speech ever yet on this show:
Maya: Hi Dad, I’m bisexual. Or queer, I guess they say now. And I’m in love with a woman and I am marrying her tonight. Just wanted you to know that, officially. And, Mom, you don’t deserve to be cowering in the hall behind him again.You have other options. You don’t have to be here. My soon-to-be wife has offered to take you in, and I would like to, (gasps softly) so… if at any point you have had enough you know where we live and we will always have a bed for you.
Her father tries to interrupt her, but my girl doesn’t miss a beat: “No! No more from you!” And then she spins on her heels and leaves both her parents, stunned, in her wake.
The speech also moved Maya’s mom, who shows up in time for the wedding and weeps as her daughter gives her vows. (Unrelated side note: That red lipstick Maya’s wearing? H O T. And has Stefania Spampinato ever looked more beautiful than this one episode? I think not. Also the nervous adorableness of these vows are the best.)
So everyone who’s supposed to be married today is married and there is also this very cute improvised moment that Natalie found for you:
— Danielle Savre (@D_SAVRE) June 4, 2021
But what’s not cute? Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe) did some real — depending on who you ask, though this is my opinion — dirty ass or — again, depending on you who ask — self-sacrificing behind-the-scenes dealing after Maya has one too many run-ins with the Seattle police, first during the Black Lives Matters protests and now saving a young boy’s life from a fire. Sullivan pitches himself as “a battalion chief for the price of a captain” and in the final seconds of the season, during her own wedding reception (!!) everyone receives notice Maya gets put on leave as Captain of Station 19.
New Amsterdam 313: “Fight Time”
Written by Natalie
Like so many other medical shows, New Amsterdam uses its patients’ cases to enlighten the doctors about their personal lives. But where it differs from other shows in the genre is the balance between showcasing the personal and the professional; NA always devotes more time to telling stories about the hospital. I mention that because Leyla and Lauren continue to get the short shrift when it comes to screentime, appearing together just briefly at the end of this week’s episode. Their lack of screentime, coupled with off-screen progress at a dizzying pace (more on that in a minute), makes it really hard to invest in Leyla and Lauren as a couple. I hope the writers achieve a better balance moving forward.
This week, Casey and Bloom treat an old man found disoriented in the park. Bloom orders a toxicology screen and discovers that the man’s been poisoned with dioxin. Casey’s a Cold War history nerd and suspects that the poisoning is the work of the KGB: their patient must be a Russian spy. Bloom dismisses the theory but when the patient awakes, he mumbles about someone trying to kill him. A nurse alerts Bloom that her patient’s son is here but the patient insists he doesn’t have a son.
Bloom interrogates visitor and discovers that he is, indeed, the patient’s son. She explains that she usually doesn’t suspect her patients of espionage but because of the drug at play, she wasn’t certain. The son assures her his father’s not a spy, just an old man upset by the prospect of being put in a home. When Bloom goes to confront her patient, she discovers that he really is a spy: a former KGB double agent for the CIA. The dioxin was his, Bloom surmises, and the patient admits that he’d rather die than be a burden to his son. She encourages him to allow his son the chance to really get to know his father… he no longer has to keep everything a secret.
The case pushes Lauren to be more honest with Leyla. She confesses that she’s a recovering addict and admits that she’s been with women before, but never in a relationship. Leyla acknowledges that she knows all of that — she thinks she knows everything — but Lauren confesses the one thing she doesn’t know: Lauren loves her.
To which I promptly yelled, “what? already?!” at my television, only to be silenced by the realization that I want nothing but happiness for Lauren Bloom.
The Bold Type 502: “The Crossover”
Written by Natalie
So, I had some feelings about The Bold Type‘s season premiere but, really, I only scratched the surface of my frustrations: Alex’s storyline grates (and feels reminiscent of every mistake the show’s ever made with Kat). Jane’s storyline? Well, the only real surprise there is that, on top of being a terrible writer, she is also a terrible (and hypocritical) boss. If Jacqueline believes that Jane is the future of Scarlet, that magazine is well and truly doomed. And then there’s Sutton… whose storyline is the only one that makes sense right now… and who I want to protect at all costs. But, I digress, I’m here to talk about Kat so let’s get to it.
Kat walks into the Belle this week and crosses paths with a childhood friend, Zuri Gibbons, who’s applying for job there. Unfortunately, when Kat tries to put a good word in with the Belle’s manager of Zuri’s behalf, the manager laments that they don’t hire ex-felons at the Belle. I’m taken aback by the disclosure, especially since it’s clearly against the law in New York (and, seemingly, violates federal privacy laws), but who lets facts get in the way of a good story? Not The Bold Type!
Kat reconnects with Zuri after finding each other on social media. Zuri’s in awe of all that Kat’s accomplished but Kat assures her that she’s capable of just as much, if not more. But with a felony on her record — a jewelry store robbery — Zuri’s convinced that she’ll never achieve Kat’s level of success. Zuri used her time in prison to rehabilitate herself, even working towards her college degree, but her record continues to hold her back. Zuri asks Kat to pass on any opportunities she hears about and, of course, Kat agrees. She immediately puts her media savvy to work on Zuri’s behalf. They create a viral video that’s part cooking show, part dance video and part explainer about the difficulties of reintegrating into society with a felony conviction. But while the video gets a bunch of likes, shares and comments, it doesn’t lead to a job opportunity for Zuri.
Later, at Scarlet’s ad sales conference, Alicia reminds Kat of the power of Adena’s photography and a lightbulb goes off. She calls Zuri and teases an idea to help more people hear her story. Then she texts Adena and asks for her help. Looks like a Kadena reunion is on the horizon!
Top Chef: Portland 1810: “Tournament of Tofu”
Written by Natalie
Just like with any other reality competition show, fans of Top Chef are quick to pick favorites… to divide the cheftestants into different tiers to try and suss out which are more likely than the others to compete in the finals. But this week’s episode was a great reminder that you can never be too sure: one overly confident chef, one difficult challenge theme or one errant slip of the knife and even a favorite can be in jeopardy of going home.
This week’s quickfire, for example, seems tailor-made for Maria: Chipotle hands overs all the ingredients from their menu for the chef’s to create dishes that feature spicy Mexican-themed flavors. Even the judges’ curveballs — Maria has to go head-to-head against Shota (who has little experience with this style of cuisine) and they have to create a dish for Padma that’s spicy and tart — make it feel like Maria’s first quickfire win is within her grasp. But once the plates are down, Padma thinks Maria’s black bean tortilla dish lacks spice and Shota manages to get the win. Dawn gets the overall quickfire win, though, and collects a $10,000 prize.
For the elimination challenge, the chefs participate in a tournament style competition utilizing different types of tofu in each round. In the first round, Maria once again faces off with Shota, only this time the challenge is right in his wheelhouse (Shota “uses tofu like I use lime and chile,” she jokes). Maria’s first attempt at using medium tofu gets tossed in the trash and her second attempt isn’t cooking properly so she’s forced to improvise. When she takes her plate to judges panel, she ties (!!) with Shota (for 10 whole minutes)… but, after some deliberation, the judges deem Shota the winner of the round and Maria has to cook in the second round.
In the second round, Maria’s forced to cook against Dawn and Byron, who both lost their opening round match-ups. This time, they’re asked to make a fried tofu dish. At the last minute, Dawn decides that her plate needs another garnish and cuts her hand on the mandolin. Her competitors — to their great credit — rush to her aid when she bleeds into a few of her plates, but Dawn still ends up a plate short. She’s DQed by the judges which sends her to the final round. The judges vote overwhelmingly in favor of Maria’s dish over Byron’s. She will live to cook another day.
By the third round, Dawn and Byron are both spent and the result is two disturbingly similar dishes. Somehow the judges suss out a winner and Byron is forced to pack his knives and go.
Nancy Drew 218: “The Echo of Lost Tears”
Written by Valerie Anne
In the Season 2 finale of Nancy Drew, aside from helping Nancy learn how to deal with the wraith that has been wracking her for the past few months, we also got a little closure on our lesbian ghost love story. George is trying to make peace with the fact that her bodily time-share with a ghost means her lifespan is pretty short, but Odette keeps emerging to take over conversations or situations like when she decided to take part in a heist mission by pretending to be Bess’s betrothed. But she can tell Bess’s heart is breaking when she realizes they’ll always be faking. Toward the end of the episode, George and Odette have a little mirror chat and Odette apologizes for being a “helicopter ghost” and being too involved in her life. She says she thinks it’s best if she retreats into the depths of George’s subconscious and lets George enjoy what little of her life she has left. Before she does, though, George gives her a note for Bess and tells her to go say goodbye.
As Odette and Bess share a teary-eyed farewell, Odette thanks her for making her whole again, for showing her that there is life after love. She gives Bess the note from George, and it just says, “Kiss her.” So Bess does. And what happens next is one of the most beautiful works of cinematography I’ve ever seen, with the camera sweeping around Bess as the women she’s kissing transforms from what Bess sees (George) to what Bess feels (Odette) and it’s truly lovely.
Odette says goodbye and George comes forward and hugs her friend tight. As we all knew, Odette and Bess’s relationship was a doomed venture, but gosh what a beautiful ill-fated tale it was.