Hello, friends, and welcome to the kick-off weekend for the WNBA Finals! I don’t know about y’all but me (Heather) and Natalie have been enjoying the HECK out of watching all these gay couples play basketball! What else? Well, Drew reviewed Titane, which she loved! Abeni interviewed non-binary climber Lor Sabourin about their new film They/Them. Drew and Analyssa podcasted the latest episode of Gen Q. Riese recapped this week’s ep of Gen Q. Valerie recapped the happy lesbian supermom family of Supergirl. And The Morning Show got EVEN GAYER, which, of course, Christina was right on top of.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ It’s a big week for fall returns: Leverage: Redemption drops the second half of its first season today on IMDBtv; Nancy Drew returns for its third season tonight on the CW; Queen Latifah’s The Equalizer kicks off its second season on Sunday; the new season of The Baby-Sitters Club debuts on Netflix on Monday and the Arrowverse returns on Wednesday with the premieres of Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow. — Natalie
+ In addition to everything above, Twenties is also coming back to BET on Wednesday, but don’t worry we have that covered to. — Carmen
Station 19 502: “Can’t Feel My Face”
Written by Carmen
This week on Station 19, Maya and Carina — who have technically been married for 11 months, though thanks to the time jump it feels more like one minute to us, are circling back to their last big fight before they got engaged last season. Carina still wants to have a baby, and Maya does not.
It starts with the (are they still newlyweds?) couple in bed mid-make out, Maya can’t get into it because she’s still preoccupied about her wedding night demotion last year. Carina tries to take her mind off of it by joking about having kids, which only proves to make things worse.
There’s some cute bickering at the station the next day (Carina: “Ok we have a rule, don’t use sex to stop a fight!”, Maya: “Well I have a rule not to start a fight in the middle of sex!”) that somehow also leads to Station Grandpa Warren finding out that the wives will officially be going by the “DeLuca Bishops” moving forward.
But as the day progresses, Maya wonders: can she handle being a parent? Having kids is like having your heart walk outside of your body. And for someone with as many fences around her heart as Maya, that’s exactly what most terrifies her.
Back at home, Maya and Carina pick up their fight. Carina will get used to life without kids if that’s what it comes to — but she’s never before seen Maya run away from something that she’s scared of. She believes there’s something else at the root of this, and she pushes Maya further.
Maya starts to physically shake. She doesn’t want kids. It’s not just that she’s scared of the emotional vulnerability. Given everything that’s happened, she’s scared she will never be get back on track with her career. Hercules Mulligan and Grandpa Warren are allowed to be Dads, but even if Carina carries their child — Maya will be Mommy Tracked. She’s not willing to give that up. She has tried and tried to wrap her mind around it, but she just can’t do it.
Carina, absorbing the shock, licks a tear from the corner of her mouth.
Real talk — I think it’s trope-y that the minute two women are married, they are already talking motherhood (even though this couple has been married for apparently a year, and have had this discussion before). But Danielle Savre and Stefania Spampinato have some of the best chemistry on television, that’s true when they are sexy together and it’s true when they are fighting. This scene cuts, it’s supposed to. And even if I hated it, I can’t say it didn’t get the job done.
Home Economics 202-203: “Chorizo With Mojo Verde and Chicharron, $45” & “Bottle Service, $800 Plus Tip”
Written by Carmen
Here is what Home Economics does exceptionally well: to be a show largely about straight people, whenever it is time for the gays to shine, the jokes never punch down. That has never been more true than in the last two episodes.
Last week in “Chorizo With Mojo Verde and Chicharron, $45” Denise and Sarah hosted their monthly book club that focuses on “oppressed women” and when Sarah’s tech dudebro Connor joins in, chaos ensues. It’s the kind of parody that skewers in all the exact right kinds of way. With Sarah losing her cool over Connor becoming a popular book club member (he’s trying to impress the head of the club, whom he is sleeping with) and ultimately getting called out for being “toxic” in the feminist space against her own brother.
This week, in “Bottle Service, $800 Plus Tip” Home Economics raises its bar even higher, with Sarah and Denise joining Connor for a night at a club. At first Denise disparages that its the most densely packed group of straight people she’s ever seen in her life, before they finally find another gay couple. Jenna, who is non-binary and poly, introduces their date Mel, clarifying that the two prefer “hanging out” to any other labels. Sarah and Denise try to play it cool that they don’t do labels either, only to quickly let it slip that they are wives who’ve been together 15 years with kids. They worry about seeming corny but Jenna quips, “nah you’re cool, you’re old school, like… Sarah’s shoes.”
Jenna and Mel invite Sarah and Denise out to a queer warehouse afterparty, and on the Lyft ride there one of the younger queers literally JUMPS OUT OF THE CAR MID-DRIVE (!!!!) in the middle of an argument, then the other… well, vomits. Sarah and Denise come to the conclusion that I think every gay in their 30s has felt deeply in their bones at one point or another, wow they would rather be in bed right now.
When making cheap fun of Jenna and Mel would have been low hanging fruit on any other sitcom, Home Economics grounds itself in the sweetness of Sarah and Denise’s domesticity. They may the “coolest” of the siblings, but they are squares in their own queer world. And that, my friends, is beautiful.
New Amsterdam 403: “Same As It Ever Was”
Written by Natalie
News of Max and Helen’s imminent departure from New Amsterdam has everyone in the hospital a little shook including the usually unflappable Dr. Bloom. Lauren’s an OG Sharpwin shipper, apparently, so she’s unfazed about their relationship, but their decision to move to London has caught her off guard. She wonders what the new medical director should be like and what she should do if they try to return the hospital to the pre-Max Goodwin status quo. Annoyed by her girlfriend’s ramblings, Leyla pins Lauren to the mattress and climbs on top of her. She insists that Lauren stop talking and when Lauren quickly acquiesces — because she’s slightly turned on by Leyla’s assertiveness — Leyla rewards her with kisses.
At work, Helen and Lauren cross paths and Lauren gently ribs her about her relationship with Max. It would’ve been nice to see Helen respond with some ribbing of her own since Lauren’s dating one of her residents, but the interaction is less about the friendship between these two characters and more about planting a seed of doubt in Helen about pulling Max away from New Amsterdam. After hearing all Helen’s misgivings about Max’s living situation, Lauren encourages her to dump Max so at least one of them wouldn’t leave…she’s joking, of course — Sharpwin’s her OTP! — but the humor is lost on Helen.
Later, the Emergency Department is overrun with victims from a mass shooting. She assigns one of the patients to Casey, Roxana and Leyla and later, when things have calmed, Lauren asks Casey how her girlfriend did. Casey tries to avoid the conversation but Lauren won’t relent: she peppers him with questions until he finally admits that Leyla let Roxana take the lead on the case. Unhappy that her girlfriend’s stepping back and letting everyone else shine, Lauren confronts Leyla about her ambivalence.
“Where’s the woman who pulled off a renegade needle decompression? Where’s the woman who pinned me down in bed this morning?” Lauren asks.
“She’s right here,” Leyla asserts.
“Well, then show them,” Lauren commands. “Stop keeping how amazing you are all to yourself.”
At her next opportunity, Leyla does just that. Her patience has gone into cardiogenic shock and needs a central line. Lauren insists that Leyla use the ultrasound to guide her placement but Leyla refuses. Lauren clarifies — it wasn’t a suggestion, it was an order — and, again, Leyla defies her. Lauren asks Leyla to step back and she refuses again. As she feeds the line into the patient, she reminds everyone of what a badass she is: having learned to do every procedure in the dark or during a mortar attack. All the technology, Leyla notes, only gets in her way. She performs the procedure flawlessly and walks away…the ultimate mic drop.
As her boss, Dr. Bloom is pissed…and when she meets her resident later, Bloom assures Dr. Shinwari that if she ever behaves like that again, she will make her residency a living hell. But Lauren, Leyla’s girlfriend, is so ridiculously turned on by the display that she can barely keep it together. She presses Leyla against the wall and kisses her, promising more of that when they get home. But Lauren wasn’t the only one impressed by the display: Roxana invites Leyla to join the other residents for a drink after work. With Leyla’s evening occupied, Lauren opts to take advantage of their time together in the supply closet.
A Million Little Things 403: “Game Night”
Written by Natalie
At the start of every television season, the TV team tries to fan out and watch as many of the new shows as we can. When A Million Little Things premiered in 2018, I remember reporting back to the team that the boy gays had won this one: young Danny Dixon was the show’s queer character. Still, though, out of a unrelenting love for James Roday Rodriguez and Grace Park, I stuck around… and this week, my faithfulness was rewarded.
On “Game Night,” Katherine’s friends decide to host a “surprise” divorce party for her. And while that may seem a little uncouth, particularly since Katherine’s ex-husband, Eddie, remains in the friend group, Katherine truly deserves it. The lawyer has gone above and beyond trying to save her marriage — forgiving Eddie’s affair (with her best friend!), embracing the baby he sired with her, supporting his recovery from a catastrophic injury — but eventually his lies became too much and she had to end the marriage. No one has ever deserved a party more… but also? Katherine’s reserved and very straight laced and is the last person who’d want a party thrown for them.
Still, though, Katherine goes along with it but shows up to the party woefully overdressed. Darcy (played by Supergirl alum, Floriana Lima) mocks Katherine for coming ready to pass the bar instead of going to to the bar and the party’s host, Maggie, volunteers to give her a different top…”something a little less Rizzoli & Isles“… which feels like an obscure reference for Maggie to make but also, given the way this episode turns out, feels like a nice inside joke for the queer women watching the show.
As Regina gets the party going with margaritas, one guest arrives late: Shanice. Katherine immediately brightens when Shanice steps into the room. It feels very fangirlish — Shanice is an actress and Katherine is big fan — but they also bonded over being divorcees last week during a playdate between their kids. The girls keep the party going with a game of “Never Have I Ever” and the group bonds over questions about smoking pot (Katherine’s never done it), dating Gary (which Regina and Maggie both did and Darcy’s doing now) and kissing a girl. Shanice doesn’t drink and Katherine calls her out in front of the group — recalling the time Shanice kissed Jennifer Aniston in a movie — but almost imperceptible flash of panic on Shanice’s face suggests that wasn’t the only time she’s kissed a girl.
Later, the group’s conversation turns back to Katherine and pushing her to get back out there. It’s clear that Katherine’s not ready yet, though, and her friends’ pushing only makes her feel worse. She leaves the room abruptly and Shanice comes, armed with wine, to talk about what just happened. Katherine admits that she’s been living for everyone else her entire life — she’s always doing what she should be doing — and she’s tired of it. She asks Shanice when she ready to start dating, post-divorce, and Shanice admits it took her three months. She assures Katherine that she’ll know when she’s ready to date again and reminds her that she’s allowed to do things at her own pace.
Katherine returns to the party and apologizes for her behavior. She recognizes that she needs to celebrate this new chapter in her life but she wants to do that in her own way. After cutthroat game of Flip Cup, the party breaks up and Katherine, once again, finds herself alone with Shanice. While doing the dishes, she thanks Shanice for her support. Shanice takes the opening to confess that she wasn’t honest with Katherine earlier: the person she dated after her marriage ended was a woman. She admits that it’s not something she tells everyone — partially because of her career but also because of her parents — but she wanted to tell Katherine because she trusts her.
While cleaning, Katherine gets some soap suds on her face and, of course, Shanice kindly reaches over to brush them off. It looks for a moment like they’re going to kiss but, instead, we’re just left with this thick tension between them. Katherine recalls that she needs to call her son and Shanice retreats to go tuck-in her daughter. Unbeknownst to them both, their children are together, with Katherine’s son revealing his crush on Shanice’s daughter, Love Actually style. Like mother, like son, I suppose.
In the Dark 313: “Expectation is the Root of All Heartache”
Written by Valerie Anne
In the season finale of In the Dark, we finally found our missing lesbian, and it turns out she wasn’t missing at all. She wasn’t kidnapped or killed, she wasn’t in danger at all. She simply…ran away. She decided she wanted to start over and, forgetting who Murphy was apparently, thought she could end a codependent relationship simply by willing it to be so. Of course instead Murphy kept searching for her, come hell or high water, causing more mayhem and revealing a pedophile along the way. Jess had simply had enough of their toxic relationship, and was afraid if she tried to talk it out she’d end up being sucked back into Murphy’s whirlpool of terror. In the end, Murphy decides to try to prove she can be selfless and tells Jess that she’ll take the fall for everything and that Jess should just run away again. So Murphy goes to jail, and the last we see of Jess she’s living her dream of eating toast and scrolling on her phone like she always wanted. And honestly I sort of hope she keeps her new life and isn’t in the next season this show is somehow getting because I would love an excuse to stop watching this show!
Work in Progress 209: “Hey, Dad”
Written by Drew
Everyone I know struggles with their mental health. I should clarify — everyone I know around my age struggles with their mental health.
Mental illness wasn’t invented by Gen X even if the younger you are the more likely you are to be open about it and seek treatment. But our parents obviously have the same problems we have — in fact, a lot of it’s hereditary.
This week’s episode is a type of wish fulfillment. In the wake of Abby’s dad’s suicide attempt, he’s called Abby to the hospital to talk. Her whole life he’s been cold and distant. But now a wall has broken. He talks about his mental illness and she talks about hers. She learns to forgive him by learning more about him.
I say this episode is wish fulfillment because it’s something few people get. This level of vulnerability from a parent requires that parent to even have the self-awareness to be vulnerable with themself. It’s beautiful to watch. It’s what we all deserve. It’s what all parents deserve. But it’s just not possible for most.
And that’s why we have fiction. We don’t need older family members to open up in order for us to be kind to them or their memories. We can imagine their pain and be kinder to them. And then we can be kinder to ourselves.
American Horror Story 1008: “Inside”
Written by Drew
Move over Lady Macbeth — Mamie Eisenhower is now part alien and she’s taking over the country.
The first half of this episode goes back to the 50s and 60s and doubles down on last week’s silliness. Sarah Paulson is back as Mamie and she’s joined by actors playing Richard Nixon, JFK, and Marilyn Monroe. It’s campy and a whole lot of fun.
Unfortunately, we then return to our present day storyline where Kaia Gerber is in the running for worst actor on TV. I really don’t think I’m being harsh! I really think she’s that bad! Sorry if you disagree!
Our teens get taken to an alien birthing facility where Angelica Ross plays a half human/half alien nurse. Once again, she is filling a role on American Horror Story separate from the interpersonal workings of the other characters. With a multitude of cis male pregnancies, the season is trafficking in transmasculine imagery so I wish there was more attention given to its one actual trans actor. Look, Angelica Ross can do anything and it’s fun getting to see her as this cool half alien. But I don’t understand why someone who looks like Kaia Gerber always has to be the lead — especially when she’s so devoid of talent.