Happy Friday, and if you’re reading this from the United States, we hope you have an excellent long weekend that involves sun and/or a popsicle! Welcome back to Boobs on Your Tube. The finale of Batwoman was one of the strongest episodes of the season (and did you catch a very, ahem, greeeeen clue in the final seconds?). It was a rootin’ tootin’ Western on Legends of Tomorrow. Natalie adored the kickass queer Muslim punk rockers of We Are Lady Parts and she’s confident you will two. Speaking of kickass, Natalie also watched LFG — the new documentary about the USWNT — and beneath the news headlines of their gender discrimination lawsuit, she found an emotional rollercoaster.
Of course the biggest headlines of the week in our neck of the woods goes to The L Word: Generation Q. They dropped a full length trailer ahead of their August 6th premiere, and you sure can bet we broke that beauty down frame-by-frame like the queer nerds we are. And if you’ve been out of the loop, here’s everything we know about Gen Q // Season 2 as of this very moment.
It’s July and you know what that means! Riese has a Streaming Guide of What’s New, Gay and on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and Amazon Prime!
Notes from the TV Team:
+ In Motherland: Fort Salem, Raelle and Scylla are still separated, so not much to report on the gay front, but this week did see the introduction of non-binary actor Ess Hödlmoser as non-binary coven leader M at the witches’ war college. And it’s hard to tell precisely but I got the sense they might have been hitting on Raelle, just a little bit. — Valerie Anne
The Bold Type 506: “I Expect You to Have Adventures”
Written by Natalie
Aww, it’s time to recap The Bold Type for the last time.
The morning finds Kat and Adena in bed, enjoying each other one last time before they head off to work. Afterwards, Kat does the most stylish walk of shame in human history and runs in her roommates just outside the apartment door. Jane reveals that Jacqueline’s retiring from Scarlet and has offered her the editor’s job. Jane’s job offer, Kat’s complicated relationship with Adena and Sutton’s even more complicated relationship with Richard has them all overwhelmed and wanting to scream. They recreate that moment from the pilot — each wearing the same colors that they were wearing then — and let their angst spill out onto the city street.
The girls arrive at work together and are summoned to the conference room by Jacqueline. She wants to make the official announcement about her retirement at the launch party for Kat’s new vertical. Later, Kat and Adena are working on the cover art for #DontTurnAway when Kat reaches for Adena’s hand. Adena pulls back immediately and suggests talking about what happened between them. Kat suggests they take things slow but Adena’s not interested in half measures. She’d rather maintain their current partnership than to risk hurting each other again. Kat’s clearly taken aback — and doesn’t really know how to forget her feelings — but she agrees to Adena’s request.
At home, Kat helps Jane write a strategy pitch for the Stafford Board. Kat revels in how much she likes planning for the future and that moment contributes to an epiphany: strategic planning isn’t her passion, writing is. The next day, she goes into Jacqueline’s office and declines the editor’s position. The pair huddle and, sometime later, invite Kat into the office to share the news. Kat’s shocked by the development but the biggest shock comes next: Jacqueline wants her to be Scarlet’s new editor in chief. While I, undoubtedly, love Kat Edison… her promotion to editor is just slightly less ridiculous than when Jacqueline suggested Jane for the role. Just slightly.
“I was trying to replace myself with someone that was, well, someone like me,” Jacqueline admits. “But someone like me is not the future of Scarlet, you are, Kat, and I’m sorry that it took me so long to see it.”
(Jacqueline acknowledging her own unconscious bias and the show blowing right past it, as if her apology is sufficient and as if this is the only time its ever happened, feels like the show wanted to gift me one last failure on the issue of race. Thanks, Bold Type, you really shouldn’t have!)
As planned, Jacqueline announces her retirement and introduces her new successor: Kat Edison. She takes the stage and pledges to build on what Jacqueline started. Kat’s no longer afraid of the future, she’s looking to embrace it, with an open heart and open mind. The words are partly about Scarlet but mostly about giving her relationship with Adena another chance. After the launch, Kat makes the pitch to Adena directly.
“You taught me that I can commit and make it my own and we can do that too,” Kat insists. “We can make this our own. We don’t have to play by anyone else’s rules. We make the rules. Together.”
Her argument wins Adena over and the pair share a kiss. A fitting end, perhaps, but I’m still mystified that this episode devoted more time to Jane and the Bodyguard than to either of its day one couples, Kadena and Suttard. But the show concludes, as it should, with the friendships that have always been at the heart of the show: Jane, Sutton and Kat toast to their diverging futures in the fashion closet one last time.
The Chi 406: “Candyman”
Written by Natalie
To be honest, I’m not sure half the storylines on The Chi make sense: Kima from The Wire Laverne shooting Douda (and also not making sure he was dead)? One-fourth of Xscape taking over as the de facto mayor of Chicago? Trig leading a community intervention program? Papa trying to upstage Maisha? Dre keeping secrets from Nina? None of it makes sense but, boy, does it make for some good drama.
Things at home are taxing for Nina: she thinks Dre is cheating on her, Keisha’s given up her first grandchild for adoption and, now, Kevin’s been suspended indefinitely for fighting at school. She’s so fed up, she can barely stand to look at her son. Dre steps into the chief parenting role: reminding him that he doesn’t have the luxury to just be a kid and that every bad decision he makes risks ruining his future. He earns a temporary reprieve while Dre discusses what to do with Nina.
Later, after work, Dre stops by to check on Jada and sees the mental toll her cancer is starting to take. She wraps her arms around Jada as she cries and ignores Nina’s call in the process. Dre sends a quick text that she’s in a meeting but unbeknownst to her, though, Nina’s spying on her from just down the street. Assuming the worst, Nina heads to a bar to drown her sorrows. Bathed in bisexual mood lighting, she’s approached by Da B-R-A-T who wastes no time spitting game. Nina doesn’t take much convincing, though — just a shot of Henny — and she and Da Brat head to a hotel to have sex.
Afterwards, she stumbles back into the house, only to have Dre repeat her lie about working late again. Dre admonishes Nina for just dropping out and it sets off the conversation the couple’s been avoiding. Nina admits that she saw Dre with Jada. She pushes her to tell the truth. Dre does, breaking down in tears, as she confesses that Jada has cancer. When she hears the news, Nina rushes to comfort her wife, saying “Fuck. Fuck!” …which, I imagine, is partly about Jada’s cancer but mostly about how much she screwed this up.
And just when Nina can’t imagine things being any worse: Kevin gets expelled from school and Keisha decides that she wants her baby back. Nina, girl, you gonna need more wine.
All American 316: “No Opp Left Behind”
Written by Natalie
Fresh off her tour with Lil’ Jewel, Patience returns to South Crenshaw High to turn in all the work she did while on the road. She brings Coop along and, of course, they run into Spencer in the hall. Things are awkward but, when the former BFFs get a moment alone, Coop thanks Spencer for executing the birthday list. Coop shares that she and Patience are planning to go skydiving this weekend and disappointment flashes across Spencer’s face.
Their estrangement hasn’t kept Coop from keeping up with the happenings in Spencer’s life: she congratulates him on making it to the state championship game and for his offer from Toledo State. He admits that he’s undecided about what to do about Toledo but Coop reminds him how improbable him getting to a D-I school is and the decision should be easy. Patience rejoins and tells Spencer that she’s hosting Friendsgiving this year and his attendance is mandatory.
Before the festivities kick off, Coop has a meeting with her team: Preach is there to show off the new merch and Layla drops the news about winter residency in Las Vegas. The dates conflict with Layla’s finals so it’ll be up to Preach to handle the details on the ground… which is a problem for Preach because he’s just connected with the 10 year old daughter he has with Mo (Allegedly. I remain unconvinced that that’s his kid). Of course, he hasn’t mentioned that to Coop yet so instead of telling her, he slinks out of the meeting to get started on creating the new merch. Unfortunately for him, though, Spencer clocks him later hugging his daughter and figures out Preach’s secret.
At Friendsgiving, things are hella AWKWARD: there’s tension between Coop and Spencer, Layla and Spencer, Layla and Olivia and Olivia and Carrie. Patience, sporting Beyonce-esque locks, tries to bring the group back together by encouraging everyone to say “something that we’re grateful for in this friend group.” Everyone’s nice about it and the tension slowly starts to recede. Spencer and Coop recall a shared mac n’ cheese memory and things between the former BFFs thaw even more. Patience steps in and gives Coop one more push to make things right with Spencer. She takes Patience’s advice and, finally, the best friends make amends.
Later, Coop shows up to Spencer’s place to invite him to go skydiving with her (“did you really think Patience was gonna jump out of a airplane?”). The best friends embrace and celebrate their reunion with Grace’s peach cobbler.
Betty Episode 203: “Sugar We’re Going Down, Swinging”
Written by Drew
I am once again here to apologize for how hot I find cheating when it’s on television. But does it really count as cheating if it’s on a boy and with one of our main characters?? (Yes, Reader. The answer is yes.)
Kirt’s quest to educate her guy friends on the art of not being immature dorks finds a surprising development when her friend Micah’s girlfriend Shelby confronts her about texting Micah. Kirt clarifies that she was texting Micah about Shelby’s G-spot to educate him and the energy changes immediately. It’s as if Kirt just saying “G-spot” and “I’m gay” completely changes Shelby’s worldview.
They go on a little date and end up looking at the skyline across the water. Shelby gets closer and Kirt, bless her, says that she can’t do this to Micah. But Shelby’s all like we aren’t doing anything. Then she starts playing with Kirt’s hand.
While this is happening, Indigo’s sugar baby-ing adopts an unlikely partner in Camille who is having something of a gender crisis with the femme-ing up she has to do for the skate brand that’s sponsoring her. But here she is femmed up with Indigo talking to some middle aged rich dude. They go back to his place and he show’s off his memorabilia — lol — and Camille is entranced by a board signed by Tony Alva. She starts skating around on it looking like herself again despite the costume.
Cue a montage to “Toxic”! Indigo and Camille are dancing around. Shelby is getting close to Kirt. And Janay is finally letting herself flirt with that cute guy. Janay kisses him. Shelby kisses Kirt. And rich dude tells Camille he’ll give her the board if she kisses Indigo. Camille’s eyes LIGHT UP and they start making out.
The delight of this trio of moments — yes, even the straight one — is topped only by how boyish and giddy Camille looks walking down the street with Indigo — who is clutching SO MUCH CASH. Not giddy because of kissing Indigo. Giddy because of the board.
Genera+ion 114: “CLICK WHIRR” and 115: “L’Amour”
Written by Drew
Do you remember being a teenager? What do you remember? Do you remember geometry quizzes and homecoming dances and football games? Do you remember first kisses and failed friendships and curfews? Do you remember sleep deprivation and depression and feeling like you’re being eaten alive by your own skin?
The middle section of last night’s second episode of Genera+ion focuses on Nathan’s dad as he struggles to understand his kids — as he struggles to understand all kids. And that’s how most shows about teenagers feel. This section spread out over several seasons in subtext. Endless projection, puppetry with today’s teens to work out yesterday’s problems.
This isn’t inherently bad. Sometimes the goals of a show or movie about teenagers isn’t to be about teenagers. Sometimes the classes and dances and youthful stupidity are just useful tropes to work within. Sometimes the point is nostalgia.
But as Genera+ion continues to establish its voice, deepening in its truth and its power, it’s revealing itself to be the rare show about teenagers that feels like it’s actually about its subject. I’m 27 (so old!) and cannot comment on whether the show is an honest portrayal of Teens Today. But I know that it’s the only show about teenagers on television co-created by an actual teenager. I know that it uses technology and other contemporary specifics with an acute precision. And I know that it resonates with my own ten-years-past youth in a way that can never be achieved with an attempt at nostalgia. Because it’s not the details of the show that resonate — God I wish I was a cool queer teen who drove around Orange County in a convertible — it’s the feelings.
The first episode from last night focuses on Riley as she goes through a day sleep deprived. Something has escalated with her family and it’s caused her to spiral. Even more than she’s already been spiraling for months. Rather than being split by character POVs like usual, this episode is marked by hours Riley has been awake since trying to fall asleep. As the hours tick along she becomes more unhinged and the show formally mirrors her state of mind with blurry images and inconsistent audio.
The most painful thing about the episode is how many people in Riley’s life genuinely want to help her. Ana, Sam, even Nathan’s mother, all attempt to fill in where Riley’s own parents have failed. But she can’t accept this help. Because to accept this help would be to accept the failure. She’s not ready to let go of the people who should be there for her — she’s not ready to let go of her parents.
Chase Sui Wonders is captivating to watch throughout Riley’s dazed odyssey. Whether she’s toying with the strange men who see her as just that or fighting with the people she wishes she could love, Wonders shows the many layers behind angst and chaos. There’s something so adolescent about the way Riley is both needy and distant. Adolescent and painful and true.
The episode ends with Riley finally reunited with Chester. He picks her up and drives her around and asks nothing from her but herself. She still needs more sleep — she still needs so much — but in this moment she’s okay. She has a friend. A real friend. A temporary escape. That’s what being a teenager is all about.
Charmed 316: “What to Expect When You’re Expecting the Apocalypse”
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, Mel is still pregnant and can’t leave the house, but don’t worry, they brought the gay to her. Abi swings by to ask for help because she went to find her sister for her help stealing something from their mother but then found out there was a demon tracker on her and Waverly was being hunted.
Abi is surprised that Mel is MUCH more pregnant than she was when she saw her a few days ago, and when she finds out it’s a future-baby, she asks who Mel’s partner is in the future, and ASKS IF IT’S HER. With a little quirk of her eyebrow. This demon is going to be the death of me.
Waverly, who is MUCH meaner than her Earpy counterpart, tells Abi she would be a bad mother and they start to have a magic fight but Mel keeps them cool. Abi tells Mel she needs her family’s Blade of Clarity to return the fire powers she stole from Macy, and in this conversation she makes a hormonal Mel cry and looks genuinely startled by it and even tries to comfort her. It’s very sweet. Mel is surprised she’s going through so much to make amends with Macy, and suggests she does the same with Waverly.
Eventually the demon finds them and they vanquish it (thanks to some help from baby’s time freezing powers) and Waverly learns that it was their mother that sent the demon after her (well, her daughter specifically), not Abi, so she agrees to help her sister. First, Abi and Waverly help Mel with her crib, and Mel helps them mend their fences.
Abi tells Mel that being a fighter will make her a good mom, sliding tissues toward her, and Waverly watches her sister display a kindness her mother claimed she wasn’t capable of.
Written by Valerie Anne
I was technically “too old” for iCarly when it was first on, since it aired while I was in college, but when I was home from college every summer, rocketing rapidly to proper adulthood, I gravitated toward shows aimed at teenagers, like Degrassi and, yes, iCarly. So when that theme song started, I was hit with nostalgia for those deep, meaningful lyrics: “Live life, breathe air.” No, but really, all joking aside, that theme song is a bop and really brought me back.
And before the credits of the first episode are done popping up on screen, they establish two things: These characters are adults now, and one of the new characters is queer. Carly has a new best friend now that Sam is off with a biker gang. Her name is Harper, and Harper is queer. In one of their first interactions is about a party, and Carly bemoans that Harper always gets hit on by cute guys, hot girls, and “ridiculously gorgeous non-binary laywers.”
The show continues to be aged up for its now-grown original audience, while also remaining a goofy sitcom. While some of the themes are more adult — at one point Spencer accidentally hires a sex worker to go on a date with Freddie. But, while the jokes are more mature, I don’t think the show itself necessarily is; I don’t even remember any kissing in these first episodes. Plus, they have a kid running around to keep things young: Millicent, Freddie’s hilarious stepdaughter.
Josie Totah and Fortune Feimster guest, and Harper’s queerness isn’t a one-off joke. At one point, Spencer and Harper have a phone number getting contest at a wedding, and Spencer whines that she has twice as many options, and Harper says, “I know you didn’t just try to insinuate you’re at an advantage because you’re straight.”
I can’t speak to how the show is without the nostalgia of the return of these characters, in the same Loft we left them in but with ten years of off-screen life under their belt, but I have been really enjoying this silly little show.
In the Dark 302: “I Know What You Did Last Night”
Written by Valerie Anne
I watched this week’s In the Dark and found myself hoping I wouldn’t have an update for you, because I don’t have high hopes for Jess’s storyline this season, but alas I do because Murphy and Felix, in their desperation to keep the motel clerk distracted while there is a cop looking specifically for “a blind girl and three of her friends,” decide to have a threesome with her. Felix is freaking out because Murphy is one of his best friends (and let’s be honest, he’s always had a crush on Murphy) but Murphy tells him not to make a thing of it. “It’s just sex.” Plus, she had been hoping to have sex with Max tonight so she’s already horny so they might as well. She kisses the girl like it’s not the first time she’s done this and to the show’s credit, it’s not sensationalized or overdone, it’s a cut to black and back again when they’re all falling asleep. It worked, too, because by the time they’re done, the cop is gone.
Jess doesn’t get to have a threesome though, no, our resident lesbian instead gets KIDNAPPED. From an airport bathroom! Talk about getting kicked while you’re down, sheesh. Anyway I still watch this show for y’all, and will continue to report back but I can’t honestly say I’m enjoying it anymore…