We had our December TV Editorial Team meeting this morning, and y’all are not ready for the ten million lesbian Christmas movies coming our way. We couldn’t even keep the titles straight (lol). Heather actually wrote about one of them already this week: Hallmark’s An Unexpected Christmas! And so buckle up your reindeer ’cause there’s an avalanche more coming next week. Also maybe next year? Aubrey Plaza says there’s gonna be a Happiest Season 2.
Until then: Carmen reviewed the new season of Saved By The Bell, which has landed on Peacock and given us an Afro-Latina love story straight out of the Zack and Kelly playbook. Carmen also recapped the newest episode of Twenties! Kayla recapped an all-new Yellowjackets, the queer show that’s got everybody buzzin’. And Riese let us know what’s new and gay and streaming this month.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ Wildmoore. That’s all. — Heather
+ I’m sorry y’all, I know I owe you Home Economics and Queens updates! I’ve been doing more full length tv and film writing the last few weeks and it’s been taking time. But I’ll be back soon! Can’t wait to see what the lesbians are up to! — Carmen
+ Last season on The Equalizer, Queen Latifah Robyn’s Aunt Vi decided to try her luck on a dating app. When it came to choose the gender of prospective suitors, she scoffed at the thought of limiting herself to men: “why limit it?” she asked. It was a throwaway line and I nearly forgot about it, until this week, when a past love of Vi’s re-emerges (sort of). Her ex’s daughter tracks her down based on a portrait Vi drew when they were in college. Vi resists at first but eventually agrees to meet with a love that she thought time had forgotten. — Natalie
Hightown 206: “Behind Every Skirt is a Slip”
Written by Natalie
For a minute, it looked like Jackie Quiñones had finally found happiness: she had a job that gave her purpose, one that she was actually good at. She had a girlfriend (sort of), a supportive chosen family and, most importantly, her sobriety. But over the last few episodes, that’s all unraveled: her informant is dead, her girlfriend has ghosted her and she’s grossly offended her Ed, the head of her chosen family. All she has left is her sobriety and Jackie spends all of “Behind Every Skirt” trying to hold on.
Jackie heads into work, more interested in finally talking to Leslie than doing any actual work, but when she finally crosses paths with her partner in the office kitchen, Leslie refuses to have the conversation. Jackie pushes — “wait, we can fuck at work but we can’t talk at work?” — but Leslie stands firm: she won’t allow anyone else in the office to witness dissension between them. Even though she doesn’t allow Jackie to have her say, Leslie makes her position clear: they were supposed to be nothing serious but Jackie took things too far, too fast. To put some distance between them, Leslie insists that Jackie take a sick day.
Heartbroken, Jackie tries to find some comfort. She goes to Ray first but between his disdain for Leslie — he told Jackie to stay away from her — and his rekindled affair with the woman who ruined his life, he doesn’t have time for her. She reaches out to Ed to apologize for lashing out at him following their stakeout. He accepts her apology — he acknowledges that some of what she said was true — but the damage has been done: Jackie no longer has a seat at his table for Thanksgiving. Jackie retreats to an AA meeting for some comfort but finds no solace there. She storms out and heads straight to a bar…a bar in which her ex-girlfriend, Devon, happens to be having a drink.
Unable to find any comfort for her pain, Jackie aims to sate it by pressing against a familiar body. After years of dealing with Jackie’s fuckboi shit, though, Devon is impervious to Jackie’s charms. Thankfully, though, Devon’s friend, Riyah, is more than willing to take her place. The hook-up does not go well — at least not for Jackie, Riyah at least gets an orgasm out of it — and Jackie abruptly ousts Riyah from her bed. Left to her own devices, Jackie still can’t find relief. After an unhelpful visit from Ray, Jackie decides to finish that conversation with Leslie. The interaction is painful and realistic: Jackie’s utterly heartbroken while Leslie is cold and detached. She chalks their entire dalliance up to just having fun but Jackie insists there was more to their relationship. The text, Jackie says, scared Leslie because it made her realize that she had feelings for Jackie.
Leslie: When you told me you loved me, I realized I wasn’t being fair to you because I don’t feel the same way. Because I’m straight, which I told you from the beginning.
Jackie: So, when you were eating my pussy, that was you being straight?
(I was not expecting the jolt of euphoria I got from hearing Jackie say that.)
Leslie dismisses Jackie and she ends up at the one place that won’t turn her away: her parents’ home. Unfortunately, her mother’s not there, but her fuckboi father invites her in for a beer. There goes Jackie’s sobriety.
The Sex Lives of College Girls 103-105: “Le Tuteur,” “Kappa” and “That Comment Tho”
Written by Natalie
Feeling suffocated by the pressure of maintaining a façade, Leighton decided to booze it up on the Essex College grounds and, of course, she gets caught. She tries to buy her way out of a punishment but the University President insists she take some responsibility: he sentences her to 100 hours of community service at the women’s center. Leighton goes, begrudgingly, and tries to set the terms of her service but the center’s volunteer coordinator, Alicia, won’t be budge. She insists that Leighton show up when they need help and chastises her for mocking the center’s work. It’s enough to send Leighton rushing back to the President’s office to offer a larger donation in lieu of her community service hours. For me, though, the confrontation got my hopes up about one of my personal favorite tropes: enemies to lovers!
Unable to bribe her way out of community service, Leighton returns to the women’s center for poetry night. It is, predictably, bad but Leighton keeps herself entertained by pilfering the center’s wine and snacks. Alicia reminds Leighton that she’s at the women’s center to actually work and won’t be given credit for her hours. Later, as they’re cleaning up, Leighton urges Alicia to take things a little less seriously. She justifies her mid-show laughter by pointing out that the performers were actually terrible. Alicia admits that she’s right but encourages her to mock people behind their backs like a normal human being. Leighton promises to be less of a “dumb cis bitch.”
Days later, Leighton finally gets the envelope she’s been (seemingly) waiting her whole life for: an invitation to the Kappas’ pre-rush brunch. But she’s not the only member of the suite to get one: Whitney, the freshman phenom soccer player who’s secretly hooking up with her assistant coach, also scores an invite. At the brunch, Whitney struggles to find her footing amongst a sea of Ashleys/Ashleighs/Ashlees while Leighton tries to ingratiate herself to the Kappas by showcasing her encyclopedic knowledge about each and every one of them. It feels kinda stalkerish, honestly, but the Kappa president — Quinn, AKA Future Leighton — offers her a slight reprieve. During their solo conversation, Quinn lets her know that Cory, Nico’s fraternity brother, is interested in her. Leighton knew that already, though, and has been trying to avoid his advances whenever they cross paths. But when Quinn tries to push them both together, Leighton can’t say no. After a shift at the women’s center, Leighton meets up with Cory who is, admittedly, taken aback by her about face. She apologizes for her behavior and tells Cory that she likes him. She kisses him and, despite her assurances to Alicia, actually does sleep with Cory on the first date.
But later, when Leighton spots Cory at the biggest Theta party of the year, she goes out of her way to avoid him. She spends time with her roommates — helping Bela make sense of her predatory editor’s actions — and playing hostess for her friends from the women’s center. Much to the chagrin of her brother, Leighton invites Alicia and Ginger to the Thetalympics, in hopes that they might see that fraternity’s aren’t the misogynistic nightmares they’ve been protesting against. For a while, it looks like Leighton’s plan might actually work — Alicia develops an easy rapport with Nico and they spend the evening doing keg stands and beer curling together — but when a drunken frat bro insults Alicia, things go awry. Alicia stands up for herself but Leighton pulls her away from the fight. Alicia questions whose side Leighton is actually on and storms out. Leighton follows close behind, explaining that she was only trying to keep Alicia from getting hurt. She apologizes for the frat bro’s behavior and assures Alicia that she’s never seen them treat anyone else like that.
“Of course you haven’t,” Alicia retorts. “I’m just this queer girl that they can’t fuck but you? You’re this pretty, blonde, straight girl who they actually think is worthy of respect.”
Leighton insists that Alicia’s wrong about her but Alicia remains unconvinced. Leighton tries to summon the words but can’t, so she just kisses Alicia instead. A shocked Alicia pulls away, dismayed that she got Leighton so wrong, but Leighton silences her with another kiss. They return to Alicia’s apartment, hook up — though, it happens entirely off-screen, unlike the straight sex scenes — and after it’s over, Leighton tries to sneak away. Alicia is sympathetic to Leighton’s need to escape but invites her to Netflix and chill with her. Leighton, much to my surprise, agrees.
Legacies 407: “Someplace Far Away From All This Violence”
Written by Valerie Anne
After reading a TVD recap about the time Caroline turned off her humanity and Stefan helped her switch it back on with a memory of her mother, Josie gets the Super Squad together to make a plan to get Hope to do the same. Before they have time enough to plan, Hope shows up to get some weapons, but our Hope is still in there somewhere, so she doesn’t kill them all immediately. In fact, she even lets them attempt to turn her humanity back on by way of a variety show of friendship. When that proves futile and Hope says some mean things to all her peers, Dark Josie comes out to go face to face with Dark Hope.
Dark Josie tells Hope that she has turned humanities back on with a snap before, and that betrays a hint of fear in Hope, and she thinks that will help her get Hope’s humanity back on. “Even the almighty Tribrid can’t outrun her trauma forever,” Dark Josie threatens, but Hope just says, “Watch me.”
Hope manages to knock Dark Josie over but when she zips over to finish her off, it’s regular Josie’s sweet eyes looking up at her. Eyes that have only ever been full of kindness for her. Josie faces Hope, unafraid, and when Hope realizes that Josie is the first real threat to her humanity switch that she’s encountered so far, she freezes her.
The squad rightly thinks this is a sign that there’s still some of their Hope left inside the Tribrid, and they tuck Josie into the Therapy Box until they can figure out how to unfreeze her. But as Josie goes in, Lizzie comes out, and she’s willing to do what no one else is, to save her sister, to save them all. She’s willing to kill Hope.
The Flash 801-803: “Armageddon Parts 1-3”
Written by Valerie Anne
Ryan and Alex finally showed up in this 5-Episode Event at the very end of Part 3, so now that it seems likely we’ll get more of them in the next episode, I wanted to give you a little ARMAGEDDON primer so Nic and I can get right into yelling about them next week.
The overall premise is that an alien from the future, Despero, has come back in time to kill Barry, because according to him, in the next 10 years, Barry will lose his mind and destroy the world.
Team Flash manages to convince Despero to give them a chance to prove The Flash wouldn’t hurt his friends, let alone the world, but it seems something is indeed messing with Barry’s mind, causing him to have rage blackouts. Plus, when Barry mentions his adoptive father/father-in-law, everyone is horrified because Joe died six months ago. And I’ll admit, I missed a handful of Season 7 episodes, but I watched the finale, so I was 90% sure Joe didn’t die on screen. But as Barry lost grip with reality, so did I.
The first Alex Danvers appearance is when Caitlin calls her for alien advice. Kara is “off-world” so she helps them the best she can from afar. At the end of Part 3, Barry runs to the future to get more clues about what made him snap, and he finds himself at Iris’s engagement party…to his nemesis and mine, Eobard Thawn, aka the Reverse Flash. There they are, happily in love, witnessed by two of Iris’s gay best friends, Ryan Wilder and Alex Danvers, looking hardly a day older than the last time we saw them, let alone a decade. The episode ends with our ladies (et al) turning to confront Barry, so here’s hoping that’s where we pick back up again next week.
Riverdale 603: “Mr. Cypher”
Written by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
Welcome back to Rivervale, the five-part ~event~ that boldly asks the question: What if Riverdale but FULL THROTTLE FANTASY? This week, the devil comes to town, going by the name of Mr. Cypher, first name Lou…as in Lou Cypher. Lucifer. You get it!!! Jughead Jones sets the episode up in direct address, saying it’s a tale of the devil coming to town to make little deals with townsfolk in exchange for their souls, prompting my girlfriend to say “okay Needful Things by Stephen King!”
The King parallels do not stop there. Last week’s ep had some Christine vibes in Reggie’s storyline. And it seems that this little Rivervale experiment is all building to a very The Stand-esque final showdown between good and evil.
I’ll keep this week’s recap brief, because Cheryl and Toni make nary an appearance! But since I’m heavily invested in the overall Rivervale arc, I didn’t wanna skip this installment. Here’s what goes down for each character:
Jughead interviews the devil, because he thinks it’ll be good for his writing career. He makes a deal that will grant him success for this ONE profile of the devil (“I can’t imagine anything more boring than hearing the life story of satan” – my girlfriend with the gems this week!). In turn, he will never be able to write again. This leads him to make a second deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for the ability to write once more.
Reggie and Veronica open a casino! Reggie sells his soul in exchange for the devil’s investment. Veronica comes up with a solution by instead offering the devil the soul of Nick St. Clair, who should indeed rot in hell. But it turns out Reggie ALSO sold Veronica’s soul to the devil?! Which he tries to walk back by being like babe I only sold your soul to the devil because I knew you’re so smart and talented and could find a way out. Well bitch does she ever! She sacrifices Reggie to the devil, confirming my theory that a major character will die in each of these five installments. Also, when Veronica still thinks it might be her last night on earth before the devil collects her soul, she gives a performance of Lady Gaga’s “Marry the Night” while men dressed as sexy devils dance around her. I…love this show.
Kevin Keller sold his soul in a heartbeat in exchange for musical stardom.
TABITHA IS VISITED BY A GUARDIAN ANGEL WHO GIFTS HER A VIAL OF THE VIRGIN MARY’S TEARS THAT THEY USE TO CONSECRATE POP’S DINER AND WARD OFF THE DEVIL BY SLIPPING TEARS IN HIS MILKSHAKE.
Betty is paid a visit by the Trashbag Killer except it’s actually the devil who tells her there’s something “100% evil” inside her and then tricks her into murder-stabbing her ex boyfriend Glen. Awkward!
Alice Cooper drinks a cranberry spritzer.
And that’s this week’s Rivervale for you. Have you seen next week’s promo yet? Sabrina Spellman comes to town, and uhhhhhh Betty? And Cheryl???? KISSING???? I mean, I think the actresses are playing ancestors of Betty and Cheryl for that particular moment but!!!! There will seemingly be much to discuss next week.