This week, we celebrated National Coming Out Day with a roundtable of some of our favorite coming out scenes. Riese updated our lists of ALL the LGBTQs streaming on Netflix and on HBO Max. Tegan and Sara’s High School lands today on Amazon Freevee (which used to be imdbTV). Heather reviewed it, interviewed Tegan and Sara, and also interviewed showrunners Clea DuVall and Laura Kittrell. Heather also chatted with Brittani Nichols about the episode of Abbott Elementary she wrote this week. THE L WORD: Gen Q SEASON THREE TRAILER DROPPED. We also got loads of updates about the upcoming season. Melissa Etheridge and Rachel Maddow hung out on Watch What Happens Live! over on Bravo. And Monster High was a queer little delight.
Notes from the TV Team:
+ Add another queer firefighter to our tally: Jules Latimer suits up as Eve Edwards in the new CBS’ drama, Fire Country. Joining Eve and her Cal Fire team in the field are inmates from the local fire-camp, who battle blazes in exchange for paltry pay and reduced prison sentences. In the show’s pilot episode, Eve’s trying to get over the loss of a close friend…starting by flirting (badly) with the new bartender. — Natalie
+ She-Hulk ended this week without another mention of Nikki’s queerness, but it did end with Jennifer Walters taking control of her story. She was tired of her story being overrun with men and she took things into her own hands to fix it, so in the end she got her cute little lawyer show after all. The way the season ended teased that this wouldn’t be the last we saw of Tatiana’s She-Hulk so fingers crossed that where she goes, Nikki does too. — Valerie Anne
+ Raising Kanan was really tough this week, so much so that I need more time to think about it (and it aired six days ago!). I’ve been pretty unapologetic in championing this show, because even though it’s violent — it’s never felt out of the realm for a crime drama. This week’s torture of Jukebox, when her mother sends her to conversion therapy, felt beyond the pale, even for an inherently violent show. So I’m still chewing on it, I’ll report back. — Carmen
+ Still no Hot Doctor Kai on Grey’s, but I’m loving the direction of the show this season. I told Natalie yesterday that it’s the first time in years that they’ve gone two weeks in a row for an episode I genuinely had fun with. Biggest surprise? The brief return of former
Intern Resident Hellmouth (we missed you!!) who is currently bartending at Joe’s, waxing poetic about learning to stop falling love with straight women and only loving women who can love her back, and wearing exceptionally hot dark red lipstick. I’m hoping we see her back in scrubs soon — remember Cristina’s bartender phase after the Season Six shooting? — but for now, it was fun to catch up. — Carmen
+ Stephanie Allynne appears on Reboot this week as Mallory from Hulu HR, who has the worst job in the world: teaching rooms full of comedy writers how not to violate human rescuers protocol. Hannah crushes on her immediately, and the results are hilarious and surprisingly sweet. — Heather
The Rookie: Feds 103: “Star Crossed”
Written by Natalie
There was a story recently about Idris Elba’s daughter, Isan, who auditioned to play opposite her father in his new movie, Beast. In the end, she didn’t get the role — as his daughter in the movie, mind you — because there was a lack of chemistry on camera. It’s funny to consider but sometimes the real life chemistry between two actors doesn’t translate on-screen.
Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts, however, do not have that problem.
When Nash’s Simone Clark runs into Betts’ Deena “DJ” Jackson outside her father’s house, sparks fly immediately (after an awkward misgendering which felt woefully out of place). DJ saunters past Simone and they catch each other’s eye…and then proceed to circle each other like hawks scouting their prey. Simone compliments the tune DJ was humming and the newcomer notes that she wrote it herself. Impressed, Simone notes that DJ’s got looks and talent. They introduce themselves to each other and their hands linger just a touch longer than you’d expect. DJ invites Simone to join her at jazz fest but Simone declines because she has to work. Undeterred, DJ asks Simone to add her number to her phone.
“You don’t mess around, do you?” Simone asks.
“Not when I see something I want,” DJ responds seductively.
At home, I’m like…”good God, get a room already.”
Inside, Simone greets her father’s book club and asks DJ’s mother if her daughter is single. She confirms that DJ is but Simone’s father quickly pulls Simone aside and warns her off. According to him, DJ is single because she’s a source of non-stop drama and she doesn’t want any part of that. A few days later, though, Simone’s father acknowledges that he lied to her about DJ. Turns out, he’s dating DJ’s mother and he thought it’d be weird if they were both dating Jackson women. He apologizes for misleading her and thanks her for finally listening to her father. Simone assures her father that she’s got him…but, of course, when she returns back to her room, who’s made themselves very comfortable on Simone’s bed? DJ.
Survivor 4304: “Show No Mercy
Written by Anya
I’m here for one reason and one reason only — to write about queer icon Karla Cruz Godoy, who’s currently competing on Season 43 of Survivor! There are scant queer women — especially queer women of color — featured in one of the most popular, long-running reality TV shows of all time, so now that Karla is here, we’re making a big deal out of it! I will write these blurbs as long as Karla is in, which I sincerely hope will be all the way through the finale, when she is holding one million dollars cold hard cash in her sweet gay hands!!!
This week’s episode was a turning point for our gal. If last week showcased Karla’s quiet social power (when she deftly converted a Beware Advantage into a hidden immunity idol by casually, sweetly convincing every member of her tribe to give her a special bead) (incredible), this week her social power grew far louder. After losing the reward AND immunity challenges, the Coco tribe was set to go to Tribal Council for their first time ever. Initially, the vote seemed simple — they were voting out Geo Bustamante. BUT THEN, for some reason, Lindsay Carmine got paranoid that actually everyone was secretly planning on sending her home (Linds, what?). Karla and her ally James Jones were both off-put by Lindsay’s seemingly unprompted, turbulent behavior. And this is when we saw the shift in Karla: she wonders aloud if they should flip the vote to Lindsay — maybe she’s too chaotic to keep around. MY JAW DROPPED! That’s a big move! Was Karla gonna go for it? Would she be able to get the rest of her tribe on board? Well, reader — yes, and yes. Lindsay was voted out, and Karla orchestrated it. I fear that leading a blindside this early may put a target on Karla’s back, but knowing our queen, she’ll quietly and tactfully recede into a display of neutrality, cracking jokes and endearing the hearts of America — without ever revealing just how powerful she really is.
9-1-1 604: “Animal Instincts”
Written by Natalie
The last time that we checked in with Henrietta Wilson, her wife, Karen, had given her an ultimatum: choose between being a firefighter/paramedic and becoming a doctor. She’s been putting off making a decision while serving at interim Captain of Station 118 but when Bobby returns, he orders her to take a little time off to get recharged.
But even without school or the firehouse to worry about, Hen still studiously avoids confronting the decision she has to make. She ends back up at Station 118, spending time with the crew between calls, but when the Captain spots her, he questions her presence. When her first excuse falls flat — picking up some kombucha? oh, Hen, you are such a bad liar — she admits that the house is just too quiet for her. She doesn’t have anything to do, Karen’s at work and Denny’s spending time with his friends, so she needed to come somewhere with a bit more news. As if the spirits heard her, the fire alarm rings and the team rushes off on a call. But Bobby leaves her with a stern warning: “don’t be here when we get back.”
Banished to her home, Hen tries to make herself useful: organizing books, dusting the shelves, replacing light bulbs and doing the laundry. But she quickly gets bored with doing that and tries to distract herself by buying new shoes (#relatablecontent). Mercifully, Buck shows up at her door looking for someone to talk to about the indecent proposal he’s been offered. Hen’s never been so happy to see someone in her life: doing nothing is giving her more anxiety than trying to do everything.
The colleagues settle in at Hen’s kitchen table and trade shots, while debating the pros and cons of Buck donating his swimmers to a couple struggling with fertility issues. They’re three sheets to the wind when Bobby calls from the scene of an opioid overdose…a puppy overdose to be exact. But despite her addled state, Hen’s still able to calculate the amount of Narcan needed to revive the patient. Buck’s impressed by her instincts and insists that she would’ve made a great doctor.
That’s the thing that finally spurns Hen to action. She returns to her professor and asks for a second chance. She touts her instincts and her experience and asserts that, despite failing the exam, she’d make a really good doctor. It’s enough to persuade the professor who offers her a second chance: a practical exam with the professor and her patients.
All American 501: “Ludacrismas”
Written by Natalie
When All American debuted back in 2018, the show’s two most messy characters were Asher — intimidated by Spencer’s arrival at Beverly — and Coop, who was involved in all sorts of nonsense. But what a difference some time makes! Now, at the start of the show’s fifth season, both those characters are among the show’s most stable. Asher’s excelling at being a student/coach and Coop’s found her purpose in working with Laura Baker. Plus, Coop’s managed to make things right with Sky and they’ve been dating for six weeks. You know what that is? Growth.
But before Coop can celebrate too much, she walks into Laura’s new law office and discovers someone else sitting at her desk. He mistakes Coop for a new walk-in client and hands her a clipboard with the intake forms on them. Before Coop can chastise the stranger for his assumptions, Laura enters and introduces Coop to the new first-year associate, Darius Marshall. Laura sends Darius off to file a motion and Coop questions why she needed the additional help. Laura explains that the firm’s been growing but Coop interjects that she’s there to help manage it. Laura assures her that they’re still in this together but she needs someone with resources and abilities that Coop just doesn’t have.
Later, at Spencer’s Christmas party, Coop laments that she’ll have to look for a new job now that she’s been replaced by “some bougie Harvard scarf wearing cat named Darius.” Asher’s stunned that Laura would fire Coop but she dials back the hyperbole and explains that she hasn’t been fired, just replaced. Asher reminds her that even Coop admitted that the firm had been non-stop busy. Ever the coach, he urges Coop to use Darius’ presence as fuel…a reason to up her game.
Asher’s words get through to Coop and she returns to the law office to talk to Laura. Coop’s committed to upping her game by moving away from online classes and enrolling in GAU’s pre-law program. She admits she might never get to the Ivy Leagues like Darius but she knows she could be good at this…she wants to become a lawyer.
Vampire Academy 108: “The Trials”
Written by Valerie Anne
I’m going to be frank with you: I am enjoying Vampire Academy, but I am not enjoying how straight it is. Lissa and Rose have such good chemistry and such an intense connection it’s going past reasonable female friendship levels. And I love a friendship story. I mean, for crying out loud, Lissa’s entire family died in a car crash and the only person she used her healing powers on was Rose. And the term for it is “shadow kissed.” Lissa even tells someone this week that whenever she imagined her wedding, the man was a mystery but one thing was constant: Rose was always there. That’s gay!!
It doesn’t help that they’ve sidelined the actual gay characters. They kissed and then fully weren’t in the next episode. And then this episode Mia is back playing princess so Meredith assumes that means she doesn’t want anything to do with the dhampir guardian she kissed and while she hopes Mia wasn’t just going through a phase, to protect her heart she does brush Mia off when they do briefly pass each other. And Mia looks a little like Glinda in Wicked. “‘Cause getting your dreams…it’s strange, but it seems a little, well, complicated.”
There are only two episodes left and a lot going on in the big picture so here’s hoping we get to resolve the tension between these two before the season ends.
Home Economics 304: “Wedding Bouquet, $125”
Written by Carmen
I loved this week’s Home Economics so much that I rewound it back and watched it twice. I feel like I’ve said this before, but I realize that as a classic, traditional network sitcom, Home Economics isn’t very flashy (though I’d argue landing the prime spot directly after breakout Abbott Elementary proves ABC has a lot of belief in it), but when it’s good? It’s great. When it’s gay? It’s pretty close to outstanding. And this week proved me right.
In full episode flashback to 2009, we join Tom and Marina on their wedding day. Of course nothing is going right, or there wouldn’t be a story. Some of the purposefully dated pop culture mentions feel forced, but what feels pitch perfect is Sarah’s stress over having not yet come out to her parents. Apparently she dated Denise in college and it was serious, but they broke up because Sarah wouldn’t incorporate Denise into the rest of her life. Her brothers both know she’s a lesbian, but she’s yet to tell her parents and she’s brought some horrific finance bro as her beard to the wedding (this finance bro sets Connor up with his first job, so this wedding really is the origin story of how all the characters became who we know them to be now).
Sarah’s world gets turned sideways when it turns out the bartender for this wedding? Ring-a-ding, it’s Denise (Sasheer Zamata, in her natural shaved head, which is gorgeous and I wish they stop having her wear a wig for Denise on the show). She’s paying her way through grad school mixing drinks for a catering company. Of course the minute Sarah sees her, she can’t stay away, so she keeps making up excuses to “go talk to the bartender” — but Denise isn’t having it, nothing has changed in Sarah’s life, she wasn’t out then, she’s not out now. And Denise deserves more than being Sarah’s secret.
Scared of losing Denise again, Sarah comes out to her mother at the wedding (plot twist! Mom could’ve guessed it, because of Sarah’s nose ring, which she hates by the way!). Then she goes right up to Denise and kisses her, long and hard, in front of her entire family. Later, sharing a dance, Sarah and Denise decide to do a bit and pretend to start all over, They each go to introduce themselves as a new person and coincidentally both pick the name “Lulu” — which of course, is the pet name they use for each other to this day.
As Sarah and Denise, Caitlin McGee and Sasheer Zamata have this warmed, lived in chemistry that’s unmatched, and it was delightful to see them tap into it’s vibrancy to play their characters at the start of their road together. By the time the family invited Denise in for the group picture, I was smiling ear to ear (and yep, you guessed it, rewinding to see it again!)
Station 19 602: “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”
Written by Carmen
I actually debated writing about this, because there’s little that Maya and Carina do together in this week’s Station 19, well other than continue last week’s arguing. Maya has yet to look into finding a therapist (and wow does she need one) and Carina has just about had it, with the world at large but also with Maya in particular. But Stefania Spampinato and Danielle Savre gave such standout performances, it’s hard not to take note.
As Carina, Stefania Spampinato is oozing with anger from every pore, but not without compassion or empathy. She’s still one of the best criers on television, and when she delivers a monologue about what it means to be an OB-GYN in a post Roe-world? Whew. I have always loved Dr. Orgasm, but what started off as such a playful role (a foil to the Shane McCutcheon of Grey Sloan Memorial, Arizona Robbins) has suddenly, and drastically gotten much more serious in this world we are all trying to survive, and Stefania Spampinato has stepped up to that challenge in every way.
Meanwhile, Maya is having a terrible day as she keeps getting torn to shreds by Captain Beckett — who’s still (understandably, even) pissed because Maya tried to blackmail to get him fired. Not that I’m making any excuses for Beckett, who’s defining characteristic up to this point to me has been “that ass who I wish they’d fire as captain of Station 19 so that I can stop looking at his face,” but what Maya does in retaliation to Becket’s bullying is unconscionable. Beckett is a known alcoholic who recently got sober on the job. Maya buys him a bottle of his favorite brown liquor.
Now there is separating the act from the actor. What Maya did — there is no excuse. I am pissed at her, I’m even more pissed at the writers for this season’s decisions and forcing me to hate Maya, one of my favorite (but always difficult) characters in the broader Greys-universe. But Danielle Savre’s face as Maya sauntered out Beckett’s office? That’s what we call actingggg. And it was so, so good.