Boobs on Your Tube: “This Is Us” Is Digging Into the Hard Honesty of Moms and Their Gay Daughters

Can you believe it’s Friday, yet again? Time for some more Boobs on Your Tube! This week, Gottmik proved she has what it takes to put the Gott in EGOT on Rupaul’s Drag Race. Wynonna Earp’s penultimate episode was held together in the arms of an angel (and our tears). Where only two episodes in to its final season, and already Supergirl has hit the point of no return! And Heather made a quiz just for your delight: Which Gay Cartoon Character Are You?

Riese also found time to update her list of The 25 Best TV Shows on HBO Max With Lesbian and Bisexual Characters, she loves you so much.

Notes from the TV Team: 

+ On Station 19 this week, we were gifted with the return of Andy’s gay cousin (who is very funny and I would like to keep around very much!), and her crush on Maya is as entertaining as you would expect! In more serious news, there is an absolutely gorgeous gay storyline this week involving Travis and coming to acceptance with his closeted father. It’s not to be missed. Also, Carina’s visa has expired, which I thought would lead to Maya proposing so that she could remain in the United States. But instead Maya decides to join her in Italy for the foreseeable future? Wow. — Carmen

+ Charlotte Sullivan, who played the beautiful and sardonic Gail Peck on Rookie Blue, has returned to our TVs on the newest Dick Wolf project, Law & Order: Organized Crime. I don’t even like L&O but I’ll be watching to see that brilliant babe in action again. — Valerie Anne

+ Last night was the long promised Glee reunion to honor Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Awards. It’s a very sweet and emotional five minutes (even if I had personally wished the cast had sung a song, it’s still beautiful). My personal favorite highlight is Demi Lovato discussing want Santana Lopez meant to closeted queer Latinas — like she was, when she played Santana’s girlfriend Dani all those years ago. — Carmen

+ Due to Autostraddle’s unexpected outage yesterday, voting for the Final Four of Autostraddle’s March Madness will be available for an additional three hours today to allow for the full 48 hour voting period. The voting module will close at 1:32PM (PDT). Unfortunately, that means that the announcement of the finalists will have to wait until Monday. Be sure to come back and help us decide which is better: canon or fanon? — Natalie

This Is Us 512: “Both Things Can Be True”

Written by Carmen

This Is Us: Tess and Alex making out on the bed when they get caught by Tess' mom and are surprised.

We’re going to talk about Tess Pearson. But first, I want to tell you about my mom.

I started coming out to myself… well ok, somewhere around 7th grade? Around the same age that Tess Pearson is right now. I shoved it so far deep inside of myself that I was almost 21 before it bubbled back up again. Then, I lived more or less as an out queer woman for the rest of my twenties, but I still couldn’t tell my mom. I didn’t come out to her until I was 25 years old, long after my first kiss — my first date — my first girlfriend. Long after I was out at work, long after I was out to my friends. Hell, long after I even stopped having straight friends. I still couldn’t bring myself to come out to my mother.

Not everyone is close with their mothers, but I am. There’s a specific kind of closeness between single moms and only daughters. It’s one of my most treasured relationships, and I was terrified of that changing. I was terrified of this unspoken, almost indecipherable plexiglass glass wall called my queerness coming between us. So instead, I built my life around a lie. By the time I finally did tell her, she told me it was no big deal. I’m pretty sure her exact phrasing was something along the lines of, “would you like tea with your breakfast.”

I thought I was lucky, I thought it was over. I believed her that it was no big deal. And then, slowly but surely… I felt the wall. I watched her stumble over her words when giving dating advice. I started feeling the distance between her first thought and her mouth turning phrases. For years, in these very small ways, over and over again… things changed between us.

Now. We can talk about Tess Pearson. Tess has invited Alex over for her first “study date” at the house and the only person even more nervous, is Beth. Beth wants so hard to get this right for her daughter. She practices Alex’s pronouns into the open air (Mama C smugly notes that her own “non-binary pronoun use” is flawless, Phylicia Rashad never change). She even makes jalapeno poppers. In fact, Beth is so worried about being a supportive ally parent, she forgets to go over the basics of teen dating with her daughter — namely, door open and feet on the floor (those of y’all who were there and raised by Black mamas, know exactly what I mean). When Deja comes downstairs and rightly complains that Tess is being held to a different standard — Beth freaks out. Mama C reminds her to tread lightly, but it’s too late.

Beth marches upstairs and knocks on Tess’ door while simultaneously swinging it open to find her daughter right in the middle of what we can assume is one of her first kisses. Tess and Alex jump apart, but Beth doesn’t mask the stunned look on her face fast enough. To be fair to Beth, I think any parent would be stunned finding their 13 year old mid-make out. But for Tess, it’s a confirmation. Things have changed with her mother.

Tess calls Beth a “psycho” under her breath (oof bad move Tess). Beth tells Alex its time for them to go home. Later, once everyone has cooled down — and Beth has gotten some much needed parenting advice from Mama C about the importance of letting go of your dreams for your daughters, to make room for the dreams of their own — Beth approaches Tess again.

She wants Tess to know that she’s trying, she really is just breaking her back, bending over backwards, trying. When she was supportive during Tess’ coming out, she never thought about The After.TM She hadn’t made room yet to mourn the life she had imagined.

Now you see why we started talking about my mom, right? Tess knows her mom is trying. She also knows — Beth doesn’t have to try with Deja or Annie. There’s something between them now, and Tess is worried they’ll never get past it.

It took my mom and I another six years to feel like ourselves again.

And of course Beth rushes to tell her daughter that they will find away! Of course they will! And yes, Tess says “OK,” but her eyes? Her eyes say “I’m not so sure.”

S.W.A.T. 413: “Sins of the Father”

Written by Natalie

Chris prays to find her car, I pray for S.W.A.T. to give her a good storyline.

In one of my first posts here about S.W.A.T., I touted it as a good show with top notch writing that was “subversively, pushing the boundaries of the everyday procedural in a way that resonates with me.” Two years later, suffice to say, the days of subversive, top notch storytelling at S.W.A.T. are over.

Case and point: this week, Chris Alonso wakes up in a seedy Hollywood motel alone. She scrambles to find her service weapon, still tucked in her jacket, and breathes a sigh of relief to discover it untouched. Unsure of how she ended up at this hotel or where she left her car, she reaches out to Street for help. He’s the call of last resort: she’s leaned on Luca too much, Tan’s bailed her out before and Hondo and Deacon are not options. Plus, apparently, Chris’ family is all very busy and she has no other friends besides her teammates and Erika, who’s dead.

Street arrives with coffee and Chris starts to put together the events of last night. She doesn’t remember who she was with but she remembers it was a guy, she rented the room, they hooked up and he left. Chris focuses her attention on one outstanding piece — her car — and Street promises to help her find it. After they locate her car, Chris takes the day off to recover and Street heads into work. Later, Street comes back to check on Chris and she proclaims the mystery solved.

Turns out, the guy she hooked up with was the bartender at the bar where they found her car. She considers him a friend so, in Chris’ mind, she made a good, safe choice. The way the show — a police procedural, of all things — blows past consent (“Nothing’s a choice if you can’t remember it”) as an issue is really, really trouble. When Street suggests Chris might be drinking too much and that her grief’s leading her to make self-destructive decisions, she recoils and pushes him away. But later Chris has an epiphany and decides, instead of drinking herself numb, she’ll get some help by attending a grief support group…and, of course, she asks Street to come with her.

Nancy Drew 211: “The Scourge of the Forgotten Rune”

Written by Valerie Anne

Bess holds up a notebook while George looks on incredulously.

“You see, Nancy, this is how you, me, George, and Odette could be in a polycule together. The math checks out!”

This week’s Nancy Drew was one of my favorite sci-fi tropes (a loop episode!) with a bit of a tabula rasa twist. They encounter a demon who kills everyone who knows its name, so every time they learn its name and fail to defeat it, they wipe their memories and start over. They have a murderboard of facts, including things they tried that didn’t work (like squirt guns of holy water) and random facts about them (that George has a dead French lady inside her and Bess likes girls) and it’s a very fun, albeit stressful, series of events. Eventually they run out of memory wiping vapor so they have to decide if it’s worth risking one last time, knowing it would truly be the last. Odette takes over for a bit to tell them that she’s watched this go on long enough and she thinks they should give up. She promised to keep George alive and she actually likes Bess so she’d prefer it if they did whatever they had to do to survive. But Nancy can’t live without her memories so they put their pretty noggins together and figure out that the more people who know the creature’s name, the less power it has. So in a pleasant twist on the usual “social media is turning teens into zombie” message we usually get from TV, Bess using her Twitter prowess and Ace using his hacking skills, they tweet about this entity and make a video of it go viral so that everyone knows its name and it is reduced to a harmless idol. Which is a nice metaphor about social media being able to spread the truth about evil giving it less power. The kids are alright! Hopefully next week Bess gets to go on a date with Odette where their lives aren’t in danger!

Legacies 309: “Do All Malivore Monsters Provide This Level of Emotional Insight?”

Written by Valerie Anne

Josie smiles talking about Finch

Caroline’s daughter calling Elena her aunt made me more emotional than it had any right to.

This episode of Legacies was light on the queer content and was still more about Landon than I would like, but it was nice to see Lizzie and Hope learning to forgive and respect each other and acknowledge that just because they’re both strong-willed, fiercely independent, smart, capable women doesn’t mean there’s not room for both of them in the Super Squad and that maybe they’re more alike than they think. (All of this was learned by way of Gremlin, of course.) MG also joined Josie as Regular School, and he’s befriending Josie’s sort-of-girlfriend’s ex’s brother. (I’m sure he has a name, it just doesn’t particularly matter at this moment.) We find out that Josie has been staying with her Aunt Elena and Uncle Damon in the city and I’ve never been so emotional about seeing a porch before. But Josie confides in her father about her complicated relationship with Finch and hopefully that means we’ll see her smol gal pal again soon.

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The TV Team

The Autostraddle TV Team is made up of Riese Bernard, Carmen Phillips, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Valerie Anne, Natalie, Drew Burnett Gregory, and Nic. Follow them on Twitter!

The TV has written 232 articles for us.


  1. I’m so grateful for Tess and Beth’s story line in This Is Us. My mother always laments about how hard she’s trying and while I appreciate it a lot, it still hurts that she has to try and she doesn’t understand that what that feeling is for me.

    • I wish that story would center Tess more though. We had a whole episode about déja, we saw all her courtship with her boyfriend…Why can’t we see Tess and Alex on their own without making it about Beth all the time?

  2. Nancy Drew is the best show on TV! Odette deserves her own bedroom, but I doubt that they will go that far.

    I liked this week’s episode of Legacies. Maybe now Hope can have some more scenes with other people that isn’t about Landon – I am happy she is happy, and I find Landon to be a supportive boyfriend (even though I still feel they are a mismatch as a couple)

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