Boobs on Your Tube: Kristen Kish Is Using Her Platform to Wage a War Against Sleeves, and We’re Grateful

Hello! Hi! We missed you! Let’s get right into the tv or film coverage you might have missed while you’ve been busy living your life outside! First, there was the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 16 finale. And Drew is wondering if the latest Netflix hit Baby Reindeer will welcome a new era of complex television? Riese reviewed Lily Gladstone’s new series Under the Bridge, and then she circled back to talk about that hot sex scene between Gladstone and Riley Keough in the latest episode. Lily Gladstone week continued with the announcement of their casting in the remake of the famous Asian queer romcom Wedding Banquet. Drew capped off 420 by telling you the 10 best movies to watch while high. In honor of the Challengers premiere this week, she’s also ready to proclaim that we won: Sex is back on screen!

Kayla went to a special screening of But I’m a Cheerleader at the Florida Film Festival and with none other than Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall IN PERSON and has reporting for you with all kinds of fun facts about their friendship. For Valerie, Renegade Nell stands and delivers on fun, but not on gay content. Rendy Jones wrote a moving essay about how Booksmart helped them come out as nonbinary. On the subject of coming out narratives and queer classics, Kayla revisits Appropriate Behavior, which said “F*ck Your Coming Out Arc.” This history of trans women in action films is a must-read.

We also had not one, but two (!!) epic lists that we think you’ll enjoy:

Notes from the TV Team: 

+ The Circle is back for its sixth season and if you’re tempted to watch after last season’s bisexual chaos, let me offer you a word of warning: don’t. It feels like casting missed the mark this season (read: there are a dearth of lady gays) and it just hasn’t been as fun. Michelle Buteau’s cheeky commentary can only placate me for so long. — Natalie

+ Things finally got a little gay this week on Elsbeth: the incomparable Gina Gershon guest stars as Dr. Vanessa Holmes, a boutique plastic surgeon who draws the suspicion of the titular lawyer/detective after Holmes’ protégé is found murdered. But while Holmes captivates Elsbeth’s attention, it’s her wife, Carolyn (Holly James), who’s actually at the center of it all. — Natalie

+ I appreciate that NCIS: Hawai’i grants Yasmine Al-Bustami time away to do other things but, honestly, would it kill them to include a throwaway line about Lucy’s absence in episodes she’s not in? It’s been great seeing Kate interact more with the team, of course, but the steadfast refusal to even acknowledge Lucy’s absence…it’s a little absurd at this point. — Natalie


Top Chef: Wisconsin Episode 2106: “Chaos Cuisine”

Written by Natalie

TOP CHEF -- "Chaos Cuisine" Episode 2106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matty Matheson, Kristen Kish -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo)

Before I jump into this week’s recap, can we just pause for a moment of thirst? On behalf of queer people everywhere, I’d like to personally thank the sleeves industry for whatever they’ve done to offend Kristen Kish. The new Top Chef host is using her platform to wage a war against sleeves and I, for one, am very grateful. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate seeing Kish, once again, with her arms out and her tatted swagger at an all-time high.

But even Kristen Kish’s arms are cold comfort for the travesty that occurs at the end of this episode. On Lesbian Visibility Week of all weeks? How dare you, Top Chef, how dare you?

Since she won the Frank Lloyd Wright challenge, there’d been a subtle shift in Rasika. It feels a bit like cockiness… like she feels that somehow mastered this game already and can afford to take more risks. And, listen, I get it: Rasika’s been hugely successful thus far and Kristen has to push the other chefs to give her some competition, I’d be a little cocky too. Hell, I’d be strutting around the kitchen like George Jefferson. But after last week’s finishes — Rasika didn’t place among the top three in either the quickfire or elimination challenges — our favorite chefbian should’ve re-evaluated her strategy and refocused on elevating and cooking her grandmother’s food. But alas…

TOP CHEF -- "Chaos Cuisine" Episode 2106 -- Pictured: Rasika Venkatesa -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo)

This week, Kaleena rejoins the competition after successfully competing on Last Chance Kitchen and she’s joined by Soo Ahn, the mystery 16th chef. It’s hard for me not to resent Soo’s presence in the competition as it feels like Top Chef producers tweaked the game expressly for him. Yes, he successfully ran through the LCK gauntlet but I can’t help but feel like he cheated to get here. At any rate, Kaleena comes back swinging, finishing in the top three of the quickfire challenge that has the chefs prepare a milk-based dessert. Rasika’s shrikhand — a yogurt dish, perfumed with cardamom and saffron — earns her a finish in the middle of the pack.

Then comes the elimination challenge, courtesy of Matty Matheson, a celebrated chef in his own right but who’s probably best known for his role on The Bear. He invites the chefs to embrace chaos cuisine. Kristen describes the challenge an opportunity to “break the mold of culinary convention.” It’s not clear that even she knows what that means. Perhaps that should’ve been a sign to Top Chef producers to skip over this challenge… but nope…

Do I understand this challenge at all? Not really — the best I can do is recall Melissa King’s final winning meal which fused Italian and Asian cuisines in Season 17 — but even though I don’t really get it, I’ve watched enough Top Chef to know what not to do. Despite Matheson’s push to try new things, chefs should stay in their lanes: create something new out of familiar flavors and dishes. This show wants you to take measured, calculated risks. Rasika does the exact opposite.

This is when I start to dread the rest of the episode. In fact, I turn it off and have to come back to it later because I know what’s about to happen. Experimenting with African seasoning is a mistake. Pairing eggplant and crab is a mistake. In the kitchen, Rasika struggles with how to prepare her dish and that feels like a mistake. By the time her plate hits the judges’ table, I think I’m prepared for the harsh critique… but when guest judge, Sophia Roe (Counter Space) calls the dish “slug-like,” I gasp. The writing’s on the wall for this one: it’s time for Rasika to pack her knives and go.

As she’s leaving, Rasika assures us (and the other chefs) that they haven’t seen the last of her… and, as she heads off to compete in Last Chance Kitchen, I believe her.


All American Episode 604: “Blackout”

Written by Natalie

Coop and Spencer sit in the Baker kitchen and recount what happened during Spencer's birthday celebration.

It’s Spencer’s 21st birthday.

You’re forgiven if you forgot that the crew was still so young; after all, All American insists on treating these kids like they’re fully formed adults. Coop’s traded dropping bars for taking the bar. Asher has a full-time job and a baby. Despite having already failed at one marriage, Jordan’s obsessed marrying again. Owning a record company wasn’t enough for Layla, now she’s got to gentrify Crenshaw with a lounge that never seems to be open. Olivia spends a year abroad and then returns to focus exclusively on writing her father’s biography… and there’s nary a mention of actually going to college. Why aren’t these kids allowed to be kids? It’s like the show just stopped trying to make their characters relatable.

But at least we were granted a reprieve this week, as Spencer tried to recall exactly how he spent his 21st birthday and, more importantly, what he did with the gift his girlfriend got him. It’s basically a Hangover knock-off, but it feels as close to relatable as anything Spencer’s done all season so I’ll allow it. With no memory of the night’s events, Spencer recruits Coop to help him retrace his steps. Revisiting last night’s bar crawl sparks Spencer’s memory, but nothing that resembles his gift from Olivia. Finally, they end up at Layla’s, the last stop on Spencer’s birthday bar tour. But when Coop spots Patience sitting with Layla, she immediately concocts an excuse and rushes out of the lounge.

Talking to Layla and Patience — who arrived at the lounge initially to apologize for her actions from the previous night — jostles Spencer’s memory. He recalls the poorly designed Heisman cake and joking around with Patience and Coop. He calls them his favorite couple, but Coop corrects him: they’re not a couple. But when Spencer leaves in search of another birthday shot, Coop and Patience look very couple-y. Coop notes how long it’s been since she’s seen Patience be so carefree. Patience’s bright smile returns and she admits, between hanging out with Coop, celebrating with Spencer and chilling at Layla’s bar, “what’s not to be happy about?”

The moment the words cross her lips, I think, “wow, she jinxed herself” and sure enough, she did. A fight breaks out at the party and, despite her attempts to avoid it, Patience gets drawn into the fight. But this isn’t the helpless Patience who fell victim to Niko’s attack, this is the nuPatience who’s been doing self-defense training with Layla’s business partner. She’s able to subdue her attacker with some MMA-style moves. Coop pulls her away but not before the crowd captures the entire sequence on their phones.

When they return home, Coop and Patience have settled into an easy (and drunken) rapport. They’re laughing and joking and everything feels familiar again… so much so that Patience leans in for a kiss. Coop leans back, just out of Patience’s reach, and questions what she’s doing. Patience insists that she was just trying to take control and tries to gauge Coop’s interest. But after the night they’ve had — the drinking, the fighting — Coop thinks they should have a real conversation when they’re both thinking more clearly. At this particular moment, though, Patience isn’t really interested in a conversation and she retreats to her room, alone.

The exes will, eventually, have to have a conversation abut what happened between them, but first Patience will have to deal with video from her fight which has, of course, turned up online.

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Natalie

A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 401 articles for us.

6 Comments

  1. Just a note: Dead Boy Detectives dropped yesterday, and while yes, it is queer, there…may be some problems with the quality of that queerness. More detail in the response.

    • This is very spoilery, so read at your own peril.

      There is one queer main character, and three queer secondary characters. None of those relationships end well. The queer woman is the secondary character Jenny the Butcher, played by Briana Cuoco (Kaley’s little sister). She’s set up on a date by another secondary character with a woman who has been sending her anonymous secret admirer letters. It initially goes well until the admirer lets slip that she has been spying on Jenny. When Jenny nopes out, the admirer goes full psycho and ends up dead by the end of the date.

    • I heard this news not long after thinking what Natalie wrote. It’s great for the actress that she gets time off, but it sucks for me as a viewer because I’m watching for Lucy and Kate relationship advancement.

  2. Can someone explain to me how is it that you ignore thai gls but write about lesbophobic shows like Hightown which had a lesbian main character turn bisexual this season for no reason ?

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