Boobs on Your Tube: “With Love” Knows Black Trans Femmes Deserve Happiness

Well and happy Janelle Monáe’s The Age of Pleasure Day to all who celebrate! It’s a big reality TV week: Kayla recapped The Ultimatum: Queer Love finale. Riese gave us a deep dive on the history of queers on reality TV. And Anya shared the gayest moments from Selling Sunset season six! Also, finally, the full-length trailer all queerleaders have been waiting for: Bottoms!

Notes from the TV Team:

+ It took them 11 of their 13 episodes, but Gotham Knights finally delivered the queer content they’ve been promising. Harper overhears Stephanie flipping out on her mother and finally starts to see the real her, and when Stephanie’s mom slaps her in return, Harper steps in to defend her. They have to dance in a club to evade some cops,and to the actors’ credit, the chemistry is there. Later in the clock tower, Stephanie admits she’s never felt anything for the boys she’s tried to date, and when Harper asks Stephanie what she really wants, deep down, Stephanie answers by kissing her. She steps back and smiles; she finally feels the spark she’s been seeking. Better late than never. — Valerie Anne

Gotham Knights: Stephanie and Harper kiss

In another world I could have really loved this pairing.


With Love: Season 2

Written by Natalie

In a dressing room at the wedding venue, Sol stands between her feuding cousins. Lily is on Sol's right, sitting down in a velvet chair wearing a white dress, and Jorge is to Sol's left, sitting in a green velvet chair wearing his tux (no jacket). Sol is in the center in a beautiful black and red gown.

Could I have gotten a better pic of Sol and her cousins? Yes…but I needed everyone to see how SICKENING Isis King looks in this gown.

With Love, the newest offering from One Day at a Time‘s Gloria Calderón Kellet, returned for its second season last week and it’s every bit the soothing balm that its first season was. In case you’ve overlooked this gem, a brief recap: the show follows a year (or so) in the life of the Diaz family as they search for love, find love and/or strive to maintain their love. Everyone’s love gets a moment to shine — the kids, the parents, the aunts, the grandparents — but the heart of the show is built around the Diaz cousins: Lily, Jorge Jr., and Sol.

(Sidenote: in Wiith Love, Gloria Calderón Kellet exists both behind the camera — she pens several episodes — and in front of it. She absolutely kills as the cousins’ aunt, Gladys…and left me crying real tears I was laughing so hard.)

It’s Sol who captures my attention in the first season. Played by Isis King, Sol has put love on the backburner…in part because they’re not certain it’s for them (#relatablecontent), but also because they have an incredible career as an oncologist that’s completely fulfilling. But even though they’re not looking for love: it finds them anyway. Sol catches the eye of another doctor (Miles, played by ODAAT‘s Todd Grinnell) and they’re won over by his charm and persistence…a persistence Sol has to mirror to win over Miles’ kid, Charlie.

In With Love‘s second season, Sol and Miles are still going strong and they’re weaving each other into their worlds. For Miles, that means becoming a part of the Diaz family — attending family functions, going to mass, spending time with Sol’s grandfather — and for Sol, that means taking a more active role in Charlie’s life…which includes meeting their mother/Miles’ ex-wife, Amanda. It’s that meeting that makes for the standout storyline of With Love‘s second season.

While watching Charlie’s soccer game, Amanda celebrates being able to raise their kid with “an awesome, amazing, queer ex-husband.”

“What? I’m not queer,” Miles quickly retorts before turning back to the game. He doesn’t notice how Sol slinks down in their chair after he says it or how they text their queer besties, Cyn and Melo, for an emergency kiki. The way Miles recoiled at the thought of being perceived as queer has Sol second-guessing Miles’ intentions and their entire relationship.

“Black trans femmes deserve to be happy. You deserve to be happy,” Cyn (Kalen Allen) rightly observes. But, Sol notes, it doesn’t always work out that way. Cyn admits that they think Miles genuinely does love Sol but she wonders if it’s really love if Miles can’t see her for who they truly are. Later, at a Diaz family party, Miles is barely two steps in the door before Cyn and Melo get him all the way together. I wish I could quote the entire conversation — it’s so good and so rare to see this play out on television — but, while never doubting Miles’ love for their friend, Cyn and Melo open Miles’ eyes to the fear that Sol is experiencing. Later, Miles approaches Sol with an apology.

“I love expressing my femininity,” Sol explains, “but I’m trans and I consider myself very queer. I’m not a binary woman and I don’t see myself or my relationships that way.”

While Miles admits he’s just beginning to grasp how his “sense of [his] own sexuality might affect” her and them, he knows one thing for sure: he loves Sol and he’s fine with whatever label that love confers on him. It’s a sweet (though, tidy) end to a messy but needed conversation.

With Love is now streaming on Prime Video.


How I Met Your Father Episode 214: “Disengagement Party”

Written by Valerie Anne

HIMYF: Ellen smiles at Swish

I kept thinking Swish was Ted from behind in the Hulu stills for this episode.

This week, Valentina’s inability to break up with Swish comes to a head at her engagement party. She enlists all her friends to play a role to try to convince Swish to break up with her instead of having to do it herself, and Ellen’s job is to play up her divorcee status to try to convince him marriage is a bad idea. She even tries to put on a fake name while she does it, but Swish not only remembers Ellen’s name, but also remembers that Ellen has a girlfriend named Rachel she’s really happy with. This charms Ellen into bailing on the plan, much like everyone does, until Val has to finally do the hard thing and just break up with him herself.

Throughout the party, it becomes increasingly clear that something is wrong with roomies Ellen and Charlie. They’re barely looking at each other, being short with each other, and Ellen is not impressed with meeting Charlie’s new gal pal, at at first it seems like maybe she just overheard them making nighttime noises but soon it’s revealed it was more awkward than that. One night Charlie came into the kitchen and sidled up to the woman in the kitchen, assuming it was the woman he had just been sleeping with, but it turns out it was Ellen. Understandably, the roommates had a hard time looking at each other after that. Jesse shares a story about a time he accidentally almost joined HIS roommate in the shower and how they fixed it: by doing Joe Pesci’s 101 things to do in New York and making enough new memories to erase the old one. And since they live in the version of New York Glee was in where you can apparently teleport around the city, they do it before the party is over and their roomie relationship is salvaged.


Class of ’09 Episode 106: “Hogan’s Alley”

Written by Valerie Anne

Class of 09: Poet and Hour kiss on the couch

Kate Mara has gotten to kiss at LEAST Sepideh Moafi, Sophia Bush, and Elliot Page. I think it’s safe to say that Kate Mara wins.

This week we finally get another piece of the Hour/Poet puzzle. Not a big piece, and hopefully not the last piece, but the piece that Hour hinted at once.

We start in the Past, with Tayo accusing Poet of pushing people away, which she denies with one hand while also pushing her boyfriend away with the other. When Hour asks about their relationship later, Poet redirects and accuses Hour of never letting anyone in, to which Hour points out that she let Poet in.

Cut to the present, when Hour comes to visit Poet to tell her that her marriage is over. She hasn’t told her husband yet, because she wanted to practice saying it out loud in the safe space of Poet. They have some wine and Poet tells Hour she deserves someone who has more curiosity, who will really see her. Hour lays her head in Poet’s lap and Poet strokes her hair. Safe from the thread of eye contact, Hour tells Poet that she’s gay. She turns her head to peek at Poet’s reaction, but Poet’s face doesn’t change, her gentle hand doesn’t slow. Hour sits up and realizes Poet already figured this out, detective that she is. Poet puts her hand supportively on Hour’s shoulder and says that her husband will understand, that he’ll want her to know what it’s like to fall in love. Hour admits she has, and tells Poet she’s in love with her. She always has been. Poet gently caresses Hour’s face and leans in for a soft kiss. They kiss for a few seconds before Poet gently pulls back. She quietly apologizes, but never lets go of Hour’s hand. Hour smiles sadly and says at least she knows now. They stay together on the couch, foreheads touching.

I liked this moment because Poet tried, she did. I appreciated that she kept the physical intimacy their friendship always had, even if she didn’t return the feelings. But I also don’t think this is the last time they hook up. There was something about the way Future Poet and Hour interacted, the way they spooned at Poet’s apartment, that makes me think their relationship is deeper than this one kiss. But this story isn’t coming together linearly so hopefully we’ll see.

Also before all this even happened, the Past version of the Class of ’09, did the best ever at a hostage situation because they realized the two male criminals were in love. In fact, it was Poet who first thought that might be the case. Which I’m taking as a clue she’s not entirely straight.


Nancy Drew Episode 402: “The Maiden’s Rage”

Written by Valerie Anne

Nancy Drew: Bess and Addy hold hands in nervous anticipation

Since this is their last season, Addy easily could have been sidelined this season, so I appreciate that she’s been a presence in these first few eps.

The Mystery of the Week in Horseshoe Bay involves the Drew Crew getting tangled up in a matter of mixed supernatural and regular corruption. The judge mentoring George was involved in a cover-up when a straight white cis boy broke into a girl’s house, stole her horse figurine, and then bashed her in the head with it all because she didn’t want to date him. But the cover-up went even deeper than usual, because the judge, the boy, and the girl have no memory of what really happened. But it is all uncovered when some tainted water nearly gives the judge a heart attack. Nancy accidentally consumes some of this water too and ends up behaving like toxic masculinity personified, but luckily they find a supernatural stomach pump to fix her. She also finally agrees to work with Ace to find a loophole in their curse so they can maybe someday be together.

Also during this episode, Nick goes on a date with a non-binary cutie named Jade; their first date is a little choppy because Jade does PR and they couldn’t help but give Nick advice for his small business, and then Nick got called away on Scooby Duty. They eventually show up at the restaurant and Nick asks them on a do-over date, so hopefully Jade will stick around for the rest of the season. (Jade is played by queer actor Arianna Ngnomire; it looks like Arianna isn’t on social media anymore, and while the website I found uses she/her pronouns, it doesn’t look like the site has been updated in a few years, and I did find a Linked In profile I’m pretty sure is Arianna’s that lists they/she pronouns. I felt like Nancy Drew trying to find this information.)

And the Bess storyline this week is that it’s time for Bess to meet Addy’s parents, and they’re both nervous wrecks about it. Addy says her parents “aren’t soup people” (so maybe are monsters?? Soup is the best???) which means Bess’s original plans have to be thrown out the window and she has to try to make salmon instead. After the events of the episode, Bess’s attempts at Salmon are officially ruined and Addy thinks she should have canceled dinner. Bess thinks Addy is afraid her parents won’t like Bess, but it’s sort of the other way around. Addy is afraid her parents will ruin what she and Bess have by getting too involved or being too particular; she doesn’t want them to scare Bess off. Bess laughs at this and reminds Addy she doesn’t scare easily. (Her last girlfriend was literally a ghost.) Nothing about this dinner will change how she feels about Addy. And so when they show up she is just her full Bess self and throws her arms around them to greet them, excited to take this next step in her relationship.

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 558 articles for us.

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 400 articles for us.

5 Comments

  1. I assumed With Love was a miniseries, so I was delightfully surprised when I found out there was a second season of this cute lil show. Seeing Sol and Jorge together makes me appreciate how this show multiple queer people in the family there for one another instead of the sole gay cousin in most shows. It’s nice to see Sol and Jorge have their queer found family to turn to alongside their actual family that’s queer.

    Isabella Gomez’s cameo in the finale made me squeal so hard. I was like “my baby’s back” but I was also thinking “Elena what are you doing flirting with a man? You should be on your way protesting the anti trans bills or something.” It just felt wrong. Prayer circle for a Justina Machado cameo s3

    • When she appeared on my screen, I yelped, @thisaintit, and then I did it again when she was flirting with Santi. I was like, “what are you doing, Elena?!”

      But then when they revealed that she was another Diaz cousin? I gasped audibly. I thought she was just going to be another one of Santi’s dates who disappears as quickly as she came…but a cousin? Nah, this is a Season 3 storyline and I cannot wait.

  2. Gotham Knights writers: “Look, look! We weren’t queer baiting! We have a sapphic relationship!”

    Batwoman fans: “’tis a mere sip from a Gay Garden Hose compared to the Fountain of Everlasting Gay you took from us.”

  3. It amuses me that 11 episodes is considered too long for a slow burn nowadays. I waited 48 episodes for Chuck and Sara, 87 for Luke and Lorelai, and a whopping 143 for Mulder and Scully. Just 11 episodes for a full enemies to lovers story is like lightspeed, haha.

  4. I’m not sure if this has already been posted about but the Australian detective comedy Deadloch on Amazon Prime is very, very queer. The main character and a number of side characters are queer, as well as most of the main cast. Definitely worth checking out if you don’t mind A LOT of swearing.

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