Friday, November 27, 2015

My Weekend Crush

By now many of you have probably already seen this. This video of Adele with the Adeles has been making the rounds for a week now. But I swear I’ve watched it half a dozen times because there is something intrinsically lovely about the whole thing. Same goes for Adele herself, of course. It’s such a delight to have her back, making new music and behind her delightfully cheeky and charming self. Also, if you haven’t already, do watch her sing “Hello” with toy instruments on Jimmy Fallon. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Streamsgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, kittens. Get your turkey (or Tofurky, for all you vegetarians) on – just not on you. For reference, please see above. Before you drift off into a blissful food coma, please consider your very important entertainment options when you wake up. I’ve helped you out in my latest Women & Hollywood column with a list of films by 15 Queer Female Filmmakers you can stream right now (including the above). Check them out here. I mean, it’s that or football. You’re welcome.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hide Your Daughters

Many of you maybe preparing to go home for the holidays soon. So what a perfect time to break out the Lesbian PSA. Beware, small towns everywhere, we’re coming to show your daughters respect and bond over common interests.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Queen for a Day

If you’re ever feeling down. If you’re ever feeling low. If you’re ever feeling blue. Just remember this one fact. Everyone’s favorite former florist. Not to mention the most ruthless queen in all the land. This righteous goofball. Yes, her:

She got to show the Queen of England the Iron Throne.

Yeah, for real.

Now, isn’t your day so much better now?

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

So by now you have probably heard how beautiful, rapturous and all-around swoonable the new movie “Carol” is. I mean, come on, we were all already head-over heels in love just based on the trailer. So we waited, and waited, and waited waited waited for Nov. 20 when we were promised its gloriousness. Finally, a good lesbian movie. We deserve this. This is our moment. This is finally our time. But then Nov. 20 came and, damn, it’s not in a theater near me – or probably you. In fact it’s only playing in four theaters and only in New York and Los Angeles.

And, according to my sources, it won’t be expanding out until Dec. 11. Yes, DECEMBER – FREAKING – ELEVEN.

Look, I’m normally a pretty patient person. I mean, we as gay people, waited until June of this year to have our loving unions recognized and validated across our nation. Heck, we’re still waiting for the U.S. government to agree that the very fact of our existence as LGBT people isn’t reason enough or us to be fired. So, see, we’re a supernaturally patient people. But dammit if I don’t want to go all Veruca Salt and stomp my feet while screaming, “I WANT CAROL, I WANT IT NOW!”

Harumpf. This tantrum goes out to every gay lady not living in NY or LA. Stay strong, sisters. Our time will come.

p.s. Well at least all the NY and LA lesbians are taking advantage of their enviable position, since “Carol” apparently boasted the third-biggest opening of 2015 (in terms of theater average).

p.p.s. Looks like my sources where right. Here’s what the Weinstein distribution head said about the film’s rollout.

For now, Carol is staying put in four cinemas. … add “just a few markets in less than 20 theaters by mid-December.” Carol will reach about 100 theaters for Christmas and expand further after Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Like I was saying, patience. Until then, here is another stupid gorgeous trailer to tide you over. Le sigh.

Friday, November 20, 2015

My Weekend Crush

Imagine a TV show centered on a female heroine that spares us the spandex. Imagine a TV show centered on a female heroine that effortlessly passes the Bechdel Test. Imagine a TV show centered on a female heroine that hinges almost entirely on the concept of consent. Now just go to Netflix and watch it, because that show is “Jessica Jones.”

Having seen the first half of the season of the new Marvel ex-superhero series I can confirm that it is very good, fairly gay and absolutely terrifying. The terror comes not in the standard issue things-that-go-bump-in-the-night and/or bad-people-who-want-to-watch-the-world-burn kind of way we are used to seeing in movies and television. Global apocalypse is not what Jessica Jones is fighting.

Instead this is a much more personal. The terror is intimate in the way terror often isn’t, and also rather specific and universal for women as a whole. This is the horror of a man, a very bad man, who wants to consume us whole. A man who wants to, and effortlessly can, control us against our will. A stalker to the Nth degree. We’re talking too-close-for-comfort nightmare fuel at its finest.

The whole series drops on Netflix today and you’d better bet I can’t watch to watch the rest of the show. Sure, so far it needs more Carrie-Anne Moss. But what I’ve seen is more than enough to convince me that this is the stuff not only of nightmares, but dream TV. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. I will be recapping the series for AfterEllen, so look for fresh reviews each week starting Monday.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Watch Me, Watch Me

So my latest column for Women & Hollywood (which I would greatly appreciate if you clicked over and read here) is about the concept of “The Model Gay.” It was sparked by screenwriter Ron Nyswaner’s comments (which he has since apologized for, since that is how our new cycle works) about the representation of the LGBT community in our media and entertainment. At its core is the thought that – out of fear of the bottom line and/or desire to fight back against negative representations – we have de-gayed ourselves in movies and TV to be more palatable to mainstream audiences.

He makes some valid points in his argument, which can be read in full here. But I think the bigger problem is less of one where we – as LGBT creators – censor ourselves from being our most authentic selves. Though, I have no doubt that that happens. But instead one – especially right now – where were the entertainment industry fails to give us fully realized LGBT characters. All too often we are there to check an imaginary box or to fill a diversity quota instead of being there because we’re interesting characters who deserve to be there.

This is not to say our media landscape if bereft of interesting queer characters – quite the contrary. We’ve got “Orange Is the New Black,” “Orphan Black,” “The Fosters,” Transparent” and other shows are doing it right. But still others have no-impact LGBT characters or, worse yet, tired tropes (particularly when talking about the “L,” “B” and “T” in our alphabet soup of otherness). Yes, that means you “Scream Queens,” “Rosewood,” “Empire,” “Bones,” “Gotham,” “Under the Dome,” “Grandfathered,” et al.

In summation, if you write better queer characters, Hollywood, we promise we will watch them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Cold Never Bothered Them Anyway

I was not terribly impressed with 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Sure, it was a gorgeous thing to look at. But its core was a mess with problematic messaging about the motivation for its central villain and blandly passive heroine. Also, can’t Snow White be the hero of her own story without a Huntsman to rescue her? (Yes, yes, I know original source material blah blah blah.) Still, I can’t help but be a little more excited for its sequel (and, I think, prequel), “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.” Granted, now the central character is full-on said Huntsman. But, goodness, how they’ve upped their awesome ladies quotient. Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, oh my!

The movie, once again, looks like a visual smorgasbord. And if the trailer is to be believed, we finally have an action movie where the ladies, instead of the dudes, drive the narrative. Plus, I’m just a sucker for anything that had women kicking ass. And you really can’t resist Charlize vamping it up with regal wickedness once more.

Granted, it does look a tad like, “Frozen: Elsa’s Revenge.” The cold never bothered them, anyway. But, you know what, I’ll let it go for the sake of the potential badassery.

My only other complaint: The snow-white cast. Just like it’s seemingly impossible for The Hollywood Reporter to think of a single actress of color to invite to its award-season roundtable, here is yet another Hollywood film with little to no (I think I saw a few black soldiers in there, maybe) diversity. I find it particularly galling in a fantasy film like this where the entire universe it inhabits is divorced from the restraints of reality. That’s not to say more realistic films get a free pass, but fantasies like this are only accountable to one’s imagination. So then to still cast a predominantly all-white is just a failure of creativity. Get it together, Hollywood. The world has always existed in beautiful Technicolor. Now if only your movies did, too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Smart Gay Girls at the Party

I had the very good fortune to see Cameron Esposito and her fiancée Rhea Butcher together on tour not that long ago. Word of advice, do so immediately – they are capital “F” Funny. Also, they’re very incisive with their humor. Also super gay. So I think it’s super great (and gay) that they are teaming up with Amy Poehler and her Smart Girls for the new webseries She Said. How great is this? How great is it that two smart gay girls are making a series to talk with smart girls about smart subjects that we should all be talking about in the first place? Great, with a capital G.

Also, and I really cannot emphasize this enough, you should really go see Cameron and Rhea out on tour if you haven’t already. I mean, the side mullet alone is worth the price of admission.

Monday, November 16, 2015

See Through

The thing about releasing shows all at once for us to binge watch is sometimes – because we’re greedy and watched them so quickly – we forget how much you missed them when they’re over. Or, you know, maybe that’s just me. At least that’s what happened to me and “Transparent.” The series came out well over a year ago (Sept. 26, 2014) and won’t be back for another whole month (Dec. 11, 2015). The length of time between new episodes coupled with the fact that there was so little of it to begin with (10 half hour episodes equates to only five hours of TV total) has made me inadvertently forgetful. Like, oh yeah, I really loved that show. Damn, I miss it.

But watching the first teaser of the new season has it all rushing back to me. The humor, the heartbreak, the dysfunction, the queerness of it all. And, according to reports from my Afterellen co-horts, things will get more of all of the above – especially the queer part. Sarah and Tammy are having a Big Gay Wedding and we’re all invited. Yes, yes, I know I have reservations about Tammy. We all do. But everyone else? Yep, now I remember. I super miss this show.