Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Importance of Being Liz Lemon

Liz Lemon is no dummy. Sure, she works with an amusing array of them. But she, she was never one. And her smarts, and her celebration of her smarts, is important. She remains one of the precious few female sitcom stars whose status as the smartest person in the room has been her primary definition from the start. You’ve got your Mary Tyler Moores and your Maudes and your Murphy Browns. But most other shows built around a sole female character have allowed some other attribute to shine brighter: strength, beauty, cunning, sassiness, lovelorness, et al. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But to be the smart girl in the room, the nerd at the beautiful people party, well, that matters.

I will miss “30 Rock” for so many reasons. Its humor, intellect, zaniness, nerdiness, metaness, catchphrasecoiningness. (BLERG FOREVER!) But probably most of all I will miss it for allowing Liz Lemon to be so smart, unabashedly so. And despite her flaws and foibles, her capability – to run the show and trust her intellect – was never in question.

The show, like its star, just never played dumb. Zany, absurd, klutzy, awkward and even sometimes muppety? Yes. But stupid, never. And along the way it delivered slyly insightful commentary on the things TV shows rarely provide slyly insightful commentary – liberalism, conservatism, feminism, racism, broadcast TV, white guilt, corporate personhood, product placement, night cheese.

So saying goodbye tonight is hard. Because, while it wasn’t for everyone, “30 Rock” was always for me. I’ve in fact never written this blog without it on the air. I started this blog in April 2006 and Tina Fey started “30 Rock” in October 2006. But I’ll keep going, and I know Tina will keep going. So thanks for seven years of making a place on our TVs for the smartest nerd girls in the room. No, it OK. Don't be cry. We'll always have gone to there together.

p.p.s. Hey, sometimes smart nerd girls get frustrated.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Better and better

Sometimes it is easy to get discouraged. Which makes it all the more important to celebrate the milestones. The end of DADT. The first wins for same-sex marriage at ballot boxes statewide. The first out lesbian senator. The first out bisexual congresswoman. The first mention of gays in a presidential inaugural speech. Things have changed, and for the better. In our time. In front of our eyes. History. It’s pretty cool.

So it’s hard not to get gloaty, or the very least giddy, as more and more walls fall. This week it’s a professional basketball player in the NBA proudly celebrating his two gay moms. And the wife of an female Lt. Colonel being named the Fort Bragg “Military Spouse of the Year.”

In the first case, Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried did a video celebrating his two moms for the same-sex marriage advocacy group OneColorado. This is a sports star saying, “No one can ever tell me I can't have two mothers. Because I really do.” Yeah, giddy.

In the second, Ashley Broadway, the wife of Lt. Col. Heather Mack, was awarded the title “Military Spouse of the Year” for Fort Bragg by Military Spouse magazine. That wouldn’t have happened two years ago. Granted, it took getting named the best military spouse for the base for the official officer’s spouse club to grant her membership. But, undeniably, progress. So, gloaty.

See, it really does get better.

And now, with the president backing immigration rights for same-sex couples, our universal love might be able to cross borders as well. Fingers crossed on that. It’ll be a fight, like everything has been. But one well worth fighting. But first, to gird ourselves, let’s revel in the giddy gloatiness for a bit longer.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Total heartthrob

Hey, are you The Gay? Do you enjoy The Musics? And The Laughters? Have you considered The Alternative Lifestyle Haircuts? And The Cyndi Lauper Cosplay? Then please click play and enjoy this interview of Tegan & Sara by Andy Samberg on what makes a heartthrob. Hint: Not a mullet. Though, Tegan & Sara, let’s be honest - there were mullets. Oh, yes, there were mullets.

Also their latest album “Heartthrob” comes out today. And if you thought Taylor Swift had the market cornered on breakup songs, think again.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Naked Lady Monday

Right, another Monday? No problem-o. Easy peasy. I got this covered. Or should I say uncovered. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Ladies, shall we? Yes, we shall. Let Kerry Washington be our gracious guide. It’s naked time.

Jennifer Aniston
Whenever I look at her being all sexy I think, what would Ross think?

Jennifer Lawrence
I just finished “Catching Fire” (I know, I know – late as usual) and, damn, if I’m not excited for this movie.

Lucy Liu
Elementary indeed, dear Watson.

Jessica Chastain
Fighting terrorism never looked so good.

Marion Cotillard
Contrarty to what Jodie Foster may think, I would totally watch a reality TV show where she makes out with Marion Cotillard.

Yeah, so she lip synched. She certainly didn’t lip sync that body.

Canadian National Senior Women’s Rugby Team
The team made a sexy calendar to raise funds for its Olympics bid. Well, if it’s for a good cause. Maybe I’ll take a second look.

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Weekend Stars

Let us, for a moment, set aside the nerd blasphemy of comingling the Stars (that’s Wars and Trek, duh) and discuss what it means to have two of the biggest franchises on the planet, let alone galaxy, be run by one single solitary dude. Now, I like J.J. Abrams as much as the next actions/espionage/lens flare lover. So when news of him taking over Disney’s new Star Wars movies I was, OK with it. His movies are pretty fun. Cool. But then, I thought a little harder. And I was like, wait. He’s also in charge of the new Star Trek franchise. So he’s doing Star Trek and Star Wars? At the same time. And we’re not even mentioning that lesser franchise Mission: Impossible.

Look, I think he’s a good director. I think he has created some interesting universes (Lost, Fringe, Alias…Felicity). But I don’t think it’s healthy for so much of the modern-day vision of pop culture to be controlled by one man. Diversity, for lack of a better word, matters. It matters because the more voices that are allowed to mold our zeitgeist, the more people will feel included in it. Simple concept, hard execution.

I feel the same way about this J.J. Rules the Stars news as I do about the continued push toward conglomeration in everything from our news media, banks and other corporations. More and more things being owned by fewer and fewer people. Because, make no mistake, this is creative conglomeration. And while I may like the particular creative in charge, it doesn’t mean I think he should be in charge of everything.

Why not give someone else a chance? A woman a chance? Any sort of non-white heterosexual male a chance? More voices, even imperfect ones, helps to expand our cultural landscape and could lead to, who knows, the next J.J. Abrams whoever he or she may be.

On a more personal note, the Star Wars movies were my absolute, far far and away favorite movies as a kid. So now that they are in J.J.’s hands, I hope he does well. I mean, he can’t really do worse than the three new movies we shall never speak of. Use the Force to prosper. And don’t fuck with Princess Leia. I mean it, buster. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Combat ready

Now, I’m no fan of violence, war or fighting. But I am a fan of equal rights and opportunity. So I applaud the news that broke yesterday that the military was lifting its ban on women in combat. Because being equal means just that. The opportunity to do the same work, face the same challenges, make the same sacrifices and reap the same honors as everyone else. And I also applaud it because it makes conservative nitwits like Tucker Carlson angry at feminism. Which, you know, bonus.

But me being me and all, I must celebrate this historic step in women’s rights the only way I see fit. With hot ladies in uniform, of course. Women of the military, both fictional and real, we salute you.

Dana Delany, China Beach
Just thinking about the opening theme gives me shivers.

Heather Peace, Ultimate Force
Hot Cop meet Hot Soldier

Glenn Close, Serving in Silence
Just think, movies like this won’t ever have to be made again.

Rose Rollins, The L Word
Is it weird that when DADT was lifted, I thought, “Oh, good, now Tasha will get her full benefits.”

Jessica Biel, Stealth
I never saw this movie, but the costume department deserves some sort of award.

Jordana Brewster, Annapolis
I also never saw this movie, but ditto on the costume department.

Michelle Rodriguez, Avatar
Technically she was a solider for hire, but let’s not spilt hairs.

Katee Sackhoff, Battlestar Galactica
Soldiers in futuristic militaries on distant star systems totally count.

Demi Moore, G.I. Jane
Oh, like I wasn’t going to use the one-armed pushup.

A grateful universe thanks you for your service, ladies.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Moments in Buffy

Speaking of mythological shows centered around a strong female character this week, goddamn, do I miss Buffy. I happened upon a few episodes this past week and they make me want to engage in an epic marathon rewatch. But since I don’t have the time right now, ugh adulthood, how about we just watch a clip from every single “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in order? Not the same, but pretty damn good for a 4 minute fix.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall"

The pomp and circumstance of politics can be needless trifle. But they can also serve as a clarion call to our future. So yesterday, when President Barack Obama mentioned “gay” for the first time ever in a presidential inaugural address and made a commitment to the rights of LGBT, women, immigrants and more, it was definitely not trifle. While last inauguration the president expounded on the hope and change he envisioned for our country, I now feel that hope and change is fully in our grasp in his second term. Has it been perfect? It never is. Will it be hard? Almost everything worthwhile is. Our journey is not complete, but at least we’re on our way. From Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall. We’ll get there together.

p.s. Beyonce. Damn. Drop the earpiece is the new drop the mic.

p.p.s. SGALGG: Queen B meets FLOTUS Edition.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Succubus sizzles

Oh, America! How I envy your delicious anticipation at the coming sexytimes that is the third season premiere of “Lost Girl” tonight on Syfy. Having seen the premiere al I can say is buckle in and bring a bib. This show actually makes me squirm a little while I watch it. Not in a cringey sense – despite occasional truck-sized plot holes – but in an excitement sense as in what is this crazy-crazy sexy-sexy unpredictable joyride of a show going to do now squirming. All I know is I can’t wait to have you watch and squirm and squee and sigh at all the sexytimes. Especially the Doccubus sexytimes. Oh dear, I’ve said too much. And this season with not one, not two but three identified gay gal characters (Bo, Lauren and the new Valkyrie cop Tamsin), the sexytimes might never stop. So enjoy tonight, America. And come to AfterEllen Tuesday to read my new full-sized recaps this season. Don’t worry, there will still be Boobs O’Clock. So much Boobs O'Clock.

p.s. Does it make me a terrible person that when I heard Anna Silk was pregnant the first thing I thought was, “Damn, Boobs O’Clock is going to be INSANE.” And then, of course, I thought congratulations.
p.s. On a more serious note, I want to say that I am happy “Lost Girl” producers responded quickly to GLAAD’s claims of transphobia in the premiere. While I did not read the scene as such, I can understand why others might. Though, come on GLAAD, rap “Lost Girl” on the knuckles, yet you nominate every single Ryan Murphy production (“Glee,” “The New Normal,” “American Horror Story”) for your 2013 awards. Also, no nod for “Pretty Little Liars” either. Oy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Weekend Crush

The celebrity who is good at Twitter is a rare bird indeed. Most range somewhere between pleasantly mundane to excruciatingly aggrandizing. And other times you have to unfollow immediately because, sweet merciful Zeus, the spelling. The grammar. No, uh-uh, no way. But there are the precious few who actually raise their public stock 140 characters at a time. And among those is the somewhat surprisingly delightful Anna Kendrick. Now I say somewhat surprisingly because, quite honestly, I’ve not given Anna Kendrick much thought in the past. Not that there’s anything wrong or repugnant about her. She’s just another very pretty slip of a girl and happens to be in those terrible “Twilight” movies. But after seeing her in the very fun “Pitch Perfect” and then started to see some of her very funny, very pointed tweets retweeted endlessly on Tumblr. Which is when I realized, fucking hell this girl is fucking funny. Like will you be my BFF funny. Fuck, yeah.

Not only is she funny, and a capable actress, but she totally gets the weirdo internet and its rabid fandoms. Plus she knows the important of feeding and caring for one’s fandoms, hence this picture. Along with Brittany Snow and Anna Camp, they are definitely the captains of their ship. The one thing you can’t buy in Hollywood – even with the best publicist – is a genuinely and effortlessly delightful personality. Your Jennifer Lawrences of the world can attest. So when you find another one, you just want to share your amazing discovery with everyone else. You’re welcome. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gender Fuck Thursday

Whoa. Right. So. Where was I? Oh yeah, how about them apples? I’m not a big makeup wearer – like at all. But I do appreciate nontraditional concepts of feminine beauty used in makeup company advertising. So well done, MAC, for using female bodybuilder Jelena Abbou as the face (and biceps) of their new Strength line. I’m still not gonna buy the makeup. Or that dress, which looks a little dominatrix trash bag chic for my taste. But, damn, if I don’t covet those muscles. Happy New Year of Gender Fuck Thursdays to us all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

SGALGG: Globes Edition

You didn’t think I’d let a big fancy dress up party with shiny trophies go by without a heaping helping of Straight Gals Acting Like Gay Gals. Granted, the evening had Gay Gals Acting Like Out Gay Gals thanks to Jodie Foster. (p.s. Love how the camera operator panicked when the gay stuff started and panned to the nearest lesbian, Jane Lynch.) Still, nothing like a bunch of fancy frocks to make a gal feel pretty and witty and gay. And they ladies spread the love around liberally this year. And with so many lovelies about, wouldn’t you too?

Anne Hathaway & Amanda Seyfried
The way they were snuggling on the stage during “Les Miserables’” big win made me think we had secretly crashed their wedding.

Anne Hathaway & Jessica Chastain
Well, I’d want a hug with those arms, too, Anne.

When hugging it out doesn't do it, by all means resort to kissing it out.

Lena Dunham & Girls
It's mandatory for all winning costars to snuggle at the Globes. I approve.

Lena Dunham & Julia Louis-Dreyfus
I find a big smooch soothes a los quite well, too.

Vanessa Hudgens & Selena Gomez
Once the envy of tween girls everywhere, now the object of affection of an entirely different group of girls – tweens and otherwise.

Vanessa Hudgens & Ashley Tisdale
They look like guests attending Anne and Amanda’s wedding.

Tina Fey & Amy Poehler

Tina & Amy Redux
This is what I imagine they look like after the aforementioned mandatory makeout session.

Thandie Newton & Lucy Liu
Yet another couple of invitees to the Hathaway-Seyfried nuptials. I wonder what they bought off the registry.

Jennifer Lopez & Jessica Alba
The girl to the left behind them is thinking one thing: Threeway!

Coming out has clearly made Jodie want to do a little dance, make a little love and get down tonight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I want my L TV

It’s hard out there for a lesbian … on TV. (Just ask Jodie Foster.) First, BBC3 cancels “Lip Service,” shutting down television’s only English-language lesbian drama. And – even worse – forever robbing us of Hot Cop. And then Showtime announces “The Real L Word” will probably be turned into a documentary this season. So instead the soapy reality franchise will be exploring lesbian subculture in places where “it’s maybe not so easy.” Oh dear. Both bits of news are bummers for their own reasons. The first because, well, you heard that bit about their being no more hot cop, right? And the second because, well, you know Ilene Chaiken is still running the whole L universe, right? Ugh. But, it’s not all bummer lesbian entertainment headlines. “Lost Girl” is back (and – shameless self promotion – my first recap of the season is up today on AfterEllen). Reelz Channel sent me the entire first season of “Bomb Girls.” And we’ll soon be able to get our lesbians with British accents fix again thanks to Sue Perkin’s new series starring Anna Skellern (that’s sexy Lexy form “Lip Service”) and Shelley Conn (that’s sexy Shelley Conn from “Nina’s Heavenly Delights” and “Mistresses”). When the lesbian TV gods close a door, they open a couple windows with amazing, amazing views.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The brave one

Hard as it may be to believe, I won’t remember the 70th annual Golden Globes Awards for my beloved Tina Fey. Or Amy Poehler. Or Sofia Vergara’s golden globes. I mean, sure, they were all spectacular. And Tina and Amy should host everything ever always. Period. Full stop. But what I will remember and still can’t stop thinking about is the amazing acceptance speech and coming out of Jodie Foster. It was extraordinary on so many levels, none the least of which being that I never, ever, not in a million years thought it would happen.

Certainly, we all knew already. I knew as a young girl when I looked at an also young Jodie Foster in all her triumphant tomboy glory and felt that unspoken kinship. And I knew after whispers on “The Accused.” And I knew when I made her my very first Weekend Crush. And I knew in 2007, when she thanked “my beautiful Cydney” in another, less public, award acceptance speech. And I knew yesterday. And I know today.

Yet even without every saying “Yep, I’m gay,” Jodie’s very real, sometimes raw and even a little defiant admission of her personal and private truth was wonderful. Sure, some have groused that it was a little vague. Though I have no idea how calling her former partner Cydney Bernard “one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love, but righteous soul sister in life” in front of a viewing audience of more than 10 million people is in any way vague. Nor will we be deterred by her insisting that it isn’t a big coming out speech, in that strange bit of audio that got inexplicably cut: “I hope you guys weren't hoping this would be a big coming out speech tonight, because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the stone age.”

That’s not vague, that’s talking about what she never talks about. And you could tell, too, because boy was she nervous. And, if you think about it, weren’t we all? Weren’t we all that nervous and jumbled, maybe even more, when we finally said it even one person, let along the universe? Even if everyone already knew. Even if you should have said it ages ago. For me, that made it connect even more. The humanness of it. The honest struggle. For each person who comes out, no matter how long it takes or how many people already know, is a simple act of bravery.

The grumblers of the world of course immediately complained about why it took her so long. How others paved the way and she slid in at the end. But I believe firmly that every person should be allowed to come out at his or her own time, perhaps with a little appropriate prodding, but only when ready. And so each person who comes out counts, no matter how long it takes, and should be celebrated.

Others have questioned whether she was criticizing stars who are already out and/or slamming reality television. For the latter I say, I would much rather live in Jodie’s private world than Honey Boo Boo’s overexposed world. We can be truthful about ourselves without turning our every bowel movement into a news event. Celebrity culture is the real target here, and our insatiable desire to know every last bit of salacious minutiae about the unknowable.

As to the former, I do not believe she was swiping at the Ellens or Melissas or Martinas of the world in the least. Instead, in her own way, she was explaining her own path towards this very public moment. A path that we should not forget began in the spotlight at the age of 3 and involved a madman with a gun who shot the President of the United States just to get her attention. Her guarded nature, her insistence on privacy, you can understand why those would be the bedrock of her very core. And, let us also not forget, that at 50 – that age she repeatedly told us she is – she comes from a different generation where baby doll rainbow flag T-shirts weren’t sold at Hot Topic.

So now what? I hope Jodie feels good about what happened. Relieved and proud and hopeful about her next era. I hope she knows how much it meant, even if it took so long and we all already knew. A two-time Oscar winner and bona fide Hollywood icon doesn’t come out as family every day. But, unlike her, I have no fear that anyone will every forget that “Jodie Foster was here.” You are seen, you are more understood and you are not alone. We are all here, with you.

p.s. Sweetie, trust me, with those arms you certainly won’t be single long.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Weekend Crush

Whatever your political, religious or sexual orientation you’ve got to admire the moxie of newly elected Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. Not only is she the first out bisexual representative ever elected to Congress, she also the 113th Congress’ only member to identify religiously as “unaffiliated” and was its only current member sworn in on a copy of the U.S. Constitution instead of a bible or other religious work. Oh, and she is a pro-gay marriage and pro-women’s rights legislator from the crazy mccrazypants conservative state of Arizona. Like I said, moxie. And I didn’t even mention that her family was homeless for two years when she was growing up. Also, I really like her, um, glasses. Yeah, glasses. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

About last Glee

Oh, you’re back. Yeah. This is going to be awkward. Um, “Glee,” we need to talk. There comes a point where you have to just stop and say it out loud. Admit it to yourself, your friends, the universe. This just isn’t working. This has to end. Hey, “Glee,” I’m just not that into you anymore. It’s not me, it’s definitely you. While I still may love some aspects of you, you clearly do not love me or any other member of the collective Lesbian Blogging Community back. Which is a shame, because there has always been something rather endearing about you and your plucky insistence on having adults pretending to be teenagers sing and dance and learn three or four of the same life lessons over and over and over again.

I’m not saying we can’t still be friends. I’m loyal to a fault. So I will keep tabs on you and more than likely continue to check in, possibly even weekly. Since I’m not a Nielsen family there’s no real harm in keeping you on like white noise. But I won’t obsess about you. I won’t stress about you. And most of all, I won’t write about you. I’m just going to let you exist and pull crazy stunts like bursting through the fourth wall like a vindictive Mr. Kool-Aid and say insulting, misguided things in an attempt to shame an entire fanbase. Oh, yeahhhh…don’t think the Lesbian Blogging Community will ever forget that. You don’t just get kicked in the head by someone you thought you had a deep and meaningful relationship with and let go of that without good reason. So until you, dear “Glee,” give me a good reason to care again, I just won’t.

As irresponsible and enraging it is that a so-called champion of all things LGBT thinks its lesbian fans are a bunch of unstable goons who just want to murder the faces off of boys who dare look at the girls they like, I’m simply not going to let you make my blood pressure spike anymore. Nor will I grind my teeth at your total missing of the point that the lack of equal affection representation in your lesbian – and gay, too, because we care about the whole rainbow believe it or not – relationships compared to the straight ones. It’s no longer fruitful for me to get worked up at all of your flaws. I can’t fix you, as much as I’d like to. Only you can fix you. And if you do, we’ll talk again. Only time will tell.