It had been a long, long week. My landlord informed me he is selling the house. Mind you, this is the second landlord in a row now who has sold the house I was living in out form under me. Yay... And so now I have to wrap my little tiny brain (and arms) around the gargantuan project of packing up all of my earthly possessions and dragging them to some other place to call my h.o.m.e. Blerg. If you have not noticed, I really fucking hate moving. Anyway, chin up. Stop moping. Yadda yadda. The universe is still filled with wonderful and random surprises. Like, say, Meryl Streep, 50 Cent and Kobe Bryant mean mugging for the camera. Guess the world can still delight, despite frequent evidence to the contrary. Happy weekend, all.
Friday, January 31, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
It’s hard out there for a feminist. We fight gender inequality and each other in equal measures sometimes, it seems. Pointing out bad feminists has become a bit of a bloodsport. Check your privilege while tone policing the discussion of intersectionality of binary genitalia and all of that. But I hope, despite all the back-and-forth and finger pointing, we can all agree that other women – despite our many flaws and frequent short fallings – are not the ultimate enemy. A culture that thinks women can be driven instantly wild and become mindless sex machines because of a stupid body spray is the real enemy.
Also, this parody AXE commercial is just fucking funny.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I don’t know will ultimately rise up and become the next Supreme tonight on the season finale of “American Horror Story: Coven.” I’m rooting for a “Chosen” kind of power-share. Are you ready to be strong, witches? But save that, I’m rooting for Misty or Cordelia. How could I not?
In looking at the scope of this season’s “American Horror Story,” I am both thrilled and disappointed. It’s a Ryan Murphy show, you were expecting more? I have unquestionably enjoyed this season more than last. The total mind-fuck of psychological (and physical – because of course) torture to befall the characters in “AHS: Asylum” was almost too stomach churning to watch. Sure, “Coven” folks have had to endure dismemberment, disembowelment and self-inflicted garden shears to the eyes. But it doesn’t feel as torturous, somehow.
What I’ve loved all along is two-fold. One, it’s absolutely lights-out female cast. (Jessica and Kathy and Angela and Sarah and Lily and Frances and Gabourey and Emma and Taissa and Patti, OH MY!) I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – this is hands down the biggest gathering of female talent on TV this season. And, goodness, how they’ve flexed their collective muscle.
But what I haven’t loved, in fact hated, is that a series all about female power would be fixated on the wrong kind of power struggle. Instead of Witches vs. The World, “Coven” is Witches vs. Witches. Like women can only fight and destroy each other. Sure, there can be infighting, but does it ALL have to be infighting? Ugh, whatever Ryan Murphy.
I also have some not insignificant quibbles with the way the show has portrayed its African-American characters as motivated almost exclusively by vengeance. That and they tragically underused Marie Laveau. (Really, Benadryl takes down the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans? Really?) The show’s insulting insistence on keeping its focus on the stereotypical cat-fight dynamic robbed us of more of an opportunity to see Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett acting with each other, instead of against each other.
Oh, and then there’s the show’s reliance on tropes for what motivates women: fear of aging, want of a baby, jealousy over a boyfriend, et al.
Still, in spite of it all, I remain grateful for the ridiculous bounty of female talent who got to be on my TV together each week. And however it turns out, they should feel pride in how – despite the often subpar material – they’ve utterly bewitched us.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
If you are like me, when the country music portion of the Grammy Awards come on you use it as a perfect time to go get another beer. But at Sunday’s Grammys I stayed seated and delighted. Well, no, not with Hunter Hayes. What’s with the random quotes, Country Bieber? You see, I’m no country music fan – but if that’s what you’re into, absolutely no judgment. I enjoy some classics – Patsy, Loretta, Johnny, Willie. But the contemporary stuff, eh. Still the adorable Kacey Musgraves had me glued to my couch.
First, there was her outfit – light-up boots and lamp-shade skirt and all. Then there was her band – with their cute matchy-matchy Western wear. And now I have this odd desire to decorate my living room with neon cacti. But the main attraction was Kacey herself. And, more importantly, her music. I am a little bit in love with “Follow Your Arrow.” See for youself.
Yes, America, a popular country music song discusses same-sex smoochies, pre-marital sex, toking up, body snarking, slut shaming and aethism – in a good way. This is one of the most merrily progressive songs I’ve heard in the past year. And it does it all without being preachy. It’s just about, you know, following your heart. Do what makes you happy, don’t worry about what makes other people happy. Be you. How utterly refreshing.
Right, so I’m off to iTunes to download “Follow Your Arrow.” If you need me I’ll be two-stepping under my desk.
p.s. Here is the official video. I kind of want hot-pants with gun holsters to become a thing.
Monday, January 27, 2014
These are by no means a complete or coherent listing of my thoughts about the Grammys. But it is late and my brain needs a break from all the stage fog. What I do know is that these were the first Grammys I have actually enjoyed in years. My enjoyment was twofold. 1) There were some very fun performances by Queen Bey, Pink, Lorde, Sara Bareilles and Carole King, Kacey Musgraves, Kendrick Lamar and those rock guys and Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, Queen Latfiah, Madonna and all those couples who got married. 2) I watched it on tape delay with liberal use of the fast forward button.
The only way it could have been better, besides all the boring bits I fast forwarded through, was if Queen Latifah made it official while officiating all those marriages. Come on, Queen. If Jodie Foster can do it at an award show, so can you.
Friday, January 24, 2014
In life, and on TV, if you persevere it often really does get better. Few shows have proved that more recently than Mindy Kaling’s series, “The Mindy Project.” What started as a fairly superficial show about a fairly superficial person has evolved into, dare I say it, a surprisingly thoughtful and consistently hilarious show about a superficial person. Now in its second year, “The Mindy Project” can make me laugh, - really, really laugh – more reliably than almost any other show in TV. (Don’t worry, “Parks and Recreation,” you’re still my No. 1. Also, you’re another prime example of the It Gets Betterification of TV shows in their second season.)
But I digress. What helps to make “The Mindy Project” so special is a) it’s crackerjack cast and b) Mindy herself. To get in character and be superficial, this is the only show on TV centered solely around South Asian female character (Mindy is Indian-American) and one of the few shows on TV centered solely around a not stereotypically skinny female character (Mindy is by no means overweight, but her non model-thinness is touched on frequently). Sure, she’s kind of a brat – but dammit if she isn’t a fun brat to watch.
The real Mindy is whip-smart and more than aware of all the bullshit expectations, obstacles and trappings that come with being “different.” As she told Parade magazine in September:
On standing out in the white male-dominated comedy world.
“There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them. But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male show runners get to talk about their art.”On the attention paid to her appearance.
“I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”Yeah, she gets it. She gets it. Her show gets it. Happy weekend, all.
p.s. SPOILER, WILL ROBINSON: Duuuude, I can’t believe I have to wait until April to see how that kiss turns out.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Yesterday was the 41 anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Yet still the assault on women’s reproductive rights continues unabated. I don’t know what it is exactly about women being in control of our own bodies that drives the Far Right so crazy. Perhaps it’s the crazy concept that we’re human beings with our own minds, hearts and agency that they just can’t wrap their heads around. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s it. And we haven’t even touched on the hypocrisy that puts an unborn fetus above all else, including that same child once it is born and its mother if they have the nerve to be poor and happen to need some additional assistance for luxuries like food and housing. Also, don’t even mention preventing pregnancies in the first place with comprehensive sex education and access to birth control in the first place.
Anyway, all of this is a very long way of saying Sarah Silverman has been totally killing it of late. I mean, I’ve always admired her even if her humor hasn’t always been my total, um, thing. But her social commentary has been always been particularly razor-sharp and recently very impressive. Not to mention hilarious. She is an unwavering feminist and champion of a woman’s right to choose. Like, take her chat yesterday with Jesus. Sure, it might not convince the wingnuts. But for everyone else, it is the very definition of “good talk.”
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I know they still have
two three years, but dammit if I’m already worrying about how much I’m going to miss having the Obamas in the White House. My separation anxiety has already begun. Politics aside (thought, for the record, voted for him twice and would happily again – despite his various shortcomings and numerous flaws), there has been something so incredibly refreshing about having such a young and vibrant family at the helm of our country. Also, not to state the obvious, but no other First Family has ever looked like the Obamas. It’s been so incredibly refreshing and so incredibly long overdue.
Among the things I’ve loved most about having the Obamas in the White House is having Michelle Obama as First Lady. I know, I know – how dare she plant a vegetable garden and ask children to get off the couch. What is this? Communist Russia? The lady is a world-class shade thrower (with a name like Boehner, how could you not?), a world-class dancer (girl can Dougie) and having world-class arms (Arm Porn in Chief). And now we find out the lady can dunk.
OK, fine, not exactly. But you can’t beat her In-Your-Face face afterward.
Yeah, I am going to miss that lady like crazy.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
You guys. Seriously, YOU GUYS. If Kate McKinnon doesn’t become a mega star immediately and get used to her full potential on SNL, I will – be very disgruntled and write angry posts about it on the internet. Yeah, sorry, sometimes you have to go for accuracy over snappiness. But after watching Kate’s ridiculously on-point impersonation of Justin Bieber last Saturday I think you’ll all agree. Good stuff starts at the 4-minute mark. I’m telling you, if she’s not a household name at the end of this season expect those strongly worded posts. So many of them.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Hard to believe, but it has indeed been 10 years since Bette’s spectacular tirades and all the spectacular hookups (and breakups and everything in between) of “The L Word. The show premiered Jan. 18, 2004. And as much as we love, love, loved to hate it, we can’t help but miss all the talking, laughing, loving, breathing, fighting, fucking, et al. Ten years after the first-ever television show about gay women and their relationships, what has changed?
There are, indeed, more women – both lesbian and bisexual characters – on TV now. From the moms on “The Fosters” to the inmates on “Orange Is the New Black” to the liars on “Pretty Little Liars” and faebians on “Lost Girl,” we have an array of representations. But, all these years later, we still don’t have another “The L Word.” Sure, we had “Lip Service” ever so briefly. And even more briefly “Exes and Ohs.” But there simply isn’t a scripted show just about gay women on TV right now.
So now the question is, should there be? This past weekend HBO premiered “Looking,” the long-awaited successor to “Queer As Folk” for gay men. Television has been incredibly reluctant to create shows set in almost exclusively gay worlds. Be it squeamishness at the LGBT content or lack of confidence in audience or something else or a combination of everything, networks just haven’t been willing to give us a chance.
Though, our characters have been incorporated in more shows. While gay characters, particularly lesbians, are seldom the singular lead to a series, we have been included successfully into a variety of shows and genres from “The Good Wife” to “Modern Family” to “Grey’s Anatomy” to “Glee.” So is it actually better to have us part of ensembles, just in the mix as we often are in our real lives – at work, in our families.
Is there value in still having shows that depict us in our own world? A world where, as LGBT folks so often do, our families are the friends we surround ourselves with? Hell fucking yeah, there is. It’s been said so much it’s cliché, but we really do create our own families. And they are worth seeing on TV.
Call me greedy, but I want it all. I think we deserve it.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Fuck! I haven’t put up a Weekend Crush yet this weekend. Since yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the premiere of “The L Word,” I thought I’d bring out this gem. Yeah, the week back from a vacation is like this. Happy what’s left of the weekend, all.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Ugh. Why is this show not back yet? Not only did Netflix not have the DVD set available in time for the holidays (seriously, gay ladies everywhere are pissed they didn’t get this in their stockings), but they also have not announced the second season premiere date yet. I need something to look forward to, people. It’s January. I need a ray of sunshine to dream about. Even if Alex Vause is only going to be on four episodes. I’ve been Googling toilet wine recipes in your absence. And making duct-tape flip-flops to pass the time. Hell, the other day I browsed the screwdriver aisle at the hardware store. Bottom line, come back show. Come back. Until then, guess I’ll just have to keep watching this gif over and over and over and over and, well, you get the picture.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Monday, January 13, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
Thursday, January 09, 2014
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
So instead of taking my vacation during the holidays, like a normal human being, I am taking belated time off to visit family. I’m leaving my 60-degree California for the freaking frigid Midwest, so please send hot thoughts my way. Or, you know, Katie McGrath’s boobs. Happy vacation, all.
Monday, January 06, 2014
Why did no one tell me sooner how hilarious Laura Benanti is? I feel like the universe has been holding out on me. And by universe I mean you, you people. So, wait, who is Laura Benanti? Actress, singer, Tony Award-winning Broadway star. You will recognize her from “The Playboy Club” and “Go On” and “The Sound of Music Live!” with Carrie Underwood that made us all remember why Julie Andrews is a god among us, the unwashed hordes.
Also. She’s fucking hilarious on the Twitters. In fact, she’s the kind of hilarious that makes me want to be her BFF. Like seriously, she is now in a death-race for the role of my imaginary bestie between Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Poehler. Though the latter already has Tina Fey and the former has, well – you know, the world. So I think I have a shot at this with Laura.
If you’re oblivious, like I was, to what I’m talking about, please witness her Twitter feed @LauraBenanti:
Do people who say "cooking relaxes me" know about not cooking?— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti)January 2, 2014
Just genuinely teared up while listening to "wrecking ball" I'm gonna go turn myself in to the local authorities bye everyone.— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) December 29, 2013
I'm gonna open a gluten free pot brownie business and become a gazillionaire. Just kidding @BarackObama I don't sell drugs.— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) December 29, 2013
Tonight a man on the street gave me his card and told me he was a tree surgeon. Thanks Cupid!!— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) December 29, 2013
WHY HASN'T SHE FILLED ME WITH COOKIES YET WHAT IS HAPPENING I'M SO SCARED OH MY MMNNMM MMNNMMM. NEVER MIND WE'RE GOOD ~my stomach— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti)December 26, 2013
"So. We finally meet." ~my thighs— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) December 26, 2013
Wake me up when grown women are allowed to have pubes again.— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) December 22, 2013
Dancing to Beyonce and feeling pretty good about it until I realized how much I was snapping my fingers. #taketwo— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) December 18, 2013
Hey lady on the train passive aggressively knocking your yoga mat into my apple fritter MESSAGE RECEIVED.— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) December 18, 2013
HEY LOS ANGELES HOPE YOU'RE ENJOYING YOUR SMOOTHIES I JUST RUBBED VASELINE IN MY NOSTRILS pic.twitter.com/HLih3vDKTD— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) December 12, 2013
Also there was the time she for-real stepped into a stranger’s car because she thought it was her Uber driver. Also all those tweets were just from the past month (much to the continued chagrin of her mother). Also it possible to be jealous of a Twitter account? Because I am. I really am.
Right, let me get this straight. She is talented. She is beautiful. She is hilarious. She gives good Tweet. Why is she not on my television constantly? Please, don’t even get me started at the absolute TRAVESTY of canceling “Go On,” because I can’t put TRAVESTY in all caps enough. Hey, TV executive, give Laura and Julie White a TV show immediately. So, as I was saying, Laura Benanti – now you know.
p.s. She also kind of looks like Linda Carter, and you know my feelings about Wonder Woman. Ahem.
Friday, January 03, 2014
So, the first crush of the New Year is fraught with meaning. How you start the first of 52 future crushes sets a tone, you know. Like, you can’t just go crush anyone willy-nilly, right? So, in the face of such pressure, I won’t pick one single person. Instead, I have picked a concept. It’s the undeniably simple concept that movies with women do well at the box office. Consider the evidence. Vocative took the top 50 grossing films in theaters last year and looked at their box office. Turns out, those that passed the Bechdel Test (at least two named female characters who speak to each other about something other than a man) did significantly better than those that did not pass the test. The passing films grossed some $4.22 billion in domestic box office, while those that failed did $2.66 billion. Among the top-grossing test-passing hits “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” ($391 million), “Frozen” ($248 million) and “The Heat” ($160 million). Among the test-failing hits were “Star Trek Into Darkness” ($229 million) and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” ($190 million). And then there were the test-failing duds like “The Lone Ranger” ($89.3 million) and “A Good Day To Die Hard” ($67.3 million).
Bottom line, shut the fuck up about women on screen not selling movie tickets. TV has already figured this shit out. In fact, it’s hard to think of a scripted show that consistently fails the Bechdel Test. It’s simply too unrealistic in the realm of weekly television to create a world where women don’t interact. Yet, for whatever reason, it’s still too often the norm on the big screen. “Pacific Rim” – fail. “Monsters University” – fail. “Anchorman 2” – fail. Do better, movies. I know you can. And for those movies that passed last year, good job, ladies. Now, if we could get some more female directors as well, we might actually be getting somewhere. Happy weekend, all.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
You know how I like to start a new year (well, besides a boxful of puppies)? I like to express a little righteous indignation. And this being the beginning of 2014 and 2014 being an Olympic year, the two naturally come together. I still have mixed feelings about the Sochi Winter Olympics. On the one hand, I love watching the sheer skill of these elite athletes who spend a lifetime working toward this accomplishment. On the other hand, Russia’s oppressive policies toward LGBT people can kiss my big gay ass. So what can we do? Boycott the games, boycott their vodka, boycott winter? I don’t pretend to have the perfect answer. But I do know continuing to shed light on their backward politics is important. And, if we can do that with a little humor and a lot of gay-iety, all the better. So let Kate McKinnon as Billie Jean King be the big gay middle finger of us all. Righteous laughter, indeed. p.s. “Saturday Night Live” should use Kate more. Like, way more. Like, all the time.
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
I can think of no more delightful, no more joyful, no more snuggleful way to start a brand new year than with a box of Corgi puppies. Any year that begins with this much cute certainly can’t be all bad. Here’s looking at a totally adorable 2014. Happy New Year, all.