Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Who Ya Gonna Call Out

Ugh, people sometimes. Sorry, “people” is probably too vague. Yes, people are terrible, a lot. Like the asshole dentist who illegally killed a beloved lion. And the vile lady who shot a “very dangerous” giraffe. And the horrible dude who grilled bacon on the end of his machine gun – who also happens to be running for president. No, I’m not talking about those terrible people. I’m talking about the terrible people who would talk shit about a group of famous ladies visiting sick children in a hospital. That kind of terrible.

Over the weekend the cast of the new “Ghostbusters” reboot – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones – all came in costume to meet with patients at Boston’s Tufts Medical Center and its Floating Hospital for Children. Sounds great, right? Wonderful, yes? No one could possibly think this was a bad thing, eh? WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong. Sometimes my rational brain forgets that sexism exists and then when it rears its ugly, predictable head again I’m like, oh, duh. People are terrible.

So, oh course, after Tufts proudly posted on its Facebook page how great it was for Melissa, Kristen, Kate and Leslie to stop by, its page was deluged by a bunch of dudes who still have their tightie whities in a bunch because an all-female reboot of “Ghostbusters” is being made. Wow, if you can’t let it go long enough to be happy that the days of some kids got brightened (which, by the way, they requested by posting a sign to the “Ghostbusters” cast, who then heeded its call), your life must be incredibly sad.

Please note how no such public outcry happens when the Chris Evans and Chris Pratts of the world (Jesus, Marvel, find a new first name for your lead actors) do similar children’s hospital visits.

Like I was saying, ugh, people. Well the one good thing is each time I see a new cast picture of these ladies running around in their coveralls I get that much more excited for this movie. Who ya gonna call out? Sexist trolls, all day long.

Monday, August 03, 2015

They Flawless

Sometimes all you need is 15 seconds to improve your whole damn day. Heck, maybe even your whole damn week. Thank you Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski and Tina Fey for being so “Flawless.” Not a bad 15 seconds to start off your week. Not at all.

Friday, July 31, 2015

My Weekend Crush

Sometimes I forget how much I love Kate Winslet. Like I really, really, really, really love her. Still, again, sometimes she slips my mind. Perhaps it’s because she has been in a series of smaller movies (well, besides the “Divergent” franchise) which I haven’t seen in the last few years. And perhaps it is because despite being an enormous movie star she tends to keep out of the public eye. Whatever the reason, every time we do get a rare glimpse of her letting her true personality come out I fall in love all over again. She’s just such a cheeky delight.

So this weekend my advice to you is to give yourself a treat and watch her episode of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls.” IN his new series the noted British adventurer, survivalist and drinker of water off elephant poo takes celebrities on an intense two-day trek through the wilderness. Kate’s episode aired week and I cannot recommend it highly enough as a guaranteed mood lifter. It is available at NBC.com or Hulu and probably innumerable other places of slightly more dubious legality. But however you find it do yourself a favor and enjoy. I can’t give away my favorite bits, lest it spoils the joy of discovering them yourself. But the above clip has already widely circulated. And it is just a small taste of what you can expect. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. In case you’re now hooked on the series, Bear will run wild with Michelle Rodriguez in two weeks. Hello.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday

So am I doing this Throwback Thursday thing right? Sorta? How about pictures of celebrities when they were just wee little celebrities? I mean look at wee little Jodie Foster, circa 1884. Sweet merciful Zeus, that hair. Stars – they were once younger, just like us. Granted, some celebrities don’t get older – but that’s another story altogether. Anyway, here are a bunch of our favorite famous folks back in the day. TBT, as the kids say.

Glenn Close & Jennifer Beals, circa 1985
Eighties hair is the gift that keeps on giving.

Queen Latifah, Ingrid Casares & k.d. lang, circa 1990
What I wouldn’t give to have been a big lesbian fly on the wall here.

Natalie Portman, circa 1990
Who would have thought this cute face would grow up to be driven mad by ballet, pick feathers out of her back and have really hot lesbian sex with Mila Kunis. Wait, never mind – I totally see it.

Gillian Anderson, circa 1996
Imagine, just 20 years ago it was perfectly acceptable to wear your bathrobe to the Golden Globes.

Jill Hennessy & Angie Harmon, circa 2000
It’s a “Law & Order” ADA Off and we’re all winners.

Ellen Page & Anna Paquin, circa 2006
Aw, look at them. Before we knew they were both totally queer ladies.

Jennifer Larence & Selma Blair, circa 2008
Four years before Katniss, JLaw proves she was always a huge ham sandwich.

Jodie Foster & Kristen Stewart, circa 2002
People said the casting of K-Stew as Jodie’s daughter was uncanny…

Jodie Foster & Kristen Stewart, circa 1981 & 2000
…Yeah, I don’t see it… KIDDING, obviously.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sweeps Lesbianism Redux

You must remember this. A lesbian kiss is just a kiss. A very special lesbian episode is just a thing to make us sigh. The fundamental things apply, that they won’t stay gay as time goes by.

Ah, yes, Lesbian Kiss Episodes. So many shows have had them. So many shows will no doubt continue to have them – though hopefully with less frequency and sensationalism. Though it’s funny how lesbianism so often seems to break out around Sweeps Week. Must be something about the cycles of the moon.

So now Vulture has handily compiled this video of Lesbian Kiss Episodes. I have to say, it makes me oddly nostalgic.

And, I will actually argue that some of these kisses were actually slightly more than just solely ratings stunts. I mean, sure, the ratings didn’t hurt. But there was actual bravery involved in 1991 when CJ and Abby shared a kiss on “L.A. Law,” because it was also primetime TV’s first-ever female same-sex kiss. Ever.

And the Roseanne kiss was also historic because, while still a one-off, the episode had more to do with homophobia and to show that lesbians – real ones – were actually everywhere. Even in middle America.

Also, as much as I am loathe to defend “The O.C.,” Alex (Olivia Wilde) and Marissa (Mischa Barton) actually kissed a whole bunch of times. And they had an actual relationship, which lasted about two months, with sex and everything. Sure it was short-lived and ended disappointingly for all of its lesbian and bisexual fans, but it wasn’t a just one-off.

So there you have it. So many random lesbian kisses. Which Very Special Lesbian Kiss is your favorite? You know you have one, fess up.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Storyline D.O.A.

Why did Senior Criminalist Susie Chang have to die? Good question, strange question. It’s a question I asked loudly two weeks ago in my recap when the episode first aired. A question we were all basically guessing at wildly for the whole week after it happened…until. Until the actress herself Tina Huang addressed it in an interview with Talk Nerdy With Us last week. So, how was this decision made? Did the actress want out? Had she booked another project? Was Was it anything other than a creative decision by the writers to kill of yet another – albeit this time for less sadly mandatory reasons – longtime character from this series?

So here is Tina’s answer to whether she knew about Susie’s death going into Season 6:

“I actually did. Jan and everybody at TNT handled it so professionally. I knew pretty early on but of course I didn’t want to spoil it for the fans and that was a really difficult secret to keep under wraps. The Susie character is such a fun lovable character that Jan Nash (the show runner) is very, very sensitive about. She called me and we were all really upset to see this character go. At the same time I think the story opens the world up to interesting story lines for the other characters to go through that grieving process. I knew pretty early on. The writers and directors of the episode called me and we all spoke privately.”
So, there you have it. It was a creative choice by the writers. Siiiiigh.

Writers have every right to write whatever stories they want. But the decision by a show built largely on cast chemistry to kill off another recurring, and – may I also say – beloved, character kind of baffles me. Yes, I get this is could be some big arc they want to have about grieving. But, dude, we already did that – and in very real, very sad life with Det. Barry Frost. So unless her death is part of a larger mystery that becomes a overarching plot this season, I just don’t get it.

Also, if her death was so integral to this season, why in the very next episode afterward, was there not one single, solitary mention of her, her passing or her absence from the crime lab? Hey, this person we supposedly like, respect and see every day in the office was murdered. Let’s all eat zeppole and ignore it!

Maybe they’ll get back to it this week. The writing staff was actually extremely sensitive and respectful in its handling of Lee Thompson Young’s unexpected death last season. But, then again, that makes me wonder why they want to revisit such a similarly emotional storyline. We’ve seen these people grieve – and for horrible real reasons. Why do it to us again?

The other thing about this decision that really drives me nuts is its essential halves the show’s diversity. Now we only have poor Nina Holiday to carry the torch. And – whether intentionally or not – they’ve basically added a white male while taking away a woman of color from the cast. Now the addition of Kent Drake to the crime lab smacks of a replacement for Susie Chang. And, as an Asian-American woman myself, I hate to see another character like Susie go. There are so few of us already. Why not give us our own (living) storylines instead of making our deaths catalysts for storylines in other (white) characters?

Like I was saying, siiiigh. Who knows, maybe it’ll all pay out fine. But for now, I’m left wondering what possible “interesting story lines” could be opened by these developments that seem worth this loss.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Last Girl

Oh, yes. Oh, no. No, but also yes. Yes, but also no. It’s the beginning of the for-real end of “Lost Girl.” I can’t really express my feelings. I’m excited to see how this story ends. I’m so sad this story had to end. So sad. Still not over it. But, alas, chin up. We soldier on. And we’ll analyze on as well with the very first new trailer for the final episodes. So let’s dive right in with six off-the-cuff reactions to the new footage.

1) The last eight episodes all take part in a discotheque?

2) Who knew Greek gods wore Vera Bradley?

3) Imma miss that overuse of eyeliner, I really am.

4) If Dyson gets to meet dad, Lauren better, too. Or, wait, maybe not – all things considered.


6) Is that Elektra?

7) Bo + Kenzi + Big Grassy Field = Guaranteed Epicness.

p.s. Don’t worry, I totally realize all that Lauren and Tamsin footage is old. Sneaky, sneaky, Showcase.

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Weekend Crush

So I know by now – as a good gay lady – you’ve heard the good news about this rumored “Xena: Warrior Princess” reboot. Cue an “Ayiyiyiyiyiyi!” war cry of joy. While Lucy Lawless herself has weighed in to say it’s more wishful thinking than done deal, it’s still something to dream about. And it’s worth getting our hopes up to hear that original series producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi are in on the very, very, very (very, very, very) early stages of some sort of reboot. Also, Lucy has already expressed interest in reprising her character. Time for an even louder “Ayiyiyiyiyiyi!” war cry of joy.

But here’s the part about these very (very, very, very) initial talks for a reboot that troubles me. It has been described as a “modern reboot.” On it’s face that isn’t terribly troubling, until you think about what “modern” reboot really means. Either a) Xena won’t be set in ancient times with the Greek gods and whatnot, or – and much more likely – b) Xena won’t be played by Lucy Lawless, but a more “modern” (code for “younger”) actress.

Look, I get the need to appeal to new generations of fans and all that. I really do. But I also think if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And there’s nothing broken about Lucy. At 47 she is still plenty primed to play a warrior princess. Yet, by Hollywood standards for women, not so much. Yet at 67 Arnold Schwarzenegger is still considered plenty spry enough to reprise his role as the Terminator. And at 61 Sylvester Stallone is still considered plenty buff enough to play Rambo. Heck, even her male co-stars from the series around the same age – and even older – are still getting major starring roles in film and TV (57-year-old Bruce Campbell in the new “Ash vs. Evil,” 43-year-old Karl Urban in the “Star Trek” franchise, “Almost Human,” “Dredd,” “The Loft”).

Please allow Xena herself to respond to that kind of sexist bullshit.

All these arguments go for the return of Renee O'Connor, as well. Oh, don’t worry, I’d never forget about Gabrielle.

Look, like any respectable lesbian with a television set, I’ve watched my fair share of Xena episodes. I can’t say I’ve seen them all (or loved them all), but I have caught enough to have a true appreciation for all its campy, woman-powery, crazy-pantys glory. The key, always, to this show was it did not take itself too seriously, but it never underestimated the talent (and charisma) of its stars. So it took a special star like Lucy to bring it all together.

And, of course, there was all that glorious nudge-nudge, wink-wink lesbian subtext. So. Much. Subtext. The one modern reboot to the series I would appreciate is a transformation from subtext to maintext. While Ellen’s “Yep, I’m Gay” heard around the world happened during the show’s run, there were no other shows featuring lesbian leading characters. Xena went off the air three years before “The L Word” even started. But now, it’s a whole different time and a far more accepting society. So that kind of modernity, yeah, I’d love to see that. Not that I didn’t appreciate all the recurring “fish” jokes. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Yes, I’m aware Xena died, or whatever, at the end of the series. Like that ever stopped a fictional character from coming back ever.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Same Love

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time you know I get really, really, really excited about a few things. Tina Fey. Tank tops. Pretty ladies. And the “Freeheld” movie. Last fall I got excited about a picture of some dirty hands. Dirty hands! Then earlier this year Lionsgate won a fevered bidding war to release the long-in-the-coming feature film based on the Oscar-winning documentary short of the same name. According to The Hollywood Reporter they beat out Focus Features, Sony Pictures Classics and Netflix in the based on a “12-minute sizzle reel.”

Ever since then we’ve been waiting – rather impatiently – for the official trailer to be released. Hey, this thing has been kicking around since 2008. We’re allowed to get a little pushy at this point. I’ve waxed on already about the potential for this film. This could, at long last, be the lesbian mainstream crossover film we’ve been waiting for.

So now it’s finally here – courtesy an exclusive premier on Buzzfeed – and we can judge for ourselves.

So how about that sizzle? You can head on over to Women & Hollywood today for my more thorough analysis of the trailer. The only question is how many hankies this movie will take to get through. (I say 3 to 6.) They’re certainly playing up the inspirational message (complete with uplifting soundtrack). And while there might be a tendency to see this sort of story as quaint, given the recent US Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, it’s as important now as ever to recognize what it took to get here.

It took the bravery of people like Laurel and Stacie to get here. It took people refusing to allow the world to treat their love as different to get here. And it will take the continued hard work, passion and dedication of everyone to ensure all of our rights.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What Doesn't Tig Us Makes Us Stronger

So if you’re wondering what you should stream on Netflix (we all know you’ve already watched all the lesbian movies – even the ones with subtitles) you should definitely head over to the documentary section. Because there you’ll find “Tig,” the new doc about out comic Tig Notaro. Now, I have a full review over at Women & Hollywood (yep, I’m still writing for them – you can read some other past posts here, here, here and so on if so inclined).

But one of the things I’d like to expound on is how nonchalantly Tig’s sexuality is handled in the film. And, if you think about it, that’s fairly remarkable for a documentary about an out gay person. No drawn-out discussion of her coming out. No tortured discussion of her grappling with her sexual orientation. It’s just a statement of fact and then we move on to the things almost everyone deals with in life – finding love, wanting kids, dealing with mortality. It’s so refreshing, it really is.

As for the rest of the movie, it’s an intimate look at how someone rises from the ashes of what has to be the hardest year of her life. Yet it also has a light touch despite the tragedy that befell its subject. And, actually, it’s a sly love story. I won’t ruin it for you, but I will recommend it to you.