Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Wilderness at Heart 2

How have we not discussed this trailer yet? Though, am I the only one annoyed by the addition of Elijah Wood? Like, I get it, shows add people in new seasons. But did it have to be a famous dude? Now his hobbity face and placid eyes will be all up in my female wilderness trauma and it just annoys me. Granted, things didn’t work out so well for Adam last season. So, if that’s the plan I will withdraw my previous complaint. But, yeah, can’t we just focus on having a phenomenal female cast for once?

Anyway, I don’t really know what’s in store for this new season. I mean we’ve already had murder, mystical woodland rituals, bear death and human popsicles, with heavy hinting at cannibalism. Speaking of new males, the trailer seems to show us a beardy fellow who might meet an untimely demise. So if in the end the person they eat is some rando forest dude instead of one of their team, honestly, I’d be here for that energy. I’m also very much here for the trailer showing off their casting department’s skill. Like, look at this masterful casting, just LOOK!

But, as a lesbian…supporter, I’m mostly here for the reunion between Taissa and Van. We got the Adult Van we wanted in Lauren Ambrose, and if you aren’t excited to watch former high school lesbian sweethearts turned wilderness survivors/possible cannibals who reunite as adults politicians/possible nerd store owners, well, it’s like we never survived a plane crash in the Canadian Rockies together or something.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Just A Wilderness Girl

Welcome to Yellowjackets week, where we rejoice in all things Yellowjackets before the show’s premiere this weekend. As one of the few new shows with queer female leads to survive the Cancel Your Gays purge (pour one out for “Willow,” the lastest victim), I can’t emphasize enough how much I want this series to succeed in its second season. And I also can’t emphasize enough how cool this cover of No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” is by Florence + The Machine. Now I’m just a girl who is a big fan of slowed down, creepified covers (see: why I watched “Stalker” much longer than I should have). So this fits the bill and then some. Plus, how can you resist the adorable cast in character lip syncing for their life? Hell yeah, ladies, let’s go eat some people in the frozen wilderness together. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, March 17, 2023

My Weekend (Lesbian Party Bus) Crush

Ladies, gentlemen, thems and theys, we have a new “dance like nobody's watching”-goal to aspire to. Let us all enjoy this weekend like celesbians on a Lesbian Party Bus. Now, you may ask, what is a Lesbian Party Bus? Well, it’s a bus filled with famous lesbians, their significant others and closest friends. In short, it’s a Lesbian Party Bus. Thanks to an exhaustive and masterful display of journalisming over at Autostraddle, we know all of the LPB participants. A quick rundown includes celesbian couples Sarah Paulson & Holland Taylor, Tig Notaro & Stephanie Allynne, and Abby Wambach & Glennon Doyle. Also on board were Allison Janney, Carla Gallo, “The Fosters” alum Sherri Saum, “The Talk” co-host Amanda Kloots, director Lee Rose, and a coupla requisite dudes. Again, you can see how this wildly interesting pack is all connected here. But I just want to say if I every have the occasion to rent a party bus and pack it with a host of my most dear and talented friends, you’d better fucking believe we’re going to do a drunken singalong to “Closer to Fine.” This is perhaps the most relatable any celesbian has ever been. Party like you’re on the Lesbian Party Bus, kittens. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The End of Us

Spoilers: I will be discussing the first season finale of “The Last of Us” in full. If you haven’t watched and don’t wanna know, stop reading. I have lots of women in tank tops for you to enjoy instead. Or, read it and know the insidious ravages of time will no doubt make you forget whatever you read once you finally get around to watching anyway. Your call. We’re all adults (probably, and to any Youths welcome but be aware I’m just a middle-aged lesbian who likes to yell at my TV while I watch my stories).

Well, at least they got to pet some giraffes. As a non-gamer, I didn’t know what was coming for us at the end of the first season of “The Last of Us.” Instead I watched silently as the show became a first-person shooter in the name of love. The moral ambiguity of killing good (or at least goodish) people to save someone you love is one most of us don’t like to think about too much. It’s the old trolley problem, but with your significantiest someone tied to the other train tracks. So, like, we all deeply get what Joel did. (And, don’t get me started on the dubiousa-at-best saving the world science that put Ellie on those metaphorical tracks.)

But, here’s the other thing, we all deeply get that things will never be the same, either. Ellie (who Bella Ramsey continues to play beyond brilliantly) was a different person in the finale than the rest of the season. The trauma she endured thanks to the Bible-Thumping Pedo Cannibal cult clearly left a deep psychological mark, as those kinds of horrors are wont to do. This is not to say she didn’t go through terrible things before, like her finale revelation that she had to kill her best friend/first love Riley when she went all rabid mushroom. (Thank goodness for the small mercies of sparing us that scene, show. Truly.)

So when Ellie asks Joel if he told her the truth about what happened at the Firefly hospital, she knows he’s lying to her. And he probably knows she knows he is lying. But that’s what happens sometimes when you love someone, you lie to them.

Part of what has made TLOU such great television is the at times grim and other times grimly glorious mirror it has held up to our humanity. Our instinct for survival, at any cost. The weight and wonder of human connection. The power of loss and reverberation of trauma. We’ve watched a father become a father again. A teenager finds the parent she never had. So many people die. Good people. Bad people. Mushroom people. And an indifferent world that just keeps on spinning.

In the end, this might be the show that makes me not want to survive a zombie apocalypse. Because what’s left of the world seems made for people made of harder stuff than me. I don’t know if I have the right combination of luck and ruthlessness to succeed at the end of the world. Or maybe, I just don’t have the motivation anymore. Love makes you do the wacky, or as according to TLOU lore, you keep going for family.

I hope the next season brings us more beauty and heartbreak from this found family. May it keep giving us reasons to look toward the light amid all the relentless darkness. And, well, at least we know for sure it’ll be gay.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Second Inning, Sorta

Let’s all experience a roller coaster together. “A League of Their Own” has been renewed! Wheee! Amazon Prime has agreed to a second and final season for the series. OK, not sure why they have to be so final about it, but grateful still. And it will only be four episodes long. What the? Oh, and none of that is actually finalized yet, so probably keep hounding Amazon Prime maybe!?!?!?!?

So that was yesterday afternoon’s roller coaster of queer lady emotions. Yay, the show we love is coming back, fine, it’s for a final season, shit, made up of only four episodes, what, and maybe not even that or maybe more? Anyway, keep bugging Amazon Prime is what I heard out of all of this so I am dutifully doing that.

But mostly I’m just tired. I’m tired of having to beg for good things. I’m tired of queer women and POC’s stories being treated as niche and unmarketable. I’m tired of having to fight and scrap for the continuation of unquestionably good things (it has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes for crying out loud — by comparison “The Last of Us” which has been heavily touted and critically lauded has a 96% rating). I’m tired of any programming that isn’t default made for a white cis het male audience being generally ignored, under promoted and outright cancelled. I’m just damn tired.

But I guess if four more episodes is all we get, well, you’d better believe we’re going to make the most out of them. And I have faith that Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham will treat these women, their lives and these stories with the respect and dignity and joy they deserve. Let’s play ball, even if only for a little while longer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Everything Oscars All At Once

I’ll admit, somewhere toward the middle of the more than three-and-a-half affair when the German War Movie was picking up technical award after technical award, I started to worry. But Everything Everywhere was All At Once Oscars. Asian Excellence for the win! And the show went off without a single case of on-stage millionaire-on-millionaire violence. So, uh, progress?

While I thought the telecast was overall a tad dull and none of the bits landed with much more than a sensible chuckle (well, other than when Hugh Grant — who had previously given one of the most intentionally caddish red carpet interviews I’ve ever seen— rightfully compared his face to a scrotum), I was generally pretty pleased with the winners. Michelle Yeoh! Ke Huy Quan! The Daniels! Yes, I was rooting for Angela Bassett to do the thing (or perhaps for Stephanie Hsu to pull off the dark bagel upset). Yes, I’m happy for Brendan Fraser even though “The Whale” ain’t it. And what did I tell you about Sarah Polley? (She also happened to be one of the only notable female stars at the Oscars in a tuxedo, so a grateful Lesbian Nation thanks her for her service.)

Other than that, the blah beige “champagne” carpet set the style tone. Given that I watch this show every year in sweatpants and a hoodie, I really don’t have anything substantive to say other than these folks sure are nice to look at. So here are the rest of my extremely queer observations from Hollywood’s biggest night. The Good, the Gay and the SGALGG from this year’s Academy Awards.

Angela Bassett & Michelle Yeoh

This is the moment that made the AP go Horny on Main.
And, honestly, can you blame them? Because *low whistle*

Cate Blanchett

Cate recycling her luxury hotel curtains to make an elegant drapey top for the Oscars feels like the ultimate admission that she was rooting for Michelle this whole time too.

Stephanie Hsu & Everyone Everywhere All At Once

getting hit on by Florence Pugh
getting armtime with Angela
making the edibles kick in with David Byrne
and finally getting a (loving) talking to from Mother Evelyn

Florence Pugh & Her Bed Sheets

I like Flo a lot. And I too would prefer to show up at formal events in my fitted sheet and shorts with pockets.
You also have to give her bonus points for changing into her duvet for the after party. Extra double bonus points for hitting on Daughter/Stephanie and Mother/Michelle in the same night, too.

Sarah Polley

Honestly, I would wear exactly the same thing if I ever went to the Oscars. So the Relatability Queen wins again.

Jessica Chastain

The only celebrity to wear a mask all evening.
Also, she got to hold hands with Halle Berry and hug Michelle Yeoh so who is the real winner here?

The Female Torso

If the blah carpet’s signature color was bridal white, the Vanity Fair afterparty’s theme was Gray’s Anatomy. Cause you got an anatomy lesson from all the exposed rib cages, upper abs, lower abs and bra-like offerings on display at the after parties.

And now, onto the GGALGG:

Ariane DeBose & someone’s upset husband

Janelle Monae & someone who isn’t Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson & Flo & the Duvet Cover
Cara Delevingne & Jamie Lee Curtis
Rebel Wilson & fiancée Ramona Agruma
Sarah Paulson & Queen Latifah
Don’t worry, Dana actually brought Eboni Nichols as her date.
Olivia Wilde, Sarah, Tracee Ellis Ross, Holland Taylor, The Queen
I don’t even know how to describe this other than some kind of Lesbian Moonie Wedding Ceremony.

Sharon Stone, Sarah, Holland, Sienna Miller & Patricia Clarkson

And then this is, obviously, the reception where they’re recruiting for more Queer Sister Wives, duh.

Still, I think the best moment from the whole night was Halle Berry, the first woman of color to ever win a Best Actress Oscar, handing the first Asian woman and second woman of color ever to win her Oscar. That and Michelle, Halle and Jessica walking off like this. Women. I sure do like us.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Music Monday: Still Our Girls

If you’re looking for the best way to spend 22 minutes this Monday you can’t find a better endeavor than the Indigo Girls Tiny Desk Concert. I got to see our Girls last year during Pride Month, having not seen them since well before the pandemic. And recently, while going through boxes of shit containing remnants of my life, I found a ticket stub from 1995 for one of their shows (though not the first I saw, but sadly I think that ticket has been lost to time). So, yes, I’m a damn fan. I think one of my favorite things about following a band over the decades like this is to see, and especially hear, their progression. Yes, Emily and Amy’s voices have changed. But those changes are earned and it’s a privilege to witness time work its mysteries on your favorite artist. So enjoy. And singalong because we know you know the words. Happy Monday, kittens.

p.s. Plenty of Oscar talk coming later this week. Plenty.

p.s.s. Plenty of TLOU talk coming later this week too. More than plenty.

Friday, March 10, 2023

My Weekend Crush

I have no idea who the Sparks are, and honestly don’t really care. But I do care about Cate Blanchett dancing around in headphones and a banana-yellow suit for 3 uninterrupted minutes. While it is living against my own grain (hello, Carol reference), I will not be rooting for Cate this Sunday at the Oscars. First, she’s already got two shiny, naked golden men at home. And second, yeah, gotta give it up for Michelle Yeoh this award season. I rewatched EEAAO for the third time earlier this month and it still deserves all the awards — it deserves the everything bagel of awards, but in a good way. But back to Cate and her Elaine dancing. I have, again, no idea the backstory to this and actually don’t really care. I just like the thought of one of the greatest actresses of our generation and an iconic lesbian crush object zany dancing for our pleasure. Also, I think queer women should turn the Cate Crying in Her Latte dance into a thing like the Wednesday TikTok dance. Let’s go, lesbians, let’s go. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Out in the Wilderness

Gotta love those Gen Z stars. If yesterday was all about my Gen X feelings, today is about the exuberant joy of Gen Z-er Jasmin Savoy Brown’s coming out. The “Yellowjackets” and “Scream” star launched her new relationship on Instagram, which is now unfortunately a thing across generations but I digress. What I like about Jasmin’s post is the unbridled joy/sweet lady kisses with which she declares her new love, Anouk. I don’t know anything about Anouk, but Jasmin’s lipstick sure looks good on her. May your life be an endless parade of les bisous français, my dear. Welcome to the family. Unfortunately Ellen was in charge of toaster ovens, and she’s retired. But, you know, have one in spirit.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Fade into Kelly

Time for a mid-week music break. While nothing can compare to the beautiful melancholy of Hope Sandoval’s “Fade Into You,” Kelly Clarkson acquits herself more than respectably on this timeless Mazzy Star classic. The grip this song has on my Gen X heart cannot be denied. Let’s get dreamy together, kittens.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Back from Somewhere

I just finished a rewatch of this hilarious, heartfelt show that lovingly embraces the families we make for ourselves wherever we find ourselves — in this case in the corn fields of middle America. So I am beyond thrilled that this understated show got a second season starting soon. I truly hope more people start to watch. Not just because that will mean possibly a third season for me to watch (let us hope against hope in this streaming economy — also there are queers in this show so how it escaped the last Cancel Your Gays purge is beyond me), but also because this kind of big-hearted storytelling is truly lovely. And, honestly, more people could use more of that in this world. Welcome back. show, for everybody everywhere.

Monday, March 06, 2023

Music Monday: Monday Murmurs

How the fuck is it already the first Monday of March? How about we give the rapid progression time the greeting it deserves instead? As in, you suck! Kidding. Sort of. Not entirely. But how better to celebrate the world as we know it eventually getting swallowed by the sun than to flash back to younger, more heady days. Now, I knew all about Lesiha Hailey before she ever charted on “The L Word” from both her truly great 1997 lesbian movie “All Over Me” (that soundtrack still lives happily rent-free in my head) and also from her truly fun 90s band band The Murmurs (with Heather Grody). I picked up “Pristine Smut” on a whim in a bargain bin, and instantly fell in love. And then, well, I was a fan for life. This was also around the time Leisha and k.d. lang because perhaps the first celesbian couple — though of course k.d. was much more famous at the time. This was before Ellen and Anne (R.I.P.), and well before Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels. But just look at those adorable baby gays. Seems both like a second ago and a lifetime away. Suck it, time! Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, March 03, 2023

My Weekend (Age-Appropriate) Crush

The older I get the more truly great acting impresses me. It’s not just the mimicry, which while an undeniable skill isn’t what makes great acting great. It’s the ability to tap deeply into the emotions behind the movements. The power to make the make believe real through nothing more than a performance is a special kind of witchcraft. And, damn, if that doesn’t make Bella Ramsey the best kind of witch (not worst, see what I did there since they used to be on “Worst Witch”…Fine, I’ll see myself out).

As an avowed lover of apocalypse/disaster art, I’ve loved “The Last of Us” almost more than seems healthy. And I’ve loved it, in large part, because of the stunning work by Bella and Pedro Pascal as Ellie and Joel. While the show can be unbearably tense at times (and given me a whole new fearsome appreciation of mushrooms), what has impressed me perhaps the most is how well Bella has been able to tap into the universality of being a teenager in an impossible situation.

At 19, the nonbinary actor is utterly, heartbreakingly, unmistakably believable as a teenager just trying to stay alive in an apocalyptic hellscape. They can be totally annoying one second, totally terrified the next and cracking bad dad jokes when it’s all over. Bella’s Ellie feels real. You’ve met teens like this. Maybe you were a teen like this. But you never had to face faceless fungus monsters or ruthless murderous raiders. That push-pull of their character as she navigates an insane world while continuing to be a smart alecky teen on one side and a terrified child on the other — with the added pressure of the whole saving the world things on top of all that — makes Ellie as poignant as heroines get.

But then, we knew Bella was something special since their days as Lady Lyanna Mormont on Game of Thrones. While I can’t help but look back at that series through the lens of its maddeningly disappointing ending, Bella’s work as the tiny, fearless leader of the Bear Islands is among the show’s most memorable. Lady Mormont was one of the few killed off characters to get a proper hero’s death. And I’ll forever associate Bella with that “Go, little rock star” energy.

One of the other more refreshing things about Bella is their very Gen Z-esque “get used to it” attitude about sexuality and gender identity. They’ve come out as nonbinary (without, they’ve said, true pronoun preference choice). They’ve also revealed they wore a binder during much of “The Last of Us” filming. And that they’ve had many good conversations with Pedro (who has a trans sister) about gender and sexuality, which is all kinds of lovely and obviously shows in their onscreen chemistry.

Of the queer storylines on the show (including the Bill & Frank episode which no one has recovered from emotionally and the upcoming storylines around Ellie’s relationship with Dina — who everyone is pretty sure we caught a brief glimpse of in Episode 6), Bella is gratefully blunt. They told GQ magazine this about backlash to the queer storylines in TLOU games and series:

“I’m not particularly anxious about it. I know people will think what they want to think. But they’re gonna have to get used to it. If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, that’s on you, and you’re missing out.”
Like I said, go little rock star. And, on a totally superficial note, I’m loving their red carpet and photoshoot styles recently. In an appreciative way, not a lecherous way because I am An Old and 19 is just waywayway too young to even think about in that way. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Honestly, I’m not even going to dignify the “Bella’s not attractive enough to play Ellie” troll comments that were spawned by their casting because this is a character that’s supposed to be 14 years old WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU THAT YOU WANT TO GET A BONER FROM THE CASTING OF A TEENAGE PART.

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Gender Fuck Thursday: SGALGG at SAG Edition

I didn’t watch the SAG Awards because I think they only streamed on YouTube or something really annoying (like, I still have cable and couldn’t figure out how to watch them at all and have never felt more like an Old trying to find My Stories on the lightbox). Anyway, apparently some really cool shit happened like James Hong yelling “Look at us now!” to the racist Hollywood history against Asian actors and Jamie Lee Curtis planting that Totally Gratuitous, Totally Gay KISS on Michelle Yeoh before her acceptance repertoire (because, really, why not shoot your shot) and Michelle saying “FUCK!” when she won and Cate Blanchett generally existing. But I also felt it was important to acknowledge, for lesbian history, that this moment happened. It was an intentional Chessy and Meredith Blake from “The Parent Trap” reunion at the SAG Awards, and Lisa Ann Walter and Elaine Hendrix are working the hell out of the moment. And while that movie came out a little past my prime “This is My Root” years, I understand its cultural significance to Our Peoples (especially Queer Lady Millennials of a Certain Age). We respect all generations and all eras of respectful lusting here at Surrenders. Plus, while these two are admittedly not queer, boy howdy is this image of them together on the red carpet sure the gay as fuck. Like, Lisa and Elaine are working the hellooo gorgeous of their respective outfits. Forget gay prom, this is giving Lesbian Met Ball.
Also, because I understand Millennials's enduring love for this femslash, please enjoy Lisa and Elaine happily modeling their butch-femme “just roommates” dynamic through the decades.


Seems they perfected their power butch-femme roles early.


Major casual “gal pals” going for after work drinks in the early 2010s vibes here.


Look, sometimes they switch it up, but someone’s gotta wear a blazer of some sorts — even if it’s shiny.