Thursday, December 12, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: JLo Edition

I don’t know what otherworldly magics/incredible genes/hard work Jennifer Lopez is employing, but damn is it workings. I mean, dayuuuuum. She hosted “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend and legit the first three sketches were all about how attractive she is. I am in no way kidding. About her attractiveness or the redundancy of the sketches. But then, she did come out to do her opening monologue in this tuxedo.

Which then turned into some high kicks with The Rockettes.

Which then turned into her wearing That Green Dress.

So, then, I guess I can’t blame the SNL writers for being redundant. JLo is just that damn hot.

p.s. I finally saw “Hustlers” and she is very, very good in this movie. And, no, I’m not just talking about that dance scene.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Flirty Lesbian Dancing

So late last month a clip went viral from “Flirty Dancing,” a British dating show that has two strangers meet on a blind date and instead of getting dinner they perform an elaborate choreographed dance together. Yes, you read that right. The viral clip featured a gay male couple dancing it up for love. Not to be left out, the show recently had a lesbian couple on - Faye and Sarah. And, kittens, it looked amazing. AMAZING.Faye even calls herself The Gay Bridget Jones. And (spoilers) they decided to go on another date. Basically we all just witnessed the meet-cute lesbian rom-com of our dreams.

p.s. Of course, there’s going to be an American version coming to Fox which we’ll bollocks up somehow. I just hope it has gay couples, too. But from the 30-second preview, it looks incredibly straight. Please, they know that dancing is our thing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Like, Totally Wonder Woman

That was – as the kids in 1984 would say – totally tubular. The new “Wonder Woman”/”Stranger Things” trailer has me all jazzed to jump in my DeLorean and go to the mall. I have no idea how Steve Trevor is back, and still young and hot. And I’m not fooled by Kristen Wiig, that woman is a Cheetah in nerd’s clothing. I thought “Wonder Woman” was an excellent superhero movie – one of my favorites. And with Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot teaming up again my hopes are just as high.

And the trailer even gives us a tantalizing glimpse of Themyscira. Though, with all due respect to the cowbell, this trailer needs more Amazons. But then, really, everything could use more amazon. Bitchin’ soundtrack though. And this new battle armor is so freakin rad. So rad.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Post-L: Let Me Have It

So, what did you think? I thought we’d take a little space to process because it’s called “The L Word” after all and that’s what lesbians do. So, did you like it? Did you hate it? Was it a big meh for you? Or were you just so happy to see Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig all having brunch together again?

I have rewatched the first three episodes multiple times now...for science. And, yeah, I like it. It’s not terrible or a disaster or horrendous - which is always a plus. The tone is definitely a little different - less soapy, less campy and as a result a little less fun (at least for now). But I appreciate the relative lack of ridiculous, nonsensical drama (i.e. basically every Jenny storyline) for now. And I feel it’s making an earnest effort to be inclusive (though, still no hard butches and not a lot of varying body types because, you know, Hollywood).

You can read my full review here, if you haven’t already. So, have at it. I want to hear it. Is Generation Q for you?

p.s. I still hate the name, but you know I’m cranky that way.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Pre-L: Let's Do It Again

Here we go, lesbians (and bisexuals and trans folks a d gender queers and nonbinary people and curious straight ladies and all the rest of the gay alphabet). It’s baaaaaaaack! In this era of the reboot and revival, it only makes sense for “The L Word” to return. But, of course, it remains to be seen how “essential” queer women find the show now 10 years after it left the air. I can remember it being played in gay clubs and lesbian bars. (Remember lesbians bars? Sigh.) But now, with so much more TV to watch and many more LGBTQ characters incorporated into other shows, the hunger for lesbian representation – while in no way sated – is somewhat less ravenous. But the built-in affection we feel for the core characters, at least for me, is no less insatiable. So I’m tickled to see these women on my television again, like hugging and old friend you’ve lost touch with for a decade but used to spend every waking moment with when you were younger.

Now, the only question – beside, of course, whether you like it – is whether my Pre-L writing muscles are still in any kind of shape. We shall see on both. So without further adoing, the return of Pre-Ls. As always, spoilers. And NSFW because this is a show about women who do it – finally.

1. I told it started with a wham, bam, Tampon ma’am.

2. Are underarm merkins a thing? Someone call Stacy “Vagina Wig” Merkin to check.

3. Bette’s house did a glow-up.

4. I’d say the same of Bette, but we all know Bette has always glowed.

5. And Angie, well, she just did a grow-up.

6. What does “Bette on Porter” mean? Is Porter a new hot carpenter?

7. Look, I can’t believe I’m Mrs. Mom-ing either, but here we are.

8. Shane…

… gotta Shane.

9. No, I don’t know why I’m a hairstylist and I still have the same haircut 10 years later either. Just hug me.

10. So, does anyone miss Jenny? No? No. Got it.

11. Straight Bette Porter mention, everybody drink!

12. When Gay Bette Porter…

…blows up your whole damn world.

13. Does Elizabeth Warren have these kinds of problems?

14. Helena? Max? Tasha? I have no idea who you’re talking about.

15. When the show left the air 10 years ago, LGBTQ people couldn’t legally get married. Change happens when we make it happen.

16. But we can still get legally fired for being LGBTQ in 28 states. So, yeah, change can be slow as fuck too.

17. I sure hope that coffee doesn’t taste like poopy shit.

18. Recasting Alice with Harry Caray was a bold artistic choice.

19. That face. That face is worth waiting 10 years for.

p.s. The Pre-Ls will continue as long as the screeners continue. So fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: The Doctor Edition

Well, now, the Doctor definitely has my attention. The new season of “Doctor Who” returns New Year’s Day and I can’t wait. And not just because the Thirteenth Doctor is back sporting a tuxedo (with, I think, culottes?) Never the less, Jodie Whittaker has been a true delight. And the multiple companions actually kinda worked. Also, did I mention there’s a tuxedo?

Right, sorry, more reasons to cheer for the new season, it has added three new female writers and two new female directors. For what it’s worth previous Who showrunner Russell T Davies only had three women write/direct during his entire five-year run on the series. So, like I was saying, more reasons to be happy in 2020. Well, that, and we get to ride in The Doctor’s box which *eyebrow wiggle* What? Sorry, it was right there and she did put on a tuxedo so clearly I had no choice.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Kamala For the People

Dammit. Just Dammit. While I have not officially endorsed a Democratic candidate for president in 2020 yet, but I sure had favorites. And Kamala Harris was one of those favorites. And dammit if I’m not bereft that now I won’t get to make my own decision, because she has had to drop out of the race.

Look, I like Kamala for more reasons than just that she is the living embodiment of Straight Bette Porter. And that she is a snappy dresser. But because she’s a strong, uncompromising leader who does not mince words and speaks with a moral clarity the world could use a whole lot more of right now.

People will say her campaign never truly caught on. But the truth is as a black woman with mixed-race background and – again – a black woman, she had so many obstacles to overcome to even make it to the same stage as her largely white and male counterparts. Because, kittens, misogynoir is real. The additional hurdles to being taken seriously, raising money, getting volunteers, attracting the fickle attentions of the national media, etc. etc. etc.

Still there she was, doing so well. So well in fact that it shocked, shocked, some DC and political press when she came out guns blazing in the first debate. But then, after that initial hubbub, then the national press was on to The Next Big (Preferably White and Male) Thing. Look, don’t get me wrong. I am totally Vote Blue No Matter Who-ing in 2020*. But this isn’t 2020, this is the primary. And, without taking any gratuitous kill shots, it’s fine to disagree at this stage.

So let’s speak truth. The difference between the female candidate’s treatment by the press and the male candidate’s treatment is impossible to ignore. It’s that old, unfortunately incredibly true adage that men are judged on their potential, women on their past performance.

A woman like Kamala gets picked apart and dismissed in part because she has a long, storied career in politics. And, as a black woman, people are quick to believe the worst of her instead of imagining the best. But a man like Pete Buttigieg, who has never even won a statewide election and won his last local city election with 8,515 votes total, is somehow a visionary for the party? By contrast Kamala has never received fewer than 114,000 total votes in any of her city, state or federal elections. In case you were wondering, the total population of South Bend? 107,000 people. Total. Meanwhile Kamala won her senate seat with 5,265,653 votes.

Here’s the thing. Our political system, and really our whole damn country, is at a crossroads. Either we have an electoral system that represents the people, or we have an electoral system that allows the wealthiest to buy power and the minority to rule the majority. I mean, Hillary won by 3 million votes but here we fucking are.

How are billionaires like Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg still in this race buy Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand are out?

It’s maddening, made terrifying because of the prospect of another four years of that orange monster.

I don’t know how 2020 will play out. But I know, no matter what, we’re better having had Kamala in this fight. And I have no doubt that she will continue to fight. I guess the only consolation we have is that in a few days we’ll have Gay Bette Porter back. And, you know, it’s not like Kamala is going anywhere. That’s my Senator, after all.

*Again, not Tulsi. She’s a republican and a perhaps unwitting, perhaps not useful idiot for the Russians**.
** Seriously, one Tulsi stan, we get it. Stop coming here if you want me to write nice things about her, because she doesn’t deserve it.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

The Look

With “The L Word” coming back, the unabashed portrayal of female desire – that is women desiring other women – is back on our screens. And while the show definitely starts with a wham, bam, tampon ma’am, the act itself isn’t all there is. Far from it. In fact, one of the sexist parts of sex is the seduction. Especially when you can see the desire in her eyes. And then there’s The Look. Oh, you know The Look. You love The Look. The Look is definitely one of the Top 3 reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Especially if The Look looks you up and down. I just... *bites lip forever* So here, in honor so The Look being back on our screens, please enjoy some classic looks.

Wendy & Kay, Mindhunter

Anne & Ann, Gentleman Jack

Villanelle & Eve, Killing Eve

Ronit & Esti, Disobedience

Fleabag & Belinda, Fleabag

Therese & Carol, Carol

Monday, December 02, 2019

TV Review: The L Word: Generation Q

[Warning: Mild spoilers for the women who long, love, lust.]

The ladies who love talking, laughing, loving, breathing, fighting, fucking, crying, drinking, riding, winning, losing, cheating, kissing, thinking, and dreaming still love doing all those things in the new revival of “The L Word.” But now, in the return of the show 10 years after it went off the air, they no longer have to sing about it – at least not in the theme song.

Yes, lesbians, there is a Santa Claus. That Betty theme song we all love to hate is gone.

Instead, the sequel to the seminal series about women who love women in West Hollywood is back with a slew of new cast members to help fill out its new subtitle: “Generation Q.”

The result is a show that manages to feel true to its trio of core characters – oh, Bette, Alice and Shane, we missed you so – while organically bringing in new women, and men, into their and our lives.

But, enough about the basics, let’s get to the sex. True to its original frisky nature of “The L Word,” the sequel does not shy from showing women loving other women in flagrante. In fact, the series starts out with a real bloody bang, both figuratively and literally. Consider it a naked attempt to familiarize us with two of the new characters, again both figuratively and literally.

Soon after the series starts laying out the new landscape of the way “The L Word” ladies live today, in 2019. While the original series was about bunch of friends (a bit like queer women’s “Friends” with more nudity and less heterosexuality), the sequel plays a bit more of a workplace adjacent drama with plenty of backstory.

The intertwining of the new cast with the old cast is well done and helps create a natural barrier to our expectations. Before we had a tight-knit group who hung out together despite wildly disparate socioeconomic statuses. The unifying factor instead was their love of other women.

But in “Generation Q” those “we’re friends because we’re gay” assumptions have been jettisoned. Their lives are now less, if more realistically, intertwined.

Bette, Alice and Shane’s return highlights just how well the three women have done for themselves in the past decade. Bette is running for mayor of Los Angeles. Alice is starting the second season of her podcast-turned-TV talk show. And Shane, well, Shane literally jets in from Paris/New York where she ran wildly successful salons.

Our baked-in affection for these three central characters – now leaning into wealth and power – provides spillover goodwill to the new character. They are Dani (played by Arienne Mandi) and Sophie (played by Rosanny Zayas) a longtime couple who live together in a complex with their roomie Micah (played by trans actor Leo Sheng).

Dani works for her father, an influential private investment company, and Sophie works for Alice as a producer on her show. Micah is a college professor who lives with them for reasons I don’t fully understand yet.

And then they’re Sarah Finley, or Fin (played by Jacqueline Toboni). Make no mistake, Fin will be the Jenny of the new series – but in an entirely differently way than Ms. Schecter. You either love her or you immediately hate her. I fall into the latter; I find her truly annoying.

Toboni, who is great as half a lesbian couple the Netflix anthology series “Easy,” feels forced as Fin. While the trailers positioned her as a sassy fan favorite, I find her overly eager, immature puppy dog energy to be grating. But, who knows, maybe she’ll grow on me and the role.

One of the more welcome changes to “Generation Q” is how effortlessly diverse the series feels. The new black and brown characters don’t feel token in any way, instead their ethnicity has been woven into the stories. Jennifer Beals was the only minority in the original cast of series regulars (with Pam Grier as her sister as well), but now Toboni is the only white new addition to the new regular cast.

Also refreshing is the show’s attempt to make real amends for its disastrous past portrayal of the trans community. The Max storyline will always be one of the most shameful chapters in “The L Word” history. In Micah we see a full-realized trans man living his life and navigating modern dating, with no horrendous Willy Wonka-themed parties in sight.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. Like the original, which was also far from perfect, the show has some clunky storylines out the gate. One about the opioid crisis, an obvious attempt at pulling national news into the series, feels particularly forced. And it’s also clearly telegraphed as “The Reason” Bette is running for mayor.

p.s. Poor, poor baby girl. Kit, you did not deserve the fate we can all already tell has befallen you.

The old Alpha Bette is still there, along with that strong vein of self-righteousness even she can’t always live up to. But now divorced from Tina (thank goodness they didn’t Dana Fairbanks her, instead the reason for their split is more mundane), she is raising Angelica as a single mom. I’m not entirely sure where they plan to take Angie’s budding teenager storyline. Perhaps she’s there to serve as a reflection to Bette’s best, though imperfect, intentions.

Shane is, well, Shane – but now with the added heartbreak of an estranged marriage and an empty L.A. mansion.

Of the original three, Alice seems the most out-of-character at times. Sure, wee see flashes of the old “this coffee tastes like poopy shit” Alice. But now she is in a relationship with a woman with two grade-school age kids, who have all recently moved in together. This bewildered mommy mode Alice feels like a neutered version of the Alice we all adore.

Fans of the original show will appreciate callbacks to its past plotlines. The night Bette spent in jail with The Carpenter. Alice’s past research into vaginal rejuvenation. The infamous billboard heist. And, like the original, there are plenty of name drops from Megan Rapinoe to Roxane Gay and, yes, Straight Bette Porter herself, Kamala Harris.

Perhaps most significant of all, we finally find out who killed Jenny Schecter in what amounts to almost a throw-away line that somehow still succinctly wraps up the insane clown posse madness of the series’ soapy, crazily careering storylines.

But here’s the thing, what we as queer women loved about the show wasn’t necessarily its many twists and at times unexplainable turns (shame circuses, stolen films, murder mysteries). What we loved was seeing ourselves reflected however imperfectly in these characters lives. For once we were the ones seeing our day-to-day happenings and over-the-top plot points broadcast on television. It wasn’t us transposing our lives and loves onto the stories of our straight friends and family, but us – seeing ourselves as lesbian, bisexual and queer women.

Now, one may ask if a revival is necessary. In light of improvements in the portrayal and frequency of LGBTQ characters on television, a show dedicated just women who love women might feel quaint. And the bigger question is who can tell our story the best.

The answer is no one show can. Queer people, like everyone else, contain multitudes. Some of us are wealthy, many of us aren’t. Some have children, some don’t. Some run for elected office and have dad’s who run investment firms. Other of us steal our bootycall’s bikes to make it to work on time. OK, I hope not too many of us do that last thing.

What we hope for instead is that a show about us feels like us. The commonalities among women who love women is what it has taken to survive in a world that still treats both women and queer people as less than. “Generation Q” is less about the wider struggle of being queer in America, and more about the continual struggle of queer women to remain true to themselves. And, you know, a little sex never hurt either.

“The L Word: Generation Q” air at 10 p.m. Dec. 8 on Showtime. And, yes, screeners permitting, I will be doing Pre-Ls for the revival series.

Friday, November 29, 2019

My Weekend Crush

The Friday after Thanksgiving is a de facto holiday for many. You might be lucky enough to have it off, or took the day off or *cough, cough* had to take it off. But whatever you are doing today, and this weekend, please embrace it with the gusto of Gillian Anderson living her best sex therapist life. When is “Sex Education” coming back for a second season, anyway? Happy Thanksgiving weekend, all.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Be Thankful For

It is a day of eating and thankfulness here in the United States. So to celebrate I thought I would reshare my all-time favorite “cooking” scene from a movie. I say “cooking” because “burning” is a more accurate description of what Idgie has done to those poor tomatoes.

Now if you detect some smug satisfaction in my declaration of her “terrible” cooking, it’s because over the course of this year I have become very good at making fried green tomatoes. I tried it for the first time about a year ago, as a way to use the leftover unripened tomatoes on our vine. And now I am happy to report that I have become quite good at it. Like unlocking a hidden Lesbian Achievement Badge-level good – if I do say so myself.

So I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving, to all who celebrate. And a wonderful Thursday to everyone else. If nothing else, just be thankful Idgie isn't making your meal tonight. Though they're both always welcome over for dinner. Bon appetite, kittens.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Part of Her Suit

Look, Disney didn’t make Elsa gay after all. But the added Evan Rachel Wood to the cast, so at least there’s that. And Evan showed up to Ellen (with guest host and her “Frozen 2” co-star Josh Gad) in this double-breasted suit and tie. And then she sang a cabaret version of “Part of Your World.” So, while I’m still mad Disney didn’t have the guts to give Elsa a girlfriend, I’m definitely not mad at this.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hit Women

I still very much miss Mel and Sue on GBBO. Sure, Noel and Sandi are fine, but they lack that chemistry. Instead, their shtick is being mildly annoyed with one another. Mel and Sue, they could effortlessly riff off one another and complimented the other – making an even better whole. And, you know, they were really sweet with the contestants.

But, if we can’t have sweet, let’s have murder! Yes, I am aware how truly terrible that transition was, and I am sorry. Mel and Sue have signed on to star in a new sitcom as – wait for it – assassins. But, don’t worry, in truly Mel and Sue fashion they’re bumbling assassins. Like, truly rubbish killers. I hope in one episode they accidentally fall into a cake while trying to take out a mark. Now that’s what I call getting your just desserts. I know, I know – I’ll show my way out.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Waiting for a Lady on Fire

Good things come to those who wait, like this post and the self-declared “cinema’s greatest love story.” The folks behind “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” are making us wait, and wait some more, to see the film. Instead of opening wide this year, it will take its time and open wide on Valentine’s Day. Now, if you’re lucky enough to live in New York or Los Angeles you can see it for a one-week engagement starting Dec. 6. But the rest of us will have to wait until the heart-shaped candy replaces the Christmas trees and glowing Santa Clauses in the stores. Also, “Cinema’s Greatest Love Story?” Well, now it better really be worth the wait, because that’s a lot to live up to.