Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Out, out damn Gleek

I defend “Glee” a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Like there were stretches where I felt like all I did was defend my love of “Glee.” So, in that respect, I feel I’ve built up a close-to lifetime supply of goodwill for this silly little show about a show choir in Ohio with a magical costume and backup dancer budget that makes trickle-down economics seem positively Keynesian.

So now, now I feel like burning through a little of that goodwill. If fact, I feel like setting the whole house on fire and watching the flames lap loudly against my still raging soul. Why? Well, because last night’s episode of “Glee” really fucking sucked.

It didn’t just suck because of the normal inconsequentialities and flagrant inconsistencies that can make “Glee” so frustrating for people who insist on living in a fact-based reality. I’m saying it sucked because for a show that prides itself on sending a message of tolerance and diversity, it sent a message of consequence-free outing and white-male salvation. It was severely misguided to give it the benefit of the doubt, and a few of those dreaded –ist and –istic words if you don’t.

Also, don’t get me started on the fact that the episode was called “I Kissed a Girl” and no girls actually kissed. (That cheek kiss was cute and all, but come the fuck on.)

What “Glee” can sometimes do well is peel back the skin of a significant social issue and expose the beating humanity underneath in a way that helps everyone understand it better and therefore fear it a little less. It’s how things change in the world, by realizing we’re really all not that different.

What “Glee” can sometimes do badly is take a significant social issue and simplify it down to a glib streak of superficial cheerleading and then preen itself wondering why it’s not being slapped on the back and handed cigars for the beautiful bundle of enlightenment it has just birthed unto the world. That’s how people self-congratulate themselves without changing a damn thing.

I mean, the whole show started out on the wrong foot with Santana being punished for slapping Finn. Granted, physical violence – even the deserved kind – is unacceptable and should be dealt with. But Finn outed Santana. And that may not be physical violence, but it is psychological violence. And, no, do not trot out the “Finn didn’t mean to out her and couldn’t know it’d turn into a political ad” malarkey. He yelled it at her across a crowded high school hallway. He’s dense, but he can’t be that dense.

But instead of handling the fallout from this outing. Instead of delving into its ramifications. Instead of showing while, even if unintentional, it was wrong. Instead of all that, Finn is turned into some kind of gay awareness superstar and the episode becomes A Very Special Intervention Outing Glee. Never mind that last season, when Kurt was being seriously bullied by Karofsky and then discovered he was actually also gay, he took great and extraordinary pains not to out him. Never mind that Kurt did this because Karofsky wasn’t ready and it would be wrong to force someone who isn’t ready out of the closet. Never mind that as recently as last episode, Mr. Shue, Coach Sylvester and Kurt’s dad all seemed super concerned about how terrible it was that Santana was being outed.

Nope, instead there are absolutely, positively, unquestionably zero consequences for Finn outing Santana. Not a talking to from Kurt, his gay step brother. Not a lecture from Burt, his super gay friendly step-dad. Not a dirty look from Rachel, his has-two-gay-dads girlfriend. Nope, just a gold star for essentially blackmailing Santana to come out or risk suspension from school. Isn’t he a stand-up guy? Hey, kids at home, out your friends and be a hero. Everyone’s doing it! Yay! Outings! YAYYYYY!

Look, life is better when you are out. This is almost universally true. But there are very real consequences for coming out for some – including but not limited to isolation, violence and worse. And there are equally real consequences for being outed – consequences which weren’t even glossed over. They were entirely ignored.

Also, what the hell was that throw-away line from Santana about: “I told my parents last night and they were actually OK with it.” How many exceptional scenes of the Kurt & Burt show did we have when he was dealing with his sexuality? Granted, it doesn’t and shouldn’t be the same response. But it shouldn’t be an afterthought. We didn’t even get to see Santana’s parents, let alone a whole paragraph of dialogue about their reaction?

The one well-played and meaningful scene in Santana’s entire outing saga was her quiet, powerful talk with her abuela at the kitchen table. That’s what “Glee” can do well, when it wants to. That’s the raw human condition that brings us all closer. That’s real fucking life.

Also, my heavens, how spectacular has Naya Rivera been through this whole mess? So spectacular. I will go down with the Brittana ship. I will be the violinist clinging to the deck as the water pours savagely into the hull. That’s how much I enjoy these characters and these actresses.

But, lord, do they deserve better than last night. In fact, this is the worst-case scenario I dreaded when I first heard spoilers about Santana’s outing. That it would happen in a “it’s for her own good” kind of way without any repercussions therefore sending the message that outing people because “dude, the whole school already knows” is perfectly OK and probably a good thing and possibly something they’ll give you a medal for.

The thing is, you can help your friends come out. You can support them. You can listen to them. You can encourage them. You can be there to dry their tears and squeeze their hand and find their strength. But that’s not outing. That’s not taunting someone with the possibility of the person she loves not loving her back. That’s not calling her a coward. That’s not what happened That’s not the kind of private, careful, meaningful support “Glee” showed. Not even close.

p.s. This would have been a wonderful place for, say, Brittany – you know, Santana’s girlfriend – to come in and privately encourage her. Brittany, who has been so supportive of Santana throughout her whole journey. Brittany who loves Santana more than anyone else in this world. But, no, that wouldn’t fit into the show’s pre-destined hero mold.

Speaking of that and this whole “it’s for her own good” shit, what was with all the menfolk being the saviors for the womenfolk this episode? Oh, I get it. This is the “Glee” where the boys all saved the girls from themselves. Gee thanks, mister. What would those frail ladies with our crazy lady brains have done without the guidance of a Finn or a Puck last night? Poor closeted Santana and poor nutso Quinn might have gone on forever without being rescued. And if men weren’t saving women, women were sacrificing themselves for me. Like Rachel turning herself in for Kurt. And when women weren’t being saved by men, or sacrificing for men, they were fighting over the big lugs (i.e. world’s least likely two points on the bottom of a man-topped love triangle, Sue and Beiste).

Oh, and of course there was the obligatory superficial female empowerment this episode. You know, when all the Glee gals rallied around Santana for a little girl-on-girl power in the form of that ridiculous, ridiculous ode to drunken making out. Still, as much as I hate hate hate that song, I couldn’t hate hate hate the performance because that, again, is the power of “Glee.” It takes preposterous things like a 30-year-old arena power ballad about believing and makes it give you automatic goosebumps. So, yes, I tried my best to set aside my hatred for Katy Perry’s co-opting of lesbian culture to enjoy the unapologetic eye candy of every Glee girl ship, crackship and ship you never knew you shipped cavorting together for our pleasure.

Still, we haven’t even begun to touch on Quinn and her storyline of pure crazy and the Puck-Shelby teacher-student carnival of inappropriateness. If we did, we’d be here all week.

Yes, I enjoyed the cheek kiss and thumbs up. And yes of course I enjoyed the big Brittana hug (though hello – NOW KISS). And, hell, I’ll even rewatch that ballot smooch. But, no, I do not have to accept that an episode titled” I Kissed a Girl” featured exactly zero girls actually kissing each other. And, no, I do not have to accept that an episode about coming to terms with one’s sexuality was really about the benefits of outing. And, oh hell no, I do not have to accept that in an episode that should have been all about women, men were its central heroes.

Also, I will never forgive Finn Hudson for ruining Cyndi Lauper for me. Or, as Santana put it so eloquently: “Thank you, guys. Thank you Finn, especially. You know, with all the horrible crap I’ve been through in my life, now I get to add that.”

Oh, Santana, honey. We’re right there with you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Funny business

After a long holiday weekend sometimes it’s not the first day back that takes it out of you the most, but the second. On the first day you’re still chatting with your co-workers about what you did, what you ate, what you wish you hadn’t done or eaten. But on that second day, boy, does it ever set in that this is a regular old work week. So, to shake off some of those reality sucks doldrums, I thought today we could all just laugh together. Like big, hearty, don’t be drinking any liquids laughing. Are you ready? All together now. Let’s laugh off a tiny sliver of that whole pumpkin pie you consumed over the weekend.


What better way to reflect on a holiday about giving thanks for our great melting pot of a country than to make fun of foreigners’ accents?

Warehouse 13 Gag Reel

Bollocks. That is all.

Anna Torv

Anna Torv in a cop uniform. Hot. Anna Torv using female stereotypes to write an enormous ticket? Hot and hilarious. Also, love the baton thing at the end.

Cat & Pamie

Remember that commercial for KY Intense that featured the lesbians? Well here’s a real-life lesbian, Cat, (and her not-real-life-lesbian friend, Pamie) actually using the product. I swear to God, this made me laugh so hard, a little pee came out. It burns! It burns!

There, now that burned off at least, what, one of the mini-marshmallows on your sweet potato casserole, right

Monday, November 28, 2011

They're back (at being so gay)

Hey, you know what day it is? “Rizzoli & Isles” Subtext-O-Rama Day, that’s what day it is. Everyone’s favorite totally heterosexual – except when they’re not being heterosexual, which is kind of always – Boston police detective and chief medical examiner are back. Can you contain yourself? Don’t even try. Having seen the episode I can assure you that our ladies of law enforcement are no less gay. In fact, they are so gay. So, so, so, so gay. And, if you don’t believe me, please believe the evidence. Here are five irrefutable reasons Jane and Maura are totally gayzzoli for each other.

p.s. Check out my Rizzoli & Isles Subtext Recaps at AfterEllen on Wednesdays for this short five-episode winter return. (Yes, Wednesdays, not Tuesdays. I need the extra day to not die of exhaustion, trust me.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Weekend Crush

I have very few stead-fast winter traditions. I don’t put the decorations up on a certain day. I don’t roast chestnuts on an open fire. I don’t rush out to sled at the first fallen snow. But, come on, I live in California so that last one isn’t really my fault. What I do always do is open presents on Christmas morning (not Christmas Eve, that’s just impatient crazytalk). I always watch “The Snowman” with my family (well, when I’m with my family). And I always start playing Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson’s “Winter Song” on an endless loop. Here after a day of much turkey and lying flat, I finally feel ready to admit that winter is well on its way. So now, now I’m ready to press play. Something about this song with its delicate melancholy makes my heart just melt. It’s a harvester of light through cold, dark nights. I fell in love from the first second I heard it. And, once the season changes back, I fall in love all over again. Welcome, winter. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

She's trying to teach me how to cook

I am not a good chef. I’m just not. I enjoy food, a lot. But my culinary expertise pretty much stops at “How do you like your eggs?” (Though, I am good at eggs. So, you know, feel free to stay for breakfast.) Still I do love watching other people cook, especially if those other people are hot ladies. So on this day of feasting in the United States, here is one of my favorite cooking scene pretty much ever. If learning to cook was always like this, I’d be well on my way to being a master chef. Happy Thanksgiving, all.

p.s. The only way that scene could have been better is if they kissed at the end, like they clearly wanted to. Idgie and Ruth, my first OTP.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dinner and a movie

As soon as that crisp comes into the air, I think of two things. One, how much of a pain in the ass it will be to have to travel during the holidays. I mean, really, airports at Christmas are the least merry places on Earth. And then the second, is what movies are going to make me run out to a theater near me soon. All the trailers for the big Serious Oscar Contenders start to roll out. And then the super advance trailers for next summer’s blockbusters muscle in as well. It hasn’t been a great movie year for me so far. I mean, I’ve seen some I liked (Harry Potter, I really liked Harry Potter – along with the rest of the planet), but not really that many. A few trailers for upcoming films have already caught my eye, like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Albert Nobbs.” So now it’s time to look at some more films coming up soon (or soon-ish) with great female leads that look worthy a $23 tub of popcorn.

Pariah (December 2011, limited)

God, I hope this movie gets a wider release. I really, really do.

The Iron Lady (December 2011)

Not because of Thatcher, all because of Streep. Also Giles (I see you, Anthony Stewart Head, I see you.)

Haywire (January 2012)

To die between mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano’s thighs? Um, I can think of worse ways to go.

The Hunger Games (March 2012)

OK, OK. I’m convinced. Bring on the dystopia and bows and arrows.

Snow White and the Huntsman (June 2012)

Yes, K-Stew in shining armor is nice. But make no mistake, I am seeing this movie for Charlize. Evil, succubusy, gorgeous Charlize.

Brave (June 2012)

Is it possible to be envious of an animated character’s hair? Because, I am. Also, her feisty attitude ain’t bad either.

Right. So, now the only question is do you want extra butter on your popcorn or not?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SGALGG: Thankful Edition

Cate Blanchett & Nicole Kidman

You know what we haven’t done in a while? Straight Gals Acting Like Gay Gals, or what I like to call SGALGG – that acronym that sounds like you’re choking on a cracker. But this being a week where we give thanks to what we’re thanksful for, I am thankful for how delicious two straight ladies look when they’re acting totally gay. Also, cheese. I’m thankful for cheese. But mostly the thing about how beautiful two women can look together. Like, for instance, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman. Now that is an attractive couple anyone would be delighted to invite over for Thanksgiving dinner.

Lea Michele & Michelle ChoHow dare she cheat on Dianna like this.

Lisa Edelstein & Dianna AgronDianna, as you can see, did not take Lea’s indiscretion lightly.

Emily Blunt & Allison JanneyIt is taking all of Emily’s will power not to look down.

Tracie Thoms Shanola Hampton & Emmy RossumShanola* is all, “Honey, not here. Later, later.”

*Apologies, she looks so much like Tracie in that picture. Also, I’ve never seen Shameless.

Mary McCormack, Gina Gershon & Kathryn HahnIn Gina’s defense, Mary clearly doesnt care if people look her in the eyes or not.

Jennifer Carpenter & Julie BenzIf only Deb and Rita had dated instead. For one thing, Rita would probably still be alive.

Maggie Q & Aisha TylerIf they just keep smiling, maybe no one will notice the piece of Maggie’s jacket Aisha ripped out earlier while, um, you know.

Gillian Anderson & Kate WinsletNow Kiss. Now Kiss. Now Kiss. NOW KISS.

Olivia Wilde & Sasha AlexanderSo, admittedly, they’re not doing anything particularly gay together here. But seeing them together is making all women all over the planet gay.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Body of a Greek goddess

Yes, I’ve been talking about Jaime Murray a lot lately. No, I will not apologize. I mean, have you seen her? You have eyes, right? Have you seen her in a bikini? In fact, my Jaime Murray obsession of late has yielded some unexpected fruits. And, yes, I mean fruits in the totally gay way. So allow me to please take you back in the my way-back machine (you say potato, I say Tardis) to a little year known as 2008. Yes, kids, think back to when we all were still starry eyed about that Hope-y Change-y thing and a show called “Valentine” appeared on our TVs. Now, you probably do not remember this show. I do not remember this show. That’s because it aired for only aired four episodes on the CW before being canceled (the last four episodes were burned off the next summer).

But those who do remember it, or those who are similarly obsessed stalkers diligent researchers like me may have found a few of the episodes online. And this is where we all have to thank Al gore again because what I found was this entirely delightful, totally gay episode of “Valentine.” First, let me set the premise for you. “Valentine” is about a group of immortal Greek gods living in modern day and acting as matchmakers for unsuspecting folks. Jaime plays the matriarch of the family, Aphrodite. One look at Jaime in her bikini and you will know where the saying, “Body of a Greek god” comes from.

The Valentine clan also enlisted a mortal human writer to help them in their matchmaking. Among their cases is an adorable little lesbian couple who dated in college. Oh, first girlfriends, how we never really escape you. If you have 20 minutes to spare, this is really too cute to pass up. Also, you get to hear Jaime say, “I’ve always had a soft spot for lesbians.” Yeah, you’re clicking play right now, aren’t you?

See? So cute. Also, the first time Aphrodite and their human sidekick meet, this happens. (Come on, I know you have a minute and 39 seconds to spare.)

I think Jaime’s Aphrodite and Anna Silk’s Bo need to get together and make the whole universe feel alright. Or, at very least, us ladies.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Weekend Crush

Goddamit, if I “2 Broke Girls” more doesn’t make me laugh like an idiot. I know, I know – there are still some problematic racial overtones. Though, thankfully, they’ve begun toning those down a bit. And, no, it’s not necessarily high art. And, yes, I still think the horse is crazy. But, fuck it, sometimes you just want to chuckle uncontrollably at the sight of two girls stuffing cupcakes down each other’s shirts. Plus there’s absolutely no denying the comedic and comely charms of Kat Dennings. She’s really why I tuned in in the first place. (Well, that and friendo to the lesbians Liz Feldman writes for the show.) While Kat’s delivery bothered me at first, it has developed a nice rhythm now that is her own distinct style. I also like that she’s not a bean pole (we’ve got the equally delightful Beth Behrs for that already). Heavens, does her waitress uniform fit her tightly nicely. I hadn’t seen Kat in much before the show. But from what I can gather she’s a geek dream girl alternative to Zooey Deschanel. For those who prefer their ladies with a little more vavoom and a little less cutsie. And I have this unstoppable urge to touch her oversized upper lip. And her milky skin. I think they’d be soft – so soft. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Liz + Leslie = Happiness

Do you know who I haven’t talked about in ages. I mean, really, AGES? My Fake TV Wife Tina Fey. As much as I’ve been enjoying the new fall TV season and some of its very promising additions, I can’t help but feel a little empty, Tina-shaped place in my heart. With “30 Rock” being delayed until mid-season, I’ve missed my weekly dose of Liz Lemon more than you can imagine. It’s not that I don’t love (love, love) the unbridled optimism and adorable competence of Leslie Knope each week. I’d be totally lost without at least a little Knope in my life. But I need the yang to that yin. I need me some Lemon. The sharply sour to all that smartly sweet. And now, as I mentioned earlier this week, the TV gods has seen it within their generous hearts to make my wildest dreams come true by programming “30 Rock” and “Parks & Recreation” back-to-back at 8 and 8:30 starting Jan. 12 on NBC. I’m already creating a “Do Not Disturb, I’m Lemon-Knoping” sign to hang on my virtual doorknob. Having Tina Fey and Amy Poehler properly together on the TV lineup means all is right with the universe again. It means two terrific comedies with two equally terrific examples of strong females who know how to bring the funny will be filling our lives for a solid hour each week. And with that, how about we get a little taste of what makes Liz and Leslie such perfect compliments to each other. Finally, my Thursday nights will be perfect again.

On Female Stereotypes

Liz on her period.

Leslie on every other stereotype.

On Food

Liz loves her Night Cheese.

Leslie loves her breakfast food.

On Bad Accents

Liz goes Jamaican.

Leslie goes cockney.

On Valentine’s Day

Liz likes oral.

Leslie likes gals.

On The Gay

Liz knows lesbians.

Leslie knows gays.

See, perfect. Hurry back to Amy, Tina. We’ve all missed you two together.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Out of this world

Being gay means lots of things. It means you fall in love a little differently than most of the world. It means you are hated irrationally by some of the world. It means still don’t have all the same rights as the rest of the world. And it means you’re going to have to tell the world you’re gay and therefore all of those different, hated, unequal things in the first place. It’s a lot to ask of a person to admit to. Yet so many of us do because to not would mean to not be who we really are.

Still, coming out is always your choice. Because it’s your life. And no one can tell how to live your life. And no one can tell you who you are. Only you can do that for yourself. At your own time. When you are ready.

Last night’s “Glee” was many things. It was way too focused on the vomit-inducing student-teacher cliché that is Puck and Shelby. It was way too invested in this ridiculous Crazy Quinn storyline and its equally ridiculous commentary on adoption. It was too confused about election law and what constitutes legal, non-slanderous political advertising. And it was probably way too close to home for many young or questioning people who aren’t out of the closet.

Let’s get this out of the way immediately: No one has the right to out you. When you come out is up to you, period.

So then just because Santana can be a raging bitch sometimes, doesn’t mean she deserves to be outed. Just because she’s mean to Finn, doesn’t mean she deserves to be outed. Just because she hasn’t made the decision to be out for herself yet, doesn’t mean she deserves to be outed. Santana did not deserve to be outed.

The last four minutes of “Glee” last night were particularly powerful. And, no, not just because that Adele mash-up is still SOFA KING AMAZING even after 3,876 repeat viewings. But because it showed, through Naya Rivera’s extraordinarily nuanced performance, what it means to be outed. You can see Santana’s whole world crumble in an instant. “I can’t believe this is happening.” “I haven’t even told my parents yet.” It’s all there, on the surface. The panic. The fear. The despair.

And here’s the other thing about being gay. Straight people, even the super allies and the most supportive, they can’t know what it is to come out. They’ll never have to do it. They don’t know what it means. What a big step it is. What a difficult confession it can be to even just to ourselves. That’s not really their fault, but it’s also not their place to judge. So when Finn tells Santana in a crowded school hallway that she should come out of the closet, that’s not just getting revenge – that’s imploding a life. And when he calls her a “coward” for not being out, well, that is almost as bad as outing her. Also the stuff about Brittany maybe not loving her back, that was just fucking mean.

Being in the closet can be a terrible burden. Carrying a secret can crush you slowly. But being ripped out of the closet before you’re ready is even worse. There could be very real consequences from being outed. Being kicked out to losing your job to being bullied to being beaten to even worse. So, then being ready to face that, being prepared – well, that’s everything.

But then, here’s the thing about being out. It’s better when you’re out. Maybe not right away. Maybe not for a long time. But it’s better to be open. It’s better to accept and embrace and love who you are for all the world to see. And once the world sees you, it’ll see you’re not so scary – we’re not so scary. Coming out matters because knowing a gay person makes it hard to hate us unconditionally. It’s easier to hate blindly what you think you don’t know or think you haven’t met. Because, make no mistake, we are everywhere.

That’s why there is one important exception to the outing rule. Those who hide their truth while actively using their power and position against us, they shall be afforded no quarter. Those conservative politicians who vote against our right to equality under the law, but shtup strangers in airplane restrooms. Those powerful players who call us an abomination, yet hire rentboys to tend to them on the weekends. That’s not coming to terms with oneself, that’s just pure hypocrisy. And that will not stand.

So, yes, it is better when you’re out. But that doesn’t mean it’s better before you’re ready, before you’re safe, before you decide. For some of us it’s a lifelong journey. And that’s OK, too. The goal is always to be honest and happy with yourself. So we get up each day, look ourselves in the mirror, and hope we like the person staring back at us – however long it takes. And when you do, we’ll be here. Because while you may feel alone, you’re not alone. That’s the other thing about being gay, you get a whole new family. And we love you, unconditionally.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tank Top Tuesday

Sure, it’s fall. A lovely crispness has crept into the air. The leaves are showing off with one last colorful hurrah. And soon it’ll be all mittens and scarves. But that doesn’t mean we have to abandon the beauty of the simple, sheer tank top. In fact, I would argue there is no base garment more suited to the layering process thus making it an integral part of any wardrobe through all four seasons. Or, at least that’s how I’m rationalizing it in my head. Also, pretty much every place you go has nice, toasty indoor heating. So, like the indescribably lovely Shelley Conn above, get autumnal with your tank tops to your heart’s content. Just, you know, bring a jacket for when you have to go back outside.

Anna SilkHoly Badass Blue-Eyed Bo, Batman. Super Succubus came out to play, and it was lip-licking good. Check out this week’s “Lost Girl” SnapCap later today on AfterEllen.

Lena HeadeyAs happy as I am to have Lena back on TV on the regular, her new “Game of Thrones” role requires she wear considerably fewer tank tops than her “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” gig did.

Sasha AlexanderAs excited as I am about the return of “Rizzoli & Isles” in two weeks, I’m also nervous. What if I’ve forgotten how to write a good subtext recap? Better pray extra hard to the gayzzoli gods Nov. 28th.

Camila GreySometimes I remember out of the blue that Cam and Leisha like to kiss on planes, and it makes my whole week.

Liv TylerI like that Liv has gotten a tad thicker since her dancing with Alicia Silverstone in her dad’s music videos days. It suits her.

Marsha ThomasonMarsha gets to kiss her gorgeous girlfriend on “White Collar,” and then get kissed by the gorgeous Kat Dennings on “2 Broke Girls.” Some women have all the luck.

Aubrey PlazaNBC is finally making my dream Thursday night happen and airing “30 Rock” and “Parks & Recreation” back-to-back at 8 and 8:30 starting Jan. 12. There is a TV god, and she loves me.

Diane KeatonDid you know Diane Keaton was on Twitter? She tweets some really interesting photos. She has a nice eye. Also nice on the eyes? Vintage Diane in a tank top.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Swan Queen

I have a new Sunday night obsession. Oh, don’t worry. My heart and pants (hot or otherwise) still belong to “Lost Girl” on Sundays. But, not being Canadian, I often end up watching closer to wee early hours of Monday. (p.s. Dude, that show takes for-freaking-ever to post.) But no, my Sunday night proper obsession is now “Once Upon a Time.” I was having a brief fling with “Pan Am.” But my interest in that show started to swan dive as soon as Dean got more screentime and the women were put on separate storylines instead of together for adventures. I canceled my DVR ticket, so to speak. But a show I’m excited to book my flight for (yes, I m totally overdoing the airplane analogies) and then some is its earlier evening network neighbor “Once Upon a Time.”

A feew episodes in and I’m pretty much hooked. And what I see is a mix of refreshingly reimagined fairytales led by strong female characters. This all makes sense if you know one of my favorite “Buffy” scribes Jane Espenson is a writer-producer on the show. It’s pretty much right up my wheelhouse what with the supernatural fantasy, powerful ladies and sly humor. That one happens to wear tank tops a lot and wield power tools is just an added bonus.

It also is the source of my latest, naughtiest ship. Yes, I totally ship Emma Swan and The Evil Queen (otherwise known as mean mayor Regina Mills). Part of it is the fantastic face-offs we’ve been treated to so far by Jennifer Morrison’s Emma and Lana Parrilla’s Regina. There’s a wicked, wicked chemistry there are the two women play their rivalry with palpable heat. In fact, I think they give each other the best hate eye sex I’ve ever seen.

It also helps that they’re already wearing each other’s clothes, as per last week’s “Enjoy my shirt, because that’s all you’re getting.” The little eyebrow arch from Emma is the thing that launches a 1,000 ships.

And then there’s the time Emma answered her hotel room door for Regina – in nothing but a tank top and underwear.

Oh, God, and the chainsaw! Sweet fancy fairytales, the chainsaw.

The lip quivering! With rage! My God, the hate sex between those two could burn down the world. Also, we have the perfect portmanteau for the pairing already: The Swan Queen. (HT, @mynlugon!)

I actually hope the show makes Regina somewhat more sympathetic, as she was in the first episode, so she’s less cartoony evil and more complexly troubled. Layers make everyone more interesting. Also they’re often flattering, you know, with winter coming up and all. Speaking of clothing, I sure hope they never increase the costume budget so Jennifer has to keep running around in tank tops and leather jackets. Because, woo doggie, do they suit her. This wardrobe is a vast improvement from all the lab coats and button ups on “House.” Man, did I miss her gorgeous, gorgeous face and perfect, perfect eyebrows on my TV every week. Plus now, she’s the cranky badass hero instead.

All this and we haven’t even discussed her mom Mary Margaret/Snow White. The lovely Ginnifer Goodwin and her pixie cut are custom-made for a fairytale. Also, I’m holding out a delusional amount of hope that Ruby/Little Red Riding Hood will turn out to like the ladies. Come on, the Manic Panic in her hair is a dead giveaway.

In summation, I hope to happily ever after for a good long time with this show. And I hope The Swan Queen keeps rage eye shagging each other into the sunset.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Weekend Crush

Clearly, I’ve had Adele on the brain the last 24 hours. And it seems so cliché to say you love Adele, because everyone loves Adele. Women, men, vertebrates, invertebrates, inanimate objects, imaginary friends. It’s impossible to not be awed by her voice. It’s criminal not to be moved by her emotions. Also that chin dimple? I fucking love that chin dimple. I really think Adele is one of the most beautiful women in music – not just her spectacular face, not just her spunky personality, not just her sublime voice (though sweet merciful Zeus, her voice), but her sane attitude about her art and self. She’s so refreshingly herself, so very outside of the corporate expectations of what a successful singer looks like in this day and age.

As Adele said herself in her Rolling Stone cover story earlier this year:
“My life is full of drama, and I don’t have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like… I don’t like going to the gym. I like eating fine foods and drinking nice wine. Even if I had a really good figure, I don’t think I’d get my tits and ass out for no one. I love seeing Lady Gaga’s boobs and bum. I love seeing Katy Perry’s boobs and bum. Love it. But that’s not what my music is about. I don’t make music for eyes, I make music for ears.”

Adele is gorgeous, and in a way that reminds you talent just needs a stage and a spotlight to shine. There’s nothing wrong with letting it all hang out, so to speak. But we also need to see it’s possible without the tits and ass. Talent is just talents. It doesn’t need any additional adornment to transport you someplace at once outside yourself and intensely personal. Also, there is no better therapy than singing at top volume in the car to Adele. “Someone Like You” in particular has saved me thousands in shrink fees. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Someone like Brittana

So, I woke up early intent on finishing another post this morning. And then I opened the Tweeter Machine and my feed was all my adorable Brittaniacs going, “Have you seen it? HAVE YOU SEEN IT?!” And now, after seeing it, I can safely say there is nothing else in the world I want to write about. Period. Full Stop. Just Brittana. And after watching The Troubletones do this amazing Adele mash-up of “Rumour Has It” and “Someone Like You,” I’m pretty sure it’ll be all you can think about, too.

[Note: Hit 1080p & Full Screen and just let the awesome wash over you.]

[Note 2:Here is a link to a region-free version for my international friends]

Don’t lie. You watched that like three times in a row, didn’t you? I know I did. Now, setting aside the video’s obvious emotional backstory (relax, relax – you know I’m going to get to it), the whole number is just gangbusters. Sorry, New Directions, but there’s a new sheriff in town and she is packing Adele in her holster. There is no musical ammo better. Look, I’m not sure if that metaphor worked, but just go with it.

I know this Tuesday’s “The First Time” was perhaps a letdown for those of us aboard the S.S. Brittana. They had zero moments (or even eye contact). But if this video from next week’s “Glee” is any indication, our adoration will be redeemed, and then some. I’ve been trying to avoid detailed spoilers, because I know some big Santana and Brittany developments are coming. Granted, I like knowing big-picture spoilers. In general plot developments, etc. But I’m loathe to know turn-of-the-screw episode minutia. Still, it seems unavoidable at this point to realize that some major Brittana emotions are brewing. The way Santana looks at Brittany when she sings, “I heard that you settled down, that you found a girl and you’re married now.” And then turns. And then looks at directly Brittany. Let’s just say Big Lesbian Feelings are happening in her heart, and my heart and everyone’s heart if it’s beating.

And, once again, I cannot be more impressed with Naya Rivera and her nuanced, powerful performance. It’s one thing to be able to deliver biting one liners. It’s another to be able to sing spectacularly. But this girl can also pack an emotional wallop. The Santana story arc in particular through the three seasons of this show is nothing short of spectacular. I don’t know what the future holds for Santana, but I certainly hope with all of my shipper heart that her love gets to last, and not hurt instead.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Call your girlfriend, no, really

Remember last week when I was talking about us tiny humans sometimes doing beautiful things. Well, here’s another example. If you know Robyn, you know it’s kind of impossible to listen to her music without moving your body. The Scandinavian dancehall queen’s latest single is the incalculably catchy “Call Your Girlfriend.” I like it more each time I hear it. I also really enjoy her lack of pronouns past those of the eponymous girlfriend. OK, sure, I feel a little bad for said girlfriend. But, hey, the girl can’t help it. It’s different when we kiss. Anyway, the original version is just good, danceable fun. And if you saw this delightful Swede with the perpetually lesbionic hair perform it on Ellen a couple of weeks ago you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, please enjoy.

Quick question: Is it just me or is Robyn wearing a girdle made entirely out of Calvin Klein underwear waistbands? Just checking.

Now, here is where the tiny human, beautiful thing part really comes into play. So, as us humans are want to do, we like to put our own twist on the original. So while trolling the depths of the series of tubes over the weekend, I happened upon this viral video of fellow Swedish singing group Erato doing a very special cover of “Call Your Girlfriend.” You could call it just an a capella version. But I won’t ruin it for you. Please, press play.

I know, right!? See what we tiny humans can do with beautiful voices, well-timed claps and a few empty cottage cheese tubs? Lovely, simply lovely. Well done, Sweden.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tank Top Tuesday: Unforgettable Edition

You would not believe how many of you have written me to tell me about “Unforgettable.” Like, so many. Emails. Tweets. Comments. I’m not saying you guys have been persistent, but the other day a paper airplane came through my window with “Have you watched Unforgettable yet?” written inside. So, I watched. And, ladies, I owe you a “You were right.” It’s not that I necessarily that I am blown over by the series itself. The pacing is a little leaden and Poppy Montgomery seems sorta sleepy. Also, the dialogue? A show about a woman who has the ability to remember every minute detail from her past has her actually says, without irony, “This memory thing of mine comes in handy sometimes.” Um, don’t go dusting off a space on your mantel for that Emmy just yet, writers. But, great googly-moogly, were you ever right about the tank tops. And the arm porn.

I’m not exactly sure how a police detective gets away with wearing tank tops every single day to work, but I am grateful for her ridiculous flaunting of the dress code. Or perhaps the tank tops are necessary for her to be able to remember things. Does her condition require she stays cool and has a full range of motion? I’m a few episodes behind so maybe I missed the explanation. But whatever the reason, I must applaud its results. Alright, ladies. You got me. You were so, so right.

So please enjoy this very special mea culpa edition of Tank Top Tuesday. Just making up for lost time. Tank tops + great arms + red hair = fairly unforgettable.

Plus she also wears lots of big silver rings. And you know how I have a thing for big silver rings. DVR: Set.

p.s. Since it has been such a long time since my last Tank Top Tuesday, please enjoy this bonus treat of hot chicks in tank tops wielding power tools. See, patience can be a good thing.