Thursday, May 31, 2012

Penney for your equality

You know, I’ve never been a big JCPenney shopper. Nothing wrong with good old Penney’s, but it’s not really been my thing. That is until now. You see, the venerable 110-year-old American retailer is acting anything but old-fashioned these days with its new advertising approach. In fact, I’ve call them downright progressive. First, they hire America’s Favorite Lesbian Next Door Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman. Then they feature a two-mom family in its Mother’s Day catalogue. And now, they’re going to feature a two-dad family in its Father’s Day catalogue. Yes, JCPenney. Yes, I KNOW!

And not only has Penney’s featured real-life gay parents in its marketing campaign, it’s treated them as wonderfully equal and totally not a big deal. The copy that went along with the Mother’s Day ad was called “Freedom of Expression” and said “You’ll often find Wendi, her partner Maggie, and daughters elbow-deep in clay, paint of mosaics.” It also featured Wendi’s mom, to make it a lovely three generations portrait. The new Father’s Day ad says, “First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He's the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver - all rolled into one. Or two.”

Both sets of gay parents are featured amid other pictures depicting straight parents and other families. They’re just amid the melting pot, as it should be. Of course, this brought out the crazies. The so-called One Million Moms conservative group launched a protest for both the Ellen hiring and Mother’s Day ad.

In response to the Ellen thing JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson said: “Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share.”

When the rabid mamas attacked again for the Mom’s Day ad, a JCPenney spokesperson said: “As JCPenney focuses on becoming America’s favorite store, we want to be a store for all Americans. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’re proud that our May book honors women from diverse backgrounds who all share the heartwarming experience of motherhood.”

Now, the Father’s Day ad is so new the marauding mommies haven’t had a chance to launch a protest. But, rest assured, I am certain they will. And now I am also equally confident that the good people at JCPenney will rebuff said intolerance and instead embrace an acceptance of a world that thinks everyone – gay, straight, whathaveyou – deserves to be represented and perhaps wear reasonably priced clothes while doing so. Sure, it’s also business, but it’s good business for everyone when gay inclusions is not just principled but marketable. So thank you, Penney’s, for knowing that love is love, family is family and a dollar is a dollar. You’ve certainly earned a few of mine.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Impromptu Vacation Vixens: Rachel Maddow & Amber Heard

Took a little unscheduled holiday yesterday. Which means I’m behind on everything today. So please enjoy making up the conversation in your head from the time Rachel Maddow and Amber Heard met and posed for a picture together. In my head, it goes a little something like this: Rachel: Oh, um, hi Amber. Amber: Hi Rachel. Rachel: You realize by standing together in one picture we’re going to make the pants drop of every lesbian on the planet. Amber: Let’s do this thing.

Or, at least, that is what they were saying in my head. What were they saying to each other in your head? Or did your head just stop working for a while?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

See Jane and Maura laugh

Hey, guess what? A week until “Rizzoli & Isles” are back on our TVs solving grisly crimes and subtexting each other. I won’t lie, I’m pretty thrilled to have the show back because it’s exactly what I need in the summer. A fun show with strong female leads who have great chemistry and hair. And the fun part is the biggest thing for me, because even though it is officially a cop show, I tune in for the interplay between Sasha Alexander and Angie Harmon. Because this is really a show within a show – a relationship comedy hidden inside a crime drama. And few things highlight that as well each year as the “Rizzoli & Isles” gag reel. I mean, come on – that set looks fun. To quote my other favorite show within a show: I want to go to there.

p.s. Don’t worry, Angie, I dribble my beer all the time, too.

Monday, May 28, 2012

We will do it

Us ladies, we’ve had a rough go of it in the political arena of late. Men folk keep thinking they know what’s best for us. They want to tell us what we can and cannot do with our lady business. How we’re allowed to use it. (Not to decide for ourselves to when we can best start a family, that’s for sure!) How we aren’t not allowed to use it. (Not for recreational fun, that’s for sure!) And how our doctors should treat us. (Not based on their sound medical judgment alone, that’s for sure!) Those who dare to say otherwise are sluts or strumpets of so much worse. Of course, these same folks keep saying this War on Women is imaginary. We’re just being tricked by our little lady brains into thinking the Republicans want to tell us what to do with our little lady bits and pieces. But we, we know better. We know when we’re being bullied. We know when we’re being disrespected. We know when our rights are being trampled. For a party that prides itself on disavowing government intervention, they sure have a strange way of getting the government into the most personal nooks and crannies of us ladyfolk. So, for all those who think they can slip this year of lady hating by us, be warned. We are strong. We are angry. And we are paying attention. We can stop this War on Women with our votes. As Rosie told us all so many years ago, “We can do it!” As these modern-day Rosies would surely tell you now, you can stick your big government where the sun don’t shine on yourselves instead.

Alexis Bledel
You know Rory got all Occupy Yale this year.

Alison Brie
She won’t have Brita-ed women’s rights.

Christina Aguilera
I would like all the past Christina personas (Genie Xtina, Dirrty Xtina, Voice Xtina) to sing a rousing rendition of “Fighter” to congress.

Princess Leia
Alternately, I’d love for Leia to tell John Boehner he’s a little orange for a stormtrooper.

Kelly Rowland
Queen B isn’t the only one who can do it.

But, of course, you never count out the queen.

Melanie Laurent
We can do it ingloriously.

Party to reclaim our rights, already started.

Amy Adams
Practicing BYOT – Bring Your Own Tools.

Amy Poehler
If that wasn’t one of the most perfect, Knope affirming, woman affirming, life affirming season finales, I’ll buy you a Sweetums bar. Today the city council, tomorrow the presidency. America, you beautiful tropical fish.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Weekend Hot 100

Another year, another Hot 100 list. Seeing as today is the last day to get your votes in for the hottest ladies on the planet this year, I thought I’d share (well, reshare, since I already shared it in the AE Huddle) my Top 10 for 2012. It’s a harrowing task each year, narrowing it down to just 10 lovely ladies. Respectful objectification is not for the faint of heart. Certainly each year there are as always some steadfasts for me. My love for Tina will never die. But each year I do manage to rotate enough new ladies in to keep it interesting. And, yes, there’s always a dark horse. So this weekend I’ve got 10 crushes.
1. Tina Fey
2. Naya Rivera
Duh, squared.
3. Lena Headey
I’m still not into the blonde hair, but I’ll always want to buy her lilies.
4. Kate Winslet
I’ve loved her since “Heavenly Creatures,” which is saying a lot because that film involves her beating someone’s mother to death with a brick.
5. Jennifer Beals
Dear television: Put her back on you. Love, lesbians.
6. Padma Lakshmi
Her propensity for licking food off her fingers is a gift from the heavens.
7. Rachel Maddow
The actual definition of fair and balanced – also smart as hell and cute to boot.
8. Hillary Clinton
Hil in 2016, that is all.
9. Zoie Palmer
Oh Hotpants, my Hotpants.
10. Hope Solo
I fear, respect and lust after her abs in equal measure.
So, those are my 2012 hotties. Now show me yours. Also, don’t forget to vote here. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Over the Rainbow

I’m going to miss the hell out of Kristen Wiig on “Saturday Night Live.” It’s not that all her sketches were hilarious, or even all her characters beloved (like, seriously, please put Gilly on permanent detention). But it’s that she was a consummate Not Ready For Prime Time Player. A professional willing to do anything for the laugh. A woman who defied in her every fiber the tired, ridiculous notion that girls aren’t as funny as guys. And just the beating, lovely heart of this SNL cast. I will miss the ultimate one-upper Penelope. I will miss the endearingly overenthusiastic Target Lady. I will miss not-so-secretly lesbian reporter Michelle Dison. I will miss her dead-on amazing Bjork (and Suze Ormand and Kathie Lee Gifford and Drew Barrymore and crazy-eyes Bachmann). And, yes, I will even miss that creepy baby-hands singing sister with the hideous hairline.

I am, however, bolster by the reassuring knowledge that this most definitely will not be the last we see of Kristen. Her “Bridesmaids” success was just the tip of the proverbial hilarity iceberg when it comes to her potential. She’ll be making us laugh for years and years to come. But for this season of change and graduation and rebirth, I bid her a loving adieu from the show that made her a household name and everyone who happened to be home on a Saturday night over the last seven years fall madly and unconditionally in love. Thanks for showing us the rainbow, my dear.

[International friends, check it out here.]

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sweet surrender

“Glee” is about opening yourself up to...oh, fuck it, it's about surrendering all hope. To be fair, “Glee” did what “Glee” apparently does best in the finale – it was wildly inconsistent. First, it gives us the delightful spectacle of Burt Hummel recreating the “Single Ladies” dance. If you’re wondering why I started watching “Glee” in the first place, it’s for unexpected moments of sheer joy like that. And then it gives us ridiculous loose ends, like Brittany flunking and no one realizing/worrying/caring to sing a remix of a “My Fair Lady” song to help her. If you’re wondering why so many gay gals have holes in their TV screens today, it’s because they threw their remotes through them last night in a fit of Brittana rage.

Though what surprised me most about last night’s big “Glee” graduation finale was how little it moved me. I mean, sure it pissed me off at times. But never did I feel the emotional resonance I should have felt after spending three years with these characters. Part of this is inherently the fault of the “Glee” Powers That Be. They’ve let it be known pretty much all these characters will be back next season, in some small way or another, next season. But the rest is just, again, “Glee” being “Glee” and forcing its preconceived hero narratives into places they don’t belong. The women offering themselves up to make sure the men achieve their very important dreams? All the underclassmen dedicating a song to Finn Hudson? And now there are two holes in my TV screen.

And while I knew that the Rachel/Finn relationship was always the central relationship for the writers and I expected it to dominate the finale, I never expected them to give such short shrift to the other relationships fans – particularly its gay fans – care so very much about. Kurt and Blaine repledging their eternal devotion to each other alone in the choir room, without so much as a hug or a kiss? Brittany and Santana not even having a chance to work out their relationship because Brittany is flunking and no one really cares and Santana is going to New York without discussing it first with the person she loves most in the universe. Also, there’s no way in hell Santana ever had a mullet. Please, I can believe that the Glee Club in a small Ohio town can afford dozens of costumed back-up dancers, laser light displays, rain machines and more for rehearsals, but I can’t believe that.

I guess in a way I’m relieved. I’ve cared about these characters for three long years. I’ve watched this show hoping it would overcome its lesser demons and rise above to open us all to joy. And I’ll never stop believing in this cast’s talent and potential. But now that they’ve graduated (well, some of them), I can release the dream. I can, indeed, surrender.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

See Jane graduate

There’s always something beautifully sad, sadly beautiful about this time of year. It’s graduation time. Granted, my graduations (high school, college, school of hard knocks) were all ages ago. But the inescapable feeling of a chapter closing, pages turning and unlimited possibilities always fill the air this time of year. I remember my graduations as a heady mix of pride, excitement, anxiousness and uncertainty. It’s the unknown – leaving the familiar and stepping into the exhilarating newness. It’s sometimes best expressed in a beautifully rendered commencement speech. And, no, not just that one about the sunscreen.

While it’s still early in the 2012 commencement season, I dare say our good friend Jane Lynch has already set a high bar for the experience. Over the weekend she addressed Smith College. And, as the self-professed “solid C student” said, her speech, “Today is all about you. But just a little bit about me.” Delightfully wry, just the right amount of sentimental and charming as ever, Jane managed to get reproductive rights, “Glee” and porno all into one speech. It’s well worth the 22 minutes and 36 seconds. And if that won’t convince you, this is Smith College after all. So you can always just scan the graduating class and test your gaydar. So on the eve of the big McKinley High graduation finale, I can’t think of a better person to send us off with pomp and circumstance. Take it away, Jane.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Subtext matters

[Image manipulation by BEE]

So while I was on vacation an interview I did with the very lovely Sasha Alexander published over at AfterEllen. If you haven’t given it a look-see, I suggest you do. She was affable and engaged and gracious. She also talked about boob grabs and wet dream sequences and being a lesbians at heart. So, you know, there’s that. As the season 3 premiere of “Rizzoli & Isles” approaches, some have used it as an opportunity to restarted the whole “Subtext Sucks” argument. Which is a perfectly valid way to feel. You don’t have to see, enjoy or appreciate subtext. Not in the least. But to say other people shouldn’t either, well, that’s entirely another thing.

Because the primary argument against anyone being allowed to like subtext is essentially a straw man. It says liking subtext will prevent real LGBT stories from being told. It says we’re settling. It says we’re part of the problem. To which I say phooey. This would require the only two possibilities in the world for us gay viewers: Either 1) We demand more gay characters, or, 2) We like subtext. But, you see, it’s quite possible and simple to do both. And I do both, adamantly. Being gay or a minority or any other “other” than your standard issue white heterosexual dude or dudette in U.S. entertainment means seeing yourself at a dramatically reduced rate – if at all. All too often it means being the best friend or the crazy coworker or the second cousin twice removed. And it means constantly having to fight to have our stories told. So to see ourselves we’ve turned to both telling our own stories and creating our own alternate realities out of other people’s stories.

The idea that liking subtext makes TV producers pander to us for ratings is also a bit of a laugher. I mean, do you really think TV writers are sitting around asking each other how they can cast two strong female leads with inescapable chemistry to interact with each other in a way that drives lesbians crazy? No, they’re not. They’re thinking how can we get this dumb product placement for Doritos into next week’s episode so they’ll pay them millions of dollars. And also, did craft service run out of the red Gummy bears today. And, sure, if a show realizes its characters appeal to a certain fanbase, they might play with that dynamic. (Seriously, Quinn, stop making out with Berry.) But would that prevent them from writing another gay character? I don’t see why. If anything, it would show them how vocal and hungry and enthusiastic the gay audience can be when given something to cheer about.

If I read subtext between two strong female characters, it’s because I want them to be like me. It’s because it’s fun/sexy/exciting to think they might be like me. And because, as we all are painfully aware, most women aren’t like you and me. We’re never going to be the majority of TV characters – ever. Should we continue to petition for more and better representation? Good God, yes. Always demand more. But to fill the void that will always be there, if I want to think Alex Cabot and Olivia Benson like to play good cop/bad ADA in their spare time, who does it hurt? That’s not settling, that’s embracing. To see the world through rainbow-colored glasses just makes the world more colorful. It doesn’t mean that we still can’t change it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vacation Vixen: Hillary Clinton

I loved all the hubbub about her not wearing makeup on an official state visit last week. Because when people act so blatantly superficial and sexist about one of the most powerful and respected women in the United States, if not the world, it shows how petty and pathetic they really are. Also, I thought she looked damn good in her smart-girl glasses and bare face. Damn good.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vacation Vixen: Evan Rachel Wood

I know, it totally blows that Amendment 1 passed. But there are always setbacks on the road to history. Also, damn ERW looks good wearing this T-shirt. Equality is hot

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vacation Vixen: Hope Solo

It’s Wednesday. Which means I’m half way done with my vacation and you’re half way to the weekend. I feel sad for me and happy for you. Either way, I think we can both appreciate Hope’s magnificent arm porn here. And her glutes are real consensus builders, too. Me, I’m all about finding common ground.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vacation Vixen: Maya Rudolph & Kristen Wiig

I would like Maya and Kristen to become the next Tina & Amy. And I would like both comedy couples to make hilarious movies/TV/home videos they let us watch and laugh at forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vacation Vixen: Charlize Theron

I’m pretty sure that much leg is illegal. Or, at the very least, should come with a warning.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Weekend Sexy

Right, so I’m on a quick vacation for the next week. Off to remind the niece and nephew just how cool their gay Auntie Snarker is. While I’m gone I shall, of course, be satiating your appetite with the lovely Vacation Vixens each day while I am away. Why? Because I care. Also, I’m somewhat unclear on the concept of “vacation.” But before I got I just wanted to give a tip of the hat to our lovely lady friends at “Lip Service.” Now, I know I was all “Oh my God, they killed [Oh my God, if you haven’t watched season 2 yet stop reading now because I don’t want to hear any whining in the comments section about spoilers] Cat! Those bastards!” about developments recently. And, I am still not wholly convinced going to that great Lesbian Burial Ground in the Sky was the best option, I will say I am extremely grateful for the addition of Lexy and the retention of Sadie. For without these two lusty ladies, I fear this season of “Lip Service” would indeed by one continuous loop of Chopin’s “Funeral March” – but played on acoustic guitars because this is a lesbian show, people. Instead, last week we got this delightfully randy sequence. So thank you, Sexy Lexy and Shady Sadie, for bringing the fu back into fun. See you in a week. Happy weekend, all.

This clip is extremely, insanely, delightfully NSFW. But it’s almost the weekend. So, you know, go for it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thank you, Mr. President

History. Such a simple word filled with infinite implications. Sometimes it creeps past softly, barely noticed until one day we dust of big books and find it hidden within the pages. Other times it happens right before our eyes, big and brash and bolder than we ever expected. Yesterday was one of those days. Yesterday we heard 11 words from a sitting United States President we had never heard before. Yesterday President Barack Obama said “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Simple, clear, unmistakable. History.

Now, we can get caught up in the fine print of President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality – if we want to. He is late. He is not ending DOMA. He is still allowing states to vote on marriage right for themselves. True, true, true. But, you know what, I don’t care. I mean, I do care. I care a lot. But history gets told with broad brush strokes. The Emancipation Proclamation freed all the slaves. Well, close. Not all of them, just those in states under Confederate control. It wasn’t until two years later with the passage of the Thirteen Amendment that all slaves were freed and slavery became illegal across the country. But, you know, details. The Emancipation Proclamation was the big, brash, bold stroke that changed everything. The fine print work came later.

Now, I’m in no way suggesting that President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage yesterday was our Emancipation Proclamation, figurative or otherwise. But it is important not just because of its optics, but because of what it means on a personal level to every LGBT person in this country and across the globe. Never before has a President stood up and said our marriages are equal to straight people’s marriages. Never. But now, the most powerful man in the free world says we are the same. Says we deserve the same rights. Says love is love. Yesterday, I took a moment to let it sink in. And it felt, well, wonderful.

This is how a man evolves, this how our leaders evolve, this is how a nation evolves, this is how a world evolves. History is happening, don’t get left behind.

NOTE: As mentioned in the post, I am NOT comparing the President’s endorsement of same-sex marriage to the Emancipation Proclamation. They are not equal in historical import or impact. Not at all. I am comparing the historical perception of what the Emancipation Proclamation did (i.e. it ended all slavery in the United States) to what it actually did (it ended slavery in the confederate-controlled states, and then two years later the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery across the nation). I am not comparing the end of slavery to the granting of gay rights. I am saying that history is told in broad brush strokes not fine print. And what President Obama did yesterday was a broad brush stroke.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


I haven’t watched too many web series. Mostly this is because they can be amateurish and awkward, with non-existent budgets and untested talent. Also, believe it or not, I still enjoy watching things on my TV, from my couch, without an overheating laptop weighting down my midsection. But I do love the entrepreneurial and independent nature of web series. And I love that they can exist outside the Hollywood machine and therefore tell stories that we don’t always get to see. The stories of the people otherwise relegated to token background character or sassy gay friend or simpering supportive spouse. Anyone can be the star of her own web series with a camera and a dream and a functioning YouTube account.

Still, it’s something quite extraordinary when the production values and big stars of Hollywood converge to tell little-heard stories on the web. And that project appears to be WIGS. Billed as “an innovative new YouTube channel producing high-end, original, scripted series, short films, and documentaries, all starring female leads,” WIGS launches next week. And already it has an impressive array of stars attached including Jennifer Beals, Dakota Fanning, Julia Stiles, Jennifer Garner, Maura Tierney, Allison Janney, America Ferrera, Sarah Paulson, Troian Bellisario, Virginia Madsen, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Rosanna Arquette and more. The vignettes will all be short, about five to eight minutes – which is also perfect because most people barely have the attention span to watch an animated gif these days. I wish there was a tad more diversity in the casts – though it’s early and hopefully more people will sign on. Also, I think the name, which stands for “Where It gets Interesting,” is pretty horrible. Also wouldn’ that make it WIGI? But, you know what, show me a project featuring a slew of talented actresses telling women’s stories and I’ll show you a big smile on my face. Consider me sold.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I am woman, feel me avenge

Let’s get this out of the way right away. “The Avengers” was awesome. Like hot damn, holy cow, fuck yeah AWESOME. And chances are you saw it and thought it was awesome too. Because it made like a bajillion dollars over the weekend. ($207.4 million to be exact, which is the biggest opening weekend ever, besting previous record holder “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” by more than $38 million).

As an avowed Joss Whedon fangirl, I couldn’t be more proud and pleased with the movie or its reception. It was everything you want from your big-time, big-name, big-hero super films. Exciting. Epic. Funny. Fierce. Cohesive. Contextual. Geeky. Gripping. And fun, man, was it ever fun. Sometimes event movies forget that they’re supposed to be fun. And while I like shit blowing up as much as the next gal, that doesn’t make it fun. Nor does taking oneself super seriously. But “The Avengers,” now that was fun. It earned my $11. And I plan to give it another $11 very soon.

But, and fuck if there isn’t always a but, it also underscored one of the continuing and institutional problems with the big summer blockbuster. And that is they almost never pass the Bechdel Test, “The Avengers” sadly included. While the movie passes the first crucial test: Yes there are more than two named female characters. “The Avengers” has three: Black Widow, Agent Maria Hill and Pepper Potts. But then it fails the last two tests. They never talk to each other, about a man or anything else for that matter.

Of course, this isn’t to say that female representation is terrible in “The Avengers.” Quite the opposite, really. None of them are damsels in distress. One could argue that Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper is a standard-issue superhero girlfriend, but given her backstory in two previous solo “Iron Man” films makes her more than mere arm candy. Plus she’s about the only person who can cut cocksure Tony Stark down to size. Sure, Cobie Smulders’ Agent Hill mostly just looks stoic (also hot, so hot) in her SHIELD uniform while providing exposition. But she also battles her own brainwashed agents with heroism and flare. And then there’s Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow who is not only integral to the plot, she nicely turns some female tropes (she’s weakened by her apparent love for a man) on their head. All these women are strong and smart and so much more than action movie T&A. This is Joss, after all.

In fact, if anything is overtly sexualized in this movie, I’d say it was Captain America’s massive back. I swear, his upper body is like a stingray’s silhouette on steroids.

But, still, this is Joss after all, so we expect a lot – and more. This is in fact the only project Joss has written and directed (besides the shoe-string budget “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” which only had four named characters total) that has failed the Bechdel test. “Buffy,” “Angel,” “Firefly,” “Serenity,” “Dollhouse.” All these passed with flying colors. But “The Avengers,” which should be noted is also the only writing-directing project where Joss did not also create the universe in which it exists, does not.

So am I disappointed “The Avengers” fails the Bechdel Test? Of course. Would it have been that hard to give Agent Hill and Black Widow a moment together? Perhaps they could commiserate on the fit of zip-front jumpsuits. Am I disappointed with the women in the film? Hell no. They’re awesome – especially Black Widow and her thighs of fury. They’re superheroes, not just females in spandex. In fact one could argue that the female heroes in this film are in a way even more heroic than many of its male heroes. They stand up and fight without super powers or super armor or super God powers. They’re just humans, who are damn good at what they do.

But “The Avengers” is also a reminder than even when you’ve got a big-time feminist like Joss Whedon at the helm, who has built his reputation on being able to build strong female characters that break the Hollywood mold, it’s damn hard to break the Hollywood mold. The big boys of summer continue to rule, but us ladies won’t stop fighting to get in our licks, too.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Just another transvaginal Monday

You know what you need more of this fine Monday? Women saying “vagina.” Sure, “2 Broke Girls” two-hour finale will be on later to fulfill your primetime needs to vaginal discourse. But right now, right now I think we can all agree we could definitely use more vagina. So with that, please let Kate Beckinsale, Judy Greer and Andrea Savage tell government exactly where they’d like it to go. Hint: The word “vagina” is involved.

Friday, May 04, 2012

My Weekend Crush

I’ve had my quarrels with “Game of Thrones.” And this season I’ve had more of my share of, “Now who is this now?” But there is one thing I will unequivocally say about the series, and that’s that Arya Stark is one badass little girl. Truth be told, the badass little girl is one of my favorite fictional characters. Sure, I love the smart girls and pretty girls and funny girls and sometimes even the mean girls. But badass girls, well, they’re something special. They turn conventional wisdom on its head. They’re the antithesis of “just a girl.” In short, they’re really freaking awesome.

And Arya, as played by 15-year-old British actress Maisie Williams, is a convention breaker from the start. A little girl who’d rather pick up a sword than sewing. A little girl born of noble blood who has no desire to become a lady. A little girl who openly questions powerful men. And, this season, a little girl dressed as a little boy. Smart, bold, independent, cunning, resourceful – here is a little girl who defies more than just her stature. Never was that more clear than last week, when while serving the patriarch of the family who killed her father and battle her brothers, she told him with clear eyes and clearer intentions, “No, my lord, anyone can be killed.” Like I was saying, that’s one badass little girl. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Looking Vergara gorgeous

I love Sofia Vergara. Who doesn’t? She’s hot. She’s funny. She’s hot. She’s funny. It’s what you call a classic win-win. I also like that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. So her sense of humor extends quite generously to herself. Which only makes her that much more attractive. Hot ladies have the often unfair stereotype of having not that much going on in their pretty, pretty heads. But folks like Sofia (and, you know, a ton of the pretty, pretty ladies I post on my site every day) prove that wrong. Is all of this just an elaborate excuse to post really hot pictures of Sofia from the new issue of GQ Mexico? You betcha! Though, come on dudes, what is up with the headline? “Sofía Vergara, a natural Viagra?”

Sure, fellas, it’s easy to love her when she looks like this:

But have you seen her make this face, boys?

And that, that’s why I love Sofia. Well, that and the yelling.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Unbearable Meta of Glee

“Now I realize this room is America’s number one destination for cheap, sappy moralizing, but your insensitive behavior is about to subject you to a whole new level of preachiness.”
– Sue Sylvester, Season 3, Episode 18, “Glee”

“Glee” has a problem. Well, “Glee” has more than one problem. It’s got 99 and then some. But today I plan to bitch about one in particular. You see, “Glee” has a meta problem – a big one. That is, it is intensely aware of itself and self-referential. And even more so, it has started to essentially apologize for its own flaws on the show. In essence it is a show, apologizing for the show, about a show choir. I know – whoooooooooa.

Like, say, when Santana complains in Principal Figgins office that straight couples (i.e. Finchel) are allowed to suck face the French way in the halls of McKinley but gay couples (i.e. Brittana) can’t even share a chaste peck. A response to the criticism that there is a double standard when it comes to gay and straight PDA on the show because there had been no Brittana kiss yet.

Or, say, when Tina says all she wants is a song and then in last night’s episode Kurt says Tina won’t mind being replaced by Rachel in his audition. A response to the criticism that certain characters, like Tina, hardly get to speak let alone appear in the show anymore.

Or, say, when Kurt complains that it’s Blaine and the Pips because he gets all the solos in the Warblers. A response to the criticism that this new guy Darren Criss was getting all this screentime.

Or, say, when Sue tells Will he needs more adult friends. A response to the criticism that it’s creepy as fuck that a grown-ass man hangs around with teenagers so much and seemingly has no other social circle around him other than his virgin bride.

Or, say, when again in last night’s episode Sue tells the Glee girls that they’re going to be subjected to a whole new level of preachiness, and then proceeds to get a whole new level of preachy on them about domestic violence. A response to the criticism of the show’s use of Very Special Episodes to glibly focus on a serious issue.

Yes, “Glee,” very good. You’ve located the problem. But, alas, herein lies the rub. “Glee” may be meta and apologize for its shortcomings, but if it then doesn’t do anything to change its shortcomings, it doesn’t really matter. Saying you’re sorry and still doing it anyway doesn’t make things better.

Gay and lesbian couples still display less PDA than straight ones on “Glee.” Tina still gets short-shrifted in nearly every script. Blaine still gets a ton of solos (not to mention screentime), even more than Quinn in an episode where Quinn is freaking paralyzed. Will still has no discernible age-appropriate friends. And, yes, “Glee” still loves to wallow in the feverish throws of Very Special Episodeitis.

Sure, knowing there is a problem is half the battle. But now, “Glee,” it’s time to do more than apologize. It’s time to fix this shit.

p.s. I will say, “Glee” has fixed on glaring meta issue. Every since they brought up the forum begging Will to stop rapping, they’ve cut that shit out. Now Mr. Shue only threatens to do it. But, oh, what a threat.

p.p.s. Oh, and we have not even touched on the fact that in this Very Special Episode about domestic violence, only the female members of Glee get a stern talking to about the issue. Because, naturally, men have nothing to do with violence against women. Naturally.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tank Top Tuesday: Superhero Edition

I like superheroes. I particularly like female superheroes. Sadly, there aren’t too many of them around, particularly on the big screen. Which kind of makes no sense because female superheroes tend to wear skin-tight outfits. And we as a culture love to look at women in skin-tight outfit. So it’s a win-win, really. Of course, the other side is that our culture tends to be scared/dismissive of women with power. And you don’t get much more powerful than a female superhero. So I guess our society’s love of sexy ladies is overridden by its need to subjugate all ladies.* Hm. That was kinda deep for a post featuring a lot of sexy ladies in skin-tight tank tops. My point is, we need more movies with female superheroes. Particulary good ones, because I have sat through too many really bad female superhero movies than I care to acknowledge. And as excited – duh, Joss Whedon and superheroes, of course I’m excited – as I am about “The Avengers” opening this weekend, I’m still bummed that the ladies are fewer and less prominent than the gentlemen. So let’s hear it for the ladies in lycra. Long may they save the world.

*Temporary wording fail. All fixed. Carry on, sisters in spandex.

Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow
Whatever boys, I’m all about Scarlett and her incredible thigh power.

Anna Paquin, Rogue
I kinda miss her as a brunette. But I really miss that white streak.

Jessica Alba, The Invisible Woman
Any movie that casts Jessica Alba and then makes her invisible is missing the point.

Charlize Theron, Aeon Flux
I wish this movie had been better, like a lot.

Halle Berry, Storm and Catwoman
Oh, Halle – you know I love you. But, alas, you’re really not at your best in superhero films.

Cobie Smulders, Agent Maria Hill
I want Cobie and Scarlett to have a lot of screentime together. Because the boy shippers can’t have all the fun at “The Avengers.”

Famke Janssen, Jean Grey/Phoenix
I love her eyebrows. Yes, I realize those aren’t what I should be staring at.

Helen Slater, Supergirl
True story, my dad took me to see Supergirl when I was a kid and afterward on the way out I accidentally hit one of the theater armrests and broke it in half. And my dad said, “Whoa there, looks like I’ve got my own little Supergirl.”

Eartha Kitt, Catwoman
Now that’s how you do Catwoman, Halle.

Which female superheroes are you holding out for – so to speak?