True story. At first it was white and gold. And then it was blue and black. And for a brief second I could see the white and gold again. But then it was back to blue and black. So, long Internet story short, reality does not exist. Nothing matters. There is no spoon.
Might as well succumb to the glorious gloom that is April Ludgate. I will miss Aubrey Plaza’s glorious mix of Daria and Wednesday Addams immensely. She was always the one you could count on to shirk a hug and complain about the sunshine. Her brand of frightening yet loveable nihilism seems appropriate at a time when the entire world has no idea what damn color combination a dress has. I will miss you, April. You won’t miss me, and I totally accept that. Happy weekend, all.
p.s. Her dislike of Ann Perkins was as misguided as it was marvelous.
Friday, February 27, 2015
True story. At first it was white and gold. And then it was blue and black. And for a brief second I could see the white and gold again. But then it was back to blue and black. So, long Internet story short, reality does not exist. Nothing matters. There is no spoon.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Where there is an award show there will always be Straight Gals Acting Like Gay Gals. These Oscars are, of course, no different. I mean when you seat Jennifer Lopez next to Meryl Streep, what were you expecting?
Fine, if JLo had to trade in Meryl for any other snuggle partner, I guess Queen Bey is an OK substitute. I guess.
Amy Adams & Amanda Peet
All I hear in my head when I look at this picture is “mwah, mwah, mwah” kissing sounds.
Jennifer Aniston & Emma Stone
Starting the Hugs Across America movement all over again.
Jennifer Hudson & Angie Harmon
DOES MAURA KNOW? And on a Gayzzoli Recap Day. For shame.
Reese Witherspoon & Nicole Kidman
Everyone’s a cheater today. Nicole, you’d better hope Naomi Watts doesn’t find out.
Emma Stone & Julianne Moore
This is a two-timing I approve of. I mean, I like Jen. But Julianne all day long.
Iman & Paula Patton
No cheating here. Paula kicked that Blurred Lines idiot to the curb where he belongs.
Patricia Clarkson & Sienna Miller
I’m having major “High Art” flashbacks, minus the heroin.
Natalie Portman & Rashida Jones
Fine, so they’re not acting super gay to each other. But I just dig that they’re friends.
Jacket on point.
Undercut on fleek.
I think Meryl speaks for all of us about Scarlett’s haircut. YAAAAASS.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
So I get that “The Slap” is supposed to be a big prestige drama. It’s got a ton of recognizable stars like Uma Thurman and Thandie Newton and Spock and that bad guy from “Boys Don’t Cry.” Plus it’s directed by out filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko of “High Art” and “The Kids Are All Right” fame. The pedigree is there, I get it. But, mostly, I just don’t care. I’d be more interested in watching a show about someone who slaps parents who don’t vaccinate their children. No, seriously, I would watch the hell out of that show. But this? Eh. Also, it’s just a given that I’d watch a show of just Ellen slapping people.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Aw man, I can’t believe it all ends tonight. Like my beloved “30 Rock” did, “Parks & Recreation” is ending its run after seven seasons. And tonight is the night. And, also like my beloved “30 Rock,” “Parks & Rec” never got the mass public adoration it deserved. Through its run it has been ratings challenged, but filled with overflowing heart. To those who have watched and loved it over the years it has always been a darling to us. And much of that, almost all of that, was because of Leslie Knope. Leslie Knope is that indomitable spirit. That unlimited optimism. That unstoppable force. What has set the show apart from the start was its lack of cynicism. It hasn’t been about being cool or making fun of the uncool. It has been about civil servants in a small Midwestern town. It has been about the characters you see everyday who grow into a patchwork family if you’re lucky enough to have that kind of workplace. Through it all the show, and Leslie, have been unabashed peddlers of feminism and hope and winsomeness. Hos before bros. Uteruses before duderuses. Ovaries before brovaries. I’ll miss Leslie Knope on my TV. There’ll only ever be one Leslie Knope. But we all could use a little more Leslie Knope in our lives everyday.
p.s. Granted, the series never had a lesbian character. But it did have a handful of memorable lesbian moments. When Ann was mistaken for Leslie’s trophy wife. When Leslie’s city council campaign consultant told her she was gay. And who can forget the lesbian Afro-Norwegian funk duo Nefertiti’s Fjord.
p.p.s. If you’re looking for a new a new Tuesday night show now that “Parks & Rec” is done, might I re-suggest “Fresh Off the Boat?” I mean it, watch this show. I don’t want it to become another “Go On” or “Trophy Wife” or [Insert Name of Great Show Gone After One Season Here]. Smart, funny. And they had a whole joke about teaching your son not to date rape, that wasn’t about “ha ha, isn’t date rape funny,” but “no, seriously, don’t rape women” as its punchline. Constance Wu, y’all. Get on board.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Fine, “Glee,” fine. You made me watch the big wedding. It was uneven and unrealistic, but that’s pretty much “Glee” in a nutshell. But the Brittana bits, fine, they got me, fine. They got me not necessarily because of the poignancy of the actual moment. That was ruined by having Kurt and Blaine horn in on Brittana’s big day. Seriously, how can a show this freaking gay not take the time to make two episodes dedicated to two different, independent same-sex weddings for its two different, independent same-sex couples? Also, Kurt’s jacket was otherworldly awful. It was blue shiny camo. BLUE. SHINY. CAMO.
But, now I’ve veered off the point. And the point was the episode didn’t necessarily get me on its scripted poignancy. Sure, there were nice moments between Brittany and Santana – lovely even. But what got me was what watching something like this can mean for fans who have stuck with this coupling. Yes, this was pure, unabashed fandom service. But, hey, this fandom has been through a lot – they deserve it. What I like that – unless Ryan Murphy & Co. royally fuck this thing up in the final five episodes – lesbian viewers will have another happy ending.
This sort of thing is still important. Do all of our stories have to be happy, of course not. But there need to be enough happy endings to allow us to dream of our own. So, thanks for that. Thanks for all the pinky holds and scissoring talk and the Lebanese goodness. Thank you to Naya Rivera and Heather Morris. Thank you for Brittany and Santana. Now ride off into the sunset, you two. From background characters to forever OTP. You made it, ladies. You made it.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Aw, man. It’s always the good ones who go too soon. Earlier this week singer Lesley Gore died of lung cancer at age 68. As a teenager Lesley became the quintessential 60s singer with songs like “It’s My Party,” “That’s the Way Boys Are,” “Maybe I Know” and – of course – “You Don’t Own Me.” The latter was an instantly iconic feminist anthem of independence and defiance. Keep in mind, that song came out in 1964 right at the earliest cusp of second-wave feminism. Over the years she has also been vocal about the difficulties of being a young woman in the male-dominated music industry. And in 2005 the singer came out as a lesbian in an interview with AfterEllen (yes, really) and discussed her long-term relationship with Lois Sasson. The couple had been together for 33 years when Lesley passed earlier this week. And during the 2012 presidential election Lesley brought back “You Don’t Own Me” – and a few dozen of her famous feminist friends – for a PSA sing-along to get out the vote. It’s true, nobody owned her. But she always had our backs. Happy weekend, all.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
I don’t know why this four-year-old video of Taylor Swift petting her cat fills me with such joy, but I do know I only got about four hours of sleep the other night which means recapping season has returned. Get your fresh, steaming Gayzzoli Recaps over at AfterEllen today. Or, you know, just keep petting that kitty cat. Come to think of it, maybe I do know why that four-year-old video of Taylor fills me with such joy. Is there anything more relatable to lesbians than a woman who is being trained by her cat? I think not.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
So this Sunday are the Oscars, a.k.a. the Pop Culture Super Bowl. I have been watching the awards since I had to ask my parents permission to stay up way past my bedtime to see who took home best picture. In short, I never miss them. But you know what I don’t mind missing? The red carpet. Granted, I watch because I like to see what everyone is wearing just like everybody else. But I have grown to loathe what passes for red carpet interviews. Maybe it is because I grew up watching Army Archerd interview the stars as they walked in and now we’ve got…um, these idiots. Oy. I mean, I am not expecting long discussions on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons treaties or sustainable energy strategies. It’s movies, not Mensa. But how about this? Each star hands the interviewer a cue card that says who made their damn dress and the interviewers ask them questions about the movie they were in instead. Eh? Also, ban mani-cams forever.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
It’s baaaaaaack! So I guess Jane didn’t down. Big shocker, right? Anywaaaay. I thought they were just coming back for three episodes, but it looks like there’ll be six. (I’m not crazy, they added episodes because the original episode order for Season 5 was only 15 episodes. I swear.) But, you know, the more the merrier. So, of course, the return of Jane & Maura & Co. means the return of Gayzzoli. Subtext recaps will fire up again this week, so check back at AfterEllen on Thursdays for all the eye sex, Totally Gratuitous Totally Gay Touching, random sleepovers et al. I can’t say what the remaining six episodes of the season will bring. But we can guess given some of the new promo photos. And by guess I say imagine the gayest scenario possible. Duh.
Wow, I mean, presume much? We never agreed to a foursome, so get off that table and put your clothes back on, OK.
I knew it! I knew it! Prof. Jack Beard was on an assignment all along and now he is ready for his treatment. This whole relationship with Maura was just for an episode of “Dollhouse.”
Jane, just because we’re both wearing gloves doesn’t mean we can slip away to a backroom. Dead body, remember? Priorities, remember? *slips off to backroom to make good use of the gloves anyway*
Jane is drinking wine. Jane is drinking wine for Maura. Jane really wants sex. From Maura.
Sorry, I’m a little rusty. But, you know what they say, subtext recapping is just like riding a bike. Fine, no one says that.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
If you’re not at least a little bit in love with Constance Wu then I sincerely worry about you. Either something heavy hit you in the head or you aren’t watching “Fresh Off the Boat.” It could be both, in which case I really, really worry about you. If you are watching you know that Constance plays family matriarch Jessica Huang on the new ABC series. As an Asian-American girl I vividly remember watching “All-American Girl,” broadcast TV’s first sitcom featuring an Asian-American cast, back in the 90s. Now, 21 years later, I’m keenly watching our second.
So far, boy oh boy, do I like what I see. And I’m definitely in love with Constance’s no-bullshit Jessica. She is amazing. She is hilarious. She is a badass. She is by far the runaway, scene-stealing star of the show. But she’s also a real-life badass who understands the heavy burden placed upon actors playing underrepresented roles. We understandably want so much from these characters because we see them so little. Be they black, Asian, gay, disabled, whathaveyou. We pin our hopes on them. But it’s also an unfair expectation, and wildly unrealistic to boot.
As Constance told Time magazine (in an interview you should read in full):
We shouldn’t be a voice for all Asians. We are such a varied group that there’s no one show that can be like, “This is what Asian America looks like!” But we’re given that burden because we’re so rarely represented. If you see Tina Fey on television, you’re not like, “All white women are like Tina Fey.” Yet people are like, “Oh, Jessica Huang’s not like my mother, but this show is supposed to be about Asians, so shouldn’t she be like my mother?”So Jessica Huang is just Jessica Huang. But we’re lucky because Jessica Huang is pretty fucking awesome. And so is Constance. Plus, damn, lady has the voice of an angel. A badass angel. Happy weekend, all.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Ladies! We’re about to laugh about our periods. A lot. Please allow everyone’s favorite side-mulleted lesbian comedian Cameron Esposito to give that time of the month the honest descriptive explanation it truly deserves. Considering more than half of the population has a period once every damn month, it’s crazy that it is still one of those things people just don’t talk about. Ew, you know? But fuck that. It happens. It’s not embarrassing. It’s life. So suck it up and show some fucking respect. Let it bleed.
[H/T to Buzzfeed for the video find.]
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
So during one of those desperate OH MY GOD THERE IS NOTHING TO WATCH moments where I was looking for something fun and different and interesting I happened upon a show I’d never heard of on Netflix. “Z Nation,” which on its surface is basically just “The Walking Dead” for the Syfy channel. Make no mistake, this is a show about a zombie apocalypse and a group of gritty survivors who try to stay alive amid the ruins. There is gore and grimness and a lot of grime. The similarities are inevitable. But this is also a show that has become a most delightful bait-and-switch.
[Spoiler Alert: I am going to discuss the entire first season including major plot points and major deaths. So, um, you’ve been warned.]
The first thing you’ll notice about this show is it has a sense of humor. I stopped watching “The Walking Dead” when it became more of an interpersonal drama filled with human politics than a show about zombies. So something like “Z Nation” that doesn’t take itself too seriously which is nice. It’s zombies, yo. They stumble around and want to eat our brains. Don’t overthink it, m’kay.
The second thing you’ll notice is that the show’s biggest stars - Harold Perrineau and Tom Everett Scott as Garnett – die pretty damn quickly. Like, Harold’s character dies in the first episode. Boom, gone. And Tom’s character – who appeared to be the de facto Rick of the group – dies midway through the season.
So what you have left is Kellita Smith as Roberta Warren. From the start Roberta has been the second in command on the show. And from the start she been a welcome addition to the strong, interesting female character pantheon – and she is also a woman of color, which is even more welcome. So now, she is the leader and that’s unfortunately still pretty unusual to have on out teevees. To put what has happened on this show it in terms we all understand, it’s if like if Firefly killed off Mal half way through the season and let Zoe run the ship.
“Z Nation” has been unsparing in its willingness to kill off the obvious heroes. The recognizable star. The predictable white male lead. And now we’re left in rarified air for a series where a woman of color is leading an action-adventure, sci-fi series.
Granted, I have absolutely no idea if she’ll live on into the second season. The first season ended on a major cliffhanger that has the potential to kill off pretty much everyone. So, we shall see what this show does with its second season and if it delivers on is promise.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
And now, the South. Yesterday Alabama became the 37th state to end its ban on same-sex marriage. Couples across the state got hitched were filled with all the smiles and all the kisses and all the hope that comes requisite with a wedding. A marriage, after all, should be a supremely optimistic act which reaffirms our belief in the possibility of a happy future. And, finally, I feel that way about marriage equality across the United States, too.
The steady drumbeat of states expanding the right to all has been more than heartening. It’s history before our eyes. Normally, when the Supreme Court agrees to hear anything I reach for the antacids. And it was the same when the court agreed to hear the cases of four states – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee – where the courts have ruled their marriage bans are still constitutional.
But in denying a stay in Alabama, where a federal judge ruled that the ban was unconstitutional – the majority of the justices tipped their hand on the impending marriage equality cases before them. Heck, even Clarence Thomas (yes, him, ugh) said so in his dissent writing: “This acquiescence may well be seen as a signal of the Court’s intended resolution of that question.” Yeah it does. Boo-yah.
Granted, I’m not telling everyone in the hold-out states to buy rings just yet. But definitely start browsing. Sure, a lot can go wrong because this is our Supreme Court. They’re wacky and not in a good way most of the time. Still, the momentum is clear. We have won this fight in the arena that matters most – public opinion. Everyone who still vocally opposed same-sex marriage seems like the troglodytes that they are. With each ruling and each state that opens people see that, no, the foundation of marriage has not crumbled under their feet. It has only gotten stronger. Now it’s all over but cleaning up the foot-dragging straggler states for the courts.
Still, there’s so much left to do even after full marriage equality is realized. Full LGBT employment non-discrimination rights. Full LGBT anti-harassment and hate crime protection. I could go on. It’s important to remember, even after we can all get married, we have not arrived at the promised land yet. There’s still a lot of road left.
Yes, there is work to do. Yet I still can’t help but feel like the love sick fool with each new picture of smiling, happy, optimistic couples beaming at the possibility of “I do” in each new state. How can you not?
p.s. Wanna know more about Alabama’s adorable first legally married same-sex couple in Montgomery pictured above? Of course you do!
Monday, February 09, 2015
So, this is a true story. I was a big Tori fan in my formative years. Duh. Of course I was. I’ve been in love with her since “Little Earthquakes” because I am a human woman with emotions and feelings and ears. So, needless to say, Tori was on super heavy rotation back then.
Over the weekend, while reading about the 23rd anniversary special reissue of Tori’s “Little Earthquakes” (and “Under the Pink”), I pulled her up on my playlist for old time’s sake. Jesus Mary and that Joe guy was that album good. It’s still SO FUCKING GOOD. Every song on that album is perfect. Every song on that album plugs directly into, as the kids today say, my feels. Every song is a memory.
Which brings me back to my true story. So one of my friends got married while we were still in college. Bless her heart, she was the sweetest girl. But sometimes she didn’t always pay attention to the details. So she used “China” as her first dance song. Yes, I can feel the distance getting close-“China.”
I lost touch of Amy after college. And I hadn’t though about the girl who was an expert at passing out with a full can of beer in her hand and never spilling a drop in ages. But I wondered, after using “China” as her wedding song, if it all worked out.
So, naturally, I feel into a Google black hole to look her up. She had a somewhat unusual name, but I also knew her husband’s name and her college name. Anyway, 15 minutes later I found her. I was able to surmise that they were indeed no longer together. And that that girl who was a champion at holding a beer while unconscious is now a senior software developer at an aeronautics and security company.
Lesson 1: People who listen to Tori are smart. Second Lesson: Always listen to the lyrics.
Friday, February 06, 2015
Girl, I am still not over hearing that ding-dee-dee-ding-da-ding intro out of nowhere in the middle of the Super Bowl Halftime show. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, people. MISSY, PEOPLE. Lordt, have mercy. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss someone until she’s back, killing it, right in front of you. Missy has always been one of my most favorite female rappers. You just can’t deny those beats. And I’m an Asian girl from the Midwest who.can.not.dance. But you have to; it’s Missy. So I couldn’t be more pleased with the renewed respect and opportunity to trip down memory lane her appearance offered us all.
What was ahead of its time for its time and continues to be today was her uninhibited lyrics. Her insistence on her worth, other women’s worth, her skills, other women’s skills. Also, “We Run This” was the theme song for “Stick It.” Mention that movie to any lesbian and all you’re all you’ll hear is her happily sigh “abbbbbbs” to herself and then wander off with a dreamy smile on her face. Yeah, Missy runs this. Plus, imagine if Katy Perry tried to pulled off a black garbage bag as a fashion statement. Please. Yeah, only Missy. Happy Weekend, all.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Buzzfeed has already reported that the titular Kardashian clan head is in final negotiations for a sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer and possible subsequent reality series. The tabloids have done what tabloid do. Which is to be, you know, gross. And The New York Times wrote a rather thoughtful piece on the current dilemma of covering Bruce Jenner. Like which pronoun do we use if Jenner has not identified one way or another as yet?
In the absence of real facts and any kind of conclusion I say we err on the side of compassion. But then, I’d always rather we – the collective internet and humanity as a whole – err on the side of compassion. And, as I’ve demonstrated so far, it’s not that hard to avoid using a pronoun altogether. No “he” or “she” until we know, it’s actually pretty simple.
I will freely admit to having my own learning curve when it comes to transgender issues. While I stopped years ago, I probably used “tranny” casually in slang for longer than I should have. I had a close friend in college who, after we graduated, identified as trans and it was somewhat confusing at the time. This was way back in the day before Laverne Cox gracing the cover of Time and Janet Mock landing her own TV show even seemed like remote possibilities. And a show centered entirely around the journey of a trans parent reaping critical praise and picking up a Golden Globe? Fuggedaboutit. But it’s not outlandish anymore. It’s not confusing anymore. Goodness, look how far we’ve come already. Yet also so far we still have to go.
So what I hope for with whatever happens with Jenner and any possible transition, public or private, that comes to pass is we all accept that our identities are our own. Our stories are our own. And they are not a reason to snicker, scold or sneer. Transgender people’s lives are not salacious, they are just their lives.
It’s also important to separate whatever you may think of the surrounding Kardashian Industrial Complex from this personal process. Yeah, I’m not a fan of Kim Incorporated, et al, either. At all. But any dislike I have for this family’s public persona has nothing to do with anyone’s gender identity, nor is anyone’s gender identity a reason to dislike any family personally. Does that make sense? I hope I’m making sense.
I do know that, if this happens, it will be talked about endlessly. I just hope we talk about it in a way that helps others understand the endless complexities of humanity. More compassion, not less. More understanding, not less. We’re all still just folks.
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
For all the lost puppies and dead children and toenail fungus, the Super
Ad Bowl was somewhat less sexist and exploitive than in years past. Somewhat. But what I was most pleased by was the number of movie trailers featuring prominent female leads. Sure, dinosaurs and Andy Dwyer stole the show. But ladies made their presence felt and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, they were the leads or co-leads) in only four of the thirteen movie trailers that aired (well, five if you count “50 Shades of Grey”). But the movies were flat-out the ones I was most excited about anyway. Here is a rundown of the best Super Bowl trailers for ladies listed from those I am excited to very, very excited about.
I don’t understand why a robot would age as much as Arnold Schwarzenegger has aged. Like, seriously, wouldn’t he just rust instead of turn grey and wrinkly? But I all kinds of pumped to see Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons as Sarah Connor.
I have no idea what this movie is about. I think The Future? Or The Past? Possibly The Alternate Reality? But I do like that its chief protagonist appears to be a young girl who gets taken on a magical (otherworldly? both?) adventure to “Tomorrowland.”
Any movie where a woman gets to run full speed at Kate Winslet and tackle her like a linebacker is a movie I will gladly pay to see, even if all the shit blowing up all around her makes absolutely no sense.
PLEASE LIKE I NEED A REASON TO BE EXCITED ABOUT THIS.
Considering that for the last two years a movie with a female lead has lead the box office (both part of “The Hunger Games” franchise, but still), it makes sense to let the ladies have a movie moment during the big game. So, which trailers got you jazzed. I know, I know, the one with the dinosaurs. But which other ones?
Monday, February 02, 2015
A photo posted by JL (@j_l_nyc) on
Just in case you had forgotten – perhaps you were hit with something heavy over the weekend and/or ate so much guacamole dip you lapsed into a coma and then awoke with no memory of your former self and/or another equally plausible scenario – Dame Helen Mirren is the boss. And, just in case you had forgotten (again, for any or all of the reasons listed above), boss ass dames also ride the subway. Over the weekend Dame Helen was spotted on the R train in New York City. Note her excellent subway etiquette and impeccable purple gloves. I love everything about her. Like that she eats fries at Golden Globes parties and twerks for the kids at Harvard. Damn, sometimes you forget how much you love a person and then, boom, they remind you like a boss.