Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Who ya gonna call?

Ask and ye shall receive from The Internets. And just in time for gayzzoli. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a glorious mastercut of Det. Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles performing their signature “Rizzoli” and “Isles” synchronized phone greetings. That series of tubes never fails to amaze. [Hat tip, @loudestdork!]

p.s. Don’t forget to check out my Gayzzoli Recaps up at AfterEllen on Thursdays this season.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A More Perfect Union

Lest you forget, sometimes the world really does get better. Friday’s historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage – or just marriage as it’s now called in all 50 states – has finalized the case for enshrining June 26 as a national gay holiday. The date is the anniversary of Lawrence vs. Texas (2003), which decriminalized gay sex; Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013), which overturned Proposition 8; and United States v. Windsor (2013), which ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Now with this year’s Obergefell v. Hodges creating a constitutional right to marriage equality, June 26 truly has become the gayest day of the year.

Progress on this journey has been slow, but also stunning. From 2004, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, to 11 years later, where it is the law across the union, it has been an incredible journey. We have the tireless work and fierce devotion of countless advocates to thank for this achievement. But it’s also proof that people can change, that the hearts and minds of everyday Americans can change when our shared humanity is realized.

The thing about civil rights is that our collective advancement isn’t really about the minority group in question. Granted, each community pushes for its own progress. It’s not as if in 1964 all of a sudden African-Americans become enlightened and therefore worthy of discrimination protection. It’s that the majority – white Americans – become enlightened and realized we’re all just humans imbued with the same inalienable rights. (Granted, there’s a still a long way to go on that regards, a long damn way.) The same goes for gay rights. It’s not that LGBT people finally deserved the right to marry, it’s that the majority – straight America – finally realized love is love. (And, of course, we still have a way to go for employment, housing and other full protections.)

But therein again is why days like June 26 matter so much. It’s hard work fighting for equal rights. It’s exhausting and draining and often thankless. So when the Obergefell v. Hodges days happen, we must celebrate them as, to coin a term from President Obama, the thunderbolt of justice that it is. Days like that are the jolts we need to keep going. They are the sparks to keep the struggle alive for all groups who deserve full and equal protection under the law.

June 26 is a day to celebrate and a day to inspire us to continue our journey toward that more perfect union. Now, let’s all go get married, you big beautiful country.

p.s. I’m not the kind to normally chant this, but “USA! USA! USA!”

Friday, June 26, 2015

My Weekend Pride

Today could be the day. Monday could be the day. We never fucking know with SCOTUS. But what we do know is that it’s Pride Month and that means regardless of what nine people in black robes say, we should feel empowered to celebrate ourselves. I’ve been going to pride for more than a decade now. And each time I go, despite the crush of humanity and desperate hunt for restrooms, I leave feeling glad I went. Because there is strength and joy in numbers. The modern gay rights movement started as a riot against police brutality. So our pride at being out together en masse is about so much more than wearing rainbow-themed tchotchkes and seeing go-go dancers on floats. It’s about celebrating every single stride we have made and reaffirming our resolve to continue to our struggle toward full equality. So here are a few gifs to help you shout it loud and proud this weekend. Happy Pride and happy weekend, all.

p.s. Also, please enjoy this lovely Equality video from our gal Hillary.

p.p.s. We won! We won! We won! We won! We won! We won! We won!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Secret's in the Subtext

So I’ve got another new Women & Hollywood column up (or about to be up) this week. This time I went through a chronology of lesbian films through the decades to show how far we’ve come (and still need to go). One of the films I included, “Fried Green Tomatoes,” continues to be a lesbian favorite despite not featuring any explicitly lesbian content.

But we all knew, we alllll knew. Those of us who read Fannie Flagg’s source material knew with even more certainly, but still anyone with even a modicum of gaydar knew that Idgie & Ruth were a couple. Not best friends. Not gal pals. Not business partners. They were girlfriends, they were a family.

Yet, through the magic of Hollywood, two women could live together, raise a child together, start a business together yet still somehow be just friends. Some folk’s willful ability to delude themselves is truly impressive.

Still I think, despite the silly subterfuge, what “Fried Green Tomatoes” is really a great example of is our ability to embrace the narratives we want to see. A story that perhaps back in 1991 was too risqué (Women! In love! Gasp!) has been reclaimed by our community. And, better yet, in the years since we’ve been able to tell our own stories with total clarity.

Our progress since means it’s OK to keep a soft spot for the ladies of the Whistle Stop Café. Plus, I dare you to call yourself a true lesbian if you haven’t named at least one pet Idgie, Ruth or some combination of the two. Pet names for each other count, too. Secret’s in the sauce, ladies. Secret’s in the sauce.

You can read the column here.

p.s. That food fight continues to be one of my all-time favorite movie scenes. She’s tryin’ to teach me how to cook!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Streep Tease

As news broke yesterday of yet another unknown white guy (Tom Holland who?) being tapped to helm another major franchise (does anyone even want another “Spider-Man” movie?) as directed by some equally unknown white guy (Jon Watts what?), I didn’t even bother repressing my yawn. Seriously that willmake six “Spider-Man” films featuring three different white guys as “Spider-Man” with three different white guy as director since 2002, I could not be more bored. I mean, we get it, he sticks to stuff. I would rather watch Meryl Streep take on and off her glasses one million times than see another “Spider-Man” story on the big screen. In fact, I think I will. Could you imagine how epid Meryl would be peering through, over and under her glasses in IMAX? That is all.

p.s. Please consider this a belated happy birthday for Meryl, who turned 66 on Monday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Orphan Puppy

Damn, “Orphan Black,” damn. I haven’t really been able to process this season past the “holy shit” and “noooo” of it all. But, you know, holy shit and nooooooo!

[Spoilers for the “Orphan Black” season finale, obviously]

So, yeah. I hate to say it but going into the season finale I was pretty sure either a) Shay, or b) Delphine would die. The cynical side of me would say it’s because there couldn’t possibly continue to be two strong, viable romantic interests for the lesbian character on television. The less cynical side of me says that under her breath, but also understands how story development works and saw either of them as the most likely “expendables” in the plot.

So while I wasn’t shocked, I am terribly saddened that Delphine had to get that gut shot. (Though, fingers crossed, we didn’t actually see the kill shot – I know, I know – let me dream.)

I can’t say I’m super excited about this new Neolution direction. But then I wasn’t super excited about the Castor clones direction either, and they turned out to be mostly harmless (well, not literally, but you know what I mean). It’s not that I think the concept of the Neolutionists is bad, it’s that whenever you get religious wingnuts (or whatever this brand of zealotry is) involved things can get, well, nuts.

But, anyway, back to Delphine. Oh, Ms. Dr. Cormier. How I will miss her. How much she loved Cosima. How well Evelyne Brochu played this whole season. That last scene when she tells Cosima goodbye? As the kids today say, ALL OF THE FEELS. They still say that, right?

It’s hard to imagine that all that crazy science and all that puppy love is really gone. But, damn, way to become the hero this show deserves.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Do Squeeze the Sharmen

Damn, it’s the start of another workweek. Damn, it’s the return of Sharmen. See, inflection makes all the difference. In case you missed it last week, Kate Moennig and Sarah Shahi reunited on the set of “Ray Donovan.” Sarah guests on the Showtime series as an “Armenian pop star,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Yeah, that’s still not gonna make me watch the show. But the mini “The L Word” reunion did make ne feel all nostalgic. And it no doubt swelled the heart of Sharmen lovers (hisss, Shenny lovers, hisssss) everywhere. Can you believe it has been almost 10 years since Shane left Carmen at the altar? Damn. Yeah, like I was saying, inflection.

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Weekend Contemplation

The shooting this week of nine innocent people at the historic black church in South Carolina says more about our country than most people want to admit. And our response to it will say the rest. Despite the endless squawking on cable news, this despicable shooting in Charleston is not confusing. There’s no mystery to why this horrible act of violence occurred. Racism and guns. That’s why. The only mystery is why we don’t do more to fix it.

This idea that your race/gender/faith/class/sexuality/etc. is better than any other and entitles you to anything is taught is must be untaught. The mindset that you are superior to others and should have power to control their bodies and lives is one that comes from an ingrained sense of privilege. It comes from living in a system that has this principle in the foundations of its most revered institutions.

To pretend that this mass murder by yet another angry white man is just an example of one troubled, lone wolf is to be willfully ignorant. To pretend that our country’s open and easy access to guns has nothing to do with the epidemic of mass shootings is to be willfully ignorant.

Racism (as with every other –ism and –phobia that plagues our culture) is not a mental illness, it’s a learned behavior. We can unlearn it, we just need to will.

The world can be so complicated. We can get caught up on our dramas and our grievances and our jealousies and our hatreds. But it should be so simple. Live and let live. Work hard and be nice to people. Just do right. As the late, great Dr. Maya Angelou would say, it is up to us. Happy and peaceful weekend, all.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Let's Hug It Out

So, today might be the day. Or today might not be the day. You never know with the damn Supreme Court. But whether SCOTUS gives its same-sex marriage ruling today or not, the one thing I can guarantee is if you pop on over to AfterEllen you will find a brand new “Rizzoli & Isles” Subtext Recap for your reading pleasure. Sure, there might have not been a ton to work with in the Season 6 premiere, but we work with what we’ve got. So kindly head on over and leave a comment over on the recap if you would be so kind. I gayzzoli for you. Fine, also for me. It just makes watching this silly show more fun.

p.s. If SCOTUS does rule today, expect more celebratory gifs. As you can see, I just figured out how to ad captions.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yogurt Me All Night Long

This ad is sexy as hell. And this ad is running on American television. I saw it, with my own eyes. On my television. This week. Look, it’s not like I’m not going to run out and buy a bunch of Greek yogurt now or anything. But, man, if this ad doesn’t make me at least a little happy this Greek yogurt exists.

This ad also continues yogurt (and peripherally related dairy products) grand lesbian tradition in commercials.

Who can forget Leisha Hailey’s Yoplait commercials. (But, seriously, who serves yogurt at a wedding?)

And then there was Erin Foley the cream cheese angel. (Perfecting the swirl long before Crazy Eyes and Chapman tried to chocolate and vanilla it.)

Happy pride month dairy product lovers.

p.s. I would like to note that there have been a pleasant flurry of national TV sots recently featuring LGBT people being very ordinary and very everyday in wonderful ways. The Wells Fargo ad. The Tylenol ad. The Sabra Hummus ad. (Yes, of course, hummus!) So this one actually stood out because it was, well, sexy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back to Gayzzoli

And they’re back. Yes, it seems hard to believe but we’re six seasons in and this totally gay, not gay pas de deux between one Det. Jane Rizzoli and one Dr. Maura Isles continues. But here we are, back for a new season. Ready for more gayzzoli. Eager for any eye sex. Still tickled by the Totally Gratuitous, Totally Gay Touching. I’ve always said I was in it for the fun of it all. While it would be nice if they eventually gave in to the undeniable chemistry, I have no illusions that this will happen anytime soon. So for me, it’s about molding the stories into what we really want to see. And, again, it’s another of those rare shows revolving entirely around female leads. Because – as silly as the crimes and stories may seem sometimes – there is just something so indisputably likeable about these women together. Now, if only they’d see it, too.

Plus, it seems like a pretty fun set. Also don’t forget to use #gayzzoli in your live tweets and look for the subtext recaps Thursday on AfterEllen.

Monday, June 15, 2015

OITNB Season 3 Review: Standing Still Is Hard

The animals, the animals, binge, binge, binge ‘till the season’s done.

So, if you were like me and countless other gay ladies, you binge watched Season 3 of “Orange Is the New Black” this weekend. News on Thursday that the season had been released early caused a small hitch in my marathon plans (my snacks weren’t ready – the nerve). But I stuck to the schedule and I took my pre-planned vacation day Friday to watch the whole.damn.thing. I know some of you prefer the slow-and-steady approach to watching to make the 365-day wait more tolerable. But, me, I couldn’t be happier with my decision.


So what struck me about the third season was how it was at once smaller and deeper than previous seasons. I thought Season 2 was immensely satisfying, particularly its karmic ending. But something about creating a Big Bad for this show felt also felt a tad formulaic. What I like about this new season is they haven't gone for another big Vee-type villain (well, aside from for-profit privatized prison corporations…and bedbugs). Instead the writers let smaller, more intimate stories carry these diverse women’s lives forward.

Because OITNB has always been about so much more than one rich, white woman who gets thrown in jail. And, as it did so well last season, Piper again wasn’t the main focus. And this is important because as much as I love the toxic hot mess that is Pipex, the show is stronger when more women get to shine. If anything, Piper’s dirty panty business provides a comedic arc for the season. Not that shit doesn’t get dark. It’s prison, well, TV prison.

This season also continued the show’s precedent of diving deep into the lives of even the most obscure and ancillary characters. Chang? Yep – they go there. Leanne? Yep – they go there, without buttons. (Her Amish storyline was as close to a Morello-like OMGF character revelation as we got this season.)

I also appreciate how the writers tackled anti-trans violence with Sophia’s storyline. Given the very real, very sad statistics about assault and harassment of transgender people, it’s important to show this side of Sophia’s life in Litchfield. It’s not all beauty shop gossip and Vanity Fair covers and Diane Sawyer interviews for most trans folks. Not even close.

Not that everything was perfect. I wish we didn’t have to lose Nicky to max. (She’s coming back, right? Right???) I wish we didn’t have to have yet another graphic rape scene on television. (I know they’re touching on a real-life problem of rape by prison guards, but after watching this season of “Game of Thrones” and “Outlander” I’m tapped out on rape as a plot point.)

But what has made OITNB great continues to make it great – it’s unfailing devotion to telling the three-dimensional stories of a diverse group of women. And that diversity of women’s stories – by age, race, class, education, religion, size, sexual orientation, etc. – is what makes OITNB so unique and so very special. Find me another show that is willing to put so many of these kinds of women’s stories front and center. You can’t. This is it.

So the fact that this season doesn’t have an overriding arc is actually one of its strengths. Instead it’s allowed to be about how these women mark time, since they’ve got plenty of it after all, and find meaning in this place. These women are forced to stand still with their flaws and foibles. And – as the song says – taking steps is easy; standing still is hard.

And I haven’t even touched on Ruby Rose’s Stella yet. What can I say? *low whistle*

So now the only question is which I want more: A “You know I have a thing for soft fruit” or “I will potato her at a future time” T-shirt?

Well, what did you think? I’ll probably have more to say the more I think about the season. But here, in the afterglow, I couldn’t be happier.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Vacation Vixen: Ladies of Litchfield

Luckily, I don’t have to miss these ladies anymore. Don’t both the lesbians this weekend, world. We’re busy watching OITNB.

p.s. Did you figure out what the theme for this past week was? Hope you didn’t miss it. See you on Monday, kittens. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Vacation Vixen: Gina Rodriguez

I missed way too many episodes of “Jane the Virgin” this season. My goal is to catch up by the end of my vacation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vacation Vixen: Mary-Louise Parker

I miss Mary-Louise. What has she been up to lately? Hanging out with Idgie and charming bees or something, hopefully.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Vacation Vixen: Sasha Alexander

I sure miss Dr. Maura Isles and her fun facts. But luckily, Sasha will be back on TV where she belongs in just one week.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Friday, June 05, 2015

Vacation Vixen: Sigourney Weaver

Sure, I loved Ripley and the “Alien” movies. But I would have also watched a whole franchise of Sigourney snuggling kitties in space. Who wouldn’t? Happy weekend, all.

p.s. And thus ends my Week 1 black & white theme.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Vacation Vixen: Sandra Oh

Since I don’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy” anymore, I’m actually kinda thrilled she left. Now I might actually see her more. (Ducks for tomatoes from the Calzona/Greys fandom.)

Monday, June 01, 2015

Vacation Vixen: Carla Gugino

“San Andreas” was big and dumb and a ton of fun. Plus, it was a pleasure to see Carla on the big screen again. And she’s also in “Wayward Pines.” So, you know, double your Carla, double your fun.

p.s. I’ll be on vacation the next two weeks. But don’t worry, hot, fresh any very tasty Vacation Vixens will be up each day while I’m away.