Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Everything Old Is New Again, No Really

Well, it’s an exciting time if you’re a fan of 80s and 90s television. Why? Because it’s basically all coming back. “Will & Grace” is already back. “Heathers” is (dubiously) coming back. “Murphy Brown” is much less dubiously coming back (with Candice Bergen, huzzah). The “Charmed” witches are being rebooted to smash the patriarchy or something. And now a “Cagney & Lacey” reboot has a pilot order.

Now, I am 110 percent for female-fronted TV. Imma probably watch the hell out of these (except maybe “Heathers” - what is your damage, “Heathers?”). But I’d also like to note that we had a freaking great (fine, maybe not great but definitely fun) female buddy cop show on television recently and it was called “Rizzoli & Isles.” Ahem. Well, at least the “Cagney & Lacey” pilot is being written by Bridget Carpenter whose past producing credits include “Westworld,” “Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Dead Like Me.” So that’s encouraging.

Anyway, bring on the ladies and the nostalgia.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Gotta Grammys

The Grammys are always a strange hodge-podge. You can usually count on a strange mix of performers, a strange mix of winners and at least one strange or not-so strange breakout moment. This year was no exception. It was too long. (And, for whatever reason, had too much Sting – seriously I like the dude but he’s not exactly “now.”) And there were definite breakout moments (no, they weren’t Lady Gaga stuffing a dead angel into her piano or Miley Cyrus dressing like a glamorous old Hollywood diva). One was the always impeccably dressed Janelle Monae who gave a stirring, Time’s Up-themed introduction to Kesha.

Another was Kesha and her combined Time’s Up ensemble who gave a powerful rendition of “Praying.”

And then – of course – there was Hillary reading form “Fire & Fury.”

So, thoughts? Your favorite moments? Yes, I realize I am a day late. But, in my defense, the broadcast was like 900 hours long, so it took a bit to process.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Oscar Herstory

Welcome back to Good Gay News Monday (GGNM because I’ve never met an overly long acronym I didn’t love to bits). Last week, out cinematographer Rachel Morrison became the first women to be nominated for best cinematography by the Academy Awards. That’s right, since 1929 when they started no women have ever been nominated for the award before now. In the meantime 651 men were nominated during those 89 years. Cool, cool.

Rachel was nominated for her work on “Mudbound,” the critically acclaimed feature from out filmmaker Dee Rees (who was deservedly nominated for best adapted screenplay). Rachel, it should be noted, also became the first lesbian nominated for a best cinematography Oscar.

She got the news while in the Burbank airport with her wife and their son, on their way to Sundance. AE (the good, old AE) interviewed her way back in 2008. Look what a difference 10 years makes. After her historic nomination, Rachel tweeted this.

And, as if to further prove how much anything is possible, Rachel’s next project is as cinematographer for the much-anticipated, looks-cool-as-hell “Black Panther.” Don’t dream it, be it. Happy Monday, all.

Friday, January 26, 2018

My Weekend Crush

Well here’s a story that will make you feel patriotic and gay and patriotically gay. This month a 90-year-old Air Force veteran Helen Grace James finally got the honorable discharge she deserved. In 1955, while serving as an Airman Second Class, investigators hounded her to find out if she was gay – even following her into clubs. When they “caught” her they made her sign papers admitting to being homosexual, or they’d out her to her family. (Yet another reason to hate the military industrial complex.) They discharged her as “undesirable,” which meant she couldn’t get veterans benefits like health insurance and G.I. Bill eligibility. So, she fought them. And she fought them. And she won. Sure, it took 63 years. But she made the U.S. military recognize her exemplary service. This it is further proof that, however slow it may be, the arc of the moral universe indeed bends toward justice. A grateful nation (finally) thanks her for her service. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Baking Place

My favorite big, beautiful, utterly perfect cartoon giraffe will always be Jameela Jamil. She may be a “hot, rich fraud with legs for days,” but she’s our hot, rich fraud with legs for days. Side note, everyone should really be into Tahani. So nothing could delight me more than finding out Jameela, from one of my favorite TV shows “The Good Place” was on my favorite TV baking show, “The Great British Bake Off” – or, as I like to call it, “Televised Xanax.” Seriously, if the garbage everything about the world ever gets you too down, pop on a couple seasons of GBBO (or “The Great British Baking Show” as American TV insists on calling it) and your troubles will fade away amidst the lovely English countryside and beautifully baked meringues. Heck, even the not so beautifully baked ones are wonderful, as Jameela will attest. She was on a charity Comic Relief Bake Off episode and, well, let’s just say at least she didn’t kill Mary Berry. Still, despite being mortified by her performance, Jameela said in an interview that, “To meet (Mary Berry) and then disappoint her face-to-face is really still one of the greatest things to happen to me.” I just love it when two great things come together, even if one of them is terrible at it. Enjoy, kittens, enjoy.

p.s. “The Good Place” is on tonight and this season is so good and so stressful. I love it more than pie.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Special Agent Lesbian Fantasy Fulfillment

I love it when Lesbian Fantasy Universes collide. So earlier this month Gillian Anderson was on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and they started talking about this new film she is doing with Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis. This is the first time Gillian and Kate have worked together. But, as any good gay lady will know, this is not the first time these two have worked together in their or our fantasies.

Now, normally this kind of fantasy coupling only happens in our heads. But Gillian broke the fourth wall of our imaginations and acknowledged our (and Kate’s) wildest fantasies.

In the clip she retells how she was Googling Kate – while naked in the bath – before they started working together. And she came across the infamous Brunch With Bridget episode of Kate talking about Gillian.

Those who’ve been here a while will recall the Brunch With Bridget vlog circa 2008 from the old AfterEllen (R.I.P, AE, I miss you still). But if you’re a little foggy on it, you can watch the clip in question below. It is quite something.

Now, rewatch Gillian’s reaction to watching this clip while naked in the bath. I guess the truth really is out there now.

p.s. Here’s that Kate as Special Agent Dana Scully tweet. My God, can you imagine the role-playing these two could engage in.

p.p.s. Contrary to all of our expectations, the new season of “The X-Files” is actually kinda good. Not the first episode, it was horrendous. But after that, yeah, it was actually kinda good. Who knew?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What Is Your Damage, Heathers?

Look, I want to love the “Heathers” reboot. I really, really do. Because, of course, I loved the movie “Heathers.” Who doesn’t love when teen angst bullshit has a body count? But I’m struggling to embrace the “Heathers” television reboot. One, because it doesn’t make enormous sense as a TV series. And two, because the “twist” of turning the teenage social hierarchy’s longtime outcasts (the queers, the people of colors, the plus-size) into its ultimate “mean girls” is – well, it’s a tad problematic.

Look, I get it – anyone can be horrible. Being awful and unkind and terrible is not the sole purview of, say, straight white males. Hell is other people, after all. But, as you’ve no doubt heard me as countless times, the point of representation is to show the humanity of groups of people who far too often have it denied to them. So when we fight for more queer visibility, we’re fighting to be seen as complete people – not stereotypes or scapegoats or whathaveyou.

That means, in theory, showing us queers (or POC or any other marginalized group) as villains shouldn’t be a problem because some of us are villains. Because we’re people – and some people are villains. But – and this is an important but – that first requires that the full and broad spectrum of our selves is shown and acknowledged. In other words we have to be shown as the triumphant heroes and the romantic leads and the fierce fighters and the extraordinary geniuses and the conflicted geniuses and the tragic figures and the average Joes and the mediocre Janes and, yes, even the bad guys. But we have to have enough representation for all of that to happen multiple times so it seems ordinary. You know, like straight white characters are shown every single day in the media.

But when there is still an imbalance, when say we’re shown as tragic (Dead Lesbian Syndrome says what) or one-dimensional (sassy best friend says hey) or barely there period – well, singling us out as the new mean kids – yeah, that’s a tad problematic.

Here’s the thing, queers and POC and plus-sized kids are still marginalized, every single day, in high schools across the country. They’re still terrorized, they’re still harassed, they’re still bullied. So then does anyone really relish the idea of watching this new blonde Veronica Sawyer and her new toxic masculinity poster child boyfriend JD killing these kids? I would kinda rather be fucked gently with a chainsaw, if you get my drift.

Monday, January 22, 2018

This Even Matters

Kittens, we did it. We made it through one entire year of the Trump administration. Sure, we’re all exhausted and demoralized and enraged and frightened and have I mentioned exhausted already? But, yes, we made it through one single year. Still, this weekend on the anniversary of the Hate Pumpkin’s inauguration, two amazing things happened. One, millions of women and men and descent human beings marched in protest of everything our Shithole President stands for. And two, that moron had to miss his own anniversary party because he is so inept as a president he couldn’t keep the government open despite his party, the GOP, controlling the House, Senate and the White House. Way to go, Very Stable Genius. Anyway, only 287 days until the midterm elections. Then we finally get to grab ‘em by the ballot box.

Friday, January 19, 2018

My Weekend Crush

[If you want to watch the very worth watching video, please click this link. Embed was removed because autoplay is the devil.]

Last year was, unquestionably, bleak in ways large and small (and in the case of Trump’s hands, tiny). But in an effort to force 2018 to our will (and the will of the people who, by some 3 million votes – and one would suspect counting now – did not want this) here is a ray of joy. It comes in the form of Gitanjali Rao, a 12-year-old student from Colorado who in late 2017 was named America’s Top Young Scientist. Her invention (which she created when she was 11 just to make you feel like even more of an underachiever) is a portable, fast and cheap water testing system for lead. She was inspired by the ongoing and disgraceful crisis in Flint, Michigan. And, in turn, Gitanjali is an inspiration for all of us. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

It's Getting Cate In Here

Oh, hai. Did you need a pick-me-up on this January Thursday? Here you go. Hope that gets you through the remainder of the week. And possibly your life.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Out of the Woods

At long last, is it finally Woody Allen’s moment in The Reckoning? A tiny trickle has become a steady stream of actors who have worked with the filmmaker in the past and are now denouncing, and apologizing, for their involvement with him.

They include Ellen Page, wonderful and brave Ellen Page, who posted in November about her own experiences with sexual harassment and called working with Allen “the biggest regret of my career.” Then this week alone there was Greta Gerwig, Mira Sorvino and Rebecca Hall. Lest you think it’s only ladies, two men have also stepped up – actors Griffin Newman, David Krumholtz, and Timothée Chalamet.

This matters, this really does, and I truly hope more actors and actresses who I admire and respect greatly, but have worked with Allen in the past step up. (Please, Cate, please please please, Cate.) We need them. Plus we need a lot more dudes to start stepping up, too.

If you want to familiarize yourself with why we need all their voices please refer to the two open letters Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow, has written about her father’s sexual abuse of her as a child. The first was in 2014, which brought the long-simmering allegations of abuse back to the vivid and horrifying forefront. Then she wrote an op-ed just last month wondering aloud why The Reckoning had not touched her abuser yet.

Her accounts of what he did to her have not changed. Not for decades. What has appeared to have changed is the public acceptance of the industry’s lame excuse that this was a purely “family dispute” not to be waded into out of a false sense of decorum.

I hope the full force of The Reckoning finally sweeps Allen, and all of his ilk, into the murky depths where they belong – never to heard from or lauded again. And if, by chance, you don’t think speakingout after the fact means much, please refer to Dylan’s own heartfelt response. It matters. We need them, we need more of them. It matters.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Goodnight, Sweet Dolores

Like many of you, the Cranberries were the soundtrack to a very specific time of my life. A time filled with intense change and emotion, love and heartbreak. You know, the usual. But through it all Dolores O’Riordan’s voice, this beautiful, powerful, haunting, unmistakable, unforgettable wail. Gosh, how I’ll miss that wail. We all will. Rest in peace, sweet Dolores. Thanks for the music.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Flame On

Welcome to your Monday. May you all enter this week with the kind of ferocity as Sigourney Weaver test firing a flamethrower for the filming of “Alien.”

p.s. Also, this means every time you see Ripley wielding a flamethrower in “Alien,” that fucker is the real fucking deal. Have a badass week, all.

Friday, January 12, 2018

My Weekend Oprah

Look, I don’t necessarily thing America should go elect another billionaire celebrity as its president anytime soon. One would hope the petulant orange C-Lister we have in there now would scare us away from ever again letting a famous person without a single iota of governing experience (and even less compassion or intellectual curiosity) be Leader of the Free World. But, all that said, if we were to allow another star near the White House, I can honestly think of no person more temperamentally and inspirationally perfect for the role than Oprah. She has the compassion and intelligence and hope part down pat. And her Golden Globe speech was 300 million times better than anything Donald Fucking Trump has ever said in his life. And that’s probably low-balling it. I listen to it again, days later, and still, goosebumps. So, yeah, Oprah 2020. Or someone with the compassion and intelligence of Oprah who is deeply qualified for the position 2020. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. May that speech also forever bury Dave Letterman’s “Oprah-Uma” joke. RIP.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Streep Throat

Look, it’s been an infinitesimally less terrific and no less economically advantageous time to be a straight white male recently. I know, cry them a river, they have to try to stop being such blatant garbage sex monsters. But in an effort to show you I am not your stereotypical man-hating lesbian (I’m your completely unique man-hating lesbian, thank you very much), I will allow one to share the screen with the goddess that is Meryl Streep. Here is Meryl and her loud-mouth, wise-cracking guy friend on Ellen. The Great Panted One has the two actors read lines from each other’s iconic roles in character. Naturally, Meryl does it better. Naturally. But Tom is, you know, OK. Please may nothing terrible come out ever about Tom Hanks (and by that I mean, obviously, please let Tom Hanks not be a garbage sex monster like the rest of them…)

p.s. Yes, there’s a discussion to be had about Meryl and Harvey Weinstein, but centering criticisms on what women may or may not have known about the terrible things men have done is once again blaming women for the terrible things men have done. Period.

p.s. If you’re looking for some solo Streep, here she is being delightful about Mariah Carey stealing her seat at the Golden Globes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Low Ryder

Because this is the Fuck the Patriarchy Golden Globes week here at Surrenders, I thought we’d discuss that insane L’Oreal commercial that aired during the ceremony. You know the one, where a dark-haired actress prepares nervously for her big moment in a dressing room while inspirational music swells. And then, ever so slowly, she turns to reveal it is WINONA FREAKING RYDER. And then the tagline is, “Everyone loves a comeback. Damaged hair deserves one too.”

Holy fucking shitballs, did L’Oreal just compare Winona Ryder’s career to damaged hair?

Look, it’s true, everyone loves a comeback. And, yes, it would be nice if all our hair could be lustrous and beautifully conditioned. But JFC on a cracker, is this an awkwardly juxtaposed message.

As well constructed (seriously, I’m sorry they chose that particular keyframe for the video – not to mention the title – because the whole and entire drama not to mention impact of the thing was the reveal of Winona Freaking Ryder at the end) as this ad was an strangely emotional, it’s also one of those things they would never, ever, ever ever ever ever do to a man.

Has Robert Downey Jr. ever been in an ad that compared his comeback to nice hair? Has Rob Lowe been in a commercial comparing his career renaissance to deeply conditioned roots? Was Mel Gibson subjected to hair styling product metaphors? Nope, nope and fuck that guy.

My point is, it’s a terribly superficial comparison and our beloved Winona’s career arch deserves more than allegories about shiny hair.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

SGALGG: Golden Globes Edition

You know when ladies pretend to kiss a shiny golden statue but they’re really just trying to kiss each other? Yeah, well in my head that’s what happens at every single awards show – but especially the Golden Globes. There was plenty of Straight Gals Acting Like Gay Gals action at this year’s ceremony. There were also Gay Gals Acting Like Gay Gals and Straight Gals Not Acting All That Gay But Still Pertinent To Your Gay Gal Interests (SGNAALTGBSPTYGGI?!?) Anyway, the whole thing, as I mentioned yesterday, was a sometimes invigorating, sometimes dissonant affair that I hope takes advantage of all the attention it has garnered. And with that, on the SGALGG and GGALGG and SGNAALTGBSPTYGGI. Yeah, I know, that last one needs work.

Helen Mirren & Viola Davis

That feeling when you’re gonna chase down every last sexual predator and hold him accountable for his actions.

Elisabeth Moss, Amanda Brugel & Yvonne Strahovski

Three’s company, very good company.

Octavia Spencer & Jessica Chastain

Just demonstrating some consensual touching.

Kerry Washington, Debra Messing & Eva Longoria

Just demonstrating some consensual touching in a threesome.

Tatiana Maslany & Laverne Cox

Tatiana Maslany and Laverne Cox know and appear to like each other. What a time to be alive.

America Ferrera & Natalie Portman

Natalie just looks so proud of getting America pregnant here.

Gwendoline Christie & Emilia Clarke

Admit it, you totally ship Brienne and Daenerys.

Lauren Morelli & Samira Wiley

Don’t worry, you can still ship married couples, too.

Amy Sherman-Palladino & Rachel Brosnahan

This looks like they’re going to an old-timey Butch-Femme Prom.

Lena Waithe & Tracee Ellis Ross

I never knew how much I wanted Lena & Tracee to be a couple until this exact moment.

Zoey Deutch & Haley Lu Richardson

This is how you act when you want to become a couple.

Laura Dern & Reese Witherspoon

This is how you act when you are a couple and want to go home.

Sarah Paulson & Amanda Peet

I hope Amanda know how lucky she is to be Sarah’s perpetual stand-in girlfriend.

Tonya Harding & Allison Janney

My main reaction to this photo is, holy crap, that’s Tonya Harding.

Salma Hayek & a Golden Globe

My main reaction to this photo is, holy crap, I wish I was that Golden Globe.

And now for the SGNAALTGBSPTYGGI Section:

Claire Foy


Tessa Thompson


Gillian Anderson


Lena Headey


Gal Gadot



Rita Moreno

When I’m 86 I hope I look 1/86th this cool.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Reclaiming Our Time

Right, let’s dig in shall we? This weekend’s Golden Globes were an interesting clash in acute cultural awareness and standard superficial bullshit. Pretty much everyone wore black, which while it can be seen as an empty gesture was also arresting in its own way because, well, pretty much everyone did it. Everyone. You can’t even make everyone in an office take a piece of free cake. Now, to be fair, I am guessing like 90 percent of the dudes who wore black did so by default anyway because that’s what color men’s formal wear is. But still.

This reckoning was always about more than just Hollywood. #MeToo is about the systematic abuse of women, all women. And therefore it will only be successful if it embraces the plight of all women – regardless of race or class or sexual orientation or gender identity – not just those with the privilege and platform to finally speak out. It must lift up the voiceless, which is why I commend the Time’s Up Initiative, which instead of just offering lip service is putting up real hard cash (so far $16 million dollars and counting) to start a legal defense for women who might otherwise not be able to fight their harassers. Three hundred Hollywood women signed a letter of solidarity with female farm workers and domestic workers and service workers and factory workers and so on. That matters.

And some stars even brought female activists, many of who work directly for nonprofits that help these the groups, with them as their dates to the Globes. Michelle Williams was with Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo Movement and senior director of Girls for Gender Equity. Meryl Streep was with Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Laura Dern was with Monica Ramirez, president of the female farmworkers women’s group Alianza Nactional de Campesinas. Amy Poehler was with Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. Emma Watson was with Marai Larasi, executive director of the UK-based black feminist organization Imkaan. Now this is some non-gay same-sex coupling this gay lady can certainly get behind.

I forced myself to watch some of the red carpet coverage before the ceremony, which I normally ever view on mute, to find the line of questioning a teensy bit better but only – of course – for the women. Because what in the world could men have to say about sexual harassment, even though the vast majority of its perpetrators are indeed men?

I was also pretty disappointed by all the male winners who, aside from some of their shiny “Time’s Up” pins, had precious little to say about this particular moment in our social acceptance of the bullshit women have put up with for centuries at the hand of their male counterparts. Like, yo, Alexander Skarsgard and Sam Rockwell, your projects specifically revolved around the abuse of women. And yet, nada. Solving sexual harassment isn’t just up to women and can’t be done without men’s unequivocal commitment. Also, if you wore a Time’s Up pin and worked with Woody Allen or Roman Polanski recently, GTFO.

Anyhoo. I liked quite a few of the women’s speeches. Oprah, of course. Oprah always. Babs wasn’t bad either. And Laura Dern. And Frances “Fuck yeah, I made them think tectonic shift was a cuss word” McDormand. Though my favorite cut was from Natalie Portman with his fatal delivery of “And here are the all male nominees,” just before announcing the Best Director nominees. Like, damn, this Natalie needs to come out to play more often.

As for the awards themselves I was pretty happy for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and its star Rachel Brosnahan because it’s charming and she is charming. And you can’t be mad at “The Handmaid’s Tale” and its queer-inclusive storylines and terrifyingly plausible dystopia getting more attention. “Lady Bird” was lovely and while I haven’t seen “Three Billboards” I can never not root for Frances, so there’s that.

All in all, the Golden Globes felt like a glamorous shot in the arm. May it bolster our determination to work hard and tirelessly and take advantage of the momentum of this moment. Perhaps we can accomplish the needed sea change for women, all women. Look out, sexual predators. We’re gonna chase down every last one of you and hold you accountable for your actions. In heels, and backwards if we have to. Though, naturally, as a gay lady I’ll be doing it in sensible shoes.

p.s. Tomorrow we’ll revel in some SGALGG, I promise.

Friday, January 05, 2018

My Weekend Crush

Congratulations to Ellen Page and Emma Portner, who announced their marriage on Instagram this week. Also, condolences to all the queer ladies who will now never realize their dream of marrying Ellen Page. I have to give Ellen mega gay props for not only marrying someone with a very similar sounding name (Ellen/Emma), but also the exact same initials. May Ellen and Emma live a long, happy and gay life together. Mazel tov, ladies. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Yes to Life

So, did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I didn’t really, though I do have some loose goals. Most of them revolve around staying in more and others are about staying off the Internet more. It’s nothing against you all, kittens. You all are unquestionably lovely. And, I’ll stay up here as always. But, you know, constantly updating one’s Twitter feed these days only leads to unhealthy blood pressure spikes. So, I hope whatever resolutions you’ve made this year lead to a happy and healthy you – both inside and out. And with that, time to get off the Internet and go to bed.

p.s. Fine, basically my resolution is whatever My Fake TV Wife Tina tells me to do.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The Badass Is Out There

So, let’s be perfectly frank, the X-Files reboot from two years ago sucked. It really, really sucked. It suuuuuuuuuuuucked. But, here’s the rub. I love Gillian Anderson. Like I really, really love her. Like I looooooooooooove her. And while the new “X-Files” is nowhere near the quality of “The Fall” or “American Gods,” I still feel an obligation to watch whatever impending train wreck of conspiracy theories they put out. Like I’ve invested this much into the damn show, maybe I really should see it to the end (this is the end, right? Please?)

Anyway, no matter how bad it gets (and, I have no doubt it will be bad), at least we have the glorious scene of Agent Dana Scully sliding under a table and then unleashing hot lead on a bunch of bad dudes (fast forward to 1:29 if you just can’t wait). The badass is out there, and it ain’t Mulder.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Doctor Feels Amazing

Oh, brilliant. A new year, a new Doctor. Suck it, dudes, your favorite Time Lord is now a lady. It only took 54 years and 12 other men to come to this version of Doctor Who. I’ve come to the realization that any piece of pop culture that makes the fanboys irrationally angry (see: “Ghostbusters,” “The Last Jedi”) makes me incredibly happy. So I have no doubt that I will enjoy Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. And I very much look forward to what she can do. With Tardis or without.

p.s. Love the look, especially the multiple piercings and – of course – the suspenders.