Thursday, May 31, 2018

Binging Eve

Does it have to be over? Does it really? Can’t we just bask in the wondrous afterglow a little bit longer? The finale of “Killing Eve” only made me love this wickedly clever and super sexy cat-and-cat (because, trust me, neither Eve or Villanelle are mice) thriller more.

[Spoilers for the “Killing Eve” season finale follow, so act appropriately]

No show on television has so thoroughly surprised and enthralled me as “Killing Eve” has its first season. My obsession with it is well documented (thanks, Autostraddle). Each time I thought I knew which way it was zigging, it would zag on me. But these weren’t just twists for twists sake. These were unpredictable moments grounded in the fundamentally unpredictable nature of humankind. We are wild, mercurial, selfish creatures at our core who can occasionally be tamed by the transformative power of the human heart.

Watching Eve and Villanelle’s relationship (because, come on, at this point it basically is one) unfurl itself has been an absolute delight. It’s also a reminder that a certain magic can happen when two extremely talented, charismatic and intelligent women are asked to engage with one another repeatedly about something other than men or motherhood (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with either – or at least not motherhood).

And, yeah, it was also queer as fuck. In fact, this may be one of the only shows in which I genuinely think having the “villain” being an LGBTQ character is in no way problematic. Jodie Comer makes Villanelle so mesmerizing, so magnetic you kinda/definitely root for her. Like, how do you make a psychopath empathetic? It’s witchcraft, I tell you. Well, witchcraft and brilliant writing and impeccable acting.

Was I expecting Sandra Oh to be magnificent? Yes, don’t ask stupid questions. Was I expecting the rest of the cast to compliment each other so stupendously (particularly Fiona Shaw and Kirby Howell-Baptiste)? Not exactly, but I was hoping. Was I expecting Eve to trash Villanelle’s apartment, have a heart-to-heart with her, then almost kiss only to straight-up stab Villanelle and then experience instant remorse? No, of course not, who could’ve guessed that, don’t ask stupid questions.

Look, I had no idea where “Killing Eve” was going most of Season 1. And I have no idea where it’s going in Season 2. And I couldn’t be happier about it all.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Feed Me, Cate

If you’ve ever wanted to watch Cate Blanchett feed two lesbians* a hamburger, this is your luckiest day ever. Last week Cate went on Jimmy Fallon’s show wearing what can only be described as a sequined track suit. She proceeded to school Jimmy on what makes a good burger (really, beets and an egg, Aussie friends?), then picks two Navy seawomen to feed said burgers two out of a sea of men, and finally beat Jimmy in a beer chugging contest. Also did I mention a blindfold was involved?

Let’s dispel with this fiction that Cate Blanchett doesn’t know what she’s doing to lesbians. She knows exactly what she’s doing to lesbians. And we love it. Not to mention we all wish we were those sailors.

*Look, I’m not 100 percent sure those are two lesbians. But I deeply want them to be in my heart of hearts. So, you know, be the two lesbian sailors you want to see in the world.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tank Top Tuesday: Flexcam Edition

This is the only acceptable gun show, period. These 17 seconds fills me with so much joy. May it bring you just as much, and then some.

Monday, May 28, 2018

McKinnon Monday

You know when people say, “I could listen to her read a phonebook?” Well, I could listen to Kate McKinnon talk to a bunch of 7-year-olds about financial literacy. Like, I really could. And I did. And I would even do it again. Happy McKinnon Monday, kittens.

Friday, May 25, 2018

My Weekend Crush

You didn’t think my Fake TV/Movie Wife Tina Fey would be the subject of a whole-hour long interview and I wasn’t going to write about it, right? Whew, good, I thought we knew each other well enough by now. So my Tina went on David Letterman’s new Netflix show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” earlier this month. I’ve finally had a chance to watch (and catch her season-closing SNL hosting gig) and I’ve now had my requisite Tina fix and feel amazing.

Two things really stood out for me in her interview with Dave. And they were both gentle yet firm and unmistakable rebukes of his worldview. The first, which has been written about a lot, is how she shut him down on his praise of her SNL Charlottesville/Sheet Cake sketch.

At the time, I like many people really loved and commiserated with its message. This fucking Nazi shit is so infuriating we all just want to scream into a sheet cake and hope it goes away. But, of course, the problem with that is evil doesn’t just slink off if you pay it no mind. In fact evil grows in the darkness, and now in broad daylight as well, fueled by an administration that that insists there are good people on both sides of the “Nazis versus Non-Nazis”-debate.

So in this interview Tina fully addressed the subsequent controversy over her sketch and admits its errors. In short, she chunked it. But then Dave doubles down on his praise and attempts to show himself the arbiter of all that is funny and needs no apology. But, again, Tina isn’t having it. Politely, but clearly. She admits her mistake and says those – like Dave – who don’t see its errors are also mistaken.

Earlier in the interview, she had a more subtle moment of pushback against Dave again. He brings up the topic of women in comedy and the lack of female comedy writers on late night television. And believe it or not he tries to “aw shucks” his way through his systematic exclusion of female writers.

Dave: I know this is a topic you don’t like talking about and it’s a topic without an answer, but women in comedy. And I know you’ve been very generous to women, in correcting an oversight. Now, when I had a television show, people would always say to me — I would do an interview with something somewhere, and they would say, “Why didn’t you, why don’t you have women writers?” And the best I could come up with was, “I don’t know.”

Tina: Yeah.

Dave: I didn’t know why there weren’t women writers. I don’t know. There was no policy against women writers.

Tina: Right.

Dave: And I always thought, “Well, geez, if I was a woman I’m not sure I would want to write on my little nickel-and-dime dog-and-pony show anyway cause we’re on at 12:30.”

Tina: Yeah, we do want to write on it, though.

Dave: Yeah. But that is my ignorance. And I feel bad for that, and it’s changing. Has changed.
Like I said, it’s subtle but it’s there. Ah, Tina, thank you for always being you. And also thank you for bringing back old Sarah P. once more, with feeling.

Happy Tina watching weekend, all.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

You're A Good Woman, Murphy Brown

Oh my TV gods, did I miss Murphy Brown. This was my one of my absolute favorite TV show growing up. I loved “Murphy Brown,” who helped inspired my journalistic and writer aspirations with her take-no-prisoners style. The Murphinator was, and is, a lot to aspire to. And she continues to be the kind of brassy, bold voice we could use a lot more of in this day and age. Plus, they upped the awesome quotient by adding Tyne freaking Daly. So if the alt-right gets Roseanne, I’ll happily take Murphy Brown as one of our champions over on the left. Can you imagine these two going head-to-head in a debate? Oh, wait, we don’t have to. We remember the 2016 election. Murphy can’t come back soon enough.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mi Vida Television

Look, I know we’re all behind on the shows we want to watch, let alone the shows we’re thinking about watching. And I know I recommend a lot of things (but, seriously, you’ve started watching “Killing Eve” – right?). But if I may squeeze one more show into your busy schedule let it be the Starz show “Vida.” Why “Vida?”

Before you take a deep breath and say, “Ugh, I can’t possibly add another show – UGGGGHHHHHHHHHH,” let me tell you this. This is a half-hour drama with a six-episode first season. So we’re taking, quite literally, a three-hour commitment to watch this series. Hell, I spend three hours flipping through the free movies On Demand sometimes – so, yeah, it’s not hard to fit in.

But why fit it in? Well, first off it’s a well-written drama about two estranged Mexican-American sisters who return to the East Los Angeles neighborhood where they grew up to take care of family affairs after their mother, Vida, dies suddenly. Yet in its short half hour frame it brings up issues of cultural appropriation and white gentrification while also weaving in themes of sexuality, ethnicity and family. And, again, have I mentioned it’s only a half an hour?

It’s also queer as fuck. Vida leaves behind a secret (well, at least to her daughters) wife, played by non-binary actor Ser Anzoategui.

And her eldest daughter, the above-it-all cosmopolitan professional Emma (played by Mishel Prada, left in the below photo), is also not-so-secretly queer.

The fluency in both gender and sexual fluidity comes directly from the source. The show is created by out queer writer/producer/showrunner/playwright Tanya Saracho. Her past credits include “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Looking,” and “Devious Maids.” The show itself is the first series in television history to have an all Latinx writer’s room, which also has many queer writers as well. That writing advice of “know your subject,” well, it shows.

I don’t know where “Vida” is taking its stories, we’re half way though the short six-episode season right now. But I know I’m excited to see where we all end up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Hey, do you want some great gay news from a parallel universe? Of course you do. Anything but this darkest timeline we’re all being tortured in right now. Last week it was announced that Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro would star together in the Netflix movie “First Ladies.” The press release described the political comedy thusly:

“ ‘First Ladies’ is a political comedy about America’s first female President and her wife, The First Lady. When Beverly and Kasey Nicholson move into the White House, they’ll prove that behind every great woman… is another great woman.”
I read it twice to make sure I was reading it right the first time. A married female couple in the White House? Yep, this is a queer political comedy.

This is great news for a variety of reasons. One, it’s a high-profile project with two women toplining. Two, it’s a high-profile project featuring two women toplining playing queer women. Three, it’s a high-profile project featuring two women toplining playing queer women, one of whom is queer in real life. Four, it’s a high-profile project featuring two women toplining playing queer women, one of whom is queer in real life and that was written by two queer women (Tig and her wife Stephanie Allynne).

While reading coverage of this news, I found it interesting that hardly any of the media outlets overtly mentioned the film’s obvious LGBTQ themes. They all called the two women wives, but left it unsaid that not only does Jennifer play out first female president, she is also the first female and queer woman elected president. I can’t tell if that’s a sign of the times (like, no big deal, queer people exist) or a strange oversight (um, the historic nature of the first LGBTQ POTUS & FLOTUS seems worth a mention, no?). I think it’s probably a little of both.

Though, what I really, really want to know is how do I vote for this reality instead of our current terrible reality?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Putting the Fairies in Fairy Tales

Hey, did anything happen over the weekend? Oh, right, our former colonizers had a big fancy dress party. Look, I’m a human being and I’m not immune to some of the fancy, extravagant trapping of predominate heteronormative culture. So, yes, I watched Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding (tape delayed – 4 a.m. would even be too early for a gay royal wedding, yo). And because I am here for all of your queer lady needs, I managed to find the gay in even this super, duper straight affair.

So besides stardust spread by Oprah and Amal Clooney and her husband and others, we also had a little fairy dusty coming off some actors who have been in some of our favorite LGBTQ-inclusive shows. Hence Janina Gavankar (Papi from “The L Word), Troian Bellisario (Spencer from “Pretty Little Liars) and Gina Torres (Zoe from “Firefly”) were all in attendance.

And, I even managed to find a little SGALGG between Abigail Spencer and Priyanka Chopra.

God save all these queens, and then some.

Friday, May 18, 2018

My Weekend Crush

My three biggest heroine growing up were Princess Leia, Wonder Woman and Lois Lane. It certainly helped that their actresses were (and are) incredibly talented, intelligent, compassionate, hilarious, complex and downright awesome women in their own right. Also, uh, this may be the root of my thing for brunettes. News of Margot Kidder’s passing on Monday sent a wave of sadness through me. She so embodied the brassy persistence and irrepressible charm of Lois Lane. She turned the lazy stereotype of the girl reporter into something so much more human. And in doing so she became the only woman Superman would – quite literally – move heaven and Earth for. Her very public struggles with bipolar disorder, which led to an even more public nervous breakdown and period of homelessness in the late 90s, continue to show us a very human and humane person who knew that life was full of Kryptonite. To persist doesn’t take superpowers, just endless heart and tireless mettles. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Be Better, Dudes

Look, I relate to all of this. But the hummus part made me spit out my drink. We went to a potluck lesbian wedding last summer and there were – I kid you not – like seven tubs of hummus there. But, seriously, dudes – be better to the women in your lives. Be so much better.

p.s. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Evan Rachel Wood totally agrees.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Watch These Wives

Hey, remember when I got all excited because the second season of “Take My Wife” was finally available to stream and download? Well, I’ve finally had a chance to watch it (On Demand via Starz) and it’s great. It’s actually super duper great. It’s so good. I wish there was more.

I enjoyed the first season, which was good start and incredibly gay if a tad bit process-y at times (look, it happens, we’re lesbians). But the second season is even stronger, doing more showing than telling, and explores what so few shows on American explore. That being the rich, complex, interesting lives of queer women who in many cases don’t conform to the strict gender binary that has been foisted on pretty much all of us since birth. Plus, they’re funny! It’s a show that’s inclusive and funny – for real, it’s possible, people.

And not only is the second season of “Take My Wife” inclusive on screen, it was inclusive behind the camera as well. For season 2 they had an all female writers’ room that was also 43 percent women of color. Of the 47 acting roles, 22 were played by out LGBTQ actors. And they licensed eight songs to play in one of each of the show’s eight episodes – all by queer artists.

You can make really good, really gay, really inclusive content that people will enjoy. It’s possible, it’s being done. Now go watch and support it. And demand so much more of it.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Yes Bi, No Bye

Well that was a sort goodbye. Last week, after fan outrage that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was cancelled by Fox on Thursday, it was promptly picked up for a season 6 by NBC on Friday. While I have not been a super regular watcher, I do greatly enjoy everything about Det. Rosa Diaz (and the parallel coming out journey of bi star Stephanie Beatriz). This news is particularly wonderful because it would have been a terrible shame to let such a talented and diverse cast go. So welcome back, Nine-Nine. Thought I will admit my main reason for not being a regular is Andy Samberg (sorry, that’s my thing, I’m just not that into him…) So I am rooting for less Jake and more Rose when it returns. Hey, if a show can rise so gloriously from the dead a girl can dream bigger.

Friday, May 11, 2018

My Weekend Crush

Look, we’re flooded with fictional superheroes. Men in capes. Women in armor. Angry green dudes. Etc. But real-life superheroes, well, they seldom wear capes. Seldom, but not never. When Lena Waithe stepped out on the red carpet at the Met Gala, she cloaked herself in the biggest, gayest, brightest way possible. And it was amazing. More amazing still when you realize the theme for this year was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” and actually sanction by the Vatican. So here we have this queer, out, proud black woman walking among all these other celebrities shrouded in the vestments of a religion that has long rejected us – and Lena walks out literally draped in her queerness. And, if you’ll notice, her rainbow flag includes black and brown stripes for maximum inclusivity. Yeah, now that’s pretty damn super. Thanks for being the hero we need. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Lesbian Heart Eyes Forever

Move over, Therese. There’s a new lesbian in town. And she is making major heart eyes at your Carol Aird. This week Cate Blanchett and Kristen Stewart sent queer girl hearts aflutter around the globe by appearing together as members of the jury at the Cannes film festival. But how did we get here, to the point where millions of fan-fics have already been written about the two, glamorous, suit-wearing movie stars who met cute in the south of France? Well, allow me to give you an oral (ahem) history of the lesbian heart eyes picture heard around the world.

First, they meet. Kristen is playing it cool, or at least trying to.

Then, the light hits them both just right and a keen awareness of each other’s closeness dawns.

They put on sunglasses to keep their interest in check from all the prying eyes.

But, oh no, it’s not working. Shades cannot contain this radiating attraction.

So they stop fighting it.

Later that night, Cate has already given Kristen a secret pet name.

Each time Cate uses, Kristen swoons immediately.

And then they can’t help themselves again.

So that, that’s how the Cate swallowed the KStew-nary.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

More Tales, More Gays

Hey, remember yesterday when I said it was exciting we were going to be seeing more of Laura Linney. Yeah, well, it’s pretty exciting to see a bunch of cool people like Laura, Ellen Page and Olympia Dukakis sign on for the new “Tales of the City” sequel. Adding to the excitement, the show is being helmed by out writer Lauren Morelli (most recently of “Orange Is the New Black,” where she met and married her lovely wife Samira Wiley), who will act as showrunner. I know, like I keep saying, exciting.

Netflix has picked up the 10-episode sequel that will see the return of Laura as the formerly naĂŻve San Francisco newcomer Mary Ann and Olympia as the perennial quirky landlady Anna Madrigal of 28 Barbary Lane. In the new series, Page will play Mary Ann’s daughter, Shawna.

Now, if you know anything about the original books you’ll know they were a landmark in LGBTQ fiction and their subsequent TV miniseries in the 1990s were among some of the first positive representations of gay people on television. So we can only hope – and with at least two out stars in its cast and crew actually expect – that the new series will continue that out and proud tradition. In short, fuck yeah, this is gonna be hella gay.

p.s. Hey, I just realized both Lauren and Samira are now with shows that have “Tale” in them – “Tales of the City” and the “Handmaid’s Tale.” And both appear to be quite gay. Now that's what I call big queer kismet.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Tank Top Tuesday

Another day, another tank top – and thank heavens for that. This week’s assortment showcases the versatility of the tank. From your tight plain-white tanks to flouncy thin tanks to overall tanks. Look, I don’t make the rules; it has two straps and bare arms. It’s not my fault the pants are attached – or denim.

p.s. If you aren’t watching “Killing Eve” you are missing the utter and impeccable brilliance of Sandra Oh. Also, I mentioned there’s gay stuff, right?

p.p.s. Have you read my opus on Autostraddle about why you should be completely, totally and irrevocably obsessed with “Killing Eve?”

Mary Lambert

You see, now this is what the classic white tank is a classic.

Tessa Thompson

I want Tessa to star in everything I watch, and so far she’s doing pretty well. Thor, Annihilation, Westworld, every single Janelle Monae video.

Laura Linney

I miss her. Good news I probably won’t have to for much longer. (More on that tomorrow.)

Constance Wu

I don’t think I’ve recovered from the warm, tingly feeling of having seen Constance Wu in a lesbian movie. And I might never – which I’m perfectly fine with.

Katie McGrath

Just because I stopped watching “Supergirl” doesn’t mean I’ve stopped shipping Super Corp.

Gal Gadot

The next Wonder Woman movie needs more tank tops. Just saying.

Monday, May 07, 2018

We Didn't Start The Dumpster Fire

Please enjoy this little ditty to start your week. As I’m posting this on Friday, I have no idea whether the song’s contents will still be up to date, or if there have been more embarrassing exists for “the best people.” But I do know Trump and everyone who associates with him are truly, deeply terrible people. So sing it, Rachel.

p.s. If you don’t want to suffer some immediate Trump PTSD, stop the video at 26 seconds.

Friday, May 04, 2018

My Weekend Crush

It’s been a week since Janelle Monae came out as bisexual/pansexual. A week in which nothing much changed, really. Our president is still a terrible human being. Corporations are still greedy, soulless entities that only worship money. And the internet is still mostly garbage saved only by small pockets of unspeakable wonder. But then, in other ways, everything changed.

Imagine, if you will, you’re a young queer person of color struggling with her, his or their sexuality. And then imagine the coolest, smoothest, suit-wearingest pop star in the entire stratosphere of stars comes out as bisexual/pansexual. And she makes music videos where she openly cavorts with women (and men) and writes an entire song about how fucking awesome vaginas are. And then she says that she is now a “free-ass motherfucker” after publicly coming out.

As she told Rolling Stone:

“I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you.”
Yeah, Janelle Monae sees you. And that, that makes a world of difference. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Gender Fuck Thursday: Cate Blanchett Edition

Sorry, I mentioned the appalling lack of Cate Blanchett yesterday so of course today I have to remedy that immediately. Our favorite 1950s lesbian/Goddess of Death/elf queen/ Queen of England has been stepping up her suit and blazer game of late. Even among five of the other eight of “Oceans 8” she holds court. But then, we would never expect less.

Even while entirely casual, she looks amazing.

Or when looking studiously casual, still amazing.

And, of course, she looks amazing being all glamorously casual.

p.s. Her Han Solo vest game is also amazing – naturally.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Review: "Disobedience"

After watching (seemingly) endless clips and enduring (seemingly) endless debates about what exactly sensual spitting entrails, I have now seen “Disobedience.” If you are looking for a fun or even remotely playful film (Ă  la “Imagine Me & You” or “Saving Face”) this is not that lesbian movie. Nor is this the kind of lesbian movie that’s a gorgeous period piece with a sumptuous score, angels flung out of space, or Cate Blanchett (but alas, all movies without Cate Blanchett suffer from not having Cate Blanchett).

But if you are looking for something that explores, in depth, a strict, insular religion, which binds those in it together in unspoken and unquestioned ways, “Disobedience” is the movie for you. The film’s central triumvirate is Rachel Weisz’s free-spirited Ronit (who has left her small Orthodox Jewish community), Rachel McAdams’ Esti (who stayed behind) and Alessandro Nivola’s Dovid (who became the protĂ©gĂ©e of Ronit’s rabbi father and married Esti after she left). The trio were childhood friends, the history between them in palpable.

Now you could look at what transpires in “Disobedience,” when Ronit returns unexpectedly after her father’s death to the community she escaped to face the people she left behind, in one of two ways. One, it’s a fascinating look into a closed community that rarely invites outsiders in and whose deep faith dictates their every move. Or two, a claustrophobic look at what closed communities that rarely invite outsiders in and whose deep faith dictates their every move.

As a person who grew up in a non-religious household, I found the focus on this devout community and its rigid rules for nearly everything (touching someone of the opposite gender, women’s hair, fedora worship) to be stifling. But I can completely understand if you came from a similarly devout background that you would connect inherently to the film’s themes. The pressure and influence it can exert over, again, everything in a person’s life is very real. The search for something higher or more meaningful in life, whatever that may be, is nearly universal.

The acting is, unsurprisingly, superb. I’ll never understand why Rachel Weisz isn’t a bigger movie star. And Rachel McAdams, well she disappears (and I mean that in a good way) completely into Esti and her wig. You can feel Esti’s longing for Ronit down to the bone.

And now, onto that sex scene. I’ll admit, I did not enjoy the spitting – as relatively minor as it was. I understand, everyone has their kink and mean no kink shame. But it felt misplaced without some context. Are we supposed to believe this is something they did together when they were younger, perhaps even before their sexual relationship began? Probably, a lot is left unsaid and we are meant to fill in the gaps.

It should be noted that according to people who have read the book there is no spitting scene, which makes it read less like a childhood remembrance and more like something the director thought would be sexy. If it works for you, that’s cool.

The complex push-pull of obligation, desire and basic human decency are undeniably well done in “Disobedience.” But I couldn’t help feeling like I was watching in a room without enough air, but with plenty of windows just waiting to be opened. It’s a reminder of the things we will accept instead of true freedom and happiness.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

May the Tina Be With You

Dammit, now I have to fly across country to New York to go see “Mean Girls” on Broadway and talk to very poster of the show I see randomly on the off change that My Fake TV/Movie Wife Tina Fey will be there and give me a great big hug. Hey, you have your dreams and I have mine. Happy May, kittens.

p.s. In my dream, we both fall on our own pant legs going in for the hug because, of course.
p.p.s. I am going to purposely start having my pants hemmed too long just for this purpose.