Monday, March 18, 2019

I Love You, Baby

Surpsise! It’s trailer week, plus one day. Because I absolutely cannot wait for this love story for the ages to return. I love (love love) how much the show is leaning into the obsession between Eve and Villanelle. Love can take many, many forms. In this case, it’s a mix of fear, admiration, curiosity and – let’s be honest – lust. I cannot quantify in words how much I am looking forward to the new season. The best I can do is kind of a primal squeal mixed with a guttural growl coupled with a lot of hand clapping and possibly jumping up and down.

p.s. More Villanelle in a suit and tie, please and thank you.

Friday, March 15, 2019

My Weekend Trailer

We conclude trailer week with something entirely unexpected. I’d never heard of “Booksmart” before it debuted this week at SXSW. It’s the story of two high school best friends vowing to have a little fun before they head off to college. It’s also the directorial debut of Olivia Wilde. Yes, that Olivia Wilde. And it stars actresses Kaitlyn Dever as Amy and Beanie Feldstein as Molly (you might remember her as the best friend in “Lady Bird”) as the aforementioned booksmart best friends. Amy, it appears, plays on Team Gay. And she’s gay enough to realize scissoring is not a thing. (Like, sure, you can do it – but there are so many better/easier/more satisfying ways to gay…) This film follows in the recent trend of young women claiming their sexuality and claiming their full agency. Movies like “Blockers” and shows like “Sex Education” have taken the raunchy teenage boy sex comedy genre and reframed it wonderful, empowering way. From the trailer, it looks like “Boosmart” fits delightfully in that new, refreshing tradition. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: Trailer Edition

And the movie trailers just keep on coming. You might remember me talking about “Late Night,” the new Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, Nisha Ganatra project about a legendary female late-night TV host trying to save her career.

Now, I don’t see anything overly gay – except for Emma’s wardrobe which is just an astonishingly fun assortment of suits and blazers. But you may recall Nisha’s feature film debut was “Chutney Popcorn” where she cleverly cast Jill Hennessy as her girlfriend. So I’m going to credit her with all the delightful Gender Fuck Thursday wardrobe choices.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

None of Your Beeswax

Remember that slew of lesbian films I wrote about which I like to call The Carol Effect? Well, one of them, “Tell It To The Bees” has finally come out with a full trailer and not just a clip. It starts Anna Paquin as a new small town doctor and Holliday Grainger as a woman with a failing marriage and a tattle-tale son. You might also recognize the man who plays her husband as “that asshole Jay” from “Lip Service.” Don’t be gay or we’ll take your kid away stories are nothing new (cough, Carol, cough), but I hope there’s more honey than misery in this story. A lot more honey.

p.s. [SPOILER ALERT: I heard this movie changes the book’s happy ending and now I am less excited because come one, we need all of them we can get.]

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Walk On the Emily Side

In case you hadn’t caught on, it’s trailer week here on Surrenders. Now that the doldrums of bad movies the studios hid in January and February are finally over, some really interesting movies are coming out. And that include really interesting movies featuring queer women. I know, whoddathunkit?

First up is “Wild Nights With Emily,” featuring Molly Shannon as iconic poet Emily Dickinson. I wrote about this movie almost exactly one year ago, when it was at SXSW. And now it’s getting released and we can see what kind of quirky joy Molly, Emily and out writer-director Madeleine Olnek (maker of the best/strangest low-budget lesbian film of all time “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”) have come up with together.

The result looks fun, weird, kind of delightful and super-duper gay. Super-duper-duper-duper gay. Like, really gay. Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Somemovie Like You

Well now, isn’t that fun. Like, really, really fun. Like more fun than a rom-com has looked in a long while. See what a difference a slightly different perspective and some underrepresented voices make. Plus, queer women of color, Gina Rodriguez and secret “Pitch Perfect” lesbian Brittany Snow. Yeah, like I was saying, fun.

Friday, March 08, 2019

My Weekend Crush

Here’s the thing. This picture is important. No, it’s not just Brie Larson’s rippling back muscles on full display. Or the dramatic, dare we say heroic sweep of her gown. Or even the three-story tall Captain Marvel stance emblazoned in front of her. It’s the combination of all three, plus the context that makes this photo important. This is the kind of photo that will make young girls, and older girls and women of any age, feel super. The pantheon of superheroes is for everyone, after all. And it’s high time more people felt represented in the in the fantasy of having super strength, super speed, super bravery and super heroics. More women, more people of color, more underrepresented groups. In this world of make believe, we should all feel included. We should all be heroes. Happy heroic weekend, all.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday

I don’t pretend to know one single thing about fashion. Most days I’m content if my clothes aren’t too wrinkly and don’t smell. But I appreciate people with great fashion sense. And I do not poo-poo the whole industry out of hand – and not just because I live in fear of a withering Miranda Priestly-esque “You think this has nothing to do with you”-lecture. Yeah, a lot of this shit is ridiculous. But, again, it’s what we humans do because we don’t have enough hair protecting our bodies. We all wear clothes and like to look (relatively) nice. So let us all appreciate a fellow human being who knows fashion. Loves fashion. And looks damn good in fashion. And that person is Janelle Monae at Paris Fashion Week.



Also, Janelle and K-Stew sitting next to each other in the front row made me even gayer, but make it fashion.


Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Kate vs. Chairs

Here is Kate McKinnon proving once and for all that us queers are terrible at sitting in chairs. Need more proof? Here is photographic evidence, Exhibits A to G-A-Y.



Somehow still not convinced? Please enjoy Kate wriggling in her chair during an interview. I’ve watched it…many times. Yes, many – that’s the word for it.



In conclusion, gays can’t sit in chairs… Or is it we’re fucking geniuses at sitting in chairs and everyone else is doing it wrong? *Sits crossways on both legs with feet dangling off the ground horizontally while typing this* Geniuses it is.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Blair House

Selma Blair made her red carpet debut for the first time since being diagnosed with M.S. at the Oscars last week, and she flawless. No, wait, that’s a silly thing to say because we’re all flawed and weird and imperfect creatures. Instead she was amazing, which we can do and regularly do – or at least the best of us do. It’s also amazing to hear her talk about her life and diagnosis with M.S. on “Good Morning America.”



Now, you may ask why we should care about Selma Blair as queer women. But besides her iconic snogging with Sarah Michelle Gellar in “Cruel Intentions,” Selma is a reminder of how vigilant women need to be about their health. Because if a woman as famous as Selma can be pish-poshed by doctors and misdiagnosed for years, well then we all can. And the other reason is because she can work that cane with a ball gown or a suit and tie. So, you know, throw a little Gender Fuck into this Thursday Tuesday for good measure. Like I was saying, amazing.


Monday, March 04, 2019

Drink To That

The love story between Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer is truly one for the ages. It’s definitely one for the history books. So who better to recount their monumental relationship than two drunk ladies? If you haven’t watched “Drunk History” before, you might be a little confused. But the concept is simple: someone gets really shit-faced while recounting an important and/or little-known part of history which is then reenacted, complete with slurry speech and occasional falling down, by a celebrity.

In the case of the late, great Edie and Thea, the story is told by actress and comic Alison Rich to actress and surprise nose-ring enthusiast Kirby Howell-Baptiste (who you may recognize from “Killing Eve” and “The Good Place” and the all-too-shirt “Downward Dog”). Alison Brie and Sugar Lyn Beard play Thea and Edie, respectively. And the whole thing is kind of lovely in that hazy, buzzed kind of way things are lovely when you’re on your third glass of wine. Enjoy, and bottoms up.

Friday, March 01, 2019

My Weekend Crazy

Yeah, I know, another ad. But this is an ad with a whole lot of crazy behind it. And, of course, I mean crazy in a good way. Look, brands aren’t our friends. But brands can, if they want, be more responsible stewards of cultural progress. Nike has with its support of Colin Kaepernick and Serena Williams and female athletes in general and many queer female athletes in particular proven that it isn’t afraid to wade into our national conversation and push it forward. Now redefining what it means when you call a female athlete, or any woman, crazy seems like a natural progression of that message. Besides being narrated by Serena (in an obvious response to the umpiring debacle of last year’s U.S. Open Final) the spot features out queer and/or gender nonconforming athletes like Megan Rapinoe, Castor Semenya, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi. And, well, it’s just cool. No, make that crazy cool. Happy crazy weekend, all.

p.s. If you want to see more of the Nike’s “Dream Crazier” campaign, check out this featurette on 14-year-old Chantel Navarro, that happens to be edited by Heather Hogan’s partner Stacy.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Our Shit Show

Money, the bane of all human existence, is at it again. Money, that made up concept we give value and allow to rule our lives, is said to be the reason the new season of “Wynonna Earp” has been delayed. It’s also the reason we’re all been gearing up to #FightForWynonna on Twitter for more than a weeks now.

IDW Entertainment, the studio that produces “Wynonna Earp,” is apparently very short on cash. So short that the company has not started shooting the new season, which normally would have started shooting or December or January – at the latest. Instead we’re all kind of sitting on our hands while IDW figures out how to pay for the two new seasons it promised to deliver to Syfy.

It put out a statement that basically said we love this show, yadda-yadda-yadda, but we broke or something:

“IDW is committed to continuing to tell the Wynonna Earp story. Much like the fans, we are passionate about not only the series, but the comics, the characters and the overall message that the Wynonna Earp franchise carries. We are in the process of working out the details for how the Wynonna story will continue and will share new details very soon.”
Now, fighting for our weird, endearing little shit show is nothing new for fellow Earpers. But it’s particularly disheartening when a show with such a committed, passionate and vocal fanbase has to basically beg, year after year, for more. What companies prioritize financially isn’t solely based on ratings or merit, and we all know it.

The constant instability shows like “Wynonna Earp” and “One Day At a Time” find themselves in is a reminder that it’s always a fight for some shows to survive – no matter how beloved.

Both “Wynonna Earp” and “ODAAT” are great woman-made, woman-fronted shows that highlight underrepresented voices to appreciative and often marginalized communities. We deserve more of both. But we’ll have to wait to see if we get it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Emma The Human Bra

What does it mean to support women? Like really, really support women? Well, supporting other women both in professional and personal settings is key. I would hope we all might all aspire to be the ideal human bras – supporting women tirelessly. But, admittedly, sometimes we fall short. Still, at bare minimum, we should all stop supporting men accused of sexual assaulting other women (and men). When women work with men who have credible allegations of sexual misconduct against them, it gives these bad men cover. It says, see, not all women believe this other woman or women saying bad things about me. If they did, they surely wouldn’t bend their morals so much to work with me, right? Right.

In the age of Me Too, normal clarity is actually pretty simple. Either you agree to keep working with the Harvey Weinsteins and Roman Polanskis and Woody Allens and Kevin Spaceys and Louis C.K.s and newly minted Oscar winner and admitted penis flasher Peter Farrellys of the world, or you don’t.

So then I’m thrilled beyond belief to tell you that Emma Thompson remains a true dame, all-around delight and moral powerhouse. She pulled out of Skydance Animation’s high-profile project “Luck,” after the company hired accused serial sexual harasser John Lasseter, who was forced out of Pixar for exactly those allegations. The letter Emma wrote resigning from the film is a template for how women and men should react when faced with the choice of working with a sex monster.

In a letter she wrote before resigning from the film, she wrote:

“It feels very odd to me that you and your company would consider hiring someone with Mr. Lasseter’s pattern of misconduct given the present climate in which people with the kind of power that you have can reasonably be expected to step up to the plate.”
But it gets better! She continued:
“If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave “professionally”?”
And she finished ferociously, as one might expect, saying:
“I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight. Or in a year. But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out — like me — do not take this sort of a stand then things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter’s generation.”
Fuck. Yeah. Emma. Thompson. Forever.

Look, we all knew she was awesome already. But sometimes it’s great to remember how awesome she truly, truly is.

Granted, not all women are in the same financial situation or have the same privilege that Emma does to make these decisions. But we should all aspire to give the righteous middle finger to all these truly Bad Men and those who enable them.

Also, it’s another excuse to remind people that no one gets between Emma Thompson and Haley Atwell and all other women, really. Long live this Dame who supports dames.



p.s. Did I mentioned how much Emma and Hayley support each other? So much support. So much.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

SGALGG: Oscars Edition

Turns out not having a host meant we weren’t subjected to a number of dumb skits and stunts, plus far fewer video montages and far more female winners. And some of those female winners, and other gals in attendance, did some decidedly gay gal things. So, without further ado, your 2019 Oscars Straight (and Some Gay) Gals Acting Like Gay Gals.

Amy Poehler, Tina Fey & Maya Rudolph

That suit on Amy automatically makes her the gay-mo on this Tina and Maya sandwich.

Frances McDormand & Olivia Colman

I’d watch a whole movie of Police Chief Marge Gunderson trying to whip a petulant Queen Anne into shape. And making out.

Yalitza Aparicio & Elsie Fisher

I would like a movie about them starting a junior detective agency, and I would like it now. Bonus points if Elsie’s character only ever wears three-piece suits.

Michelle Yeoh & Awkwafina

Look, if Sarah and Holland can May-December, why not?

Sarah Paulson & Holland Taylor

Speaking of our favorite cross-seasonal couple, didn’t they look grand?

Helen Mirren & Sarah Paulson

Looks like Helen knows about Sarah’s love of mature women. And likes a challenge.

Melissa McCarthy & Glenn Close

I mean, they’re not doing anything particularly gay together – except wearing capes out in public.

Queen Latifah & Danai Gurira

The look Dani is giving here shows she knows exactly what it meant to lesbians to have Queen Latifah introduce “The Favourite.”

Allison Janney & Emma Stone

I don’t mean to kink shame, but Allison seems *really* excited about eating that stroopwafel/Emma Stone.

Regina King & Angela Bassett

They’re having an arm porn contest and we’re all the winners.

Tessa Thompson & Kiersey Clemons

Wait, does Janelle know?

Madonna & Lady Gaga

No comment needed.

Monday, February 25, 2019

This Is Hilarious

Well, except for who won best picture, the Oscar show was actually pretty nice. Very nice if you think how many woman and people of color took homoe shiny naked golden men. Again,except for the whole “Green Book” is white guilt absolvement and “Bohemian Rhapsody” was directed by a sexual predator and all. But I think by far my favorite part of the night – besides how well it worked without a host – was Olivia Colman’s genuinely surprised and elated reaction to winning. I have the joint feeling of being so unabashedly thrilled for Olivia while being so very sorry for Glenn Close. But I have to think she has many shots left in her. But back to Olivia. Well, if that’s not a way to make an entire other continent fall in love with you, I don’t know what is. Long live the queen.

p.s. Do not worry, kittens, SGALGG is coming.

p.p.s. Hey, if you think writing about pop culture is high (or low) self indulgence, I wonder - why are you here on this totally free, self-proclaimed pop culture personal blog that you are under absolutely under no obligation to visit and/or read? And fin.

Friday, February 22, 2019

My Weekend Crush

We have an embarrassment of riches in the Democratic Party. Which, all things considered, is whole a lot better than just having a national embarrassment at the top of your ticket like the Republicans. As Democrats we have an ever-growing list of smart, qualified and charismatic candidates running for president in 2020. In particular, we have an amazing lineup of women running for the highest office in the land. And that, well, that’s pretty fucking awesome.

Kirsten Gillibrand. Kamala Harris. Elizabeth Warren. Amy Klobuchar. Four U.S. Senators. Four presidential candidates. Four intelligent women. Sure, you may have your favorites and you may be less thrilled about some of these candidates, but you can’t deny the power of seeing so many truly capable women run for president.

Sure, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, but the more qualified women vie to be Commander in Chief, the more it will demystify the thought of women as president. Then maybe, and here’s a crazy thought, these female candidates will be judged on their policies and their expertise instead of not on whether they’re smiling too much or too little or laughing too much or too little or eating chicken the wrong way or listening to the wrong music or whatever dumbass thing the political media will obsess about ad nauseam this time.

For sure, they owe a debut to Hillary. And Geraldine. And Shirley. And all of the other female politicians and suffragettes who blazed a trail so that one day not one, not two, not three, but four great female candidates all campaigning to be president in 2020 (and Tulsi Gabbard and some lady who is Oprah’s spiritual adviser, but, uh, yeah…).

So, yeah, this week my crush is on these four strong women. Any one of them would be infinitely better than the orange trash bag currently inhabiting the White House. May the best woman win. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Love In A Hopeless Place

Did you know Ellen Page and Kate Mara are in a movie together about love and execution and smoochies? Because they are. It’s called “My Days of Mercy” and it seems intense. Like, life or death intense. Like let’s make a movie about the death penalty and the ethicality of state-sponsored murder, but also with some lesbian love thrown in.

Obviously, I plan to watch this because it has ladies being gay and all. It has great queer DNA what with Ellen and is being produced by Christina Vachon’s Killer Films (“Go Fish,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Carol”). And Kate Mara is Rooney Mara’s older sister – so playing gay ladies on screen is obviously a hereditary trait. Obviously.

You may recall Ellen and Kate’s previous onscreen work, “Tiny Detective,” which had more pantsuits but less kissing.



So, thoughts? The good news is – at least based on their previous “Tiny Detective” work – Ellen and Kate seem to have more chemistry than Ellen and Julianne Moore had in “Freeheld.” Bless their hearts, they sure tried. But here’s hoping Lucy and Mercy find love in a hopeless place.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

She's Like The Wind

Sure, it’s still 51 days until Cersei, Daenerys, Arya, Sansa, Brienne and some zombie dude with a beard return for one last dragony hurrah. Still, no matter how much I watch “Game of Thrones,” it’s still a little strange to see Lena Headey as Cersei. I mean, there’s the hair/turnip. And then there’s the whole being evil business. And also the super serious demeanor, coupled with the evilness and the turnip wig.

But as a longtime fan of Lena Headey, it’s always jarring to read interviews where the interviewer clearly doesn’t realize what a tremendously delightful goofball she actually is beforehand. She is, basically, the anti-Cersei. Also other interviewers also never ask her all-important questions about “Imagine Me & You” because other interviewers clearly aren’t queer women and don’t know what really matters.

She did a quick Q&A with Vulture last week, and was her normal tremendously goofball self. Key takeaways:

She calls her Cersei wig “The Turnip” and says she fucking wearing it and “can’t wait to get rid of her.”

If she was a pro-wrestler she’d call herself the Choo-Choo the Train and her power would be to knock down her competition with her farts. I am not kidding, her farts.

“You pretend to pull the thing, and you go “whoo whoo!” On a train, then there’d be smoke or steam or something puffing out of the top, but instead it’s a fart! Wouldn’t even have to touch my opponents and they’d already be down.”

Geez, Lena. No GoT final season spoilers, OK? Rude! Anyway, like I was saying, a delightful goofball.

p.s. Did you know she is in a movie with The Rock? Yeah, neither did I.



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Bats of Prey

Well, this is some deliciously gay chocolate-and-peanut butter casting. You know, two gay things that are even gayer together. Folks excited about the new, standalone “Batwoman” series on the CW have one more reason to squeal. First, they cast Ruby Rose as literal social justice warrior Kate Kane/Batwoman. And now they have cast Rachel Skarsten as her lead supervillain, Alice.

According to Deadline, Alice’s character is Batwoman’s Joker and the leader of her so-called Wonderland Gang. She is described as, “Swinging unpredictably between maniacal and charming, Alice has made it her mission to undermine Gotham’s sense of security.”

You may remember Rachel from all your hot, steamy Valkubus daydreams. Or, you know, her role as the badass bisexual valkyrie Tamsin on “Lost Girl.”

The addition is a particularly nice touch because Rachel got one of her first big breaks playing Dinah Lance/The Black Canary on “Birds of Prey.” The series aired on the CW for one season from 2002 to 2003.

Look, I don’t want to mean here, but is it OK to root for the villain just this once? Go get’em, Tam-Tam Alice.