Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tank Top Tuesday: Gif-tasic Edition

Women in tank tops are a thing of beauty. Women in tank tops moving in an eternal loop of hotness are also a thing of beauty. You’re welcome.

Tessa Thompson

Evangeline Lilly

Alicia Vikander

Janelle Monae

Daisy Ridley

Gal Gadot

Anne Hathaway

Anna Silk

Zoie Palmer

Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Motivations

As we come to the end of one beloved epic fantasy series (Reminder: Team Any of the Women), may Jodie Foster remind you about the best thing about another former beloved epic fantasy series. I have never related to a two-time Oscar winner who is also a married lesbian who also has excellent taste in reasons to watch science-fiction/fantasy franchises. Happy having your priorities right Monday, kittens.

Friday, April 26, 2019

My Weekend Crush

I, like the rest of the civilized and uncivilized world with televisions and an HBO subscription, am watching the end of “Game of Thrones” with great interest – and, now that we’re a third through this final season, questions. Who will win the Iron Throne? Why in the world did they make Arya straight? (Or, at least, straight curious…) Who actually thinks Sir Brienne of Tarth is not a lesbian? Is it OK to root for Cersei just because of residual warm and fuzzy feelings from “Imagine Me & You.” To be perfectly honest, I’m rooting for any of the women to finish atop the Iron Throne. Daenerys, Sansa, Arya, Brienne, Yara, Missandei, Gilly, Lyanna total badass Mormont, Melisandre (I mean, why not, she can raise the dead which seems – you know – helpful) and, yes, even Cersei fucking Lannister. Why? Because it’s about time women earn the respect – look at me work in the word of the day like a pro – they deserve by coming out the sole victor in a major science-fiction/fantasy franchise. Plus, we all know Cersei has a soft spot for muppets. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Gender Fuck Kidman

I don’t really know what’s going on with Nicole Kidman in this Vanity Fair photoshoot. Like that wig is…something? And the whole Michael Jackson vibes with that jacket are…intentional? But I am happy she has apparently forgotten how to button buttons. Hey, it’s the little things.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sex Bloopers

Just a reminder, “Sex Education” was a truly delightful and unexpectedly thoughtful look at teenage (and adult) sexuality. Plus there’s Gillian Anderson with that hair and this accent. So, you know, you should have probably watched it by now. Like, if the cast is this endearing when they’re fucking up, think of how great they are when they aren’t.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Saving Sequel

If you’re anything like me you consider “Saving Face” among the best lesbian rom-coms of all time. Sweet, well-acted and nicely-paced, the film was a refreshing look at being queer as a young, modern Asian-American woman growing up in a tight-knit immigrant community. You know, the kind of stuff Hollywood doesn’t even do that much of even when it’s straight stories.

So now, 15 years later, we finally get a follow-up film from “Saving Face” filmmaker Alice Wu. (Yes, I too raised an eyebrow at the fact that it took Wu 15 years to get a chance at a follow-up film when rando white male directors get one film into a festival and are promptly signed to helm a three-film, billion-dollar franchise.)

Netflix has picked up the project, called “The Half of It,” which is being billed as a teenage retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac with a queer twist.

It’s about “a shy, introverted, Chinese-American, straight-A student finds herself helping the school jock woo the girl they both secretly love. In the process, each teaches the other about the nature of love as they find connection in the most unlikely of places.”

As delightful as “Saving Face” was, I have no doubt “The Half of It” will be a wonderful, and very very welcome, addition to the LGBTQ pantheon of movies. Now, if we can get Alice to make her next movie in fewer than 15 years, we’ll really be getting somewhere.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Scribegrrrl Reports: Gentleman Jack

Special Report: Well, kittens, you are in for quite the treat. We have a very special report from my new Surrenders East Coast Correspondent, Scribegrrrl. Yes, you remember Scribe. She of the definitive "The L Word" recaps. She of just being the most awesomely Scribe to have ever scribed, period. Well I managed to lure her out of blogging retirement with a trip to the New York premiere of "Gentleman Jack." And this is the glorious result. So please enjoy.

Scribegrrrl Reports: Gentleman Jack

As this very blog has shown -- to thrilling, breathtaking, and staggering effect -- there's something about a woman in a suit. And as of tonight, there's a new deity in the suited pantheon: Suranne Jones, star of HBO's "Gentleman Jack."

"Gentleman Jack" tells the criminally untold story of Anne Lister, a 19th-century English landowner with a big brain and a hungry heart. If you haven't heard of Lister, that's because she's mostly been left out of the history books. “Gentleman Jack” creator Sally Wainwright (more on her later) has been trying to bring Lister's story to the screen for two decades, and I’m so glad she didn't give up.

The show draws from Lister's diaries, which comprise more than four million (!) words. They were partly written in a secret code and were never published, but Wainwright is helping to digitize them and has also helped produce a “Gentleman Jack” tie-in book. Not that you're likely to need supplemental reading material: in Suranne Jones's hands, Anne Lister is fully realized. Jones expertly conveys Lister's lust for life, as well as her impatience with the repression of her day. But Jones doesn’t paint Lister as a legend or an archetype; she keeps her human. Magnetic and dazzling, yes, but also human.

Jones is something of a muse for Wainwright. Their past projects include a little show called "Scott and Bailey." I expected to see some similarities between Rachel Bailey and Anne Lister, but Jones is a much better actor than that. She seems like a pretty great person as well: in interviews, she respects the magnitude of Lister's story and acknowledges the importance of getting it right.

I still haven't forgiven Wainwright for killing off Kate in "Last Tango in Halifax," but “Gentleman Jack” might start to heal the rift. Some aspects of the show feel kind of off, especially an addressing-the-camera thing that comes out of nowhere and then takes too long to come back. But overall the show is absorbing, romantic, and funny. And Jones has considerable chemistry with Sophie Rundle, who plays her love interest. It's the kind of chemistry that would bring forth fanfic if this were subtext rather than main text -- but it's not! The real Anne Lister would be gobsmacked.

The show includes other Wainwright favorites, including a scene-stealing Amelia Bullmore. (The pool of across-the-pond actors seems *so* tiny!) The generally excellent cast holds its own against the stunning landscapes and sets; a lot of filming took place at the actual Shibden Hall, Lister's family estate that dates back to the 15th century.

And of course the costumes are key. (Never mind Anne's weird hair -- it's historically accurate.) Suranne Jones in a top hat, carrying a walking stick... well, SWOON.

Friday, April 19, 2019

My Weekend Trailer

Well now, this seems fun. I am weathering a female friendship TV show drought right now. “Broad City” just ended. “Girls” and “Sex and the City” and “Rizzoli & Isles” are long gone. “Laverne & Shirley,” “Kate & Allie,” and “Ab Fab” are even longer gone. (Yes, I realize I probably should jump into “Grace & Frankie,” but I just haven’t had the time.) And I gave “2 Broke Girls” a fair and honest try, I really did. So now I pin my hopes on the animated “Tuca & Bertie.” It’s from one of the female minds behind “BoJack Horseman” (which I also didn’t watch) and stars Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong as the voice talent and eponymous Tuca and Bertie, respectively. I’ve been getting into animated shows more (have you checked out Netflix’s animated short series “Love, Death & Robots” because it’s worth it for the trippy visuals alone.) So I am looking forward to what aviary feminist shenanigans/patriarchy smashing rage blackouts these two can get themselves into. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Wine Us Away

Wine! Women! Lesbianism! Laughter! I mean, what’s not to love? Amy Poehler’s directorial debut brings together so, so many funny ladies. I was excited when I heard about this project and I’m excited now that I’ve seen the trailer. Plus, there’s a lesbian in the mix because – as we well know – everything is more fun with us gay gals. Fine, Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer and Tina Fey also help.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Telling Tales

Nostalgia for beautiful things is natural. I was never a huge “Tales of the City” fan. It was a bit before my time and it always felt kind of sudsy to me. But there’s something sort of sleepily sweet about the nostalgia the new “Tales of the City” series is peddling. While I’m not necessarily personally invested in these characters, I welcome new LGBTQ stories. I welcome the beautiful diversity of our community and embrace all of our magnificent differences. More, better stories always. Now, isn’t that beautiful?

p.s. Also Ellen Page kissing the girl who talked really fast from “Girls” is pretty OK, too.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Our Beautiful Lady

No pop culture today, instead just a few words about the collective importance of beauty. Regardless your views on religion and religious organizations, Notre Dame was a thing of beauty. It’s soaring spire and elegant buttresses and breathtaking windows. You don’t have to know anything about architecture to see it was special. I have been lucky enough to visit it twice in my life. And when you see it you are reminded that while humans may be and do terrible, sad, angry, greedy, violent, simple, selfish, wasteful, frivolous, impatient and ignorant things, sometimes we can also make things that transcend even our own infinite sins. So when that something beautiful is destroyed – literally goes up on flames for us to watch on live television – we feel a collective helplessness. No, see, that’s one of the few things we can do, when we really try – build things that inspire. Create things that stand the test of time. Make our world more beautiful. This just reminds us of our impermanence. Still, moments like these challenge us to be our better selves again. To rebuild and remember. We can make beautiful things, if only we try.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Lesbian Heart Eyes Forever, Again

Well now, Kathryn Hahn staring lustily at Rachel Weisz is giving Kristen Stewart staring lustily at Cate Blanchett a run for her lusty lesbian money. Seriously, I could watch this on a loop all day. Wait, no, I would watch “Carol,” then this video again, then “Carol” again, then this video again. Well, you know the rest.

Friday, April 12, 2019

My Weekend Crush

Look, I’m neither a Baylor or Notre Dame fan. They’re both conservative Christian colleges. But being from Indiana, I had to root for the Fighting Irish. So I was dissapointed when they lost the Women’s NCAA basketball championships. But I was still thirlled about Muffet McGraw. The team’s head coach went viral last week after being asked about hiring practices in the sport. But what she was really talking about was hiring practices and women’s treatment in the wider world. It was great, really really great. She dissects traditional gender roles, the need for female leaders, workplace power dynamics and ye olde patriarchy all in just about two minutes with such passion and conviction there’s no wonder she’s a great coach. Because, damn, that was inspiring. Also her name is Muffet, so how could you not root for her? Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: JT LeRoy Edition

The sorted story of JT LeRoy is one anyone who lived through the early 2000s will no doubt recall. You know, back in the good old says when our scandals were about fictional authors instead of deranged presidents. Kristen Stewart plays “JT,” the made-up avatar of real-life author Laura Albert who in turn is played by Laura Dern. Also did I mention Courtney Love and Diane Kruger and exactly zero famous men are also in this movie.

Can I just say this may very well be the role K-Stew was born to play. Instead of her perceived above-it-all, hipster ironic persona, her JT seems sweet and vulnerable and even endearingly awkward. Like, is this what Bella Swan would have actually been like in real life? Well, you know, minus the hat and sunglasses and pretending to be a man who had suffered a childhood filled with poverty, drug use and sexual abuse.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about K-Stew and Diana kissing yet. Diana plays a fictionalized version of Asia Argento, here called Eva Avelin. She’s a charming manipulator who wants the rights to JT's work to make a film. In real life (I know, so much back-and-forth), Asia made JT's second book, “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things” into a movie in 2004.

Just another movie about dressing in male drag, kissing ladies and pulling off a huge literary coup. No bigs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Killing It

I have, ever so impatiently, given you enough time to watch the “Killing Eve” season two premiere. I mean, you’ve watched it by now – right, kittens? Like, at least twice. Naturally. Because if you haven’t I have to seriously question your commitment to assassin motion.

I’m happy to report that so far “Killing Eve” is as good as ever in its sophomore season. Smart, taught, funny, unexpected, stylish, smart some more. The show remains one of the most original stories on television – two women chasing each other for professional and personal reasons like we’ve never seen explored on a mainstream show before.

And, even better yet, the series has been renewed for a third season already. What’s interesting is it is following a new model for television with a new, female showrunner taking over each season. It is pretty much the polar opposite of the auteur model preferred by most prestige TV. Think “The Sopranos” and “Mad Men” where their male creators (David Chase and Matt Weiner) served as showrunner for the entire run of their respective series.

But here a show created by the exceedingly brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who served as showrunner the first season, is instead handed off to another female showrunner. This collective genius versus singular genius style of storytelling is in itself telling. “Killing Eve” is, indeed the creation of an amazing woman. But it was an amazing woman who was confident enough in the concepts and characters she created to let share them other deserving women. And then they take the unbelievably talented cast of women, and create even more magic.

Running the show this season is Emerald Fennell, who previously had primarily been known as an actress on shows like “The Crown” and “Call the Midwife” and films like “The Danish Girl” and “Albert Nobbs.” Helming the third season will be “Fear the Walking Dead” writer Suzanne Heathcote.

See, that’s how a whole new class of female showrunners gets created. One woman’s story is now several women’s stories. And we’re all richer for it.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

The One With the Banana

Hello. It’s your id. Normally, your superego keeps me in check. But not today. Whooo double doggie, not today. Why? Because today I have brought you pictures of Cate Blanchett wear a strap-on banana. Yes, indeed, you read every part of that last sentence right. Cate Blachett. Strap-on. Banana. It was for a cover story for Beauty Pages magazine. I’ve never heard of it either. Did I mention there’s also pictures of her eating the banana? Because she does.

Anyway, all of this is just a warning to say that today I am going to make you hump your screen. I’ll try to do it in a discrete, non-public place. But, this is Cate Blanchett wearing a strap-on, after all. So. You know. Id’s gotta id. I mean, how can I not?

p.s. I have also brought you a picture of Cate Blanchett wearing white makeup and drawing on her face. Look, it is totally possible to be confused and turned on at the same time.

p.p.s. See. Like, I said, turned-on confusion. You are welcome, back to you superego.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Music Monday: Brandi Edition

So last month Brandi Carlile was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. The news show called her “The most popular musician you’ve never heard of. The one all the cool kids already adore.”

And by “cool kids,” they should have just said “lesbians.” Well, lesbians and Barack Obama and Bradley Cooper (some of her highest profile fans). But, as a quick scan of her audiences will tell you, it’s us queer gals who have loved her from the start. And we will continue to love her. And we’ll even let the rest of the world in on the secret.

p.s. Sorry for the weird video, it is the only one I could find.

Friday, April 05, 2019

My Weekend Kill

[Click to Embiggen the Wow]

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more deadly and more obsessive. It’s hard to quantify how much I love “Killing Eve.” But I simply cannot wait for its rough winds to shake the darling buds of April. There simply isn’t anything else quite like this on television right now. The chemistry between these two women is not just electric – it is nuclear. And, best of all, it remains positively unpredictable – and super, duper queer.

I particularly like how much they’ve leaned into the romantic confusion. Like they’re a pair of lethal romantic foils, which is exactly what they are. So long as women can breathe, or eyes can see, so long lives my love for this show. Happy “Killing Eve” Is Back Weekend, all.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Gender Fuck Thursday: Krashlyn Edition

Well, Krashlyn has made it official. Last month soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris announced their engagement in People magazine, which was also their de facto joint coming out statement for anyone who hasn’t been paying or attention and/or does not have eyes. The couple plan to get married this year after being together since 2010. The women both play on the United States Women's National Team and for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League – so it’s another case of workplace romance. Now, one might quibble with the nine whole years it took for these ladies to make it official while past and present teammates like Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach have been out for years. But, you know, better late then never.

But what I really care about, what truly matters, is what suit Ashlyn plans to wear to the wedding. The two soccer stars haven’t been shy about stepping out together looking…good. They look good. It’s all good. The suits are good. The dresses are good. The suits and dresses together are good. In short, we expect next-level suit game at these nuptials.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Party Like It's 1999

I realize I’ve spent a lot of time trying to pit Cate Blanchett and Gillian Anderson against each other for our gay lady affections. And, well, I now realize that was wrong. So very, very wrong. I should not have been making these women compete against one another. I should have been trying to get them (back) together. More specifically, I want to get Cate and Gillian partying together like it’s 1999 again.

Because, goodness, how these ladies enjoy each other’s company in 1999.

They enjoyed being in “The Vagina Monologue” together in 1999.

They enjoyed hanging out in black jackets and alternative lifestyle haircuts together in 1999.

And they definitely enjoyed hamming it up for the camera together in 1999.

Oh, Cate and Gill (or is it Sandy?), please bring some 1999 into our 2019. I mean, you were right near other on stage in London already and everything.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

One Lesbian Wedding Minus Any Funerals

“Four Weddings & a Funeral” remains one of my all-time favorite rom-coms. This may or may not be because there’s a sneeze-and-you’ll-miss-it “Lesbians Until Graduation” moment featuring Kristin Scott Thomas – which come to think of it may be part of my enduring crush on KST. And then there’s the funeral outing scene which never ceases to make me cry. Also, imagine not being out to even your closest friends. Dammit, the 90s (and all of previous recorded history).

So imagine my delight when I saw the whole jolly gang back together minus any funerals and plus a whole lot of lesbianism. The entire cast reunited minus Charlotte Coleman (the actress who played Scarlett) and Simon Callow (the actor who played Gareth is luckily very much alive, but his character died in the film so…) for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day last month.

Watching it was like a who’s who of actors you are hapy to see had full and thriving careers. Like, look, it’s David Haigh – not only is he back to play the loveable Bernard, he is clearly an actor who had mastered affable Englishman vibe as he also displayed as Bill from “Killing Eve.” And then there’s Duckface, who lesbians no doubt remember as the men rich lady with a thing for leather dildos from “Tipping the Velvet.”

All that and we haven’t even gotten to the lesbianism yet! Alicia Vikander and Lily James play Fiona and Charles’ now-adult offspring who grew up to be lesbians who fell in love. Like, was someone reading my diaries from the 90s? All I can say is I want my other 76 minutes. Because this would be the perfect lesbian rom-com if it was a full 90 minutes long. Seriously, add a meet-cute and throw in some serious but not too serious issue as the Obstacle That Must Be Overcome For True Love and we’ve got a movie I would watch again and again (and again and again).

p.s. Alicia should have it written into all of her contracts that she must appear at least once on screen in a suit.

p.p.s. Looks like YouTube removed the video, so here is a preview.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Wine Women Weekend

Does this not look like the absolute perfect weekend getaway? I can image Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph rendezvousing with Carol Aird and Therese Belivet somewhere in Napa. Actually, Napa is so gauche and straight. They’d meet in Sonoma and then picnic along the Russian River. Hello. Guerneville isn’t just for boys.

Fine, Napa is fine. It’s fine. Especially when you fill it with Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, and Emily Spivey. The comics will all star in Amy’s directorial debut, Wine Country.”

In the Vanity Fair cover story, the ladies describe it as less a lost weekend film, à la “The Hangover,” and more a found weekend film a à la “Can’t Really Think of Anything Because They Haven’t Really Made Any Because Women’s Journeys Aren’t Considered as Universal As Men’s.” Whoops, did I say that out loud?

The film’s plot is described as such by Vanity Fair:

In the fictional romp, Abby (Poehler) has organized a Napa weekend to celebrate the 50th birthday of Rebecca (Dratch). A therapist, Rebecca seems uncomfortable with the attention—“I just want to sliiiide into 50,” she protests—and spends a lot of time trying to defuse conflict among her old friends. There’s curmudgeonly Jenny (Spivey), who says things like “How can I be generous … when I hate most other people?” Val (Pell) is fresh out of knee-replacement surgery and ready to flirt with local waitresses. Entrepreneur Catherine (Gasteyer) can’t put aside her work, while Naomi (Rudolph) is consumed by secret worries.
So, for those keeping track at home, we’ve got a movie filled with female characters and a movie with a lesbian who has a thing for waitresses and a movie where “no two straight men talk to each other.”

Or, as Amy puts, this is why the dudes’ stories aren’t more prominent or even really discussed in “Wine Country:”
“When women are together, they’re really excited to be in their witchy circle. Every film has a certain amount of real estate. It was nice not to give that precious real estate to a story we didn’t wanna tell.”
Right. So book me a ticket to “Wine Country.” And get me Amy’s butch swagger wardrobe. Because, damn, do I want to go to there next weekend.