Friday, January 31, 2020

My Weekend Crush

You might have heard a mighty whoop on Jan. 15. It was Earpers the globe over rejoicing as filming started on the new, long-delayed fourth season of “WYnonna Earp.” As know all too well, financial troubles threatened to torpedo the show’s new season. So the #FightForWynonna campaign was launched and, damn, if fandom didn’t get things done.

Now, finally, the show is shooting. Production is expected to last through May in Calgary, and then will air in the summer on Space in Canada and Syfy in the U.S.

Show Creator/Lead Unicorn Emily Andras told the Calgary Herald:

“We tried to incorporate some of the values and feelings of the #fightforwynonna journey,” she says. “I think a lot of themes for Season 4 centre around the idea of fighting to protect what you love and your home and feelings of rebellion and resistance and the idea of being underdogs and fighting both bureaucracy and also evil seen and unseen. It’s that feeling of finding your people and making sure you are willing to go to war for the things you love and the people you love. If anything, I think those things have been reinforced thanks to #fightforwynonna.”
At least three new actors are also joining the cast this season: “Kim’s Convenience” star Andrew Phung, “Fortunate Son” actor Ty Olsson and 18-year-old actress/singer Martina Ortiz-Luis. I have absolutely no idea what characters they’ll be playing, but you know I’m excited to find out.

It’s been a long, fraught time for fans. And by the time we get new episodes it will be close to two years since Season 3 last premiered. But as they say, good things come to those who wait, and especially to those who fight for what they love. So welcome back, show. Can’t wait to see you. Happy weekend, all and Earpers.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Good End

Tonight we say goodbye to a friends. A good, thoughtful, hilarious, philosophical, zany, unpredictable, romantic, compassionate, and always entertaining friend – who also swears kinda funny. Sure, some may argue you can’t actually be friends with a television show. But then some others may argue you can’t premise an entire television show on the question, “What does it mean to be a good person?” Yet here we are.

I have absolutely no idea how “The Good Place” will end tonight. This series has been predictably unpredictable throughout its four seasons. While it’s painful to let it go after such a small handful of years, it also feels right. All stories, even the great ones, come to an end.

What makes “The Good Place” so good is not only its quality – which has never truly wavered – but its insistence that answering life’s biggest questions is something a network sitcom should totally tackle. It helps that the cast is beyond fantastic. The writing is top notch (not that we would expect less from the guy behind “The Office” and “Parks & Rec”).

Like I can’t wait to catch all the forkin’ amazing details I missed when I do an entire series rewatch. I mean, I’d watch a whole spin-off about Janet and all the Janets alone. And, look, I’m a full-on lesbian, but Manny Jacinto’s cheekbones can call me anytime.

Granted, Eleanor’s bisexuality may be relatively canon, but alas it was never truly acted upon on screen. But, goodness, what other delights this show has given us. And in a way it’s a perfect antidote to the cynical and tribalistic times we live in. To be able to enjoy “The Good Place,” you have to look beyond yourself. A narcissist would hate this show because it asks us to examine at our shared humanity. Just ask reformed narcissist Tahani Al-Jamil.

And, in the midst of addressing all this big-ticket The Meaning of Life stuff, the show was also fun. Like a lot of fun. So yes, Virginia, a show can be deeply fun and deeply deep at the same time. It’s sort of like magic. Or, you know, just really good TV.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Super Lesbians

Look, we can all get a little tapped out on superhero stories. I’ve stopped watching “Supergirl” and hoo boy was “Aquaman” bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong - I still watch them. Right now I’m watching “Batwoman” and waiting for the “Wonder Woman 1984” and hoping against hope they have the courage to make Captain Marvel gay in her sequel (though, hello, she already has a wife and child.

So color me interested in the new “The New Mutants,” a Marvel film set in the “X-Men” universe based on the comics and of the same name about - well, you guessed it - a bunch of young new mutants who are just discovering their powers.

It’s biggest name is “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, who as her name suggests can shapeshift into a wolf. I know, I know - making Arya Stark a wolf is a bit on the nose, but go with it. Other New Mutants include Magik, Cannonball and Sunspot. And then there’s “The Originals” actress Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage - a Native American mutant who has psychic powers and can conjure up people’s greatest fears/desires.

The new trailer for the film hints at a relationship between Maisie’s Wolfsbane and Blu’s Mirage. Like, strongly hints. The relationship had been rumored, and is still not confirmed. But if it is true I believe that would make them the first female same-sex superhero couple in the Marvel cinematic universe. (I understand “Deadpool 2” made Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio a girlfriend, which is awesome, but Yukio was a largely supporting character who appears to have had about 2 minutes of shared screentime, soooo.)

The split-second scene between Wolfsbane and Mirage involves being horizontal and touching foreheads, something every lesbian knows is code for “We are gaying, we’re gay, we’ have gayed together.”

“The New Mutants” definitely seems like a bit of a departure from the rest of the Marvel cinematic stable - potential lesbian relationships notwhitstanding. It’s being billed as a horror/action/superhero mix and from the trailer shit gets dark. Likle, seriously, that looks scary. As cool as it is to maybe/hopefully/MAKE IT GAY, YOU COWARDS to see Arya play a lesbian, I might skip this one in theaters. While I will happily make anything and everything gay, I am a coward when it comes to horror films. So, you know, someone watch and tell me if they get gay while I hide behind this pillow. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Saving This Year

While there’s a lot NOT to look forward to in 2020 (like, I’m already so exhausted and the general election hasn’t even fucking started yet…), there are still many wonderful things to look forward to. And one of the biggest is a new Alice Wu movie. Alice, if you’ll recall, wrote and directed the utterly delightful “Saving Face,” which is easily among my Top 10 favorite lesbian films of all time. But after such an assured and nuanced debut, she basically disappeared from the film landscape. Now, 16 years later, we’re finally getting her follow-up.

As reported last April, “The Half of It” which is a modern and queer reimagining of the classic Cyrano de Bergerac story.

The description per Netflix:

“Shy, straight-A student Ellie is hired by sweet but inarticulate jock Paul who needs help wooing the most popular girl in school. But their new & unlikely friendship gets tricky when Ellie discovers she has feelings for the same girl. From writer/director Alice Wu.”
Ellie Chu is played by Leah Lewis, who had roles in the new “Nancy Drew” series and “Charmed” reboot on the CW. Relative newcomer Alexxis Lemire plays “the most popular girl in school” Aster Flores. And the And “inarticulate jock” Paul Munsky is played by other relative newcomer Daniel Diemer. Man, how’d you like “inarticulate jock” on your resume?

The film was shot last year, and wrapped in June. Now we’re just waiting - rather impatiently - for it to drop on Netflix.

After wrapping, Leah posted this about the film on her Instagram:
“This story is so special. The people attached to this are even more special. I raise a glass to our incredible director Alice Wu. It is her golden mind that planted these ideas, her heart that has sewn it all together…”

I mean, look how cute they look together. My heart, my damn heart.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Season Review: The L Word: Generation Q

Well now, that was indeed something. I’ve already gone on and on about how much I unexpectedly fell in love with “The L Word: Generation Q.” No, obviously, it wasn’t perfect. The clunky, “Everybody Hurts” first half of the finale is a prime example of the show pushing too hard. But in the second half it gave us some of the loveliest moments of the whole damn season. I especially liked Bette and Angie’s relationship, and to be honest I often dislike depictions of parent-child relationships on TV. They’re either all adversarial or all transactional or all jokey. But it felt real, and it felt earned and it was a lovely recall to the past.

Speaking of the past, there will obviously be comparisons drawn to the original. The shows are different in many ways, primarily in tone and consistency. The revival is unquestionably a more solid and stable show. It’s competent in many ways the original “The L Word” could only dream of being. But, it is also less fun in some ways than the OG series. What made us fall in love with TLW back in the day, despite our better judgment, was how goofy and relatable and aspirational it could be at times. But with those higher highs came so (so, so, so) many lower lows. Most of Jenny Schechter’s storylines. The way they mistreated Max. And, of course, killing off Dana Fairbanks. No, we’ll never forget that. Ever.

The tonal inconsistencies of the original could give you whiplash. Sometimes wildly arty (remember some of those opening sequences?), sometimes delightfully campy (the Dinah Shore roadtrip still makes me smile), sometimes flat-out incoherent (hello, circus trauma) and - on those rarest of occasions - just perfect.

But the steady, skillful competence of the new show has won me over. It has a lighter touch which when done well is engrossing and intimate at the same time. I still feel more attachment to the original cast. And the connection between Jennifer, Leisha and Kate is palpable. I’m trying to feel the same affection and investment for the new cast, but that kind of forever devotion is earned. Luckily they have a second season to get there.

So, thoughts. What did you love? What did you hate? Will they ever add a full-on butch, masculine-presenting lesbian character? And who do you want Sophie to choose? Personally, I think she should ditch them both and go to Hawaii on her own, but that’s just me.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Pre-L: Lapse in Judgment

Let’s do the minor time jumps again. Like, you know, by two weeks. Sorry for that little Rocky Horror innuendo, I was just preparing you for your final episode of the first season of “The L Word: Generation Q.” I will say I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of this show this season. Though, I hate to say it but the finale is a little uneven. Especially the first half. They tried to stuff a whole lotta lot into it. Like a lot. So much. And over the span of what I think is only three days in the show’s universe. Like I said, a lot. But this episode also has moments of profound grace and intoxicating warmth that, well, dammit if they don’t feel almost sublime. And it circles back nicely to touchpoints from the near and more distant past because in this L Word universe continuity is actually a thing. At least, you know, that’s how I saw it. And now onto the final Pre-L of the season. I will miss them, that’s for sure.

1) Meet the press.

2) Did I tell you how there used to be watch parties at lesbians bars about our show? No, really, big parties. Huge.

3) Don’t you hate it when the hors d’oeuvres pass you by.

4) When you have flashbacks to Election Night 2016.

5) Nobody regrets buying a full-body pillow is all I’m saying.

6) Lesbians Can’t Sit in Chairs, Part II.

7) Lesbians Sitting, But Not in Chairs, Part I.

8) I’m not aboard the Sinley Train. But, you know, y’all do y’all.

9) How gay is it to admit that I own this exact bra, but in gray?

10) Cute boys, cute boys, whatcha gonna do. Whatcha gonna do when this episode comes for you.

11) When you think it’s Postmates, but it’s your ex instead.

12) Me every single time I read the news.

13) Roxane – and I cannot emphasize this enough – Gay!

14) Dammit, does no one screen the audience members?

15) The hostess is all of us being proud of Bette’s new positive life choices. And that dress.

16) Lesbians Sitting, But Not in Chairs, Part II.

17) Lesbian’s best friend.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Prey Tell

Yes, it’s new trailer week here at Surrenders. New year, new things to get excited about. Like the “Birds of Prey” movie, now with more Harley Quinn and other lady badasses and a whole lot less of that guy in the clown makeup. It No, I mean it, it actually looks fun. But then I’ve always been a fan of ladies causing maximum chaos against the patriarchy - especially when set to riotously dulcet tones of Björk.

P.s. Did you notice Rosie Perez as lesbian (at least hopefully also in the movie) Gotham PD Detective Renee Montoya? Because I sure did.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Ms. Equal Rights

Well, now. Isn’t Cate Blanchett getting good at flexing her villain muscles? The trailer for the new FX miniseries Mrs. America has been released and, dammit, if Cate isn’t making me worried I’ll feel even the tiniest sliver of sympathy for Phyllis Schlafly - who clearly deserves none. The story chronicles the real-life fight over the Equal Rights Amendment, which in case you haven’t noticed still hasn’t passed. So, yeah, there’s that. The cast looks stellar with Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm, Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug, Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan, and Elizabeth Banks as Jill Ruckelshaus. And, you know, I guess there are some straight white dudes in it too, or whatever.

It’s bonkers to think that here we are almost 50 years later and we’re still fighting the same culture wars. Women are still fighting for equality, as are POC and LGBTQ people and all other marginalized groups. The patriarchy just hums along, and cries bloody murder when anything threatens its precious power structure. Because, remember, to those accustomed to privilege, equality will always feel like oppression. But, as the rest of us know all too well, it is exactly the opposite.

Also, did I mention Sarah Paulson plays one of Phyllis’ friends (or, as it seems soon-to-be former friend)? Yes, lesbians, we have a real-life Carol and Abby BFF reunion.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hail to the Chief

Hey, well will you look at that, more good news for 2020. This time it comes in the form of Edie Falco who is the star of the new CBS series “Tommy,” about the fictitious first female police chief of Los Angeles who also happens to be a lesbian. Yes, folks, this appears to be the first drama on a major network about a lesbian woman who does not possess superpowers. (Yes, I know, there have bee comedies starring LGBT lead characters without any superpowers, but again those were comedies.) Granted, being chief of police comes with its own distinct powers, but you know what I mean.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last week Falco (who is pretty much great in everything she does), said she was happy to be playing a lesbian character saying:

“I think it's important that every single person — large, small, different colors — gets represented in our television. I think everybody in the world wants to look at television and be able to find themselves somewhere, and I think we've been leaving huge swaths of the population out of that experience. I could always find myself on television as a kid. The world is changing; we've got to change with it.”
Damn (not-)straight!

They’ve even already hired Edie’s love interest in the show (Tony-winning Broadway star Katrina Lenk), which every single queer gal already totally picked up on in the trailer. Hello, we saw that look in the elevator, hello!

Also good news is this crime drama on the most staid of TV networks (I mean, it’s CBS) features a writer’s room of eight that is half female, half LGBTQ-identifying and a quarter African American. Representations matters in front of and behind the camera, always.

So, thoughts? From the trailer it looks like a really solid, and dare-I-say heartfelt entry in to the cop show TV canon. I know I’ll definitely give it a shot Feb. 6.

p.s I'll be honest, I am not sure if the elevator/hand-in-pocket lady is Katrina Lenk or Audrey Marie Anderson. Neither has "Tommy" listed on their IMDB, but Katrina was listed by the showrunner in that THR article I quoted as playing her on-screen love interest. They are both attractive brunettes, so consider it face blindness on my part.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Fourth Time is as Charming

Like I wasn’t going to comment on the first truly great news of 2020. My Fake TV/Movie Wife Tina Fey and her Fake TV Wife Amy Poehler have signed on to host the Golden Globes in 2021. Granted, I realize that saying the first good news of 2020 is actually something that will not happen until 2021 is kind of not a great omen. But, you know, I’ll take the win where I can in these treacherous times. Especially after Ricky “Transphobe Asshat” Gervais, this is such a welcome relief. Tina and Amy have hosted three times before in 2013, 2014, and 2015. With each time hosting they brought a decidedly feminist approach to the role, and continually punched up – especially at the patriarchy – instead of punching down. Plus, you know, they are just damn funny. Here is a reminder of just how funny from the last time they hosted in 2015. Damn, remember when it was still considered kinda taboo to tell a “Cosby is a Rapist” joke? Crazy, man.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Pre-L: Lose It All

*clears throat*

*rips shirt*

*musters best Stanley Kowalski energy*


Well, now, that was unexpected. And, now I see why they didn’t release last weekend’s screeners. I must say, so far “The L Word: Generation Q” has walked a tricky line between providing fan service and advancing these character’s storylines pretty darn well.

And I must also admit that my little gay heart defintely skipped a beat when Tina Kennard showed up on Bette’s doorstep right when she needed her most. And, I will further admit that that same heart filled white Tibette shipper love seeing Bette and Tina and Angie all snuggled in bed together.

Dammit, nostalgia is a hell of a drug.

But now, onward. With just two episodes left we shall see how everything shakes out. Though, speaking of news that’s good for one’s heart, it is especially great news to hear that TLW:GQ got picked up for an even longer 10-episode second season. More gay ladies being gay together, making good gay decisions, making bad gay decisions and generally just living their super duper gay lives on television is pretty much always a good thing.

And with that, onto the Pre-L. Can you believe there is only more after this? Yep, just one more.

1) Gonna wash those wedding doubts right outta your hair.

2) Sobbing in the hallway outside a hospital room? Dude, too soon. TOO SOON.

3) For the last time, I’m sorry about that whole tractor/sign fiasco.

4) The first time Shane has ever been confused by female sexual organs.

5) When you realize you’re in a thrupple with your current girlfriend’s ex-wife.

6) More reasons to not trust your parents with smartphones.

7) Look, if this whole mayor thing doesn’t work out, Bette could still star in her own cooking show called “Porter’s House.”

8) Isn’t it pretty to think so?

9) Further proof lesbians have no idea how to sit in chairs.

10) Do you think Jennifer will like my tribute to “Flashdance?”

11) Not the ex-wives I was hoping to find in bed, but whatever.

12) Do either of you still have Tasha’s number?

13) Come on, did Dawn Denbo write this campaign ad?

14) Of course Alpha Bette & Alpha Bette Jr. drink their whisky neat. Of course.

15) Big kiss off to you!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Go Sportsball, Go!

I am not a huge sportsball fan, particularly professional sportsball because it’s all about dudes all the time. But I do both understand how the various sportsball games are played and their general rules – you know, playtime involving running and shooting, running and tackling, running and hitting and so on and so forth – and why people like them. The world needs more diversions from the relentlessness of life and we’ve collectively decided that the games we play as children can be Very Serious Business as adults. Which, you know, if fine.

But what isn’t fine is how many of the things we deem Very Serious Business tend to exclude women (and LGBTQ people, and people of color, and the differently abled because all these groups threaten the current power structure). So this weekend, while I probably still won’t really watch, I’ll be rooting for the San Francisco 49ers as they continue their playoffs run. First, because hello NorCal forever. And second because they have offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers. She is only the second female assistant coach ever hired by the NFL and the first out LGBT coach ever in the league.

You might recognize her already because she is featured in a Surface Pro ad which has played in heavy rotation recently. And while corporations continue to not be our friend (again, their only true friend is money), when corporations do good things in spite of themselves it’s definitely worth noting.

Sowers has had a long career both on and off the field. She played for the Women’s Football Alliance, a full-contact American women’s pro-league. Then when her playing days were over she started coaching, first as a scout for the Atlanta Falcons and then
joining the 49ers in 2017. That’s the same year she came out, making her the first out NFL coach male or female. If you watched any of the 49ers/Vikings game you saw her in the booth making offensive (the good kind of offense, mind you) calls. The bad kind of offense is us living in the year 2020 and it still being almost unheard of for women to coach/lead men – in almost any setting from the boardroom to the Oval Office and the football field.

So go Niners, go Katie and go sportsball.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Let’s Talk About Gillian

Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about Gillian and me. Let’s talk about all the good things from season one, and all the hopefully not bad things that may be in season 2. Sorry, didn’t I mention. “Sex Education” is coming back for its second season Friday on Netflix? I loved the first season, it was a nuanced and thoughtful as a show masquerading as a teenage sexcapade can possibly be. Plus there’s a randy Gillian Anderson which, really, can the world have enough randy Gillian Anderson? I think not.