Monday, August 15, 2022

Music Monday: Oh My God, Becky

Fletcher, who all the lesbians apparently love. Bella Thorne, who I know is famous but I think I’m too old to understand exactly why. And a motorcycle. Don’t complicate things. Sometimes Becky’s just so hot. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, August 12, 2022

My Weekend Crush

Janeane Garofalo has always been a bit of a hero of mine. I’m a Gen Xer through and through, and besides Winona few actors were as Gen X as Janeane. Witty, outspoken, independent, sarcastic, intelligent and, fine, those glasses. I think more than anything she embodied my generation’s aversion to selling out. It’s a concept I understand intrinsically, down to the marrow of my 90s kid bones. Don’t be a sell out. It’s why, to this day, I’ve always refused to have ads or sponsorships on my blog. This is my safe space, where I’m never trying to sell you something. I just like it that way. We have so few commerce-free spaces in this world as it is.

Anyway, last month The New York Times ran a column about Janeane, noting how she still constantly plays dinky comedy clubs around NYC. Such contempt for commerce and capitalism seems almost unthinkable from today’s roster of YouTube/Instagram/TikTok stars. Turning yourself into a brand is just how it’s done now. It’s the influencers’ world and we’re just living in their sponsored posts.

The column is both complementary and contemptuous of Janeane’s path. Also, I don’t think they actually interviewed her. They just went to one of her small shows and then had a lot of thoughts and feelings that concluded with an “Atta Girl, But Isn’t She Also Sorta Sad” kind of way. Well, screw that. Celebrity and all the trappings of fame aren’t for everyone. And they aren’t the only signs of a successful life. Nor is your net worth. I only wish I lived on the other coast, so I could pop in sometimes to see Janeane at one of those little clubs. Not all heroes wear capes, some of them stand in front of two-drink minimum crowds and just hope they’ll laugh. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Gender Fuck Thursday: A Kate For All Season

Oh Kate, Kate. Please never stop wearing suits or chunky lesbian watches. And please never stop making prestige TV for HBO. The almost EGOT (perhaps time for a little Broadway after your TV projects, eh?), will star and produce in two more limited series for the premium channel after her “Mare of Easttown” success.

Her two planned HBO projects give us a Kate for All Seasons: Contemporary Kate and possibly Period-Piece Kate.

The first announced series, “Trust” is an adaptation of the novel by the same name about a wealthy financier who reads a novel based on his life and hires a secretary to ghostwrite a memoir because he’s upset with how he and his wife are portrayed. But the ghostwriter realizes he is trying to rewrite history — and his wife’s place in it. I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if Kate will be playing the ghostwriter or the wife (though I kind of think the ghostwriter?).

The second project is called “The Palace.” The time period isn’t elaborated on in the announcement. But the story will ”chronicles a year inside an authoritarian regime as it begins to unravel.” I can’t tell if this will be a present-day palace or an old-timey palace what with authoritarianism being so popular across the damn ages. The series will team Kate up with acclaimed English director Stephen Frears, whose films include “The Queen,” “Victoria & Abdul” and this year’s “The Lost King.” Does someone have a monarchy kink? Just saying.

I will likely check out both these projects, as I greatly enjoyed Kate in “Mare of Easttown,” which was just an all-around acting clinic. And of course I also liked (though, goodness, they were going for grim) “Ammonite.” So I can’t wait to see her tackle both contemporary and possibly period projects for HBO again. And perhaps she could wear suits like in her Elle/Longines/fancy kinda lesbian watches photoshoot in at least one of them? You know, just a suggestion. Suits are, after all, timeless.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Be Gay, Do Revenge

Netflix giveth and, all too unfortunately, taketh away. Today they giveth. Obviously, I am going to watch “Do Revenge.” The new Netflix movie starring Stranger Things’s resident lesbian Maya Hawke and “Riverdale’s resident Veronica Camila Mendes comes out next month. But the full trailer is here now.

The dark comedy follows two high school students as they team up to, well, do revenge against the bullies who have wronged them. For Maya’s character Eleanor (yes, really Eleanor), it was being outed to the school. For Camila’s character Drea, it was the leaking of a sex tape.

Think of it as a “Strangers on a Train” scenario mixed with “Jawbreakers” and “Mean Girls” — but with sapphic undertones. Or is it overtones? Well, it’s whatever these pictures are.

So, yeah. Anyway, I’m going to watch this. And I’m going to keep watching the queer-led and female-led and POC-led content out there in the hopes that studios realize telling diverse stories isn’t just good for optics, it’s good for business.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Cancel This

Well, shit. Shit shit shit and shit. Granted, “First Kill” was not a great show. But getting axed as one of the few new shows this season on cable or streamers to center queer female characters as its stars, well, it hurts. And, honestly, it’s bullshit. THIS IS BULLSHIT.

If you’ve been paying attention to entertainment media, you’ll know we’re in the midst of The Great Diversity Purge of 2022. Do you have a show that appeals to underrepresented minorities? People of color, LGBTQ+ people, women, people who know Trump lost the election? Too bad. Would you like another show with Chris Pratt instead?

So gone are, in no particular order, “Gentleman Jack,” “Batwoman,” “The Wilds,” “The Motherland: Fort Salem,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Betty”... I could go on.

Part of this is new, fierce competition between the bazillion streamers out there now. And part of this is consolidation of major media companies. Indeed, the Warner Bros/Discovery merger looks to be about to tank possibly the best streamer out there, HBO Max. If they take away my “Hacks” and my “Somebody Somewhere” and my “Harley Quinn” I will cut a bitch. And, of course, by bitch, I mean rich straight white male studio executive.

Indeed, the recent purge of inclusive titles shows how shallow the efforts to bring marginalized voices into the fold often are. As soon as things start to go a little sideways, it’s bye queers and POCs and women. Don’t worry, the men are still in charge to straighten this ship, literally and figuratively, based on their perceived place at the center of the universe. I mean, again, it’s already happening at Warner/Discovery where the new boss has hired a raft of new department heads who are also white dudes just like him. Gosh, whodathunkit?

Also, what kind of a company spends $90 million on a movie with the first Latina Batgirl on screen and then just shelves it entirely and refuses to release it on any platform? Holy tax write off, Batman, I guess.

One of the nice things about the proliferation of streamers is more content has also meant more diversity. But if they are going to cut back on that kind of content then how are they different from basic/premium cable? It is simply not enough to offer a couple “diverse” shows yet give them almost no marketing or publicity and then immediately cancel them if they somehow don’t meet expectations.

In fact, the murkiness of streaming viewership data (and metrics targets that seem to change at whim) makes it hard to discern whether “First Kill” and other more diverse shows like it were actually meeting those expectations or not. Netflix told the “First Kill” showrunner Felicia D. Henderson the series did not meet “thresholds for viewing and completion of episodes.”

Yet the series made Netflix’s Top 10 for English-language TV series in its first three days, ranked No. 7 with 30.3M hours viewed. And in its first full week it shot to No. 3 with 48.8M hours viewed. During that time it was just behind “Stranger Things” and “Peaky Blinders” — two shows with zero renewal problems. But I guess 100 million hours viewed in its first four weeks simply isn’t enough for a show with queer characters and prominent POC stars. What a joke.

Real diversity efforts means providing support, promotion and time. Real diversity efforts means hiring POC, LGBTQ+, women and other marginalized people to fill the C-suites. Real diversity means giving more people from underrepresented groups a place in front and behind the camera.

I wish there was a way to swoop up all the canceled diverse shows and find them a place together. But instead they’re going to the great streaming cemetery in the sky, I guess. RIP, “First Kill.” You weren’t a perfect show. But I could have watched hot women kiss/bite each other and Elizabeth Mitchell vamp around for several more seasons, at least.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Music Monday: Under the Pink

Pink gets it. Pink definitely gets it. My wife’s longtime favorite singer (and a fav of mine as well) is back with a new music video that covers basically everything in this world that’s making you feel exhausted and/or enraged. The video goes from the early suffragettes and Civil Rights Movement leaders to Black Live Matter, the SCOTUS abortion ban, rising white nationalism, school shootings, the Jan. 6 insurrection, Fox fucking News, and more. The kids are not all right. But we’re still alive, and we’re going to keep fighting all of this bullshit for our rights. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, August 05, 2022

My Weekend Free BG

Well, we’ve entered worst case scenario zone in the case of Brittney Griner. In custody in Russia since Feb. 17, the WNBA superstar has been wrongfully detained away from her wife, family, friends, and country for six months already. And yesterday the Russian court handed down almost as strict a sentence as possible — giving her 9 years in prison. All for accidentally carrying a couple cannabis vape cartridges with her into Russia as she went to play off-season for her international team.

Never mind that Brittney and her family/friends have done everything they could to have her freed. Immediately following her arrest, they tried to turn down the political heat and negotiate without too much media. Then, when it was clear that wasn’t working, they went wide with their message.

Indeed Brittney actually confessed before her trial started (though, in Russian, they continue after a confession anyway). And she apologized and owned up to her mistake during the trial, asking for leniency from the judge. But instead, Russia is now using her as an obvious political pawn.

While initially their response has been slow, I do think the Biden Administration has been more aggressively tracking her case. President Biden issued a statement almost immediately yesterday condemning the verdict and sentence. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made a “substantial proposal” for a prisoner swap. Reporting suggests the deal could include Brittney and fellow American Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in Russia since 2018 and was sentenced to 16 years in a labor camp for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

As much as I’d rather not have an international merchant of death set free, these Americans need to come home. Period.

Russia is clearly making an example of Brittney. Here is a wildly successful Black and queer female athlete at the top of her game who is married to a woman and presents more masculine. The Russian government is vehemently anti-LGBTQ+, and public displays of queer activism, solidarity or just love are actively quashed. So of course, of course they’ve given Brittney the harshest sentence possible. We can only hope it is for leverage for an inevitable prisoner swap.

The fact is, if the United States and WNBA valued female athletes and paid them similarly to their male counterparts, she wouldn’t even have to be in Russia or to play for a foreign team off-season.

It’s hard to overstate how big a star Brittney is in women’s basketball. NCAA champion. No. 1 draft pick. WNBA champion. Eight-time All-Star (she was named an honorary All-Star this year). Two-time Olympic gold medalist. This is rarified air for any athlete, male or female.

Yet her detention in Russia continues to drag on without much public outcry, aside from queer women everywhere and WNBA fans and her family. Her wife, Cherelle Griner, has clearly been very vocal. Megan Rapinoe, whose fiancée Sue Bird is herself a huge WNBA star, wore Brittney’s initials embroidered on her suit’s lapel when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this month from President Biden. And some NBA stars have also spoken out — a little.

And as frustrating as that is, the grossest part of her detention and now conviction is that American conservatives are cheering it on. I’ve seen the jokes and memes from Right Wing trolls about her deserving what she gets and other even less charitable (and obviously more racist and homophobic) characterizations. And that The Orange Stain weighed in to call Brittney “spoiled.” In case you need a reminder, the U.S. Right Wing and Russian authoritarian ideologies are in disgusting lock step. Empathy is simply not a conservative value.

I can’t imagine the anguish her wife feels, her family feels, her friends feel. I just know more people need to be demanding her release, and at every opportunity. Brittney, for her part, has apologized to the family, team and wife for what she calls an “honest mistake,” and told the court her hopes its ruling “does not end my life.”

God, I hope not either. Keep the pressure on. Keep the faith. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. Free Brittney Griner. And, once more with feeling, free Brittney Griner. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Gender Fuck Thursday: Tar-ing Cate

When I first heard Cate Blanchett was going to play a pioneering female conductor, I was intrigued. When I then realized Cate Blanchett playing a pioneering female conductor meant lots of scenes of Cate Blanchett wearing a tuxedo I made a sound imperceptible to humans. Cate in tuxedos. CATE IN TUXEDOS. This is not a drill. Do we have time to deploy the Lesbian Bat Signal?

The new film from writer-director Todd Field follows Cate as fictional female composer/conductor Lydia Tár, the first female chief conductor of the German orchestra in Berlin during the lead-up to the recording of her latest symphony. It’s called, appropriately, “Tár.” And maybe also covers the pandemic? And smoking? Also, there are tuxedos. I don’t know much more about the plot because there isn’t much more out there. But I do know “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” star Noémie Merlant co-stars (she played the painter, in case you forgot).

So, you know, two actresses who have been lauded for playing lesbians in other films should maybe play lesbians here as well. Conductors are famous for their dexterous hands. Lesbians are famous for their dexterous hands. Just a suggestion.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Buffy Like the Wolf

I mean, she was pretty friendly with at least one werewolf in Sunnydale (and a witch or two for good measure). Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to her supernatural TV roots in the spinoff series to MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” “Wolf Pack.” The series will stream on Paramount+, and has begun shooting in Atlanta.

SMG’s return to the sci-fi/fantasy comes in a spinoff series from the “Teen Wolf” creators, and she will also executive produce because Get That Cash, Queen Slayer.

According to Deadline, the series follows a teenage boy and girl whose “lives are forever changed when a California wildfire awakens a terrifying supernatural creature.”

SMG will play an arson investigator who is, “a highly regarded expert in her field and no stranger to personal loss, brought in by authorities to catch the teenage arsonist who started a massive wildfire which may have also led to the reawakening of a supernatural predator terrorizing Los Angeles.”

Oh, good. I kind of hate when the stars of my twenties become just the head-shaking parents in new teen shows. Speaking of which, she joins a cast of a lot of young people I’ve never heard of (i.e. Armani Jackson and Bella Shepard are the show’s teen stars along with two 20-something with three names each, Chloe Rose Robertson and Tyler Lawrence Gray). I’ve never watched “Teen Wolf” because I’m closer to the AARP demographic than that show’s demographic, but still plan to check it out.

Out of loyalty I’ve at least tried many of SMG’s post-Buffy curriculum vitae. I really tried with “The Ringer” and I actually was starting to like “The Crazy Ones,” but alas. So I’m interested to see what this new, hairy show adds to her legacy. Let’s see if she alone can stand against the vampires werewolves, the demons and the forces of darkness. And, possibly, also wildfires. Go get ‘em, Smokey, err, MSG.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Resident Lesbian

So I unfortunately cannot truly recommend Netflix’s new “Resident Evil” series. But I also watched every single episode of Netflix’s new “Resident Evil” series in the span of basically a weekend. So do with that what you will. While I appreciate the series is less wham-bam action and mutant zombies/zombie creatures attacking all the time (though there’s a particularly terrifying zombie spider that no one should ever talk to me about), the series is actually a little slow — especially in the beginning.

What I can recommend, however, is how bonkers the show becomes toward the end of its inaugural season. So bonkers in fact that I’m even really sure if I’m still rooting for anyone in particular to win out. Maybe, honestly, just the zombie creatures. Like, uh, it’s not their fault they’re like this. But I digress.

I’ve also kind of oddly enjoyed the show’s supposed Big Bad, Umbrella Corporation CEO/power lesbian Evelyn Marcus. Yes, the show made their only (so far at least) main character lesbian the villain and, honestly I’m not furious about it. Granted, I’m still not sure we’ve reached the point where LGBTQ+ characters have reached enough equity to allow the social implications of our depiction as evil. But, somehow, “Resident Evil” making Evelyn the bad guy doesn’t feel exploitative.

Let me elaborate. One, her lesbianism isn’t the source of her villainy. In fact, her lesbianism is the one aspect that actually humanizes her as a character and makes her less of a Evil CEO cardboard cutout. Like, they show her doing goat yoga with her wife (oh yeah, she’s married to a perfectly lovely woman named Diana and they have a teenage son). And you want their relationship to be happy, you really do.

Another reason this depiction isn’t as problematic is, well, everyone in this show is kind of unlikeable. (Except maybe Bert, but no spoilers so no explanation…) The twin sisters who are essentially its stars? Both kinda annoying in their own way, especially Adult Jade (played by Ella Balinska, who is still pretty good as a blood-covered action star working with some subpar material). Her character is our hero but can’t stop doing Really Dumb Things, like constantly.

What I did like about the series is its attempts at post-apocalyptic world building and decision to focus more on the science of the Resident Evil zombies than any of the franchise’s big screen adaptations. (Truly, those were just about letting Milla Jovovich look cool and kick ass — sometimes with Michelle Rodriguez and/or Ali Lautner — while trying to escape increasingly complicated mutant zombie obstacle courses/shooting ranges, which I unashamedly appreciate.)

Sure, the science is still confusing and unnecessarily complicated (I hope they’re coming to a comprehendible conclusion about what the T-Virus is and isn’t capable of doing because right now it seems like “everything” is the answer). But at least they’re focusing on finding some sort of cure as opposed to the movies where the end goal was mostly Blow Shit Up. (Again, I watched all SIX of Milla’s films, despite most of them being ridiculous trash or possibly for that reason.)

Anyway, back to our Resident Lesbian. Evelyn is played with great glee and gleaming teeth by Paola Núñez. She’s quite good with what little character development they give her (again, no one’s character has been fleshed out too deeply, it’s that kind of show). And, best of all, she’s fun to watch. Like, you know how on some shows you kind of root for the bad guy because the chaos is more fun? I’m not exactly rooting for Evelyn. But I like having her around to liven up the place. And her power suits, I love her power suits.

There’s a really smart idea underneath the gore and the craziness of the “Resident Evil” concept. Corporations created a humanity-ending product and continue to push that product as the world ends around them. This does not seem too far-fetched, honestly. I mean, has anyone checked the climate lately? Seems to be changing, and not in a good way. But gotta keep those shareholders happy, so oh well.

In the end, I appreciate the “Resident Evil” series for centering its strong (though sometimes confounding) female characters and infusing more diversity into its post-apocalyptic landscape. And now I’ll see if we get more Resident Lesbian if the show gets a second season. And hopefully also a Resident Lebian Hero? We can only hope. Just, I beg you, no more zombie spiders.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Music Monday: Dolly Does Elvis

Here is Dolly Parton performing “All Shook Up” as a female Elvis Presley back in 1983. No other notes. Just enjoy. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, July 29, 2022

My Weekend Crush

Oh, Joni. Joni, Joni, Joni. Joni fucking Mitchell, everyone. While most of Joni’s best-known songs came out before I was born, I was lucky to have folk-music loving parents who raised me on acoustic guitar and NPR. So I know the power of her work, and the importance of her voice. Last weekend, at age 78, Joni made a triumphant return to the Newport Folk Festival. It was her first appearance at the influential music festival since her debut there as a then up-and-coming singer in 1969. The show also marked her first full concert since 2000 and her first time playing guitar on stage since her aneurysm in 2015. In short, it was special. It was really, really special.

Making it even more special, we have our own Brandi Carlile to thank for pulling it all together. Honestly, watching Brandi’s career from its very early, early days to its stratospheric success today feels a bit like getting in on the ground floor of another Joni Mitchell. And aren’t we the lucky ones who get to see these two great together. Of course, like everyone else I was reduced to an absolute puddle with Joni’s “Both Sides Now.” The timber of her voice, well, I’ve been playing her new “Both Sides Now” all week. And it only gets better. Each note, each beat, is so earned. I posted the official Newport festival video of the song above. But if you want to feel the raw power of being in the presence of a true legend, watch Wynonna Judd get similarly reduced to a weeping mess behind Joni as she sings below. I’m not crying, you’re crying. But it’s a good cry. The kind of cry that time and life and the universe understands comes to cleanse us and remind us all of the indescribably beautiful things we can do, when we’re just given the chance.

Seeing someone great like Joni return to the stage, smiling and laughing and clearly enjoying herself, is good for the soul. After the last two-plus years we’ve had as a world and a country, we needed to feel good about humanity again — if only for a few precious songs. To see Joni perform the music that made her famous as a young woman, yet not try to replicate that but instead reinterpret them to account for her decades of lived life is just beyond lovely. Some people will say commerce or enterprise or our endless technological advances are humankind’s greatest gift. But I think, in the end, it will always be art. I really don’t know life at all, either. But I know art is the best way to understand it, always. Thank you for the reminder, Joni. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

There's Definitely Queers In Baseball

Finally, here’s a trailer I have absolutely no reservations about. Like, actually the opposite. How loud can I scream it from the rooftops? They’re taken “A League of Their Own” and made it — at least by all early appearances — properly gay. I know, FINALLY!

While the first teaser trailer got us all hot and bothered, the full trailer for the new Amazon Prime series based (loosely) on the movie by the same name has us positively erupting with excitement and, uh, other stuff. We finally get to see our new Rockford Peaches in action and, well, can it be Aug. 12 already? Please, pretty pretty please?

Also, not to laud my own gaydar or anything, but series creator/star Abbi Jacobson and “The Good Place” alum D’Arcy Carden are definitely gonna be a couple. Definitely. I mean, I could tell from the Intense Lesbian Eye Contact while sliding into home from the teaser they were gonna be a thing, but the continued Intense Lesbian Eye Contact and added Lesbian Hand Grazing in the trailer seals the deal. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m right about Rosie the lesbian bar owner. Yes, make it extra, extra gay!

I’m thrilled the new series (which follows the WWII era Peaches, but with a different set of characters than the iconic film) is much more inclusive and diverse. It’s about time they did more than just show one throw by Black female ball players of that time. And it’s equally time they aknowledged how queer a lot of these women were (and still are!).

I can’t wait to get some dirt in these skirts (which should be pants, but I digress). So, thoughts? At this point the only thing left is to start the pool about how many queer characters this show will end up having. I’m going with 4-5, but more is always appreciated. Play ball, Peaches!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Going (Very, Very) Green

Speaking of things that look sorta ridiculous but might wind up being good, I honestly don’t know what to think about “She Hulk: Attorney At Law.” I mean, one one hand Tatiana Maslany can pull off basically any role thrown at her. On the other hand, why would you hire someone as unendingly talented as Tatiana Maslany and then bury her under miles of green CGI? For what it’s worth, I also think the CGI on Hulk/Bruce looks dumb. But then I’m an old school Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno painted green fan.

I want this show to be good for Tatiana. And I’m intrigued by its billing as the first real comedy in the MCU. But, hooboy, do they look to be going for the broadest comedy strokes possible. She’s Big! She’s Green! She’s BIG and GREEN! Yeah, we get it. Do you have any more?

I think the Fourth Wall breaking (which is true to the comics and, um, “Fleabag”) could be promising. But the Very Green CGI and deliberate de-bulkification of her She Hulk are, well, they make a gal worry. Truly this is a project where the writing will make the difference since we already know the acting is going to be, well, incredible.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Dungeons & Problematic Favs

Me, a serious arts critic: This movie looks ridiculous, and cheesy.

Me, a serious lesbian: Wait, it has Michelle Rodriguez in it? In body armor? Where’s my wallet?

Honestly, sometimes it’s that simple. I think, perhaps, the reason this looks a tad cheesy is because it’s so brightly lit. We’ve been conditioned to think fantasy franchises need to be Dark And Broody and VERY DARK just physically, as in where is the light switch dark. Remember the Battle of Winterfell? Game of Thrones was a chief proponent of making things so dark you don’t know what the hell is happening.

Truly, I hope this movie is the fun kind of ridiculous, cheesy overtones and all. If you’re going to create elaborate, mystical other worlds — for goodness sake light them so we can see them. Also, admittedly, casting Michelle helps.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Music Monday: All Yellow

Hey, looks like Tegan and Sara figured out what to do for their next music video. And that’s walking forward (and backwards) on a beach while wearing rain slickers. Look, every music video can’t be “Lemonade.” Sometimes two queer Canadian twins is enough. Though, I still think my Erin Daniels dancing idea for their next video would be epic. Again, totally free idea to use, ladies. No commission necessary. Just think of it as a gift to lesbians everywhere. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, July 22, 2022

My Weekend Crush

Well by now you’ve probably seen the famous Emmanuel-Don’t-Do-It Emu and his lesbian farmer best friend. Yes, I said lesbian farmer. Taylor Blake, 29, lives on her grandparents' South Florida hobby farm with her girlfriend and posts daily farm life content. And she went viral this month thanks to her chaos-loving, camera-pecking emu, Emmanuel.

OK, so he does not always choose violence. But he is always with Taylor. And their interactions provide a needed balm for modern life. Truly, I want to go to there.

How viral did they go? Well, she was on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon last night, so that famous (and, yes, that’s her girlfriend). Anyway, I don’t know how the larger public didn’t clock Taylor as a lesbian immediately — loves animals and wears overalls with Crocs and/or boots and a ballcaps pretty much constantly. But then, The Straights are always bad about non-100-Footers.

Anyway, just like the rest of The Interwebs I’m in love, both with Taylor, all her animals and farm life in general. Truly, it’s the best way to experience lesbian farm life without actually having to be a lesbian farmer. And I’m all for it. Also, she’s really good at this making content for TikTok thing at her @knucklebumpfarms account. Like really good. Enjoy the scrolling, if you haven’t already. Or, you know, watch it again. Honestly, I see Emmanuel as an icon for the “Become Ungovernable” movement. Do it, Emmanuel. DO IT. Happy weekend, all

p.s. Taylor has another emu named Ellen. Straights, how did you not know?

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Gender Fuck Rosie

A Rosie by any other name would be just as gay. And thank heavens for that. Rosie O’Donnell, sometimes forgotten as that other pioneering lesbian talk show host, is coming back to “A League of their Own.” The comic has a role in the new Amazon Prime series which reboots the movie premise with a new cast of players and, we’ve been promised, considerably more diversity and queerness. Rosie famously played third basewoman Doris Murphy in the 1992 movie.

In the new series she won’t be a player, at least not in that sense. Ahem. What? I like her in that suit — I’m always sucker for a lady in a suit, always. According to Entertainment Weekly, Rosie’s new character will be a local bar owner named Vi. She’s described as:

A "warm, gregarious" fan of the Rockford Peaches, Vi crosses paths with (Abbi) Jacobson's catcher Carson and soon welcomes her into her orbit.
I knew there was something to that look Abbi gave D'Arcy Carden as she slid into home. I KNEW it. Abbi, who co-created the series, is also bixesual and currently dating “Bomb Girls” alum Jodi Balfour. Also, how did I not know about this couple before I researched the new “A League of Their Own” series? Is the Lesbian Bat Signal not working or something?
Anyway, I can’t wait to see Rosie play a lesbian bar owner (what, reading between the lines here) who wears pinstrip suits. I reall can’t.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Get Busy Fighting

You still mad? Good, so am I. My midterm strategy is basically Vote +Action + RAGE. So much rage. Luckily, we aren’t alone in our rage. Plenty of celebrities, including out queer celebrities and those who play out queer characters on film, are just as mad and just as pissed and just as ready to say FUCK THE SUPREME COURT. So please enjoy Janelle Monae putting it most succinctly (with the impeccable one-fingered salute).

Also, you can revel in Maya Hawke getting sharing a very similar sentiment on Fallon. I knew her performance as Robin in "Stranger Things" belonged in the Lesbian TV Character canon.

And, last but decidedly not least, how about newly minted Oscar winner Ariana DeBose breaking it all the way down as a Black Afro-Latina queer woman (skip to 5:22 if you want to get right into it and have as little of dead-eyes, smarmy grinned Fallon).

We do have a rotten-ass tree called the Supreme Court. And we are in a fight. More of this from our celebrities. So much more. Get busy fighting, or keep watching the dying of our rights.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Paper Trail

You know that show with the 1980s nostalgia about those kids who get into a bunch of otherworldly trouble and through their friendship and bravery manage to save the world? No, not that show? The other show, the one with a lot more girls in it.

Yes, yes, we’re all grateful for what “Stranger Things” has done for Kate Bush’s career. But now we’ve got another 80s show led by a young cast giving us all the end-of-the-universe feelings as well. Based on a comic by the same name, “Paper Girls” comes to Prime Video July 29 and as soon as I head the show’s title I just knew — just knew — there would be a couple gay girls in there.

Now, I’ve never read the comics series that the new TV adaptation is based on. But the title sets up the premise pretty well, as the year is 1088 and we meet four 12-year-old girls who are all deliver newspapers (for anyone under the age of 30, newspapers those are printed pieces of paper that get thrown at your front door each morning filled with The News and other things like crosswords and comics and advertisements for shoe repair). And then they run into some sort of time travel sky storm that transports them 20 years into the future into 2019 where they all confront their future selves. Also one of their future selves is played by Ali Wong which, well, it’d be pretty exciting at 12 to realize you grow up to be Ali Wong.

Anyway, as I was saying, without even seeing the trailer I felt my Lesbian Spidey Sense tingling about this one. But now that I’ve seen the trailer I’m happy to report that the future is queer as heck for these Paper Girls. It appears that Mac (obvious future queer) and AJ (probable future queer) might hook up in the future.

Already, I’m predisposed to watch this because I am predisposed to watch any female-led ensemble shows with diverse cast and an interesting premise (see: “Yellowjackets,” “Girls5Eva,” “We Are Lady Parts,” et al). So, clearly, I am going to watch. Who knows, maybe “Paper Girls” can do for newspapers what “Stranger Things” did for “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God).” Hey, if acid wash jeans can come back, anything is possible.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Music Monday: Bring Back Bananarama

If great 80s bops are making a comeback, how about we revive Bananarama’s “Venus?” Man, did I love that trio and I wore their tapes to numbs back in the day. The 80s gave us some truly fun, truly great girl groups — Bananarama, The Bangles, The Go-Gos. All of them could do with a comeback, or at very least revival. And, while “Venus” shot Bananarama to the top of the charts, spare some love for their “Cruel Summer,” which honestly given geo-political events seems pretty damn appropriate for summer 2022. Anyway, feel free to dance around your bedroom in nostalgic delight to these. I know I will. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, July 15, 2022

My Weekend (Canceled) Crush

Every expletive. EVERY EXPLETIVE. Well, HBO has canceled “Gentleman Jack” which means the number of shows currently on air that are centered explicitly around queer female characters has dwindled. And, honestly, pretty badly. “Wynonna Ear.” Over. “Killing Eve.” Buried the Gay. “Batwoman.” Dumped. “Dickinson.” Done. “Work In Progress,” “Betty”, “Motherland: Fort Salem.” Canceled, canceled, canceled. Sheesh, I’m glad my little murder podcast show went queer this season otherwise “The L Word: Generation Q” was starting to feel lonely. (And never leave us “Hacks,” “We Are Lady Parts” and “Yellowjackets” — ever.)

Now, as mentioned before, I was tardy in watching the second season. Which is totally my bad. But I so greatly appreciated the opportunity to emerge myself into the jaunty, swoony world of 19th Century Anne Lister and her wife Ann Walker. Sure, we all joke about the abundance of lesbian period pieces. But this show was truly the only televised option or series that gave us a window (however romanticized) into the lives of queer women in the past.

And, let me tell you, you still cannot beat the swoon-inducing heights of the Season 1 finale. Kissing on a mountaintop? Yeah, this show deserved to keep going for that moment ripped straight from the pages of your lesbian romance novel dreams alone. But, truly, we’ve lost another chance at representation and recognition. Being queer has always been a part of history. It’s beyond unfortunate that HBO has chosen to make this show history instead. Well, we’ll always have that kiss. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Gender Fuck Thursday: Dom Edition

Like can I make a whole post about a haircut? Please. It’s like you don’t even know me. So we all know and love Dominique Provost-Chalkley a.k.a half of everyone’s favorite cinnamon roll couple WayHaught a.k.a. angel on earth Waverly Earp. But, uh, did you see the haircut they unveiled at the Earpfest convention earlier this month? Because, * low whistle * Like, can I even whistle that low? Because damn.
Now if you know anything about Dom’s journey, you know they have come out as both queer (in 2020) and nonbinary/genderfluid (in 2021). So, naturally, their next move is to get a devastatingly hot alternative lifestyle haircut. Like, has Dominique become the ultimate get you a person who can do both meme? Long-haired queer heartthrob, short-haired queer heartthrob. Either way, works for me. But, that haircut? Just another reason queer women should love scissoring. Ahem.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The! Woman! King!

Fuck, and I cannot emphasize this enough, yeah. Fuck! Yeah! FUCK YEAH, THE WOMAN KING! Like has a movie matched a collective mood more than this? Viola Davis, absolutely ripped and glistening, kicking the shit out of colonizers and defending her kingdom against patriarchal overlords. As I said, FUCK YEAH!

Honestly, my initial visceral reaction might seem like overkill. But the more I learn about this movie — and the more I watch the trailer — the more excited I get. Because this movie is based on a real-life band of extraordinary all-female warriors, the Agojie.

These women warriors, often referred to as Amazons, helped to defend the West African kingdom Dahomey (now present-day Benin) from the 17th to 19th Centuries. They were the inspiration for the all-female King’s Guard in “Black Panther” and generally just kickass despite being relegated to the footnotes (if that) of most history books.

So, that alone would be something to get excited about. But the look of this thing, and particularly Viola? Like, I know we all got a little excited when we saw Natalie Portman’s new Thor arms. But I definitely know who I’d pick in a fight, and it ain’t the former Black Swan.

And, if that wasn’t enough, this movie is packed with talent in front of and behind the camera. Viola, of course. But then there’s also Lashana Lynch (a.k.a. Maria Rambeau/Mrs. Captain Marvel) and directed/co-written by Gina Prince-Bythewood (the directing genius behind “Love & Basketball” and “The Old Guard”). And did you know this whole thing started when Maria Bello (yes, that Maria Bello) pitched Viola at an award presentation?

As I was saying, fuck yeah. Hurry up, September. We need a hero, and we can’t wait to meet her. I genuinely cannot get enough of yoked Viola. Fuck. Yeah.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Building Lesbians

Wow, that got gay right quick. If you are a fan of the how-does-this-work, it-shouldn’t-work-show “Only Murders In the Building,” you know continues to defy the odds and work well in just started second season. The Steve Martin-Martin Short-Selena Gomez murder-comedy remains one of the most charming, hilarious and at times touching shows on air. And now, with ladies kissing. Sorry, spoiler alert, there’s some kissing between Selena and new cast member/real-life Shane Cara Delevingne. It happens in the second episode. There, now you know.

I’m pretty sure that’s the reason the show’s been quickly picked up for its third season. Kidding, mostly. Cara’s casting was announced bringing speculation that her art gallery owner character Alice and Selena’s artist character Mabel would perhaps hook up. And, then it was confirmed they would indeed be an item? well, they did not make us wait. Now, I fear Alice’s sudden arrival in Mabel’s life may be tied to some grisly death/murder. Because, uh, that’s kind of the nature of this show.

I really like basically everything about this show. The chemistry between its unlikely trio of stars. The brief jaunts into magical realism. The underrated physical comedy. The theme music. The perfect nailing of crime podcast culture. And now, The Gay.

I don’t know where they plan to take Mabel and Alice’s relationship, but I certainly hope we see a lot of it.

P.s. Since you were already spoiled by moi, here’s the scene. I mean, might as well watch (rewatch) it, right?

Monday, July 11, 2022

Music Monday: Rage Chicks

Just to get you in the mood to continue your rage march as we try to unfuck our country from our Christofascist Supreme Court and the far-right forces intent on turning the clock back to the bad old days. And, you know, it’s a bop. Happy Monday marching, kittens.

Friday, July 08, 2022

My Weekend Crush

Look, I know Pride Month is officially over or whatever. But we all function on Queer Standard Time which means we’re taking an extra weekend. And since you clearly already finished the second season of “Hacks,” your small crush on Hannah Einbinder has likely blossomed. So please enjoy her network TV standup debut with Stephen Colbert back on March 7, 2020. Honestly, she must have been one of the show’s last live guests before the pandemic hit and, well, you know. It’s interesting to watch her talk about her daily, given that SNL great Laraine Newman is her mother. I love how her set conveys the slightly awkward, though clearly clever energy of her character Ava “Hacks.” And, I also love how she comes out with her bisexuality immediately. I loved Ava’s evolution in the second season, and I hope to see a lot more of that — and some non-coitus interruptus lesbian encounters. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Gender Fuck Thursday: Iron Chef Lesbians Edition

If you’ve been around Surrenders for a while you’ll know that food shows are one of my weaknesses. And of course one of the O.G. food shows is “Iron Chef.” Now, the series is back on Netflix of all places and, lemme tell ya, it’s bigger and gayer than ever before. Bigger because they’ve made an enormous new kitchen stadium. And gayer because they’ve added not one but two out queer female chefs: new co-host Kristen Kish and new Iron Chef Dominique Crenn.

You probably know Kristen from winning Season 10 of “Top Chef.” And you probably know Dominique from her three-starred Michelin restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco and her engagement to actress Maria Bello. Anyway, the new season is an extravagant delight. I’ve particularly enjoyed how they’ve increased the number of both female competitors and female sous chef overall. (Yes, I miss the show’s O.G. lesbian Iron Chef, Cat Cora, but all the Iron Chefs are new now).

I also love how incredibly Fisher-Price quality to the show’s top prize, the so-called Golden Knife which looks like some PA spray painted about 30 minutes before the show started. Anyway, if you like cooking shows and incredibly talented queer female chefs, yeah, you should watch. And, if none of that entices you, please know that Kristen wears an incredible assortment of suits through the show’s eight-episode season. Yeah, tuck in, you’re coming to dinner.

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Harley & Her

Look, if you don’t watch the batshit crazy and unapologetically gay “Harley Quinn” animated series on HBO Max I don’t know what to tell you other than you are missing some truly batshit crazy and unapologetically gay television. Yes, it’s violent. Very, very violent. Yes, it’s crazy. Very, very crazy. And so so sososo gay. Quick Recap: Harley Quinn was the Joker’s girlfriend and Poison Ivy and Kiteman were engaged, but then a whole bunch of batshit crazy and unapolegetically gay stuff happened and at the end of the second season Harley and Ivy drove off into the proverbial sunset in a car with a “Just Married” banner after confessing their feelings for each other. And now more batshit crazy and unapologetically gay stuff is about to happen in season 3. Any questions? I didn’t think so.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Tank Top Tuesday: New Old Guard Edition

I…I don’t know how I feel about this development. On the one hand, I’m thrilled, THRILLED, that they are shooting the sequel to “The Old Guard.” On the other hand, I’m less thrilled, less, that they’ve done this to Charlize Theron/Andy/Andromache of Scythia’s hair while shooting the sequel to “The Old Guard.”
Sure, it’s giving me some serious late 2000s Tegan & Sara vibes. And if there’s anyone who could pull off a fashion mullet, it’s certainly Charlize. Now, I do appreciate the vest and reassurance that Andy’s commitment to tank tops (and those Wayfarers) remains unwavering. And suits, well, suits are new. And I will always appreciate suits.
But the hair? Sigh. We will just have to grit out teeth and trust the process.
Also helping me get over the hair? Uma freaking Thurman. Uma’s presence in the sequel was only just revealed, as were images of her on set tussling with Charlize. The Bride from Kill Bill going after the immortal from The Old Guard? Yes, I would like to see it. Yes.
Fine, maybe I forgive the hair. No, not really. I remain salty.

Monday, July 04, 2022

Music Monday: Kate Bush, Obviously

Obviously, Kate Bush is having a moment. The inclusion of the 80s art rock legend’s “Running Up That Hill” in the new season of “Stranger Things” has given Kate a career renaissance of sorts, propelling the song past its original success and into another stratosphere. Honestly, how could it not? The song is as fresh and vibrant today as its release in, gulp, 1985. I can only hope the newfound love for Kate’s music will lead people to one of my favorite songs of hers, “This Woman’s Work.” Like, I don’t know why, but all these years later it still chokes me up a little listening to it. But that’s probably because I vividly remember its use in the 1988 rom-com “She's Having a Baby.” Yeah, Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern back when they looked like babies. But I’d forgotten that Kate wore a tuxedo in the music video. So, if you too had forgotten the specifics (or are just discovering them for the first time), please enjoy. She can do a lot more than run up a hill, that’s for sure. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, July 01, 2022

My Weekend Rage

Wow, are we fucked. Also, fuck the Supreme Court. These two fucks are unfortunately intractably related, and sadly so is the real-life fucking — at least the kind that can cause pregnancy. (Though, don’t worry, they’ll come for all the other kinds soon enough.) So here we are, in our new, horrible post-Roe America. Abortion is no longer a right across every state. A week ago five men and one woman took away all women’s constitutional right to control their own bodies and choose whether to continue their pregnancies. They also took away the right from trans men and non-binary people who can become pregnant to control their own bodies (though, they’ve been fucking with trans/nonbinary/genderqueer’s people’s right to bodily autonomy for a while now — gotta love those election-year GOP wedge issues).

A right more than half the population has had for 50 years is now gone. A new generation of women, and all people who can become pregnant, will have fewer rights than their mothers. It’s fucked up. It’s wrong. It’s what our current Republican party and its far-right base have been not-so-secretly working toward for decades. The far-right takeover of our Supreme Court is now complete, and it happened while we were all watching. This is why we cried when RBG died. We knew. We lost.

All you need to know about the so-called values of the GOP and its right-wing voting bloc is they’re thrilled that a well-known con man who notoriously cheated on his three wives was able to ascend to the presidency despite losing the popular vote by 3 million votes, then fill three lifetime appointments (one that was clearly stolen by Mitch McConnell), and then loses the popular vote again (and this time the Electoral College for good measure), foment a violent insurrection at the Capitol, and continues to lie to this day claiming he actually won. They’d all vote for him again tomorrow.

I don’t know how to fix this. Voting is the most obvious answer, but clearly not the only one. More is needed in this moment. I need Democratic leaders to be as angry as we are. I need Democratic leaders to be as hair-on-fire alarmed as we are. I need Democratic leaders to try bold action, even if they think it will fail because of Manchin, Sinema and those 50 other Republican senators. Doesn’t matter, at least you’re trying. At least you’re fighting. Now is the moment to do the most, not the least.

We must do the most because, believe me, abortion is not their endgame. Abortion is the beginning of all their christofascist dreams coming true. More rights for guns, less rights for women is just the beginning. Clarence Thomas even said so in writing. They’re coming for laws that protect same-sex marriage, same-sex relationships and even your contraception. They’re coming for them. This is not a drill. The drills were over ages ago. This is where America is going, thanks to Trump’s Supreme Court. So we have to fight. We have to scream. We can’t just say “Vote in November! (though, obviously, vote in November).

America is a slow-motion trainwreck where we all saw the car on the tracks coming for decades, yet somehow kept allowing it to get closer and closer. So now the crash has happened, and the only question is how many rail cars will topple over. How many rights will be allow this unaccountable, unelected body of lifetime appointees to take from us? Democrats, progressives, liberals, old-school hippies, open-minded centrists, libertarians who aren’t also secretly fascists, people who hate labels but also think outlawing abortion is whack, and all the other rational, kind, good citizens of this country who think what you do in your uterus and in your home/bedroom with other consenting adults is nobody’s business unite. Now is the time to be heard. Now is the time to rage, rage against the dying of our rights. Happy rage-filled weekend, all.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Pride Matters

Like I was going to finish out a Pride Month without posting about Tegan & Sara. I believe that’s in one of the Lesbian Commandements, right? The Original Lesbian Twin Syndrome trendsetters released the new song “F*****g Up What Matters” earlier this spring. If you want to get right to the music, fast forward to 1:45. Otherwise enjoy the sisters musing about how to shoot their new music video in an original way. And, in case they need a tip for what to do for the next video, bring Erin Daniels in to just dance with them on stage and become LEGENDS. I mean, they’re already legends. But, it never hurts to gild the gay lily. Happy last day of Pride, kittens.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

See You In Hell

I had not heard about Rina Sawayama until the queer internet gods somehow surfaced her on one of my feeds. But now all I want to do is follow her straight into “This Hell.” The Japanese-British singer has made what can only be called a definitive Pride bop. What? We still have two days left to dance it out. The artist, who identifies as pansexual, has made the queer line dancing wedding ceremony party of our dreams. As we witness the old-school return of 90s-style homophobia (why, oh why couldn’t we have left that out of our current 90s fashion revival?), songs that tweak the ridiculousness of these conservative bigots just hit different. Based on the hatemongers standards, we queers already know Hell is the place to be. Eternal damnation looks fun. Plus, all the best people will be there.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Flip It and Reverse It

So I guess we’re gonna dance it out these last few days of Pride, which is fine by me. I don’t care, like even a little, about most reality television. But following the latest trend among celesbians of introducing the previously considered straight woman you are now dating via your new music video previously seen from Lesbian Jesus herself Hayley Kiyoko, Australian queer nonbinary singer G Flip had a public coming out for her new girlfriend with her video for “Get Me Outta Here.” G Flip is dating Chrishell Stause of “Selling Sunset” which I have never watched but whatever. But I will watch them make out in a 7-Eleven because I am shallow like that. Also G Flip wears a ton of tank tops and it’s Tuesday. So, you know, I have my reasons.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Music Monday: Lesbian Pride Edition

It’s been almost 30 years since Melissa Etheridge told a screaming room at the Triangle Ball for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration that “I’m very proud to have been a lesbian all my life.” But, rewatching the moment (and seeing k.d. lang’s immediate joy) makes it feel like it was yesterday. Back in 1993, yeah, that mattered. Goodness, did it matter. So let’s close out these Pride Month Music Mondays with Melissa and k.d. Happy last Monday of Pride, kittens.

p.s. Honestly, the coming out moment deserves a rewatch too. Thanks, ladies, we’ll always be grateful for your honesty and openness. We will not go back into the closet, ever.

Friday, June 24, 2022

My Weekend (Pride) Crush

Obviously, these ladies get the honor of being the last My Weekend Crush of Pride Month. Obviously. As much as we like to gripe about this show, we still watch. We watch because no matter its shortcomings, “The L Word” is important to queer women. Never perfect, but always important. And, indeed, its overall quality has gotten better. If you watched the new reboot of “Queer As Folk,” Ruthie sums it up kinda perfectly as “actually better than I thought.” I know I’ve griped about how while the new show is more competent it’s also less fun. We also have more, and more diverse choices now so the pressure and impact of being The One L Show is no longer there. But, you never forget your first. So I’m excited as the show begins filling its third season. Call me a hopeless optimist. But they say the third time’s the charm, so maybe the new season will merge the fun of the old show with the quality of the new show. But, who am I kidding, I’d watch these three ladies read the phone book. Happy last weekend of Pride, all.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

West-What In The-World

The multiverse is out, the simulation is in. Look, I have no idea what’s happening in the fourth season trailer for “Westworld” either. Honestly, I often have no idea what’s happening on the show while I’m actually watching it either. But I guess the reason I keep coming back (apart from the fact that this new season will feature three out queer actresses — Evan Rachel Wood, Tessa Thompson and Ariana DeBose), is its big swing ambition. Sure, sometimes you can’t shake the nagging feeling this show is nothing more than a series of unrelentingly extravagant setpieces in search of a coherent storyline. I appreciate the scope of this series, if its actual plots can leave you scratching your head. I also appreciate having Evan, Tessa, Ariana and Thandiwe Newton on my TV set on the regular. What I can kind of discern from the trailer is that a Not Dolores But Looks Like Dolores character is slowly realizing the world is perhaps not what it seems. Also, there are a lot of creepy flies. Honestly, if we’re all just living in a simulation, could we maybe not have as many obnoxious hatemongers and crypto-fascist billionaires around? Who made these programming decisions. I would like to speak to the manager.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Queer Island

So, while I no longer feel it’s my lesbionic duty to watch every queer piece of media ever produced anymore, I do still feel bound to support the fellas and our trans/nonbinary friends when it comes to entertainment. So I’ve dutifully watched both Hulu’s “Fire Island” and Peacock’s rebooted “Queer As Folk” which have come out this month in time for Pride. I mean it when I say there should be more LGBTQ+ media of all types, and I want to support that with my eyeballs when I can. (Same goes for “Bros” when it eventually comes out this fall — but come on, girl, waiting until September instead of Pride? Hm.)

Truly, I recommend them both. While they both have flaws (don’t we all), both are interesting and work hard to show us the lives of queer people who haven’t necessarily always been centered in queer media before. Asian gay men and women (well, woman, bless you Margaret Cho), POC queer men, trans women, nonbinary people of color, disabled queer people.

“Fire Island” is a well-crafted rom-com loosely based on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. The story pulls the curtain back a little on what the circuit party life is like for anyone who isn’t your typical white, ripped shirtless gay boy. And it embraces the power of our chosen families, which queers everywhere can certainly relate to. Bown Yang is particularly good, and Joel Kim Booster should already be a star.

The new “Queer As Folk” reboot brings needed diversity to the series. But, admittedly, the first few episodes are a tad rocky — heavy on the sex, drugs and trauma instead of the humanity. Choosing to follow the fallout of a Pulse-style shooting at a gay club is a big swing, and it works sometimes and doesn’t others. The series gels more toward the end of its eight-episode run when the characters’ messiness becomes less about making a show of their messiness and more about the organic messiness of being alive in this world. Jesse James Keitel is very good as Ruthie, who feels real and complicated and could be Dominique Provost-Chalkley’s sister in another universe.

Plus, both “Fire Island” and “Queer As Folk” have made a point of hiring LGBTQ+ people in front of and behind the cameras. And in my book, that’s a win any way you look at it. The more we get to tell our own stories our own ways, the better.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

TV Review: Fire Kill

How you feel about “First Kill” is probably an expectations game. If you were expecting some pioneering, genre-defying, soul-cleansing work of art, well…no. But if you were expecting a campy show about sapphic star-crossed lovers that hasn’t fully embraced its camp potential yet and that you don’t have to turn your brain on too much to watch with, then bingo-bongo is this show for you.

“First Kill” isn’t a great show. But it is occasionally a fun show. And it has hot women smooching which, honestly, can absolve many a show’s sins. We watched it over a weekend and while I haven’t thought too much about it since, I’m happy we gave it a binge.

The series is about as subtle as a pair of vampire fangs. It lays its scene in fair Savannah — not Verona — but the Romeo & Juliet overtones are, well, very overtoney. Like, the young vampire heroine is called Juliette. JULIETTE, GET IT. Her star-crossed Romeo is Calliope, Cal for short and masc representation reasons. Juliette is from a long-line of vampire legacies. Cal is from a long line of vampire slayer legacies. You get the deal.

Honestly, the acting is pretty meh. The matriarchs of both the vampire and vampire hunter clans — Aubin Wise and Elizabeth Mitchell, respectively — are the best actors on the set by a mile of wooden stakes. Everyone else, well, I’m always happy when actors get work.

Sarah Catherine Hook as Juliette and Imani Lewis as Cal are likable actors, but the chemistry between them when they aren’t smooching is, uh, underwhelming. But when they are smooching? Again, I fully embrace my shallowness sometimes.

The plotting could also use work. An extravagant amount of time is used setting up the show’s lore, which could have been better used showing and not telling us how this vamp/vamp hunter world works. And its action is, well, let’s just say Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s fight sequences will look like they’re filmed in fast-forward compared to these.

Yes, I realize I’ve listed a lot of negative things in a row yet still somehow think people should watch this show. But that’s the thing about art. I enjoy all of it — the highbrow, the low-brow and even sometimes the middling. Not everything has to be “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad” or “The Sopranos” or whatever else male-dominated world critics convince us is Very Important and Thus Good.

Some things can be kinda dumb and kinda fun and, again, hot women kiss and there are also vampires.