We’re getting closer and closer to the most exciting gay TV week of the year: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN FIRST! We’ve talked about it nonstop in Slack this week and can’t wait to start sharing it with you. Meanwhile, this week Natalie recapped a very gay and dramatic episode of Good Trouble and Valerie Anne recapped a very intense episode of Motherland: Fort Salem. Kayla wrote about the blossoming homoeroticism of The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club. Valerie Anne showed you the eeeevil biceps and machinations of Resident Evil’s lesbian CEO. And Stef’s essay on Wishbone? Well, you just have to read it. In the movies, Heather shredded Ruby Rose’s 1Up. And Drew wrote another brilliant cinematic essay: this time on the lesbian classic Kamikaze Hearts.
TV Crew Notes:
+ The new season of adult premiered this week and while most of the episode was spent passing the baton from one Johnson kid to the next – Zoey to Junior, as the show’s new lead – we discovered some new faces. Among them is Junior’s new roommate, Zaara…a relationship born out of inclusive housing. In the first, we learn that she’s a serious student, having passed Harvard, Brown, and Yale for Cal U’s accelerated medical degree program.
Admittedly, I was not very interested in adultbut the show brought me back with the promise of expanding queer Muslim and queer South Asian representation (played by a queer actress, no less!) on television. I’ll be there to recap all the gay happenings in season 5. – Natalie
Written by Valerie Anne
Alice is back, Alice is back! They start talking on the phone, Alice staring sadly at the leak in her ceiling, Mabel wandering the secret passages of the Arconia. Alice asks Mabel if she could maybe host the party at the Arcadia, and Mabel agrees as she just found the entrance to the secret passage in her apartment and she doesn’t really want to be alone right now. . She finds a matchbook at the restaurant with a splash of rouge on it, but it’s unclear if it’s blood, ketchup, or paint.
I also happen to watch this episode with my parents and when Alice called Mabel’s apartment “lavish”, my mother asked, “How does she know how big her apartment is?” And maybe she’s been there with Mabel off-screen, maybe she’s just been to Arcadia before…or maybe she’s been there on her own…
Charles and Oliver have decided they need to look for a new factor in their lives that could direct their artistic mentorship… and Mabel has just met an artistic stranger. Mabel waves them away and says Alice is just an “intimidating, cool English girl” she is dating. Charles takes a minute to process the word “date” while Oliver teases him, saying it’s “hip” to be bisexual these days.
Alice’s party arrives and Mabel doesn’t invite them but, of course, they show up anyway. Alice immediately taunts Charles, talking about a rare Swedish movie he was in, and he’s instantly charmed, but Oliver needs more convincing. In a half-dream sequence from the 70s, Oliver drags them into a murder mystery game he calls Son of Sam and ends up interrogating Alice. She breaks down and admits to lying, but about things like going to Oxford and her parents being artists. She created an artistic persona to gain legitimacy in the field, but that’s it. She holds up an “innocent blonde” card from the deck and storms out. Mabel, feeling betrayed by people on both sides, follows her.
Mabel finds Alice and says she is upset that she lied but also knows she shouldn’t have been publicly humiliated like this. Alice says she got caught up in her art world lies and admits she should have told Mabel the truth and she apologizes. Mabel understands; she says everyone lies a little bit. The other night she lied about her Thai food not being too spicy. They agree to stop lying to each other, kiss and reconcile. But later, after they fall asleep in the same bed, we see that Alice had the Son of Sam card. Maybe she’s not an innocent blonde after all…
Written by Valerie Anne
The first gentleman turns out to be a gentleman at all, accused of shady dealings with NASA contracts and cheating on his wife with a White House staffer. Everyone is stressed about it, and honestly, it’s mostly relieved that they don’t seem to know exactly who it is. He scolds his boyfriend for telling his college buddy about it and tells him to convince his friend that he lied or was on drugs, even if he has to go to rehab to prove it. I wouldn’t call it a clean break, but it’s a break nonetheless.
Ellen is furious that he put their jobs at risk after all they did to create this life. All he had to do was keep it in his pants for a term, and he let it go. She asks what was so special about this particular wizard and all he can say is “He likes me”. Ellen is furious and says “Holy shit” and frankly it’s hot. He says he is tired of having to make sacrifices and sacrifices that people in their lives have had to make. Ellen stops him when he mentions Pam; Pam dumped her for another woman, what sacrifices did she make? And then finally he confesses the secret he’s been keeping for years: Pam didn’t dump her for another woman. He told her that Ellen would have to choose between the presidency and Pam, and would never choose Pam, so Pam made the decision for her.
Ellen is crushed. Not only did they both lie to her, but they made decisions for her. So later that night, when she’s supposed to be going to a fundraiser, she redirects her limo and goes to see Pam.
I have never been more excited for the next episode of this show than I am right now. I’m ready for Ellen and Pam to break my whole heart.
Written by Valerie Anne
This week, Isobel wakes up naked next to Kyle in the bed made of margaritas. She’s afraid that she’s ruined their friendship by bouncing off with him, and he backs down on his feelings and she says she’s relieved that he recognizes that they’re two friends blowing off steam. But eventually she decides it feels weird and she doesn’t want it to feel weird so she heads back to Roswell. Kyle asks her to stay and confesses his true feelings for her, and apparently she didn’t look the same Kyle I looked at because she’s rightfully shocked by this news. She doesn’t know what to say, and he asks her to ask him to wait until she understands things, but she doesn’t want to promise him that the wait will be worth it. She doesn’t want him to have expectations. And she doesn’t want to lose him. She eventually returns to Roswell and uses her mental powers for good instead of manipulating her girlfriend.
In other queer news, Shivani and Allie still save the day together even though Allie is still offscreen, and Liz is still determined to find them the cure for their daughter they’ve been looking for. Also, Michael and Maria might be on the verge of finally figuring out that Alex isn’t just on a regular search project, but is actually missing. (Maybe even dead but, no body, no crime. #MayaLives)
The Chi 505: “We don’t need to undress”
Written by Natalie
If you caught my caption last week or the discussion in the comments, there’s a cool Autostraddle link to the latest episodes of The Chi: Fatima, local journalist and potential love for Victor/Trig, is played by L’lerrét Jazelle, a former Autostraddle contributor. You like to see it!
This week, Fatima stops by ROCK, writer’s notebook in hand, to cover their “Follow Your Dreams Day” event. Victor is there too, sporting cool braids and wearing a dapper suit and cologne. He admits he only stopped because he heard she would be there too. He asks her to leave with him and, although she refuses at first, Fatima invites her to stay until she is done covering the event. She finishes and they head to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch. Over margaritas, Fatima wonders when Victor will stop being a real person and “turn” into a politician. He acknowledges the pressure is immaculate, but insists he just wants voters to know he’s not bullshitting them, like others have.
“So why lie about who you are?” Fatima asks.
She leaves the details unsaid but Victor knows exactly what she is asking. He leans back in his seat, ponders the matter for a moment, and asks if they’re still confidential. He admits his popularity has skyrocketed since he started posting photos with Tierra. It’s no surprise to Fatima: “People like a straight black cis couple,” she notes. Victor pushes back against the implication: he’s attracted to women – and “trans women are women”, he declares firmly – and doesn’t that make him straight? I don’t like the momentum behind this conversation, but I appreciate it happening. Even for me, I worried about how Victor’s move from Imani to Fatima, especially without a real peek in Tierra’s direction, would look to their audience.
Fatima pushes further: “When was the last time you were with a cis woman?
Victor stirs uncomfortably under the glare of her question and admits he doesn’t have an answer. He replies, “So, what do you call it? What’s the word for that?
Fatima acknowledges that she doesn’t know either but continues to pressure Victor not to publicly acknowledge his relationship with a trans woman. Victor admits he keeps this part of his life a secret because he doubts voters will embrace it, but Fatima urges him to consider the bigger picture. His refusal to declare his love for the women he loves erases them. He acknowledges his point but swallows his regrets, leaving me to doubt that anything will really change.
Fatima warns that if Victor isn’t honest he will end up getting caught, but he ignores the warning. As they share a free kick outside Fatima’s apartment, things between the two get even more personal. Victor insists she won’t be his secret but admits he’s in a tough spot. Fatima assures Victor that he can trust her and she kisses him.