Tag: Season

Margaret Cho Joins Good Trouble For The Season 3A Finale

Margaret Cho Joins Good Trouble For The Season 3A Finale

This is a Good Trouble season 3A finale recap. Mild spoilers below. 


It’s hard for me to watch ensemble shows.

I have a tendency to gravitate to a few characters while growing to loathe a few others. I’ll devour storylines featuring the characters I care about — especially the ones who reflect some part of myself back at me — while begrudgingly sitting through (or, let’s be honest, fast-forwarding through) the storylines featuring characters I don’t. Coming into Good Trouble, the likelihood of this show falling into that trap seemed inevitable: after all, but for this show being a spin-off of The Fosters — an extension of the lives of Callie and Mariana Adams Foster — I might not have watched in the first place. They were the characters I cared about…and I couldn’t imagine caring for this ragtag bunch of folks at their intentional living community as much. Surely, there’d be someone I’d want to fast-forward through.

But, as I sat through last night’s midseason finale, I realized that Good Trouble had surpassed all my expectations. I cared about all of them. I wanted Alice and Mariana to find success in their respective careers. I wanted Davia and Malika to let themselves be happy…even if it wasn’t in the future they’d imagined for themselves previously. I wanted Alice to get the girl and for Callie to stop worrying so much about the boys. I wanted Gael to get out from under the thumb of his abusive boss. I wasn’t begrudgingly sitting through any storyline, I was rapt through all of them. Every. Single. Storyline.

Good Trouble has hit its stride this season: not just because it’s found a way to make everyone’s storylines compelling — though it has — but because the show’s writers have found a way to achieve balance in their storytelling. From the outset, I worried about the show “endeavoring to tell more stories than the show has time to tell well” and this year, they’ve really found that balance. Not a second of the midseason finale feels wasted or unnecessary…and while a lot happens (A LOT) it never feels like too much. The show’s writers also found a tonal balance this season: remaining committed to addressing the serious issues that have been Good Trouble‘s hallmark while not allowing it to eclipse the heart of the show. It was a damn good hour of television in what has been the show’s best season yet. In fact, as soon as it was over, I wanted to do two things: 1. watch it again and 2. fire off some tweets to Freeform asking them to return new episodes of Good Trouble to my television ASAP.

This week on Good Trouble, Alice and her fellow comedians perform, "Alice the Dumb Asian," as part of the diversity workshop's showcase.

Alice shows up to the CBTV workshop and is surprised to see Ruby there. She reiterates her interest in talking about Alice’s text and promises that they’ll do it soon. Alice settles in as Scott sets the stage for the day’s activities: a run-through for their upcoming showcase in front of the diversity program’s most famous alum, Margaret Cho. Alice is thrilled about the prospect of performing for her idol but then Derek wonders aloud how Margaret will react to their “Alice the Dumb Asian” sketch and, all of a sudden, all of Alice’s enthusiasm is gone.

They run through the sketches: Derek, an Indian comedian, does his “Great Al Qaeda Baking Show” sketch, Lindsay mocks the use of pronouns in their sketch and then Alice takes the stage with her fellow comedians for “Alice the Dumb Asian.” The audience, including Margaret and Ruby, break out in riotous laughter throughout the performance but, inside, Alice hates every second of it…and is dispirited to see her comedic hero laughing so hard at jokes she finds offensive.

After the run-through, Margaret approaches Alice and tells her she’s funny. It’s high praise for the young comedienne who kept Notorious C.H.O. on a continuous loop when she was nine. Margaret extends an offer to provide Alice with advice or answer any questions she might have and Alice takes advantage of the opportunity immediately. She asks Margaret if they made her lean into being Asian when she was in the program too. Margaret admits that things were worse when she participated but because they were allowed to write their own material, they leaned into the stereotypes for themselves. That confuses Alice — why play to stereotypes at all if you don’t have to — but Margaret points out that they did.

“It’s what the network wanted. And we wanted money and agents,” Margaret explains. “When you make it, you can change things, but your one job now is to play the game and get past the gatekeepers.”

But the dynamics have shifted: Margaret Cho’s made it, she’s no longer trying to get past the gatekeepers… so why, Alice questions, isn’t she helping to change what it takes to play the game? Before Margaret can answer, Scott pulls her away to talk to the rest of the workshop participants.

The participants in the CBTV diversity workshop lament the state of the program at the Coterie.

Later, at the Coterie, Alice and her fellow comedians are eating pizza, drinking and lamenting the state of the program. Everyone has the same complaint: they’re tired of putting this “stereotypical bullshit” out in the world. The alcohol’s flowing so everyone’s feeling a bit more combative than usual so they all agree to take their power back. But the next day, when everyone’s sober and they’re back in the real world, forced to play the game, not everyone’s still spoiling for a fight…even after Shaun is dismissed from the program. Only thing? No one told Alice.

She doesn’t understand why Shaun had to be cut or why fear and money are being used as motivation in the program. Alice voices the group’s frustrations about performing racist and transphobic sketches and insists that if they’re going to be forced to perform jokes about their identities, they should be the people writing them. Scott criticizes Alice as being part of the “PC police” and insists that jokes are meant to provoke. Alice pushes back — old stereotypes aren’t provocative, they’re lazy — but Scott reminds all of them what’s at stake: a Saturday Night Live test and a $70k talent deal. He asks the group if anyone else has a problem with the material and, unsurprisingly, they all stay silent.

“You know, we don’t need to do this program at all. We’re just doing it so that you get the opportunity, And I’m sorry, Alice, if you don’t want it, you can leave.”

And then, with her mentor, her comedic hero and her would-be girlfriend sitting by and saying nothing, Alice leaves… her integrity in tact but her future in comedy very, very much in doubt.


Here’s how the rest of the residents of the Coterie ended the first half of Good Trouble‘s third season:

Callie faces off with Jamie in court on this week's Good Trouble.

Callie: Lots of developmets on the personal and professional fronts for Callie this week. Professionallly, Kathleen Gale and her three associates step into the courtroom with just enough information to secure a two week continuance in their murder case. But before Kathleen can present the case, the FBI steps in and arrests her for witness tempering. Kathleen taps Callie to handle the motion which she does with aplomb (and even channels a little Kamala Harris in her back and forth with Jamie). And then — for reasons that don’t make sense to me at all — Kathleen recruits her associate who’s been a defense attorney for just a few weeks to be her lawyer.

On the personal front, Callie’s looking to — for once — avoid the complicated. She opts against hooking up with her co-worker, admitting that her heart’s with someone else. Her co-worker thinks she means Jamie but, really, she means Gael….but that doesn’t go according to plan either.

Davia gets a surprise guest on this week's episode of Good Trouble.

Davia: Alice isn’t the only person standing up for herself this week on Good Trouble. When the probation officers come into her classroom looking for Andre Johnson, Davia puts herself between the police and her student. Matt stands up next to her and they both refuse to let Andre go. Later the principal comes in and he doesn’t blame Andre for what happened, he blames the teachers for implementing an unapproved program. Davia, Gael, Matt and Jordan (the head of the Equity Committee) argue for the effectiveness of the restorative justice program and eventually the principal relents.

Inspired by his teacher’s activism, Andre decides to take a stand on his own: he and other kids in the program are circulating a petition to get the cops out the school. If the principal doesn’t agree, the students will refuse to take the Common Core test (which controls the school’s purse strings). Davia’s reluctant to sign the petition — after all, she could lose her job — but Matt reminds her that there are other, more important things, that they could lose if they don’t sign it. At that moment, Matt’s never been sexier…and Davia kisses him and invites him back to the Coterie where he spends the night.

Later, when Davia’s making tea in her robe, Dennis saunters in behind her (I screamed!). He admits that he’s been an idiot…he was looking for something to guide him out of the darkness but she’s always been his light. Before she can interrupt, Matt stumbles out of Davia’s loft, wearing her robe, and Davia makes the most awkward introductions ever.

Isaac and Malika talk about the state of their relationship on this week's Good Trouble.

Malika: We finally return to Malika’s counseling session this week and Isaac’s blindsided by Malika’s admission that she wants a relationship with Isaac and Dyonte. Isaac doesn’t know what to say so he just gets up and leaves. He apologizes later for his actions and Malika responds with her own apology for cornering him. She assures him if he objects to her pursuing a relationship with Dyonte, they can just stay monogamous, but Isaac doesn’t want her to put her feelings aside just to keep him.

“Look, if this is who you are, I don’t want to change you,” Isaac tells Malika. “So I guess the only option is — if I don’t want to lose you — is to find a way to accept this.”

Right now, though, Isaac doesn’t know how to be cool with losing her or with Malika seeing Dyonte, so he asks for a break to process it all. Heartbroken, Malika preemptively breaks up with Dyonte — after they share their first kiss — because she thinks the best way to prove to Isaac how much she loves him is to sever the tie between them…which: 1. is not an effective strategy if Dyonte’s still her co-worker and 2. isn’t at all what Isaac said?

Mariana and the Byte Club pitch Bulk Beauty on this week's Good Trouble.

Mariana: After Evan secures Mariana and the Byte Club a pitch meeting for Bulk Beauty, the women are left to close the deal. And, at first, it looks like they succeed — the girls dance adorably in the lobby in celebration — but then Mariana gets word that the company’s president nixed the deal. Refusing to take no for an answer, Mariana returns to the company hoping to pitch directly to the CEO. Only thing? The executive that had, originally, agreed to buy Bulk Beauty never took the app to the company’s CEO.

Mariana ends up in a confrontation with the executive: she loved the app but when she discovered that the Byte Club was allegedly behind the release of Speckulate’s salary information, it gave her pause. Standing up for themselves at Speckulate branded the Byte Club as trouble-makers — a reputation that Mariana confirmed by showing up abruptly — and the executive can’t risk investing the company’s money in a group with such a specious reputation.

The members of the Byte Club are, understandably, irritate, and direct their ire at Evan. They blast him for allowing a toxic work environment to persist at Speckulate and suggest suing him for workplace harassment…and then using that money to fund their app’s creation. Mariana objects to the idea by finally telling her business partners that she’s dating Evan.

Gael and Callie have the worst timing (again), this week on Good Trouble.

Gael: When Gael returns to his internship this week, Yuri gives him a portion of his profit from the sale of the painting that Gael “lent a hand” on (only 10% of the sale price). Gael objects to the characterization but Yuri reminds him that it’s his name that sold the painting, not Gael’s work. He promises Gael more opportunities like this one: trips abroad and access to Yuri’s professional network, on top of getting paid to make art. For a while, Gael considers it but, inspired by the students he’s worked with in the restorative justice art program, he decides doesn’t want to sell his soul. Watching Yuri sign his name to his creations was never Gael’s dream.

Having dealt with that successfully, Gael reaches out to Callie to talk about their relationship. They’ve been flirting all season long…moving closer to reuniting with each episode…and he invites her to his loft to talk about them. But when Callie arrives, the “she” from the episode’s title is, indeed, back: Isabella returns to the Coterie to tell Gael that she’s pregnant, with his child. She’s keeping it, of course, and even though she’s not looking for anything from Gael, he insists on being part of the child’s life.

Chekhov’s gun just went boom!


Now the wait begins for the second half of season three…whenever it comes, I’ll be there to recap all the drama.

What We Know About The L Word Generation Q Season 2

What We Know About The L Word Generation Q Season

We don’t know The L Word: Generation Q Season 2’s release date or when we can expect a trailer to roll up the driveway into the center of our collective lives on this planet, but we do know some things about what to expect from The L Word Generation Q Season Two. Not a LOT of things, but some things. Certainly more than other websites that have published similar posts that are somehow scoring higher than us on SEO, I think. This post will be updated as new information surfaces for us to feast upon.


Filming Is Happening Now

The L Word Generation Q Season 2 started filming in December and is set to wrap in May. Season One cast members Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig, Leisha Hailey, Rosanny Zayas, Arienne Mandi, Leo Sheng, Jacqueline Toboni, Jamie Clayton, Sepideh Moafi, Jordan Hull and Jillian Mercado have all posted or appeared in pictures from the set.

Rosie O’Donnell is playing Tina’s fiancée, Carrie

In December, it was announced that O’Donnell will be playing Carrie, “a kindhearted public defender who is thrust into Bette’s life and quickly gets under her skin” on Season 2 of The L Word Generation Q. O’Donnell has since taken pictures and posted TikToks from the set of the show. Eagle ears recognized that “Carrie” was the name of Tina Kennard’s fiancee. Rosie returned home in mid-February, so her run is probably just a few episodes. Jennifer Beals has tagged photos of herself and Rosie as #bettesworstnightmare.

Angie Porter-Kennard Might Be Meeting Her ?!Half-Sister?!

According to IMDB, Brook’Lynn Sanders, a teenage actress, has acquired the recurring co-star role of “Kayla Allenwood” in The L Word Generation Q Season 2. People who know too much about The L Word will recognize “Allenwood” as the last name of Marcus Allenwood, the artist who gave his sperm to Bette and Tina so that they could make a baby. Also, Angie is a series regular now so there will be so much more of her in general!

Donald Faison Will Play Tom, Alice’s Book Editor?

The Scrubs star will be appearing as a successful and funny book editor who is working with Alice on something. Perhaps that something… is a book?

Alice Has a (New?) (Old?) Show Called “The Chart”

ID 8: A poster from Alice’s talk show set. The Statue of Liberty is shown with her dress showing her left nipple over a green background. The text at the top reads “The Chart” in cream letters. Underneath it says, “Strap in, Strap on” in orange. In the middle, it says, “Passing the Bechdel test every time” in white. At the bottom right it says, “All episodes streaming now.” And underneath, there are logos for where to stream Alice’s show (within the world of Gen Q).⁣

via Leo Sheng on Instgram

Leo Sheng recently did a “Season 2 Photodump” and one of the pictures featured what is described as “a poster from Alice’s talk show set” with “logos for where to stream Alice’s show (within the world of Gen Q).” “The Chart” was, of course, the name of Alice’s truly terrible KCRW radio show from Seasons 2 + 3 of the original series in which she basically told everybody in Los Angeles about the sexual liaisons of all of her closest friends, and then was sad about Dana for a long time. Anyhow! Will The Chart be a podcast or a TV show? Do people call podcasts “streaming”? But also, the headphones on the boob statue? Wow, so many possibilities here.

Cops and Detectives Will Be Present

There seems to be a few characters described as cops or detectives and none of them are named Tasha Williams. If this is about Bette defending Angie from that guy trying to attack her on the stairs after the play then I swear to G-d I will scream into every throw pillow in the Los Angeles metro area. (With a mask on.)

Tina is Back

Tina’s fiancee Carrie being part of the show is a pretty solid hint that Tina’s returning to our lives and so are the photos of her on set and in table reads!

Bette’s Returning to the Art World

Griffin Dunne (I Love Dick, Girls) is set to guest star as Isaac, a big international art dealer who builds a relationship with Bette. There is also a recurring role described as a sophisticated Black female artist whose progressive and well-established work addresses racism. Furthermore there are a few other art-related characters already slated to exist, including a few artists, another recurring male international art dealer, an art assistant and an “art enthusiast.”

Carolina Gutierrez plays Marissa

We do not know anything about this character besides that she is listed as appearing in at least three episodes — starting with the first episode. She is probably not the same Marissa who was Shane’s assistant at Wax. But if she is, she should clean up that milkshake.

Shane and Tess Will Have “Complicated Dynamic” in The L Word Generation Q Season 2

On the PANTS podcast, Kate Moennig was like, working with Jamie is “reminiscent of the original show” and also all of Jamie’s scenes are with Kate and also their characters have a “complicated dynamic” in which they “challenge each other.” “We’re definitely like an It’s Complicated,” said Jamie. “It’s Complicated, totally, Facebook Status 100%,” Kate said. “It’s complicated. Are we giving anything away? I don’t think so.”

Dani and Gigi Look Great … Together?

Watch this spot for more updates as we obtain them!

Riese

Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including “The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female,” magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2860 articles for us.

Pop Culture Fix: Bette and Tina are Back at it in “The L Word: Generation Q” Season 2 Table Read

Pop Culture Fix: Bette and Tina are Back at it


Someone dropped a bag of popcorn(?) on the sidewalk in front of my house last night, and an army of pigeons has descended upon it, and my cat Dobby is going BERSERK at the window. He’s never seen so many birds in his entire life, and they’re getting a treat he’s not getting, and, friend, he’s screaming about all of it. His constant chirping and hollering honestly sounds like the inside of my brain as I keep one eye on the impeachment hearings and type up this Pop Culture Fix with my other eye.


+ Rosie posted an Insta story from a table read for season two of The L Word: Generation Q, and the main thing the internet is noting is that Tina’s back. It’s actually kind of amazing that three hundred years after the original L Word, our TV Team still has so many feelings — good and bad — about these two! They still punch my heart in the neck!

+ The full trailer for season three of grown-ish is here.

+ Meet Batwoman season 2 big bad Safiyah in new first look. Also! Batwoman boss confirms Black Mask is season 2’s other big bad.

+ Why Batwoman didn’t recast Ruby Rose’s role.

+ Miss Honey is the original cottagecore lesbian.

+ Stop doomscrolling and watch the Fran Lebowitz documentary on Netflix.

+ Netflix’s first inclusion report confesses there’s a lot to be done in terms of diversity at the streaming platform, especially with Latinx folks. You know what would have made a huge difference in these numbers? ONE DAY AT A TIME.

+ Lilly Singh returns to remind us, when it comes to Trump’s coup, it’s the white supremacy, stupid.

+ Here’s your first look at Tig Notaro in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.

+ Lesbian film Frozen 2 was the most streamed movie of 2020.

+ This is the weirdest headline! Of course they ran away! Ellen DeGeneres Learned of COVID Diagnosis on ‘Ellen’ Set: ‘Everyone Around Me Ran Away’

+ This is a really interesting read: In favor of the queer mediocrity of Ammonite.

Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She’s a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1079 articles for us.

“Batwoman” Season 2: In Our Ongoing Uprising for Black Lives, Ryan Wilder Is Right on Time

"Batwoman" Season 2: In Our Ongoing Uprising for Black Lives,

Almost six months ago to the day, Javicia Leslie was announced to follow Ruby Rose’s Kate Kane as Ryan Wilder, the first ever Black Batwoman. My very serious and understated quote here on Autostraddle, the lesbian paper of record, was an all caps “LET’S FUCKING GOOOOO!!!!!!” — so, no big deal. Supremely chill vibes. And it certainly hasn’t hurt that Leslie has spent the entire time since her announcement seemingly becoming a one-woman Black Bisexual Queer Nerd Catnip, complete with an enviable kicks collection, an adorable dog (he’s a pit bull rescue!), and ahem, an affinity for bodysuits. Still, whatever my confidence, it was hard to suppress nervous butterflies when I received the Batwoman Season Two press screener for review.

Just to get it out of the way, right at the top: Ryan Wilder is not Kate Kane. I suspect that sentence might make some of the original fans uneasy, but let me follow up by saying the decision to make Ryan a woman of her own changes very little about what makes Batwoman beloved. Ryan may run warm in all the places where Kate instead chose calculated cool, but she loses none of the badass strength that makes Batwoman who she is at her core. Her tomboy swag’s more Nike Air Force 1s than Kate’s James Bond bowtie, but the bravado itself is still undeniable. They are both proud, out lesbians.

In Leslie’s hands, Ryan Wilder is instantly and infinitely likable; she’s a little emotionally raw and surprisingly snarky (her humor was easily my favorite thing about her!). Overall, she comes across as very true to her original character description, “a girl who would steal milk from an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands” — which just happens to be my favorite kind of woman. (Other parts of her character’s description, namely having “spent years as a drug-runner” were mercifully and correctly adjusted after casting a Black actor in the role.) If for some reason none of that wins you over, please also know that Ryan is a plant mom!! And as a fellow plant mom, please know that we are the best kind of people.

Ryan Wilder reads a newspaper in her RV van — that is also her home — while sitting next to her beloved plant.

Going into its second season, Batwoman couldn’t have possibly had more stacked against it. The series namesake abruptly left after one season, the writers had to write them out while also maintaining continuity — when nearly all the characters of the series, including the lead villain, are directly related to Kate either by blood or love or both (I found Ryan’s new connections to Alice to be shockingly unexpected, yet organic and fully believable). They had to do all of that while in the middle of a global pandemic the likes of which haven’t been seen in 100 years! Oh and then they cast a Black woman to literally be the first very Black person ever to don the Batsuit on film; Javicia’s casting announcement came during a summer of Black Lives Matter protests and uprisings and now her TV debut as Batwoman will occur as we are once against bearing witness to large-scale white supremacist violence in this country. So again… supremely chill stakes here. Really just going for the hat trick.

The thing about comic book superheroes is that on the surface they may seem silly — all brightly colored suits and flying capes and gizmo gadgets and KABLAAM — but they are some of the most homegrown, American mythos that we have. They’re the stories we tell children, right from the youngest age, to explain right from wrong. They become buried deep, right into the marrow of who we are. Even people who have never picked up a comic book in their life or barely ever watch television know who Batman is. And when Batman is a billionaire playboy with fancy bat toys, or Ironman is a billionaire playboy with fancy Iron Hearts, or Superman is a homegrown blue-eyed boy right from small-town Kansas, that says a lot about who we believe can be “heroes” in the first place.

Kate Kane originally mattered, not only because her story was great, but because at the height of national debates around “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”gay marriage, and what it means to have the full rights of citizenship as a gay person in this country — she was kicked out of West Point for being a lesbian. But now it’s 2021, we are facing the dying gasps (we can only hope) of a fascist wannabe dictator that has cannibalisticly fed from and emboldened the violent racist backbone that has long existed since the founding of this country. After years and years of work at the hands of Black activists, cries of Black Lives Matter are finally sweeping this country. It’s time for a new story.

I’m glad that Caroline Dries, Batwoman showrunner, for deciding to make Ryan an entirely new character — not to recast Kate or to adapt another DC property into the role. The questions we are facing, the stories we need to tell ourselves now, they require fierce new answers. At least from the premiere episode, it appears that Batwoman won’t shy away from the responsibilities that it’s facing. I don’t want to wade too far into spoiler territory, but Ryan’s backstory comes with multiple points of entry to explore the ways that systematic racism impacts Black America Gotham specifically and opens up critiques of state-sanctioned violence that I don’t believe Kate, a military trained fighter who’s father is the head of the CROWS, would have been able to ask.

In her LA times profile published just this weekend, Javicia Leslie feels the weight on her shoulders, but she’s not letting it crush her. “Now that Ryan is becoming Batwoman, I feel like it opens up the possibility of what it really means to be Batwoman and that it doesn’t really matter who’s under the suit… Anyone can put that suit on and be a hero.” Superheroes shine brightest when they are made for their moment.

In this Batwoman season two review, Ryan Wilder is in the Batsuit with her wig and make held in her arms.

That doesn’t mean that this Batwoman is robbed of joy! I’ve already mentioned Ryan’s contagious snark, but as someone who deep in my bones loves a good woman villain, Rachel Skarsten continues to make my skin crawl in the BEST kind of ways. The fight choreography is slick, the bat toys are aplenty, and there’s gay melodrama and tortured loves. All the things that made the first season of Batwoman grow into its best are accounted for and welcomed back. Narratively speaking, what’s being asked of the Batwoman writers’ room is a tall order by any definition. They handle the transition as smoothly as anyone could have asked them, finding a tone that feels like its past but also a new and exciting terrain. And there’s enough about Kate left to continue to unfold in the episodes to come. Just as a nerd and a fan, I was impressed that anyone could pull that shit off.

Next week we’ll be back with even more details and a weekly Batwoman recap (!!!!) from Nic (!!!) — one of my favorite queer recappers in the game right now (have you read her work on Black Lightning?? It’s so smart and so, so good!!) — but for now I just wanted to say: If the writers of Batwoman can successfully walk the tightrope of “What happened to Kate Kane?” and the staggering, necessary demands of this moment we are living in, and still manage to get in a few flirtatious winks while they’re at it? There’s absolutely no telling what’s next.


Batwoman Season Two premieres Sunday, January 17, on The CW.

Official trailer for season two is finally here

Lawrence Chaney rides giant bagpipes while other queens pose outside an entrance

Things got, er, odd in the first trailer for RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. (Screen captures via Twitter)

Drag queens, start your engines – the official trailer for the long-awaited second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK dropped Sunday evening (3 January) and yup, we are absolutely gagging for it.

Immediately sparking hope that maybe 2021 won’t be a truly cursed dumpster fire like the year prior was, the trailer was released on BBC Three’s official Twitter and we’re honestly suspect David Lynch directed it as it is weird. Very weird.

“*Screams* The Drag Race UK series two trailer is here!!!!” the tweet read. “*Continues screaming until 14 January at 7pm when the first episode drops on BBC iPlayer*.”

“Hey sis!” RuPaul begins in the video. “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

Sheep, tea and a lot of glitter: Drag Race UK is shaping up to be aggressively British 

The camera zooms out to reveal a backstage room where the queens can be seen doing everything from riding horses to walking sheep while puppies run around them in the surreal preview.

Television monitors with Mama Ru’s face can be seen around the room, belting some of her famous lines in what is essentially RuPaul’s 1984, as the 12 contestants shimmy and dance.

There are many, many meme-worthy moments, but seeing the franchise’s first Scottish contestant, Lawrence Chaney, riding a giant bagpipe as she shouts “slow down, Nessie” is certainly one fever dream-grade highlight.

As well as Tayce hypnotically saying her name over and over again and Tia Kofi wearing a tea cup shaped dress, because Britain, we guess.

Returning 14 January on BBC iPlayer, the new season will see RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton preside over a diverse new cast of queens.

It will also see a constellation of UK talent joining the judging panel, including Dawn French, Maya Jama and Jessie Ware, Elizabeth Hurley, Lorraine Kelly, Sheridan Smith, MNEK and Jourdan Dunn.

Drag Race UK season 2 cast revealed ahead of January return

Ellie Diamond, Asttina Mandella and Ginny Lemon from Drag Race UK season two.

Ellie Diamond, Asttina Mandella and Ginny Lemon from Drag Race UK season two. (BBC)

The Drag Race UK season two queens are finally here.

After feverish anticipation, frustrating delays and the small matter of a global pandemic, Drag Race UK season two is ready to spread its tuppence all over your screen.

Returning 14 January on BBC iPlayer, the new season will see RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton preside over a diverse new cast of queens, including the franchise’s first Welsh and Scottish contestants.

Expect glamour, spook, vocals, veganism and a whole lot of regional dialects for RuPaul to smile and nod at.

The twelve competing queens are: Tayce, Joe Black, A’Whora, Tia Kofi, Ellie Diamond, Sister Sister, Veronica Green, Bimini Bon Boulash, Ginny Lemon and Asttina Mandella.

The Drag Race UK season two cast.
The Drag Race UK season two cast. (BBC)

Also announced Wednesday (16 December) was Drag Race UK: Queens on Lockdown, a mid-series special uncovering how the queens spent their time during the long, pandemic-mandated break in filming.

Tayce, 26, from London via Newport.

Tayce
Tayce. (BBC)

Drag Race UK’s first Welsh queen is a “girl on the go” who describes her drag as “modelesque, very villainous, dark, punky, edgy… a sexy owl here to peck your face away with my claws”.

Well-known on the London drag scene, Tayce is “here, queer and ready to let these girls have it”.

Like a few girls this season, Tayce has an aversion to the sewing machine, but doesn’t expect that will stop her from making it to very end “by hook or by crook”.

Joe Black, 30, from Brighton.

Joe Black
Joe Black. (BBC)

Joe has been performing for 13 years and comes from the world of burlesque and cabaret – “all ostrich feathers and glitter and strippers”.

She is bringing “all the eye shadow and the wonky eyebrows of the traditional seaside drag, with a bit of haunted glamour”.

A’whora, 23, from London via Nottinghamshire.

A'whora
A’whora. (BBC)

A’whora is the “fashion queen of the London scene” determined to prove that she’s a lot more than just her incredible looks.

“I wanna walk into a club and people be intimidated”, says the plastic surgery enthusiast, whose next procedure is getting her “fingers done”.

Tia Kofi, 30, from from London via Essex and Nottingham.

Tia Kofi
Tia Kofi. (BBC)

Tia Kofi is one-third of drag girl group The Vixens, but is entering Drag Race UK to “Beyoncé myself”.

Proud to be representing British queens of colour, Tia Kofi is bringing you “end of the pier Blackpool”.

“She’s live singing, she’s all dancing, she’s camp, she’s glamour, she’s also a mess.”

Ellie Diamond, 21, from Dundee.

Ellie Diamond
Ellie Diamond. (BBC)

Standing 6’4 out of drag, Ellie is “a really big queen – literally – in a tiny little pond”.

She joins Drag Race UK season two having performed outside of Dundee only once before.

She currently works in a drive-thru, and describes her drag as a “cartoon character came to life”.

Sister Sister, 32 from Liverpool.

Sister Sister
Sister Sister. (BBC)

A Sister Sister show is about “wacky monsters going for it”, inspired by old-school, Victoria Wood-style British comedy.

She can sew, turn a look, dance – although “not well” – and is here to represent a unique part of Liverpool’s drag scene

“You have the gorgeous queens of Dragtown, you have the queer scene who like to get down dark and dirty, and then you have me just plonked in the middle.”

Veronica Green, 34, from London via Rochdale.

Veronica Green
Veronica Green. (BBC)

“Gorgeous, goofy and professional”, Veronica Green has been in the industry as a theatre and opera singer for 15 years.

Although her dream of singing in Wicked hasn’t come true (yet), she’s ready to take the Drag Race UK crown.

“I am the most competitive person I know, and I will fight you on that if you disagree.”

Bimini Bon Boulash, 26, from London via Norfolk.

Bimini Bon Boulash
Bimini Bon Boulash. (BBC)

“East London’s bendiest b***h,” Bimini grew up in Norfolk but is now a staple of the capital’s “diverse, vibrant, colourful” drag scene.

Incredibly, Bimini invented veganism “about seven years ago”, and fancies herself the dancing queen of the season.

“I wanna show that you don’t have to be shady, be super b***hy to prove that you’ve got something.”

Ginny Lemon, 31 from Worcestershire.

Ginny Lemon
Ginny Lemon. (BBC)

Fancy a slice? Ginny Lemon is the “hairiest woman in showbiz” and “the only non-binary drag queen in the UK… with a sense of humour”.

Her ideal look is a “90s daytime TV presenter on acid”, she’s bringing you a “down o earth, working class sense of humour”.

“You’ll get high energy, madness, the unplanned.”

Asttina Mandella, 27 from London.

Asttina Mandella
Asttina Mandella. (BBC)

A backing dancer for the likes of Hercules and Love Affair, Pussycat Dolls, Little Mix and Kanye West, Asttina is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, vogue, whacking, hip-hop and street dance – but she’s also “a big geek”.

“Now it’s my time to be on the poster,” she says.

“I’m Serena Williams and Naomi Campbell if they had a baby, plus Azealia Banks at the same time.”

Cherry Valentine, 26 from Darlington.

Cherry Valentine
Cherry Valentine. (BBC)

Cherry Valentine only started doing drag a year ago, but tells her haters: “I’ve been doing it as long as I need.”

“She’s glamour, she’s club kid, she’s dark, she’s gothic,” she says of her drag.

When she’s not serving body and face, Cherry is a qualified mental health nurse, something she credits with helping her on her drag journey.

Lawrence Chaney, 23 from Glasgow.

Lawrence Chaney.
Lawrence Chaney. (BBC)

Inspired by Lady Gaga, Madonna and Michelle McManus, Lawrence is “every single stereoytpe you are thinking right now of what a Scottish person is”.

“I’m almost the fat b****d of drag from Austin Powers,” she says, and is here to represent the big queens.

“I really wanna show that a big girl can enter the competition and really showcase the inner beauty and the outer beauty that we all heave. Not wear leotards with fringe on them.”

Ryan Russell, Jackie Cox & more on holiday traditions and redefining the festive season / Queerty

Ryan Russell, Jackie Cox & more on holiday traditions and

There’s no wrong way to celebrate the holidays, and in this year where travel is limited, the LGBTQ community is redefining what the festive season looks like. In this installment of the OUT FOR GOOD series, we’re talking to RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Jackie Cox; NFL player Ryan K. Russell; Big Brother’s Natalie Negrotti, and Sirius XM radio co-host, Doug Budin, about all things holiday.

We discussed everything from what “chosen family” means, to how they come together and celebrate.

Find out how these folks are gearing up to get in the holiday spirit:

Oscar-winner Mary Steenburgen of ‘Happiest Season’ wants to play our mom in a movie / Queerty

Oscar-winner Mary Steenburgen of ‘Happiest Season’ wants to play our

Happiest Season

Yes, our mom loves Mary Steenburgen.

But then, who doesn’t? The classy, Oscar-winning actress has one of the longest resumes of any actor working today, having appeared in such films as Back to the Future Part III, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Philadelphia, Nixon and Parenthood, among many others.

For that matter, how could anyone not love Alison Brie, the versatile star equally at home as a series regular on the drama Mad Men as well as the sitcom Community?

We landed time to chat with the two ladies about their latest outing, the queer-themed holiday comedy Happiest Season. It arrives on Hulu November 25.

Happiest Season casts Kristen Stewart as Abby, the doting girlfriend of Harper (Mackenzie Davis). When the two decide to get engaged, Harper invites Abby to spend the Christmas holidays with her family. There’s just one problem: Harper isn’t out to her perfectionist family. Things get even more awkward when Harper’s Dad (Victor Garber) announces some new political ambitions, while her mom (Steenburgen) plots to reunite Harper with her high school boyfriend. The situation also gets tense when Harper clashes with Sloane (Brie), her hyper-competitive sister. By the time Abby’s best friend John (Dan Levy) and her secret high school girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) arrive on the scene, is there any hope of preventing holiday chaos?  Mary Holland and Ana Gasteyer also star, while openly gay actress/writer/director Clea DuVall helms the project.

Chatting with the two actresses also gave us the opportunity to mention our mom’s love of Ms. Steenburgen. Don’t begrudge us. Happiest Season streams on Hulu November 25.

 

Video Editor: David Beerman

Flamingo Rampant Kickstarts New Season of Feminist, Culturally-Diverse, and LGBTQ-Positive Kids’ Books

Flamingo Rampant Kickstarts New Season of Feminist, Culturally-Diverse, and LGBTQ-Positive

Flamingo Rampant micropress is back with a new Kickstarter for its fourth season of feminist, racially diverse, and LGBTQ-positive children’s books! This new set of #OwnVoices books includes their first middle grade titles as well as picture books. As always, they depict an array of intersectional identities that few (if any!) other publishers have matched—all with fun, joyous storylines that include Afro-futurism, seahorse dads, baseball, magic, body hair, pancakes, and more!

Flamingo Rampant Adventure

The theme for the new season of books is “Adventure.” Here are the book descriptions from the project’s Kickstarter page (though they caution that it’s possible some things could change):

  • Noodin’s Perfect Day (PB), written by Ansley Simpson and illustrated by Rhael McGregor. Noodin, a nonbinary urban Indigenous kid, doesn’t have the day they planned with a book and Ninaatig (a maple tree)—but they have a lot of fun anyway!
  • The Magic Shell (PB), written by Jillian Christmas and illustrated by Diana G. A. Mungaray. When Pigeon Pea asks one question too many, her auntie gives her a magic cowrie shell that lets her time travel back and meet her ancestors, including some pre-colonial gender transcenders.
  • The Light Of You (PB), written by Trystan Reese and Biff Chaplow, illustrated by Van Binfa. A family-building story featuring adoption and a seahorse papa (a trans man birth parent), told through a poem—with space for you to add your own family stanzas! [Mombian’s note: This is not just what I believe is the first picture book about a pregnant trans dad and one of few about trans parents overall, but also one of very few with LGBTQ parents of any identity that shows a child getting a sibling. (I can think of only one other, an older self-published work.)]
  • It’s A Hit! (MG), written by Arin Cole Barth and Marika Barth. A story of baseball and friendship, where a nerdy, newly-out trans boy and the super-jock son of two queer parents form a lasting friendship.
  • Metatron’s Children (MG), written by Chy Ryan Spain and illustrator TBD. An Afro-Futurist tale set in a dystopian future, in which two Black, nonbinary children unlock a secret that might just save the world.
  • Puberty: Pick Your Path! (MG) written by Dr. Sydney Tam, MD, CCFP and Rakiyah Jones, DNP, FNP-BC, illustrated by Bishakh Som and kd diamond. This groundbreaking book introduces young people to the process of puberty, allowing any kid to learn about the changes that may come. The book describes many options for trans and nonbinary kids to explore—for the first time ever—possible routes and options through puberty and into adulthood, with age-appropriate illustrations and diagrams throughout. Kids can feel a sense of agency about their puberty experience, learn about their friends’ experiences, and explore differences as well as commonalities—everyone  makes a stop at Body Hair Station.

It will take money, though, to bring these books to our shelves. If your financial situation allows, I hope you’ll consider supporting the project. Note that you can choose to receive all six books, just the picture books, or just the middle grade ones. (Pro tip: If your kids are still in the picture book age range, get the full set. They’ll be ready for the middle grade ones before you know it. Or if they’re older, get the full set and offer the picture books to a friend, library, or school.) The books are estimated to ship in September 2021.

Want to know more? Check out the promotional video, in which the authors and Flamingo Rampant Chief Flamingo S. Bear Bergman tell you more about these stories:

I Visited the “Happiest Season” Set to Chat With Kristen Stewart and Clea DuVall About Their Holigay Rom-Com

I Visited the "Happiest Season" Set to Chat With Kristen

In February, I found myself sitting in a folding chair in a country club just outside of Pittsburgh, directly across from Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis. They were dressed for Christmas. The country club was dressed for Christmas. I was wearing headphones plugged into a little microphone pack that allowed me to hear everything Clea DuVall and the actors said when the cameras started rolling. Two days earlier, the Happiest Season PR team had emailed me out of the blue and asked if I’d like to visit the set of the upcoming queer holiday romantic comedy before they wrapped. I thought, “Finally, someone has seen my artistic masterpieces promoting this film!” (They had not.)

And so I put my two nicest shirts in a suitcase and hopped on a plane and next thing I knew, Clea DuVall herself was shaking my hand and thanking me for dropping by. Her handshake was just the right amount of firm, and her hands were slightly calloused, like a carpenter’s. I made a note to tell you that specifically. “Like a carpenter’s.”

I actually made a lot of notes, but it turns out I don’t need them: The thing about being sandwiched in a corner with Kristen Stewart is you don’t really forget it.

Mackenzie Davis, Clea DuVall, and Kristen Stewart on the set of Happiest Season

LACEY TERRELL/Sony Pictures

The story of Happiest Season is the story of Clea DuVall: Harper, played by Mackenzie Davis, is in a loving, committed, healthy, happy longterm relationship with her girlfriend, Abby, played by Kristen Stewart — but Harper hasn’t yet come out to her parents, which Abby doesn’t know. Harper doesn’t reveal this small snafoozle to Abby until they’re in the car on the way to spend Christmas with Harper’s family. Clea wanted to write the movie because she’d lived it, and she wanted it to be a Christmas rom-com because where are the queer Christmas rom-coms, and also because she wanted it to be timeless in the way only holiday films ever really are. So she called up comedic writer and actress Mary Holland, who plays Harper’s sister Jane in the film, and they wrote it and pitched it to Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner, who’d produced the gay rom-com Love, Simon to great acclaim, and they snapped it right up.

Kristen Stewart signed on because Clea’s story, Harper’s story, is her story too. A young gay woman perfectly content with who she is, in a loving relationship, just not yet ready to talk about it to other people who might not be as supportive as she needs them to be. Only in the case of Kristen Stewart, I suppose, Harper’s loving parents, played by Mary Steenburgen and Victor Garber, were the seventy gazillion readers of the gossip blogs that hire the paparazzi that dog her every step. Kristen Stewart said she didn’t just want to play Abby, but that she’d have been jealous if anyone else got to play her. She said, with genuine excitement, “A movie like this has never existed!”

These are the other things I don’t need notes to recall: Kristen Stewart listened with her whole face, to whoever was talking, and talked with her whole body, and the experience was like being ensconced in some kind of supernatural energy-exchange. I had to shake my head like a cartoon character with bumblebees in my ears to clear my brain when the handler came to take her and Mackenzie Davis back to filming. She was generous with her laughter, and her eyes brightened expectantly when it was clear you were going to make a joke, like she wanted you to say something funny for her and for you too. She was relaxed, on that set where Clea DuVall was in charge and the script was queer and she was playing a lesbian and Mackenzie Davis smiled like twinkle lights and Aubrey Plaza was so effortlessly hilarious. And she was happy. Really happy. That’s what she told the little clump of reporters gathered around her, but she didn’t even really need to say it. She was radiating it.

Mackenzie Davis, Clea DuVall, and Kristen Stewart on the set of Happiest Season

LACEY TERRELL/Sony Pictures

That was true of every single person I spoke with, actually. Victor Garber was delighted by how calm and generous and collaborative everything was on Clea DuVall’s set. Mary Steenburgen, who believes this film will be an all-time Christmas classic, was thrilled to realize that every gay person for the rest of forever will be watching her at least twice a year at the holidays, now — once with Elf and once with Happiest Season. (She was also delighted by Dan Levy, just in general, and said she was considering adopting him, since her own son keeps posting photos of Andie MacDowell on his social media and pretending he thinks it’s his mom.) Mary Holland said the set felt like actual Christmas. Costume designer Kathleen Felix-Hager side-eyed me when I asked her if it was hard to find enough distinct flannels to fit multiple lesbian characters in the same Christmas movie, but then relaxed and laughed when I told her I’m a lesbian and it was a joke (but also my wife and I do actually have this problem with both flannels and beanies, so it’s not really a joke).

When Kristen Stewart said that a movie like Happiest Season doesn’t exist yet, her eyes, which had been giving equal attention to everyone with a recorder out, landed on me and Sam Manzella, a writer for NewNowNext, and stayed there. We were certainly the gayest-looking people in that tiny gaggle of journalists, and we were the ones writing for gay publications. I smiled and I nodded that Kristen Stewart was correct, and Sam smiled and nodded too, and Kristen Stewart half-smiled back at us — you know the smile I’m talking about — and continued what she was saying, moving her steady gaze over our little group.

The funny thing about Kristen Stewart saying a movie like Happiest Season doesn’t yet exist is that of course a movie like Happiest Season doesn’t exist yet, because without Kristen Stewart it couldn’t exist. Her presence is the thing that makes it the thing it is. Kristen Stewart, the Charlie’s Angel. Kristen Stewart, the star of the 3.3 billion dollar Twilight series. Kristen Stewart, stated enemy of Donald Trump who went onto Saturday Night Live and said, “I’m like so gay, dude” to the President of the United States. Kristen Stewart, who has her own Awards and Nominations page on Wikipedia, who is the muse of countless directors and designers, who cannot take a single step in Los Angeles without being assailed by paparazzi, who has been profiled repeatedly by every newspaper and magazine, and whose every public word becomes an SEO clickbait headline (yes, even here). She has one of the most — if not the most — famous gay millennial faces on the planet earth.

In the totality of the lesbian film canon, there are very few movies with actresses as famous or lauded as Kristen Stewart. And there are even fewer movies with out actresses as famous as Kristen Stewart that are also written and directed by queer women. And gay Christmas rom-coms, with warm and well-worn plots that feel like your favorite flannel pajamas? That’s never happened because most gay movies are made by straight people who cannot imagine our stories as anything other than miserable. (And actors who sign on for well-made tragedy for Oscar’s sake.) Toss in Tegan and Sara headlining the soundtrack, and you can drill down all the way and this thing is nothing but gay.

Mackenzie Davis, Clea DuVall, and Kristen Stewart on the set of Happiest Season

LACEY TERRELL/Sony Pictures

And while Clea DuVall was quick to point out — and Kristen Stewart was quick to echo — that this story is her story, and that she’s so proud that it’s breaking down one door, she knows there are still so many more queer movies that need to be made by other queer writers and directors and actors who haven’t yet seen themselves on-screen.

Five years ago, Happiest Season would have been the apex of queer cinema — and now it’s a celebratory pause along a continuum. It’s all I want this Christmas! But I also want Janelle Monáe’s gay rom-com following that classic enemies to lovers Pride and Prejudice plot. I want Janet Mock’s New York City gay career woman comedy. Give me Indya Moore as a Disney Princess. Give me Sara Ramirez as an action star. And where’s Alice Wu’s blockbuster money, and where’s the studios wooing Desiree Akhvahn, and who’s adapting N.K. Jemisin’s three-time Hugo-winning fantasy series for the big screen?

Clea DuVall really seemed to understand that her new film both stands alone, and is also part of a much larger and essential cultural conversation.

I laughed a lot on the set of Happiest Season, because that kind of joy is contagious, because the script is very funny, because Kristen Stewart knocked a painting off a wall between scenes at one point and tried to play it cool but of course there’s a person on set whose entire job is to make sure nothing in-frame changes between takes so he had to come fix it. I also laughed because when I started watching lesbian movies, I did it in hiding, and they were all terrible and tragic. And because when I started writing about gay TV and film, I couldn’t get a single actress who played a gay character to talk to me because they didn’t want to do interviews with a gay publication and get pigeonholed or typecast (and they definitely didn’t want anyone to think they were gay). And here I was on the set of Clea Duval’s latest film, surrounded by wreaths and fir trees and golden fairy lights, and Kristen Stewart was holding my gaze, and she was saying, “I fucking belong in this movie.”

For all the hand-wringing that journalists who profile Kristen Stewart do about whether or not she even wants to be talking to them, and what it means that she ordered this to eat or drink, and was wearing that, and glanced at her phone, or stared out the window pensively for more than five seconds, or the way she tilted her head, or the tenor of her voice, or whatever perpetual judgment that she’s not walking around smiling every second of her life like a circus clown, the vibe I got from her on that rainy, foggy, bitingly cold day in Pittsburgh was that there was nowhere else she’d rather be.