On this chapter of The Queerest Things I Watched Last Week, I binged Never Have I Ever season one and Dead to Me season two which helped scrub the cruel Station 19 Marina content from my brain.
- Never Have I Ever – Season 1 [Streaming]
My wife and I binged all of Never Have I Ever after our teenager and multiple people on the LezWatchTV Slack (join us) recommended it. We loved it.
The show is about the complicated life of Devi, a first-generation Indian-American teenager. It’s created by Mindy Kaling and inspired by her own childhood. Even though most of the actors looked way too old to be in high school, it felt real and messy just like actual teenhood.
One of Devi’s friends, Fabiola, has a super cute coming out arc.
As a first-gen kid of an immigrant parent myself, I really appreciated seeing this story told. I imagine many people who have not seen their experience on TV before will relate to it. Add it to your watch list, y’all!
- Station 19 – Season 3 Episode 15 “Bad Guy” [Live]
My #Marina report is a shitty one this week. It was about 2 1/2 minutes that started out great and ended up devastating.
Their storyline started talking about daytime orgasms (Carina is an Orgasm Scientist, so appropriate) and quickly turned into Carina trying to get Maya to process her dad abuse issues again.
Later they are hanging out and Carina just won’t drop it. I love Carina and she’s right about Maya being in denial, but you need to know when to stop pushing. If someone is not ready to face her entire childhood of mental and emotional abuse you can’t force them.
Carina is trying to be supportive, but she is on the other side of dealing with her own father. Even though she has more clarity, she should understand Maya is in a completely different place. I do love how Carina is dedicated to being there for her even after she literally runs away.
Back at the station Maya is doing an angry workout and Andy talks to her because she is also processing who her father actually was. After his death she is finding things out about him which leads her to believe he wasn’t the great guy everyone thought. Maya blows up at her because she thinks her father was a saint just like her own dad.
Then later Jack comes into her office and dad stuff comes up again. The two of them get into an argument and instead of running away or kicking him out, she f*cks him. I have to say, I was pretty shocked. I don’t know what her motivation was. Does she want to stay on brand as “broken” and unable to be in a relationship? Is she trying to sabotage her relationship with Carina because they are getting too close? Whatever it is it sucked, and I felt really let down by this writing choice.
At the end of the day, Maya comes home and Carina is still there waiting for her. It was a sweet gesture of support and Maya brutally crushed it.
This was beyond the usual TV relationship angst, it was cruel. Also, many folks on Twitter thought Carina was about to say, “I love you.” before Maya lashed out.
I am so tired of getting emotionally invested in ships to have them ripped away. This one was particularly devastating because the characters had such great chemistry and seemed to have worked through their relationship-ending issues episodes ago. I let myself put by queer fan survival walls down and relax for a second and was punished in one of the worst ways possible.
I know it’s “just television” but scripted TV is the place I go to when real life is hard like the fresh hell we’re in right now.
@Daburninator22 said it well:
There is one episode left this season. I really hope we don’t have to wait until next season to see what happens. Until we find out, I’ll try to be comforted by the real life actors being sweet to each other.
- Tommy – Season 1 Episode 12 “Cause of Death” [Live]
Poor Tommy got canceled last week.
It’s wasn’t the deepest or most complicated cop drama on TV, but I enjoyed watching a wise out lesbian Chief of Police solve all of LA’s problems.
Tommy’s story ended with her getting her job back within one episode. I knew she could do it!
Let’s pour one out for Tommy. We’ll miss you.
- Dead to Me – Season 2 [Streaming]
I didn’t watch Dead to Me season one when it came out last year. My wife did, and she put it on in the background to get ready for season two which just dropped recently. I got sucked in, and even though there weren’t any queer storylines, I loved the writing and the two main characters had as close a relationship as women can have without it being romantic.
Then Twitter let us all know Natalie Morales is in season two AND is going to be in a relationship with one of the main characters. We binged all of Dead to Me season two within 24 hours.
The show is SO GOOD. The subject matter is murder and lies, which sounds really dark, but it’s so funny. My favorite part of the show is when you think it’s going to fall in line with the usual tropes it doesn’t. It breaks all the rules you usually see when TV tells women’s stories and it does it in a way that is not preachy or a lesson. It’s subtle and completely clever.
Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini) play the two main characters and they have PHENOMENAL comedic chemistry. Judy and Michelle (Natalie Morales) also have great chemistry.
I absolutely loved the fact that there was no coming out story line. Sexual orientation was never mentioned or processed. Even when Jen finds out about them getting together, she’s happy for her without asking, “What, are you gay now?” like we’ve seen on television 100 times before.
The creator and showrunner Liz Feldman, an out lesbian who has also written for 2 Broke Girls, The Great Indoors and The Ellen DeGeneres Show said the omission of a coming out story was intentional.
I’m married to a woman and I just was longing to tell a story about two people getting together and not having to explain it or talk about it or discuss it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s real value in a coming out story. I’ve told mine several times in so many iterations. It just wasn’t a story I felt like I needed to tell. What I haven’t seen and I thought could be interesting was just somebody living their life, being attracted to somebody, going for it and it just not being a conversation. Because of all people, Judy has the capacity to love all people and that does not need to be explained.Liz Feldman
Thank you, Liz Feldman, this is the story I want to see more of on television. This is why we need out queer content creators.
Watch Dead to Me season two. I feel confident you won’t be disappointed.
- Vida – Season 3 Episode 3 “Episode 19” [Live]
After breaking up with Nico last week, Emma has some rebound therapy by sleeping with Sam (the person she hooked up with on an app in season one) and their girlfriend.
In the morning, Emma is really judgy with Sam and Alex about open relationships, which I think is really rude, but she’s just projecting her own trust and betrayal issues.
Back at the bar, Emma and Nico still have to work with each other, and Nico isn’t handling it well. She’s drinking at work and being surly with customers.
“You don’t not matter to me.” is the best Emma can do.
Nico takes off work early to get herself together and when Emma goes out to smoke, she sees Zoe “consoling” Nico in her car.
Well, that stamped out any crumbs of sympathy Emma still had for Nico.
We’re already halfway through this season and I’m still hoping Nico will be able to break through Emma’s emotional fortress.
This week: I’ve been going on vacation to Provincetown regularly since the 90s so I can’t wait to see the new drama, Hightown. I’m interested to see how they’re going to turn one of the prettiest places on Earth into a gritty drama. I’ll report back next week.