On this chapter of The Queerest Things I Watched Last Week, I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks because I didn’t have much to report, but last Friday The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix dropped. I recap that and other queer content I’ve seen here and there.
- L.A.’s Finest – Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot” [Live-ish]
L.A.’s Finest is a TV spin-off of the Bad Boys movies first airing on Spectrum TV last year. Because of pandemic-related production suspensions, Fox picked it up as part of its Fall lineup. Well, something good came out the fresh hell we’re in because L.A’s Finest is a fun buddy-cop action/comedy/drama I’m totally here for.
Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba play Syd and Nancy (good one) — detective partners in the Los Angeles Police Department. We get to watch them kick ass, get into trouble, deliver witty one-liners and experience typical police-related drama. It’s a prefect “forget we’re in a living nightmare for an hour” show.
Syd’s is a cliche, no attachments, “I like getting laid but I won’t make you breakfast and you need to leave first thing in the morning,” relationship-averse character. In episode 1 we learn she may be anti-relationships, but she doesn’t discriminate based on gender!
This makes an already fun show more fun in my opinion.
- Lovecraft Country – Season 1 Episode 7 “I Am.” [Live]
I am OBSESSED with Lovecraft Country. It is so many levels of amazing I have a hard time putting it into words. It mixes sci-fi, horror and drama with the real-life horror of Jim Crow era America. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to follow the story (I have a hard time understanding sci-fi plots), but the show is more than aliens and multiverse travel. Each episode has a different atmosphere and focuses on a different character or set of characters.
I haven’t written about it because while it has some queerness around the edges, there aren’t any non-cis male main queer characters. Yet.
In episode 7 the character Hippolyta goes on a multiverse journey which was some of the best television I have ever seen in my life. Her first stop is 1920s Paris to dance with Josephine Baker.
She has fun flirting with men and women and hanging out with Josephine Baker and Frida Kahlo, two of the biggest bi queens in history.
Meanwhile, another character Ruby, gets involved with a man named William who is the henchman, ex-boyfriend and bodyguard to Christina, the daughter of a leader of a cult-like secret organization. Ruby and William’s relationship is complicated, but Ruby eventually discovers it’s even more complicated than she thought.
Turns out William is in a coma and Christina has been using his body to carry on a relationship with Ruby.
I can’t tell if there is any body-swap queerness happening here. I think Christina is using Ruby to get what she wants and Ruby continues to have a sexual relationship with “William” but not Christina. It’s not clear if Christina has developed real feelings for Ruby or if she is just manipulating her.
Yeah, I’m not convinced. I do not trust her AT ALL. We have one episode left to find out.
I HIGHLY recommend Lovecraft Country, but with a caveat: the show is in the horror genre and horrifically violent things happen to characters on this show. If that is something you want to avoid seeing, you should skip. But if you’re a fan of horror please watch what is, in my opinion, the best show on television right now.
- The Haunting of Bly Manor – Series 2 [Streaming]
I absolutely LOVED The Haunting of Hill House. Theo Crain is one of my favorite queer characters of all time. I’ve watched the entire season 3 times and I’ve watched a few of the episodes more times than that. When I heard there was going to be a second season with a different house and completely different set of characters I was very skeptical. How could I love a Haunting of season without Theo Crain and will it have any queer characters?
I am here after a within 24-hours binge to tell you all, yes, you can enjoy this season with different characters, and yes, two of the main characters are queer.
Many members of the cast from Hill House are also in Bly Manor, like Victoria Pedretti (Nell/Dani), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Luke/Peter Quint), Henry Thomas (Hugh/Henry), and yes, my fave Kate Siegel makes an appearance as a bad-ass bitch in one very important episode. I ultimately enjoyed seeing them play different people.
The story centers around Dani, an American teacher who runs away to England to leave her old life behind. She gets hired as a nanny for two orphaned siblings who live at the super creepy Bly Manor in the middle of nowhere. Oh, and she got the job because the old nanny tragically died in the lake on the property. She joins the rest of the Bly staff: Hannah Grose the housekeeper, Owen the chef and Jamie the gardener/groundskeeper.
In case you couldn’t tell from the 80s overalls, Jamie is one of the queer characters.
Jaime is snarky and sarcastic and I love her.
I’m not going to give the rest of the story away because it’s definitely worth the watch, but I’ll let you all know Dani and Jamie “grow close.”
Jamie calls Dani “Poppins” after Mary Poppins, and it’s the perfect nickname.
Even though The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix was a lot queerer than Hill House, I still liked Hill House better. I thought it was more well done overall, and I’m more drawn to emotionally distant queer characters than sweet ones (I know this is a ME thing and not the show’s fault). Also, if you’re horror adverse, you’re in luck because I found The Haunting of Bly Manor to be way less scary than Hill House. There’s some creepiness and ghosts, but I thought it was more supernatural drama than horror. Like one of the characters says, “It’s a love story not a ghost story.”
This week: I’ll be over here re-watching Hill House for a 4th time and maybe I’ll get up the courage to write about We Are Who We Are which I find to be a real nightmare.