August 10, 2018
Episode 37: Nanette
Andi and Lise had their minds completely blown by “Nanette,” the comedy show/performance piece by Tasmanian comedienne Hannah Gadsby, currently available on Netflix. In this brilliant and searing examination of comedy and who it serves, “Art, [Gadsby] makes clear—from painting to comedy—does not liberate everyone equally. It can replicate the same privileges and exclusions as the culture in which it was made,” Moira Donegan says in her piece on “Nanette” in the New Yorker.
“Nanette” is a blistering tour de force in which Gadsby lays part of her soul bare and then leaves the audience to grapple with its role in perpetuating the marginalization of those it demands entertain us.
And in the wake of the 2016 election and the #MeToo movement, Gadsby’s indictment of homophobia and misogyny and her dissection of comedy has become a phenomenon and a statement. “I really was writing as though I was throwing a grenade,” Gadsby told Rolling Stone, “and I fully expected for the show to seal me off in the margins. I am so shocked and overwhelmingly stunned. It’s become bigger than me. And I’m happy for that.”
Both Andi and Lise are of the opinion that this is the first major piece of art—a blistering fusion of comedy and storytelling—to emerge since the 2016 elections and will probably come to define this era in ways we don’t yet even know.
Hannah Gadsby’s “Nanette” on Netflix (US; check your local Netflix site if you’re not in the US).
Gadsby’s just released memoir, Ten Steps to Nanette is available at various booksellers. Check your faves.
Rolling Stone interview with Gadsby
Moira Donegan at the New Yorker on “Nanette”
The WIRED crew on “Nanette”
Sophie Gilbert at The Atlantic on “Nanette” as a radical, transformative work of comedy
July 27, 2018
Episode 36: Dread Nation
Andi and Lise RAVE about the book Dread Nation by author Justina Ireland, which is billed as YA but really, EVERYBODY should read it. It’s an amazingly evocative tale of American race relations set against the backdrop of the Civil War but with a twist—zombies. Or, in the parlance of the times, “shamblers.”
From the book description:
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.
The book deals with race, racial hierarchies as defined by skin color, and how a zombie apocalypse didn’t re-align race relations, but rather simply grafted them onto a new backdrop. The protagonist (Jane) is amazing and the story is well-crafted and you’re swept up in it immediately. READ THIS BOOK.
Justina Ireland’s website
Dread Nation is published by Balzar + Bray (imprint of HarperCollins)
Here’s the Amazon link
July 13, 2018
Interview with Amanda McLoughlin of the Join the Party podcast
Lez Geek Out: Episode 35
Andi and Lise totally fangirled over Amanda McLoughlin, but they still did manage to chat with her about one of her cool-ass projects, “Join the Party,” a collaborative storytelling and roleplaying podcast in which four friends create a story together, chapter by chapter. Everyone from seasoned players to total beginners can enjoy this Dungeons & Dragons gameplay, with adventure, intrigue, drama, magic, and the chance to follow diverse characters.
According to the Bello (podcasting) Collective, Join the Party has “gargoyles, robots, queerness, political intrigue, and a whole lot of sound design.” JTP also has introductory episodes to teach new listeners how to play D&D, and they also have interviews with innovators who are pushing the game forward.
Amanda McLoughlin is a producer, founder of the production collective Multitude, a business builder, and old-school internet creator from New York who some of you may know as one of the co-hosts of the fabulous mythology, folklore and legends podcast, “Spirits.”
Hit the link to visit the awesome:
Join the Party
Other D&D podcasts you might dig:
The Adventure Zone
Dames & Dragons
June 29, 2018
Episode 34: Ocean's 8
This week Lise and Andi lose their collective minds over the movie Ocean’s 8 because: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rhianna, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, and Anne Hathaway. Also, they both LUUUUV a good heist, and Ocean’s 8 delivers AND passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors.
The writing is tight (SO important in a heist plot!), the woman power is stellar, the humor is spot-on, and holy crap the chemistry between the cast and especially Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett…Andi is shipping them hard. Ocean’s 8 is part of the Ocean’s franchise, and Bullock’s character is Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny Ocean.
“Five years, eight months, 12 days and counting -- that's how long Debbie Ocean [Bullock] has been devising the biggest heist of her life. She knows what it's going to take -- a team of the best people in the field, starting with her partner-in-crime Lou Miller [Blanchett]. Together, they recruit a crew of specialists, including jeweler Amita [Kaling], street con Constance [Awkwafina], suburban mom Tammy [Paulson], hacker Nine Ball [Rihanna], and fashion designer Rose [Bonham Carter]. Their target -- a necklace that's worth more than $150 million.”
Ocean’s 8 website
June 15, 2018
Episode 33: Raven the Pirate Princess
This week, Andi and Lise rave about the comic Raven the Pirate Princess, a spinoff of the Princeless series, both written by Jeremy Whitley and, in the case of Raven, arted up by Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt.
This is Volume 1, a compilation of initial issues (chapters) 1-4, in which Raven Tsingtao, the daughter of a pirate king, is double-crossed by her brothers. Her father’s legacy was supposed to be handed down to her, but her brothers poisoned him against her and now she’s looking for a pirate crew to reclaim her legacy and get revenge on her brothers. Follow Raven as she auditions potential crewmates, meets other strong badass women, and prepares to find her brothers.
Andi and Lise rate Raven the Pirate Princess, as A—Awesome! Not only in characterization and storyline and art, but in diversity (many different body types, backgrounds, ethnicities, and races) and Awesome in potential queer rep. Raven is most likely a lesbian, and there are a few other characters who probably identify that way, too.
Find it at Action Lab Comics and Amazon.
Want more info? Check Keri Crist-Wagner’s piece at BookRiot and Mey Rude’s observations at Autostraddle.
June 1, 2018
Lise has gone off the rails without Andi this week, and brings in author Nita Round to geek out about one of her favorite subjects of late: D&D!!! For those not in the know, D&D stands for Dungeons & Dragons and is a fantasy-based role-playing game.
Nita and Lise talk about their experiences playing the game, the sorts of hi-jinks that happen when you get cranky wizards together with clueless clerics, and games devolve into one long attempt to barbecue their way across a fantasy landscape.
Nita Round (and her fabulous books) can be found at nitaround.com.
More about D&D can be found at the Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons website.
May 18, 2018
This week, Andi interviewed two of the creative forces behind L.A. Web Series, a currently 2-season web series available on YouTube that follows a chance meeting between two women one evening in L.A. and what kind of connection they forge in the night they spend wandering around the city before Landon has to fly back to the UK in the morning.
Emma Maddock plays Landon in the series. She is an actress originally from Manchester, England, who was also a producer on the series.
Alexandra Swarens plays Avery. She is a writer and actress originally from Sacramento, California who wrote the series and also directed it.
Here they dish on their backgrounds and on filming the series, and provide some advice on creating content. They also spill a bit about new projects they’re working on.
You can find both seasons of L.A. Web Series on YouTube.
Find Emma Maddock on Twitter (@Emmaddock) and Instagram (@maddock94) and the L.A. Web Series on Twitter (@LAWebSeries).
Alexandra’s Twitter account is at @ASwarens.
May 4, 2018
Andi and Lise totally geeked out over the SyFy series Killjoys, which is about to enter its fourth season. It’s an absolutely delicious space opera that explores all levels of political intrigue and its effects on personal relationships.
Killjoys, in the show, are galactic bounty hunters that operate in a four-planet system called the Quad, which is beholden to “The Company,” which in turn is tied to a group of families called “The Nine,” who have worked hand-in-glove with the Company to leverage political and cultural influence. It’s a hierarchical society based on class ties, but also blood and political ties. The Company has, of course, extended its greedy and often corrupt power grabs all over the Quad, stripping areas of their resources and leaving godawful pollution and crap in its wake.
This is the backdrop for an intriguing maelstrom of excellent storylines!
Andi and Lise highly recommend this show.
Catch it on SyFy.com and Amazon and DVD on Netflix (check your country’s listings).
April 20, 2018
Andi and Lise RAVE about Spirits Podcast, which is: “…boozy biweekly podcast about mythology, legends, and lore. Every episode, co-hosts Julia and Amanda mix a drink and discuss a new story or character from a wide range of places, eras, and cultures. Learn brand-new stories and enjoy re-tellings of your favorite myths, served over ice every two weeks, on Spirits.”
Andi and Lise really dig the banter between hosts Amanda and Julia, who speak enthusiastically and knowledgeably about mythological creatures, paranormal creatures and themes, and folklore all over the place. They skillfully lay out the legends, address major themes, and then link them to contemporary cultural interpretations and mores. And they are all about women’s rep in these journeys into mythological pasts.
Find Spirits Podcast HERE.
And as a side note, Spirits will soon be going WEEKLY rather than biweekly, beginning at some point in October.
April 8, 2018
ClexaCon with guest Ashley, ClexaCon attendee
Andi and Lise are both on the ground at ClexaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada and they chat with con-goer Ashley about her experiences at the event and what it means to her and to queer representation.
ClexaCon met in Vegas April 5-9, 2018.
April 8, 2018
ClexaCon with guest Anna from The Lesbian Review
Andi and Lise are both on the ground at ClexaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada and so is Anna from The Lesbian Review, who also attended last year. Andi and Lise chat with Anna about ClexaCon then and now, fandoms, and how important queer representation is and the role ClexaCon plays in that.
The Lesbian Review website is HERE.
ClexaCon met in Vegas April 5-9, 2018.
March 23, 2018
Andi and Lise love themselves some Lost Girl, the paranormal urban fantasy series that launched in 2010 and ended with Season 5 in 2015. The series follows main character Bo, a succubus, in her quest to find her true origins, but she’s buttressed by several strong secondary characters, both human and fae. The show’s premise is predicated on there being two worlds – fae and human – and the former attempt to stay hidden from the latter while dealing with conflict between light fae and dark.
The show is full of strong women characters and includes strong positive LGBTQ rep. Bo is considered bisexual and engages with both male and female love interests.
Andi and Lise agree the show is full of great, strong characters, excellent writing, great plots, and explorations of moral ambiguity with regard to the conflicts between light and dark fae as well as how individuals engage with both sides.
The show is currently available on Netflix and Amazon Prime in the U.S.
And check out the Waystation podcast, all about Lost Girl.
March 9, 2018
Andi and Lise are super-stoked this week because they managed to score an interview with three ClexaCon directors/organizers (Ashley had to step out to conduct official ClexaCon business during the interview, but we appreciate her dedication to the cause).
Joining us is Holly W., Danielle J., and Ashley A., all of whom not only direct and organize this event, but coordinate with other team members to do whatever needs to be done.
ClexaCon officially launched in March, 2017 as a response to the myriad deaths of queer women characters in media, particularly the death of the character of Commander Lexa of the CW show The 100 (pronounced “the hundred”). That character died in an egregious example of the “bury your gays” trope, and in the wake of her death, LGBTQ fans and allies rallied in opposition to this trope and sparked a revolution of organizing and community outreach that continues unabated.
Named for the iconic ship of Clarke Griffin and Commander Lexa (Clexa), ClexaCon is the first and largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ women and allies. It brings together thousands of diverse LGBTQ fans and content creators from around the world to celebrate and encourage positive media representation of and for LGBTQ women.
The event is scheduled for 5-9 April in Las Vegas, Nevada.
February 28, 2018
Andi and Lise are way into the award-winning Questionable Content webcomic (Lise got Andi started on it), by Jeph Jacques, which launched August 1, 2003 and has been since then. It’s a slice-of-life comic populated by a diverse group of people and includes strong women and strong queer rep and all kinds of other rep. People of different ages and body types, backgrounds, and all kinds of things in between.
The comic is at times hilarious, moving, poignant, wacky, and overall an amazing amount of fun.
Jeph Jacques’ Patreon
February 7, 2018
Lez Geek Out! # 25
Andi and Lise rave over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which opened in theaters in December. TLJ is the continuation of the Star Wars story from the movie The Force Awakens, which was released in Dec. 2015. TLJ is chock full of strong women characters, has a diverse cast (though we’re still waiting on the overtly queer rep…), and these characters were integral to the story. Here, Rey continues her exploration of her abilities with The Force; General Leia and, later, Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) are trying to outrun The First Order; and Rose Tico the Resistance mechanic proves a mentor of sorts for Finn, the ex-Stormtrooper. The movie also explores Luke Skywalker’s character arc in interesting ways.
TLJ provides a jumping-off point for new directions in the Star Wars movie universe and perhaps a launching of the new generation and both Andi and Lise are excited to see what happens.
See TLJ trailers HERE.
And check out The Lesbian Talk Show Channel’s Patreon page!
January 24, 2018
Lez Geek Out! # 24
Lise and Andi geek out over Delilah Dawson’s novel Phasma set in the Star Wars universe. Just released in September through Penguin/Random House, Phasma provides a story of the enigmatic and imposing Captain Phasma, a leader in The First Order (another Star Wars evil empire). From the recent movies, she’s the one dressed in a shiny chrome Stormtrooper outfit who trains First Order recruits.
Dawson’s book provides glimpses of Phasma through two separate parties, which manages to further enhance Phasma’s mystique because it obscures her motivations since we’re not getting the story directly from here, but rather through a second and third party, both of whom have their own narrative arcs. It’s a cleverly layered, intricate story that only makes us more intrigued about Phasma (and there totally needs to be more of her in the movie ’verse! Hint hint Star Wars movie people.).
Delilah Dawson’s website
To buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
January 10, 2018
Lez Geek Out! #23
This week Andi and Lise get into the retro-cool mystery sci-fi comic series Paper Girls, in which four twelve-year-old girls have paper routes in 1988 and band together to deal with weird and crazy things happening in their town. So you’ve got monsters, strange beings, time travel…and what seems to be a conspiracy underneath it all. Appropriate for kids, strong female characters, and unpredictable plotlines. Have fun!
If you’re interested in finding out more about Paper Girls (AND YOU TOTALLY ARE), see Image Comics.
December 27, 2017
Lez Geek Out! 22
Andi and Lise totally lose it over one of their joint fave movies, Galaxy Quest (1999), which is a delightful spoof of Star Trek and the Star Trek fandoms. It’s a hilarious romp through sci-fi fandom, a clever nod to various plots and fun show tropes, and just a whole lot of fun in general.
The film stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman among others.
Seriously. It’s well worth your time.
November 29, 2017
Gaming With Meghan O'Brien
Lez Geek Out!
While Andi's away, Lise will play, and what better way to do so than by sitting down for a chat with Meghan O'Brien. Not only is Meghan a fantastic author of lesfic, but she is also an avid gamer.
Lise and Meghan discuss some of the obstacles of gaming as women, which games they've gotten into in the past, and the upcoming games they're itching to get their hands on.
Find Meghan O'Brien's website here
You can find Meghan O'Brien's books here
November 15, 2017
Stranger Things Season 1
Lez Geek Out! 20
Andi and Lise totally geek out over the Netflix original series Stranger Things. The acting, the pacing, the tension, the writing – it’s all brilliant. It’s a hybrid horror/thriller/sci fi set in the early 1980s in the American Midwest.
A love letter to the '80s classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things is set in 1983 Indiana, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. –Rotten Tomatoes