Hey everyone, welcome to Queerly Recommended I am your host, Tara Scott and with me as always is Kris Bryant.
Hello. It’s Episode 10. Can you believe it? We’ve reached double digits.
So good. They said it couldn’t be done. They were wrong.
We did it. We knocked out of the park, just like everyone knew we could.
Yeah. Okay, so we want to start by thanking all the people who have been leaving us ratings and reviews on Apple podcasts. So thank you, and I’m gonna read a couple right now.
Love it. Let’s go.
Okay, so Christie Drexel says, “I’m totally loving this podcast. I mean, come on. Tara and Kris together talking about everything and anything. The thing I like most is getting to know both of them a little more each time”.
That’s so sweet. Thank you, Christy. Uou, as always are the loveliest?
I mean lesfic is a real small community. And so I’ve kind of seen Christie around. But I think one of the things that always stood out for me is that she’s just such a big fan of your books, which I get because also, I am also a big fan of your books.
And she has the best wife and we went to prom together. Sue and I went to prom together.
Prom in P Town. We took prom pictures, it was cute. So they’re just a lovely couple and I really enjoy spending time with them. So they’re adorable. And we also, we received a review from K. Vollmer.
Who neither of us knows.
Right. She shared, “I stumbled across this podcast by complete accident. And I have to say, I’m thrilled that I did. Tara and Kris are awesome and I really look forward to more episodes.” So yay.
K. You’re pretty awesome, too. I’m thrilled that you stumbled across us. It’s, you know, I think we went into this knowing that obviously, you have fans, because you’re an author. I have a lot of people that follow me because I’m a reviewer and they seem to care what I think about the books. So it’s really cool to hear that other people have come to this podcast without having any idea who we are. So yeah, thank you so much everyone. Related, unrelated. We also had a couple of responses to the last episode, and really specifically around the recommendation that I made for the documentary about the Go-Go’s. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, please go back, Kris and I were very punchy.
It was late. It was a Monday!
But we had fun and it sounds like other people were having fun. And yeah, that was my recommendation, which if you have Showtime, the documentary for the Go-Go’s is on there. It’s so freakin good. I’m still listening to like early new wave music because of it. I was listening to the first Patti Smith album this morning. I never listened to it before. But holy shit, it’s good.
It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to Patti.
Right? Well, I mean, Spotify. It’s all right there. It’s just magical. So, but I was gonna tell you about what people had to say about that. And then I got off track because I was thinking about-
We can talk about music all damn day trust me.
Right? Or about anything. And like, there was one song – I’m just gonna keep going about, Patti Smith, apparently for a couple minutes – so I sent a message actually to my friend Andrew because he was the one that I went to and said, “Hey, man, I really liked the Go-Go’s documentary. I really love their album Beauty and the Beat. It also makes me kind of want to listen to Blondie, like really early Blondie, what else should be listening to?” He built me this playlist, which is amazing, because not only does he love music, but like he was the front man for like a kind of popular Canadian rock band, early 2000s. And so Neil’s like, “Of course you fucking got to play from somebody put in a band that toured and did well”. And I was like, “I don’t know what to tell you. I have good friends”. But on that album, The song Free Money just like made me drop everything and just listen.
Which is like I never do that with music. But there was just something about like, the whole vibe of it. That was incredible. So anyway, but @coffeeachiever on Twitter said, “This episode is speaking to me in many ways. The first concert I ever went to was the Go-Go’s. My mom and Aunt took me and my sister when I was eight or nine. I’m still a huge fan.” Which I think is the sweetest.
That is very sweet.
Alright, I’m going to ask you a question that I haven’t prepared you for. Do you remember the first concert you ever went to?
Yes, but we can’t talk about it because that’s one of the bank questions. That’s one of the security questions on everything you sign up for in life.
Like, did you use that question for it?
I did. Like I was like, 20. And we have to sign up for banking. Online Banking was the ting. Yeah. If you pick like, what is your father’s you know, middle name, but it’s your maiden name, but it’s the first street you grew up on? What is the first concert you ever went to? So I can never answer this question.
Oh, well, that’s a bummer. No, I know.
Yes. I remember it because I’m such a US account. I loved it. I had such a great time. I had a lot of crushes. Lots of crushes. I made my sister take me she hated every moment of it. And the car broke down next to some shady motel in some shady little town here in Kansas City. Little suburb called Riverside. Oh, my God, scariest place. And the car broke down so late at night, it was just a mess. And this is before cellphones. So…
I’m gonna say not even knowing who you went to see I still got a great story out of the question so I have no regrets.
I always have good stories.
Oh, and then Wynnde. Our friend on Twitter we’ve talked about her before said, “Speaking of female bands, if you guys don’t know Elastica look them up. Talk about a perfect album.” They just have the one self titled album so that is a recommendation to everybody else:` go and check that out.
Okay, it’s time for listener questions. Author Angelique Jordonna asked “Are you into lesbian horrow slash psychological thrillers?”
That would be an absolutely hell to the fucking no. Absolutely not. No, no, no, no. I believe we’ve established in previous episodes that I am but a sweet baby. If I am afraid of finding out that a lesbian got killed in a movie, you can be sure that I’m afraid of somebody getting murdered in something gory and scary.
You know, I don’t like to read them, per se, but I do like to watch. I can’t say that I know of any lesbian horror, or psychological thrillers. But I do like to watch horror- no, I’m lying,I don’t like to watch horror, but I like to watch psychological thrillers. The horror movies to me, I’m out on. I mean, my sister. This is kind of a joke with us. My sister’s always trying to get me to go see horror movies. And I don’t know if I’ve told the story before. But one time she tricked me to going to see The Ring. She said. He said it was a romantic comedy.
Oh no. That’s evil!
She’s a horrible person, but I’ll never do that. Instead, she takes you to see the rig. And I’m like, I look at her. I’m like, What? And like the whole time like, I’m very quiet when I watch movies, like super quiet. And my sister’s a squealer and a screamer. She’s that person and I never knew this about her because I don’t go to horror movies with her. Because she loves them. I mean, she will like freak herself out. Just watching scary movies. So yes, so that. So now every time she wants to go see a movie, I make sure I check it out first before I say “Oh yeah, sure”. Because I trust her. She’s my sister.
Except she’s untrustworthy.
Except now she’s untrustworthy. Yeah. And now we joke about it. Now she’ll say some killer movies. She goes, “Yeah, it’s a romantic comedy”.
Well you know, I kind of think like, given that as the kind of stunt you can really only get away with once she chose a real good movie for it.
The Ring. Okay. wedding ring. I want to propose, perfect. Let’s do this.
It’s probably got Sandra Bullock. What an asshole.
Yeah, that’s my sister
I’m just glad it didn’t happen to me because I don’t think I would have stayed in the theater. I would have like, gotten mad, burst into angry tears and then walked out of the theater.
Just so shocked that my sister was like, screaming, watching me. Like, I was like, “Who are you? Like really? Who?” I mean, I was scared. Yes. But I’m the kind of person that I freeze. If I’m scared, like, I don’t scream. I’m either gonna fight or flight. It’s one of the two. But I never make a sound. Like if somebody tries to scare me I never scream. It’s because my whole life my sister scared me. And so I have like, steeled myself against that.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I do believe that Angelique Jordonna has a book out that’s a horror psychological thriller. I have not read it for all the reasons I just explaind. So I cannot I can’t vouch for it either way, but if you have been searching for that, perhaps it’s something for you to go check out. So thank you Angelique for your question.
We also got one other question Marquie sent in an email and for anybody who doesn’t know yet we actually do have an email address email@example.com You can send in your comments. You can send in your questions that you’d like us to answer. We love to hear from you. But Marquie sent in an email she said, “Hello, ladies big fan of your books, Ms. Bryant, and I’m one of those folks who buys both the book and the audio. My first question is,” -let’s start with the first question. And I’ll bring in the second question –
“My first question is, do you have control over who narrates the audio version? Big fan of Brittni Pope and I liked Keira Grace doing Tinsel.”
Okay, so I think I was one of the lucky ones because we started this massive push. Couple years ago, BSB bold strokes books, did a massive push to get a bunch of books on audio. And Rad reached out to me and she’s like, “Hey, listen, there’s a newer narrator we’re thinking about using. I’m gonna send you three different little clips of narrators that we’re thinking of using for your books, and I need you to pick one and see what you think”. So I picked Brittni, but her recording was kind of very, like she was in a tunnel. It sounded kind of weird, almost echoey. So I told her that I said, “I really like the first one. I really like Brittni, but her sound is off. I’m not quite sure where she’s recording it”. So then Red went back and did it and asked Brittni to give us a second recording. And the second recording is a little bit better. But it was still kind of tinny. So I think the first couple books she narrated for me, they had a little bit of sound issue, but I think now it’s better for transfer.
Which ones were they?
Don’t ask me that. I don’t remember.
Well I’m asking because I have listened- I haven’t listened to all your books and to be honest, I don’t know if your first couple or even in audio. Actually, I think Whirlwind Romance just came out in audio.
Right, it did.
But I don’t know if Folt ever made it to audio. I definitely didn’t listen to that. But I’ve listened to probably, is it accurate to say that she’s narrated four or five of them?
Yeah. So that’s probably how many I’ve listened to and I don’t remember the audio quality standing out as poor in any of them. I just always thought she was a really, really good match for your characters, for the tone of your book.
Yeah, thank you.
She could like- so the thing that I really liked specifically about Brittni Pope that I noticed her do with your books is that, so like, Temptation is obviously a but of a sultrier…. Like it’s still a contemporary romance. It’s not an erotic romance, but like it is a sultrier book than your other books. And like, she shifted her tone to match that.
Which I thought was really cool. Like, she’s just, she’s such a pro. I love her.
And she, I want to say somebody did Jolt, but they did it through Audible. It didn’t involve Bold Strokes Books, it was kind of like a one and done type thing.
Oh like the ACX program or something like that?
Yeah I couldn’t tell you for sure. Like, I know that was one of the first books that at the very beginning, audible reached out and said, “We want this book and this book and this book” just from different writers. And then they paid a fee, a flat fee, or the rights to the audible book. And so that’s kind what happened with Jolt. So the narrator on Jolt is very, I can’t listen to it. I can’t listen to my books on Audible. But for sure I can’t that one. I don’t remember the narrator but like every word kills me. I think it’s just because it’s weird to hear your own words out loud by somebody else who’s not you. And so it’s just it’s hard. But I think Brittni does a really good job. So yes, I did have some control over it. And I think that for the most part, we’re given options.
Yeah. No, that’s very cool.
Yeah, you’re right. Like I think Bold Strokes was really the first of the lesfic publishers to jump on the audio book thing like before it ever really proved itself out specifically for the lesbian fiction sector because- yeah, like audio books were huge anyway, but they are expensive to make. So it can be hard to sometimes justify the cost. But I think it’s really wise and now we’ve seen other publishers follow like Bella Books are doing them regularly now. And I thought they would never do it to be honest andI’m thrilled that they are. Ylva also they have been working with Tantor And Tantor puts out like really high quality, phenomenal stuff. So they end up with narrators, like why doesn’t my brain work? So they end up with narrator’s like Angela Dawe, who also is like- I first heard of Angela Dawe because she was narrating one million he sings theories, and Nalini Singh is like wildly popular paranormal romance authors. So it’s kind of cool to see all the publishers really getting into it. And just partly because some people prefer an audio but mostly for me why I’m excited is that I also think it’s the right thing to do. It’s an accessibility thing. It means that people who may not have the time or even the ability to sit and read on Kindle or with a paperback that they can still access the same stories and they can do it on their own terms.
Right. I listen to audiobooks when there’s no other option for me, because I love to read I love holding a book, the Kindle, whatever I love the actual read because I read faster than anybody can talk. So for me, it’s a speed thing. But if I’m in a car, I can’t like hold a book and read. So road trips, I always get audiobooks, always. And so you know, that’s that makes it so all of a sudden, like you’re there at your destination. I love it.
Do you change your playback speed?
I do. I absolutely do. So I think this one book I was listening to is that one, excuse me as at 1.4. But usually 1.25. Yeah, for sure. It has to be faster.
That’s my like, there are some narrators. I’m trying to think if there’s anything I can listen to at like just a flat, the normal speed. I even sped up Dolly Parton, if I’m honest. I speed everybody up, because I think there’s this like it’s a deliberate thing in audio books to make sure that everybody can like catch it. And then you can adjust it up or down if you want to, but I’m always adjusting it to at least 1.25. Usually 1.3 is my baseline if it allows for that level. But there’s some like Paige McKinney who does Carsen Taite’s books, and I actually do think Paige McKinney is a great match for Carsen Taite’s writing, but I cannot deal with her pace. Her pace bores me to death. And so I turn it up to like 1.75. There are occasionally times where I’m like, “Why is she talking like a squirrel on speed?” And I’m like, “Oh right. You turned it up so high. You asshole.”
I will. I will say that Against All Odds, Melissa Sternenberg did Against All Odds, and I did not speed it up. Like I looked at a sample of it. And when it came out, and I did not have to speed her up. So I think she’s she’s also a wonderful narrator.
Yes, she’s excellent. So that’s actually a perfect lead into the second question from Marquie, “Who are your top three narrators?” And this question is for both of us.
So I of course, I’m going to go with Brittni Pope. Yeah, Melissa Sternenberg. And I, I’m gonna give two. I don’t know that I have a third yet.
Okay. So because you said those two I can “Yes, and” you and therefore still only deliver three because what I was going to do was deliver like four or five because, eff it I’m not going to be constrained.
I’ll give you one of mine.
Actually, I might take a couple extra anyways. So I do listen to quite a lot of audiobooks. I haven’t been listening to as many lesbian romance audiobooks, because I think I’ve discussed before on the show that I just, I haven’t been connecting as much with as many romance novels lately. And audio books are expensive, so I don’t really want to invest in them right now. But generally speaking my favorites, Jill Smith. Oh, my God.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Jill Smith.
She is so good. She can do funny, she can do sexy, she can do kind of anywhere in between, where I listened to her. There were a few books I listened to so she narrated the Bell versus the BDOC by Amy Jo Cousins and if you’re wondering what a BDOC is it’s the Big Dyke On Campus, which is a super cute it’s a really, really cute new adult book that’s an enemies to lovers. They’re highly antagonistic, but it’s like a playful kind of antagonism if that makes sense. And so she brought a great vibe to it. She also narrated one of my very, very favorites from a few years ago, because she does Tamsen Parker’s book and Tamsen’s book called In Her Court, which is like a falling for the best friend’s little sister story and it takes place at an adult sleepaway camp, where they’re kind of like, like they both basically work for the camp. And it’s the kind of camp where it’s not. It’s like they do team building events for companies, like that kind of thing. And one of them is like super nerdy. Yeah, so we’ll say the one lead is super nerdy, but like the best friend’s little sister, she remembers her as like, whatever, my best friend’s little sister and then she shows up and she’s like, gorgeous, and very, very smart. And it’s just, it’s so fun. So yeah, I love Jill Smith, I highly recommend.
Lisa Cordelione is also fabulous. She hasn’t done a ton of lesfic books, but she’s done a handful and they’re all worth checking out. So if you’ve been wondering “Should I pick up the audio book for And Playing The Role of Herself by KE Lane?” The answer, of course, is obviously Yes. If you haven’t read it, I’m kind of surprised because I thought everybody’s read it by now. So we’re just gonna boost that little book anyway, it’s the first lesfic that I read. It’s cute, it has problems, but it’s still a great book, and Lisa Cordelione and- I said her last name wrong. I’m so sorry. She’s not gonna listen to this. It’s narrated that and she’s also done a handful of Robin Alexander’s books. Pick up any book that she’s narrated, that Robin Alexander did, and you’re gonna laugh until you cry. Like it’s just because that’s also Robin Alexander. Her books are hilarious.
And then my other favorite is Lori Prince. I actually didn’t like Lori Prince at first. I did not connect with her for the first couple of books that I listened to that. And then specifically if you look at like the Bold Strokes Books, like the books from Bold Strokes that she was narrating at the beginning of her working with them didn’t super work the best for me like a perfect example is probably Trails Merge by Rachel Spangler. I felt like the way she did the male characters was a bit weird for me. And that kept pulling me out of the book, but like she just kept getting better and better and better. And like she is such a pro. And there’s times where like, just from the way she performs, she brings so much more so that the emotional moments are more emotional and the sexy moments are sexier and like she’s just so good. So I absolutely highly recommend her.
I will have to say that another narrator that I have listened to and I have enjoyed is Ann Etter. She does Rachel Spangler books.
Oh, yeah, I haven’t listened to those yet. But that’s a great point.
Yeah, I have two, I listened to two and she she does a really good job of slipping into characters, you know, knowing like, the thing. This is a true story. Like I stopped writing accents. Like you’ll notice the first few of my books, I’ve had accents because I am a sucker for an accent. Like I love all different accents. You know, I’ve traveled the world. I have just like, I just love to like sit in an area and just listen to people speak that have accents. And so a lot of my books have accents. And a lot of people can’t do accents. So that was an issue. So now, if you’ve noticed my books in the last three or four have all taken place in areas like Colorado where there’s no accents. Yeah.
Well, to people in Colorado.
I mean, it’s like Middle America. Yeah, for American narrators, Colorado is pretty easy. The accent is very, very small, if any at all.
So I have a problem with that. Like, at the very beginning, I was writing, you know, right. I had my characters from South Africa. I had London, England, all these different places. Ireland. Oh my god, what was I thinking? But oh my god, the accents are wonderful. So I stopped doing accents because of audio books because it was hard to find narrators who could actually do the the actual accents. So I think Ann does a pretty good job, you know, of narrating the different accents. So I have listened to her.
That’s so good. Yeah, I mean accents can absolutely make or break a book.
And like with favorite narrators, like I love Nicola Victoria Vincent. So actually, that’s another one to add to the list, especially when she narrates Jenny Frame’s books. But there was one book that she narrated, trying to remember which one, I think it might have been Nell Stark;s last Princess book. And I think it was called The Princess Deception. But one of the characters was American. And the accent wobbled in and out, and I find it incredibly distracting. And I had the same thing, listening to a book that Kira Grace narrated. Actually, it was also a Jenny Frame. And I can’t remember what it’s called, and it doesn’t really matter, but with British characters, and her accent, kind of wobbled all over the place too. And so I did find that really difficult. What I think is kind of cool- I feel like we’ve been going on about narrators forever, but I have a lot of feelings about narration!
And it’s important. It’s a big thing for for lesfic in our community right now is the growth of audiobooks.
I recently saw on either Twitter or Facebook, Lee Winter was talking about how she was incredibly picky with the narrator for Requiem for Immortals. And I’m actually really glad she was because this person hasn’t narrated like a bunch of lesfic books or anything like that, but she had like the perfect like, it was an Australian person I believe, or the Australian accent was very faithful, but she could get the tone right, because they’re like Requiem and it’s such a fucked up character, that you had to have somebody who could get it right because if you didn’t have the right person doing Requiem, that would have been ruined. So, yeah, Marquie, thank you for your question. I love talking about narrators.
It was a good question. Okay, so before we get started on our recommendations you and I really need to discuss what happened this past weekend, which was the Lesbian Period Drama sketch on Saturday Night Live, like, like, freakin all social media blew up with the sketch that they did. And it was perfect.
It was majestic, right. I mean, by the time this goes up, it’ll have been a couple of weeks but oh my god, it was perfect. Because if anybody has listened to and it was perfect timing, because we had just dropped our special bonus episode with Georgia Beers, where we were talking about lesbian period dramas and-
They heard us.
They did hear us. I also like, I love that they brought Carey Mulligan in for it.
Everything about this, like it was perfect. Like when the character brings in his wife and it’s like, “She’s a bummer”. Like, what’s wrong with her? “She’s a bummer”.
Oh my God. Even the way they promoted it, because SNL promoted a lot on Twitter, and didn’t they say something like “Will they lesbian together?”
The whole thing is great. All right, everything like she’s medically upset. And there’s like eight lines of dialogue in a two and a half hour movie, which was hilarious.
And this sex scene will be surprisingly graphic.
Right? It says I saw her like they had like things fake. What do you call like? Oh, what are they called? When they? When you- review! Like these fake reviews? Like, “we saw her bareback, which means we could visualize her bare front, which means we saw boobies” you see. It’s just hilarious and so funny.
And then bringing Kate McKinnon in as like calm and charismatic ex? Yes. Yes. It was also like, I don’t think that particular.
Yeah. “It’s 1840s that hasn’t been done yet. You cracked the headboard?” I mean, everything.
It was just like, you know, mixing a lot of the period movies that we talked about. Ammonite. It was very heavily on Ammonite and with the whole “What’s wrong with her? She’s a bummer. She needs seagull sounds and gray skies and long walks on rocky beaches, like everything that they did was hilarious. And it’s so fucking true. That’s what we get. That is out of all these books that we talk about, all these books that we write everybody in our community. That is what they pick for mainstream. It’s like ridiculous. So good to Saturday Nigt Live for pointing it out and saying how ridiculous it is.
Thank you, Saturday Night Live, we appreciate you.
So, Kris, it’s time for us to talk about what you’ve been reading or watching, and what I want to know is, are you okay? Because Wynonna Earp is over. How was the finale and did they do it justice?
The finale was very good. It was very good. They did it justice. I was a little concerned. Like the whole time I was like, “What about this person? What about this person? What about this person?” I kept thinking about this one character, one character the whole time. You know, “Are we going to address this? Are we not going address this?” And they did. And it was beautiful. Everything about it. Wayhot. I mean, everybody kind of knows what happened. But they got married finally. And it was just beautiful. It was you know, Emily did a great job. And I think it sealed up the whole entire show, you know, with a nice bow. It didn’t leave anything really open.
Nothing major was left hanging?
Right, nothing was left hanging. I mean, yes, they could pick it up if some other show or network picks them up, but at the same time, it was a finale that was really well done.
Are you okay?
Yeah, I’m okay. I’m okay. I kind of figured it once they said that, you know, we had talked about you know, is there going to be a fifth season before I kept calling the fourth season the fifth season, but that’s only because it was like a big push for the fifth season to get renewed, but it ended with four and I felt like I knew that that was gonna happen. You know, they pushed so hard to get the fourth one and I just knew that the fifth one was going to be really hard to get and so I went into it thinking this is it, brace yourself, you know, we’re not going to have these characters anymore.
And I felt like it was done very well.
That’s so good.
Yeah, I was sad but at the same- You just get sad because you’re with characters and you’ve built a family with, you know, Earpers online and, and you meet them at conferences. And I, you know, I’m sad, because that’ll still continue. But eventually it’ll trail off, and it’ll turn into something else, you know, they’ll add more shows like, kind of what Clexacon did. Yeah, I think all Earp expos, Earpapaloozes and or Earp cons are all going to be like that, where it’s going to start off as one. And they’re going to start adding things to it.
Or maybe they’ll eventually, like, merge someof the conferences or something.
Yeah. So that, yes, because Clexacon has everything now. They had a whole bunch of Wynonna Earp, they had Lost Girl, you know, of course, The 100. So I think that’s probably going to happen too with Earp?
Yeah, that makes sense. But I mean, how wonderful that finally, somebody in media is like, what if we just embrace queer joy?
Right, thank you, Emily, for sure. Like, perfect. And you know, Waverly is bisexual, and you know, Nicole’s gay. And, you know, and Jeremy, there’s so many queer characters, and there’s just beautiful, and they all had normal problems. You know, there’s death. But I mean, that’s just the whole show itself. There’s a lot of feeling and stuff. So yeah, so I mean, it’s the same problems. We all have problems, whether we’re queer or straight, and we all deserve love whether we’re queer or straight, so I thought the show was very positive. And I think that’s the success was the fact that it’s very positive. And it has a very good message like, “Hey, guess what, just because we’re queer, doesn’t mean that we can’t fight demons or we can’t, you know, have babies or get married.” You still have relationships. So it was a very good show. I’m very glad to be a part of it. And to have been around for it to watch it in real time.
Good. What else have you been watching?
Well, I’ll touch briefly on this. I watched the- I got hit twice, because the finale of Shameless ended. You know, I had been watching Shameless, right, I don’t know how many seasons they had 10 maybe. So like, 10 years you’re watching these characters grow up. They were little kids, and now they’re adults with babies. And you know, it was just such a raw show. And just, it was just interesting. And so I wasn’t as emotionally as invested as I was with Wynonna Earp. But I mean, fuck, they hit back to back, boom, boom, done. I was like, “Oh”.
That’s too much. That’s too much.
I felt it. I felt it. So I needed something good.
So did you have you been able to watch anything happy recently?
Yes. Thanks to you and other people who have recommended the show. Ted Lasso. Finished it.
How lovely was that show?
It was great. I made everybody I know watch it. I even told my dad. I gave him like, you know, you can family share with an Apple TV. And so I set my dad up for it. And I said, “You need to watch this show. It’s great”. Cuz he’s like stuck on Korean soap operas. So I’m like, “Dad, you need to watch-
Yeah, my dad has been stuck on Korean soap operas.
Tell me more.
No, and like my dad is like, my dad is like a true dude. He’s like a man dude. Yeah, I’m just like, What? Why? I go Dad, you need to watch Ted Lasso because he loves football. Yeah, he’s an American where like soccer’s like he’s an older American. So soccer is like, man, whatever. But he’s into football, stuff like that. And I’m like, you would just love this so much. It’s such a great message. And my dad loves humor and comedy. And so I told him, he has to watch it. So I’ll find out when he drops Mom off today. I’ll find out if he started it or not.
Oh, good. The thing that I loved about Ted Lasso, I mean, immediately to me, it struck me as hilarious and like a fairly gentle sense of humor. But the thing that I loved about the character himself, Ted Lasso, is that he’s so warm, and gentle, funny, but like that warmth really came through. But then the more I kept watching, I was like, “Oh, no, something really awkward or horrible is going to happen”. And of course, like when sometimes watching comedy, when that happens, it’s like I need to distract myself with my phone or something so that I can get away from that feeling of like, wanting to peel my skin off because it’s so horrible. But with this show, it’s like you think something like that is gonna happen. And then it shifts and something else happens. And often it’s something really lovely. It’s like the perfect balm, if anybody feels like they’re hitting their COVID wall, which by the way, if you are you are not alone. I very much crashed headfirst into my own personal most recent COVID wall within the last week. But like Ted Lasso is the absolute perfect low stress, lovely warm hug TV show to help with that.
That will make you laugh. Sure, and forget about things and really enjoy it. So Tara, what have you been watching or reading this week?
So this week, Neil and I watch- I trying to think if we watched it with Amanda, I think we did. We were looking for something fun to watch because again, you know, COVID burnout wall and I had heard from Sara at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, one of the places where I write reviews, I actually joined her on a review for it. But she was putting something in our Slack channel about, “You guys. You guys. This movie is so much fun. Is it a good movie? Not really. But it’s a fun movie”. And I was like “I’m in”. That is exactly what I need right now. And so that was the funny thing is, I said, I asked Neil first I was like, do you want to watch Thunder Force? And he was like, “I don’t know if it’s gonna be good”. And I was like, “I don’t care if it’s good. I just want something fun”. And it’s exactly what it was, like no, it’s not as good as like Spy or Bridesmaids like the other movies were Melissa McCarthy really shined. And I think that’s kind of a trend that we’ve seen in some of the movies that she makes where her husband is directing. But you know what I was thoroughly charmed.
Absolutely just like with her movie Superintelligent, which we also watched during the quarantimes. I was thoroughly entertained and charmed, I laughed quite often. And also, how nice is it to see a couple of women who are around 50 being superheroes? They don’t have perfect hard bodies, like, so good. They were just like, normal people. And I think one of the things I loved about it, as well as there was just so much love. That’s I mean, that’s if anybody has been listening to the show or paying attention to anything I’ve kind of reviewed over the years. You’ll see that to me. I love warmth. If a piece of media has a core of warmth and humanity and love to it, I will show up for it every time. And I’ll love it. Have you seen it?
I’ve watched it. Somebody had recommended it and said there was a queer element. So I’m like cool. You know, I love Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. Is that yes, yeah. Yeah. She’s great. And so I went in there going, “Okay, what’s gonna happen? What’s super queer about this?” And I couldn’t find it, like now there’s like one sentence where with Grandma is- Yeah, it’s great. It’s hilarious. So I was a little, I guess I was looking for that too much. I didn’t really sit back and enjoy because I love Melissa McCarthy, I love writing. And a lot of times she ad libs, she just like just keeps going. It’s like, not in the script. She says, you know, she says what she wants to and so I mean, it was entertaining, but it wasn’t like, it didn’t rock my world as much as I wanted it to. I agree that like the scene where they’re trying to get in and out of the car is a riot because that is me. And that is why, you know, I need to like downsize from my monster truck and just get like a normal sized SUV so that I can get in and out of it. Especially with my parents getting older.
Oh, yeah. Well, also, to me, I think it was one of the funniest sex scenes I’ve ever seen in any movie ever.
It’s pretty funny. But it was also a little weird, you know? Because-
Oh it was super weird. That’s what made it funny. And like, I’m never gonna look at Old Bay the same again. It’s not possible. It’s not possible. But in other news I’ve also been listening to the book, High School by Tegan and Sara.
So you probably are gonna notice I’m on a bit of a kick with like music biographies – have I finished Kathy Valentine biography? No, but the hold came through from the library for this one. And I bought Kathy Valentine’s book.
Right. So that’s any time.
Yeah. And so it’s Tegan and Sara. And they’re going back and forth, chapter by chapter. They each do a chapter at a time and they talk about their experiences in high school. And the thing that I really like about it, and it really stands out for me in particular, is that they actually went to high school in Calgary, where I live now and have lived for almost 16 years. And actually the other thing that’s really cool, I’m not to that part yet, but there’s a year of it that overlaps. Neil went to their high school, they were in the same grade of the same high school for grade 12. And so I asked him, I was like, “Did you know them?” He’s like, “no, I knew who they were” the only time he ever met them. I think he was at a concert or he was somewhere like buying a CD from them. But so the thing for me that I like is like, a, yes, I love hearing about them, what their experience was like, you know, like their queer awakening, and all of that. But for me, there’s also kind of an extra special element because I get kind of a peek into a world that Neil inhabited. And it’s really good. And I actually I do recommend it in audio especially if you can because they narrate it.
I turned them- What speed Have I turned them up to?
No, no, definitely not that high. Actually. It is 1.3.
Okay, which is about my standard too.
Yeah, that’s my baseline. So yes. Love it. Highly recommend it. All right, it is time for official recommendation. Kris Bryant, what is your recommendation this week?
My official recommendation is the movie Summerlands. And we kind of talked about it when we had Georgia Beers on the show in the bonus episode. It is a movie that came out I want to say maybe in 2020, maybe last year or 2019. It’s a recent movie, but it’s a historical movie. It’s a historical movie.
Now, because I have no memory and because some people may not have listened to that episode. What’s it about?
Here’s the quick synopsis. During World War Two reclusive writer Alice has her sequestered life up ended, when Frank, an evacuee from the London Blitz is left in her care. And he’s a kid, just a kid. Despite initially resolving to be rid of him, Alice finds herself and her emotions reawakened by him. So what happens is the small town of Kent accepts several children evacuees from London to get away from all the bombings that are going on there. And somehow, Alice is given the sweetest, smartest boy Frank. I mean, he is adorable, you fall in love with him right away, you know, and he’s, even though he’s super scared to be in the situation, you know, you can see his personality, he has a very large personality, but he doesn’t know how to release it because Alice is just so- she’s such a wall, stone wall. And she immediately tells the person who delivers Frank that there’s been a mistake. And the woman says, “I’m sorry, you have to take him for a week, it’s gonna take us that long to rehome him, so you’re just gonna have to deal with it”. She’s like, “I never agreed to this”. And the lady’s like, “you got a letter”. And so she so they look at her mailbox, and it’s full of like, trash and like rocks and sticks, because the neighborhood kids hate her. They all think she’s a witch or a spy, a Nazi spy. So they junk up her mailbox. So she takes her mailbox, she dumps it upside down. And there’s the letter saying that she’s gonna get a kid.
So you know, she’s, she’s like, fine, “Don’t touch anything. You have to cook your own food”. And she’s really harsh with them. And you find out that she’s actually harsh with all kids throughout her whole life. Like the movie starts off in 1975 and like 95% of its told in flashback and trigger flashbacks.
So, you know, she’s, she starts off in 1975. And she’s like, banging away at a typewriter. There’s a knock on the door, and she opens it up. And these two sweet little kids are like, “Hi, we’re looking for, like charity for something that’s going on”. She’s like, “no” slams door on them. She goes back to typewriting, she’s just back to her story. She’s a writer and like, that is her goal. That’s all she wants to do is write like, she is sequestered herself. She is a loner, she doesn’t have any friends. But she wasn’t always like this. And so another funny thing, I think it’s funny, why she doesn’t like kids. Or, you know, she doesn’t like it’s like, seriously the first five minutes, you know, this person is like, wow, like, she goes to the general store to get some I think cigarettes, maybe I can’t remember exactly what she gets, and in front of her there is a mother and her daughter, and the daughter wants some chocolate and the mother’s like, “we can’t afford it, you know, that we don’t have enough coupons”.
Because so in the war they gave coupons so people can, you know, ration the food, and they can pick up what they needed. And so this little girl is holding this chocolate bar. And so Alice goes up, takes a chocolate bar from her and then orders like a pack of cigarettes and says, you know, here and everybody thinks she’s gonna give the kid the chocolate and she takes off with it instead and the kids like screaming.
Oh, she’s hateful.
She’s smoking a cigarette and she takes off. I mean, that’s the first five minutes. So you know that she does not like kids. But all of a sudden she’s now responsible for taking care of this kid during the war. Because parents are still alive. His father flies in the war. He flies a plane, he’s a fighter pilot. And then his mom works for the government. But a lot of kids you know, they sent kids out to the outskirts in the UK to move away from the bombs for them to be safe and live.
So she’s kind of hard. She opens up slowly to Frank. And eventually, she ends up keeping him to stay with her until you know, either the war’s over or the parents feel safe enough to come get him. It’s basically a story about relationships. When she opens up to him she realizes that, you know, he has opinions. And she considers him a friend. And he’s like, “how come you’ve never married?” And she’s like, “well, I don’t have to marry, I don’t need a man”. And so he’s like, “you know, have you ever had a relationship and stuff like that?” She’s like, so do you- how do you feel about women? How do you feel about women kissing?” And he’s like, “Well, I mean, I guess I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t care”. You know, he’s not against it he’s innocent and sweet. He’s like, “do you kiss? Did you kiss her on the mouth?” And she’s like, “mostly”, like, super honest with this kid and she’s not lying to him.
And you know, and you find out through all these trigger flashbacks, you know, that she was like, tamped down in her life, that she did have a love affair, and she was in love with this woman Veera, and they just had this beautiful relationship until Veera ups and leaves because she wants more. And so she has spent so much of her life you know, fighting that those demons of that relationship that never worked. Anyway, so Frank kind of helps her become normal again, you know, starts to you know, be nice and be likable and have friend ish friends ish. So I highly recommend it has a good ending. Boom. That is my recommendation this week. Summerland.
What are you? What is your big recommendation for us this week?
Okay, so my recommendation is a short series. It’s only seven episodes, about 30 minutes apiece on Netflix. It’s called Pretend It’s A City. And the reason why it’s queer is that it focuses on famous Jewish, New York lesbian, Fran Lebowitz. Is it about her sexuality? No, but you know what, I don’t care. This is my podcast. It’s our podcast, but that’s why this is my pick. Because she’s just like, she’s always been such a prominent and I’m pretty sure she’s been openly gay for decades. Like she’s in her early 70s now. And so my understanding is that, how she ended up becoming famous, she had a couple of collections and they’re of the essays or pieces that she wrote for, I think it was called Interview magazine. Hopefully, I got that right and someone’s not gonna get mad at me.
Basically, it was Andy Warhol’s is magazine. And she was known, also for writing, like, she wrote reviews of very bad movies, like really deliberately. And so this series, it was kind of co-produced between her and Martin Scorsese. He’s in quite a lot of it. He’s asking her questions. There’s times where he’s laughing so hard that I’m like, “He is not a young man. Is he going to be ok if he laughs this hard? Oh, my God”. And each episode kind of focuses on a different thing. So you know, she, because and it’s all about life in New York City, obviously, specifically life for her. But she kind of is this famously, you know, she loves being single. I think she said her longest relationship was only three years. She comes across as kind of grumpy, but brilliant. But then you learn things that like, she loves going to parties, which is one of those like “what?”, and she even talks about, she’s like, “I know, people think that I would hate parties. But I actually love parties, because parties are fun”, and she loves things that are fun. Or like she loves children, which was one of those “what?”. And it’s like she talks about how like young children, because they’re interesting, because little kids are not constrained by expectations. And so they say things that are wildly interesting, and I just thought it was so cool.
And so you know, she talks about how like, she loves things, but she doesn’t understand money, or she hates managing money, but she loves things. And so that’s also kind of a weird constraining thing. There’s an episode about sports, like she’s also been kind of famous, a famous advocate for smokers rights, because she’s always been a smoker. And so there was this kind of episode around like sports and health, and you see her- so it’s often Martin Scorsese interviewing her, sometimes on stage, sometimes in it’s like, the two of them and somebody else who you never actually know who it is and they’re at the Players Club in New York, which is like, it was probably like a gentlemen’s club when it was founded in the 19th century. And it was founded by the brother of John Wilkes Booth. Kind of interesting and they address that at one point.
But then you also see her being interviewed by other celebrities at times. And I don’t really know why or how that came about. It doesn’t really matter, because it’s really just like somebody lob questions that Fran Lebowitz and she will come back with things that are magical and hilarious. And so there’s like Alec Baldwin, who almost looks confused, like, “what is he doing there?” He is not the most charismatic interviewer. Olivia Wilde who like she kind of like and tries to kind of be more interesting and interplay and it’s like, “no, no just lob those questions over you don’t need it”.
The best one was Spike Lee, because they go back and forth. And he challenges her because she somehow in the sports episode, it comes up that she hates sports. And he’s like “you hate sports?” And like Spike Lee is this very famous sports lover in addition to of course, being a very famous director. And so he’s trying to say, “what are your favorite teams?” And he’s like, throwing out teams for favorite sports. And she’s like, “I don’t know, I hate sports. I don’t watch them”. And then he’s like, “But what about Muhammad Ali?” And she’s like, “I love Muhammad Ali. He’s one of the greatest humans that was ever alive”. And it comes out that she was at the first fight between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, which is an iconic fight. And he’s like, “you were there?” Almost like How dare she, she hates sports, she can’t be worthy. And it turns out the thing that she loved the most was the fashion.
Oh, it was so good. So here’s the thing. It is an absolute recommendation from me. I loved it, it is going to be a show that people will either love it, or they will hate it. Because I think Fran Lebowitz is such- She has the kind of personality that can only be polarizing.
So maybe this isn’t something you can binge watch, but maybe watch like an episode a night.
I binge watched some of it because I was super baked and couldn’t move. So it was kind of perfect for that. But otherwise, no, I probably would have only watched one episode at a time and would be a good thing to savor. But it’s like, she’s mostly like, yes, she wrote all these things and she’s a great writer. But like, I think she’s at this point mostly famous for being a New Yorker with opinions on New York. And how amazing to establish a career that way to build a career off of people want to show up and hear your opinions. She’s not a comedian. But it just, it just works. So that’s my recommendation.
And that is all for this episode. Thank you so much everybody who joined us and stuck it out to the end. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, like, follow whatever it is on your podcast app. Thank you again to everybody who has been leaving reviews on Apple podcast. We love you. We appreciate you. And if you feel so inclined, if you haven’t left a review and feel inclined to do it we will give you air high fives from our homes, socially distanced.
Exactly. And if you want to connect with us on your favorite social media sites, just search for @queerlyrecommended on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much and goodbye.
Watching or reading this week.
So this week, Neil and I watch, I’m trying to think if we watched it with Amanda, I think we did. She’s our friend that we will like do the 3-2-1 Go! watching things on Netflix together. Yeah, so we we watched Thunder Force on…hang on.
Strange Child 53:50
I just have one thing I want to tell you.
You gotta go.
Strange Child 53:53
I very want to see you.
I very want to see you too. But I need you to go and I need you to lock the door behind you.
Strange Child 54:00
Okay, I’m texting your dad. Oh my god. Now the dog is here.
Strange Child 54:06
The dog can stay.
No the dog cannot stay. Goddamnit, I’ll be right back. I gotta let the dog out.
Should I sing? Who let the dogs out? Do! Do do do!
I tricked the dog by making her think I was coming with her. Poor dog.
She’s like, “son of a bitch”.
I know. And you know, it keeps working over and over and over. Because she’s got a teeny tiny brain because she’s a tenny tiny dog. So yeah, so we were looking for something fun to watch because again, you know COVID Oh, well, yeah, correct. And I had heard from Sarah, at Smart….