Apr 18, 2018
In Episode 5, the Feminist Thrilljoys talk about two TV shows with badass lady spies, Feelings about queer music artists, and a webseries about a lesbian vampire you may or may not be familiar with.
These transcripts would not be possible without the volunteer efforts of our amazing listeners. Huge thanks once again to Liz for helping us out on this episode! Find her on twitter at @Earpnado.
Feminist Thrilljoys – Episode 5 Girl the Hell Up
BL = Bridget Liszewski
KJ = Kat Jetson
VA = Valerie Anne
/ indicates that two or more people are talking at the same time
VA: Welcome to Feminist Thrilljoys, a podcast where three women take a break from smashing the patriarchy to chat about the feminist-y things they love. I’m one of your hosts, Valerie Anne.
BL: I’m Bridget Liszewski.
KJ: And I’m Kat Jetson. We did that right this time. First try. [laughter]/
KJ: First time with first try.
VA: Killin it, guys.
KJ: I know. Not even the 7th episode, so, we’re doing good.
VA: Only go up from here.
KJ: So hello guys, we don’t have Dani Kind this time, but we’ll still try to make this work. [laughter]
BL: We’re also crying about that. [laughter]
VA: Yeah, we wish she was here too.
KJ: I’m legit. I want her as our fourth film…film joy…Thrilljoy. [laughter]
BL: First sign that we’re recording at night, in case you guys haven’t figured out. [laughter]
KJ: Yes, my two lovely co-hosts are in their pajamas, I am not. [laughter] I’m west coast, they’re east coast, so you’re missing out. Alright guys, let’s get to it. We have sooo much stuff this time.
KJ: I just basically wanna scream Janelle Monáe throughout this entire podcast, but I’ll try to keep that down a little bit.
VA: Don’t worry, I’ll get to that. [laughter]
KJ: I’ll get to that with you.
KJ: Alright, so newsy notesy things, who’s going first?
VA: I’ll do the first one. We were lucky enough to be featured in a New Now Next article. Kristina Marusic, I hope I’m saying that right, reached out to us and wanted to include us on this list. It’s so awesome, it’s called We Have Officially Entered A Golden Age of Queer Women in Podcasting.
VA: And some really awesome podcasts are on that list, so it’s really great to be on it too. Our little baby podcast, so that was very exciting.
KJ: Yes, and even one of us is not even queer. [laughter] So I’m glad we’re on that list. [laughter] But yeah, there was some great stuff on that list.
VA: That was really funny. She reached out for a quote and I was like, I can do it or one of you guys can. And Bridget was like, nope, I cannot. We were like, good point! [laughter] Good lookin out.
KJ: Also Valerie just writes everything that needs to be written in synopsis form. Bridget’s long form, Valerie is synopsis form, I am no writing.
BL: Valerie is short, witty, fun writing. Bridget’s like master thesis. [laughter]
KJ: I just gift people this voice.
VA: And what a gift it is.
KJ: Oh, yeah. OK, OK. The next thing…this is a new addition. We added this today, or I added this today. Bridget messaged me off to the sidelines and was like “Hey, are you listening to Rhea Butcher’s new podcast?”. And I was like “Listening to it right now!”. It’s called Three Swings, and [excited voice] it is a baseball podcast. It’s like a lesbian…does she identify as lesbian? I don’t know, do you guys know?
[unsure sounds from VA and BL]
KJ: How about queer, maybe?
KJ: Yeah…and [excited voice] she’s talking about baseball. So the first episode was just released today I think. I listened to that straightaway. While I had baseball on in one of my computer screens. [laughter] So it was a very gay moment.
BL: The first episode, is she talking about being from Ohio, her hometown team or something? I was trying to read/
KJ: /Sure, mhmm/
KJ: /Yeah, Cleveland Indians.
BL: Yeah, cause she’s from Akron, and that’s like 15 minutes from where I grew up, so I’m always intrigued when she talks about her home and stuff like that. Or when she goes on about how amazing Lebron is. I’m always like yes, I get it, because Lebron is a couple years younger than me, so I was here when he was in high school, and so when she always goes on about that…so yeah I was excited. But when I heard that it was about baseball, I was like “Oh my God is Kat listening to this”.
BL: And you were!
KJ: Yes. [laughter] Yes, yes, yes. And she’s awesome. I don’t know, did her and Cameron…they never got a place to show their second season of…what was it? Take My Wife? What was it called?
VA: Yeah, Take My Wife. I don’t think that they got picked up again, which is unfortunate because it was really good. I watched it in one sitting, and I was like “This is so cute!”.
KJ: It’s so disappointing that something has a full season and it has nowhere to go. I unfortunately did not watch it, but [laughter] I mean what did they do with that full season?
BL: This is why, people like you didn’t watch. C’mon. [laughter]
KJ: Hey, listen. I listen to her podcast. I can’t give all of me. [laughter] What do you want from me?
BL: I don’t get shows like that, or did you see One Mississippi on Amazon, that was just cancelled, and…those shows, I don’t know if Take My Wife was…but One Mississippi was only six episodes. And I can’t think that it cost that much money to make it.
VA: Take My Wife was also very short. It wasn’t like they had special effects or anything/
BL: /Yeah, so I’m always like/
KJ: /That would be amazing. [laughter] The disappearing wife.
BL: That’s what they were going to do in season 2. That’s why we didn’t get it. [laughter] When will we get the space lesbian show that we all want? I don’t know.
VA: That is a great question Bridget. [laughter]
KJ: Hard hitting.
VA: Killjoys is coming close.
BL: I know.
KJ: I like that…we’re actually video chatting with each other after Dani Kind insisted, our last one was. I just saw Valerie just take a swig of beer and I was just like “Yeahhhh”. [laughter] Doin this right.
VA: Wow. Calling me out. I see how it is. [laughter]
KJ: Ain’t nothin wrong with a swig of beer.
KJ: Yup. Can I get an amen? Says Chris Pratt. [laughter] Sorry.
VA: It’s OK.
BL: I feel like we’re in such a weird subdued place right now. [laughter]
VA: Just a Monday night, you know.
KJ: Alright, alright. Next. Next, next, next. Newsy notesy.
VA: Next newsy notesy. I just wanted to briefly bring up Emma Gonzalez, she’s one of the teenagers leading the March for our Lives campaign/actual march after the shooting in Florida…her and her friends. She’s an out queer Latina…just the things those teenagers have been doing in the last few weeks in the wake of this tragedy have been really inspiring to watch. They’ve been doing tons of interviews and organizing tons of cool shit, so I just wanted to plug/
KJ: /Yeah, making stuff happen.
VA: Yeah. Like actually doing the work that adults should’ve been doing for the past two decades.
KJ: Or for life. The adults should be doing for life. It is so exciting to see that. How old is she? 17 or something?
VA: 17 or 18. Yeah.
KJ: Yeah. And she held her own with these bullshit NRA people who are just trying to cut down teenagers with something positive to say, trying to better their own futures, better their world for lots of people. It’s just actually disgusting that someone could sit there and be like “I’m going to try to cut down and diminish this teenager”. It’s just like [sound of disgust]. So fuckin yeah, Emma Gonzalez.
VA: Yeah. I’m excited for the march. I think it’ll be really inspiring and probably very hard to do, but I think it’s a very cool thing they’re doing.
KJ: Where is it going to be taking place?
VA: The main one is in DC, but most of the main cities have been organizing their own. I know New York is organizing their own, I think LA is too.
BL: Yeah I saw even Cleveland has one. It’s very similar to when the Women’s March was getting organized, I think.
VA: It’s on March 24th. I think if you just either go to marchforourlives.com, or even I just searched on Facebook and my local one popped up first/
BL: /Yeah, that’s what I did.
VA: Yeah, so it’ll be March 24th if you can make it, if that’s your jam. I think it’ll be very interesting, or a very cool thing.
KJ :[whispering] Yeah, yeah yeah yeah.
BL: It’s kind of corny, but you do always hear that Whitney Houston song, the children are our future. [laughter]
VA: Yeah, it’s so true. And the people who are trying to write them off as ‘they’re just kids’, it’s like no. I saw a tweet, I wish I had pulled it so I could give it credit. I saw a tweet that was like this is the generation that has been growing up on Harry Potter and Hunger Games, you’ve been telling them how to deal with corrupt government their whole lives, of course this is what they’re doing.
KJ: Yeah, yeah yeah yeah.
BL: I didn’t think of that.
KJ: Did you see that Emily Andras tweeted, it was pretty great. She was like teenage girls will cut through your bullshit like chainsaws and I’m here for it. And I was like fuckkk. Could you love Emily Andras any more?
VA: She also tweeted something like it was always going to be a teenage girl, or it was always going to be teenage girls, and it’s…yeah.
KJ: Mhmm. True. Here speaking for us/
VA: /Yeah, it’s long overdue, but.
BL: But I also think about what I was doing as a teenage girl, and I was like ohhh, I was totally slacking. [laughter]
KJ: Yeah. I’m pretty sure I was just sitting in my room watching soap operas and listening to records.
KJ: Days of Our Lives or something. [laughter] Not or something, I was, let’s just admit it. [laughter] Alright.
BL: Yay. Save us, because we need it.
KJ: Yeah, yeah.
BL: Yeah, because even in the last two weeks, just in our local schools here, it’s been so scary. We’ve gotten letters from the school district every single day, like “Some kid saw a note in the bathroom”. I mean, it’s to the point where it’s like now they’re reporting every single thing and we’re getting emails, so it’s a little scary. Even at a middle school like 15 minutes away from my house last week a kid brought a gun in and he shot himself. And it was like this is a school district I played against every single year, they were in our league and all this stuff, so it’s literally right down the road from my parents’ house, so it was really really scary.
BL: Thank you, Emma Gonzalez, because this shit is so scary. It’s so scary.
KJ: Yeah, and you have kids. Gotta pat them on their heads and send them on their way. It’s terrifying.
BL: Yeah, and you see them get on the bus, and you try to talk them about it because…but you don’t want to scare them at the same time, so it’s a weird balance of how do you teach them ‘see something, say something’, but at the same time don’t be scared to get on the bus.
KJ: Yeah, yeah.
BL: Anyways. [laughter] Back to Thrilljoying. [laughter]
BL: So I think the other thing that we wanted to mention was that we are all three going to be at ClexaCon, that will be taking place in the beginning of April in Las Vegas. April 5th-9th. It’s going to be at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. If you don’t know what ClexaCon is, it’s a fan convention for LGBTQ women and allies. Valerie and I both attended last year, I think Kat, this is the first year that you’re going, right?
KJ: It is, yeah.
BL: Yeah, so. It was a really, really great event last year that we got to be a part of in some ways as well. They bring actresses and creators that are making shows with really great queer women characters and queer women storylines and stuff. They have panels and then they have autograph and photo ops and all kinds of stuff.
KJ: It’s basically like a Con/
KJ: /It’s like a “Comic Con”.
BL: But we’re all three going to be taking part too in different panels and stuff like that, so.
VA: And it’ll be the first time we’re all together in real life since we started this podcast. [laughter]
KJ: That’s crazy. That’s crazy, yeahhh. Oh my God, such hugs!
VA: I know, so many hugs.
BL: That was our whole goal for getting the t-shirts, was like “We wanna wear our own t-shirt at ClexaCon!”. [laughter] Not even just to advertise, just to see each other in them.
VA: /Yeah, just to take a picture of the three of us for ourselves. [laughter]
KJ: For our own mantle photo.
BL: Yeah. But they’re having actresses and creators from a lot of our favorite shows, like Wynonna Earp, One Day at a Time, Supergirl…
VA: Legends of Tomorrow.
BL: Legends of Tomorrow.
BL: Oh yeah, Carmilla. [laughter] So it’s a lot of fun. I am going to be on a couple of panels. One is about responsibility of media makers. I guess all my writing and yelling about SuperCorp and what Supergirl is doing with SuperCorp got me asked to be on this panel, so. [laughter] hopefully I sound smart and don’t just devolve into oh my God I love Lena Luthor.
BL: Hopefully I don’t have a moment of panic and just start yelling “Sweatshirt, sweatshirt, sweatshirt” on the panel.
KJ: I think that would be fine.
BL: You’ll be like “Bridget’s short circuiting”. [laughter] And then I’m also going to be on a Wynonna Earp fan panel. We did a panel last year talking about how the Wynonna Earp fandom kind of came together, so this is a follow up to that one. Valerie is going to be returning as our moderator for that.
BL: So that’ll be really fun. That was a fun panel last year, but I know we’re looking to kind of expand on stuff. Especially since that fandom has grown so big after season 2, to kinda look at a few issues that are popping up in that fandom. And then I will actually be moderating the Wynonna Earp cast panel, so I’m really excited about that.
KJ: /That’s awesome, yeah.
VA: That’ll be so much fun.
KJ: I feel like it’s just going to be a lot of cheering, and smiling, and hooting and hollering for Bridget and Valerie. [laughter] And I guess the creators and the people who are on the show, but sure.
VA: Bridget moderated the Wynonna Earp cast panel last year, also and it was like they’re already so comfortable with her. It just looked like a bunch of friends having a conversation about the show, it was very, very fun to watch. I love when Bridget moderates things.
KJ: [whispering] Yeah.
BL: Aww, thank you. They make it…that cast is like the easiest cast ever to do a panel with just because they’re so great and so personable and everything. Yeah, it’s going to be with Emily Andras, Kat Barrell, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, and then Tamara Duarte, who plays Rosita. So it’ll be fun.
KJ: I didn’t know she was on there.
BL: Yeah, it was really cool cause last year at ClexaCon, I remember it was right before the panel and we went in the green room, Tamara was in there, and Emily was like “We’re going introduce Tamara, she’s playing a new character.” And I was like “Who is she playing?”, and she was like “You can’t know any of that. Just know that she’s playing a new character”. [laughter] And I was like “OK…”.
KJ: That’s helpful/
VA: /At one point a bunch of us were standing in the hallway, and the cast walked by, and Dominique was like “This is Tamara! You guys are gonna love her but I can’t tell you why!”. Just like as she was walking, and we were like “What? What the heck just happened?”. So, it was very…and she was correct, we did grow to love her very much.
BL: So it’s kind of fun now that’s back and will be up there. They basically just said, this is Tamara. She was in the crowd and like waved, and that was all we knew. [laughter]
BL: And then Kat, you’re doing a panel as well, I’ll let you talk about that though.
KJ: This is my first panel I’m ever going to be on/
KJ: /I’m nervous about that. It’s called Empowerment Through Fandom. It’s just sort of how fandom has helped people with LGBT issues, not issues, but like…mental health issues, queer community, just how it sort of empowered people. I will be learning as well. I’m excited to sit there and listen. Hopefully I can impart some heart into this. As I’m stumbling right now, this is kind of what it’s going to be like that day too. But I do hope that…yeah. I hope I do some justice to that. It seems like something I’m very excited about, and I feel kind of responsible for doing a really good job, I don’t know.
BL: That’s how I feel on the non-Wynonna Earp. [laughter] I have to know my shit, but it will be good.
KJ: But that panel’s gonna be good. I like all the people that are on it. Bridget helped add someone, Sally from FanGirl Shirts, so that was nice. Yeah, we’re gonna do our best.
BL: She’ll bring lots of puns, so get ready.
KJ: That’s right. [laughter] I will be wearing my fancy wingtip shoes.
BL: Ooooooo. I have no wingtip shoes. I’m moderating. Oh no. [laughter]
KJ: You should at least have one pair for one of the moderations. Want me to get you a pair?
BL: Hmmm, that’s not how I roll. I don’t know. [laughter]
VA: I’ll be wearing my fanciest Wonder Woman chucks.
KJ: [whispers] Yesss. [laughter]
BL: I have nothing.
BL: I’m sorry. I just go for comfort shoes. [laughter]
KJ: I think that chucks are comfort shoes for some people.
BL: I do have chucks, I just don’t have Wonder Woman ones, so.
KJ: Well, you failed.
BL: We all can’t be cool. [laughter] I accepted that long ago. I’m good. OK, so. Are we good on news and notes?
KJ: I like that Valerie’s note is “we’ll be there too”.
VA: Bridget wrote such nice long paragraphs for all of you, but I’m on Bridget’s panel, so I was like I’ll just put “Valerie will also be there, don’t worry”.
BL: By Bridget wrote…I just copied and pasted from the ClexaCon website. [laughter]
KJ: Me as well.
BL: Yeah, that was one instance where it was not my words that were lengthy. But I do have a lot of words about my topic for this week, if we want to jump into those, because I’m going first.
VA: Let’s do it.
BL: So, you guys are allowing me to break the rules a little bit, because I’m not talking about one TV show, I’m talking about two TV shows.
VA: Woo woo.
BL: Sorry, you can fast forward me now if you already think I get too lengthy.
KJ: No wayyy.
BL: I did two, because in my mind, I’ve always linked these two shows, and then they both…there’s a bit of a timely element with both of them. I’m doing FX’s The Americans and then a show called X Company that was a Canadian drama that ran for three seasons on CBC. The Americans is entering it’s final season, season six, at the end of March. March 28th on FX. And then X Company finally just came to the US. It started airing season one last week on Monday. It’s on Mondays at ten o’clock on a channel called Ovation TV, which I had never heard of, but I get. I looked on my DVR and I get it. [laughter]
KJ: That’s not ‘O’ or something, that’s Oprah’s huh? Or was?
VA: Yeah, that was the Oprah network.
BL: Yeah, this is Ovation. But they’re giving the US X Company, so I’m all for them.
VA: The Americans is the one with Keri Russell, right?
BL: Mhmm, yeah.
VA: Just trying to picture it in my head.
BL: Yeah, I guess people always talk about in peak TV, what are the prestige dramas, which sometimes sound boring to me. But in my head, it’s always been there’s no two better shows than The Americans, which I think is phenomenal…and then when I started covering X Company because I cover Canadian TV at TV Junkies, I was like “Oh my God, this show is so good”. They’re both period dramas about spies, this is why they’re linked in my head, these are my reasons. [laughter]
KJ: And also linked on paper, and in this podcast.
BL: Now you guys can see me reading through my notes that we’re on video. [laughter] Yeah, so they’re both about spies. They both have these big themes about resistance and standing up for what you think is right. I think they both have phenomenal writing and beautiful direction, and some of the best performances I’ve ever seen. So this is why they’re in my head. But also because they’re not these shows that have these huge shocking twists and plot twists and blah blah blah. It’s always like a very slow build of the plot through the episodes and then all the sudden you’re like screaming at the TV because you’re so emotionally invested. There could be like nothing even…there’s literally episodes of X Company where it’s like two people staring at each other and I’m yelling at the screen [laughter] because the tension that they have built is so high. I’m also selfishly talking about both of these shows because I don’t know that many other people that watch them, so I’m always like screaming into the void [laughter] being like “Where’s my friends that watch The Americans?”. And I’ve found a few people that watch The Americans, but since X Company was only available in Canada, I really don’t know that many people at all that have seen it, so. I’m selfishly covering this so that Feminist Thrilljoys listeners will send me their feelings. [laughter]
VA: I can verify this fact because Bridget has literally sent me the DVD of the first season of X Company so that I would watch it.
BL: No, that’s our friend Nic. Our friend Nic sent it.
VA: Oh, OK.
BL: But at my behest, yes. [laughter]
VA: So I have watched the first season, and I did love it very much.
BL: Yeah, so if you don’t get Ovation, Amazon does have the X Company DVD’s. So, I would say they were well worth whatever, thirty dollars or whatever they are. So, The Americans, I’ll do that one first. [laughter] I now feel watched. I’m going through my outline being watched. My face is getting red/
VA: /[imitating outline loving Bridget] 1A/
KJ: /Oh boy, look at you’re blushing. Now you know what it was like to be me last week, or last time. [laughter]
BL: You have Dani Kind, I apparently have outlines. It’s OK. [laughter]
VA: That tracks well. That definitely tracks. [a LOT of laughter]
KJ: No nerdier words have ever been spoken. Oh, Bridget.
BL: Me and my tennis shoes over here are fine. [laughter] The Americans is a drama series about…it’s set in the early 80’s, and it follows these KGB spies. Matthew Reese and Keri Russell play Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings. They are KGB spies that are posing as American travel agents living in Washington DC. So it’s all early 80’s, like Cold War, Reagan administration type stuff. So, it’s really interesting, the relationship between Phillip and Elizabeth because they kind of started as this arranged marriage because of the KGB, and then they’ve actually turned in to have this really…I mean it’s not a traditional marriage, but they actually really care for one another and they have this really like genuine relationship now. And then they also have two teenage children. So they’re kind of posing as these travel agents, but at the same time they’re going on all these crazy undercover missions as part of the spies. And then they actually have the real FBI like lives across the street from them. He’s just like their neighbor. The one guy that lives across the street. They can’t even totally escape when they’re at home, they still have to watch everything that they’re doing. You just see them play all these different characters every single week. Fun side note, they became a couple in real life…Matthew Reese and Keri Russell, and now they have a baby together.
VA: Oh wowww.
KJ: I just think that never works out, but huh.
BL: They totally did the thing the one season where she was like always carrying laundry baskets around. [laughter]
KJ: Oh man.
VA: Hiding behind the open refrigerator door. [laughter]
BL: They totally did that. I think it’s cute, cause now they’re like a couple. I think they’re both so great in the roles, and now that they’re…I think it’s cute that they’re together. They’re really funny in interviews and stuff so, you can totally fall down a YouTube rabbit hole watching Matthew Reese interviews, but that’s a whole other story. Why I’m doing it for the feminism podcast is because of Elizabeth Jennings, the character that Keri Russell plays, she is like hardcore KGB. Like she totally believes in what the Russians are doing, she’s this total badass bitch. But she’s not one of these like female characters that are like the badasses that have all these awesome fighting skills. She’s more like “I’m going to seduce you, and then I’m gonna slit you’re throat when you’re not expecting” [laughter]
KJ: Like a venus fly trap or something.
BL: Yeah, so I don’t know. I personally hold this special place in my heart for Keri Russell. I don’t know if it’s because like her and Claire Danes, I think I’ve always held up because of My So Called Life and Felicity which were both like huge shows for me growing up. So when I heard that Keri Russell was going to be in this, I was all about it. But, I don’t know. Her character can be really, really awful and horrible. She believes all this stuff against the US. Somehow Keri Russell brings something to the role and you just feel for her. I don’t know, she’s so good. She also really rocks 80’s wigs and wardrobe like nobody else. [laughter]
KJ: And there is the fashion portion of our Thrilljoys/
BL: /Oh there’s so many good wigs. That’s like a whole thing about the Americans. It’s like what’s the wig update. They have so many good wigs, like so many. Especially Matthew Reese, which is surprising, because you’re like how many wigs can a guy have?
KJ: I guess he could have a…what was the one where you cut the sides short and the back long?
BL: A mullet? [laughter]
KJ: A mullet. I guess he could have an 80’s mullet, right?
BL: I’m sure he has had a version of that. I don’t know.
VA: What’s the budget for spies? How can they afford so many wigs?
BL: Oh yeah, that’s always like a thing…where do they get/
VA: /Wigs aren’t cheap
BL: No, and they’ll have really good facial hair, and all this stuff, yeah. It’s always like how are you doing this? But you just gotta go with it, I guess.
VA: I guess if you return a wig every week and then get a new one, like you’re not spending as much. [laughter]
BL: But that’s one of the cool things that I like about it, is because it’s in the 80’s…and with X Company as well. They don’t have cell phones or like all the modern technology. So you’re seeing them actually having to wait a payphone/
BL: /To like get the call. Or there’s an episode where they literally have their ear to the hotel wall because they’re trying to hear what’s going on in the room next door. Or they do a really fantastic job of, what I was talking about the tense moments where not much is really happening but it’s so tense…there was this one scene where they were going through and tailing the FBI, trying to lose the FBI tail. It was just like the semantics of how they orchestrated the tailing cars before they had cell phones is really crazy.
BL: And so that’s the same thing with X Company. But what I really like is the way too that the show has flipped traditional gender roles. Elizabeth actually is the more fatherly figure, and she’s the disciplinarian in their marriage. She’s always putting work first, and she’s not the most like nurturing to the kids. And Phillip is the one who is more in that motherly type role, so you really start to see that with…they have a teenage daughter Paige, who’s starting to catch on and be like “Why are you guys always going into the laundry room and having hushed conversations, what’s going on?” [laughter] And then the Russians start to tell them, we really want you to bring her into the fold, and we want to train her as a spy. You would expect the mother to be the one that’s like we’re not doing that blah blah blah, but Elizabeth’s actually the one that’s like all for it, and yes we should make her a spy. Phillip’s the one that’s like kind of going against that. It’s fun to see those roles flipped, and a lot of times you could even call Elizabeth a bad mom. I feel like mom’s are always portrayed to be really good and chaste and all this stuff, and she’s just not at all.
KJ: Not if you’re a Russian spy. [laughter]
BL: Yeah, so.
VA: Does Keri Russell do a Russian accent in this show?
BL: They’re posing as Americans, so…
VA: So her kids don’t know that they’re Russian?
BL: That’s what the daughter starts to investigate, and like she starts to figure out. Because her parents are never around, she ends up getting really into the church and getting close to one of the youth ministers. And then that’s a whole thing because Keri Russell’s like he’s going to find out our secret and all this stuff, so there’s a lot. And a lot of times I don’t like teenage characters, and you’re like [groan] they’re so annoying on these type of shows. Like if anyone watched Homeland or 24…I thought that Kim Bauer was really annoying on 24, and Dana Brody on Homeland, but like The Americans does a really good job with the teenage characters I think.
KJ: Really? Do you really feel that way? Because so much…you just said Felicity and My So Called Life are teenagers.
BL: Yeah, but that was when I was a teenager. Those were like WB shows. I mean like on Homeland, that Claire Danes is on now.
VA: Like when shows aren’t about the teenagers/
BL: /Yeah, yeah/
VA: /the teenagers in the show tend to be portrayed as really annoying and in the way.
BL: Sorry, yes, thank you.
VA: Which we know from real life, as we discussed earlier, is not the case.
BL: But, yeah, on 24 it was all about Jack Bauer, but he had this teenage daughter and it was always this really annoying subplot dealing with her.
KJ: Did either of you watch that show, not to stray for a second, but/
BL: /24? Yeah, I loved that show/
KJ: /All I know about that show is him just going [Jack Bauer imitation] “No”. [laughter] Like every preview was just him with a gun “No”. I thought that’s all he said in that show.
BL: He always said “Damnit”.
VA: I used to ask my Dad…my Dad watched it, and I used to be like “So like each episode is 1 hr? Are there 24 episodes? Do you have to watch him like eat and go to the bathroom? I don’t understand”. But apparently it’s not a full 24 hours.
BL: If we’re really dating ourselves, I got into it because we rented it one summer at Blockbuster. We rented one of the seasons and that’s how we got into it. [laughter]
KJ: [singing] Blockbuster Video.
BL: We binged the first four seasons through renting the DVD’s. [laughter] Yeah, so, I loved it. Oh, the other really cool thing that Kat would like about The Americans is they have an amazing 80’s soundtrack.
KJ: I was going to ask about that, I was gonna ask. As soon as you said 80’s I was like that music’s gotta be so good.
BL: It’s so good. And they pick like the best songs for their big musical moments. They’ve had multiple ones with Fleetwood Mac that were really big moments.
BL: My favorite was like there was this one in season 3, and it was this band called Yaz, and the song Only You. I don’t know. I had never heard it, but after that I was obsessed with that song forever. I was gonna recommend if you do start watching, the way that I got into listening to podcasts about TV shows was the first one I found was The Americans. There’s a podcast that Slate does with the creators of The Americans every week. And they always talk about the music and picking the music and stuff for that on that podcast. So if you do start watching The Americans, I recommend the Slate podcast on it, cause it’s really, really interesting.
KJ: Also you just needed another person to like…know that’s watching that show besides you.
BL: It was! It was. It was like I have no one to talk about this show with, oh let me listen to this podcast that’s actually talking about it. [laughter] It was one of the first ones that I listened to, I found out that there was podcasts about TV shows, so yeah. That was like four years ago, and I’m still listening and it’s good. So anyway, on FX on March 28th is the season six premiere, and the first five seasons are on Amazon Prime. So go watch.
KJ: Notes, done.
BL: Yeah, for The Americans. Now I have my second topic. Sorry. [laughter] I feel bad. It’s so much of me talking/
KJ: /We’re ready, we’re ready/
BL: /I promise I’ll be quiet at the end.
BL: OK, my deep breath. X Company. X Company is set in World War II. It was inspired by the true story of this place called Camp X that was in Ontario. It was a spy training facility for the Allied forces on Lake Ontario. It follows this team of five spies, and they go and take part in missions in World War II. It was created by this husband and wife duo, Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern, they created a drama series that was in the US called Flashpoint for awhile.
VA: I loved Flashpoint!
BL: Yeah, they created that. I mention them because we’ve talked on the podcast before that one of the things we want to do is support people or products that we think are great and that are from really good people. I was really lucky enough to, during the last season of X Company, I did weekly post-mortems with Mark and Stephanie. Every week we would break down the episode and talk. I just think they’re really, really good people. They’re super talented writers. I really love that they’re this married couple that work together, and they’re a totally a true partnership in every sense of the word. Stephanie was directing for the first time at the end of season three. To listen to Mark talk about her and how he had been fully supportive of it, and I don’t know…I just think they’re really good people. That’s one of the other reasons I want to support the show, because I think they’re brilliant.
KJ: Good people.
BL: Yeah, so. Yay for good people making good stuff. [laughter] But I did watch the X Company pilot when it first premiered. I watched it and I thought it was really good, but I thought it was going to be all about the guy, this character named Alfred that’s at the center of it. He has this special condition where he feels all his senses in really heightened ways. He has a perfect memory and stuff like that. I thought oh, this seems pretty good, but it seems like it’s going to be a lot about just him, so I kind of didn’t totally follow the show in season one. And then I interviewed Stephanie Morgenstern for my Women Behind Canadian TV series, and I was just so impressed talking to her. I was like she’s just such a cool lady, I just want to support her. I’m going to come back in season two and cover X Company because I think she’s such a cool lady. I was so taken by surprise, because in season two they start to focus on the women of the show…on and off screen. I know they increased the number of women writers in the room in season two, and I feel like you can see that because the stories became more about the women. The thing that I love most about X Company is there’s a character called Aurora, and she is played by Orphan Black’s Evelyne Brochu.
VA: Bridget. Bridget. It has taken you 45 minutes of talking about this show to bring her up, and I have been chomping at the bit over here. [laughter] You really buried the lead. Evelyne Brochu!
BL: I’m always like, yeah but that nice people that make it!
VA: Delphine! OK, sorry. You’re right, you did it correctly. I was just excited. [laughter] Go!
BL: Yeah, so the team of five…there’s like four guys and then there’s this one female spy, and her name is Aurora, and she is amazing. She’s seriously like one of my favorite characters ever, and yes, she’s played by Delphine! [laughter] And if you thought she was good in Orphan Black, I feel like she’s five thousand times better, like I don’t care if that gets me in trouble. She’s so good in X Company, and it’s possible she just has more to do, it’s obviously like a bigger role.
KJ: Five thousand times better…
BL: I stand by it. [laughter]
VA: That’s…that’s math right there.
BL: It’s late and I’m a little sleepy, but I stand by it.
VA: They definitely showcase…I’ve only seen the first season of X Company so far, but they definitely showcase her and put her at the forefront, and gave her more of a focus than Orphan Black had the opportunity to I guess. But she definitely shines in X Company, I love her so much! [laughter]
BL: Yeah, and it’s really cool because they have this team of five spies, but the one female is actually the leader of it. And the guys like never question her because she’s a woman. They totally are always ready to follow her and know that she’s the one they need to be following.
VA: Even the first time…so in the first season the first time they were like “OK, she’s in charge now”, there was such a surprisingly small amount of pushback. I think one guy was like “Wait, why?”, and someone was like “Because she’s the best at this”, and he was like “OK fine”. [laughter] That was it, that was the extent of the pushback. Especially with something set in World War II, where they would’ve been [imitating bullshit] “Well, historically…”, and like I’ve heard bullshit about things like that, so to see it happen like that was very cool and I liked it very much.
BL: Yeah, there’s some conflict in later seasons where people are like questioning her, but it’s never that they’re questioning her because she’s a woman, it’s more like all this other shit’s going on. It’s interesting...it’s really cool too because as the woman on the team, she can get into places that the guys can’t. Or like getting into these situations that they can’t because, like Valerie said, the women are taken…or they’re not seen as big of threats, or they’re overlooked. So she gets into all these places and then…Evelyne Brochu’s face, is like…amazing in this show.
VA: It’s a great face.
BL: She has to push down. I feel like she’s constantly pushing down all of these things to make it through this mission. Because she always has to complete whatever mission she’s doing. So she might see this awful thing happening over here…because it is Nazis, so it’s like they’re the fucking worst in this show. They are so awful. There is some hard stuff to watch in this show. But she’s always pushing it down, pushing it down…and yet you can see everything that she’s going through on her face. She’s so good in, she’s so good. It’s along the same lines like as what I was talking about a different kind of badass that Keri Russell’s is. Aurora is super elegant, and she’ll wear these like beautiful dresses. [Bridget fangirl excited voice] Evelyne Brochu’s is so perfect in so many scenes. [laughter]
VA: Her hair is goddess hair, I swear.
BL: Yeah, and but yet you’re like oh my God she’s doing all this totally awesome stuff, and all while wearing this beautiful dress and high heels. One of my favorite scenes is she goes through this whole battle in the woods and she just like stands up and smooths down her dress and goes on with herself and she’s like fine. I just think she’s like a totally different kind of badass than the ones…I love my snarky Wynonna Earps and stuff like that, but that’s just not what she is. She still is like so awesome. I feel like in season 2 they really start to focus, and it becomes really Aurora’s story. Rightfully so. Not that the other guys aren’t there, they’re all great, but [laughter] she’s the best And then the other great female part of the show is she becomes friends with…the main enemy that they’re always fighting against, Franz Faber, he’s like a Nazi general. He’s a very interesting villain because his son actually has Down Syndrome, which is obviously looked down upon by the Nazis, and they want him to basically get rid of his son. So he has to go through all this stuff. But she ends up befriending his…undercover, she goes undercover and befriends his wife, and then it’s an interesting relationship because it’s these two women who end up actually becoming really good friends where they’re both getting something from one another, but at the same time it’s based on all these lies. This relationship is based on all these lies, so. And then it’s really just fun to watch this Sabine, that’s her name the wife, she ends up getting a really satisfying arc throughout the series as well. More awesome, awesome ladies. I’m sorry. I think I’m done. [laughter] I’m trying to be. I love this show so much/
VA: /Don’t apologize!/
BL: /I’ve been screaming about it for the last two years, no one’s been able to watch it. Everyone’s been like “When can we watch it in the US?”, so now it’s finally available so please go watch it and then send me all of your feelings about why Aurora is so wonderful. [laughter]
KJ: Please, help Bridget out. Someone talk to Bridget about The Americans and X Company.
BL: I always am like it’s not just good for Canadian TV, it’s just good TV. It’s just excellent, and it’s beautifully directed. They shot in in Hungary, on location, so everything looks really great.
KJ: Is that what people say? It’s good “for Canadian TV”? Do people actually say that for real?
BL: It used to be more of a thing, I noticed when I first started covering Canadian TV. We have this level, what’s good for us really wouldn’t be that great in the US. But I think that’s starting to change now because Canadian TV is getting so strong.
VA: They’re making all of the best shows right now, just about. [laughter]
KJ: Yeah, and also a lot of…I never watched a web series or anything, but I mean obviously like web content, web series content, they seem to be. They have their talons on that or whatever.
BL: Yeah, Shaftesbury, they have KindaTV, which Kat will get to later.
VA: Did you say you’ve never watched a web series?
KJ: Yeah, no, before. I had never before.
VA: Oh, before. I thought you said you have never/
BL: /BC. Before Carmilla/
VA: /I was like…[laughter] BC.
BL: Anyway, I rambled on way too long and I’m really sorry. I love both of these shows so much. I actually had planned to do them as separate topics. Well I never thought I’d do X Company because I just thought that’s not available to anyone, and then it became available, so I had to do it so thank you, I’m done. [laughter] Evelyne Brochu, five thousand times better! Five thousand times better I promise! [laughter] I’m done, and I’m now ready to be quiet and just learn.
VA: It’s fun listening to you talk about the things you love!
KJ: Look at how smiley Bridget is/
BL: /I know, but we all also want to go to bed.
KJ: I don’t need to go to bed. It’s like 8 o’clock here. I don’t need to go to bed.
BL: I wrote like 2500-3000 words about why Aurora was like the best feminist character that nobody knew. If you really want to hear me go on more, you can go to the TV Junkies and find that article. [laughter] But don’t read it until season three, because it does have spoilers.
VA: Oh, OK. So when season three airs in the US, then we’ll put it in our show notes.
BL: They’re only on episode 102 I think was airing tonight, the second episode ever. So you have plenty of time to start DVR’ing it. [laughter] OK. I’m done. Promise. Go ahead Valerie.
VA: Mine will be short I think I comparison because I only have one topic. [laughter]
VA: I’m just teasing, I’m just teasing. Mine will be short though, because I knew you both had things that you were really excited about, so I just wanted to throw in a little something cool that I’m excited about lately. I guess this is a little strange cause Kat’s our music guru, but I’m going to be talking about music today.
KJ: Yes, I love it. I love you guys talking about music. I’m so, I’m thrilled.
VA: Specifically, I want to talk about how music has been getting hella queer lately. And like mainstream queer music. So there’s always been queer artists. Forever. Literally forever. There’s been LGBT people singing popular songs, whether we knew it at the time or not. [laughter] There have been! Don’t laugh at me.
KJ: No, I’m laughing. That was a great way to express that. [laughter]
BL: That was that beer. That one beer sip she had.
VA: But, so OK…even in the past like decade or two, we’ve had more and more popular….like Tegan and Sara, Lady Gaga, obviously. A couple years ago Mary Lambert had some songs out. But even just songs that have been popular, top 40 hits in the past year. We’ve had Demi Lovato who’s bisexual and Latina. We’ve had Janelle Monáe, which, as you mentioned.
KJ: Oh my God.
VA: I think she’s mentioned her sexuality, she says that she didn’t want to talk about her sexuality, she wanted to talk about the android revolution, which is fine. But that music video that she dropped last week, Make Me Feel, was the most sexual music video I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and it was beautiful.
KJ: I watched that video like nine times in a row. I was just like “Whatttt?” [laughter] I just kept watching it. And every time someone posted a gif, I was like I’m just gonna watch this 72 times just looped, I was so happy.
VA: Yeah, it was perfect. I was saying it was like, you know that episode of Black Mirror, San Junipero? Did you guys see that?
KJ: /Mhmm, yeah.
VA: You know The Quagmire within San Junipero, that like club?
BL: Yeah, yeah.
VA: It felt like it was set in there. It was kind of dirty in a good way, and queer and dark and beautiful, oh God I was so happy.
VA: And Janelle Monáe is so like, popular, and it was such a mainstream video that dropped. And Tess Thompson’s in it, and she’s so huge right now because of Valkyrie in Thor, who is a bisexual character. I don’t know about Tessa Thompson herself, but it’s just all so queer and beautiful and I love it.
KJ: Can I say something about Janelle Monáe as well?
KJ: There was an article in Autostraddle actually. And it was just like Janelle Monáe in 2010 or whatever, I only care about the android revolution or whatever. Janelle Monáe 2018, zero fucks given. [laughter]
VA: Have you seen Tessa Thompson lately?
VA: Yeah. That article was some investigative journalism if I’ve ever seen it. That was a think of beauty.
BL: We’ll have to link it.
KJ: Yeah, a definite shoutout to that Autostraddle.
VA: It was great. Also, I don’t know if you guys know Halsey, the artist? She’s bisexual and biracial. What’s great…why I’ve moved in this order…
BL: See you have no order too.
VA: I do! I do. Halsey right now has two different top 40 songs, songs in the top 40 at the moment. She’s not only openly bisexual, but her songs are bisexual. She uses…she has a whole song where she talks about her exes, and the first verse is about a guy and the second verse is about a girl. There’s no way you can twist it or mistake it. It’s like hello, I am bisexual and I’m singing a song about it, and I love it. And TATU was this Russian band that were pretending to be dating, and that was the closest thing to a gay song we had on the radio, and it was like begging for scraps. Even before I knew that was what I wanted, I didn’t have the words to say. I knew that there was something I wasn’t getting from the music on the radio. Now to have Halsey and Lauren, I’m gonna butcher her last name, she was part of Fifth Harmony, uh…Jauregui? So Halsey and Lauren, they have a song…they’re both out bisexual women. They have a song Strangers together. The first lyric of that song is she doesn’t kiss me on the mouth anymore. Again it’s like no…
VA: Yeah, it’s like no pretending that it’s not queer. So that brings me to one of the…again, I could be biased because I feel like I have tailored all of my social media to be very queer, but Hayley Kiyoko is an artist who is on the top 40. She’s all over the place, she’s dropping music videos all over the place. And her songs are all so gay. All of them. [laughter] She’s so open about it. She’s only 26 years old, she started as a Disney…she was in a Disney movie. She might’ve been acting before that, I think she’s been acting since she was five. One of her more popular movies was Lemonade Mouth, which is a Disney movie about a garage band/
BL: /I remember that/
VA: /Yeah, it’s like super cute. And she’s just this teenager on the Disney Channel and now she’s going on a tour. I’m assuming it’s an international tour, not a national tour. I’m going to see her, I’m very excited about it. [laughter] I know she’s coming to New York.
BL: It’s at least national.
KJ: At the very least it’s a New York tour.
VA: She has a song called Girls Like Girls, and one of the lyrics is girls like girls like boys do. And I just…it’s so good. Even her songs that aren’t…don’t use the girl/she/her pronouns for each other…she has a song called Sleepover, which is about being a girl who likes girls at a sleepover with only girls. It’s kind of like the grappling with that. It’s like we’re sharing a bed, but I’m having some feelings and I don’t know what to do about it.
KJ: I know it.
VA: Yeah. [laughter]
KJ: Been there.
VA: It’s a relatable experience. I never really thought about the fact that there was never a song about that before, that I know of. So to have that be a popular song right now is pretty cool. And even on the ones that are pronoun-less…she has a song called Feelings, and like if you didn’t know her at all, you had never heard of her, you just heard that song, you might not know she was gay…but if you watch the music video, you would have no questions about it. She’s just kind of like being herself unapologetically, and it is very cool to watch. I actually want to read you a quote, because I read this article on BuzzFeed that I want to link in our show notes. Katie Heaney interviewed her, and…oh, she directs all of her music videos. 26 years old, directs and does choreography for all of her music videos. Crazy.
BL: Those Disney kids man. [laughter]
VA: And so she said that “I was in a writing session the other day, and a writer was like ‘oh, you shouldn’t use that pronoun because other people can’t sing to it’, and I was like ‘I’m sorry I’ve been singing to straight songs my whole life and I’m just fine’”. [laughter] I love that. It’s like why should I change who I am because it makes you a little uncomfortable, when I’ve been without these songs for my whole life. She’s just…she’s just doin it. And it’s making me very happy. [laughter] I was gonna just talk about her, and then I thought about Halsey too, and I was like I wonder how many queer artists are on the top 40 right now? It was a very cool thing to be able to even talk about this, to have so many options to go into. I have a playlist on Spotify that’s called Songs of Sappho, and even just a few years ago there was a couple of random songs I had dug out of a pile that no one had ever heard of. But now it’s so long because I can put all of Halsey’s songs on it and all of Hayley Kiyoko’s songs on it, it’s just very cool.
KJ: Yeah. 20gayteen.
VA: 20gayteen, man.
KJ: Yeah. [laughter] Nice. The end. That’s how we’re going to end our things from now on.
BL: Are you gonna share your Spotify playlist with everybody.
VA: Sure. Yeah, it’s public, anyone can have it. [laughter]
KJ: [sighs] Oh, it’s my turn isn’t it.
VA: You ready Kat?
KJ: No, I’m not. [laughter] You guys are gonna watch me, I have you guys minimized.
BL: Let me maximize you, just a second. [laughter]
VA: I’m gonna get comfortable.
KJ: [clears throat] Let me clear my throat. So…I guess I’ll start with a quote as well. “You are mine. You shall be mine. You and I are one forever.” I’m doing Carmilla!
BL: Due to popular demand. [laughter]
KJ: I’m not doing Carmilla, that’s unfortunate.
KJ: Ayyy, I’m gonna talk about Carmilla. So…yeah. I have been…I’ve wanted to talk about this but also I have been nervous and cautious about talking about it because it ended up meaning so much to me, and I loved it so much at like such a quick pace or whatever you want to say. I remember I was on Twitter and I saw a bunch of people and they kept talking about Carmilla, and they kept talking about Dominique who’s on Wynonna Earp, and saying that she was going to be in this movie. And I’m like hey…I remember I posted something like “What’s this Carmilla thing about”, and then three days later I’m just like “I’m a Creampuff!” [laughter] Creampuff is just what/
VA: Wow, you hadn’t started watching until the movie was announced?/
BL: /She fell quick/
KJ: I didn’t even watch it/
BL: /Tell what Carmilla is first, just for people that might not know.
KJ: Right. Oh my God, you’re so much better at this Bridget. So it’s a Canadian web series, it debuted in like…I think 2014. And it went for like three seasons, and then there was a season zero somewhere in between season one and two. And they’re sort of like these bite size episodes. There’s like 27 or 37, I should’ve done my research about that. But there’s a lot of episodes that are like 4-7 minutes long, and it sort of follows…it’s single camera shot, like blog style. And it follows Laura Hollis, who’s a freshman at Silas University, and she has a vlog just sort of as part of a school project or whatever. Her roommate disappears, and then she gets a new roommate. Someone walks in, hottie in leather pants [laughter] Carmilla Karnstein. It’s just like, who is a vampire. [laughter] A hot vampire who is like 400 years old or something. They just sort of, it’s like Scooby Doo. They solve supernatural mysteries. There’s an anglerfish and an evil dean, missing people, and tons of queer content and lady content. There’s like one dude. [laughter]
VA: The token dude.
KJ: There are other guys on the show, on the series. And then they made a movie, which was completely funded by Kickstarter or whatever. Do you know? Was it Kickstarter? It was fans, basically.
BL: I don’t think it was Indiegogo, but one of those crowdsourcing.
KJ: Yeah. As the web series, which is on YouTube, has over 70 million views, which is wild right?
VA: Woah. How many of those are you?
BL: Are those unique views, or just Kat Jetson views? [laughter]
KJ: I guess the great thing is, if you get into this show/
BL: /Wait, you didn’t answer. Just kidding. [laughter]
KJ: Oh, and it was also sponsored, the series was sponsored by Kotex. Which is so clever, it was really clever.
BL: That was after the first year, right?
KJ: Mhmm, yeah. There’s so much content if you love…if you end up watching it like I did. If you culled it all together, the entire series it would be like three and a half hours. It’s like watching a movie and a half in a day. And I almost pretty much did that, so. [laughter] And so if you’re into it, if you get into it like you’re going to, there’s so much behind the scenes content. I feel like they just knew what they had at some point, and they were just like let’s give them what they want. One of the stars, who plays Carmilla, Natasha Negovanlis, which I might be blushing right now. [laughter] Also Natasha I apologize for asking you out on Twitter. [laughter] Sorry if that was disrespectful, but I thought the world was going to end [laughter].
BL: Quick, Trump’s ruining the world, what are we gonna do? Ask out Natasha on Twitter.
VA: Your final act on this earth was to ask Natasha out. I love it. You know what you wanted and you went for it, I appreciate that.
KJ: [audibly blushing] I tagged her and everything. That woman’s probably just like “Get the fuck out of here”.
BL: Probably not even the craziest offer she got within that hour on Twitter, it’s fine.
KJ: Oh my goodness. So yeah, Natasha is also the host of KindaTV. They put out new content, it’s like a little five or seven minute clip every Wednesday on KindaTV, which you can find on YouTube. So much of it is Carmilla content related.
VA: Sometimes Natasha sings and it’s very lovely, and I like that a lot.
KJ: Sometimes Elise Bauman sings as well, and I like that a lot as well.
VA: I like the video of them singing the theme song together.
KJ: Right. Because I watched every video. There was like tons of those KindaTV things, I also watched all of those as well. [laughter] And I read so many of the comments because I love to hear lesbians just screaming and shouting about how much they love these two people. There was a guy playing guitar in that video of them singing the Carmilla theme song. Either you hate it…if you watch the series on YouTube with four minutes and then another four minutes for an episode and then another…you hear that theme song over and over, and people are like I love everything except for that theme song. I’m like, I didn’t watch it like that, I watched it like someone had edited it all together.
BL: I wish I had had that. I would fast forward the theme song.
VA: For me after awhile it started to feel like how the Friends laugh track is very soothing after awhile because I’ve heard it much in my life. After awhile I was like, oh, Carmilla, I’m happy now cause I hear the song. It was like a Pavlov response to it.
KJ: The only one I couldn’t do that was the third series, so I watched it with that theme song throughout, and I loved it. I feel like you, Valerie, where I was like [hums theme song] I was like yeah, I bopped around a little bit. So, yeah. I’ll tell you how I started watching it is…everyone on Twitter was like Creampuff, Carmilla, I’m like what is this about, I don’t understand. Then I saw a photo, I actually watched…this is how…I saw a photo of the two actresses. Or do they just want to be called actors? Actors, we’ll say actors. Of Elise Bauman, who plays Laura Hollis, and Natasha Negovanlis, who plays Carmilla was behind her, and she had her thumbs in Elise Bauman’s pockets. I am obsessed with women with hands or thumbs in pockets [laughter] I think it’s like the gayest thing ever, but I love, love, love, love, love it. I also love girls in striped shirts, but that’s another thing.
BL: What if it was a redhead wearing a striped shirt with their thumbs in their pockets. Woaaahhh!
KJ: Don’t even. I don’t even know.
BL: Dani Kind, if you’re listening, just re-create that photo for Kat. Next time we really want to get her. [laughter]
VA: Bridget, I like how you looked up to speak to Dani Kind, like she was watching down over us.
BL: I was speaking it out into the universe.
KJ: Saint Fucking Kind. [laughter] So anyhow..
BL: Sorry, go ahead.
KJ: I was like hey, I’m in. I’ll fucking watch this show because of this photo. This one photo. So that’s how it worked for me. That’s how easy I am. And also the show, besides that, there are three redheads on the show. Kaitlyn Alexander who plays Laff, Annie Briggs who plays Perry, and of course Sharon Belle, who’s like 6’3” and plays Danny.
BL: She’s very tall. Valerie and I saw her in person at Dragon Con. I’m 5’11” and I felt short next to her.
VA: I have a picture of her, and she’s like a full person taller than me. [laughter] And also she’s so beautiful and I look like a potato next to her. She’s like this elegant, tall/
BL: /I made Valerie get that photo, I was like get the photo with her now.
VA: But she was so sweet. And also, I’ve had the extreme pleasure of interviewing Natasha and Elise, and they are also just really sweet people. I think that they totally understand the importance of what they’re doing. They’re also queer, so they get it on a deeper level than a lot of actors do. But they’re so open about talking about, and they’re so generous with their time about it, so I really appreciate that.
KJ: I think, yeah…and I think they understand. They’ve sort of grown with how important it is, and how much it means to people. When you start something, you’re in this little box. Like you’re filming probably like all of this content on a shoestring budget for a very small amount of money, and then people are flocking. They’re like ravenous for it. People just, they want that content, and a lot of people feel like they’re being represented, and I think that the cast also is proud of that. Like they seem very excited that this has touched so many people.
BL: And I think they have queer people behind the scenes, writing it. I know Steph Ouaknine, I don’t know how to say her last name. I should, I’ve interviewed her as well. She’s super nice and I think she is a queer woman and she is really trying to tell good stories for queer people and break a lot of the tropes. That was a big thing with the movie that they wanted to do was break a lot of the queer tropes and stuff like that. I think it’s on screen, yeah, and off.
KJ: Right, and I think that the fact that you’re watching it, there’s obviously a love story between the two main characters…but it doesn’t…I’m gay, so of course I’m going to latch myself onto that, but it’s not like this introduction of like “This is Carmilla and she’s gay”. It was just like these two women like each other. It feels very organic, or however you want to say it. I don’t know, God bless Carmilla just sittin there in leather pants reading in the background, reading a book. It’s like the hottest thing ever. [laughter] I just want like, someone in leather pants to just read a book behind me sitting in a chair.
BL: One of their thumbs in their pocket. [laughter]
KJ: [barely audible due to excitement] Yeah. [laughter] And then the movie took it up a notch. Because one, Dominique’s in it, from Wynonna Earp. And there’s of corsets, there’s chokers…
BL: Yeah, they had all women and non-binary people in that cast, and one dude. It was one guy, right? That was really cool. The entire cast was women and non-binary people and one guy.
VA: Yeah, I did think it was cool. I do think it’s very cool that Kaitlyn Alexander is non-binary, but also their character that they play is non-binary, and I feel like we don’t see a lot of non-binary characters on TV in general. And especially the fact that their character wasn’t about being non-binary, they just kind of were, in the background.
KJ: I fully admit that I’m…I don’t know everything and I feel like I don’t know how to…I want to be very careful to be understanding of what people are going through that are not like me. And I have to be honest, I never even heard the term non-binary before this series. I’m learning. I’m 46 and I’m still learning. I’m like oh this is so cool, there’s another group of humans that are like, this is how I feel, this is what I want. We can’t just have these little groups that make people feel comfortable. Now we’re kind of OK with saying gay and lesbian, well there’s more people besides that. I don’t know. I fucking love Carmilla. I just want to shout it. I really…I fucking love it.
BL: And not only that, they just changed…I feel like they changed the whole game. Because like you said, they came along, they were pretty successful after season one. They were the first ones to really realize this power of social media, and they became super involved on social media, and then they got Kotex on as their sponsor, then they were able to do more stuff in season two. I just feel like they totally changed the game, and now…Shaftesbury that makes them was able to start that whole KindaTV channel, and now Kinda has all these different series, like I know Barbelle is on there that I really liked. So yeah, they’re like now able to produce all these things, Carmilla was the first ones that I feel like changed the game for everybody and made people be like wow, the web is a viable platform.
KJ: And hashtagging. I feel like they…even coming at this much, much later down the line. Apparently there was like these sort of made up Twitter account that sort of followed the story. It was done by people on the show that sort of followed the series, and I don’t even know exactly…I tried to look up some stuff about that…
BL: Wasn’t it like Laura…supposedly like Laura tweeting. Am I wrong about that?/
KJ: /Oh, interesting/
BL: /I don’t know, I might be wrong/
VA: /If I remember correctly, they had a few of the characters tweeting at each other, but it was written by the writers of the series. It was like a multi-media platform situation, which is very cool.
KJ: And I love when people have the hashtag, of what are we going to call ourselves, the people who like the show? And theirs is Creampuff, it’s because…the character of Carmilla just called Laura Hollis everything under the sun. Sweetheart, creampuff, cutie pie, blah blah blah. In her awesome raspy vampy voice. [laughter] And creampuff stood, stuck…whatever. Sticked? I have no problem calling myself a Creampuff. It just sounds more gay. I like being that level of gay. I’m a fucking Creampuff.
VA: What was your favorite scene ever?
KJ: The first thing that I could think of, is because I actually cried when I saw it, is…I think it was in season two, when Laura and…it was like angsty series two or whatever you want to say. Carmilla has kind of had it with everyone wanting to change her, and she’s like “Change for me Carmilla”, she’s kind of lost it, and was like everybody wants me to do everything different, I’m still like a fuckin vampire or whatever, I don’t know. I feel like she was really hurt. Her sister also got killed.
KJ: It’s fine, just watch it. No one will even remember or know or whatever. I don’t know, and there were a couple of other scenes. They have amazing chemistry. I think everyone on that series had really incredible chemistry, and sometimes just the way they looked at each other. It was like tugging at heartstrings for real. I love it. I didn’t blush as much as I thought I would. What about you?
BL: I know. You haven’t gone on about Natasha. I feel like I talked about Evelyne’s face way more. C’mon. [laughter]
KJ: What do you want me to say? I already said I asked her out and apologized for it. [laughter] Also Natasha, I’ll see you at ClexaCon. Sorry. [laughter] You can just ignore me, I’ll have the Kat Jetson badge on. [laughter] I’ll be nice. Hands in pockets. [laughter]
BL: Yeah, you have to do a photo op with her.
KJ: I do. I’m doing a photo op.
VA: Nice, oh that’ll be fun.
KJ: And Dominique. Her and Dominique.
BL: Dom was so good in the movie. She was so good in the movie.
KJ: Oh God, yeah. Her masseter, right?
BL: She was very good.
KJ: A good jawline. Oh God, and everyone talks about how Natasha’s got a jawline that could cut avocados. [laughter] So, there you go. That’s reason enough to watch it.
VA: Avocados, that’s so specific. I love it. [laughter]
KJ: Yeah. What’s your favorite. Do you have a favorite scene?
VA: Me? I don’t know. There were a few scenes in…oh gosh, I don’t know. All of the seasons bled together for me. I think it was the last season. They had been kind of broken up, and trying to figure out, they still had to like live together and do their thing. It was that breaking point, right when they decided they couldn’t resist it anymore, and they had to just makeout because it was too much for them. But the buildup of that scene, where they were kind of just like, this is…we can’t do this. This is not what we want, yes it is, ahhh! [laughter]
KJ: Throw each other on the desk. They had a lot of desk sex.
BL: A lot of desk sex.
KJ: Girl on girl desk sex is hot. To be very specific. [laughter] And also there’s a great line, or the great quote or whatever from the first season that Laura says “Girl the hell up!”. It’s such a great girl quote. Instead of, you know guy the hell up. Man up. Fuck that. Girl the hell up. I love it.
VA: I like that. And I like that Laura’s always making dorky sci-fi references/
KJ: /Her Tardis/
VA: /and Buffy references. Oh yeah, I have one [referencing Tardis]
KJ: Yeah! Tardis mug.
VA: I have a Tardis mug. I saw Elise talk about it in an interview how it’s actually really hard to drink from, and she recommended drinking from the corners, and I’m glad that I learned that because it is very hard to drink from.
KJ: It also looked like no one ever had any liquid in any of their cups.
BL: I hate that on TV shows. I hate that, when you’re like just put something in there.
VA: I actually heard that they don’t because the sloshing sound is hard for sound technicians to take out in post.
BL: I’m sure Deb could do it. I’m sure Deb could do it if I had a cup of coffee right now. [laughter]
VA: That’s true. I do think that they should at least give them weighted cups so it’s not so obviously an empty cup.
BL: I wonder if that’s a lesson in acting class. Like one week we’re gonna learn how to fake drink.
KJ: I don’t think so because no one does it well.
VA: I feel like occasionally it’s fine, but then sometimes they’ll like get a fresh cup from Starbucks and tip it upside down and it’s like what are you doing!
BL: Burning your face off. [laughter]
VA: We’ve gotten off track, I’m sorry. I started talking about cups.
KJ: That’s fine. That’s fine. There were a lot of patterned shirts too that the character of Laura wore. A lot of animals on those shirts. Owls, giraffes.
BL: Are they going to do another movie?
KJ: I haven’t seen anything about it. I’m sure it would be fully funded if they wanted to, but I think…I don’t know.
BL: I can’t remember if I had heard that or not.
KJ: I wish I knew. If I did I would be screaming about it. [laughter]
VA: I’m sure if it came to pass, we would indeed be screaming about it.
KJ: Yeah, so…yeah. There were a lot of…
BL: Natasha, if you’re listening…call Kat.
KJ: I am all set, thanks. I think she’s safe now.
BL: Don’t even call. Just say hi, have a good day today.
KJ: That’ll be enough, I’ll just be like oh my God. I mean as it is right now, people just send me gifs of Natasha. They think it’s funny. Look Kat, this is a gif of Natasha. She’s wearing a striped shirt, she’s winking, she has her hands in her pockets. She has fangs!
BL: Send me your spy drama feelings and send Kat gifs of Natasha. [laughter]
KJ: Especially Natasha with fangs. That takes it up a notch.
BL: Valerie, put in your request now. What do you want sent?
VA: I want covers of songs sung by women with she/her pronouns.
VA: That’s what I want.
KJ: I love that the White Stripes, when they covered Jolene, they didn’t change it.
VA: Mmmm, I love stuff like that.
KJ: Yeah, don’t fuckin change it. Jack White knows what’s up. Respect. [laughter] Also, I feel like we should cover Dolly Parton. She’s written three thousand songs.
BL: I love her.
VA: Three thousand?
BL: She’s one of those ones I feel like you know is famous, but then when you really do the research, you’d be like holy shit, she did all that.
VA: A Dolly episode?
KJ: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
BL: An all Dolly episode. We don’t have to cosplay for it do we? [laughter]
VA: Well now we do. Bridget, why would you say something like that.
BL: I call pre-teen Dolly then, before [laughter]
KJ: There is one other thing I did want to say about Carmilla. It’s based, well not fully, but I guess some of the material was taken from a book, or a novella, that predates Dracula. So Carmilla lady-vamp before the big bad vamp.
VA: Have you read the original?
KJ: I did. No, I didn’t like it. [laughter]
VA: So they made it better/
KJ: /They made it so much better. It was kind of like lesbians and women are dangerous and bad. Carmilla series was like fuck you, they’re hot. [laughter] Look at them.
BL: Just standing there with their thumb in their pocket. How dare they.
KJ: Oh, and the way she sat was like perfectly gay. Cause you know lesbians sit a certain way.
BL: I didn’t know, but I’ve been schooled about it multiple times since.
KJ: There’s just so much leather too. Oh God. I’ll stop talking about it. Let’s end. I’ll stop. [laughter]
BL: I feel like this was the topic they wanted you to go on about.
VA: Do you want to sing some of the theme song before we go?
KJ: The Carmilla one? Or [singing] Feminist Thrilljoys, fuck yeah! [laughter] Or do you want the Dani Kind one? Which our editor did a little jingle for our Dani Fucking Kind song.
VA: Yeah Deb! Should we make her put it in right now?
BL and KJ: Yeah.
[jingle] Daniiii, Daniiiii, Dani Fucking Kind [electric guitar/drums]
KJ: Thank you Deb, it was perfect.
BL: It got stuck in my head. It gets stuck in my head for like days.
VA: I want to make it a ringtone.
BL: I really did think about making it my ringtone.
KJ: My ringtone…God I shouldn’t say this, but my ringtone, or my wakeup alarm music is Dominique from that…I don’t know what that show/television series or whatever I don’t even know what it’s from, but it’s that Ready to Blow song.
VA: Ohhh nooooo.
KJ: [singing] Ready to blow, ready to blow.
BL: What? I don’t know what that is/
VA: /With the lollipop?
KJ: What, you don’t know? Bridget. She’s on a motorcycle, sucking a lollipop.
BL: I’ve never seen that, I don’t know how. I’ve never even heard of it. I’ve never even heard of it.
VA: I’m gonna send it to you immediately. It is so funny. It is so funny. She’s so good in it.
KJ: When I first saw it, I was like that can’t be Dominique. I had to ask around, I was like is this Dominique? And everyone’s like yeah. But that’s the song that I have for when I wake up in the morning.
BL: I would have the Dani Fucking Kind ringtone and then I’d probably be at some grade school event, and my phone would go off, and all of the moms would look at me like [gasps] [sings] Dani Fucking Kind. And I’d be like yeah, what. [laughter]
KJ: I picked a good song to sing it to, Heart’s Never.
BL: You did.
KJ: Even though I didn’t sing it, I mean I would sing it to my dog, but Deb actually sang it.
KJ: Our editor. Our editor Deb. With the Dani Fucking Kind song.
BL: That sent me down the Heart spiral the next day. I worked out to Heart. They have a song that would be…what is that? All I Want to Do is Make Love to You, someone told me, maybe it was our friend Monica. It was originally written for a man, but I don’t know how that would work, because it’s very clearly about a girl taking a guy home and using them.
KJ: God, well you know so many songs that are perfectly tailored for women to sing are written by men. Who were songwriters? I think Carole King was one of the first female songwriters and Louise Goffin. Those are the two from the 60’s that were allowed to write songs. I mean Will You Still Love Tomorrow and all that.
BL: When you said Dolly Parton, I thought of Carole King because I saw the Carole King Broadway show, and that’s when, Beautiful, that’s when I didn’t realize how many songs she had written and for how many different people and stuff.
KJ: Yeah, Dolly. Three thousand songs.
BL: And Dolly Parton does all that aweseome stuff with charities. My sister used to live in Tennessee, and there was this whole free book program for kids Dolly Parton ran.
KJ: She’s amazing.
BL: I feel like we could easily do an all episode of her.
BL: And she’s so good at acting, she’s such a good actress.
KJ: We would learn a lot from that.
VA: Save it for the episode.
KJ: Yeah, OK.
KJ: Bridget’s falling asleep, she’s really rubbing her eyes. It’s way late for Bridget, let’s end this now.
BL: I’ll be daydreaming of Dolly. [laughter]
VA: It was a pleasure as always, ladies.
KJ: I was glad to see you both this time.
VA: Yeah, I’m glad Dani convinced us to look at each other while we do this. [laughter]
BL: I’ll look up and thank her.
VA: Thank you Dani!
KJ: We all looked up. [laughter] Saint Fucking Kind. [laughter]
BL: The new name now.
KJ: So, are we gonna have Annie take us out.
BL: Yeah, I was gonna say/
KJ: /She’s like asleep. [laughter]
BL: I was like we’ll probably have another one before we all go to ClexaCon. Because that’s April and it’s not even March yet. OK.
VA: Have our littlest Thrilljoy take us away.
BL: Yeah, so. OK. I’m trying to see if we had anything else to mention. Thank you as always to Deb Snyder, our editor. And to @ScaryKrystal on Twitter and Instagram for our awesome logos. So, without further ado, take it away Annie. Thanks guys.
Annie: Follow us on social media. We’re on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @FemThrilljoys. If you have any more thoughts on this episode or in general, you can email us at email@example.com. And last, but not least, if you’re feeling extra generous, please rate and review us on iTunes. Thanks!