The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: November 13-19

This week TV gave us the Waverider crew’s return to the wild west, a big milestone for Darryl Whitefeather and White Josh, the first male Chanel, and much more. Here are my choices for the 10 best LBGT-inclusive TV episodes of the week.

10. Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood: “The Reunion – Part 2”

In the second part of the Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood reunion special there were exactly as much snarky comments and yelling as you would expect.

Best Moment: Rosa Acosta’s entire fight with Safaree Samuels.

9. Rosewood: “Prosopagnosia and Parrot Fish”

This week Beaumont Rosewood worked a case with a witness who has face blindness. Meanwhile, he and Tawnya tried to take it slow but mostly failed.

Best Moment: Pippy Rosewood worrying about what will happen to Donna Rosewood after Gerald Kelly’s trial.

8. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Monster in the Closet”

Adrian Pimento finally returned this week. Amy Santiago threw together a wedding for him and Rosa Diaz, but through the episode Adrian and Rosa realized that they should spend more time together before they get married.

Best Moment: “Vindication!”

7. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: “Outlaw Country”

Jonah Hex returned this week and helped the team take on an outlaw cowboy. Meanwhile, Ray Palmer and Nate Heywood became best friends and Mick Rory was just happy to hang.

Best Moment: Sara threatening to kick Jonah’s ass.

6. Scream Queens: “Chanel Pour Homme-icide”

Scream Queens returned this week and added an unreasonable number of new Chanels to the mix.

Best Moment: Chanel #3’s insistence that they not let Tristan die. (Even if it was all for not…)

5. Empire: “Chimes at Midnight” 

This week a big hack at Empire made tensions run high. Cookie Lyon had to end her relationship with Angelo Dubois and Shine got to torture someone.

Best Moment: Jamal Lyon’s call to D-Major.

4. Arrow: “Vigilante”

This week Team Arrow stopped a new vigilante (the hilariously generically named Vigilante) who was too dangerous, while gently ribbing Oliver Queen for being quite dangerous himself. It was a solid episode with a great twist at the end.

Best Moment: Curtis Holt yelling at Vigilante to stop trying to kill them.

3. Steven Universe: “Gem Harvest” 

After what felt like a very long hiatus, Steven Universe returned with an episode that felt extremely emotionally resonant and nailed family dynamics, both good and bad.

Best Moment: “We thought we’d all marry each other!”

2. Gotham: “Mad City: The Executioner” 

This episode was a nice reminder that despite its gritty tone, Gotham is a very idealistic show. The hard stance against cops playing by their own rules was refreshing and powerful.

Best Moment: Oswald Cobblepot’s sly “even someone you’ve only known two weeks.”

1. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: “Why is Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Eating Carbs?”

Everything about this episode was strong. Rebecca Bunch’s scenes with Valencia Parez, Paula Proctor’s chemistry with delightful new cast member Parvesh Cheena, Josh Chan’s song about terrible thoughts, it all worked. The thread about Rebecca and Paula’s relationship was biting and sad in a way that snuck up on you. Of course, what puts it over the edge and makes it the clear best episode of the week was the incredibly sweet plot line for Darryl and White Josh.

Best Moment: Darryl and White Josh saying “I love you” to each other.

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: November 13-19

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: September 4-10

This week TV gave us a serious ticking clock on The Last Ship, the series finale of Mistresses, a haunting season finale for Tyrant, and more. Here are my choices for the 10 best LGBT-inclusive TV episodes of the week.

10. Hollywood Today Live: “Wed, September 6, 2016” 

This episode featured interviews with the handsome and charming Chris Geere and the handsome and charming Lance Bass.

Best Moment: When the hosts brought up their surprise that NSYNC expressed condolences when their crooked manager died and Lance Bass had to explain sympathy to them.

9. Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood: “Mama Beef” 

The focus of this episode was the friction between A1 and Lyrica’s moms, which was entertaining, but the truly wonderful storyline was the love triangle between Nicki Minaj’s ex Safaree Samuels, Nikki Mudarris, and Rosa Acosta.

Best Moment: Nikki and Rosa’s snuggle session.

8. @midnight with Chris Hardwick: “Wed, Sep 7, 2016” 

This episode featured Adam Goldberg, Mary Lynn Rajskub and James Davis competing. Their dramatic reading of the Twitter feud between Patton Oswalt and Martin Shkelli was pretty incredible.

Best Moment: Mary Lynn Rajskub’s exit.

7. RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: “HERstory of the World” 

In this episode, the queens performed a lip sync number inspired by women throughout history.

Best Moment: Detox’s incredible runway outfit.

6. Mistresses: “The Show Must Go On”

This episode packed in a lot of big soap-y reveals, including a bizarre cliffhanger which we’ll all just have to wonder about forever because this ended up being the series finale.

Best Moment: Dante’s speech about finding yourself.

5. Tyrant: “Two Graves”

This powerful finale brought Barry Al-Fayeed’s hypocrisy to the forefront, ending any chance of him being a hero. It wasn’t intended as a series finale, but serves as a strong ending for the show.

Best Moment: Sammy Al-Fayeed’s anger at the family dinner.

4. The Last Ship: “Resistance”

This season has been doing an incredible job of ramping up the action every episode. This episode solidified the group of vigilantes out to get justice against the corrupt government and presented an impending attack on the Nathan James.

Best Moment: Alisha Granderson leading the group searching for coded messages.

3. Masters of Sex: “Freefall”

This premiere did a great job setting up the season by showing us where William Masters and Virginia Johnson are emotionally and professionally.

Best Moment: The montage of Betty DiMello running the office.

2. Halt and Catch Fire: “Rules of Honorable Play”

In this episode, tensions were high between Donna Clark and Cameron Howe as they adjusted to the acquisition. Meanwhile, Gordon Clark was just excited about laser tag. The understated ending was absolutely perfect.

Best Moment: Joe MacMillan’s anger during his meeting with the client.

1. Steven Universe: “Last One Out of Beach City”

Pearl on a quest to prove she’s cool and talk to a pretty girl is a winning episode formula.

Best Moment: Pearl showing Amethyst and Steven that she got the girl’s number.

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: September 4-10

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: August 6-August 12

This week TV gave us Jude Adams-Foster’s attempts to play it cool while trying to buy pot, the season finale of Animal Kingdom, Jay getting his vicarious fairy tale romance on UnREAL, and much more. Here are my choices for the best LGBT-inclusive TV episodes of the week.

10. Pretty Little Liars: “Original G’A’ngsters”

This episode saw the return of Jason DiLaurentis, who I hope will steal Aria Montgomery away from Ezra Fitz.

Best Moment: Emily Fields celebrating Pam Fields’ birthday with her. It was so refreshing seeing her happy.

9. Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta: “Exposed and Unfiltered: Part 2”

The final installment of this year’s reunion show was a reminder that I will miss this show so much while it’s gone.

Best Moment: Chris Gould’s perfectly articulated explanation of why you shouldn’t misgender someone regardless of their appearance, immediately followed by Ariane Davis saying, “I really do just have a vendetta against you personally.”

8. The Fosters: “Highs & Lows”

Things seem to just get worse and worse for The Adams-Fosters and this week, right afterr Stef Adams-Foster and Lena Adams-Foster told the kids they’d have to sell the house, the family found out that Jesus Adams-Foster had shot himself with a dang nail gun.

Best Moment: Stef and Lena’s conversation about their finances. What a bummer.

7. UnREAL: “Friendly Fire”

Things actually worked out for Darius Beck in the UnREAL season 2 finale, thanks to Rachel Goldberg and Jay pulling together to give him a happy ending. Meanwhile, Rachel’s problems were solved with straight up double homicide.

Best Moment: Jay tearing up as he watched Darius and Ruby Carter and realized he’d actually done something good for someone.

6. Roadies: “Carpet Season”

In this episode, Bill tried to figure out how to handle his relationship with Shelli. Turns out, women like it when you talk to them.

Best Moment: Halsey’s performance of “Ghost.”

5. Tyrant: “Truth and Dignity”

This episode had some very nice character-driven moments. Sammy Al-Fayeed really shined in this one.

Best Moment: Sammy’s conversation with his dad.

4. Animal Kingdom: “What Have You Done?”

In this season finale, everyone was yelling at everyone and Smurf really had to Smurf it up.

Best Moment: Deran Cody’s hatred of loud music.

3. Steven Universe: “Know Your Fusion”

In this episode, Sardonyx questions Smoky Quartz about their powers. Smoky is pretty upfront about the fact that their power is a yo-yo, but for some reason it really takes Sardonyx a while to get it.

Best Moment: Garnet getting so excited she picks Pearl up.

2. Mr. Robot: “m4ster_s1ave.aes”

I love a good gimmick and this episode had fun with its ’90s sitcom thing.

Best Moment: Gideon’s newspaper gag in the credits.

1. Scream: “Heavenly Creatures”

This week, Noah Foster mourned for Zoe Vaughn and the police made bad decisions.

Best Moment: Emma Duval telling Audrey Jensen not to turn in evidence that implicates her. I’m so glad they’re already cover up BFFs again.

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: August 6-August 12

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: July 30-August 6

This week TV gave us two intimate scenes between Emily Fields and Alison DiLaurentis, fantastic development in the friendship between Audrey Jensen and Emma Duval, Alisha Granderson giving encouragement to Kara Green, and much more. Here are my choices for the 10 best LGBT-inclusive TV episodes of the week.

10. Pretty Little Liars: “Wanted: Dead or Alive”

This week Hanna Marin continued to struggle with her fear that Elliot Rollins might not really be dead. This fear went so far that she and Spencer Hastings dug up his grave to look at the body.

Best Moment: Tie between Emily’s apology to Alison and Alison’s apology to Emily.

9. UnREAL: “Espionage” 

This episode finally reunited the dream team of Rachel Goldberg and Quinn King, putting them firmly on the same side as they prepare to destroy Coleman Wasserman.

Best Moment: “Calm down, Malcolm X”

8. Steven Universe: “Steven vs. Amethyst” 

This was a heartbreaking exploration of Amethyst’s low self-esteem. She discussed frankly  the cycle of beating herself up for not being good at things and then becoming worse because of her lost confidence.

Best Moment: “You ruined the ruins!”

7. Scream: “The Vanishing” 

If Audrey and Emma’s friendship wasn’t already decidedly one of the best things on TV, this episode definitively earned that. Combine their incredible relationship development with the terrifying scenes of Noah’s near death and you have one of the strongest episodes in what has been a very strong season of this show.

Best Moment: Audrey confessing to Emma that she was so angry at her because she loved her.

6. Animal Kingdom: “Judas Kiss” 

In this episode, the boys pulled off the big heist at the army base, while J started spilling their secrets to a detective.

Best Moment: The boys coming home from the heist and being greeted by fresh-baked apple pie. Aww.

5. The Last Ship: “Sea Change”

Tension was built all around in this episode, between the people aboard the USS Nathan James discovering the pirate’s plan for a genocide and the people back on shore struggling with policy in the wake of the President’s suicide.

Best Moment: Alisha’s pep talk to Kara.

4. The Fosters: “Justify”

This episode really put the focus on Lena Adams-Foster and everything weighing on her. Watching her blow up was at times cathartic and at times scary.

Best Moment: Lena telling Brandon Adams-Foster he’s completely lost his sense of right and wrong. Drag him.

3. Steven Universe: “Gem Hunt” 

This episode brought focus back to Connie Maheswaran. Pearl took her and Steven on a hike to find missing gems.

Best Moment: Pearl and Connie posing for photos.

2. Steven Universe: “Crack the Whip”

In this episode, Steven and Connie were able to fight Jasper as Stevonnie. It was a big moment for them, but one that led to Amethyst feeling insecure.

Best Moment: Pearl’s reaction to Amethyst rubbing it in that she forgot about Connie.

1. Steven Universe: “Bismuth” 

This extra-long episode introduced an incredible new gem named Bismuth, voiced by Uzo Aduba. Her warm reception by the gems was a joy to watch and it was a real bummer when things took a turn.

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: July 30-August 6

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: July 23-July 30

This week TV gave us Jay making a power play on UnREAL, the series finale of Hell on Wheels, an intense episode of The Last Ship, and more. Here are my choices for the best LGBT-inclusive TV episodes of the week.

10. Tyrant: “Prayers for Our Daughters”

In this episode, Barry and Molly dealt with their grief after Emma’s death. Molly was falling apart, while Barry tried to hold it together.

Best Moment: Sammy apologizing to the maid for his mom’s behavior.

9. Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta: “Final Outcome”

The season finale wrapped everything up. Are all the cast members ready to take time to focus on their own lives from here on out? You know it.

Best Moment: D. Smith and Betty Idol getting the hell out of Ariane’s party as soon as Joseline Hernandez arrived.

8. Dead of Summer: “How to Stay Alive in the Woods” 

In this episode, Joel opened up to the other campers about his visions of Tall Man. Most of them believed these are hallucinations, but some seemed open to the idea that it could all be real.

Best Moment: Blair’s line about how “if he just wanted to get into your pants, would he have asked me what your favorite song is?” pretty much nailed being a silly teenager.

7. UnREAL: “Fugitive” 

In a disturbing turn, Coleman took advantage of Rachel’s medicated and traumatized state to learn her secrets. Meanwhile, Jay saved Everlasting by getting Darius back.

Best Moment: Jay’s immediate “of course I am” when Darius said that he was a part of the machine.

6. Animal Kingdom: “Man In” 

In this episode, J confronted Baz about whether he’s his dad. Turned out the answer is “uh, you better hope not.”

Best Moment: Deran being offended that his tidbit about monkeys wasn’t more well-received.

5. The Fosters: “Forty”

This week Stef threw Lena a ’70s themed birthday party, so we got to see all the characters in embarrassing outfits.

Best Moment: Stef immediately taking the opportunity to trash talk Cortney and Brandon’s relationship to Dana.

4. Hell on Wheels: “Done”

This series finale had a good last hurrah in the form of Thomas Durant’s speech about how the railroad couldn’t have been built without men like him.

Best Moment: Louise’s heart-to-heart with Eva.

3. Scream: “The Orphanage” 

Haley Meyers’ horrifying death and the creepy masked party that led up to it were a great set piece for this episode. It also had some great character-driven moments, including Emma and Audrey’s fight and of course Noah losing his virginity.

Best Moment: Audrey trying to make Noah see that Zoe is clearly the one sneaking around and stealing his files.

2. The Last Ship: “In the Dark”

This episode stood out because of the many scenes that were set in complete darkness due to the ship trying to stay hidden. It also had a very nice arc with Chandler and Slattery coming to trust Takehaya.

Best Moment: The crew’s reactions as Takehaya took the helm.

1. Steven Universe: “Monster Reunion” 

In this episode, Steven used his healing powers to help Centipeetle. Centipeetle was reunited with her loved ones, but Steven still felt like he needed to make amends and he asked the gems to teach him how to write “I’m sorry” in gem language.

Best Moment: Pearl’s frantic concern that Amethyst was making fun of Centipeetle.

 

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: July 23-July 30

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: July 17-23

This week TV gave us an entire new season of Degrassi: Next Class, a musical episode of Steven Universe, Jay really getting his moment on UnREAL, and much more. Here are my choices for the 10 best LGBT-inclusive TV episodes of the week.

10. Steven Universe: “Mr. Greg”

This episode was full of beautiful songs and showed Pearl finally dealing with the fact that Rose chose to be with Greg rathe than her.

Best Moment: Pearl dancing with Greg.

9. UnREAL: “Ambush”

In this episode, Rachel Goldberg kept pushing herself further and, along with Coleman Wasserman, set Darius Beck and Romeo up to get arrested and ultimately shot just so they could do an “important” episode.

Best Moment: Jay telling Rachel “this isn’t your story to tell” really brought the whole episode home.

8. BoJack Horseman: “Fish Out of Water”

This atypical episode was almost entirely dialogue-free. It was beautifully animated and full of unexpected turns. Making an episode that was mostly BoJack silently chasing after a baby seahorse was a risk that definitely paid off.

Best Moment: Kelsey Jannings receiving BoJack’s note, only to discover the water has made it incomprehensible.

7. BoJack Horseman: “Old Acquaintance” 

No one does an episode where absolutely everything goes wrong better than BoJack Horseman. Watching BoJack miss out on every opportunity he had and capping it all off with Rutabaga Rabitowitz and Vanessa Gecko celebrating their happy ending was just perfect.

Best Moment: Kelsey’s speech to BoJack about how he has the chance to work with someone who actually sees something in him.

6. Degrassi: Next Class: “#CheckYourPrivilege”

Every member of the Hollingsworth clan is an incredible, precious human disaster. This episode focused on Frankie Hollingsworth, as she made absolutely every wrong decision after drawing a racist caricature. Her refusal to apologize and admit that what she did was wrong– even to herself– were cringeworthy and incisively spot-on.

Best Moment: Miles Hollingsworth assuring Tristan Milligan that he’s not going to drop their relationship.

5. Degrassi: Next Class: “#SquadGoals”

Degrassi: Next Class season 2 premiered strong with an episode that set up the racial themes that the rest of the season would explore. Every girl besides Shay Powers on the volleyball theme obliviously mocking a school from a mostly black neighborhood was a powerfully jarring inciting moment for the whole season.

Best Moment: Miles’ first conversation with Tristan.

4. Degrassi: Next Class: “#OMFG” 

Aside from the cheap cliffhanger, this was a great finale that gave us great pay offs like Zoe Rivas finally telling Winston Chu she’s a lesbian, Lola Pinciotti giving Shay permission to date Tiny Bell and Hunter telling Yael Baron honestly how worried he is about scaring her.

Best Moment: Zoe’s coming out scene with Winston.

3. Degrassi: Next Class: “#ThatAwkwardMomentWhen”

Have I emphasized how much I love the Hollingsworths in all of their mentally ill glory? In this episode, Frankie decide that all she can do is leave Degrassi forever. It’s not a great plan. Zoe was also getting in on the bad idea train as she continued her relationship with Winston solely for the validation. Meanwhile, the Shay-Tiny-Lola love triangle wasn’t anything special storywise, but was still fun to watch because they’re all such lovable characters.

Best Moment: Frankie responding to Miles’ “it’s complicated” with “I don’t think it is.”

2. Degrassi: Next Class: “#ToMyFutureSelf”

Shay had a heartbreaking conflict this episode when she was presented with a major athletics opportunity– but only if she apologized for participating in a peaceful protest and wrote a letter saying that what she did was wrong. Shay is one of the strongest characters on this show and it was painful, but dramatically gratifying, to watch her wrestle with a conflict like this. Meanwhile, Maya Matlin got in a conflict with Grace Cardinal and told herself that high school friends are temporary, unwisely throwing herself into her friendship with Peter Stone. Which only led to embarrassment.

Best Moment: Zoe telling Winston that she wants to destroy Esme Song.

1. Degrassi: Next Class: “#RiseAndGrind”

Degrassi is able to capture the awkward, fumbling nature of early sexual encounters better than any teen drama I’ve seen. In this episode, Miles and Tristan struggle while dealing with whether they should have sex, but they eventually resolve things by actually communicating, which made me very, very happy.

Best Moment: I know I should go with on of the mature moments between Miles and Tristan, but I gotta say that I really loved “I have to be home in twenty minutes” “This won’t take that long.”

 

 

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: July 17-23

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: May 29-June 4

This week TV gave us a look at Angela Montenegro’s hopes and dreams, Roger Smith in a schoolgirl uniform, some truly emotional scenes between Root Groves and Sameen Shaw, and more! Here are my choices for the 10 best LGBT-inclusive TV episodes of the week.

10. Bones: “The Movie in the Making” 

This episode didn’t do much with the documentary format, but since this is season 11, it was nice seeing an episode that was a little different. There were some nice moments in the episode, especially with the romance between Vaziri and Saroyan.

Best Moment: Angela talking about how she thought she’d be an artist in Paris some day but ended up in the lab struck a really nice tone.

9. Penny Dreadful: “This World is Our Hell”

As the title implies, this episode was rough. Stuff is just not going Ethan’s way at all.

Best Moment: Ethan sharing his story with Hecate.

8. American Dad!: “Mine Struggle”

This was a nice feel-good episode that did some fun things with the premise of “the family finds some salt in their backyard.” There were a couple nice twists and the mention of The Cleveland Show made me happy.

Best Moment: I’m a simple man with simple needs and I loved “I’m also the downstairs toilet.”

7. Containment: “Inferno”

This show started off a bit slow for my taste– the stakes were high and yet I didn’t feel personally invested. However, now that most of the major characters are in a central location, it’s really working dramatically.

Best Moment: The tense elevator scene was extremely well-done.

6. Scream: “I Know What You Did Last Summer”

I missed this show so much and the premiere completely reminded me why. It captures the feeling of being young so well. While most teen drama characters wear their hearts on their sleeves, these kids are numb and jaded but hide a storm of emotions underneath. Things  like a very earnest delivery of “I’ve never listened to your podcast” or a text from the killer that says “I know what you did last summer… get it?” are just silly enough without undercutting the reality of the situation and the characters.

Best Moment: Audrey panicking as she sees all those letters.

5. Veep: “C**tgate”

On a lesser sitcom, the twist that almost every staffer called Selina the c-word would be overplayed as a huge set piece, but this episode works because it’s so underplayed, right down to the anti-climactic ending of Selina simply asking Amy, “It was everyone, wasn’t it?” The b-plot with Jonah was fantastic, from him storming out and asking a focus group how they don’t understand double-sided mirrors to him assuring Dan that the glasses he gave him are “dope.”

Best Moment: Catherine and Marjorie telling each other how happy they are in a monotone immediately sold me on that couple.

4. Orphan Black: “The Redesign of Natural Objects”

This episode had all the tension you expect from an episode of Orphan Black, plus a Jesus Christ Superstar number.

Best Moment: Felix getting annoyed at the micro-managing of his spy outfit.

3. Steven Universe: “Hit the Diamond”

The actual plot of this episode is that Ruby and Sapphire can’t even get through a game of baseball without getting distracted flirting with each other. We’re really in the golden age of television.

Best Moment: There were so many, but I’ll go with Garnet’s innocent “whoops” after Ruby and Sapphire can’t help but fuse.

2. Person of Interest: “The Day The World Went Away”

Obviously, I’m very upset about one big event in this episode, but it’s made all the more frustrating by the fact that aside from that one thing, this was a great episode with some fantastic scenes of Root and Shaw.

Best Moment: Root and Shaw’s mid-shootout heart-to-heart showed off everything I love about that couple.

1. Archer: “Deadly Velvet, Part 2”

Part two of this murder mystery managed to be surprising and interesting, while also playing with the fact that Veronica Dean was very very obviously the killer. There were some truly stand out moments from Lana and, of course, that ending.

Best Moment: Pam thinking that the first rule of robotics is that killing a robot doesn’t count as murder.

 

The 10 Best LGBT-Inclusive TV Episodes of the Week: May 29-June 4