Let's Dance! The Lavender Tube on 'Spookys,' 'Revenge' and 'DWTS'

  • by Victoria A. Brownworth
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022
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Shangela, Sam Champion and Selma Blair are among the 16 contestants on 'Dancing With the Stars' 31st season.
Shangela, Sam Champion and Selma Blair are among the 16 contestants on 'Dancing With the Stars' 31st season.

The new fall season is upon us and with it some —never enough!— queerness to keep us going through this relentless midterm election season.

Dancing With the Stars

Some history-making news is that ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" will feature "RuPaul's Drag Race" star Shangela in season 31 of the series. Shangela is the first drag performer to compete on the show.

Shangela, a gay man, has been paired with dancer Gleb Savchenko. The duo will compete as a same-sex pairing, as JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson did in season 30.

Shangela is not the only queer performer this season, either. WABC-TV New York weather anchor Sam Champion will also be featured, paired with top dancer Cheryl Burke.

Another first for the season is disabled actress Selma Blair. Blair, a long-time LGBTQ ally and AIDS activist, came out about her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis in 2018. Blair wrote about living with MS in her memoir, "Mean Baby: a Memoir of Growing Up," which was published in May 2022. Blair was among the Silence Breakers selected as the 2017 Time Person of the Year. Blair is paired with Sasha Farber.

Also in the "DWTS" cast are singer Jordin Sparks with partner Brandon Armstrong, "Charlie's Angels" star Cheryl Ladd with partner Louis van Amstel and "Sex and the City" star Jason Lewis with partner Peta Murgatroyd. "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice pairs with Pasha Pashkov, actor and comedian Wayne Brady with partner Witney Carson, Arnold Schwarzenegger's son and fitness model Joseph Baena with partner Daniella Karagach, and Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino with partner Koko Iwasaki.

This season should be a blast. With host Tyra Banks, the series premieres Sept. 19.

Los Espookys
Being such a weird and quirky and queer series, we assumed it had been cancelled after one season. But "Los Espookys" is back for a second season after a prolonged pandemic hiatus and really—you want to see it.

The HBO series "follows a group of friends who turn their love for horror into a peculiar business, providing horror to those who need it, in a dreamy Latin American country where the strange and eerie are just part of daily life." Sounds legit.

The series was created by Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega and the always hilarious "SNL" alum Fred Armisen who is spectacular here. The trio co-star with Bernardo Velasco, Cassandra Ciangherotti and the great Carol Kane. It premieres on HBO on Sept. 16. In Spanish and English, with subtitles.

Do Revenge
In "Do Revenge," Camila Mendes ("Riverdale") as Drea and Maya Hawke ("Stranger Things") as Eleanor are the conniving bitch-fest takedown team we all need this season, and every season. Think "Clueless" meets "Heathers" meets "Pretty Little Liars" meets "Strangers on a Train." When Drea and Eleanor plot to get back at the people who've hurt and humiliated them, their plot is 'chef's kiss' yet anything but sweet. This is the high school story we've longed for.

"Do Revenge" is hilarious and smart, Mendes and Hawke are pitch perfect at every step of their malicious, revenge-fueled journey. The dialogue is superb, the acting stellar and oh—"Do Revenge" is queer AF, and premieres on Netflix on Sept. 16.

The Handmaid's Tale
Now that we are living it 24/7, the multiple Emmy-winning dystopian drama about female servitude and forced birthing, "The Handmaid's Tale," is back for a fifth season. The series has also just been renewed for a sixth and final season, and premieres on Hulu Sept. 14 with two episodes. New episodes stream Wednesdays.

Suddenly, Susan's...
It's never too late to come out. On the Sept. 7 episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon, who turns 76 in October, officially came out as bisexual. In conversation with Fallon, Sarandon, wearing a sexy black dress with a flattering portrait neckline, said, "And I'm bi... so..." You go, girl.

Sarandon previously told Pride Source in 2017 that her sexuality was "open" and "up for grabs." On a 2021 episode of the "Divorced Not Dead" podcast she said, "I don't care if it's a man or a woman. I mean, I'm open to all age, all color. And those for me, those things are just details."

Sarandon currently stars in "Monarch" on Fox, a multigenerational musical drama about the Roman family. The family is headed by Dottie Roman (Sarandon) and Albie Roman (Trace Adkins) who have created a country music dynasty together. However, the origins of the dynasty are not what they seem to be. Roman's daughter Nicky Roman (Anna Friel) steps in and does all she can to protect the dynasty's reign in country music while ensuring her own stardom.

Trace Adkins said of working with the powerhouse actress, "You just have to swim in her wake and hang on."

Peppa Pig
The beloved "Peppa Pig" is at it again. In an episode titled "Families," which aired last week, CNN reports lesbians have come to Peppa's world. Peppa and her friends Suzy Sheep, Danny Dog and Penny Polar Bear sit drawing pictures of their families. Penny draws two female polar bears and says, "I'm Penny Polar Bear. I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti."

There had long been requests for the popular children's series to add a same-sex couple. A petition signed by over 23,000 people making the request of the show notes, "Children watching Peppa Pig are at an impressionable age, and excluding same-sex families will teach them that only families with either a single parent or two parents of different sexes are normal."

The petition says, "This means that children of same-sex parents may feel alienated by Peppa Pig, and that other children may be more likely to bully them, simply through ignorance." The series airs on Hulu.

Rob, snider
Perennial flaming [redacted] Rob Schneider blames the slow death by a thousand exits of "Saturday Night Live" this season on multiple Emmy-winner and out lesbian Kate McKinnon's role on the show in 2016.

In an interview (via Mediaite), Schneider says "SNL" was "killed for good" when McKinnon sang Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as Hillary Clinton during the cold open of the show's first episode back after the 2016 presidential election. McKinnon had played Hillary throughout the 2016 election cycle.

"I hate to crap on my old show," Schneider, a Republican and outspoken anti-vaxxer, said. "I literally prayed, 'Please have a joke at the end. Don't do this. Please don't go down there.' And there was no joke at the end, and I went, 'It's over. It's over. It's not going to come back.'"
McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney left "SNL" after the season finale in May. Melissa Villaseñor, Aristotle Athari and Alex Moffat have now also announced they are exiting ahead of the long-running sketch comedy show's 48th season.

So for the newest series, old faves and the latest lunacy, you know you really must stay tuned.

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