Love is in the air: The Lavender Tube on TV romances, gay games and Vanderpump's villa

  • by Victoria A. Brownworth
  • Tuesday April 2, 2024
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Oliver Stark and Ryan Guzman in '9-1-1' (photo: ABC)
Oliver Stark and Ryan Guzman in '9-1-1' (photo: ABC)

Ah, Spring. Flowers are in bloom and love is in the air—and on some of our favorite shows. Blaze (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) and Kristina (Kate Mansi) on "General Hospital" are heating up. The two are now an official couple after sharing a pretty hot scene as they finally had sex.

And is there a possible gay storyline for Edmundo "Eddie" Diaz (Ryan Guzman) and Evan "Buck" Buckley (Oliver Stark) on the procedural drama, "9-1-1" which moved from Fox to ABC for its seventh season?

"9-1-1" was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear and follows the lives of Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. The series currently stars Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, Oliver Stark, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Guzman, Aisha Hinds, Kenneth Choi and Gavin McHugh in the lead roles, so a pairing of Eddie and Buck would be huge. The duo has already had a longtime bromance. Can it kick up to the next level?

"9-1-1" has featured other queer characters over previous seasons, including Henrietta Wilson (played by out actor Aisha Hinds), who got married to her partner, Karen (Tracie Thoms) last season. The couple have a son, Denny. Also, former lead character Michael Grant (Rockmond Dunbar) left his wife of many years, Athena (Bassett) for another man.

The "9-1-1" Season 7 premiere drew a big 10.1 million viewers as the series debuted with a cruise ship disaster arc. Now that the show is on ABC, it's also on Hulu the next day, making for broader viewership. That could make for more interest in a Buck and Eddie pairing.

Indira G. Wilson and Marsha Warfield in 'Night Court' (photo: NBC)  

June is Pride month and the traditional wedding month, but "Night Court's" Roz (Marsha Warfield) and Loretta (Indira G. Wilson) tied the knot for Women's History Month in a first for NBC's iconic "Night Court" series. Also, it's very cool to see two older lesbians getting married on TV. All did not go smoothly, as is often the case on the show. (

But in the end, love conquered all. Dan (John Larroquette) walked Roz down the aisle in a nod to the original series (1984-1992). Abby (Melissa Rauch) officiated and yes, we cried. It was beautiful and a perfect season 2 finale.

Ark, the herald
We don't play video games and we aren't especially fond of animated series, but we are all in for the new Paramount+ original "Ark: The Animated Series," which premiered March 21.

It's a star-studded vehicle with some amazing actors voicing the characters. "Ark" costars Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh as the voice of a lesbian rebel leader, Oscar winner Russell Crowe, Oscar nominee Jeffrey Wright, screen icon Malcolm McDowell, Vin Diesel, Juliet Mills, David Tennant and Monica Bellucci. Isn't that enough to pull you in? Oh, and Elliot Page to cinch the deal.

There are also a host of Indigenous actors and the cast is led by the star, Madeleine Madden, in the lesbian lead. This totally queer show is an adult animated epic science-fantasy series based on the video game "Ark: Survival Evolved."

The series revolves around Helena Walker (Madden), an Australian paleontologist on 21st-century Earth. When Helena's wife Victoria (Page) dies suddenly, Helena's identity becomes subsumed into that of grieving widow (something we could so relate to, alas).

One night, Helena is coping with her massive grief by drinking wine with a pill chaser and scrolling through her phone. She wakes up suddenly, groggy and disoriented, in the middle of a vast ocean, drowning. She swims to the surface, but as she's gasping for air, a new challenge arises.

'Ark: The Animated Series' (photo: Paramount+)  

Escaping from a large, charging shark, she washes up on a strange island. "Ark" chronicles the story of that island, a mysterious primeval land populated by dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, where people from throughout human history have been resurrected.

The island becomes a sanctuary and more. Helena befriends a wild Dodo, only to discover it was being hunted by a human male tribe hunter named Bob (Karl Urban). Both Bob and Helena landed on this otherworldly island the same way. Bob teaches Helena the tricks of survival there.

In this wild and ever-changing place where there are dinosaurs, strange technology and warring tribes, Helena is on a survival quest, and a quest to return to her own world. In that land she finds allies and enemies.

Among those Helena meets is Meiyin Li (Yeoh). A Chinese rebel leader from the Yellow Turban Rebellion in the third century, Meiyin Li is feared as the "Beast Queen" after attempting to stop General Nerva (Gerard Butler) in a multi-nation alliance. Helena and Meiyin Li become friends, and then...

This series took us way out of our comfort zone, but it's amazingly compelling. Created by the game's creators Jeremy Stieglitz and Jesse Rapczak, and executive-produced by Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler and Vin Diesel, it's big.

Villa people
Decadence and debauchery collide in "Vanderpump Villa," a new unscripted docu-drama following Real Housewife Lisa Vanderpump's hand-selected staff as they work, live, and play at an exclusive French estate, Chateau Rosabelle.

"Welcome to Vanderpump Villa," Vanderpump says to a room full of staff. "I have personally selected each of you from some of the best restaurants, bars and kitchens. I know you know how to serve, but this is France. So let's talk expectations."

The first look begins with a montage of the staff working at the mansion set to the song "Glamorous" by Fergie. As the staff is introduced to Vanderpump herself, she shows she means business when it comes to the property.

The cast of 'Vanderpump Villa' (photo: Hulu)  

"You can do whatever you want behind the scenes. But when you're around the guests, don't get sloppy," she warns. "This is not Chateau S**t Show."

Hulu says, "From firework-filled proposals and opulent events at the chateau to unbelievable excursions and outrageous confrontations in the French countryside, each day at the Chateau brings nonstop heartfelt, humorous, and heated moments, from staff and guests alike."

They add, "All the while, Lisa evaluates whether this is the team to make her 'pop up' experience a permanent reality and add to her ever-growing empire." It's fabulous, and on Hulu.

Nolly good show
Check out Helena Bonham-Carter in a tour de force performance on PBS's Masterpiece series "Nolly." It's a pretty gay and funny, incisive and poignant period drama about British soap star Noelle "Nolly" Gordon.

Based on the true story of Nolly, one of British TV's most famous faces in the 60s and 70s, the miniseries explores her unceremonious firing, which became front-page news and a feminist cause celébre.

Presidential presence
We try to keep Donald Trump off this page since he's omnipresent elsewhere, but his fan girls and boys over at Fox were outraged that late night host Stephen Colbert hosted a fundraiser with three Democratic presidents at Radio City Music Hall last week.

The Fox headline screamed petty and envious: "CBS' Stephen Colbert takes Democratic Party shilling to new level as he hosts convo at glitzy Biden fundraiser."

Fox thought Colbert was an independent and they were incensed to discover he might not be. "CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert, once lauded as a fearless satirist who spoke truth to power, now appears to see himself as a Democratic Party booster first and a comedian second."

They said, "The liberal comedian rose to fame on 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report' with his blowhard right-wing media persona, but his stance was still generally one of skepticism toward establishment politicians. But since taking over 'The Late Show' on CBS in 2015, he's given himself over more and more to praising Democrats and toeing the liberal media line."

Not exactly true. Colbert is pretty tough on Democrats, and he did ask a lot of good questions at the fundraiser. But Colbert is a comedian, not a journalist, so there's that, too. There were some amusing moments.

The show was too Black and queer for Fox anyway, with stars Lizzo, Cynthia Erivo, Queen Latifah and other celebs also in attendance. It was pricey at a minimum of $250 to attend and up to $500,000 for a more intimate, exclusive reception. For $100,000, guests got a photo with all three presidents taken by famed lesbian photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Vogue praised Colbert for leading "a compelling conversation between Biden, Obama, and Clinton with tact, grace, and a lot of laughter." (

Also in Vogue: "Colbert kicked things off with a series of delightfully mordant questions, among them: 'All three of you have been on Air Force One... that's made by Boeing, right?' 'Do any of you have plans to sell golden sneakers?' and 'Is it nice to live in the White House, or do you always feel like you're in a museum?'"

Biden said his fundraiser with Barack Obama and Bill Clinton "projects party unity heading into November," not that they aren't all on the same side, the center left.

The event netted the Biden campaign $26 million, none of it to be used to pay damages to a rape victim he defamed nor to settle a monumental fraud award.

So for the Sturm and the Drang and the Lavender Tube Rules, you know you really must stay tuned.

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