There are a million ways to ask that question. “Will you marry me?” You can go as big or as small as you want to. How often have you seen a woman proposing to a woman on television? You can probably think of a few rare gems. But rare gems aren’t enough. Popping the Question is here to bring you another sweet love story later in life.
Happy endings and normal lives
This is not the first queer short film Shawna Khorasani has given us. Simply check out her YouTube channel for her work. She wrote Popping the Question to bring much-needed positive representation to LGBTQ+ stories. Shawna agrees that rare gems aren’t enough: “We have a long way to go. Some recent movies with LGBTQ characters still feature drama, tragedy, forbidden love, coming out storylines, or unhappy endings. What kind of message does that send to queer women? They deserve happy endings and normal lives. With this film, I hope to help improve mainstream LGBTQ+ media representation.”
Surprises of Popping the Question
Popping the Question is a 7-minute delight filled with love, excitement, and surprises. Nina, a writer, has a dinner planned for her girlfriend Lizzie on Valentine’s Day. In a creative and intimate way, Nina proposes to Lizzie. However, Lizzie has some big news of her own.
The most exciting part to watch for me was the moment Nina proposed. Her voice breaking slightly with nerves when asking the question. Having been the person being proposed to, I’m so happy I never had to experience those nerves.
The big news seemed a little unrealistic to me as we usually discuss those things beforehand in my household. But hey, not everybody is like us 😉
Popping the Question meets its goal
If Shawna intended to create normal lives with her short film, she succeeded. Just seeing yourself represented on screen and watching these characters go through a monumental moment in their lives together without the whole ‘look at them being gay’ part gives you a much-needed break from what you can see on your screen every day.
Popping the Question left me with a happy feeling. Isn’t that simply what we want with short films from our community? All in all, I’m glad I helped make this movie happen through Indiegogo. And it was fun seeing some familiar names in the credits!
About 1.5 years ago, I was fortunate enough to watch ANNE+ before it premiered. I reviewed this new lesbian series from The Netherlands for you in a blog post and a video. I thought it was amazing to be able to talk about a project from my country for a change. Apparently, you thought so too. This video is my most popular video to this date! For a long time, the series wasn’t available to international viewers yet. As of January 17, the YouTube videos are open beyond the Dutch borders as well. In this review, I expect you to have watched the first season, but I won’t give away spoilers. I was so excited to watch ANNE+ season 2 and below, you can read why you want to watch the new season too.
ANNE+ season 2: new storyline
the makers taking ANNE+ season 2? The plot of season 1 was clear in advance:
Anne reflects on the relationships she had in her college days and on how they
shaped her as a person. Hence the plus in the title: each episode focused on one
of her relationships. Realistically, the same principle can´t be applied to a
new season. As I said in my previous review, though, the creators did leave a
big opening for a future storyline.
ANNE+ season 2
the story start in the next season? In season 2, Anne is 24 and she seems to
have it all figured out. She works at a creative agency. She has a girlfriend
and a lot of friends. Anne also has her own place in Amsterdam.
life isn´t going the way she really wants it to go. Anne wants something
different. But she doesn´t know where to start and she constantly gets distracted.
Then an ex shows up on her doorstep unannounced. This happens at the same time
she has trouble with another ex.
you can go to the people around you to talk, but her parents are having their
own problems and sometimes, her friends have their own things to deal with. And
she should also really take a look at all those bills that are coming in. Being
an adult is different from what she expected. How do you do that: balancing
friends, work and relationships?
ANNE+ season 2 brings diversity to the cast
One of the
things that make me happy this season is the diversity of the cast. Anne’s (ex)
relationships and friends are from mixed backgrounds. With the transgender
character, there is a big focus on his transition. Still, you can say that this
series handles it better than other productions. This character comes across as
a very strong individual and draws strength from the transition. He also
clearly sets his boundaries. Many times, productions often highlight the
difficult and sad parts of their lives. I write this review as a white, cisgender
woman, so you might experience this diversity differently.
What I also
like is that in this series, you also see men as friends. In lesbian
productions, you often see the storyline only revolve around women and there is
much resentment against men. Here, you see Anne having male friends, without
emphasizing the differences between men and women. They are just there and you
can be friends with them as an LGBT+ woman. Refreshing! Or maybe not?
Laura Gómez plays a role
addition to the cast: Laura Gómez. You know her as Blanca Flores from Orange is
the New Black. She saw the first season of ANNE+ at the Tribeca Film Festival
in New York and wanted to participate in the second season. I have only been
able to watch the first 4 episodes, but in the fourth episode, I saw her in the
preview of episode 5, where she attends a wedding. So, I can’t tell you if she
only guest-stars in episode 5 or in more episodes. Either way: that’s such a
ANNE+ has a
real sense of humor. The biggest way they add humor to the series is when you
hear Anne’s thoughts out loud. They are a direct commentary on what Anne is
experiencing in the scene. I often find it very relatable.
And yes, you
often notice that Anne says the opposite of what she thinks in her head. There’s
also a sense of humor in that: the difference between what society wants you to
say and what you actually want. Fortunately, from time to time, they also show
positive results when Anne does the opposite of what she actually wants.
Because sometimes, it is also about stepping out of your comfort zone and
point of this series is that they don’t let Anne be perfect. Yes, the series
revolves around Anne but sometimes, you simply don’t like her. Sometimes you
disagree with her. And sometimes, you understand why she has an angry outburst
when she’s with her friends. It’s not nice to watch, but you know where it
comes from. That edge makes her character very relatable. Because in reality, you
also know that you’re not being reasonable from time to time and that your
behavior isn’t very nice for others.
Where can you watch ANNE+ season 2?
The world premiere is on Monday, March 2 in Amsterdam. If you live in The Netherlands, you can watch the second season of ANNE+ from March 3: BNNVARA on NPO 3 at 10:25 pm. This season has more episodes and they will last longer. That means more ANNE+! You can also binge-watch the whole season on NPO Start Plus from March 3.
If you’re not in The Netherlands, you can’t watch it yet. They have just done the international release of the first season. All those episodes are available on YouTube. They have English, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.
The Sympathy Card: Lesbian Comedy About Bad First Dates and Cancer
The Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival, or Roze Filmdagen, is taking place March 12-22. Because of the Roze Filmdagen, I know some new queer titles you can watch. The first one I can review for you is an American comedy: The Sympathy Card.
In The Sympathy Card, Emma has lung cancer and it’s not going well. She presents her new wife Josie a deathbed order. Is that a thing now? Apparently, it is. Josie needs to find someone new while Emma is still around to approve of her choice. Josie goes on some bad dates before developing feelings for her florist Siobhan. Below, you can find what I thought of the movie. In de video, you can find a clip from the movie!
Before watching The Sympathy Card
I have to say that beforehand, I was a bit reluctant to watch The Sympathy Card. I have a personal history with cancer. Consequently, I try to avoid being drawn into super sad stories about it. This movie is described as a comedy, though.
I decided to watch the trailer. In the first one I watched, there was no mention of cancer, just bad dates, and a romance. I decided to watch the second trailer, which did cover the cancer part. I noticed that this was the level I could handle. So, I asked the team for the press screener and I watched it. If you have a personal history with cancer too, it might be a good idea to watch the trailer first.
The Sympathy Card is not very realistic
start off by saying that the storyline is not very realistic. Not every choice
made in this story makes sense. Many of your questions will be left unanswered.
For instance, how does Josie end up being so bad at dates? It almost seems as
if her date with Emma is her first date ever. Who was she before the opening of
issue I have with this whole idea is: how big of a sex drive do you expect your
character to have when the one she loves is dying and she’s taking care of her wife
until she dies? It’s already a stage of mourning. I think anyone who has ever
lost somebody close to them can tell you that it’s not your peak moment.
Whether your wife orders you to flirt with people or not.
The bad dates are
unrealistic part of the movie for a second. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all
the bad dates. It’s reassuring that there are people out there who are worse
actor is as good as the other, but I enjoyed Josie’s responses and the moments
she’s talking to herself, which turn already awkward dates even more awkward. I may have a crush on the florist now too,
even though she has some tricks up her sleeve as well. And some sexy scenes
are, well, sexy. So, despite the many questions I had, the surprises that come
your way and the awkward moments kept me watching the movie until the end.
had enough of watching coming-out stories? Have you had enough of watching
teens or college girls? If so, the Sympathy Card might bring something new to
the table. Instead of a coming-of-age movie, it’s about the end of life. If I
had to guess the characters’ age, I’d guess they are in their thirties. It’s
about a married couple deciding how to live their (short) lives together from
now on, rather than a wedding being the final event in a movie. Those are all
things you don’t see very often in movies from our community.
Where can you watch it?
On its website, the team states that they had a festival run last year and that they hope to bring the movie to more festivals this spring. On the Facebook page, you can read that The Sympathy Card will be shown at the Roze Filmdagen and Melbourne Queer Film Festival in March. You can also find the movie on Twitter and Instagram. I suggest you follow those accounts to stay up to date about festival dates. Hopefully, you will soon discover when and where you can watch the movie online.
Holiday Help Desk: A Queer Christmas Short Film You Probably Don’t Know Exists
I know we are all very excited Season of Love is out. We can finally enjoy our first-ever queer Christmas movie. Last year, I did discover a queer Christmas short film with two women, but I found out too late to tell you about it. This holiday season, I do want you to know that there is a 15-minute short film called Holiday Help Desk. It’s cute, so if you need more after Season of Love, this might be fun.
What is Holiday Help Desk about?
What is the
story about? Lauren Windsor and Christina Wu both have to work on Christmas Eve.
When Christina calls IT for help, she and Lauren hit it off over their mutual
disappointment in dating and a love of movies. Christina finally gets off work
and asks Lauren on a date, but Lauren still has to work. Is that the end? Nope…
Hillary Esquina, who wrote Passage, wrote the screenplay for this short film. It stars Shannon Leigh Reeve (whom you will also see in Passage), Rachel Lin, and Rich Sab. Chelese Belmont directed it.
Where can you watch
Holiday Help Desk?
released on Christmas Eve 2018. This is why I found out too late and why you
may have missed it too. Well, this year, it’s available for rent and purchase
on more platforms, so it’s easier for you to watch.
It’s available for rent and purchase on Vimeo. If you buy the short film, you also get to watch the bloopers. If you’re like me, you’ll love those; people tripping and messing up what they are trying to say. Actors, they’re just like us! Who knew?
You can find Holiday Help Desk for rent and purchase on Amazon Prime too. I don’t know if the bloopers are available there too.
LesFlicks is a subscription-based platform from the UK. The subscription costs €5.37 per month or €53.80 per year. There is a 14-day free trial. On this platform, you can also watch The Date (which you can also watch on Amazon Prime and Tello) and other wlw series and films.
Season of Love Gives You All the Queer Holiday Feels
Love is the first-ever lesbian/LGBTQ+ holiday rom-com. I was able to watch the
press screener of this ground-breaking Christmas movie, so in this spoiler-free
blog post, I can tell you all about this new movie and why you should watch it.
Below, you can also find a review video, in which Dominique Provost-Chalkley talks
about her role and music in Season of Love. Screenings and purchase/rent options
can be found at the bottom.
Season of Love is a queer holiday movie
In short, Season of Love is a queer holiday movie with an ensemble cast, romantic storylines, and general good feelings. If you are the first queer holiday movie with LGBT+ women, expectations are high. There is much pressure to do things right. What if this movie, the only holiday movie we now have, had sucked? That would have been terrible.
Well, I can
tell you the movie is terrific. It delivers. Season of Love made me very happy.
I watched it last night, and I still have good feelings. Sometimes I wondered
if I was the only one loving this movie, but then I looked at my wife. She was
all smiles throughout the entire movie. That confirmed my overall judgment of
the movie: it is simply a good movie!
I even laughed
out loud a few times, especially with some well-timed slow-motion moments. They
are hilarious. The lesbian gaze gets what it wants.
Season of Love has picked
the perfect cast
Season of Love has found the ideal cast. I can say that I hardly knew anyone before watching the movie and I loved looking at every single one of the actors. They did a great job. I also loved how diverse the cast was (can we have more deaf characters please?). I loved seeing some familiar faces in the background, and I loved seeing Lily Richards make an appearance or two.
I know that
one thing that people are looking for is the movie’s music. After all, Dom and
Bonnie Ferrar have an original song in it. Look, I don’t know much about music,
but my untrained ears loved it. The songs in this movie are definitely songs
that I would like to listen to more often. Indeed, I’m ready to buy the soundtrack
and can’t wait for an album by Dom. She truly has a fantastic voice.
Small room for improvement
The things that
I think could have been done better are little things. For instance, I didn’t
particularly appreciate how a camera was spinning around the room in an early
Also, both holiday movies and movies with an ensemble cast often have little time to establish the background story. The filmmakers want to focus on the here and now, to build the holiday spirit. And when you have an ensemble cast, you need to have more than one background story. Season of Love starts with four days before Christmas, counts down, and then moves to New Year’s Eve. It wants to focus on the events happening in those days.
I saw some starts of storylines that were easy. It would have been nicer had
they been fleshed out more and made more believable. Nevertheless, we tend to
forgive holiday movies more quickly because we mostly want something easy to
watch and to feel all the holiday feels. And that is precisely what you get
Where can you watch Season of Love?
So, where can you watch Season of Love? The movie premieres in Los Angeles on November 21. It also has screenings in London, Nashville, New York, Toronto, and Seattle. If you cannot visit the screenings, you can pre-order the movie for $15. The film will be available for rent and purchase in early December. Enjoy!
Passage the Series: A New Lesbian Show with Paranormal Activities
About 1.5 years ago, I was at the table reading of Passage at ClexaCon. I loved witnessing a table reading, and I am excited that this web series will finally premiere this Sunday (Oct. 6th) on Tello Films. Passage the Series is an episodic paranormal thriller centered around paranormal operative and queer mom Ali Prader as she balances her personal and professional life during a crucial shift in power. I have watched the five episodes of this new show before the premiere date, so I can tell you why you should watch it. In this blog post, I will describe three things that I like about this series. In the video included, you will find me reacting to what I see as I watch Passage.
The story of Passage
Passage the Series is an episodic paranormal thriller centered around Janus Agent Ali Prader. This queer mom is a top paranormal operative within the government for a secret division called Caelus. Caelus relies on her special capabilities to handle the different situations that can arise from interacting with paranormal entities. Ali can balance her professional and personal life only until she starts to discover things that can open the door to a new crucial shift in power.
What I love about Passage:
the paranormal aspect
The first thing that intrigued me about Passage the Series was the paranormal aspect of the show. Usually, web series have a small budget and frequently, that small budget limits even the basic plans of content creators. I expect that adding sci-fi to a story, and all the special effects that come hand-in-hand with it, requires a big chunk of the project’s budget.
imagine that it is quite tricky. You do not want to cut corners with special
effects either as it will diminish the quality of your show, no matter how good
the storyline is. I have to admit I was a little worried because there is enough
proof on YouTube where shows have not handled that aspect well.
months ago, I was fortunate enough to watch the first episode when it was ready,
and I was relieved to see it was done well. I guess big TV shows have tons of
extra tricks (and money) to make it look even smoother, but this web series
makes the special effects look great.
What I love about Passage: the queer mom life
Esquina, who wrote Passage, and I agree on at least one thing: there should be
more stories about queer moms. Passage is just that. That’s one point for the
Passage team already.
I am a
queer mom. I do not know if you remember me talking about it earlier, such as when
discussing Different for
Girls, but it always seems as if marriage and having a kid is the end game.
That is all we strive for in life, and then after that, we have no more stories
to tell. I mean, if you believe most current films and series.
So yes, with
Passage, there is finally another story that we are in, and it does not just focus
on our motherhood. It is a part of the story but not the center.
What I love about Passage:
Shannan Leigh Reeve,
whom I loved in I Hate
Tommy Finch. I am excited to see her on screen again. Also, Nicole Pacent is in it,
and they were both in I Hate Tommy Finch! It is good to watch them together again
on screen. Mandahla Rose
is in it as well, so you have at least three cool people in one show. Oh,
Mandahla will make you laugh…
Where can you find Passage?
You will be
able to find Passage on Tello Films as of October 6th. You
will have to subscribe, but there is a free trial, so you can test whether you
like the website. You can find queer movies and series on it, and at the end of
the year, they will also have Season
of Love, which many Earpers probably cannot wait to watch.
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