Mind Blown

Trans fans are losing their minds after learning this incredible I Saw the TV Glow detail

The secret is out, and it was never in to begin with: Jane Schoenbrun’s sophomore film I Saw the TV Glow is a masterpiece of trans cinema. For the first time, trans viewers are seeing a work of art that’s made with their own experience in mind, and it makes the pathetic attempts at all those trauma narratives of the past look like child’s play.

But there’s something even more deeply trans and queer about the film, and viewers are just finding out. Strap in, because the lore goes deep.


(🇵🇸🔗 IN MY BIO) the gasp i gusped when i saw her name in the credits #isawthetvglow

♬ Claw Machine – Sloppy Jane

In The Pink Opaque, the Buffy/Are You Afraid of the Dark-reminiscent show that the film’s central duo Owen and Maddy are obsessed with, there’s a figure called Mr. Melancholy, a grotesque man-in-the-moon villain and a clear reference to George Méliès’ 1902 film A Trip to the Moon. Mr. Melancholy isn’t just any villain: he’s the central “big bad” of the show, as opposed to the serialized monsters of the week. And when he finally traps the heroes of The Pink Opaque and threatens to send them into dissociation forever, it’s a terrifying moment, and the first time we get to see the character up close.

But there’s something about Mr. Melancholy that fans are just picking up on. The character is played by sapphic choreographer Emma Portner, who was previously married to Elliot Page.

Not only did Portner play Mr. Melancholy, she choreographed the movements of Mr. Melancholy’s demon henchmen in The Pink Opaque, the creepy, genderqueer duo Marco and Polo.

Portner and Page collaborated on a dance piece years ago, and Portner has gone on to choreograph several high-profile ballets. In 2021, Portner made her film debut as Gozer the Gozarian in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Honestly, it makes sense: the casting for I Saw the TV Glow—including jaw-dropping performances by Brigette Lundy-Paine, Justice Smith, and Fred Durst—could not be more incredible.

I don’t know how many more mind-blowing facts about this movie the trans community can take before our collective brain explodes!

Don't forget to share:

Read More in Culture
The Latest on INTO